June Notes from the Chair

AndyBenedettoThere has been a lot happening in the political world in Marathon County recently. Some of the happenings are things that could frustrate and divide Democrats. At this writing there are three Democratic candidates candidates running for the House of Representatives in the 7th Congressional District, two running for the 86th Assembly seat and last but not least two running for President of the United States.

The slings and arrows of the political season are clear to be seen by anyone who pays attention. Feelings are easily hurt, tempers flair and competitive juices run in unpredictable directions. This makes us all uneasy and worried about how and if we can all come together to win elections in the fall.

There are a number of powerful forces on the side of unity. The most powerful are the Republicans themselves. Just invoking the names of locals like Sean Duffy, John Spiros, and Pat Snyder is plenty to get started. They are among the most arcane, regressive forces in Wisconsin today. They, like Scott Walker, are totally dedicated to shoveling more money in the form of tax breaks and deregulation to wealthy donors to their campaigns. To fund these giveaways they continually hack at the educational system at all levels and cast a blind eye at environmental issues. Their values are upside down and totally at odds with all Democratic candidates.

At the last Democratic Party meeting, Professor George Kraft Phd. from UW – Stevens Point, spoke at length and detail about research conducted over the last fifty years on the effects of high capacity wells on depletion of the Central Sands Region of Wisconsin. This affects us all in very basic ways. As the water table drops, streams and lakes become more shallow, turn into wetlands or disappear. Lakefront houses become houses, fishable streams disappear and public parks lose much of their recreational value and beauty.

On the national scene Democrats can debate Hillary versus Bernie as energetically and at times angrily as they want – but Donald Trump – really! There is an expression about cutting off one’s nose to spite your face. This would be cutting off your head.

The rise of Donald Trump in this country has been the most alarming political movement to befall this country since George Wallace. He is a hostile to minorities, a narcissist, and a total phony. He is unmoored, will contradict himself in the same sentence and knows as little about our constitution as he does about international relations. If you are a Hillary / Bernie or bust person please reconsider.

We must unite at every level and return a sense of trust, honor and morality to our political system.

The Memorial Day Parade

The Marathon County Democratic Party participated in the Memorial Day Parade for the first time in three years. Despite it being a rainy day 15 people including several candidates and their supporters marched or in some cases drove in the parade.

A big thank you is in order to Steve and Shelley Miller for getting a sign recognizing the contributions of veterans and our party’s support for them. The Labor Day Parade lies ahead and Shelley is already planning for what should be a great event.

June Events

June 1: Feingold at the Thrive Foodery 10:00 am for coffee and conversation

June 3-4: State Convention in Green Bay

June 13: Feingold fund raiser at Jalapeno’s

June 16: Membership meeting

July 21: Dem summer picnic

Women for Women May Recap

The Thursday, May 5th Women for Women Caucus event featured John Moe, Clerk of Courts for Stevens Point, who provided updates on Wisconsin’s legislation on election law and information on how to become a poll worker, poll watcher and a special registration deputy.

Senate Bill 295 changing voting rules recently passed the legislature. It made many changes in voting laws. Some are useful, like allowing on-line voter registration by 2017 and allowing veteran’s IDs for voting purposes for the April election. Some may limit voters like shortening the voting window and requiring the absentee ballot tracking system which may be an unnecessary invasion of voter’s privacy. It should be noted that Under Senate Bill 295, this information can be sold by the state as a subscription service which could lead to groups trying to influence voters.

This bill was the 32nd new law making changes to voting and elections since the GOP majority took control in 2011.
There is a great need for poll workers and poll watchers. Applications for applying to be a Poll Worker are available through your Clerk of Courts. Please look for upcoming training on how to be a Poll Watcher. The role of special registration deputies will be changed with the advent of on-line registration.

The Women for Women Caucus will not meet during the summer months. Our hope is that we will all be renewed by Fall to help support women and men candidates who support women and family issues! Look for updates in August for our September meeting which will kick-off our election support!

Join Us: Groundwater Discussion with Professor George Kraft

This Thursday, May 19 at 6:00, the Marathon County Democratic Party will have a Membership Meeting at the office. The special guest speaker will be Professor George Kraft who teaches Water Resources and has done extensive research at UW – Stevens Point. His topic will be “Groundwater Pumping and its Impact on Lakes and Streams with a Central Wisconsin Focus.”

Groundwater, the underground water that can be pumped by wells, feeds most of Wisconsin lakes and streams and wetlands. The uncontrolled growth of high capacity wells is affecting many water bodies, especially strong in the Central Sands where dozens of lakes and stream headwaters have been negatively affected. That growth continues and more water bodies will be affected unless rational groundwater management strategies are adopted.

Groundwater pumping is a political football at present, with pumping advocates, mainly farm groups, clamoring for unfettered access to the resources, lake and stream advocates asking for some basic protections, and the legislature, courts and governor’s office all weighing in.

Hope you all can make it.