Monday, November 30, 2009

Candidates needed for the spring election

Winter isn't even officially here yet, but we're already getting geared up for the spring elections and the campaign season that preceeds it. Today's Oshkosh Northwestern ran this piece on the various races and how to run, if you're interested. It's very comprehensive and tells you how to get the different paperwork you'll need, deadlines and other important information you'll need to know, etc.

On a related note, Jef Hall, chair of the Winnebago County Democratic Party has sent us this email that we are happy to publish on his and the party's behalf. It should be noted that in his message, Jef neglected to mention that there is also a judicial race in the spring election - one to fill the seat being vacated by Judge William Carver in Branch 5 of the Winnebago County Circuit Court system; the other is the seat currently being held by Barbara Hart Key in Branch 3. (Ironically enough, the judicial races are the only ones that are partisan races.) Carver is retiring and not seeking re-election. Four candidates have already announced their intent to run for this position. As for Branch 3, I presume Hart Key will seek re-election and, as yet, have not heard of anyone else expressing interest in running for this seat. That may change, however, as we get further into the candidate declaration process. At any rate, here is the message from Jef Hall...

Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party!

Spring elections are upon us. Tomorrow (December 1) is the first day to gather signatures to appear on ballots in this April’s elections. Signatures are due January 5th.

To appear on a ballot, you will need to collect 50-200 signatures minimum (depending on the office).

Offices up for spring 2010 elections include County Board, School Boards, Town Boards and City Councils. If you are interested, we can help you get all the paperwork together.

Please contact Jef Hall, Chair at 920.203.6883 or via email at if you are interested in running for a local office.

Now is the time to make sure we implement Progressive and Democratic principles and priorities in our communities. We cannot do this without people in these offices.

Contact me today!


Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rep. Hintz to hold Office Hours

OSHKOSH– Representative Gordon Hintz will be holding office hours at the Oshkosh Senior Center to discuss issues important to Oshkosh residents. The event is open to the public and those with questions regarding state issues are encouraged to attend.

Anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to contact the office of Representative Hintz toll-free at 888-534-0054 or via e-mail at

Who: Representative Gordon Hintz

What: Senior Center-Office Hours

When: Friday, December 4th 9:00am-12:00pm

Where: Oshkosh Area Senior Center – 200 North Campbell Road

The Oshkosh Northwestern: Shining a light on a new shadow government

We've heard about shadow government in Oshkosh for many years. Now, we're hearing about the possible birth of a new shadow government. Ironically enough, some of those who did the loudest complaining about it in the past seem to be part of that new shadow government spoken about in Sunday's Oshkosh Northwestern.

In Jim Fitzhenry's column earlier today he spoke of this new shadow government and named familiar names like Paul Esslinger, Ben Schneider II and Melanie Bloechl. In the online story, he also shared several email exchanges between these folks. It's interesting reading, but not entirely surprising. Some of us have known about these ties for years and some have suspected some puppeteering could be going on. What is surprising is that they communicated by email, knowing those emails were subject to Open Records requests (I bet that will change in the future, though.)

Besides the usual misspellings, grammatical errors and otherwise snarky comments in several of these emails, a few things in particular struck me as interesting:

(1) The fact that Ben Schneider II of our school board seemed to be "advising" Esslinger on what he could say in discussing his removal of Ted Bowen from the city's parks board;

(2) Esslinger asking city manager Mark Rohloff to copy Bloechl along with select council members on a newsletter that was referenced in one email;

(3) Bloechl's apparent inability (or is it a lack of initiative) to find the city manager's email by going to the city's web site or making a phone call to City Hall. Instead, she emailed Esslinger for the email address! It's clear from the Fitzhenry postings that these folks enjoy emailing each other whether the issue is grand or slight, but I would have thought being so "in-the-know" and having served on the Common Council for as long as she did, she would be able to get the city manager's email address without charging someone else with getting it for her. Perhaps I gave her too much credit; and

(4) Esslinger forwarding to Bloechl a copy of Harold Buchholz's email letter to the Common Council two days before the meeting to select a council member to fill Esslinger's vacated council seat took place. Buchholz's email, you may recall, created somewhat of a stir when it first came to light last May, mainly because it was something separate from his application for the position and it seemed to be a little over the top and inappropriate. That, and the fact that there was no discussion to speak of at the council meeting when the appointment was made, nor were there any questions asked of Buchholz (or any other applicant) by any councilors, made many suspect there had been some discussion outside of an open council meeting about his application and possible appointment. Whether there was or wasn't, we will likely never know for sure. We also will likely never know for sure what entitled Bloechl to receive a copy of the Buchholz email prior to all candidates appearing before the council and before Buchholz was subsequently appointed, but it is sure to have tongues wagging. 

I would encourage readers and viewers to check out the Oshkosh Northwestern editorial by Fitzhenry and read the corresponding emails, then make your own determination about our elected officials and the newspaper's forecast for the "new shadow government." Makes you wonder who else might be lurking in the shadows, doesn't it?

UPDATE: There is a new link for the story and emails. It can all now also be found by going here as well as the link posted twice earlier in this piece.

Council members' discussion on possible dogs in parks referendum

I had a chance to watch the part of the Common Council meeting from this past Tuesday where the dog referendum issue was discussed. A few thoughts as I listened to these "decision-makers" volley this issue back and forth.

1. I was opposed to a binding referendum, believing instead that if these councilors, or the idea's sponsor, Tony Palmeri, were truly concerned about doing the people's bidding (or the voters,' anyway), they should make it a binding referendum. Any time you put an advisory referendum out there you have to wonder what the true intent is. You're going to get the opinion of the voters, so why not do what the majority of those voting want you to do?

2. Harold Buchholz seemed concerned about the cost of having such a referendum. This struck me as odd, since Palmeri wasn't talking about holding a special election. The cost, if any, would be negligible at best because the question would be asked on a ballot that was already being printed. This was kind of a weird position to take, I thought.

3. Dennis McHugh made a short, yet bizarre comment that he didn't think any council should pass an ordinance they can't enforce. Huh? There are oodles of ordinances the city can't enforce unless they have the proof to do so. Since this issue had to do with animals, let's look at all the pets in this city that aren't licensed. Licensing is required by ordinance, but it doesn't seem to be enforceable unless someone gets caught as a result of something else happening. In the area of traffic ordinances, we have speed limits posted on each street but people speed anyway, with only small numbers of offenders getting caught in comparison to all those who speed. How about those rolling, California stops? Better yet, how about those drivers who don't signal when changing lanes, or who stop in front of the white line instead of behind it, like they're supposed to? The cops rarely, if ever, enforce those violations, even when they're done right in front of their faces. Hell, some even commit the same offenses themselves. And the list could go on and on. So by McHugh's logic then, I guess we should do away with all ordinances on the books that can't be enforced unless people do something that causes them to get caught. I suspect that would leave us with a virtually ordinance-free community.

Jess King had an interesting idea that involved making only certain parks available for people to walk their pets in. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that idea, but at least she's open to the concept and is trying to find an option that could appeal to most everyone to one degree or another.

No doubt, this issue will continue to come up, just as it has for years already, until the powers that be in Oshkosh become more pet-friendly and change the law. It seems to be working elsewhere and there's no reason it can't work here, save for the outcrying of pedestrian thinkers, people with certain fears and those who are just opposed to the idea based on principle, etc.

Monday, November 23, 2009


For more information contact:

Dr. Bette Lang
Interim Superintendent of Schools
Oshkosh Area School District
(920) 424‐0160



The Oshkosh Area School District is beginning to develop the 2010‐2011 budget, and again the district is in a similar position as last year in regards to a large budget deficit. Last year the budget was reduced by over $5 million due to changes brought forth in school funding by the State biannual budget. In the second year of the biennium it is anticipated that the same or a slightly larger deficit will exist. The deficit is addressed by reducing expenditures, raising revenues or a combination of both.

Understanding that change is inevitable, the district must be prepared to continue to change how it operates. In order to develop a list of over five million dollars in expenditure reductions, input from the community and staff is crucial.

Two open meetings, for all citizens and staff, will be held for the purpose of reviewing the options listed below and adding other options to the list.

The meetings are scheduled for 6:30 pm:

􀂾 December 9, 2009 at West High School – Alberta Kimball Auditorium, 375 N. Eagle Street ‐ 54902

􀂾 January 6, 2010 at North High School – Theater, 110 W. Smith Ave, ‐ 54901

Over 80% of the district budget is used for salary and benefits. Therefore, some reductions must come from efficiencies such as consolidating buildings and reducing personnel. The Board of Education has asked for a list of options to consider as they address the 2010‐2011 deficit. Some of the options will come from the Public Management Partners and Bray Reports on facilities.

