Opinion Archives for 2018-08

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse--WMC Evers attack ad disgraceful distortion of the truth

By Roger Utnehmer

The Wisconsin Association of Manufacturers and Commerce is running an ad attacking gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers that is a disgraceful distortion of the truth.

WMC should be ashamed of lowering the political discourse in Wisconsin to a low level.

The WMC-paid ad claims Evers spent money on pay raises for his staff rather than raises for teachers, saying in the commercial, "That's almost 400 grand that went to bureaucrats instead of teachers."

The fact is that when the legislature appropriates money for the Department of Public Instruction staff it simply cannot be used to pay teachers. WMC is smart enough to know that. Wisconsin voters deserve better from what has been a respected voice for business and commerce. This kind of negative advertising is lowering the quality of civic discourse by distorting facts for political advantage.

Former WMC leaders like Paul Hassett and Jim Haney, both Republicans, led an organization that was respected by members of both political parties.

Distorting the truth damages the legacy great leaders like Hassett and Haney have left. WMC should pull the ad and offer an apology to not only Tony Evers but to the people of the State of Wisconsin.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

Letter to the Editor: THE KITCHENS FILE, EPISODE 1- Lame Ducking the Question

By Don Freix, Fish Creek       

While residents of Wisconsin's 1st Assembly District appreciate that Joel Kitchens is finally getting around to revealing anything regarding his term as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding (BRC) in last week's story in the county's arts and entertainment weekly, his bare reiteration of the current and growing problems that are fairly well known already and then refusing to give any information about possible intentions for addressing the problems is unconscionable.  Voters are not to be told what to expect from their "representative," on this issue until after the election?

In a phone call to Kitchens' office on August 27, I was politely directed by staff to the BRC website for further information on what was being planned, was told that ongoing meetings were occurring (none of them open or public meetings nor containing information to be garnered through open records requests), only to find outdated meeting notices, publicity photos and absolutely nothing regarding the GOP dominated commission's work to date.

No analysis of the problems deduced through the numerous public hearings appeared on the site.  No considered avenues for addressing funding were listed at all.  At this stage of their existence, for the GOP led BRC, at least a summary of the problems discovered and the considered tentative means for addressing the worst or most immediate problems endangering public education would seem to be in order.

The BRC website states that the Commission "will provide a report with recommendations to be considered for the 2019-2021 budget."  Joel's "quacking," about we're trying to be "bipartisan," and wanting to avoid having the issue become "political football," is akin to another sports analogy, "par for the course," with the secret legislative process apparently being engaged in by the unconcerned and unconstitutionally gerrymandered legislative GOP majority.

Your election choice on this issue with Kitchens, the WI GOP and the BRC appears as, wait until they again, "drop the bomb," to further destroy public education in greater favor of privatized and for profit education in Wisconsin, again to the detriment of all of Wisconsin's students.   Why else, unless this Commission was nothing but another taxpayer funded GOP public relations gimmick would no other information be forthcoming prior to November?  How about pushing for an immediate press release update from the Commission, Mr Co-Chair Kitchens?

Editorial: Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt To Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

The Door County Community Foundation recognizes philanthropists with an annual award. Today, I nominate a soon-to-be Sevastopol eight grade student to be the next recipient of that recognition.

Lindsay Schuh entered her Red Angus calf in the Door County Quality Animal sale during the recently-concluded fair. The sale of her calf, Teo, raised $5,000. Instead of calculating how many new video games or music downloads Lindsay could buy with her $5,000, she donated the entire amount to one of Door County's most impressive non-profit organizations, DoorCan.

DoorCan provides service and assistance to area residents dealing with cancer. The organization guarantees that 100% of donations are used to assist those with cancer and their immediate families. Lindsay's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The family connection to DoorCan taught a valuable lesson to a daughter with an exceptionally big heart and admirable sense of generosity.

To those who complain about today's young people not having the ethics and values of previous generations, I simply suggest that you get to know Lindsay Schuh. She is an impressive example of philanthropy and deserves to be commended.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

 

Hear more from Lindsay Schuh at the Door County Daily News YouTube page

https://youtu.be/QUWGwt-OPTg

Editorial Comment: Former Baylake Bank Served as Incubator for Civic Involvement

By Roger Utnehmer, DoorCountyDailyNews.com President and CEO

Door County's former Baylake Bank developed a well-deserved reputation for civic engagement.

In today's toxic political environment the ability to disagree agreeably seems a lost art. It has not always been so. For many years Baylake Bank served as an incubator for civic leadership. Officers and staff served on the school board, city council and county board. Like many good businesses, Baylake Bank also provided leadership to many non-profit civic and service organizations.

Today, far too few people in business are willing to risk the wrath of customers that comes with their employees serving in local government.

Tough decisions have consequences. Unfortunately, one can be boycotting a business because of an unpopular vote. That's why the Baylake Bank model of permitting people to serve in local government was so impressive for so long.

