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.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scott Walker in La Crosse FRIDAY

Greet the Governor - 10 a.m. City Brewery (by the six pack) on Third Street. Bring your most brilliant signs!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quick Updates - UPDATED

kloppenburgAre you circulating Kapanke recall petitions? Meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at 116 S. Fifth Avenue South.

Rumor has it that Jon Erpenbach, one of the Fab 14 (or 13 - Tim Cullen's questionable), will be at the Recall Kapanke HQ on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (11:00 it IS!)

Have you signed up to help the KLOPPENBURG campaign yet???? Sign up to do virtual phone banking from the comfort of your own home. Print and post the flyers announcing her VISIT TO LA CROSSE on Thursday, March 24.

(Hmong version of flyer also available.)

Remind everyone that you can VOTE TODAY RIGHT NOW absentee in person!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Money where your vote is - update

moneyYou probably heard of the little problem over at M&I Bank. Firefighters withdrew more than $100,000 (some say $192,000) from M&I bank on one day prompting the temporary closure of the Madison branch. As this excellent article points out, despite their protests to the contrary, if any bank deserves to take responsibility for their actions, it's this one.

In fact, there's been a MOVE YOUR MONEY project going on for a while now. It started when big banks and financial institutions received billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailout money. Check it out - it even has a handy tool to help you find a local bank or credit union.

My own personal Move Your Money includes Menards and Festival Foods. Now, I AM adding Kwik Trip. On Friday, the police and firefighters sent a letter to KT's CEO asking him to take a stand by March 17. This great article gives more info about the overall movement to move our money AND get it back from those who took bailouts and push for tax breaks.

If you decide to boycott, please be sure to call, email and/or mail these companies to let them know what you are doing and why.

In case you were wondering ...

Rick Ungar (Forbes magazine) has been publishing many good and scary things over the past several months on what the political earthquake is really about.

Please read his latest: How The Wealthy Plan to Finance The American Aristocracy With Middle Class Dollars


Kloppenburg for JusticeSupreme Court candidate, JoAnne Kloppenburg, will attend two open forums in La Crosse on THURSDAY, MARCH 24:

From 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. she will be in the Port o' Call, Cartwright Center, UW-L (1741 State Street)

From 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. she will be at the Hmong Cultural and Community Center, 1815 Ward Avenue


Sunday, March 13, 2011


flagAlmost everything that's been done so far will end up in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Currently, the court has four conservative justices and three non-conservatives.

JoAnne Kloppenburg is an experienced and INDEPENDENT candidate.

Her opponent was a Republican Assembly leader originally appointed to the court by Republican governor, Tommy Thompson. While in the Assembly, he voted against legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and took other actions against gay/lesbian citizens. While on the court, he voted to relax recusal rules so that justices can sit on cases involving their campaign contributors. In December, his campaign released a statement saying that he would "complement" the (Republican) governor and legislature. During the primary, Club for Growth, spent over $320,000 in ads for Prosser and other business-backed astroturf groups are involved as well. He is a conservative with ties to Scott Walker.

This is it, folks. Voting is KEY.

Here's what you can do RIGHT NOW to start taking our state back from the corporate-backed puppets who are ready to sell our children, grandparents, jobs and resources to the highest bidders.

1. Volunteer for the Kloppenburg virtual phone bank.

2. Print out a Kloppenburg yard sign and/or window signs.

3. Print and distribute Kloppenburg flyers.

4. Write a letter to the editor.

5. Vote vote vote - you can early vote starting Tuesday. In La Crosse between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the City Clerk's office (2nd floor). For more info on early absentee voting, visit the state site.

6. Talk to EVERYONE you know. Tell them how important this election is. Don't let them say politics isn't important or they are too busy or they don't know anything about the issues. (I heard this a LOT when volunteering for Feingold in November).

7. Volunteer to help your neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. register to vote (if they are not yet registered) and vote.

This is a test AND it is an extreme emergency. Battle Stations!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shit hits fan

According to Jennifer Shilling (who, if someone could actually explode from rage was one-eenth away from doing so), the Republicans rammed through their anti-union legislation and it was a dark day for our democracy.

