Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting

Environment, Ethanol, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

I attended Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting Sunday. Attendance was light--maybe 2 dozen people (mostly men). Perhaps the early start time kept people away?

Wisconsin's Representative Rich Zipperer was also there to answer questions.

I missed the first question. The second dealt with Common Ground, a group that has been appealing to churches for support. Is it truly bi-partisan?

Both Congressman Sensenbrenner and Rep.Zipperer expressed their doubts of bi-partisanship since Common Ground did not seem to be interested in tax relief, school choice, etc.

A reader had emailed me about this group 2 weeks ago after Vicki McKenna talked about Common Ground on her radio show. The reader was "taken aback" that their St. John's church bulletin urged people to attend the Common Ground conference. Many people might be surprised to learn their church supports Common Ground.

Energy and taxes were the topic of the remaining questions.

One man inquired if the direct donation from retirees' IRAs to a charity option would be renewed (this would then satisfy the distribution requirement). Mr. Sensenbrenner said that there would be an effort to bring that donation option back since donations to charity support groups that often help others without any additional government funding.

The next question asked about the Congressman's opinion of nuclear power. He said he was "All for it--it emits 0 greenhouse gas." He added that Chernobyl's defective design for nuclear power plants has never been used in the U.S. There was more discussion about Wisconsin's rising energy costs, which the Congressman also discussed on Charlie Sykes show Monday morning. It is a subject all unto itself, so I will get to that in a later post.

The last question was on Ethanol. Mr. Sensenbrenner said it was "Bad stuff--not energy efficient, and the blend reduces gas mileage." He also mentioned that there is engine damage and increased pollution because of it, and the 51 cents per gallon subsidy was passed 20 years ago!  Add to that the economic and social impact of food into fuel and it is time to "Get off the ethanol kick!"  (Amen)

"The real problem is politics", he said. Iowa is the first caucus in the primary process. For any candidate to succeed, they must first "Worship at the altar of ethanol!" That is why we have it, the Congressman explained.  (I was aware of that, were you?)

He closed by mentioning he would be discussing the N.A.M. report (National Association of Manufacturers) on energy and the business climate in Wisconsin and the United States, Monday morning on Charlie Sykes radio show. Catch the podcast, Ready for $10 a gallon gas?

From what the Congressman said at the town hall meeting, Wisconsin's energy costs in the near future will be sobering if the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill passes. More about that later.

Links: Upcoming events in Brookfield

4th Annual Weed Out, May 3rd, Mary Knoll Park

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Vicki Mckenna


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