A stellar cast has already committed to appear at this year’s Fighting Bob Fest on September 10—and speaker list is still not full.
Fest number four
We are proud to announce several of our speakers for the fourth Fighting Bob Fest. (Other speakers will be announced prior to Sept. 10.) The Fest is an old-fashioned Chautauqua held at the Sauk County fairgrounds in Baraboo. The setting is perfect, the crowd will energize you, and we give you a “money-back guarantee” that this year’s Fest will change your life. (There is no charge, so I suppose our guarantee isn’t too much to offer.)
This year’s program will focus on our right to vote. More importantly, do we have something to vote for and if we do, will our votes be counted? Is our system so corrupted by big money that we are compelled to take action?
We celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the shadow of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and all the controversy surrounding those elections. Can we rely on paperless voting? Can we trust the private corporations taking over our voting lists? Are black, Hispanic and young voters targeted to keep their numbers low?
Those questions and more will be addressed by a fantastic group of speakers beginning with the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers. Conyers, the leading voice in trying to get answers about the Downing Street Memo, held an investigation and hearings in Ohio following the Kerry-Bush campaign.
The leading journalist in America, Amy Goodman, will join in the discussion. Her “Democracy Now” broadcasts start our day. She is doing more than criticizing the corporate media. She out-reports them every day.
Could there be a Chautauqua without Jim Hightower? Not in Baraboo. And we are proud to announce his return for Bob Fest on September 10. Always our most popular populist, Jim will bring his brand of activism to Wisconsin. Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton will bring their brand of progressive politics as will Assembly leader Spencer Black and one of the best speakers in the state, Stan Gruszynski.
Congresswomen—yes plural—Maxine Waters, Gwen Moore and Tammy Baldwin will speak and fire up the crowd on topics from the Voting Rights Act to photo-IDs to the privatization of voting in America.
There will be plenty of homegrown talent. Mike McCabe, the dynamic leader of the People’s Legislature and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, will lead the largest session of TPL. The goal? Determine an action agenda to implement real public financing of elections.
Hard to imagine a progressive Chautauqua without John Nichols of Capital Times and Nation magazine fame. Nichols, from the Burlington suburb of Union Grove, will discuss the sorry state of media and, I’ll bet lunch, he will discuss the threat to the independence of NPR and PBS.
The gates will open at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and at 8:30 sharp the program will commence.
This is our fourth Bob Fest and a reunion for those who attended the four sessions of The People’s Legislature over the past year. TPL was the brainchild of last year’s Fighting Bob Fest. People want inspiration and they will get plenty of that, but they want action as well and Bob Fest will provide the forum to determine our course of action.
Please register for Bob Fest beforehand. We are asking for a $10 donation to cover the costs of putting on the fest, but if you can’t afford it come anyway for the time of your life.
June 30, 2005
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