Fiscal cliff vote nets Duffy protestSteve Leino returned to the sidewalk beside the Blaine Business Center on Wednesday. Instead of asking people to sign recall petitions, he was sending a message to 7th District Congressman Sean Duffy of Weston. Along with members of The Action, he stood in the cold for an hour to protest Duffy’s “no” vote on the fiscal cliff bill.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Steve Leino returned to the sidewalk beside the Blaine Business Center on Wednesday. Instead of asking people to sign recall petitions, he was sending a message to 7th District Congressman Sean Duffy of Weston. Along with members of The Action, he stood in the cold for an hour to protest Duffy’s “no” vote on the fiscal cliff bill.
“I don’t believe Mr. Duffy represents his constituents accurately,” Leino said.
The eight activists gathered together and held signs, muffled in hoods, scarves and mittens to ward off the chill. It’s the fifth time the Superior branch of The Action, a national movement, has protested at Duffy’s Superior office in the past month and a half.
“He was sent to Washington to get something done,” said Tom Ledin of Superior, but it seems he is instead hindering progress.
In particular, those gathered wanted to know why Duffy voted against the fiscal cliff bill.
“I respect the effort that went into crafting this agreement, which will prevent tax increases for many Americans, including many hard-working Wisconsin families,” Duffy said in a press release following the vote. “While my constituents want lower taxes, they also demand fiscal responsibility. They know that with more than $16 trillion of debt and borrowing $1 trillion a year our country is on an unsustainable path. I voted against this deal because it does not include a serious, sustainable plan for balancing the budget and reducing our debt.”
Ledin said it looked like Duffy’s vote was aimed at protecting millionaires instead of the everyday people in his district.
“Why is he protecting the top two percent on the backs of the working poor?” asked Marge Kaptonak of Superior.
Richard Lange of South Range said most people in Superior are lucky to pull in $50,000 to $60,000 a year.
“I don’t know any of the one percent,” he said. “I never met one, not in my life.”
With the cliff avoided for now, the question of reining in national debt still looms for Congress. The government will run out of cash in about two months, according to an article by Associated Press writer Alan Fram. Congressional approval will be needed to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, he wrote.
Around the same time, automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs are due to begin after winning a two-month reprieve in the fiscal cliff deal, according to Fram.
Wednesday’s protestors included people like Lange, a 40-year member of the Democratic Party, and newcomers like Leino, a retired Minnesota Power employee. He voted in every election since he turned 18, but never gave a dime to a political party. When the battle over union rights erupted two years ago in Wisconsin, Leino took a stand.
“I just couldn’t sit idly by,” he said. “What was happening then seemed so contrary to everything I grew up believing about Wisconsin and Wisconsin values and union.”
Now, Leino has returned to that corner to take another stand. For more information on The Action and any of the group’s upcoming protests, go to www.theaction.org. More information on Duffy, including news and contact information, can be found at duffy.house.gov.