Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Laning's Republican Fawning

By Jeff Simpson


Martha Laning is running to be chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, after losing out in a bid for State Senate in the last election.

Here is one of her ads:



I ask you, in the wake of the right-to-work-for less laws, telling people on snap what kind of cheese is acceptable, taking over public schools and making them charter schools and overturning Prevailing wage laws as we speak, when was the last time that a Republican had good ideas?

I am open to suggestions because once we get past Abe Lincoln I can not think of one!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ALEC Rock

From ALEC Exposed:

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CCXLIII

Even after five years of Scott Walker and his apologists telling us that his agenda is working and that Wisconsin is "Open For Business," it appears that reality hasn't gotten the memo:
Oilgear Corp. will sell its 200,000-square-foot Milwaukee factory and headquarters building and move to smaller space in the area, a company executive said Tuesday.

The move comes as Oilgear shuts down manufacturing at the plant at 2300 S. 51st St., eliminating 45 jobs. Oilgear notified government officials of the plant closing last week.

Catherine Cerny, human resources director for the company, said a prospective buyer for the complex has emerged. Oilgear expects to complete the sale this year, she said.

"We're negotiating right now and have already been approached by people who are interested in the property," Cerny said.

The firm will relocate the Milwaukee production to its plants in Traverse City, Mich., and Fremont, Neb. That will leave Oilgear with about 85 employees here. Remaining will be the corporate office personnel and engineering staff.
And you mjust know it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

WI Republicans Throw Walker's Campaign A (Pro-) Life Preserver

As Scott Walker nears the time that he lets the cat out of the cellophane bag and formally announces his presidential bid, he has to take care of an image problem he has with conservative Christians. They are less than enthused with his wimpy stances regarding gay marriage and abortion:
So even though Walker has said he'd rather not get sidetracked with discussions on the divisive issues, Christian leaders want him to talk about it and openly.

"He cannot campaign in Iowa and South Carolina and not talk about the issues of life and marriage," Penny Nance, who leads the conservative Concerned Women for America group, told Politico. "And even if it appears that he's not talking about it, he's done," she added.
Wisconsin Republican legislators are riding to the rescue and are fast-tracking a bill which would ban abortions after the 20th week, even in cases of rape or incest:
State Republicans are looking to fast-track a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, potentially bringing the proposal to a vote before the Legislature begins debate on the state budget in June.

State Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) told the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network last week that she hopes to see a vote on the proposal, which has more than 30 co-sponsors, as soon as possible.

"As soon as we can do the logistics of sorting out committee meetings and getting those things done, we will be proceeding," Lazich said.

As Senate president, Lazich assigns bills to committees and sits on the panel that decides which bills will come to a floor vote. Lazich is a lead sponsor of the bill.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is preparing a likely run for the presidency, said in March he would sign the measure if it came to his desk.

The bill includes penalties of up to $10,000 and 31/2 years in jail for anyone who is convicted of performing an abortion after 20 weeks, when Lazich said research shows a fetus begins to feel pain. Opponents of the bill dispute that, saying the scientific community does not believe fetuses can feel pain at that stage of development.
Even though similar laws have been stopped in other states and the senate president admits that she doesn't know whether this bill would stand to a court challenge, they're still planning on suppressing more women's rights for the political aspirations of Walker.

What's the rights of people or the squandering of tax dollars compared to the chance for Walker to show he's as depraved conservative as any of the other presidential wannabes, even if he doesn't necessarily mean it?

The Troupis Dump



By Jeff Simpson 

It has been a time honored, bipartisan tradition, that when politicians are actually embarrassed by the things they are doing, they wait until Friday afternoon to announce it.  THis is because our lazy complaint media cares more about getting the weekend started than scrutinizing said politician.   If you are really embarrassed, than you wait until the Friday of a Holiday weekend,  

Our very own Scott Walker has become the master at this news dump and the Friday before Memorial Day 2015 could have been his master dump. As Capper covered the other day,  Walker appointed a bunch of political hacks and unqualified people to some very important positions.  

Probably the most egregious is appointing Republican lawyer and Wisconsin taxpayer leech Jim Troupis to a judgeship in Dane County.  

Walker's other politically appointed judge is Attorney Jim Troupis to Dane County Circuit Court:
Attorney Jim Troupis has been appointed to fill the seat of retiring Dane County Circuit Judge John C. Albert and will serve until August 2016. Troupis’ appointment comes seven weeks after a committee and group of advisers that vet judicial hopefuls rejected all four applicants for the job.

