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Tension Runs High at Sensenbrenner Town Hall Meeting

Roughly 120 people packed Whitefish Bay Village Hall Sunday night, but recall candidates Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Sandy Pasch were not among them.

Tensions were high Sunday night at , where an overflow crowd of about 120 people packed into U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's town hall meeting.

But with only two weeks until the between state Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Sandy Pasch, the crowd seemed more focused on the two politicians who weren't in the board room. Sensenbrenner said both Darling and Pasch declined invitations.

The crowd was filled with people wearing campaign shirts for both Pasch and Darling, and Democratic residents held signs reading "shame" and "wrong" whenever Sensenbrenner or a conservative resident made a claim that triggered their attention.

Before and after the meeting, a large crowd lingered outside of Village Hall, and three police officers were on patrol throughout the event. Union groups and We Are Wisconsin urged their members to attend the meeting.

Shorewood resident Pablo Muirhead noted that Darling attended a over the weekend, but didn't show up at Sunday's meeting.

"Let's see your face, Senator Darling," he said.

"She's not in Illinois," shouted a man in the back of the room, referring to the 14 Democratic state senators that fled to Illinois to delay the Republican majority's passage of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

Several other arguments broke out among crowd members during the meeting, causing Sensenbrenner to bang his gavel several times and threaten to call a "time out for five minutes."

The crowd did have some questions for Sensenbrenner, ranging from the debt ceiling to Medicare reform.

With regard to the ongoing partisan stalemate over raising the debt ceiling, Sensenbrenner said he will wait to see what is included in the latest proposal before giving his support to any plan.

“Merely raising the debt ceiling without having changes in spending is simply going to make the deficit worse, and that was voted down about a month ago,” he said.

On Medicare, Sensenbrenner said something has to be done or the program will go broke. He said he voted for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which drew both boos and applause from the divided crowd.

“I’ve never said Paul Ryan is right for everything, but he ought to get credit for having a plan,” Sensenbrenner said.

Sandy Byrne, of Bayside, was concerned about a bill in the House of Representatives that would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, among other measures.

"I'm appalled at the continued gutting of good government regulation and awarding corporations who pollute and not holding them accountable," she said.

Sensenbrenner signaled his support for the bill.

"Nobody's for dirty water or unsafe air. The question is whether EPA regulations have a legitimate cost-benefit analysis," he said. "If you have regulations that kill jobs...Everyone has different values. We need jobs in this country."

Responding to boos in the crowd, Sensenbrenner said companies are not the only ones to blame.

"I get sick and tired of people saying that people are dumping sewage in our water when one of the biggest polluters in our country is the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District," he said.

