Many people ask, 'Who's supporting you?', 'Who's backing you?', 'What's your motivation?' The answer is, nobody but our readers and subscribers. As far as motivation, it's just a natural desire to do one's civic duty. For those that may not believe it, below is the political history/biography of Opposition News Network founder Mark Wachtler. Beginning at age 13 in 1983, and continuing onto today, it is the evidence of Mr. Wachtler's sincerity and passion.
Mark Wachtler - Opposition News Network founder & editor.
Like everyone else growing up in Chicago, Mr. Wachtler’s 1980’s teenage years consisted of supporting the politicians from Chicago’s notorious Democratic Machine. By age 13, young Mr. Wachtler even began helping out the Democratic poll workers. Motivated by a desire to take an active roll in what his idealistic eyes saw as our nation’s democracy, Wachtler immediately found that Chicago’s Democratic Party is no place to find democracy.
Mark Wachtler wasn’t unique in his contempt and frustration of political corruption in Chicago. In 1986, Sen. Adlai Stevenson III founded the Solidarity Party. The Illinois Democrat broke from his Democratic Party to run against them, and he wasn’t alone. The following year, the Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, Edward R. Vrdolyak, also broke from the Democrats and ran for Mayor as the Solidarity Party candidate. That was the first election young Mr. Wachtler ever volunteered for as a full time precinct worker. He was one of, if not thee, youngest official precinct captain in the city at the ripe old age of 16.
In 1988, Chicago’s Solidarity Party fizzled out and its members joined with the city’s other political outcasts, the Republicans. The 17 year-old Mr. Wachtler wasn’t even old enough to vote, but he was again recognized as one of the youngest precinct captains in the city, this time with the GOP. Ringing doorbells for numerous reform Republicans over the next two years, Mark Wachtler saw first-hand how bloody, violent and terrorizing Chicago elections are. The Machine Democrats are as ruthless as they are corrupt. And Mr. Wachtler found out the hard way, the Republicans are just as bad.
Independent Voters Association
From his home on Chicago’s northwest side, the 19 year-old Mark Wachtler founded the Independent Voters Association in early 1990. The first IVA flier proudly announced:
“We need some heroes in our government. People that are good, honest, loving, caring and willing to stand up with a passion for what they believe in. These people are out there. Every now and then, one of them runs for office. But because they lack money and name recognition, they come and go without the rest of us even taking notice. It’s our hope to find those candidates who overwhelmingly deserve to be elected, but are stuck in a David vs. Goliath situation, and help them all we can. And best of all, we don’t care what party they’re from.”
United We Stand America
In 1992, Ross Perot was right and everybody knows it now. His funny, yet boring speeches, his bar graphs, pie charts and infomercials – all warning America of what would happen if America’s national debt problem wasn’t fixed – all came true. Here’s a Ross Perot quote for old time’s sake:
“The Federal debt is now $4 trillion. That's $4,000,000,000,000. Our political leaders will add over $330 billion to that debt in 1992 alone. We add about $1 billion in new debt every 24 hours. Does anyone think the present recession just fell out of the sky? People are working longer and longer hours to accomplish less and less. New families can't afford to buy their first homes. In many families, both parents must work to make ends meet. Young people coming out of high school or college can't find a job, so even more of a burden is carried by the families that raised them. If your family is fortunate enough to have had a child or grandchild born in 1992, by the time that child enters the third grade in the year 2000 the Federal debt could be double what it is today.”
Ross Perot was right, and then some. That’s why the 22 year-old Mr. Wachtler was one of the first 200 members of Perot’s United We Stand America (at least according to his membership card). Running as an independent and one of the few opponents of NAFTA at the time, Wachtler worked feverishly for Ross Perot. Perot suffered the fate so many other independent candidates not ready for the harsh reality of America’s crooked system face – he was threatened and intimidated. The Republican Party of Texas, headed by the Bush family at the time, terrorized the Perot family until he dropped out of the race. By the time he re-entered, the not-so-mainstream media had destroyed his credibility. Leading in the polls against Clinton and Bush when he dropped out, Perot only finished with 19 percent of the vote. America’s new independent voter movement was over before it started.
Republican Party, again
By 1994, Mark Wachtler was 23 years old, married and a father of two small children. Living in rural northwest Indiana where poor, young families from Chicago can afford a decent start and still be nearby, Mr. Wachtler continued volunteering his time for decent, honest candidates. When the County Republican Party saw all the knowledge and campaign experience he brought from Chicago, not to mention all the tricks, tactics and gimmicks he learned along the way, they asked him to run for office, and he did. Wachtler won election as a Starke County Republican Committeeman.
