Sunday, April 10, 2011

And now for something completely different . . .

water on fireGASLAND is a new film about the process of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing of rocks to recover natural gas.

THERE WILL BE A SCREENING OF THIS IMPORTANT ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY ON SUNDAY, APRIL 17 EVENING (exact time and location TBA - watch this space!) The event will be FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Please SIGN UP to attend this film and see a trailer. Sign the petition to demand that Congress pass the anti-fracking bilL.

Fracking is touted as a way to increase US energy independence, but the process of injecting high pressure chemicals, sand, liquids has resulted in water contamination, noise and shaking making life unbearable for those living near drilling sites, and a host of other complaints including demands to know exactly what chemicals are being used.

You may remember that Scott Walker clone, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, has recently recommended that Ohio public lands - including parks - be opened up for oil and gas development, including fracking.

Fracking is already taking place in Wisconsin, with many urging a hold until more is known about consequences. Those of us who use natural gas for heating, cooking and/or transportation should know what are the real costs, environmental and human, of this "clean" fuel.

Please attend and drag your friends to this FREE screening. This is important!
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of 'fracking' or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a 'Saudia Arabia of natural gas' just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The 7.5 point solution

arrowJD has laid out a clear five point plan for progressives to fight back (I've added a few, so now it's the 7.5 point plan!):

1. Elect Kloppenburg - check (we hope) If you can help observe the recount, please call Julie at 920 904-2005.
2a. File recall signatures against Kapanke - check
3. Get Steve Doyle elected to the 94th Assembly seat. - in progress! Contact Laura Hundt to volunteer (608 345-2372) Verrrry important, because the big (rotten) guns will be out in this one!
4. Attend BUDGET HEARINGS (see below)
5. Elect an intelligent caring human being (not a heartless, brainless Walker robot) to the seat held currently by Kapanke
6. Recall Scott Walker later this year (have you registered yet to help with this effort? Do it, NOW!)
7. Flip the Assembly in November 2012
7.5 Pledge to sponsor (educate, help register and bring to polls) FIVE NEW VOTERS starting with the Kapanke recall this summer.

Budget Hearings planned

The Joint Finance Committee has announced only four three hearings in pretty out of the way places. The closest to us has been cancelled (Arcadia on Wednesday, April 13).

The legislative Dems are holding more hearings around the state. In La Crosse, on April 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. in UW-L's Cartwright Center.

You can go and just register and/or you can speak. You may also bring written comments for the committee (if you can, bring 20 copies).

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Maybe I'm wrong, but I think all these pundits saying 20% turnout is the best we can hope for on Tuesday are totally not getting it. I mean 100,000 people turning out on a cold wet day to protest was not peanuts. DemocracyNow said it was the largest protest EVER in our state.

I think there will be a huge turnout on Tuesday and that Prosser will go down down down. I think this is the start of people paying attention. But maybe I am living in a bubble. After all, in my first political campaign (canvassing for McGovern in '72) I was convinced that my candidate could not lose! Hahahahaha.

Anyway, this time I hope I'm right.

Forward into April!

i am a manThe signatures are in, but there's lots more to do.

Monday at 5 p.m. Rally for Working Families sponsored by the Central Labor Council. Let's remember, on this 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., that he was in Memphis helping African American sanitation workers organize a union. Meet at the Workers Memorial monument, Green Island Park, 2312 7th Street South (by Green Island Ice Arena).

Tuesday (ELECTION DAY) A National Teach-In on Workers’ Rights, Students’ Rights, Corporate Greed ... and MOBILIZING FOR CHANGE! 12:45 p.m. Welcome, 1:00 Live webcast from New York City moderated by Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Frances Fox Priven. 2:30 p.m. Local teach-in. Valhalla, Cartwright Center, UW-L (1741 State Street) FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


yinyangThis from the Dems:

[W]hile Dan is apparently too strapped for cash to keep his district office open, he evidently has enough money to finance a campaign office.

And while Dan apparently doesn't want to talk to us, has canceled town hall meetings, and has generally ignored public sentiment on the Walker Agenda, he is apparently willing to talk to his ever-shrinking number of supporters.


Rally to Recall Senator Dan Kapanke
58 Copeland Avenue (WEST side) at 2:30 P.M.
Saturday, March 26th.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Continue marching

marchingNow that the amazing giant Madison events and the Republican sculldugery are on break, it might be tempting to turn back to the laundry, dishes, work, volunteer time and other important stuff we were all doing before Walker crawled out from beneath his rock.

Well, no.

Petition signature gathering AND Kloppenburg GOTV continue to be the most important big events we can be involved in right now.

TOMORROW (THURSDAY), March 24, JoAnne Kloppenburg will be in La Crosse. If you can come to one of the two events, please do!
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at UW-L's Cartwright Center, Port o' Call (1741 State Street)
  • 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Hmong Cultural and Community Center, 1815 Ward Avenue
Saturday and Sunday you will have the opportunity to
  • LIT DROP FOR KLOPPENBURG - meet at Jules, 327 Pearl Street, between 1 and 2 p.m. to pick up lit and route maps (each route will take about one hour). If you can help, RSVP at 783-0172 or email JD so they can be prepared.
  • GATHER PETITION SIGNATURES in Holmen, Onalaska, West Salem - for more info on this effort, please visit the recall headquarters, 116 Fifth Ave. S. Shifts start at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. or call 608 287-6940, or email to sign up!
These are both worthy and important things! Don't stop now!! Without an independent Supreme Court, it will be difficult to hold the governor and legislative leadership accountable for the many potentially illegal acts they have already committed (here are a few: discussing political strategy with a person he believed to be a political donor, deploying state troopers to restrict access to the State Capitol, restricting access to the Capitol in violation of a court order, discussing political strategy in his Capitol office with a political operative, ...)

