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Recall is the “Wisconsin Way”

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 May 2012
in Our View

vote-buttonGREEN BAY - I see even Scott Walker is running ads to “stop the recall madness”, saying there is a “right way and a wrong way” to do it and the current effort to recall him is not the “Wisconsin Way”. The ads appeal to the basic fairness of the people of Wisconsin.

Funny that I remember the same plea, “stop the recall madness”, being made against Scott Walker and his pals in the Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), as they pushed the recall “madness” to new heights down in Milwaukee County in 2002. Scott Walker got the job of Milwaukee County Executive and, eventually, Governor because of the “recall madness” and Walker's pals liked the act so well that they spread it throughout the county and state, ending the careers of many politicians along the way.

I helped in the recall movement, first lending aid to six Milwaukee County Supervisors who were the targets of recalls and then helping the Citizens for Responsible Leadership in the City of Franklin, a splinter group, replace five of the city's six aldermen and eventually its mayor. Those were heady times.

I have told many people over the the years that the current recall movement is a “dangerous thing”, and that “once you take it out of the box, it's pretty hard to put it back in”. Maybe it's run full circle now, coming back around to bite Scott Walker and his pals, who helped start it.

There is nothing wrong with the recall, and it is the essence of the “Wisconsin Way”. It is not impeachment, like the one against President Clinton, that most people are familiar with. Wisconsin's Constitution does not offer that option.

A recall is like a grand jury indictment, with the largest grand jury of all, all the people, getting to sign a petition to call a special election. The election itself is like the trial, with the largest jury of all, all the voters, getting to decide whether to remove the politician from office. It is the ultimate expression of “popular democracy”, with every citizen who shows up to vote getting an equal voice in the outcome, regardless of wealth or station.

The election next Tuesday, June 5th, is about Scott Walker and how he has chosen to represent us, nothing else. Don't let all the big money ads from his out of state donors confuse the issue. Scott Walker has been called to stand before all of us, down in the figurative city square, to be judged on his actions. We all get one vote in the verdict.

The only thing that is not the “Wisconsin Way”, is not to vote.

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Republicans Pull Out Big Guns And Dems Falter

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - You can  feel it in the air. You go on FaceBook and all your progressive friends are posting about their vacation plans, or new babies, or whatever. Except for a few “super activists”, you would think there was nothing special coming up in two weeks. Certainly not the election to finally oust Scott Walker from the Governor’s office, after a year and a half of shouting and crying, picketing and passing around recall petitions.

The Republicans, like the British in our first revolution,  pulled out their “big guns” last week and the colonists took to the hills. Scott Walker got his DWD Secretary to fish around for some report with positive job numbers on it, unverified or not, and used some of his $25 million in out of state cash to fill the air waves with TV and radio ads boasting that his first year in office was really a success after all. His allies, the local Chambers of Commerce, piped in with new ads of their own to cross verify his fiction. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who started the whole Wisconsin recall resurgence in 2002 by going after F. Thomas Ament and putting Scott Walker into office as Milwaukee County Executive, kicks in that they now oppose recalls, especially of Walker, unless a felony is proven.  Bang, the “polls” of  “likely voters” show Walker ahead with a 49% to 42% lead.

In one short week the progressive and democratic grassroots effort to recall Walker has been seemingly driven into disarray. Did everyone believe that the power structure would let go of the office of governor that easily, especially after they put all that money into putting their hand picked guy there in 2010.

The time has come to take a deep breath and remember what this recall is about. Walker and his high paid ad men pulled the oldest trick in the book. Throw out some numbers and divert the issue. Doesn’t matter that they can’t be verified, by the time they are the election will be over. Now we are talking about whose numbers are correct, not about why Walker needs to be recalled. I can hear them now, “a win-win“,  I’ve been in those meetings.

Democrats and progressives need to get back on the real issue if they are going to defeat Walker and the big money machine on June 5.  The power to recall was put into Wisconsin law to allow the people to directly oust any politician they want to. The politicians don’t like it, but it’s not impeachment. No high crimes or misdemeanors are required. It is the true test of a democracy, giving all of us collectively, the  power to hold a politician accountable.

Scott Walker got himself elected on false pretenses, like a job applicant who lies on his resume. Had he divulged his true plan for the office, the “bomb” he dropped in January 2011, or how he planned to accomplish it, prior to his election, he never could have won.  He knew that. So he talked about 250,000 jobs and cutting your taxes, and glossed over everything else.

