On Social Security’s Birthday, John McCain’s Plan

Would Leave 169,000 State Seniors at Risk of Poverty
Bush-McCain Privatization Plan Could Cut Guaranteed Benefits by
$181K per Senior in Wisconsin

MADISON – On the 73rd anniversary of Social Security, Senator John McCain’s privatization plan would leave 169,000 Wisconsin seniors at risk of poverty, according to a report released by Campaign for America’s Future.

“Wisconsin seniors cannot afford the Bush-McCain plan to gamble away Social Security on Wall Street,” said Joe Wineke, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “On the anniversary of Social Security, the seniors of this state will not allow Senator McCain to jeopardize the most successful anti-poverty program ever enacted.”

A report by Campaign for America’s Future shows that Social Security privatization could cut guaranteed benefits by $181,000 per senior in Wisconsin, placing 169,000 state seniors at risk of poverty.

In Wisconsin, 980,000 people depend on their earned Social Security benefit every month, according to the Social Security Administration. Senator McCain’s plan to divert a portion of payroll taxes into risky private accounts could force thousands below the poverty line.

“Senator McCain is again pushing George Bush’s plan, even after Americans rejected his earlier attempts to privatize Social Security and put profits ahead of families,” Wineke said. “We need to send a message to John McCain that Wisconsin does not want to gamble away our retirement security on the stock market.”

To view the full copy of Campaign for America’s Future’s Wisconsin Social Security report, visit: http://assets.ourfuture.org/documents/perils-of-privatization/wisconsin.pdf


Why Evolution Matters...

From the NYTimes:

But for me, the most important thing about studying evolution is something less tangible. It's that the endeavor contains a profound optimism. It means that when we encounter something in nature that is complicated or mysterious, such as the flagellum of a bacteria or the light made by a firefly, we don't have to shrug our shoulders in bewilderment.

Instead, we can ask how it got to be that way. And if at first it seems so complicated that the evolutionary steps are hard to work out, we have an invitation to imagine, to play, to experiment and explore. To my mind, this only enhances the wonder.


Not to Belabor a Point here, But... (Randy Hopper Response)

Here is what Randy Hopper (or at least his mouthpiece) has to say:

Nelson said the alleged misconduct never took place, as all political discussion between Randy Hopper and John Townsend happened at a lunch meeting, not in a Capitol office.
This means 2 things:

1. The Hopper Campaign is acknowledging that it would be illegal for Hopper and Townsend to have this discussion in the office, or else there would not be a denial.

2. Hopper and his campaign seem to be contradicting themselves. Once again, the complete quote from Randy Hopper in the WI EYE interview is:

I came to Madison to meet with John to talk about my potential for running. We went to lunch and then we went back to his office and shut his door so we could talk about what I needed to do in the campaign. He had a great satellite map of the 151 bypass and I thought, “Wow, this is really a neat map.” I could see my office in the map and I said, “Let me see if I can find my house.” And I located my house and I said, “John, why does my house have pink lines drawn around it?” And it turns out, well I knew this already, but at the time I wasn’t assuming anything, but my house is an island with two other homes in the 53rd district and my backyard is in John’s district, but my house is in Carol Owen’s district.
Hopper himself said that he spoke about the campaign after lunch, after closing the door, in a tax-payer funded office, with a taxpayer map.

Lies after the matter will not change the statement made before the complaint. And recorded.

See for yourself. The interview can be seen here. The statement starts at the 9:00 minute mark.

Complaint is Filed Aginst Randy Hopper for Campaigning with the Taxpayers Resources

A copy of the complaint is here.

The Journal has an overview here.

The FdL Reporter has a story here.

It is funny how the story out of the Hopper camp keeps changing. Here is the direct quote from the WIEYE interview:

"I came to Madison to meet with John to talk about my potential for running. We went to lunch and then we went back to his office and shut his door so we could talk about what I needed to do in the campaign."
In the Reporter, he claimed:

"We stopped in his office — I don't remember, I think I left my coat in his office or I dropped my books off. We didn't discuss specifics of a campaign. In fact, I don't even live in his (Townsend's district), so it's irrelevant," Hopper said.
The WI GOP claims:

Keith Gilkes, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, said Hopper and Townsend talked over lunch outside of the Capitol. They returned to look at Townsend's office but never discussed the campaign there because as soon as they arrived Hopper looked at a map of the district on the wall and discovered he didn't live in the district, Gilkes said.
In the WI EYE interview, Randy Hopper did say he looked at a map in Townsend's office.

This would mean that, unlike in Hopper's statement to the FdL reporter, they did discuss politics in his office.

Also, even if they looked at the map after they "shut his door so we could talk about what I needed to do in the campaign" and decided he was not in Townsend's district, they still discussed politics enough to get there, behind the closed door.

They are also admitting that whether they discussed campaign strategy or not, they were planning on it, right up until they saw the map.

Parse their words all they want, they broke the Assembly's rules, and perhaps the law.