Boots & Sabers

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Owen

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0728, 30 Mar 21

Conservatives must remain vigilant in local elections

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

April 6 offers all legal adult Wisconsinites another opportunity to head to the polls to choose who will control thousands of school boards, city councils, courtrooms, county boards, and other important local government bodies. These elections are always important, but the performance of government during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important they are. From our schools to our local health officials, we have seen just how incompetent, authoritarian, and heroic they can be.

 

The importance of local elections has not been lost on the state’s liberals and big-government advocates. During the Walker era, when the political left was ineffectual at the state level, they began a concerted effort to recruit candidates for local elections. There efforts have paid off all over Wisconsin with left-leaning candidates getting elected even in some of the most conservative parts of the state.

 

There is nothing wrong with recruiting, organizing, training, encouraging, and funding local candidates. It is not a conspiracy or anything untoward. In fact, it is incredibly smart and laudable. Not only have the liberals managed to advance their ideology throughout Wisconsin, but they have also created a farm league of candidates to run for state or national office.

 

Conservatives are behind the game. There have been pockets local organization, but nothing on the scale of liberals. Without conservative organizations vetting candidates, conservative voters need be extra careful when voting.

 

[…]

 

Conservatives throughout the state must follow the liberals’ lead and begin recruiting, training, encouraging, and funding fellow conservatives to run for local offices. Winning elections does not happen by accident. It happens after a lot of work. The work does not end after the election. Conservatives must then support conservative elected leaders when they govern according to their convictions.

 

Work. Determination. Grit. There is no other path to success. Get to work, conservatives. Local government matters.

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0728, 30 March 2021

15 Comments

  1. Rational Thought

    Owen

    I normally agree with much of what you say, but in this case I can see you didn’t make an attempt to discern what you thought to be facts. Didn’t you even talk to Cliff Van Beek before making assumptions? Mr. Van Beek had a job at the Milwaukee county Zoo. As a result he was required to belong to the union. Did you know Mr. Van Beek joined the leadership of the union to fight the fact that his union dues were supporting Democrat causes. And as far as the Milwaukee County Pension board, do you even know how Mr. Van Beek voted? I believe you owe Mr. Van Beek an apology and retraction for making assumptions without the facts. That is what the fake media normally does. Let’s not be Hypocrites.

  2. Mar

    Rational Thought, you might be new here, so words to the wise, don’t try to pull your BS here.
    First, since Act 10 became law, no one was required to join a government is union.
    As far as being in union leadership to fight Democrats getting money, seriously? Really? There are that many union members who would vote on that platform to elect him to a leadership position? There might be one dumbass here who would believe that here but no one else.
    And please tell us how he voted on the pension. You make an accusation here, you need to back it up with facts.
    You are the fake media be here sir/Miss/whatever.

  3. Rational Thought

    MAR I state the facts, if you can’t handle facts go cry to mommy. And don’t go ignorantly jumping to conclusions. You are the problem we have in this country today. I am very conservative and have supported conservative causes for years. I love Owen’s columns but needed to address unsubstantiated claims. I believe both candidates in that district are very good candidates. But I don’t agree with falsely condemning one without the facts. Mr. Van Beek has been retired for several years. He worked for Milwaukee County long before Act 10. And as far as joining leadership to fight who the dues go to, I know several that have done that. It is common in a union environment for decades. It isn’t only liberals that want a good government job and shouldn’t be.
    Perhaps as you grow up you can learn to find facts and address content instead of personal attacks and adolescent name-calling. I’m surprised they even allow that here. Good Luck in your endeavor.

    FYI, Mr. Robinson made the claim, I was asking him to back it as I know the truth.

  4. Mar

    So, you brought nothing but crap, Rational Thought. No facts, no retort other than insults. And wanting us to believe in unicorns.

  5. Rational Thought

    Mar, I brought plenty. I shared that your argument of Act 10 is illegitimate. Can’t you just admit you were wrong? I didn’t come here to argue, just came to point out one discrepancy. Did you know we used to live in the “United” States? Where people were rational and civil.

  6. Pat

    “rational and civil”

    RT,
    If that’s what you’re looking for here, you’ve pulled your car up to the wrong pump. That pump when dry a long time ago. I do respect your honest intent though.

  7. Mar

    Well, your argument Act10 was a lie.
    And you complain about civil?
    Who wrote this: “MAR I state the facts, if you can’t handle facts go cry to mommy.”
    Very conservative, my ass.