2010‐2011 options include:

􀂾 downsizing from five middle schools to three or four middle schools

􀂾 repurposing a middle school into a larger elementary school

􀂾 closing or repurposing smaller elementary schools

􀂾 transferring students, and making boundary adjustments based on closing or repurposing schools

􀂾 moving students who reside in leased space into district buildings

􀂾 raising class sizes

􀂾 downsizing the number of staff in the district

The board of education will begin deliberations on the 2010‐2011 budget at the January 13, 2010 meeting and continue until the goal is met.


For more information contact:

Dr. Bette Lang
Interim Superintendent of Schools
Oshkosh Area School District
(920) 424‐0160



The City of Oshkosh Health Services Division has informed the Oshkosh Area School District that school based H1N1 vaccination clinics may now be scheduled. The Health Services Division will be working with each school to schedule clinic dates. Once dates have been arranged every Oshkosh Area School District school will mail a letter through the US Postal Service to EVERY student announcing the date of that school’s clinic. The mailing will include: the vaccination consent form that must be returned to allow student’s to be vaccinated, information about the clinics, and information about the vaccinations. Parents are asked to carefully and completely read over all of the information contained in the H1N1 vaccination mailing. Clinics are likely to begin the first week of December and will continue through January. Parents are asked to contact the City of Oshkosh Health Services Division if they have questions about the vaccinations.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dogs in parks - referendum possibly coming this spring

According to today's Oshkosh Northwestern, Deputy Mayor Tony Palmeri plans to bring an advisory referendum question to the Common Council at its meeting this Tuesday night which, if approved, would give voters a chance to say whether they’d like to see dogs allowed in city parks or not.

One school of thought out there asks why bring something like this to the people when we’re not asked how we feel about spending millions of dollars on certain projects and the like. I see where those folks are coming from. But I also question another aspect of this, and it has to do with advisory referendums, in and of themselves.

I applaud Mr. Palmeri for bringing this forward and if the Common Council approves this referendum question to go on the ballot, it suggests to me they are concerned about what the people think. But, if they’re truly concerned about what the people think and want, why bother with an advisory referendum? Put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and do the bold thing, the right thing: Make the referendum binding and be done with it. Otherwise they are wasting people’s time at the polls and taxpayer money to put the question on the ballot because they can still do the exact opposite of what the majority of voters want (and likely would). In which case, wasn’t it all an exercise in futility? Or they could do an even bolder thing: Look at how dogs in parks are working out already in the parks and trails in our area where they are allowed. Talk to other communities who’ve allowed dogs in parks for years and see how they’re making it work for ALL citizens. Then make the decision at the council level to stop living in the dark ages and drag Oshkosh into the 21st century and allow dogs in parks like they are in so many other communities, not to mention state parks, national forests and beaches across the United States. It’s an idea whose time has not only come; it’s long overdue.

P.S. Since there is such passion about animals, maybe we should put a second referendum on the ballot having to do with whether the people in Oshkosh support future deer cullings or not. Of course, I doubt the council would listen to that opinion either.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More fire truck "madness" created by Esslinger and the Oshkosh Common Council

Some of you have wondered about the wording of the resolution the Oshkosh Common Council approved on Nov. 10 to accept a fire truck from Mayor Paul Esslinger. I have gotten a copy of that resolution and am posting it here, in its entirety, as part of this blog posting. After reading the resolution, I am even more disgusted and dismayed with our councilors for their hasty, irresponsible decision.

As I’ve discussed in earlier posts about this subject on this site, the decision to vote on this only a day after it was placed on the council agenda was just plain wrong. You can refer to the previous postings for some of my reasons why ( Post #1 can be found here and Post #2 can be found here ), but in a nutshell, some of these councilors have raised holy hell in the past when things have been rushed through – and those councilors include the mayor and his foot soldier, Deputy Mayor Tony Palmeri. Some of these same councilors have also spoken out when they didn’t think the public had ample time to speak on an issue – again, Esslinger and Palmeri being two of the biggest complainers about this issue. In this case, the public really had little to no time to speak about the issue because it wasn’t part of the agenda that was put together on Friday and subsequently distributed.

Indeed, few people knew about this resolution before the meeting and, ironically enough, many people still don’t know about the fast footwork this council displayed because the mainstream media has not done an actual news story on it – only two editorials in the Oshkosh Northwestern have appeared. Editorials are hardly the same as a news story per se.

But I’m irritated and disappointed in the council even more now having seen the actual resolution. Palmeri said at the Nov. 10 meeting he wanted to be sure no public dollars were being spent on this. Well, he is either slipping and didn’t catch the public monies that will be spent; he chose to look the other way; or he just doesn’t think the monies attached to this are that big a deal.

First, it was stated at the meeting that when the truck gets turned over to the city it would be responsible for insuring it. There is one taxpayer expense. The city is also, according to the resolution below, responsible for setting up a fund from which Esslinger will eventually be reimbursed his costs for this truck and its transportation back to Oshkosh. Therein lies another expense. After all, it takes some staffer time to set up such an account, handle the accounting of funds going into it, etc. And if the truck, for some reason never does get turned over to the city, a staffer will have to spend time returning whatever money was earmarked and collected specifically for the truck.

I also wonder if the recent maintenance issues the truck has been sidelined with will be included in what Esslinger gets reimbursed. Technically speaking, I don’t believe those repair costs should be reimbursed, nor should the cost of his insurance for the truck. He’s the owner at present time and he should be solely responsible for the costs.

The other expense that must have slipped past some of the eagle eyes on the council (or perhaps they just didn’t care to question or make issue of it) is the “be it further resolved” portion of this resolution: That being that once the truck is turned over to us, the city is then responsible for the maintenance and storage of it. Seems to me there will be an expense there. I realize the resolution says any donations left over after Esslinger gets reimbursed can be maintained in the fund for future expenses, including maintenance, but I can’t imagine there being enough donations that such a thing will be possible.

At any rate, Esslinger said at the meeting he’d arranged for storage, etc. of the vehicle and I think most people assumed this was going to be a long-term arrangement. It sure doesn’t sound it based on the wording of this resolution. So, instead of patting Esslinger on the back for preserving this fire engine for us, he should maybe be slapped on the hand for jumping into something without getting things properly squared away at City Hall and before getting the city attorney wrapped up in his personal business and rapid purchase. Worse yet, every remaining councilor should be chastised as well. They got sucked into Esslinger’s excitement, voted to approve this and failed to look at, or at least adequately discuss, the bigger picture.

Will we see any councilor have the backbone to step up to the plate and do the right thing by asking the council to reconsider this? Doubtful, and even if we did, it’s even more doubtful there would be three other votes to approve the reconsideration. And even at that, this ridiculous purchase still might pass, yet again, on reconsideration.

It’s just another reason people don’t like government and politicians, not to mention one more decision these councilors have made that voters will have to consider when deciding whether to re-elect these folks should they run for office again. It’s not even the fact that this was a relatively small vote or expense in the grand scheme of things. For me, it’s the hypocrisy of some and what this hastily-taken vote and the council’s lack of questions says about their overall attitude toward the public they were elected to represent and the dollars we each work so hard to earn. Their rush to vote and disregard for the public in this matter is shameful. Or, instead of using the word “shame,” perhaps a better word to describe it is what the Oshkosh Northwestern used in one of its editorials: Sham.



(CARRIED________LOST________LAID OVER________WITHDRAWN________)



WHEREAS, a 1915 Fire Engine formerly used by the Oshkosh Fire Department has become available for purchase; and

WHEREAS, time was of the essence in the purchase from the private party who formerly owned the vehicle and the Mayor has stepped forward and purchased the Fire Engine to preserve it for the City of Oshkosh; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor would like to initiate a fundraising effort for the City to recover his costs of up to $11,000 that he paid the previous owner for the Fire Engine and the costs association with relocation of the Engine to the City of Oshkosh; and

WHEREAS, it is anticipated that all costs will be raised through private donations and that no tax dollars would be used to reimburse the costs for purchase or relocation of the Engine; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor would like to turn over the Fire Engine to the City of Oshkosh and be reimbursed for his costs to ensure its preservation for future generations; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary for a fund to be established so that tax deductible donations may be received for the purpose of reimbursing the costs for purchase and for establishment of a maintenance fund for the continued preservation of the 1915 Engine.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of Oshkosh that the City of Oshkosh hereby agrees to accept the 1915 Fire Engine with the condition that a fund be established to accept donations for the purchase and maintenance of the Fire Engine and that the City shall pay to the Mayor no more than $11,000 to reimburse the Mayor for his costs for purchase and delivery of the vehicle. Any amount donated in excess of $11,000 shall be kept in the fund established for the maintenance and care of the vehicle.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that once the vehicle is turned over to the City of Oshkosh that the Oshkosh Fire Department shall be responsible for the storage and maintenance of the vehicle.

Citizen Action Applauds Advancement of Health Care in the U.S. Senate

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2009, 7:15 PM 
Contact: Robert Kraig, (414) 322-5324

Milwaukee: Saturday night the U.S. Senate voted 60-39 to proceed with the debate on health care reform. The vote clears the way for a historic debate on meaningful health care reform to begin after the Thanksgiving Recess.