Those applicants were: state Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, state Assistant Public Defender David Klauser, criminal defense attorney John Hyland and Madison attorney and UW-Madison adjunct professor of law Nick Schweitzer.

Hyland, who said in his interview that he had signed the 2012 recall petition against Walker, plans to run for the seat next April and has formed a campaign committee.

Troupis was a partner at the Madison law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich before starting his own law firm in 2010. He worked with Republican legislators during their redistricting of the state following the 2010 census and also represented state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the recount of the 2011 election.

Even if you have not heard of attorney Jim Troupis, you have been paying him for his work handsomely.   While taking no bids, the Wisconsin taxpayers have been paying Mr. Troupis $395/hr to defend Scott Walker in court(which keeps Jim very busy).  

Paying Mr. Troupis so well, you would think you would get high quality work for the public good from him.   You would be wrong.   Troupis was waste deep in the unethical filth that was the Republicans Redistricting    gerrymandering of our state.  Even though it was done by a handful of extreme right wing ideologues, they could not even stand Mr. Troupis.

McLeod then added, "I think Tad and (especially) Adam have Jim's 'number,' as my parents generation would say. He's hurt himself in this engagment. Given enough 'rope' he'll do further damage to himself as time goes by."
Plus they illegally withheld emails, that they were court ordered to turn over.  I wonder if judge Troupis will think its OK to blatantly ignore a court order?

Troupis also has contempt for his new peers, as he had this to say when Judge Sumi was purported to be considering a run at the State Supreme Court:

Troupis was disappointed Judge Sumi is considering a run. "It's obvious she was talked into it because of Act 10," Troupis said. "It should be about competence and qualifications, and clearly the only purpose of her running is to open that pro-union stuff."

Who does this guy get along with?  Well hate radio's own cop hitter, Vicki Mckenna for one.  They even went on a "Freedom Pervasion" tour of the state together.  





That is of course, when he is not busy taking trips around the world.  He thanks you for the money to be able to take such an extravagant trip!   

The most ridiculous part of Troupis' career though, would be when the 14 Senators left Wisconsin to slow down the passage of ACT 10.   Jim Troupis gave legal cover to Scott Fitzgerald to try and have democratically elected representatives arrested.   Seriously.  

But James Troupis, an attorney for Fitzgerald, said rounding up the senators is legal under a constitutional provision that allows the Senate to enforce its own rules, including mandatory attendance. That section allows each house to "compel the attendance of absent members."

Troupis insisted the detention is not an arrest because the senators are not suspected of any crimes. Rather, he said, the resolution seeks to enforce a legislative process.
"The Legislature has its own powers - that's the principle here," he said. "The constitution is quite explicit in providing our Legislature with independent authority."

But the distinction between "arrest" and "detention" was lost on a pair of Madison attorneys who are active in Democratic politics who said the state constitution provides an absolute bar against legislators being arrested for non-criminal offenses.

In an open letter to the Senate, Madison attorneys Lester Pines and Susan Crawford said "none of the fourteen absent Senators has been charged with a crime. Nor has any crime occurred. The Wisconsin Senate has absolutely no authority to order any of its members arrested or taken into custody in order to compel their attendance."

At least the irony is strong, when someone can  illegally and ridiculously try and have sitting elected officials "detained" then go on a "History of Freedom" tour around the state.

Troupis/Fitzgerald, actually sent State Troopers to the homes of the 14 Senators.  Wonder what other Government officials have sent police to the homes of their political opposition to have them detained in our History?  

Apparently Troupis feels the need to be in Wisconsin at your job, does not apply to Scott Walker.

Troupis tried to become a Federal Judge in 2007, under his old client George W Bush, but was soundly rejected.   Even the cronyism of Dubya could not see fit to giving Troupis more power.  

Another question that needs to be answered, is why would Dave Blaska have the Troupis appointment information two days before Scott Walker dumped on the people of Wisconsin?

Congratulations #2 — to Dane County’s newest judge, Jim Troupis.






Troupis Law Office
7609 Elmwood Ave
Suite 102
Middleton, WI 53562
608.807.4096 `|
rtroupis@troupislawoffice.com




The UW System Cuts Disaster

By Jeff Simpson

 Even though we have had five years of complete Republican rule, and the Governor and his co-horts campaigned on us having a surplus, the sad reality is that we have a bigger budget deficit than when Scot Walker took office.  That led to a ridiculous austerity budget and one of the places where they proposed the biggest cuts was to the University of Wisconsin system.