Now we have seen what he has done with the office and it is time to give him the boot, just like that job applicant that sounded good on his fake resume but didn’t work out. Scott Walker has torn our little office apart and will say anything to keep his job. But his job was to represent all of us, and he has failed.

The recall is about Walker, and we can’t forget that. So Democrats and progressives need to get out of our little funk and get back in the fight. There are only two weeks left.

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Scott Walker Just Didn't Pass Probation

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - Have you ever hired someone? It's a lot of fun. You get to make that call, tell them they got the job. Ask if they can start next Monday. They are all happy and thankful. To me, it was the best part of being a manager.

scott-walkerUnfortunately, that's not always the end of the employe selection process. Sometimes, a lot of the claims the new employe made in the interview just don't pan out. Sometimes they lied, and job applicants almost always exaggerate. After a few weeks watching them on the job, you realize that you have made a mistake.

That's why the State of Wisconsin, as an employer, puts all new hires on a six month probationary period that each must pass before they are granted permanent status as an employe. Most employers, public and private, have similar policies. It's a pretty standard practice in the world of human resources.

We do not have a comparable practice for the political leaders we elect. We seem to forget that people running for mayor, senator, or Governor are just job applicants. We are the electors, and the job is to represent all of us as the managers of our government.

If we had a six month probationary period for Governor of Wisconsin, like other jobs, I would maintain that Scott Walker just did not pass it. Unlike the world of TV, however, we just don't have a Donald Trump that can say “you're fired”. Our process for this job is to wait a year after hire, gather nearly a million signatures to call a recall election, and then give the applicant a second chance to tell us why they should have the job.

The good part is that we now have Scott Walker's record on the job to consider as we remake our employe selection decision. Did Scott Walker represent all of us, or at least most of us, and effectively manage our government? I think that the answer is most certainly “No”!

Almost immediately after his hire, Scott Walker chose to promote his own visibility on the National Republican stage by implementing a whole score of divisive partisan policies that have torn Wisconsin apart. Rather than do the job he was elected to do, he has spent his time traveling around the country gathering funds for his own re-election and promoting his career as a “rock star” on Fox TV.

While he has been promoting himself in his “national reality show”, Wisconsin's economy has been the most stagnant in the nation. He has not paid nearly a billion dollars in previously promised support to our schools. He has “managed” his employes by blaming them for the state's problems and ignored the contractual promises made to them by his predecessors.

If you were his supervisor, what argument could you honestly make for keeping him on? Has he done his job? Has he told us how he would do better?

 

(Bob Kiefert is the former Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County and served in that capacity from 2002-2005 when Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.)

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One Reason Why Walker Economics Does Not Work for Wisconsin

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - I sometimes wonder about some of my neighbors.

I see that down by the corner one of them has erected a “I Stand With Walker” sign. I guess they think they are making some sort of last stand, like the Texans at the Alamo.

Maybe they think Walker’s Republican agenda is better for business and they like to fantasize that they are the “rich people” who will benefit from it. By New York standards of course, there are maybe ten real “rich” people in the whole state. Come on, they would never even let you join their country club, if you could come up with the money, much less let your son date their daughter.

walker open for businessJust as President George W. Bush and his cronies led a raid on the National Treasury, Scott Walker has a plan to rob from the people here in Wisconsin and give to the out of state rich in multi-national corporations. Wisconsin is “Open for Business”, Walker says. Well, at least our wallets. Why do you think they are giving him all that money?

Here is why Walker’s economic plan cannot work. You can't cut the salaries of thousands of public employees who work for the State's largest employer and lay off thousands more and not take a huge hit on the local economy. I don't know why people can't seem to understand this. It's basic economics and the real reason why Walker has turned Wisconsin into the country's biggest job loser.

But then, I have yet to understand why some people seem to hate the government for trying to help them get a fair deal on health insurance.

Sometimes I wonder about my neighbors.

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Who Do You Trust in Republican Ad Blitz?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 March 2012
in Our View

Wisconsin is really in silly season this week. What’s up with our right wing friends and neighbors?

The mail and TV ads around my house this week are full of charges made by Republicans against other Republicans as the April 3rd Presidential Primary approaches. Most of them seem to be coming from something called Restore Our Future. I didn’t know we had lost it, but these people evidently think so.

Restore Our Future thinks Rick Santorum is a “Washington Insider” who “joined with Hillary Clinton” to waste money and do other dubious liberal things.  I didn’t know Rick and Hillary where such pals. “Rick Santorum thinks letting felons vote is a good idea” , the ad goes on to say. Rick Santorum must be a scary guy.

