For an HTML version of this please go to www.ThrowTheRascalsOut.org/eNewsletter30.htm

 

Wisconsin Clean Elections Coalition

Promoting fair elections for all parties and candidates

eNewsletter #30

November 11, 2006

 www.ThrowTheRascalsOut.org

Newsletter Archives

 

Politicians are like diapers.  They should both be changed frequently and for the same reason.

This is a periodic newsletter on election and health care reform. If you wish not to receive it please unsubscribe at the bottom and accept my apologies for the intrusion.
.

In this issue:

1) Health Care 

2) Elections

3) To the challengers

4) Unity08.com

5) Tidbits 

6) Give me a Break!

7) Book recommendations

8)  Contact Information

9)  Removal instructions
.

 

1

Health Care

As Drug Prices Climb, Democrats Find Fault With Medicare Plan - NYT - For big drug companies, the new Medicare prescription benefit is proving to be a financial windfall larger than even the most optimistic Wall Street analysts had predicted. But those gains may come back to haunt drug makers if Democrats take control of Congress this week. Democrats, who have long charged that the drug industry is profiteering at taxpayers’ expense, say they want to introduce legislation to revoke the law that bars Medicare from negotiating prices directly with drug makers like Pfizer for the medicines it buys. See complete article HERE.


Running on Empty: Healthcare As the Engine of the Economy - by Brian Klepper, Ph.D., and Alain Enthoven, Ph.D.) Recently, a flurry of national articles has explored the notion--held by several prominent economists--that increased healthcare spending reflects the choices of an affluent population, and will continue to drive a strong economy. Many healthcare professionals--physicians, hospital executives, insurance administrators and analysts--see it differently. As one colleague bluntly puts it, “It's a train wreck everyone knows is just around the corner." Healthcare insiders know that the industry's rosy prospects can continue only if its funding remains stable. Most also acknowledge that the dollars are not likely to flow as they have in the past.  See complete article HERE.

 


Healthcare crisis countdown - By David R. Francis - The healthcare system in the United States is eroding. Costs are rising too fast. More and more people lack health insurance. Companies are dumping or shrinking employee health plans. Deductibles and copayments on medical services are rising. That's the widely agreed-upon scene. Yet chances are slim that Americans will go for a far less expensive "single payer" health system, as in Canada, Britain, or Australia, anytime soon. See complete article HERE.

Now that the Dems control the state senate, let's hope the universal health care bill by Mark Miller gets traction. But like campaign and ethics reform, it is going to take massive pressure to override the special interests. 

 

2

Elections

We made it happen. We threw enough of the rascals out to transfer the state senate to the Democrats, and the congress as well. And we blocked Mark Green and John Gard from advancing the agenda of their corporate contributors. Now it is up to the Democrats to pass political reform, and if they don't do it we'll show them the door as well. And if the assembly Republicans are obstructionists we'll show the rest of them the door too. 

We can and will become a state of voters working for the people who own this country!

This is a sad way to send a message to an arrogant political party, and arrogance it was. But the Democrats had best not get comfortable. That same fate awaits them if they do not clean up the political system.

How can a (admittedly disloyal) Republican feel happy about the defeat? Because political integrity is more important to the survival of our nation than is a warped political ideology. It doesn't matter what your party, if crooks are running it they are stealing their constituents blind. Think Mexico if you need proof. Then think, our job at home has just begun.

My first choice and the best candidate for the position was Nelson Eisman, but our system does not give us a first and second choice. Under an Instant Runoff Voting system as just implemented in Minneapolis, Eisman would have fared much better and perhaps could have won the election. But people were afraid of throwing their vote away, a very real concern.

 


Wrong! This was not just a referendum on Republicans, it was a referendum on political integrity, and if the Democrats fail to pass election and ethics reform in this next legislature, they too will be unemployed in 2008. The top issue that was cited in the national exit polls was political corruption, even ahead of Iraq, and we'll see how well the Democrats understand the message. We must prepare ourselves for a strong push on a renewed SB1 Ethics and Clean Money reform, as it will take major arm twisting to move them forward in the Republican senate. But I think we can do it this time. We have demonstrated that the "center" voters carry enough clout to move elections, and we did throw some of the rascals out. If the GOP fails us this year they had best start counting their days, because we will be.

