Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vote with Complete Clarity

Submitted editorial to Superior Telegram August 5, 2014
Election season is upon us and there are only two ways to participate. You either vote informed or uniformed. Informed can include knowing which candidates are running, what are some of each of their stances, deciding which candidate suits your needs, and deciding which candidate is best for the nation. Being uninformed can mean finding out there are other candidates when you receive a ballot, voting party line only, not knowing anything about the candidate you vote for, or worse being told who to vote for.

Just to test yourself to see where you may fall, I'll ask "How many candidates qualified for the Gubernatorial ballot or the Congressional ballot? If you don't know, then your foot is in the doorway of being a uninformed voter. How can a person even make a valid decision without knowing what candidates stand for? The answer is you can't. It can be very disheartening and frustrating to make voting a worthwhile endeavor. It does take some time to understand, but you should validate and understand some aspects of the political differences each party is trying to lead this country before you decide to vote.

Most hard working Democrats have grit their teeth when they discuss where the president is leading this country. I think things are down right horrible and it seems to get worse by the day. Republicans have it even worse. Not only do they not care for where the President is leading the nation, but they have to suffer through John Boehner and his do nothing and challenge nothing House leadership. Why is half of the Republican's pain and suffering coming from its own party? Ask Sean Duffy, he's voted for him twice now. Ask yourself, "Do we even have representation if the Speaker doesn't bring votes to the House floor?" It's time for the political gamesmanship to end. Please go to for more information and thank you for your time and consideration.

By the way, the answer is there are five candidates in each race. I hope it stays like that until finally people start breaking away from the outside money that funds your front running choices. If you do vote this year, please settle for nothing less than complete clarity in what your candidate stands for.

Don Raihala
Superior, WI

Monday, May 12, 2014

Who's running for Congress in the 7th Congressional district of Wisconsin (WI)?

Who's running for Congress in the 7th Congressional district of Wisconsin (WI)?
This guy (with my thumbs pointing back at me) Don Raihala!

And who has to make silly web articles to make himself internet searchable because of minimal media support and an absolute ban-like boycott by search engines?  Hmmm.

Newspaper Woes

Thanks to Gannett Co. owned newspapers, up the west side of the district, for being the only media outlet thus far reporting and printing stories about my campaign and no thanks to all the other media outlets that likely prefer to keep their readers and listeners in the dark.  I suppose 'old lady who knits booties for the homeless' and '5th graders collect 10,000 pennies for trip to Chequomegon National Forest' are more news worthy than 'Former 2010 Democrat ticket Congressional Candidate to Challenge Sean Duffy'.  That may be.  However, ignoring the fact that Sean Duffy will be going to a primary and continuing to report that Kelly Westlund will face Duffy in November is just irresponsible reporting.  Is it any wonder that newspapers are going through the financial hurt that they've been experiencing in the last decade.

The Internet Blues

Both will get you to the same place, but I 'm not sure why they aren't readily searchable on 'Google'.  'Bing' does a better job of placing my efforts at the forefront of searchability.  Both accounts were searchable the week before I announced, so something has taken place since then to push them back to page 5 in search results.  After my announcement, my internet host suspended my account for using some misinformation in my original application when I opened these sites over four years ago.  Why they would freeze my account now is a mystery, but since then I've been buried back on page 5 even with the most relevant search parameters.  A web story like this may even push me back another page, but at least there is a trail of bread crumbs back to the campaign site.

Plus 2 Others

There are two other guys whom have also declared their candidacies, but they also both declared for the past U.S. Senate races and did not submit any signatures to get on the ballot.  I'm not interested in help their internet searchability so I'll call them by Mob Maylor of Cumberland and Jon Chiess of Rice Lake.  I don't see Jon being on the ballot seeing that I plucked 100+ signatures easily out of his backyard of Rice Lake without hearing a peep of his name.  It was such a good haul that I'm actually going to go back for part II before the nomination signatures are due.  As for Mob, what he is doing is extremely irresponsible.  Northern Wisconsin has historically been a two party race and running as a Libertarian is only going to pull votes out of the Republican party.  So a vote for Mob Maylor is a vote for Kelly Westlund in November.


Friday, April 11, 2014

12 cats and dogs appreciate $2,400,000 advocate effort to bilk Superior, WI taxpayers

After watching the mayor’s March 18th fact based presentation on the proposed new animal shelter fall on deaf ears, he did the unthinkable and in his words said to the closely knit crowd of about 60 advocates, “I’m capitulating to the power of passion and the anger of the people to not make a good business decision.” No jubilation came from anyone, probably because nobody understood what was just said, but to the other 27,000 people of Superior it means you just bought yourselves a brand spanking new animal shelter for $2,400,000. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - for 12 cats and dogs.

Nobody ever said that there was only twelve animals being very well cared for in an extremely clean and appropriately sized shelter that the city owns free and clear. They didn’t, that must be an oversight. Well, if you’d have listened to the so called passion of the crowd and the councilors you’d think that these animals are living in filth, starving to death and their needs were not being adequately addressed in this existing shelter. When in fact, it’s just the opposite. The animals are well cared for, it’s the cleanest shelter I’ve ever been in, and with declining demand it's more than adequately sized for a city this large. Not only that, when I was there a very kind worker came down the row, entered each cage and hugged, scratched and loved each dog there - suggesting they all do that! What more can anyone ask of an animal shelter?

I’m obviously missing the case for a new animal shelter. Yes, it is not a huge shelter, but it does satisfy the needs of the strays in this city. Yes, there are several minuscule issues that need to eventually and easily be addressed, but it‘s nothing that our already budgeted city work force couldn‘t handle with a few thousand dollars in materials. Instead of having city crews continue the war on harmless snowbank removal, we could let the start of global warming season take care of that and they could begin the fixes immediately.

There is simply no reason to build a new animal shelter 4-5 times larger than the adequate facility on Catlin Avenue. Almost nothing in this build proposal has been rectified including the all important issue of who’s paying for the up to $320,000 annual operating costs. Judging from the motion of “let’s just go with it because a lot of people are going to work on it” it’s quite obvious, other than the severe need for the council to be educated on Robert’s Rules of Order - for effective and fair meetings, that the council doesn’t give a damn who or how any of this is going to get paid for.

Anyone could spend taxpayer money without concern on how it will be paid for. This is no achievement to feel proud about at all. In fact I’m embarrassed for the council for their lack of fiscal responsibly to the tax paying public. You’re supposed to adhere to being good stewards with our money - it’s the number one duty of being an elected official. If this is the best representation that majority Democrats in Superior habitually elect, then we are all in for a future of financial pain. Mayor Hagen thank you for doing your part, but to avoid sharing in the future consequences for this poor decision, I would ask that you put your veto powers to work and let the council own this entirely. There is simply no place in government for irresponsible spending at any level.

Don Raihala [cat owner]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Former Wisconsin 7th Congressional District Candidate Seeks Support in Non-traditional Way

For the many that didn’t know before they went to vote in 2010, there were five possible choices in the Congressional primary and I was one of them.  Dubbed the last minute filer or the Conservative Democrat by many of our media outlets, I chose to run against Julie Lassa so that she wouldn’t be allowed to skate to November’s election without first defending her beliefs and past state voting record to her potential supporters.

This vetting process is an important American tradition in politics as it exposes a candidate in a way that may not be revealed in a general election especially if both party candidates share the same beliefs.  This was fully accomplished in 2010 as both major parties went to a primary.  Presently this is not the case for the 2012 Congressional election and that is unfortunate although avoidable.

With only two announced major party candidates, both with heavily banked campaign accounts, I fear that many issues important to our district will be sidestepped to avoid undue attention.  Sean Duffy, hoping for political gain, voted to give President Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling $2.1 trillion and voted to extend the payroll tax cut.  Both of which only continues to raise the national debt at an increasingly alarming rate.  Pat Kreitlow, the Democrat challenger, is also likely to do the same as these expenditures where championed by the Democrat party.

