Tuesday, November 28, 2017

More manure from the right

from Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters:

This manure-filled water came directly from Kewaunee County residents Erika and Rob Balza’s kitchen faucet.
Enough is Enough
Stop the Manure Mob on December 13th
When it comes to fighting against public health and the environment, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) stands alone.
Already this year, WMC has fought against getting lead out of our children’s drinking water, pushed to allow industrial mining to poison our water with sulfuric acid, and worked to eliminate laws that keep our air safe for breathing.
Now, WMC is conspiring with the state’s Big Ag money machine to keep water that looks like this running from local faucets. That’s right – while manure-filled water is literally running from kitchen faucets, WMC is fighting against new rules to keep manure out of our water.
Enough is enough.
On December 13th, you have the chance to attend a hearing to make sure the DNR Board and your legislators know how important it is they stop trembling beneath the soiled boots of polluting special interests. It’s time for them to stand up for Wisconsin’s public health by passing a set of strong rules controlling the spread of liquid manure in sensitive areas like Kewaunee County.
The Dairy Business Association and WMC –  the Manure Mob – want to use all their political influence to weaken these rules. However, we need stronger protections, not weaker, to ensure safe drinking water for Wisconsin families.
Join us in Madison to tell the DNR Board you will not tolerate showers of liquid manure and drinking glasses full of bacteria-laden water.
PLEASE NOTE: the DNR requires you to register with them separately before December 8th at 11 a.m. Please sign up here, then follow the the directions to ensure your spot at the meeting!
We look forward to seeing you in Madison,
Seth Hoffmeister
Northeast Organizer
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

Monday, November 27, 2017

More events & actions

Tuesday, November 28 is "Giving Tuesday." We all have our favorite organizations and causes. I'll list a few here. Please COMMENT to add yours to the list. 

State/National: Mercy Corps, Shelterbox, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, Malala Fund, ACLU, Wisconsin Bike Fed, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Waterkeeper Alliance, Southern Poverty Law Center, ... the list is endless really. What are some others? Please COMMENT.

If you're not sure about a charity, you can always check to see how well they account for donations and how many donations are spent on projects at the Charity Navigator.

World AIDs Day film showing  To mark national AIDS awareness the film, Countdown to Zero - the fight to end AIDS, an HBO VICE special report will run 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in 3110 Student Union. An informational session on the effects of AIDS in third-world countries will follow the film. Sponsored by ONE at UW-La Crosse.

Anyone interested in working to set up a one-day (three hour) introductory training in La Crosse in early February on Community Rights with Paul Cienfuegos, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail. Community Rights is a movement to put the people back in control of their communities and government.

If you haven't yet contacted your representatives about the worst tax bill in history and the plan by the anti-FCC to end net neutrality, please do it soon.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Coming events - November 27 through December 4

6:00 p.m. Bluffside Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at First Congregational Church, Main Street & Losey Boulevard.

6:00 p.m. MAKE CHANGE FILM & CONVERSATION: Off the Rez food, film, and discussion at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th & Main). Donations will help make change in 2018.

6:00 p.m. Logan Northside Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1010 Sill Street.

6:30 p.m. Poetry Night at Turtle Stack Brewery, 125 Second Street South.

4:00 p.m. Jennifer Shilling listening session at Bekkum Memorial Library in West Salem.

7:00 p.m. Concerned Citizens for Smart Growth will meet to discuss ways to deal with a proposed industrial hog slaughter facility in Viroqua. Meeting at the Landmark Center, Viroqua.

7:00 p.m. FILM: Expanding Gender - Youth out front hosted by Queer Cinema at the UWL Student Union Theater.

noon Social Justice Teach-in at the UWL Student Union Theater

5:00 p.m. Fundraiser for District 95 State Representative Jill Billings at the Old Schoolhouse, 5720 Hwy 14/61

6:00 p.m. FILM: Growing Change - Inside Venezuela's Food Revolution at the UWL Student Union Theater.

