Letter from Two Rivers: Why Walker Needs to Go

Have YOU taken the MoD Open Letter Challenge challenge yet?  It's not too late!  The recall election will be held on June 5, 2012. Make your case for the recall today and share your concerns with your friends and neighbors. Every voice matters! Make sure yours is heard in time!

Wisconsin Family Stands Up to Governor Walker with Open Letter

Dear Gov. Walker,

We believe you should be recalled for the following reasons: You have lied from the beginning do you think if you would have campaigned on ending Collective Bargaining you would have been elected? Your attack on the middle and poor class people, your attack on women and you just have lied to us the people of Wisconsin all around.

You have hurt the students greatly in our state with what you and your staff have done to the school districts. I don't believe you should be giving the rich and big corps tax breaks. You are nothing more than a Koch Puppet. 

You are so far in over your head with the John Doe Investigation you would be better off stepping down now. You have openly complained that you can make more working back in the private sector that you should start applying because that is where you are headed. Your attack on the unions and what they stand for are none of your business we have a right to be in the union. You need to understand that we the tax payers pay your salary. You are so busy listening to the Koch brothers that you no longer can think for yourself.

You need to understand that we had enough signatures to get an election we will have enough voters to vote you out. You should just leave and quit wasting the tax payers' dollars.


The Swetts
Two Rivers, WI

The real "travesty" of recall is Scott Walker's record: An Open Letter from Pam Simpson

Pam Simpson submitted the letter below to her local paper, The Journal Times, in response to a letter to the editor by Marian Anderson that called the recall a ‘travesty on democracy’.  Pam writes that in addition to the reasons she discusses in her letter, Walker "is turning back the clock for women, both in health care and in the work force.   That is simply unacceptable." 
Here's Ms. Anderson's letter:
  And here's Pam's response:
I  wrote this letter to the editor in response to a letter to the editor from Sunday, April 15 from another citizen of Racine, WI.  In that letter she stated that “the recall is a travesty on democracy.” 
In running for Governor of our state, Scott Walker lied, withheld information and misled many individuals.  He was and IS in it for himself—to follow the Koch brothers orders and work for ALEC.  A recall is a perfect example of democracy in action. 
He has brought ‘dirty’ politics into our state.  Among the damage is the harming of our children's’ educations.  He has attempted to redirect money meant for other things to cover up his lie of a ‘balanced budget’—attempting to obtain money meant for health care for low-income families and for home-owners who had faced foreclosure.  He was only stopped because the Federal government forced him to.  A recall is certainly appropriate here.
He has undermined collective bargaining; he has turned back the clock on equal pay for women, etc.  He is NOT fighting for us; he is fighting for big business and for the Koch brothers.  He talks about buses of people being brought into the state – ‘union thugs’ as he likes to call them.  But he has to go all over the country looking for money to help defend himself in his legal battles---those who are very close to him being under investigation.
I am counting on the recall to be successful so we can get back to normal Wisconsin politics. 
Pam Simpson

Have YOU taken the MoD Open Letter Challenge challenge yet?  It's not too late!  The recall election will be held on June 5, 2012. Make your case for the recall today and share your concerns with your friends and neighbors. Every voice matters! Make sure yours is heard in time!

Sue Schuetz: You can't make a silk purse out of the sow's ear that is Scott Walker


Sue Schuetz takes the MoD Open Letter Challenge by submitting her short but sweet thoughts on why Walker needs to go.  Have YOU taken the challenge yet?  It's not too late!  The recall election will be held on June 5, 2012. Make your case today for why Scott Kevin Walker should be recalled from office.

So Walker is dashing about from state to state collecting millions of dollars for his campaign.
Don't let all that money influence YOU...money cannot buy honesty, or make a bad governor into a good one.  
Remember all that has happened to our great state since Walker was elected.  If he is reelected, you can count on things just getting worse.
There is not enough silk to make a purse out of that sow's ear.

Sue Schuetz
Cross Plains 

42 Theses on the Misuse of Power and Authority by Governor Scott Walker by Tom Krajewski

Thomas Krajewski delivered these theses in the Capitol Rotunda in April of 2011. He submits them to us today as part of the MoD Open Letter Challenge.  Have YOU taken the challenge yet?  It's not too late!  The recall election will be held on June 5, 2012. Make your case today for why Scott Kevin Walker should be recalled from office.