Once again I find myself asking “Are the beliefs and values of the candidate with the most connections ~ ergo money ~ the basis of what this country’s future seeks to become”.  As in 2010, I am faced with the same decision on whether to be involved in this vetting process.  Two years ago through my own efforts I obtained nearly all 1000 signatures needed for nomination.  This year due to time and commitments I am asking for your help this spring in acquiring them before the June 1st deadline.

To achieve this goal we will need to obtain a minimum of 1000 nomination signatures to place myself on the primary ballot to face Sean Duffy and provide him with an opportunity to defend his voting record.  Together with a little effort we can make this happen.  Don’t let the political money machine force you into believing there are only two candidates.

Please visit for easy to follow instructions and complete information if you are interested in making this election more than just the typical same old political rhetoric.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Afghanistan's Karzai to U.S. " We want $2 Billion a year! "; Sean Duffy's Past Support

In a speech today [4/17/12], Afghanistan’s President Karzai announced he wants a United States written guarantee of at least $2 billion yearly to fund future Afghan army and police efforts under a strategic partnership agreement being negotiated between the two countries.  Several conditions have already been met included control over U.S. run Bagram Prison and Special Forces night raids against the Taliban.  Karzai adds, “We don't want them to spend a lot of money here, we would like to help them save their money, but give some to us too”.  [AFP News] 

Does our thankless efforts to liberate Afghanistan end with a continuous flow of endless unsustainable American tax dollars to which I believe most will be outraged?  Apparently it does and will be decided on who pays what at next month’s NATO meeting in Chicago.  I need to hold back and reserve my verbal tirade for when it is due – I’m assuming something this financially unsustainable and ridiculous needs to be voted on by Congress and not just allocated by the president from some endless pool of available foreign resources.  

Yes, we can blame George Bush for entering these wars [and we shall], but President Obama shares much of the current blame for not following his campaign promises to end this war quickly.  Not only did Obama make promises to end it, but he had a Democrat controlled House and Senate to end it without Republican interference.  As does it continue now with a Republican controlled House; our own representative Sean Duffy voting for countless measures that support the war effort regardless of poll after poll showing unanimous unified support to end the wars now.

I was truly dismayed early last year while attending a Sean Duffy meet and greet in Superior when I asked him how his trip went to Afghanistan and why are we still there.  Without hesitation he replied “we are making tremendous strides over there” and moved on to greet others guests.  Strides to what?  What’s the goal and when does it end?  Even Duffy’s Democrat contender Pat Kreitlow calls for a plan, but his allegiances and rank and file mentality don’t offer anything more than follow the leader politics with Obama’s non-urgent policies in ending this war.  I’d prefer to stick to a decisive decision that is simple and what nearly every American wants – the war is over now and the draw down starts tomorrow.

There should be no shock to the American people if that was the decision of Congress.  I’ve seen polls as high as 90% saying get our boys home and I’m sure those numbers cut across all political spectrums.  So why then are we still there?  This war needed an ending and it had one when Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan but it was passed on by the Obama Administration.  That just leads me to believe that there is another unannounced reason for being there because no matter the reasoning our boys are still being killed and maimed, families are being torn apart with pain and agony and the financial costs further bury this country’s future.

Those are all good reasons to leave as quickly as possible.  Our guys can’t even fight with their hands so tied up with those damn rules of military engagement our leaders have saddled them with.  And all for what?  Afghanistan has only two resources that the world would fight so aggressively over – Opium and rare-earth minerals.  Its history is deep in the opium trade, even today with the on-going war it is still the world’s leader in production.  With the many billions of dollars flowing after every harvest funding countless corrupt governments across the region it is no wonder the enemy is endless. 

In 2010 it was reported by the NY Times that the U.S. had identified vast mineral reserves worth possibly a trillion or more.  This could explain why Russia and China have such a guarded interest in the region.  It could also explain why the American people are not given a reasonable and just cause as to why U.S. troops and financial resources are so expendable.  Let’s leave it at that and you can come to your own conclusion.

Extras:  news source from AFP News and VOA News; Duffy meeting at Perkins in Superior-Spring 2011;