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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign '5 Reasons to Recount in Wis!' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 17:22

trump-clinton-debate3The recount is important for five reasons, (1) it was close, (2) late deductions were from Trump, (3) Outagamie County had more people voting than voters, (4) Trump’s wild charge on illegal voters, and (5) it’s always good to test the machinery.


MADISON - I’m glad there’s going to be a recount here in Wisconsin.

Here’s why:

Five valid reasons for the Wisconsin presidential recount

Requiring an accurate count is a bare minimum for our democracy.

Another bare minimum is respect for the Fourth Amendment. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court, sharply and oddly divided, just took another whack at it, as I explain here:

Wisconsin Supreme Court shreds 4th amendment

One more thing: Today is Giving Tuesday, when people all across the country are encouraged to make charitable online donations. So I’m urging you to make a tax-deductible donation right now to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. It’s easy: All you have to do is click here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November 2016 10:52
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Stein’s Recounts Will Hopefully Affirm the Integrity of the Vote PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 11:39

jill-steinStein is acting to preserve your right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately, and she is paying the tab to do so.


MADISON - Friday Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed a recount petition asking for hand tally of all WI votes cast.  On Monday petitions were filed in Pennsylvania counties and Stein filed a sister petition with the courts.  She intends to file her Michigan recount petition on Wednesday.  These are the states with the closest Nov. 8 election results.

Stein is acting to support the most basic power in a democracy:  The right to know your vote is recorded and counted accurately and that all votes cast are so counted/recorded.

veterans-seniorThe America Revolution led to the establishment of our Constitution.  Under that framework, our laws have been developed by elected state and national legislatures.  The specific purpose of this government is to create a political environment wherein the Rule of Law is top dog  --  NOT the Rule of King or Queen whose every word or whim becomes law and violation of which is punishable by death.

Though our founders put the Rule of Law on the throne of power, they were certainly not pure.  Their groups of men and women working together as parties were as corrupt as many human beings before or after the Revolution.

You may remember the 1960 Kennedy Nixon presidential election. The famous Nixon campaign quote, the gist of which is, “they stole the election fair and square.”  Then, as today, political parties were corrupt.

Americans understand the VOTE is the only real power we have in our democracy “to throw the bums out” and put in new people.  Americans are very concerned about the corruption in the voting process.  Five in ten Americans say they have ”little” or “only some” confidence that their votes will be accurately counted.*

Stein petitioned the WI Election Commission (WEC) to require a hand recount of 100% of the ballots cast.  Election experts urged her to request recounts in three states:

  • Because of the close vote totals,
  • Because of the wide ranging hacking and attempted hacking of computers in the Democratic Party offices, campaign officials offices, federal and state government offices taking place and allegations of foreign powers doing the hacking, and
  • Because of the ease with which various voting machines can be hacked.

Stein says citizens in a democracy deserve to know their votes are recorded properly.  These recounts will reassure Americans three election systems are reliable.  Or these three states will prove the need for radical changes to American election laws, equipment and procedures.

In the unlikely event that Clinton is declared the winner in these three states, she then would become president.  (Clinton’s lawyers have now said they will help Stein’s lawyers.  Clinton has filed no recount petitions.)

Over 130,000 people contributed an average of $45 to help Stein raise $6.4 million thus far to pay for the recount and the lawyers’ efforts.

Wednesday Stein is due to pay the estimate $1.1 million WI recount cost to WEC.  The recount will start Dec. 1st.  The federal deadline to get all local and state work done in WI, PA and MI is Dec. 13th.  Electoral College votes Dec. 19th.  Jan. 6th the Joint Session of Congress meets to review results, raise objections if any, and certify the winner.  The new president is sworn in Jan. 20th.

In our democracy, our vote is the only way we can remove or elect our federal leaders.  We cannot recall them, as we can in WI.  Only the federal Congress can impeach and remove federal officials.

Thus, we have only our “VOTE” to protect us from tyranny.  When we are denied the right to vote, or when our votes are not counted accurately, that is when we have lost the power of democracy!

Of all the presidential candidates, only Stein had the courage to start and implement the largest presidential recount effort in our history!  May she succeed.

****

Buzz Davis, now of Tucson, AZ, a member of Better With Bernie Gone Green and Treas. of Progressive WI – Lets Rebuild America, is a long time progressive activist, member of Veterans for Peace, a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and retired state government planner.    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 11:57
 
Blue Jean Nation 'Election was tale of 2 rules' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Thursday, 24 November 2016 14:59

trump-clinton-debateElections are about representation, and never, ever insult the voters.


ALTOONA, WI - Never insult voters. That should be the first rule of politics.

Hillary Clinton broke that rule when said out loud that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “deplorables” and “irredeemable.” She said what she and many of her own supporters surely believe to be true. And she probably lost the election at that very moment. Mitt Romney made the same mistake in 2012 with his “47 percent” remark when he assumed he was speaking privately to supporters who undoubtedly shared his belief that close to half of Americans are deadbeats and slackers. Breaking the first rule did him in as well.

