Tag Archives | Wisconsin

Foghorn Leghorn Speaks On Matters in Wisconsin

FoghornLeghornIs it possible to channel a fictional character? Specifically, the Southern-gentrified blowhard from the Warner Bro.’s 1960′s “Foghorn Leghorn” franchise? Based upon experiments performed over the weekend, I can report a firm and conclusive “yes”. But the ritual requires copious volumes of an obscure Sri Lankan stout called “Lion“. And Mr. Legohorn seems to have quite a bit to say about Wisconsin people and places . . . .

“The behavior on display before us in this instance constitutes a perfect SCANDAL in the eyes of our sacred parliamentary traditions. This method of proceeding cannot call to mind words any loftier or more noble than “poltroon” and “knave”. I understand that the accepted standards of comportment may not be all they could in some of the darker corners of the great state of Wisconsin, but I see no reason to drag them into the sacred halls of our legislature.”

—Regarding the extraordinary violation of Wisconsin’s open meetings law by which Republican majority leader “Big Fitz” Fitzgerald surreptitiously passed Gov.… Read the rest

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Scott Walker Has Painting Of Poor Children Removed From Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion

MJS bicecol05_cOther politicians can slash taxes for the rich while cutting funds for teachers and struggling families, but few can throw in some Mr. Burns-style symbolic nose-thumbing like the Wisconsin governor. Via Mother Jones:

Walker has made headlines again after he removed a painting (see right) depicting three Milwaukee children—one had been homeless, one from low-income family, and a third who had lost family members in a drunk-driving accident—from the Governor’s mansion.

The painting, hung over the mantel, was intended to remind state leaders of the people they represent. Scott Walker and his wife Tonette replaced it with a portrait of Old Abe, a Civil War-era bald eagle from Wisconsin.

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Through the Eye of a Needle …

DopeVia Dystopia Diaries:

Some unexpected good news here:  A Wisconsin judge has ruled that the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s aggressive union-busting bill’s, engineered late in the night without the statutorially required 24 hours notice or the quorum necessary for a budget bill, is a violation of the state’s open meetings law.  An injunction is now in place to prevent the bill’s enforcement.

You may recall the raucuous buildup to the April 5th Wisconsin Supreme Court election which was widely seen as a referendum on that un-precedented (and now apparently un-lawful) powergrab, an Orwellian abuse of rhetoric and procedure whose only certain purpose was to destroy any group to politcally organize outside the orbit of his Koch brothers patrons.  David Prosser, the Republican incumbent was and still is regarded as strongly in favour of Walker’s dubious scheme, whereas his opponent, Madison-based JoAnne Kloppenberg ran on the ticket of the Democratic party who not unnaturally opposed it.

But if the buildup was a barn-burner, the prolonged aftermath was distinctly anti-climactic.  The 11th hour defection of one of Prosser’s campaign managers seemed to deal a heavy blow to the Republican’s judicial credibility.  Lazy or naive[1] commentators would have expected the hoary old chestnut about Wisconsin being the clean-government state, a la it’s Robert La Follette heritage, to come into play here and cast Prosser’s chances in doubt.… Read the rest

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Madison Activists Push Resolution To Deny Constitutional Rights To Corporations

800px-Constitution_We_the_PeopleWisconsin activists seek support in the belief that corporations don’t deserve the same constitutional rights as citizens. Isthmus reports:

Kaja Rebane wants Dane County residents to send a message that corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech.

The UW-Madison grad student helped organize a successful effort to put referenda on the April 5 ballot in both the city of Madison and Dane County. It ask voters whether they believe corporations and people, and money and speech, should be considered distinct.

The local movement, spearheaded by South Central Wisconsin Move to Amend, is part of a national one that aims to amend the U.S. Constitution, to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 21, 2010, decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That controversial ruling, passed 5-4, found that the government could not restrict corporate spending on independent political advertisements, saying this violated the First Amendment.

While organizing on this issue is being done nationwide, Dane County is one of the first to hold a referendum on it.

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When No Experience Pays Off Big (In a Government Job)

Brian Deschane's mugshot

Brian Deschane's mugshot

Daniel Bice writes in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team? It’s all in the family. His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year’s governor’s race.

The group’s political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, last year, making it one of the top five PAC donors to the governor’s successful campaign.

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“Herr Prösser?!!”: The Madison Uprising to Shift Gears on April 5th

>Click Here<The madness surrounding Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to destroy trade unionism continues apace, but outsiders are likely to be deceived into thinking momentum of the Madison Uprising has been dissipated from its previous well-defined orbit. They couldn’t be more wrong and the turnout for Wisconsin’s April 5th supreme court contest between Prosser (R) and Kloppenburg (D) will prove that.

Current reports from Madison consistently describe a hard core of about one to two dozen protestors haunting the capitol building these days. Some Right Wing supporters of the union-busting tactics have publicly taken courage from this decrease since March 11th, when Walker signed the contententious bill. That, however, would be to focus on the hole, rather than the doughnut, so to speak.