Oh, oh. running out of batteries. Just DO IT!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The tag team

wrestlingI'm pulling this out from the last post because it's very important and I want to link to a very good and thorough DailyKos article about this group, the American Federation for Children: Koch-Roaches are handing the baton to a new astro-turf clan.

Be aware that a right wing front group, the American Federation for Children (a right wing anti-public school group founded by a Michigan multi-millionaire) has been making robo calls in the 32nd district telling people that they should not sign recall petitions because they are, "only warranted if public officials have broken the law or engaged in immoral behavior." George points out that these guys have received a Politifact PANTS ON FIRE rating from a previous campaign.

Today I listened to To the Best of Our Knowledge (a WPR program) called, "Question Austerity." I highly recommend it, especially the interview with former Bush (sr) assistant secretary of education, Diane Ravitch, who was a charter school supporter until she realized THEY DON'T WORK and wrote a book about it, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. But what they DO do is funnel public money to private cronies.

That's just what the Walker proposals will do. First, denigrate and reduce the status (even further) of educated public school teachers (apparently already causing one suicide in Wisconsin). [Atttention, this did not start in Wisconsin!] Second, and this is the very important part, convince a segment of working people that somehow it's in their best interest to make people like them pay for an inferior education. Third, make it easier for anyone to run a school and anyone to "teach" in a school. Fourth, shrink the public school system until it's small enough to drown it in the bathtub (to paraphrase Grover Norquist).

Once public schools are on their knees, crony-run private schools can step in big time, siphon off public money (remember, their whole agenda is getting richer from public money) to cronies who can then funnel it back to the "right" politicians.

But who will need to be educated in their new world order?

Friday, March 18, 2011

This weekend and beyond

dobeeFirst - sorry about the incorrect time for today's Walker welcome party. I was passing along info I received from reliable sources and was unable to change this blog post because of work. Despite the time mix up, at least a couple of hundred people turned out to greet the guv who had to sneak into the building through a guarded back entrance. [Great picture and not so bad article from La Crosse Tribune.]

Scott "My People Love Me" Walker should be getting the message any day now. (Or, as I call him, Captain Queeg).

This weekend and beyond:

Kapanke Recall:
  • Saturday at 9 a.m. and at 2 p.m. - recall canvassing. At 5:30 p.m. Senator Jon Erpenbach will be at the recall headquarters.
  • Sunday at 9 a.m. and at 2 p.m. - recall canvassing. At 11 a.m. Senator Jon Erpenbach will be at the recall headquarters.
Be aware that a right wing front group, the American Federation for Children (a right wing anti-public school group founded by a Michigan multi-millionaire) has been making robo calls in the 32nd district telling people that they should not sign recall petitions because they are, "only warranted if public officials have broken the law or engaged in immoral behavior." George points out that these guys have received a Politifact PANTS ON FIRE rating from a previous campaign.

[The internet can take you into some very dark corners while looking for links: For a scary bedtime story, read this little piece on Americans for Prosperity - the OCTAGROUP of the right wing.]

But I digress ...

Kloppenburg for Justice events:
  • Any time - please sign up to phone bank for Kloppenburg. You can do this from home.
  • Saturday at 1 p.m. - meet a Jules to lit drop for Kloppenburg
  • Thursday at 11:30 a.m. - meet and greet the candidate at UW-L's Cartwright Center (Port o' Call)
  • Thursday at 1:00 p.m. - meet and greet the candidate at the Hmong Cultural & Community Center (1815 Ward Avenue)
  • VOTE NOW, RIGHT NOW, "absentee voting in person" at your city clerk's office - in La Crosse, City Clerk's office is on the second floor of City Hall and open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A town hall on the budget is coming up in early April. On tonight's Rachel Maddow program, David Cay Johnston highlighted a letter from UW-Stevens Point Chancellor, Bernie Patterson to Governor Walker showing the economic impact of Walker's "budget repair" on university employees. He pointed out that the poorer the employee, the greater the impact (in keeping with many Republican "tax the POOR" plans to alleviate the suffering of the wealthy).

POWER to the people

The CapX2020 project continues moving forward (after it leaves the Mississppi valley it turns into the "Badger Coulee Transmission Line.")

Last night, there was a meeting of the board of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Center that was open to the public (but only board members could ask questions.) In attendance were representatives (two public relations people and one environmental person) from American Transmission Company (ATC). There will be another meeting on March 24 at the Kickapoo Reserve - at this meeting, questions from the audience will be accepted.

Different members of the board asked questions dealing with timeline, route alternatives, environmental studies, and the process with the Public Service Commission (PSC). ATC demonstrated they are at the start of the routing process. They will identify all possible routes then choose a few preliminary routes. At that point, they will do environmental studies and cost estimate. Finally, they will choose a main and an alternate route.

ATC will then submit an application to the PSC. The PSC can review the materials and choose a different route if they wish. Per the article in the Winona Post, there are several problems with the line as it crosses the Mississippi involving several agencies including the DNR, the DOT and US Fish and Wildlife agency.

However, all this may change as Scott Walker appoints more "business friendly" members of these state agencies and boards. The PSC is key, though, and they rarely say no. The term of local guy, Mark Meyer, currently a PSC board member, expires this year. Who will Walker pick to replace him? We can only imagine.

So, while all this other stuff is going on, keep your eye on the CapX2020-Badger Coulee Transmission Line project and attend the March 24 meeting (6 p.m. at the Kickapoo Reserve Center) if you can.