2.07.2011

Funeral Information for Winnebago County Supervisor Ron Eichman

RIP

Name: Ronald J. Eichman, 66
Died: Thursday, February 03, 2011, in Mercy Medical Center

Ronald J. Eichman, 66 of Oshkosh, died unexpectedly on Thursday February 3, 2011 at Mercy Medical Center. He was born in Oshkosh on January 28, 1945 son of Burton and Cecilia (Demler) Eichman. On August 13, 1975 he married Candace Leadingham in Oshkosh.

Ron had served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1963-69. He had served on the Oshkosh Police Dept. from 1967 retiring as a lieutenant in 1998. After retirement, Ron drove bus for Kobussen Bus Company part-time. He was a current Winnebago County Board Supervisor. Ron was a member of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Parish.

Ron is survived by his wife, Candace Eichman of Oshkosh; sons, Christopher (Suzanne) Eichman of Marshfield, WI, and their children, Alexis and Dalaney; and Timothy (Tara) Eichman of Oshkosh and their children, Ethan and Estelle; brother, Neal (Sue) Eichman of Oshkosh; sisters, Nancy (David) Nimke, Barbara Nimke, and Paulette Noe all of Oshkosh; sisters/in/law, Dana (Martin) Marino of Exton, PA, and Sheila (Lee) Kation of Oshkosh, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service for Ron will be conducted on Tuesday February 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM at Konrad-Behlman Funeral Home- Westside with Deacon Robert Penzenstadler officiating. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday from 1:00 PM until the time of the service.

"Good Enough!"


Service Schedule
Visitation Date:
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Visitation Time:
1 p.m . until service
Visitation Location:
Konrad-Behlman Funeral Home - Westside

Service Date:
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Service Time:
4:00 PM
Service Location:
Konrad-Behlman Funeral Home - Westside

1.21.2011

Update on Rep. Michelle Litjens & Culverts.....

In the Winnebago County Board meeting this week we passed the following resolution:

Establish Policy With Regard to Application For Town Bridge/Culvert Aid Pursuant to Section 82.08, Wisconsin Statutes

Exciting stuff!  But in a nutshell, the towns apply for County & State work & funds to repair bridges and culverts.  The County Highway Dept wants to codify the process to make sure the process runs smooth.

This flies right in the face of Rep Michelle Litjen's Statement in the OshNW:
"In the towns, when the town hall parking lot needs to be plowed or a culvert cleaned out, someone raises their hand and it's done. The more government promises to do, the less we help each other. In towns, people take responsibility for each other."
(I discuss the fallacy of this statement in detail here)

I would like to once again express the concern that Ms. Litjens please learn how govt is funded before she begins voting on it.

12.11.2010

Rep-Elect Michelle Litjens just might have no idea what she is talking about....

From a profile today in the OshNW:

"People need to take responsibility for their communities and not look to the government to fix everything anymore," Litjens said. "In the towns, when the town hall parking lot needs to be plowed or a culvert cleaned out, someone raises their hand and it's done. The more government promises to do, the less we help each other. In towns, people take responsibility for each other."
(emphasis mine)

I urge Rep-Elect Litjens to look at the Winnebago County 2011 Executive Budget for Snow & Ice Removal:

http://www.co.winnebago.wi.us/sites/default/files/uploaded-files/2010ExBudget.pdf

p 294 - $696,340 - COUNTY: Snow & Ice
p 294 - $927,070 - STATE: Snow & Ice
p 294 - $400,000 - LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES: Snow & Ice
Total: $2,023,410
The county plows all the roads and many of the facilities for local governments. 

The county is also the agent for bridges and culverts throughout these areas as well.

In fact, the county has over $30,000,000 budgeted or planned on Roads, Bridges, Culverts, Snow & Ice in the towns and rural areas of Winnebago county

p 289 - line 4510 - $2,520,676 - Hwy Maint-Municipal
p 289 - line 6510 - $176,118 - Hwy Maint-Municipal

p 294 - $25,000 - COUNTY: On Systems Bridge
p 294 - $696,340 - COUNTY: Snow & Ice

p 294 - $724,258 - STATE: On Systems Bridge
p 294 - $927,070 - STATE: Snow & Ice

p 295 - $2,594,309 - LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES
Includes:
Snow & Ice - $400,000
Routine Maintenance - $1,833,158
Road Construction - $352,236

p 518-23 - $26,436,465 - County Highway Capital Projects for rural county roads
I would urge Rep-Elect Litjens to learn about government funding before she votes on those funds.

12.08.2010

Post Office Letter - Please Send Today!

Hello! 

Time runs out tomorrow!  Please send this in today!

Here is a printable letter to send to help save the 549 (Oshkosh & entire Zip Code) area.

Please print and send in today! They need to be in the mail tomorrow!

  
-jef-

12.05.2010

Letter to Legislators & the Post Office

Oshkosh Post Office

Please send the letter below to:

----------------------

Lisa Androus
Manager, Consumer Affairs
Lakeland District
PO Box 5011
Milwuakee WI 53201-5011

Ms. Androus,

Please add this message to the many you have received in support of mail processing in Oshkosh, WI. I would like to voice my opinion regarding the Area Processing Study (AMP) that commenced on August 2, 2010 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I am opposed to the consolidation of the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) to Green Bay, WI or elsewhere.

I am concerned about having to sacrifice the mail service I currently receive and have grown to expect. The Oshkosh facility currently has the most First Class overnight commitments in the whole State of Wisconsin. Moving the mail would mean a lot of these overnight commitments would now become two day commitments, that which is the standard in Green Bay.

