Letters to the Editor

Here are some of the letters submitted to our local papers by our members. If you are interesting in submitting letters, please contact us.

Vote ‘no’ on election amendments April 2

Voting is a fundamental right. However, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has proposed two constitutional amendments which show a lack of concern for voters and our hard-working local election administrators. The changes would affect the safety and security of our elections and will prevent voters from making their voices heard.

These amendments are rooted in disinformation to sway voter opinion and foster voter
apathy and confusion. Amendments are supposed to better the constitution, but these attempts at change restrict voting rights and undermine the foundations of our democracy. Governor Evers has already vetoed these same changes in a bill sent to him by the legislature.

The first question would limit critical funding for our elections without a plan to ensure election administrators have the tools they need. How long we wait in lines, how many voting locations are open, and the speed of the results are all determined by the amount of money that is set aside by the state to fund our election. Our elections should be fully funded by the state government so municipalities don’t have to rely on grants or donations to process elections.

The second question would deprive election officials of outside help. Clerks rely on experts in the field of election administration, volunteers, and community members to make sure our elections run smoothly and the results are accurate. A handful of Republican politicians would choose to make their jobs more difficult.

It has already become an issue to maintain our clerks in these stressful positions with the hostilities directed at them. These amendments will be voted upon soon! In the April 2nd spring election, we have the chance to come together and show that our votes matter. Join me in voting “NO” on both constitutional amendments. By doing so, you register your commitment to keep false information and conspiracies from undermining and degrading our elections and our form of government. Visit MyVote.WI.Gov to view your ballot and find your polling place.

Border Crisis Needs More Than Hope

A letter written by Steve Parks, Bowler. Published in the Shawano Leader January 19, 2024

https://shawanocountydems.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Letter-to-the-Editor-Border22667PDF.pdf

Embridge ignoring calls from public to decommission Line 5

Gracie Waukechon, who lives in Bonduel, is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a descendant of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin . 

Published in the Shawano Leader January 19, 2024

https://shawanocountydems.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Guest-Column-on-Line-5-PDF-1.pdf

Bob Vetter, Madison

At a Fox News town hall in December, host Sean Hannity asked former President Donald Trump, ‘Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?’ To which Trump replied, ‘Except for day one.’ When asked to clarify, Trump suggested he would be comfortable being a dictator for a day to deliver on some of his campaign promises, such as securing the southern border. Trump’s challenges with the truth, his disregard for the rule of law and his continued campaign of misinformation about the 2020 election make it hard to dismiss his dictator comment as an idle threat. And most recently, he has tried to derail the efforts of serious legislators to pass a bipartisan bill to improve our broken immigration system and secure our southern border. Why would the GOP’s champion to secure the southern border try to kill the bill? Perhaps because Trump needs the southern border as a political wedge issue to get reelected and really isn’t all that interested in solving the border crisis. To me that sounds more like the tactics of an authoritarian dictator than a champion for democracy. And perhaps the rise of a dictator to power in America isn’t as crazy as it once sounded.”

A lock on Legislative Control is Not the American Way

In a democracy the will of the people is supposed to be the law of the land. But what if  elected representatives focus more on their own desire for control and power than their responsibility to the people they are supposed to represent?

 Rigged gerrymandered maps in Wisconsin have resulted in majority control of the state legislature by Republicans for a decade, even when statewide elections often favor Democratic candidates. Finally the Wisconsin Supreme Court has stepped in and said “enough!”. Now the court is in the process of helping establish new district lines to make our maps more fair, responsive and reflective of the will of the people.

 Over this past decade, Wisconsin’s Republican gerrymandered control has left many important citizen priorities ignored.  For example, Republicans voted down receiving $1.6 billion from the federal government in a spiteful refusal of “Obama Care” Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion. To date, Wisconsin remains one of only ten states refusing to participate.

 Again, if some Republicans would have joined Democrats after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe, Wisconsin women would still have access to reproductive healthcare, instead of being forced to travel to other states, or worse, reverting to “the old ways” of dangerous, unhealthy and illegal abortions.

Governor Evers has declared 2024 “The Year of The Worker” in recognition of the hard work and dedication of workers across the state. Part of the plan: an increase to the minimum wage. This year, almost half the states in the nation are increasing their minimum wage — to between $10 and $17 an hour. Wisconsin’s minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2008. Will Republican legislators show any support for even this one signature goal of the Democratic Governor’s plan? Or will they stand in lockstep against it in a show of party solidarity and control? Let’s watch and find out. 

 Democracy does not require our legislators to be of one mind and inflexible on policy 100% of the time. In fact, it is built into our American form of government that we have healthy debate on issues. But, if one party attempts to “corner the market” on control of the government, when do we start calling it for what it is —authoritarian rule? A lock on legislative control is not the American way. Fair maps can’t come soon enough.