Luke Wenke

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Luke Wenke
LukeWenkeLibertarian.jpg
Chair
Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party
December 29, 2018—May 16, 2020
Predecessor: Shannon Gates (as TCC)
Successor: Peyton Kunselman
Personal Details
Birth: (1992-04-15) April 15, 1992 (age 30)
Dunkirk, New York
Party: Libertarian Party (2013—2021)
Conservative Party (since 2021)

Luke Marshal Wenke (born April 15, 1992) is a former Libertarian Party activist. He was the Chair of the Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party from 2018 to 2020. He also founded and was administrator of the Facebook groups Olean Politics and Let’s Bitch About Cuomo, until he was banned from Facebook. In 2020, he ran for Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, but lost. He is a Lifetime Libertarian member, but changed his enrollment to the Conservative Party in 2021.

Biography

Early life and career

Luke Marshal Wenke was born April 15, 1992 at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, New York, to Kevin Wenke and Janet McCaul, who were students at SUNY Fredonia. He grew up in his then-stepfather’s family territory on Bucktooth Run Road just outside of Salamanca, NY — the only American city to lease land from a Native American reservation (Seneca territory). Wenke, being all caucasian by ancestry, still grew up in a native reservation school system learning Seneca customs in his youth. He graduated from Salamanca High School in 2010 and attended Jamestown Community College for three semesters as a music major. He was a substitute teacher for the Salamanca, Olean, and Archbishop Walsh school districts. He learned piano tuning from his maternal uncle and he had his first customer in October 2011. Aside from a plethora of brief stints at multiple different employers in his early adulthood, Wenke was a Dominos pizza deliverer from February 2015 until October 27, 2019 at both the Bradford PA and Olean NY Dominos Pizza. He is currently a driver for several different rideshare apps. He has also stated he is currently working on “solving Biden’s supply chain crisis concerns by taking advantage of a deal made by Trump and Bolsonaro” by bringing his own manufacturing business to Brazil some time in the near future.

Early politics

Wenke joined the Libertarian Party since October 2013. He has explained that Jesse Ventura was his first political influence in high school. During the 2008 election while in his junior year at Salamanca High School, Wenke noticed Ventura (already a former Governor) giving commentary on the news and was inspired by the idea of an independent outsider breaking the two party paradigm and getting elected Governor. Wenke was registered Republican for a few years into his adulthood, having supported Carl Paladino for Governor of New York in 2010 and later on Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican primaries, before having shifted all support over to Gary Johnson’s 2012 run for President.

Wenke was first introduced to the Libertarian party from a friend from the internet in 2011. He had watched Libertarian activities for years on the outside before getting directly involved. Anonymous and Robin Hood-style politics had been an early influence on Wenke. He did not learn about the anarchism ideology in depth until early 2017 after he came across the Mr. Dapperton YouTube series by chance and he has claimed the anarchist identity for himself ever since. When debating or selling his views to one, several, or many people all at once, Wenke has used what he calls the “armchair politician perspective” to make his political decisions since the majority of people are on the outside watching everything happen. Wenke has tried to remember “the audience” in order to extend his reach and get the libertarian message across to as many people as possible without “selling out” or “watering things down."

Wenke learned about anarcho-capitalism in early 2017 and has attributed the anarchist ideology to bettering his own life. He has described anarchism as “taking your politics and utopian view and applying it to yourself as a lifestyle choice as opposed to enforcing it on others through taxation and laws” and has made it a mission to normalize the ideology.

Wenke has been subjected to constant social media censorship, but has been the founder of such Facebook groups as Olean Politics (now Olean War Zone, largely inactive compared to it’s early days) and Let’s Bitch About Cuomo (completely dissolved by Facebook). In 2012, Wenke used the Topix forum website to swirl rumors about a potential run for Mayor of Salamanca, having successfully sparked the entire Salamanca area’s awareness about the potential run. Wenke did not live in Salamanca at the time but “since everyone knew former Mayor Carmen Vecchiarella didn’t even live in town, why shouldn’t I use someone else’s address as my voting address and run anyways?” Wenke ultimately did not run for the position, but this Topix stunt was early proof of Wenke’s “internet yeller” abilities. Through the now defunct Topix website, Wenke grew fond of using fake usernames to start local discussion on any and every local resident that came to Wenke’s mind while knowing that doing this would incite that particular person and all of their peers to read Topix on a daily basis. After Wenke was sure “all or at least most” of the local area was checking Topix on a frequent basis, he began starting forums about himself for self promotion purposes.

Libertarian Party involvement

Luke Wenke was a dues paying member of the Libertarian party as early as October 2013. He came across a Libertarian party official north of him on a social media app after the 2012 presidential election and immediately felt like a part of the Libertarian party. Fast forward to 2018, Wenke organized and recorded several live videos with New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe in his Olean Politics group on Facebook, which achieved tens of thousands of views. Wenke also organized a “Twitter Hounds” effort on behalf of the campaign, which was a united effort of hundreds of Libertarians all at once Tweeting towards big media sources and successfully getting Libertarians on shows such as Kennedy Nation, Joe Rogan, and The Rubin Report. In December of that same year, he was elected Chair of the Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party at the founding convention at Perkins Bakery & Restaurant in Olean (coincidentally a very early employer of Wenke’s).

In 2019, Wenke made it his personal mission to make the Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party the “top performing fringe third party all across the entire United States” after noticing how well received the founding meeting for the county party had went. He made it a goal to run as many “Libertarian exclusive” candidates for local and county office as possible, having noticed that the majority of county Libertarian parties across the entire state of New York were well on their way to simply cross-endorsing Republican and/or Democratic candidates for office, thereby treating the Libertarian line like a pawn line.

