Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

Gwen Moore “Educates” Ted Cruz

Speaking at St. John's on the Lake, she talks about her conversation with Cruz, earmarks and voter ID.

By - Jan 2nd, 2014 07:46 pm
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Gene Gilbert introduces Rep. Gwen Moore who is still fussing with her microphone at St. John's on the Lake Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

Gene Gilbert introduces Rep. Gwen Moore who is still fussing with her microphone at St. John’s on the Lake Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

Rep. Gwen Moore spent the penultimate day of 2013 in her district talking to residents of St. John’s on the Lake, the Episcopalian home at 1840 N. Prospect Ave.

She was introduced to the 60 or so in the audience by Gene Gilbert, a resident who has brought a new level of political involvement to the home since moving there a year or so ago.

“Gwen Moore will tell us what’s going on in Congress,” he said, adding, “Some say nothing.”

“It’s not the worst Congress ever,” Moore replied, reserving that honor for the days when members would duke it out on the floor. “But it’s close.”

“One of the most heartbreaking things of the last session was that we did not extend benefits to the long-term unemployed,” she said, as an audible murmur of approval passed through the house.

She said that some two million children are dependent on these payments to their parents, who are not “welfare bums,” as some suggest. “The unemployed aren’t bums who don’t have any grit in their craw,” she added, using the vernacular of a Tennessee ward heeler.

She said things are not much better for the full-time minimum wage earners. “They are eligible for Medicaid and food stamps and are working full time. Government is subsidizing private business.”

Moore was asked about the chances of getting the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25 an hour rate set in 2009. She reckoned it at 50-50. “There is a chance Congress can do it,” she said. “Otherwise the President will raise it on his own.”

In response to a question on campaign finance, Moore suggested a major change:

About 60 residents of St. John's on the Lake gathered in the community room to hear a presentation and question and answer session with Rep. Gwen Moore on Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

About 60 residents of St. John’s on the Lake gathered in the community room to hear a presentation and question and answer session with Rep. Gwen Moore on Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

“We need a constitutional amendment to say that corporations are not people, my friend,” she said, modifying the words of Mitt Romney. The amendment would be to turn back the provisions of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited money into political campaigns under the guise of free-speech.

“You can give me $4,800 [the maximum from an individual] and then a corporation can give millions for or against me.

“That doesn’t pass the laugh test, not to mention the smell test.”

Moore called the Defense Department budget “bloated,” and offered the example of an obsolete bomber. “The Defense Department doesn’t want it, but the people who make the components want it.” Their lobbyists blanket the offices of representatives in any district that manufactures components — she cited Virginia and Connecticut — to secure their votes to continue funding the project.

“It crosses party lines,” she said.

Moore was asked if she supported the elimination of congressional earmarks, appropriation measures that allowed members of congress to designate funds for construction projects in their districts.

“I’m in favor of earmarks,” she said flatly. “But I don’t get any earmarks.” She derided colleagues who she says are “posing for holy pictures” with their opposition to earmarks.

As an example of why she supports earmarks, she used the sewer system of the Village of Whitefish Bay, a North Shore suburb that was added to her district after the 2010 redistricting.

Whitefish Bay had encountered flooding in recent years due to storm failures. As a member of Congress, Moore would have the opportunity to secure a funding fix for the sewers by inserting a measure into the budget. The House of Representatives, after all, is where all bills appropriating reveune originate, under the constitution.

“But now the president gets to choose,” whether to fund the Whitefish Bay sewer improvements. “They have taken power from individual members of Congress and given it to the executive branch. I’ve done some wonderful earmarks,” she said, mentioning funding for MMSD projects in the past.

Moore was also asked about which infrastructure projects she is interested in . “My favorite thing to represent is Lake Michigan,” she said. “Republicans used to be in favor of infrastructure. It used to be a yawner to negotiate infrastructure projects.”

Rep. Gwen Moore (l) gets ready to speak as host Gene Gilbert consults his notes prior to introducing her to the residents of St. John's on the Lake Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

Rep. Gwen Moore (l) gets ready to speak as host Gene Gilbert consults his notes prior to introducing her to the residents of St. John’s on the Lake Monday, December 30th, 2013. Photo by Michael Horne.

But no longer. Speaking of a new class of about 50 to 60 Republican lawmakers, she said “they have a point of view that there is no role for government. They want an oligarchy, a plutocracy, whatever you want to call it. They want to shrink the economy and maximize profits. They are getting the country close to the days when we had free labor.”

Moore was also asked about the hot-ticket item of Voter ID. “I first encountered the Voter ID issues in 1992 when Scott Walker got in the legislature. That’s how long this has been going on.

