Russ Feingold our Next Adventure Forward!

Did Russ Feingold see the current battle for Wisconsin families coming as the final words of his concession speech seem to suggest?

(You can scroll ahead in to the 4:00 minute mark to hear the prophetic title of this post)

Yes. We in Wisconsin are deeply embroiled in our “next adventure forward”! Our adventure has begun complete with villains the likes of which might have been imagined by Charles Dickens or Ian Fleming. Scott Walker rose to power from the largess of characters with attributes rivaling those of “Goldfinger” or “Oliver Twist” – the Koch Brothers. Walker has cast Wisconsin workers as little more than “Bob Cratchit” characters from “A Christmas Carol” leaving us begging for the rights and freedoms that have been won over decades of Wisconsin workers’ History.

Unfortunately, this is not a novel, play, or Hollywood fantasy. We cannot wait for the ghosts of Labor Disputes past to appear to Walker in the night to show him the past, present, and future hardships and inequalities that his budget cuts and union busting will unleash on the children and families of Wisconsin. This is the real world, filled with real people who have been so preoccupied with making ends meet that they missed the subtle encroachment of wealthiest 1% on their lives. Our ears pricked up a bit when we heard how the Supreme Court issued a precedent breaking ruling called Citizens United deciding that Corporations were just like living, breathing human beings and could contribute as much as they wanted to forward their agenda in the electoral process. We were first bitten by the irony of the ruling called “Citizens United” the following Winter when a record breaking sum of money flowed into the mid term elections to give us the Scott Walker Administration.

Then the irony spilled into our laps like hot porridge. The bolt of lightening, the last straw, the slap was the face headline:

Walker threatens to use the National Guard against protesting workers.

Finally, we had enough! Better writers and speakers than I havedescribed the movement that ensued as “awaking a sleeping giant” and a “class war”.

The movement was born of the actions of villains. What we seek is a hero. The leader we trust and honor is among us. It is now up to us to seek his guidance and help. Russ Feingold lost his seat in the Senate due to the same villainy we seek to recall and replace. The same negative campaign money and tactics that unseated him gave us Walker. We need his experience and active voice now more than ever. Let’s write him. Let’s ask him. Let’s enlist his help now. Call, write, or email Russ Feingold today to ask him to step to the front.

P.O. Box 620062 Middleton, WI 53562
phone: 608/831-7877
fax: 608/831-3192

Go to the Progressive United page and join the movement!

Link to progressive united

From the trenches RECALL Kapanke

Wow! The strength and passion of the Recall movement is AMERICA! It is happening in the counties, townships, and villages of rural Wisconsin. It is not always easy. It is not always fun. This is but one small episode of story that is unfolding across a proud and passionate state that is Not For Sale!

I saw the car pull up with the hand-made, RECALL KAPANKE sign displayed in the upper right corner of the windshield. The driver was alone and I could tell by the way she got out of the car that she was tired and guarded. She told me the story of her past few hours of canvassing for recall signatures in Crawford and Vernon County.

She stood outside her car at the Kickapoo Corners Restaurant in Reedstown where she met a woman who was signing her petition just as another angry man yelled the “F* You” words from his car. Moments later the owner of the place bolted out the door shouting for her to get off her property.

She drove on to the Mobile station in Soldiers Grove and stationed herself out side the convenience store. A woman approached her who was happy to be able to sign the petition. Then another man came out the front door yelling “F* you! You are raising my taxes!” he got in his truck and pounded his extended middle finger against the window as he drove past her. Once again, an employee came out to tell her that she could not collect signatures on the property…she said this after she signed the petition.

Finally, she had driven on to Gays Mills where I saw her. She told me that she had already turned in six signature sheets, and I noticed the one on her clip board was half full. While she stood by her car, two or three more people signed her sheet to recall Kapanke. I got busy with customers. When I looked around, she was gone.

It isn’t always easy. Democracy is as sweet as it is tough. I am so proud of the people of Wisconsin! When I see a lone petitioner out in the trenches, I want to stop and buy them a hot cup of coffee, pat them on back, and shake their strong hand.

The Selling of Wisconsin – U.S.A.

Once upon a time there was a building in America. The space in this building was shared fairly equally among the residents. People who lived in this building shared the laundry, paid nearly equal rent, and shopped in the local grocery, hardware, and clothing stores.

Life went on in the building for some years before things seemed to change, not so much as you would notice, but surely something was happening when a few of the people moved to the top floor of the building and began buying up the apartments on the bottom.

Most folks didn’t take much notice at first. One day it was rumored that the people on the top floors had bought most of the building and were going to raise the rent on all the lower apartments.

The people on the bottom, who couldn’t afford the higher rent, went to the Mayor’s office to protest being forced out, only to find out that the Mayor now lived on the top floor! The Mayor told them that by next year all of the lower apartments would be completely renovated and huge swimming pool would be built for the residents and their children.

A year went by. Two years went by and the rent was raised even higher! The promises for the renovation and the pool had all been lies. They went to the State House to talk to the Governor only to find out his name was Walker and he lived in the large corner apartment on the very top floor.

Building in the Foreground and Left

The pink band at the top of the building demonstrates 1% of the population of the United States. The orange band below demonstrates the amount of wealth this 1%
controls – 34.6%

Building in the Foreground and Right.

The pink band at the top of the building demonstrates 10% of the population of the United States. The orange band below demonstrates the amount of wealth this 10%
controls – 72.1%

How much is left for the 90% of us? 26.9% (the brown part at the bottom)

Scott Walker is a prime example of a heavily corporate sponsored candidate (even drawing large sums the Koch Brothers) who plots to destroy working class negotiation tools, while giving away public resources to his billionaire allies. Whether it be lies about how public pensions are draining the budget , selling no bid power plant contracts to Koch industries or using layoffs as a political weapon, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has no problems lying and scheming to accomplish the will of his corporate masters.