“There was an all-out effort to end the health care reform debate in the Senate before it even got started,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The successful vote Saturday night keeps the historic movement for meaningful health care reform on track for the passage of a bill in December or January.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time for final 2009 Friends of Oshkosh Public Library Used Book Sale

[We have received the following press release from the Oshkosh Public Library and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

Nov. 17, 2009 – Readers have one more reason to be thankful when the Friends of Oshkosh Public Library hold a used book sale on Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the lower level of the Oshkosh Public Library. Don’t miss this opportunity to stock your bookshelves, stuff your stockings and start preparing for the holiday season during the final sale of 2009.

The Friends have craft books and cookbooks to help plan holiday festivities. Peruse the large selection of biographies to find the story of that public figure you’ve always admired. Browse through the ever-changing selection of fiction, mysteries and paperbacks for a good winter read. Bargain hunters will want to check out the 25 cent comics (still in their packages) and the end-of-season Bargain Book Bags.

A special collection, donated recently by a local horse enthusiast, features books about raising, riding and showing horses. And readers interested in the classics will find some new additions to the sale as well.

Sales for 2010 are scheduled on Jan. 26, March 30, May 25, July 27, Sept. 28 and Nov. 30.

The Friends Store, located on first floor near the checkout desk, will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the day of the sale. Members of the Friends also will be in the library lobby selling OCM Cards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with proceeds used to support Oshkosh Public Library programs and activities.

Proceeds from the Friends book sales are used to support programs and initiatives of the Oshkosh Public Library throughout the year. During the past year, the Friends:

 Purchased bookstore-style shelving to display the new books, movies and music on the library’s first floor

 Purchased prizes distributed through the summer reading program

 Sponsored programs and a special performance at the Leach Amphitheater for children who participate in the summer reading program

 Funded Baby Book Bags, which are distributed to all babies born in Oshkosh

 Purchased books for Oshkosh schools participating in the library’s Book Fest program

 Provided refreshments for special library programs

For additional information about the book sale or to join the Friends of the Library, contact Dana Stolley, Coordinator of Volunteers, at 236-5206.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Fire truck update: Broken down in Sawdust City, and some answers to questions

After posting my recent entry about the fire truck purchased by Mayor Paul Esslinger, some of you contacted me with additional comments / questions. I’ve also been asked to post whatever answers I get to the various questions. In addition, some new information has come to light, so I wanted to provide you with an update.

First, I have learned from the folks at City Hall that Chief Franz used a vacation day to make the Illinois road trip with Esslinger and that, as of today, there was nothing turned in for reimbursement of meals or mileage, nor was there any anticipation there would be. Good to know.

Next, some folks mentioned to me that besides the cost of insuring the truck once Esslinger actually turns it over to the city, there is the cost of gas and oil to operate it. After all, they said, he’s not going to push it down the street. True enough. Then there’s the cost of city staff having to spend time doing the accounting for this special project of Esslinger’s. I don’t care if it takes 10 minutes a week or 10 hours a week, it is time spent by city staff on something that he – and our common council – should not have saddled them, or us, with. If he wanted to raise funds to recoup his costs, he should have done it in a completely different manner, not encumber the city with this kind of ridiculousness - especially when the city has so many more pressing matters to attend to. I understand his discomfort with not wanting to accept money directly from taxpayers, but I'll bet there would have been a way he could do it and avoid ethics issues, an appearance of impropriety, and the like. He also could have approached the Community Foundation instead of the city, as suggested by Jess King; why didn't he? Does he have some personal beef with them? Would the Foundation have charged a fee of some kind to administer this? Was it "easier" or more expeditious for Esslinger to have the city handle it? Again, more questions than answers, it seems.

It should also be pointed out that if Esslinger does not raise enough funds to recover his financial outlay and, therefore, doesn’t turn the fire truck over to the city, the city will be legally obligated to return the funds that have been donated specifically for the truck. That is more time spent by city staff on this so-called “gift.” (Anyone besides me recall how Mr. Esslinger felt about some past “gifts” the city has received, especially when there would be some funds spent by the city as the result of accepting said gift?)

Incidentally, I’m not exactly sure who first called this truck a gift, but I'm thinking we should stop calling it that. After all, a gift is something you give unconditionally - with no strings attached; not something you give and then expect repayment for in return. Nor is it something you promise to give if or when the recipient pays you what you've paid for it.

Besides the insurance, gas and oil, there will also be ongoing maintenance costs associated with this fire truck. As it is, the truck apparently has already had its first mechanical or maintenance issues. It’s my understanding from one city staffer who is close to this issue that the truck “broke down” and, for one reason or another, was pulled from last week’s Holiday Parade – Esslinger’s first big “fundraising” event. This person didn't know if the truck broke down before it got to Oshkosh or after it arrived, but clearly, the very reason Esslinger said he needed this “gift” resolution rushed through the council, didn’t happen after all. Since he still owns the truck I wonder if he’ll now want to recover the cost of repairs, whatever they may be, as part of the overall approximately $11,000 he expects to get back.

With even more questions and ownership / operating-related costs for the city coming to light, it bothers me even more that our council (a) allowed it to be rushed through as it was; (b) didn’t ask enough or the appropriate questions; and (3) felt it necessary to apologize for the few questions that were raised. I believe the proper thing to do at this point is to bring this item back for reconsideration, give the public ample time to talk about it and let Esslinger set this up the way it should have been done in the first place – without any more city staff time being wasted on it. Bob Poeschl would certainly be able to do that now, even though he wasn’t last week. But whether it’s Poeschl or another councilor, someone from this body should be responsible and accountable enough to do so, instead of worrying about looking our mayoral “gift” horse in the mouth.

(Be sure to vote in our electronic poll about this issue on the right side of the page)

Governor Doyle Announces Significant Decrease in Tobacco Sales to Wisconsin Minors

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced a significant decrease in tobacco sales to Wisconsin minors. The state’s 2009 Synar sales compliance survey, which determines the number of retail outlets that are selling tobacco illegally to minors, shows a noncompliance rate of 5.7 percent—20 percent lower than the 2008 rate of 7.2 percent.

“In Wisconsin , we are working hard to protect our kids from the scourge of tobacco,” Governor Doyle said. “Our state has a long history of preventing youth tobacco sales and I’m pleased our efforts are paying off.”

Governor Doyle also thanked retailers for helping keep tobacco out of the hands of minors and for their dedication to protecting young people from tobacco’s harmful effects.

The annual Synar survey randomly selects retail outlets from across the state to determine a reliable estimate of the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors. Named after the Congressman who sponsored the federal legislation, the Synar legislation requires all states to monitor and reduce the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors at retail establishments.

Wisconsin’s federally established target rate for retail tobacco sales to minors is 20 percent, and failure to meet this rate can result in a 40 percent cut in a state’s federal block grant funds for substance abuse prevention and treatment. In Wisconsin , this would amount to approximately $10 million in lost funds. 2009 marks the seventh straight year that Wisconsin has been below the target rate of 20 percent.

The state’s Wisconsin Wins program provides the framework for reducing tobacco sales to youth. The program is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), which works with local partners, including health departments and other local agencies, to conduct investigations to determine retailer compliance. In addition to providing education and media and community outreach, Wisconsin Wins also offers free online retailer training at

"Limiting youth access to tobacco products means our young people will be healthier,” said DHS Secretary Karen Timberlake. “We’re very proud of all the Wisconsin Wins program has accomplished during the last eight years.”

For more information about the Synar report and tobacco control efforts in Wisconsin , please visit

Governor Doyle has fought the scourge of tobacco his entire career. In May, the Governor signed legislation to make public places, including restaurants, taverns, and other indoor workplaces, smokefree in July 2010.

Christine Ann Race for the Light- December 5, 2009

[We have received the following and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.]

Friends and Community Leaders-

On Saturday, December 5, I am running the Race for the Light 5K to support Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc as part of the Oshkosh Jaycees "Jaywalking" Team.

You can donate directly to me with cash, or with a check made payable to "Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc." (tax-deductible!), or through this site:

Please be aware that First Giving, the website host, will take 7.5% of the donation. If you donate directly, Christine Ann gets 100%.

Mailing address for donations:

Sonex Aircraft, LLC
Attn: Jeremy Monnett- RFL
PO Box 2521
Oshkosh, WI 54902

I hope you'll also consider joining me for this beautiful run through the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights!

Many thanks for your support.

