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Mary Burke Should Have Cast Vote For School Budget

October 28, 2014

Let me be brief and to the point over this issue.

Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke  voted against raising property taxes as a member of the Madison school board at Monday night’s meeting.  That vote was wrong.

The school board budget was reasonable and proper given the times in which we live.    It was not a generous give-a-way to teachers or allowed for excessive and needless spending.  It was a budget this school district can be proud of along with the members who spent countless hours fashioning it for a final vote.

The problem as I see it, and as one who knows that there are times when tax increases are very purposeful and correct, was that Burke took a position of opposition to the increase. The idea that taxes are only to go down is folly and intellectually unacceptable if one is truly honest about making government function for the citizenry.   For too long we have allowed the rhetoric of ‘no tax increases’ to carry the day, but the end result of such thoughtlessness is that we let our social institutions suffer.  There are times when tax increases are exactly the correct thing to do.   All we need do is look to Minnesota to see how such revenues work for the best interests of the whole state.

While it is a no-brainer over how Republicans would have spun the vote had Burke cast it for the budget I would argue that leadership demanded her to take the correct vote and then slug it out with the partisans later. The other board members did the proper thing by voting for the budget.

As a Madison taxpayer I am fine with paying my bill.  I think many of my fellow citizens here  feel the same.

Let 18-Year-Old Zachary Ziolkowski From Grafton, Wisconsin Cast Ballot On Election Day

October 28, 2014

UPDATE—Zachary Ziolkowski denied right to vote by GAB on Tuesday.  

This is simply absurd.

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I recall the enthusiasm of turning 18 years old and casting my first vote.  It was November  4, 1980 and I rode with my Dad to the polls in our small town of Hancock, Wisconsin where we canceled each other out as he voted for Ronald Reagan and I cast my ballot for Jimmy Carter.  But it was a wonderful moment for the dad and son relationship as he took his duties of voting most seriously.  That mindset has been handed down to me.  At every election I am eager to vote and alert everyone else to also undertake their civic responsibility.

So it was disheartening to read in the paper this morning how a state resident who will be 18 years of age on Election Day is being forced to litigate his way to the ballot box.  There is a hearing on the matter today, and Caffeinated Politics will be following up on the issue.

I so applaud and encourage young and informed people who desire to head to the polls and participate in the state and national debates about the issues of our time to be able to do so without impediment..  Trying to undermine such individuals is simply unconscionable.

How old is an 18-year-old on the day he turns 18? Older than you might think, says a Grafton lawyer fighting to get his son the right to vote in the Nov. 4 election.

Tim Ziolkowski said his son Zachary actually will be 18 years and 1 day old on his Nov. 5 birthday, making him a legal voter the day before, also known as Election Day. Wisconsin voters will go to the polls to decide many high-profile offices including governor, attorney general and U.S. House.

“He’s been looking forward to voting for quite awhile,” Ziolkowski said . “It’s pretty important to him.”

Standing in his way are the village clerk and lawyers for the state’s Government Accountability Board, who told Ziolkowski last week that a 1970 state Supreme Court ruling on a different matter clearly nods toward a more conventional understanding of birthdays.

“The day of an 18th birthday begins the person’s 19th year, but the person does not reach age 18 until midnight on the birthdate,” wrote Michael Haas, elections division administrator for GAB.

Since the matter is not directly addressed in Wisconsin case law, Ziolkowski said federal rulings take precedence. He pointed to a 1969 U.S. court of appeals ruling in Alaska related to the statute of limitations in a personal injury claim.

“Since one is in existence on the day of his birth, he is, in fact, on the first anniversary of his birth, of the age of one year plus a day or some part of a day,” the court wrote. “The appellant did, then, reach the age of 19 years on the day before the 19th anniversary of his birth.”

Will New England States (Like Maine) Again Have A Republican in Congress?

October 28, 2014

There are many reasons to be watching and waiting as the election returns are counted and reported next week.  One of the hopes for the GOP is that they can again have at least a couple Republican congresspeople from the New England states.

