Saturday, November 03, 2007

Oakland Press Story

This morning in the Oakland Press a story appeared, "Brother Speaks Against Political Activist." While I'm disappointed in my brother's actions, writing to Trent Wisecup, and the resulting story is personally hurtful, I am confident I did nothing wrong and I want to focus on issues. Were my activities of no consequence Trent would not have a need to try to attack me personally and distract attention away from his behavior and Joe Knollenberg's voting record. I choose to stay focused on Joe Knollenberg's voting record. I'm still waiting for an answer to my questions, Joe.

1. When are you going to finally realize that the war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster and vote to end the war?
2. While you, your fellow congressmen and women and Trent Wisecup (although according to Trent, he chooses to get his insurance through his wife) enjoy full medical benefits, millions of children in this country have no insurance and rely on SCHIP to supply affordable health insurance in the private insurance market. When will you decide to have compassion for America's children and vote in favor of the SCHIP program?
3. Why have you been beating the drums of war against Iran. We have conducted no diplomacy with Iran and we all know another war, with Iran, will only create another disaster and possibly lead to dire consequences for the world?

All of my efforts are focused on the issues, Joe. How about you and Trent do the same and honor the desires of your constituents that pay your salary?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Press Release - Activist Calls for Equal Treatment for all Americans

All Americans Deserve Full Health Coverage and Mental Health Parity

Political activist Bruce Fealk hopes that the current situation of Rep. Joe Knollenberg's Chief of Staff, Trent Wisecup, taking leave from his position to address a bi-polar disorder "can be seen in a very sympathetic light by everyone in our community. Like any medical condition, your hope is for full recovery and that the financial burden of this sudden situation will be relieved."

"I offer my thoughts of support to Trent Wisecup and his family" said Fealk upon learning that Wisecup had recently been diagnosed and is being treated for bi-polar disorder. "I want to commend Congressman Knollenberg for keeping the door open for Wisecup to return to work in the Congressman's office."

Fealk is hoping the situation of Rep. Knollenberg having a health crisis strike so close to him will help him change his mind on health care coverage in this country.

"While Wisecup will receive full pay (almost $160,000 per year) and have his treatment paid for, many average, hard working Americans would not be so lucky if the same thing happened to them," says Fealk. "This situation for others could have left them with huge medical bills for their treatment, perhaps even sending them into bankruptcy. Even those lucky enough to have medical coverage, may not be covered for mental disorders, like bi-polar disease, and would then be denied the mental health care that should be sought along with the medication."

"The majority of voters in America want universal health care. We call on Rep. Joe Knollenberg to not only change his vote on SCHIP, but to join those in Congress calling for universal coverage for all Americans, and with mental health parity. Why should members of Congress and their staffs get Cadillac coverage while 47 million Americans have no health or mental health coverage at all?"

"Congressmen and women should not be seen as better than any other American." said Bruce Fealk, the videographer in the incident in downtown Rochester, in which Wisecup spewed venomous comments into Fealk's camera, calling him an un-American, Toyota lover.

"Name one person you know that doesn't deserve medical and mental health care when needed without the worry of asking how to pay for the treatment. Did you think of one yet?" "I wonder if Congressman Knollenberg thinks of Wisecup's health care coverage as socialized medicine, as he stated in a recent guest opinion in The Oakland Press?" Fealk commented

Wisecup checks himself into hospital after outburst in Rochester

Knollenberg's chief of staff takes time off after heated words with anti-war activist.

Deb Price / The Detroit News


U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg's chief of staff, who was recently caught on video in a heated exchange with an anti-war activist, said Thursday he is on paid medical leave to deal with a mood-swing disorder.

In an an e-mail to reporters, aide Trent Wisecup said he recently checked himself into Beaumont Hospital in Oakland after sending out "weird and flat out kooky" e-mails.

He added that on Oct. 13 he got "fired up" in what became a tense verbal skirmish with a camera-wielding activist challenging Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, over the Iraq war and children's health care.

A video of the incident at a Rochester drugstore, titled "Trent Wisecup goes crazy in Rochester," is up on, where it has been viewed more than 35,600 times.

Wisecup said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which can be treated with medication. Knollenberg spokesman Steve Betz said Wisecup will return to his nearly $160,000-a-year job as chief of staff.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Now it's time to Fire Joe Knollenberg

Now that Trent Wisecup is on paid leave from the employ of Joe Knollenberg's Congressional office, it's time to look at Joe's lack of judgment. Joe took over two weeks to act on Trent Wisecup's despicable behavior toward me. I was asking legitimate questions of my Congressman that I deserve to have answered.

Joe Knollenberg is accountable to his constituents and he should be out in public answering questions about his positions on issues, not hiding behind his chief of staff who apparently was given the go ahead to confront me when they encountered me. Joe Knollenberg works for his constituents. This is still a government of the people, by the people and for the people, no matter how much George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Joe Knollenberg may tell us we have to turn over power to them to stay safe. I hope this incident gives strength to other citizens to hold their elected officials accountable to them.

