Thursday, November 1, 2012

Worthington For The 14th Senate District

At the beginning of October, I wrote about Act 22, the law that the Republicans, headed by Luther Olson, had passed, deregulating the phone companies. This move was a horrible stunt and will end up costing a lot of people their jobs and for some other people, it could cost them their lives.

In that article, I pointed out that the good people of the 14th Senate District had a chance to get rid of the ALEC-controlled Olson by electing Margarete Worthington.

Robert Cloud - editor, reporter and chief bottle washer at the Waupaca County Post and one of the most honest writers in the entire state - did a nice article comparing Worthington and Olson.

Here's what Cloud wrote about Worthington:
Margarete Worthington lives in Buffalo, a rural township in Marquette County.

Although she has never held an elected office, Worthington has served on her town’s planning commission and is currently on the Member Advisory Group of Adams Columbia Electric Cooperative.

"I come from a military family as my father, uncle, brothers and husband all served in the U.S. military," Worthington said. "I grew up believing you have to give back to your country and give back to your community, My father was in the service for 30 years. After he retired, he became very active in local politics. I grew up expecting local politics to be a big thing in my life."

After putting herself through college, Worthington worked a number of jobs, including as manager of an art supply store, where she supervised 50 employees.

She also worked 12 years as the coordinator of the IT department of a construction company in the Madison area.

"The company I worked with was hit hard by the recession in 2008," Worthington recalled. "They laid off 135 people in December, right before Christmas, and basically laid off people every quarter after that."

Worthington lost her job nearly two years ago.

"When the crash came, construction companies couldn’t get loans and clients couldn’t get bonds," Worthington said. "This is just a slice of what has been happening to the economy throughout Wisconsin."


Worthington noted that while urban areas, such as Madison, are now rebounding, rural areas are still struggling. She believes the problem is due to a lack of adequate infrastructure.

"The roads are in poor shape and Internet speeds are slower," Worthington said. "It’s harder to start a new business in a rural area if you have to rely on dial-up."

Worthington said Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to return $23 million in federal stimulus funding intended for broadband expansion was "a huge blow to rural areas."

The funds Walker gave back to Washington would have been used to install 200 miles of fiber optic cables and provide high-speed Internet access at libraries, schools and government agencies in areas currently without broadband service.

"Rural areas don’t even have good cellular service, so companies will not move here," Worthington said.

She is also concerned about how a 2011 telecommunications bill will affect rural areas.

Co-authored by Olsen, Act 22 eliminates pricing regulations on telecommunications, deregulates intrastate access charges, exempts voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service from regulation and eliminates many Public Service Commission oversight activities, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin.

"This deregulation won’t hurt people and businesses in Madison or even in Waupaca, where you have choices, but it will hurt rural communities," Worthington said. "Most people living in rural areas rely on one phone company to provide landline service. Cell service is spotty and for most people in rural areas, their landline is their lifeline."

After April 30, 2013, no telecommunications companies will be required to provide service to rural areas.

"The phone companies that own the lines in rural areas can now pick and choose which customers they want to keep," Worthington said. "If you live in a sparsely populated rural area and you have a heart attack or your barn burns down, you may have no way calling for help."
I've had conversations with Worthington as well. Besides the issues that Cloud highlighted, I know that Worthington is also very concerned about what is happening at the King Veteran Center and the way that these heroes are being treated, including having all the locks removed from the rooms, depriving these vulnerable veterans of any privacy or safety.

As for her opponent, Cloud wrote everything one needs to know about him as well:
Olsen’s professional career included part ownership of Olsen’s Mill Inc., a fertilizer and feed mill business started by his grandfather.

The company closed due to financial troubles in the spring of 2009.
He's a professional bullshitter and not very good at that either.

The choice is obvious. The people of the 14th Senate District can vote for Olson, who gets his marching orders straight from ALEC and will follow them regardless of how many people get hurt.

Or they can vote for Worthington, who will fight to preserve the rights of the people, to keep the big businesses in check and protect our most vulnerable.

You can learn more about Worthington on her Facebook page and you can donate to her Act Blue page.

Cog Dis stands in proud support of Margarete Worthington and you should too.

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