hearts and minds

August 6, 2008

Choice for A Change in Ozaukee and Washington counties

The Wisconsin state legislature will have many contested elections in November. Three out of four Assembly seats will have more than one name on the ballot and be worth voting in, and nine of the 16 state senate seats listed in the general election will have more than one name on the ballot. In particular, the counties of Ozaukee and Washington, long dominated by the Republican Party (and long conceded by the state Democratic Party) have a unique and historic campaign season and election ahead. Fully SIX of the state legislature seats currently occupied by The Ruling Party in Ozaukee and Washington counties are being challenged in the general election. We haven’t had this kind of choice for generations. This is more than merely newsworthy. It is historic. What is fueling this upset of the status quo?
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July 15, 2008

Races for Wisconsin Legislature in Ozaukee-Washington counties confound the MSM

The July 13 OZAUKEEWASHINGTON section lead article in the Journal-Sentinel, “State Races Attract Attention”, is appalling journalism. The errors, misinformation and irrelevancies in this article are too many, and it needs major revision or a fresh start from scratch.

Half of the Senate and the entire Assembly is up for election every two years. There is no news there. But it is news that three-fourths of the Assembly (74 seats) and over half of the Senate offices up for election (nine seats) will be contested elections this November, where the voters will have a choice. (more…)

June 5, 2008

How Wisconsin Legislators Voted on Ending Legalized Bribery

Let’s spotlight two cases where the U.S. Supreme Court legislated from the bench and violated common sense and our shared values. Next we’ll see what our state legislators have (or have not) done recently to arrest and restrain the government corruption that resulted. We’ll look at where the problem is most festering. And there is one important legislative step that is needed right now. Let’s get er done. By the way, there’s a scoop here, too, with news of three grassroots candidates for election to the state legislature, working to expose and unseat some of the very worst of the “Public Enemies” to be described below.
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April 3, 2008

How Wisconsin Legislators Voted on Conservation Issues

44 bills introduced to the Wisconsin legislature during the last ( 2007-2008 ) legislative session were tracked by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (LCV). Now that the legislature has adjourned until 2009 (long after the November general election will be over) what has been the fate of those bills?
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March 27, 2008

Louis Butler v. Michael Gableman, or Truth v. Fiction, et al

The Wisconsin Supreme Court election Tuesday, April 1, pits incumbent Justice Louis Butler against challenger Judge Michael Gableman in a critically important election. But it’s being smeared with distortions and misrepresentations. And secretive groups with very deep pockets threaten to take control of justice.
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March 16, 2008

Appalling Votes of Glenn Grothman

Filed under: Environment,Glenn Grothman,Politics & elections,Wisconsin legislature — Hearts & Minds @ 1:22 pm

See how Glenn Grothman, one of 33 Wisconsin State Senators, voted during the 2007-2008 legislative session. This is just a short page, a concise quick read, and packed with links to further information if and when you need it.
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February 28, 2008

Power to the Voter

Do you know whether your state legislators voted (or intend to vote) to protect the integrity, independence, and impartiality of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and its decisions? This brief article has answers.
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January 28, 2008

Election Fraud or Voter Fraud – Which Threatens YOUR Vote?

Filed under: Glenn Grothman,Politics & elections,Wisconsin legislature — Hearts & Minds @ 8:57 am

When you take the trouble to study the issues and candidates, and then vote in an election, you damn sure don’t want your vote, or the election itself, stolen by fraud. What is the best way to prevent that from happening?
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January 2, 2008

Pay for Elections – Low Cost and Up-Front, or High Cost and Under-the-Table?

Sid. D. Complex was skinning and butchering the deer carcass that had frozen while hanging in his shed, when I stopped by for a visit, and that perennial sheepshead champ, Jess B. Simple, was being careful not to needle him for his procrastination.

“So,” I opened, deftly avoiding controversy, “who d’ya wanna see win the elections this year?”
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December 20, 2007

Cure the Health Care Crisis in the USA

All people need health care to achieve, maintain, and (if necessary) restore health. Health insurance is not health care.
The problems we have with our health care system (high cost, and gatekeepers that deny treatment, restrict choice, and discourage proper care) cannot be corrected with our current health insurance apparatus.

