Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Call before 9:45am! State election law reform AB 895 automatically registers voters & hampers poll watchers
Bill AB 895 is whizzing through the State Legislature at an alarming speed, considering the negative impact to voters in our state. The bill is still in committee for another hour. They plan to vote on it at 9:45am, today, April 1st. (No, this is not an April Fools joke.) CALL COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOW!
- Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), chairman and bill sponsor, (608) 266-2500
- Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie), (608) 267-8979
- Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine), (608) 266-1832
- Sen. Alan Lasee (R-De Pere), (The number given is not working.)
- Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), (608) 266-7513
- Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville), (608) 266-7503
- Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston), (608) 266-2502
- Gov. Jim Doyle, (608) 266-1212
Good Friday through Easter or Resurrection Sunday mark the most important 3 days for a Christian. It is during this time that Christians the world over remember the crucifixion, sacrificial death, and burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and celebrate His resurrection on Sunday.
If you do not have a church home, I would like to invite you to my church's services this weekend.
Tuesday, April 6th, is election day in Wisconsin. On our ballot in Brookfield, Wisconsin, we choose 2 judges, 3 Elmbrook School Board members, Mayor of Brookfield, and 7 Aldermen - 1 for each district.
These spring elections are said to be nonpartisan but for some races, maybe we should call them NINO -- nonpartisan in name only?
Going from the general to the specific, meaning from races that affect all of Waukesha County to all of the Elmbrook School District, to the City of Brookfield, to the specific Aldermanic Districts, here are my picks.
Mark Gundrum for Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge
Mark Gundrum is the clear choice here. He is a conservative and former Wisconsin State Assembly Representative. Gundrum has an impressive page of endorsements including Scott Walker, Waukesha County D.A. Brad Schimel, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, and other conservative state legislators such as Ted Kanavas, Leah Vukmir, Rich Zipperer, and Neil Kedzie. (The incumbent Gundrum is running against is a Doyle appointee--need I say more?)
Paul Reilly for Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals Judge
I wasn't sure which candidate I was going to vote for in this race; both are Republicans and pretty conservative. Sometimes a preference gets down to personality or some other factor. On this race, I am deferring to the opinion of some people I trust: Julianne Appling of Wisconsin Family Action, an attorney with a conservative freedoms group, State Senator Ted Kanavas, Former Wauk. D.A. Paul Bucher, Wauk. D.A. Brad Schimel, and blogger Randy Melchert, who moderated a forum with both candidates last week. Radio Talk Show Host Jay Weber mentioned this morning he is also supporting Paul Reilly.
Randy Melchert includes some video clips of both candidates' closing remarks on his blog. I found Linda Van De Water's rather odd in that instead of telling the audience why they should vote for her, she spent the time talking against her opponent and bringing up some questionable incidents tied to her. Paul Reilly then clarified one of the incidents, though it seemed he would not have brought it up had Linda not mentioned it. He elaborated on his high 97% Qualified rating by the Waukesha County Bar Association and endorsements. Watch it for yourself.
3 positions on Elmbrook School District School Board. (All of Elmbrook School District residents vote for all 3 positions, regardless of Area.)
Glen Allgaier, Elmbrook School Board Area II
I am supporting Glen Allgaier for the Area II position. He is the more conservative choice and he has a proven record of making some tough decisions, which is why I wrote a letter to the editor in support of Allgaier for BrookfieldNOW's forum page. Board President Tom Gehl, had this to say about Glen, "I have come to know Glen very well over the course of the last three years and can say without reservation that in him, this community has an exemplary public servant. Not a good public servant – not a great public servant – an exemplary one."
Kathryn Wilson, Elmbrook School Board At-Large position
In addition to the Area II position, all Elmbrook residents vote for 2 At-Large spots on the board. Of the 4 people running, the one who receives the most votes will serve for 3 years. I hope this person will be Kathryn Wilson. Kathryn is very strong in the area of curriculum. She has been involved in Elmbrook curriculum planning and the Elmbrook Gifted and Talented Parent Advisory Board, to mention 2 areas of her school involvement.
I met with Kathryn Wilson; her approach is very analytical, which is what we need on the board. With the budgetary problems facing the district, we need someone who can clearly see a solution to our problems, rather than just react emotionally. Wilson is very familiar with the workings of the school district and board because she has been involved in Elmbrook schools for years. She will be able to "hit the ground running" to quote School Board Member Jean Lambert. Kathryn Wilson is also endorsed by my Alderman Lisa Mellone, who says, "I have always found Kathryn to be articulate, thorough, attentive to detail, and most importantly, one of the best listeners I have ever encountered. Her dedication and experience is evident..."
