Nathan Sass

Open Letter to Iron Workers Local 8

In 2012 Elections, Barack Obama, Economics, Politics, Scott Walker, WI Budget Battle on March 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM

I see that you have changed your marquee sign along I-94 just over the Milwaukee County border.  It used to say “1 million Wisconsinites can’t be wrong

Now it says “I thought democracy was for the people, not the corporations or the parties“.

I assume that this message is referring to the recent Democrat-led defeat of the mining legislation in the Wisconsin Senate that would have resulted in new union jobs in Milwaukee and other parts of Wisconsin.

I have a suggestion for another marquee message that might be more appropriate, especially in the minds of your members.

I thought unions were for the members, not the leaders or the parties“.

I appreciate that recent events have caused you to question some things, but I think you, the members, should be asking some very hard questions of your leadership right now.  Specifically, I think you should be very concerned that your union leaders are far more interested in state politics than your interests.

I wonder now if you, the members, are starting to realize what has happened to unions over the last 30 years.  (Full disclosure, my grandfather was a proud trade union member, and I honor and respect that tradition.)

The leaders of Iron Workers Local 8 were more than happy to proclaim “solidarity” with public sector unions like AFSCME, SEIU and others during the Act 10 debate, even though the members of Iron Workers Local 8 stood only to benefit from the changes in Act 10 through lower taxes (at every level) and an improved economic climate in the state.

They sent you to the capital to protest and carry signs along side your so-called “brothers and sisters” in the public sector unions.

The leadership of Iron Workers Local 8 supported the recall of elected officials all over the state because they were more interested in being good Democrat political players than looking out for their membership.

Do you, the members of Iron Workers Local 8, realize that if the recall of the 2 state Republicans in the summer of 2011 had not happened, the mining bill would have passed easily and there would be more work for members of Iron Workers Local 8 for decades to come?

Your leadership actually used you to recall the very people that would have voted to give you more job opportunities, and elect Democrats that care more about made up tree hugger nonsense and hating Scott Walker than whether or not you have good jobs.

You elected leaders of your union who care more about Democrat politicians than you.  You elected leaders who seem not too interested in the actual union members.  All they care about is the Democrat party, even though that party usually screws you “little guys”.

Your leaders are all for Democrats, even when they block construction projects because some owl or butterfly somewhere may be “threatened”.

Your national leaders just gave the Leader of China an award as “the best friend of the American worker”.  Seriously…..the leader of China, where unions are illegal and anyone trying to start one just “disappears”.  China, where many of your jobs got sent over the last decade.  And your leaders just gave them an award!!!

Your leaders are for the same Democrats who did everything they could to block things like Miller Park, built proudly by members of Iron Workers Local 8.

Your leaders are all for Democrats like President Obama even when he blocks the Keystone Pipeline, which would result in thousands of union jobs.

Your leaders are all for Democrats like Kathleen Falk who will put the environment ahead of development and construction jobs that go with it.  (Don’t believe me?  Check into what she did in Dane County for yourself.)

Your leaders back Democrats like Tom Barrett who did all he could to block the rebuilding of the Zoo Interchange, and hates the idea of expanding I-94 in Milwaukee County (lots of bridge work there!).

Your leaders are all for Democrats who would rather build trains you can’t afford to ride paid for by your taxes using cars built by a company in Spain rather than new roads and bridges for people to drive their (mostly UAW built) cars over, because trains are better for the planet or something.

And your leaders tell you Scott Walker is the antichrist, and he wants to destroy you personally.

The very same Scott Walker who refused to even entertain “right to work” legislation for private sector workers, refused to waste your tax money on a stupid train, refilled the Transportation Fund to allow for more road and bridge construction, and will push for expansion of I-94 in Milwaukee County.  And that’s just a short list of things he is for that benefits Iron Workers Local 8 membership.

Your leaders tell you that Republicans are evil and hate you because you are working men and women.

The same Republicans who did literally all they could to pass a mining bill that had promised union jobs tied to it.

The same Republicans who passed Act 10 to force your so-called “brothers and sisters” in the public sector unions to pay for part of their health insurance and pensions just like you have to (oh, the absolute HORROR!!!), to keep your taxes from going up again.