I looked up www.restoreourfuture.com on the internet and found out they are a rather obvious front for Mitt Romney. Now, the ads on TV tell me that you cannot trust Mitt Romney.  He invented “RomneyCare”, whatever that is, and drove Massachusetts into “billions” of dollars of debt. Debt it seems is going to end the world as we know it. It certainly isn’t going to Restore Our Future.

Funny, as I remember, running up the government debt was a central theme of “Supply Side Economics” promoted by then Republican President Ronald Reagan in the eighties.  Both Republican Presidents Bush kept it up, and only Democratic President Bill Clinton did anything to reverse the trend in the late nineties. I guess those Republicans didn’t want to restore our future either.

On top of that, today’s news tells me that our right wing friends are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Health Care Act, and that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will uphold the State’s new voter ID bill, fast. I thought they were against “activist judges”.  Maybe it is different now that they have a Republican majority in both courts?

If the Republicans don’t trust each other, why should the rest of us trust any of them? Maybe there isn’t a real Republican Party any more, just a bunch of special interest groups fighting it out for what’s left. The Christians pulling one way, big business another.  The only thing they seem to have in common is hate towards President Obama.

I would not call any of them Conservatives. Bob Taft from Ohio was a Conservative, and so was Barry Goldwater. They were honorable men. But where is the honor among these guys?

And I’m not even going to get started on Scott Walker. 

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There Is No Reason to Delay the Walker Recall Election

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 March 2012
in Our View

scott-walkerMADISON - On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, sent a letter to local election clerks around the state, to determine the most administratively convenient times for the recall elections targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The GAB was asking clerks to respond in time for the board’s upcoming meeting this Monday.

We need to go ahead with this recall election as soon as possible. There is no reason for any further delay.

Recall organizers collected nearly one million signatures of Wisconsin citizens demanding a recall election to remove Scott Walker from office. They waited for nearly two weeks after the first legal date to begin collecting them, and did so easily within the 60 days allowed by Wisconsin law. They filed their petitions at the appropriate place and in a timely manner.

Normally, and in any other recall around our State, the elected official targeted by a recall has 30 days to challenge the validity of the signatures. After all, you want to give the accused party the right to look at the petitions and challenge the validity of the names on it. That's only fair.

Walker, however, got his 30 days and did not challenge even one name. On top of that, he shopped around for a sympathetic judge in Waukesha County to issue an order that the GAB had to redo Walker's work for him. The GAB was to spend thousands, if not more, of our tax dollars to verify the validity of every name.

Walker's people did not identity one invalid signature. Is there any reason to believe that the GAB will find, after all the work, nearly 500,000 of them? If at least 541,000 of the one million signatures submitted, or 54%, are valid, then the recall election must go ahead anyway. Even Walker's most ardent supporters are not claiming evidence of a 46% rejection rate.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Walker and his cronies have been given nearly a year and a half to trample all over the Wisconsin Constitution, hold closed meetings, gerrymander the State, and pass election laws which deny thousands of citizens their right to vote. All the while, the citizens of this State have been waiting to exercise their right to throw him out of office.

It is time to stop the circus and have the election. There can be nothing to gain from further delay, except to feed Walker's apparent belief that the Koch Brother's money has placed him above the law and the people.

What's next? Maybe some legal maneuver to find a judge to rule that governors cannot be recalled after all?

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Get Rush Limbaugh Off Wisconsin Radio

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 07 March 2012
in Our View

rush-limbaugh-radio-showGREEN BAY – Conservative talking head Rush Limbaugh spent much of last week making ugly comments about college student Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute”, for having the guts to want to testify before Congress. Besides the ugly language, it did not seem to bother him that he did not know what he, or she, was talking about. He just seemed to want to bully a woman, a private citizen at that, to run up his ratings.

Rush Limbaugh makes a living making outrageous comments on the public airwaves. Normally, the rest of us don’t care what he says. He’s just trying to get attention, and to pay attention is to play into his hand. He is playing to a small group of people who want to listen to someone say on the air the ugly things they are too afraid to say themselves.

But this time he went too far, way over the line. Because this is the kind of thing that Joe McCarthy did, and you have to stand up to a bully right away or they will just keep coming.

You should not have to be a woman to be outraged. Women have been bullied by the s-word and “your parents would be ashamed” line for years and are especially sensitive to what Rush was doing. But the rest of us, who have wives and daughters and granddaughters should be equally upset. I want every woman in my life to feel free to speak their mind and not fear bullies like Rush Limbaugh.

