Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get well soon!

As was published in the Oshkosh Northwestern, 54th Assembly Rep. Gordon Hintz has been hospitalized. Get well soon Gordon, the Labor Chicks miss you!

Hope it is wasn't the chili on Sunday!


More on the forum--guest blogger!

Below are some comments from one of our union brothers. I apologize, I have done some editing to avoid to much controversy, but, I think you still get the drift of the misinformation being given out by Mark Reiff candidate in the 54th Assembly race.... my comments are in RED


Mark Reiff proposes to help solve the energy issue by lifting the moratorium on new nuclear plants in Wisconsin. He proposed new generation plants, and if the nuclear waste is an issue had the following suggestion....

northern Wisconsin to be a nuclear dumping site (for the benefit of 9 billion dollars of federal funding flowing into it). ...

As far as Reiff's wrong assertion on 400 excess COs working in the Department Of Corrections with nothing to do

I cornered him after the debate and took him in the back and quizzed him where he had gotten the information he was fronting Hintz on. Reiff stated that he had been "invited"/ "walked in" to a Guards Union Meeting and at that meeting..... He started stuttering at this point and became hesitant; profusely explaining that he, IN NO WAY, was calling for cuts of employees (in the Prisons) if they were not needed... I pressed him on the meeting and information he supposedly received. Reiff stated that at this meeting he was told by the "Guards" that were there that the DOC was over staffed to the tune of 400 security employees and they had nothing to do...

I told Reiff... OK now I am going to set you straight... The DOC (as Gordon had told him in the debate) had received hiring authority for 150 some positions... 50 some of those positions were to make corrections "whole" due to the refusal to rid the DOC of mid management positions and the other 100 were for, among other things, the abatement of Overtime. Reiff started nodding eagerly and started snuddering about how yeah mandatory overtime was a bad thing. I told him further that it is almost certain that the DOC has in fact hired positions above and beyond this position authority to cover expected retirements and purposed expansions...I also told him that these efforts have generally reduced overtime across the board and (for the most part) across the state.,,,, Anyway I told him that if he continued to run around the district and tell people that the DOC had 400 some COs working with out anything to do he was headed for deep trouble... He again started spitting and stuttering about he has no interest in cutting needed security positions.

I finished by telling him that if he needed to fact check himself he should contact (Marty) Beil or he could contact Raimmish who is a dam Republican anyway LOL.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Randy Hopper---get the facts

Last night, the Chicks went to the local political version of the Superbowl, the Oshkosh League of Women Voters Forum. This is always a great event, giving candidates and the community the chance to hear from the candidates in an hour long interaction. The forums last night were for the 53rd Assembly, 54th Assembly and 18th Senate races. We're going to concentrate on the 18th Senate right now.

The is the second forum where Randy Hopper, the Republican candidate for the open 18th Senate district referred to Legislative Sick Leave benefits, his desire to eliminate them and the "cash" payouts. He also discussed this at Oshkosh Northwestern "Under the Dome" forum several weeks ago. At that one, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, with him not being a State Employee, the benefit is confusing. State Employees, including Legislators, Judges and all elected officials have the opportunity to accumulate sick leave. At retirement, whatever is accumulated is converted to a cash amount that is put toward health insurance. No one sees the cash--NO CASH RANDY! The majority of State Employees have to account for their time, and are required to report to someone when they are using sick leave. This is also accounted in some way, shape or form to payroll departments. Because of the nature of the legislature, they do not report when using sick time, and as result, many have accumulated large amounts of sick leave, especially those who have had a long tenure. Illnesses and hospitalizations have been reported, but, no sick leave used. So, there is some question about this benefit for elected officials. It should be added that the Republicans have enjoyed the benefit in the past just like Democrats. In fact, the benefit was created during Tommy Thompson's tenure as Governor.

Randy Hopper brought the issue up again last night. I thought it was time to correct him. After the forum, I introduced myself and told him where I worked. I asked him how he understood the benefit to work. He proceeded to tell me how Shirley Abramson and long term legislators have all this sick time built up. I told him that I understand the benefit, but, that he had some parts of it wrong, ie., NO CASH PAYOUT RANDY! I told him that it works the same for all state employees. Instead of letting me explain it, he asked me if I would agree with anything he said, then said that it was late and he wanted to go spend time with his family. His "handlers" immediately swarmed around him and he snottily walked off.


If I wasn't fired up about this race before I am now. I guess I'm wondering if this is how Mr. Hopper intends to treat constituents should he, God forbid get elected. When someone talks to him about issues and they don't agree, perhaps he will kick them out of his office like a former State Representative did. Randy, here are some facts-- there are at least 2100 State Employees in the 18th Senate District. You will have to talk to us. And regarding your snotty behavior last night, at least 4 of them saw it.

Randy, it's time to take off the blinders and get some information outside of your carefully crafted Republican script. A State Senator needs to think on his feet, not expect handlers and staffers to take care of doing the work. Too many of your answers are either vague, scripted or you don't know, but I'll get to it with an answer on my web page. So is that answer posted on your web page really from you, or a staff person?

Also, legislator hours aren't very regular and you may have to spend long hours down in Madison. If you don't want to deal with an issue, are you just going to leave because its late?

This sure doesn't sound like a legislator I want to deal with and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure Jess King gets elected for State Senate in the 18th Senate.