N. Peske July 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Sensenbrenner couldn't possibly care less. It doesn't matter how many times I've tried in letters or in person to explain the death spiral, he's not bright enough to get it. I'm self-employed and I've gone from real insurance with copays to a $10,000 deductible in six years for the same monthly premium. How can anyone start a business these days when you can't afford insurance for yourself much less any potential employees? Again, Sensenbrenner couldn't possibly care less. He's made that blatantly clear, which is why I can't stomach being in the same room with him.
N. Peske July 25, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Well, now, do you want an official who is financially responsible, or not? Do you want to pay millions to upgrade the main sewer system in Milwaukee, or do you want people to take the SLIGHTEST amount of personal responsibility and inconvenience themselves in the most minor way to accomplish the same goal? Listen, if you want your taxes going sky high, by all means, fix the 2-3 overflows per annum with a sewer upgrade. If you want to be a bit frugal, listen to Sandy and do your dishes and laundry after the storm moves through. The Girl Scout in me just rolls my eyes over the resistance to common sense solutions.
Jacklyn Arzio July 25, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Check yourself into a clinic.
Jacklyn Arzio July 26, 2011 at 12:08 AM
@ Comon (sic) Sense Your post is one of the most condescending, misguided and delusional one's I've seen in a long time. How dare you tell me and all the other hardworking Americans that the rich deserve more than we do. The middle class in this country has every right to reward itself with benefits that we as a nation can afford. We have every right to provide for those less fortunate as well. It is quality of life issue. The taxes were cut for the rich on the pretext of encouraging job growth which it failed miserably to do because their wealth has nothing to do with job growth. We are discussing personal incomes and they pay less in taxes than I do. I am a solidly middle class person whose family has been in this country since the 1600's. I pull my own weight and don't you dare speak to me or other Americans like we are the scum of the earth.
James Prescott July 26, 2011 at 12:17 AM
You just can't reason with these Obama haters. Good, bad, or indfferent performance has nothing to do with it. Call it what you will, these people can't understand anything beyond their personal intense dislike.
Robert Carman July 26, 2011 at 12:58 AM
no where in this post do i see that it is their duty to raise taxes but i do see the word uniformed which means we all should pay the same amount of taxes not this 40 that pay nothing and use more of the welfares than the so called rich.
C6D6D6D3 July 26, 2011 at 02:12 AM
@Steve, Rich vs Greed. Many people assume that if someone is rich, then they must be greedy. Being rich is not a sin! Being greedy is...Greed is a deadly sin...yes, I am a Christian. And God helps those, who help themselves...alas the opportunity point in my previous post. You also make the assumption that I have lots of money. Money doesn't equal richness or wealth. Money is simply a tool. Richness and wealth can be purchased/built with money. IE...Farmers are rich/wealthy with assets, yet many of them don't have much money!! They provide jobs to their business as well as the industries that purchase what they grow or produce. Are these farmers bad people? And finally....shame on YOU! If you call yourself a Christian, you should offer a prayer for my eternal soul, not laugh about it...
George Kellam July 26, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Reading Jacklyn Arzio's comment makes me realize why I'm NOT a Democrat. The Republicans have issues also but NOT THE ANGER. I'm sure you don't have children, are probably NOT married and are very liberal. I am 70 years old, am a professional and still work full time. I Have children, grand-children, and great grand-children. Some of which have learned to work the system, FREE food, almost FREE housing, FREE medical care and whatever they can get FREE. They work SOME to support their HABITS. My concern is what happens when over 50% of the registered voters don't work - legally - and vote as a BLOCK like they have done in the past several elections. They will DEMAND their RIGHTS be fulfilled by taxing more those who do work.What happens when the RICH move to another country, with less taxes? We have seen what happens to cities when the RICH Leave for greener pastures. They become BATTLE ZONES. We have alot of problems and they are NOT really being addressed by 90% of the politicians. We need to create GOOD JOBS and END OUR GIVE AWAY PROGRAMS.
Ima Hippee July 26, 2011 at 02:32 AM
Hi American in Georgia - How is that Atlanta teacher cheating scandal? Teachers cheating? For money? Throw the criminal slackers out!
Thumper July 26, 2011 at 02:35 AM
C T 12:50pm on Monday, July 25, 2011 Maybe you have forgotten that during those years, besides 911, we had a DEMOCRATICALLY controlled congress & senate! I've forgotten nothing, the out of control spending began with Bush starting two wars off budget, Medicare Part B off budget and the huge tax decreases to the top 5% of the wealthiest Americans. I can tell you that Michelle Bachman loves Government money, her husband operates off of his medicare customers and she receives farm incentives NOT TO GROW CROPS as if she were a famer. It is Republican Greed that caused this mess not the Democrats in Congress.
C6D6D6D3 July 26, 2011 at 02:36 AM
SS is a ponzi scheme about to reach its end. There is are NO funds sitting in your account. The line item on everyone's paycheck deduction goes to SOMEONE else!! If you ever get a statement from the SSA, that amount is simply an IOU. As soon as the # of SOMEONE ELSE's goes up disproportionately more than paycheck deductions, that is the problem. It's been a known problem for a very long time. I think the Paul Ryan plan handles it the most sensible way possible. Don't change anything for anyone 55 and older. 54 and younger have to adjust retirement age appropriately and slowly phase out the system with personal accounts(IRAs, Roths, etc...)
Thumper July 26, 2011 at 02:37 AM
C T said: 12:50pm on Monday, July 25, 2011 Maybe you have forgotten that during those years, besides 911, we had a DEMOCRATICALLY controlled congress & senate! CT, I've forgotten nothing, the out of control spending began with Bush starting two wars off budget, Medicare Part B off budget and the huge tax decreases to the top 5% of the wealthiest Americans. I can tell you that Michelle Bachman loves Government money, her husband operates off of his medicare customers and she receives farm incentives NOT TO GROW CROPS as if she were a famer. It is Republican Greed that caused this mess not the Democrats in Congress.
Thumper July 26, 2011 at 02:45 AM
Cowdung I went to the site and your post is exceptionally disingenuous. What they said was: Washington's spending has recently been higher as a percentage of the nation's economic output than at any time since World War II. But by the same measure, Washington's revenues are the lowest in more than 60 years. That's right the lowest taxes in 60 years and the momentous debt Bush left Obama to clean up is what caused this problem. ■Income-tax receipts are down sharply since the Bush tax cuts. That figure was down to 6.2 percent of GDP last year. ■Spending for the military and for homeland security has risen substantially since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ■Non-military spending also has continued to rise. President George W. Bush pushed through an expensive prescription drug benefit for seniors in 2003, the largest expansion of Medicare in its history. In the financial crisis of 2008, Bush also pushed for and signed for a massive banking bailout. In early 2009, President Barack Obama pushed for and signed an expensive stimulus measure, and after a long fight in Congress he signed another expensive plan, the health care law, in March of last year, aimed at expanding coverage for millions who lack health insurance.
Ima Hippee July 26, 2011 at 02:52 AM
Ricky, now why did you have to compare Mr. Sensenbrenner to Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot? Come on now. You know when you cannot articulate your debate and regress to calling him an idiot - you lost your position. The shame. For you to compare those three to anyone in any way with our Wisconsin political spectrum is beyond the pale - regardless of political affiliation.
Ima Hippee July 26, 2011 at 02:58 AM
James, How about these for starters: The police acted stupidly! I have visited all 57 states! There will be no debt-limit increase! The fence is now basically complete! Guantanamo will be closed in one year! I did not take money from oil companies! I did not know Jeremiah Wright was radical! I will Have troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2009! We have run out of places in the US to drill for oil! I will have the most transparent administration in history! My wife did not mean what she said about pride in America! The health care bill will not increase the deficit by one dime!
grasspress July 26, 2011 at 04:11 AM
don't be persuaded by sensenbrenner's statement about the milwaukee 'sewerage' system. this is the goal of republicans: defund the govt to the point where it can't function and then do the 'i told you so' routine claiming they were right all along that the govt is dysfunctional and should be done away with so that the industrialists and robber barons can take complete control and dictate terms to all until they discover they have no customers and their businesses go down the tubes because no one wants to live without some common decency with health care, security, legal remedies and safe food.
The prosser-cuter July 26, 2011 at 04:41 AM
@David. The goal of republicans is to help people who need it with social safety nets, not to make government dependency a way of life. Republicans would prefer that everyone became self sufficient and more wealthy. Democrats on the other hand prefer to have everyone dependent on the government for just about everything. They prefer that a very small percentage of people have money, and have the masses depend on them.
Procketman July 26, 2011 at 04:44 AM
Hey CowDung, figure it out yet. You aren't still forgetting that self-employed folks pay twice as much? They aren't all in the top quintile.
lamont July 26, 2011 at 05:44 AM
I have just subscribed to The Nation magazine and on the cover of the first issue that I received was "ALEC Exposed". I am usually well informed to what makes the Republicans tick but when one of the HP posts gave the link to the ALEC expose, I knew that I needed to pay more attention to this article. ALEC, IMO, is one of the most dangerous groups out there. The Koch brothers are everywhere but what alarmed me was their agenda to change the social structure to their way of thinking! The Governors in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and South Carolina are governing from the same playbook. This includes the Union busting issue, abortion, controlling the voting rights process, and immigration. These people are very dangerous and I hope that the DNC is aware of them and has answers to counteract their push to defeat all Democratic candidates in the 2012 elections. I am going to be more proactive this time around to make sure that the voting process is legitimate and is not influenced by smoke and mirrors. In the movie Zeitgeist, reference was made that capitalism is very dangerous to our Democracy because the corporate culture wants to bring about the New World Order and abolish the Constitution and judging by the actions of the Republicans governors, it is proof positive that they are not about the serving their constituents but about serving their corporate masters Lastly Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell are members too!..nuff said
lamont July 26, 2011 at 06:35 AM
Why is it that the Republicans wants to pretend that they didn't have control of both houses and they spent like crazy...sure all of that changed in the 2006 elections but Bush had spent all of the surplus and was working on increasing the Deficit which meant that by Oct of 2008 which was raised to cover the 700 billion for the stimulus, it was already at 11.315 Trillion..I did the research and here are the numbers under Bush! P.L. 107-199 June 28th, 2002 New Limit: $6.4 trillion Increase in Limit: $450 billion P.L. 108-24 May 27th, 2003 New Limit: $7.384 trillion Increase in Limit: $984 billion P.L. 108-415 November 19th, 2004 New Limit: $8.184 trillion Increase in Limit: $800 billion P.L. 109-182 March 20th, 2006 New Limit: $8.965 trillion Increase in Limit: $781 billion P.L. 110-91 September 29th, 2007 New Limit: $9.815 trillion Increase in Limit: $850 billion P.L. 110-289 July 30th, 2008 New Limit: $10.615 trillion Increase in Limit: $800 billion P.L. 110-343 October 3rd, 2008 New Limit: $11.315 trillion Increase in Limit: $700 billion