Which brings me to what should be the second rule of politics: Elections are about representation.

Sifting through supposedly scientific exit polling data in hopes of explaining one of the biggest upsets in American political history, a mystified Washington Post reporter concluded that “people weren’t voting on issues. Like, at all.”

They usually don’t. Like, hardly ever.

Oh, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that an occasional election could become a referendum on some burning issue. But that’s not the norm. Elections aren’t generally about issues. They are about representation.

Voters are shopping for someone who represents them, someone who is saying what they are feeling. A few among us might be single-issue voters, but most of us are just looking for someone who reflects our current thinking generally speaking, and hoping those we elect will look out for our best interests. It’s simply not possible to find candidates who agree with you on every single issue. It is possible to find ones who seem to share your values and appear to be thinking what you are thinking.

Politics is about relationships. Academics try to treat it as a science, but like friendships and marriages it’s far more art than science. Issues don’t typically decide elections. Connecting with voters decides elections. Hillary Clinton lost here as well. She ran on her qualifications, her experience, her readiness for the job. The problem for her was that voters weren’t in the mood to buy what she was selling. If large numbers of voters had been more or less satisfied with the direction of the country and more or less satisfied with how our government is functioning, maybe they would have looked for a steady, seasoned hand. Maybe they would have put a premium on what Clinton offered. But tens of millions of voters were thinking America is on the wrong track and their belief in government has been badly shaken. Donald Trump’s talk of draining the swamp better reflected their thinking.

Most of those tens of millions were willing to overlook what they intensely disliked about Trump because overall he had done more to connect with them than Clinton had. They overlooked what they find distasteful about Trump not only because he said what they were thinking. It’s also what he didn’t say. He didn’t tell working class people who supported Obama in the past two elections but Trump in this one that they are irredeemable.

Democrats have been losing most elections for the past several decades, and after each beating they react with a mixture of utter bewilderment and anger directed at tens of millions of voters who are obviously (to Democrats) ignorantly voting against their own interests. Even if they don’t say it, they think it: These voters are deplorable, irredeemable.

Going forward, Democrats would do well to think long and hard about the first two rules of politics.

— Mike McCabe

 
Paul Linzmeyer 'Thoughts After the 2016 Election' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Paul Linzmeyer   
Thursday, 24 November 2016 12:28

clinton-trumpWe must start a dialogue now with one another to understand how we can aspire for the goodness in our state and how together we can make our state a model of “we the people…with liberty and justice for all”.


GREEN BAY - This election has torn our country apart.  While many of us are repulsed by the rhetoric of the campaign, there is one silver lining from this election and that is the cancer that has been in this nation forever is finally exposed.  The exposure of bigotry, hatred, marginalization and fear is our “soft under belly”, which could bring down this grand experiment, our democracy.  However, there are really very few truly evil and hateful people in this country.

The Trump and Sanders campaign exposed a strong populist desire for change that the Clinton campaign failed to understand.  Perhaps, the Clinton campaign had no way to actually come to grips with this need for change as they are part of the problem.   But the Trump campaign fed off the cancer and helped it spread its unprecedented debasement of us as people and a nation.

Trump’s election campaign slogan of “make America Great again” is so wrong.  If we reference the democratic standard of “we the people…. with liberty and justice for all”, we have never been “great” as we have continuously and still do have social, economic and environmental injustices for many of our people.  And unfortunately, this trifecta of injustice is spreading to a much greater portion of the population.

As “perfect” is the enemy of “better”, so is “great” the enemy of “good”.  Goodness is defined as integrity, honesty, uprightness, probity.   Goodness, morality, and virtue refer to qualities of character or conduct that entitle the possessor to approval and esteem.  This is what we should aspire, not greatness.  Greatness is a concept of a state of superiority affecting a person or object. Greatness can also be referred to individuals who possess a natural ability to be better than all others.  The concept of greatness should be abhorrent to us as it opposes everything of what our democracy stands.  Rather than pursing greatness, we should aspire to what is good for all us, as people and as a nation.  Rather than the tide of goodness raising all of us, greatness signifies winners and losers.

Wisconsin secured the Trump’s election but it was clearly because the turnout of voters was much lower than in 2008 and 2012.  I believe in the people of Wisconsin and in our “Forward” aspiration and our “can do” spirit.  We need/must start a dialogue with one another to understand how we can aspire for the goodness in our state and how together, we can make our state become a model of “we the people…with liberty and justice for all”.  Now that we see clearly the cancer that could kill us, we should work diligently and passionately to overcome it.  As a cancer survivor, I believe fully that we can do this.  I could not have possible survived by my own greatness (which I would never describe myself), but only because of the goodness that was aspired to by family, medical staff, friends and the community.

