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Friday, April 8, 2011

JFC in Superior - 2nd Public Budget Hearing

This morning I put together my impressions of the JFC meeting in Stevens Point on Thursday.  I provide the link below. 

Press all cover one story and poorly cover the JFC hearings! That's Show Biz!! 4/8

Today I listened and viewed another three hours of the JFC hearings in Superior, again with some technical difficulties.  One may be tempted to excuse the lack of coverage because of the Supreme Court election issues - I am not willing to accept the excuse.  The press coverage of JFC hearings was minimal even today ... maybe I have not followed closely enough but there have been some notes from that provide some flavor of the hearings today!  The point is that although more and more people may be following sources like or TheWheelerReport most people do not.  Thus, they live in a vacuum.  They have little or no information.  They may be able to tell you that there is a terrible mess in Waukesha and even the final vote totals but not what the people of northwestern Wisconsin said about the Governor's Budget Repair Bill nor the Budget Bill and least of all the statements those citizens directed toward the legislature (in general) - not just the JFC. 

Perhaps I will be surprised Saturday or Sunday by the printed press, or the public radio and television coverage or most surprised by even some of the local Madison television (they might borrow video from local stations in Superior for their slant) - so surprise me and I will congratulate you!

I can say in summary that the irritating little "2 minute timer" was at least further from the microphone ... maybe someone was listening ... I never heard it ...but some speakers made mention of "hearing" their time was up.  I will take some short cuts and say that the "voice of the people" was similar to yesterday.  It did seem a little more critical, direct and strident to me.  I heard more, today, talk about taxes. I heard more, in my words, about how local governments and school districts had not been given tools but rather put in a straight jacket - unable to make decisions about spending more to support their communities even as they wanted to.  I heard a number of people talk about the personal impacts on their ability to care for family members - and generalize this to not saving government money but increasing pain and suffering .  Indians, several separate speakers, also came forward and expressed, I would say uniformly, their distress with the budget.  I heard a great deal of talk about how the budget was going to negatively impact jobs and main street (i.e., kill local business and jobs).  Unions and agriculture were expressing concerns as well.

As I indicated I formed these impressions from the several hours of listening yesterday and today.  You can look and listening to videos and make up your own mind!  I encourage you to do so.

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