As well as the possible compromising of levels of service, I am also concerned about the loss of local jobs in the 549 area and the effect it will have on the local economy such as loss of revenue and loss of property tax payers.

Furthermore, I believe that the post office is a necessary part of the business infrastructure for Oshkosh, Winnebago County and the entire 549 zip code. Additional bulk mail costs will be figured in to the calculus made by potential employers moving to the area, and current employers as they manage their business.

Let it be put on record that I have responded in opposition to this AMP study. USPS has a responsibility of maintaining the current service standards and of making improvement in service and to not degrade that service as would be the result of closing the Oshkosh Post Office.

Sincerely,

----------------------

You can also mail a copy to our legislators:

Sen. Herb Kohl
330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
202-224-5653 (Washington)
800-247-5645 (District)
http://kohl.senate.gov/contact.cfm


Sen. Russ Feingold
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington dC 20510
202-224-5323 (Washington)
920-465-7508 (Green Bay)
http://feingold.senate.gov/contact_opinion.html


Rep. Tom Petri
6th Congressional District
2462 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20510
202-225-2476 (Washington)
920-231-6333 (Oshkosh)
https://forms.house.gov/petri/zip_authen.shtml

11.30.2010

Public hearings on high speed rail coming up!

Dear jef:
Many of you have asked 'what else can I do to help Save the Train in Wisconsin?' Well, here is your chance.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is holding a series of public hearings around the state in the next week, and these hearings could make or break the future of high speed rail in Wisconsin.
This is our chance to stand together and send a message loud and clear to our public leaders that Wisconsin supports high speed rail.
The meetings will run from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and will take place in the following cities over the next week:
Tuesday, Nov. 30 in La Crosse at the Best Western Riverfront Hotel, 1835 Rose St.
Wednesday, Dec. 1 in Eau Claire at the Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel, 3340 Mondovi Road
Thursday, Dec. 2 in Fond du Lac at UW-Fond du Lac
Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Madison at the WisDOT Southwest Region Office, 2101 Wright Street
We want the 13,000 jobs and the billions in economic development this project will create to stay in Wisconsin, and state officials have said these hearings are going to have a big impact in deciding the future of the project.
I hope you can make it to one of the hearings, and bring a friend with you! The more supporters of high speed rail we can turn out, the harder it will be to ignore our voices.
If you can't attend one of the hearings, you can still make your voice heard by signing our 'Save the Train' letter to Governor-elect Scott Walker at https://secure3.convio.net/pn/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=576.
Thanks for all you have done, let's Save the Train!
Scot, One Wisconsin Now
One Wisconsin Now is a new-media online network of citizens from across Wisconsin committed to advancing progressive policy, leadership, values and ensuring equal economic opportunity for all.

10.22.2010

Live Tweeting the Feingold / Johnson Debate

The question I wish was asked: Is that Gousha's real hair?

I'm pretty sure Russ won that one. Not that the WFRV audience would know.

Three debates, Johnson uses the same close every time.

Johnson: we need to cut the deficit, but keep spending on expensive ineffective defense systems.

How long til they find an undocumented worker at Pacur? Seems to happen to Johnson every time he takes a stand.

Russ is really on the offense.

Another citizen that knows more than Ron Johnson! Reagan raised taxes, Bush 1 raised them more.

If tax cuts work, why did Reagan then raise taxes?.

Ron Johnson keeps complaining about the number of pages in bills. Why is he against the paper industry?

A flat tax with a rebate to 150% of poverty is a good proposal. My opinion only.

Sure, buy across state lines, then we don't have to cover expensive autistic children in WI.

I am psyched that Russ is proud of health care. I am too.

Johnson: we did not need a health care bill. I was already getting the best govt health care.

Ron Johnson: local teachers should teach, just not be paid.

Too bad Ron Johnson's father-in-law wasn't a farmer too.

Russ: I don't avoid people or situations...

Wait, Russ said health care bill, Johnson said stimulus.... What question did Johnson answer?

Only a disciplined businessman can cut social security and wages.

WFRV sucks for not showing this live.

This lady is smarter than Ron Johnson.

Specific proposal: "possibly, as an option" -Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson will not pay more taxes to secure your Social Security!

Russ!!!!

Wait? The stimulus bill that passed in 2009 caused the 2007 housing crash?

Ron Johnson: I promise to sign only bills with a small number of pages.

I think Ron Johnson is falling apart in front of our eyes. Breathe Ron, breathe...

Ron Johnson has ignored 17% of WI counties.

I don't know many small businessmen that have $10 million to buy a senate seat.

I will not spend more money because Ron Johnson gets a tax cut.

Feingold doesn't demonize businesses, he demonizes selfish businessmen.

Ok, government can only spend money in the private sector. Govt does not buy products and services from govt.

Ron Johnson hates teachers, firefighters and policemen.

Ron Johnson: Career politicians are ok if they agree with me.

I just approved contracts to 6 or more local contractors through the stimulus program.

Ron Johnson: Debt is an issue, so I can't pay more taxes.

Ron Johnson doesn't know about the middle class or homeless vets, but knows that the wealthy need more breaks: http://goo.gl/Mf8P

10.14.2010

Pres Obama v Pres Bush for my 401k

The story of administrations, in a simple picture:





I know I don't want to go back to the Republicans in charge.

