Uppity Wisconsin

Welcome to the new home of Uppity Wisconsin - expect to see some changes soon.


Draining the Swamp? Not So Much

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Trump's promise to "drain the swam" -

EPA Water Listening Session in Eau Claire

On Tuesday Nov. 15 approximately 300 people attended the EPA listening session at Chippewa Valley Technical College. The session was set up for the Administrator of US EPA’s Region V, Robert Kaplan to listen to citizens testifying about water quality in the state and to help determine if the EPA should take over the oversight of Wisconsin's compliance to the Clean Water Act. Wisconsin's DNR has been shrunk in size, and water quality enforcement has become much less of a priority, as the DNR is often not following its own rules or enforcing the law consistently. This is a (rather long) video of most of the citizen testimony on this issue. Many people testified at the meeting, requiring an extension of the meeting. The meeting was sponsored by the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, Sierra Club Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, River Alliance of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Lakes Association, Citizen Action Organizing Co-op of Western Wisconsin, and Clean Wisconsin

This unfortunately was the only such meeting held in the state, so may of the attendees had to drive in from other parts of the state that have been having water quality crises. You may submit your own written testimony to the EPA at the region 5 EPA web site . You may also find out more information about the situation in general at Clean Wisconsin and Midwest Environmental Advocates, who filed the original petition with the EPA.

Let's break the gerrymander. Here's how.

  Wisconsin is under one-party rule and it will remain that way under the current gerrymandered legislative districts.

  There are many districts now where it is pointless for the dems to put up a candidate. It is like leading a lamb to slaughter. 

  Instead the Democratic Party should perhaps think about taking the fight to the Republicans on their own turf and run primary candidates, listing themselves as Republicans and abandoning the inter-party contest altogether. The ersatz candidate would not need to hide his or her party background.  They would need however to have a populist message (minimum wage, voting rights, the environment,school funding) that would appeal to the independent voters. The dems could organize their base and with some luck, and a low-turnout election, the crossover dems and low-information Republican voters could deliver the goods.

Back to the Woods

Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“See that scrape?” Lisa pointed to a large area of bare dirt. “That’s not made by a tractor tire.”
“And look at the branches above,” she said. “They are all broken. The buck was standing here pawing his hooves and tossing his head.”
We were on the edge of one of our hay fields, just where the field dropped into a ravine. I could see over several pastures and fields to the northwest and through the woods to my neighbor’s pasture in the southeast – a commanding spot.
Lisa and I were tracking a big ten-point buck. I saw him many times - even running after a doe right outside my study window as I wrote last week’s column. He was muscular and alert with wide, heavy antlers – a deer hunter’s dream.

Here's How We Beat Those Frackers

Organize a bit more. That's it, with the corollary that we ought to consider supporting those involved in organizing. We do that we're home. Some details include extirpating the DNC pukes and replacing the lot with the like of Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-Minnesota), and hiring some folks and paying them a lot of money to reach out to the white, Christian, racist puke vote

Democratic Underground Hacked

So - in case you have been not paying attention due to a stupor of post-election depression, the popular lefty forum site Democratic Underground was badly hacked on election night and remains more or less down. It's believed that some user information may have been accessed during the hack. The site admins believe that password information was comparatively safe since the passwords were hashed in the site database.  I wouldn't put a lot of faith in that, so if you happened to have a password on Democratic Underground that you were re-using on other sites 

a:. Stop doing that

b. you probably ought to change your passwords elsewhere as a good cyber-hygiene practice.

The Mic and liberal talk radio gone from Madison

I will have rather a lot more to say about the political revolution that took place on Tuesday as time goes on, but I think one of the great ironies is that at the same time  that Donald Trump was elected president, liberal talk radio disappeared in Madison. The MIC, 92.1, is apparently going to be changing format. This is not a huge surprise in a lot of ways since I Heart Radio (formerly Clearchannel) has not been a big sympathizer for lefty causes. Still the timing is interesting. Nobody really knows what they are changing to, and apparently the current plan is to play Christmas music until the end of the year, at which time they will unveil their new format.

I am afraid this is a harbinger of things to come. We have just elected a president who has made it clear he does not believe in the first amendment and thinks that public figures should be able to sue those who disagree with them. All of this makes the need for community media and conversation more crucial. I'm trying to do something about that. Watch this space.

Trying to gather my thoughts.

A lot happened overnight. In many ways I think our country will never be the same. We have voted for sin due to fear. While I try to get my thoughts together, I'm going to give the floor to Keith Olbermann, who has something to say.  This is fairly close to my thoughts. 

