Political Viewpoints from your Northwoods neighbors
Reader seeks third party candidates
The Rhinelander area has produced distinguished leaders.
In surveys, many say the U.S. would benefit from having more than just two sizable political parties. Wisconsin has three established alternative parties: the liberal greens, the economically conservative libertarians and the Constitution Party. Each year these parties run candidates for the relatively powerless jobs of Wisconsin Secretary of State and State Treasurer. This allows sympathizers to vote third party without forfeiting a chance to vote for big-party candidates for important jobs. Generally, third-party totals have been rising.
Amazingly, this year only one person chose this prudent strategy. The Constitution Party’s Andrew Zuelke is running for State Treasurer.
I sympathize with all third parties, which are suspicious of U.S. involvement in foreign civil wars. I admire third party activists who work hard to maintain their parties. I mourn that, while there should be five more prudent-strategy third-party candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot, there won’t be.
Michael Holaseck, Cudahy
Reader supports Meier for state legislature
These days, many people have the feeling that government is not working for ordinary people. Guess what? That’s not going to change until we elect different people to Congress and the Wisconsin Legislature. That means looking at what they do, not what they say. I hear folks say that Mr. Duffy and Mr. Swearingen deserve reelection because they are “nice guys.”
That’s not enough! We have to look beyond their personal appeal to ask what they have done for us. Duffy has done little but support the president and rich taxpayers — what has he done for you? Swearingen has worked for the liquor industry, wealthy people and corporations, and the Koch brothers agenda — what has he done for you?
You know the answer to both of those questions: NOTHING. If you are as concerned as most people about health care, Social Security, and fiscal sanity at the national level, vote for Margaret Engebretson for Congress. If you are likewise concerned about schools, roads and health care at the state level, elect Chris Meier to the state assembly.
If we want change, it has to start right here, right now.
Gerald Anderson, Rhinelander
Vote NO on mining question
Do not be fooled by the colorful, well-organized fliers coming to our mailboxes in the weeks before the November 6 election. They catch our eyes with bold printed statements about Wisconsin’s water and natural resources and protecting northern Wisconsin. Soulful faces of big-eyed deer look directly into our eyes, tug at our hearts, from a flyer that tells us how to vote on the referendum about mining.
These fliers actually provide no factual information about what they are telling us to do.The beautiful lake scenes do not provide facts that we need when making important decisions about mining. Even the words on these fliers do not provide factual details. As beautiful as they are the fliers are basically just examples of glossy propaganda. Yes, there will be a referendum about mining in the Township of Lynne on the ballot. We can give the fliers that much.
Notice in the upper left hand corner, first line of the return address: “Paid for by WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc.” Look it up online and you will find that this is a lobbying organization established by the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce group. Their description goes on to say “Corporate contributions are accepted and kept confidential. There are no contribution limits under law.” Sounds like dark money, doesn’t it, the mining company that wants to create a sulfide mine in the Town of Lynne contributing to their own cause perhaps. Don’t let dark money influence the passage of a law or referendum, especially when the outcome can affect our clean water, the value of our county forests and pristine wetlands, our tourism Economy.
Some facts to consider (compiled by Willow Region Sportsman and Snowmobile Club):
- The mineral deposit lies 50 feet underwater beneath a pristine wetland, less than half mile from the Willow River.
- Sulfide mining pollutes ground water and puts surface water at risk for heavy metals dissolved in acid mine drainage.
- The recently passed ACT 134 removed the environmental protection requirement to “Prove It First;” [no pollution caused by a mine for 10 years after the mine closes]
- Travelers to Oneida County spent $305 million in 2017 (increase of 3.5 percent from 2016).
- 2,200 jobs in Oneida County are related to tourism (Wisc. Department of Tourism).
- Over 50 percent of homes in Oneida County are owned by non-residents and contribute to the county tax base.
- The Northern Highland Ecological Landscape, of which Oneida County is part, has one of the highest concentration of freshwater lakes in the world, rivaled globally only by northern Minnesota, Ontario, and Finland.
After considering these facts, after attending the countywide hearing about mining this past summer, at which most people in attendance were against opening Oneida County forest land (owned by the people of Oneida County) to mining, after attending several county board and board committee meetings, where I saw a confused process when board members had less than a month to address the changes to local mining ordinances in order to meet the state’s deadline, leading also to the “nonbinding” referendum, and after considering the terrible consequences of sulfide pollution on life in Oneida County, my vote for the mining referendum is NO.
