Retired Pastor Opens Mind, Front Yard to Walker Recall Movement

Governor's neighbor makes his feelings known on politics and the role of public workers.

Two voices harmonize what is America.

"It's a great country where both sides can come out and assemble and say what they want," Dan Yendrzeski of Menomonee Falls said Tuesday night that drew about 1,000 people to Wauwatosa. "There's not a lot countries where you can say that."

On the Wauwatosa street where Gov. Scott Walker lives, resident Gary Johnson recalls what his wife said earlier this year, the first time 1,000 people showed up to protest the governor's policies.

"She came home through the crowds," Johnson said, "and told me, 'This is America. Isn't that great, that we should all be able to do this?'"

The difference and dissonance follow.

Yendrzeski, standing at Juneau Playfield at the time, had gone on to say how much he supports Walker, how wrong he thought the recall effort was, and how very wrong he thought it was to take the rally to the street in front of the governor's family home.

Johnson, on the other hand, went on to explain why he not only supports recalling Walker from office but had gladly allowed organizers to set up a petition-signing table in his front yard.

"On an intellectual level, I thought it was terrible governance — to run and not say what he was really going to do," Johnson said. "I don't remember him saying he would disenfranchise public workers and villify teachers."

Johnson admits he is not unbiased. His wife, Christine, is a Wauwatosa schoolteacher. But his long-founded personal beliefs, he said, provide the foundation for his position and for the grove of "Recall Walker" signs in his front yard.

Johnson is a retired Lutheran minister, having spent 38 years in the calling, most recently as pastor of , 12012 W. North Ave.

"I come from a line of teachers," he said, "three generations from New Jersey and Long Island. And my father was a Republican and anti-union — but trade unions, not teachers' unions.

"I can live with Republicans. I grew up in Michigan with Gov. (William) Milliken, a great man and leader. I know about Republicans. But this isn't Republicanism. This is just about power, and holding it.

"I've lived here a long time, and I always thought it was a congenial mix of some old-time socialists and some hard-line McCarthyites and mostly thoughtful folks with slightly differing points of view.

"Then Walker was elected and all hell broke loose. I was really upset. There was no interest in sitting down and working out compromises on policy — just pushing through every right-wing agenda item."

Johnson said that what really pushed him make his feelings known with multiple signs in yard and windows, and ultimately to make his property available to the recall effort, was something he saw during that earlier march last spring.

"I met young couples who had gone into teaching, pushing their babies in strollers, and they were scared. They were worried for their futures and for their children.

"This is the guy (Walker) who was going to add jobs — but not their jobs. To say that public workers — teachers, park workers, clerks and accountants — are the problem, that's just wrong.

"What bothers me here was that it was not about balancing the budget but about demolishing the unions and thereby consolidating power. Without embarrassment but with arrogance he crossed that line.

"And people say that these (teachers) are people who will do it because they love it, and go on doing it regardless. If not true, we are in deep trouble. And even if true, how unfair.

"To balance the budget on the backs of one class is undemocratic."

