OPINION: Where is Glenn?

Jessica King hopes to unseat Glenn Grothman in the 6th Congressional District.


By Malcolm McIntyre

Last Thursday the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area attempted to host a candidate forum for 6th Congressional District Representative Glenn Grothman, the incumbent, and Jessica King, his opponent.

It did not happen.

Which was actually no surprise. Grothman, like many of his Republican cohorts, is not a fan of LWV candidate forums. He doesn’t consider the LWV, which is an officially recognized 501 c 4 nonprofit organization, sufficiently nonpartisan. Grothman thinks the organization has too many members who are not Republican. So he doesn’t participate in LWV events.

Which, of course, does a tremendous disservice to the voters of the 6th Congressional District.  His absence deprives voters of an opportunity to hear Grothman discuss issues which are of great interest to the voters. Thus, it leaves many voters, Republicans and Democrats alike, uninformed. 

6th District Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman

But perhaps the real reason Grothman and other Republicans refuse to participate in public forums is they can’t control or manage the process. Their idol, President Trump, loves to stage, and “stage” is the right word, “rallies” where only his supporters can attend. The entire event is tightly controlled and scripted. There are no awkward or difficult questions from the general public.

And this is what Grothman and his handlers want to avoid. The questions asked of candidates during the LWV candidate forums come from the general public. In fact, the LWV solicits and encourages questions from the general public. Yes, League members screen the questions and in some cases consolidate them if they are similar, but the only qualifier used in this process is all questions must be directed at each candidate. No questions are asked if only one of the candidates is able to answer.  Seems fair, doesn’t it?

But that is not enough for Grothman. In fact, he did not even accept the certified forum invitation letter sent to him by the League (King, his opponent, quickly accepted her invite). He of course knew that the League had scheduled the forum for King and himself, because it has been publicized in local media, but Grothman, as he has done in the past, thumbed his nose at the League and those voters seeking information from both candidates.

Why would he do that? Isn’t he seeking the votes of people within the 6th CD? Sadly, he is not. Because the district was gerrymandered in 2010 by his party, to ensure that it remain “safe” for Republicans, Grothman doesn’t need any votes outside of those who vote Republican. From his perspective, he can’t lose. So why risk being asked questions that might make him appear to be less informed and less responsive to the needs of all of his constituents.

His plan, and that of his advisors, is stay home, keep quiet, and earn a return to Washington. Is this the way a Democracy is supposed to function?



OPINION: Trump-Biden circus was a new low in American politics

By Malcolm McIntyre

What a colossal embarrassment!

Last night’s so-called “debate” between President Donald Trump and his opponent, Joe Biden, was, in the words of one commenter, a “s**t show.”

Well said (although I am of a generation that prefers not using such language).

Last night’s televised disaster was a disjointed, out-of-control, and utterly repulsive demonstration of the political depth to which we have sunk. 

This is the best we can offer the American people? 

It was also a sad low point in civil discourse, and perhaps the end of the tradition of having presidential candidate debates.

Trump, in his best impersonation of Benito Mussolini (for you younger folks who are not sure who he was, Google him), was pompous, argumentative, and childishly petulant. He was also crude, rude, and devoid of any humanity. He lacks empathy, character, and moral grounding.

And he lies, oh how he lies. His defenders try to counter that he is being sarcastic or that he exaggerates. Hogwash. He thrives on misinformation and inaccuracies. It is his shtick and it has worked well for him for decades. After all, he is the guy who used a pseudonym to call clueless newspapers in New York to brag about himself. He was and is his own PR flak. 

Last night he did himself no favors with his decision to become, once again, the schoolyard bully. In that role he attacked, ridiculed, belittled and insulted Joe Biden and Biden’s children. What Christian human does that? And why? 

Sadly, the answer is because it appeals to his base and because he is a Christian in name only (or when he clears out Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., for a photo op that convinced no one of his goodness and faith). 

Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden was not spectacular last night either. But he did not hurt himself with his performance, while Trump inflicted much damage in his attempt to gain four more years in the Oval Office.

Sitting there watching Trump’s televised meltdown, I was struck by two things: First, whereas once America was respected and valued as a leader, we now look like a country devoid of principled leadership. We were once the leaders of the free world and the champions of Democracy. No more. 