6:00 p.m. Jen Onsum: My Life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy in room 1400 Centennial Hall, UWL

CANDIDATES, START YOUR PAPERS! Those wishing to run for school board or county board  may start their papers today. Each office has its own requirements (see our Run For Something page for links) including a certain number of signatures on nominating petitions. Papers will be due in early January.

7:00 p.m. Driftless Makers' Exchange an opportunity for local artists and crafts people to sell their works at Pearl Street Brewery

7:00 and 9:30 p.m. FILM: Dunkirk at the UWL Student Union Theater

See link for start time  Wisconsin Progress Candidate Training in Tomah

10:00 a.m. Care & Share Expo at the La Crosse Main Library

noon Driftless Makers' Exchange at the Pearl Street Brewery

10:00 a.m. Waking Up White Sunday program of the Unitarian Universalists, 401 West Avenue South.

10:00 a.m. Winter Farmers' Market at Myrick Park Center

 1:00 p.m. Leveraging Local Media to Support Your Grassroots Organization presented by For our Future (must PRE-REGISTER AT LINK) at 2020 Caroline Street (French Island)

Please let us know if we've missed an event.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

What to do this week (Nov. 20-26)

4:30 p.m.  Fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate, Mahlon Mitchell at the Bodega.

6:00 p.m. Holy Trinity-Longfellow Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Holy Trinity Church

6:30 p.m. La Crosse County Dems monthly meeting including elections for 2018 board at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th and Main).

6:30 p.m. Hintgen Neighborhood Assn  monthly meeting at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

6:30 p.m. Grandview Emerson Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Emerson Elementary School

10 a.m. Friends of the Refuge Bake Sale at the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge

By the way, the Coulee Region Sierra Club is offering environmental education grants for teachers and organizations in the Coulee Region (Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties) . The application is due in early January.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Big Events to start 2018

Seeking volunteers, organizations, help spreading the word about:


Please help spread the word about this January 20 event being planned for our area. There are many aspects to industrial operations in sensitive areas from environmental pollution to health issues to infrastructure degradation. Organizers are seeking co-sponsors and organizing volunteers. Post forward, publish.


Across western Wisconsin industrial operations in rural areas threaten vital resources and ways of life for towns, farms, families, and small businesses. Industrial animal feedlots (CAFO) manure spills have killed thousands of fish and polluted countless wells. New industrial hog slaughter facilities are planned in sensitive geological areas. Hog manure pits are sited on top of sinkholes. Other proposals threaten our rural water and air.

A Driftless regional conference on how ordinary citizens feel about the industrialization of our communities and lands and what we can do to organize and have our voices heard is being planned for JANUARY 20, 2018. We need help from organizations, businesses, and groups. We are seeking volunteers and help getting the word out to all groups, from environmental protectors to fishing and hunting advocates, from small towns who have lost local control to small businesses and tourism operations depending upon clean air and water for their livelihoods.

If you can help in any way, please contact Crawford Stewardship Project (fjahnke at crawfordstewardship dot org) or Coulee Region Sierra Club (crsierraclub at gmail dot com) An organizing call will be arranged for late November.


2. (working title) FOSTERING an ECOSYSTEM of ACTIVISM - PROGRESSTIVAL 2018 on FEBRUARY 3 from 2 to 5 at the Concordia

Please keep this date open so you can attend, network, share ideas, sign up, listen, discuss, and be ready to make 2018 a very active year for progressive issues. We have secured the Concordia Ballroom and will provide regular updates as more details are finalized. If your group, organization, or agency would like to table at this event, please email couleeprogressive at homail. The plan is for tablers to set up between 1 and 2, and for activist networking to occur between 2 and about 4 p.m. We'll end the event with a speaker (to be determined) followed by a quick group clean up. Because there are so many candidates and a limited number of tables at the space, we will have a CANDIDATES' CORNER (spelling TBD) table for candidate literature but we are saving tabling space for the many great groups and organizations wishing to bring in new volunteers ideas, and energy.


If you know of other major events we should let people know about, please email couleeprogressive at homail.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Your action required - health care and smears

First, from MoveOn:

We are in a red-alert moment on the tax fight—which is now also a fight to save health care for millions of Americans.

Just yesterday, Republicans inserted a repeal of the health care individual mandate into the Senate bill—which would unravel the Affordable Care Act, resulting in 13 million more Americans without health insurance and premiums skyrocketing for everyone else.

And as soon as tomorrow, the House could vote on its own version of this tax scam—which Senator Bernie Sanders called "destructive, obscene, and immoral" in a recent email to MoveOn members. It would raise taxes for 36 million middle-class families, just to pay for giveaways to corporations and billionaires.

It's critical to join the tax fight now—and tonight, you can take part in a national organizing call with Sen. Bernie Sanders and other special guests to learn what actions we can take together to stop this GOP attack on tens of millions of families' livelihood and health care.

Click here to RSVP for the Ready to Resist call with Sen. Bernie Sanderstonight, Wednesday, November 15, at 7 p.m. Central Time


And now, a story about a non-story in the land of the right wing echo machine.

Who among us has not said, FB posted, Tweeted or otherwise conveyed our heat-of-the-moment thoughts about our parents, colleagues, friends, loved ones, pets, teachers, physicians, favorite band, elected officials, or other generic group? And who among us has then awakened to those thoughts highlighted in a FRONT PAGE La Crosse Tribune article similar in look and tone to those about murderers or other notorious criminals?

How could this happen? Welcome to the echo chamber of the right wing smear machine (RWSM)

As the Tribune tells it, "The tweets caught the attention last week of conservative Milwaukee radio talk show host Mark Belling and the conservative media outlet Campus Reform ..." In other words, billionaires' right wing smear machine reads a college student's personal tweet, tweet gets spin treatment, spin story goes out to clone media outlets (I guess including the LaX Tribune (and we do mean LAX in this situation)), and presto: college student tweeter = major criminal with front page headlines.

This isn't new (see this 1996 article, or this 2007 Nation Magazine article about "The New Right-Wing Smear Machine") and it's not just a Wisconsin phenomenon. Last year's "Anatomy of a Smear," by famous climate scientist Michael E. Mann writing in Huffington post describes how a bit of his testimony before the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee was spun into propaganda gold by the national RWSM.

In Wisconsin, apparently, a smear campaign often starts with Media Trackers whose purpose seems to be blasting out "fake news" (we used to call this LIES) about their enemies. A similar non-story about Tony Evers was amplified by Wisconsin media recently (one hilariously headlining their FRONT PAGE piece, "Middleton teacher case becomes focus of governor's race" Well, no it didn't) but was so false that it failed to ignite (but probably had the desired effect to ignite the Republican base who may not bother to find out if the story is true or not).

At least the student targeted here is in good company. The RWSM is hard at work in Alabama, smearing women who are finally reporting their experiences with Creepy Clown Cowboy Roy Moore, and smears have long been used to silence environmental and peace activists.

This is one reason social media is so dangerous to our political health. We may think we are immune, too well educated or whatever to fall for their fake stuff, but just the act of seeing something over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, breaks people down, even people who know better. ("New research finds repeated false statements are more likely to be perceived as truthful, even when we have enough knowledge to contradict them.") Just one little crack or hole can let in a whole campaign's worth of polluted thought. And forget the Russians, the RWSM has whole organizations dedicated to bringing up fake new, false accusations, unfounded rumors, and much much more. Diane Ravitch lists some of the Bradley Foundation funded Wisconsin organizations that are the mirrors that concentrate the smears based on One Wisconsin's investigations into the funding and leadership of these groups.

But to get back to little La Crosse, what can we do to keep our only newspaper, our monopoly on printed news, from falling into the spin machine? Well, I think - FEED BACK. Call and write. Tell them how this is undermining their credibility and the good work of the great reporters who work at the Tribune and report on important stuff. Ask them why a college student's tweets belong on their front page? Do you have a subscription? Cancel it. Don't let this slide because it will just grease the skids for more and more RWSM crap masquerading as news. And really we can't afford that,

More links I couldn't fit in above (for your consideration):
Facebook is dangerous for democracy - and here's why
Social media and democracy: optimism fades as fears rise
Is social media destroying democracy?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thursday - more events

Here are a few more events for Thursday, in case you couldn't decide before ...

4:00 p.m. Wave signs for McCabe for Governor at the corner of Losey and La Crosse Street

4:30 p.m. Sustainable La Crosse Commission meets to continue discussing goals for 2018. If you have an interest in pushing our community to be more sustainable, consider attending in the fifth floor conference room at City Hall

6:30 p.m. La Crosse Citizens Climate Lobby will hold its monthly meeting at 401 West Avenue South. Please visit the link and watch or listen to this month's recording before the meeting if possible.

Also, we are working on a Run for Something page for those considering running for city council, school board, or county board. Some info is up already. School board and county board candidates can start working on their papers (which includes getting signatures on nomination papers) on December 1. Most papers need to be returned in early January 2018. The spring election will be on April 3 with primaries on February 20 if needed. There will also be a candidate training on December 2 in Tomah presented by Wisconsin Progress.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

This week (November 13-19)

Last day for Martin Luther King, Jr Leadership Award nominations

noon La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Coalition meeting at 420 West Ave S.

6:00 p.m. PUBLIC HEARING on La Crosse County Budget for 2018 including plan to end County's mosquito control, possibility of dropping our of local CofC, a conservative Republican-connected group (in fact, there are good arguments for many businesses and non profits to disconnect from this group), and more in County Administrative Building, 6th & State. 

6:30 p.m. Weigent-Hogan Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at 401 West Avenue South

noon League of Women Voters - Neighborhood Perspectives on Poverty (lunch registration is closed but you may go for the program) at Moxie's, 1835 Rose Street

4:00 p.m. Indoor Farmers' Market at the La Crescent Community Center

5:00 p.m. International Coffee Hour - gender roles at UWL's Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall

6:30 p.m. Storytime for Adults hosted by La Crosse Public Library at Turtlestack Brewery,  

7:00 p.m. Indivisible/New Directions meeting at 401 West Ave S

10:00 a.m. Habitat for Humanity Info Session at the ReStore between Woodman's and West Salem off of Highway 16 (Public transportation available for La Crosse, Holmen, Ona, West Salem)

4:30 p.m. La Crosse Area Planning Committee (many transportation issues will be discussed) public may speak at Rm 1107 County Admin Building (6th and State)

5:30 p.m. Fundraiser for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Tim Burns at 3039 Edgewater Lane (French Island) (or donate online)

6:45 p.m. Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood Assn monthly meeting at Southside Neighborhood Center

7:00 p.m. Driftless Reader Publication Party at Driftless Books and Music, Viroqua

7:00 p.m. Photographic History of the La Crosse River Marsh in Room 1400 Centennial Hall, UWL 

10 a.m. Trans Day of Remembrance exhibit opens at UWL Hall of Nations

5:30 p.m. Driftless Reader readings at the Root Note

6:00 p.m. Habitat for Humanity Info Session at the ReStore between Woodman's and West Salem off of Highway 16 (Public transportation available (but ends at 7 p.m.) for La Crosse, Holmen, Ona, West Salem)

7:15 p.m. Trans Day of Remembrance vigil at the UWL Clocktower 

1:00 p.m. Planning meeting for 2018 La Crosse Juneteenth Celebration (in September 2018)

3:00 p.m. Habitat for Humanity Info Session at the ReStore between Woodman's and West Salem off of Highway 16 (Public transportation available for La Crosse, Holmen, Ona, West Salem)