I agree with Newt Gingrich. This election could have been turned around by one action: Bush could have fired Rumsfield ago and saved the Senate and maybe even the House. But he waited until after he had lost both. That is pure arrogance. I liked Rumsfield personally, though I disagreed with many of his Iraq decisions. But maybe a new face can create a different image around the globe, which we desperately need, and strategies that may be more effective.


Thanks much to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, League of Conservation Voters and the many other public interest and grass roots around the state. We had the clout, we won a sufficient number of races, and we will either see reform in this legislature, or we will see more political change in 2008.

 


Hellloooo!!! Are they listening???

Voter's #1 Concern: From Mike McCabe, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - National exit polls showed that concern about corruption and ethics in government was the top concern of voters in Tuesday's election, outranking even the Iraq war as the biggest motivating factor for the housecleaning that significantly altered the political landscape at the national and state levels alike. See Mike's complete article HERE.


Calling Governor Lawton!!!!  Yeah, I know, Doyle is corrupt as hell, but Green is worse and we wouldn't find out for months to come. Better, I expect that Doyle will get convicted and has to resign, and then Barb Lawton will step in as our new governor. And she is absolutely excellent on reform issues. But having more pay-to-play under Green was not the right fix. Electing Doyle temporarily was the right thing to do.

 


It is ironic that Scott Walker, John Gard and Mark Green were, in effect, defeated by the very ethics and campaign reform they all refused to pass when they were in the state legislature. Had they been responsible for pushing through an SB1-type of ethics bill and full public funding of campaigns, Walker would not have been forced out of the race early and Green and Gard could have proudly pointed to an achievement that would have resonated with the public, which could have indeed swung the election their way. Ah, but arrogance did them in. Sort of poetic justice, if you ask me.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the State Elections Board, ordered Milwaukee poll workers to take down signs that he says can be considered intimidating to voters. The signs warn convicted felons who are still on parole not to vote or they will be prosecuted. "They are factually accurate," Kennedy said. "But our staff thinks that they will intimidate voters.... We're telling them to take them down,"

Duh.... Factually correct???  What is it about communicating the truth to felons (who may otherwise unknowingly break the law) that Kennedy does not understand? Intimidating to which voters? Certainly not the legal ones. This was a not just a disservice to the public's best interest, it was a solid demonstration of what's wrong with government.


Voters in Minneapolis tossed out years of tradition by adopting an excellent voting system for local elections, a historic change that supporters said would increase voter participation.  City voters approved by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio a charter amendment for instant-runoff voting, or what some people call preferential voting, a system used in San Francisco and two other U.S. cities. See complete article HERE. For details on IRV see www.ThrowTheRascalsOut.org.
 

California Proposition 89, Clean Money Elections, failed to garner voter support. It amazes me that a no-brainer like this could be defeated, but the moneyed interests clearly got their distorted message to the confused voters.
 

Proposition - 89 Campaign Financing - California 23601 of 25231 Precincts Reporting
  Name Votes Pct
No 4,634,581 74.42
  Yes 1,593,367 25.58

For details on Clean Money Elections see www.WiCleanElections.org. Because the voters were fooled now means that the California state legislature must be educated on the benefits of full public funding of campaigns. 


Meeting at The Middle - By E. J. Dionne Jr. - It's over. American voters, in their wisdom, ended an era on Tuesday. They rejected a poorly conceived war policy in Iraq that has weakened the United States. They rejected a harshly ideological approach to politics that cast opponents as enemies of the country's survival. They rejected a president so determined to win an election that he was willing to slander his opponents by saying: "The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses." The voters decided there was no decency in that. See complete article HERE.

GOP ceded the center and paid the price - By Ronald Brownstein - WASHINGTON — For six tumultuous years President Bush has provoked intense opposition while mobilizing passionate support for an ambitious conservative agenda. On Tuesday, that perilous strategy crumbled — and triggered his party's abrupt fall from power. Republicans lost control of the House, and teetered on the edge of losing the Senate as well. The widespread losses will present Bush and the GOP with a sharpened challenge from congressional Democrats eager to command attention for their policy priorities, such as raising the national minimum wage, and to investigate the administration's performance on Iraq, global warming and other issues. See complete article HERE.

 

3

To the state's political challengers

Some won and some lost, but most put up a good fight. Some wrote me with thanks, others were not happy that we helped in the turnover. We need political reform. And we will not get reform unless we threaten political jobs, and before the election most of those jobs were held by Republicans. So I supported a turnover to the Democrats. Next time it may be the reverse.

That's why this Republican supported a change.

My hope is the message sent by the voters is not forgotten: We're mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more. This system is going to be cleaned up or more heads will roll.

I hope the challengers don't give up. We need them. They will have another opportunity in two years. Politicians, like voters, have short memories. Many become arrogant and believe that their "political machine" will keep them in power. Not any more. The Internet has empowered the voters and we can now track their votes, and communicate those votes to the public.

One challenger said she was not a typical politician and would work hard for her people. Most challengers indeed have their heart in the right place. They are not “typical” until they take office. Then they start hearing from their party leaders that they must protect this company or that industry because they help “support the party.”

My own rep told me that she was going to vote a certain way on a certain issue because “they decided in caucus” how they were going to oppose a certain bill. Whaatt?? I don’t want her voting on the basis of what her party leaders decided, I want her voting on the basis of what her constituents want! But the GOPs cash constituent (Phillip Morris) wanted it their way. That’s how she voted and Phillip Morris (and the tavern league) got what they wanted!

The 2008 elections are just around the corner. Let's see if the assembly Republicans got the message. They are living on the razor's edge and could easily lose their balance.

 

4

From Unity08.com

Source: http://www.unity08.com/about/whatsnext_lobbying

What's Next...

Being a strong voice on lobbying and corruption

Americans just weathered a midterm election that was the most expensive, possibly ugliest election in history.

The flow of money highlighted what is broken with our political system. Unity08’s founders believe that ending corruption in Washington is central to restoring politics with clear purpose. So Unity08, with your help, will raise its voice ever louder on this issue because all Americans deserve better.

Here is why every American should be concerned about lobbying and corruption:

  • Most incumbent campaign money comes from D.C. lobbyists, not the incumbent’s congressional-district constituents. Therefore the lobbyists get access to the member of Congress, not the constituents.
  • The number of lobbyists in Washington has doubled in just six years.
  • The number of appropriations “earmarked” as special favors has gone from 150 a year under President Reagan to 6300 last year under President Bush.
  • Those earmarked favors are generally paybacks to the lobbyists.
  • Members pressure lobbyists to hire former staffers who turn around and lobby for favors in return.
  • The spouses and children of Members are hired by lobbying firms.
  • Members retire to high-paying lobbying jobs.
  • Members spend more time raising money than reading the laws they vote on – money that deters quality opponents from running.
  • Members also perpetually gerrymander their districts, re-shaping them for advantage in future elections.
  • Often the only real danger to incumbents is a primary in their own party, which is why they coddle their their “base” with polarizing issues.
  • Idealistic new Members come to Washington intent on changing things but within a single term the system has sucked them in and down.

Many of our elected leaders in both parties are well-meaning and honest people who cannot see the forest for the trees – cannot sense the cesspool for the cash. Only by united action from the leaders of both parties will the swamp be drained. Unity08 will call for and demand this united action from our Unity Ticket candidates in 2008.

More of What's Next...

If you haven't joined www.Unity08.com, please do so. They will be fielding an Independent center candidate for president in 2008.

 

 

 

5

Tidbits

Want to know how to prepare your kids or grandkids for a good job in the global market? Think nursing, plumbing, restaurant worker, carpenter or physician – jobs that cannot be easily outsourced. Avoid jobs that can be sent offshore, like telephone technical support, computer programming, accounting, tax preparation, even radiology where x-rays can be sent by the web to foreign countries for physician interpretation. Read this excellent article from The American Prospect on outsourcing.

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) Porker of the Month for securing a $750,000 federal earmark to help pay for $950,000 in electronic arrival-time signs for 14 bus stops in his district in Chapel Hill, N.C. For adding to the deficit with an unnecessary and ridiculous pork project, using the federal Treasury to make a free ride even easier for his constituents, and typifying the wastefulness of congressional appropriators, CAGW names Rep. David Price the October 2006 Porker of the Month.  Read more about the Porker of the Month.


