Robin Vos has been flying under the radar lately so I thought it was time that people met him. Representative Vos, likes skinny-dipping, dancing and money. His dislikes are middle class people making a living wage, listening to his constituents, and telling the truth.
Maybe his biggest whopper was this one:
“The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us,” said Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester and co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee. “They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”
Well since Robin Vos, man of the people, knows how the people of Wisconsin feel, I am not sure why he even shows up at budget hearings anyway. Especially since they are \"regular taxpayers\" who are speaking anyway. There is a reason they have scheduled the they scheduled only four listening sessions in democratically controlled districts.
Although Vos’s lack if interest in what the people of Wisconsin have to say has caught the ire of some people. Like Steve Decker a Navy Veteran and current student:
Steve Decker, a Navy veteran and UW-Platteville grad who now attends school here, came to the podium upset with what he was seeing. He told Assembly co-chair Robin Vos he didn’t want his two minute time limit to start until he put away his cell phone, and told Rep. Joel Kleefisch he looked like he needed some coffee.
“I can not count the number of times you have yawned and sighed and acted like you don’t want to be here,” Decker said to him.
Decker, no relation to former Dem Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, said his request for the committee was simple.
“Care about the people of Wisconsin,” he said.
Decker told reporters he got to the hearing at noon and seeing was number 180 on the list to speak he left and came back about an hour and a half ago.
He said he has concerns about cuts to education, cuts to funding for public transportation, Medicare and family planning services. Decker said the budget proposal is “everything Republicans want” and attacks the base of the Democratic Party.
Decker said was disappointed because he didn’t think the lawmakers were taking their job seriously, and he doubted all the feedback given today will make much difference in how they vote.
“They don’t care. It’s not going to change anything,” he said.
If you want to hear from the people, don’t you need to listen to them?” inquired Senator Miller.
Representative Barca pointed out the inconsistency between Darling and Vos’ complaints that “taxpayers” were not represented at yesterday’s public hearing in Stevens Point when the co-chairs purposely scheduled the hearing during typical weekday work hours.
“It was the decision of Senator Darling and Representative Vos to cut off registrations to speak at yesterdays public hearing at 5:15pm, schedule the fewest number of Joint Committee on Finance budget hearings in more than 25 years and take the unprecedented step of cutting off the public’s ability to speak at a set time instead of listening to all attendees wishing to address the committee,” noted Barca.
Despite the efforts of the Republicans to limit public access to the committee, nearly two hundred Wisconsin residents, mostly taxpayers from Central Wisconsin, testified in front of the committee with many more submitting written comments.
NOTE: I realized I missed lots of VOS’s absurdity, so here is some more.
A little ALEC history is in order: In 1973, the organization was established by the late Paul Weyrich (who co-founded the Heritage Foundation and is widely considered to be one of the Godfathers of the New Right), former Illinois Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, and conservative activist Lou Barnett. According to Source Watch, a project of the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC is a “semi-secretive” organization that “has been highly influential, has operated quietly in the United States for decades, and received remarkably little scrutiny from journalists, media or members of the public during that time.” More on Wisconsin\'s own Paul Weyrich here.
While they deny that they are a lobbying group, In 2009 alone, according to the report, \"826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law.\". Here are some of ALEC’s greatest hits:
Over the years, the report noted, “the organization has promoted the interests of:
Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.
Of course ALEC was a secret political organization until Professor William Cronon outted them and defined in detail who they are. Well NOT on Vos’s watch will professors allowed to do actual research so he is working to make sure and punish those who do.
Vos said he would follow up with Reilly in private to make sure “everybody who’s seemingly doing things that might not be appropriate” face disciplinary action.
Finally on a side note: State Representative Tamara Grigsby did not speak very highly of her Republican colleaugues in terms of why they are holding budget hearings during daytime hours in her district.
“They’re scared to death of Milwaukee,” Grigsby said. “They don’t want to be here after dark.”
Well, the all inclusive everyman Robin Vos took great exception to that:
First, he noted that the budget hearing, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is in West Allis, not Milwaukee.
In addition, the Rochester Republican said he and his wife had spent Saturday night at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, enjoying a good time in the city after dark.
Pointing out that he is not only scared to go to Milwaukee at night, he does not want to go there at all. Besides, when he does he will gladly go to the Pfister for a completely secure and safe party at night. What says Milwaukee more than an invite-only party at the Pfister. I am sure that the other guests there were big fans and he had no problem listening to their thoughts on the budget(and taking their donations).
Here is Robin Vos contact information:
Room 309 East
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
960 Rock Ridge Road
Burlington, WI 53105
(608) 266-9171 Or