42 Theses on the Misuse of Power and Authority by Governor Scott Walker
by Tom Krajewski
  1. He has needlessly frightened men, women and children of Wisconsin with his unnecessary layoff threats.
  2. He has used state, local and school workers as hostages.
  3. With his dishonest and harmful rhetoric and radical proposals, he has demonstrated clever politics but terrible leadership by dividing Wisconsin and pitting brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend.
  4. With his proposals he has threatened to end 40 years of labor/management peace in Wisconsin.
  5. He has proposed legislation that would take workers' collective voice from them.
  6. He has prevented citizens from entering the State Capitol to petition their government.
  7. He has ignored our first amendment right of free association and the right of democratically elect representatives to bargain for us.
  8. He has proposed legislation that would force workers to beg rather than bargain.
  9. He has manufactured and exploited a fiscal crisis to destroy the last major barricade to the political power of corporations and the wealthy.
  10. He has considered and taken actions that are beneath the dignity of the office of Governor.
  11. He has brought shame and disgrace to the great state of Wisconsin.
  12. He has admitted to the use of trickery and deceit to further his legislative agenda.
  13. He has refused to negotiate even after his financial demands have been met.
  14. He has conspired with his legislative allies to deprive citizens of their right to assemble and petition their government.
  15. He has sown despair in the minds and hearts of Wisconsin.
  16. He has rejected federal funds for transit, high speed rail and telecommunications thereby killing jobs in Wisconsin.
  17. He delivered $140 million in new tax cuts for businesses before asking for sacrifice from working men and women.
  18. He has proposed legislation that would severely limit wind powered energy thereby costing Wisconsin thousands of jobs but benefiting his largest group of contributors.
  19. He has submitted legislative proposals based upon political patronage rather than merit.
  20. He has proposed eliminating the jobs of 37 civil servants and hiring an equal number of patronage employees thereby consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move attorneys, public information officers and legislative liaisons to carry out his agenda.
  21. He has sold out Wisconsin's working men and women not for 30 pieces of silver but for 30 seconds of fame.
  22. He has shown his desire to repeal many forward looking Wisconsin laws including several enacted by Republican Governors thereby showing contempt for Wisconsin's motto FORWARD.
  23. He has proposed giving the total control of Wisconsin's Medicaid program over to a man who has told states to scrap Medicaid.
  24. He has proposed selling 37 state heating, cooling and power plants so that the state would be at the mercy of a monopoly for these services.
  25. He has proposed selling state assets without bids thereby discarding and rejecting the value of the free market that works to assure Wisconsin gets the best price for these assets.
  26. He has proposed allowing wetlands to be destroyed for the use of his campaign contributors.
  27. He has expressed a willingness to violate state ethics laws by taking a vacation paid for by businesses that lobby state officials.
  28. He has refused to even consider a compromise on the issue of collective bargaining and refused to negotiate with state employees or their representatives.
  29. He has ignored the teachings of Catholic bishops, Protestant ministers and Jewish rabbis who have instructed him that workers have a fundamental right to bargain collectively and be heard.
  30. He has unwisely ignored the words of the greatest leaders of his political party. Abraham Lincoln who said: "All that harms labor is treason to America."; Dwight Eisenhower who said, Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. … Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”; and Ronald Reagan who said, "where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost."
  31. He has arrogantly ignored the newspapers of our state (many of whom endorsed him just four months earlier) who have urged him to negotiate and compromise.
  32. He has misrepresented the views of school boards and administrators, local and county officials when he told the public that they wanted collective bargaining eliminated.
  33. He has ignored the voices of more than 200 mayors, school board presidents and other local officials representing at least 20 cities, 41 towns and 22 counties who have objected to the collective bargaining restrictions in his budget repair bill.
  34. He has ignored the majority view of Wisconsin voters who have demonstrated in a number of public opinion polls that they support collective bargaining in Wisconsin and reject his leadership.
  35. He has ignored the message from the political cartoonists of America. Google “Cartoon, Scott, Walker” and you get 474,000 images. Most are not positive.
  36. He has destroyed his working relationship with the police and fire unions who have opposed him even though they were exempted from his collective bargaining provisions.
  37. He was willing to speak with a wealthy out of state contributor but has refused to speak with Wisconsin voters or their representatives.
  38. He has refused to meet with Democratic State Legislators, the representatives of more than 2 million Wisconsinites.
  39. He has submitted legislative proposals “so lacking in details” that they are unable to be analyzed.
  40. His unwillingness to compromise, negotiate or even talk to unions or their elected representatives has so frustrated and angered citizens that they have created the largest and most sustained protest in the history of the state which has in turn created a major cost to law enforcement departments and ultimately taxpayers.
  41. He has so poisoned the well that any issue that he associates himself with for the remainder of his term will become suspect.
  42. His stubborn resistance to compromise and his defiance of Wisconsin voters has cost him his moral and functional leadership for the remainder of his term.

