Hello, good morning, good day and good evening, or as my Grandpa Lee used to say, “Hello Dey!” For those of you who do not know me, as I’m guessing that’s pretty much everyone, I’m Dustin. I’m another poor college student, union thug, pinko liberal here to dispel words upon you that spread progressive thought and discourse. Well…at least I hope so.

For most of my life I’ve been a Democrat. As in, since I was 14 and became aware of politics.

My activism started when I joined the Rainbow Alliance for the Youth, or RAY Club, a form of Gay-Straight Alliance, and ran for president of the club in his first meeting. Ultimately, I lost, but continued in that meeting to run for other offices and succeeded in winning a spot as secretary of the club. After two years of being taking meeting minutes, I ran for the presidency once more in my junior year and won. In that same year, I was appointed co-president of Amnesty International of Hamilton High School and president of Community Activists for the Revival of Empathy (CARE), a catch-all activist group that worked with the Salvation Army to feed the hungry, started a recycling program at my high school and worked with students to bring awareness to various types of discrimination.

When I was 19, I unsuccessfully took on Dan Knodl in the 24th State Assembly district. It was a great experience and I met so many amazing folks that have taught me about the process and helped me to become involved in election cycles beyond 2010. I also received the honor of working for the coordinated campaign at the UW-Stevens Point campus as a campus organizer for the 2010 election cycle.

I’ve served on the Portage County Democratic Party executive board, the 5th Congressional District executive board and managed Dave Heaster’s valiant attempt at taking on Jim Sensennbrenner. And, I, like so many of you, was in Madison at ground zero back in February and March of 2011. It’s been an amazing ride and now I have landed here at Blogging Blue!

I really hope we can help shape the discussion. Young voices are especially needed to change the atmosphere surrounding politics. Common sense and decency seems to have vanished from the English language, and it’s time we start to take the discussion back. It’s our voice; it’s our power. And I look forward to this chance to help influence our discourse.

I encourage you to ask me questions, suggest topics that need attention or notice, and stop in every week to see what I think of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin and how we can begin to change the world one by one!

13 Responses to Hello dey, Wisconsin!

  1. Jessie Read says:

    Dustin – when were you at Hamilton? Do you remember Ian Read? He is in his last semester at Marian Univ. in Indianapolis. He is also interested in pursuing a career in progressive politics and possibly international relations. I would like to get you two connected. Let me know if you are willing to talk to him. Thanks. (from a progressive mom.)

  2. Zachary says:

    Dustin, welcome to Blogging Blue!

  3. PJ says:

    Welcome, Dustin! Looking forward to your contributions!

    “There’s no point in prevaricating around the bush” as Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit) once said… from your perspective as one of the young voices, in what direction do you see the trajectory of our nation’s political character? And/or Wisconsin the political landscape of Wisconsin?

    • dklein says:

      Thank you! Our nation’s political character. It’s hard to sum this up in one way or another, as politics in America kind of reminds me of the Hulk. One moment we have Bruce Banner, a simple minded, caring, intelligent guy. Next we have a big green genetically engineered monster running around destroying everything. Right now I’d say we are at that big green monster stage with Scott Walker and his people running around doing whatever they can to tear down the infrastructure that we, the Bruce Banners of the world, put up.

      I’d say, at best, it’s a pendulum and that won’t change until young people step up and make change, or in my opinion, common sense, permanent.

      • PJ says:

        Thanx for your summary, Dustin. Appreciated. I agree. As to the pendulum, my two cents is its swing benefits only regressiveness. Until it stops swinging we (as a state or nation) won’t have any stability. We can’t be rest assured that the pendulum’s blade won’t be slicing us in half and casting us into the pit. Our quality of life will ever be substandard, and our ability to progress inhibited. America’s fate today, is in your generation’s hands… and feet… you must step up, but also you must put your foot down.

        I concur with you on your point regarding the action of young people determining permanence. I’m actually pretty confident in that regard. I trust that your generation will (kindly) demand change immediately. Every moment the status quo remains your generation’s future stability erodes. Your generation must be able to construct the foundations of your individual lives now. I cannot stress this point enough. Society can move backward, but individuals can’t. I believe your generation realizes that every swing of the pendulum cuts through your future irreparably.

        Give me your impression, Dustin. In general terms, do you think your generation believes it can step up and put its foot down? Does your generation see its great charge for all of us in the present day as well as your own generation’s future?

  4. Cat Kin says:

    PJ, Your assessment of political swings being regressive hits on a point that I’ve been trying to make concerning democracy in general. Especially in this time of wild swings of bipolar public sentiment.
    When a party can be elected in a 2 or 4 year cycle and change a state’s or nation’s direction, it puts a red flag up for all nations involved with the USA in treaties or economic cabals around the globe. It proliferates distrust, thus hurting the US status and economy as well as the overall economy of the world. Most international surveys show that citizens in Monarchies have the best quality of life. Why? I propose it’s the lack of huge political swings in public and economic policy. It’s also the fact that the nobility are conditioned from birth to govern and thus have a greater education, relationship and experience for the common good. What qualifications do we seek for our legislators? What standards do we hold them to? It’s no wonder that the Federal Reserve Bank and the nation’s financial wizards control most of this country. They are the group most educated, motivated and held to a higher standard than other estates today. let’s insist that our legislators be qualified and talented enough for the jobs they are elected to do, so we can get off the streets and not always have to engage in disruption for justice.

    • PJ says:


      I read your comment with a long, low chuckle. 🙂 You have a fair point regarding the frequency of elections. I do agree to some degree. While ease of turnover of our elected officials is the hallmark of our democracy (and intentionally so), the specifics of that frequency were contested in post-revolutionary america. One argument then was that frequency was burdensome to the public. Certainly then it was more burdensome than now, yet I can’t help but think that frequency is problematic and is not serving the democratic function with respect to midterm elections, for instance.

      At the same time, with respect to stability, perhaps we need to think in terms of relative stability. At the moment, yes, the nation is polarized and in the throes of political warfare. We haven’t had any major swings in economic policy, however, for over three decades. What engendered distrust in that same period (on the part of the world community) is the proliferation of Conservatism in the U.S.

      I also agree with you regarding holding our governing officials to a higher standard. I think one key to that is holding our journalistic outlets to a higher standard. The inability for Americans to engage in discourse on a sophisticated level compared to most of the Western world is pretty humiliating actually. In part, that disability is due to a misinformed-disinformed electorate attributable to a media market valued for its quantity not its quality. The other piece for holding our elected officials to a higher standard is to have a genuinely educated populace capable of electing those fit to govern. In a democracy, as the Founding Fathers so often stressed, without a well (nay, very well) educated electorate, our republican democracy would surely fail. Their preventative measure rested in public education Pre-K-Phd. Well, those are contemporary distinctions, but the general sense is the same. The Constitution very nearly provided for a federal university system, for instance, and certainly early education was a concept not unfamiliar to the Jeffersons and Wilsons and Franklins and Adamses.

      Let’s hope relative stability isn’t far off. We needed it yesterday.

      Another thought – stability isn’t doing us any favors with the Supreme Court. On the contrary, the stability of the Supreme Court is asphyxiating our democracy and furthering our social instability. We need a number of amendments to the Constitution, and one of them is providing for a representative Supreme Court, electable by the people, and subject to reasonable term limits.

  5. nonquixote says:

    Future plans, i.e. future candidate? Refined or re-prioritized views on issues? Specific thoughts beyond WI issues? Evaluation of DPW having been affiliated in a previous campaign as an organizer and a candidate? Evaluation of Obomba and corporate driven US Imperialism? Looking for you personal take. Cheers, I hope these evoke some topics for you to expound on or not.


    • dklein says:

      Congrats on finding that old website! I forgot that thing existed. I don’t have any future plans decided yet, but hey who knows what is to come!

  6. Shaina says:

    Welcome to Blogging Blue Dustin! 🙂

    • Dave W says:

      First off, I came across this site and I wish I would have known about it awhile ago, But better late than never. I appreciate all efforts by those who take the time to inform us. Job well done. Now, One story among the countless that should be hammered on is the 500k grant issue, At what point do the Legit Org’s within the State realize they have been played like fool’s? What do they actually have to say about being shut out of the process, And would they hang out their Sportsman for Walker signs now? At what point will these Blatant attempt’s (the grant) and the successful (WEDC) get investigated? I read about the call for an investigation called for by 3 Senators into the WEDC, Any new information? Back to the Grant, If this isn’t used against Walker, Then I will wonder just what is going on. Thank’s

      • PJ says:

        Welcome, Dave! Thanks for your input. You are right on! I just read the Pierce article on Walker’s campaign contributions a couple of days ago. Here’s a choice teaser:

        “…Scott Walker, the twice-elected goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin….” With an intro. like that, you know it’s going to be good. And it is.

        Here’s that article:

        I’m happy you found Blogging Blue. I look forward to your perspective in future posts!

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