10:00 a.m. Habitat for Humanity Info Session at the ReStore between Woodman's and West Salem off of Highway 16 (Public transportation available for La Crosse, Holmen, Ona, West Salem)

7:00 p.m. A Chef's Story at the Uptowne, 1217 Caledonia (MUST RESERVE at link) 

10:00 a.m. Winter Farmers' Market at Myrick Park Center

5:00 p.m. Vernon County Dems annual board elections at 120 N Rusk, Viroqua

Also coming up on Monday, November 20 - La Crosse County Democratic Party board elections. You MUST be a party member by November 14 (ok, it's really the 15th, but do it by the 14th, ok?) We need everyone who works for, donates to, and votes for Dem candidates to join the party so its candidates and priorities are those of the people. 

And Guy shared this opinion piece by Winona LaDuke, I Am Tired of Being Invisible to You All. For some reason, only November is designated as Native American Heritage Month, but really, every month should be Native American Heritage Month or Native American Real True History Month and What are we going to do about it. At the very least. Please read and consider, how can we start to make needed changes?

Here's a short except. Please read the whole thing.
November is Native American Heritage month. Before that, of course, is Halloween. Until about three years ago, one of the most popular Halloween costumes was Pocahontas. People know nothing about us, but they like to dress up like us or have us as a mascot.

We are invisible. Take it from me. I travel a lot, and often ask this question: Can you name 10 indigenous nations? Often, no one can name us. The most common nations named are Lakota, Cherokee, Navajo, Cheyenne and Blackfeet—mostly native people from western movies. This is the problem with history. If you make the victim disappear, there is no crime. And we just disappeared. When I travel, I get this feeling someone has seen a unicorn in the airport. That would be me, in my Pendleton jacket. I often get that awkward question if I am Navajo or Cherokee. But here's what I want people to know today about native Americans: There are over 700 indigenous nations in North America. In Guatemala and Bolivia, we are the majority population. Two indigenous presidents have been elected—Evo Morales in Bolivia and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. We are doctors, lawyers, writers, educators, and we are here. We are land-based, and intend to stay that way. I hear Minnesotans talk about how the Americans gave us land. America was stolen or purchased for a pittance. President Andrew Jackson forced the removal of thousands of our people, and then sold our land. Historians point out that Jackson's Louisiana Purchase knocked U.S. debt from $58 million in 1828 to $38,000 in 1834. Good deal, except for us.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Here is a link to a Journal Sentinel article on the 3 candidates for Supreme Court Justice for Wisconsin. This is a 10 year term for the highest court in our state, please take some time to read about them. This election is really important and will likely get less press than the others so spread work about these candidates and make sure people know what they stand for!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Resources for progressive students

Several organizations offer scholarships and internships for students interested in progressive issues. This is hardly a comprehensive list, but maybe it will encourage you or your student to broaden her/his search for education assistance.

One day we hope to set up a local scholarship for progressive students (JT's idea) but until that happens, check these resources:

The Wisconsin Labor History Society Essay Contest for the 2017-2018 School Year for Wisconsin high school students (Grades 9-12). Win cash prizes up to $500. Write an essay of about 750 words on the topic: “Unions have been important to my family and my community because . . .” Deadline February 15, 2018. See link for details

For college and university students, the Wisconsin Labor History Society conducts an annual competition to determine the winners of the Zeidler Academic Awards for the best original research papers about Wisconsin labor and working-class history. See more details at link. Deadline for submission is January 8, 2018.

Future Leaders WI Scholarship Foundation offers the MJ and Myrtle Scholarships for Wisconsin students age 16 and older who will use the money to train in areas of
education, health/wellness in underserved communities, positive community building, or prevention/safety programs. The deadline for 2018 is November 15. 