You can read all about what happened in many places. The meeting was illegal (open meeting laws) and immoral (vote called without debate). It will be before the Republican-controlled Assembly tomorrow at 11 a.m.

THURSDAY MORNING AT 9 A.M. If you can, rally at Madison. If you can't, rally at the La Crosse County Courthouse.

SATURDAY if you can go to Madison, go. There will be school buses leaving from the Sears lot. Please sign up for a seat! If there are no seats left, please car pool.

More soon! (I also hope to get more bloggers on board soon so we can widen our scope).

Bad News - the fight takes a new turn

"The special conference committee in Wisconsin -- convened in order to strip out the fiscal elements of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, in order to pass the anti-public employee union proposals and avoid the state SenateDemocratic boycott of the three-fifths budget quorum -- just met for roughly five minutes and passed the bill."

The reason the bill could not pass before was because there were financial parts to it that required a quorum of the senate (20) to vote. With financial provisions stripped from the bill, the Senate and Assembly were able to pass parts of the bill.

According to Talking Points Memo:

"The bill to strip away most collective bargaining for public employee unions, and impose new limits on union organization, is now headed to the full chambers."

By the way, Kapanke voted FOR the bill. All the more reason to redouble our efforts.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


tractorsMarch 12 is set to be the biggest day ever in Madison. Family Farm Defenders and the Wisconsin Farmers Union are hosting a TRACTORCADE from noon to 3 with a rally at 3 p.m.

Rural communities will be disproportionately hurt by the cuts to education and BadgerCare, Walker's give back of federal broadband access fees, reduced access to government services in rural areas. If you are a farmer PLEASE WEAR GREEN. If you need more info about getting your tractor to Madison and/or routes and timing, please visit Pull Together to Support Working Families.

. There will be more school buses rather than coaches due to state tournaments. LaCrosse Bus (2) (Kobussen School Bus) Leave at 11:00 am from Valley View Mall (Between Sears & Theatre) and pick up at 11:55 am Kwik Trip in Tomah. Arrive by 2 p.m. and leave at 5 p.m.

BUDGET Town Hall Forum - Wednesday evening

At 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hmong Community Center (Ward Ave and South Ave), there will be a Town Hall Forum to discuss Scott Walker's proposed budget and its impact on our community. Please come! We hope, this time, the media might show up too. Maybe...

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Fighting Fourteen!

Please support the WI Fighting Fourteen! They are not rich and some have been targeted for recalls in an atmosphere saturated with corporate campaign dough! Donate at ActBlue to help fight their recall campaigns.

Today, focus on Dave Hansen.

Wisconsin Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen is a former teacher, truck driver, and lifelong Green Bay Packer fan. He co-authored the 2009 Labor History in the Schools Act, saying "at a time when people are hurting, primarily as a result of a Wall Street dominated culture that promoted greed and get-rich-quick schemes over the value of hard work, it is important for our young people to learn about the important role that organized labor and working men and women have played in helping create the middle class."

Here's a great interview with this former Teamster and friend of the working person.

Dave Hansen doesn't have the Kochs or Club for Growth backing him. It's up to us to show our appreciation for this strong and brave stand. Donate at ActBlue

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Money where your mouth (and vote) is

I admit I listen to a local AM station in the morning to hear what's happening in our area. True, I have to endure quite a bit of FOX talk, sometimes from the host and often from callers, but it's a chance to hear what "the other side" thinks and occasionally sneak in a bit of truth or fact.

I hear a lot of "small business" people calling in and supporting Scott Walker. I wish they would identify themselves. I would like to avoid doing business with them, frankly. So many seem to believe that if only all the highly paid public workers would take a hike, life would be beautiful.

But I think they are forgetting who patronizes their businesses.

There are a lot of teachers, government services workers, police, fire fighters, librarians and others out there who purchase goods and services in La Crosse and the surrounding area. The money we pay in taxes, is paid to people who provide services and they circulate that money back into our communities' pockets.

