Saturday September 26, 2020

Moving Forward with Facts & Reason

FacebookTwitterYoutube
Newsletter
News Feeds:

Our View

A Progressive Voice from NE Wisconsin

Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive

Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive

Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

GOP “Right-to-Work” Bill is Wrong for Wisconsin

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 05 December 2014
in Wisconsin

union-members-at-capitolGOP State House Leaders are considering so-called "open shop" legislation to prohibit employers from striking deals with private-sector unions to require workers to pay dues. The move, called "right-to-work" legislation, reopens the public sector Act 10 confrontation of 2011.


MADISON – In a complete shift from the general election rhetoric of then candidate Scott Walker and state Republicans in recent months, who have said that the issue is a distraction and not a priority, the top leader in the state Senate made clear Thursday that lawmakers in his house would debate the issue of so-called "right-to-work" legislation within weeks and bring the volatile issue of union law back into the statehouse.

According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report today, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) told conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM (620) Milwaukee that he was considering so-called "open shop" legislation to prohibit employers from striking deals with private-sector unions to require workers to pay dues. He said he was considering making Wisconsin the first state in the nation to attempt to exempt certain private workers such as the operators of earth movers who have supported Wisconsin Republicans in recent years.

His comments come as conservative state Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), a longtime activist in the state with ties to national groups that have started an organization to promote the legislation, vowed this week to introduce a bill to do just that.

As recently as Wednesday, Walker said in a stop in Milwaukee that he did not want to take up a “right-to-work” bill at this time.

"As I said before the election and have said repeatedly over the last few years, I just think right-to-work legislation right now, as well as reopening Act 10 to make any other adjustments, would be a distraction from the work that we're trying to do," Walker said, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

But as with other election promises like creating 250,000 new jobs, it appears times have changed.

Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers already banned such requirements for most public employees in Wisconsin, but their 2011 law known as Act 10 didn't affect private-sector unions or police and firefighters. Tens of thousands of workers protested for weeks and Walker later became the first governor in the nation to win a recall election because of it.

After the Republicans in Madison stuck it to the public sector workers, their counterparts in the private sector did little to come to their aid. Now it appears to be their turn, as many Democrats said at the time.

dave-hansenAccording to Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) in a statement released today:

“Despite the Governor denouncing Rep. Kapenga’s legislation as a distraction he does not want, legislative Republicans appear poised to fast-track this extremely divisive and controversial legislation at a time when our economy is still reeling from the harmful effects of their Tea Party agenda.

“This legislation isn’t about protecting anyone’s rights or freedom. Real freedom is about having a workplace that allows people to balance their work with those things that are important in their lives like being able to make time for their children, spend time with their spouse or take a parent to the doctor.  Their idea of right-to-work is nothing more than a way to stack the deck against the workers who actually create the profits so CEOs can get bigger bonuses and line the pockets of their shareholders.

“Not only is this legislation harmful to the economic freedom and wellbeing of Wisconsin families everywhere, it violates the rights of employers to decide how to run their business.  It is anti-American and wrong for Wisconsin.

“Governor Walker is correct when he says this is a distraction we cannot afford.  Unfortunately, by not stating publicly that he will veto this legislation, Governor Walker himself is creating the very distraction he said he wants to avoid.  If he truly does not support this attack on Wisconsin families he needs to state publicly that he will veto it.”

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Today is Veterans Day

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 11 November 2014
in Wisconsin

iraqVeterans leave the service much older and wiser than they entered. They don’t want a parade. They want a good job and respect and their dignity. They hope the girl or family they left behind will still be there. To honor them, you must do more than talk.


GREEN BAY - We used to call it Armistice Day, to mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of 1918 when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect to stop the bloodshed of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended “The Great War” or the “War to End All Wars” was not signed until seven months later.

Many historians regard the Treaty of Versailles as the first event leading to World War II, since it put into place many of the social and economic factors in Europe that lead to that bloody event. It seems like we have been fighting ever since.

Today we observe Veterans Day to remember and honor the courageous men and women who have served our country in all of our wars. It is fitting we do that, at least. We owe them all our gratitude for a job well done.

But many veterans struggle to reenter civilian life after their service, whether it be finding a job, accessing health care, or finding the other services available to them.

Veterans leave the service much older and wiser than they entered. All the claims of patriotism and glory that they heard on TV before they entered are dulled now by the reality of war and the loneliness of deployment. Most now just want to go home.

But they don’t want a parade. They want a good job and respect and their dignity. They hope the girl or family they left behind will still be there. Many would like to go to college and better themselves. They hope for what all of those lucky enough to stay behind in civilian life take for granted.