While it is too late to do anything about the Republican dishonesty, it is not to late to stop these devastating cuts to the UW System.

Thanks to WisconsinBudgetProject, we know how bad they can be.

UW-cuts-scaled


Scott Walker is definitely "focused like a laser beam" on jobs.....unfortunately his focus seems to be on eliminating jobs.   

Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Paying Job in Wisconsin Is:


Image result for scott walker money wi

By Jeff Simpson

It has to be (drum roll please)

Homemaker!!  

See Milwaukee's own Mary Sue Shannon is a top donor, and has given $110,000 just to Scott Walker alone.   Who knew that being a homemaker paid so well.   However Ms. Shannon is extremely talented. because not only can she rake in the money being a home maker, she does not even "make a home"(emphasis mine)

My research determined that Mary Sue Shannon is the wife of Milwaukee-area native and prominent University of Wisconsin alum Mike Shannon. Mike Shannon is a founding partner of KSL Capital Partners, a multibillion-dollar Denver private equity firm.

The Shannons are major supporters of Republican candidates nationwide and often list their address as 2323 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, in an office building called the Heritage House at Mayfair.

The building includes a first-floor Marine Bank branch and also is the home of Jacobus Wealth Management. Sources tell me the Shannons are Jacobus Wealth Management clients.

She is technically an "office building maker" who must have one hell of a rainy day fund!



PS:  A quick little fun fact, out of the top 25 Walker for Governor of Wisconsin donors, a whopping 5 of them live in Wisconsin.  At least he knows enough to take out of state campaign money while campaigning against it!


Memorial Day

As the gentle reader is aware, today is Memorial Day, a national day of recognition for the men and women who fought for and died for our country.

Sadly, for way to many, it is just the third day of a three day weekend to be filled up with cook outs, yard work or Netflix.

Even sadder, many politicians - mostly Teapublicans and Republicrats - to pose for holy pictures and make some insincere comments before cutting services and benefits for the still-living veterans.

Saddest of all, we have idiots like Scott Walker going around promising to cause the deaths of more of our military personnel for nothing more than the politics of hate and greed.

To Be "Fiscally Conservative" Is To Be Pro-Poverty

This article is directed at conservatives like Wisconsin's Teapublicans, but damn if it isn't even more appropriate for the likes of the boy prince, Boss Abele and the other Republicrats!  The whole article is well worth the read, but I would point out this part:
And in case you hadn’t noticed, poverty — including the cycle of poverty and the effect of poverty on children – disproportionately affects African Americans, Hispanics, other people of color, women, trans people, disabled people, and other marginalized groups.

So what does this have to do with fiscal policy? Well, duh. Poverty is perpetuated or alleviated, worsened or improved, by fiscal policy. That’s not the only thing affecting poverty, but it’s one of the biggest things. To list just a few of the most obvious examples of very direct influence: Tax policy. Minimum wage. Funding of public schools and universities. Unionization rights. Banking and lending laws. Labor laws. Funding of public transportation. Public health care. Unemployment benefits. Disability benefits. Welfare policy. Public assistance that doesn’t penalize people for having savings. Child care. Having a functioning infrastructure, having economic policies that support labor, having a tax system that doesn’t steal from the poor to give to the rich, having a social safety net — a real safety net, not one that just barely keeps people from starving to death but one that actually lets people get on their feet and function — makes a difference. When these systems are working, and are working well, it’s easier for people to get out of poverty. When they’re not, it’s difficult to impossible. And I haven’t even gotten into the fiscal policy of so-called “free” trade, and all the ways it feeds poverty both in the U.S. and around the world. (I’ll get to that in a bit.)

Fiscal policy affects poverty. And in the United States, “fiscally conservative” means supporting fiscal policies that perpetuate poverty. “Fiscally conservative” means slashing support systems that help the poor, lowering taxes for the rich, cutting corners for big business, and screwing labor — policies that both worsen poverty and make it even more of an inescapable trap.
And then there is this, which just screams out the hypocrisy of Abele and his supporters:
If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

And that means not being a fiscal conservative.
Ironically, Abele and his sheeple keep trying to refer to true progressives and liberals as the "Tea Party" of the left. Unfortunately for them, all of Abele's money cannot by them the truth. It is they who are supporting people and policies that are not only against their best interest, but harm all of us just as much - if not more - than Scott Walker's maleficence.