Anyway, there are statewide efforts to boycott Scott Walker contributors, so if you believe in voting with our pocket books, you can check contributions online at Remember tocross check against Tom Barrett contributors since some businesses/employers donate to both sides of the aisle. And, individuals are free to donate to candidates they support, but if several donate to one candidate in a short period of time, it's probably a company thing.

You can also use the database and other online resources such as LinkedIn to check Walker advocates against businesses they own (for example, Walker has state on right path, by owner ofLa Crosse Floor Sanding.)

On my list of "I'm not shopping there any more and I've told them why" so far:
On my list of "more research/thought/clarification is needed":

Some businesses get it. Here's the word from one small business (alas, not in La Crosse) that certainly DOES: Silent no more. Some Wisconsin businesses have quit the right wing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Recently, Madison restaurant owners pulled out of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association because of their support for Scott Walker. (Ahem! Attention La Crosse area restaurants!)

Here's a great article from the Nation about the national Chamber of Commerce, that apple pie organization that is supposed to support small businesses but has a rather darker side driving its agenda. In our state, it's the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) from which some businesses have withdrawn. For years, I've begged certain non-profits to withdraw from the local Chamber of Commerce which invariably supports Republicans whose policies hurt the clients they serve.

Wherever you are in this process, getting more information and thoughtfully considering how our actions support or hurt our own families, communities and causes is not a bad thing!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

*ACTION ALERT* Kapanke in Vernon County Monday

Recall KapankeDan Kapanke will be at the Vernon County Courthouse at 400 Court House Sq. in Viroqua at 8:00 a.m. on Monday - if you're able to make it, please attend and let him know what you think about the Walker bill (and remember, it's not JUST about collective bargaining! There's plenty in that bill that will harm our communities!)

This does not in any way lessen our resolve to remove him from office! As I've said many times, just because one does not throw more gasoline on a house fire, does not mean he deserves to continue serving. He had the chance when the Walker budget repair bill was first introduced to say, "This bill will harm my district. I cannot support it. I must work against it." Instead, he did nothing to stop it and in fact has parroted Republican talking points in support of it even after they were no longer valid.

He had his chance to show that he was truly representing the people of the 32nd district and he failed. It's time for him to go. Period.

And remember, this is just the bill for last year's budget. What about the new budget bill? That's even worse! And what about redistricting? Will we have to fight tooth and nail about those, too?

If you want info about signing or circulating the petition, please email CouleeProgressive.

UPDATE! Koch bus at **5:30 p.m.**

solidarityPlease plan to be at the Radisson before 5:30 p.m. tonight - the NEW eta for the Koch bus. Bring your signs and noisemakers!!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

ACTION ALERT - Now or Never!

whistle[UPDATE ON RECALL PROCESS - see below]

Americans for Prosperity [sic], the Koch funded right wing group for rich people, is stopping in La Crosse on SATURDAY, MARCH 5 at 6:15 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel (previously, we reported they are coming Thursday).

Please plan to attend!! Bring your signs (this Mother Jones article, "It's the inequality, stupid!" might give you some ideas or this article by Richard Wolff, "How the rich soaked the rest of us").

A little background from SourceWatch:
"AFP is a group fronting special interests started by oil billionaire David Koch and Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries). ... AFP opposes labor unions, health care reform, stimulus spending, and cap-and-trade legislation, which is aimed at making industries pay for the air pollution that they create. AFP was also involved in the attacks on Obama’s "green jobs" czar, Van Jones, and has crusaded against international climate talks." (read more at link)

From the "we wish they wouldn't have done it now" department: the state Dems have filed recall papers against Dan Kapanke. Ready or not, here it comes.

GET YOUR RECALL ON! Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. pick up packets to gather signatures to recall Dan Kapanke at 1307 Market Street. We will need approximately 18,000 signatures from ALL AROUND the 32nd senate district. Please check the district map (32nd) and contact anyone you know who can help.

You need not be registered in the district, but every person who signs MUST be registered to vote in the district. To circulate a petition, you must be a "qualified elector" and to sign a petition, you must be a "qualified elector". A qualified elector is a United States citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided in the district or jurisdiction for at least 10 days.

More details will be given when you get your packets.

I have committed to gathering at least 100 signatures. How about you?