The same Republicans who want your taxes to go down so you can keep the money you earn.

I think I speak for conservatives and Republicans everywhere when I tell you that we not only respect what you do, we want you to do MORE of it.

We want a thriving economy with building going on all over the place.  We want to make sure you have opportunity everywhere you look.  We want to protect the environment as much as we can, but never at the cost of good jobs (including union jobs) for regular people.  People come first for us, not “endangered” owls and butterflies.

People like you and your families.  People who work hard, and are proud of what you do.  People who believe in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.  People who would rather earn what they have than have something handed to them.

Republicans and conservatives have never stood opposed to the members of Iron Workers Local 8.  In many cases, we have been your ONLY friend.  When your leaders worked against your interests to please their real friends in the Democrat party, it was conservatives and Republicans who stood up for you, the actual members.

When it was time for you to “get yours” with the mining bill, it was your so-called “brothers and sisters” in the public sector unions that screwed you over.  They were more interested in “getting Scott Walker” than helping you.  They proved that they could care less about you, and “solidarity” is a one way street for them.

It was conservatives and Republicans who stood up for you, even though you protested them, some of your fellow protestors called them vile names, and in some cases threatened  their lives.  They did it because it was the right thing to do, even if you were not their “friends”.

I ask only one thing of you.  Step back and look hard at who really has your backs.  Who is really looking out for you and your jobs?

Don’t take my word for it, either.  You are smart and able to decide for yourself.  Look into what I am saying and find out if it is true.

If you discover that I am telling you the truth, then maybe it is time that you demand that your leaders stop being Democrat party members more interested in politics, and start being union leaders interested in jobs and economic growth, no matter which party is pushing for it.

And if you really want to know who Scott Walker really is, and who he really cares about, get a group of fellow members together and ask to meet with him.  Do it in private.  No media.  No publicity.  Just you and him.  Ask him the tough questions and examine his responses.

I would bet you will find that he respects you, what you do, and will do all he can to get you more chances to do it.  And he will tell you that when no one is looking and he has nothing to gain from it politically.  He will tell you that because it is the truth.

Because that is who he is, and who we are.

Until then, we will continue to fight for you guys, even if you don’t see it yet, and even if you call us names and protest us.

All my best to you and your families.

On Wisconsin!

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  1. >>> “Who is really looking out for you and your jobs?”

    I see. It is the very uncorrupt Republicans out to protect the public from the very bad — extremely bad — Democrats??? Give me a break!!!

    I’m (generally) a center-right Republican, and though I didn’t vote for Walker I don’t think he’s 100% wrong. But I am constantly amazed at the blind partisanship of some of our bloggers. Do you EVER wince when your pockets are picked?

    This is NOT a battle between the R’s and the D’s. It *IS* a battle between the people and the Fat Cats that want in their pockets! But THEY have the money to buy our politicians.

    Jack Lohman

  2. Your reply doesn’t make any sense, because you’re accusing the author of this post of doing exactly what you seem to be doing yourself! It is a very partisan battle between Rs and Ds, if you look at who voted for and against the mining legislation.

    And who are these “fat cats” that you keep talking about? Are you referring to the mining company who wants to bring business and jobs to Wisconsin? The mining company who would have given the Iron Workers and their Union a huge amount of business and encouraged economic stability in WI? I freely admit, as will they, they’re making a profit, of course, but the cold hard truth is that they have the freedom to open their mines wherever they want to, and as we’ve seen post-vote, they’ve got lots of other options of where they can go. We might have needed them, but they certainly don’t need us. What type of message do you think this sends to other businesses looking to relocate or open in WI?

    The Democrats and one very idiotic “Republican” (who for the life of me, I can’t understand why he wants to call himself that, since he votes more with Democrats than his own party) CHOSE not to vote for this legislation because of some bogus environmental complaint, a complaint that WI’s DNR said was completely ludicrous. (And yes, Cathy Stepp might be a Walker appointee, but she still has a job to do, and federal laws to uphold, regardless of her personal political past.) They got the Republicans to very generously work with them, compromising on every part of the legislation they could while still ensuring the mining company would still bring their business to WI. (And, make no mistake about it, the approval of the mining company DOES matter. Businesses, not government, create jobs, and it’s their country as well as yours. They need to be able to run their businesses and have the freedom to do so without being harrassed by ridiculous bureaucratic red tape.)