DPW Chair Elections: Questions and "Answers"

There is so much mud flying, mainly from the DPW “leadership” camp, that it can be hard to keep track of the ways in which your opinion doesn’t matter, or the ways in which your vote for chair doesn’t count, is not informed, etc.  Innocent questions asked on Facebook soon devolve into attacks on the asker's character, longevity with the DPW, local party affiliation, etc.  ALL of the questions and answers below are based on personal conversations between Dem voters and  people who know better than Dem voters: party insiders (mainly paid campaign consultants) who have a financial stake in getting their candidate elected. 

We should be talking about why, as a state, less than 1% of the people who voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential election choose to belong to the DPW. We should be talking about why only a tiny group of consultants with very poor track records ever get tapped to run campaigns in Wisconsin. To quote Dr. Phil, "Based on results, how's that working out for ya?" We all know the answer to that.  We see it in our paychecks, in our schools, in our degrading environments, and so much more.

Now, on to our questions and "answers" portion...

Q:  What if I support someone for chair other than the person closely associated with the outgoing DPW leadership?

A1: When was the last time you came to a convention?

A2) Okay, so you went to the last several conventions. How about county party meetings and events?

A3) So you come to county party meetings or events. When did you start doing this? (This is usually followed by some reason why, if you have only been participating for 5, 10, or 20 years, you’re not really worthy, though the reason is not specified.)

Q: What if I want to vote for someone based on his or her resume? I like that some of these candidates have started or grown family businesses. That’s hard work. I like that others have lots of years of experience with volunteer-based non-profits.

A1: Some of these people have not even been DPW members for very long. That totally trumps real-world experience. I mean, how can we continue our winning streak if someone hasn’t been paying dues for years?

A2: They may not be tight with campaign consultants, and that might affect someone’s bottom line (mine).

A3:  When was the last time you came to a convention?

Q: The next chair is going to need to unite rural and urban voters better than the outgoing one has. I hear so many tales of rural candidates getting ditched by the DPW.  How can we compete if we keep this up?

A1:  It’s who’s in tightest with the party establishment that will be able to make the biggest difference. (If you point out how poorly this has worked out for Wisconsin, they will refer you to answer 2.)

A2: How well do you understand the by-laws for the DPW or our local party? It sounds like you don’t know those, so I don’t have to listen to you.
A3: When was the last time you came to the convention?

Q:  Why are so many party insiders saying that only one candidate has a plan? As far as I can tell, they all have plans, but only a couple have the real-life experience and grassroots connections to carry these out. 

A1: Why are you so homophobic?

A2: That person was only chosen as First Vice Chair because they are Black.

A3: When was the last time you went to the convention?

A4: Have you even read the by-laws for the DPW?


Q: If the candidate with the deepest ties to the current DPW leadership wins, what will he do differently that will reverse the massive losses Wisconsin’s suffered since 2010?

A1: When was the last time you went to the convention?

A2: Some of the other candidates have not been members of the DPW for very long.

A3: These attacks on my favorite candidate just prove how little you know about politics/the party.


Yes, these answers are ridiculous and unacceptable. They are also real answers given to people who are sincerely looking for the best way to steer Wisconsin back to what used to be a proud Progressive tradition.  Let’s vote based on experience, a candidate’s track record professionally outside of politics, and on the issues each candidate stands for. Let's stop with the non-answers and challenge everyone to make their case for their candidate, not their case against the person asking questions. May the best team for Wisconsin win!










Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Driving

Drive carefully on this holiday weekend




Schneider's Simplicity

By Jeff Simpson

To quote the B Movie Actor Ronald Reagan - "There you go again, Christian Schneider".

Sschneider is back using his unexplained pulpit, to spread misinformation and outright lies about our public education system.

But these claims are wildly misleading and lack important context. Indeed, when Walker took over in 2011, he lessened state aid for schools and reduced revenue caps so districts couldn't just make up the reduction in property taxes. But the spending reduction was offset by the reforms in Act 10, Walker's plan requiring higher pension and health care contributions from public employees. To call Walker's school plan a drastic cut, you have to pretend Act 10 never happened.
In 2013, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance assessed the total effect of Walker's plan on school districts. In 2011-'12, Walker reduced district revenues by $450 million, which shows up on the books as a spending cut. But the higher teacher benefit contributions canceled out those cuts; in 2012, district benefit costs dropped 15.6% because teachers were kicking in more for their own health and pension benefits. That helped districts raise $451.1 million in additional revenue, saving them from the catastrophic scenario Democrats are now trying to pass off as reality.
Thus, the idea that schools were drastically cut only applies if your memory has a four-year expiration date. If one were to consider teacher benefits as per-pupil spending and add that money back to the pot, Wisconsin would be faring much better in the national rankings. (The ECS numbers, incidentally, come from the National Education Association — the nation's largest teachers union — and not the more universally accepted National Center for Education Statistics.)