Joining Hands and Respecting Differences

Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“We try very hard to not have political discussions at our family gatherings,” my friend told me over dinner.
“How sad,” I replied. This comment – one I’ve heard many times in past months – stood in sharp contrast to the enthusiastic spirit of community I felt the night before.
I joined many neighbors in celebrating the release of a new album of local music. The accomplishment is a collaboration of three local musicians – Yata, Sinz and Orfield - in a delightful compilation entitled Dancing in the Light.
The crowd was enthusiastic, clapping in time with the music. One couple joined hands to dance even among the standing-room-only crowd.
As we left the concert, neighbors reminded each other of the dinner coming up in Alma. Parishioners at St John’s Lutheran Church will join hands to host a fundraiser for the victims of the flood in Buffalo County.
Somehow, we must figure out a way of taking the “joining of hands” from our local neighborhoods and apply it to the big decisions we make at the state and national levels.

So - the time has come

It's time to vote. This election leaves us with real choices - Please, let's not hear the "both parties are the same" argument. All the way through the ticket we have people from both of the major parties who genuinely are different. 

I'm not going to re-hash the presidential race, as I am sure you are all tired of hearing about it. I know I am. Let's just say that you have a choice tomorrow that will influence the direction of the country for years to come, from treatment of the environment, our behavior toward immigrants, and perhaps most clearly, who will be on the supreme court for many years to come. I'm counting on all of you to go out and do right by your families, your kids, and yourselves. 

Think of the things we can do

If we had a Republican in the White House, a Republican majority in the house, and a Republican majority in the United States Senate, think of the things we can do.

Scott Walker last night during Donald Trump''s appearance in Eau Claire.

Frankly I have thought of little else for the past year. We might very quickly move from having a completely incapacitated government to a completely demonical one, laying the groundwork for regression in the US for decades to come. Imagine a more conservative Supreme Court for at least  a generation, continual suppression of voting rights, mass deportation, camps full of people on their way out, and a country headed by someone who has no respect for the law and who will be in court immedately after taking office both for business chicanery and child rape.

Think of the things they can do. Then on Tuesday go vote to make sure they can't do it.

Wisconsin: Vote for Clean Water on Nov. 8

Here are four candidates who have pledged to protect clean water and stand up to Big Ag: Lynn Utesch (WI State Assembly District 1) David Gorski (WI State Assembly District 72) Mary Hoeft (U.S. House of Representatives, District 7) Russ Feingold (United States Senate)

Wisconsin Republicans Are Compromised, Water Warrior Lynn Utesch Fights

Please vote Lynn Utesch for Assembly on November 8. Our very survival as a state we can call home, depends on it. Our state Republicans are compromised beyond hope

Local Referenda Replace the Lack of State Education Funds

Senator Kathleen Vinehout
From Arrowhead to West Salem, voters across the state are considering the future of their school districts when they go to the polls. Citizens in 46 districts will be asked to approve referenda.
Some questions relate to the building of new facilities. However, 46% of this year’s referenda are for the on-going expenses of operating local schools.
I received many calls about school funding, property taxes and the problems underlying the questions voters face on the ballot.

Central Wisconsin Is Heart of Wisc Campaign 2016

David Gorski's campaign has Big Ag frightened because Gorski is leading a number of reformers running for public office who fight for tourism, public schools, recreation and water as the life blood of their communities, while extolling the economic benefits of these very resources.

Feingold the "Complete Phony"? Days Before Election, Ron Johnson Becomes a Gun Owner

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been frothing at the mouth lately, calling Russ Feingold "a complete phony" because, in Johnson's view, Feingold is an "arrogant elite" and not the regular guy persona that Wisconsinites think they know.

Meanwhile, Johnson insists he's not the arrogant elite that Wisconsinites have come to know.  You see, everyone has got it all wrong:  Before he went to the Senate in 2010, he spent the previous 35 years as a simple "working man."   Just a good 'ol boy, never meanin' no harm.

RoJo Ad Hits Feingold PAC for "Spending Nearly Half" on Fundraising? Umm... Paul Ryan Spends 67%

In U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's latest ad, they're apoplectic at the notion of a Political Action Committee (PAC) spending "nearly half" of their contributions on fundraising for more contributions.

Although this may seem like a lot, it depends on how you look at it.  If you spend six dollars to bring in ten (a four dollar net gain), it's better than spending one dollar to bring in three (a two dollar net gain).

Plus, only a small percentage of fundraising appeals yield money.  However, the 95% of the people that just read the fundraising letter or web ad and don't give are still armed with the information that it contained and are more likely to vote and volunteer their time.  All this is part of the calculation.