10.08.2010

Live Tweeting the Feingold / Johnson Debate

Here were my posts @jef4wi

# In honor of the 2008 debates. Maverick = Drink!

# Russ Feingold just took Johnson to town on Stem Cells.

# The Australian Free Trade Agreement involved dairy. Feingold was against it.

# Ron Johnson's twitter feed says raising the FICA level is raising taxes on the 'American People' - Truth: it's 10% making over $100K

# Ron Johnson: I would never vote to have people like me pay more for your social security.

# Engebretsen needs to read the Social Security trustees report.

# Feingold on millionaires in the Senate: "Bazinga!"

# I read the Constitution a good 45 years before Ron Johnson.

# Ron Johnson: I came from the Tea Party.

# Who is this WFDL joker?

# The Ron Johnson Educational Record: read the Bell Curve and letch.

# Shout out to Renewegy! Go stimulus!

# Sunspots are taking my healthcare.

# Ron Johnson, your daughter was treated in a government hospital by a government doctor.

# Did he really just ask a question with the GOP tested slogan in it.

# Fact check, Moody's said the stimulus kept unemployment down 5%.

# Ron Johnson: Poor people were about to get my healthcare. I couldn't stay on the sidelines.

# Dear WI, we in Oshkosh apologize.

# Ron Johnson: Incredibly wealthy person willing to spend his incredible wealth to defend the incredibly wealthy.

# Lets get ready rumb... well, debate.

8.25.2010

Corn Roast this Weekend

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party!

A reminder to come to the Annual Winnebago County Corn Roast this weekend:
The Corn Roast will be August 28th, from 1-4PM. Once again, it will be held at Winnebago County Park, Southeast of the corner of Hwy 76 & Cth Y. Follow the signs to the shelter!

$5 will get you a couple of hot dogs and all the Allen corn on the cob you can eat.
Local Elected Officials as well as statewide candidates will be attending and speaking.

Please pass this invitation on to anyone you know may be interested.

We have invited all of the Democratic Candidates running for office this fall, and will feature local elected officials and great fellowship with Democrats across the area.


Other Upcoming Events:

Dems Open House at the Oshkosh Gallery Walk
Date/Time: September 4 • 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Winnebago Dems HQ - 480 N Main St - Oshkosh, WI

Come help greet the public for Oshkosh's monthly Gallery Walk.


Fall 2010 Volunteer Training Extravaganza!
Time/Date: September 9 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Winnebago County Democratic Party HQ - 480 N Main St - Oshkosh, WI

Come find out how you can help to elect Democratic candidates in Winnebago County!

We will have refreshments and run through the various ways that you can volunteer time. There are many ways that you can help out: answer phones, great people, data entry, make calls & canvas voters are just a few.

We will demonstrate the various jobs, allow time to sign up to volunteer as well as time to meet with other local Dems & friends!

Come on out and pass the invite on!


Get Involved Today:

Call or stop by the Winnebago Dems Office – 480 N Main St, Oshkosh – 920.303.2010


Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

920.203.6883
jef@jefhall.com
www.WinnebagoDems.org


Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

8.10.2010

Come meet Tom Barrett on Wednesday, August 11 at the home of Steve and Anne Hintz

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party,

A Message from Steve Hintz,

Reminder to come meet Tom Barrett on Wednesday, August 11 at the home of Steve and Anne Hintz, 1361 Washington Avenue, Oshkosh, from 5 PM to 7 PM.

Although the invitation suggested $50 contributions, don't stay away if money is a little tight, because what is really important is that you have an opportunity to meet Tom Barrett, our candidate for governor.

Invitation below:

Mark Harris, Gordon Hintz, Jessica King, and Peg Lautenschlager
Cordially invite you to join

TOM BARRETT
Democratic Candidate for Governor

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
at the home of Steve & Anne Hintz
1361 Washington Avenue, Oshkosh

-Sponsorships-
Host: $500 Co-Host: $250 Friend: $100
$50 Admission Requested per Person

Please contribute online:
www.barrettforwisconsin.com/event/oshkosh
Or send checks to:
Barrett for Wisconsin
P.O. Box 510796 Milwaukee, WI 53203

To sponsor or RSVP please contact:
Kelsey: (608) 251-0723 / kelsey@barrettforwisconsin.com


Also, don’t forget the Winnebago County Dems Meeting Wednesday beginning @ 7 PM at the Delta Restaurant – 515 N Sawyer, Oshkosh!

-jef-


Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

920.203.6883
jef@jefhall.com
www.WinnebagoDems.org


Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

8.03.2010

Join Sen Russ Feingold Saturday! Tom Barrett next Wednesday! Newsletter Attached...

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party!

Your Monthly Newsletter is attached. If it does not come through, please see it here: http://winnebagodems.org/newsletters/

If you are able to volunteer at the Winnebago County Fair, please sign up for an open shift here: http://jef4wi.com/fair2010
If you are volunteering, please stop by Jef Hall’s to pick up a pass – They will be in a container on the porch. Leave them back when done.

-----

Join Sen Russ Feingold at the Winnebago Dems Office Grand Opening!
Barrett for Governor Signs, Barrett & Feingold Bumper Stickers & Pins Available

The office is open at 480 N Main St, Oshkosh & Senator Russ Feingold will continue his tradition of kicking off the campaign season at the Grand Opening of the Winnebago County Democratic Party Campaign Office this Saturday, August 7th between 12:30 and 2:00 PM.

Come out to celebrate and start the good work of campaigns! We will provide refreshments, bring a snack to pass if you would like, but yourself no matter what!

