Tuesday October 15, 2019

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Commentary from us and our readers.

Blue Jean Nation - "You and I can’t run for governor" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 09:55

county-demsIs it realistic for people who are truly reflective of the general public to run for governor, the House of Representatives? Doesn't seem so. That’s because nearly all Americans can’t realistically run for major political office. Our country is the poorer for it.

ALTOONA, WI - Representation is the foundation our political system is supposed to be built on. For authentic representation to be possible, it has to be realistic for people who are truly reflective of the general public to run for office.

By this measure, you can see that American democracy is on very thin ice when you consider what’s involved in seeking and holding an office like governor.

Those doing the campaigning in Wisconsin’s last election for governor spent well over $80 million. The popular assumption is that candidates need to have as much money as their opponents — or close to it — to be taken seriously. That thinking is mistaken, but widely accepted. That fact alone leaves nearly everyone on the outside looking in. Only a select few are able to put millions of dollars of their own money into a political campaign. Among the multitudes who can’t, most are unwilling to sell out their beliefs and principles to win over special interests capable of supplying them with the financing to compete.

Not having a personal fortune or a willingness to take out a second mortgage on your soul is not the only characteristic separating those who can run from others like you and me who can’t. Elections for governor are partisan contests, and America has a two-party system. The major parties expect candidates to join their ranks. Most Americans are turned off by both major parties at the moment, and have no interest in joining one. Candidates not only are supposed to be dues-paying party members, they are expected to take the position that their party can do no wrong and the other party can do no right. You and I and most Americans don’t believe that and aren’t comfortable pretending that we do.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 10:21
It’s Time to Take Action to Prevent Senseless Acts of Violence PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 08:52

orlando-nightclub-shootingWe have a right to live free of terror. We must stand up to the gun lobby that refuses to change and we must reject excuses from politicians who refuse to make an effort to prevent future tragedies.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 10:39
Birth, Life and Death of a Bad Idea on Family Care PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 13 June 2016 16:45

people_with_disabilitiesSen. Kathleen Vinehout writes about the governor’s proposed changes to the Family Care and IRIS programs, the fighting spirit that saved them from privatization, and the lives many from being so ill-advisedly disrupted.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2016 17:08
Ballot Box Has the Capability of Creating Political Revolution PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Monday, 13 June 2016 15:41

voteOur American national political system is corrupt, but we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.

STOUGHTON, WI - To say that America is in flux is an understatement.

I argue our American national political system is corrupt, as all political systems have been corrupt throughout history.

Kings, queens, emperors, prime ministers, dictators, presidents, etc. are a few of the names of the political bosses. The eternal problem has been how to reduce the arbitrary power of the boss.

In America, a few white (mostly well to do) men designed, after a few false starts, a representative form of government for white men – not women, Blacks or Native Americans. At first only state legislators chose US Senators and the president was elected by legislators. Under centuries of political pressure from progressive forces and a Civil War, we now have popular vote of all persons over 18 of all colors voting for U.S. senators and presidents.

But we have far to go to create a fair election system. We are in a long term effort to change the operation of the American political and economic systems. In military terms we have won and lost battles but have not yet won the war. The 1%ers won the war decades ago. And we probably will not win the progressive war against them for years.

The presidential primary is a combined system of primary voting (closed and open), caucuses and Super Delegates which all combine at the Democratic Party national convention to select the Democratic nominee.

Americans rightfully see a “rigged” system - rigged to favor two parties, big money, and smoke filled back room deals by white guys and now a few women.

Americans want to do away with the caucuses, closed primaries, SuperDelegates and 1%ers and corporations flooding the system with big money asking for big favors from those elected.

Americans want open primaries, public financing of campaigns and then let the chips fall where they may.

But under the present corrupt system, we still have the capability to create a revolution by our vote for a candidate at the ballot box - both in the primaries and the general election.

This year a Revolution DID happen for the Republicans/Tea Baggers - they unexpectedly got Mr. Trump.

“The Revolution” did NOT happen for the Democrats/Progressives in the primaries.

Sanders, advocating political revolution, did NOT win the majority of those who voted Democratic in the primaries. Thus Sanders has lost the primary vote and pledged delegate race. As of yesterday, the SuperDelegates became the deciding factor.

Why? The parties have designed a Rube Goldberg primary system under which the two major parties control the process - pushing big corrupt money into and pushing other parties/candidates out of the presidential election process.

We could have a national system of a couple of primary days. All candidates run in the parties of their choice (Republican, Democratic, Green, etc.), people vote for the top two candidates in the party of their choice, month of TV debates ensues, a month or so later in a second primary citizens vote again for their top choice in the party of their choice, we then have a nominee for each party, more debates, a final election and a winner based upon the popular vote. The federal government would have to set the standards and supervise the elections rather than a mass of local jurisdictions. And Americans want public financing for elections.