As for the other At-Large Board Position, I am at a loss; they are all for 4K, and I cannot support 4K at taxpayer expense. The candidate receiving the 2nd highest total will serve for 1 year as the At-Large representative. Bob Zeigler is the incumbent. Some might look at him as a "better the devil you know" candidate. Since the board has already heard all he has to say on the subject supporting 4K, for example, one might say he doesn't have much traction, and is more benign. Beth Horneffer has the support of some people, but she would still be a new voice in favor of 4K. Sandra Schultz is the 3rd pro 4K candidate. I have decided to NOT vote for any of them. We will end up with one of them; more than likely it will be Bob Zeigler.
Steve Ponto for City of Brookfield Mayor
When I met with Steve, one of the things he emphasized was his support for Brookfield's single family neighborhoods. He also told me how he was against light rail. On his campaign literature, he writes, "As a fiscal conservative, I oppose the federal and state governments wasting money they do not have on high-speed rail." If Steve Ponto wins, I hope to see more conservative stands protecting neighborhoods and against wasteful spending. He has been a member of the Republican Party for years--not just when he decided to run for mayor! Is Steve as conservative as I am? No, but I do believe he is the better choice.
City of Brookfield Aldermen - I live in District 7, one of 2 districts without a challenger. Here are my preferences if I lived in the other districts in Brookfield:
District 1 - Bill Carnell: Bill Carnell is the incumbent and has been doing a good job, I think. He is being challenged by an old time incumbent.
District 2 - Terry Halmstad: I believe Halmstad to be the more fiscally conservative candidate and more willing to protect his district from undesirable development. Terry would get my vote.
District 4 - Mark Nelson: Mark Nelson could be more bold in his opposition to the mayor's agenda but at least he seems kind in his remarks. His instincts are often good; I just wish he would follow through more. His opponent is far too new to Brookfield and doesn't seem to understand the city's role in school district business (which is NONE.)
District 5 - Sheila Buechel: I met Sheila Buechel at one of the mayor forums and was excited about her candidacy. She will be a breath of fresh air for District 5 and seems well prepared to take on the job of alderman. Another bonus, should Sheila win, think of how much shorter the council meetings will be! ;-)
District 6 - Jerry Mellone: Jerry Mellone has worked so hard for his district; they are fortunate that he is running again. Mellone fought valiantly to try to prevent Calhoun Road from being widened to the extent it was but was foiled by the likes of both District 2 aldermen, who pretty much disregarded the Master Plan. (Mellone's opponent has lived in Brookfield for only about a year.)
District 7 - Lisa Mellone: Lisa is unopposed here in the 7th District, but she deserves mention as an outstanding Alderman. What a pleasant change from our former Alderman often referred to as "Mr. Rolodex". Lisa Mellone works very hard for her district and follows through on resident concerns. Some day, I hope to draw that little connecting arrow next to her name for Mayor of Brookfield!
So, there you have it: My ballot picks for tomorrow. Be sure to look into the issues and candidates for yourself and vote.
BrookfieldNOW has devoted a lot of space to the school board, mayor and aldermen races. Check out their election coverage:
BrookfieldNOW Letters to the Editor
BrookfieldNOW Brookfield/Elm Grove Voters Guide
Other blogger's ballot picks: Cindy Kilkenny How I'll Be Voting
Randy's Picks - April 6, 2010 Spring Election Guide for Wisconsin Tomorrow
Past Post: Tuesday's Primary Ballot Picks
Children born in the 1950s grew up during the height of the cold war. I was one of them. We were issued stainless steel I.D. bracelets--complete with religious preference...just in case? Besides fire drills, we had numerous duck and cover drills at our grade school, practice runs for evacuating the school, and once were told to go home during the school day and rehearse going into our basements or wherever we planned to hide out if we were nuked.
All of this weighed heavy on my young psyche. But at least we knew if we were attacked, we had President Kennedy who had the will and the means to retaliate. His will and means gave an enemy pause before pushing the button.
President Kennedy had the Minuteman Missile, the Ace in the Hole, technology that was begun under President Eisenhower in 1958 and completed just 8 days after the Cuban Missile Crisis began in 1962, as a deterrent. President Kennedy embraced the space race and developing weapon technology.
Nearly 50 years after those troubling years, is the United States still on top of their nuclear and counter anti-missile technology? Are we still developing more defensive Star Wars type anti missile shields and weaponry?
No. Instead we have a President who seems bent on destroying any lead we had in the space race by de-funding NASA's new Constellation moon project in favor of researching and monitoring climate change for now, and a "heavy-lift" rocket--10 years or more away. Unlike President Kennedy, Obama spurns our position of superiority and technical strength.