Life would once again take Mr. Wachtler away from his successful elected position and he and his family moved back to the north side of Chicago, this time into an apartment in Portage Park. It was 1994 and Mark Wachtler was out of the farm country and back in Chicago, a city with no less than ten political parties for an experienced 24-year-old politician and campaign coordinator to choose from – “anyone but the Democrats or Republicans.”
In 1995, Mr. Wachtler settled on the Populist Party due to their “Buy American” and “America First” slogans. With ‘populist’ meaning ‘the people’, Mr. Wachtler liked their independent, anti-global corporation platform. The Party however, attracted a number of right wingers and the news media repeatedly labeled the local and national party as extremists. During the early days of NAFTA, anyone who opposed free trade with Mexico was labeled a ‘protectionist’, an ‘isolationist’, a ‘racist’ or worse. That flushing sound was the sound of our jobs. But the media and America’s voters didn’t seem to care.
In 1996, and four years since Ross Perot’s independent run for President, his United We Stand America had turned itself into a political party – the Reform Party. When Perot geared up for a second run for President, Mark Wachtler joined the Reform Party and lent his passion and a decade of precinct level experience. Wachtler thrived in the Reform Party, being repeatedly appointed to higher and higher leadership positions. After being named Chicago Chairman, he was soon elevated to Cook County Chairman.
By 2004, Pat Buchanan’s ‘Buchanan Brigades’ had taken over the Reform Party and many of the old Reformers and United We Stand America veterans had settled in the Independence Party, including Jesse Ventura, Michael Bloomberg and Sarah Palin. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Wachtler held the Independence Party banner until a civil war within the Party’s two New York City factions severed the Party and its morale.
From 2009 to 2010, Mr. Wachtler spent his time the old fashioned way – ringing doorbells on behalf of good, honest local candidates from all different parties. For the first time in his 25 year political history, some of those candidates are winning. The vast majority however are still being destroyed in the media, outspent with lying attack ads and unjustly kept off the ballot. Independent and opposition party candidates are seeing their numbers slowly rising. But they’re up against an army of organized, funded and experienced precinct workers.
In an attempt to level the political playing field for those candidates he was volunteering for year after year to no avail, Mark Wachtler decided to write his own news column in 2010. If the press wouldn’t cover the independents and third parties, he would do it himself. Writing for Examiner.com, Wachtler spent two years covering numerous independent and third party candidates.
Realizing he could have much more of an impact with an entire publication, Mark Wachtler founded the independent, grassroots news outlet Whiteout Press in 2011. With thousands of dedicated subscribers and thousands of additional social media followers, Whiteout Press has been phenomenally successful right from the start. The publication proudly proclaims, ‘if it’s blacked-out, covered-up or censored, you can find it here!’
While writing for Examiner.com, Mark Wachtler had both national and local columns. That way, he could cover both national politicians like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Ron Paul, but also local candidates who needed more help than anyone. Desperate to help out those sincere, naïve, citizen-candidates, Wachtler launched the local Chicago news outlet Illinois Herald in 2013. Founded in 1814, it was the first newspaper ever published in Illinois. Today, it is a beacon of independence and reform in a city plagued by corruption.
With Whiteout Press growing so rapidly, additional topics became the focal point such as government spying, genetically modified foods, Occupy Wall St., Anonymous, NDAA, big banks, big pharma, and a host of other issues needing a spotlight shined upon them. Finding ourselves always torn between wanting to cover the above issues and independent and third party candidates, we found a way to do both – we launched Opposition News. With Whiteout Press covering unreported news and censored stories, Opposition News focuses exclusively on independents, opposition parties and their candidates.
Opposition News Network
With three separate news outlets, each independent of the others, it was time to pull everything together. At the end of 2013, Mark Wachtler created the Opposition News Network to serve as the headquarters of all three publications – Whiteout Press, Illinois Herald and Opposition News. True to the news organization’s tag line, the Opposition News Network is pledged to be the home and voice of America’s political opposition. Here, they will have a platform and a voice.
The Establishment vs. The Opposition
One of the most important lessons Mark Wachtler learned along the way is that the political fight in America isn’t the left vs. the right, it’s the elite establishment vs. the people. More and more, it’s becoming Empire vs. Republic. Time and time again, the Republicans and Democrats corrupt the system to retain power for themselves and their wealthy and powerful backers. Those that oppose the powers-that-be often have more in common with each other than they are willing to admit.
With the Establishment Republicans and Democrats, the leaders have all gotten rich off the taxpayers. With the Opposition, people have real jobs and real bills. The Establishment has career politicians. The Opposition has citizen-candidates. The Establishment has the 500 corporate-owned Wall Street media outlets. The Opposition has 50,000 grassroots, independent blogs and news sites.
Vote opposition, for a change. Support the Opposition News Network. Subscribe to any or all of the ONN news outlets.