Jake has already universally debunked this BS, which is probably why the Bradley Foundation gave this assignment to Schneider.

It is especially noteworthy that these districts are having financial difficulties 3 years after Act 10 was put into effect in many of these places. Walker and WisGOP honks may talk up the “savings” from Act 10’s “tools”, and sure, they did lower costs to the general taxpayer in the short-run (by raising the costs to that certain group of taxpayers called school district employees), but those haven’t been nearly enough to make up for the continual cuts to public education, especially in rural Wisconsin. Add in the problems in attracting and retaining teachers in many districts, with the huge amount of retirements in the field over the last 3 years and fewer UW System students entering teacher training programs after seeing the denigration of the profession, and you can see how imperiled the quality of our state’s education system is. 

Debunking Schneider is the easy part, getting him to actual answer for his BS is the hard part,

However the point of this column is to touch on something that is a Republican talking point(which is why it made Schneider's column.

 For instance, now districts can hire and fire on the basis of merit rather than seniority; students get a better education and it has nothing to do with per-pupil funding numbers.

I have yet to be able to find any of my friends on the right that can define merit in terms of teaching evaluations.   If you look at school districts who are basing pay on a merit based system, then you will look long and hard as only a small handful of schools are even trying this.

Most people also understand that the longer you do your job, the better you become at it.  

Things are not as cut and dried in education as they are in journalism.

For instance, if someone makes up a story that a Congressman's husband assaulted someone from his opponents campaign. you know they failed as a journalist and should be in a different profession.  

 So I am open to all suggestions. Please tell me how we can judge "merit" in our schools.






Walker Fills Open Judge Seats With Political Appointees

Scott Walker has a long history of cronyism. Walker had so many cronies and campaign donors to take care of that he had dozens of civil service jobs changed so that he could take care of his friends and benefactors.

Yesterday, Karoli wrote about one of the most recent and most egregious of these when Walker appointed the son of Michael Grebe, one of Walker's dark money masters, to the Wisconsin University Board of Regents.

Now, Walker is starting to fill judicial vacancies with political appointees and cronies.

The first of these was Walker's appointment of Rebecca Bradley to serve on the District 1 Court of Appeals.

It should be noted that Bradley served for only two years at Children's Court and didn't handle all of the duties of that assignment. Obviously, Walker didn't appoint her for her experience.

So why her?

Well, she is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA). One of the main issues for the RNLA is voter suppression, which has been shown to be targeting young minorities the most. As written by the Republicans, the voter suppression laws would be the most restrictive in the nation. Bradley's RNLA responded with inflammatory, irresponsible and baseless rhetoric, saying opposition to the voter suppression law came from "the far left, anti-democracy and divisive campaign funded by George Soros."

Bradley also served as President of the Milwaukee Federalist Society. As I wrote during her one campaign:
As I had mentioned before, Bradley also did a stint as President of the Milwaukee Federalist Society - a fact that she is trying to scrub from her profiles. The Federalist Society is funded in part by the Bradley Foundation (cue Grebe again) and the issue this presents is best described by Tom Foley, aka Illusory Tenant:
The incumbent, Republican Scott Walker appointee Rebecca Bradley, describes herself as a "nonideological" member of the Federalist Society, which is an organization of malcontents and paranoid hysterics with law degrees that was founded on political ideology.

Kinda like being a Milwaukee Admiral but you don't play hockey.

It should also be noted that many political insiders expect that she is being fast-tracked for an appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Walker's other politically appointed judge is Attorney Jim Troupis to Dane County Circuit Court:
Attorney Jim Troupis has been appointed to fill the seat of retiring Dane County Circuit Judge John C. Albert and will serve until August 2016. Troupis’ appointment comes seven weeks after a committee and group of advisers that vet judicial hopefuls rejected all four applicants for the job.

Those applicants were: state Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, state Assistant Public Defender David Klauser, criminal defense attorney John Hyland and Madison attorney and UW-Madison adjunct professor of law Nick Schweitzer.

Hyland, who said in his interview that he had signed the 2012 recall petition against Walker, plans to run for the seat next April and has formed a campaign committee.

