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Platteville Journal letters for June 6
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Our divided state

In my many years of serving the people of Wisconsin and observing the state of our state and nation, I have never seen us more divided in ways that threaten our fundamental way of life.

The giant gap between the super rich and the dwindling middle class has never been as extreme since 1928. This has resulted in people losing faith in the “American Dream” and a better future not to mention the millions who feel lost today. Unemployment, losing their homes and having no health insurance or savings for retirement has left many in fear and anger.

This has led to talk of the 1 Percent and the 99 Percent; to the tea party and the Occupy movement and maybe worst of all, a political division and stalemate in Washington caused by some politicians who only care about control and winning and not dealing with the many serious problems we face.

This divide to win approach and policies that favor one group or faction over others have led to the present situation and must end if we are ever going to deal with the issues that threaten the future quality of life for Wisconsin and the nation.

It is time for political leaders who remember that we are “one nation … with liberty and justice for all.” And it is time for our citizens to reject simplistic solutions and to elect leaders who recognize that only a balanced and fair approach will solve our political and economic ills.

Doug La Follette

Wisconsin Secretary of State

La Follette was a Democratic candidate for governor in the May 8 recall primary election.

Some liked the column …

I appreciated your opinion in the May 30 Journal. It was a sound, factual, documented, position particularly when compared to some of the rantings offered by “Recall Walker” advocates who seemed to be regurgitating the views of their union bosses rather than original thoughts.

As noted the governor is obliged to present a balanced state budget, on a cash basis, not some other basis no matter how much better the other system might be. That’s the way it is, as it was during the Doyle years when state transportation funds were taken and used to beef up teacher salaries. Teachers provided a large share of his campaign funds. Now we can probably agree that Walker inherited a huge state deficit that he has overcome, as required by the state constitution, and that any losses by state employees could be recovered by foregoing union dues rather than by signing multi-year contracts.

I taught students at UW–Platteville for 32 years. I can also recall the 26 years my mother taught, including many years in rural eight-grade country schools where her duties included building fires, preparing hot meals, and cleaning restrooms. As a teacher I know we really had a soft job compared to those taught by dedicated country school teachers.

Walt Hannan


P.S. You may have to impose a limit on the length of a reader’s opinion — those this week were too lengthy — 17 column-inches is more than I choose to read about a subject as disgusting as “Recall Walker.”

… and some did not

This letter is in regards to your column in last week’s Platteville Journal. Did no one ever tell you that when you run a business in a small town — and as editor of The Journal, that’s essentially what you are doing — you need to keep your politics to yourself?

Many people in Platteville have suffered because of Gov. Walker’s policies, and in a small town, these people are not nameless and faceless. They are the people who teach our kids, plow our streets in the winter, and collect our garbage every day. Did you really mean to alienate so many of your readers?

The only good thing about your column was its prolixity; it is unlikely that many people read it through to the end.

Laura Wendorff