Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Senator Fitzgerald,

[I sent this to Sen. Fitz, obviously before they passed Act 10. (There seemed to be no point in writing the Gov then-- he wasn't voting on the bill.]  I live in Rock County currently, but hoped he or his staff might pay some attention since Beaver Dam is in his district.  This was written before the info came out about how broke Wisconsin is NOT.  All I was asking for was to soften the blow, share the consequences. Hah!
Of course I got no answer.]

Sent: Sun, March 6, 2011 1:25:05 PM
Subject: Be nice? BDHS grad with ideas to share....

In church this morning, the sermon was on the 8th commandment: No stealing.  The theme of the sermon was that the opposite of stealing isn't "not stealing," it's giving.  Yes, giving.  Being selfish, saying "hey, that's MINE" when somebody else has needs is breaking the 8th commandment. 
Now, I myself am pretty secular, but I think we all have a lot to learn from studying the basic commandments.  The "Budget Repair Bill" is SUCH a travesty of the "giving" principal: it expects people who are themselves just getting by to do all of the giving, so that the wealthiest 10% of citizens can keep everything they have, that they inherited from others, "earned" on the backs of workers, or "earned" from the gambling parlor called Wall St.
Your grandma would be proud of you to admit you've sometimes been wrong, to say publicly, "I've listened, I've heard, and I'm expanding my view of what's the right thing to do.  I can find room for compromise... I will favor letting workers negotiate collectively for issues that are not directly monetary, such as work hours, classroom size, safety equipment, curriculum, holiday schedule..... I will  move the BadgerCare provisions to the main budget, to be further studied for unintended consequences (such as the effects on tradesmen just getting started, or entry level workers in businesses that don't offer real health insurance.)  I will agree to scale back the sudden pay cuts to public employees, to something like 10% of health insurance this year and up to 13% in 2013 (so as to prevent harm to low wage workers for whom the huge bump in HI premiums would be undoable, and will affect families of tradesmen and farmers who have one spouse working in the public sector and carrying health insurance.)  We will only take away pay of employees for up to 33% of their pension, not half.  We will fund the differences by increasing the tax on the top bracket by 1% and by increasing the beer tax by 25% (since it's been decades since the beer tax went up-- who knows, this could help some other societal problems.)  I will do all this because I am a reasonable man, not a lackey to the Kochs or their puppet governor.  I represent workers public and private who CARE."
Please consider doing this.  I do not live in Dodge County currently, but have several family members who live there, and my assertive, politically aware daughter will be buying a house there this spring.  She is a special ed teacher who is having strong doubts about getting back into the profession (after a year on a military base with her pilot husband).  Trust me, Beaver Dam schools would welcome her talents. But teachers are feeling unappreciated and USED by egomaniacle government officials.  Don't be one of Those Guys.  Show that you have a heart, not made of stone.
Compromise, please?
BDHS class of 1975

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