Just as private mercenary corporations have no incentive to prevent or end war, and private prison/security corporations have no incentive to reduce crime and recidivism outside their walls, so private health insurance corporations have no incentive to approve needed health care. The primary competitive incentive of the health insurance industry is to cut costs and increase profits by restricting and denying health care to those that will or do need it.

We can no longer afford, private health insurance corporations controlling health care and deciding who can and cannot get what treatment, when, and from which doctors. Keeping the insurance apparatus we have results in the U.S. having by far, the highest per capita cost of health care, and the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world. It’s incredible, but true, that we all pay more than universal comprehensive health care would cost, in order to let the insurance and managed care corporations “just say no” to needed health care. Letting those profiteering gatekeepers say “No” to health care for some doesn’t save us money. It costs us money – and it harms our health.

It’s about values
marketplace values and the value of certain investments, versus human values, family values and the value of life and health. Which side are YOU on?
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December 13, 2007

How Wisconsin Legislators Voted to Protect Rights of Victims of Violent Crime

On December 12, 2007, the Wisconsin Assembly voted 56 to 41 in favor of the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape bill. Since that bill was overwhelmingly approved last spring by strong majorities of both parties in the State Senate 27 to 6, it will finally become law after a final reading in the Assembly and the Governor signs it, following five years of obstruction by a small but powerful faction. Thanks to all of you in the grassroots who persisted in struggling uphill for years, and to you who contacted your legislative representatives, your media, and your family, friends, and neighbors and urged them to support this bill.
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September 27, 2007

Assembly Fails to Protect the Rights of Victims of Violent Crime

AB 377, the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape bill, is supported by over eighty percent of Wisconsin residents, and was passed 27-to-6 by clear majorities of both Republican and Democratic Wisconsin State Senators. It is a common sense bill to protect and restore the rights, the health, and the futures of victims of violent crime.

Then the Oral Roberts University graduate who is the Speaker of the Republican majority Wisconsin State Assembly (Michael Huebsch) assigned the bill to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, headed by far-out wrong-wing-Republican Mark Gundrum. (more…)

August 30, 2007

Assembly Runs the Budget Ball the Wrong Way

The Wisconsin state Assembly budget proposal cuts needed services while simultaneously increasing the state deficit, compared with the Senate budget proposal. The Assembly increases taxes on individuals, at the same time it disdains an opportunity to save Wisconsin businesses and individuals over one billion dollars annually while mounting a significant reform to correct the health care crisis. (more…)

August 13, 2007

Big Bucks Talk and Health Care Walks, part II

“It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of energy that can go into a project just to avoid doing the right thing… But follow the money and you’ll find why the politicians don’t like it.”
Jack Lohman, retired Wisconsin business owner and author.

The proven fact that single-payer comprehensive universal health care costs LESS than does our current method of administering and managing health care carries an important and unsettling implication. Those who oppose single-payer universal health care cannot claim they do so on the grounds that we can’t afford it. Politicians and media pundits who imply or state that are either inexcusably ignorant (and they should be tossed out of the responsible job they have), or they are simply lying (and should be imprisoned for fraud).
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June 6, 2007

Compassion for the Victims of Sexual Assault

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – Dante Alighieri

The Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape Bill (SB129/AB377) before the Wisconsin legislature, would require any hospital in Wisconsin that provides emergency medical services to victims of rape or incest to provide such victims accurate unbiased information about emergency contraception. And if the victim requests, the hospital must provide immediate access to such treatment. Why is this Bill in trouble?
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March 22, 2007

Emergency Contraception for Victims of Rape

There is an important bill under consideration in the Wisconsin legislature that would require that all hospital emergency rooms provide information about, and access to, emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault. Any questions you have about this proposed law are answered in the Fact Sheet provided by the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape Coalition.
AB377/SB129 is endorsed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin among many others.
Click here for a quick summary of the story.