Jeremy Monnett
Vice President
Christine Ann Center
Tel (oshkosh office/shelter): 920.235.5998
Tel (fox cities office): 920.729.5727

Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services is committed to ending the cycle of violence by providing safety, support, and advocacy to all abuse victims, as well as cultivating community awareness through collaborative education and prevention programs.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Council vote on fire truck wrong, weird

I was out of town the early part of last week, but when I returned had a couple emails and a voice mail about Paul Esslinger’s latest shenanigans – this time in the form of an old fire truck that years ago was used here in Oshkosh. I got the low-down from these folks and then, over the weekend, finally had a chance to watch the part of the Common Council meeting that dealt specifically with this item. Paul Esslinger tried to shorten the version of events surrounding this fire truck during his speech at the meeting. I’ll make them even shorter.

Fire Chief Tim Franz brought to Esslinger’s attention the existence of a 1915 fire truck that at one time was used here in Oshkosh. Esslinger looked into it and, having been told there was a potential buyer that could swoop in and get the truck, Esslinger and the chief took a road trip to Illinois, whereby Esslinger personally paid $8,500 for the truck, $250 to insure it and arranged for transportation back to the city to the tune of between $400 and $1,700. On Monday, he then had placed on the Common Council agenda for the following evening an item under which the city would accept this gift from him.

During Tuesday’s meeting Esslinger further explained he would essentially arrange for and hold three separate “fundraising” events, through the help of others and one already being the Oct. 12 Holiday Parade, where people could donate money to help him recoup his financial outlay, something he estimated at $11,000 but believes will be less. He indicated he would turn the truck over to the city in January, after these three events were concluded. He further explained that the rush to get this “gift acceptance” approved Tuesday evening and the reason for only 24 hours notice (or less) was because the parade was scheduled for two nights later and he wanted people to know where their donations were going. Plus, he said he was uncomfortable accepting money directly from people.

While I enjoy history as much as the next guy, and am sure this fire truck is a treasure, there are several problems I have with this, the least of which it involves more hypocrisy from Paul Esslinger. The rest are here, in no particular order:

(1) I can’t imagine there being a throng of people rushing to donate to Esslinger’s pet cause, but if there were they could easily have been told to make their checks out to the city with the reference section of their check stipulating it was for the truck. And if Esslinger was still concerned about this he could have pulled the fire truck from the parade, or just left it in and not accepted donations for it at this event. After all, this was an impulse purchase, no matter the circumstances, and if he had to forego fundraising at one event, so be it;

(2) Though Esslinger says the city will not have to pay anything for this truck, even for its storage – something else he’s arranged for and which some local business owner has volunteered to donate – it’s already been stated by the city attorney that we taxpayers will have to pay for the insurance of it, unless someone privately offers to pay for it year after year. I also have a strong hunch that over time the city will take on other financial needs related to this “gift;”

(3) I hope the fire chief was not considered “on duty” during the six hour round trip and additional time spent dealing with the seller. I also hope there was no mileage, gas or meals reimbursed to either he or Esslinger by the city;

(4) This item was placed on the council agenda for action with less than 24 hours notice – something Esslinger has, along with others, railed against in the past. Does that only apply when it’s NOT something Esslinger is personally advocating for;

(5) Along that same line, this council, with Paul Esslinger and Tony Palmeri at the helm, have pontificated ad nauseum about citizens deserving ample time to review and discuss items that affect them. Few council members seemed to have a similar concern about the lack of time for public input on this issue, and that includes the mayor and deputy mayor. Extremely disappointing, not to mention shameful and hypocritical;

(6) Bob Poeschl was one of those concerned about the rush to accept the “gift,” and originally voted against it. But since he voted first Tuesday evening and after the others voted he saw the decision was unanimous – Esslinger’s “present” vote notwithstanding – Poeschl said he wanted to reconsider his vote. Because he was not in the majority vote, he couldn’t make such a motion so Jess King did it for him. He then changed his vote, saying he didn’t want people to think he was against the “gift” overall. For God’s sake, Bob, you still could have voted the courage of your convictions and have people “get” your overall message at the same time. But you caved in and looked foolish in the process. Another disappointment;

(7) Just how long does it take this city to create a gift policy? This has been talked about since the fishing pier was donated to the city by the Otter Street Fishing Club more than four years ago, maybe even longer. I really can’t imagine it taking this long, despite other, more pressing matters, but perhaps we should stop accepting gifts until such a policy is created and approved. Since all of these “gifts” eventually come with a price tag, THAT might be the best “gift” of all to the taxpayers.

Have I forgotten anything else weird or wrong about this vote?

(Be sure to vote in our electronic poll about this issue on the right side of the page)

Friday, November 13, 2009


[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.]

APPLETON, WI (November 13, 2009) - The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will present the 2008/09 Annual Report to the Community Monday, November 16 at 10 a.m. during a public press conference held in the Center's Kimberly-Clark Theater. The Center's Annual Report to the Community is an annual update intended to inform the community at large about the accomplishments and overall performance of the nonprofit organization's most recently completed season. This event is free and open to the public.

"The Annual Report to the Community is designed to share the behind the scenes details of how the Center brings its mission to life," said Maria Van Laanen, vice president of communications and external relations. "It's a great opportunity for community members, Season Ticket Holders and donors to learn about all of the different, meaningful ways the Center made the arts come alive during the 2008/09 season."

Susan Stockton and Mike Weller, who serve as president and chairman of the board at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center respectively, will present the report with an emphasis on the organization's mission to serve as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities and enhance understanding and enjoyment of life through the creation and presentation of the arts. The Annual Report to the Community will feature information on the Wisconsin premiere of Wicked as well as other important accomplishments related to the Center's subsidized mission-based programming and an overview of the organization's financial standing.

The 2008/09 Annual Report will be available online following the press conference at A limited number of printed copies will be available, by request, to the general public. The Center's audited financial report will also be available online at


The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in downtown Appleton, provides a premier venue for live performing arts. The Center proudly serves as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities while enhancing a greater understanding and appreciation of the live performing arts. For more information on upcoming events, education programs and community involvement go to The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center – Where the Arts Come Alive!

Governor Doyle Signs Four Bills that Build on Efforts to Protect Children, Prevent Fraud

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Governor Doyle's office.]

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law Senate Bills 280, 299, 331 and 347, which build on his work to protect kids, ensure every child has a chance to succeed, and prevent fraud.

“As Governor, my number one priority has always been putting our kids first,” Governor Doyle said. “We have come a long way to help kids have the best education, best health care and best family support system possible. These bills signed into law today build on our efforts to protect our kids and ensure they can get a great start to life.”

Legislation signed by the Governor also builds on efforts to detect and prevent fraud in Wisconsin Shares, the state’s child care program for over 60,000 low-income working families.

“The recent fraud uncovered in our state’s child care program is simply intolerable – and we will not stand for it,” Governor Doyle said. “Wisconsin Shares is a vitally important program that provides affordable care for children from low income families, so their parents can go back to work. We cannot allow bad actors to undermine such a critical program, and today we are taking important steps to further crack down on fraud.”

While these bills represent significant steps forward, the Governor said there is still a lot more work to do to ensure families have access to high quality child care. In the past, Governor Doyle has proposed a quality rating system that would, for the first time, rate the quality of child care providers and use these ratings to determine state reimbursement under Wisconsin Shares. The recent budget signed by the Governor directs the Department of Children and Families to create a Wisconsin Quality Rating and Improvement System.

The Governor said his Administration will present a plan to the Legislature in the coming weeks to improve child care quality.

“I’ve never understood why we pay a poor child care provider the same rate as those who provide top quality care,” Governor Doyle said. “For years, I have been trying to improve the quality of child care in this state. We will come forward with a plan soon to do just that, and I hope lawmakers will act just as quickly to address the issue.”

The bills signed into law today build on Governor Doyle’s record of putting kids first, from expanding four-year-old kindergarten and school breakfast, to ensuring every child has access to health insurance, to strengthening our foster care system, to creating a new Department of Children and Families to protect children, strengthen families, and build communities.

The four bills are:

Senate Bill 280 dramatically improves the way the state can collect money owed to Wisconsin Shares when an incorporated or limited liability corporation (LLC) provider goes out of business.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Bob Jauch and Kathleen Vinehout, and Representatives Tamara Grigsby and Andy Jorgensen for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 299 strengthens requirements for publicly sharing information related to child abuse or neglect that leads to serious injury or death. This law makes the Department of Children and Families more transparent, while also protecting the best interests of the children.

Governor Doyle thanked the Senate Committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 331 ensures all children are safe by increasing the scope of criminal acts that permanently bar persons from becoming child care providers. The bill also requires more frequent background checks and mandates cross-checking potential child care providers with the sex offender registry and other agency registries. Finally, the bill strengthens requirements of state, county and tribal staff to report suspected abuse and fraud to their supervisors.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Bob Jauch and Kathleen Vinehout, and Representatives Tamara Grigsby and Peter Barca for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 347 makes important changes to align the state with federal standards, from improving efforts to place foster children with relatives and keep siblings together, to strengthening foster parent rights at hearings.

Governor Doyle thanked Senator Bob Jauch and Representative Kristen Dexter for their work on the bill.

