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Active McFarland: Exercising Democracy

December Meeting of Democratic Party of Dane County

The next monthly meeting of the Democratic Party of Dane County will be held on Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm.

Gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers will be the featured speaker. Other candidates will speak at future meetings.

The meeting takes place at the Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St., Madison.

McFarland United to Amend

Our nation was founded on the principle that “We, the People” are to govern ourselves as a democratic republic.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted constitutional rights meant only for individuals to artificial entities such as corporations, unions, nonprofits and super PACs, and has ruled that money spent to influence the political process cannot be limited. As a result, our government today mainly serves powerful moneyed interests instead of the American people.

Last April 2017, the McFarland Village Board passed a resolution to put an advisory referendum on the April 2018 ballot to endorse an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would limit the rights protected under the Constitution to human beings, stipulate that money is not speech, and permit reasonable regulation of spending on political campaigns.

Currently, about 750 communities across the country and 115 in Wisconsin have passed such a resolution.

In the upcoming weeks, McFarland United To Amend will be involved in efforts to educate McFarland residents about the importance of this issue. You can also learn more by checking out the website of Wisconsin United to Amend.

Democratic Party Candidates for Governor

The 2018 campaign for Governor in the state of Wisconsin is now underway. Below are links to the websites of the leading candidates for the Democratic Party nomination. Active McFarland encourages you to become informed about these candidates so you can make a wise decision when it's time to exercise your vote. Some of you may even want to volunteer for one of these campaigns.

Tony Evers:  https://tonyevers.com

Matt Flynn:  http://forwardwithflynn.com

Andy Gronik:  https://andygronik.com

Mike McCabe:  http://www.governorbluejeans.com

Mahlon Mitchell:  https://mahlonmitchell.com

Kathleen Vinehout:  http://www.kathleenvinehout.org

Dana Wachs:  https://www.danawachs.com

From Ron Berger --- How Many Is Enough?

The Cap Times, Nov. 16, 2017

Dear Editor:

The field of candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for governor is crowded, I would say overcrowded. Some say, “the more the merrier,” but at some point too many candidates become counterproductive. I don’t know what the ideal number is, but in my view more than five or six means that the value of candidate forums will be undermined, as participants will have little time to explain their views or respond to audience questions.

Hopefully by the time we get to late spring, when candidates will file to get on the ballot, some of them will have dropped out. Eventually we will have polling that will give us a sense of who is viable and who is not. Those in the latter group who stay in the race will be perceived as in it for their own egos or name recognition, or a particular issue that they want “air time” to promote.

Another way some people will judge the viability of candidates is how much money they are able to raise. This is a criteria I am leery of, however. None of the Democratic candidates will be able to raise as much money as Scott Walker, whose coffers (and those of his allied super PACs) will be filled by right-wing, out-of-state donors. What we should look for among Democrats are indications of the on-the-ground support among rank-and-file volunteers who are willing to spend the countless hours needed to promote the candidacy of their preferred choice.

Our Wisconsin Revolution

Our Wisconsin Revolution is an independent, statewide, membership-driven, democratic-populist political organization that aims to take Wisconsin government back from corporate elites and make it of, by, and for the people.

For more information about OWR and a chapter near you, click here: Our Wisconsin Revolution

The Indivisible Guide

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda was developed by former Congressional staffers to share best practices for making Congress listen.

For more information about Indivisible, click here: Indivisible

For information about the Madison branch, click here: Indivisible Madison

Phone Numbers for Wisconsin’s Congressional Representatives

Call your members of Congress and let them know what you think about proposed federal legislation. Your phone calls matter.