    Then the Democrats, specifically Jauch and Schultz, proposed a counter-bill that Jauch admitted today, “would make it hard for any mining company to get a permit in Wisconsin.” This whole dog-and-pony-show was clearly political, and clearly all about screwing over Walker and the legislature that voted with them, not to mention people that actually need jobs. You see, it doesn’t matter that opening this mine would have created thousands of jobs both directly (in building and working in the mine) and indirectly (through the regrowth of the area around the mines by people opening businesses to serve those working in the mine) over time and been a great economic boost for the state over time.
    It would have made Scott Walker and senators involved in recall elections look good…and that is something that must be avoided at all costs!

    Don’t believe me?
    Lyle Balistreri, President of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council, GETS it, saying:

    “For the Senate Democrats to vote against this bill is a sign that they’re not with us. They’re certainly not job creators, and in fact they’re job killers. … The working people in the state of are taking a beating. Democrats and Republicans are at each other’s throats, and this sort of thing has to stop.”

    Why don’t you?

  3. Listen, if this bill were so pro-Wisconsin we would not have needed campaign contributions to flow between the mining companies and the politicians. It would have become law on its own! But it didn’t. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if ALL laws could pass without campaign bribes flowing? From EITHER side of the issue!

    • Really? I put all that work into my comment and yours again, doesn’t have much relevance. It’s like you pulled it out of nowhere because you had no coherent response to my rather lengthy statement…hmmm…

      The point the author is trying to make is that the bill is pro-JOBS, which, according to the Dems, when they were talking about the supposed 6 month in a row job loss in WI, was their main moaning point why Walker should be recalled. Remember? He “let WI down”? Nothing he was doing was working? Notice, however, when a golden opportunity to get jobs into this state comes along, they all flake out. THEY made the personal decision to vote the way they did, just as the Republicans did.

      What does that tell you? Logically, partisan politics, in the Dems minds, ranks higher than doing what is best for WI residents, who, by the way, in Northern WI and other areas around the state, overwhelmingly WANTED the mining bill to pass so the mining company could get things going and jobs could help people. End of story. They made their choice and have flimsy, at best (me being generous), reasons for trying to justify their unified, party-wide decision, no matter who backed what.

      And by the way, I think you’re being again, a bit hypocritical. How much money have unions contributed to political candidates, almost overwhelmingly Democrat? …Not to mention other corporations, and Wall Street firms, same thing- contributed to Democrats, not Republicans. Millions and millions of dollars donated… see?http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

      Also, notice how the “fat cats,” which, again, you conveniently don’t really define or specify, aren’t just corporations…they’re unions! I’m sure that has NOTHING to do with why the mining legislation didn’t pass, right? You know, all those people who hate Scott Walker with a passion and have vowed revenge at any cost would have no interest or political stake in making him look bad, whether they actually live in WI or not, would they? If you believe that, give me a call, I have a bridge to sell you.

  4. You are trying your best to spin this as though the D’s are bad and the R’s are good, and to argue ‘jobs’ is equivalent to serving lemonade laced with poison. Even many of the people in the area didn’t want the jobs with the price tag they came with.

