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Platteville Journal Letters for Dec. 5
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Name the donors

Almost everyone is thankful that the election is over. Now those political ads have stopped. Fortunately the attempt to buy the election did not work. In fact almost everyone believes that fewer ads would improve the election process. The abundance of ads was made possible by out-of-state money often donated anonymously. Can anything be done to limit the ads?

If the names of donors that fund the ads were clearly available, donors would think twice before publicly funding negative ads.

Although the Supreme Court ruled that election funding cannot be limited, disclosure of donors can be required. This requires action by state and federal legislatures.

In Wisconsin a bipartisan bill is waiting to be introduced for a vote. The bill does not limit spending but does require disclosure of the donors. This would permit us to know who is trying to buy votes.

The “Disclose” bill in Congress has been blocked from a vote by Republicans. Since negative ads did not work, perhaps now enough Republicans would cooperate to pass this bill. This is the time to work with organizations and encourage legislators of both parties to pass disclosure legislation before the next election. Perhaps a more informative and peaceful election will result.

John Hempstead
La Crosse

UWP’s thieves

My family is new to Platteville. We moved onto a block that includes a church, the church office building and our house, the former rectory (formerly a house where students lived). We didn’t give its proximity to UW–Platteville a second thought. We moved from a college town and have generally found college towns and the college environment they provide full of opportunities and entertainments. Never once did I think our location would be abused by the future graduates of UW–Platteville. How wrong could I be?

First, there were the solar color-changing light balls in our flower garden. We brought them from our old home, where students never touched them. They disappeared before Halloween. One Friday night I drove by the front of our house and thought, gee, don’t those look nice. They really gave me pleasure to see them in front of our new house.

The next morning, my husband got up and pointed to the empty light-holders. I didn’t even know that the ball came off. Bravo, future engineers! I’m sure they made great decorations for your Halloween party. The light-holders, which look like metal stalks, are still in front of the house if you care to bring the lights back.

In our family we have a tradition of putting out cheap plastic candy canes down the front walk. (Again, never once touched by students in our former college town.) We’ve been doing this for a decade, ever since our oldest was 2. We’ve had to replace them over the years due to fading, breaking in the cold and snow, and the odd game of front-yard football. We have it down to a science. We have to “plant” the canes after a mid-November rain, and then we usually can’t “harvest” them until the snow melts and the ground thaws.

This year we “planted” 10 canes. It was a giggly-good family time. The next weekend we were down to seven. Thanksgiving weekend we were down to six, which is where we stood until Saturday morning, when we woke up to find none. UW–Platteville thieves score again!

I hope you woke up Saturday morning with our candy canes feeling very good about yourself. Let me tell you what happened in our house thanks to you: sobbing by our 7-year-old because “we no longer have any candy canes,” and a teaching moment for all three of our children about stealing, respect for others’ property, how bad this feels, being the strong one in the group, and standing up for what’s right. Those are lessons our three children have learned, but at least some UW–Platteville students apparently have not.

I think we encountered the solar decoration thieves. I was up late that night and happened to go onto the deck when a group (yes, it’s always more than one) of young adults were passing by. I heard a snippet of the conversation involving our church and the house. I know someone with a conscience was in that group, but apparently that person didn’t hold the power to prevent the theft.

Someday you will live in a community. And you will want to decorate your home. You may have children as well who take their decorations seriously. When they cry because some callous college students steal your decorations, you will be dismayed and distraught too for your children and for the future, which college students represent.

I went to college for four years and didn’t feel the need to steal the neighbors’ decorations, or anything else. My husband went to college for five years and left the decorations alone, as well as any other property belonging to anyone. We were lucky enough to come from a college community where this type of thievery didn’t happen. I also see many groups on the Platteville campus doing good things. I know this is not how all college students are or even how all UW–Platteville students are, but the cold-hearted disrespect of a few has ruined the UWP student for our family.

I note the new Pioneer Pete in a jaunty running position. I thought that was clever. Now I suspect he’s not running to get his mining job done, but rather running after stealing something out of someone’s yard.

Jannan Roesch

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.