Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winnebago County Labor Council-Spring 2008 Endorsements

At the Winnebago County Labor Council meeting last night, the following endorsements were made for the Spring General Election on April 1.

Wisconsin Supreme Court
Louis Butler (former AFSCME member)

District 2 Court of Appeals
Lisa Neubauer

Winnebago County Board
District 14
No endorsement

District 15
Travis Swanson

District 18
Bill Wingren

Oshkosh School Board
John Lemberger
J. Thomas McDermott

Recommendations for local offices were based on responses to questionaires sent out earlier this year. Endorsements of other candidates was based on information received from the campaigns.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Working at the Polls

Well, LC2 has been down with a cold and busy just keeping up with shoveling snow and getting through this "old fashioned Wisconsin winter". I wanted to share the joys of working at a voting poll on Feb. 19.

It's a long day, you get there at 6am (well, after dealing with the overnight snow and putting the garbage out, it was more like 6:15 for me). We had to rush to set things up because the location of our poll within the building was changed. So, we had to move tables and figure out a configuration before we could set up the voting stations, including the TSX touch screen. Our poll chair has generally let me take care of that, and it has been interesting, since I realize after setting it up and shutting it down, that there isn't any weird stuff going on, at least at our polling place. My feeling is our chair, a pretty conservative guy, figures he'll have the liberal chick take care of that, and no one will question our results. OK, that's cool strategy.

The polls open at 7am and we had folks waiting. The day was pretty constant, there weren't a lot of lolls in the voting as we've had in the past. My only break away was to go on a run to Starbucks to get coffee for a couple of us. Other than that, we all pretty much ate lunch and worked (we do a pot luck at our poll, I made chili, which was perfect for the cold day). There were a lot of registrations and we all rotated jobs this time to get experience at everything.

Our location did have over 1000 voters between both wards, which I thought was good. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to close things out after the voting. As a poll worker, we have to go through the optical scan ballots to look for write ins. Folks, if you're reading this, if you want to do a write in on a ballot, please do it on the Touch Screen electronic station, which records it and prints it out at the end, making it really simple for the poll workers. Having to go through every paper ballot is really tedious and just opens the possibility of error handling all those ballots. If you want to vote for Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse, please use the Touch Screen.

Every ballot has to be accounted for, used or unused. We had major problems with folks on the paper ballots voting for two president, one in each party. Folks also voted for too many candidates in the school board primary. Obviously folks don't read the ballots or listen to our instructions. Of course, if you vote for to many, your ballot is rejected in the Op. scan and we have to issue you a new ballot. That involves recording the voter number, time, etc. in order to account for the destroyed ballot (the voter rips it up and throws it away).

The day ended about 9:30pm for the workers. The chair has to deliver the equipment and results and ballots to the City Clerk's office. I'm sure that's not a quick process.

I'll be doing 2 more elections this year, but, decided because of my campaign work, that it wouldn't be appropriate for me to work at the November election.

BTW, WSEU members, if you're interested in working at the polls, we have contract language that allows us to be away from work to do that and not have to use vacation. It works very similar to jury duty. Check your contract or with your local reps. if you're interested and then contact your City Clerk!

Oh ya, the best part of the day Obama won!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oshkosh is gonna be jumping on Friday

Wow, Oshkosh must be living right. On Friday we will be graced with two Presidential candidates. That should drive local law enforcement crazy. John McCain will be appearing at EAA and possibly Oshkosh Corp (they recently dropped the "truck" part). Wonder how the UAW folks there feel about that visit. Whoopee! Although UAW isn't endorsing until after the primaries. Smart move in a way.

Even more exciting is that Barack Obama is going to be on the UW Oshkosh campus in the afternoon. I've had a gut feeling since last week that we'd be seeing him in town. I probably won't attend,I'll either be at the SEPAC meeting, or home dealing with this @#$! cold that I came down with yesterday. Even if I was here and healthy, I probably wouldn't go. I've seen Obama twice, ALA and also at the AFSCME convention in 2006. Saw both Hillary and Obama there. I would love to just people watch folks going in and coming out, the campus kids are going to be so pumped for this! I've asked someone who is going to give a full report, she's already pumped for it. The other reason I wouldn't go is the fact that I voted yesterday. It's a done deal. Since I'll be working at the polls on Tuesday, I usually vote after our training session. The City Clerk is expecting pretty good crowds. We'll see.

Needless to say, LC1's discussion on shooting the bull with Caroline Kennedy a few years ago did indeed influence my decision. Hey, she's only a month younger than me! Another rockin' 50 year old!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Don't ask, don't tell

It's no secret our union, AFSCME is supporting Hillary Clinton. I just can't support her, because I don't think she can win. I know that sounds fickle and I am very excited that a woman is finally being taken seriously as a presidential candidate, but why oh why does it have to be Hillary? The Republicans are rumored to be secretly funneling money into her campaign.

I have heard Barack Obama speak at the American Library Association convention when it was in Chicago a few years ago. He is a fantastic speaker. I think he'll do a really good job. The clincher for me was when Caroline Kennedy endorsed Mr. Obama. My mother told me that when I was a little girl (I'm dating myself, I know) and they talked about or showed her on television, I would stop whatever I was doing and watch her in fascination. A couple years ago when LC2 and I were helping with Gordon Hintz's campaign (it was also a presidential year), Caroline Kennedy was speaking at the UAW Labor Hall in Oshkosh in support of John Kerry. Well, we were making phone calls for Gordon in one of the rooms there, and, long story short, we had a very nice chat with Caroline Kennedy. It was surreal, to be sure. Anyhow, I am supporting Barack Obama. Sorry AFSCME, I can't go with you blindly on this one.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Countdown to the Primary

The machines of the Democratic candidates are moving into the state to coordinate activities leading up to the Primary on February 19. It appears things might be heating up (political, not temperature). I'd love to really see the national media have to come here and freeze their "arses" to cover things. Everytime they talk about upcoming primaries, they glance over Wisconsin. I think they really would like to avoid being here and would rather stay in those warm "southern teir" states.

Anyhow, here is what we know....

AFSCME is setting up an office in Appleton to coordinate their activities in support of Hillary Clinton and local races that are having primaries. If you're an AFSCME member and interested in working, you can contact the AFSCME International office in Madison 608-836-6666 (that's not a joke--it's the real number) for details.

Ran into folks who are setting up operations for the Obama campaign this morning. There will be an office in downtown Oshkosh and the promise of "a lot of activity". Hmmm....that sounds interesting.

We'll keep you updated!