LIFETIME OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
AS AN ENGINEER, JOURNALIST, & LAWYER
TO THE U.S. SENATE
"Some...see things as they are and ask, "Why?"
I dream things that
never were and ask, 'Why not?'"
~ Senator Robert F. Kennedy
JULY 18, 2021
My name is Peter Peckarsky. I’m running to be a United States Senator representing everyone in Wisconsin. When I win, I work for you, not the other way around.
So, I’d like to know what you think. On a yes or no basis loud enough for me to hear:
Does everyone here want to protect our democracy?
Does everyone here think Donald Trump threatens our democracy?
Does everyone here think Ron Johnson enables Donald Trump’s attacks on our democracy and our health?
Thank you all very much. I got the message.
I have asked direct questions of public officials for along time so if I’m going to be a public official, it’s time for me to answer a few myself, such as:
1. Who are you?
I’m a fourth generation Wisconsinite. 6 generations of my family have thrived in Wisconsin. I was born, raised, and graduated from high school in Milwaukee. I have degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Political Science. My law degree is from Case Western Reserve. My family has defended our democracy for over a century beginning with my grand-uncle’s service in WWI. My father and 4 uncles served in WWII.
I served as a civilian consultant to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations on strategic nuclear weapons forces and platforms and on intelligence analysis to the Director of Naval Intelligence.
A national issue when I graduated from MIT was whether we should buy an anti-ballistic missile system. Sen. Ted Kennedy opposed the ABM system and placed my senior thesis in the Congressional Record to support his position.
For about the last 20 years I have been an active participant in the efforts of the Democratic National Committee, the DPW and other state Democratic parties to protect our elections and every voter’s right to cast a ballot.
For the 2020 election cycle, at the request of the Biden campaign during the primaries, the California Democratic Party, the DPW, and other groups, I donated about 2,000 hours of my professional time to various election protection activities.
In 2020, I also contributed to the campaign of every Wisconsin Democrat running for a seat not then held by a Democrat in the Wisconsin legislature or the U.S. House of Representatives.
As an attorney I have been lead trial counsel in cases including a contest of a Presidential election. My career has involved the interaction of law with many scientific and technical fields directly relevant to the issues faced by a United States Senator and to our elections.
2. Why are you running for a Senate seat?
I’m running for a Senate seat because of an author I ran into a while ago with his sidekick - a lawyer. The author wrote, gave speeches, and asked a lot of questions. The answer to one of the questions the author asked a few months after I met him is: Continue my family’s long tradition of honorable public service by being a United States Senator from Wisconsin. The question was: What can you do for your country? The author’s name was Jack Kennedy who was a U.S. Senator when I met him. The lawyer with him was Bobby Kennedy.
3. What are you planning to do if you win?
What I plan to do if I win is to deal with the needs of our state and our nation. Many of the big issues such as Providing Quality Health Care As a Basic Right, Protecting The Rights of Workers and Their Unions, Protecting our Environment and Prioritizing Our Fight Against Climate Change, Reducing Economic Inequality, Stopping Systemic Racism, Justice For Veterans, and Ending Forever Wars are discussed on my campaign website (I promise you’ll have the URL before I finish).
Because science is essential to dealing with many issues facing us - such as providing quality health care as a right for all Americans - let’s talk about science.
Given that we are just a few miles from the main campus of the University of Wisconsin let’s consider what science developed at the University of Wisconsin has done, is doing, and will do to provide quality healthcare for many Americans. The scientists at UW took rat poison and turned it into a drug that has saved and protected the health of millions of people. The rat poison (in an appropriate dosage) is now known as Warfarin. W-A-R-F-A-R-I-N. The W-A-R-F stands for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation which commercializes research done at the University of Wisconsin. Doctors prescribe warfarin when indicated and people take warfarin because it is a blood thinner which helps prevent clots which cause strokes.
As is the case with warfarin, education and science benefit many people in addition to those who receive the education. The issue which will be considered in Congress if I have anything to say about it is: How do we invest in our nation’s future by educating the next generation of Americans in science and many other fields while we address the cost of current education and the debt now severely burdening many graduates in a manner which helps students and graduates, provides well educated future leaders, and is equitable for those who did not obtain a post-high school education?
While thinking about spending money, in particular for Education or for almost Endless Undeclared Wars, think about this:
First, every time we decide to spend a billion dollars, we have a choice. We can pay for whatever is being proposed or we can pay full tuition for a year for 100,000 students at the University of Wisconsin or full tuition for a year for 200,000 students at a technical college.
Second, the cost of keeping troops in combat overseas is about $1 million per soldier per year. If you have 1,000 troops in combat overseas for a year, that’s a billion dollars. Before we make the decision to send those troops there is one other question each of you and each Member of Congress must ask: What military threat is posed to the United States of America by the country where the troops will be fighting?
I’ll leave that as a thought exercise for each of you.
Another thing I plan to do if elected is to deal with the effort of the majority of Republicans to interfere with the security and freedom of our elections. The security of the system is now under consideration by Congress and will probably be of concern for a long time.
Our election system is hardware and software dependent, complicated, and technical. In order to legislate properly about our election system, a U.S. Senator needs an understanding of various aspects of computer hardware and software, cryptography, electrical circuits and signals, internet communications, internet devices, microprocessors, semiconductor design, semiconductor processing, statistics, and telecommunications because of the impact those fields have on the security and operation of the current system.
I have the necessary understanding which appears to be shared, at most, by only one other person seeking the nomination.
It is essential for a U.S. Senator to be able to understand the use and limits of technology. Technology is central to many issues we face, for example, addressing climate change by using using solar and windpower to produce energy. For a second example, providing high speed broadband throughout Wisconsin (most particularly including rural Wisconsin). For a third, allowing our farmers to have unrestricted access to the hardware and software on their equipment and to repair their own equipment rather than forcing them to wait for days and then pay a lot of money if equipment needs repair immediately, for example, when crops are being harvested.
Given my education, training, and experience I understand technology and its limits.
I ask for your views, your support, and your votes.
I ask for your views when we talk this afternoon or when you want to send them to us on our website.
I ask for your support, financially if you are able to do so, and more importantly to organize this state starting now with the goal that every Wisconsin Democrat who runs next year wins. Please volunteer on the “Join Us” tab tab on the campaign website - PeckarskyforWisconsin.com
I ask for your vote in the primary.
I also offer all of you an opportunity to engage in an experiment with technology now. My remarks may have been a bit convoluted. I’d like to put them in your hands so you can review them at your convenience. With your help, I’d like to do so in an environmentally conscious manner rather than on paper.
I‘ve had a solid signal with the internet putting my speech text on this phone since I started speaking. The experiment is to determine what happens if all of you hit the site at the same time.
Please take your smartphone and review the text of my remarks which should be available now at PeckarskyforWisconsin.com/Sunday. That’s PeckarskyforWisconsin.com/Sunday
If there are technical issues, please let us know and we will address them.
Thank you very much for your attention, your participation in the experiment, your views, your support, and your votes to protect our democracy.