Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Judge Kennedy announces reelection bid

Judge Robert J. Kennedy has announced his intention to seek re-election as Circuit Court Judge in Walworth County.

WillKennedy have any oppostion this time around? In the last election, he facedLake Geneva attorney Henry Sibbing, but now that Sibbing has been named asa court commissioner, he might not be as interested in taking on an incumbentjudge.

Kennedy's announcementnews release quotes Judge Kennedy as saying, "I have enjoyed this most recentterm immensely. The quality and professionalism of the attorneys, especiallyfrom the Walworth County Bar, District Attorney's and Public Defender's officeshas been outstanding.

"I amdeeply grateful to my fellow judges for their collegiality, hard work andmutual support, which have greatly enhanced our service to the public andlitigants who have come before us. I have also been impressed by the steadyimprovement in the news coverage of the courts led by the Janesville andMilwaukee press as well as the fine regional coverage from our local weeklyand bi-weekly papers.

"Itgreatly aids the cause of justice when the public is well informed on eventsin government. I look forward to meeting with the public during the campaignand asking for their renewed vote of confidence."

JudgeKennedy has been an attorney since 1969 and has served as an assistant districtattorney from 1977 to 1985 and as Circuit Court Judge since 1988. He is agraduate of the University of Notre Dame and presently resides with his wifeMarsha in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Delavan mayor's race begins

Ron Siedelmann has told the Janesville Gazette that he is running for Delavan mayor this spring rather than seek re-election to his 3rd District alderman seat on the Delavan City Council.

"After serving as an alderman in the 3rd District for the past eight years with the last three years as city council president, I believe I'm more than qualified," he said.

Does that mean current mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis doesn't intend to run for reelection and Siedelman knows something the rest of us don't?
Nieuwenhuis has made an announcement either way, so stay tuned.

Also up are the terms of 1st District Alderman Jay Adams, 2nd District Alderman Dave Kilkenny and Siedelmann. Municipal Judge Leroy Himbauch also is up for re-election.

The general election is April 4 of 2006.

-Dan Plutchak, Editor

Dick Gustafson :What a difference 20 miles can make

Dear Editor;
A response to Dave Beaulieu of Nov. 20.

Dave, I'm not gonna to refute point for point your comments even though that would be fun. I'm not going to recommend any books or authors to back my point of view. And no liar name-calling. I would, however, like to assume several things (I know what happens when we assume).

We probably live within 20 miles of each other. That we were taught in pretty much the same school systems and we have a deep love for our country. Yes it's not perfect-never was, never will be-but that's OK. In our own little ways we're trying to make a difference.

Now here's what I don't understand. Why do we see things so different? I don't see the country going down the tubes into darkness. I do see an element that to me is trying to bring us down but I like our current leaders and have faith they will do what's best for America's long term.

Have they made mistakes? Of course. Could they do better? Heck yes. For five years all we've heard is how stupid Bush is but somehow this stupid man has done all this shadowy under-dealing to do what? Take over the world? Every maniac has a plan; what's his? I can't see it from here.

Dave, tell me what you see from those 20 short miles away.

Dick Gustafson

By Phillip Sanborn: Pandering to fanatics is no way to win an election

Dear Editor:

I am never sure whether I should be laughing or crying every time I hear another of Pat Robertson's pronouncements on what God has whispered in his ear. Now Pat says the entire city of Dover, Pa. should prepare to be demolished by God since the electorate chose to elect a school board which is against calling "intelligent design," a fancy term for creationism, science.

Add this nonsense to Mr. Robertson's declaration that the president of Venezuela should be assassinated and the State Department should be blown up by an atomic bomb.

It's quite amusing to listen to this nonsense until I think about the fact that this character and the religious right have hijacked the Republican Party. By playing such an important role in funding and helping Republican candidates get elected, they now have enormous influence in deciding this nation's domestic and foreign policies.

This group now has its hands on the levers of power by exerting inordinate influence in the Republican Party.

It's time for reasonable and clear-thinking members of the Republican Party to come to their senses and begin repudiating the extremist and hateful agenda of the religious right before it does real damage to this nation. Pandering to fanatics in order to get elected is a dangerous and potentially disastrous policy. Hopefully the Republican leadership will see this before it is too late.

Philip V. Sanborn

By D.J. Duffy: How to trim the budget conservatively

Dear Editor:
As an emergency measure, I just had to write a letter to help the nation avert financial ruin. I'm also going to try to rewrite history.

First, let's travel back to 1991 when I looked at the 4-foot fence along the southern border. I was astonished. Now 14 years later I saw the same fence on TV and nothing much has been done with it. I only flew across the Canadian border at 33,000 feet but I can about imagine that needs work too. There's $200 billion plus for Iraq, but not $8 billion to build a fence here to beef up homeland security. That's the same kind of managerial skills that put Arbusto Oil and Harken Energy under.

Second, the House of Representatives passed H R 4241 (also known as the Reverse Robin Hood Act) last week. Millions of dollars could be saved here by replacing those same 217 (including Paul Ryan) who frequently vote yes on things that will hurt Americans, with a rubber stamp which can be purchased for less than $30. Things are probably going to get significantly busier for Time Is Now and other charitable organizations here in the county as well as for state relief agencies due to this type of legislation.

Third, Since the White House and Fox News generally say the exact same thing, significant savings could be realized if both went together and bought a talking parrot toy for $19.95. Several middlemen could be eliminated, and Karl Rove (providing he doesn't get indicted) would just have to tell one parrot what to say instead of a whole flock.

Following these conservative principles, I think the budget can be trimmed by at least 50 percent and America can be kept breathing at the same time.