Open Letter Challenge: Make your voice heard to RECALL WALKER

Calling all lovers of justice, hyperbole and dissent! 
Let your voice be heard!

With just 6 weeks to go until the recall election on June 5, I challenge all MoD fans and recall supporters to share their open letters to Governor Walker and other recall candidates.  

It's now or never.  Stand up now, or wake up on June 6 thinking "what else could I have done?"

Let's get ALL our voices out there in one final Open Letter Blast! 

Why do you think Wisconsin should vote Walker out? How has your life changed since Walker took office?  What cuts or policies do you think have hurt Wisconsin the most? Why do you think Lori Compas deserves Scott Fitzgerald's Senate seat? What needs to be done to restore the rule of reason in Wisconsin? What does the recall effort mean to you?

Every story is different. Every story matters. Share yours.

Email your letters to monologuesofdissent@gmail.com and I'll post them on the blog. I'll edit for spelling and grammar as needed so don't worry about being a great writer.  

If we've learned anything over the last year and a half it's that civic action works - we may not have the money, but we've got the power of the people on our side.  Show them what democracy looks like. Make your voice heard!

For maximum effect, I encourage you to send your letters to your hometown paper as well. Local letters have the biggest impact and can be very effective in countering the right-leaning perspective of most small-town Wisconsin papers.

Some helpful addresses...

Contact information for Wisconsin Newspapers and Other Outlets for Letters to the Editor.
Don't see your local paper on this list? Email me so I can add it!  This list was compiled from multiple sources, so it's a work-in-progress and I'd like to make it as complete as possible.  

    Statewide outlets:
     Papers by city:
     College and university publications:

    And remember...it's never too late to get involved at the local level. We need your help.
    If you're not already a member of your local volunteer team, sign up today.  Find a local team at wisdems.org or unitedwisconsin.com

    Need help getting started?
    Here are some tips for writing effective letters to the editor:



    Dear Editor:

    Introduction: 1-3 sentences that explain why you are writing this letter and who you are. Only include details relevant to your reasons (i.e. Your letter is about education. Are you a teacher? A parent? A student? A district tax payer?)
     Body of letter should be focused, specific and concise. 2-3 paragraphs max. Pick a topic or theme and stick to it. If you are enumerating reasons you want Walker (or Fitz, etc) recalled, be clear and brief - and consider numbering them. Use specific examples to illustrate your points and make it personal and relevant.  Keep it short and simple.  The shorter your letter, the more likely it is to be published and read.  Many papers limit letters to the editor to 300-400 words. 
    Conclusion: Summarize your main point. Call on readers to take action; make a request or call to action.

    Recallicus Maximus, Esq. 
    Address (this won't be included on my blog, but should be included in the letters you send to newspapers)
    Contact phone or email

    You can find some helpful letter-writing tips here, and even an offer of assistance in writing your letters!: http://www.grassrootswi.org/media/.   I am happy to help, too, if you have questions or are stumped. Just send me an email.

    Open Letter: UW-Oshkosh employee contributes to Walker's campaign...with fiscal facts

    The following open letter appeared here in the Oshkosh Northwestern online on 19 April, 2012.  It's just too priceless not to share.

    An Open Letter to Governor Walker,

    I have received your letter requesting funds for your recall election effort. Sadly, I am an employee of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. About a year or so ago my wages were cut due to increases in my health insurance premium. Since becoming an employee of the UW System in 1999, five percent of my pay has been withheld and automatically applied to the WRS fund for my retirement. However, around the same time as my insurance premiums nearly tripled, an additional five percent of my pay was taken from me and applied to the WRS fund. Mind you, my pay was not increased to replace what had previously been negotiated out of state employee paychecks and I now find myself taking home less in 2012 than I did in 2007.

