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Letters to the Editor 7-27-2022

Dear Editor:

I am somewhat new to the Third Congressional District, so I have been paying close attention to the four candidates seeking to fill Ron Kind’s shoes. After the July 13 forum in Eau Claire last week, I narrowed it down to two: Brad Pfaff or Deb McGrath. Reading the news on July 14, just the next day, I have chosen to support McGrath. Why?

It is no secret that Pfaff is Ron Kind’s handpicked successor—he was publicly endorsed by Kind even before the Wisconsin Democratic convention in La Crosse.  Whether or not you consider his endorsement to be fair play, this now causes me grave concern. Why?

Because last week on July 13, the House passed the Active Shooter Alert Act. Every Democrat in the House voted “yes” on this bill except one: Ron Kind. Kind claimed, when pressed, that the act could lead to “more chaos.” Clearly, Kind has no faith that our neighbors demonstrate responsibility with their firearms, that the public cannot handle an alert system for what has become a common threat to public safety—just like storm warnings and flood alerts

Pfaff has not, to date, stated that he would choose a different path than his mentor. Pfaff has not gone on record to state that he would support the Active Shooter Alert Act. Contrastingly, McGrath believes the Act is a step toward ensuring greater safety and security for our children and communities. Perhaps Pfaff, like Kind, believes that we, his constituents, will misuse firearms; that we will panic; that we will create “more chaos.”  McGrath, a retired Army officer, has openly stated her support of this Act and her faith in each of us to make sound and safe choices, and she speaks from a degree of experience based on her service in the War on Terror.

While Ron Kind boosted Brad Pfaff’s fundraising campaign at his own “retirement party” (something else I find a bit alarming), Deb McGrath is the Congresswoman we need during these times of increased gun violence. I urge you to support her.

Mary Simon

Menomonie, WI

For the Upcoming Primary Election:

Do you find yourself venting about our politics?

Don’t just vent…VOTE!

Make your voice heard by voting in the upcoming elections.  The Fall Primary election is on August 9. In the primary, voters may only vote for candidates from one party. In the General Election on November 8. Candidates from multiple parties face off. Voters may vote across party lines.

There are a few websites that voters will find to be helpful: is the state “go to” site. Online voter registration ended on July 20, but you can find information about your clerk and polling place–and can request (and track) an absentee ballot. offers information about accepted proof of residence (required for registration) and accepted photo IDs (required for voting). Did you know that you can get a free Wisconsin ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles? has information about candidate views and allows the voter to compare multiple candidates.

You can vote early with your municipal clerk (found on  Days and hours vary.  Last day is Aug. 5.  Ballots can still be requested, but should be delivered or mailed by August 1 to avoid delays.. Closer to the election, you can see what is on your ballot and track it.  There are no drop boxes.

Finally, voters can register and/or vote on Election Day–August 9. Be sure to bring your photo ID!

Questions? Ask your clerk or call the Voter Helpline: 608-285-2141.

Wisconsin has made a great effort to make our elections secure. Now, do your part and be an informed voter!

Kay Brooks

Voter Services Co-Chair

League of Women Voters-St. Croix Valley (non-partisan)

Letter to the editor-

The referendum process is unfair as it relates to the Technical College System in this state and the property tax dilemma contiues

If you have been following taxing in this state, especially the property tax, you can bet on seeing rising property taxes. We have wheel taxes, school district referendums, Tech College Referendums, county, municipal, and the list goes on. One simple example is a school district referendum. While all eligible voters in a school district can vote on a referendum, it’s the property taxpayers that get the tab. Currently the Eau Claire school district and the City of Eau Claire are working on referendums. I’m reading they will know more in August. They surely will know more as the deadline for submitting referendums is August 30th folks. Have they done a good job of communicating the need, no they haven’t? Eau Claire School district still owes millions from the 2016 passed referendum. How’s that for piling on debt to the local property taxpayers? I’ve been seeing more referendums for exceeding revenue year after year. I’ll bet you will see them wanting more than a million dollars per year for years.  Folks these are nothing but local property taxes

The antiquated funding statutes of the Tech College system were created before the Vietnam War was over of which I’m a Navy Veteran. My demographic for the most part was in college, farmers, or in uniform serving our country. Now our demographic today of seniors living on fixed incomes is a demographic that will only get larger as time goes on. Advances in technology haven’t been addressed for what; 50 years. For almost 20 years I have been saying that the state should fund all public higher education. The funding system of the UW System and the Tech College System is apples and oranges. The UW system answers to the Governor and the Legislature. The Tech College system answers to a main board in Madison which I consider a rubber stamp. The local 16 Tech Districts across this state have appointed boards, not elected boards. These appointed tech boards can borrow millions every year with no accountability at the state level. I’m talking about a complete lack of accountability and transparency. There is no annual report at the state level that lists the millions. If you are in the Chippewa Valley Tech District, did you know that CVTC borrowed 5.7 million dollars this year? Eau Claire School District and the City of Eau Claire are in the CVTC district. School Districts are getting short changed when it comes to two-thirds funding of school districts by the state. Several years ago, there was a Blue-Ribbon Commission to address the school funding in this state. One of the recommendations of this commission was for the state to fund the school districts to the tune of two-thirds. Didn’t happen. All of this during declining enrollments at the school districts declining as well as higher public education enrollments. To date, I’ve not seen any reprieve for retired seniors and others living on fixed incomes. Is the goal to tax us out of our homes we worked so hard for during our working lives? There are many of us and the strangest thing I’m seeing now is no listening sessions by our elected officials. The Legislature isn’t in session. This is the time for these politicians to reach out to their constituents and get their input on what is important to them. You can’t use Covid as an excuse. Maybe it’s time for the constituents to demand some accountability? 

Terry Nichols- Town of Colfax

To the Editor:

Looking back into history, we recognize the five stages to totalitarianism. The first stage is discontent, dissatisfaction with the status quo, distain for the old order, etc. People feel as though they are helpless and need a solution.

During stage 2, the people become poor, hungry and angry. They will look for an authority (savior) figure (to govern) who promises a solution to all of the issues and promises a much better society; a dramatic change to solve the problem.

Stage 3 happens after the “savior” is established himself into the government and the old order is gone. The opposition is dubbed counter revolutionaries (insurrectionist) or extremists. The new order gains more and more power using censorship, persecution, propaganda, and dramatic changes to the education system. Creation of youth organizations like ANTIFA, indoctrinates the youth – destroying their loyalties to family and religion. The opposition is harassed and ostracized.

Stage 4 deals with a crisis (real or false flag) with the image that it threatens the whole nation. State of emergency is declared.

In State 5 the totalitarian government takes control of everything; eventually gaining absolute control of every aspect of the people’s lives. The governing body brutally confronts any opposition or resistance. People are defenseless and demoralized. Opposition is brutally crushed and destroyed. Good examples of this, is Chinese Chairman Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

We hear over and over that capitalism, family life and religion has failed us. Violent riots and destruction are commonplace. The average family has $8,000 less buying power than last year due to inflation. Our banking system, public education system and news media are fundamentally changed; social media communication is censored. Recently the Dept. of Homeland Security created a new group, the “Disinformation Governance Board.” Remember when the FBI and CIA used false FISA requests to spy on the Trump campaign and when Obama weaponized the IRS to go after opposition. Look what is being done to the January 6th protestors that are being jailed in deplorable conditions with limited access to legal counsel and no right to a speedy trial.  If you research you will find many examples of the current government overreach. Biden was promoted as our savior to “Build Back Better. Experts are predicting future crises – world-wide food, energy, pandemic and financial crises. So what is next?

JoAnn Utphall


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