While massive 100+ person rallies like those that continued for 3+ weeks in the capitol building are hugely important for gathering momentum and mobilizing latent energies, they really only represent the tip of an ungodly horror being whipped up for Walker and his supporters in places where it will do some real damage — the home districts of Republican legislators.  Here is but a brief sampling of highlights from the blog TMPDC:

— The wife of Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and their household help have signed petitions demanding Hopper’s recall in a very public way.

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Indiana Prosecutor Resigns After Suggesting Staging ‘Fake Attack’ In Wisconsin

Carlos F. LamVic Ryckaert and Kevin O’Neal report in the Indianapolis Star:

For the second time, an Indiana public official has lost his job because of provocative comments made about the political brouhaha in Wisconsin.

Carlos F. Lam, a Johnson County deputy prosecutor, resigned Thursday after acknowledging he sent an email last month urging Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to discredit labor union protests by orchestrating a fake assault on himself.

Possibly, Lam suggested, the pretend assailant might even use a firearm.

Lam’s boss, Prosecutor Bradley D. Cooper, accepted the resignation. He called Lam’s Feb. 19 email to Walker a “foolish suggestion.”

On Feb. 23, the Indiana Attorney General’s office fired deputy Atty. Gen. Jeff Cox after he suggested in blog posts and on Twitter that police use live ammunition on protesters who had poured into Wisconsin’s Capitol.

The political fight in Wisconsin erupted when Walker, a Republican, called for eliminating collective bargaining for public employees.

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The Beginning of the End? We Can Only Hope

Titanic SinkingPreviously sympathetic commentators disillusioned by Obama’s unchecked lying and fumbling were heartened by the uncharacteristic candor coming from Deputy Secretary of State P. J. Crowley late last week — until he was shit-canned for the same early this week.

But there is still some cause for hope: Hillary has announced her own plans to jump ship at the end of  this term as well.  Check out her blunt statements to that effect here.

Is this yet another harbinger of the destruction of Obama’s career?  A recognition that the situation is so bad that even the filthiest bilge rats see that it’s time to abandon ship? Seems like a reasonable possibility.  Anyone working a political paradigm that relies on unquestioning tribal loyalty to the exclusion of substantive policies the way Obama does should be concerned about the defection of establishment stalwarts.  Very concerned.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s been quite a bit going on at all levels of the political spectrum–I should not fail to mention the special fireworks being lit in Michigan.  But for the purposes of our discussion here, it’s probably more immediately relevant to pass on the rumour being floated around that DNC chief Tim Kaine, DNC may be replaced in the coming months.  Ted Strickland, the man currently speculated to replace Kaine, has a bit of a waffel-y record on business and tax issues, but has gone solidly on the record in opposition to free trade treaties like NAFA.*

Yeah, early days here.  But encouraging trends seem to be bubbling up from the surface.  It’s tempting to imagine that, with the remains of an incompetent establishment no longer blocking the way, the latent energies unleashed at by the Madison Uprising finally have a chance to take on a more coherent and effective shape nationally.… Read the rest

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What If They Held A Civil War And The Military Didn’t Show Up?

Civil War And Military Didn't ComeI’m sure you’ve already heard the news:  Between roughtly 4:00pm and 6:30pm last night, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stripped the union-busting provisions of Wisconsin’s notorious “Budget Repair Bill” into a stand-alone bill, which as an allegedly non-fiscal bill required a much smaller quorum to floor, and forcibly destroyed trade unionism in the state.

A vote in the assembly is scheduled for 11:00am local time today 10th March, but nobody seriously expects any significant defection within the heavy Republican majority.

Upon learning of the coup d’état, crowds rushed and occupied the capitol building in violation of Walker’s Department of Administration restrictions.  See video here.

Although exempted from the draconian provisions of the bill, it’s been clear for weeks that the police and their unions know that it is only a matter of time and opportunity until Walker attempts to destroy their political voice as well.

Clearly the next round of conflict will surround injunctions and constitutional challenges to this extraordinary bill, which surely will be legion.  But Republican Walker’s fantastic incompetence and three-week public relations fiasco has provided more than enough evidence to prove that the measures were never intended to address fiscal issues, but solely to destroy the historically Democrat unions ability to organize politically.… Read the rest

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Still Waters Run Deep: Phase 2 Of The Madison Uprising

The ScreamThe differences between Madison, Wisconsin and Tripoli, Libya should be obvious. The fact that Madison hasn’t floated away on a crimson tide of gore should be encouraging—horrors on that atavistic scale happen only where there exists not even the nominal right to redress majoritarian excesses through protest.

The contrast to America’s experience of 1968 is positive as well; I remind you that movement flamed out prematurely due to inexperience and lack of discipline. The image created in my mind by this phase of the Madison Uprising is more like that evoked by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”—the silent edge of a rising shout.

The crowds in Madison seem to have leveled out at a steady 30,000-40,000 per day, according to most reports.  That is still a pretty freakin’ huge # when put into context of the relatively sparse population of this section of Wisconsin and personal commitments being made by protesters in order to attend, in terms of time and money.  All the more so when you consider the scanty number of counter-demonstrators that the dilettante Koch brothers have been able to scare up from out of state, even with literally billions of dollars at their disposal.… Read the rest

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