We will have campaign info and supplies available, stickers and signs for a small donation (they were purchased by the party). Also, please make sure your membership is up to date!

An update from the Feingold Campaign:

Russ will be at the official office opening of the Winnebago County Democratic Party office on Saturday, August 7th. The event will run from 12:30 - 2:00pm at the new office downtown. Thank you Jef Hall and Winnebago Dems for making this happen - Russ truly appreciates it and we are excited to be a part of it!

Everyone is invited, so please share this with friends and family.

In addition to the office opening we are going out to canvass Oshkosh immediately after the event.

Come to see Russ but dress to canvass! We will have everything you need right at the office so you may head out to speak with voters as soon as the open house raps up.

If you want to make a difference in this election, please contact Emily Dalton to sign up to help Russ WIN in November: dalton@russfeingold.org or 920-997-4721.

RSVP here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117702538278836

-jef-

Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

920.203.6883
jef@jefhall.com
www.WinnebagoDems.org


Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

7.01.2010

Where's Jonathan?



Jonathan Krause has announced his candidacy for the 54th...

He has been posting on his 'My Two Cents' blog most weekdays for more than 3 years. However, if you look at the blog counter in the image above, it shows only between 35 and 87 posts.

Lets say he were to post only 4 times per week, and take two weeks of vacation a year. That would be:

50 weeks/year X 4 days/week = 200 posts.

Where did the rest of them go? Isn't this information that the voters might need to make a valid decision on whom to vote?

He has been writing an opinion column for more than three years, yet now that his opinion matters, they are gone?

It looks like it took just one day for Jonathan Krause to become 'just another politician'...

I sure hope someone has those missing posts saved...


Here's a fun one from October 16th, a day you will find missing on his blog (I have bolded some of the items you might want to ask him about):

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2008

Thursday 10-16
Well it appears the State's financial chickens have come home to roost. Much like the "crooks on Wall Street" he likes to deride, Governor Doyle's house of cards has also come crashing down. Years of deferred funding, raiding of the Transportation Fund and budgeting based on structural deficits can no longer be covered up. I had to laugh yesterday when the Governor said he had already made deep cuts in State Government and now things are really going to hurt.

So where to begin? How about with the Seniorcare program--which costs the state 253-million dollars a year. We have a program called Medicare Part D that performs the same social function. Are the benefits exactly the same? No--but Seniorcare was only meant to be in place until Medicare Part D came into being. Everyone in Madison apparently forgot about that. If you are unhappy with the Federal benefit--contact your local Congressman.

Put a freeze on all new state building construction. This is bad news for the UW system, which has a building boom going on around the state--but we can probably get by with the existing classroom space for another few years. Highway and bridge projects are exempt because we should have plenty in the Transportation fund to cover those right Governor? Oh that's right--we gave that money to the schools. I always say every driver deserves a great school.

Finally, own up to the people of the state and admit that Madison has written a whole bunch of checks the taxpayers will have to cover. That means an increase in the sales tax. If tax revenues are down ten percent--then a half-percent hike in the consumption tax will be needed as well. You could have that in place by next July 1st--when the next state fiscal year starts.

We can only hope that The King getting caught without his clothes on will finally lead to some changes in the way the state creates its budget. Maybe putting away a little money for situations like this might be step one. Setting some real priorities could be step two.
POSTED BY JONATHAN KRAUSE AT 4:50 AM 17 COMMENTS LINKS TO THIS POST"
If this is what you believe, stand up for it, don't hide it.

6.30.2010

6th Congressional Candidate, Parades

6th Congressional Candidate, Parades

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago Dems!

Nomination papers for Joe Kallas for the 6th Congressional District.

Joe is a long-time Democrat from Green Lake County, a teacher for the Correctional System and someone dedicated to our progressive principles.

Please print out a nomination paper or two and circulate them among your circles. It is important to make sure we do not leave that ballot line blank.

If the papers do not come through, they can be downloaded here: http://jef4wi.com/files/KallasNom.pdf

Parades!

We need to make sure we have the people in the parades to make an impact this year!

Your parade committee has refurbished and rebuilt the signs, secured candy buckets & refreshment coolers....
Now all we need is you!

Please let us know if you will be at the parades! We need a great turnout.

Mayor Barrett & Senator Feingold will be in Oshkosh/Omro on the 4th, but we are going to be responsible for Neenah/Menasha ourselves.

Can you be there for either or both?

Reply to this email, or email me at jef@jefhall.com.

Neenah/Menasha - Meet at 8:00 PM July 3rd on Milwaukee St - we are entry #19. Bring a sack of candy and a flashlight.

Oshkosh/Omro - Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot next to the Post Office across from the B'Gosh building on Otter Ave - info here: http://jef4wi.com/Parade-4th-2010.html. Omro Parade follows!

Your help and support is appreciated!

-jef-

Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

920.203.6883
jef@jefhall.com
www.WinnebagoDems.org


Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

6.29.2010

It depends on what the meaning of the word 'we' is

A comment on Ron Johnson's most famous quote:

"The most basic right," Johnson says, "is the right to keep your property." Remembering the golden age when, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the top income tax rate was 28 percent, Johnson says: "For a brief moment we were 72 percent free."
(Emphasis mine)

This is worth some analysis. When he says the word 'we' - he is talking about those in the top income tax bracket. The top tax bracket begins at $373,650 - this is about 2% of Americans.

Another great quote:

JOHNSON: “You know there actually was. I was watching FOX News and, uh, Dick Morris came on. He was talking about [the Wisconsin Senate Race and said] ‘Hey, if you're a rich guy in the state of Wisconsin maybe you ought to decide to run.’

