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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Political Revival Aims to Get Back to Basics

The grassroots group Blue Jean Nation is holding a town hall meeting it calls a revival, saying there's a lot that needs reviving in American politics. (arinahabich/iStockPhoto.com)
The grassroots group Blue Jean Nation is holding a town hall meeting it calls a revival, saying there's a lot that needs reviving in American politics. (arinahabich/iStockPhoto.com)
February 18, 2016

NEENAH, Wis. – When you think of a revival, you might picture a big tent and a religious event.

But the grassroots group Blue Jean Nation is hosting a revival this Saturday in Neenah in an effort to revive democracy and citizen-centered politics.

This will be no conventional political gathering, says Blue Jean Nation founder Mike McCabe, who explains it will be more like a New England-style town hall meeting.

McCabe maintains a lot of people are just plain disgusted with today's hyper-partisan politics.

"People have lost faith in the idea that the political establishments care what they think,” he states. “People don't think they're being represented, they don't think their voices are being heard and they've being given a lot of reasons day in and day out for believing that."

McCabe says there's a lot that needs reviving, including concern for the common good, the Wisconsin Idea and the American Dream.

The public is invited to the event, which will be held at the Bridgewood Conference Center in Neenah from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

It has a $15 registration fee, and complete information is at www.bluejeannation.com.

According to McCabe, a big part of the problem is the huge inflow of money into the political system.

"We've lost faith in the power of other political currencies,” he states. “We've become persuaded that there's only one form of political capital that matters: namely, money.

“What we want to do is empower regular people. We want to get back to citizen-centered, people-powered politics."

McCabe believes the rise of highly paid political consultants has done a great deal of harm to democracy. He says these consultants try to package candidates and sell them like soap or beer.

McCabe thinks the rise of these consultants has been a big part of the demise of citizen-centered politics.

"There's got to be a place for amateurs in a democracy,” he stresses. “They've got to get back in the game. It can't simply be a bunch of highly paid political professionals who make a fortune by effectively poisoning our democracy."


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI