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03
Jun
2017

badgercareThe U.S. has the least efficient health care system among 11 developed nations, and solutions to this problem are not being developed in Washington. Wisconsin used to blaze new trails as a model for the nation to copy. Time to return to our pioneering roots.

Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
 
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31
May
2017

mike-gallagherConstituents show up to talk about health care and other issues with the person elected to represent them. He didn't show up to listen.


GREEN BAY - About a hundred constituents showed up last night at the Brown County Central Library last night to share their concerns with their new Congressman Mike Gallagher. He didn't show up to listen.

Granted, the "Town Hall" listening session had been organized by local liberal and Democratic advocacy groups, but did that make them any less his constituents? Gallagher had been elected last fall to represent the 8th Congressional District and all the people who live in it.

I had the "good fortune" to be on a stage in 2009 with then Congressman Steve Kagen as he fielded questions from Tea Party advocates about the bill that would become ObamaCare. It was not very pleasant. But he hung in there, and answered every question as best he could. He was elected to represent them too.

Many Republican elected officials today seem to prefer hiding out from their constituents, "speaking" only to them on FaceBook, on telephone conference calls, or at pre-arranged campaign stops at friendly venues. They screen all questions, and answer only those they select. They certainly don't dare to meet all the people they represent face to face.

According to news reports, health care coverage and the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, was the topic most wanted to discuss. Gallagher had supported the bill during a House vote earlier this month. A line of area residents presented their personal concerns, told stories about children with pre-existing conditions, told their fears about losing their health care, and fears about rising costs. An empty chair sat on the stage where their "representative" was supposed to listen.

Some critics called it political theatre. But that's the easy political cop out. So was Gallagher's "out of town on business" excuse. If people cannot talk to their representatives, who do they represent?

It appears many in Washington today, and not just Republicans, represent only the industries and businesses who pay their bills. Gallagher is just joining the long line.

That's not what our "representative form of government" was supposed to be about.

Written by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
 
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30
May
2017

walkerAfter six years of tax giveaways and failures to invest in education and infrastructure, Wisconsin still short on jobs promised.

Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
 
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29
May
2017

roads-i-39-90-94Sen. Kathleen Vinehout writes about a public hearing before a committee, of which she is a member, on a bill to eliminate the personal property tax. What will be the financial impact of the proposed change, who pays more, and what goods and services do we do without?

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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27
May
2017

voter-usWisconsin should adopt a plan similar to Iowa where a legislative agency, like our Legislative Reference Bureau, draws their voting maps with public input based on the usual districting criteria mandated by state and federal law.

Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
 
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26
May
2017

seniorsAct would help nearly a million people in small businesses and farmers in Wisconsin who work without a retirement plan. AARP estimates increased retirement savings could reduce state spending by up to $3.1 billion a year.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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