“Voter ID is aimed at disenfranchising voters, most of whom vote Democrat. It can only stop one kind of fraud — impersonating another voter. The drivers license doesn’t say if I am a felon, it doesn’t say if I am a citizen. There ought to be a very high threshold to deny the right to vote. You are as good as Oprah Winfrey on election day.”

Moore seemed in good spirits and told the audience she was happy to be back in the district. During the August recess, she said, she had double knee replacements, and did a little dip to show off her new mobility.

She said on a recent trip to South Africa, she spent 20 hours in the plane seated next to Sen. Ted Cruz, and another 20 hours on the way back with the same seating arrangement.

“Why did you do that?” she was asked.

“So I could educate him.”

Moore was asked about the 2016 election. “If Hillary [Clinton] is going to run, I’m supporting her. I’m going to work for her. If she gets the health clearance, I’ll support her.”

On immigration reform, which she favors, she sees “hundreds of billions in economic impact. This is a country of immigrants. This is no time to slam doors.”

And for her own future?

“If the Congress thing doesn’t work out there’s always Gwen I can be.”

Milwaukee County’s Four Congressmen

Wisconsin has eight members of congress, and four of them have a piece of Milwaukee County. Gwen Moore [D] represents the city and lakefront suburbs north and south, while Jim Sensenbrenner [R] has Wauwatosa, West Allis and Greenfield and Paul Ryan [R] has Greendale, Oak Creek and Franklin.

This leaves the Village of River Hills, which somehow became the land of Tom Petri [R]. Why? Gwen Moore suggests that the redistricting was done to favor a certain River Hills legislator in the event Petri ever retires. “It’s because Alberta [Darling] still has aspirations” of becoming a member of Congress, she said.

Public Museum Drops Free Mondays

The Milwaukee Public Museum dropped its free Monday admission policy for 2014. Instead, Milwaukee County residents can enjoy the museum for free on the First Thursday of each month.

First Thursdays are also the free days for the Milwaukee Art Museum. Why not pick some other day?

Mary Bridges of the museum says, “once-monthly free days keep us in line with our peer institutions.  Thursday was chosen because MPM is open until 8 p.m., allowing more families to participate after work and school.”

Why not the second, or third, or fourth Thursday?

“We feel it is easier for the public to remember that the 1st Thursday of the month is special.  Obviously people will not go to MPM or MAM every month but it is easy to remember that they could go to either.”

Milwaukeean Likely to Land Spot in NYC Mayor’s Office

Phil Walzak, a campaign operative and government staffer, is mentioned as a likely member of the communications team of Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. Walzak served as the de Blasio campaign’s senior communications adviser. He coached the candidate in mock-debates during the election, where de Blasio went from 4th place to the top of the ticket in a surprise primary victory. Walzak also has experience running campaigns for Tom Barrett, including his successful run for mayor and unsuccessful runs for governor. He has also worked in the state legislature and at the Department of Homeland Security.

10 thoughts on “Plenty of Horne: Gwen Moore “Educates” Ted Cruz”

  1. chris byhre says:

    The only way any of those senior citizens could have sat through an hour of Gwen Moore is if their hearing aids were turned off. Her intellect was on full display as she stated she “is in favor of earmarks”…”she doesn’t get any earmarks”…”I’ve done some wonderful earmarks” all in one paragraph. If there was ever any doubt that Congress is not drawing our best and brightest it can be laid to rest with Gwen Moore there. Or as she calls it so eloquently, “the Congress thing”.

  2. I consider this to be a gratuitous insult to the residents of St. John’s on the Lake as well as an insult to a member of congress. The audience followed Ms. Moore clearly, and they could hear her every word. Her comments about earmarks, past and present, were accurate.

  3. chris byhre says:

    Michael, you like Gwen Moore, good for you. I did not insult anyone at St. John’s. I consider your fawning over Ms. Moore to be gratuitous, so what? It is my opinion. It is also my opinion that anyone who has heard her speak at length about almost anything will come away with a feeling that she is not very bright. Go to all of her appearances and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Gwen Moore as she talks about “the Congress thing”. Enjoy it, revel in it, breathe it all in and report back to us how the audience was enthralled with her powerful message.

  4. Kathy Sahagian says:

    I like and respect Gwen Moore. She is very intelligent and sharp. Just because one reader couldn’t understand what she meant about earmarks doesn’t mean that the rest of us couldn’t follow her. I bet those residents were sharper than that reader too!