Second, how do we explain to our kids Trump’s behavior, when he seems to revel in the muck that he creates, and by extension, that is condoned by his supporters. He is the antithesis of everything we teach our children about values and norms. 

We don’t let our kids behave like Trump behaved last night. So voting him out of office is critical. Forget about policy issues. This is about character and Donald Trump lacks character, big time. 

If America is really going to be great again, we must dump Trump.

This is a personal opinion. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends or its members and friends.

Ripon College’s Center for Politics and the People hosts panel on the right to vote, women’s suffrage on Sept. 30

Speakers on the Right to Vote panel

2020 is the 100th anniversary year of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote, as well as the founding of the League of Women Voters by Ripon native Carrie Chapman Catt.

In celebration during this presidential election year, a panel discussion via Zoom webinar will be held from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Sept. 30, sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College and the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.

“The Right to Vote: Past, President and Future” will address the historical and contemporary importance of the struggle to expand and protect suffrage in the United States. Panelists will be:

  • Genevieve McBride, professor emerita of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and author of On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage
  • Deborah Turner, M.D., of Nebraska, the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States
  • Barry Burden, professor of political science, the Lyons Family Chair in Electoral Politics and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The moderator will be Ellen Sorensen ’00, a member of the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.

The webinar is free, but registration is requested at ripon.edu/right-to-vote.

(Photo, clockwise from top left: Deborah Turner, Genevieve McBride, Ellen Sorensen and Barry Burden)

Joe Fenrick, candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, headlines Oct. 3 Green Lake County Dems meeting

Fond du Lac’s Joe Fenrick, a Fond du Lac County Board Supervisor and a candidate for the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, is joining the Green Lake County Dems & Friends at its Saturday, Oct. 3, meeting in Green Lake.

Fenrick, a science teacher at Fond du Lac High School, has been a frequent visitor to the meetings when they were held at the Caestecker Public Library. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, meetings of the Green lake County Dems are now being held outdoors at W872 Leslie Ln, Green Lake.

The setting offers a small natural amphitheater which allows for social distancing. Attendees at the meeting, which is open to the public, are encouraged to wear masks or other suitable face coverings. Start time for the meeting is 10 a.m.

According to an article in the Fond du Lac Reporter, “In 2012-13, Fenrick was named Fond du Lac High School’s Teacher of the Year, and has served on the district’s equity and excellence committee which he chaired, the literacy committee, the special education delivery committee, and the COVID-19 team, tasked with opening the district’s schools.

In the spring of 2016, Fenrick was nominated for a Student Choice in Teaching Excellence Award at UW-Oshkosh. He also helped form a partnership between Fond du Lac High School and UW-Oshkosh that provides high school students with the opportunity to work with professors as research lab assistants.”

You can learn more about Fenrick and his candidacy at his web site. 

The election for state superintendent is April 6. 2021 If more than two candidates collect enough signatures to be on the ballot, a primary will be held Feb. 16.  Currently there are two other announced candidates for the position.

OPINION: Why he can’t vote for Trump; the Bible tells him so



A former Evangelical pastor–for more than 20 years–Chris Kratzer, writes to expose the hypocrisy of Donald Trump and those who have bought into his false claims. It is a powerful, annotated, examination from someone who knows of what he writes.

This is something that if you can, you need to share with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Keeping it to yourself may be safe, but it doesn’t do us any good if it is not shared with those who have succumbed to Trump’s blatant appeal to millions of people he has lied to and mislead, all in the name of political power.

Read the full article. It is long, so stay with it. It is enlightening and encouraging. And then share.

Thanks to Chris Knight for alerting us to this important blog post.



Economic relief options outlined by Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Evers; feel free to share this information

Read the official, unedited announcement from Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandel Barnes about the various forms of economic relief available to Wisconsin residents during the pandemic


My Fellow Wisconsinites, 

On behalf of the people of Wisconsin, Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. Our state is continuing to both heal from recent events in Kenosha and to grapple with challenges surrounding racial equity. Keeping these significant challenges in mind, and remembering your previous correspondence, we would like to provide you with up-to-date and accurate information regarding financial assistance and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As of September 21, more than 100,000 Wisconsin residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 1,200 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19. Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I would both like to extend our deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19. We are both thinking of you and holding you in our hearts, just as Wisconsinites grieve with you. Please know that our administration will continue to do everything it can to contain and slow the spread of this virus.  

Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I recognize that many Wisconsinites continue to struggle financially during the pandemic. We want to inform you of the following forms of economic relief.  

First, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order halting residential evictions. Protection under this order is not automatic, and we encourage you to read more about how to qualify for this order here. Notably, the order does not change a tenant’s responsibility to pay rent.  

In addition to the financial resources above, we have included a more comprehensive list here:  

  1. If you are struggling to make utility payments, you may find it useful to know that the Public Service Commission (PSC) recently voted to further extend its moratorium on utility residential customer disconnections and refusal of service for nonpayment until November 1. 
  2. If you are struggling to pay for groceries, you may qualify for the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) FoodShare program.  
  3. If you are struggling to afford health insurance, you may be eligible for one or more programs offered through the Department of Health Services or the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
  4. If you are struggling to pay your rent, you may be eligible for the Department of Administration’s Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program.  
  5. If you are a low-income parent or are pregnant and low income, you may be interested in the programs available through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. 
  6. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) funds, you are not eligible under state law to also receive UI, but you may be eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). We encourage you to apply online for PUA. Our administration is also advocating for the state legislature to change state law to ensure SSDI recipients can qualify for UI in the future. 
  7. If you are currently unemployed, you may find it useful to know that the federal government recently approved Wisconsin’s application to receive funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. While we are grateful to be able to provide an additional $300 to eligible claimants, the Trump administration’s LWA program is a stopgap measure that fails to meet the needs of many Wisconsinites. We encourage you to contact your congressional representatives and senators at the federal level in support of further action on unemployment benefits. 
  8. For more general resources, please see the following list available under the 211 program. You can also call 2-1-1 to be connected to resources over the phone.  
  9. You can always complete the “Request for Assistance” form on my official website. This will connect you with a caseworker within our office.  

Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I also understand many Wisconsinites are concerned about the school year. Although decisions about the current school year are up to each local district, our administration will continue to work with the Department of Public Instruction to support schools during the public health emergency.   

In addition to the more than $46 million in financial assistance we announced over the summer for K-12 schools, our administration also recently announced an additional $30 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to support early care and education providers.  

Our early care educators stepped up in a big way for Wisconsin families – and their kids – to help keep our state’s economy strong and our families safe during the pandemic. Frankly, our state needs them now more than ever. These funds are a recognition of the vital role they play in our communities.  

Finally, we would like to remind folks that the election on November 3 is steadily approaching. We encourage everyone to request an absentee ballot as early as possible to avoid a large number of last minute requests. The Wisconsin Elections Commission website has a comprehensive list of deadlines relating to voting in the upcoming election.  

Thank you for contacting our office to share your concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. If we can be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to respond to this email.  







Tony Evers






Mandela Barnes
Lieutenant Governor


P.O. Box 7863
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: 608-266-1212


P.O. Box 2043
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: 608-266-3516





Gov. Evers extends mask mandate through Nov. 21

Gov. Tony Evers has issued a new statewide mask mandate in Wisconsin, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases across the state. 

The new order goes into effect immediately and will last until Nov. 21. It overlaps with a previous statewide mask order that was set to expire Monday. It is accompanied by a new public health emergency declaration in Wisconsin, the governor’s third public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic since March. 

“We continue to learn more about this virus, but what we do know is that we are facing a new and dangerous phase of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Wisconsin,” Evers said in a prepared statement. “We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus.”

Evers urged “folks to start taking this seriously…young people especially.”

Read full article from NPR

Worth reading article on the battle for control of the Wisconsin State Legislature

Assembly Minority leader Gordon Hintz, Oshkosh, was the master of ceremonies at the Valley Victory Heritage Dinner.

Here is a fascinating look at how the Dems and the Republicans are looking at the battle for the Wisconsin State Senate and the State Assembly.

Remember, in 2018, Dems won more votes in total for the various Assembly seats, yet the Republicans won 66 of the 99 seats. No wonder the GOP is so opposed to a nonpartisan redistricting panel or commission. 

Also, the GOP is hoping to pick up three more Senate seats, which would then give them the ability to override any vetoes coming from Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat.

View the article from the Wisconsin Examiner.

Thanks to Art Baseler for sharing this with us.

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