President Obama recently announced a US and Russia nuclear arms reduction treaty, which will limit both sides to 1,550 warheads, as if Russia is our only opponent that has nukes. (Countries with nuclear weapons, going from friendly to hostile to suspected, include the UK, France, India, Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, and Syria.) Remember that Russia is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant, a partnership that makes the "United States uncomfortable", and is also cozying up to Venezuela by selling $5B in other weapons.
Just last month an aide said "the administration [has] rejected proposals that the United States declare it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons."
But Obama announced yesterday that he "was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons, even in self-defense... ...For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack." (My emphasis)
I always thought the best strategy in warding off conflict was to speak from a position of power, not outline specifically what you would or wouldn't do. You know, Speak softly and carry a BIG stick.
Considering Obama's new direction of "...developing no new nuclear weapons, including the nuclear bunker-busters advocated by the Bush administration", we have a very weak president who likes to Speak softly, and carry NO stick. That position can only be called, "naïve and dangerous."
More Reading: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Heritage Foundation: The Road to a New Nuclear Arms Race, "Unfortunately for Americans, President Obama’s new strategy will have the exact opposite result of its intended effect. Instead of incentivizing countries to give up nuclear ambitions, it creates new incentives for them to maintain or develop their own nuclear programs. First look at the Russians, who clearly still see their nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of their defense, no matter how much President Obama wishes it were otherwise. Moscow has no interest in diminishing its own nuclear arsenal, but it is perfectly happy to allow the Obama administration to weaken the U.S. deterrent until it is on equal footing with Russia’s currently mediocre might. ...A country like Iran is equally unimpressed with President Obama’s unilateral disarmament strategy." (My emphasis)
Past Posts: Obama, JFK, technology, & the Cuban Missile Crisis...chilling
Dangerous month, dangerous world, dangerous ideas
Remember the polls on ObamaCare? Numbers opposed ranged from around 47% last summer to 57% in December. Those supporting ObamaCare stayed around 35%. The results varied depending on how the question was worded and who was sampled. Those of us who value our freedom of choice and keeping the government out of our medical care kept asking ourselves, who are these people who want ObamaCare?
Well, now that ObamaCare passed, we find out why the support numbers were so high: Some people thought ObamaCare was FREE!
Yes, it is true, Health care overhaul spawns mass confusion for public: (My emphasis throughout) "Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.
Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctor's offices, human resources departments and business groups.
For the first time in a long time, Wisconsin's US Senate seat is there for the taking. All we need is a credible candidate. So where, oh where, is that candidate?
We have 2 in the running: Dave Westlake and Terrance Wall. Bless them for stepping out there but each has flaws: Westlake isn't doing fundraisers and Wall has a tax perception problem. (He is not delinquent in paying; he avoided paying state income taxes by using legal depreciation allowances.) Because Wall has run some good ads, he is better known than Westlake.
This week we learned that Dick Leinenkugel, Governor Doyle's Commerce Secretary, just announced he was throwing his hat in the ring...but as a Republican? The guy who went to Spain to buy the 2 choo-choo train engines from TALGO*, with no bids, is going to run on the more conservative side of the ticket? OH, PLEASE.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has been rumored to be our winning candidate for months, however, I don't consider him my ideal or even acceptable candidate. Could we have counted on Tommy, the creator of Wisconsin's BadgerCare health insurance plan, to vote against its BIG Federal brother, ObamaCare? Could we count on him to vote to REPEAL and REPLACE ObamaCare?
Thompson could win we are told, he polls at 45% to Feingold's 33% but he is NOT the conservative candidate I would embrace. Shame on him for putting his desire to bask in the lime light of will he run ? above what is good for our state and nation.
So who do we have as possibilities?
There is Ron Johnson, a 55 year old Oshkosh business man, who according to the JSOnline article is, ...president and co-founder of PACUR, a [plastics] manufacturing company in Oshkosh. He described himself as a conservative with no prior political experience who is fed up with the 'loss of freedom' in the United States, including passage of health care reforms under President Barack Obama. He said he had resources to help fund a campaign if he gets in." (My emphasis)
If Mr. Johnson is indeed as described above, I could get behind him. Maybe you would like to contact him? I found this phone number on the internet for Pacur - (920) 236-2888.
Who else? My first thought is Mark Neumann. He certainly has name recognition. Although I am not wild about his somewhat supportive ethanol stance (in that it is good for Wisconsin's corn producing farmers) and some of his campaign tactics against Scott Walker, instead of beating up Scott Walker, how about him setting his sites on knocking out US Senator Russ Feingold?
I do appreciate his petition against ObamaCare, which is both a Federal and State government issue.
Mark Neumann could really play hero here and graciously bow out of the governors race to enter the US Senate race, for the good of the people of Wisconsin.
