Madison, WI Pagans Speak Out – Interviews

Beket is a now retired, Dept. of Revenue worker. She made the choice to retire the first of the year, when the writing seemed on the wall with Governor Walker’s election. She has been a member of the Circle community for ages.

“I had been planning on retiring, but because I worked at the Dept of Revenue, I was hoping to work into the spring. A week after Walker’s election I had my annual physical, and my doctor, who worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin said, he thought Wisconsin was in for a rough ride. I turned in my resignation the next week.”

What about this vote concerns you?

“This will take our money out of our pockets twice. The amount that is taken out to pay our retirement and health insurance is in lieu of higher wages. By making us pay more, it is basically a wage reduction. By taking away union rights. He could change the amount of say, personal religious holidays available. A lot of people aren’t aware, but Lady Cybele, is a retired field ‘rep’ for AFSCME Council 24, and they got the personal holidays increased. She was on the bargaining team, and it was her intent to get that, so that Pagans could take their Pagan holidays off. ”


Capitol Gallery Scene photo: Nataraj - Eyedance

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MN Gov. Race Polls – Pagan vs General Population

Two weeks ago PNC-Minnesota posted a poll and invited Pagans to cast their vote for the next Governor of Minnesota.  Before we reveal the results, let’s look at how the candidates are doing when the general voting population of Minnesota is consulted.

According to Real Clear Politics, Mark Dayton (D) is in the lead, but by a slim margin.  RCP averages several polls together to arrive at a composite score.  They currently have Dayton at 39%, Emmer (R) at 34%, and Horner (I) at just 15% – with 22% of of those questioned still undecided.  An interesting thing to note is that the two polls conducted by national pollsters have Emmer either ahead of Dayton or put the two candidates within the margin of error.  The two polls done local newspapers have Dayton ahead by 9 to 11 points.   The question becomes, is this race closer than the RCP composite or are the local newspaper polls correct that this is a runaway for Dayton?

Let’s turn now to the results from the (totally unscientific) PNC-Minnesota poll.

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Meet Harmony Tribe

A “Meet Harmony Tribe” (HT) event was held at Sacred Harvest Festival on Wednesday Aug. 11th.  Present for most of the meeting were the members of the HT board, referred to as the “council”, as well as several past and present members, and 3-5 folks interested in Harmony Tribe. Introductions were offered by the Board and those present. Elected chair, (now “president” in the new bylaws) Benjamin Davis summarized what he believes some of the accomplishments of Harmony Tribe were this year. He elaborated regarding the state non profit incorporation filing and new bylaws adoption, by amendment, by the HT board.  The sweeping and fundamental changes were made, Benjamin stated,  “to protect Harmony Tribe members from potential liability”. Other incorporation questions were deferred until the end of the presentation.

Each Board member reviewed their defined duties in turn, and prospective members asked about the process of getting involved.  Examples were given of individuals that contributed through committees or other methods to Harmony Tribe.  It was clarified that a person does not have to be a member to work on a committee. A prospective member asked about communication and response difficulties with Harmony Tribe over the past year.  Registration Director Sean Nilsen assured the meeting that, “All communication issues have been resolved and any information prospective members need to find is on the Harmony Tribe website. ” When asked how prospective new members find out about meetings, locations, times, etc.,  it was explained non-members must directly contact HT via the website, rely on posted past minutes ( May is the last meeting minutes currently posted online),  or join Harmony Tribe to receive current meeting minutes via the membership email list. Continue reading

Election 2010 – Minnesota Primary Vote Tuesday

To comply with new federal regulations, Minnesotans vote in their first ever August primary – Tuesday, August 10th.  Experts concerned with how expected low voter turnout could impact the general election results in November.

September primaries have been a tradition in Minnesota since 1939, but passage of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act forced state lawmakers to move to an earlier date.  This law helps ensure that votes cast  by military members and other US citizens living abroad have time to be counted back home. All states must now provide at least a 45-day window between the primary and general election to accommodate absentee voting.

Some political experts predict the change in date will negatively impact voter turnout with some expecting a turnout as low as 12%.  The two main reasons given for why the expectations are lower this election are a decreasing sense of party loyalty and August being the most popular time of migration to cabins and lakes.

In Paganistan many of our community members are at the Sacred Harvest Festival.  The festival opened Saturday and attendance appears to be higher this year than last year.

According to Justin Lindquist, “I got there right at noon on Saturday and there were already more tents set up than last year.  Definitely more people are attending this year.”

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