Sen. Randy Hopper’s getting recalled, and was reminded about why he is being challenged at a “listening session” Thursday night in Oshkosh. These town hall meetings are anything but a time for these on-the-outs Republicans to listen:
Northwestern: There was anger, frustration, shouted accusations and pleas for working together from the crowd of about 100 at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Marla Krueger … “I hate seeing all this going on. I really do. But we’ve got to fight back. We have to,” Krueger told Hopper. “Education is suffering. Child care is suffering. Seniors, whether they know it or not, will be suffering. This school voucher program is a farce.”
Most speakers spoke out against Hopper’s support for the budget repair bill and expressed particular concern over educational funding cuts for everything from local school districts and a proposal to split up the University of Wisconsin System to cuts to the technical college system.
“We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our childrens’ future. If Wisconsin is to remain competitive, we need all children to be ready for college and work,” Marge Rubin said. “From a purely capitalistic viewpoint, why would our legislators cut education when it is such a critical component of economic development and stability?”
And while most of the nearly three-hour listening session was tense and angry, some like Orlee Hauser’s testimony silenced even the most bitter political opponents.
Hauser’s 3-year-old son has autism and her family hopes a Medicaid slot will still be available this fall to help fund his treatment. Hauser, a public employee, said she’s about to lose salary, see an increase in medical co-payments for very frequent doctor visits and fears the Medicaid assistance slot could be frozen, costing her a total of $40,000 in assistance. “We understand we have to pay our fair share. OK. But how is that our fair share? And I’m not the only one,” Hauser said. “Why are we taking money from the most vulnerable people in our society and giving it to the most beneficial? How is that fair?”
Hopper paused for a moment. “It doesn’t sound fair to me,” he said. “I don’t know that it is fair.”And yet....