  5. I’m responding to the way they voted. Their choice to vote is the way they voted, and it was on party lines. There is no “good” and “evil” as you are trying to typecast the two political parties. Republicans and private sector unions that would get jobs from the mine opening supported the legislation (research in the news, MANY of the people involved with these organizations made their views WELL KNOWN), and Democrats didn’t. How are these results unclear to you? And I’m calling a total BS on “even many of the people in the area didn’t want jobs with the price tag they came with.” IF you actually went to Northern WI, you would have seen overwhelming support for the mine in the form of signs. Citizens also rallied in favor of the mine. That signals to me that lots of individual working families and citizens thought this was a good idea and thought enough of it to publicly display their views. Additionally, the sign described in the beginning of this article (“I thought democracy was for the people, not the corporations or the parties“) suggests the Iron Workers Union in particular is disappointed with the results. Same goes with the comments from the President of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council that I posted earlier. There are lots of people, regardless of party, that knew the mining legislation was a good idea and wanted it passed. This could have been a great opportunity for Democrats to do something great for WI economically, and they chose to prioritize petty politics ahead of their constituents when they ALL voted against the mining bill. I’d say the same thing if Republicans did what the Democrats had, instead of working hard to compromise; it doesn’t matter really who did it, it’s WHAT they did, which is kill jobs. Hope that lemonade doesn’t taste too bitter for you as you try to swallow it…and that taste that doesn’t want to go down is called TRUTH, not poison. Don’t worry though, the more you drink, the better it tastes.

  6. I hear all this talk about the mining jobs in northern Wisconsin, which if passed i agree would have been great for northern Wisconsin. I don’t think a lot of people realize that in southeastern Wisconsin we have many manufactures of mining equipment. How many union jobs does that create? I work in a small independant machine shop and we get alot of overflow work from them. So how many extra jobs would’ve that created? Now you take all those folks that would’ve got jobs and let them spend their money buying houses, cars, etc. How many more jobs would that create? Funny thing is i’m no politician but a little common sense goes a long way. Thousands of jobs in northern Wisconsin is huge but how many more jobs would that create is the real question. The politicians really missed the big picture here.. SHAME ON THEM!!!!!

  7. So it’s all about the jobs and to hell with the tainted water? Nice. I suppose that’s why the campaign cash too? http://tinyurl.com/Walker8

  8. Walker wasn’t even governor when he threw away thousands of jobs with the rail project. Your Fox Not News talking points are well-rendered, but like most Fox News viewers, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    The Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) mining project was to get rammed through without reasonable environmental impact studies (EIS) done in the region. The same with need for Alberta tarsand oil to get to China through Houston with the XL Keystone pipeline project.

    Your ignorance is illustrated that somehow that we shouldn’t get environmental impact studies within a reasonable timeframe. After all, it’s someone else’s community and their families that will have poisons coming into their homes. Their kids will die of cancer at an early age, not yours.

    Just call people who want some corporate responsibilities regarding polluting our communities “tree huggers”. That’s so easy! Hell, mention Al Gore whiel you’re at it. That should divert the real issues and go after the messenger instead of the message.

    The GTAC management waved the “union job” card at the last minute when they knew that the deal was toast. The American Legislative Exchange Council and the Koch Brothers were not going to get their way this time. After all, they wrote the legislation for the GTAC mining project.

    The Republican governor in Colorado wanted the XL Keystone pipeline project halted due to not getting a reasonable EIS. A large majority of those who would be affected by the Gogebic Taconite mine wanted a reasonable EIS.

    The Republicans think you’re too stupid to maybe turn off Fox News and think for yourself. That may be out of your intellect.

    • Excellent reply, but don’cha know: the Republicans want what the Republicans want, and it’s the Dems fault if they don’t get it.

    • 1) All Environmental Impact requirements remain in force under the proposed legislation. Approval of the proposed project would still be required by the US EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the WI DNR under current environmental regulations. The bill changes nothing about the environmental regulations themselves, and only sets a time frame for decision. The Assembly bill set the time frame at 360 days and required approval if the clock ran out, and the Senate version proposed by Darling and Vos increased that time to 420 days and removed automatic approval language in the Assembly version. In short, the DNR, EPA and/or USACOE could deny the permit under current (and unchanged) environmental standards after 420 days in the Darling/Vos version.

      All environmental regulations are fully in force at all times, and in the Darling/Vos version, approval is not guaranteed.

      2) The Keystone XL Pipeline did NOT – I repeat NOT – run through any part of Colorado. http://www.transcanada.com/keystone_pipeline_map.html

      3) Colorado’s current Governor is John Hickenlooper, a Democrat. NOT a Republican.

      4) The oil (and eventually natural gas) moved through the Keystone XL Pipeline will be placed on the open global market regardless of transportation method. Oil, like gold, is a globally traded commodity and can be bought or sold to anyone, anywhere. Keystone would merely allow the US to become a key transportation partner (which does provide economic development itself), and would also allow the US to import less oil from Middle Eastern and South American sources, as the Keystone XL product would be marginally cheaper due to fewer transportation costs.

      5) There is already an operational pipeline from Canada through the US but it does not have the expanded capacity of the XL pipeline, thus the desire for the new pipeline to increase the capacity. This pipeline has had NO SIGNIFICANT DOCUMENTED NEGATIVE ENVORONMENTAL IMPACT.

      Furthermore, pipelines are documented to be infinitely safer than container ships for transportation of oil, as a spill is far easier to contain and the contamination localized and easy to remove, treat and return to the location. Water tends to spread out fast and is all but impossible to remove for cleaning of a spill. (The pipeline from Alaska to Canada has spilled less than the Exxon Valdez over its decades of operations, for example.)

      I suppose you are another “environmentalist” who prefers to have oil shipped half way around the globe in diesel fuel burning tankers risking spills and pollution instead of a sealed pipeline over land that is easy to maintain and uses almost no energy for transport in comparison. What an Earth lover you are!!! I am impressed with your dedication to the planet.

      6) Regarding the GTAC mine, the extraction method proposed by GTAC uses no chemical extraction at any time whatsoever. Their proposal was to utilize electromagnetic extraction of the ore from excavated materials. (Iron ore is highly magnetic, unlike many other metals). The project, in simple terms, is to dig dirt out of a hole in the ground, run it under a electromagnet, and put the dirt to the side. When the mine is no longer productive, put the dirt back in the hole.

      Where in this process are carcinogens introduced? Is digging a hole a cancer causing process? Are magnets a cancer causing material? Can magnets pollute ground water? Can piles of dirt cause cancer or pollute water? In all cases the answer is no.

      Your beloved CFL light bulbs contain more polluting agents (mercury), especially when disposed of in landfills, than this mine would ever possibly introduce in 1 million years of operation (were that possible).

      But again you are an “Earth loving environmentalist” who wants us to use more mercury filled light bulbs and never dig a hole in the ground because mercury in ground water is ok as long as you feel better about yourself for using “green” bulbs in your lamps. As long as YOU feel better about yourself, who cares what happens when you toss the bulb in the trash. That is someone else’s problem, right? You get to tell all your friends how much you love the Earth and how “green” you are, and that is all that really matters.

      7) The “someone else” in your so-called “someone else’s community” would include much of my family, who has lived in Northern Wisconsin for most of their lives. They have seen the economy dissolve as the paper mills closed and logging has curtailed, and they would love nothing more than to open this mine to make it possible for people to get family sustaining jobs for almost their entire lives.

      I would bet you, Mr. Scott Walker Watch, have either a) never been north of Madison, or b) only go “up north” for a week or two at a time as a tourist. You likely know NOTHING about the poverty and misery of the “locals” who live in the region. Spare us your phony sympathy.

      But then again, I am the ignorant one lacking intellect who does not research the facts or know what I am talking about, and you are the smart one because you are a liberal.

  9. Alternatively we could hire real scientists who are not getting research money from either the mining industry or the tree huggers, and get an honest, unbiased answer that will force politicians to an up/down vote at their own peril. (Now, there’s a thought!)

    • I believe the DNR actaully did do what you described, and the report showed no significant impacts to the environment. Further study was of course required as part of the approval process, but as I understand it, “outside experts” were consulted. In any event, the Darling/Vos bill still would require 3 seperate agencies to approve the project using current state and federal environmental regulations (which again are not changed).

      • This is hysterical. Here’s from someone on another blog…

        Bill Schultze: “That’s the way Scott Walker rolls. The mining bill was written by the mining company. The DNR is guided by the Realtors and developers. The concealed carry bill was written by the NRA. And the rest of the sleazy legislation they’ve passed, such as the destruction of colletive bargaining rights and redistricting, is ghost written by ALEC. This is the sleaziest governor in all the land. That fake Koch brothers call in which Walker admitted he was “dropping the bomb” told us EVERYTHING we need to know about this immoral college dropout.”

