{{featured_button_text}}

“Democracy Dies in Darkness.” That slogan, which appears on the masthead of The Washington Post, sums up how important news and information is to a public that is responsible for electing its leaders.

Bill Feehan mug

Feehan

The leadership of the La Crosse County Republican Party thinks that it’s important for the public to see what their elected leaders are doing — not just when they come home to campaign, but when they are 130 miles away in Madison.

That’s why we salute WisconsinEye for the good work that it does in documenting the goings on in our state capitol, and that’s why we recently shared a video it produced showing legislators — including Rep. Steve Doyle, D-Onalaska, and Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse — remaining seated during a recent salute to Wisconsin National Guard troops in Madison.

Since sharing the video, we’ve come under fire from Democrats and from WisconsinEye for displaying the footage and for asking some tough questions.

While it’s true that WisconsinEye has an agreement with the Legislature that states its material won’t be used for partisan purposes, that agreement does not extend beyond the Legislature, no matter how hard the recent column by Margaret Farrow and Mark Meyer tries to imply that it does.

Additionally, contrary to their column’s claims, we removed the video from our Facebook page after being asked, replacing it with a still image — a picture that speaks 1,000 words of Shilling and Doyle remaining glued to their seats while their colleagues on the other side of the aisle applauded our troops for their accomplishments while deployed at the southern border.

Democrats did rise at the end of the presentation for a moment of applause, but does that moment erase the partisan display of the previous several minutes?

These troops had just been recalled from their mission on the border by Gov. Tony Evers. That withdrawal was both blatantly political and stunningly misinformed. After the governor’s actions, what did we hear from our local legislators? Silence. One month later, when Rep. Tony Kurtz was commending those troops for their role in seizing drugs and stopping 12,800 people from illegally entering our country, what was the response of Shilling and Doyle? Silence.

Do Shilling and Doyle support Evers’ decision to pull the Wisconsin National Guard troops from the Mexican border? Do they support open borders?

Their unwillingness to stand and recognize the accomplishments of our troops demonstrates that they lack the courage to stand up to Evers when he’s making a mistake.

That’s the truth that some would rather keep hidden in darkness, and it’s why some local Democrats complained to WisconsinEye about our use of the footage.

If our legislators would rather hide the truth than explain their actions, it may be time for new leadership.

Editor’s note: A review of the WisconsinEye footage shows everyone assembled standing and applauding during most of the gathering. An exception is noted in the adjacent response from Rep. Steve Doyle. Also, read the correction issued by the Associated Press about its coverage of the event.

As for using WisconsinEye footage for political purposes, there is nothing in the user agreement or the disclaimer that exempt non-legislators from the agreement they are required to sign. WisconsinEye CEO Jon Henkes said: “The user agreement is broadly written to include not only legislators and staff, but also individuals acting on one’s own behalf or as a representative of an organization. We did this to set a high bar in guarding against negative political attacks and the berating of elected officials — the antithesis of the mission and the spirit of WisconsinEye.”

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Bill Feehan is chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party.

1
10
0
0
7

(38) comments

Jobaba

Let's figure it out. How is smearing patriotic Americans working for the GOP? Well they dislike POW's and Gold Star families. Only a short distance to question and accuse proud and patriotic American's support of the military. No, I don't think spitting on and accusing Americans of such behavior is helping the GOP.

Jobaba

No matter what Evers did it is not enough to wipe away Bill's obvious twisting of the facts. Democrats have always supported the military. To link Ever's action to this fake smear job is false equivalence. Bill is a throughly indoctrinated Republican - meaning he is sure intelligent people will fall for his propaganda. And hoping the stupid will.

Redwall

"There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention of a national security crisis at our southwestern border. Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border. "

Democratic Governor Evers, February 25,2019

Tell me again how the Dems support the Guards mission.

Cassandra2

The Wisconsin National Guard's "federal mission is to provide trained units to the United States Army in time of war or national emergency. Its state mission is to help civil authorities protect life and property and preserve peace, order, and public safety in times of natural or human-caused emergencies."
Redwall, the Governor read the Guard's mission statement and concluded that none of those conditions exist.

Redwall

The Guard members would still be on the border had Democratic Governor Evers not recalled them, saying he did not support their mission.

For the Dems to now say they support the Guards mission is ridiculous. See 1:15.04 and 1:15.40 for Dems failing to support the Guard's immigration and drug interdiction efforts. Mr Doyle and the Fibune should be ashamed.

oldhomey

Red, did you renew your subscription, or are you using your ten free stories for the month to jump on here? I would hope you decided not to steal the services of the paper and feel you need to support actual journalism in La Crosse by paying for the paper.