Not a single Republican represents a New England state in the House, contributing to the region’s reputation as a bastion of liberalism. But this year, independent analysts say, Republicans have a shot at picking up as many as six seats in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Maine’s second congressional district, which comprises a large swath of the central and northern part of the state, represents another opportunity for the GOP. The Cook Political Report recently moved the race from “leans Democratic’’ into the more competitive “tossup” category.

It is that race in Maine that I have been following and like so many other elections around the nation this one is a dead-heat.  This morning the latest numbers on the race were released and show every vote will count in this match-up between

Republican Bruce Poliquin has inched closer to Democrat Emily Cain in the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, according to a poll released Tuesday by a Portland firm.

A survey of 186 voters by Pan Atlantic SMS Group gave Cain, a state senator from Orono, 39 percent support to 38 percent for Poliquin, a former state treasurer from Oakland. 

Independent conservative Blaine Richardson of Belfast got 8 percent, with 16 percent undecided.

That sample size isn’t ideal, with an error margin of approximately 7 percent. But Poliquin has moved up since Pan Atlantic polled the race last month. Then, Cain led Poliquin with 36 percent of support to 32 percent for Poliquin. Richardson got 6 percent.

However, other results have put Poliquin slightly ahead in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat running for governor.

As might be expected the national health care issue is playing out in this race and guess what the conservative Republican candidate is wishing to happen?

The context: The 2nd District has long had higher rates of people without health insurance than the rest of Maine. According to Census estimates for 2013, 85,000 people were uninsured there, about 8,000 more than in the 1st District.

Cain is a supporter of the health care law and, like many in her party, would support a single-payer, universal health care system.

“We have great models, whether it’s in veterans’ benefits in health care or in Medicare itself,” she said at a debate during the primary season. “We have models that show us when more people are covered, costs are lower.”

Poliquin has called for repeal of the health care law, but he has said he supports parts of it.

Paragraph About GOP You Never Would Imagine Reading 20 Years Ago In Newspaper

October 28, 2014

As I was reading the election news in today’s newspapers I ran across a paragraph that I read and then continued on with the rest of the article.  But then I stopped and went back and read that one paragraph again.  Then I  sat back and thought for a moment.

This is a most remarkable paragraph as it not only speaks to the progress that the whole nation has made, but also the ability of some in the Republican Party to understand the times in which we live.  Granted, these are Republicans from New England states, but yet this is powerful statement about where we are in 2014.  Ii will be watching as other politicos will be doing come Election Night to see if any congressional Republicans can win from this region.

Charlie Baker, the GOP candidate for governor in Massachusetts, supports gay marriage and abortion rights, while Richard Tisei, who is running for a House seat and has featured his husband in campaign ads, skipped the Massachusetts GOP convention this year because of its socially conservative platform. Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for governor in Connecticut, supports abortion rights and said he wouldn’t try to end gay marriage, which is permitted in the state.

Public Invited to Ben Bradlee’s Funeral Wednesday, View It On C-SPAN

October 28, 2014

UPDATEWatch video of funeral for Ben Bradlee.

The speakers for Ben Bradlee’s funeral tomorrow which will be held at the National Cathedral starting at 11 A.M. Eastern Time and airing on C-SPAN will include Don Graham, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Quinn Bradlee, son of Ben and Sally Quinn, who has spent months planning the service. The program that will be distributed to guests includes an iconic Vanity Fair photo Bradlee. Post alumni are coming from Europe and around the country. So many current Washington Post staff signed up to go – even thought most never knew Ben — that four buses have been hired.   This is something you very well may wish to DVR.

The public is invited and it will be packed as the Cathedral can hold 2,000. The seating is slightly diminished because of renovations, but chairs will be set up in back. Burial will be private.

Voter Lookup For People Casting Ballot In 2014 Mid-Term Elections

October 27, 2014

Early Voting Shows Something Is Under Way With Electorate

October 27, 2014

Hard to say exactly what is underway.

Consider this fact in light of tight races across the nation—-In Georgia and North Carolina, two of more than 30 states that allow voters to cast ballots before Election Day without providing a reason, roughly 21% of those who already have voted show no record of participating in the 2010 midterms.

Simply fascinating!

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