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Platteville Journal letters to the editor
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Not a Walker fan

I was born and raised in Wisconsin. As a Wisconsinite I love this area.

On Feb. 9, 2011 I heard the information Scott Walker proposed to our state. After reviewing facts from several reliable sources, I realized our state was in trouble. I spoke to several senators and realized Walker did not balance the budget, we have more debt today then we had one year ago.

Fact: Gov. Walker deferred our debt. Contact Sen. Kathleen Vinehout’s office for the real facts. This is not the Wisconsin I want for our grandchildren.

I went to the capital and listened to the hearings for the mining bill. Fact: It was stated the mining company could pollute our drinking water and when we had to drink contaminated water we could not hold the company liable. Look at information from the hearing posted in WisconsinEye for actual facts. Our Governor promotes this type of future for our state. This is not the Wisconsin I want for our grandchildren.

Fact: Now women cannot legally seek equal wages; please research the facts yourself. Everything I researched is not good for Wisconsinites. This is not the Wisconsin I want for our grandchildren.

In the upcoming election please make your voice heard. If my letter doesn’t convince you to vote Walker out, look up Act 21. This act changes everything. See for yourself.

Fact: Wisconsin has the highest jobs lost in the country. Wisconsin State Journal reports more jobs lost in April.

Fact: Scott Walker never acknowledges the tens of thousands of jobs we lost. Please do not believe the ads you see on TV which are paid for by the 1 percent! Walker raised these funds from out of state influences from Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Texas etc. Unless you're a huge corporation or part of the 1 percent you will end up paying more taxes and get less services. Is that what you want for your grandchildren?

Mary Schultz

Spring Green


It is the veteran …

I recently read this and I would like to share it:

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trail.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN, who salutes the flag.

It is the VETERAN, who serves under the flag.

Let us honor them with our sincere thanks.

Louise E. Brockman



The Walker GAAP

In Scott Walker’s ads he claims to have wiped out a $3.2 billion budget deficit. He says this over and over again because he knows if you repeat something often enough, people will come to believe it. Let us hope we are smarter than that.

Still, he can make this claim because he is using the state cash accounting system instead of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles system. The two methods were best explained in a Forbes article Feb. 14:

“If you employ the cash method being utilized by Governor Walker, were you to have $100 in the bank at the end of the year, after all the invoices that came in during December have been paid, you can credibly claim that you have no deficit. Never mind that you know full well that a credit card bill is coming in January for the $5,000 you spent Christmas shopping during the month of December and that there won’t be anywhere near enough cash in your bank account to pay that bill when it arrives. That is what we call a deficit. If you are using GAAP, you are required to account for the $5,000 obligation in the month you rack up the obligation. Thus, what is a $100 surplus if you are using cash accounting becomes a $4,900 deficit if you are using the more precise GAAP accounting.”

If Walker used the correct method — the method every public company in America and most city governments are required to use — we would still be showing a deficit. He is just “kicking the can down the road.” To be fair, Jim Doyle used this exact same method. Ironically, Walker campaigned against using cash accounting in his 2010 bid for election stating he would “require the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to balance every state budget, just as we require every local government and school district to do.” But he doesn’t use it when it works against him.

Next, about the sudden new job creation numbers Walker is touting. Instead of using the Establishment Payroll Survey method to collect data — the method used by the U.S. Department of Labor and every other state in the nation — Walker uses the Household Survey method. In the Establishment Payroll Survey, the Labor Department calls both private and public workplaces and asks how many people are employed. With the Household Survey, the method Walker has chosen to use, calls are made to households and residents are asked how many people are employed.

Why is this to Walker’s advantage? Because people can live in Wisconsin and be employed by other states. It happens all the time, especially in border areas. So it looks good, but Wisconsin has not created more jobs; the jobs are in other states. Wisconsin is still dead last in the nation in job growth.

Can people be really taken in by Walker’s TV ads financed primarily by out-of-state wealthy supporters? We hope not. The man has proven time and time again he can’t be trusted.

He told us our state is broke, then turned around and gave millions to big corporations.

He said the one thing we needed to create jobs is a better-educated workforce. Then he took over $1 billion away from public education and reduced funds to technical colleges by 30 percent. This makes no sense.

Now we learn right-to-work legislation has been drafted and is ready to go. It just isn’t the “politically correct time.” When will it be the “politically correct time”? After the recall? Just the next step in the “divide and conquer” strategy and developing a right-to-work state? Have people forgotten wages in the private sector are driven by wages in the public sector?

Walker is the poster boy for big business and the wealthy. As he said in a recent radio interview, he wouldn’t mind too much if he lost the recall. His wife would probably be happy if he was back working in the private sector “where the real money is.” In other words, he needs a big salary, but the rest of us don’t. Does he really think it’s all right to take money away from public workers, burden senior citizens with more taxes, and deprive women and the needy of medical funds?

Finally, why is he attacking the least able to advocate for themselves: children, students, the poor, and the elderly? And don’t forget the environment — his legislation shows little regard for that either.

Can Walker be defeated when he is spending $25 to every $1 spent by Barrett in the recall campaign? Let us hope so, because if Walker wins, Wisconsin loses.

Ron and Heidi Haas


Editor’s note: State law requires that the state budget be balanced on a cash basis. There is no requirement that the state budget be balanced on a GAAP basis.


‘A house divided’

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln delivered this message … “that it may strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times.” The peril then was freedom for a nation half free and half slave. The peril now is a state divided.

Gov. Walker unintentionally revealed his strategy to “divide and conquer.” Walker’s dividing strategy shows clearly in tactics used to pass legislation, including sudden votes during debate. Divisive legislation included repealing the equal pay law for women, and reducing funding for public education at school, technical college and university levels.

Teachers lost their protection; now districts can hire teachers as substitutes to teach with low pay and no benefits.

Walker cut taxes for the wealthy and solicited $25 million in contributions from the super-rich. He took benefits from public workers, a first step in a national plan to cut benefits for all Americans.

What freedoms are lost by Wisconsin workers and citizens? Public employees no longer have the right to discuss practices with management that improve working conditions. They have to accept management offers with no discussion. This pattern will spread to businesses of the wealthy eager to divide and conquer their workers.

The peril of our time is freedom: When Walker and wealthy investors win, ordinary citizens are divided and conquered. Independents and Republicans who join Democrats in this election to vote for a candidate that seeks common ground support a free and united Wisconsin.

John Hempstead

La Crosse


The responsible choice

On June 5 we will have a second chance to prove that we are serious about leaving for our children and grandchildren a state that is fiscally responsible; that we don't expect them to pay for our debts. They will find jobs after graduation as companies will be eager to locate to Wisconsin because of our business-friendly environment. By keeping real estate taxes low we assure that we don't tax seniors out of their homes after they have worked hard to pay off their mortgages.

After many years to the contrary, we can leave this legacy for our children and grandchildren with a vote for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch!

Josephine Kischer



Neither Walker nor Romney

I had a simple question to ask Gov. Walker. When I heard he was going to be at Travis Tranel’s farm on Friday morning I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to ask it. As I approached Tranel’s farm from the east I was stopped at a checkpoint manned by a Grant County sheriff’s deputy. He asked me my name; when he checked the list he said I could not proceed on this public road. I turned around and got the same greeting coming from the west. I wonder if taxpayer money was paying these deputies’ wages that morning for checking “the list” and prohibiting traffic on this public road.

The question I would have asked is why a permit was fast-tracked to an 1,800-cow dairy in Lafayette County to double its size to over 3,000 cows. This facility has already been fined for hauling hundreds of thousands of gallons of manure on snow-covered ground and causing a massive fish kill. I guess his answer would have been: because adding 1,800 more cows to this facility would create jobs.

I know it’s popular now to be against Big Government. We don’t want the government telling us to farm or how to run our small business; let’s deregulate.

Does this sound good to you? Well, to me it sounds really scary. Did we already forget the BP disaster in the gulf, or the banking and insurance fiasco that cost taxpayers $150 billion-plus in stimulus money that George W. Bush, not Obama, gave his buddies for their incompetence? There is a growing “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico bigger than most states because of chemical abuse and farming methods of corn and beans in the Midwest. The dangers of “fracking” are only beginning to be known. Are we really going to trust big corporations, whose only goal is profit, to regulate themselves?

All you farmers in southwest Wisconsin might get your eyes opened when your 100- to 400-cow dairies are obsolete and you get a 3,000-cow corporation for a neighbor. We don’t have to look too far to see what agriculture in the future under Republican leadership will be like.