Going Rogue, One WI Now Style

[We have received the following and are pleasedf to publish it on behalf of One Wisconsin Now.]

Last Friday, Sarah Palin came to Milwaukee to give a speech for the Wisconsin Right to Life. The event was closed to the media and all electronic devices were banned from the event -- no cameras, no audio recording devices, no video cameras, no cell phones.

But that didn't stop us.

We wanted to be sure to document what ex-Governor, and noted quitter, Sarah Palin said when she thought no one was looking (or recording), and we posted the first of the clips we got from the event on our YouTube page at

Palin arrived just hours before the impending vote in Congress on the most sweeping health insurance reform in more than a generation. And with coverage for reproductive rights under assault, we thought it critical to learn what the right wing's most influential intellectual voice had to say about the issue.

But instead of thoughtfully addressing the issue of health insurance or presenting any fresh solutions for fixing our broken health care system, Sarah rambled on about a different threat -- a sinister "little bit of change." What really concerns Sarah is the re-design of the gold dollar coin.

Listen to One Wisconsin Now's exclusive audio of Sarah Palin's 'Coin Conspiracy':

Does listening to her nonsense make you angry? Then help us to keep pushing back hard against the right-wing noise machine.

Whether it's this video, our program or working with you and our state-wide army of 40,000 online activists, we're able to do all of this because of the generous support of people across Wisconsin who believe in our mission of building a Wisconsin with equal economic opportunity for all.

Can you help support our efforts with a contribution of $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford today? We can't do any of this without your support, and from all of us at One Wisconsin Now, we sincerely appreciate all you've done -- from taking action, to sharing information with friends, laughing with us, being outraged, and even donating to support our efforts -- it all means so much to us.
So check out our latest video, and chip in if you can. We really aren't anything without your support.

Thanks for all you do,

Scot Ross

One Wisconsin Now

P.S.--Can you chip in today to help make sure we can continue to bring you hard-hitting (and sometimes undercover) research on the right wing? Your generous contribution of $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford will really go a long way to ensure One Wisconsin Now will be here for years to come. Thanks again -- we can't do any of this without your support!

One Wisconsin Now is a new-media online network of citizens from across Wisconsin committed to advancing progressive policy, leadership, values and ensuring equal economic opportunity for all.

Please consider making a contribution to One Wisconsin Now:

Appleton/Green Bay area shoppers encouraged to try alternate routes

[We have received the following press release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

Appleton/Green Bay area shoppers encouraged to try alternate routes; Motorists should be patient and avoid backups on US 41 and WIS 172

(Green Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Regional Office at Green Bay is reminding motorists to avoid backups on areas near popular shopping destinations. Local traffic in both the Fox Valley and Green Bay metro areas should consider using the local street system. Hunters and holiday travelers should also give themselves more time, especially in the event of inclement weather.

Deer hunters:

• Deer hunters can expect to encounter heavy northbound traffic on most highways in the region beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 20 and heavy southbound traffic on these routes from noon Sunday, Nov. 22 to late that night. This will continue during the Thanksgiving holiday, with Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday being busy days.

Fox Valley:

• There are four exits along US 41 that can be used for access to the Fox River Mall shopping area. Planning alternate routes helps avoid backups on US 41 during the holiday shopping season.

• Going from south to north, the main exits include:

1. County BB west to Casaloma Drive, then north

2. College Avenue (County CA) west, then enter on Mall Drive (or farther west on Casaloma Drive)

3. Wisconsin Avenue west, then turn left into mall

4. WIS 15 west to Casaloma Drive, then south

Alternate routes

For instance, motorists traveling north on US 41 can exit on County BB or WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue), avoiding a potentially frustrating and time-consuming back up that occurs at the WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue exit. Motorists traveling south on US 41 should consider exiting at WIS 15 (Northland Avenue) or WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue, again avoiding potential backups at the WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue) exit. Using these alternate routes will provide Fox Valley shoppers with a safer, less stressful holiday experience.

Green Bay area:

• In the Green Bay area, motorists are advised to avoid backups on WIS 172 and US 41. There are many alternate routes throughout the area. It is often quicker and safer to simply move on to the next exit. Local traffic in the Green Bay metro area should consider using the local street system to access the area.

• Shoppers traveling west on WIS 172 headed for the Bay Park Square Mall area could encounter heavy traffic on the Pilgrim Way exit ramp. WisDOT encourages drivers to use other routes, especially on evenings and weekends. Traffic westbound on WIS 172 should consider alternate routes through the city on local streets or continue west to US 41, then south to the Oneida Street exit, or north to the Lombardi Street exit.

• Traffic northbound on US 41 encountering any backups at Oneida Street can consider traveling north to Lombardi Avenue east, then south on Oneida Street.

• Northbound US 41 motorists from the Fox Valley area can avoid most potential problems by using the Ashland Avenue exit and choosing any of the next four traffic signals to gain access to the Bay Park Mall area.

• Traffic southbound on US 41 heading into the Green Bay area might consider using the Lombardi Avenue exit and turning east Oneida Street.

Alternate routes

According to Mike Berg, WisDOT northeast regional director, “We want motorists to have a safe holiday. I’d like them to consider an alternate route when moving from US 41 or WIS 172 into a shopping area. Typically, a route that might seem a bit longer could actually take less time and be a lot less stressful.”

Law enforcement agencies will also be keeping a close eye on traffic. Captain Dave Pichette, Wisconsin State Patrol, offered these safety tips to motorists that might get caught in a back up on US 41. “The best thing for motorists to do when they spot a back up at their exit is to simply drive on to the next exit,” said Pichette. He also had a tip for drivers passing through this area. “Be alert and move to the center or left lane early.”

“Most importantly, motorists should give themselves extra time to get to their destinations,” said Berg. “Remain calm and remember to be alert, patient, and courteous. Slow down, buckle up, and drive sober. We want everyone to enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.”


[Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Waupaca, Winnebago, Shawano - media]

NOTE: News releases can be viewed on the Web at:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Governor Doyle Signs 14 Bills into Law

Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law 14 bills at the State Capitol in Madison . The Governor signed Senate Bills 38, 132, 157, 158, 251, 252 and 361, and Assembly Bills 8, 136, 153, 174, 209, 211 and 281.

Senate Bill 361 clarifies foster care rates and licensing requirements to allow kinship care providers to participate in the graduated foster care licensing system.

“In many cases, relatives can provide safe, stable care for foster children and I am proud we are moving forward to ease the administrative hurdles to kinship care,” Governor Doyle said.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Jauch and Lehman, and Representatives Pasch and Turner for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 252 called “Fran’s Law” closes a loophole to ensure that vehicles that collide on private properties after leaving highways are subject to hit-and-run laws.

In 2005, Frances Suitor was killed in her sleep in Oregon , Wisconsin by a drunk driver who crashed through her house. Previous state law did not extend hit-and-run laws to private parking areas, so the charges against the driver were dismissed.

“I am proud the state is acting to ensure the tragic story of Frances Suitor is never repeated,” Governor Doyle said.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Erpenbach and Carpenter, and Representatives Davis and Staskunas for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 281 restricts the amount of phosphorous that can be used in certain cleaning agents to reduce pollution of lakes and streams.

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Black and Bies, and Senators Miller and Taylor for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 38 promotes tourism at state parks by creating a uniform permit fee for tour buses visiting state parks.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Lasee and Grothman, and Representatives Bies and Kaufert for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 132 supports economic growth in the City of Racine by extending the Tax Incremental District (TID) Number 2 in Racine for an additional 10 years, until 2020.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Lehman and Plale, and Representatives Mason and Turner for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 157 will improve driver safety training and railroad crossing safety by requiring 30 minutes of driver education instruction on the dangers of rail crossings.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Plale and Lassa, and Representatives Van Roy and Mursau for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 158 clarifies laws related to stopping for railroad crossings.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Plale and Holperin, and Representatives Van Roy and Mursau for their work on the bill.

Senate Bill 251 allows law enforcement officers to recover costs incurred when transporting an arrested person by ferry after its usual operating hours.

Governor Doyle thanked Senator Jauch and Representative Sherman for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 8 supports Iron River ’s tourism industry by slightly amending Bayfield County ’s liquor license requirements.

Governor Doyle thanked Representative Sherman and Senator Jauch for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 136 allows assessors more flexibility so they may complete assessments more efficiently, while protecting property owners.

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Hubler and Ott, and Senators Holperin and Lehman for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 153 allows the Department of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to appoint an agency employee to represent the agency if the Secretary cannot attend a State Fair Park Board meeting.

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Staskunas and Gunderson, and Senators Sullivan and Kanavas for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 174 authorizes sharing of tax increments by certain environmental remediation tax incremental districts (ERTID).

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Mason and Turner, and Senator Plale for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 209 allows a county to provide funding assistance to nonprofit organizations to provide assistance to low-income persons and victims of domestic abuse and related crimes.

