Information Technology Solutions
How would you like to spend the day with Phil Donahue, Ed Garvey, Bill McKibben, JimHightower, Mahlon Mitchell, and John Nichols? We progressives did just that. We feastedon a day of fun, music and progressive talk in Madison for the 11
annual Fighting Bob Festin honor of Robert Lafollette. Master of Ceremonies Ed Garvey advised us take the big longview of the progressive movement. Walk the walk and plan to carry Bob Fest throughout thestate as well as neighboring states.
Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of
The Capital Times
, challenged us to convince the uncon-vinced and to convert the unconverted. Ruth Conniff, co
chair of Bob Fest and the politicaleditor of
reminded us that Democrats need Progressives to win.
Songs were led by The Ragin’ Grannies, Ken Lonnquist, Peter Leidy and Eric Schubring.The Singers who sing at the State Capitol each noon led us in song. On November 6, theywill make their 500
The progressive movement has become a way of life. Mahlon Mitchell reminded us of that.He talked of his commitment to the 3 C’s: community, coalitions and common sense.A new speaker for me was Buddy Roemer of Louisiana. He is a former four
term congress-man and governor of Louisiana. He was a Democrat for 20 years and then a Republican for 20 years. He knows that both parties are “joined at the billfold.”
Now in his retirement, he is directing the ReformProject.org to get special
interest money outof politics. The first step is campaign reform and full disclosure of money in politics. Thereshould be 48
hour reporting of contributions. There should be criminal consequences for breaking this kind of law. Super Pacs need to be outlawed. There should be public funding of campaigns. He has many more helpful insights. Buddy Roemer reminded us that nothing in politics will change until elections are free again and the politicians are free to lead. Buddy believes that we will bring reform through the use of technology and by the power of the peo- ple. Learn more at ReformProject.org.
Jim Hightower appeared in his cowboy hat. He said, “No matter how cynical you get, it’simpossible to keep up” (with all the scandals). He told the story of the lobbyist who offeredthe Senator $200 for his vote. The next day the Senator voted against the lobbyist’s bill. Thelobbyist demanded, “Why did you vote against my bill?”
The Senator replied, “The other side offered me $400. You knew I was weak when I took your $200.” Hightower reminded us that the progressive fight is on the grass
roots level. Weneed to help President Obama win, so we can continue to fight progressive battles.
The Mayor of Madison, Paul Soglin, came to the podium. “Do you want a welcome
city speech or a content speech?” We yelled, “Content.” So Mayor Soglin said that two mis-takes the Democrats make: they take reactionary stands and they embrace a Republican agen-da.