Looking Back on 2015

Kathleen Vinehout
Looking Back on 2015
By
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
Happy Holidays! While Santa is making a list of who is naughty and nice, I spent time making a list of what folks cared about enough to call or write.
 
I am always impressed by how many people take the time to become engaged in their government. “Democracy” is truly a verb for the 7,007 individual people who communicated with me in 2015. Many offered their opinion not once but several times. My office recorded a total of 15,811 contacts with citizens.
 
This year was a budget year. It was also the year the Governor ran for President. Both had an influence on the amount and type of communication I received.

The Surreal Has Taken Over

Bob Gannon

We've seen a lot of stuff happen in Wisconsin over the last few years that beggars belief. School teachers have been made the subject of ridicule. Corruption becomes ensconced in law. The state Supreme Court has its own sort of continual judicial shenanigans. But I never really thought I would see a state legislator recommend that we all become a bunch of armed vigilantes, packing heat when we go to the mall just in case someone might use a gun.

Seniors React: Don’t Take My Home Phone Away!

Kathleen Vinehout
Seniors React: Don’t Take My Home Phone Away!
By
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“I was furious,” said Cindy from Chippewa Falls. “I wouldn’t have stayed on the phone this long with this dinky cell phone.” She just found out state law allowed phone companies to dump their landline customers.
 
Cindy waited 40 minutes on her “dinky cell phone” to join a telephone town hall meeting with 7,373 other seniors.
 
AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) hosted the town hall. I was the guest senator. We joined forces to promote my “Home Phone” bill – Senate Bill 240. The bill would return state law to pre-2011 language and protect phone customers from losing landlines.

Looking for a last-minute Christmas Gift?

Greetings from Fitwalkerstan calendar

I've for some time now had a copy of this calendar. I have to believe that any Uppity person in your family would love to have one o f these -- good for a laugh and for some serious thought about what's happened in our state over the last few years. There's more information (and a place to order) at the Few Publishing web site. I think you'll have fun. Here's a sample:

Calendar Example

Who is on the Public Records Board? Privately taking this Gov thing private

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Well, we don't know, really, because the State of Wisconsin Public Records Board apparently did a lousy job keeping records on itself.

Minutes of the board's August 24 meeting are without detail or an accounting of votes on an motion -- illegally ignored in the board's public meeting notice -- that effectively limits access to selected public documents by citizens, journalists and others.

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