What’s wrong with Russ?

“…too aggressive, too principled, too committed to the Constitution,” and that scares the hell out of many Democrats says the Cap Times in an essay that mourns the lack of an opposition party. Republicans in Wisconsin are doing their part to make it easier for centrist Democrats to appear to be left leaning by moving their party ever further reich right.

Last week at their Appleton convention they passed Resolution 25 that urges the GOP “to withhold all promotional and financial support of those candidates that do not consistently subscribe to this overall conservative agenda, be they incumbent or new candidates.” Anita Weier reports, “It also urges the party to ‘actively and vigorously’ seek out candidates for office who ‘will go in this conservative direction, and respect the wishes of party members.'”

That direction includes 32 other right turns like…

  • Resolution 2 supporting concealed carry,
  • Resolution 4 in support of the death penalty for “heinous crimes,”
  • Resolution 7 in support of the Patriot Act and NSA spying on phone and Internet use both overseas and in the United States,
  • Resolution 8 supporting TABOR aka the Taxpayer Protection Amendment,
  • Resolution 14 that seeks to pass a “paycheck protection act” that will further cripple unions,
  • Resolution 15 that supports using the state constitution to take away freedom based on sexual preferences by defining marriage as between one man and one woman,
  • Resolution 29 that defends the use of “In God We Trust” on the nation’s money and
  • Resolution 31 that calls for ending the state’s Stewardship Fund.

Let’s see, God, Guns, Gays… we’re good to go!

Feingold just won’t stop speaking out… here’s his recent commentary on the Judiciary Committee’s Handling of the Constitutional Amendment on Marriage:

“Today’s markup of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage, in a small room off the Senate floor with only a handful of people other than Senators and their staffs present, was an affront to the Constitution. I objected to its consideration in such an inappropriate setting and refused to help make a quorum. I am deeply disappointed that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee went forward with the markup over my objection. Unfortunately, the Majority Leader has set a politically motivated schedule for floor consideration of this measure that the Chairman felt compelled to follow, even though he says he opposes the amendment.

Constitutional amendments deserve the most careful and deliberate consideration of any matter that comes before the Senate. In addition to hearings and a subcommittee markup, such a measure should be considered by the Judiciary Committee in the light of day, open to the press and the public, with cameras present so that the whole country can see what is done. Open and deliberate debate on such an important matter cannot take place in a setting such as the one chosen by the Chairman of the Committee today.

The Constitution of the United States is an historic guarantee of individual freedom. It has served as a beacon of hope, an example to people around the world who yearn to be free and to live their lives without government interference in their most basic human decisions. I took an oath when I joined this body to support and defend the Constitution. I will continue to fight this mean-spirited, divisive, poorly drafted, and misguided amendment when it comes to the Senate floor.”

Russ would be proud of these two young people from Wisconsin, honored among 30 Point Scholars for 2006 with scholarships from The Point Foundation.

Brittany Bjurstrom: As a founder of her school’s first-ever Gay-Straight Alliance in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI, Brittany worked to forge a safe environment for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, while facing vandalism and harassment from multiple fronts of her community. She will enter Wellesley College, in Boston, Massachusetts, this fall.

Johnanna Ganz: Johnanna is from a small, quiet town in Northern Wisconsin. Johnanna came out during her senior year, and encountered intolerance at home and at school. Kicked out of her house at 18, Johnanna managed to find her way to college, where she has continued to thrive. She studies Art History and Women’s Studies at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In Washington and also in Madison…
Polling recently conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associations shows the Federal Marriage Amendment, scheduled for a Senate vote the week of June 5, ranks dead last for voters on a list of priorities on which they want Congress focusing and that voters have strong concerns about changing the Constitution. Commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign, the polling also shows strong opposition to changing the Constitution among independent, senior and Catholic voters.

“Voters want Congress focused on fixing America’s challenges, not creating more,” says Human Rights Campaign Political Director Samantha Smoot. “The numbers show that Americans want Congress working on affordable health care, the ongoing war in Iraq and passing new ethics and lobbying laws, not changing the Constitution. Senators and Representatives should take these numbers as a sign that this political ploy will backfire at the polls.”

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