On Monday, a “reporter” named Kyle Michaelis, who runs a blog called the New Nebraska Network, went into full attack mode against YAL and two of our members. The central assertion of the vitriolic article is that Republican Governor Dave Heineman has hired two inexperienced members of a right-wing extremist group to implement health care reform in the State of Nebraska. The group in question? Young Americans for Liberty. Most of the article is a total misrepresentation of the facts — if not outright lies — and what Michaelis doesn’t tell you is that he has faced criticism himself for his own political appointment.
The targets of his attack are YAL members, Michael Sciullo and John Paul Sabby, who were hired by the governor to wade through the murky waters of ObamaCare and come up with solutions that don’t harm the current insurance market in Nebraska. The two are far from inexperienced. Scuillo has worked for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation as a Political Director, and has a thorough knowledge of the healthcare industry. Sabby has worked with the US Census Bureau as well as working for YAL. Governor Heineman presumably hired the pair because he believed that they were capable and intelligent men who could properly analyze the complex requirements that ObamaCare puts on the states and help to implement policy that would comply with the law in a way that would be least detrimental to the market for healthcare in Nebraska. This complicated task couldn’t be in better hands.
Michaelis’ concerns do not appear to hinge on the alleged inexperience of the two — he seems to imply that he would have been fine with the hires if they had been involved in “some sort of low-level lobbying for the powerful and politically-entrenched insurance industry.” His outrage appears purely based in the fact that the two advocate the free market and limited government, a philosophy Michaelis clearly fears because he does not share it. He seems to find it unreasonable and horrendous to have principled individuals in charge — the type of people who will do everything in their power to make sure no money is squandered and no one is affected negatively by the mandates. He would rather the governor to have hired self-interested insiders to further entrench the corporatism that is so rampant in our nation, not men who are genuinely interested in advancing human freedom. His issues with Scuillo and Sabby are mind boggling.
Michaelis also takes issue with YAL as an organization, grossly misrepresenting it in the process. Take a look through our blog archives. YAL is clearly not a right-wing extremist group — in fact, we don’t fit into the false left-right dichotomy at all. Both sides of the aisle have worked for bigger government, something we abhor. We support freedom and advancing the cause of liberty through political action. We support a noninterventionist foreign policy that Mr. Michaelis, a self-proclaimed progressive, should theoretically applaud. His problem with our group is that we advocate against government intervention at home as well as abroad, and we are not ashamed of it.
Finally, that brings us to Michaelis’ own controversial political appointment, one that raised more than a single blogger’s eyebrows. In May of this year, Michaelis was appointed to the Lincoln/Lancaster County EMS Oversight Authority, Inc., an entity that oversees the actions of the emergency medical services in that jurisdiction. Officials had concerns about the appointment due to Michaelis’ controversial web presence and his criticisms of government. There were also rumors swirling that he had been given the appointment as a political gift for stepping out of the way in a city council race. Mr. Michaelis appears to have very little to no experience with emergency medical services, having a degree in Political Science and English and a J.D. from UN-Lincoln.
Ultimately, Michaelis may be more than capable of achieving what is needed in his role on the oversight board, but his attack on YAL indicates he certainly isn’t capable of objectivity and rational analysis. One capability we can be sure of, however, is blatant hypocrisy.Published in