Despite a rising stock market and strong profits, the income of the typical working family has fallen farther behind rising prices each year for the past five years. Since 2000, the median family headed by someone of working age (65 or less) has seen its income drop 5.4% after adjusting for inflation.  This represents a loss of $3,000 in annual income. (See the EPI Income Picture.)  

 

 

6

Give me a Break!

If you like optical illusions and 3D effects, don't miss THIS

Or, how about this Birthday Calculator

Download this Free PDF creator (from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

Okay, this is another one of those stupid diversion things that I avoid with a passion. ;-)

Want to know how much info can be gotten by the web owner by your just logging on to his web site? Click HERE. Admittedly, sometimes you need this info, and a simple way to get your IP address by going to www.WhatIsMyIP.com

These are always my favorites; see PipeDream but you must have your sound turned on.

 


A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and one night he's doing a show in a small town in Arkansas. With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes when a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts shouting: "I've heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a person's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community and from reaching our full potential as a person. Because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general and all in the name of humor!"
   
The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde yells, "You stay out of this, mister!  I'm talking to that little smart ass on your knee."


A Kindergarten Teacher was observing her Classroom of Children while they were drawing.  
She would occasionally walk around to see each Child's work.
As she got to one little Girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The Girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The Teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the Girl: replied, "They will in a minute."


A Sunday School Teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.
After explaining the Commandment to "Honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a 
Commandment that teaches us how to treat our Brothers and Sisters?"
Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a Family) answered, "Thou shall not Kill."


Wouldn't you love to know what her conversation is about?

(I hear that she is a Republican.... I think I know what she's asking.)

 

7

Book Recommendations

See other reviews on Amazon.com

Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America (Hardcover - 272 pages)
by Jack E. Lohman

John Nichols Political Writer The (Madison, WI.) Capital Times and The Nation
"Jack Lohman is an inspiring crusader against the corruption of our politics. Principled and passionate, he consistently challenges wrongdoing in both parties. Yet, this is no armchair radical's critique. As a successful businessman, he understands exactly how governmental policy making and regulatory processes have been warped by big money and bad intentions. And he uses that knowledge to point us in the direction of the real reforms that will let government again be the ally of honest businesses and a real free market, rather than the paid partner of the moneyed special interests that buy their monopoly privileges with campaign contributions."

Nick Nyhart Executive Director, Public Campaign
"Wisconsin businessman and reform leader Jack Lohman is a true soldier for democracy. This book tells how our deeply flawed system of privately financed elections benefits the big contributors and hurts ordinary Americans. The good news is he also lays out how to set things right. Read this book, feel the outrage and join Lohman in fighting for new "Clean Elections" victories!"

Dr. Peter Rost, Author The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman
"If you want to know how the corporations have taken over our system, read this book! There is more information to scare any red-blooded American into a rebellion than anything I've seen. You may actually start to cry after reading it."

I guess it was just a matter of time before I listed my own book. It is just out and not even in the stores, thus it has no reader reviews yet. But you know the story line already.

Rather than buying retail, you can buy direct at www.MoneyedPoliticians.com and get a 15% discount.

 

8
Contact information

Lohman is a retired business owner in Colgate WI and volunteers’ time on the issues of Election reform and Universal health care -

Contact: Jack E. Lohman
jelohman@gmail.com or jelohman@charter.net
Phone 414-477-8686 (cell)
www.ThrowTheRascalsOut.org
www.WiCleanElections.org

www.wi-cfr.org (old but still useful data)

www.MoneyedPoliticians.com (my book: Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America)


www.SmokeFreeDining.net (A searchable restaurant database)

 

9
Removal Instructions

To leave the list, send a blank email to jelohman@gmail.com with “Remove eNewsletter” in the subject line

To subscribe, send a blank email to jelohman@gmail.com with “Subscribe eNewsletter” in the subject line

The system is automatic and you must send from the email address you want added or removed.

If either fails please notify me directly at jelohman@gmail.com. Thanks.

Disclosure: I am a center-right Republican that voted for Bush twice (though at this point I wish I could have a do-over). But the Republicans look worse here because they are in power and the party blocking reform. Next year it may be the Democrats taking center stage. Were I to have a political choice it would be for a strong third-party reform candidate in all seats. I do not like our very costly and ineffective duopoly. Jack Lohman

See Lohman's complete disclosure HERE.