Last night voters in Wisconsin's Senate District 22 overwhelmingly rejected the Republican Party's attempt to replace Senator Bob Wirch with Jonathan Steitz, another hapless Scott Walker/Paul Ryan clone. Wirch won reelection 58-42%... in a senatorial district that is entirely within Paul Ryan's congressional district. Last year Ryan took Kenosha County with 62% of the vote. Ryan's constituents may well be getting sick and tired of his shenanigans-- from pushing through the TARP bailout of Wall Street to fueling the Koch Brothers' agenda for destroying Medicare. In May, Ryan, trying to appeal to deranged teabaggers, even played down the potentially catastrophic consequences of letting the U.S. default.
"You want to make sure that the bondholder has confidence that the government's going to be able to pay them... That's what I'm hearing from most people, which is if a bondholder misses a payment for a day or two or three or four what is more important that you're putting the government in a materially better position to be able to pay their bonds later on."
And his latest stunt-- and hence this request to donate $15 to Rob Zerban's campaign to replace Ryan-- is to refuse to speak to constituents who don't pay for the privilege! No more townhalls-- just chats with voters who pay him! During the current summer vacation, he's charging $15 to take part in his events.
By outsourcing the events to third parties that charge an entry fee to raise money, members of Congress can eliminate most of the riffraff while still-- in some cases-- allowing in reporters and TV cameras for a positive local news story.
...“After Republicans voted to gut Medicare, and other vital programs, while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and corporations, it’s not surprising that they would not want to face their constituents in an open forum,” said MoveOn.org Executive Director Justin Ruben. “There seems to be no limit to how much our government is for sale.”
...Ryan, who had police remove a man who yelled at him about proposed Medicare cuts during an April town hall meeting in Racine, will host telephone town hall meetings but no free events in person during the recess, spokesman Kevin Seifert said.
...Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski said Ryan is scared to defend his record before his fellow citizens.
“Paul Ryan has had a hard time going before open crowds, and for good reason,” Zielinski said. “I’m sure Ryan doesn’t want to go before the public to explain while his extreme ideology caused Standard & Poor’s to downgrade U.S. long-term treasury bonds. Beside, Ryan likes smaller settings-the kind where you can cozy up to a hedge fund manager and get a good $350 bottle of wine.”
The Weekly Standard is touting a Paul Ryan presidential (or vice-presidentail) run but this could well be the year Ryan loses his Wisconsin House seat and takes a more direct job working for Wall Street or an insurance giant. Zerban doesn't charge anything to talk with voters in southeast Wisconsin. He loves hearing what they have to say and sharing his ideas on how to make American work for all of us, not just for Paul Ryan's wealthy backers on Wall Street.
"Limiting himself to occasions where constituents have to pay to ask Paul Ryan a question shows just how out-of-touch he has become. While the people of the 1st Congressional District are losing their houses and their jobs, Paul Ryan is charging people a fee so they can ask their elected representative just what he's done to help them in their hour of need.
"But Paul Ryan just won’t listen to his constituents who are angry and upset about the dangerous Treasury bond downgrade caused by his extreme ideology, which threatens the fragile recovery; or his plans to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher program; or his advocacy for the billionaires with whom he shares $350 bottles of wine.
Pay-per-view meetings aren’t real representation for Wisconsin, but it IS typical Washington insider behavior. That's why voters of the 1st Congressional District have had enough. That's why when I am elected to Congress, the people of southeast Wisconsin will always have free access to their elected representative.”
Please consider helping Rob Zerban to stop Paul Ryan... before he gets into a position where he can do even more damage than he's already doing.