At this point, we have several groups or forces in contention for power.

Group 1: On the Right, we have Mr. Trump who would create the political Revolution the conservatives have dreamed of: A nice clean America where the white rich boys run it all, push down women and minorities, get most of the income and wealth, privatize most government functions to make a buck and have the monopoly on “power.”

But they are screaming that the right winger who has brought them to the top of the mountain, where they can see their dream of taking the White House, Congress and the Judiciary is Trump. He’s a right winger who is just too crude. And he can NOT be depended upon to toe the right wing line. He reminds them too much of the crude right wing 1%ers who fund all their campaigns and think tanks.

Group 2: The Clinton dynasty has been pushing for 30 years to get rid of the progressive streak in American politics. They have been successful - one 8 year presidency, a 2008 strong run and a 2016 strong run. But oh my the baggage Ms. Clinton carries into the nomination.

Group 3: Because of Clinton’s “baggage” prosecutors and whistle blowers have the power to derail Clinton’s speeding train into the White House. The corruption of our political system is vast and nearly impenetrable. Various investigations can be leaked – think voting “irregularities in NY, CA and elsewhere. Or, President Obama’s Democratic duct tape damn preventing the Department of Justice from finishing the investigation into Clinton private email server and alleged transmission of sending secret information over unsecure lines can burst.

Or, investigation results can be leaked – remember Deep Throat?

Group 4:  Sanders and or his supporters have a number of options.

A.    Because Clinton does not have enough pledged delegates to win the majority on the first ballot, Sanders can try to neutralize the power of the Democratic party’s kings and queens called SuperDelegates or try to win them to his side.  And win the nomination.

B.   Clinton can choose him as her vice president nominee effectively shutting down his mouth.

C.   Sanders can immediately bring various law suits to challenge the voting in some states, ask for injunctions and possibly cause re-votes in places like NY where alleged “irregularities” have taken place.  Then he could win or lose based upon re-votes.

D.   Sanders can choose to stay in the Senate and campaign for Clinton urging supporters to do the same.

E.   Sanders can choose to run an independent presidential campaign or combine with a party like the Green Party and continue fighting for political Revolution in November.

It is likely that what happens in the next 7 weeks prior to the Democratic convention and at the convention will determine what he decides to do.

Right now in pledged delegates Clinton has 2,203 and Sanders has 1,827 - he is behind by 376. Only the Wash. DC primary June 14th remains with 20 some delegates.

So Sanders can NOT win based upon pledged delegates. Only hundreds of SuperDelegates flipping from Clinton to him can make him win – unless courts require re-votes.

So what can progressives do? Our horse in the race may or may not be chosen the nominee at the Convention. As stated a thousand times, the political Revolution is not about Bernie – it is about us.

The weekend of June 17-19 progressive groups are conducting The People’s Summit in Chicago. Readers can google The People’s Summit and join the thinking process of what we can do to push the political Revolution in America this summer and the years ahead.

The one thing we can NOT do is give up our Hope for a better America with a good future for our little kids. We, as adults, must Fight Back against the powers that wish to enslave Americans economically and politically.

And we must fight for political Revolution with peaceful means!

The genie of violence once out of the bottle is almost impossible to contain. Just look at the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Clinton debacles in the Middle East and North Africa.


Buzz Davis, of Stoughton, a member of Better With Bernie 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 Monday, 13 June 2016 16:29
A Win for Disability Rights! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:11

disability-oldMADISON - I’m all about celebrating our victories, whenever they occur.

And one just occurred yesterday when the Department of Health Services shelved its plan to let private insurance companies run the programs for the elderly and the disabled in Wisconsin. You can read all about it here:

A win for disability rights activists!

While I’m on the subject of people with disabilities, a report came out this week that noted some difficulties that they, too, were having with Voter ID:

Voters with disabilities in Wisconsin faced problems

This week we also reported on the Koch Brothers throwing their weight around down ticket in our state:

Koch group targets two Wisconsin State Senate seats

And Congressman Mark Pocan is focusing his sights on the dark money group that calls itself Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, though “reform” is the last thing this group is about. It ran nasty ads against Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg and Russ Feingold, and it was founded by the person who led the campaign to ban gay marriage in Wisconsin. Pocan has put donors to this group on notice:

Pocan warns donors to dark money group

I’m headed out for a brief vacation next week, so I’ll get back to you in a couple.

Meantime, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here or by mailing it in the old-fashioned way to 203 S. Paterson St. Suite 100, Madison WI 53703.

We really appreciate your support.

- Matt Rothschild

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