It sure has been busy, sorry I haven't blogged recently.
I had a great fund-raiser in Manitowoc on Monday night.  On Tuesday, I became a candidate with a line on the ballot when I dropped my signatures off in Madison.  Wednesday was spent protesting Bush.  Yesterday, I was back at work trying to catch up, then on the Fondy for the Dems meeting and tour of the new office for the election - they got a great one!
I would like to talk about the protests and the difference between the Bush & Kerry campaigns when it comes to the treatment of dissent.
Dissent and disagreement are truly the building blocks of democracy.  The whole point of our government is to balance the needs and goals of the different groups.
Bush does not seem to believe that it is important to allow dissent.  We were pushed a half a mile away from Mid-States in Fondy, with two dump trucks parked between us. 
People were asked if they were Bush supporters before they were given tickets to any of the events.
In line at the Bush event in GB, people were asked to open their overshirts, to ensure that they were not wearing secret Kerry shirts underneath.
At the event in GB, there was a line of busses between the protesters and the venue.
When Kerry came to GB, I was a volunteer that worked the whole event.  When people came for tickets, they were given out, all we asked was for people to sign their name - no questions.
We left the Republican rally alone in front of the building.  I was working parking, in fact, and helped many of the attendees find the proper place to park for it.
We did not do pin or t-shirt checks.  We did not allow signs of any sort, pro- or anti-Kerry.
This is a democracy.  We should be polite to dissenters.  We should also give everyone a chance to speak at their event.  I got into the Cheney event in Wrightstown, and listened quietly.  After, I crossed the street and joined the protesters.  It is important to make sure you listen to the side you disagree with.  You will need to work with them.
This, I think, is the problem with the Bush Administration and the current Congressional Republicans.  They are not willing to work with anyone across the isle, not even to listen.
I hope that I would be different, in fact, I know I am.  While I may disagree, I will always listen.
Here is a story about the protests:
By Paige FunkhouserFor The News-ChronicleA wall of empty school buses lined the entrance road to the Resch Center, hiding the group of protesters from the long lines of those waiting to see President Bush. The line of people with free tickets to the campaign rally were sheltered from the large cluster of President Bush protesters by both a line of buses - paid for by the Republican Party to sit empty all day - secret service agents and volunteers from the Republicans of Brown County group.
The long line of chanting, sign waving, Bush-hating protesters crowded Oneida street to voice their opposition to the President and the way he has run the country for the last four years.
"Bush has taken away our freedoms," said Vietnam veteran John Baraniak. "We're no longer the guiding light in the world, as we once were. John Kerry will restore respect to America."
Even though the protesters each had their own slogans and reasons for opposing President Bush, several groups made efforts to unify and direct the chanting crowd towards issues they felt the president is neglecting.
One fledgling group, Americans Coming Together, was trying to direct people toward focusing on the issue of jobs and unemployment. ACT, a grassroots group trying to mobilize and engage new voters, organized the protesters around an out-of-work electrician who spoke about the perils of his life without a steady income.
"I've been out of work since March 2003," said IBEW union member and electrician Craig Miller. "I have three children in college, $54,000 in hospital bills that need to be paid, and I'm living credit card to credit card. That's no way to live.
"We have to start punishing companies for going overseas," Miller continued. "We need to increase wages so people here can afford to buy things ... show us the jobs, Bush."
On the other side of the street, Republican volunteers were checking the shirts of those waiting to enter the rally. Several Kerry/Edwards supporters were turned away, their tickets ripped up after a volunteer found them wearing a shirt supporting John Kerry.
"I had my buttoned shirt on, and they made me take it off," said Jayson Nelson, who was forced out of line from seeing Bush. "They took away my ticket and ripped it up."
When questioned why people were being turned away from seeing the President, Joann - a volunteer who refused to give her last name - explained that the rally was a private event. "We wouldn't want to do anything to embarrass the president," she said. "Yes, the tickets are free, but it's private, so we can turn people away."
The protests, which the police said were mostly peaceful but for a few problems started by republicans trying to push their way through the protesters, didn't phase many of those who came to see the president.
"I find this all very interesting," said Roger Wood, a Sturgeon Bay school board member. "How this whole rally works and everyone comes together. It's just great to see a sitting president."


As I have written before, I think the talk of canceling or postponing the election because of an attack is horribly scary. And it looks like Lincoln agrees with me (pay extra attention to the last line - it is a great statement on the war in Iraq):

Lincoln on the 1864 Presidential Election

Response to a Serenade

November 10, 1864

It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.

