All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marquette poll: Walker up 7%, but what about voter fraud?

One would have to be living under a rock to not know the eyes of the nation are upon Wisconsin's Walker recall election on June 5th. It's not often the Weekly Standard covers our elections in such detail: Tom Barrett Fires Blanks at Scott Walker... and Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker....

Emotions are running high with campaign ads bombarding the airwaves, the mailbox stuffed with politician post cards, and political phone calls (live and robo) taunting us from morning to night. Everyone in Wisconsin who votes needs to vote for 2 separate races: Governor AND Lt. Governor. For me that would be Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. In areas where there is also a State Senate recall, they will need to vote for State Senator too. Without our Republican Senators holding their seats, Wisconsin can forget any major legislation passing. (Margins are already razor thin--remember the jobs creating mining bill defeat?)

One thing is for certain--I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief when this is over. I hope I will be smiling when the results are in. 

But turnout is key to a Walker win. Though the latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Walker at 52% to Barrett's 45%, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1% points, I am very concerned about the percentage of fraudulent votes cast for Barrett. So we have to outvote the fraud. If you want to help get out the vote in support of the Governor, the GOP Victory Centers are still looking for people to man the phones from 9am - 9pm to make calls from now through Tuesday.

Now if we had our Voter ID law in place, I would be breathing a little easier right now. But with reports of the huge numbers of early voting going on by the busload in Madison and Milwaukee, including Memorial Day, I am uneasy. They usually say Republicans need to outvote Democrats by about 2% to counter voter fraud. In this recall election, I think that percentage will be much higher. Let's face it, without a photo ID, casting a vote at a City Hall--as someone other than yourself--is much easier than at the poll on election day, where poll workers are often familiar with the voters in their wards.

Interestingly, one of the questions from the Marquette poll was about Voter ID, "Sixty-one percent favored requiring a government-issued photo id to vote, while 37 percent opposed that."

One portion of the poll leaves me wondering, who are these people?, because in an unrelated question, Obama gained ground: "The presidential vote among likely voters moved to 51 percent for Obama and 43 percent for Romney. In the May 9-12 poll, the race was tied 46-46 percent. "

On the jobs front, the facts are in: Wisconsin gained jobs under Scott Walker. And if Walker is reelected, more hiring should follow. In a quarterly survey conducted by Nicolet Bank Business Pulse of CEOs and business leaders in northern Wisconsin during the week of May 10th - 17th, 91% of those CEOs viewed a Walker win positively, reflected by comments such as "Wisconsin's business climate will improve" and "Businesses will hire more people and invest in their business"  vs. 93% negative view of a Barrett win with themes that included "Business climate will worsen, few businesses will come to Wisconsin and some will leave", and "Business will hold tight on any aggressive growth of their business."

Locally, while at the Target/Trader Joe's Underwood Crossing Dedication ceremony last Thursday, I asked a Ryan Corp. worker about the Jr. Anchor store that would be east of the Target store. Last I heard, it was to be a home-oriented store and was hoping they were ready to announce the store name. But instead, I learned that they backed out, as did one of the smaller retailers in the multi-store building between Trader Joe's and PNC Bank.

I mentioned the uncertainty over our recall election might have influenced these 2 retailers to pull out--that until businesses know which direction Wisconsin is going in, they don't feel they can make a commitment? Would our state turn from our current more business friendly state to a higher tax, more regulation and a return of combined reporting state. The man from Ryan didn't disagree.

Lastly, the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition mailed out a campaign Voter Guide that included 6  campaign issues not mentioned much in the press: 1. Abortion on Demand, 2. Taxpayer-funded Abortion, 3. Same-sex Marriage, and 4. New Taxes on Wisconsin Families, all of which Walker OPPOSES and Barrett SUPPORTS and 5. Parental Choice in Education, and 6. Eliminating the Death Tax, which Walker SUPPORTS and Barrett OPPOSES.

And speaking of faith, I know Christians* have been praying for our legislators, during these trying times and for this recall election. The Governor himself has asked for prayer, "pray for me--pray for my family and particularly for the next four weeks". So I am. I'm praying for God's protection for all the candidates, for justice--for right to prevail, and I'm pleading for mercy for our state and nation... according to God's will.

*Christians are directed in the New Testament of the Bible to respect and honor government representatives and authorities in Romans 13: 1-7 and to pray for them in 1 Timothy 2: 1-8. I am not familiar with the teachings of other religions on this topic. 

More Reading:
Nicolet Bank Business Pulse: CEOs say Recall will significantly impact business

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Job Fair for Brookfield's new Target store: May 24 - 26, 2012

The new Target Store at Underwood Crossing is progressing nicely: the parking lot is underway, the lights and signs are going up, landscaping is going in. Things look good for a July opening, and as the banner sign states, it's now time to hire the staff. 

The Job Fair will take place at the Country Inn & Suites Hotel on Moorland, just north of Greenfield Ave. in Brookfield this Thursday and Friday from 11:30am to 6:30pm and on Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm. The sign states application can be made in advance on their website.

Speaking of progress, Trader Joe's has obtained their permit and work appears to be starting on that site on the northeast corner. Trader Joes should be open by October.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's Weed Out time at Mary Knoll Park, Sat., May 12, 2012

This Saturday, Patty Gerner* and area volunteers are meeting at Mary Knoll Park for their annual Garlic Mustard Pull: a.k.a. the Weed-Out. Consider joining in and don't worry if you don't know anything about garlic mustard because Patty (and usually Gary Majeskie from Park & Rec. Forestry Department) will give instructions on how to recognize the weeds and pull them out. 

The Weed Out is held rain or shine (aren't we all hoping for shine?) from 9am to noon. Big collection bags are provided by the Park & Rec. Department and disposal is taken care of too. Do wear gardening clothes, and gardening gloves are a good idea too.

In recent years, Boy Scout Troop 23 and other hardy men have dialed-up the weed out a notch to include bushwhacking: digging/pulling out invasive Buckthorn trees and Honeyscukle bushes. Both of these invasive plants produce numerous berries that the birds eat. Unfortunately, though the birds gobble them up, the berries cause digestive distress (I am trying to be polite here) and they get no nutritional value from them. These trees and bushes easily take over and crowd out native plants that would nourish the wildlife. So Patty's husband, Scott Gerner, the scouts, and crew have started in an area near the tennis courts removing these offenders.

Because of the early spring weather, the garlic mustard is ahead of schedule this year. It is already in bloom, which makes it easy to spot. The rainy weather we have had should make it easy to pull out.

So consider joining us this Saturday at Mary Knoll Park, 615 S. Sunnyslope Road, just south of the I-94 overpass bridge, in Brookfield. I've been to most of the Weed Outs and it's always been an enjoyable workday, not to mention a great opportunity to learn about these invaders so you can keep them out of your yard.

*Patty Gerner, affectionately known as the Garlic Mustard Lady, lives near Mary Knoll Park and was saddened to see the native wild flowers that grow there crowded out by the garlic mustard. She began her one woman campaign against this pest in 1997. Patty enlisted the help of her family, some friends, and then the Park & Rec. Department, giving her disposal support. From that effort, the Weed-Out was born. Thanks to her tenacity, the wildflowers have made a real comeback and now we are able to work on new areas in the park.

Past Garlic Mustard Posts with photos:
3rd Annual Weed Out (with photos)
It is worth saving (pictures from Weed Out and wildflowers)
Oh, the shame! (photos and tips for evicting Garlic Mustard)

Weed control links: Garlic Mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard: Do not compost.

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