  8. Mar

    And ladies and gentlemen, is Exhibit A in what Owen was talking about.
    Rational Thought comes here and says he/she/it is very conservative and generally agrees with Owen.
    And then goes off and spouts the liberal talking points. Not exactly conservative and probably not what Owen thinks or says.
    Liberals do this all the time in elections.
    Who knows, maybe Owen went undercover to prove his point.

  9. Rational Thought

    My argument on Act 10 was fact. You once again can’t handle the “fact” that you were wrong. If you would actually look into the time frame you would see I am right, but it seems you would rather just spew hate.

    Tell me, what was my “liberal talking point”?

    I am a conservative. You seem to assume a lot and you know what they say about those who assume. You seem like a very hateful little person. And that is what is wrong with our country today.

    Once again my only intent was to point out something about a person I know, that was inaccurately portrayed by Mr. Robinson. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone that is perfect. Good Luck.

  10. Mike

    To get back to the subject, some of the most powerful officials you deal with are the local politicians. School officials directly hold your kids future in their hands.

  11. Mar

    You are so full of crap, Rational Thought.
    First, the guy didn’t even have to join a union. You could opt out but you still had to pay the union dues.
    I was a state employee and then a school district employee for about 15 years in Wisconsin. I never joined the union. I paid the dues each month but I wasn’t part of the union.
    So, your whole premise is a lie.

  12. Tuerqas

    RT:
    if you can’t handle facts go cry to mommy
    And don’t go ignorantly jumping to conclusions.
    You are the problem we have in this country today
    Perhaps as you grow up you can learn to find facts and address content instead of personal attacks and adolescent name-calling.
    but it seems you would rather just spew hate.
    Did you know we used to live in the “United” States? Where people were rational and civil.
    You seem like a very hateful little person. And that is what is wrong with our country today.

    It seems I would agree with your premise, and based on the ‘facts’ above, you are an equal part of the problem. Fixing problems will only ever happen when you begin with yourself.

    And for the record, you did not ask Mr Robinson to back anything up, you merely took him to task and suggested he apologize based on your knowledge. I have no problem with you defending a person you know, but frankly, I don’t know if anyone here can vouch for your knowledge. And if civility is the problem, and I agree that it is a major one brought on largely by the anonymity of the internet, we (likely) do not know you and have no reason to believe you when you tell us ‘the problem’ and then demonstrate the problem with your words. What you say may be true, but it also may be that you are Mr. Van Beek trying to keep your conservative persona. Who knows except you?

  13. Le Roi du Nord

    “First, the guy didn’t even have to join a union. You could opt out but you still had to pay the union dues.”

    Do we all know this to be true?

    “I was a state employee and then a school district employee for about 15 years in Wisconsin. I never joined the union. I paid the dues each month but I wasn’t part of the union.”

    Per RT (above), Mr. Van Beek worked for Milwaukee County, not the State of WI, nor a school district. So it could well be true that Mr. Van Beek was required to be a member of a union in the position and classification that he held.

    As a point of fact, there are, or were pre Act 10, a number of unions or bargaining units in state government. Some required membership, some had options for full or fair share membership, some didn’t require membership but changed the bylaws later on to require any new hires to join. My position was considered “non-represented”, and did not have a bargaining unit/union. Our compensation was determined by the whims of JOCER.

  14. Merlin

    Mr. Van Beek was President of AFSCME Local 1656, not some floor grunt forced to pay dues as a means of maintaining employment. Van Beek was quoted by media sources more than once regarding the Milwaukee County pension backdrop scandal. What’s not clear is whether Mr. Van Beek opposed all backdrops or just the massive backdrops that Ament and Bailey received. A simple reading would indicate the latter.

  15. MjM

    @Wizard ; … only cuz he didn’t help scam enough for himself.

    Selected quotes from the January 2002 issue of Milwaukee Magazine:
    —————————
    “The high rollers at the county dealt themselves a big increase,” says Cliff Van Beek, union negotiator and president of Local 1656.

    “The dropback is where the money’s really hidden,” says Van Beek. “It’s just mind-boggling. It’s going to be a huge windfall for them.”

    “By the time the contract was settled, there was nothing left for the county retirees,” Van Beek complains.

    While Ament and his friends were cashing in, they left out the county retirees, notes Van Beek, who also sits on the county pension board. “Here’s this big windfall, and the retirees who were responsible for most of the money got nothing.”
    ——————————

    Van Beek, who gets roughly $25,000 in pension payouts per year, was also quite helpful in leaving nothing for the rest of the county retirees. He nabbed a $190,000 backdrop the day he actually retired.

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