Troupis was a partner at the Madison law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich before starting his own law firm in 2010. He worked with Republican legislators during their redistricting of the state following the 2010 census and also represented state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the recount of the 2011 election.
Besides hiring Troupis for drawing up the Republicans' gerrymandering scheme, and the subsequent legal battle, Walker also hired Troupis to defend his Act 10, the introduction of right to work to Wisconsin. And yes, Troupis got paid very well for these things.

In Walker's Wisconsin, Lady Justice is still blind, but only because Walker poked her eyes out.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Scott Walker Fired From His Own Job Creation Agency


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) was going to be the feather in Scott Walker's cap as he prepared to run for president. It was with this quasi public/private entity that Walker was going to create the 250,000 jobs that he had promised while campaigning for governor. Even though this type of program has failed everywhere else, Walker knew better.

Walker was so assured of its success that he made himself chairman of the board for WEDC.

But instead of a feather in his cap, WEDC has become an albatross around his neck.

The official numbers are in and Walker barely made it to half of the promised jobs, gaining only 121,000 jobs. And if you take out the jobs that were created through the policies and budget of his predecessor, Jim Doyle, Walker didn't even break 100,000 jobs in his first term.

Not only did Walker and WEDC fail miserably to perform as promised, but the agency has been plagued with corruption and ineptitude. Audit after audit showed that the agency lost track of tens of millions of dollars, didn't follow its own rules regarding giving loans and spent money on things like iTunes and Badger football tickets.

In the most recent audit, it was learned that Walker's top aides were leaning heavily on WEDC to give a construction company a $4.3 million loan. The loan ended up being $500,000 but the company created no jobs, went under and never repaid the loan.

It was further revealed that Walker was aware of the progress on securing the loan. You see, Walker had a personal interest in this loan going through since the company owner had given Walker's campaign a $10,000 campaign donation.

Walker went into damage control mode and called for his agency to stop all loans, basically admitting to the failure and corruption of WEDC, which he oversaw.

Days later, it was revealed that Walker had tried to slip into his budget a rule that WEDC would be exempt from FOIA requests.

Finally, the Republicans in the legislature had had enough. Well, either that or they wanted to try to distance Walker from his failure in WEDC. Either way, they ended up firing Walker as chair of the group he created:
The state’s Republican-led budget committee Thursday retained legislative oversight of Gov. Scott Walker’s troubled job-creation agency, removed the governor from its board and pledged further changes later this fall in the wake of a recent critical audit and a State Journal investigation.

The Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines for the changes to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., but only after rejecting a series of Democratic ideas to reform the agency and more than an hour of debate during which even Republicans conceded that the agency needs fixing.

“We know that it’s time to reform this,” said Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson. “We can’t do it in the middle of the budget.”

Knudson even made the sobering admission that he didn’t believe in the mission of the agency — to leverage state tax dollars to help create jobs.
Imagine that. Walker and WEDC failed so miserably that his fellow Republicans had to pull his butt out of the fire he created.

But Walker's WEDC woes doesn't end here.

State Democrats have finally woken up and started acting like Democrats by calling for a federal investigation into Walker's blatant pay for play stunt. Whether the feds actually do anything is yet to be seen.

Sadly, taking Walker out of his position as chair of WEDC won't help the state much. The only real solution to the WEDC debacle is to end it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Running The Numbers



By Jeff Simpson

In a week and a half, the Wisconsin Democratic Party will be holding their annual convention in Milwaukee.

Approximately 1200 Democratic Party Members who signed up ahead of time to be delegates will get the privilege to vote for the next party chair (I highly recommend Joe Wineke) and there are five candidates running.

Whoever wins the party chair(please please do not vote in Jason Rae), there are four very important numbers that they have to keep in mind.

The first number is 1,121,555.  

That is the amount of votes Mary Burke received.   Let's say there are 2000 people at the upcoming convention, that means there are 1,119,555 people who vote Democratic, when given a reason, who are not at the convention.

How will YOU reach out and treat them.

The second number is 1,259,163.

That number is one more than the vote total that Scott Walker received to win re-election.

How will the Democratic Party raise their vote total so that we take over the Governorship next time?

The Third Number is 99.

99 members in the Wisconsin Assembly and the current breakdown is 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats.   The Democratic party NEEDS to pick up 14 seats.

How do you plan on doing that(PS: its a long slow process is the wrong answer).

The Fourth and final number is 33!

There are 33 seats in the State Senate and currently Republicans hold 19 of them and the Democrats 14.  That means the Democrats MUST take three more seats!   Its Mandatory!