3 State Senators also come to mind: Senator Ted Kanavas - Brookfield, Senator Glenn Grothman - West Bend, and Senator Joseph Leibham* of Sheboygan. Of the 3, Grothman is better known to me because he is often interviewed on local radio talk shows. Glenn seems very comfortable speaking out for conservative issues.
Charlie Sykes, WTMJ's talk show host was again mentioned by Mark Belling, and I don't think Belling is just trying to get rid of his competition. Instead, I think it shows how dire our lack of a real candidate is.
I would really hate to have Republican and conservative Wisconsinites snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory again by not having a great contender in this race against Feingold. The US Senate seat is ripe for the picking.
PLEASE, could someone viable run?
*Mark Belling was talking about Wall, Westlake, and Leinenkugel yesterday. I had forgotten Leinenkugel was part of the Spain enteourage. Mark also mentioned the 3 State Senators and Sykes as possibilities (though I thought of Kanavas and Grothman for some time). If no one else steps forward, I will vote for Wall in the primary.
UPDATE: April 14th Rally & April 15th Madison Tea Party against Voter Fraud Protection Act, Global Warming Bill & Taxes
UPDATE: This Just In from Kevin Fisher's blog, "Citizens for Responsible Government to Join with Other Concerned Citizens to Rally Against Vote Fraud" at NOON TODAY, April 14th at Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda. Contact CRG at 414-573-8709 for more information.
This Thursday, April 15th, conservatives from all over Wisconsin will gather at the State Capitol for a really BIG Tea Party to protest some last minute ram-it-through liberal legislation and high taxes. This is the 1st anniversary of last year's Tea Party Tax Day rallies at the State Capitol and around Wisconsin. Bus service is available if you wanted to leave the driving and parking to someone else. Go to Fight Back Wisconsin for details.
The 2 bills that come immediately to my mind are SB 640 / AB 895, the Voter Protection Act (scroll almost to bottom of post), a.k.a. Voter FRAUD Protection Act, and the SB 450 / AB 649, Wisconsin Clean Energy Jobs Bill, a.k.a. Wisconsin GLOBAL WARMING Bill. Both are terrible bills for Wisconsinites. On second thought, maybe we should call the gathering, The Madison Teed Off Party?
If passed, the Voter Protection Act will make voter registration automatic, grant permanent absentee status, and enable satellite voting stations for early voting. These measures will make voter fraud even easier to commit. The Green Jobs/Global Warming Bill will increase the cost of energy in Wisconsin. We cannot afford either bill.
This kind of legislation makes you wish you could just send the Wisconsin State Legislature home early, doesn't it? Most of us would be willing to pay them for the year if they just promised to stay home instead of jamming these horrible bills down our throats.
Call your state legislators a.s.a.p. about the Voter Protection Act. I doubt my State Senator Jim Sullivan will listen to our pleas to vote no on SB 640, but at least your calls become part of the public record. Senator Jim Sullivan (866) 817-6061, Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510. Like Sullivan, he is facing a tough reelection.
Come to Madison if you can!
April 15th, 2010
11:30AM - 1PM
(Buses leave about 2 hours earlier from Milwaukee area)
Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity & Tea Party Associates
State Capitol, Madison, Wisconsin
Yesterday came the no surprise announcement, Republic will rename Midwest, Frontier. I was privileged to fly Midwest 3 times in their grander days. Those wonderful Midwest meals and comfy wide seats vanished during the belt-tightening and take-over eras but still remain legendary. Who would have thought that in today's tightwad era, airlines would propose charging for a carry on or using the restroom!
Sadly, it was logical that the Midwest name be scrapped too, since the ammenities that branded them as something special had long since vanished. The only vestige to remain of their heyday is the chocolate chip cookie.
Also this week came the news that AirTran airlines was ranked as Number 2 in airline quality (For comparison, Frontier was ranked 7th).
This is good news because AirTran flies out of Milwaukee. In fact, AirTran announced last December that they were making Miwaukee a second hub. "AirTran Airways...announced that the airline will open both a pilot and flight attendant base in Milwaukee to support its increased operations. ... The flight bases will be opened in April 2010 and will consist initially of 50 pilots ... and a minimum of 50 flight attendants..." (My emphasis throughout)
The new AirTran Hub would add 100 jobs to start. AirTran's Marketing Senior Vice President said, "As we continue to grow our Milwaukee operation, we have reached a point where we need to add flight crew bases in Milwaukee to make our airline more efficient... These new Milwaukee jobs further demonstrate our commitment to Southeast Wisconsin."
