March 22, 2011

The Update Desk: Nuclear raction, Wisconsin unions, Ann Marie Buerkle

On nuclear reaction:  In the Sunday School post from March 13th, I expressed hopes that as we looked at possibly increasing America’s use of nuclear power, we’d be smart enough not to put nuke plants on fault lines or in low-lying coastal areas, where the risk of the kind of damage that Japan is experiencing could be high.  Since that time, I’ve heard that New York’s Indian Point plant is in fact one of the riskiest plants from an earthquake perspective. While significant earthquakes are rare in the Empire State, I was very surprised to see that we would have built a plant on a fault line; shame on me for not being more aware. 
Governor Andrew Cuomo has requested a meeting with federal officials to discuss Indian Point.  
The Wisconsin unions: I’ve done several posts, (including newspaper front pages) on the situation with Governor Scott Walker and his attempts at busting the state’s unions. While his legislation to strip collective bargaining rights and get agreed-upon concessions on wages and benefits was eventually passed by the Assembly in a dramatic late-night vote, and by the Senate when they stripped the union-busting part away from any financial legislation, a judge has issued a stay and for now at least it’s on hold.
I'd love for this to stand as a fantastic example of our messy American democracy in action, and regardless of the eventual outcome, hopefully the ‘sleeping giant’, that population of citizens that don’t vote, will have finally been woken up. Silly me, there I go again, being hopeful.  Democracy succeeds when people participate – and the more people participating, the better. 
Ann Marie Buerkle's responsiveness: Back in January, when the House of Representatives was preparing to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have dubbed the Job-Killing Health Care Law, I posted questions for Ann Marie Buerkle, who represents my district, on why she felt it necessary to repeal PPACA, and what she’d offer instead. I also emailed the questions directly to her office. I’ve never heard from her in response. 
It seems I’m in very good company. My local paper has printed several letters from Buerkle constituents who have been ignored as well – I guess she’s not answering anyone who questions her positions on PPACA, the budget, Planned Parenthood, government regulation, and so on. 
She admitted to being reluctant to putting forth her own ideas, but that doesn't excuse her not responding to ours.