So what can Democrats do to convince rural farmers to vote for them? Let's see if there are any common interests first. Farmers are calling for:
1. More funding for infrastructure.
2. Funding for schools.
3. Better broadband internet access for rural areas.
4. Use a nonpartisan redistricting process (because) rural people don't feel they're being represented as well as they could be.
Farmers want what Democrats want. Farmers and Democrats have been trying to get Scott Walker and his legislative band of Republican pirates to do all four of those things since 2011. EVERY item listed above.
And yet, “Stand with Walker” field signs dot the rural landscape, right next to yard signs for anti-government Republican legislators. And yet, Democrats are offering the same basic things rural conservative voters want.
The Wisconsin Farmers Union are calling for more funding for infrastructure and schools in the new state budget during Tuesday's Farm and Rural Lobby Day at the state Capitol … also calling for better broadband internet access for rural areas and for the state to use a nonpartisan redistricting process, saying rural people don't feel they're being represented as well as they could be.
That's just the opposite of what Republicans say they're hearing from their constituents. Confused? How about expand rural broadband? Ah, Democrats have the covered too….
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat representing the states 2nd District, is sponsoring an expansion bill in Congress.
But rural broadband is more or less wireless, and from what I've heard from a few rural friends, it's nothing like a wired connection:
It might seem that wireless coverage – which covers broad areas from antennas across the territory rather than needing to connect wires to every home – could be the answer for rural communities.
In fact, rural residents are among several groups who have started shifting their internet connections away from a landline residential connection and towards a smartphone. However, those connections aren't necessarily fast enough to meet the formal FCC definition of “broadband.” Specifically, 85 percent of U.S. wireline connections meet the current 25 mbps download threshold, while only 14 percent of wireless connections do so. In addition, wireless coverage is sometimes spotty and can vary by provider and geography.
Or these two issues….
On education, the Wisconsin Farmers Union wants to keep the state’s farm-to-school program, which Walker’s budget repeals. Selling locally grown food to schools provides economic benefits for farmers and educational benefits for students
The farmers union supports a bill that would reimburse some student loan debt for beginning farmers. The bills sponsor, Rep. Mark Spreitzer, Democrat-Beloit, plans to bring it up again this year.
See that, a Democrat is sponsoring the bill, which failed the first time around. Here's the story from WPR:
A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at Democurmudgeon.blogspot.com