Procketman July 26, 2011 at 06:54 AM
OK CowDung, I see you can't find it. I'll spell it out for you: The effective payroll tax for each quintile in 2007 Lowest Second Middle Fourth Highest 8.8 9.5 9.4 9.5 5.7 And just for you, the top 1% had an effective rate of 1.6% But you think because you found the rate that is charged to employees that you have the "right" answer. You think I'm lying to you don't you. Or you think I've cherry-picked the data. Whatever. You'd rather believe the crap that Rush or Beck tells you. Screw you and the Republican Fascists you rode in on. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?DocID=456&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=22 PS. Even after tonight's speech, Obama is -still- the most effective Republican President since Eisenhower. He is in on the actions to destroy Social Security and Medicare. CowDung, you should be really, really happy.
lamont July 26, 2011 at 06:58 AM
CowDung: SS is solvent until 2036.Thats 25 years which means money from current participants will be included which will take SS's solvency beyond 2036..If Bush had privatized SS..It would have lost either all or most due to the crisis of 2008. I am on SS and my money market account has lost money twice since 1987. If you didn't read my post above I am going to post the Bush increases one time so you can get off of this denial trip and realize the truth! P.L. 107-199 June 28th, 2002 New Limit: $6.4 trillion Increase in Limit: $450 billion P.L. 108-24 May 27th, 2003 New Limit: $7.384 trillion Increase in Limit: $984 billion P.L. 108-415 November 19th, 2004 New Limit: $8.184 trillion Increase in Limit: $800 billion P.L. 109-182 March 20th, 2006 New Limit: $8.965 trillion Increase in Limit: $781 billion P.L. 110-91 September 29th, 2007 New Limit: $9.815 trillion Increase in Limit: $850 billion P.L. 110-289 July 30th, 2008 New Limit: $10.615 trillion Increase in Limit: $800 billion P.L. 110-343 October 3rd, 2008 New Limit: $11.315 trillion Increase in Limit: $700 billion
Procketman July 26, 2011 at 07:05 AM
You guys... You denigrate the Social Security "guarantee" of retirement income while at the same time YOU guys are the one who are working to destroy it. (When you should be working to shore it up.) So you're going to depend on your corporation to "guarantee" your annuity? Like the United Airline Pilots, or Continental Pilots who had their pensions turned over the the Pension Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) at a fraction of the benefits that UAL and Continental were suppose to pay. Or you're going to depend on one of the "banksters" to guarantee that annuity? The same guys who torpedoed mortgage holders. I'm sure they'll consider your posts to this site before they deny you benefits. Yes, depending on the government sucks, but it sucks much less than all the other options. Believe me, a million dollars may sound like a lot of money, but it isn't even close to enough to maintain you through your retirement -- unless you retire at 70 and commit yourself to suicide at 80, then you -might- be able to spend $100,000 a year, if you ignore inflation/deflation/market collapse etc. That's the whole point of Social Security. If your other resources run out you should still have enough to live.
Procketman July 26, 2011 at 07:48 AM
You are so full of .... Social Security -IS- a safety net. The Republicans want to destroy it. Unemployment -IS- a safety net (its actually insurance which they pay for) but the Republicans have destroyed it. You've been listening to too much Rush. Under the Republicans only a very small percentage of people have money, and they tell the rest of us to f... off. Republicans claim they want everyone to be wealthy, but they don't care how you obtain that wealth. Ask Mitt Romney where he got his money. How many jobs did he eliminate? You didn't know? Now who's the fool?
CowDung July 26, 2011 at 01:28 PM
"income-tax receipts are down sharply since the Bush tax cuts. That figure was down to 6.2 percent of GDP last year. " I guess you missed the big increase in revenues shown on the graph starting around 2004. The Bush tax cuts were increasing revenues before the recession hit... I'm in full agreement that spending continues to rise--that's the big issue here...
CowDung July 26, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Compare the 'spending like crazy' during the Bush years and the 'spending like crazy' now. She sharp uptick in the spending line under Obama looks rather scary to me...
American July 26, 2011 at 02:57 PM
No Imahippie, its direct cause is "No Child Left Behind" an unfunded republican mandate from your former master. It is happening everywhere, even in your district. Perhaps you should attend school before you make such inept comments. It will require a little in depth thought on your behalf to understand. Not something expected of the average tard.
Ima Hippee July 27, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Georgia, Sure, go straight to excuses - blame the personal actions on someone else. Take no responsibility. Must be the fault of someone else. As for school, sorry, I would never put myself or my kids through MPS. There is no in depth thought there. As for your name calling (tards), you lose. You lose any credibility - you are flat out reprehensible for any name calling. It has no place in debate, renders your position weak and invalid.
David Rogers July 30, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Cow dung wake up Bush caused this mess look at the facts When Obama came to office he placed the wars and part d on the books And bush had the deficiet at over 11 trillion yes 11 trillion and 2 wars and part d off the books This is a fact obamas stim plan was 7 % of the deficit and 3% of that was tax cuts Republicans are a joke Look again at who ran up the dept republicans period now they see a black guy and it makes them put there sheets back on
Keith Best August 01, 2011 at 10:59 AM
David Rogers-- I despise Obama and his policies and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin. Don't try to rewrite history. Obama has spent more than every president from George Washington to George Bush. Yes, Bush spent too much, Obama quadruppled that. No matter how many times the debt ceiling was raised before, the debt never came near $14 trillion....until Obama.

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