I don't fly often - maybe once every 1 or 2 years? But I like AirTran because they offer inexpensive, nonstop flights to Orlando. They have been on time and my limited experience has always been good. Also, for people like me, who don't travel for business, they have a rewards plan to save up for a free flight. (My family flew free a few years back to Disney via their A+ Rewards program.) They also offer a credit card that offers points toward free flights. As I often say, AirTran: Great airline - Stupid radio ads!
A few years back, when Midwest spurned AirTran's take over overtures, I owned a bit of Midwest stock when there was that push for Milwaukeeans to buy stock to help the company. (It still remains my most fun venture in the stock market--ever. I am don't gamble Vegas or lottery style, but I invested a few hundred dollars when the stock was a dollar-something, held the stock for a while, and then sold it when it topped 2 digits.) At the time, I thought AirTran would be a good candidate for obtaining Midwest. They seemed committed to staying in Milwaukee.
I wonder if the former Midwest employees would agree?
This morning someone informed me that there would be a noon rally today against Vote Fraud at Milwaukee's City Hall. (It was also posted on This Just In.)
Here is their report from that event: (My emphasis throughout)
"There were only about 25 people there but an African American man spoke out against Rep. Coggs, [Senator]Lena Taylor and other city government officials for being in favor of this bill. Rebecca Kleefisch also spoke (she used to be on WISN TV and is actually running for Lt. Governor ). One other guy spoke and said they were looking for someone from Lena Taylor’s district to start a recall petition against her.
She is in charge of the election commission [CORRECTION: Taylor is NOT the Chairman of the Election Committee; It is Coggs who is Chairman of the Senate Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs Committee] and [Taylor] I believe is a sponsor of the bill."[She is.]
For full photo in text version, click here.
This week might mark THE MOST COSTLY week in the Wisconsin Legislature; the week our Representatives and Senators vote on several very controversial bills. Our Legislators are wrapping up their last week in Madison for this session, rapid firing 80-some bills to the floor a day.
Oh, if we could just send them home today!
It is difficult to say which are the worst bills of the lot, but the Global Warming, now called Clean Energy Jobs Bill AB 649 / SB 450 is coming to the Assembly this morning. It is thought there are enough votes to pass the Assembly. This bill is not only costly in terms of increased utility costs for all Wisconsinites, it also will cost our state in LOST JOBS. NO manufacturing company will want to locate or stay in a state that has higher utility costs than its neighbor.
From Brookfield's Representative Leah Vukmir: (My emphasis throughout) "The legislation has been widely panned by business groups representing a large sector of Wisconsin's economy and scholars alike. By going it alone to curb global warming, Wisconsin stands to lose tens of thousands of jobs and increase energy prices for consumers - from the gas at the pump for your car to the natural gas to heat your home."
From Brookfield's Representative Rich Zipperer: "If enacted, this bill will require power companies to invest approximately $15 billion in new equipment, and it will increase their fees by $700 million annually. All of those mandated costs will be passed on to energy users, increasing the cost of electricity for families and businesses. Independent studies have suggested such increases will drive over 40,000 jobs from our state as companies move manufacturing facilities to states with lower taxes and lower energy costs."
In the Senate, passage is not such a sure thing. If you live in Senator Jim Sullivan's District, give him a call: (866) 817-6061. I spoke to the aids in his office last week, and they said he was still reading through the amendments. Some of the Senators, like Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 are in swing districts and also facing stiff reelection. Call them!
Even worse than the Global Warming Bill, is the Voter Protection Act AB 895 / SB 640. This one has been dubbed the Voter Fraud Protection Act by many.
Rep. Vukmir calls it the Vote Fraud Encouragement Act:
"[A few] weeks ago, a group of Democrats introduced legislation that will discard and rewrite nearly all election law in Wisconsin in favor of so-called reforms to encourage higher voter turnout and address alleged "voter intimidation".The legislation can only result in government-encouraged vote fraud."
"In a letter to legislators, Attorney General, JB Van Hollen said that the legislation would make fraud more likely", because for one," 'It populates the registration list with unregistered voters, increasing the potential for fraud, when our desire should be to have an accurate list that is neither over inclusive nor under inclusive.' "
"Additionally, a last-minute provision added by Sen. Lena Taylor would allow national, not-for-profit, community organizations [like ACORN] to access sensitive citizen information from state databases."
When I stopped in to see Senator Sullivan after last week's TEA Party, his aid, Ashley, informed me that Sullivan was OPPOSED to this bill. This came as quite a surprise since when I had called the week before, he still was undecided. This change makes me wonder if, as with the State Budget, Sullivan was given permission to vote no, because he is facing stiff competition from Vukmir? Or, are there not enough Senate votes to pass and so no one in swing districts wants to be seen as supporting if they all aren't supporting? Or, is he truly against it? (I hope it is the latter.)