Also on Saturday, there IS a bus going to Madison (see previous post below). While the Republicans have locked the people out of their house, protests continue. Don't stop now!

Saturday bus

There are a few spaces available on a bus leaving La Crosse at 8:00 a.m. and returning from Madison at about 3 p.m. If interested contact Curtis at 608-487-3552

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

ACTION ALERT: Walker in VIROQUA Thursday



Concerned Citizens and member groups of the Sustain Rural Wisconsin
Network will join a rally protesting state executive branch takeover of
local control and collective bargaining rights is scheduled for 8:30
A.M. this Thursday, March 3rd at the CAFE sponsored "Food, Fuel and
Future Summit"
in Viroqua WI.

Representative Lee Nerison, Senator Dan Kapanke and Governor Scott
Walker are scheduled speakers at this event.

Anyone interested in participating should meet at the driveway to the
Firehouse Restaurant, 804 S. Main Street (along Hwy. 14/61 and S.R.
Drive) Viroqua, WI. at 8:15 A.M.

Cow suits and signs will be available-or feel free to craft your own
message centering around the loss of local control for farmers and rural
communities presented by the governor's recent takeover of state
regulatory agencies rulemaking-including veto power on Livestock Siting
Law rules, cuts to aid to local government, badger care and local
collective bargaining.

[CAFÉ = is a pro industrial-confinement agriculture ("factory farm") group]


*/Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network/*/ is a statewide coalition of
individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving the environment
while maintaining the health and economic vitality of rural communities./

**Contact: Jennifer Nelson**

**Phone: 608-****476-2301**

**Email: **** **

The Wisconsin VERY BAD Idea

wis idea reverseAbout 100 years ago, our ancestors, specifically UW President Charles Van Hise, proposed The Wisconsin Idea - namely, "education should influence and improve people’s lives beyond the university classroom."

In 1912, Charles McCarthy wrote a book about it, expanding the original idea into a new plan for the public good. The plan would help educate the mostly rural population to better their lives in the new industrial world and use the power of the government to help even the playing field.

The Wisconsin State Historical Society has a great website describing the battles, challenges, and victories won for the people of Wisconsin and the rest of the country during the first few decades of the last century.

Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether those ideas can long endure.

The new budget unveiled by Scott Walker tonight, marks the battle line between the old and successful Wisconsin Idea and the new Wisconsin BAD Idea (or maybe it should be called the Wisconsin Evil Scheme).

It's not about Wisconsin or ideas. It's about a few wealthy people who want to own the world. It's a plan schemed up by the Kochs, Club for Growth, Grover ("shrink government and drown it in the bathtub") Norquist and the others to dump every good thing we've grown and developed - that has grown and developed us - over the past 100 years.

Why else would the governor choose as his secretary of our Department of Health Services a Heritage Foundation advisor who has argued that "States could save $1 trillion by dropping Medicaid," or a Department of Natural Resources chair whose main goal is to "help businesses"? Idealogues on a mission, not public servants vowing to make our state better. Stepford department heads working to crank back history, not knowledgeable, experienced leaders solving real problems.

Personally, I believe Progressive era reforms - everything from child labor laws to work-time and workplace safety rules to public education (and watch out, voting women!) - have been the target all along. These reforms were part of a move not just to raise up the common people but to combat the power of corporations, monopolies and the super rich. Sound familiar?

I believe the plan is to disappear anything with the word public in it - from public schools to public utilities. Anything worth doing can be done by a private business (but using public funds to pay for it). They've done it in the military, for gosh sake, using private (crony) contractors, from Halliburton and KBR to Logistics Health, to do the work, often at higher cost, that used to be done by public employees (in this case, soldiers, sailors, airmen/women and Marines).

Privatizing everything will ensure more cash for crony campaign contributors who polish their reps by donating to worthy causes like football stadiums (when students can't afford to pay tuition).

This is crazy world, to be sure. (Firefighters are "slobs" and Walker supporters smuggled into the Capitol through steam tunnels! Yikes!!) If we can survive eleven more months, we may come out in one piece but we'll be much the worse for it.