Saturday, July 29, 2006

Citizens group to confront F Jim on Sunday

Looks like Congressman Sensenbrenner might have a hot time at the old town meeting on Sunday night.

A citizens group fighting expansion of Highway 164 in Waukesha and Washington Counties plans to take its case to Sensenbrenner.

From the Highway J Citizens Group e-mail:

WE NOW HAVE ANOTHER GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO "MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD" ON THESE IMPORTANT COMMUNITY ISSUES! On Sunday, July 30, 2006, we are strongly encouraging everyone to attend and participate at a citizens rally and town hall meeting in the Town of Richfield (Washington County). Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is holding this town hall meeting to solicit citizen comments on a wide variety of issues that are affecting residents in the 5th Congressional District (which includes Waukesha and Washington Counties). This event will be held at the Richfield Town Hall (4128 Hubertus Road -- about one mile east of the Highway 164/Hubertus Road intersection) with the citizens rally starting at 6:00 PM followed by the town hall meeting at 7:00 PM.

For the past seven years, the HJCG has repeatedly asked Congressman Sensenbrenner to work together with area residents and local, county and state elected officials to both help us stop the WisDOT's Highway 164 four-lane expansion project and obtain a complete clean-up of the serious groundwater contamination problems in the Ackerville area (which now have been made worse by the WisDOT's recent construction of a bridge project in that location along Highway 164).

As of this date, Congressman Sensenbrenner has refused to assist the people on these important community issues. With the 6:00 PM citizens rally (which will be covered by the television and newspaper media), we intend to put strong political pressure on Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner to stop ignoring his constituents' many long-standing concerns and start taking these issues seriously which are negatively impacting the people he is suppose to be representing here in the 5th Congressional District. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THE JOB DONE!

At the 6:00 PM citizens rally, we will have an impressive list of guest speakers who are supporting us on these key issues. Most notably, Bryan Kennedy (Congressman Sensenbrenner's opponent in this year's election) will be joining us to speak out both in favor of an immediate clean-up of the Ackerville area groundwater contamination problems and calling on the WisDOT to stop the Highway 164 four-lane expansion.

Second, 98th State Assembly Candidate Bob Collison will be speaking at the citizens rally on these issues. We also are inviting 99th State Assembly Representative Don Pridemore and Washington County Supervisor David Radermacher to participate in this citizens rally. Finally, we expect the leaders and members of several environmental, conservation and taxpayer watchdog groups to be at the rally to lend their support for our grassroots efforts. PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS BIG EVENT!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sensenbrenner goes to the dogs

The Journal Sentinel gives him the benefit of the doubt, and makes it sound like F. Jim is just having fun. But it sounds like there's an edge to his humor, and that he may not have found it all that amusing to be described as a pit bill or to have a Judiciary Committee member say he treated members like dogs.

In any event, here's the story:

Sensenbrenner lets the dogs out
House Judiciary 'pit bull' responds to article with stunt


Washington - In the House Judiciary Committee, there can be only one top dog.

And the man with the gavel, Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, clearly is it.

However, the Menomonee Falls Republican was a bit taken aback recently when some members of his committee made references to man's best friend while describing him in a profile in The New York Times.

When describing Sensenbrenner's leadership style, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) used a famous quote from former Green Bay Packer player Jerry Kramer about coach Vince Lombardi. "He treats us all equally," Lungren said. "He treats us all like dogs."

In the same article, Rep. Rick Keller (R-Fla.) called Sensenbrenner a "pit bull." Keller said "the Senate negotiators he's up against (on the issue of immigration) are wearing Milk-Bone underwear."

On July 12, the day after the story ran, Sensenbrenner responded in kind at a committee meeting, passing out copies of the Times story and replacing the usual doughnuts with a plate of Milk-Bone dog treats.

According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Sensenbrenner was "clearly relishing the characterization, even wielding a dog bone instead of a gavel."

As lawmakers filed out of the meeting, Sensenbrenner had an aide blast the Baha Men's hit song "Who Let the Dogs Out" on the audio system. He presented Lungren with a collar and a leash.

But did Sensenbrenner go too far?

"The congressman didn't take offense; it was all in lighthearted fun," said an aide in Lungren's office. "His bark is worse than his bite," Lungren told Roll Call.

"Chairman Sensenbrenner deals with a lot of serious issues," said Jeff Lungren, spokesman for the Judiciary Committee and the California congressman's son. "Sometimes it's important to have a little fun."

Jeff Lungren said all of the committee members took the canine stunts in stride, adding that he saw one member of the committee actually eating his Milk-Bone.

Apparently, Sensenbrenner, a longtime dog owner, has taken to his new role. One Capitol Hill aide said he has heard the chairman barking up and down the halls of Congress to announce his presence.