Anyway, the Voter Protection Act is THE MOST IMPORTANT of all the bills flying through Madison this week. If this passes, I believe it significantly reduces the chances of fair elections and encourages voter fraud.
There is also the RTA, which will add another .05% sales tax to Milwaukee County. Senator Sullivan favors creation of a regional RTA, which would include that .05% tax for Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties too.
Other bills include: Ethanol Mandates, Expanding Hate Crimes, mandating Licensed Dietitians be the only ones who can give aid at a health food store, and my favorite travesty, National Popular Vote.
All we can do at this point is call our Senators and Representatives and tell them to vote NO!
I know we are all weary with all the calling, but hopefully, it is the last week!
Sources: VCY Homefront Legislation pending for the week
Rep Vukmir's Legislative Update
Rep. Rich Zipperer's Taxpayer Alert
This morning marks the first morning of our new mayor's 4 year term. Last night Brookfield's Mayor and reelected Aldermen were sworn in.
There are no new faces in the council chambers this term, just a new seating arrangement! (Alderman Nelson might be feeling a little lonely though, since his former seat mate moved up to the mayor's chair.)
There seems to be a lot of good will behind this new mayor, which is a very refreshing change. I think people are looking forward to having a mayor who really is the mayor.
Mayor Ponto has my good will as well; the next 4 years won't be easy. I wish him much success.
It was a l-o-n-g day, or should I say night, for Wisconsin's Assembly. They worked through the night and still were at it this morning, I heard on Jay Weber this morning. Remarkably, the bottom line is the 3 worst bills, Voter Protection, Global Warming, and Creation of RTA, weren't voted on. (Keep those calls coming--see below.)
The Voter (Fraud) Protection Act, AB 895 / SB 640 did not come up for a vote as expected, nor did the Global Warming Bill, AB 649 / SB 450. It seems the Democrats were too busy duking it out all night to bring them to the floor. (Thank heavens!)
The creation of a RTA was dealt a severe blow by my Representative, Leah Vukmir, who I am dubbing, Vukmir the Valiant. Vukmir pretty much killed the bill with an amendment that would require a binding referendum for Milwaukee County voters to approve raising the sales tax by .05% before a RTA could be created. She was joined by Democrats David Cullen (Wauwatosa, West Milw.) and Tony Staskunas (West Allis) in that amendment. It passed 52/46. That was encouraging.
This also puts Senator Jim Sullivan, who represents pretty much the same area, in an opposite position of his Assembly counterparts.*
Speaking of the Senate, it seems the Senate Democrats don't think they have the votes to pass Global Warming and Voter Protection. Since Leader Russ Decker wants to spare his Senate Democrats from voting on something they can't pass, these might not come to the floor either. (Oh, I hope, I hope.) At least that is what Jay Weber and J.R. Ross indicated on Jay's radio program this morning.
If you remember, I wondered yesterday if that was the reason Jim Sullivan was now against the Voter Protection act.
The other hot topic was what to do with Jeff Wood, the Democrat with 3 DUIs. The Assembly voted to censure him, not expel. (It's all about protecting the majority--they might need him to vote on Thursday.) "Disgusting"
The Assembly worked almost 24 hours straight, thankfully, they have to call it quits for the day. Voter Protection, Global Warming (being pushed hard by the Potawatomis) and RTA, among others, could all come back on Thursday.
The Senate isn't in session today but is meeting later this afternoon at 3pm to set the schedule for Thursday, their last day? Of course, the Senate could go into extra innings, so to speak. But at least for now, it is not as dire as I had thought.
But don't count these bills dead yet. Both houses could pull it together and pass it all.
Keep calling! The only reason these things haven't passed so far is the pressure from the public! Senator Jim Sullivan - District 5, (866) 817-6061 or (608) 266-2512.
If you don't live in Brookfield, find your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO, especially if your Senator is Jeff Plale-District 7, (608) 266-7505, John Lehman-District 21, (608) 266-1832, or Tim Carpenter-District 3, (608) 266-8535.
*Thanks Jay Weber and J.R. Ross! Listen to the first few minutes of each part of the 2nd hour for more details. Hour 2: Part 1 and Part 2.
One Day Left in Wisconsin Legislative Session: A bill by bill description and status. Unfortunately, the new Ethanol mandate passed. (Good reason to remove & repeal!)
Past Posts: Wisconsin Legislature's last stand - Call now!
Follow the money: Why are Potawatomis pushing Clean Energy Jobs Act?
Today is Earth Day. It is also Vladimir Lenin's birthday.
What would be my perfect gift for Earth Day? To learn that Wisconsin's Assembly and Senate failed in passing Gov. Doyle's Global Warming Bill! It looks like I just may get my wish, but it isn't over until the fat lady sings, as they say.