Go back to the 1970s when asked about mom-and-pop farms. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz said “we have to get them off the farms and into town buying refrigerators and TVs.” George W. Bush’s first agriculture secretary, Ann Venneman, when asked what an ideal farm would be, said “about 250,000 acres” — yes, she said it and she meant it. And then there was the Dick Cheney verbal attack on Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy. Leahy is a supporter of small family farms and organic agriculture. I guess Cheney was mad that his corporate buddies at Tyson and Cargill couldn’t profit much on organic agriculture because Sen. Leahy and 250,000 letter-writers succeeded in keeping the organic standards strong.

I believe in a sustainable agriculture and environment. That means for generation after generation on this land, not just until I can sell it and make a buck off it.

If we vote for Walker and get less restrictions on factory farms and corporations and then vote in Romney in the fall we can finally get that wall built along the border to keep out those Mexicans. Great news! Your sons and daughters won’t have to leave the state for jobs; they can drive to Lafayette County and milk cows for $5 an hour.

Joe Placke

Cuba City


End of public schools?

Imagine in the near future not having any high school sporting events to attend.  No music concerts. No forensics. No high school musicals, etc. There will be few public schools — and probably none in rural areas (except maybe elementary schools). Rather, most schools will be private or virtual.

Communities will have no community atmosphere. There will be no place to connect with neighbors and children’s friends. Teenagers will have to be trusted to be home alone and do their virtual school homework. There may possibly be “pay to play” clubs children can join — if they afford them and can drive there while care givers are at work.

Why virtual schools?  There is money to be made by turning public schools into free-market, for-profit private schools. For example, the top executives of the virtual education company K–12 Inc., are making millions of dollars with the CEO making over $2.6 million.

Many legislatures in state government are on board with this current educational transformation. Gov. Walker and his allies in and outside of government don’t care if this is good for children. They want public schools to fail so that education will be part of the free market.

Are you thinking this can’t happen? Many states have already passed laws in support of for-profit private schools. In Wisconsin, Act 10, various other bills and the largest cuts to education in state history are helping this transformation from public to private education.

Many of these laws come from the American Legislative Exchange Council. After being in secret existence for 30 years, someone in the group finally exposed them. The laws they create — and in which legislatures take back to their state — are full of proposals to decrease local control of schools by elected school board officials while increasing access of all parts of education to privatization and corporations. (To see the laws, go to

These private, for-profit educational businesses will make it cost prohibitive for many children when vouchers aren’t enough for tuition. Therefore, only the wealthy (and children with no other disadvantages) will be able to afford or attend a private school.

Do you think the free market transformation of public education is the way to go?  How long do you think a for-profit educational system will be sustainable?  If this is what you want for our communities, children and education, vote for Walker.

Mari Larson

Sauk City


“Barrett is better”

Tom Barrett is better because he is sensible, capable, and educated. He is devoted to making Wisconsin, his home state, a desirable place to live and work and not gallivant around the country enhancing his own career, courting big businesses that don’t give a hoot about us workers and small businesses.

Our current governor has created smoke and mirrors to split between us Wisconsinites. He is not a member of your parents’ GOP. He has instigated squabbling amongst us over cookie crumbs while he and his billionaire friends take over the bakery.

When I began teaching 20 years ago, I remember our collective bargaining representatives here in Platteville saying that in lieu of higher wages, they settled for a better insurance package because it worked for teachers and the district. (That was when insurance was not the golden calf it is today.) Three years ago, teachers switched to a cheaper insurance plan to save money for the district. This is what happens when people work together.

Please check out the facts on the glut of misleading commercials paid for by out-of-state money before voting. We are fighting over peanuts here at home while he is collecting billions in his travels. And, where are the 250,000 jobs he was going to create in his first year?

Our current governor was not born in Wisconsin and didn’t graduate from college. Why did he leave Marquette University without earning his degree? He should reveal this information, along with his travel schedule for the past year, for which we taxpayers foot the bill for his security, including his trip to the Super Bowl. Why was a secret line that installed in his county executive’s office in Milwaukee when he was running for governor, and why has he collected money for a legal defense fund? And he says public workers are the problem?

Divide and conquer? What an insult. It’s time to unite and prosper, Wisconsinites; a vote for Barrett is a vote for integrity and prosperity.

Susan Kies


Editor’s note: Walker’s 2010 campaign pledge was to create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 new businesses by 2015 (