Thursday, September 29, 2016

Luther "The Muffin Man" Olsen

By Jeff Simpson 

Many people who have been paying attention, have seen in the news that the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, WI has had numerous, horrific problems.   

KING, Wisconsin — Walter Sundling wanted to live at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Held captive by the Nazis during World War II after his plane was shot down over Germany, the 90-year-old Air Force veteran was healthy when he asked to move to the community surrounded by southern pines he visited as a child. He had his own apartment at an assisted living facility in Madison, but wanted to be near others who had served their country, at the home between Stevens Point and Oshkosh.
“He said, ‘I’d love to be with veterans. I’d really like to be with my own kind and I’ve heard so many good things about King,’” said Sundling’s daughter, Sharon Blando, who lives in Milwaukee. “He was just so happy to be with the vets.”
Two years later, Blando said, the Purple Heart recipient developed gastrointestinal bleeding from untreated constipation. Two heart attacks followed and Sundling later died, the result, Blando claims, of widespread neglect at Wisconsin’s largest state-run, skilled nursing facility. Despite her father’s advanced age, Blando believes abysmal care at King expedited his death last year.
A decorated veteran and war hero survived being captured by the Nazi's but could not survive the lack of governing done by Scott Walker and his fellow GOP.   This unfortunately is not an isolated incident:

Sundling’s story is consistent with what current and former King employees, residents and family members say is a much larger problem: Elderly and over-medicated veterans with complex combinations of physical and mental ailments are not receiving adequate care at King, even as the state brings in millions more each year than it spends to care for its residents, transferring the surplus elsewhere.

For those of you scoring at home, the state is getting more than enough money to care for our veterans and heroes but the Walker administration has decided to give them the minimal amount of care and use the money for other things in WI(like sending 45 Wisconsin State Troopers to the Republican Convention).   

Who are we neglecting so we can pay bonuses to the loyal Walkerites? 

According to King’s internal census report for April 2016, there are 682 residents, 545 men and 149 women. The average length of stay is 4.3 years and the average age is 80. The majority of King residents — 480, or 69.26 percent of the total population — pay for their stay with Medicaid.
Half of King’s residents have been diagnosed with dementia and 58 percent have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Forty-nine individuals have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the census report, but employees say that number is likely higher because new diagnoses are not updated in the facility’s computer system after initial intake evaluations.
Of King’s veterans, 229 are from the Vietnam War era. It has 132 World War II veterans and 130 Korean War veterans, including 20 Purple Heart recipients and two prisoners of war, according to King records.

Hundreds of men and women who have served their country with pride and honor are now being neglected by our state.   

This has finally caught the eye of the media, which means it has finally caught the eye of the politicians who are pretending to do something about it.  Senator Luther Olsen, whose district King falls into,  let everyone know that he means business:

"“If there are problems at King, we must shine a light on them and we do not rest until we figure out how to resolve them in a manner benefiting our veterans that demonstrates our utmost respect and gratitude for their selfless service to our great country." Senator Luther Olsen 

Forgetting the fact that there is no "IF", that there are serious problems there for the moment, I want to call something else that Mr. Olsen had to say:

we do not rest until we figure out how to resolve them in a manner benefiting our veterans that demonstrates our utmost respect and gratitude for their selfless service to our great country.  

Luckily, we know a little bit more about Senator Olsen and his meaning of "do not rest".....  

Forced to choose between visiting a troubled veterans home or to judge a baking contest, state Sen. Luther Olsen went with his gut.
Olsen — a Ripon Republican who is in a tough re-election bid — had a conflict on his schedule for July 8, according to records obtained from his office.
He had been invited by Rep. John Nygren, a fellow Republican from Marinette, to join him on a tour of the Wisconsin Veterans Homeat King on that date. Initially, Olsen's staff said the senator was free and able to visit the facility, which is in his district.
But two weeks later Olsen begged off.
"Senator Olsen had another important obligation come up on July 8th, so unfortunately Senator Olsen will not be in attendance for the Nygren tour of King,"Shelby Lemke, legislative assistant to Olsen, wrote to a Nygren staffer.
What could be more important than getting a firsthand look at the conditions at the King veterans home, which is now the subject of a legislative audit because of the problems there?
The Junior Bake-Off Contest at the Lodi Agricultural Fair.
Olsen was one of four judges evaluating cookies, sweet bars and tart pies made by children of all ages using primarily Wisconsin-grown or produced ingredients. He hasfive photos of the event on his Facebook page, including one showing he was accompanied by two of his legislative staffers on that Friday afternoon.

Yes Senator Olsen meant he would not rest, as soon as he had enough baked goods.   Judging a cookie contest is much more important than making sure our heroes spend their remaining time in comfort and dignity like they deserve.    

But wait there's regrets!   

But Olsen made clear he was glad he went to the Lodi festival, calling it standard fare — or fair? — for politicians to go to such events in "campaign season." He said he enjoyed trying out the treats and interacting with the kids during the hour he spent as a judge.

There is campaigning to be done.   The veterans have waited this long to get adequate care, whats a few more weeks?   

The disgrace and complete lack of respect that Luther Olsen shows our heroes is mind numbing.     

Luckily, there is an alternative this year! 

Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith has decided that his district needs some real leadership and representation so he has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next Senator from the 14th Senate district of WI!    

Head to his website here, and Facebook page here.   Throw him a couple of bucks, make some phone calls or knock on doors for Mr. Smith and I promise you Wisconsin will be a better place when we swear Brain Smith in as the newest Senator for the fightin' 14th!   

Let's send Luther "The Muffin Man" Olsen back to the kitchen permanently!   

1 comment:

  1. Can I assume he has not served in our military? What a dirty rotten low down scumbag. He should have choked on that flipping muffin.