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Wisconsin is Number One in Job Loss Under Walker and the Republicans

Posted by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats
Wisconsin Assembly Democrats
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on Thursday, 15 March 2012
in Wisconsin

This legislative session has been defined by lost opportunities, bad choices and an agenda that has hurt working families across Wisconsin. The most important issue by far is jobs for struggling families. Unfortunately, this has been Gov. Walker’s biggest shortcoming.

The United States has added jobs every month for 17 months now. All but six states added jobs last year. All Wisconsin’s neighboring states gained jobs during that time. This is all good news for our country and region.

However, we cannot share in that celebration here. Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs. And not only was our state one of six that lost jobs – Wisconsin lost three times more jobs than Missouri, which had the second-highest job loss.

This is terrible news for our state and our struggling families. And an appropriate reaction would be to spend this last week while the legislature is still in session focusing like a laser on job creation.

Instead, the Republicans have chosen to focus on bills that are socially extreme, hurt public education and harm women’s health care. Democratic attempts to bring jobs bills promoting manufacturing, angel investment and technical college job training were shot down.

Gov. Walker pledged last fall to work in a bipartisan fashion on job creation. He said his top two priorities were venture capital and mining, and he failed on both accounts. Now he is blaming others for his failure to roll up his sleeves, work together and get the job done.

The legislative session is nearly over, and Republicans have shown no desire to devote any serious focus to job creation. In the strongest possible terms, I renew my call for a bipartisan process to select bills that will help put people back to work quickly.

It is never too late to work together with a laser focus on job creation, as we have wanted to do for the past year. We owe it to Wisconsin’s struggling families and small businesses to help them recover and give them long-term economic security.

By: Rep. Peter Barca

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
User is currently offline
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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