On this point the present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test; and a presidential election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people, united, were put to the utmost of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided, and partially paralized (sic), by a political war among themselves?

But the election was a necessity.

We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human-nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case, must ever recur in similar cases. Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental, and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows that, even among candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union, and most opposed to treason, can receive most of the people's votes. It shows also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now, than we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men, are better than gold.


Here is the text of an email I just sent out:

A message from Jef Hall, candidate for Congress,

As you probably heard, Leach announced they would be moving 190 manufacturing jobs to Canada. While company statements indicated that the Oshkosh plant produced a higher-quality product, the cost savings in Canada made it not feasible to stay in Oshkosh.

Cost savings in Canada, why? Canada provides a national healthcare plan. 9 out of 10 Americans receive healthcare through their employers. Skyrocketing costs have weighed down the bottom lines of business. If we were to offer a healthcare plan for all, allowing business to buy-in for their employees, the savings from this group purchasing would be huge. The government has a place as the negotiator and administrator of this plan.

Who knows, healthcare savings may have saved these jobs. While it is too late to save these, we can save others. And create many more jobs by offering a national health benefit. I know several small business owners who would hire, if they were able to offer healthcare.

I spoke last weekend with the wife of a small business owner, she was very concerned about their ability to stay afloat. They currently pay over $500 a month for health insurance. As these costs rise, they may be forced to close their business and go to work for someone else. Not because they failed in business, but because their healthcare costs, now that they have four children, have grown to fast to keep up with their ability to pay them.

The inability of Congress to come up with a meaningful health benefit has been a drag on the economy too long. When elected, I will make it my top priority to ensure that no one misses out on a shot at the American Dream because of unnecessarily high health insurance costs.

Also, no American should ever skip needed treatment because of cost concerns. There should be an option other than no treatment or lifetime debt. The under- or uninsured deserve treatment. They are not second-class citizens simply because of employment status.

Please help me fight for the rights of the uninsured and to keep Americans working by contributing today at:


Thank you.

I have added an events page to www.jef4wi.com. I have also acquired www.jefhall.com (it re-directs to www.jef4wi.com). Please feel free to send people to my website for questions or to contact me.

Some upcoming events to highlight:

Monday, July 12, 2004 – 7:00PM
Meet the Candidate Fund-raiser
Kathy’s Stage Door Pub
701 Franklin St, Manitowoc.
I will be saying a few words and answering questions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 – 6:00PM
Winnebago County Labor Council Candidates Forum
Columbus Club
1821 Jackson St, Oshkosh
I will be on at 8:00 – giving a statement, and answering questions

Sunday, July 18th – 2:00PM
Backyard BBQ and Fund-Raiser
My House
224A Scott Ave, Oshkosh
Come out for a burger and fellowship

More at:


If you would be interested in hosting an event as either a fund-raiser or to help me get my name out, please contact me at jef@jef4wi.com.

Please forward this email to anyone that you feel may be interested. If you have been forwarded this, please signup for updates at:


Thank you,


Jef Hall
Democrat for Congress
Wisconsin's 6th CD
Jef for Wisconsin
224A Scott Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901
UW financial aid not keeping up with tuition increase

July 10 - Students in Wisconsin may be having more trouble paying for college.

A report on the University of Wisconsin System says financial aid isn't keeping pace with tuition increases.

The report is by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Alliance president Todd Berry says poorer families now make up a smaller percentage of the student body than they did a decade ago.

The group says undergraduate tuition and fees for state residents attending System schools increased almost 27 percent from 1998-99 to 2002-03. The average financial aid package increased by about 16 percent.

That disparity is likely to grow after U-W regents approved increasing tuition to help offset cuts in state aid.

Berry says the state must increase financial aid if it hopes to keep college as affordable as it traditionally has been.

Source: AP

This could be a good reason why Petri talks about how to make student loans easier.

I think that we need to ensure that higher education is affordable for all. Right now, if you are from a household that makes $75,000 or more a year, your chances of attending a 4-year college are 5 in 6. The same qualified student, if their household income is under $25,000 only have a 1 in 2 chance.

The solution to this is not to ensure the ability of the poor to assume lifetime debt to attend college. The solution it to make sure the public university system can accommodate those with special needs.

At the same time that real wages are falling for working families, tuitions are rising for their children. This is not the American Dream.