        But I too would like to hear why Walker opposed the rail bill. Surely it wasn’t because of “jobs.”

      • First of all, the “fake Koch Brothers call” actually proved pretty conclusively that Scott Walker does not know the Koch Brothers very well. He was completely unable to recognize the voice on the other end as anyone he knew, and relied on that person to identify themselves. If Walker was so “in the pocket of” and in regular communication with the Koch Brothers, it is reasonable to conclude he would have recognized the voice as NOT being one of the Koch Brothers. Furthermore, his staff was similarly unable to identify the voice, indicating that they too have so little interaction with them that their voices are not “known”.

        The “fake call” was actually the best evidence of a lack of “control” of Walker by the Koch Brothers.

        As for the not-so-high-speed rail project, Walker rejected it for the same reasons CA is in the process of doing the same thing. The initial funding for the construction of the line was provided, IN PART, by the federal government. ALL required taxpayer funding for operations and maintenance thereafter was the responsibility of the state of Wisconsin alone. This translated into a huge new spending item on the state budget with little expectation of the rail project inducing any real economic development. There would be some minor development at terminals, but nowhere else. Furthermore, the ridership was likely so low that there would be little of that development in any case.

        The GTAC mine, on the other hand, required almost NO public money to start or operate. Furthermore, the mine would generate tax revenue for the state, becoming a “profit center” (in business parlance) for the state of Wisconsin. Also, economic development related to the project would be substantial when considering satellite operations near the mine, increased disposable income of the employees, and the sale and/or production of construction and excavation materials and equipment (i.e. CAT in MKE). All these are multipliers and generate further tax revenues to the state, along with improving the general economic climate in the state.

        In summary, rail was a money loser for the state of Wisconsin, required tax subsidies ongoing for ever, generated little if any economic development, and would be lightly used. The mine would require almost no public money, increases tax receipts to the state of Wisconsin, generates a large amount of economic activity in the private sector, and would be a leading indicator of a business friendly climate in the state helping attract further development of all kinds.

        Seems like a pretty simple decision to me.

  10. Nate, it’s just too bad that you are not as strong for clean government as you are a hopelessly blind partisan Republican. Truth is, I opposed the rail too, but more so because it served such a small segment of our state.

    But all of this defense for Walker ought to be tabled. You cannot be happy that he is spending so much time getting cash from special interests outside the state.

    I’ve talked to Walker directly, and did not vote for him because he opposed public funding of campaigns and opposed single-payer health care. That’s not the kind of guy I want representing my state. Both of these a pro-Wisconsinite, but unfortunately are also anti insurance industry.

    • He would not need to be raising money were it not for a special interest big corporation funded (unions are essentially nothing more than corporations now) recall effort aimed at restoring the almost unlimited power of public sector unions to occupy both sides of the bargaining table and spend our money as they see fit.

      Money is part of politics, and there is no getting around it.

      The US Constitution is clear, and restricting funding of a campaign to “public only financing” is as unconstitutional as it is stupid. You cannot bar someone from using their own money to run for office, speak out on an issue, or to support their chosen candidate. Furthermore, violating everyone’s rights universally is just as wrong as violating a specific person or group’s rights.

      As for corporations, they are considered “persons” in the legal context, giving them access to the same rights as any other individual (including the 1st Amendment). This is why they are able to be taxed on income.

      Remove the “person” designation for corporations and you can prevent them from using money in campaigns, but you can no longer tax them on income either. Furthermore, you cannot bring a suit against a corporation in court any longer, as they are not a legal “person” that can be sued. You can only sue the individual in the corporation that has committed a liable act, if you can even determine who that might be. Good luck with that.

      Pick your poison. Are corporations legal “persons”, able to be taxed and sued, but also guaranteed the right to free speech and expression or are they not “persons” and therefore immune to income taxes and suits, and no longer afforded the right to speech and expression?

      Finally, it appears to me that you are not a “clean government” person. You are liberal in “clean government” clothing. Single payer health care is the fastest path to corrupt government (Don’t believe me? Check into the amount of fraud and corruption in Medicare and Medicaid, both single payer systems themselves.)

      Single payer is substantially no different than the current 3rd party payer system. All that changes is the middle man. It solves nothing, changes nothing and improves nothing. All it does accomplish is making government just that much more powerful and in control of that much more of your life.

      You hate Walker because you are a liberal. You just don’t have the courage to admit it. You put up all these canards as a cover. They are as invalid as they are illogical.

  11. My comment is awaiting moderation, perhaps because I left my signature on…

  12. I was going to answer only the items I disagree with you on, but that turned out to be everything, so hold tight.

    First, public funding of campaigns can be made voluntary, thus it passes constitutional muster. ALA Arizona and Maine. If Walker wanted to continue taking bribes from out-of-staters he could, but politicians wishing to distance themselves from the graft, could. What’s wrong with that?

    Cost? $5 per taxpayer per year. Current is $1300 per taxpayer when you include all of the state pork barrel projects.

    And I won’t totally disagree with you on unions… they are no better than the Koch brothers. But without greedy and controlling CEOs, unions wouldn’t be necessary. They give, incidentally, only $1 for every $8 in campaign cash. Or bribes, or influence, or whatever you righties call it.

    >>> The US Constitution is clear, and restricting funding of a campaign to “public only financing” is as unconstitutional as it is stupid.

    Stupid? So you prefer having your politicians pass laws for the benefit of their contributors?

    >>> violating everyone’s rights universally is just as wrong as violating a specific person or group’s rights.

    Very profound. Meaning “I prefer a free-for-all-winner-take-all political system!” OR “If one politician is corrupt, they must all be!”

    Have you ever been a CEO? I have, and if I had a member of my board of directors taking cash dollars from my competitor and giving away company assets in return, I’d have him jailed. Same with an employee. But that’s exactly what your politicians are doing with taxpayer assets.

    >>> As for corporations, they are considered “persons” in the legal context, giving them access to the same rights as any other individual (including the 1st Amendment).

    Wow, and you’re happy with that? I suppose they can also vote and be put in jail when they hill people? BP must be shaking in their booties.

    >>> This is why they are able to be taxed on income.

    Bulls***. My company was taxed on income long before Citizens United.

    >>> but you can no longer tax them on income either.

    I actually favor zero taxes on “American” corporations that manufacture product in the US. (But that’s one of my “liberal” views.)

    >>> Furthermore, you cannot bring a suit against a corporation in court any longer, as they are not a legal “person” that can be sued.

    What??? How old are you? Are you dry behind the ears yet? So I personally can incorporate myself and get away with murder?

    >>> Finally, it appears to me that you are not a “clean government” person. You are liberal in “clean government” clothing.

    I get it. I voted for McCain (against Obama), voted for Bush twice, and voted for Johnson against Feingold, but am not right-wing-wacko enough for you? I am a MODERATE republican, though I support SOME lefty issues because they make financial sense for the country. I do NOT support political corruption, however.

    >>> Single payer health care is the fastest path to corrupt government

    Stupid, stupid, stupid… Canada’s healthcare costs are 10% of GDP, ours is 17.5%. Yes they have wait times for non-emergencies (same day for urgent care), and they could eliminate even those waits if they’d increase their spending to 12% and buy more MRIs. AND they have better outcomes than the US because they cover EVERYBODY, not just those with a job and insurance.

    >>> fraud and corruption in Medicare and Medicaid

    My company was in healthcare, and I spent 40 years in the industry. Let me assure you that fraud and over-utilization exists in the private system as well, perhaps even more so because there is less jail time.

    >>> Single payer … solves nothing, changes nothing and improves nothing.

    I’m 74 now, and sure wish I were as smart as you. We are the ONLY industrialized country in the world without single payer. How are you liking it so far? (Oh, you must be employed!)

    If it was so stupid, $125 million in campaign bribes would not have been needed to keep it off the table.

    >>> You hate Walker because you are a liberal. You just don’t have the courage to admit it. You put up all these canards as a cover. They are as invalid as they are illogical.

    Wow. I’m old but I’m not stupid.

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