Parades - Neenah/Menasha July 3 - Oshkosh/Omro July 4

Parades - Neenah/Menasha July 3 - Oshkosh/Omro July 4

Hello Dems & Friends! We need to make sure we have the people in the parades to make an impact this year!

Your parade committee has refurbished and rebuilt the signs, secured candy buckets & refreshment coolers.... Now all we need is you!

Please let us know if you will be at the parades! We need a great turnout.

Mayor Barrett & Senator Feingold will be in Oshkosh/Omro on the 4th, but we are going to be responsible for Neenah/Menasha ourselves.

Can you be there for either or both?

Reply to this email, or email me at jef@jefhall.com.

Neenah/Menasha - Meet at 8:00 PM July 3rd on Milwaukee St - we are entry #19. Bring a sack of candy and a flashlight.

Oshkosh/Omro - Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot next to the Post Office across from the B'Gosh building on Otter Ave - info here:http://jef4wi.com/Parade-4th-2010.html. Omro Parade follows!

Your help and support is appreciated!

-jef-

Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party - Jef Hall, Chair.

Ron Johnson Convention Kerfuffle

The Chief explains the situation well here.

I would just like to add the following - The email below went out to the Winnebago County GOP list on May 12th:

Delegates to State Convention

Winnebago County GOP

May 12

Dear WCRP Members,

Members in good standing at the time of our County Caucus are eligible to serve as voting delegates at the Wisconsin State GOP convention on May 21-23.

If you are intending on attending as a voting delegate, please call me at 920-722-7060. Winnebago County is sponsoring a candidate for statewide office and I would like to discuss the issue with each delegate in advance.

Sincerely,

Todd L. Peters
WCRP Chairman


Just to add to the timeline discussion, this went out 5 days before he announced, 9 days before the convention.

There was 'horse trading' going on. There always is at conventions. But, he can't say that he was not contacting people.

He probably didn't do anything illegal, but, as the Chief also points out - it is the clumsy response that is telling.

6.24.2010

Senator Feingold & Mayor Barrett In Oshkosh for July 4th!

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party!

Great News! We will be hosting both Mayor Tom Barrett and Senator Russ Feingold for the Parades on July 4th!

This means we will need a bunch of volunteers to march along with us.

Please let us know if you will be able to walk in the parade with us, either reply to this email to jef@jefhall.com or sign up here: http://jef4wi.com/Parade-4th-2010.html

We will meet for the Oshkosh Parade at 8:00 AM. Our assemble point is in the parking lot on Otter Ave next to the Post Office. A map is here: http://jef4wi.com/Parade-4th-2010.html We are #14.

The Omro Parade will follow. Please let us know if you are able to walk in that as well.

If you are able to donate candy, please bring some along. If you have any political shirts, please wear one. If you happen to have a classic American car, also let me know. Gordon’s van has had its last parade….

We hope to see you all on Sunday, July 4th.

Don’t forget the Neenah/Menasha Light Parade Saturday, July 3rd!

Details will follow!

Join the Winnebago Dems on Facebook to receive more timely updates: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=25262968258

-jef-


Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

920.203.6883
jef@jefhall.com
www.WinnebagoDems.org

Join the Winnebago Dems on Facebook to receive more timely updates: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=25262968258


Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

4.21.2010

Thoughts on the Tea Party

A recent poll came out about the Tea Baggers:

The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

There has also been talk about whether racism & homophobia is rampant in the crowds...

Well, a quick look back at the archives of jef4wi...

Republicans to Protest Taxes... From the deck of an 85-foot yacht
(7/2007)

and

Tea Parties, Racism and Homophobia in Green Bay
(3/2009)

Seems like it has been around for a bit...

So, Don't Annoy the Crazy People!

4.13.2010

Posted without comment:

Transcript from the end of the Oshkosh City Council meeting:

Esslinger: OK now, Dennis the final thing, and I think you are going to like this the most. I talked about a fundraising drive, and there was money left over. So, I’m here to present the rest of the money. So, before I hand this over I do know a guy that has a firetruck that is looking…

(Council laughs – Palmeri & Poeschl on camera)

Esslinger: I just had to get that in there, I’m sorry. So here’s the rest of the fundraising money.

(Hands Envelope to McHugh)

Esslinger:That’s yours, that’s from the fundraising, for you leaving the council, for the ads, um and the portrait there, not the portrait. Um… No, I’m the only one that knows, so… We’ll put that in the city account and then we’ll dole that out to you… (laughter)

McHugh: I really don’t know how many people donated money, I know it has to be a lot, or how much each one donated. But I tell you. I love Oshkosh people.

3.30.2010

A hint for the Oshkosh Common Council:

Go here: http://www.ci.oshkosh.wi.us/municipal_codes/Chapter_02.PDF

And look at these:

ARTICLE III. LEGISLATIVE


SECTION 2-9 COUNCIL DUTIES
(B) Qualifications of Members
The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members, and may fine or expel for neglect of duty.


SECTION 2-12 PRESIDING OFFICER TO VACATE CHAIR IN ORDER TO ADDRESS COUNCIL
The Mayor or other presiding officer of the Council may speak to any matter before the Council provided, however, that the chair is first vacated and the Deputy Mayor or other member is called upon to occupy it temporarily.


SECTION 2-16 RULES OF ORDER AND PROCEDURE
(G) Rules of Order
The Council shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order. Every member shall address the presiding officer before speaking and shall not be interrupted except by a call to order. The Council may adopt additional rules of procedure, from time to time, as may be necessary for the efficient conduct of its business.