So today is Veterans Day. Give them a parade if you like. But tomorrow, do something. Open some doorways to those good jobs or college educations. Be there for them, just like you would be there for your own son or daughter, husband or wife, if they were returning home.

That’s what veterans day should really be about.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Burke is the Best Choice for Wisconsin

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 03 November 2014
in Wisconsin

mary-burkeIf you put aside all the political ads and smears and judge them on their resumes, sitting before you in the final job interview are two candidates, Scott Walker the politician and Mary Burke the businesswoman. Past performance is the best indicator of the job they will do in the future.


GREEN BAY - The long Wisconsin Governor’s race will finally end tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4th 2014. We are selecting a chief executive officer to run the largest single business entity in our state, a company with a multi-billion dollar budget and over 65,000 employees, and you are a member of the evaluation panel that is being asked to pick just one for the job.

As the Wisconsin State Journal, typically a conservative newspaper, said in it’s endorsement of Mary Burke today “State politics is far too divisive under Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin lags on jobs and faces its third largest budget shortfall in two decades.” The State Journal goes on to say “Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive and state Commerce secretary, offers our state decades of business experience on a global scale.”

If you put aside all the political ads and smears and judge them on their resumes, sitting before you in the final job interview are two candidates, Scott Walker the politician and Mary Burke the business woman.

You look at their resumes and see Scott Walker is a college drop out. Burke earned a finance degree from Georgetown, ranking number one in her class, and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard.

After graduating from Harvard, Burke quickly becomes an entrepreneur, launching Manhattan Intelligence, a service for consumers in New York City. Later on, Burke joins Trek Bicycle, her family's growing Wisconsin company in Waterloo. She serves as director of European operations for three years, living in three different countries and opening offices in five. Trek reports that its European sales soared during her tenure. She later serves as director of forecasting and strategic planning for nearly a decade.

Meanwhile Walker has never held a significant job in his life outside of elective political office. He works at getting himself elected, first to the State Assembly and then as Milwaukee County Executive. At Milwaukee County, he directly supervises a staff of 19 in the Executive’s office, at least 4 of which later end up being convicted of misconduct. He says he doesn’t know what they were doing. He encourages labor strife among county employees by breaking their contracts and hiring outside temporary employees to do their jobs. He throws out the employment contracts of nearly 300 top level managers and forces many to resign or retire. He can offer no evidence that his administration did anything exceptional to improve the business climate in Milwaukee County as a whole during his six years in office.

Walker then goes on to four years as Wisconsin’s Governor, pledging to foster private-sector job growth and balance the state budget. Walker fails on both. He again encourages labor strife by trying to break the unions with ACT 10. He cuts $800 million  out of revenue sharing to our local schools and governments, passing the discord on to them. The record of Walker’s signature jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC), has been sloppy and disappointing. State exports slipped last year, and job growth has been slow, less than half what the governor promised and trailing the rest of the states in the Midwest during the national recovery. The budget faces a 1.8 billion dollar deficit.

The Wisconsin State Journal says “Our editorial board met with both candidates for governor, and we've closely followed their public lives and careers. Our endorsement of Burke isn't a prediction of who will win. It’s who we believe is best to lead Wisconsin forward.”

The State Journal concludes “Mary Burke is that candidate”.

You have to decide who gets the job offer and who gets that nasty rejection letter, and you have to live with your selection for the next four years. In Human Resource Management, “past performance is the best indicator of the job they will do in the future”.

For Wisconsin Governor, do you want more of the same or a change? All the polls still say the race is a toss up. Tomorrow is your last chance to vote, to make your selection heard.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Don't Believe GB Media Blitz - WI GOV Race is Still a Dead Heat

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 01 November 2014
in Wisconsin

voteLocal Press and TV media claims of a huge Walker lead in the area and Statewide based only on Marquette's "likely voters" are suspect. A conclusion based on same results could easily be "still tied with Burke closing".


GREEN BAY - Last Thursday, the local Green Bay press and TV media had a field day reporting that the Final Marquette Poll showed Governor candidate Scott Walker with a 17 point lead in the area and a 7 point lead statewide among "likely voters" over challenger Mary Burke. Last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter, Packer fans, and game over, right?

Well, not so fast. There are serious problems with that interpretation of the Marquette Poll results and there are other polls.

If you look closely at the Marquette poll, you may have noticed that among all "registered voters", Walker received 46 percent to Burke's 45. That shows a 2 point improvement for Burke over the previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, which had Walker with a 48-45 lead over Burke among these same voters. Based on these results, the conclusion could be still tied with Burke closing.