BREAKING: Wisecup takes leave of absence after going nuts on video


November 01, 2007Read More: Bad behavior
Knollenberg aide who went nuts on YouTube takes leave of absence
When we last saw Trent Wisecup, chief of staff to Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), he was busy blowing a gasket on YouTube and berating an anti-war protestor for following around the congressman with a video camera. You can watch the video of Wisecup's encounter with Bruce Fealk, the anti-war activist here. It was not a pretty moment, and Wisecup was mocked by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for his generally unhinged behavior.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trent Wisecup's Handy Guide to Being un-American

I thought this was one of the funniest parts of my confrontation with Trent Wisecup, Joe Knollenberg's chief of staff.

More Knollenberg Lies on his SCHIP vote

Mike Brownfield, Joe Knollenberg's campaign manager made this video recently. The lies contained therein are unacceptable, so I'd like to set the record straight.

Lie 1: The bill opens the door for illegal immigrants to receive benefits.

Reality: The latest version of the SCHIP bill specifically excludes illegal aliens from receiving benefits under the provisions of the bill.

Lie 2: The bill is paid for by 22 million new smokers.

The bill is paid for by raising the tobacco tax by 61 cents a pack. The higher the cost of cigarettes, the less likely kids will take up smoking. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a 61-cent increase in the tobacco tax means that 1,873,000 fewer children will take up smoking. Furthermore, the vast majority of Members of the House and Senate – both Democratic and Republican – are on record in favor of raising tobacco taxes. In August, all but 4 House Republicans voted for the GOP motion to recommit that included an increase of 45 cents a pack in the tobacco tax.

Lie 3: The bill would expand coverage to 700,000 adults.

Reality: The SCHIP program focuses virtually all of its resources on children in the poorest of working families – fewer than 1 in 10 children covered under SCHIP lives in a family of four earning more than $41,000 a year. This is how the program will remain under the bill.

This bipartisan bill places the priority on children’s coverage – and therefore PHASES OUT the coverage of parents and childless adults entirely over a two-year period (there are currently about 600,000 of these adults covered under SCHIP). Only optional coverage for pregnant women remains under the bill.

SCHIP has broad bi-partisan support and Joe Knollenberg is out of step with many of his Republican colleagues.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
“[This bill] breaks the legislative impasse and should have strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill will enable the Children’s Health Insurance Program to help cover millions more low-income children.” [Joint press release, 9/21/07]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Iowa)
“I have been fighting for legislation that will not only continue the CHIP program, but also cover more low-income kids who are eligible for CHIP. Today, we are unveiling our bipartisan compromise that accomplishes those two very important goals. Our proposal is an honest compromise which improves a program that works for America’s low-income children.” [Joint press release, 9/21/07]

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.)
“I grew up with acute asthma, and I know personally how important it is for kids to have access to affordable health care. This bill will continue to provide health care coverage to millions of children who otherwise would be uninsured.” [Statement, 9/26/07]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joe Fails the Middle Class

As a middle-class or upper middle-class American you might ask yourself, how well does my Congressman or woman represent my interests. Well, there's a new web site that ranks our Congress on issues important to the middle class of America. CLICK HERE to see Joe Knollenberg's ranking. I can tell you now though, for the last three years, Joe Knollenberg has earned an F on issues affecting the middle class.

Joe Beats Drums of War with Iran at Holocaust Museum

Joe was invited to give a speech recently at the Holocaust Memorial Center. He was there trying to buy votes with a pledge of support for a $250,000 earmark for a children's gallery.

He also was beating the drums of war with Iran. Here's a quote from his speech. Click here to read the entire speech.

I don’t want to get political this evening. We are here to support the Holocaust Memorial Center. But I am increasingly worried about the situation in Iran. The current dictator in Tehran is a menace to the state of Israel. He’s a menace to the United States. And he’s a menace to people around the world who want to live in freedom.

The Iranian president has said on many occasions that he wants to destroy the state of Israel. I believe him, and I think we have to do everything in our power to prevent him from obtaining nuclear weapons. I know the war in Iraq is not popular. But what happens if we lose in Iraq.

The Iranian dictator, who is supporting the insurgency in Iraq, will move quickly to
establish a Hegemonic presence in the Middle East. Moderate Arab nations like
Egypt and Jordan will be at risk of falling victim to the scourge of radical

Israel will be threatened. America will be threatened. The international community will be threatened.

It is America’s obligation to stand with Israel. It is America’s obligation to lead the world in the fight against tyranny, whether it emerges as Communism, Fascism, or Radical Islam. We need to win in Iraq. We need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and becoming the dominant power in the Middle East.

I believe that with every fiber of my being regardless of what the political polls may say. If we don’t confront the evil in the heart of the Iranian president, the world will regret it. You know that is true. I know that is true.

Maybe Joe's chief of staff wasn't just misspeaking when he said I wanted "Iran to win" in my confrontation in the drugstore in Rochester.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Joe's Macacca Moment now a fundraiser

Now the video I shot of Trent Wisecup going crazy in Rochester is being used as a way to raise money for the 2008 Congressional race and put more Democrats in Congress. There's even a web site to send videos of Republicans behaving badly. CLICK HERE to submit your video.

Democrats launch radio ad against Knollenberg on SCHIP

CLICK HERE to listen to the ad that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched in Joe Knollenberg's district criticizing him for his vote against the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Howard Dean on beating Joe Knollenberg in 2008

Governor Howard Dean was in town on Sunday night for the 47th Annual Phil Hart Dinner and he spoke for a few minutes about how we can beat Joe Knollenberg in 2008.

We can do it.