What is the path to success?


Those are the key questions that the new chair of the Democratic Party has to answer! 





YOWZA!!!

By Jeff Simpson


You seriously could not make this up if you tried.


 Breidbardt's little Gilligan, James O' Keefe(Eric O'Keefe's friend - no relation) is "interviewing" Judith Miller, the former New York Times Reporter who helped Bush/Cheney lie us into the Iraq war, on of all things (sit down for this) Journalistic Integrity.

Honestly! The only one missing in this discussion is Christian Schneider.  



If you watched that whole fiasco, now in order to cleanse yourself, you must watch All The President's Men and the following Jon Stewart Video and the pain will slowly go away.



Scott Walker And Josh Duggar

Scott Walker really knows how to pick his friends.  In a long string of embarrassments, Walker has done it again:


Duggar is renowned for being part of the infamous reality TV family with the show "19 and Counting."  Duggar is also a lobbyist for the anti-gay, anti-women's rights group Family Research Council.

Or I should say, was a lobbyist, since he resigned Thursday after it was found that he had molested several underage girls:
In the wake of a tabloid report alleging that he molested several underage girls while he was a teenager, reality-television star Josh Duggar said Thursday that he “acted inexcusably” and was “deeply sorry” for what he called “my wrongdoing.”

The 27-year-old Duggar, a high-profile member of the evangelical Christian family that stars on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” also resigned his post with the conservative Family Research Council.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.

“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
By the way, Walker has not made any comment about his friend. Then again, he never denounced his friends Tim Russell and Brian Pierick for their sexual crimes against minors either.


The Knudson Mentality

By Jeff Simpson

Assembly Representative Dean Knudson, who misrepresents the Hudson, WI area, tweeted this recently:



In typical Republican, intimidated, cowardly fashion, he deleted this tweet shortly after.   This does show the Republican mindset in Wisconsin.  The problem with hiss "62 Assembly Colleagues" is that he actually has 98 Assembly colleagues.    In modern day Wisconsin, Democrats are less than human and their ideas and opinions are of no interest to the Republicans, despite the fact that the Democrats represent millions of Wisconsinites.  

There is a reason they gerrymandered the state, this kind of attitude would not be approved by the voters of Wisconsin in an even remotely swing district.


Private School Vouchers Win Big at Expense of Public Schools

MADISON – Early today, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee threw crumbs to Wisconsin’s public schools while continuing to fill the coffers of private voucher schools.  Over the next biennium and on top of $450 million already budgeted, an additional $48 million will be taken from K-12 public schools for private schools.  After filling Governor Walker’s unnecessary proposed $127 million cut to public K-12 schools and taking an additional $48 million away for private schools, Wisconsin’s 871,000 public school children will barely see an increase in state money for public schools. 

“It was Christmas morning for private voucher schools after Republicans delivered a late night bonanza that included a consistent amount of funding for every child in a private voucher school that only goes up, further expanding this system state-wide with increases in pupil enrollment over the next decade, and even more money for private schools that accept special education students without providing any special instruction.  Republicans gave our public schools crumbs, while they served up lobster and caviar for some of their biggest campaign donors, the private voucher school industry which has invested millions in their elections.

“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have followed Governor Walker’s lead in selling out our public schools to the highest bidder.  After Republicans slashed $1.3 billion from K-12 since Governor Walker took over, our public school children needed us to make an investment in their future and in our state.  Instead of listening to the people of the state who asked repeatedly that K-12 public education be a top priority in this budget, Republicans sided with their special interest friends and campaign donors.” 



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

With Friends Like These....

By Jeff Simpson

We recently brought you the story of Thad Nation, Founder of Nation Consulting and all of the work he has done helping Republicans destroy our state.   Nation Consulting is relevant because one of their associates, Jason Rae,  is trying to become the new chair of the Democratic party of WI.  

Nation Consulting consists of the Founder(Thad Nation), two partners and three associates.   We have documented the right wing bent of Mr. Nation and one of the other partners is Jeff Blumb.  

As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words, and here is Mr. Blumb:


Is this what you want running the Democratic Party?  Is there any wonder Nation Consulting's Democratic clients are not successful in elections?  


Please, if you are lucky enough to be deemed a delegate by your local Democratic party, do the right thing and let's star ridding ourselves of these right wing lobbyists from the leadership of the Democratic party,   

Our state depends on it!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RoJo: I'd Believe The Ayatollah Over Obama

Via Talking Points Memo, we learn that our dumb senator strikes again:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, suggested at a recent town hall event in Cerdarburg, Wisc., that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may be more trustworthy than President Obama when it comes to the nuclear deal.

