Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Roger Utnehmer on Nonpartisan Redistricting Reform in Wisconsin

The following is a statement made on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 by Common Cause in Wisconsin Board Member Roger Utnehmer at a press conference in Green Bay on recently-introduced legislation to end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin:

Common Cause is a citizens lobby that advocates for clean open government and campaign and redistricting reform.

Being a broadcaster for 38 years has made me a fiscally-conservative capitalist and a socially-liberal progressive.

I’ve voted for Republicans and Democrats.

I crammed four years of college into seven working for a Republican state senator and ran for the assembly in 1974 as a Republican.

My background makes me like a lot of people in Wisconsin, the political middle-ground, people who can support Republicans on fiscal issues and Democrats on social issues.

People like me make the case that redistricting reform, preservation of the Government Accountability Board and over-turning Citizens United are bi-partisan issues.

The message I have today is simply this; the most patriotic civic engagement people can make today is to become involved with Common Cause and support redistricting reform.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wisconsin as Russia

By Bill Kraus

“In Russia, the law was not there to protect citizens and people, it was there to aid authorities. The law was not meant to be used by citizens, but by the state.”

This quote is from the book RED NOTES by Bill Browder (Yes, that Browder. His grandfather was Earl Browder, the face of the Communist Party in the United States for many years in the middle of the last century).

The context is unimportant.

What is important is that it calls to mind a series of laws enacted and proposed in Wisconsin in recent years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The game is rigged

By Bill Kraus

The massively anti-government 2015 state government budget is almost law.

It is hard to find anyone who isn’t offended by something in this radical document.

The losers range from the entire education establishment where the iconic UW system took a large hit and the vaunted public education apparatus got a combination of competition and less money down to the people who wanted to cross some railroad tracks to get to their favorite fishing hole.

I asked the then Secretary of the Department of Administration Mike Heubsch whether there had been any pushback from the legislature. This was early. He said “no.”

This changed somewhat as the budget worked its way through the Joint Finance Committee and the individual legislators began to hear from their constituents about the harm being done to traditional Wisconsin institutions and values.