In 2019, upon the resignation of Cathy Young as State Senator for New York's 57th District, Wenke campaigned for Uriel Isaacovich to get the nomination. However, the Libertarian nomination ultimately went to George Borrello.

In July 2019, Wenke hosted presidential candidate Vermin Supreme and organized a rock concert at Napoli’s Pizza of Olean on behalf of Mr. Supreme alongside regional alternative rock band Dredneks which consists of libertarian anarchists and includes libertarian-esque subliminal messaging in its lyrics.

Wenke ran for Cattaraugus County Coroner while serving as county chairman, knowing all the while that he was completely unqualified for the position. Using two campaign slogans, “Any Schmuck Can Run For Coroner” and “Running For County Executive From The Coroner Position” (Cattaraugus County did not and still does not have a democratically elected county executive, the county seat in Little Valley has a county legislature manager elected by the county legislators), Wenke used his local name recognition to remind everyone that as long as we have a government that anyone should be able to run and get have a chance to get elected to any office, no matter how qualified or unqualified “the armchair politicians” think you are. Wenke’s unqualified stature for this particular office immediately resulted in moderate uproar among residents in the county, worried that an eccentric personality with significant regional name recognition may have actually stood a chance at getting elected to a serious public position such as coroner. Wenke used the coroner run as a pseudo-county executive run to talk about county issues and libertarian solutions for them. Republican opposition to Wenke attempted to publicly humiliate him by digging up pictures from Wenke’s FetLife account and posting them all over Facebook. Wenke’s response was to post a picture of himself in bdsm gear, with his coroner campaign sign, and a piece of paper that read “People on welfare can’t afford expensive bondage gear!” as a way to fire back at “the haters”. Wenke ended up receiving 3% of the vote, drawing comparisons to Gary Johnson’s 2016 election turnout and the “We Are The III%” slogan.

Wenke continued his 2019 year by hosting the first livestreamed Libertarian presidential debate at the Olean High School auditorium in November 2019 the day before the 2019 New York Libertarian Summit.

On May 16, 2020, Wenke was removed as Chair of the Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party following an impeachment proceeding, in which he did not participate.

In 2020 Wenke, ran for Chair of the Libertarian National Committee and participated in a livestreamed debate during the National Convention in July 2020. He lost the election early in the race.

In 2021, Wenke changed his enrollment to the Conservative Party.

Other activites

Wenke went to Minneapolis several days after George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin. He attended several protests in the city as well. The original intention for the trip was to check up on a fellow Libertarian he felt an immediate personal connection with. Wenke stated that not one bullet was fired in his presence but that it was extremely unsafe to walk around the city unarmed. Wenke had also been tear gassed during the protests. He met several prominent members of the boogaloo, a libertarian militia movement that started to materialize across the United States once Covid-19 has swept the Earth. After returning home to Olean, Wenke was the first of this group of people whose multiple Facebook accounts had been completely eradicated from existence. Wenke has stated that he called the Buffalo NY FBI simply to clear his own name since he knew he did nothing illegal in Minneapolis, everyone including himself had weapons, and that nobody else in his presence did one single illegal activity. His further misleading dealings with the FBI over the course of several months afterwards as they continued to call him a lot unexpectedly, smooth talk him with invitations to Starbucks, and show up to his home uninvited confused him at first. In September 2020 he was asked to turn over all of his electronic devices to the Buffalo FBI because “they wanted to know if I was donating money to any groups, people, or concepts listed on legally recognized terrorist watchlists”. Two boogaloo members Wenke knew from Minneapolis several months earlier were arrested in an entrapment case “no white person had ever been arrested before”. Wenke, due to his personal affiliation with the arrestees, was publicly placed on the Cattaraugus County watchlist the day they were arrested. The specific law the arrestees were arrested under had always been used on poorer Muslim communities throughout the United States, and Wenke immediately fell into a deep sense of personal depression after learning that the United States government has it in itself to lure it’s own citizens into “socialized multi million dollar pyramid schemes during a global health and economic crisis” as opposed to helping vulnerable individuals recover, much less people Wenke personally knew. Wenke never knew anything of any undercovers doing anything to anyone he had met nor did those people discuss this stuff with Wenke over those months.

Wenke’s personal affiliation with the arrestees’ legal situation carried over with him even a year later. FBI assumed Wenke was going to the January 6th Capitol riots so they excessively called him in the days leading up to that riot. In August 2021 Wenke accidentally took the Peace Bridge exit in Buffalo while working, thereby accidentally crossing over the Canadian border without a passport, and was detained for the first time in his life by border patrol simply because they recognized Wenke from the prior year’s events.

Arrest

In January 2021, Wenke was arrested by federal authorities after a criminal complaint that he was making threats to injury another person, specifically, the attorney for Benjamin Teeter. It was noted "Wenke was upset with the lawyer for not providing proper representation to Benjamin Ryan Teeter, who was charged with conspiracy to aid the Palestinian paramilitary group Hamas."[1]. On March 15, 2022, he was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of making interstate threats. [2]

Political Campaigns

In 2018, he volunteered for the Larry Sharpe for Governor campaign.

In 2019, Wenke ran for Cattaraugus County Coroner and received 3% of the vote.

In 2020, he announced his candidacy to run for Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. He participated in the debate at the national convention, but was not nominated when it came time to vote.

Organizational Positions

Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party
  • Temporary County Chair (August 5, 2018—December 29, 2018)
  • Chair (December 29, 2018—May 16, 2020)