Viewpoint Letters Oct. 30, 2016
Tiffany sends tax dollars down the river
When I see Tom Tiffany’s TV ad with him standing next to a raging river a few things come to my mind. The first thought is that many school districts in the 12th Senate District have had to make cuts or hold referendums every year that Mr. Tiffany has been our Senator, while he sends our tax dollars down the river in support of a school voucher program. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Tiffany voted to cut $24 million from the 12th District since 2010. Meanwhile, Tiffany supported sending millions to private schools in Milwaukee, expanding the voucher program statewide. The Fiscal Bureau estimates this will cost taxpayers $260 million in this school year. Talk about a river!
Meanwhile, the payoff to Tiffany is massive! One Wisconsin Now obtained information from area television stations indicating the Washington D.C. based, pro-voucher, American Federation for Children purchased $230,000 in ad time, in one week in September, to benefit Tiffany. Donations are up to $380,000 and rising for Tiffany. Think about that while waiting for the school bus with your kids.
The second thing I think of is how fast and how proud Tiffany was to send our Natural Resources down the river with his iron mining bill. After telling us the bill would protect our water resources, he showed his true colors by stating, “The bill reflects the reality of mining. There are going to be some impacts to the environment above the iron ore body. If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse [environmental] impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.” Does this sound like a man who cares about the environment and his constituents’ welfare? OR is he more concerned with his campaign contributor’s wishes?
Finally, one of the ads shows that after 25 years in the Northwoods, Captain Tom still doesn’t know how to grip a canoe paddle. I hope all your readers know how to grip a paddle because we are all being sold down the river without one. Vote Bryan Van Stippen for Senate!
Mark Pflieger, Harshaw
Reader advocates for challengers
Interesting debate between Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen.Russ Feingold on Oct. 18. Sen. Johnson made it clear, a number of times that he is in favor of fewer government regulations. Which ones? He didn’t say but I would imagine that a close examination of his voting record would begin to answer that question. This puts him in the same boat with Rep. Duffy, State Sen. Tiffany and Assemblyman Swearingen, all of whom are “small” government advocates.
I wonder what a hard working couple who invested their life savings in a waterfront home in the central sands area of Wisconsin in 2004, have to say about fewer regulations. They had hopes of living a dream retirement. Sad to say, they are now living a nightmare. Many of the lakes in that part of the state have shrunk, leaving behind a weed-infested shoreline, or have completely disappeared. This is due, not to global warming but the unregulated pumping of water from high-capacity wells to enable large corporate farms to grow corn. I also wonder what that same couple might think about regulations and regulators if their credit ratings had been trashed or their bank account raided by John Stumpf and his colleagues at Wells Fargo.
If you don’t mind being exposed to similar risks as a result of deregulations, vote for the folks I mentioned above. For a better chance at protecting yourself from similar events, vote for Feingold, Hoeft, Van Stippen and Michalsen.
Jim Leschke, Rhinelander
Senate election choices clear
Our choices in this year’s Senate Election are clear.
On one side we have Russ Feingold the career politician. He has spent a lifetime living off taxpayer money. After 18 years in the Senate his major accomplishment was his campaign finance law. In its first year President Obama refused to participate. No one has since then. He voted to increase taxes 270 times. He was the deciding vote on Obamacare. Remember the lie, “the average family will save $2,500/year.”
He favors the deal that gave Iran $400 million in cash secretly and $1300 million more while withdrawing sanctions. Iran uses the money to fund terrorism. Since the deal Iran has become even more aggressive toward us and has designs on taking Iraq including its oil. He claims to be for education but has been getting $8,000/lecture in California teaching college. He has never created a job and doesn’t even know what it is to work.
On the other side we have Sen. Ron Johnson. Ron has spent 34 years building a business creating jobs for Wisconsinites. He is a first term Senator who spent much of his own money to run for office. After this term he will not run again. He will introduce legislation to ensure that Syrian refugees are fully vetted before they are allowed in. He has received a 100 percent rating from the National Federation of Independent Business. He helped create a budget that will balance over ten years. The Democrats haven’t passed a budget since 2009. He chairs the Senate committee on Homeland Security and government affairs. He has legislation to protect government retaliation against whistle blowers at the VA. He acted the “if you like your health care you can keep it act” to allow Americans to keep their health care plans. Obama promised this but it was a false promise. He signed a letter that prevented over $300 million in cuts to Medicare Advantage plans many of us use.Tammy Baldwin did not. Russ Feingold voted for Obamacare that authorized the cuts.
