Baldwin 's record
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin's bold and effective leadership on issues that truly matter to the people of her district has never been clearer ("Is Tammy Baldwin Bold Enough?" 12/21/07). Her vision and her achievements also are evident to the leadership of the House of Representatives, which last year took the rare step of inviting her to serve on the Judiciary Committee, in addition to her position on the exclusive Energy and Commerce Committee.
In fact, it was Baldwin's unwavering leadership on patent-reform legislation, civil rights and intellectual property - which hold clear benefits for the state of Wisconsin and job growth - that contributed to the unusual judiciary reappointment.
Baldwin 's courageous idealism is balanced by a pragmatic ability to set priorities. We can expect our state and our nation to benefit as a result of her continued rise in Congress.
In his letter to the editor (1/04/08), Dane County Democratic Party chair Wayne Bigelow made the bizarre assertion that those concerned about the war and its historic implications for world peace have a "narrow focus" and that they should rather pay attention to Rep. Tammy Baldwin's putative achievements such as the Paycheck Fairness Act.
It is embarrassing to read such willed blindness to the basic facts of our time. To recap: The overwhelming majority of Americans of all stripes hate Washington's illegal wars. The wars Democrats have repeatedly signed onto have made civilized life impossible for millions, damaged America's security, shredded our civil liberties, and sunk the dollar.
In the face of such a catastrophe, please excuse my "narrow focus" on Baldwin's passive irresponsibility. Future histories will unfavorably contrast ineffectual functionaries like David Obey and Baldwin with truly principled men like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.
I am writing to correct an egregious error in Jay Rath's article "The Business Of Art" (1/11/08). Mr. Rath stated that "American Players Theatre racked up $100,000 in debt in 2004." In fact, in 2004, APT had an operating surplus of $28,174. We have not incurred an operating deficit for the last 16 years. As a result, we have no long-term debt - not even a mortgage - and have begun to build a very modest cash reserve.
Like every business, we face ever-changing market conditions. In 2004, as was true for many theaters across the country, our ticket sales fell short of expectations. We recognized the trend quickly and took prompt, effective action, cutting expenses and appealing to our donors for special assistance. With substantial help from our friends, we ended the year in the black and kept our record intact.
Even though APT has not had a money-losing season since 1991, we recognize that this record may not last forever. Year-to-year results are subject to sudden market changes and also change according to the dictates of multi-year plans. What matters is the disciplined execution of a carefully considered strategic plan.
APT is proud of its reputation for disciplined financial management and careful long-term planning. Our achievements in this area are widely recognized and our results a matter of public record.
David Frank, Producing artistic director, American Players Theatre
Jay Rath replies: In 2004 Sheldon Wilner, then American Players' managing director, told The Capital Times that the company had accumulated $100,000 in "debt" and that, as a result, APT would freeze wages for top artistic and administrative positions, eliminate four staff positions, and make cuts to extras and supporting actors. I'm sorry if any readers got the impression that APT ended its fiscal year in the red.