House

District 1:  Paul Ryan (R), 202-225-3031
District 2:  Mark Pocan (D), 202-225-2906
District 3:  Ron Kind (D), 202-225-5506
District 4:  Gwen Moore (D), 202-225-4572
District 5:  James Sensenbrenner (R), 202-225-5101
District 6:  Glenn Grothman (R), 202-225-2476
District 7:  Sean Duffy (R), 202-225-3365
District 8:  Mike Gallagher (R), 202-225-5665

Senate

Tammy Baldwin (D), 202-224-5653
Ron Johnson (R), 202-224-5323

Contact Information for State, County, and Village Representatives

State Senate, District 3

Mark Miller, 266-9170, Sen.Miller@legis.wi.gov

Assembly, District 47

Jimmy Anderson, 266-8570, Rep.Anderson@legis.wiconsin.gov

Dane County Executive

Joe Parisi, 266-4114, parisi@countyofdane.com

Dane County Board of Supervisors, District 3

Patrick Miles, 886-9167, miles@countyofdane.com

Village of McFarland

Brad Czebotar, Village President, 838-9458, brad.czebotar@mcfarland.wi.us
Jerry Adrian, Trustee, 838-9868, jerry.adrian@mcfarland.wi.us
Stephanie Brassington, Trustee, stephanie.brassington@mcfarland.wi.us
Carolyn Clow, Trustee, carolyn.clow@mcfarland.wi.us
Dan Kolk, Trustee, 838-7716, dan.kolk@mcfarland.wi.us
Mary Pat Lytle, Trustee, 556-3991, marypat.lytle@mcfarland.wi.us
Shaun O'Hearn, Trustee, shaun.ohearn@mcfarland.wi.us

Listen to Your Grandmothers

We invite you to check out the Raging Grannies' new book, Listen to Your Grandmothers, which includes essays by Active McFarland member Sheila Plotkin and a host of other grannies: Raging Grannies Sing for Peace, Social Justice, Public Education, and Environmental Protection

A Clarion Call for Peace, Hope, and Inclusion

Active McFarland members Dawn and Art Shegonee, founders of the Call for Peace Drum & Dance Company, invite you to view this 4-minute video, a clarion call for peace, hope, and inclusion: “Dancing the Dream: A New Hope for Humanity.”

For more information about Call for Peace, click here: Call for Peace Drum & Dance Company

Dawn and Art also invite you to check out their “A New People” website, “an educational resource of hope and discovery” for people involved in “transformative movements” of social, cultural, and political change: A New People

Patrick Miles Sponsors Dane County Renewable Energy Resolution

A renewable energy resolution sponsored by Dane County Supervisor and Active McFarland member Patrick Miles was approved by the County Board on July 13, 2017. The resolution aims to make all the power that runs Dane County government reliant on renewable energy sources by 2035.

Congratulations to Patrick for taking the leadership role on this important issue. Here is a link to an article written by Patrick that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.

From Sheila Plotkin --- Donald Trump a catalyst for an avalanche of hate

The Cap Times, Feb. 7, 2017

Dear Editor:

One step on a slippery slope dislodges a small cascade of stones and mud. The minority president banned some Muslims from entering the country. A mosque in Texas was set ablaze and burned to the ground. His statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews. More than 20 Jewish centers across the country received bomb threats during the past week, including in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. All were evacuated. The FBI has been called in.

The intellectual responsibility for these terrorist acts belongs to the minority president and his closest advisers. They have given perpetrators tacit permission to act. Criminals now have the unofficial blessing of those in power. Defensive Republican members of Congress wrap themselves in the flag or remain silent. Republicans are now accomplices in domestic terrorism. The minority president has created a scenario wherein hate crimes are patriotic. This is no longer a small cascade. It is an avalanche.

From Robert Reich --- Signs of Authoritarianism

Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Actions from Ordinary People, Jan. 29, 2017

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1. Exaggerate their mandate to govern -- claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the  popular vote.
2. Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.
3. Call anyone who opposes them "enemies."
4. Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them "deceitful" and "scum."
5. Hold few press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.
6. Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants' goals.
7. Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.
8. Attribute acts of domestic violence to "enemies within," and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.
9. Threaten mass deportations, registries of a religious minority, and the banning of refugees with particular religious beliefs.
10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.
11. Appoint family members to high positions of authority and power.
12. Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.
13. Put generals into top civilian posts.
14. Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.
15. Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.These warning signs should be of concern to everyone, regardless of political party. In fact, historically, conservatives have been especially vigilant against potential threats to our constitutional rights.All Americans must join together to protect American democracy against tyranny.

Consider yourself warned.