So the real shift in the Marquette poll was only among those they declared to be "likely voters". The Poll's director, Charles Franklin, even said as much, and that's where the results become suspect. Marquette defined "likely voters" as those who said they were extremely likely to vote when polled. Most polls we are familiar with traditionally use an actual record of voting in similar elections to define "likely voters". While this method can have problems of it's own, such as including new voters, it is generally more trustworthy than the method Marquette used.

Said simply, the Marquette poll "likely voters" might just have lied about, or at least exaggerated, their intention to vote.

The conclusion that the race is still tied is also supported by other final polls. With just three days until Election Day, the two final public polls in the Wisconsin governor's race both show the race between embattled Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke is a dead heat.

The final poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), released yesterday, shows a statistical dead heat, with  Walker holding a 48 - 47 lead over Burke. The poll was taken over three days and surveyed 1814 likely voters. PPP has been one of the consistently most reliable polls both in Wisconsin and nationwide.

Also released yesterday was the final poll from YouGov, which surveyed 1494 voters, showing another dead heat with Walker leading Burke 42-41.

When asked for comment, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Saturday "The final public polls released over the last few days confirm what we've known for months -- the race between Scott Walker and Mary Burke is all going to come down to turnout". He went on "Wisconsin voters need to know this race is incredibly close and their vote will make a difference between four more years of Scott Walker's failed policies or a new direction with Mary Burke."

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Walker Supporter Gary Ellerman Tries to Smear Mary Burke on TREK Record

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 30 October 2014
in Wisconsin

ellerman-walkerA Green Bay Press Gazette story gave legs to a false report that Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Burke was fired by TREK, questioning her business credentials just before the election. Our sources say the reported firing was made up by Walker friend Gary Ellerman, Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party and fired by TREK himself.


GREEN BAY - Several days ago we predicted that the Republican “dirty tricks” people supporting Scott Walker would save one or two of the best smear shots at Mary Burke until the closing days of the campaign. That’s how it’s often done in the dirtier regions of Milwaukee County politics. You drop the dirt bomb just before the final weekend of the campaign so it has time to sink in with the electorate while still not giving your opponent enough time to counter it.

On Thursday morning, in a front page article entitled “Burke on report of being fired from Trek: `ridiculous'” by Adam Rodewald, the Green Bay Press Gazette gave legs to a false report that “Burke was fired by her family, who founded Trek Bicycle, following financial losses and low morale among staff.” Damage done, the seed of doubt about Burke's business credentials is planted, even if there is no truth to the story. Continued on page 10.

Of course when we get to page 10, the Press Gazette goes on to say the “report relies on statements by several anonymous sources and Gary Ellerman, who the Wisconsin Reporter identifies as a former Trek human resources director and current chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.”

We've dealt with the Wisconsin Reporter for years, and know it to be a Madison Republican front posing as a news source. And our sources say Gary Ellerman is the man behind the latest campaign to smear Mary Burke. Ellerman is the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party and is known for posing as a Democrat during the recalls to force the real Democrat into a costly primary.

Ellerman is also known for enjoying a bad joke or two at the expense of Democrats. A visit his FaceBook page by a Democratic source turned up a October 19 share of a faked picture of Michelle Obama holding a sign saying such things as “My Family is a Fake”, “Husband is a Homo”, “Kids are adopted”, and “I am a man”.

Finally FaceBook also reveals that Gary Ellerman is a friend and committed supporter of Scott Walker. The July 2, 2012 picture above that Ellerman posted of himself posing “With the Governor and a few friends Sunday” provides the evidence.

Trek President John Burke released a statement Wednesday saying the report was inaccurate and noted that it was actually Gary Ellerman who had been fired from Trek in 2004, according to the Wisconsin Radio Network.

When asked for her comments, Burke said “I read the report. It’s ridiculous,” and then “Frankly, we’re in the last six days of the election, and I think it’s a desperate attempt to undermine my credibility based on absolutely no evidence at all.”

If anyone asks him, Scott Walker will probably say he didn't know what his friend was up to. Of course, he said he didn't know what the six convicted members of his staff at Milwaukee County were up to either.

That's how it goes. You throw something out, anything, and see if it sticks. It seems to be a way of life for politician Scott Walker and businesswoman Mary Burke is new to the game. Maybe we can do a little to clarify the story here.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
Tweet With Us:

Share

Who's Online

We have 151 guests online

Follow on Twitter

Copyright © 2020. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by Shape5.com