Many of the measures environmentalists push to save the earth are in fact harmful. Ethanol and CFLs come to mind. Hybrid cars have a huge carbon footprint, if you factor in the manufacturing and battery disposal.
So here is my Earth Day tip: Go diesel for your car. Seriously. I am not being flip. Clean diesel is not only is very clean but it will save you money if you drive a lot.
We took the plunge last fall and purchased a VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (diesel) car. It is so clean, it qualified for an Advanced lean burn technology vehicle credit, the same type of tax credit that hybrids did. Unlike a hybrid, diesels last a l-o-n-g time. They like to be driven.
Did we purchase the car just to get the credit? Of course not. It was a nice bonus though. We bought the car because we like road trips and my former PT Cruiser got an abysmal 21mpg if going downhill, with a tail wind, on the highway. (It's about 18mpg at home.)
The Jetta was touted at 42mpg Hwy, 30 city. (Some drivers report 55-60mpg hwy.) Mine isn't broken in yet, but since the weather warmed up, I have been getting 38-40 at home and 45.6mpg out to say, Thiensville (some freeway, some streets).
Is it smelly? Noisy? No. I don't think you would even know it was diesel until you stepped on the accelerator. (They really go!)
Europeans have been driving diesel for a long time. Their fuel costs are so much higher than ours that they must get the best bang for their buck. Maybe now that Volkswagen is building a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they will have more of a presence here in the states. Maybe diesel will catch on here too.
Don't expect to do any great negotiating on price though. These cars fly off the showroom floor. We spotted one being unloaded at Concours Motors in Glendale, but it was sold out from under us. In some areas of the country, there is a $3,000 add to the sticker price.
So you see, by choosing clean diesel, I am greener than some of you think. My idea of green though is saving money! ;-)
What a great Earth Day; I got my wish and more: NO GLOBAL WARMING Bill, NO VOTER FRAUD PROTECTION Act, and NO RTA. I almost can't believe it.
And why did I receive such a great gift? Because of all the calls, emails, letters and visits to our State Legislators. You know, the calls that don't work.
Bottom line? We were spared these bills thanks to those of you who did waste your time calling and going to Madison. So THANK YOU.
Another thank you goes to Talk Radio* for getting the word out.
Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald mentioned yesterday** that it was the calls that made the difference. For example, in Democrat Jim Sullivan's office, the call record was running 10 to 1 AGAINST the Voter (Fraud) Protection Act.
The same was true in the Assembly. Representative Leah Vukmir stated, "Thanks to your calls and emails, we managed to stop some of the worst legislation of the session. ...The calls and email from constituents sent a very clear message through the halls of the State Capitol and legislators became very wary of taking bad votes on these bills."
I have to think the other sobering moment for our more liberal legislators was the size of the TEA Party crowd last Thursday (April 15) and the number of attendees who stopped into their representatives offices to leave their vote NO sentiments. (Photo: Tea Party attendees look up their reps. office number inside Capitol.)
Of course the Liberal Legislative Phoenix could always rise from the ashes to call an extra session and try and revive these top 3 bills (and others), but at least for now they are dead.
Some bad bills did make it through Madison. Maybe the worst being the Ethanol Mandate 408 / SB 279, which I think requires increasing the total % consumed for ethanol to 50% by 2015 and for bio-diesel to 25% by 2015. Nobody likes the stuff and since it is harmful to most engines and yields abysmal mileage, I don't see how this will work.
Increasing those covered under BadgerCare via BadgerCare Basic Plus also passed. (FYI, Medical Marijuana and the Green Cleaning Product mandate failed, but so did AR-21 to have Wisconsin challenge Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Raw Milk passed.)
So we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay involved. Work for conservative candidates so we can Remove the liberals, Repeal the bad legislation, and Restore good LIMITED government!
Imagine the kind of government we would have today, if people were always this engaged at the State and Federal level?
Representative Leah Vukmir and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the Elm Grove Village Hall on May 1st at 9AM
Past Posts: Wisconsin Legislature's last stand - Global Warming, Voter Fraud, RTA - Call now!
News from Rally against Vote Fraud at Milwaukee City Hall
Follow the money: Why are Potawatomis pushing Clean Energy Jobs Act?
Call Now! We cannot afford Gov. Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act
*I often listen to Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna. When legislation is pending, Mark Belling** is also helpful.
This Tuesday, April 27th, at 7:30pm, the Creation Science Society of Milwaukee will present a discussion on THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, given by Dr. Nathan Jastram, Ph. D.
What makes this presentation unique, is that Dr. Jastram actually worked directly with the Scrolls and published a first edition of their contents. He currently is Chair of the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Concordia University in Mequon. His talk will include discussion of "his experiences with the Scrolls, along with their historical and theological significance."