ARTICLE VIII. PENALTIES
SECTION 2-63 PENALTIES
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter or of any Section thereof, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a forfeiture of not less than $75.00 nor more than $500.00, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment thereof, by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

3.29.2010

The 'Kraft Defense' & Oshkosh Common Council Rules

Here is a blast from the past:

Council's "Kraft Defense" Doesn't Wash

For the six Councilors to resort to the "Kraft Defense" (i.e. "We were only following the City Attorney's advice.") is crafty, but just doesn't wash. When we elect people to the Council, we should be able to expect that they are capable of comprehending the plain language of the state statutes governing open meetings. We should also expect that they will act independently and according to their own conscience, especially when millions of tax dollars are involved. In the case of the February 14th closed meeting, the impropriety was so clear that the Councilors should not even have had to ask for Kraft's advice before refusing to attend. Or at the very least, they should have listened to the citizens who warned them of the probable violation of law that would take place should they attend, and ask Kraft to solicit advice from the AG's office before proceeding.
I hope Mayor Paul Esslinger and Deputy Mayor Tony Palmeri remember this post from Mr. Palmeri's blog before the next council meeting.

As pointed out in two recent articles in the Northwestern:

Bar, tavern fee repeal could have benefit for Esslinger

James Fitzhenry: Ordinance change shows dark side of mayoral politics

Mayor Esslinger has a stake in two items before the council at the next meeting:

Oshkosh Mayor Paul Esslinger helped shape a resolution to repeal fees that could save the tavern he owns hundreds of dollars annually if approved by the Common Council next month.

Councilor Dennis McHugh sponsored the ordinance that calls for eliminating municipal fees for inspecting jukeboxes, live entertainment, pool tables, bowling alleys, video games and gambling machines, limited service restaurant inspections, temporary banners and projecting signs. Rolling back the fees would cost the city nearly $50,000 in revenue each year.

Esslinger, who owns Screwballs Sports Pub on North Main Street, joined McHugh for a March 16 meeting with City Manager Mark Rohloff to discuss drafting the resolution. The ordinance had a first reading, but no formal action, at the March 23 council meeting.
Why does Mayor Esslinger feel it is OK to participate in this exercise, even though his business will benefit directly from the ordinance?

Esslinger said he has conferred with Oshkosh City Attorney Lynn Lorenson about McHugh’s proposal and he is “completely within his right” to participate and cast a vote on it.
I would hope that Deputy Mayor Palmeri will apply the same logic and standards he applied to former Councils and City Attorneys to this situation and demand Mayor Esslinger to not only refrain from voting on these issues, but to step down for the debate on these items.

Now, it is Mayor Esslinger's own choice whether or not to vote on these issues. He cannot be barred from that (but can be prosecuted/fined for it after if a conflict is determined).

However, by the City of Oshkosh's own Municipal Codes, Mayor Esslinger should not be participating in this debate to the extent he is:

SECTION 2-12 PRESIDING OFFICER TO VACATE CHAIR IN ORDER TO ADDRESS COUNCIL
The Mayor or other presiding officer of the Council may speak to any matter before the Council provided, however, that the chair is first vacated and the Deputy Mayor or other member is called upon to occupy it temporarily.
Deputy Mayor Palmeri or any other member of the council concerned about good government should demand that the Mayor follow their rules and step down for the discussion of these two resolutions.

3.27.2010

On the Threats of Violence...

I am sick and tired of the threats that are being sent around to Democratic Congress Members that supported the Health Care Bill.

I am even more sick of the denials from the GOP that their rhetoric does not feed it. I am also disgusted when they say that these threats are isolated incidents.

We all get these sort of emails from the right. They are a lot more common than you might think.

It seems to be a regular tactic from that side of the political debate. When the publicity surrounding the Obama billboard was in its height, I was getting regular emails both in support and against the billboard.

I was also receiving threatening and ignorant emails. Some examples are below (no names or emails have been changes to protect anybody:
Get your head out of the sand pile and take a look at history. I am angry along with millions of other concerned citizens...legal citizens...that our president is arrogant and hell bent on doing his own thing.
I hope more signs go up and hopefully someone will finally ask our leader, just where do you really come from? And maybe you might be able to give us a TRUTHFUL answer for a change.
Swanhild Tess
17365 Sierra Lane
Brookfield, Wi 53045


----------------


jef hall
...
Fri, March 5, 2010 6:12:17 PM
From: Pa Bel
To: chair@winnebagodems.org
your an idiot. go live with hugo chavez and that the rest of the liberals idiots with you.

----------------

Wisconsin Billboard Calls for Obama's Ouster
...
Mon, February 15, 2010 12:22:01 PM
From: Fred
To: chair@winnebagodems.org
Jef Hall is the chairman of the Winnebago County Democratic Party. He says having a bad opinion of the president doesn't mean there's been an impeachable offense.

Having a bad opinion of the Obama doesn’t means he hasn’t committed impeachable offenses either. But I’m sure of one thing, many brainwashed leftist fools will pay dearly come November for crawling in bed with that narcissistic corrupt anti-American radical fascist lying worthless nigger in our White House. The scum of America, the filthy worthless slime of the human race. In fact many polls are saying it may be a political blood bath for the totally corrupt and morally bankrupt National leadership of your radical socialist party.

Have a nice day, Fred

----------------
If I were to search farther in my emails, I could find a lot more.

