The Uppity Fund - It's Back!

Every election cycle about this time we set up a fund on ActBlue that makes it easy to make a one-click donation to progressive candidates. This is my own hand-picked selection of candidates for state elections, as well as president. You can donate and divide your donation among all those candidates by clicking on the thermometer on the front page. You can also divide your donation up however you want on the donation page.

It's going to be a tough and pivotal election. Despite what you might think from the press coverage, elections are not completely about money, but money is sure heavily involved, and until we can manage to take more of the money out of politics we're going to have to play the game to survive. 

Speed and Secrecy Kill Democracy

Kathleen Vinehout

Speed and Secrecy Kill Democracy


Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“How can we digest all your work in this short amount of time?” Senator Bewley asked the Chair of the housing committee and author of the bill before her. An amendment replacing the bill was released just before the hearing on that bill.

“How can we have a thoughtful and intelligent discussion...we just got this stinking thing a few hours ago.”

The bill, SB 464 (which has an Assembly companion - AB 582) was complex. The bill’s author said he wanted to avoid “moving the goal post” on a development project. Among other things, the bill froze in place laws on an industrial development once a minor approval (like a driveway permit) was granted even if the project would not be completed for years.

The Towns Association called the legislation, “One of the most damaging bills to local control in recent memory.”

Indian Country TV Live Stream of Save the Mounds rally

As I am sure many of you are aware, the state legislature is in the process of fixing another of the state's protective laws to suit the needs of business by allowing companies to destroy Native American effigy mounds. Of course the explanation here is that this is only allowed if nobody can "prove" that there are human remains in the mound. This is ludicrous in that the age of these mounds makes it nearly impossible to prove that there are remains -  plus they are part of the states and the Native American heritage whether bodies are buried in them or not. At some point we need to start conserving our state and protecting it from the need to profit at any cost. There will be a rally at the capitol on Tuesday Jan 12 at noon. Indian Country TV will live stream the rally and you can watch it below or at their site at noon. In the meantime take a look at some of the other news and other coverage they provide on the player.

Watch live streaming video from indiancountrytv at

This is what racism looks like!


The sheets are off.  The Republicans are now saying in public what they have been saying to each other in private for years.  The racism in the party is so ingrained that they cannot see it themselves.  The fact is that this guy is not only serious, but also sarcastic about an unemployment situation that has caused poverty and crime.  Talgo had already located in the center of Milwaukee when Walker turned away $800,000,000 for the railroad expansion from Milwaukee to Madison which subsequently cause the train manufacturer to leave Milwaukee.

Whose Property Rights Are Most Important?

Kathleen Vinehout
Whose Property Rights Are Most Important?
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“My neighbor likes to expand his lot,” Kelly told me. “First he put up a stone fence on our property and then he built a jungle gym for his kids on his other neighbor’s property.” The fence stayed but the jungle gym came down.
Laws and fences help make good neighbors.
Often these “laws” are ordinances passed by local communities. We decide collectively what works for our neighborhood, and what works in some areas will not work in other areas. You can’t have roosters in most cities. But in some cities, you can keep a few hens.

Katherine Cramer discusses her new book

I am looking forward to reading this book. Interview is from last week's Here and Now program on WPT.

Cramer is the director of University of Wisconsin's Morgridge Center for Public Service. Her new book, "The Politics of Resentment," connects Scott Walker's political rise to a rural resentment against the "liberal elite." This resentment, she says, represents how one's place-based identities influence his or her understanding of politics.


Save The Mounds


Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 1:00pm

Join the Ho-Chunk Nation in Madison, Wisconsin for a rally to ask our elected officials to protect these historically significant sites. The rally will take place on the East side of the Capitol at 1 pm on January 12, 2016.

Sign the petition and learn more at

Transportation may be provided from designated areas across Wisconsin, as well as Saint Paul, MN and Chicago, IL.

Email [email protected] for more information

Looking Forward to the Challenges of 2016

Kathleen Vinehout

Looking Forward to the Challenges of 2016


Senator Kathleen Vinehout


“I spent all day trying to get an ID for my mother,” Joe from Union Township told me. His mother, age 84, recently gave up her driver’s license because of a vision problem. She’d moved into an apartment in Eau Claire.


By changing her address and surrendering her drivers’ license, Joe’s mom was without the necessary current “government ID” she needed to legally vote in 2016.


Happy New Year! And welcome to Wisconsin, a state that now has some of the strictest voter identification laws in the nation.

Surreality spreads

Bruce Hagen

Bruce Hagen, mayor of Superior, Wisconsin is contributing to the surreal vibe in the state. Yesterday he commented on a picture in Facebook of Michelle Obama by saying

Unbelievable! She and her Muslim partner have destroyed the fabric of democracy that was so very hard fought for!

When questioned about this the mayor stood his ground by saying that he and many others believe the President is not a Christian.

Possible new organizing group in the Chippewa Valley

Eau Claire Meeting

Last night I attended an initial discussion about a new organizing cooperative in the Chippewa Valley. Citizens Action is interested in helping to promote organizing and political action throughout the state. They have followed a successful model in the Milwaukee area of starting a local group that is paying for a professional organizer, and starting action in the area. They are hoping to extend this model to other areas throughout the state, and the Western Wisconsin region is of particular interest.


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