Wednesday, October 25, 2006

June Kjome reports on peace activist court hearing date in LaX

In a previous article on KickTime we highlighted the citation of peace activists at Senator Kohl's office in La Crosse.  They appeared in court today and the charges were dropped.  June Kjome relates the following:

The court hearing did not happen  because the case was dismissed.  However, we did meet with our attorney and later this morning had a press conference to share our  purpose for doing what we did.  The press who came were from The La  Crosse Tribune, WLSU  (the Wisconsin public radio station on UW-l)  and Channel 19.

June also adds that "We are not certain what  we will do next.  We do not want to  give up on trying to talk with Senator Kohl.  We are tired of "form  letter responses" and  talking with aides."

I'll add a link here if the LaX Tribune covers their story tomorrow.

[and here's the link.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Asking the Right Questions at a Candidate Forum

Here's a letter that provides a great strategy for posing questions at debates and public candidate forums. When a candidate fails to know their own campaign literature, well...we need to ask who is pulling the strings?

[ed note: This post refers to John Murtha, the Republican nominee for Wisconsin's 29th State Assembly District seat, NOT John "Jack" Murtha, the Democratic Congressman from the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania!]

I received a piece of campaign literature in the mail from John Murtha, so I went to hear Kerry Kittle and him debate Friday night in Glenwood City. He said in the debate that he's an honest, fair, hard-working guy. I think he probably is. The questions were good and we could ask some too. So I did.

I asked about the things that were listed in Mr. Murtha's literature. It says he'll lead the effort to create a Government Accountability Board and the Office of Inspector General, but when I asked what those were he didn't really know.

His literature says he supports spending limits on local government, but when I asked if he thought local governments were wasteful, he didn't think so. So why would he want to have the State impose spending limits?

His literature says he supports creating Health Savings Accounts so families have control over their health care dollars, but if I can't afford health insurance, how can I put away enough money to cover my health care needs? He didn't know.

When asked his opinion on school spending and shared revenue for schools, John Murtha said that all the school buildings in our County are new and the funding formula seemed okay to him.

On creating jobs and the economy, this Republican said less regulation is needed and government should be a friend to business. How much friendlier can you get than to reduce the tax burden to single digits while residential taxes increase every year?

By the end of the evening, I still thought the candidate probably is honest, fair, and hard-working. But if he lets the Republican Party talk for him in his literature, it's likely he'll vote the way they tell him to in Madison, too. We've had enough of that already--and enough of the Republican machine that churns out its cloned campaigns followed by a flood of soft money into a district.

Go to a debate or forum before you decide who to vote for and ask the questions that will reveal who created the talking points.

Bonnie Irwin, Wilson, WI,
Co-Chair, Democratic Party of St. Croix County

Monday, October 16, 2006

Demand coverage!

A new study shows that most Wisconsin local news programs (remember, local news is where most Americans get their news) devoted 36 SECONDS of political coverage per broadcast and that only 23% of that 36 SECONDS is about the actual issues. The rest of the time was spent on "horse race" coverage.

Contact your local media and ask them to correct this. Challenge them to provide at least 2 minutes per night of real news about election issues - where do candidates stand, what are the consequences of candidates' positions, what have candidates' past records shown, etc. - from now until November 7.

WXOW (19) News director, Sean Dwyer
WKBT (8) News director, Anne Paape

Ask how much time their normal news broadcast devotes to covering and helping citizens participate in our democracy. For more info on the Joyce Foundation report,

On a roll . . .

from Guy:

Thanks to all who supported the Environmental/Diversity/Peace Bus. We still need your help to meet our goal of raising $6,000. We have raised almost $3,800!! Much thanks to John and Liz Webster who worked so hard to support us in bringing Christiane Engel to La Crosse!!! Such incredible dedication!

Thanks to the Native American Student Association who helped us sponsor a VICTORY PARTY to celebrate the end of the Skull Valley Goshute Nuclear Waste Dump! This was an eight year fight for people across the country. It means that 60,000 shipments of nuclear waste are unlikely to pass our rails/roads on their way to Utah. NOW LETS SHUT DOWN THE YUCCA MT. DUMP!

Thanks to Xong Xiong who was presented the "Organizer of the Year Award" for young adults at the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Annual Conference in La Crosse this weekend. And congrats to Patty Zanski, Deborah Buffton, and Christine Meisenheimer who received awards of recognition at this weekend's event.

Thanks to the UWL Environmental Council for launching the Campus Climate Challenge this past Thursday at UWL. A special thanks to Carrie for all her work~

Thanks to everyone who is canvassing, tabling, doing voter registration, helping with forums to make this election a great one for Progressives...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Blog this blog

If you are a Coulee Region progressive, we want you!

More posts would be better. More info on local happenings (what about the county's budget woes? Shut down Veterans' Memorial Park?), local environmental news, local events and fundraisers ...

Email Cathy to get a spot on the blog.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Things to do

In case you run out of things to do this month, here are some ideas:
  • Ride your bike north on the Causeway and check out the new billboard put up by June Kjome and Guy and Joan Wolf resepct life billboard

  • Be sure to attend the Respect Life concert Sunday evening at UW-L honoring the life and philosophy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer and featuring his granddaughter in a concert of Mozart piano music

  • Watch parts three and four of "Eyes on the Prize," the fantastic documentary about the civil rights movement on Monday evening at 8 p.m., but first!

  • Attend the Wisconsin Bicycle Federations public meeting on Monday evening at the Onalaska Public Library to talk about planning for and improving bicycling facilities and atmosphere in our area

  • Go to one of the two death penalty forums on Tuesday (one at noon at the La Crosse Public Library and the other in the evening at UW-L)

  • Wednesday night, go see "Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories" and meet the filmmaker at UW-L's Graff Main Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.

  • Volunteer to work against the marriage ban

  • Friday evening, attend a meeting to discuss starting a United Nations Association chapter in La Crosse, then

  • Head on over to the Concordia Ballroom for a fundraiser for sheriff candidate, Bruce Konetchy

  • And on Saturday, attend the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice's 16th annual Fall Assembly, held in La Crosse at Three Rivers School (901 Caledonia Street.)

For more options, check the calendar.