This sort of stuff needs to stop.

3.26.2010

My Proposed Resolution to Purchase the Historic Fire Engine from Paul Esslinger

Here, in it's entirety, without comment, is my proposed resolution. I will be sending this to the Mayor, City Councilors and Staff (a few small edits from the original):

PURPOSE: ACCEPT 1915 FIRE ENGINE / AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT

INITIATED BY: (a council member)

WHEREAS, A 1915 Fire Engine formerly used by the Oshkosh Fire Department became available for purchase and Paul Esslinger stepped forward to secure the purchase of the vehicle and its transportation to the City to preserve it for the City of Oshkosh, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Esslinger has expended $9724.50 for the purchase, transportation and insurance of the vehicle from the time of purchase to the present, and

WHEREAS, the Council previously approved, by Resolution 09-438, the establishment of a fund to accept donations for the purchase and maintenance of the Engine, and

WHEREAS, the fund currently contains $2905.02, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Esslinger would like to transfer ownership of the vehicle to the City at this time.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of Oshkosh that the appropriate City staff are hereby directed and authorized to accept title to the vehicle in the name of the City of Oshkosh and take possession of the vehicle

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is hereby authorized and directed upon presentation of documented costs to the Oshkosh Common Council and proper transfer of the title from Mr. Esslinger to pay out the amount of these documented costs to Mr. Esslinger from the City of Oshkosh's General Fund.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is hereby authorized to disperse funds from the purchase and maintenance fund collected previously to the passage of this resolution by the Common Council, as needed for the maintenance and storage of the Engine once it is in the possession and ownership of the City.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is also hereby authorized to collect donations for the historic firetruck to repay the general fund of the City for disbursements made in relation to the purchase and maintenance of the historic firetruck.

The Oshkosh Northwestern Agrees - Editorial: City should buy antique fire truck

The editorial is here.

I agree with most of what they have to say here:

And finally, this week was a resolution to turn the truck over to the city and disburse $2,900 in donations to the mayor. When a citizen, Jef Hall, questioned the appropriateness of the Mayor participating in the discussion from the dais and the overall appearance of the transaction, the Mayor and council member Dennis McHugh took umbrage.
...
The best, cleanest solution to the problem, as suggested by Hall, is for the council to make a determination that the fire truck has historic value to the city and buy the truck from Esslinger. They can designate the $2,900 in donations to a maintenance fund for the truck and write a $9,724 check to the Mayor.
I disagree with the suggestion that funds should come from the Fire Dept's budget. This is a vital budget that can easily go over. If, at the end of the year, the Fire Dept has $10,000 left, they can pay back the general fund with their surplus.

But, this is an item for the entire city, so the funds should come from the general fund. Otherwise you could argue that the money should come from parks, if it ends up displayed there, or business improvement, if it is in parades, or any number of other places....

I also feel a separate fund should be opened to pay back the city, AFTER Mr. Esslinger is paid. This will allow fund-raising for the truck to be separate from any payments to Mr. Esslinger.

I also agree that:

The council can leave it to the voters to decide if Mayor's dalliance with the fire truck was appropriate.

I think purchase without approval followed by a demand for payment, yet terming it a donation was an act of hubris on Mayor Esslinger's part. However, if I was on the council and it was brought forward to purchase an historic artifact such as this for $10,000 I would most likely support it. My problem with this is not the act of securing the item, but the process followed.

Let's settle this, get the truck into the community and move on.

I will be forwarding a copy of my resolution to the Council and staff for consideration.

I hope the Oshkosh Northwestern will also agree that Mr. Esslinger should step down from the Council Dias for the debate on this resolution.

3.24.2010

Why City funds for the Firetruck?

Re-reading my previous post about my proposed firetruck resolution, I realized I forgot to explain why I think Mayor Paul Esslinger should be paid from city funds. Here are a few points:

Point #1: It removes all questions about potential conflicts from donations. There is not a current system set up to record all donations. There are several hundred dollars in the fund right now without a donor recorded. We do not know who or how many people these came from. By removing the ability to give to the fund anonymously, it protects both the public and Mayor Esslinger from questions relating to influence of a large, nameless donor. If the city were to continue allowing 'toss money in the bucket' donations, anyone could approach the Mayor and say they put in the bulk of it. There is a reason why these types of donations are not allowed for campaigns.

Point #2: If we allow donations into the fund to be directly funneled to Mayor Esslinger, they should follow all the rules used for campaign financing. See above for a reason. These were set up to ensure no donor would have an outsize influence on the official. For the Mayor of Oshkosh, or any council member, the limits are $.01/person in individual contributions and $.0075/person in PAC contributions. So, if Oshkosh has 65,000 people, then you may receive a max contribution of $650/individual and $487.50/PAC. I understand there has already been a $1,000 contribution to this fund, more than would be allowed for a campaign.

Point #3: If this firetruck is an asset for Oshkosh (as I believe it is) then Oshkosh should be willing to pay for it, if Mayor Esslinger is unable to truly donate it. This would not preclude a donor fund to continue around the firetruck. There would be a lot less questions if donations could be secured without a potential direct pass-through to the Mayor. I would encourage people to continue to donate to the firetruck fund, after the City makes Mayor Esslinger whole. I'm sure people with business before the city might be more willing to donate if they knew it would not be a direct pass-through to the city.

Therefore, because of my thoughts about Point #3 above, I have added the following to my potential resolution for payment for the historic firetruck:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the finance director is also hereby authorized to continue to collect donations for the historic firetruck to repay the general fund of the City for disbursements made in relation to the purchase and maintenance of the historic firetruck.