    With the prices of gas, milk, cereal and other things continually increasing, but my take-home pay continually decreasing, I simply do not have any money to contribute to your campaign coffers. However, I did notice that according to the 2011-2013 Compensation Plan, the Office of Governor received a pay increase. Please consider the portion of my state income tax that was applied to your pay increase as my contribution to your re-election effort.

    Daniel M. Hoyt

    Want to make your thoughts to the Governor open to the public?
    Guest posts always welcome. Just email monologuesofdissent@gmail.com.
    Open records, open letters, open government.  Let your voice be heard!

    Princesses, Passports and Priorities: An Open Letter

    It's been a while since I had to post on the perils of gender-stereotyping and child-rearing, but I feel obligated to make this letter I recently sent to my school district an open one since this is an issue confronting many parents in many communities.  I don't at all enjoy sending these kinds of letters and, to be frank, I'm disgusted that I have to in 2012. 

    We received an email on April 9, 2012 from our school district inviting us to two separate events: a father-daughter dance (for princesses!) and a mother-son challenge (for problem-solvers!).  While both of the events undoubtedly have merits in their own right, and I have learned since that the organizers might allow children of either gender to attend either event, the way they are juxtaposed and the wording on the registration forms makes crystal clear that boys only are to attend the problem-solving event (the form has spaces for "Number of sons" and "Name of adult") while only girls are to attend the Father-Daughter Dance.  While it seems one could bring a parent of either gender to these events, there's not really room for interpretation on which students are allowed to attend each event.  So unless your son wants a corsage and your daughter wants to sign up as a "son", I'm not really buying that these events are actually open to either gender. Everything in the language says otherwise.

    As parents who hope to raise strong, confident, independent children, we feel we have enough problems dealing with social and political pressures that replicate gender stereotypes and sex-based discrimination without having to deal with the outright celebration of explicit gender bias in our schools.  This is our family's response to that message.  The original message from the district is below it; I left out the contact info for the program coordinator, as she is the advisor to a student group which organized the event - I want to make clear that my concerns are not intended to personally criticize this educator or her program.   I have since heard from the district and am pleased to report that they are taking these concerns very seriously and using them to reconsider how they might conceive of these events in the future, and how to use them as a teaching moment for the student-organizers involved in this year's planning.  The damage, however, has been done.  Just today my daughter received pink and blue fliers in her mailbox at 4K, inviting girls to dance and boys to be challenged.  The conversation on how to address this is difficult and necessary, and I'm happy to know I'll have a say in it.

    I want to preface this post with a big caveat though:  we love our public schools and really have no major problems with our school district or its administrators, which is why I found this message all the more jarring, disturbing and unacceptable. I am not sharing our concerns here to attack the coordinators of this event or the district, but to raise a very important concern about how important it is that we hold ourselves accountable, and to a very high standard, for not reproducing stereotypes and gender discrimination that negatively impact our children and our community.  

    To those who would argue that these are "innocent" events and no harm is intended, I'd like to point out that this message comes on the heels of our governor quietly signing away the Equal Pay Act, and a Wisconsin Senator publicly stating that the reason women make less money than men is that "money is more important for men."  Women in Wisconsin make 78 cents for every dollar men make.  Our schools should be doing all they can to help prevent this gap from widening as they prepare our daughters for the workplace.  Instead, the district is promoting "fun" and "harmless" events that seem in clear violation of its own non-discrimination policy, as well as State and Federal anti-discrimination law.

    I encourage local parents who feel the same to share their own thoughts with the district administrator, Dr. Tim Culver. And I encourage parents elsewhere to look careful at the materials they receive from their schools and hold them to a high standard.  I hope that sharing the letter my husband and I sent prompts discussion, but more importantly that it encourages more parents to stand up and say that it's not acceptable, even if we have the best of intentions, to send messages to our daughters that they cannot compete intellectually with our sons.  I do not doubt that this message was sent "accidentally" - but that does not mean it was not sent, and the damage has been done.  If we want to change this, we have to start by voicing our concerns.  I hope you will share yours. Here are ours:

     9 April 2012
    Dear Sun Prairie Area School District Administrators,

    We are writing because we received an announcement from the Sun Prairie School District today inviting us to participate in two events, and we have very serious concerns about these events and the way they are presented to parents and children that we would like to share with you.