  5. Eurdine Patterson says:

    I am sorry that Mr. Byhre , find it so hard to understand Rep. Moore , he sounds like the fox and the grapes. Too bad we still have many people in Milwaukee , that pretend that they can’t understand what African Americans say. Maybe he should run for some elected office and show the rest of us, how it is done . When one is so critical of how another speaks, first take a look in the mirror.

  6. Chris Byhre says:

    It has nothing to do with the color of her skin. Not a surprise that this card was played so early. The only thing I do not understand is how she got elected and gets reelected. Maybe her son is slashing the tires of vans taking Republicans to vote again. This is the same woman who argued that if people have the right to bear arms, they will also try to get their hands on nuclear weapons as her rationale behind more gun control laws. Eurdine, I am not interested in a run for office but if I do, I will be certain to let you know.

  7. Andy says:

    So what do you think she “Educated” Cruz on? Do you think she educated him about why fighting foodshare fraud is racist? Perhaps she was espousing on how a life with Ramen noodles was worse than being killed in the womb. Oh no, I know… She was filling him in on the benefits of letting taxpayer funds pay for the liquor and stripper purchases with the use of welfare money!
    I have no idea how this woman gets elected again and again.

    Do you think she mentioned any of this at St. Johns? Something tells me the ideals of the generation that lives at St. Johns On the Lake would not approve of such positions.

  8. Jan Pierce says:

    Alderman Tony Zielinski told some folks this last Summer that he was planning on running against her. That would be an interesting race, but I think he’s underestimating his competition.

  9. Bill Kurtz says:

    Thank you, Gwen, for clearing up the mystery of how River Hills was placed in the 6th Congressional District. I thought Alberta Darling (who’s 71 and looks every day of it) had enough sense to realize she’s a bit old to make her first run for Congress.
    As for Andy, who gave him crayons? He must have a power outage that denied him access to talk radio.

  10. East Slider says:

    Yep, Michael Horne writes a fawning puff piece on Gwen Moore addressing a group of seniors, no surprise there! Too bad Mr. Horne didn’t do some real journalism besides just standing there and taking notes on her address, but I’m sure it was hard enough for him just to contain the tingles of pure ecstasy running from head to toe. Why not talk to some of the seniors in the audience afterwards to get their honest opinions of what she had to say? (of course, that might require Mr. Horne to print something even slightly critical of Rep. Moore, so I guess that one’s out!) To expand a bit on something Andy already mentioned, I would absolutely LOVE it if some real, rabble-rousing journalist had been there to talk with some audience members, bring up some of the downright crazy ideas Rep. Moore has championed over the years and see how that contrasts with their views and beliefs of how the USA should be run. Mr. Horne may like to think of himself as a journalist that asks the questions that the bubbleheads from local TV and other media would never dare to ask (or even think of in the first place!) but we all know that when it comes to writing anything covering a liberal politician, Mr. Horne puts on the kid gloves and rolls out the red carpet, no tough questions coming here!

    To expand a bit on something Andy already mentioned, I would absolutely love to hear some the answers these seniors would give when asked to compare some of Rep. Moore’s ideas compared to their own. This would be especially true for any of them that lived through the depression. Rep. Moore may have pulled herself out of poverty (which I do give her great credit for, she does have an inspiring personal story) but she fully, 100% supports the mindset of the permanent government safety net for people who choose to never attempt to pull themselves out of the net.

    She brings up the recent failure to extend unemployment benefits and attempts to blame it on Republicans who despise the poor and want to give them an extra kick in the teeth while they’re already hurting-A TOTAL LIE! The extension only failed not because greedy Republicans love to torture people who are down on their luck but simply because the Republicans demanded that any extension be equally offset by cuts somewhere else, which I’m sure Gwen forgot to mention because I’ll bet good money that the audience is appalled at how our government lives totally beyond its means, printing funny money to pay for more stuff we cannot afford. What a shocker too that Mr. Horne fails to mention that little fact!

    This is also the same Rep. Moore that vehemently opposed bills cracking down on food stamp fraud, even (surprise, surprise!) calling them RACIST! She fully and ardently supports food stamp and welfare recipients being able to get CASH off of their welfare ATM cards at casinos and strip clubs! She actually got up on the house floor and spoke to defend welfare recipients “rights” to get cash from ATM’s at casinos!

    Of course Gwen supports earmarks, to her that’s what government and the federal government in particular is there for, to hand out goodies and other stuff to people and places. Other than the scale, what really is the difference between an earmark for a pork project doing whatever and the endless stream of government handouts for those who CHOOSE to not support themselves and their dependents?

    Maybe its time for some new blood at Urban Milwaukee, someone that will ask some real, tough and hard-hitting questions and not just do puff pieces on their liberal wet dream icons like Rep. Moore.

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