Former Baylake Bank President Tom Herlache served as the chairman of the Door County board of supervisors. John Hauser was a member of the city council and also past president and long-time member of the Sturgeon Bay school board. Ron Berg and Ken Glasheen were also city council members.
And there are certainly more.

The leadership provided by Baylake Bank set a worthy example of the importance of business allowing officers and staff to serve the public through elected office. Door County and Sturgeon Bay would be even better places to live if more businesses promoted the kind of civic engagement Baylake Bank modeled for many years. People want government run more like a business. Doing so requires business owners to be as receptive to engagement as the leadership of the former Baylake Bank has been by allowing its employees to serve.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

Civil Discourse: Former Baylake Bank served as incubator for civil involvement

By Roger Utnehmer

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Civic Discourse
By Roger Utnehmer, DoorCountyDailyNews.com President and CEO

Door County's former Baylake Bank developed a well-deserved reputation for civic engagement.

In today's toxic political environment the ability to disagree agreeably seems a lost art. It has not always been so. For many years Baylake Bank served as an incubator for civic leadership. Officers and staff served on the school board, city council and county board. Like many good businesses, Baylake Bank also provided leadership to many non-profit civic and service organizations.

Today, far too few people in business are willing to risk the wrath of customers that comes with their employees serving in local government.

Tough decisions have consequences. Unfortunately, one can be boycotting a business because of an unpopular vote. That's why the Baylake Bank model of permitting people to serve in local government was so impressive for so long.

Former Baylake Bank President Tom Herlache served as the chairman of the Door County board of supervisors. John Hauser was a member of the city council and also past president and long-time member of the Sturgeon Bay school board. Ron Berg and Ken Glasheen were also city council members.
And there are certainly more.

The leadership provided by Baylake Bank set a worthy example of the importance of business allowing officers and staff to serve the public through elected office. Door County and Sturgeon Bay would be even better places to live if more businesses promoted the kind of civic engagement Baylake Bank modeled for many years. People want government run more like a business. Doing so requires business owners to be as receptive to engagement as the leadership of the former Baylake Bank has been by allowing its employees to serve.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

Letter to the Editor: In support of Rep. Andre Jacque

By Teri Jendusa-Nicolai   

As a survivor of violent crime, I'd like to express my sincere thanks to area Representative Andre Jacque for supporting Marsy's Law for Wisconsin and taking the Stand With Crime Victims Pledge. His support means the world to survivors like me, and all of those who have joined the fight to better Wisconsin's communities.

In 2004 I became a victim when I was kidnapped, beaten with a baseball bat, suffocated, dumped in a snow-filled trash can, and left to die in a frozen storage shed. I saw very clearly how victims need more of a voice in the legal process that followed.

Today, I am a strong supporter of Marsy's Law for Wisconsin, a proposal to place additional victims' rights in the state Constitution and strengthen the rights that are already in it, so that victims' rights are not automatically trumped in the courtroom by those of their attackers. This bipartisan legislation has passed key hurdles in the state Legislature and was approved in both houses with broad support from lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. But there are many more votes to go to make this a reality – in order to amend our state Constitution and guarantee victims' rights like those criminals already have, Marsy's Law for Wisconsin must be passed twice in the state Legislature, then supported at the ballot box by voters.

We've made great strides in our effort to strengthen the rights of crime victims, but we have a long way to go to ensure that Marsy's Law becomes a reality in Wisconsin. Thanks to Representative Jacque we are one step closer to making that happen.

Teri Jendusa-Nicolai
Statewide Chairwoman

 


Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Rep. Jacque for support of Marsy's Law

By Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, Statewide Chairwoman        

As a survivor of violent crime, I'd like to express my sincere thanks to area Representative Andre Jacque for supporting Marsy's Law for Wisconsin and taking the Stand With Crime Victims Pledge. His support means the world to survivors like me, and all of those who have joined the fight to better Wisconsin's communities.

In 2004 I became a victim when I was kidnapped, beaten with a baseball bat, suffocated, dumped in a snow-filled trash can, and left to die in a frozen storage shed. I saw very clearly how victims need more of a voice in the legal process that followed.

Today, I am a strong supporter of Marsy's Law for Wisconsin, a proposal to place additional victims' rights in the state Constitution and strengthen the rights that are already in it, so that victims' rights are not automatically trumped in the courtroom by those of their attackers. This bipartisan legislation has passed key hurdles in the state Legislature and was approved in both houses with broad support from lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. But there are many more votes to go to make this a reality – in order to amend our state Constitution and guarantee victims' rights like those criminals already have, Marsy's Law for Wisconsin must be passed twice in the state Legislature, then supported at the ballot box by voters.

We've made great strides in our effort to strengthen the rights of crime victims, but we have a long way to go to ensure that Marsy's Law becomes a reality in Wisconsin. Thanks to Representative Jacque we are one step closer to making that happen.

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