Paris Procopis November 21, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Check this out...... http://wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=252852
Paris Procopis November 21, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Paris Procopis November 21, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Fun Collective Bargaining tactics that Walker saved us from.... http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?prid=5676&locid=177
donna c November 21, 2011 at 04:26 PM
If that link is reliable IT PROVES THAT: · 25% of districts DO NOT have the same K-3 class sizes or are decreasing them; · 33% of districts for grades 4-6 ARE NOT keeping the same class size or decreasing them; 22% of districts ARE NOT keeping student fees the same or decreasing them AND ON DOWN THE LIST. So what about that do you think is working? 25% of k-3 class sizes now bigger? 33% of 4-6 grade class sizes now bigger?
Lyle Ruble November 21, 2011 at 05:08 PM
@Paris P...Those of us who reside in Milwaukee County were fully aware of his shenanigans and the hatred he harbors for unions. However, the rest of the state was completely unaware of who Scott Walker really is. He lost Milwaukee County handledly. I have talked with a number of fellow people in the grassroots movement who are moderate Republicans and Independents who voted for Walker and now have buyers remorse. That's is why they are participating in the current recall efforts.
donna c November 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM
@Paris--did you know that people died to get safety in the workplace that you take for granted today? Did you know Newt Gingrich wants to bring back child labor? Don't kid yourself for one minute that your employer would give you benefits if the unions hadn't won them for you. I don't understand how you can fight against what is in your own best interest--unless you're a millionaire--then you're right to side with walker. He's your boy.
Paris Procopis November 21, 2011 at 11:37 PM
@ Donna C, there was a time in history when you would have been correct. There is NOT a union member alive today that has fought for those things you say I take for granted. Thanks to my not being on a union, I have been able to achieve personal success! I don't need the government or a collective to make me successful. And as for union success, the only people experiencing financial success are th corrupt union bosses that are merely trying to protect their cushy six figure salaries that they earn on the backs of their forced extraction of dues from the workers.
Paris Procopis November 21, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Donna c, one more thing.... All those union dues that we're extracted we're wasted on recalls this year, an more coming. Simply because your side lost the elections and your side says piss on Democracy, we want our power back!
donna c November 21, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Wrong again. Union members are killed all the time in Columbia and elsewhere around the world. Get a clue.
donna c November 21, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Unions are the ultimate democracy--one person, one vote. Get a clue. You should move to a red state instead of trying to turn Wisconsin into one.
donna c November 22, 2011 at 12:49 AM
@Paris--is your belief that workers had to fight and sometimes die for safe workplaces, minimum wages, 40-hour work week and child labor laws in the past, but now the benevolent corporations will just give them to us? And that the union workers dying elsewhere around the world are just not lucky? The same multinational corporations trying to keep them from unionizing are just meanie weenies in South America but good guys here, right?
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 01:41 AM
Ultimate democracy????? Of you don't do whatth union wants tey slash your tires harass and threaten. Take away their power they whine like spoiled brats! Donna you say one person one vote like you actually believe in democracy. Well, we had one person one vote in the elections last November and the voters spoke. WISCONSIN is now a REd state, so deal with it! You lost the Prosser election, could not regain the senate, and will likely lose the recall! If Your cause had merit, then why does your side have to bus people in from Ohio and Illinois in order to get volunteers collect signatures? Oh, and why do you have to cheat by collecting signatures from minors, non residents, an headstones of dead people?
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 01:52 AM
By the way, What do unions in other countries have to do with the USA? We see nightly how over unionization has worke out for Europe
donna c November 22, 2011 at 01:59 AM
It seems like you're having trouble following. You said "There is NOT a union member alive today that has fought for those things you say I take for granted." And you are wrong. They are fighting (and dying) for it right now in many parts of the world. Do you get it? Yes, strong unions in Germany have made it recession proof and their currency is strong. We are seeing how it works out there. Good point. How do you like dear gov's loss of 19,000 jobs for wisconsin? how's that working for you? And, Wis. is not quite red yet. We're still fighting to save it.
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Still a net gain, and don't forget, the aDemograts are still in charge of two thirds of the govt! Remember, progressive Bush got is into a mess, and socialist Obama made it worse! So, our growth as a state is deeply tied to te federal inability to actually pass a budget!!!!! By the way, thanks for saying we are STILL In the red and for basically admitting walker inherited a spiraling deficit! Instead of blaming his predecessor, he did something about it!!!!
donna c November 22, 2011 at 02:54 AM
No, it's not a net gain. It's a net loss of 9,700 jobs. Are you happy with his performance? I'm not sure you can follow a conversation. You haven't presented any facts, nor will you answer the ones I give you. You're happy that there are more kids in 30% of classrooms and that 30 some % of school fees have gone up. I'm not sure why you want to cling to your beliefs in the face of facts that contradict them, but that's your issue. Ignorance is bliss, and you do seem happy. By the way--what two thirds are you talking about? Or are you trying to say there's a net jobs gain because of democrats? While the middle class always does better under democrats, the facts are facts: We're bleeding jobs. The policies don't work, no matter who you think controls two thirds of the government.
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 03:10 AM
I don't know what system you are talking about but my children's classrooms are fine, our system even added a foreign language program with no layoffs, no tax increases, a cut of state aid, and all because they used walkers tools.. The ones that are having problems are the ones that bent over to the unions! MPS, Kenosha, etc...
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 03:16 AM
How are better under Democrats? Doyle and the dem legislature saddled us with huge taxes, we we were bleeding jobs because he made it impossible to do business in the state. No nation has ever spent its way into prosperity. Bush proved it and Obama proved it. Things are much worse nationally but walkers job loses the past month or so are Much less than under Doyle . And by the way increasing taxes on rich and corporations only kills the middle class. Why don't you understand that? Take oil for example, if we tax their profits, they just pass the cost to us as consumers. Tax the rich and they provide less jobs. Get it?
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 03:17 AM
Oh and the 2/3 is senate and white house :)
Lyle Ruble November 22, 2011 at 03:19 AM
@Paris P...Provide your proof!
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 03:19 AM
My main issue is the recall, Doyle was a crook so I finally voted him out! If you disagree with walker, vote him out when his term is up! That's what elections are for!
Lyle Ruble November 22, 2011 at 03:23 AM
@Paris P...You certainly don't seem to have well rounded knowledge. Northern Europe's unions are effective and help with the company when business is down.
Lyle Ruble November 22, 2011 at 03:33 AM
@Paris P...Rarely have I encountered someone as misinformed as you and cares so little for facts and the truth.
3393 November 22, 2011 at 03:50 AM
@ Paris....you are correct on all your points. Just thought I would interject that because you are putting up with with some real fruitcakes. Once I heard the Europe crap and union workers are dying stuff from the Walker hater's I had to comment. Your posts are spot on and thanks !
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Lyle and Donna, when you get your paychecks from the Wisconsin Democrats, make sure they spell your names right :)
Lyle Ruble November 22, 2011 at 04:20 AM
@Paris P...I'm not even a Democrat. I don't know about Donna. BTW I am a social democrat and I do this because I'm interested in politics. I think they call it a "political junkie".
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 04:22 AM
@3393, thanks....I love to see how ignorant these paid posters that work for the Democrat party get. They are line by line according to the democrat Union handbook
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 04:28 AM
Well Lyle, on that we agree! I love politics as well. So on that note, I say good night! I must committ a blatant act of capitalism early tomorrow!
Paris Procopis November 22, 2011 at 04:39 AM
3393, is there a way to private message in this venue?
donna c November 23, 2011 at 12:12 AM
@Lyle. Not a democrat either. She makes a lot of assumptions and jumps from Wisconsin to national politics to Europe when she thinks it makes a point. Uses the fact that 25-33% of classrooms in the state will have more students to teachers to prove some type of point. Doesn't realize that Walker used recall when it suited him, now it's somehow a problem. Just another person fighting against her own self interest who knows why (I don't think she's a millionaire)


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »