Reid Ribble Leaves Jobs Fair Early for Campaign Fund Raiser

This past Saturday, Congressman Reid Ribble sponsored a job fair in Appleton. He’s facing some criticism for leaving the event early to go to a campaign fund raiser. Evan McMorris-Santoro from Talking Points Memo did an excellent piece of this subject. It can be found here.

Reid Ribble says that he wants to make sure all of his constituents have the opportunity for employment. I contend his actions spoke louder than his words. If he really meant that statement he would have stayed for the entire event to make sure every job seeker who came to the job fair had the opportunity to learn more about getting a job. By favoring the campaign fund raiser over the jobs fair he’s clearly telling people he cares more about keeping his job than helping find jobs for the people who elected him. Or here’s a radical idea, he could have scheduled the events for different times so he didn’t have to make a choice.

The job fair should have been his first priority, instead he left to go to a campaign fund raiser. Here’s what he had to say about leaving early:

“Here’s the reality,” Ribble said in an interview from his jobs fair. “The more time I spend in here, I’m a bit of a distraction because the employers want to talk to people.”

He thinks he’s a distraction from people finding jobs? He sent a tweet saying he would be hosting the event from 9 am until noon. For some reason I always expect hosts to stay for the entire event, not just part of it. Maybe I’m old fashioned.

I really enjoyed watching the video that was released by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The person questioning Reid – Matthew Van Grinsven – asked some good questions in a manner that vaguely reminded me of Michael Moore. It’s a shame that all of his questions weren’t answered. I look forward to seeing more video from this individual and thank him for sharing this one with the public.

If actions speak louder than words, Reid Ribble’s actions tell us he’s more interested in keeping his job than helping the unemployed people in his district find jobs for themselves. We need someone who is good with scheduling and who looks out for the interest of their constituents before campaign fund raising. Let’s hope we all remember this when his name is back on the ballot, November 6, 2012.

Photo credit to That’s My Congress

Peaceful Protest at U.S. Congressman Reid Ribble’s Appleton Office

Approximately 60 people protested at Reid Ribble’s Appleton, WI office as part of a “Save the American Dream” national day of action through Reid Ribble is a U.S. Congressman representing Wisconsin’s 8th District. Here are some of the pictures from the event. Ann Muenster deserves a special thank you for stepping up and getting everyone organized at the event.

While waiting to go into his office the crowd shouted things like “we want compromise”, “Where is Reid Ribble?”, “Where are the jobs?”, and of course the standard “show me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like”.

Reid Ribble’s office is located at the Radisson Paper Valley, so the protesters had to walk through the hotel lobby to get to his office. At the main entrance we were asked to leave all protest signs by the front door as the hotel management did not want those in the building. Only one person was unhappy about that. Everyone else who had a sign left it at the door and quietly proceeded to Reid Ribble’s office.

While there, the protesters delivered a petition that asked Reid Ribble to agree to “support the Senate’s plan to raise the debt limit and reduce the deficit.”

Reid Ribble was not in his office, so his assistant, Carl Soderberg took the signed petition. He wrote down what everyone said to him. Carl appeared to be the only employee in the office when we were there. The conversation was calm and respectful as everyone waited their turn to speak. In fact, the protesters stopped talking when Carl had to answer the phone.

Retired school teacher, Mary Hoglund was one of the speakers at the protest.

One lady said she believed we should end the oil subsidies because the oil companies are making record profits. One gentleman mentioned that his son lost his job in January and was still unable to find employment. He wanted to know “where are the jobs?”. Concern was expressed that some politicians are thinking about the next election and not governing well. Another person said “they are playing with people’s lives”. One person even asked if Ribble is a member of ALEC. Carl said that he doesn’t know if he is. At that point, a few people asked what is ALEC. One of my favorite lines from the meeting was when someone asked that Reid Ribble not call the rich job creators, call them “rich”.

Reid Ribble has not had any in person town hall meetings and his constituents want a chance to speak with him face to face. He has breakfast and lunch meetings with business people. These events have a fee associated with them. His constituents shouldn’t have to pay a fee to speak openly with him. Ribble has telephone town halls instead of in person meetings. This leaves little room for any real discussion. Many people are still waiting for him to have in person town hall meetings with the people in his district.

People at the meeting are concerned with the way Reid Ribble is being perceived in the community. The activists are concerned the community sees him as representing corporations and special interest groups like the Tea Party.

Every speaker at the meeting was clear, to the point and aware of the issues. For me, the best parts of the event were the number of people that showed up and the fact that everyone acted respectfully and really listened to each other.

The Appleton Post Crescent also covered this story. Their story can be found here.

Guest Writer Appleton Wonk: Reid Ribble Literally Pumps Koch Gasoline at a Kwik Trip

Today I welcome Appleton Wonk as a guest writer .  A.W. visited an Appleton, Wisconsin gas station gathering hosted by Reid Ribble, the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district. It’s notable that he positioned himself at a Kwik Trip station. The Kwik Trip franchise in Wisconsin so happens to get their fuel from a Koch-owned refinery near St. Paul and Ribble was literally pumping it into people’s tanks that day.

He’s made a few political ripples by saying Congress should consider ending federal tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.  But otherwise, he’s with the pack: demanding steep cuts in government spending and supporting aggressive offshore U.S. drilling. (the White House wants to move with more caution. Something about some devastation wrought by BP in the gulf, I think).


Photo credit: Mike Diorio


From Appleton Wonk: May 16, 2011 from 1:30 pm until about 2:20 pm

Reid Ribble was at the Kwik Trip on West College Avenue in Appleton today to pump people’s gas and get their thoughts on the price of gas. This event was not published on his official web site, but was at the Wisconsin Ag Connection.

This site also said that Ribble had a public hearing to talk about free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. I wonder why that meeting wasn’t listed at his official web site?

Along with regular customers there were between 10 and 20 protesters on hand.

Photo credit: Mike Diorio
Photo credit: Mike Diorio

Find more photos on facebook.

I had the opportunity to listen to him speak for a few minutes before being asked to move away because they were “doing something”.

When asked about speculation driving up the price of gas, he said he didn’t believe that speculation increased the price of gas and said he would research this more closely. He also stated that he didn’t think that we as a country should try to stop or slow down speculation because that would be manipulating the market.

On a side note: One question I would have liked to ask him is regarding a trip to Los Angeles from January 26 through January 29 of this year. According to the “Gift and Travel Filings” found here, his trip was paid for by the Heritage Foundation. So far I haven’t been able to find any information on this event. Not knowing has left me with a couple of questions: Who attended this meeting and what was the main topic of discussion?

Read more here: