Thursday, June 24, 2010

WORD FROM THE 78th: People over corporations

In my annual newsletter mailed to homes in the 78th Assembly District in May, I surveyed residents to get feedback on important issues. On a variety of topics, one theme came through loud and clear from my district: Corporations should not be given the same rights as real people and their power should be reigned in.

The recession, the financial market crisis, instability and greed on Wall Street and big-oil’s environmental disaster in the Gulf have taken a huge economic toll on our country. People are justifiably fed up.

Most telling was that the question garnering the largest negative response on the survey was: “Do you feel corporations should be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections in Wisconsin?” 92% of respondents gave a resounding “No!”

And 88% of the people supported Democrats’ actions this past legislative session to close corporate tax loopholes, with just 5% against and the remainder undecided. Further closing of corporate tax loopholes was also the favored method among respondents for directing additional funding toward K-12 education. Constituents (75%) did favor tax credits for business, but only if they are used to create family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin.

Constituents agree that the most important issue facing our community is the economy. They want fair solutions that focus on curtailing the power of out-of-control corporations while rewarding honest business practices that help real people find good, family-supporting jobs.

Other details from the unscientific survey included:
● 83% of respondents support a clean-energy jobs bill that requires 25% of Wisconsin energy come from renewable sources by 2025.
● 79% are against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Social Security.
● 81% support medicinal marijuana if recommended by a doctor.