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John Menard Exposed! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 03 June 2016 11:18

john-menard-jrMADISON - Our “Influence Peddler of the Month” is none other than John Menard Jr., owner of the hardware store chain and the richest man in Wisconsin. He’s not shy about throwing his money around in the Wisconsin political arena, as you’ll see in the following post:

Influence peddler of the month - John Menard, Jr.

And here’s an item that might interest you in a week when it was confirmed that Prince died of an opioid overdose: One group of Wisconsin chiropractors is lobbying the legislature to allow them to prescribe painkillers. Interestingly, another group of chiropractors opposes this. You can read about the split here:

Chiropractors split on proposal to let them prescribe painkillers

I’m still buzzing about last week’s federal court case on the rigging of our electoral maps. Final arguments took place late last Friday, and the plaintiffs’ lawyer did a masterful job, as I explain in this posting:

Why GOP map in Wisconsin may get shot down

By the way, if you’re going to the Farmers’ Market in Madison tomorrow, stop by our table across from the Inn on the Park. I’ll be there from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., so please say hi.

And in any event, I hope you enjoy the weekend!

P.S. Hey, if you liked that John Menard piece and if you appreciate the other work we do to expose the role of money in politics and to champion democracy, please send us a tax-deductible gift today by clicking here. Or mail it in the old-fashioned way to: 203 S. Paterson St., Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703. We really appreciate it!

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 June 2016 09:41
 
Property Taxpayers Paying for Governor Walker’s School Cuts PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Gordon Hintz, Rep. 54th Assembly District   
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 13:56

school-closedGov. Walker and Republicans have cut hundreds of millions from our state's traditional priorities like education to fund tax breaks for the wealthy. Local taxpayers want education to be a priority again, and have shown it by passing referendums to raise their own property taxes to partially replace the funding cuts their public schools have received.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 15:30
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State School Funding Cuts Hit Home PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 14:36

teacherVoters in the Prescott School District face yet another school referendum, the 27th in just 15 years, due to Wisconsin’s convoluted school funding formula. The school funding system is definitely not working for Prescott.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 16:15
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Blue Jean Nation - "Seeing beyond old labels" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Monday, 23 May 2016 14:08

public_hearingBlue Jean Nation is a grassroots uprising of commoners, anchored in bedrock that can be summed up in four words: Freedom. Democracy. Equality. Service.


ALTOONA, WI - I’d like nothing better than to see the No Labels movement succeed. But deep down I know it won’t.

Labels can be helpful and they can be harmful, but they are inevitable all the same. They are a basic human need, we depend on them. They serve as shorthand. Like a picture, a label is worth a thousand words. They also enable us to categorize, put things in order. Even if the slate could be wiped clean and all of today’s labels suddenly vanished, new ones would be created in no time.

Come to think of it, wiping the slate clean and starting over would be a great blessing, especially in politics. The old political labels have grown worthless, even toxic.

Like most Americans, I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a Republican or a Democrat. I am politically homeless. Neither “liberal” nor “conservative” accurately defines me. Only in the political world do people try to pass themselves off as purebreds, as 100% this or 100% that. Normal people are mutts. I am a mutt, and so are you. Here’s my proof. Try finding someone — anyone — who agrees with you about everything.

Being a mutt doesn’t leave you or me without a world view or philosophy of life. It does make us uncomfortable when others try to slap one of the old labels on us.

The label of my choosing is commoner. Blue Jean Nation is a grassroots uprising of commoners who look at things a certain way, but those views are anchored in bedrock that can be summed up in four words: Freedom.DemocracyEqualityService.

Freedom means being able to be who you are and live the life you want. But it doesn’t mean doing as you damn well please. True freedom is more than individual liberty. With freedom comes responsibility. Exercising one’s own freedom carries with it an obligation to respect and protect the freedom of others. Contrast this with the warped, sociopathic mindset that, for example, leads the filthy rich to believe “freedom of speech” entitles them to spend as much money as they want to amplify their voices, even if it drowns out your voice and denies you representation.

Democracy is more than a form of government, it is a way of life. Yes, the government needs to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. But so does the economy. And democracy cannot just be something we have, it has to be something we do too. It’s more verb than noun.

Equality is a core American value rooted in the rejection of royalty. It comes out of a sense of fairness and distaste for privilege. No one should get to start out at third base. A commitment to equality plus democracy plus true freedom equals social and economic justice.

Service is about looking out for each other. It is neighbors helping neighbors. It is communities coming together. It is concern for the common good. It is civic duty. It is thinking less about what we are entitled to and more about debts we owe to society. It is caring for the planet we call home and all of its inhabitants.

For us blue jean commoners, the good life and a great society stand on these four slabs of bedrock.

— Mike McCabe

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 14:19
 
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