A Day at the State Capitol

This week’s radio commentary:

So what do the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and the dome of Wisconsin’s State Capitol have in common? The answer: they both hove a statue sculpted by Daniel Chester French. French sculpted both the giant seated statue of Lincoln in the famous memorial and the gilded bronze statue, “Wisconsin,” atop the dome of the State Capitol.

Did you know that we have had four State Capitols, and that our current Capitol is the third one on the Capitol Square in the heart of downtown Madison? What actually goes on under that great dome when it’s not hosting a giant sleepover? Is what I’ve seen reported on TV business as usual in the Capitol?

Read the rest here.

Listen to/download the MP3 file.

The pro-homosexual agenda and labor in WI

An email from Fair Wisconsin–the group that opposed the Marriage Amendment–to supporters.  (See highlighted text.)

Dear Supporter,

I have an unusual, but absolutely critical, request of you today.

So often I write to you about the need to protect LGBT people and their families against attempts to strip away rights and critical protections.  You have responded over and over again and I sincerely appreciate your continued action in the fight for equality.

We have also been proud to welcome the support of our Union brothers and sisters in that fight. Every time we’ve had a challenge, whether it’s been the campaign against the 2006 constitutional amendment or vocal support of the domestic partner registry in 2009, Labor has never failed to stand with us in our time of need.

Yesterday, we heard about Governor Walker’s plan to strip public employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. This is our opportunity to thank these people – the same individuals who teach our children, care for our sick and even plow our streets – for their support by standing with them as they fight for their right to exist.

Our government should never be in the business of taking away people’s rights.

Please join with Fair Wisconsin in contacting your legislators and asking them to protect our union brothers and sisters today.

Thank you.

In fairness AND solidarity,

Katie Belanger
Executive Director

P.S. Support your friends, family and neighbors who depend on public jobs to support their families. Join Fair Wisconsin and thousands of union members and allies for an 11am rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday!  We need you to show our elected officials that whether you’re LGBT, straight, union member, or not, taking away people’s rights is never acceptable.

Budget Adjustment Bill In The Best Interest of Families

Drastic action necessary to balance the budget without massive job cuts

MADISON—Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling released the following statement on Special Session Senate Bill 11, Governor Walker’s Budget Adjustment Bill.

“As a pro-family organization, we must speak out because this is fundamentally about the integrity and independence of the family unit.  Unsustainable state government debt hurts families now and in the future.  This is a reasonable plan.  It’s a way in which we now can truly say we’re all working for the best interest of WI.  The private sector has made its cuts and continues to make cuts.  Families in the private sector have adjusted to smaller incomes and are grateful to still have jobs in this economy.  We cannot go back to them and raise taxes in order to keep benefits for public sector employees at an artificially inflated level.

“We appreciate the service of our public sector employees, including teachers.  However, benefits are a value-add for employees when the employer has the ability to enhance the job package.  The state of Wisconsin no longer has the ability to provide a Cadillac of benefit packages to public employees who currently share only a fraction of the cost.  State and local government must be able to address budget deficits without getting tied up in months of benefits negotiation.  We are broke and our only other options are to make massive job cuts, go deeper into debt or implement an oppressive tax increase on families.  Governor Walker’s proposal is a reasonable approach to balance the state budget, one that does not cut family-supporting jobs or increase the burden on family incomes in the private sector.”

Vote Today!

Today is an extremely important Spring Primary Election for a seat on the State Supreme Court.  Incumbent Justice David T. Prosser is challenged by three attorneys: JoAnne Kloppenburg, Joel Winnig and Marla Stephens.  For additional information on the four candidates, click here.

As members of an increasingly powerful branch of government, justices on the State Supreme Court have incredible responsibility.  The ten-year term for a State Supreme Court Justice is the longest elected term in the state.  Wisconsin’s high court is often the final stop for statutes and constitutional provisions in our state and has incredible power over individual and corporate rights.

It is absolutely imperative that Wisconsin voters take part in this race and cast informed ballots.  For more information, visit www.yourwisconsinvote.org.

Please note: the Supreme Court Primary is the only statewide race on the primary ballot today.   Depending on where you live, you may see circuit court judge, mayoral, city/county board and/or school board races on your ballot today, as well.

Gov. Walker issues National Marriage Week Proclamation!

I am very pleased to share some exciting news with you from our State Capitol! Last week, at the request of Wisconsin Family Council, Governor Scott Walker issued a National Marriage Week Proclamation, recognizing and affirming the great social and public good of the institution of marriage to men, women, children, communities and our state.

National Marriage Week USA, which takes place February 7-14, 2011, is part of an international effort that is beginning to gain momentum around the country as more and more people realize how crucial healthy marriages are to society.  Wisconsin joins other states as well as several European countries and Australia to recognize and promote marriage as a great social and public good for individuals and communities.

Read the rest of the radio commentary.

Listen to/download MP3 file.

A Game of Strategy

It’s the game of the century, at least as far as two Midwest states are concerned. The oldest rivalry in NFL history will reach a new level this weekend when the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers face off in the NFC Championship Game. And I confess—I can barely contain my excitement.

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I’m a diehard Packers fan. You get me involved with a Packers game and everything else fades away. I love the teamwork and camaraderie, the skill, the passion and energy of both the team and the fans!  And of course I like to win!  But I especially am intrigued by the strategy. Teamwork, passion and energy are all very important, but without the important component of strategy, they’re basically useless.

Read the rest of the commentary.

Listen to/download the MP3 file.

Being Open For Business = Thriving Families

Happy New Year!  This week’s radio commentary is about Governor Walker’s promise that Wisconsin is open for business, and what that means for Wisconsin’s most important resource–her families.

Wisconsin opened this week under a new slogan – “Wisconsin is open for business.”  We’re open for business that will create jobs for a workforce that is in desperate need of jobs, for families that are in desperate need of a steady income. From the point of view of stressed families whose dreams for the future have been short-circuited, open for business means open for families to thrive.

Wisconsin has a rich tradition of family – family farms, family businesses, family traditions and legacies of good education, hard work and lasting values. Open for business is a promise of hope for families that are struggling to put food on the table, save for their children’s education, pay the bills and keep their family together.

Read the rest.

Listen to/download the MP3.