Isn’t it easy to see who is in it to help Americans and who is in it only to prolong his career as a lifetime politician?
Charlie Gullan, Eagle River
Reader supports Feingold, Hoeft, Van Stippen
It has been difficult to get responses to my concerns from Sen. Ron Johnson. His uniform response of, ”build the economy” does not adequately address the issues of future funding for Social Security, Medicare, drug costs, or the issues of raising the minimum wage, climate change, deteriorating infrastructure, comprehensive immigration, etc. Johnson’s voting record shows that “build the economy” so far means bigger tax breaks for multi-millionaires like himself and deregulating corporations like his. Welcome back, Sen. Feingold!
Congressman Sean Duffy is counting on his cute children and his like-new plaid shirt to get him another term. He whined about his inability to “make it” on only $174,000 per year plus numerous benefits for himself and his family. This does not reflect well with those of us who try to make a living on far less. Duffy has, however, tried and succeeded to force his religious dogma on the rest of us. As a woman, a retired senior, and a wife of a veteran, I can honestly say Duffy has done nothing to help my demographic. Perhaps that is why he has avoided a debate with challenger Mary Hoeft until the bitter end, (Nov. 3 at NTC in Wausau and Nov. 4 at the Hayward Community High School). My money is on Professor Hoeft.
Sen. Tom Tiffany hopes you forget that he supported Gov. Walker’s refusal to accept federal funding, (simply a return of our federal tax dollars), for Medicaid expansion. Tiffany also voted for the cuts to school aid that resulted in a loss of $24 million to schools in Senate District 12. He voted to support an amendment to the state budget that grants Enbridge (the pipeline people) the power of eminent domain to take private land for for-profit corporate gain. The list goes on.
Previous letters have laid out the terrible legislation Tiffany helped draft for mining interests so I will only add; we have longer memories than Mr. Tiffany thinks. Slick TV ads telling us how concerned he is for northern Wisconsin’s resources, do not change the facts. A quick check of votesmart.org shows with whom he really rates. No surprise that the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce gave Tiffany a 100 percent (2013-2014), while The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters rated him at 17 percent (2014) and the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, gave Senator Tiffany a whopping zero percent (2013-2014).
Is Tiffany someone who cares about the Northwoods environment? Bryan Van Stippen has my vote.
Diana C. Smith, Tomahawk
Reader: Write in Kerri Ison
I am writing in support of Kerri Ison as a write-in candidate for the position of Oneida County clerk. Mrs. Ison and I worked together at the Oneida County University of Wisconsin-Extension office when I was the Community Resource Educator and Department head and she was the UW-Extension office manager. Kerri’s position demanded a high level of customer service as the UW-Extension office received dozens of contacts daily either in terms of walk-in clients or telephone inquiries. In all contacts with customers, Kerri was cordial, helpful and efficient in satisfying customer needs. She also was skilled at finding other professional specialists within the University of Wisconsin system to deal with tax payer’s questions if she herself was unable to provide the needed information. In other skill areas, Kerri was proficient in preparing and analyzing government budgets and in taking detailed notes and minutes at official county government meetings. In fact, her skills in the latter area were so well known throughout Oneida County departments, that as department head I was frequently asked by other county departments to “borrow” Kerri to assist them with those types of skills.
Mrs. Ison’s experiences go far beyond her time at UW-Extension as she has over 21 years of experience in government in both Lincoln and Oneida Counties. This includes two-plus years of experience as Election Specialist/Deputy Clerk in the Oneida County clerk’s office. Kerri worked hard to prepare for these several positions by earning an Associate Degree in office management at Nicolet Area Technical College. If experience and customer service count as skills needed to efficiently perform the duties of county clerk, then Kerri should be your choice in the Nov. 8, election. And remember, in a general election you may split your votes among various parties, so clearly write in “Kerri Ison” on the Republican side of the ballot for Oneida County clerk.
Daniel E. Kuzlik
Reader refutes ‘diagnosis’
This is a reply to a letter from Ray Drake, Ph.D., retired psychologist (Oct. 23, 2016). His astute diagnostic skills have resulted in his diagnosis that a “candidate of one political party” is a Hitler and that all who follow him are “easily manipulated fools.” The typical leftist attack on the person and not the issues.
