Green Lake County Democratic Party

Pro­mot­ing the Ideals of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and its Can­di­dates

 

Share Your Opinions

What are you think­ing? Turn those thoughts into opin­ion pieces you can share with oth­ers.  Con­sid­er what you write as an Op-Ed or Let­ter to the Edi­tor. In short, become a colum­nist for our web­site. There are, of course, some guide­lines for you to fol­low. Please care­ful­ly review them.

Pantsuit Politics: No Shouting, No Insults, Plenty of Nuance

 

On a recent Fri­day after­noon I attend­ed a Ripon Col­lege-spon­sored Women’s His­to­ry Month live pod­cast of “Pantsuit Pol­i­tics.” The two Ken­tucky women, Sarah Stew­art Hol­land  and Beth Sil­vers, who were wrap­ping up a full day of activ­i­ties at RC, are an amaz­ing breath of fresh air. The premise of their pod­casts and blog is that peo­ple who dis­agree can still have mean­ing­ful and and enrich­ing con­ver­sa­tions about things that are dif­fi­cult to talk about, espe­cial­ly when it comes to pol­i­tics. Sarah says she is from the “left,” and Beth says she is from the “right.” But the two are friends, close friends. They are extreme­ly artic­u­late, very bright, and reg­u­lar­ly inject appro­pri­ate humor into tough con­ver­sa­tions. They play off each oth­er well with one start­ing a sen­tence and the oth­er fin­ish­ing. Best of all, despite their dif­fer­ences, they don’t argue, scream at each oth­er, call each oth­er names, or insist that their posi­tion is the “right one.” They get along, famous­ly. They are also great role mod­els, and will help you appre­ci­ate how you too can mas­ter dif­fi­cult polit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tions.

Vis­it their web­site to get con­nect­ed to them.

Sub­mit­ted by Mal­colm McIn­tyre

Republicans deny you your 1st amendment rights

 

As of 2017, Wis­con­sin did not did not pro­vide for cit­i­zen ini­tia­tives or ref­er­en­dums; there­fore, all statewide bal­lot mea­sures are referred by the Wis­con­sin State Leg­is­la­ture. The state Leg­is­la­ture may send a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to the bal­lot for vot­er con­sid­er­a­tion if it received a major­i­ty vote of state leg­is­la­tors in each cham­ber over two suc­ces­sive leg­isla­tive ses­sions.

As refer­ring a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment requires a sim­ple major­i­ty vote over two suc­ces­sive ses­sions of the Wis­con­sin State Leg­is­la­ture, a polit­i­cal par­ty in con­trol of both cham­bers over two suc­ces­sive ses­sions can refer an amend­ment with­out any votes of the minor­i­ty par­ty. Repub­li­cans have con­trolled both cham­bers of the state leg­is­la­ture since 2011. Thanks to Bal­lot­pe­dia for this infor­ma­tion.

This Repub­li­can-passed leg­is­la­tion effec­tive­ly denies Wis­con­sin vot­ers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to exer­cise a right guar­an­teed by the Constitution’s First Amend­ment in the Bill of Rights, which specif­i­cal­ly pro­hibits Con­gress from abridg­ing ” … the right of the peo­ple … to peti­tion the Gov­ern­ment for a redress of griev­ances.”  What this means is that the Repub­li­can Par­ty of Joan Ball­weg, Glenn Groth­man, and Ron John­son wants to con­trol and deny you a fun­da­men­tal right. It also means that the Repub­li­cans are selec­tive when they cham­pi­on ele­ments of the Bill of Rights; if it sup­ports their posi­tions, they are all in, when it doesn’t they refuse to acknowl­edge it. Hypocric­i­ty at is finest for sure.

Learn more

Sub­mit­ted by Mal­colm McIn­tyre.

Republicans shift tax burden from ‘Big Box Retailers’ to residential property taxpayers


How does this make sense? Most munic­i­pal­i­ties rely heav­i­ly on tax­es paid by local busi­ness­es. If those busi­ness­es don’t pay their fair share, the bur­den falls on res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty own­ers like you and me.

But the GOP of Scott Walk­er has decid­ed that it is OK to base the assessed amount that big box retail­er like Wal­mart pay should not be for a ful­ly stocked store. Instead, the val­ue of that Wal­mart is deter­mined on just the build­ing itself, not the facil­i­ty and its con­tents.

In a recent press release,  Hintz wrote, “Repub­li­cans end­ed the 2017–18 leg­isla­tive ses­sion with­out clos­ing the ‘dark store’ loop­hole. Based on a Supreme Court deci­sion, big box retail­ers are allowed to base their tax assess­ments on their val­ue as a vacant store rather than a store in oper­a­tion.”

This so-called ‘Dark Store Loop­hole’ saves cor­po­rate retail­ers mil­lions of dol­lars and shifts the prop­er­ty tax bur­den to res­i­den­tial and small busi­ness tax­pay­ers,” wrote the Oshkosh Demo­c­rat.

“Let me be clear, fail­ing to take leg­isla­tive action on this issue is mak­ing a deci­sion,” said Hintz. “Assem­bly Repub­li­cans fail­ure to close this loop­hole is shame­ful. This is a green light for a grow­ing num­ber of retail­ers — large and small — to con­test their assess­ments. Con­tin­ued inac­tion results in lost rev­enue that will increas­ing­ly be made up by increased prop­er­ty tax­es on res­i­den­tial home­own­ers and small busi­ness­es.”

Despite hav­ing a major­i­ty of the Assem­bly as co-spon­sors of the Dark Store bill, Repub­li­cans refused to take up this impor­tant leg­is­la­tion. “Com­mu­ni­ties across the state asked us to fix this loop­hole. Local gov­ern­ments asked us for relief from cost­ly legal fights against well-fund­ed nation­al retail­ers. Instead, they will con­tin­ue to bear this expense. I have nev­er met a home­own­er who thinks they need to pay more in prop­er­ty tax­es so that a large nation­al retail­er can receive an unfair tax break.”

To cite just a few exam­ples of retail­ers using the dark store loop­hole to avoid pay­ing tax­es:  Using the Dark Store Loop­hole, Menards reduced the val­ue of its prop­er­ty in Fond du Lac, from $9.2 mil­lion to $5.2 mil­lion.  A CVS prop­er­ty in Apple­ton reduced the val­ue of its prop­er­ty from $4.4 mil­lion to $1.8 mil­lion. Local tax­pay­ers are now on the hook for a $350,000 refund.”

How does this make sense?

Sub­mit­ted by Mal­colm McIn­tyre