April 6, 2012 by Barbara With
Dear Shirl LaBarre and the Recall Bob Jauch Facebook page:
I wanted to see how your virtual recall of Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) was coming. I noted that your page includes quotes from me about my impressions of Bob Jauch’s Hurley listening session on March 31. I won’t “LIKE” your page, because I don’t. But since you’re posting my words, please post this letter for your members to read:
Last September, Rep Robin Vos, (R-ALEC) wanted to introduce a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to recall elected officials. It was Vos who told you not to use recalls just because you don’t like how someone votes. He believes recalls should only be done if the elected official has committed a crime or shown malfeasance in office.
Sen. Bob Jauch did not commit a crime. He did what he was elected to do: represent the whole range of the people in his district. The public sentiment at all the hearings for AB 426 did not support the bill. Go back and read the results of the hearings. Even the pro-mining people said a bill written by a mining company, for a mining company left us all too vulnerable.
Rep. Vos and the Republicans, on the other hand, have consistently violated our 1st and 4th amendment rights. Here a well-respected geologist is trying to exercise his 1st amendment right of peaceful protest, just as the Recall Jauch group did in Hurley. Notice that he is handcuffed and taken out for quietly holding a sign that quotes his constitutional right to hold a sign. That’s because the Republican Committee Chair Stephen Nass ordered his arrest. Do you support this blatant violation of the 1st Amendment? If so, then the anti-Jauch welcome wagon at Hurley High should have also been handcuffed and led out for holding signs.
Why didn’t those six police officers at Hurley High School arrest all of you on March 31 then? Because Sen. Jauch supports the democratic process. ALEC-members Gov. Walker, Sen. Fitzgerald, Rep. Jeff FItzgerald and Rep. Vos (the state chairman and “Grand Poobah of ALEC”) do not. They believe in arresting us for exercising our right of free speech. For me, that is a crime and one of the major reasons I signed the recall papers.
Sen. Jauch came to you with open government in Hurley. Recall Jauch supporters got to speak as long as they needed. He never gavelled you quiet. He never spoke disrespectfully to you, and he never had any of you arrested for exercising your 1st amendment rights. He listened until all of you were done speaking, and then he replied. His responses were measured, they made sense, and as far as I have witnessed, he spoke the truth.
And whether you like it or not, the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, who live a mere six miles from the mine site, have the right to co-manage the ceded territory under Federal Treaty Law and the US Constitution. I know you and your friends have suggested we “eliminate the Indians” but it’s not going to happen. Bad River has worked with the DNR for years co-managing our natural resources here to make this area the beautiful gem it is today.
Had this bill passed, it would have violated federal law. Like the rest of us, Bad River has been denied their rights under this administration because of your majority party’s blatant decisions to ignore the law. So be forewarned that we up here in the north will not allow our neighbors to be harmed by your refusal to accept the truth and your willingness to violate Federal and State Constitutional law.
That you are angry, I understand. But why are you wasting time trying to recall a politician because he upheld democracy? He actually sat down with Sen. Dale Schultz (R-New Richmond) and wrote a new bill. He did not rely on environmental lawyers to write the first draft, unlike the Republicans who allowed mining company lawyers to write the bill and prevented the Democrats from having any input at all. Is this your idea of democracy?
Why do you keep insisting we are lying about the environmental dangers of a mine? Do you think I drove all over the state and sat through hours of hearings to testify only because I don’t want Hayward to have jobs? Really? I can think of about a zillion other things I could have done with my time and money.
While I do not always agree with everything Sen. Jauch does, one thing I can say without hesitation is that he has held a place for democracy. He supports open government by and for the people. He shows up, he listens, he tries his best to speak for all of us. He’s not perfect, he’s not even a hero. He’s just doing his job, making sure we all have a chance to participate in democracy.
And as far as the Scott Walker recall, are you familiar with John Doe? Or are you living in denial of that as well? Will it help if he is actually indicted before you open your eyes to what you are supporting?
Anytime you are ready to stop the witch hunt and join with the rest of us who want to find new ways to bring prosperity and security for all members of our community, we are here. Otherwise, I will continue to shed light on your misplaced efforts to recall someone who merely did his job.