D.J. Duffy

Friday, November 11, 2005

By Sheila Van Dan: A DeBow flip-flop?

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Royce DeBow's constant misinformation of the of the facts on recent elections. DeBow seems to have flip-flopped on the issue of how Ryan Schroeder supposedly violated campaign finance laws.

I reference a letter to the editor that appeared in the Walworth County Week on Oct. 23. In that letter, DeBow dishonestly states that Ryan Schroeder, "violated campaign finance laws, using state campaign account money for a local election."

According to the Walworth County Week's Web site under comments to a letter written by Joanne Williams, DeBow now admits that it is legal to use one account to run a state or local campaign. He flip-flops and says Schroeder correctly used only one depository.

Yet, DeBow continues to think a violation took place without saying what that violation might be.
This leads me to believe he must be referring to Schroeder's reelection campaign for city alderman. Is DeBow trying to say that Schroeder did not file a copy of his finance report to the Delavan city clerk?

Perhaps, once again, DeBow does not understand elections laws. Schroeder did not spend over $1,000 to be reelected to the city council. By law, he is not required to submit a financial statement to the city clerk.
As I always do, I did submit a report to the state elections board and the city clerk also has a copy of that report.

I carefully point this out to show that DeBow is the flip-flopper. He also does not investigate the facts before writing half-truths and lies in his letters to the editor.

As DeBow frequently likes to say, "Who has egg on their face now?"

Sheila Van Dan
Ryan Schroeder campaign treasurer

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By Robert Burrows: Conservative defense of war seriously flawed

Recent columns of two widely syndicated conservative defenders of the Bush administration, Jonah Goldberg and David Brooks, nakedly attempt to foist blame for alarming the public about the dire threat posed by Saddam Hussein onto the Democrats during the Clinton years.

To do so, Goldberg resorts to that weakest of arguments--the attempt to undercut the message by destroying the messenger. The public's awakening to the distortions of the Bush administration which led us to war is blamed upon former ambassador Joe Wilson, that "feckless weasel," who seriously undercut Bush's reasons for going to war in a New York Times article demolishing the president's claim that "Iraq had attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium in Africa." Justifying the retaliations against Wilson by blowing the cover of his secret CIA-agent wife, Goldberg smugly concludes "Wilson deserved everything he got."

Brooks, with a string of references to the warnings about Saddam given by top level Democrats in the 90s, writes a snide attack on Harry Reid whom he accuses of staying up so late nights that he suffers from wild delusions that the "Republican plot to manipulate intelligence" about the war led the United States into the fiasco in Iraq.

As Goldberg avoided the consequences of Wilson's news by attacking the newsbearer, Brooks insidiously attempts to switch the burden for going to war from those immediately responsible to those who were sidelined by the 2000 presidential election.

Such bait and switch tactics won't sell in any American marketplace today. Americans now know, as the head of the British intelligence service told his government on 23 July 2002, that U.S. "military action" against Hussein "was seen as inevitable" because the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The pattern is now clear that President Bush, strongly led by Vice President Dick Cheney, with the connivance of Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, exaggerated alarmist statements about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein because of his possession of weapons of mass destruction, probably including chemical and biological weapons and perhaps verging on the capability to launch atomic weapons against his foes.

The deception of the Congress is now understood most clearly by the circumstances surrounding the critical Senate hearings on the supposed threat of Iraq on 1 October 2002. The full version of the 90-page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was not sent to Congress until late the night before the hearings were to begin. Most senators presumably relied on the 25-page abbreviated version which omitted dissenting views on the magnitude of Iraq's threat and exaggerated the dangers posed by that threat.

The facts are clear: President Bush and his administration misled Congress and the American people to acquiesce in their program to move us to war against the Saddam Hussein regime. Elizabeth de la Vega, who has served as a federal prosecutor for many years, claims that the abbreviated NIE report was the primary source for the talking points for war. "It was completely misleading," she emphasizes, because "it mentioned no dissents; it removed qualifiers and even added language to distort the severity of the threat."

The pattern of such exaggerations and distortions is now clear as the evidence has accumulated showing the manner in which President Bush and his administration led us to war. No, Harry Reid is not spending sleepless nights suffering from delusions about the war but rather from his realization that the evidence of fraud on the part of the Bush administration, including both the president and vice president, is so telling that motions of impeachment for their misconduct in leading us to war must be seriously considered.

Robert Burrows

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Friday, November 04, 2005

By D.J. Duffy: On Libby, Clinton, Shroeder and DeBow

Dear Editor:
I wanted to see what kind of birds were going to come home to roost at the White House before I wrote another letter.

While Scooter Libby might be the only one indicted so far, I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell anybody that thinks he isn't going to start singing like a canary about his cohorts in order to save his own neck. The hearings are probably going to be as much fun to watch as the Watergate ones were, and just as devastating.

When the smoke clears, people might start reminiscing in 2006 about how good it felt to buy a gallon of gas for around $1.15 during the Bill Clinton years and decide a stain on a blue dress wasn't that bad after all when they go in to vote, compared to what they just got done seeing. They might think about voting for a congress with the potential to clean up the mess.

If Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2008, she'll be 15 years ahead of the Republican candidate when it comes to healthcare reform. In 1993, it was all a big joke, but since health insurance is going up 15% each and every year, people might listen to solutions that don't promise more of the same.

As for the DeBow rhetoric and bluster, it looks to me like he might be jealous of Ryan Schroeder's ability to consistently win elections for a ward here in Delavan. Schroeder is one of the very few in the area that doesn't have to latch onto somebody else's coattails to further his political stature and I commend him for that. It shows a high degree of leadership and potential for higher office.

D.J. Duffy





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