Vol. 5    No. 22
November 4, 2010

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

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      I have to admit that I have been in a major league funk this week since the results of the November 4
election became known, confirming my deep-seated fears of what was about to happen with the election.
Late Tuesday night, I kept repeating to myself ‘Say it isn’t so.’ But it is. And I’m going to have to pull myself out
of this funk as soon as I have time to let the feelings pass by.
      I particularly mourn the loss of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. I am proud of the fact that I voted for Russ for
every election in which he ran for U.S. Senator. I think I even sent him money during the Democratic primary
back in 1992 when he ran successfully as an alternative to the Democratic front-runners and pulled off an
upset. And then he went on to beat Bob Kasten for the U.S. Senate seat.
      I thought Russ Feingold would stay in that senate seat until he decided to retire, not because he was
entitled to the seat, but because he continuously earned the right to occupy the seat. I felt especially proud
when Russ was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act that was the first stop in a runaway train
bent on depriving us of our liberties.
      I thought that Russ Feingold would evolve into a modern day Bill Proxmire who would have to raise little
cash and spend most of the campaign hanging out at Miller Park — or in Russ’ case hold town hall meetings
in all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties — because Russ was such a principled senator and people respected him
for it, no matter what their political bent. But I was wrong.
      It is ironic that Russ Feingold — the independent senator who was not afraid to take a lonely vote — was
voted out of office during an emotional — and not rational — anti-incumbent election cycle. And it almost
seems like Russ was a soothsayer to have worked so hard on getting campaign finance reform legislation
approved by Congress and signed by President Bush only to lose an election to a challenger who spent
upwards of $15 million on his own campaign.
      It is going to be quite interesting to see what Ron Johnson, the man who beat Russ Feingold, will do once
he gets to Washington, D.C. About the only indicator we have is that he made his debut as a candidate at a
Tea Party rally in Madison earlier this year. He refused to say what his positions were on the issues, feeling
that the details might get in the way of his election. I’m not sure what he stands on anything. I wish I knew.
And I feel come January, we will begin to know exactly where he is coming from and what he will do. Then I
wonder how many independents who voted for him or the Democrats who stayed home and didn’t vote will
be saying ‘If only I had known.’
      And I hear that newly-elected Governor Scott Walker has plans to chop down the size of state
government while giving more tax breaks to corporations. It is funny how things never seem to be the way
that they appear. With lower taxes and the subsidies that they receive through TIF, Commerce grants and
other cash outlays, I wonder how many corporations will end up receiving net income from state government.
      And I know that slashing state government is always a catchy thing to say during a campaign season.
Everyone has a stereotype of what a slothful state employee looks like and acts. People have visions of
state government employees acting like welfare recipients, living on their largess. But people don’t always
remember that it is the state employees who keep the trains running on time for so many vital services that
we receive. I would guess that most of the people who have a negative attitude toward state employees
think positively about the state employee who provides them a service. They issue our unemployment
checks and build our roads. They make sure our buildings don’t collapse and keep tabs on the thousands of
people who are on probation and parole. They make sure that epidemics don’t swiftly spread through our
communities. And they conduct research — university professors are state employees — that contributes to
the economic well-being of our state.
      When the budget cuts start coming down the pike and our public schools start laying off teachers — state
funds do pay for local teachers — and services start getting delayed, people should realize that they are
getting what they voted for. Unless you are well off, no one's cow is sacred.
      Let the buyer beware!
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                             The Aftermath