 
Trump Should Repudiate Insults, Threats PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Laura Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Sunday, 20 November 2016 18:17

trump-need-apolThe first step toward healing must come from Trump. Then we can join in solidarity to repair it by attempting to be more tolerant of, and kinder to, each other.


HOWARD, WI - The overall psyche of our nation has been damaged by the rhetoric we have heard during this campaign. Now that it is over, we need to join in solidarity to repair it by attempting to be more tolerant of, and kinder to, each other.

I am deeply concerned about the unquestionably real atmosphere of intimidation and fear brought on by the election. I am particularly worried about the impact this has on our children and those most vulnerable to prejudice. The stories of children being bullied and immigrants being demoralized is both heartbreaking and unacceptable.

The first step to rectify the situation should come from President-elect Donald Trump. He needs to lead the way by immediately and unequivocally repudiating the outpouring of racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic insults, threats and attacks being associated with his name. Then every parent, employer, teacher and citizen must follow with zero tolerance of such behavior.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2016 13:54
 
Blue Jean Nation 'America’s one finger salute' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Thursday, 17 November 2016 17:28

screw-systemMedia pundits are over analyzing election results. Republicans showed there is nothing they will not do to get power. Democrats insisted on nominating exactly the wrong person and have written off large swaths of rural Wisconsin. We live in dangerous times.


ALTOONA, WI - What’s perhaps most shocking about the turn our country has taken is that so many were shocked. Media pundits and the professional operatives and party insiders they count on as sources have a habit of over analyzing elections and over complicating politics. What just happened is not that complicated.

Anti-establishment feelings are running sky high, making 2016 a change year and November 8 a change day. Donald Trump was seen as the change candidate. Hillary Clinton was seen as the stay the course, more of the same candidate. Clinton emphasized her experience and qualifications and readiness for the job. Trump talked of draining the swamp. If voters had been in a stay the course state of mind, Clinton is elected. A huge number were in no such mood. Tens of millions felt the urge to extend a middle finger to the powers that be. Trump was the biggest middle finger they could find.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2016 17:49
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We Owe Donald Trump Nothing But A Job PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:41

trump-rncIn January, Donald Trump will start his new government job. He can expect no more loyalty or support than President Obama received. It will be his job to win us over using only the dull tools we give to our President in a democracy.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 19:31
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Blue Jean Nation 'What we don’t need to get what we want' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 12 November 2016 11:27

vetmarchMike says we can be better than the bullies, love our country, love thy neighbor. Failure can be a great teacher, and America is never finished.


ALTOONA, WI - We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished. It is always in the making. We can get to work making our country what we want it to be.

We don’t need hate to fuel us. We can follow the Golden Rule. We can love thy neighbor. We have love of country. We can lean on each other, look out for one another.

We don’t need to tear someone down to build ourselves up. That’s what bullies do. We can be better than bullies.

We don’t need greatness. We do need goodness, now more than ever.

We don’t need any unjust laws repealed in order for us to make change. When we make change, then those unjust laws will be repealed.

We don’t need what all that money buys the politicians. We don’t need pollsters to tell us what to think. We can think for ourselves. We don’t need speechwriters and teleprompters to put words in our mouths. We can speak for ourselves. We don’t need public relations firms and ad agencies to mold our images. We can just be who we are. We don’t need political professionals to do the work for us. We can do the work of citizenship. Not many of us have the time, but we can make the time.

We don’t need to be afraid of the dark. Darkness is no match for millions of people shining light.

We don’t need to fear failure. Failure can be a great teacher. Failure can be the key to success.

We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2016 12:21
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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign "What just happened???" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:37

trump-clinton-debateWhy Hillary Clinton lost, what we should do now, and how to share your thoughts on our website.


MADISON - I was on the local CBS affiliate last night when the news rolled in of Donald Trump’s improbable victory, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the meaning of this election.

matthew_rothschildMy first response was one of shock and horror:

Good night, America!

Then I put my analytical hat on to try to figure out why Hillary Clinton lost:

What happened??? 10 reasons why Donald Trump won

And finally, I gave some thought to what we should do now:

Where to from here?

Please feel free to share your own thoughts on these subjects on our website, or you can always email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director

***

P.S. If you’re in the Madison area tomorrow night, we’re having a post-mortem at Marigold’s Kitchen from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., 118 S. Pinckney St, right off the Capitol Square. Congressman Mark Pocan and former State Senator Dale Schultz will be speaking, as will Dana Schultz of Wisconsin Voices, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts, too. It’s a fundraiser--$100 donation per person (note your attendance at the fundraiser in the donate form's comment box). Hope to see you there.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53703-3689
608-255-4260 ~ www.wisdc.org
Join us on Facebook ~ Follow us on Twitter

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 16:05
 
Joining Hands and Respecting Difference PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 07 November 2016 16:28

hands-joinedSen. Kathleen Vinehout writes about the need for a divided state and nation to join hands with people whose beliefs are different from our own to the challenges we face.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2016 17:17
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