Great Editorial Cartoon


Great Line:

"President Bush believes in an "ownership" society, which means that except for the wealthy, you're on your own."

"The president's budget would cut funding for Medicaid, food stamps, education, transportation, health care for veterans, law enforcement, medical research and safety inspections for food and drugs. And, of course, it contains big new tax cuts for the wealthy."



Esslinger on Unions...

In the last contract negotiations with the unions, there were some positive developments. The unions agreed to pay 5% of their premiums where they previously paid 3%. We also had savings by having two health plans, an EPO, and a PPO. The EPO limits the amount the doctors for the employees but saves the city money because the doctors involved agree to discounts. We saved money on the PPO by increasing the out of network payments by employees. We also agreed to a 2.25%, 2.50%, and a 2.75% increase in the employees' salaries over three years respectively. This is the first time that the union employees received less that a 3% increase in their salary in a long time.

The thing that will need to be taken into consideration in the next contract negotiations is that the comparables (contracts that have been signed in communities around us) are over 3.0%. This is important because we must be close to what we offer our employees or the unions can go to court and claim that the city is not bargaining in good faith.

So, to sum it up, are hands are somewhat tied when it comes to salaries and benefits, however, we may have some leverage with more insurance concessions.


He is proud of the fact that the lowest legal increase in wages was negotiated.

Harris answers critics...

As to the speculation over friction between Harris and his employer, Dempsey said Associated Bank is “very, very community minded” and took no umbrage to their vice president’s county bid or his several years of city council service.

“We’re proud to be involved in the community, and Mark did it in a big way,” he said.


We are winning the social security debate!

A new Badger poll shows support for President Bush's Social Security plan may be eroding.The phone survey of about 500 Wisconsinites shows 44 percent support the plan to allow workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in private investment accounts.

That support was 49 percent when the proposal was unveiled in January.

Opposition to the plan among those surveyed increased from 47 percent to 53 percent.

The poll is sponsored by The Capital Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has a margin of error of about four percentage points.


In the words of Paul Esslinger....

Candidate for Mayor, City of Oshkosh, or 'Reasons Not to Vote For Esslinger'

On government social assistance:

In regards to people being dependent, I agree, however, I think the dependence comes from another source. Too many people are dependent on the government, or should I say, entitlements. Some people say, "why should I work when the government will pay me to stay at home." Or, "Why work and get health benefits from my employer and help pay for them myself when the government can provide them for me." Of course the "government" here means TAXPAYERS. The majority of workers want to work and earn what they have, however, there are too many that want the "government" to provide for them.

On abortion and prayer and contraception at school:

“We have abortions being legal, prayer taken out of schools, nativity scenes being outlawed but other non Christian symbols allowed, and contraceptives being hand out like candy to children. Does this really sound like something the religious right is stumping for?”

“You think handing out condoms to kids is a great idea? There's a great message to send kids, schools handing out condoms. HMMM, maybe the kids will think because they are being handed out by the schools, that it's OK to have sex????”

On religious invocations before council meetings:

“Every religion may profess to have their own God. The first amendment to the constitution reads; "Congress shall make no law respecting on establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." By having an invocation at the beginning of a Council meeting, we don't even come close to violating the first amendment, and the Supreme Court upholds that fact.”

On corporate responsibility:

“Companies are in business to produce products and to make money. They are not in business to employ people. The sooner you realize this the better. Could companies do a better job treating their employees? YOU BET!Companies employ as many people as it takes to make their operation run efficiently; no more, no less! Would it be wise for a business to employ too many people and lose money? If they did, everyone in that company would be out of a job eventually!”

On affirmative action:

“The following letter I’m sure will upset some people (liberals), but I wanted to touch on something that has been in the news lately, affirmative action, which I call politically correct racism. I’m sure I’ll even be labeled a racist, but that’s usually what happens when liberals don’t like what you say, it just defaults to “you’re a racist.”

On the Bush Administration’s lawsuit with the University of Michigan in regards to their affirmative action policy:

“I think the Chancellor (Wells) has fallen into the same trap many have fallen into, which is we need to give minorities special treatment to get them ahead in life. Now I thought that allowing someone to have an advantage because of the color of his or her skin, or sex was racism and sexism, isn’t it? Then why do we allow minorities to have preferential treatment when applying for jobs or college?”

On why we have affirmative action:

“I’m sure the liberals are going to say, “it’s because they have an unfair advantage growing up, and that they don’t have access to good schools, etc., etc., etc.” This argument is nonsense. The business and political world have several minorities doing a great job, and not because of some ridiculous affirmative action policy, or because of some other tax-loving government program.”

On successful minorities:

“In Oshkosh alone we have several minorities in prominent positions, or have served in prominent positions (Eileen Connely-Keesler: Executive Director or the Oshkosh Community Foundation, Ron Montgomery: former Winnebago County Board Supervisor, Carla Craig: former Chair of the Oshkosh Chamber Board of Directors, Melanie Bloechl: former Mayor of Oshkosh, Jane Van De Hey: Winnebago County Executive) The list goes on, but I think you get the point. I’m sure these people got where they are/were because they worked their butts off, and didn’t ask for any special help. In Wisconsin we now have a minority as the Attorney General, Peg Lautenschlager, and nationally we have several minorities in the Bush Administration.”

On the lack of need for affirmative action:

“With the global economy we have in the world, and the competition that the U.S. has, we cannot afford to ask, “what color skin do you have, or what sex are you” when applying for a job, or applying for college. Other industrialized countries don’t ask what color skin they have, or what sex they are, they find out whose the most qualified, and put them in the position.”

“There are some intelligent minorities that realize that affirmative is really an insult. I remember one African American on a talk show who said, and I’ll paraphrase; by having affirmative action, you’re telling me that I’m too stupid to get ahead in the world so you need to give me an advantage because of my skin color. I’ve been hearing other minorities saying the same thing.”

“Why can’t we just put everybody on the same playing field, and don’t give ANYONE any advantages? You should win by being the best at what you do, not because of your skin color, or sex. “

“If affirmative action is supposed to make things equal, then I guess some people will just be a little more equal than others are. “




A good point...

As Republican leaders in Congress move to trim billions of dollars from the Medicaid health program, they are simultaneously intervening to save the life of possibly the highest-profile Medicaid patient: Terri Schiavo.


What they are doing it the worst hypocracy - read the article, it states it better than I ever could.


All Politics is Local...

Here is a great editorial about Sistani in Iraq deserving a Nobel Prize, which I agree.

But, in it there was this paragraph that meade me thing of our own local elections here in peaceful Oshkosh....

"Sistani did not build his politics on negating someone else." Saddam Hussein built his politics around negating America, Iran and Israel. Arafat built his whole life around negating Zionism - rarely, if ever, speaking about Palestinian economic development or education. The politics of negation has a deep and rich history in the Middle East, because so many leaders there are illegitimate and need to negate someone to justify their rule. What Mr. Sistani, the late Lebanese Sunni leader Rafik Hariri and the new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas all have in common is that they rose to power by focusing on a positive agenda for their own people, not negating another.