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Seidel and Bies, and Senators Holperin and Decker for their work on the bill.

Assembly Bill 211 clarifies procedures for distributing grant funds to county-tribal law enforcement program participants.

Governor Doyle thanked the Joint Legislative Council’s Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations for their work on the bill.

Public Interest Group that Filed Complaint against Justice Gableman Shocked by Judicial Panel Recommendation

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.]

Milwaukee: Today a three-judge Judicial Conduct Panel appointed to probe a complaint against Justice Michael Gableman recommended that the state Supreme Court dismiss the complaint.

The complaint, which was originally filed by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, maintains that Justice Gableman made false statements in a 2008 campaign ad directed at Justice Louis Butler. The ad, which sparked outrage from the legal community, editorial boards, and the public at large, was compared by many to the infamous “Willy Horton” ads.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin released the following statement from Executive Director Robert Kraig :

“This is a shocking turn of events in a case that has drawn national attention. It is a sad day for truth in Wisconsin when a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court can lie in a campaign ad and not be punished.

Two of the judges found a way to split hairs -- finding the language technically true, but misleading. And then finding a judge can't be disciplined for misleading the public. It is unbelievable. As Judge Deininger said, "Justice Gableman...'found a loophole.'"

The Judicial Code expects judges to have high standards. This is why the Code provides that a candidate for judge cannot knowingly or with reckless disregard misrepresent a fact concerning an opponent. Clearly anyone seeing the Gableman ad knows it was not true. It was misleading.

Judge Fine in his concurrence acknowledges the majority is splitting hairs and would find the ad was a violation of the judicial code. His quarrel is whether the Code violates the First Amendment. Since when does the First Amendment allow a liar to go unpunished? Defamation, libel and slander are all actionable civil wrongs.

One hopes the Wisconsin Supreme Court will not follow the recommendation of the three judge panel and will in fact discipline Justice Gableman for his outrageous and untruthful campaign ad.”


[We have received the following press release from EAA and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (Nov. 11, 2009) - A weeklong salute to veterans during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 will be highlighted by the return of actor Gary Sinise and his "Lt. Dan Band" at AirVenture's Theater in the Woods.

The concert, sponsored by EAA Warbirds of America and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), is scheduled for Friday, July 30. It's the second EAA visit for Sinise, best known for his role as Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan Taylor in the classic film "Forrest Gump," and as star of the hit TV series "CSI: New York." Sinise also plays bass in The Lt. Dan Band, which made its first, hugely popular appearance at Oshkosh in 2008.

The concert will be the highlight of a series of veteran-focused events that will take place throughout EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010.

Further details regarding other events during the week will be announced as they are finalized.

"We are thrilled to welcome back Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band to Oshkosh," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "The concert will be a fitting finale to a week of events that will honor America's veterans at AirVenture 2010."

The Lt. Dan Band covers everything from Bruce Springsteen to Linkin Park, Aretha Franklin to Jimi Hendrix. After 2008's highly successful Oshkosh concert in front of thousands at Theater in the Woods, EAA Warbirds of America and Disabled American Veterans teamed up to sponsor the band's return. The concert will follow a series of events dedicated to DAV.

"Gary Sinise is a longtime advocate for our organization and continues to shine the light on our mission to build better lives for America's disabled veterans and their families," said DAV National Commander Bobby Barrera. "As a patriotic and family-friendly venue, EAA AirVenture is an ideal setting to feature the Lt. Dan Band."

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's wartime disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: Building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families.

EAA Warbirds of America is a non-profit organization and division of EAA that is dedicated to the preservation of former military aircraft, better known as "warbirds." Since 1964, EAA Warbirds of America has worked to "Keep 'em Flying."

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit   

For more information on Disabled American Veterans, visit

Governor Doyle Signs into Law First Steps toward Major Education Reform

[We have received the following press release from Governor Doyle's office and are pleased to publish it on their behalf. It was actually released on Monday but I had been out of town and am just now starting to get caught up.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today (Monday) signed into law Senate Bills 370, 371, 372 and 373, which take the first steps toward reforming education in Wisconsin and ensuring every student has a chance to succeed. Governor Doyle signed the laws at Wright Middle School just days after President Obama visited the school to call for states to make significant education reform. The bills take important steps to align Wisconsin with federal education reform goals laid out by the President and position Wisconsin to compete for Race to the Top funds.

“I want to thank state legislative leaders for acting swiftly to take these critical first steps toward major education reform,” Governor Doyle said. “We are really proud of our state’s great schools but we know we have to step it up and strive to reach the highest levels. We must continue moving forward reforms that put our students first and answer President Obama’s challenge to race to the top.”

The Governor will continue to work closely with the Legislature to move forward reform efforts to create clear lines of accountability at Milwaukee Public Schools, strengthen the State Superintendent’s ability to turn around struggling schools and raise math and science standards so every student can compete in the global economy.

Governor Doyle thanked the Senate Committee on Education, the Assembly Committee on Education and committee chairs Senator John Lehman and Representative Sondy Pope-Roberts for their work on the four bills. The Governor also thanked Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, Speaker Mike Sheridan, Majority Leader Tom Nelson and Representatives Mark Pocan, Tamara Grigsby, Terry Van Akkeren, Donna Seidel, Peter Barca, Joe Parisi, Cory Mason, Christine Sinicki and Tony Staskunas for their hard work on the bills’ passage.

The Governor today signed into law the following bills:

Senate Bill 370 allows Milwaukee Public Schools to directly apply to the Department of Public Instruction for annual grants to help improve student achievement. The bill allows the State Superintendent to have better control over this critical program to help turn around struggling schools.

Senate Bill 371 requires the University of Wisconsin System , the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Department of Public Instruction to establish a system to share and track student achievement data from preschool programs through postsecondary education. The bill allows agencies to use data to evaluate the success of education programs and improve student achievement.

Senate Bill 372 allows student test data to be used in developing a comprehensive teacher evaluation plan that evaluates teacher performance to improve student achievement. The student test data may not be used to dismiss or discipline teachers. The bill reinforces the importance of linking teachers to longitudinal student data to help evaluate program effectiveness, close achievement gaps and improve overall education.
Senate Bill 373 requires school boards to consider standards established by the National Association of Charter Schools when creating a charter school. These stronger standards will help to ensure that all Wisconsin charter schools provide high-quality education.

Governor Doyle was joined by state legislative leaders, State Superintendent Tony Evers, Madison Superintendent Dan Nerad, WEAC union leaders Mary Bell and Dan Burkhalter, Wisconsin Charter School Association Director John Gee and Wright Middle School students for the event.

Governor Doyle Announces Republic Airways Consolidation in Milwaukee

[We have received the following press release from Governor Doyle's office and are happy to publish it on their behalf. It was actually released on Tuesday but I had been out of town and am just now getting caught up.]

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle today (Tuesday) announced that Republic Airways will establish a major airline hub in Milwaukee County, retaining 800 jobs and creating up to 800 more for hardworking Wisconsin families. The job functions include flight crews, heavy aircraft maintenance and technical support, and reservations call center.

“This is great news for Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin. I am pleased that we could successfully work with Republic Airways and retain the airline hub in Milwaukee , continuing a strong tradition in Milwaukee County,” Governor Doyle said. “We worked hard in our last budget to move Wisconsin forward towards a strong recovery that continues our commitment to Wisconsin businesses and will create jobs and lead to future growth. Today’s announcement would have not been possible without those efforts.”

"These investments reaffirm the commitment we’ve made to the local Milwaukee community since we welcomed Midwest Airlines to the Republic Airways family, and I would like to thank Governor Doyle and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for making Milwaukee such a great place to do business," said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways.

Governor Doyle was able to assist the company through the use of the Department of Commerce’s EZ-10 program, which was expanded in the last budget to include retention and consolidation projects. The Governor thanked the state Legislature for maintaining and expanding the tax credits, which are a powerful tool to recruit and retain businesses in the state.

Republic Airways purchased Midwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines, which is headquartered in Denver. The company will consolidate operations and maintenance functions in Milwaukee. Commerce’s EZ-10 Program creates a 12-year Enterprise Zone for the company. The company can earn $27 million in income and payroll tax credits by meeting these job and investment goals.

Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. is an aviation holding corporation based in Indianapolis, IN, which owns six airlines operating in the United States: Chautauqua Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Republic Airlines, Shuttle America, Frontier Airlines and Lynx Aviation.

For more information on Department of Commerce programs and services, visit

War in Pacific focus of author talk at Oshkosh Public Library

[We have received the following press release from the Oshkosh Public Library and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

The compelling tale of one World War II bombardment group and their experiences in the battle for the Pacific comes to life at a special event at the Oshkosh Public Library on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. Menasha author Adrian Martin will visit the library to discuss and sign his latest book, Operation Plum, the Ill-fated 27th Bombardment Group and the Battle for the Western Pacific.

