Litjens Wants to Socialize the Losses and Privatize the Profits of her Rental Properties

By Appleton Wonk

Tea Party and John Birch favorite Michelle Litjens has stirred up quite a bit of controversy since taking office this year. Michelle Litjens is a freshman representative in the 56th Assembly District of Wisconsin. Her district covers part of Appleton and the surrounding area. Michelle and her husband Tony own and manage 24 apartment buildings in Oshkosh for a total of 133 rental units. They have been involved in the housing industry for the past 15 years. Now that she’s introduced Assembly Bill 182, she’s not just a legislator, she’s another lobbyist making the public pay for her industry’s problems.


Assembly Bill 182 will shift the burden of unpaid utility bills from landlords to the community at large. It can be found here. Under current law if a tenant doesn’t pay their utility bill by November 15, the amount due is added to the landlord’s property tax bill. Under AB 182, this will no longer be allowed by law. City Manager Mark Rohloff told the Oshkosh Northwestern in an article found here that Assembly Bill 182 is “patently unfair to rate-payers who pay their bills every month” and they would face higher rates because others had not paid their utility bills. Utilities would have to put more time and resources into bill collecting. This extra cost would be passed onto their paying customers.


Two quotes from Litjens in the Northwestern article caught my attention. “The state’s Ethics Board has said when you don’t have a direct benefit, there is no ethical violation.” and “If my tenants all paid their water bills, it wouldn’t affect me at all”. How can she guarantee that all her tenants will pay their water bills in a timely fashion? If she can guarantee they will all pay their utility bills in a timely fashion, why is this bill necessary?


There is a certain amount of risk that comes with every business enterprise, being a landlord carries many risks. With every tenant there is a risk of them not paying their bills or doing considerable property damage to the unit, but with risk comes reward. In this case, there is a potentially large financial gain to be made from owning and operating rental units.


Free market advocates say small business owners deserve all the monetary rewards they receive because of the many risks they take on a day to day basis. This bill will remove one of the risks of being a landlord and socialize the losses and privatize the profits.

Just can’t get enough of Rep. Litjens? Perhaps you’ll enjoy this interview of Litjens and Rep. Steineke in which they discuss not only AB182 but ALSO Wisconsin Act 10, conceal carry, and inspections Litjens wants for Wisconsin abortion clinics.

Watch live streaming video from postcrescent at

Special guest on Solidarity Wisconsin Friday 10am: Chris Reeder, song leader of Solidarity Sing Along

I’m pleased as punch to welcome Chis Reeder to the 10AM Solidarity Wisconsin online radio show today.

Here’s a link to the archived show.

If you haven’t heard of the Solidarity Sing Along group, it might be because you’re not from Wisconsin or Spain. Yes-Spain!

[nggallery id=7]

The pro-union songsters who sing at Wisconsin’s Capitol building on every weekday noon to 1PM gained a flurry of positive Wisconsin press including a Sunday May 15 Wisconsin State Journal piece. Now their fame is international due to a YouTube Spanish version of “We Shall Not Be Moved” called “No Nos Moveron”


The video at this moment is at 48,000+ hits and comments from Spain are gushy with thanks:
“Thank you Winsconsin Im sleeping in Seville camping the capital of the south region, its nice see videos like it :). Thank you so much Winsconsin :)”

Two days of the week the singers gather outside the Capitol, as seen in the video, and 3 days of the week, they assemble inside. The singing project is supported by the

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice or “WNPJ” for short. The recipe for a solidarity sing along project seems rather simple to me: select a song leader, print song books, maintain a facebook page, come to the Capitol building, sing.

But it does help to have a song leader like Chris. Chris is unfailingly positive, injects humor in between songs, and he does not just conduct. Chris does a blend of conducting and dancing which creates an exuberant force field that helps his untrained singers lose the stage fright they may have brought with them. You might catch a little exuberance yourself from this video:

Some of the songs Chis leads have so much natural punch, singers need almost no nudging to fill their lungs with them. “Solidarity Forever” is the favorite song of the group and a chief example. Here is an excerpt from “Solidarity Forever” inside the Capitol rotunda:

I love the sound of those reverberating voices. But not everybody does. Republican Rep. Michelle Litjens from Oshkosh tweeted:
“I’ve had enough! One hour of union protesters singing, “We Will Overcome” etc. in the Capital Rotunda!!! When with the insanity end!”

And a Republican and Waukesha Rep., Paul Farrow, complained the singers have been disrupting work in the Capitol. According to a June 2nd MJS article, “groups visiting the Capitol are typically required to fill out a permit application to prevent scheduling conflicts. Farrow said the Solidarity Singers have not filed a permit and should be required to do so.”

In the article, Chris is quoted in reply: “If you’re going to start requiring permits for people to come in and make their voices heard, I think you’ve crossed the line then.”

I hope you’ll tune in to the live show! If you can not, there will be an archived podcast waiting here on the blog for you later.