Letters to the editor 1-20: Dace, Jensen, Janovick


Looking for explanation on referendum

Dear Editor:

SASD board proposes a referendum, is it $2.1 million or $2.8 million for one or two years? We’re not told for how much or for how long or what it is for. What we do know is we’ve already been paying an additional $750,000 per year for the last 14 years, totaling $10.5 million. We’re told that money has been spent on “technology,” nothing more specific than that.

At the most recent board meeting, the financial person couldn’t explain to the board members clearly why SASD needs the referendum money. She offered to meet with the board members individually to explain it to them. How about explaining it to us? The former superintendent tried to help, explaining that the school board can put the money wherever they want to. So no plan, no control, no explanation. Just more money.

They said our “mill rate” won’t go up…but our tax bill will. I looked at the fine print on our tax bill and we’re paying on three school referendums, two are done in 2023 but the big one is on us until 2039, that’s going to add up to over $6,000 for our household. Now we’re looking at tacking on a couple more referendums. Does it ever stop? The school district needs to live within its budget. Forget about agendas, football fields, overspending, more technology, overstepping, fighting with the community.

SASD board should focus on educating our students.

Gordon Dace, Sparta


Find out about Fair Maps at Friday rally

Dear Editor:

The right to vote in a free and fair election is a keystone of our democracy. It pains me to hear people deride our election process, especially when precious little evidence has been found to support allegations that irregularities exist in the way votes were cast or counted. Republican and Democratic poll workers alike worked hard to assure the fairness of our elections, and I commend them. 

Gerrymandering, the politicians’ practice of drawing district lines to favor their party and expand their power,  should be much more of a concern. In examining the website projects.fivethirtyeight.com/Wisconsin it becomes evident that the legislature has skewed the legislative districts so much that even without a vote being cast, Republicans have a much greater chance of winning an election. When Democrats recapture the legislature, THEY will redraw the maps so that Democrats have the advantage. Unfairness from both sides.

Maybe an independent group of citizens should determine legislative boundaries. Would they be fairer than a roomful of Republicans or Democrats? I think so.

This idea is called “Fair Maps,” and a rally will be held at noon Friday, Jan. 21, at Cameron Park, 400 King St. in La Crosse to promote it. I invite you all to attend. Our vote deserves fairness from both sides.

Did you know that in ancient Greece any male citizen over 20 years of age could submit their name for leadership and the leader was drawn by lottery? That's an interesting idea also! Mmmmm.

Anita M. Jensen, Sparta


Assault on democracy?

Dear Editor:

If you want an article that discusses the voting act issues, look up “Is Ensuring Election Integrity Anti-democratic?” by John R. Lott Jr. from September 2021. You’ll find a rational, point-by-point breakdown of recommendations in a bipartisan report. “I]n 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report that proposed a uniform system of requiring a photo ID in order to vote in U.S. elections. The report also pointed out that widespread absentee voting makes vote fraud more likely. Voter files contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional and deceased voters, a fact easily exploited using absentee ballots to commit fraud. Citizens who vote absentee are more susceptible to pressure and intimidation. And vote-buying schemes are far easier when citizens vote by mail.”

Lott reports: 46 of 47 European countries require government-issued photo IDs to vote. The British Parliament is working on such. Thirty-five of the 47 do not allow absentee voting for citizens living in the country. And another 10  allow absentee voting but require voters to show up in person, present a photo ID and pick up the ballot.

Eighty percent of Americans want voter ID (Rasmussen, Monmouth University polls). Remington Research Group found 75%, with 79% Blacks favoring photo ID. (Why won’t politicians support their constituents when four out of five want voter ID?) Lott also reports on Mexico and Canada (continental Americans). Mexicans have a photo with thumb print. After voting, Mexicans have an indelible ink applied to their thumb. U.S. activists call this “voter suppression.” (Lott says after these reforms were made, Mexican voting went from 59% to 68% because they were more “likely to vote when they had confidence their votes mattered.”) Canadians have photo ID. No photo; written declaration with identification by poll worker. Are U.S. rules out-of-step/too weak?

Lott wraps it up, “Those opposing common sense measures to ensure integrity in U.S. elections – measures such as those recommended by the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission in 2005 – are not motivated by a concern for democracy but by partisan interests.” Read that as the lust for power by a slim majority.

Bob Janovick, Sparta


Editor’s note: Because Mr. Janovick’s first letter was mistakenly rerun from an earlier month, this will count as his letter for the month of January.




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