News – February 4, 2011

Demonstrators Converge On Juneau


3/4/11 – Protestors continue to make their voices heard at the State Capitol and in communities around Wisconsin. Around 200 people circled the Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau late yesterday afternoon as part of ongoing efforts to voice their opposition to the governors plan to restrict collective bargaining rights for many public unions. Dave Edwards, a retired state worker from Beaver Dam, says the governor is simply looking to bust unions and take away worker rights.  Jim Cavanaugh is the President of the South Central Federation of Labor, a 97-union labor organization representing more than 45,000 workers. Cavanaugh says people are flocking to Madison because it is a national fight and the home grown demonstrations in small communities are made up of local people questioning why the budget needs to be balanced on the backs of teachers, nurses and snowplow drivers. Lee Gierke is with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40, which includes seven unions representing Dodge County employees. The County Board will consider approval of a one year contract with them next week and Gierke says ratification is important because of all the uncertainty in Madison. He says both employers and employees would benefit from a smooth transition without a sudden influx of retirements. AMSCME member Janice Bobholz  of the Town of Beaver Dam appeared on MSNBC last month and will be going to Washington D.C. next week to testify at a Congressional Hearing on Capitol Hill. Bobholz says she will tell Congress about the hard working people of Wisconsin, union and non-union, and their basic right to collective bargaining.


Democrats Ignore Contempt Threat


3/4/11 – State Senate democrats are not backing down even after a 4pm deadline was imposed for them to return to back the capitol or risk contempt of the chamber. Wisconsin’s Republican Senate majority has ordered the 14 absent Democrats. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says democracy cannot be held hostage just because the minority wants to prove a point. The Senate Democrats have been away from the Capitol for two weeks to block a vote on the governor’s budget repair bill, which would virtually end the collective bargaining powers of most public unions. Fitzgerald says the action allows the Sergeant-at-Arms to do what’s necessary to get the Democrats, by using warrants and other legal methods including force. Minority Leader Mark Miller has issued a statement saying “These latest tactics by Senator Fitzgerald are just not productive in moving the state forward.  Miller says he agrees with the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association that threatening to take Senators into custody isn’t going to solve our budget issues.


Millions Spent on Ads


3/4/11 – You would almost think that it’s Election Day, considering all the T-V ads about the state budget controversy. The ad-tracking firm of C-M-A-G said almost two-million-dollars were spent as of Monday on ads involving the governor’s effort to limit public union bargaining powers. Opponents of the governor’s plan have spent a reported one-million-31-thousand-dollars, while supporters have taken out 831-thousand worth of ads. That only includes broadcast channels and not cable networks. Evan Tracey of C-M-A-G says all Wisconsin viewers are seeing the ads – and the heavy volume is driven by the national implications of the debate that’s being played out in the Badger state. As of Monday, the A-F-L C-I-O had spent the most on broadcast T-V ads – around 900-thousand dollars. The conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth, which supports Walker’s side, has spent around 700-thousand-dollars.


Wrong Way Driver on 151 Cited for Fourth OWI


3/4/11 – A Random Lake man faces drunken driving charges after allegedly driving the wrong way on Highway 151. The reports came in Wednesday night just before midnight that a vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. Officers located the suspect in the Town of Beaver Dam at County Highway E and he eventually stopped near Industrial Drive. 49-year-old William Seering was cited for his fourth OWI and taken to the Dodge County Jail.


Ads Seek Priest Abuse Victims


3/4/11 – A lawyer who represents those molested by Catholic priests is running a 30-day ad campaign in southeast Wisconsin to urge other victims to come forward. Jeff Anderson of Saint Paul represents about a dozen people who’ve sued the Milwaukee Archdiocese. They accuse the church of staying silent a number of years ago, while pedophile priests were transferred to other churches where they could offend again. The Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January, after an effort to settle those lawsuits failed. Anderson is encouraging all priest abuse victims to come forward now, even if they’ve been told it’s too late to file a legal claim. He said those who don’t come forward during the bankruptcy period could give up their rights to do so later on. The Milwaukee Archdiocese serves Catholics in Dodge County and nine other counties.


WBEV Heard In Finland


3/4/11 – Some nights you can’t pick us up in Leipsig, but the 1000-watt signal from WBEV 1430AM was recently heard in Finland. Jari Sinisalo of Finland contacted us to report that he heard our call letters and a promo to listen to John and Bill in the morning on January 12 at 11pm Central Standard Time. Sinisalo is a 46-year-old system specialist from the Town of Vaasa, which is situated on the Gulf of Bothnia, in the westernmost part of Finland. He listens to far away radio stations as a hobby and spends one week a year in Lapland, in northern Finland, hunting AM radio waves. He says he used an 1100 yard wire antenna directed to the Great Lakes to pick up the WBEV signal.