Politics


Our Wisconsin Retirement System is #1 in the nation

Jack Norman of WCRS
The Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security (WCRS), a non-partisan coalition of labor and community groups, is standing up for our Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and the retirement security for all Wisconsin workers.Our WRS “defined benefit” system. The benefit for retirees is known and defined in advance. Both employers and employees pay into the pension fund. The funds are well-managed by public employees, who work for public salaries. They do not receive commissions for managing our retirement funds. There is no gender discrimination in the WRS. Women ...

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Let Us Have a Blueprint for Posterity

Blueprint for Posterity
On Monday, 3/24/13, the Governor signed a tax relief bill dubbed the "Blueprint for Prosperity."According to our State government at prosperity.wi.gov, the legislation will reduce property, income and state income withholding taxes. The typical homeowner will see a reduction of $101 on her next property tax bill. The typical family of four, earning $40,000, will save about $58 in income taxes. Because of the change to income withholding taxes, that family will see about $58 more in their paychecks each month.By the end of 2014, that typical family of four could ...

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Suppressing the Vote

Voting
Voting matters to the citizens of Wisconsin.  Here are two examples from my experience as a poll observer in a small community on election day, November 6, 2012.A young man came to city hall to vote.   Unfortunately, he could not vote that day because he did not have the documents to prove his residency.  I spoke to him outside.  He was crying.  This young man worked at a community workshop.  His check was sent directly to the bank showing no address.  He did not have a checking account or any other documents proving his residency because he lived with someone ...

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Inequality for All

Income Inequality
The movie "Inequality for All," with former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, is a humorous, enlightening expose on America's widening income gap where Reich answers questions like: What is happening with the distribution of income and wealth in the US? Why? And, is it a problem?Reich notes some inequality is inevitable, but the US has by far the most unequal distribution of income of developed nations, ranking 64th in the world. In 1978 the typical US male worker's income was $48,000, adjusted for inflation, while someone in the top 1% made $390,000. In 2010, a ...

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John Doe

John Doe Investigations
“No one cares about crazy people,” was the reply by Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s chief-of staff while he was Milwaukee County Administrator, to an email from Keith Gilkes, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign manager. This email exchange was in reference to the death of Cindy Ancza at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. Other serious problems, such as sexual assaults and security lapses, occurred at this facility while Walker was administrator. Gilkes refers to the facility as a “looney bin.”What was Walker’s reply? He wanted to be kept out of the ...

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Kochs and Popes

Kochs and Pope
What would you think about a history book on Lincoln's presidency that neglected to mention the civil war? Or what about a book on Lyndon Johnson's White House years without mention of the Vietnam War? Which leads me to a question regarding recent Wisconsin history: what would you think about a book on Scott Walker’s gubernatorial reign containing no mention of the Koch Brothers and Art Pope? Things such as Walker's assault on public education and public educators, the shameful redistricting of state and national legislative districts, the environment...

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Limiting Local Control to Our Detriment

Sand Mine
Senator Tom Tiffany has introduced yet another bill, Senate Bill (SB) 632, to limit local government control over nonmetallic mining.In a press release dated 2/26/14, Senator Tiffany included a quote from the Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) Executive Director stating that the WTA did not oppose SB 632 and its Assembly companion bill, AB 816. This was a critical statement for Senator Tiffany because the WTA had strongly opposed his earlier version of the bill, SB 349, introduced in Fall 2013. In typical fashion, Senator Tiffany scheduled an immediate public hearing ...

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As a Conservative

United States Face
A version of this article was previously published in the Wausau Daily Herald.It is a measure of the extremism sweeping America when, after many decades of being a liberal, I find I must join with other conservatives to fight the radical changes destroying my nation. The definition of conservative is: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society. I fit this definition perfectly.As a conservative, I wish to preserve the traditional government established by my ancestors. I oppose the radical use of a business model in ...

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The Nuclear Weapons Vortex

Nuclear Weapons
In the weather news a “polar vortex” has brought winter back to much of the country. In other news there have been a number of nuclear weapons related stories suggesting we have a nuclear weapons vortex threatening us.For decades the nuclear weapons industry has purported to keep us free and safe. It is a very expensive, giant whirlpool sucking our tax dollars. Between 1946 and 1996, we spent an estimated $8.66 trillion on them.  But is it necessary? Not according to Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr. (US Army Ret.). He works for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proli...

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