From the CSSM website: "'Many years ago, I worked with the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem, piecing together fragments of the book of Numbers from Cave 4. On February 5 and 6, it was a great pleasure to introduce the Milwaukee Public Museum’s exhibit of the Scrolls and other archaeological objects to many people in the area, and to discuss how they contribute to our knowledge of the Bible,' said Dr. Jastram."
Whether you have already seen the Milwaukee Public Museum's special Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible exhibit, are planning to visit, or just interested in the Bible and history, Tuesday's presentation at Concordia should prove beneficial. (MPM's Scrolls exhibit runs through June 3rd.) The Scrolls have been dated from 150 BC - 70 AD.
Dr. Jastram's talk is free and open to the general public. It is being held in the Lake Shore Room at Concordia University, just a little north of I-43 and Mequon Road. See map for specifics with map of campus (at bottom). The Lake Shore room is at the midpoint of the campus, southwest of the Chapel.
More on the Scrolls
I went to see MPM's Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible exhibit and found it very interesting. Many other photos and archeological artifacts are also included along with the scrolls.
A few of my favorites were the film footage of the early "experts" with the scrolls. One clip showed a priest who was standing, rolling up the ancient scrolls on his stomach, much like you might roll up a long towel! Check out the photos of the researchers smoking over the Scrolls. They also uses Scotch Tape on some of the fragments.
As for the artifacts, look for the Ossuaries (small limestone bone burial chests), from the time of Christ. One was from Simon of Cyrene, the man the Romans forced to carry Jesus' cross in the Bible. What a coincidence to find a burial box with just that name and that of his son, Alexander (unusual for a Jew), just as mentioned in the Matthew 27:32, Luke 23: 26 and Mark 15: 21.
As I posted in February, my Sunday School teacher, Dr. Gary Gulan, offered a presentation at our church on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has now posted some of the information from his presentation on his website: Beyond the Pulpit. The Scrolls pages are listed under the category, Articles, then Archeology.
Tuesday night's talk at Concordia offers a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has actually worked with the Scrolls. I think it should not be missed.
Will you see the Dead Sea Scrolls? Want to learn more?
Local scholar to discuss first-hand experience working with Dead Sea Scrolls
Video of Dr. Jastram’s Dead Sea Scrolls Presentation at CUW.
Stunning "Dead Sea Scrolls" a trove of history
The big question on conservative minds in Wisconsin is, Will businessman Ron Johnson throw his hat in the US Senate ring this week?
Governor Doyle's Commerce Secretary, Dick Leinenkugel, announced Monday that he IS running, get this, as a Reagan Conservative! (He couldn't be any worse than Russ Feingold, and he promises to repeal ObamaCare and be against High Speed Rail--for now.)
State Senator Ted Kanavas, as expected, announced he is NOT running against Feingold.
So that leaves Ron Johnson. (Pictured)
Upcoming Events: Scrolls, Vukmir/Sensenbrenner Town Hall, Civil War Encampment, Nat. Day Prayer, Garlic Mustard Weed Out
There are a number of special events on my calendar for the next 2 weeks that I wanted to share with you. (I will try to post more about each individual event later.)
One thing I would love to mark on my calendar would be the date businessman and Oshkosh Tea Party founder Ron Johnson announces that he is running for U.S. Senate against Russ Feingold. If you haven't heard, State Senator Ted Kanavas just announced he is NOT running.
Here is what is on my calendar:
- Tuesday, April 27th, 7:30pm: Dead Sea Scrolls presentation, by Dr. Jastram, at Concordia College.
- Saturday, May 1st, 9am: Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and State Representative Leah Vukmir, at the Elm Grove Village Hall.
- Saturday and Sunday, May 1st & 2nd, 10am - 4pm: Civil War Encampment at Brookfield's historic Dousman Stagecoach Inn ~ The 2 day event includes craftsmen, soldier camps, skirmish, cannon fire, President Lincoln, fashion show, worship service, and more! We had quite an interesting conversation about President Lincoln with the embalmer at a past encampment.
- Thursday, May 6th, Noon to 12:30pm: National Day of Prayer gathering at City Hall Plaza flags. Post from last year's event
- Saturday, May 8th, 9am - noon: 6th Annual WEED-OUT Garlic Mustard Pull at Mary Knoll Park ~ The Garlic Mustard is coming up early this year. In fact, it is already blooming in places. Check out last year's post for more information, links and pictures: Mary Knoll "Weed Out"
- Don't forget Mother's Day on Sunday, May 9th!
So that is what is on my dance card. Hope you can make some or all events and be sure to say hello if you see me.