Do you recall the Vietnam War? By the end, the vast majority of Americans did not support our presence and role in that war, but people supported the troops who were there and honored them for their service and sacrifice. The assignment and the service are two separate issues, my friend.

Redwall

Free. There is no journalism in La Crosse. Thank you for your comments though.

oldhomey

I once again reported Redwall's latest boast that he continues to post on here and read the LaCrosse without paying a subscription fee. That is theft of services, and it is an insult to the rest of us who do pay for the right to read the paper and join these discussion boards. At some point I am hoping editors of the paper will notice this and see that they need to keep him off these boards until he starts paying for the right to do so, like the rest of us. Journalism cannot exist unless we pay for it.

crank

How many calls a day you make to the editors about Redwall, old fussy? #enemieslist #getoffmyboards

oldhomey

Perhaps you should read my posts while moving your lips, crank. I suppose I should be flattered that you read my posts at all, but it will do you no good unless you comprehend the content of my posts. In this case and others in the past, I have made it clear that I reported Redwall's boasts about being on these boards and reading the paper for free, but I have done it simply by hitting the "Report" button, hoping that, in reviewing the post I find offensive that the Tribune editors will see that Redwall is stealing the services of the newspaper and will remove him until he pays like the rest of us. Are you paying a subscription, by the way? Red claims he has the computer-savvy know-how to continue to get on the Tribune website and use it without paying for it. You boast a certain amount of computer-savvy know-how yourself, which you admit you use for nefarious reasons. It would surprise me you are cheating the Tribune, too.

Redwall

I dont make the rules OldFoney. Some newspapers do not require persons to be subscribers prerequisite to posting. Given media economics, newspapers are lucky to survive at all and I suppose they estimate the "clicks" go away when people are forced to pay. Its called the price elasticity of demand.

Since you are a socialist, I would think you would be in favor of a free and open forum. You want me to pay for your "free" health care but you sob like a baby and publicly humiliate yourself with your snit about paying a couple of bucks per month subscription. Your philosophy folds like a cheap tent.

"Free, Free, Free", so says the TurboTax commercial.

oldhomey

I just reported you again, Red. Since you laid out your scheme more fully in that latest post, perhaps an editor will take umbrage and remove you until you pay your fair share to keep the Tribune enterprise afloat and active. It is an insult to those of us who pay for its services to have you on here mocking us for paying.

crank

Do you pay for all of the accounts you’re using here? If not, perhaps you should. I suspect if one of your trib-lib friends admitted to doing the same as Redwall, you’d remain quiet about it. Since Redwall has dared to disagree with political ideology of the “King of Kings”, he must be silenced using any means necessary? #enemieslist #getoffmyboards

oldhomey

So far as I know, crank, I don't know personally another soul on these boards personally and/or by face. Not one. So I am not relying on friends. I just rely on something that seems to be unfamiliar to you -- the truth. I don't like cheats, especially if they are blowhards, like Red. He is stealing the services of this newspaper while the rest of us, though I cannot vouch for you, pay for that service. He is welcome to express his opinions here if he pays for the privilege of doing it, like the rest of us. If he does not, he should be banned from here, because it is an insult to the paying customers. Are you paying?

I also don't like lying bullies, and there the spotlight comes to a rest on you, big fella. You can't win an argument because you base them on false information, and when people, several people on these boards, expose your false information, you try to win with bully tactics. You boast that you know how to trace identities of those who post on here anonymously, and that you can monitor the activity and accounts on their computers. Specifically you have said you have done this to me and to one other person on here, martian. I say you are full of bull execrement. Everything you have said about me is false, but you refuse to pony up what you base this false information on. You are a liar -- a slimeball. Prove me wrong, big fella. Put up or shut up.

crank

Oldhomey, I can tell you I feel the same wAy about you...lying...blowhard...bullying anyone who disagrees with. Any dissenting opinion expressed by anyone to you means you insult them, call them liars and accuse them of using multiple screen names. I’ll repeat! The irony of this is you claim outrage over all the things you do. You have become Donald Trump. OF COURSE you don’t see it... #narcissist. You believe it is everyone else’s fault but the fault is yours. You are lying. You are a blowhard and you were caught using multiple accounts. Get over yourself. #kingofkings #getoffmyboards

oldhomey

Your 6:32pm post is most interesting, crank. Rather than answering the issue I raised of you trying to intimidate and bully others on these posts by pretending you know how to track down our identities and our i.p. addresses and our computer accounts, you duck again and splutter angrily. You are a corrupt and ultimately empty vessel, like the man you champion daily on your posts. By the way, since I am such a serial liar, could you list a few that I have made in my posts?

crank

Thanks! but...Yawn... [yawn] Your posts are not very interesting. More of the same tired nonsense every single day... bicker...bully...troll...

