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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Oct. 15
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Questions, not answers

My wife and I attended American Transmission Co.’s open house in Belmont Oct. 7.

The open house aspect was just perfect, so hospitable.  There were free cookies and pens available.

We were greeted by a few uber-perky people, one who was eager to collect our personal data. We declined.

There were plenty of reps from the company on hand, all willing to talk to us. There were lots of maps to look over and plenty of brochures for the taking. Also wandering around were representatives from area towns and the City of Platteville.

The only thing missing was any real information.  Here’s the conversation I had with a company rep in front of a map of the area:

“Where’s your route?”

“We don’t know.”

“What’s your timetable?”

“Maybe summer.  Maybe fall.”

“Where are you crossing the Mississippi?”

“We don’t know.”

What I did learn from the company rep is that they want to put in a 345-kilovolt line.  There currently is no such line running through Grant County. What’s a 345 kV power line like?

According to the transmission company CapX2020, 345 kV lines require towers that are from 120 to 170 feet tall and a right-of-way that is 150 feet.

To learn more about the health threat to humans and animals from the electromagnetic field emitted by these transmission lines, visit the web site of the Community & Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) at

No, I did not take any free cookies.  Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, or “friendly” transmission companies.

Robert Snyder

What about Marklein?

I found Steve Prestegard’s comments in The Journal Oct. 8 about the 17th Senate District Democratic primary interesting not for what he said as much as for what he left out. He said the state Democratic Party leadership picked the “other” candidate Pat Bomhack over Ernie Wittwer instead of letting the voters decide.

Actually, the Democratic voters in the 17th District made the decision. That’s why we have primary elections.
I did not vote for Bomhack and the state leadership preferred Bomhack over Wittwer. But, in the end the Democratic voters picked Bomhack.

Then, Mr. Prestegard said, “You’d think the parties would have learned this lesson 35 years ago.” Steve was referring to Republican leaders who picked Bob Kasten over Lee Dreyfus in the Gubernatorial primary only to see Dreyfus easily win.

Steve did not need to go back 35 years. All he needed to do was look back six months when Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green) decided to challenge the incumbent Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center) before Schultz decided to retire.

Why did Marklein run? Because Schultz did not toe the line enough for the right-wing party leaders in Madison (Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald).

Mr. Prestegard says, “it seems like a dumb idea for a party to pick a candidate who gives the impression that he will do everything party leadership wants him to do.” I got the “impression” that top Republicans in Madison were giddy when Marklein announced he was challenging Schultz because ... wait for it ... Schultz was not following the party leadership close enough. Schultz was in effect a Republican In Name Only even though he voted between 85 and 90 percent of the time along party lines. The state Republican leadership knows that Marklein will be a reliable vote on every issue in Madison in spite of Marklein’s TV ads where he says he is an “independent voice” for Southwest Wisconsin.

If it was “dumb” for the Democrats to do what they did couldn’t you say the same thing for what the Republicans did to Schultz? If Marklein wins next month keep track of his “independent voice.”

Tom Osting

Dems and government

Few would disagree that national defense and Federal Reserve oversight should be high priorities for federal legislators; however, the Democratic-controlled Senate has poorly managed these priorities.

The Department of Defense submitted their fiscal year 2015 defense budget to Congress in March. The House of Representatives approved the budget on June 20. On July 17, the Senate Committee on Appropriations recommended the budget be approved; however, Senate Democratic leadership has not brought the bill to the floor for a vote. With Oct. 1 behind us and the budget overdue, our military is only funded for continuing operations. Without the new budget problems emerge. Planned military manpower changes cannot be made and the military cannot authorize new contracts for weapon systems, ship construction or overhaul. The delays cascade to military contractors where layoffs and increased costs occur. The delay is inexcusable with military personnel risking their lives overseas.

Regarding Federal Reserve oversight, for the second consecutive year, the House of Representatives passed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act while the Democratic-controlled Senate would not vote on the bill.  The bill ends Fed meeting secrecy by making meetings public record and requiring detailed, transparent Fed audits.

Fed secrecy is unwise considering the Fed holds over $4 trillion of our country’s assets and Fed monetary policy decisions directly impact our economy.  While Senate Democrats refused to fix Fed secrecy, AIG shareholders filed a law suit against the Fed. AIG alleges that during the bank bailout, the Fed had a secret agenda against AIG and gave preferential treatment to Fed banking buddies. The lawsuit claims the Fed had no Congressional authorization to seize AIG assets and in doing so, the Fed violated the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit has some merit — of more than 200 financial firms bailed out, only AIG had assets seized. This secret agenda could cost taxpayers $40 billion.

These examples, along with multiple instances of poor executive department management within the Obama administration, indicate the Democratic Party has drifted away from the fundamentals of leadership, oversight, and fiscal responsibility required for good government.

A similar case can be made at the state level.  When one compares the overspending, large deficits, and high unemployment Wisconsin endured under the Doyle administration to Republican accomplishments of eliminating the deficit, reducing unemployment, and reducing taxes, one can’t help but be skeptical of Democratic leadership.

Unless the Democratic Party shifts priorities from social issues to prove themselves fiscally responsible and capable of good leadership, educated voters will not vote for them this November.

Bill Laurent

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.