What about the candidate of another political party? How would this skilled diagnostician diagnose her? A proven serial liar, a refusal to disclose anything, using Drake’s words, “unable to bear criticism without retaliation,” a defender of a serial abuser of women, an unlimited lust for wealth and power, proven disdain for a “basket” of people supporting the other candidate. The list is inexhaustible.
So Mr. Drake, share your expertise with us.
David F. Folz, Rhinelander
Medicine of the wolf
I read with interest the letter by Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow regarding wolves in the Oct. 23, 2016 Viewpoints, especially since I had just returned from the Oct. 19 Wisconsin premier of the new documentary, “Medicine of the Wolf,” in Madison.
I grieve for the loss of anyone’s pet as described in last week’s Viewpoints, but I also understand that the best way to prevent those occurrences is never to put a dog outside by itself in wolf territory. A leashed dog with a human attached to it is enough to send a wolf looking for an easier target.
I attended the documentary, starring Jim Brandenburg and Jane Goodall, to learn the science of wolf conservation, rather than emotional and political opinions. Following the film was a panel discussion comprised of the head of the Wisconsin Humane Society, a Ho-Chunk elder, a retired DNR Wildlife Biologist, an animal behaviorist, and a life-long deer hunter taking questions from students, homeowners, ranchers, scientists and hunters.
Scientific evidence shows that wolf hunting to cull packs is not effective as a means of reducing pet or livestock loss, and in fact has the opposite effect. Shooting a portion of a wolf pack destroys the family unit and can cause the starvation of the remainder if there aren’t enough viable adults to hunt effectively. When this happens, more livestock is killed because they are the easier targets, and the partial pack is no longer equipped to take down wild game.
Non-lethal methods have been proven to be the most economical and effective ways to reduce wolf depredation of livestock and allow both wolves and livestock to coexist. These methods include flagging, and protectors such as specialized guard dogs or even llamas.
The most interesting information was discussed by hunters during the panel discussion. DNR maps of active wolf packs, when overlaid by maps of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the deer herd were mutually exclusive. In other words, there was not active CWD in the deer herd where there were active wolf packs. This makes sense in the context of wolves taking out the weaker members of the deer herd. It would also seem to be a more effective and economical way of reducing CWD than human hunters, and might finally produce a healthy Wisconsin deer population.
Unfortunately, no Wisconsin legislators attend this informational premier.
Linnaea Newman, Rhinelander
I would like to take this time to thank Tom Tiffany for restoring property rights to folks who live on water. I just don’t understand the reasoning of local control. How much more local can it be to give property owners their rights back?
Why not create a pamphlet explaining what the County Supervisors think a “good” lake property owner should do to keep the water they are on to be clean and free of invasive species. Everything is invasive, by the way; it’s just a matter of picking the point in time when everything was “perfect.” One hundred years ago or perhaps a thousand years ago take your pick.
Instead of another bureaucracy (make work) going from property to property fining folks because they have some invasive species or dirty water why not allow a business to help people get rid of whatever problem there is on their property. I think that most people would be happy to comply with reasonable requests. No one wants to drink dirty water or breathe filthy air. There are lots of people in this area who just can’t take care of their property because of age or time constraints. However I think that the vast majority would be willing to spend a few hundred bucks to take care of the problem. No different than hiring someone to fix their roof! And that business will pay taxes!
Let’s thank Tom for the low unemployment, budget surplus, trying his best to create good paying jobs here in the Northwoods. I could go on and on.
Michael Cady, Arbor Vitae
Voting is a civic duty
With the election just days away, American Legion Post 93 of Tomahawk is encouraging residents to exercise their civic duty by voting on Nov. 8.
The American Legion is a nonpolitical organization, but encourages all Americans to register and vote in all elections. As a nonpartisan group, The American Legion does not show preference for, or against, any particular candidate or political party
As veterans, and Legion members, we believe that by voting you are showing support for the service members who defend our constitutional right to vote.
The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans’ service organization with 2.2 million members in nearly 1,400 posts in communities across America. The American Legion was established by Congress in 1919 and was instrumental in creating the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in getting the GI Bill through Congress.
Lowell Liberty, Commander Post 93, Tomahawk