Halloween Monsters, GOP Style

Halloween seems like the right time for a hike down memory lane to review the goblins and ghouls that inhabit the Republican underworld. Let us start with the main monster: Donald Trump. Beyond our wildest imagination, this Republican nominee for president is the most frightening gargoyle of all time. Almost daily we learn of new revelations that show how disturbed and dangerous he is. His latest boasts of being a sexual predator may be the wooden stake aimed at his vampire heart. With the majority of women now denouncing him it has almost certainly closed off his path to the White House. What is unknown is how society will deal with his horrendous transgressions. The many women he allegedly assaulted makes a strong case for criminal investigation, and this option has credibility given the leaders now suggesting it was a crime, including First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Go Vote…Even on Saturday

Senator Kathleen Vinehout
On a beautiful October Saturday afternoon, my college-student son and I went to vote. Afterwards, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Just between you and me, I worried about my son voting. Would he come home before Election Day? Would he know the rules about mail-in ballots?
Mail-in early voting is complex.
You must request the ballot by mail by downloading the ballot request form. (http://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/gab_forms/4/el_121_application_for_absentee_ballot_2016_08_p_44421.pdf). You fill out the ballot request form and make sure you mail it so your clerk receives it by 5:00 pm November 3rd  2016.

Join Wis.community

The Wis.community web site is a new project for my web development company. Think of it as a set of  mini-sites about different topcs and (eventually) different parts of the state. At the moment we're concentrating on the Chippewa Valley.  If you are in the area please join me at our first Community Meeting -- at 6 PM on Monday the 24th.  The meeting will be in the classroom at the beautiful classroom at Menomonie Market Food Co-op - it's upstairs in the office area. We will be talking about what Wis.community can do now, and what people would like to see in the future.  See you there!!

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Today, March 21

  • Steve Hanson

    Changes to Title
    Evers Demands Action on Wisconsin’s Drinking Water CrisisEvers Demands Action on Wisconsin’s Drinking Water Crisis
    Evers Demands Action on Wisconsin’s Drinking Water Crisis
    Changes to News Article Type
    Press release
    Read more
  • Steve Hanson

    Drinking Water Quality in Some Areas of Wisconsin Worse than Flint Michigan;
    Evers’ plan targets water clean-up and keeping Wisconsin kids safe

    MADISON – Democratic candidate for Governor Tony Evers today announced a new digital video highlighting Wisconsin’s growing drinking water crisis in addition to releasing a series of policies to keep Wisconsin’s kids safe.  Over the last eight years, Governor Scott Walker has failed to address rampant lead poisoning in our water while also ignoring runoff pollution from mega farms which are dangerously contaminating wells and drinking water across Wisconsin.  In addition to growing lead contamination through our water, lead paint continues to be the highest source of poisoning for our kids.

    Evers “Safe Water, Safe Kids” proposal:

    ·       Establish a comprehensive and permanent revolving loan program for lead pipe water service lines, lead-based internal plumbing and contaminated well replacements

    ·       Allow school districts and villages, cities, towns and counties to exceed levy limits to replace lead pipe water service lines

    ·       Create a thorough academic and behavioral intervention program for children with elevated blood lead levels

    ·       Allow individuals to claim the Historic Preservation Tax Credit for 25% of costs incurred to remove and replace windows in a historic property to remediate a lead hazard

    “From Watertown to Buffalo County to the City of Milwaukee – communities across Wisconsin are suffering from lead contaminated water worse than Flint, Michigan.  As educators, we see the real impacts on our kids in our schools.  Something more must be done,” said Evers. “There are hazardous levels of lead in the public water systems of one-third of Wisconsin’s counties.”

    “Whether it’s Scott Walker’s allies wanting to arm our teachers with guns, ignoring years of physical abuse and sexual assault at Lincoln Hills, or Wisconsin’s drinking water crisis – Scott Walker has failed to protect Wisconsin’s kids.  Period.  What world are we living in where it’s ok for our kids to get sick from drinking tap water?” Evers asked.

    “The dangerous effects of lead cannot be overstated.  While it’s not something you can actually see with your eyes, it’s there and it’s hurting Wisconsin’s kids,” said Dr. Beth Neary, a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Council on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “There is no safe level of lead. Even at low levels of exposure, there can be permanent effects on the developing brains of children, resulting in developmental and behavioral problems such as lower IQ, difficulty paying attention, concentrating and emotional self-control.”

    In addition to lead...

    Read more
  • Steve Hanson


    MADISON – Yesterday, the State Senate passed Assembly Bill 836, authored by Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), Representative Todd Novak (R- Dodgeville), Senator Luther Olsen (R- Ripon) and Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona). AB 836 will update references in state statutes to reflect current population numbers and prevent numerous laws designed specifically for Milwaukee County from being applied to Dane County. In the next census, Dane County will surpass 500,000 residents and would, without this change, be subject to laws written for application only in Milwaukee County, where for almost a century it has been the only county with a population greater than 500,000.


    “I am glad to have worked on this bi-partisan bill to ensure that as Dane County grows, laws that were enacted specifically for Milwaukee County will not be arbitrarily applied to our county, as well,” said Rep. Subeck.


    AB 836 updates over 200 references from 500,000 to 750,000, to ensure that the status quo continues for the laws as they apply to Dane County while making no changes to what in current law applies to Milwaukee County. It makes no changes to current powers or duties of county and local government in Wisconsin.


    AB 836 has now passed both the State Assembly and State Senate and will now head to the Governor.