I wish this were just some conspiracy theory. It is all too scary, subtle, and real. You can watch a great speech by Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont that addresses this issue …Here

Letter to the editor – "On Wisconsin!"

I wrote this letter to the editor of the Independent Scout newspaper in Crawford County, Wisconsin.

Freedom of Speech - Norman Rockwell 1943 (altered)

I do not belong to a union, but I stand with unions and all the actions, protests, and demonstrations of the past weeks. I am not a sign holding, chanting protester, yet I am so proud of the people from Wisconsin for creating an active, peaceful, respectful and unified voice against Scott Walker, his administration, and those legislators who march in step with his design for Wisconsin. I wish no ill on Scott Walker, the GOP legislators, or any of those who support their polices in America, Wisconsin, or my community, however I will continue to stand with pride and join in the movement to end the implementation of their legislation and to expose the means of their action; the over reaching and manipulation of the rules of the legislature and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.

When you talk to the people at demonstrations in Madison, Richland Center and Recall Office in Viroqua; when you look in their eyes and hear the deep conviction in their voices, one begins to realize this is about something more than the chanting and drumming being carried on the March wind. Yes, it is much more. Better writers and speakers than I have called it: “the awakening of a sleeping giant”, or “a class war”. Whatever the name or slogan, it has crept into the minds and hearts of the people of Wisconsin. People of all ages, who just a few weeks ago would never have dreamed of seeing themselves standing on corners with recall petitions, driving to rallies, are out in a chilly March night. You see ordinary people, with their children in hand, moving to stop the actions of this perceived encroachment on their lives.

Each and every one, of the hundreds of thousands of people who have risen up, knows what has brought them to this moment. They know what it takes to make ends meet, they know who teaches their children, they have been to benefits and auctions for those who are dying for want of health care, they remember what their parents gave them and fear they cannot match that gift for their own children. Yes. They know. That is all that really matters. On Wisconsin!

Charter to Privatization – Forecast from History

The move toward aggressive development of Charter Schools in Wisconsin by the Walker Administration is a first step toward privatization of our public schools. Fortunately, we already have a good model for where this will lead when we look at this same privatization in for profit colleges.

Senate Hearing 09/30/10

A career adviser at a large for-profit college, testifying Thursday before a Senate committee, said her employer used “tricks and sleight of hand” to exaggerate job placement statistics given to prospective students.

The latest in a series of hearings scrutinizing for-profit higher education also produced the most intense partisan finger-pointing to date and new data claiming many schools are a revolving door of dropouts and new recruits.

Also Thursday, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa released a report compiled from data he requested from for-profit schools. It found that of 57 percent of students who entered the 16 schools between July 2008 and June 2009 had already left, and that the schools have lost nearly 2 million students in the last three years.

Harkin said for-profit colleges have made the federal government “their free money spigot.” Students at for-profit schools face the possibility of graduation and the probability of debt without a diploma, he said.

The committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, denounced the hearings, saying they single out one sector of higher education in a vacuum, are intent on “tearing these schools down” and don’t serve students’ interests.

Following Walker w/ Signs, Chants, and Drums! update 3-30

Happy Trails until you reach the end Jan. 1-12

Friday, April 1 ยท 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Country Springs Hotel
2810 Golf Road
Pewaukee, WI

61st Annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner
Republican Party of Waukesha County sold out crowd of 500

Gov. Scott Walker is the main speaker for the night, but Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, will also speak, in addition to state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

Back Door Scotty

Walker sneaks past the pesky protesters in Eau Claire and finds a back door.

Wherever you go we will follow

Governor Walker attended a little fundraiser yesterday……but he may not have liked his welcoming committee. Wisconsin protesters lined the entrance & welcomed him with chants of “shame, Shame, Shame”, signs, whistles & Wisconsin style hospitality.

The plan is to follow him everywhere he goes. Everywhere. His schedule should be a matter of public record. We wouldn’t want the Guv to feel lonely. His constituents are ready & willing to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Happy Trails, Governor.

From the Daily Kros

Who controls your State Gov. ?

Did you ever wonder how and why the campaign spending dollars keep rising to unimaginable levels? The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. has opened the flood gate for corporations to spend unlimited amounts to influence the laws under which you live. The Walker Administration came to power as the first beneficiary of the Citizens United ruling. Do you like what you see?

The picture below is an altered version of the Norman Rockwell print February 21, 1943. It held my fascination as a young boy and has always been my favorite. I apologize for replacing the blackboard in the background with a flow of money that comes from another kind of board equally as black.

The Supreme Court has determined that a corporation is the same as person under the Constitution of the United States and they have been awarded the same rights to contribute money to the political process as living and breathing human beings. This seems an obvious stretch to many. Shall we agree to pretend that average citizen has the same political clout as a utility corp. or a banking corp? The Supreme Court ruling seems to think so, thus tilting an already unlevel playing field much further in favor of big money and corporate control of government at all levels.

Here is just one example of how this influx of big dollars effects just one small facet of your state government. The Assembly Republican caucus draws a disproportionately greater amount of special interest contributions than the Assembly Democrats because they have the power to give wealthy special interests what they want.

This is readily seen in the difference in per capita special interest contributions between Assembly Republicans and Democrats in the first six months of 2005 and the first six months of 2007. In between those two periods, the 2006 elections reduced the GOP majority from 61-38 to 52-47 (see Bar Chart below).

Six-Month Per Capita Special Interest Contributions
To Assembly Democrats And Republicans

6 Month Per Capita Special Interest Contributions To Assembly Democrats And Republicans