Operation Plum is both the true story of the 27th Bombardment Group and a cohesive overview of America’s early months of WWII in the Western Pacific. Martin co-authored the book with Larry W. Stephenson, M.D., a nephew of one of the book’s key figures.

The members of the Army Air Corps’ 27th Bombardment Group went in as confident young warriors. They came out as battle-scarred veterans, POW camp survivors . . . or worse. The 27th arrived in the Philippines in November 1941 with 1,209 men; one year later, only 20 returned to the United States.

Americans know a great deal about Pearl Harbor and subsequent battles across the Pacific as the troops fought their way to Japan. They know MacArthur left the Philippines and those left behind endured the infamous Bataan Death March. Yet they know almost nothing of the fighting by U.S. forces that raged in and around the Philippines, Java, Australia and New Guinea during those first months of the war. Operation Plum sheds light on these battles, in what one reviewer calls “ the most complete and compelling picture of the early Pacific air war ever likely to appear.”

Martin, a retired English teacher, also will talk about his first book, Brothers from Bataan. “These books have a lot in common,” he explains. “They both go through Bataan and deal with POW life and how these folks got into this situation in the first place.”

Martin’s uncle died while a POW in Bataan and years later Martin connected with veterans groups from that period, attending POW conventions and talking with them about their experiences. The stories they shared led him to write Brothers.

"A lot of these guys had been in early battles of the war, when we were losing, so they didn’t talk much about it when they got back,” he says. “They opened up to me in a way that some of them hadn’t even done with their own families.”

Many books about WWII focus on how the war was won, but Martin says his books focus on a story less told. “People don’t realize how unprepared we were to fight WWII,” he says. “When you look at troops and equipment and strategy, we were so far behind in the early part of the war and unfortunately, people paid with their lives.”

Copies of Operation Plum and Brothers from Bataan will be available for purchase at the event.

Find more information about the author visit at or call 236-5205.

Monday, November 09, 2009


[We have received the following from the Oshkosh Police Department and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

We have been receiving numerous complaints recently about different scams that occurring where people are trying to take advantage of you and get your money. One of the scams is where an individual was trying to sell an item on Craigslist and the responding party stated that they would mail the seller a check for $1800 dollars more than what the item costs and that she should cash the check and take out what the item costs then send the balance back in the form of a money order. This is almost always a scam as once you cash the check and send the money order the check will then come back as a fraudulent check and then you are responsible for the money order you just sent as well.

As always if you every have any questions if something is possibly a scam of fraud you can always call the Oshkosh Police Department for advice.

Brent J. Buehler
Patrol Sergeant
Oshkosh Police Department
Office (920)236-5700 Cell (920)379-3557

Impartial Justice Legislation Passes Assembly and Senate

MADISON– On Friday, Nov. 6, the State Assembly and State Senate passed the Impartial Justice Bill that creates a public financing option for Supreme Court elections. Senate Bill 40 passed the Senate with a vote of 19 to 13 and the Assembly with a vote of 51 to 42. Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) was the lead Assembly sponsor of this bill. The next step will be for this bill to go to Governor Doyle who has stated that he will sign this bill into law.

“I am extremely proud of my colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate for passing this important legislation,” said Rep. Hintz. “Our recent Supreme Court elections have highlighted the need to reduce the heavy influence of big money in Supreme Court campaigns. This is an important step in the right direction to help restore the impartiality of our state’s highest court.”

The need for reform is underscored by the rising costs of recent Supreme Court Elections in recent years. In 2007, $5.8 million was spent on the Supreme Court race. This was more than four times the amount that had ever been spent on a Supreme Court election in prior years. In 2008, that spending increased to nearly $6 million.

“Opponents of this legislation were quick to point out that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for politicians to run for office,” added Hintz. “But our Supreme Court Justices are not politicians, they are judges. They serve a very different role than politicians. It is crucial that we protect the integrity of the court system and maintain the public perception of an impartial judiciary.”

The Impartial Justice Bill (SB 40) changes Wisconsin ’s campaign finance law to create a public financing option for Supreme Court Justice candidates.

Some key components of the bill include:

· This bill creates the Democracy Trust Fund to finance elections for eligible candidates for the Office of Supreme Court Justice through a $2.00 checkoff option on your state tax state income tax form

· An eligible Supreme Court candidate would receive $100,000 in the spring primary and $300,000 for the spring election.

· This bill lowers the maximum allowable contribution from an individual to a candidate from $10,000 to $1,000 and a committee to a candidate from $8,625 to $1,000.

· Effective date: December 1st following the date of publication

Saturday, November 07, 2009

City should be more careful in doling out “citations”

In Friday’s mail I received a yellow invoice from the city for a sanitation violation at my rental property. The infraction: Recycling items sitting outside of the recycling cart. The charge was $25 and there was a $10 administrative fee attached to it making the total charge $35.00.

Curious about the infraction, I made a call to City Hall. The city staff person (Vicki) was very nice and explained that a blue bag of recyclable items had been placed outside of the blue bin while on the curb waiting for pick-up. She offered to send me a picture, which she did by email.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the photo and saw a picture, not of my property, but the house next door! I called her back and explained this was not my property and she said the guys (I assume those on the truck) wrote down my house number. The problem with this is there was some carelessness on the part of “the guys” because, as could clearly be seen in the photo, the house number is straight ahead of the blue cart and other trash cans. All they had to do was look up and, voila, there is the house number for that property. And there was no accidental transposing of any numbers, as one of my friends suggested to me, because the numbers aren’t that similar. But, all’s well that ends well. I was told to disregard the bill and the city is going to send me written confirmation that the bill was sent in error and to disregard it. I also assume the correct property owner will be billed for his or her tenants’ recycling snafu. But this incident moves me to offer the following suggestions.

(1) I realize everyone is human and mistakes happen. I also don’t think the city was being “sinister” in any way by sending out a notice and corresponding bill - though a warning notice at this still very early stage of the new recycling process might be more taxpayer-friendly. They were also very polite and helpful in getting the problem quickly corrected. But I would implore the city staff or whoever is writing down addresses of those properties not in compliance to exercise better care so as to not mistakenly charge another property owner in the future;

(2) When sending out violation notices and bills for same, the city should automatically include a photo with the bill. Otherwise someone might pay for something that should have been someone else’s responsibility; and,

(3) If the city doesn’t automatically send out a photo, I would highly recommend that anyone receiving a bill from the city for some kind of infraction or ordinance violation, call the department who sent out the notice and ask them to supply you with a photo. Otherwise you, too, may end up paying for someone else’s mistake.

Finally, to Vicki in the sanitation department, I thanked you on the phone, but want to publicly thank you again for getting this handled so quickly.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Governor Doyle Thanks Mercury Marine, Workers and Community for Pulling Together

FOND DU LAC – Governor Jim Doyle today recognized Mercury Marine Inc., its workers and the community for coming together to remain in Fond du Lac and announced the state incentive package. The Governor made the announcement at a press conference held today at the company’s headquarters in Fond du Lac .

“Mercury Marine is an iconic Wisconsin company that has provided jobs and investment for this area for more than 70 years,” Governor Doyle said. “Retaining the company and its nearly 2,000 jobs in these difficult times took hard work and cooperation. I want to recognize the City and County of Fond du Lac and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) for helping us further our partnership with the company.”

Throughout the company’s decision process, Governor Doyle encouraged continuing communication and was instrumental in getting the parties to undertake a second vote on the company’s proposal to the union.

“Governor Doyle was instrumental in the process of developing agreements that enabled Mercury to remain in Wisconsin ,” Mark Schwabero said. “Like many companies, Mercury has faced many difficult challenges during the economic downturn, and the governor’s insight, strength and commitment helped create solutions necessary for Mercury to continue operating in Wisconsin .”

“We are deeply grateful for the support and advice that Governor Doyle provided during the difficult negotiations last summer,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Grubseer. “He provided resolution at a time when many people thought there could be no resolution.”

The state incentive package totals $70 million through a combination of tax credits, grants and forgivable loans.

“Throughout this process, we had a strong, coordinated effort between state and local government and I want to thank Governor Doyle for his leadership,” Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel said. “In the end, we were all able to work effectively together to keep Mercury Marine in Wisconsin .”

The local incentive package includes $3.0 Million from the City of Fond du Lac . These funds will be provided to purchase land owned by Mercury Marine and/or in the form of forgivable loans and grants from the City of Fond du Lac and its agencies.

Up to $50 Million will be available in the form of a low-interest, performance-based, collateralized loans from Fond du Lac County with guarantees provided by both the City of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County . The loan proceeds are to be used for new engine development; the relocation of some of the Stillwater Oklahoma manufacturing positions to Fond du Lac ; and a retirement incentive payment to IAM workers.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Case Seeking to Strip Away Domestic Partnership Protections

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Fair Wisconsin.]

(Madison, Wisconsin November 4, 2009) —Today, Lambda Legal and Fair Wisconsin applaud the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to reject a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Family Action, an antigay group attempting to strip away newly enacted domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples and their families.

