Afternoon in Rushford

Last Saturday I took a trek down to Rushford Minnesota to join other DFLers in a discussion of Gov. Dayton’s proposal to ‘tax the rich.’ Former State Rep. (31B) Ken Tschumper had organized the event and invited several other local folks to join him. Here is the agenda:

Everything about Budget Projections
Ken Tschumper; former State Representative, 31B

Cuts in Programs for Low Income People.
Beth Stanford; Director, Headstart at Semcac

If You Can’t Exploit People, Exploit the Environment,
David Williams; Chairman, Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Leaving Victims of Domestic Abuse Down and Out.
Robin Yaffe Tschumper; Executive Director, Bluff Country Family Resources

Income and Wealth Inequality.
Dennis Dekeyrel; Retired Software Developer

Cut the Schools, Teachers and other Public Employees.
Mike Gjere; Educator, Norway Township

Doing Without Fire and Police Protection.
Deb White; City Council, Winona

The Wisconsin Epic-Public Employees under Attack
Joe Mayer; Social Justice Activist, Rochester

The Inside View, Governor Dayton and the Republican Majority
Rep Tina Liebling: Rochester

I talked briefly about my work with the Middle Class amendment and my impressions of what’s been happening in Wisconsin. It was a very comprehensive presentation of what our Progressive tradition in Minnesota has been about. It covered a range of issues from protecting the environment from exploitation (which is really about exploiting people as David Williams said), to destroying our social safety net and undercutting public employees and teachers to make sure that those who already have tremendous advantage continue to have the benefits of society flow up to them.

One presenter illustrated the difference between the super rich and the well off by stretching a string 23 feet across the room to show Joe Mauer’s annual salary to the one inch that represented someone making $100,000 and then halved that to half an inch to show the $50,000 many public workers make. This is what Republican governors across the country are doing giving those at the very top a break at the expense of those who make a living wage.

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