A full tuition Science Ambassador Scholarship, funded by Cards Against Humanity, will be awarded to a woman in a STEM undergraduate program. The application includes a mini-lecture on a STEM area you're passionate about and is due by December 11.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund aids people active in movements for social and economic justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to students who are able to do academic work at the college or university level or are enrolled in a trade or technical
program and who are active in the progressive movement. Maximum available grant is  $10,000 per year. Applications are available in January with April deadline.
AFS is a non profit intercultural learning association and they offer the AFS Project Change scholarship: Tell us your idea for a volunteer project that could have a meaningful impact abroad. Get votes from your family and friends on your idea, and you could win a full scholarship to go abroad for 10-15 days and make your vision come to life!. All U.S. 8th to 12th grade students are eligible to enter. The deadline is mid-January.
The Barron Prize for Young Heroes awards students ages 8 to 18 who are working on "inspiring service projects." The 2018 application cycle opens in early January.
Point Foundation is "looking for the next LGBTQ leaders" and offers scholarships for those with need who are out and involved in their communities. The college (and community college) scholarships also include mentorships. The application deadline is in January.

Global Navigator Scholarships are for high school and college students seeking opportunities to study abroad. There are a variety of scholarships for different communities. Application due dates for spring study have been extended and for summer/fall study are in April. (Apply by December 1 for a chance to win free flight). 
The 2018 Law & Justice Scholarship is offered by the Wisconsin law offices of Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC for a first year freshman who will be attending an accredited College or University during the 2018-2019 school year (current high school seniors are eligible to apply). Special consideration will be given to a student who is interested in pursuing a career in law and meets the requirements. The application includes an essay describing
what 'Justice in our Society" means to you and how you have or will work to provide peace and justice for all members of our society. Application deadline is May 31.

Axa Achievement Scholarships offer awards of $2,500, $10,000 and $25,000 to high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their activities in school, the community or the workplace. The 2018 program will accept applications from September 5, 2017 until 10,000 applications are submitted or December 15, 2017. See site for application, more details.
GSAFE is an organization dedicated to creating just schools for LGBTQ+ Youth. Their scholarship is award to a Wisconsin high school senior who is n LGBTQ student or ally who is working to improve the community, help form a GSA or educational justice or similar club, promotes racial, trans, gender, and/or educational justice, and/or actively participate in comunity efforts involviing LGBTQ+ issues. (See the full list at website). Watch for the application info early in 2018.
The Jackie Robinson Scholarship is for college-bound students of color with leadership potential and need. Deadline is February 1.

Zonta International is a service and advocacy organization empowering women and girls. They offer scholarships and fellowships. Alas, there's no Zonta in La Crosse, but you join and apply online. Check the site for details.

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships to extraordinary young people, 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work.
Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box. The application deadline is February 14.

The Aaron Swartz Progressive Change Scholarship, named for the digital rights activist who was hounded into committing suicide in 2013, is for a current law school student. Deadline is January 6.

Tzu Chi USA Scholars is a scholarship program funded by Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation to recognize and provide financial assistance to outstanding college-bound high school graduates and continuing undergraduate students in selected areas of the United States. Tzu Chi USA Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Deadline is March 2.

The Earth Island Institute established the Brower Youth Awards for Environmental Leadership to honor activist David Brower. The current cycle is closed but watch their site for 2018 awards (deadline May 2018).

National Farmers Union offers scholarship with deadlines in spring. Visit their site for more details.

The Mario Savio Young Activist Award is given annually to a young person with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action. The 2018 deadline is in July.

The Minnesota-based Bush Foundation offers assistance to Minnesota, North & South Dakota and area tribal members through event scholarships and fellowships. Programs and deadlines vary so check their site (by the way, they also offer Community Innovation Grants).
Progressive Change Campaign Committee offers paid fellowships.  
The Nation Institute offers paid internships in journalism and investigative journalism. Deadline for Summer/Fall internships is April 1. They also offer the Ida B. Wells Fellowship (check in January for 2018 application information).

