/ Letters / ‘The people are speaking out’

‘The people are speaking out’

June 05, 2020

To the Editor:

When government doesn’t listen, the people need to speak out. Are we seeing a surge in the Voice of the People? We saw that with the referendum on sulfide mining. Tom Tiffany and Rob Swearingen wanted to help out-of-state corporations endanger our natural resources, but the people voted overwhelmingly against it in a referendum last year.

The Republicans rig the elections by gerrymandering the voting districts, so they remain in power even when the people vote against them. But in several recent local referendums, the people voted overwhelmingly for nonpartisan, fair maps in redistricting.

The Republicans love unconstrained campaign spending so the billionaires and corporations can fund their elections — no need to listen to the people in that case. But in the Northwoods and across Wisconsin the people have passed resolutions to limit big money in politics.

Now with COVID-19, people are concerned that re-opening the state too soon will endanger their health and lead to a setback in our economic recovery. But county officials, listening to groups like the Tavern League rather than health experts or public input, said it was OK for the Hodag Country Festival to bring tens of thousands to crowd into Rhinelander. But in just a couple of days, over 8,000 people signed a petition calling for a cancellation, and the organizers of the festival — unlike our politicians — chose to listen to the people and they put off the event till 2021. 

The people are speaking out. But in order to create real change, we need to elect candidates who put the interests of our citizens first and replace the likes of the Tavern League’s Rob Swearingen and local county officials who listen to corporations and donors more than the people.

Phyllis Schuit




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