Do you remember a time when you spent more time commenting on the subject matter in the articles published here instead of insulting and trolling other users of this web site who post dissenting opinions and may hold differing political views? #kingofkings #getoffmyboards

martian2

Bet the families of those guard members are glad they are back home. Bet their employers are bad they are home too. If they need more help at the border, hire more help. This is another way Trump is playing politics with the border problem. Work with congress, get something done that will actually solve the problem, stop using our guard members for political showmanship!

martian2

Freehan can get lost for all I care. Why has the tribune blocked access to Lowry's two columns. Can't open them at all, no problem with any of the rest. Anyone else have this problem?

PhysicsIsFun

Yes I did Thursday evening.

oldhomey

As did I. They would not open for me. One of them just did a few minutes open up for me, and it was Mr. Lowry's usual asinine ramblings. I am not all that eager to see it, but I will try to open the other one when I scroll that far down.

oldhomey

I still can't open the other Lowry column. Perhaps it is so bad that the Trib editors thought it best to leave the space blank. You could do that with most of his columns.

crank

Maybe if you were as smart as you think you are you could figure it out. I’m having no trouble.

Perhaps the ‘tracking software’ is affecting you (and your sock puppet’s) browser?

oldhomey

Perhaps you're right, crank, and your efforts to track me down through software -- which you have freely admitted to have done -- has skrewed up some functions for me and others on these boards that you apparently also have "investigated". That could turn out to be a legal liability for you if it should ever turn out to be the case. Lucky for you that I am not only dumb, I am pretty much hopeless when it comes to digital technology. Feast on that, for awhile, you old "doxxer" you.

crank

You didn't really need to tell me what an idiot you are when it comes to digital technology. It shows in the stupid rants you post. Did you know you're being tracked right now? Every click! Yes, the "legal liability"...

As a public service reminder, you should change your email password to something other than "password". Weak passwords make computers insecure; not nearly as insecure as you are, old fussy.

Will you also be calling the editors tomorrow to report Redwall again? I bet they get a big laugh every time you do it just like the guys at the police station get when you call them to report strangers parking near your house "doxxing" you.

oldhomey

Ah yes, feast away, crank. I am not in the slightest bothered by it, big fella.

martian2

still can't access the Lowry columns. No big deal I can easily do without him.

oldhomey

I am in the same boat, again, martian, with both columns in question once again blank when I open them. Maybe our old friend and admirer, crank, will cut and paste them for us in these comment boards as a token of his affection for us.

PhysicsIsFun

The Republican Party is a corrupt institution that only cares about maintaining and abusing political power. They will cheat and lie in the name of winning with not a thought to how it harms our country.

oldhomey

A nasty thought, but I fear that is what is beginning to look like, Physics.

Frangel45

Bill, by the way, that was my opinion before I even realized Steve Doyle's article followed just below your tripe. I've seen the Wisconsin Eye and the push back from them how your party misused information forbidden by Wisconsin Eye. No excuses please. Clean up your act if you want to have a trustworthy reputation

Frangel45

Bill, you are true to your reputation of twisting FACTS to try to cover up the nefarious behavior of your beloved GOP. Not only that but you use a true statement "Democracy Dies In Darkness" to try to justify your blatant lies. Were you a classmate of the notorious Trump? It sure seems you have the same well honed hypocritical view of political information. Shame on you. Try harder with your next article - it would be nice to have something believable once in your lifetime.

Redwall

You obviously didnt watch the video.

Jobaba

https://lacrossetribune.com/opinion/columnists/dana-milbank-white-house-curtails-press-access/article_471acbad-6fc6-5813-bc69-166c87953b8e.html

Jobaba

Big Bill is absolutely correct. Openness in government is a requirement for a strong democracy. So Bill, you need to head over Robin Vos and explain that Wisconsinites absolutely need to know exactly how our state became so unfairly gerrymandered. Next stop should be the White House and tell them to go back to the policy of keeping open logs of the visitors. And of course get them to stop excluding the press and even to hold open, scheduled press conferences. I am glad that big strong republican warriors finally see the light on openness in government.

PhysicsIsFun

And don't forget Scotty Boy Walker is heading an organization fighting to prevent Democrats from messing up the ridiculous gerrymandered districts like in Wisconsin that give Republicans unfair advantages in congressional elections. It is so Republican to blame your opponent of the very sin that you yourself are guilty of. It is just the Republican way. If you can not win fair and square cheat.

crank

This is the sort of krapp I hate about the current political climate. Time to shut up, Mr. Feehan. Stick to policy matters rather than focusing on this insignificant nonsense.

Cassandra2

Wow, a republican quoting the "fake news" Washington Post. Unsurprisingly he does it to prop up a half truth.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.