Letter To The People - February 2018

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

2018 Gubernatorial Candidates Forum at La Follette HS in Madison 1/28/2018 - photo by Sarah Wilson

2018 Gubernatorial Candidates Forum at La Follette HS in Madison 1/28/2018
photo by Sarah Wilson

Some of you may know me, and if you do, you probably know that I’m a political junky. Through the years of publishing Maximum Ink I haven’t let this column stray into politics that wasn’t related to music in some way. I’ve decided that the upcoming gubernatorial Democratic primary election on August 14th is too important to remain silent and this is my soapbox, Letter To The People.

I have already decided who I’m voting for, it was easy peasy, but for many others, this list of more than a dozen candidates is quite daunting. Who stands where on what issue? Who has the honesty and integrity to stand up for all people in Wisconsin not just a very few or the corporations that wish to strip our state of critical resources? Who is willing to limit campaign fundraising to people in order to be beholden to the voter and not the mega-donors, superpacs, and corporations? Who has the passion, engergy and personality to go toe to toe with Scott Walker? Who inspires you?

There are also two things that I think are poisonous during this primary season. The first is that “you can’t beat Walker by hating him”. My first “red flag” for a candidate is when they start blaming Walker to get your support. You’ll hear some common refrains “the roads are in disrepair, Foxconn, DNR, fracking, high capacity wells, cell phone coverage”. Not that those aren’t all true, but blaming the other guy without a clear vision of what this state could be won’t convince rural Wisconsin voters who once voted (D) but now vote (R). And rural Wisconsin will be the true battleground. We will need someone who is listening to these “forgotten” people and inspire them with a new vision of a Wisconsin government that works for ALL the people, and not a select few.

The Second is “anyone but Walker”. We went through this before, no? It used to be “anyone but McCallum” and that’s how we ended up with Gov. Doyle. I suggest avoiding this type of thinking, it’s time to support candidates who actually represent your values and not just the person you think is the lesser of the evils but has the perceived best chance. It hasn’t and isn’t working and only leads to another establishment politician. Establishment politicians must fundraise, and I don’t mean from you. Out of state interests, big money donors, dark money. If you think it’s only Walker who is beholden to money and outside interest, take a look at where the candidate’s money is coming from. It may be eye opening.

If the election is about money, Walker wins. The oncoming political transformation will be powered by elbow grease….. yours. If change is expected you will need to become engaged in the process, volunteer, register voters, work the polls, canvass, phone bank. The time for action is now. Become informed, be a critical thinker, check the facts of our politicians, and stay engaged.

Jimmy K Show on WSUM: The Jimmy K Show now has a permanent showtime on 91.7FM WSUM. Catch Jimmy K, Edub, Wheels, and yours truly every Wednesday from 8-9PM. I have a weekly segment on the show called R√∂kker’s Closet where I spin a song from local bands that have long since passed with a small slice of their story. I would love to get your old-dead band’s music, contact me at rokker@maxinkradio.com.

Black Star Drum Line: As with all youth oriented groups, the older kids graduate and move on and the younger kids move up to make room for newcomers. Recently, tenor drummer Ben Lokuta recieved the first scholarship from the Clyde Stubblefield Scholarship Fund and is now attending college for music in California.

And over the winter break, Black Star held try-outs for new members. The new version of the drumline will return to the Overture Center on Saturday, February 3rd for the annual Kid’s in the Rotunda at 1 PM. This kid friendly and free event is always packed, so arrive a little early for a seat. The Kids in the Rotunda performance also includes a lot of audience participation (read kids banging on drums).

Adventures with Lizzie and Nikko: Lizzie made the Dean’s list for the third straight semester in college and Nikko is taking on snare drum duties in Black Star Drumline.

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