Walker’s prison plan lifted from Democrats

The Gazette’s “thumbs down” Monday to “politicizing plan to close youth prisons’’ misrepresents the facts.

“Walker’s plan to open smaller regional facilities makes good sense, and Democrats should acknowledge as much,’’ The Gazette stated.

Democrats have not criticized Walker’s plan. That’s because Walker’s plan was lifted from a Democratic proposal. Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, outlined what became the Walker plan to Republican and Democratic legislators and staffers at the Capitol on Nov. 29. He presented data and research in support of the plan. The Wisconsin State Journal reported the presentation on Nov. 30.

Rep. Goyke introduced Assembly Bill 791, which will close the Lincoln Hills School with the aim of converting it to an adult correctional facility. AB 791 also requires the Department of Corrections to open regional juvenile correctional centers statewide.

Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, and I are both co-sponsors.

Rep. Goyke did not criticize Gov. Walker for issuing the Goyke plan as his own idea.

In fact, Goyke commended the administration. “The new policy initiatives unveiled today demonstrates exciting progress in reforming Wisconsin’s corrections system,’’ Goyke stated.

Democrats did not criticize the Walker plan. They criticized Walker, noting that he had allowed Lincoln Hills to fester for five years before announcing “his’’ plan as he begins his re-election campaign. They criticized Walker’s attempt to find political cover for his long-running failure to act.

Walker wants to wait until after the election to begin implementing Goyke’s plan. Why wait? AB 791 is ready for legislative action now.

DEBRA KOLSTE

44th Assembly District representative

Mark these dates and be ready to vote

The Wisconsin Elections Commission estimates that voter turnout for spring elections (local non-partisan and judicial races) could range as low as 13 to 18 percent of voting-age citizens.

These are vital elections, and nothing is more important to a healthy democracy than voting. Please make sure that you are ready to vote.

Not voting may be more a function of lack of information/understanding than of apathy. Voters need a “big picture” look at coming elections.

Feb. 20 is the first election date. It’s a non-partisan primary to choose the final candidates for spring elections.

April 3 is the spring election with balloting for District 4 Court of Appeals judges, Branch 3 Circuit Court judge, Branch 7 Circuit Court judge; town and village boards; school board members; county board of supervisors; and municipal offices.

There will be a partisan primary Aug. 14 and general election Nov. 6.

Remember to vote!

VIVIAN CREEKMORE

Milton

Possible convention poses greatest threat to nation

Americans are facing the most grave danger in the history of the United States. Recently Wisconsin became the 28th state to call for an Article V constitutional convention. We are only six states away from the 34 needed to completely destroy the very foundation on which our country was established. There are only two types of people supporting this call, the ignorant and the traitors, which is a good argument for mandatory testing of candidates running for office. Even among the traitors, ignorance is a problem.

The reasoning behind the convention call is disguised as a balanced budget amendment. Supposedly the state senates around the nation feel Congress is not being responsible when it comes to the budget. So to fix this, the best thing they can think to do is give Congress the authority to rewrite the entire Constitution and hope that after we lose all of our rights, that there just might be a balanced budget amendment with no emergency spending clause in there somewhere.

If I had the time and space, I could list and explain at least 100 other reasons to oppose a constitutional convention. I would challenge anyone to come up with one good reason to support it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with our Constitution. We’ve just stopped applying it. Eighty percent of our budget spending is unconstitutional, so what do we really need to change?

ALEX BLAZER

Beloit

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