    Let us say first that we appreciate the efforts of the District to organize fun events that bring the community together, encourage participation of families, and provide affordable activities for students to attend.  We are active members at our neighborhood school and always look forward to participating in these events. We also know that a lot of time and effort goes into planning them, and we are grateful to have such a dedicated and caring staff in our district.

    We do not understand, however, why these two specific events are designed and coordinated around gender stereotypes and gender discrimination which seem at odds with the District's policy and platform of inclusive neighborhood schools.  According to the District's non-discrimination policy, which is the first thing we see in our Elementary School Handbook, "No student may be discriminated against in any school programs, activities or in facilities usage because of the student’s sex, color, religion, profession or demonstration of belief or non-belief, race, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, homelessness status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability. Harassment is a form of discrimination and shall not be tolerated in the district. It is the responsibility of administrators, staff members and all students to ensure that student discrimination or harassment does not occur. (SPASD Policy JB)."  It is unclear to us how these gender-restricted events do not violate this policy.

    Our daughter will not be attending the "Father-Daughter Dance" because we do not think this is an appropriate or necessary way to bring parents and children together for a school-related event. If you're going to leave education out of it altogether, why not have a Family Dance where mothers, fathers, sons and daughters could all participate and enjoy a fun and fancy event together? We understand and respect that Disney princesses are very popular, but our family chooses to try to avoid these highly unrealistic and offensive stereotypes and support a nurturing environment where our daughter can grow up to be more than a "princess" whose main objective in life is to marry a handsome prince. We would expect (and even demand) that her school would be the one place we could count on to help us encourage her to have higher aspirations as well. Instead, she is encouraged to "bring a camera."

    Even more disturbing, however, is the juxtaposition of this event with the "Mother/Son Challenge," which sounds infinitely more fun, interesting and engaging for kids of any gender. For this event, boys are encouraged to bring their moms (or a "favorite adult") and use their brains to solve puzzles that allow them to complete a passport, win prizes and have fun.  Both our son AND our daughter would love to do this, just as our son, minus the "Disney Princess" elements, would love to attend a family dance. But what kind of message does it send to our kids and our community that while the girls are twirling about and getting their photos taken with the Disney Princesses, boys are completing problems and exploring the high school? By pairing these events together in such a way, you are sending this message. And we do not accept it.

    $10 will buy our daughter a corsage, or it can buy our son a passport.   We'll take the passport for both of them, please, and we hope that the District will carefully consider the lasting and dangerous implications of organizing events around dated stereotypes and gender biases.  Our district claims to have a policy that does not discriminate on the basis of gender, but these events not only discriminate on that basis, they actually teach our kids to discriminate on that basis, and solidify tired, outdated stereotypes that have no place at all in our schools, much less our century.

    We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, and pass them on to others who may be involved in planning such events.  These stereotypes are damaging enough in themselves, but compounded even further when one considers how many kids in our schools live in single-parent homes or have non-traditional families and are therefore automatically excluded or alienated from such events. We are confident that many other parents share our point of view and would rather have the District promote and organize events for the entire family than events that encourage discrimination and reinforce dangerous and damaging stereotypes.

    Yours sincerely,
    The Bourenane Family

    Dear Parents and Guardians of Boys & Girls in Grades 4K - 5,

    Reservations are now being taken for the Annual Father-Daughter Dance to be held Saturday,  April 21st, 2012 from 5:30 -7:30 pm.  The "Disney Princesses" will again be at the dance, so make sure you bring your cameras!!  Tickets are  $10.00 in advance which includes one child. $2.00 for each additional child – this includes a raffle ticket, snacks, drinks, & a corsage for each girl.  Information and the RSVP form is available on the district website.

    PLUS, this year there's a special event for moms and sons, too with the Mother-Son Challenge Day.   This will also be held Saturday, April 21st, but in the morning from 9-11:30 am.
    Boys in grades 4K – 5 are invited to a day of fun with their mom or favorite adult.  The child/adult team will travel to different parts of Sun Prairie High School solving problems and completing puzzles. With each completed station, the team receives a stamp on their passport and will be entered to win prizes! 

    Tickets for the Mother-Son Challenge are also $10.00 in advance which includes one child. $2.00 for each additional child – – this includes a raffle ticket, snacks, drinks, & a flag for each team.   Information and the RSVP form is also available on the district website. The link for the Mother-Son Challenge is here .

    Thank you and we hope you can attend one of these great events!