Which gets us to the final point. I would not presume to tell anyone what to say, but below is a list of the radio stations that carry Rush Limbaugh’s show in Wisconsin. I urge everyone who shares my outrage to contact the one or two nearest you and tell them, in your own words, that you would not listen to their station or advertisements so long as they carry Rush Limbaugh’s show.

They use your public airwaves, and you have the right to let them know when you think someone goes way over the line.

Market Station Freq Air Time

Ashland            WATW-AM 1400            MoFr 11a2p

Eagle River            WERL-AM    950            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-FM     97.5            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-AM 1360            M-F 11a-2p

La Crosse            WIZM-AM 1410            M-F 11a-2p

Madison            WIBA-AM 1310            M-F 11a-2p

Menomonie            WMEQ-AM 880            MoFr 11a2p

Milwaukee            WISN-AM 1130            M-F 11a-2p

Oshkosh            WOSH-AM    1490            M-F 11a-2p

Park Falls            WPFP-AM      980            M-F 11a-2p

Rudolph            WSAU-FM 99.9            M-F 11a-2p

Sheboygan            WHBL-AM 1330            M-F 12p-3p

Shell Lake            WCSW-AM 940            MoFr 11a2p

Superior            WDSM-AM 710            M-F 11a-2p

Wausau            WSAU-AM 550            M-F 11a-2p

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Fight back against attacks on the Wisconsin Retirement System

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 09 February 2012
in Our View

I am, among other things, a member of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). As a former state employee, I receive a pension from the same system as our educators and most county employees. It was no gift, we paid for it out of our salaries.

It follows then that I join with the WEAC to urge legislators to oppose a first strike on the WRS.

Urge your legislators to oppose AB 539, giving the UW System authority to create an optional retirement plan for new hires as an alternative to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), a proposal authored 15 years ago by former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.

This legislation is a first strike in what many fear will devolve into an all-out assault on our state’s nationally recognized pension plan that provides more than 572,000 of Wisconsin’s active and retired educators, police officers, firefighters and other public workers with modest financial security in their retirement years.

Legislation like AB 539 will slowly weaken the financial security of the state’s retirement fund, destabilize the retirement funds of active employees and current retirees, and could lead to increased contribution rates for employees and employers over time.

E-mail your legislators today and urge them to stand up for working families and their futures by opposing AB 539.

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Proud of Wisconsin Democracy

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 18 January 2012
in Our View

Yesterday, a grass roots coalition of Wisconsinites delivered recall petitions signed by over 1,900,000 Wisconsin citizens to recall Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, and their right-wing cronies in the state legislature. Included in the total was over one million to recall Walker alone.

Mike Tate, Chairperson of the State Democratic Party said “In Wisconsin, you have made a historic stand.”

We say it was more than that. It was truly a demonstration of what democracy looks like.

The signatures, on over a ton of paper, were delivered to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in Madison and should be easily sufficient to force a recall election this summer. Only a little over 540,000 signatures each are required to recall Walker and Kleefisch. Petitions sufficient to cause a recall of four other Republicans, including State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, were also delivered.

Walker and his cronies in Madison can be expected to exhaust every opportunity, legal and otherwise, to delay the recall election itself. They will argue that the unions were behind it, that a recall costs too much, is unneeded, that we should wait till the next election. They will run their countless TV ads saying their “reforms are working” and trying to scapegoat teachers and other government workers for the “budget deficit” they created on paper.

Ever since the Citizens United decision, big corporate money has flowed into our elections seeking to buy our votes. To imply some equivalency between this money and that provided by union sources is a joke. They create a false reality with their big money media and offer their prepaid candidates as a solution.

It is the greatest threat to democracy in our lifetime, and the recall effort provides a template on how to beat it.

Thousands of citizen volunteers, and I personally know a lot of them, got out and did the hard leg work to gather these signatures. They did not ask for anything for themselves except the knowledge that they would not go down quietly, that they would be heard.

This is what democracy looks like. That every citizen has an equal voice and an equal vote at the town hall meeting. That governments are created by the people to represent their interests and can be changed if they don't.

This is also the Wisconsin tradition of democracy. Scott Walker forgot this tradition at his own peril. And it makes us proud to be in Wisconsin this fine sunny morning.

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SOPA and PIPA

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 18 January 2012
in Our View

Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

We don't know exactly how the new legislation might affect the NEWi - Green Bay Progressive. But we have been around government long enough to know that most laws have unexpected consequences.