By making Mayor Esslinger whole now, but continuing to allow donations, we can pay back the general fund, while removing the potential conflicts of interest in this matter.

That said, Mayor Esslinger should remove himself from the Council Dias for these discussions.  If he does not, parliamentary procedure allows for a member of the council to call for a vote for his removal for this resolution.  I hope a member will.

If I were writing the firetruck resolution...

UPDATE: I added another BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED due to the thoughts expressed in this post.

At the Oshkosh Common Council Meeting tonight, I outlined my problems with the resolution for reimbursement for the historical firetruck that Mayor Paul Esslinger wants to 'donate' to the city.

Point #1: It is not a donation if you want to be reimbursed.  It is a purchase.  Mayor Esslinger purchased the firetruck, and wants the city to purchase it from him.The fact that he proposes that these funds come not from taxpayers but donors does not change the fact that it is a purchase, not a donation.  What we are really talking about is how to finance this purchase.  Councilor McHugh compared the firetruck to the Leech and Kimball Auditorium, but neither of those donors required that they be paid in return for their donation.

Point #2: Unlike Councilor McHugh said in his questioning, I was not accusing Mayor Esslinger of corruption.  I was pointing out that he was entering a very delicate area, and he should be careful about how he moves forward.  I had a suggestion that the resolution should come from another councilor, or that the money should come from city funds.  Both of these would allow for a separation from the Mayor that removes future potential questions.

Point #3: I am glad we have the potential of getting the firetruck for the city!  I think it will be an asset, but I don't want it a city asset under a permanent storm cloud of controversy. 

Point #4: There is a difference between the letter of the law, legal opinions and public perception for public officials.  Mayor Esslinger said he received an opinion that he can still run the meeting as they discuss the firetruck reimbursement, just not vote on the issue.  But, if you watched the meeting tonight, when Councilor Buchholz suggested a time frame for fund-raising, Mayor Esslinger said, from the Council Dias, "I'd be OK with that." While that is not technically a vote, it is beyond the common sense view of being removed from the process.

Mayor Esslinger should be off the Council Dias, and at the podium like any other citizen while this is debated, which leads to:

Point #5: The resolution should not read "the Mayor" every time that Mayor Esslinger is referenced.  It adds to the perception that this is a special deal for "the Mayor."  It should read "Paul Esslinger" or "the Owner." So that there is not a perception of a special deal for the position versus the person.

So, with that all in mind, I would word the resolution:

PURPOSE: ACCEPT 1915 FIRE ENGINE / AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT

INITIATED BY: (a council member)

WHEREAS, A 1915 Fire Engine formerly used by the Oshkosh Fire Department became available for purchase and Paul Esslinger stepped forward to secure the purchase of the vehicle and its transportation to the City to preserve it for the City of Oshkosh, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Esslinger has expended $9724.50 for the purchase, transportation and insurance of the vehicle from the time of purchase to the present, and

WHEREAS, the Council previously approved, by Resolution 09-438, the establishment of a fund to accept donations for the purchase and maintenance of the Engine, and

WHEREAS, the fund currently contains $2905.02, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Esslinger would like to transfer ownership of the vehicle to the City at this time, without regard to whether the full amount required to reimburse him for his costs has been raised.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of Oshkosh that the appropriate City staff are hereby directed and authorized to accept title to the vehicle in the name of the City of Oshkosh and take possession of the vehicle

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is hereby authorized and directed upon presentation of documented costs to the Oshkosh Common Council and proper transfer of the title from Mr. Esslinger to pay out the amount of these costs to Mr. Esslinger from the City of Oshkosh's General Fund.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is hereby authorized to disperse funds from the purchase and maintenance fund as needed for the maintenance and storage of the Engine once it is in the possession and ownership of the City.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Finance Director is also hereby authorized to continue to collect donations for the historic firetruck to repay the general fund of the City for disbursements made in relation to the purchase and maintenance of the historic firetruck.

3.23.2010

Pull It! (The Firetruck Resolution)

Tonight the Oshkosh Common council will consider Resolution 10-99 "Authorize 1915 Fire Engine / Authorize Future Dispersements from Donations"

This should be pulled form the agenda an re-considered at a future meeting (if at all) for several reasons:

1. According to the resolution, it was "Initiated by: Mayor Esslinger"

The Mayor should not be initiating resolutions to have the city give him money. If another councilor is not willing to sponsor the resolution, it should not be considered.

On a similar note, Mayor Esslinger should not be at the council dias for the debate on this issue. The meeting should be turned over to the Deputy Mayor and Mayor Esslinger should go to the floor to operate under the rules any other citizen has during meetings.

2. The resolution establishes a direct route for interests to funnel money to the Mayor through the city.

The resolution directs the City of Oshkosh to:
pay out the amount currently held in the fund established for the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle to the Mayor and is directed to continue to pay out amounts that are donated to the fund monthly, without contrary reservations by the donors, to the Mayor
This literally makes a fund anyone (including those with business before the council) can use to legally funnel money to the Mayor.

...and not campaign contributions, which have a legal, established limit. This would allow money up to the almost $10,000 for the full purchase cost.

Also the phrase "without contrary reservations by the donors" means that up to the $10,000 you cannot donate money to the firetruck's upkeep and housing. All money donated HAS to go to the Mayor regardless of the intent of the donor.

This is either corrupt or inept, and should be pulled.  It is not worth discussion in it's current form.