“Dignity, respect central to building bipartisanship”
“Dignity, respect central to building bipartisanship” is the title of a valuable practical Op-ed column published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last Saturday, June 16 by WI State Senators TIM CULLEN and DALE SCHULTZ. I agree with their appeal and recommendations. Do YOU?
I urge you to read the insightful and practical Op-ed statement published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last Saturday, June 16, “Dignity, respect central to building bipartisanship.”
This Op-ed was written by the team of moderate WI State Senators who have been leaders for a healthier and more functional public policy in WI. State Senator Tim Cullen, the DEM Senator who represents us – the 15th District including the 43rd, 44th and 45th Assembly Districts and State Senator Dale Schultz, the REP Senator who represents the 17th District in southwest WI, including the 49th, 50th and 51st Assembly Districts, have been recognized state-wide for their work and advocacy of BIPARTISANSHIP in the ultra-partisan environment since the election of November 2010. I believe that Senators Cullen & Schultz have demonstrated healthy attitudes and behaviors. Do YOU agree?
I think it is telling that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited their work and the Op-ed statement they wrote in its editorial published last Saturday, June 16, “Walker should take a step toward restarting dialogue.” I urge you to read and consider this editorial. I agree with the editorial’s challenge to Gov. Scott Walker to call a special session of our legislature when the DEMS are the majority in the Senate after the confirmation of the election of Senator John Lehman in the Recall Election. What do YOU think?
I note that the editorial identifies several issues/policies which it asserts should be productive for bipartisan action – they are:
•Create a pool of state money to invest in venture capital funds to promote the growth of start-up companies in Wisconsin.
•Streamline the mining permitting process without sacrificing environmental safety.
•Fund technical colleges to train displaced or young workers for jobs that state companies are having a hard time filling.
•Stiffen the penalties for drunken driving. State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and state Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) are working on a bill that would make a third drunken driving offense a felony - a good idea.
Sen. Schultz is very doubtful that a mining bill could be agreed upon. Remember: Sen. Schultz is the REP Senator who demanded careful action to protect the environment. I expressed GRATITUDE & COMMENDATION to Sen. Schultz during the mining bill debate and actions. Do YOU remember that after a special Senate committee had worked on a Senate revision of the Assembly bill the committee was suddenly dismissed and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Scott Fitzgerald pressed for a floor vote. It did NOT happen. If you wish to review that situation, I posted a statement in my WE THE PEOPLE blog on Sunday, March 4, 2012, "GOP Senate Majority Leader's Political Manipulation Delays WI Mining Bill."
NOW, will the DEM majority in our Senate work effectively with the Assembly and Gov. Walker to develop a balanced mining bill?
I share Senator Schultz’s doubt because I do NOT think that the REP Governor and Assembly have shifted to a BIPARTISAN mode. What do YOU think?
Senators Schultz and Cullen that the situation is really all about building relationships. Schultz agreed with Cullen’s statement, "Life is about relationships, and politics is no different. You expect honesty, no surprises, thoughtful consultation and a reasonable level of respect and willingness to listen to others." I too agree. Do YOU?
Once the recount in the 21st Senate District, which starts tomorrow, is completed with the confirmation of the election of John Lehman, former DEM Senator, the Senate will have a DEM majority. I hope Gov. Walker will proceed to call a special session.
I agree with Sen. Cullen who is quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial asserting, “Democrats are looking for a sign beyond food and libation that Walker is serious.”
I agree with the editorial, “Now, Walker should take the next step to restart the state's political dialogue: He should call a special session of the Legislature. On the agenda: a venture capital bill, help for the technical colleges that are training displaced workers - and if there's reason to believe that progress can be made, a bill to streamline permitting for iron mining. And we'd also like to see lawmakers take up a bill sponsored by two Republican state senators to toughen the state's drunken driving laws.” WHY NOT?
TRUTH BE TOLD - the Op-ed statement says, "Neither of us has all the answers to bring our state back together after this election. We know our Common Ground tour won't solve the hyper-partisanship in Madison. But we do know this: If we all treat each other with dignity and respect, we'll get there.
“Each of us can be an example. We can be a shining beacon of good government for the country once again, and in doing so, move Wisconsin forward.”
FORWARD?! What are YOU willing to be and do?
Here we go…
John Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Waukesha and an advocate for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.