The Internet is the new great frontier where the average citizen can create a voice without a huge expenditure of start up money. As a general rule, laws of this type protect the big money establishment media and the lobbyists who create them. We can see little need to rush to their protection.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

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Scott Walker Christmas Ad Really Is Creepy!

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 December 2011
in Our View

MADISON - Wisconsin's temporary Gov. Scott Walker (R) released a new ad this week in an effort to soften his image leading into the upcoming fight to recall him. Opponents have nearly gathered the required number of signatures necessary to launch the recall election.

The ad, seen below, has Scott and his wife, Tonette, distributing food at a soup kitchen with their family before cutting to a shot of the family in their living room. They pretend to be concerned with "the less fortunate among us".

Had Walker shown any real concern during 2011 for the poor or other working people, rather than making them villains in his quest for power, the whole thing might ring true. As it is, the commercial ignores the irony that the policies Walker is pursuing as governor almost guarantee that more people will need the services of soup kitchens like the one he appears in during the ad. Walker's attempt to show that he cares about people enough to personally feed them is belied by the fact that he's killing jobs and taking away the rights of working families.

The ad just comes across as a creepy political ad. Watch it yourself below and see what you think. Who is he trying to kid?

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Should the Wisconsin Capitol tree be Christmas tree?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 November 2011
in Our View

GREEN BAY - State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Vandenbroek, has introduced a resolution to rename the Capitol Holiday Tree the Capitol Christmas Tree.

"It is what it is, it's a Christmas tree," Steineke said Tuesday. "I just think that in Wisconsin we called it a Christmas tree for 70 years. We call it a Christmas tree in Washington at the White House. I don't see any harm in calling it a Christmas tree in Madison, Wisconsin."

Sounds simple enough. Or is it?

What if you are not a Christian? Maybe you are a Native American and choose to practice your traditional beliefs. Or a Jew, or a Muslim? What if you just plain don’t believe in religion at all? Many estimate that up to 40% of Americans do not believe in the traditional concept of a god, though most choose to not to talk about it among believers.

Should the State use your tax dollars to ram someone else’s religion down your throat?

When I was with Milwaukee County, we set up a big tree in the courthouse and a variety of little trees in several departments, including Human Resources, at this time of year. The County Executive would come down and make a speech. Several employees would spend hours decorating the tree in our department, usually on a Friday afternoon. Everyone was nice.

But wouldn’t you rather they spent their time processing your job application? Or doing any other kind of real work?  If they wanted a Christmas tree, they were certainly free to set one up at home.

Every year, for our friends in the GOP like Rep. Steineke, the Christmas verses Holiday tree issue provides a perfect opportunity to pander to their base. Here we create another “issue” that sounds simple if you don’t really think about it.  "The governor believes a Christmas tree should be called a Christmas tree," Chris Schrimpf, Scott Walker's communications director, said in an email Tuesday.

But is it that “simple”, or does it only seem so if you believe that everyone should share your particular beliefs. Maybe Scotty and friends are just trying to give their supporters the impression that they are “standing up for them” in Madison. It is certainly easier than doing any real work, like creating more jobs in Wisconsin.

Yes, this is an issue that is not an issue. And the “it’s a tradition” argument has been used too often to support too many practices that should have been forgotten years ago.

Maybe we should just let all the practicing Christians have their Christmas trees at home. Religion is supposed to be an individual preference, isn’t it?

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The Recall of Scott Walker Begins

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 November 2011
in Our View

GREEN BAY - Today, the Green Bay/NEWi Progressive joins dozens of grassroots groups across the state in supporting the recall of Scott Walker. We do not begin this undertaking lightly, but Walker has put Wisconsin's way of life in jeopardy with a radical agenda that puts the good of corporations and cronies before the good of the citizens of our state. Massive cuts to education and healthcare have been accompanied by assaults on democratic institutions and the ability of citizens to have their voices heard.

Since Scott Walker would not listen to the people of Wisconsin, and since he has made clear that he will continue to deceive the public and employ scorched-earth tactics that run contrary to our norms and traditions, progressive citizens should now employ the tool of recall to help preserve our state.

The road ahead is long, and Walker's corporate allies will shower our state with millions of dollars in unregulated money to preserve their agenda, but, in the end, no amount of money can keep Scott Walker from accountability, and that begins today.

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Time Has Come to Recall Walker

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 14 November 2011
in Our View

GREEN BAY - Tomorrow, November 15, 2011, is the day the Recall Scott Walker effort will begin in earnest. Throughout the State, citizen groups, led by the group officially named A United Wisconsin to Recall Scott Walker will begin a statewide recall effort working with established groups like the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and labor-affiliated organizations like We Are Wisconsin.