Mother Jones magazine's Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program offers a crash course in investigative journalism. Most are paid six-month internships. Deadline for the next cycle (starting in June 2018) is April 1.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Join the party

I hope progressives and Bernie supporters will not exit the party. I think we live in a two-party system. I think it is vital that we fix what's broken with the Democratic Party. We badly, badly need the energy of Bernie activists inside of the Democratic Party to rebuild the Democratic Party. I think my advice or my argument to them would be, "Listen, we got to dig in and reform the Democratic Party. Don't abandon it. Let's fix it. Let's take it over and let's build a party in the image that you want," because I do think the country is moving in a more progressive direction. I think the issues that Bernie talked about in the campaign have only gotten stronger in terms of public opinion over time.

Were The 2016 Democratic Primaries Rigged?

Was the 2016 Democratic primary rigged? It depends on what your definition of the word “rigged” is — but a top campaign adviser to Bernie Sanders declared that after new revelations this past week, “it is unquestionably the case that the DNC was not neutral” during the contest. That declaration came during an International Business Times…

Monday, November 06, 2017

Danger! ConCon vote Tuesday!

from Common Cause:

State Senate to Vote Tuesday on Dangerous, Misguided Legislation
That Will Undermine The U.S. Constitution


Completely Unnecessary and Unwanted Measure to Amend the U.S. Constitution
in a Dangerous Way 
Will Come Up for a Vote 
Despite many other pressing state issues of great concern to Wisconsin citizens, Republicans in the State Senate have carved out time on Tuesday, November 7th, to vote on a measure no one is calling for except for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and some other wealthy special interest groups that bankroll the state GOP – such as Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
A measure to make Wisconsin the 28th state (of 34 needed) to call for an Article V Constitutional Convention – AJR 21 – a misguided measure written for the stated purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but which would take us well beyond even that draconian, disastrous outcome was added to the State Senate calendar late on Friday, without advance warning. And no wonder. No real Wisconsin citizens are clamoring for this.

A convention like this has never been called and assembled before in our nation's history (since the first and only Constitutional Convention establishing the nation in 1787) and it could be a very destructive and dangerous event. A convention of this type could go well beyond a balanced budget measure and go on to alter or eliminate citizen rights currently protected by the Constitution. Voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, an end to democracy and freedom itself. The possibilities are endless.

The measure passed in the Assembly in June. Seven Assembly Republicans joined all the Assembly Democrats in voting against the call for a "ConCon," which is a good nickname for this abomination. Public opposition played a big role in their votes against it. Prospects for passage in the Republican-controlled State Senate had appeared much less certain at that time. GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) had expressed grave reservations about the matter, as had other State Senate Republicans. But Fitzgerald, without explanation, appears to have "changed his mind" and caved into special interest pressure.

It is vitally important that you contact your State Senator today, Monday, and demand that he or she vote against AJR 21. It is our understanding that all Democratic State Senators currently oppose AJR 21. But your call to them is still important, so please do not hesitate to contact them if they represent you. If you are not sure who your State Senator is, check here

The following Republican State Senators are particularly important to contact as they are not co-sponsors of the ConCon resolution and/or some, including Fitzgerald, have expressed doubts about it in the past:
Robert Cowles - State Senate District 2
Dan Feyen
- State Senate District 18
Scott Fitzgerald - State Senate District 13

 Devin LeMahieu - State Senate District 9
Terry Moulton - State Senate District 23
Luther Olsen - State Senate District 14
Jerry Petrowski - State Senate District 29
Roger Roth - State Senate District 19
Van Wangaard - State Senate District 21

If the measure passes in the State Senate, we lose. It does not need Gov. Scott Walker's approval, although not surprisingly, he strongly supports it.

Here is some background information about the measure: Jay Heck appeared on statewide Wisconsin Public Television's Here and Now program in June, in opposition to the Article V Constitutional Convention measures. He was also a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin program on the same subject, which you can listen to here. For more on this, go herehere, and here.

Please act today! A few calls and messages to some of these "reluctant" Republican State Senators could help persuade them to do the right thing and vote against AJR 21!