Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Member Editorial: Filibuster Reform

Logic and democracy got a kick in the gut in the US Senate last week. Extended background checks on gun purchases were defeated 54 to 45. A clear majority voted for this common sense reform but the 60 filibuster threshold was not met.

The common good also got a knock on the head. How ironic that while Americans were honoring the courage, unity, and sense of community in Boston in response to a horrific bombing, the US Senate ignored the wishes of 90% of the public to represent a loud vocal special interest minority.

Logic was blown into the air. We know that background checks by licensed gun dealers have stopped purchases by unfit citizens. Logic says clearly that closing background check loopholes is a basic necessary step. Fear replaced logic. The NRA threat dissolved backbones.

An arrogant contempt for majority rule was never more blatantly demonstrated. What once was a heroic way for one Senator to slow legislation has been warped into super majority rule. Our constitutional system has checks and balance. House members represent equal number of people. The Senate gives equal power to Senators from small population states and large populations states. Less populated states already have vastly disproportionate power over legislation. Six senators from Alaska, N. Dakota, and Wyoming represent 2,207,479 citizens. Six senators from Cal., Ill., and N.Y. represent 70,480,946 [US census]. To further allow a minority to block majority rule by requiring a super majority of 60 is a gross abuse of majority rule. It gives a minority permanent veto power on the will of the majority. The 60 vote rule is paralyzing our legislative system and making it dysfunctional.

Fear replacing logic, lack of moral courage, and a dysfunctional Senate are shameful roadblocks to meeting our moral commitment to fight to save the lives of innocent children.

Fred Kramer

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jefferson LaFollette Dueholm Dinner, May 18

(click the link at the top of the pdf viewer to see it full sized, or use the zoom tool at the bottom of the pdf viewer to increase the size)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chair Report - April 11, 2013

April 2 Election….The Spring elections have come and gone and we had mixed success with our supported candidates. Incumbent Tony Evers was reelected for State Superintendent of Schools and for most of us that was no surprise. The BIG race for Supreme Court Justice was way more contentious. Democrats were supporting challenger Ed Fallone for the ten year term. Electing Fallone would have changed the balance of the court to the liberal judges and would have been a road block for the Walker agenda. Unfortunately, incumbent Patience Roggensack retained her seat by outspending Fallone by a 5 to 1 margin using out-of-state money from corporate interest groups. Word on the block is corporations and big business bought another state Supreme Court judge.