The Democratic Party of Brown County will start signing petitions in Green Bay at its office, 1061 Mason Street, and its Kick Out-Kick Off Party at Stadium View from 4 to 8 pm. Similar events are planned in Fond du Lac, Madison, and Milwaukee just to name a few.

Immediately after his election a year ago, Scott Walker initiated a radical Tea Party social agenda on Wisconsin to strip workers' rights, slash aid to education, cut Medicare for the poor, allow anyone to carry guns in public, and make it more difficult for citizens to vote. All the while, he worked with his Waukesha County cronies in the state legislature to steer our taxpayer money to friends in big business, calling them “job creators”, while the real job creators, Wisconsin's consumers, lost more of their power to buy.

Scott Walker said little about this radical agenda during his campaign for governor last fall. It was the classic bait and switch. Scott Walker deserves to be recalled for this if nothing else.

His supporters will trot out the usual arguments to muddy the waters, that recalls are a waste of money or that no high crime has been proven. But recall is not impeachment and is, like voting, an expression of citizen democracy at work. Recall can be more like firing a new employee who hasn't worked out in his probationary period. Not to be taken lightly, but available for cases of deception on their job application or lack of the expected performance. All of you have probably seen people let go for less cause at your work.

Scott Walker took advantage of the recall craze hatched in Milwaukee County nine years ago to throw out County Executive F. Thomas Ament and what goes around tends to come around. It is almost poetic justice that now it is his turn.

So get down to your local recall rally tomorrow and be one of the first to sign! The time has come.

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Tell the Koch Brothers to Take their Money and Shove It!

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 05 November 2011
in Our View

GREEN BAY – So a few Walker supporters want to to get a jump on fundraising by filing papers so Scotty can raise money from the Koch Brothers before the big recall kickoff on November 15th.

In the Senate recalls last summer, we were treated to a record smashing deluge of big business money trying to beguile the voters into believing that, somehow, cutting education, medical services, and union jobs while giving kickbacks to the super rich is really helping them. One such group, the Wisconsin Club for Growth spent an estimated $3 million to $4 million on “issue” ads for and against candidates in the state’s recall elections.

Not to be blown out again like the first post Citizen’s United Decision election in 2010, Democrats have been raising money hand over foot and fighting back with ads of their own. War is not so much fun when the other guy has a gun too.

But the best way to show the Brothers Koch and other big business money interests that they just can’t swoop in and buy our elections with two weeks of “issue” ads is with our votes. If we turn out, in huge numbers and throw out Scott Walker, we are sending them a clear and simple message that they are wasting their money. In business, that is the only message that really matters.

For those of you who have forgotten, Scott Walker got his big break to win the Milwaukee County Executive seat as the result of a recall drive to unseat then County Executive F. Thomas Ament. It would be poetic justice for his end to come as a result of one as well. If you live by the sword, etc.

The progressive tradition of Wisconsin State Government as well as your very right to vote is being chipped away daily by Walker and his Milwaukee suburban allies in Madison. It is time to throw them out.

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GOP Attempts to Diminish President Are Dangerous

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Saturday, 03 September 2011
in Our View

They are many and we have all seen them. Attempts by the Republican Party and their allies in the media to marginalize President Barack Obama and the Presidency itself. They go from the small, like deliberately calling him “Barack Obama” rather than “President Obama”, to the larger attacks on the prestige of the Office, like the current flap on his address to the Congress and nation on jobs.

When our President wants to call a meeting and address the most important crisis facing the nation, are we too busy to even show up on the night he requests? In Wisconsin, is the Packer pre-game warm-up a more important event to televise than the President?

We will resist the obvious parallels to Jim Crow America and its attempts to diminish the dignity of some Americans. But really, is a political strategy to win back the Presidency in 2012 more important than doing the business of governing?

Like the 1930s, we are in dangerous times and we need to pay attention to the serious job of leading the Country out of the crisis. At the very least, we can make time to listen to the man we have elected to lead us. The election to replace him is more than a year away and we, the people, need to pay attention to our work of self government until then.

It is time for the Republican Party and its leadership to stop playing games and get down to work doing the jobs they were elected to do. And maybe the media should remember the responsibility given to the “4th Estate” under our constitution to keep the people informed.

Freedom of the Press was not included in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to make sure we can watch “Dancing with the Stars”.

 

(If you agree, you might want to call your local NBC-TV affiliate and ask about their programming choice.)

 

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