“We are pleased that the Court has rejected this challenge to an important law that was validly enacted to protect Wisconsin families,” said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. “Because of today’s ruling, Wisconsin’s same-sex couples and their families who depend on domestic partnership protections can take care of each other in times of illness and crisis. Even with the discriminatory amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage, the Wisconsin Constitution does not prevent enactment of laws that offer basic decency and security for couples. ”

Fair Wisconsin, the statewide LGBT advocacy group, along with national and regional allies, recently helped enact these important domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples. Fair Wisconsin, vigorous opponents of the 2006 amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, is defending the new domestic partnership law. Lambda Legal filed to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and its members to protect the few but fundamental protections granted to same-sex couples through the domestic partnership law. After reviewing the case, Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit.

“We are elated with this decision from the State Supreme Court,” says Executive Director Katie Belanger. “Over 15,000 same-sex couples in our state need the basic protections domestic partnerships provide.”


Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Fair Wisconsin, one of the state’s most respected advocacy groups, has a proud history in education, grassroots organizing, outreach, and political action in the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. With a statewide board of directors and a full-time staff, Fair Wisconsin is the only organization to represent the Badger state in the Equality Federation, the national alliance of state-based LGBT advocacy organizations.

To learn more, visit


[We have received the following press release from the Oshkosh Area School District and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

The Oshkosh Area School District Curriculum Department has compiled instructional lessons and resources for students in grades K‐12 to support learning in case of school closures. While not mandatory, the district encourages students to utilize these resources to continue their learning progression.

These are difficult and unusual times with the spread of the H1N1 Virus. In the event that a school closes, it is important for students to have the opportunity to continue to learn. Instructional activities are available for grades K‐12 in Literacy, Math, Science, and Social Studies. All lessons are available on the district website:

If a student/parent/guardian is unable to access these activities through the web, they may pick up a hard copy of lessons at the Oshkosh Area School District Central Administration Building, 215 S. Eagle Street, Oshkosh, WI, Monday‐Friday from 7:45 AM – 4:00PM.

*Please note at the current time all Oshkosh Area School District schools are open and not experiencing significantly high absence numbers. Parents, students and staff are doing an excellent job of keeping the illness out of our schools.

HELP SUPPORT THIS FUNDRAISER FOR THE 2010 IRISH FEST (2010 Oshkosh Irish Fest to be held at the Leach Amphitheater

[We have received this from the Oshkosh Parks Department and are happy to publish it on their behalf.]

Please join your friends from Oshkosh Irish Fest for Scythian in concert. This high-energy Celtic style band is sure to please. Guests will also enjoy a performance by Heritage Academy of Irish Dance. Thurs November 19, Oshkosh Convention Center 7:30 p.m. $6 advance online or $10 at the door. Purchase tickets at

This concert is brought to you in part by Dublin 's Irish Pub, Oshkosh 's newest Irish restaurant and pub located at 2070 W. 9th Avenue in Oshkosh .

Dublin's is open 11-close with a 45 item menu (everything under $7) Happy Hour 4-7 M-F $1 off all drinks and appetizers. 16 different beers on tap. Grand Opening November 13 & 14 - Live entertainment and Drink specials.

Each Scythian concert ticket will include a free drink coupon redeemable at Dublin 's!

Why Would Walker Want to End Children's BadgerCare Safety Net?

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of One Wisconsin Now.]

Madison -- Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's recent call for limits on critical BadgerCare health benefits for low-income or displaced workers and repeated criticism of state spending raises concerns he may favor cuts to BadgerCare programs that cover children and expectant mothers.

"Scott Walker's message is that the nationally-recognized BadgerCare health care program for children should be on the chopping block," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "BadgerCare is the most successful state health care access program in America, but praising it won't win County Executive Walker votes in a right-wing Republican primary for governor."

According to an interview on Madison television, Walker "a Republican candidate for governor, said he thinks BadgerCare has become an entitlement program, rather than temporary assistance." [Source: WISC-TV, 10/09/09]

According to statistics available at the State of Wisconsin's Department of Health Services website, 700,000 children and families receive aid through BadgerCare programs -- over 187,000 from Milwaukee County alone. As result of Gov. Jim Doyle's leadership, and over the objections of other conservative public officials like Walker, the number of children without health care access has dropped to from 110,000 in 2005 to nearly zero. Wisconsin is on the path to have 98% of its citizens covered -- among the highest percentage in the nation.

Walker has joined a majority of his fellow Republicans in the state capitol in Along with many Republican legislators, Walker is opposed the expanded access to health care for Wisconsin's children and families. Walker has repeatedly called for harsh cuts and was a prominent supporters of an unsuccessful effort to pass a disastrous "tax freeze" plan, which would have caused massive firing of teachers, firefighters and police officers in communities across Wisconsin.

As Milwaukee County Executive, Walker opposed the 2007-09 Wisconsin state budget which expanded health care access to cover all children and pregnant mothers. In a speech to a conservative pro-corporate tax loopholes organization Walker said, "If you're going to hold the line on taxes, the only way to do it is to hold the line on spending." [Green Bay Press-Gazette, 6/28/07]

Walker was also a vocal opponent of the 2009-11 Wisconsin state budget, which expanded health care access to 54,000 childless, low-income adults. In a controversial fundraising letter that touted his refusal to take federal Recovery Act Funds (a pledge he has backed-down on), he railed against the state budget and wrote, "The problem is an insatiable appetite for government spending." [Walker Fundraising Letter, 3/5/09]

BadgerCare programs assist not only children, but also pregnant mothers and childless adults, many of whom have jobs, but who do not receive employer-provided health insurance. BadgerCare Plus Core, which began in 2009, has been so popular that a waiting list is now in place. Low-income, childless adults earning less than 200% of the federal poverty line ($21,660 single, $29,140 for married couple) may be eligible under the plan.

"Scott Walker's inane plan to push people off of BadgerCare programs while they are still trying to find jobs in wake of the nation's economic collapse is only going to increase our long-term health care costs," said Ross. "But why would Scott Walker care? He's got a $120,000 a year salary, taxpayer-financed health care and a lovely house with a big pool to enjoy."

Walker inherited the successful Milwaukee County General Assistance Medical Program, which helped approximately 30,000 county residents not qualifying for Medicaid or could not afford private health insurance. GAMP was under threat from Walker and he proposed in 2005 to wipe funding out for it entirely. GAMP has been folded into the BadgerCare Core Plus program, where it is currently protected from Walker cuts. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/25/05]

                                                # # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Winnebago County Democratic Party: Organizing for America Health Care Forum, Other Events

[We have received the following information and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the Winnebago County Democratic Party.]

Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party,

Organizing for America Health Care Forum:

There will be a forum on health insurance reform with Organizing for America and local seniors, small business owners, physicians, and people without coverage. Tuesday evening, November 3rd, There will be a round-table discussion in Appleton to discuss the President's plan for health insurance reform.

Here are the details:

What: Health Reform Forum with Organizing for America
Where: Fox Valley Technical College
1825 N. Bluemound Drive - Appleton, WI 54914
When: Tues, November 3rd - 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
RSVP here:

UW-O Dems Sponsor ‘Comedy Against Evil’
Date: Thurs, Nov 5th – 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Reeve Union - Titan Underground
Jeff Kreisler's COMEDY AGAINST EVIL is THE forward-thinking, progressive political comedy tour.

A writer for Comedy Central's Indecision2008, Huffington Post, and the Independent Film Channel, winner of the Bill Hicks Spirit Award For Thought Provoking Comedy, cast member of Shoot The Messenger (from the creator of The Daily Show), executive editor of My Wall Street Journal, and author of Harper Collins' bestselling “Get Rich Cheating” and's Funny Money, Kreisler and friends dissect American politics and culture with passion, absurdity, and hope.

The public is welcome. More info here:

Canvass in Support of Russ Feingold
The UW-O Dems are also organizing a canvass for Sen Feingold:
Date: Sat, Nov 7th – 10:00am - 1:00pm
Location: Reeve Union SLIC, UW-Oshkosh Algoma Blvd

Russ now has 2 Republicans declared running against him. We can get a head start by knocking on doors now. Please give Russ a few hours if you have them available.

For more info, contact Nick Janis: 262.914.6934 or

Spring Candidate Informational Meeting
If you or someone you know is interested in running for a Spring Elected Office (School Board, County Board, City Council, Town Board) please have them come to our informational meeting before the November General Meeting.

When: Wed, Nov 11th – 6:00PM
Where: Delta Family Restaurant – 515 N Sawyer St, Oshkosh

We will go over a small presentation on running for office as well as have a question and answer session.
If you are interested in running for office, please contact me at anytime: or 920.203.6883.


Jef Hall
Chair, Winnebago County Democratic Party
2nd Vice Chair, Democratic Party of WI
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Jef Hall, Chair