Janice Kanyusik , Rhinelander
Reader says vote for Engebretson
There is a genuine grassroots populist political story coming out of Balsam Lake, Wisc., in the 7th Congressional District race. It deserves your attention.
It poses a woman who doesn’t have enough money to buy ads on TV against a man whose campaign is funded with unlimited secret money that buys slickly produced spots. Even his children have been weaponized.
So much like other secretly-financed and purchased candidates, the incumbent has refused until recently to even acknowledge he has an opponent despite community-group efforts to host debates for the public’s interest. Like he has at his so-called town hall gatherings his campaign has orchestrated, he has acted in arrogant and self-aggrandizing fashion toward the voters of the district as if to say, “Don’t bother me.” At the few forums he’s attended, he has been rude and condescending. He’s displayed an elitist attitude you could say is typical of a Washington D. C. swamp dweller instead of the folksy I’m-from-the-forest caricature in his TV ads. Don’t be fooled.
Margaret Engebretson, a veteran, a former railroad electrician and union member, self-funded UW Law School graduate and member of a local family that has had its Republican leanings in the past, is a noteworthy and worthwhile opponent to vote for.
Margaret currently practices law in Polk County, population 43,405, in good measure on behalf of people who’ve needed guardianships to protect their human rights. No doubt like their neighbors, they would benefit from Wisconsin accepting federal health care dollars. As Congresswoman, Margaret would carry on the fight for her clients and neighbors to greater effect than the current office place-holder.
You’ve never had so much individual political power in your life. Consider how much money from unknown sources is being spent to influence you. Think about how you can gain control by voting. And let those secret sources know they can’t buy your democracy.
We need good health care, funding for our children’s schools, older adult services, and good highways and electronic improvements to encourage our young people to stay here. We need them grow an economy that expands our agriculture, tourism and forest products businesses. And we need to protect our clean water and air to sustain our community values. Say no more to votes for tax cuts that gave away the largest federal treasury gift to the very rich with no regard for your pocketbook. That’s what the incumbent has been about, sustaining the economic tyranny of the rich over you.
Where ever you come down on such things political in the United States of America these days, be sure that you act on your civic responsibility. Make sure you are registered to vote and that you vote November 6. Take advantage of early voting, it’s convenient – you can vote anytime your municipal clerk is open. And don’t be a victim of voter suppression efforts – find out what you need to register. And then vote like yours and your children’s economic livelihood depend on it.
By the way, a real lumberjack would swing a double-bitted ax.
Phil Valitchka, Wausau
Reader: Vote to protect woods and water
Thousands of people living in the 7th Congressional District fish walleyes and trout or depend upon tourists who come here to catch them. Walleyes are disappearing from Wisconsin as the climate warms the water and brook trout are projected to be virtually extinct in Wisconsin within 25 years. They are a symptom proving, as Margaret Engebretson has said, “Climate change is real and is already causing us both financial and personal harm.”
Climate scientists have been telling us for years that climate change doesn’t cause heavy rain, but makes it even heavier. We have seen three 100-year floods in northern Wisconsin in the past five years, floods that killed a man in Ashland County, washed out bridges and culverts, closed our highways and nearly destroyed Saxon Harbor.
We can’t stop these floods right away, but we saved the American eagle, and we can solve these problems too. Margaret Engebretsen is committed to supporting clean energy to reduce global warming, create good jobs and protect the woods and waters that we all depend upon.
Sean Duffy has a zero percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters because he votes consistently against efforts to protect our woods and waters.
Margaret Engebretson will vote to protect those woods and waters if you give her the chance to do so. You can help by voting for Margaret Engebretson on November 6.
David Barnhill, Hazelhurst
Reader endorses Engebretson
We like to think that the United States has the best health care system in the world, and it is if you have good insurance or lots of money. That’s why Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, eight years ago. The ACA made it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions like acne, allowed children to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they were 26 years old and subsidized premiums for people with low or middle incomes.
By 2016 the percentage of people without good insurance coverage had dropped to the lowest it had ever been. Since the 2016 election, however, Republicans have eliminated or weakened key parts of the ACA, so that premiums have gone up and many more people today are once again uninsured. Sean Duffy has voted every year since he was elected to weaken or repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Margaret Engebretson believes that no one should ever have to worry about losing or not being able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Margaret knows that the ACA can be improved. She will work to improve it so we will have the best health care system in the world.
If you think that’s a good goal, vote for Margaret Engebretson on November 6.