Wisconsinites Have Five Questions for McCain Town Hall About Failed Bush-McCain Agenda

State Hurt by McCain's Unending Support in U.S. Senate for Bush Policies

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MILWAUKEE — In anticipation of Sen. John McCain’s Racine town hall meeting Thursday, concerned Wisconsinites who will be unable to attend the event offered five questions they would like Sen. McCain to answer about his support for the disastrous Bush agenda.

John Valko, President of UAW Local 180 in Racine is concerned about the loss of good paying, family supporting jobs in Racine County and throughout the State of Wisconsin. Valko wants to ask Sen. McCain why the country should continue the harmful policies he supports which have caused the country’s current economic crisis, including 92,000 manufacturing jobs lost in Wisconsin during the Bush administration, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

John Valko’s Question: “Sen. McCain, you have been a big supporter of the economic policies of George W. Bush including unfair trade deals which cost American jobs, tax breaks for corporations and you have said we need to make the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent. The policies you have championed have resulted in an economic nightmare for families across Wisconsin, so my question is: Why would we want to continue your failed policies which have devastated our country?”

Health care is a top concern for Ruthie Lacy, a Certified Nursing Assistant from Racine. Under the policies of Bush and McCain, insurance premiums have continued to skyrocket and millions have lost their health care coverage. McCain is pushing for a plan that would raise taxes on millions of middle income families, while doing nothing to make coverage affordable the uninsured, particularly low-income families and those with pre-existing conditions. McCain also proposed to end incentives that encourage employers to provide health care for workers – 74% of Wisconsin residents received health care through their employer.

Ruthie Lacy’s Question: “Sen. McCain, you are opposed to affordable and accessible health care for all and have voted against plans such as the expansion of health care coverage for children. Rather than solving any current problems, you are supporting a plan that would discourage employers from providing coverage that could result in more than 48 million uninsured Americans. Sen. McCain, your plan does nothing to control escalating health care costs but would instead shift more costs onto families – how can that possibly help Americans?”

Chris Gulbrandson, Business Manager of IBEW Local 430 in Racine is disturbed most by the unprecedented jump in gas prices which have accompanied the Bush-McCain-led economic collapse. Gulbrandson said he wants to ask McCain why he is only offering policies which have failed in the past to reduce gas prices.

Chris Gulbrandson’s Question: “Sen. McCain, gas prices have tripled under the Bush administration and yet you are calling for more of the failed Bush policies including $4 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil and drilling which will at best reduce gas prices a few pennies ten years from now. Even your gas tax holiday has been unanimously dismissed by economists as an ineffectual gimmick. Sen. McCain, with so many people hurting because of out-of-control gas prices, why do you want to reward Big Oil, rather than hold it accountable for gouging Americans?”

Johndalyn Smith is a southeastern Wisconsinite facing the loss of her home due to the failing economic policies of Bush and McCain. In addition, predatory lending practices have exploded through investment deregulation supported by Phil Gramm, McCain’s former chief economic advisor. Smith said she wanted to ask McCain why his top priority is to bail out big corporate investment firms instead of helping middle-class homeowners who are in trouble. More than 12,500 Wisconsin foreclosures happened in the first half of 2008, including 242 in Racine.

Johndalyn Smith’s Question: “I am facing the loss of my home, despite working as hard as I can. You previously said to people like me that many of our economic problems are ‘psychological.’ Sen. McCain, why do people in Wisconsin who are working hard and playing by the rules, but are facing the loss of their homes not entitled to the same protection and help you want to give big Wall Street investment firms?”

Jason Moon, a 33-year-old Iraq Army veteran said he wanted to ask Sen. McCain about the lack of support McCain has shown veterans, particularly during the Iraq war. Moon, a Milwaukeean who is currently served by the VA, joined the Army in 1993 and served eight years. He re-enlisted with the National Guard to guard the nation’s interior after 9/11, instead he was sent to Tallil, Iraq, spending 10 additional months stop-lossed because of the poor planning and execution of the war by the Bush administration.

Jason Moon’s Question: “Sen. McCain, despite your service to our country, you have voted in the Senate dozens of times against funding for health care for returning veterans. Most recently, you failed to support Sen. Webb’s bipartisan GI Bill and didn’t bother to show up for the vote on it. Sen. McCain, given that you have shown steadfast support for the failed Bush strategy in Iraq which has left our military dangerously stretched and forced our troops to serve longer tours where they are stop-lossed far longer than their original commitment, why have you refused to be there for them when they return home?”

A coalition of organizations will be greeting McCain’s Racine event including representatives from labor unions, progressive groups and community activists. One Wisconsin Now will also be performing its “Stamporee” to demonstrate that when it comes to the failing policies of George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain is actually McSame—a literal rubber stamp demonstrated by in his votes in the U.S. Senate.

For more on Sen. John McCain’s disastrous policies in the U.S. Senate and how they affect Wisconsin, visit www.OneWisconsinNow.org

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.