This post is a verbatim record of the communication I have had with State Senators Glenn Grothman and Alberta Darling, and Assemblymen Mark Gottlieb and James Ott, (all representing Ozaukee County), regarding this legislation to require “Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape”.
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March 2, 2007

Health Care Crisis Solution

Filed under: Glenn Grothman,Halo of hubris,Wisconsin legislature — Hearts & Minds @ 1:10 am

“The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst … We cannot be content to see … people victimized with ill-health, when we have the means to help them. In the final analysis, … the agony of the poor unheeded impoverishes the rich…” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

This post contains verbatim correspondence this spring, about the worsening health care crisis, with four state legislators representing Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. Their responses are typical of the obfuscations, distortions, and prevarications that are maintaining the dysfunctional and worsening insurance industry controlled, and managed-for-profit, health care “system” in the USA.

Read ’em and weep. Or, better yet, read and then help make an impact.
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August 12, 2006

Dealing Death off the Bottom of the Deck

When citizens in Ozaukee County go to the polls this November, we will be confronted with three issues of historic importance. We will be asked whether Wisconsin should install and use the death chamber here. We will also be asked to cast an up or down vote on a proposed Amendment to our state Constitution that would prohibit granting basic rights to civil unions other than government-approved marriages. And we will be asked to decide, by a non-binding referendum, whether we support America waging warthroughout the world … until … terrorism is eliminated and citizens of all countries can be assured of their safety… ”.
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August 6, 2006

Marriage Means Love Ye One Another

The proposed Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot declares that marriage is between one man and one woman. We’re all kinda used to that idea. And it’s been in Wisconsin law for a long time. So what’s wrong with that?

What’s most wrong is the proposed amendment does not only re-define marriage. It also prohibits granting rights to civil unions. It is reasonable to have some legislative restrictions on private contracts. But it is a foul perversion and an intolerable injustice, to promote a constitutional amendment that prohibits so many of our loving, functional families from exercising basic, necessary, rights and responsibilities such as visitation, inheritance, insurance protection, survivorship, child custody, and protection from domestic abuse.
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Fixing the coop, or covering up the raids?

The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute introduced its latest citizen survey with a big bang. Only 5% of Wisconsinites now believe that the ethics of our state legislators is better than in the past, while 42% believe that our state legislators ethics have gotten worse. Only 6% of Wisconsinites believe that elected officials represent the actual interests of their constituents, while 87% believe that elected state officials represent their OWN interests and/or what WPRI termed “special interests”. The percentages represented by 5 and 6 percent have never been so low, and the percentages represented by 42 and 87 percent have never been so high. The report concludes, “Unfortunately, Wisconsin citizens are clearly saying that they think lobbyists have much more influence than they (citizens) do, and that is negatively affecting the ethics in state government.”
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Art and Disparity in Prison (first published in Feb. 2005)

“Outside The Box” was an arresting and moving display at the Cedarburg Cultural Center of “Artwork by Prisoners in Wisconsin Correctional Institutions”.

America now imprisons a higher percentage of her people than any other country on earth. This recently acquired dubious numero uno distinction is due largely to a huge escalation in the number of incarcerations for drug violations. The escalation is not due to increased use of illegal drugs. It is due to the ‘war on drugs’ waged selectively and with varied tactics in different communities since the late 1980’s.
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An Election Tale of Two Cities

The week before the 2004 election, I went to Town Hall to take advantage of the right we now have in Wisconsin to absentee vote early, in person. It was quick and easy. There were three voting booths with a total population of about 6000. Every other town, village, and city hall in this suburban county adjoining Milwaukee provided early voting this year. That’s about 15 different early voting locations to serve a total population in this one county of 85,000.
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August 5, 2006

Uncontested Elections Do Us Disservice (first published in July, 2002)

We have been taught since childhood to disrespect governments that hold meaningless elections, marked by intimidation, in which officials are unopposed for “re-election”, there is only one viable political party, and the citizens, especially the youth, are fed monochromatic propaganda and are never exposed to a vigorous debate on the important issues of the day. When this situation obtains in other lands, we call it a sham of democracy and a hallmark of despots. What about when it occurs here in Ozaukee County?
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