A collection of recent letters to the editor published in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Lt. Gov. Barnes is fiscally irresponsible -- Nancy Wild
As lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes receives an annual salary of about $80,000 and is first in line to become governor should anything prevent Gov. Tony Evers from serving. This is an incredible responsibility and should require someone serving in this capacity to have a squeaky clean record.
Let's look at how Barnes stacks up. He's delinquent on property taxes on a condo by around $2,200. He's delinquent in the payment of traffic tickets, which he states he was unaware that he owed. And apparently he doesn't drive himself because the Wisconsin State Patrol has been his chauffeur.
Barnes is 32 years old and obviously has not developed a responsible fiscal system to manage his own life, yet he managed to ride Gov. Evers' coattails into office where he could possibly be put into a position to manage all of our lives. Who vetted him? Who had the responsibility of saying maybe he wasn't a good choice for his current position? The red flags were obvious, and the possible candidates were many. Why Barnes?
Maybe our new state motto should be, "Wake up, Wisconsin."
Nancy Wild, Columbus
Gerrymandering hurts state's image -- Barbara Widder
I have been a Wisconsin resident for more than 50 years, and I want to be counted in favor of nonpartisan redistricting.
It’s unfair to spend taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit that supports the status quo. That money should be spent on creating a fairer and more just way of electing those who should represent us. How do you convince those in power to see how shortsighted gerrymandering really is?
We have a state that needs more people, a larger tax base, and an economy that supports more than base wages for its residents. With our regressive policies, we push away millennials, creative people and industries that are planning for the future. When outsiders see how badly the power brokers want to stay in control, how does that show our state's progressive roots?
The people in power are "cutting off their nose to spite their face."
Barbara Widder, Madison
Join 60-mile march to the Capitol -- Sandy Whisler
From June 22-25, parents, grandparents, school board members, administrators, educators and local community members are participating in a Stand Up for Public Schools March from Palmyra to Madison.
Why are we marching? We’re marching because we believe all children deserve an equally excellent public education, and the education budget passed by the Joint Finance Committee does not begin to meet the needs of our students.
We’re marching 60 miles for 60% special education reimbursement so all kids in all schools can thrive. The current reimbursement rate for special education (25%) is one of the worst in the nation.
We’re marching because the increase in per-pupil spending in the 2019-20 budget is not a “historic investment.” The increase does not even keep pace with inflation.
We’re marching because the education budget has no increase in spending to help English language learners. We’re marching because we believe our public schools are the heart of our communities, and it’s our public responsibility to invest in them.
We’re marching because 860,000 Wisconsin students are counting on us.
You can learn more and register here: www.wisconsinnetwork.org/blog/march.
Please join us to walk or cheer on marchers as we lace up, stand up and speak up for Wisconsin children on our march to the state Capitol.
Sandy Whisler, Lake Mills
GOP values aren't millennial values -- Mark Quinn
In Saturday's State Journal, Wisconsin’s newly elected 41-year-old chairman of the state Republican Party, Andrew Hitt, wrote that somehow because of its new young leadership, young voters will drift to the conservative party.
Hitt mistakenly believes that young people will ignore the Republican Party’s "core beliefs and values" and support them now that he is at the helm. But by large margins young people reject the Republican Party’s main principles. These include: banning all abortions, ignoring man-induced global warming, securing little or no taxes from the wealthy and corporations, severe and possibly illegal gerrymandering, the rejection of the Medicaid expansion (which would potentially save Wisconsinites millions of dollars), and the refusal to properly fund our decaying roads, schools and university system.
All of these Republican Party principles have taken Wisconsin backward, benefiting only the few, the favored. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is now largely ruled by the minority views of the Republican Party. Gov. Tony Ever’s election is a breath of fresh air, but it is only a start.
While it’s true young voters will be a large voting block, the Republican Party will never capture their vote until the party reverses its "core beliefs and values."
Mark Quinn, Madison