Active McFarland: Exercising Democracy

From Sheila Plotkin -- The Racist in the Oval Office

Jan. 11, 2018

The racist in the Oval Office has revealed himself once again. We are fooling ourselves if we think he's hit bottom with this latest insult to the country he pretends to lead and to the world looking on in dismay and disgust. There is no bottom to his hatred of people of color nor any hope of one.

What will we do about it? We will chatter to one another as we often do. We may call our legislators as we should. We might write letters to editors; I recommend it. But, there is more.

     *I suggest we contact the League of Women Voters, and support their registration efforts with our money and
       our time.

     *I suggest we put signs on our lawns and in our windows that say, "He doesn't speak for me!"

     *I suggest we volunteer as election inspectors in our respective municipalities. The average age of WI election
       inspectors is 72. Younger people need to step forward.

     *I suggest we contact our local Indivisible group, join them, and work to retrieve our democracy before it
       disappears under the mountain of muck that the Republicans, for reasons of their own, have no wish to

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Don't do nothing.

Democratic Party Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

On Sun. Jan. 28, East Side Progressives will host a forum with the leading candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for governor. The event will be moderated by Assembly Rep. Melissa Sargent.

The forum will be held at La Follette High School (Rm. C-17), 702 Pflaum Rd. in Madison, from 6:30-8:30 pm.

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:

Matt Flynn:

Andy Gronik:

Mike McCabe:

Mahlon Mitchell:

Kelda Roys:

Paul Soglin (no campaign website is avaiable at this time)

Kathleen Vinehout:

Dana Wachs:

Candidates for the Judiciary

Active McFarland recommends the following judicial candidates for your consideration:

Dane County District Court (election Apr. 3)

Susan Crawford:

Marilyn Townsend:

Wisconsin Supreme Court (primary Feb. 20, election Apr. 3)

Tim Burns:

Rebecca Dallet:

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.

The McFarland Village Board has passed a resolution to put an advisory referendum on the April 3, 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.

The resolution that will be on the McFarland ballot reads: "Resolved that the United States Constitution be amended to establish that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech, by stating that only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights."

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.

From Sheila Plotkin -- Rep. Glenn Grothman's Town Hall

On Nov. 19, 2017, Congressional Representative Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah, 6th District) held a well-attended town hall in Two Rivers. I watched the entire video streamed live on Facebook by Robin Schmidt. Here's some of what he said: Voting is analogous to buying dangerous medications. Insurance for birth control and abortion is analogous to insurance for gas and an oil change. He voted for the GOP tax plan after only 2 weeks of study and no public hearings because his colleagues would have made fun of him if he'd voted "Present". Households making $75,000 or less will not have their taxes go up...unless they have very large medical expenses. Recent mass shootings are the fault of the military and inept government employees. The global warming predictions science made when he was in college never came true; therefore....

I encourage you to listen. Then, I hope you'll get involved in reclaiming our democracy in whatever way you can. 

From Robert Reich --- The Oligarchs

Dec. 6, 2017

Make no mistake. The oligarchs (Koch brothers, Mercers, Wilks, Waltons, Deasons, Schwabs, Neugebauers, Murdochs, Griffins, Ricketts, etc.) are now in charge of the U.S. government. The views of most Americans (75 percent of whom are against the tax cut, for example) no longer matter.

This was the oligarch’s deal with the devil (Trump) from the start: Get us a huge tax cut, use the resulting deficit to justify cutting Medicare and Social Security, and get rid of environmental and financial regulations. In return, we’ll finance you, we’ll back your allies in the GOP, and we’ll mount PR campaigns on your behalf that magnify your lies. Hell, we’ll even make you look like a populist.

Over half the money contributed in the 2016 came from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control. More than 50 of these people are on the Forbes list of America’s richest billionaires. 64 of them made their fortunes in finance (hedge fund and private equity). 17 in energy, mostly oil and gas. 15 in real estate and construction (the Trumps, for example). 10 in technology.

These American oligarchs don’t have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes. They don’t worry about climate change because they don’t live in homes that might succumb to hurricanes or wildfires. They don't care about public schools because their families don't attend them. They don't care about public transportation because they don't use it. Truth to tell, they don't even care that much about America, because their personal and financial interests are global.

They are living in their own separate society, and they want people who will represent them, not the rest of us.

The Republican Party is their vehicle. Fox News is their voice. Trump is their champion.

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.


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


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,

Assembly, District 47

Jimmy Anderson, 266-8570,

Dane County Executive

Joe Parisi, 266-4114,

Dane County Board of Supervisors, District 3

Patrick Miles, 886-9167,

Village of McFarland

Brad Czebotar, Village President, 838-9458,
Jerry Adrian, Trustee, 838-9868,
Stephanie Brassington, Trustee,
Carolyn Clow, Trustee,
Dan Kolk, Trustee, 838-7716,
Mary Pat Lytle, Trustee, 556-3991,
Shaun O'Hearn, Trustee,

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 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.