"Now, a President who was awarded the 2013 Politifact Lie of the Year, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period. If you like your doctor you can keep it, period. They lied boldfaced to the American public repeatedly with Obamacare," Johnson said, according to a clip surfaced by Buzzfeed News on Tuesday.

"I don’t know, I hate to admit it, but in terms of this framework, do I trust President Obama, or do I trust the Ayatollah? In terms of what the framework actually says? I’m not so sure I’m trusting President Obama on this," Johnson continued.
This is coming from a guy that has lied about how he built his own business and earned his millions of dollars. This is also the guy that said that global climate change is caused by sunspots.

The question isn't whether we can believe Obama.  The question is why should we believe RoJo?

H/T Heather

Joe Wineke For Chair


Image result for joe wineke

By Jeff Simpson

The Wisconsin State Democratic Convention is coming up and while I will not be there, there is an incredibly important vote going on.  The vote for who will be the next head of the State of Wisconsin Democratic Party(and first vice chair).

In the running are:

Martha Laning/David Bowen -  Martha Laning ran for WI Senate in the 9th district and while running gave basically the same answer as Mary Burke was giving regarding ACT 10.  Some gobbeldygook about it helping balance the massive budget deficit which showed she didn't understand the deficit, or ACT 10 and is more than willing to throw public workers under the bus.   Laning also does not support a raise in the minimum wage. No thanks!

Also, running on her ticket for first vice chair, is Representative David Bowen.   I really like and respect Mr. Bowen and see a strong future for him in the Democratic party and the state of Wisconsin.   However he needs to get his own house in order before worrying about the party.   The Assembly, under Peter Barca's "leadership" has lost seats every year, and last year let 26 of the 99 seats go unchallenged.   When Bowen challenges Barca, I am on board 100%, now I am not on board at all.

Jeff Smith/ Stephanie Findley:   I also like and respect Jeff Smith,   I hope he stays involved and active in the Democratic party for many years to come.   However I can not support his candidacy at this time.  I personally think, that the number one issue that Democrats can get behind and win on is public education.  We see it every election cycle with referendum after referendum passing.

People want what is best for their kids, and what is best for their kids is a strong public education.  

Unfortunately, Ms. Findley is very much on the wrong end of this argument.   The alternative to public education, is a public education that has the resources needed to succeed,  When you want to give even a penny of our public education dollars to snake oil salesmen like Zeus Rodriguez or formerly convicted felons like Scott Jensen, then you are running for leadership of the wrong party.    
Jason Rae//Penny Bernard Schaber:  This is the biggest head scratcher of them all.   It amazes me that someone from the lobbying/consulting firm - Nation Consulting, would be bold enough to try and run the Democratic Party.   One of the important issues that Democrats stand for is getting money out of politics.  To elect a lobbyist to run the party would be like hiring a someone who was knee deep in the caucus scandal to run the gubernatorial campaign against Scott Walker.   Ok, we tried that and it did not work out very well.

All we need to do is allow Thad Nation, to have access to the full party and who knows how many pipelines we can get flowing through Wisconsin.

It is unfortunate that Ms. Schaber has hitched her wagons to a lobbyist because she has served our state well.

Please, whatever happens, putting Nation Consulting in charge of the Democratic Party would be a death knell to the party.

All of the people running, I appreciate that they are.  I also believe that the Democratic party has to be a big tent party.  I also understand that party purity is hard to find in terms of candidates and members, however we need it in our chair.  

Finally the team that I support and fully endorse:

Joe Wineke/Dottie LeClair:

Joe Wineke used to be party chair and last time he was in control, the Democrats had both houses and the Governor.   My how things have fallen.

I know one of the biggest complaints is that Mr. Wineke brought Nation into the Democratic party and was a lobbyist for AT&T.   While everyone makes mistakes, hopefully we know enough now about Nation Consulting that they will be blackballed from the Democratic party and all Democratic candidates.   I know I personally will not send a nickel to any candidate that hires them.

As for the lobbyist gig, let me address that.   I have always, and still do, hold the profession of lobbying, slightly below ambulance chasers and snake handlers.  That being said, Mr. Wineke was taking no salary at the time as head of the party(people need to make money, so the chair should take a salary) and everyone needs to make money.  Secondly, while it was not the best move in the world, after getting some pressure, he resigned his position.

Let me say that again.  After getting pressure from the people in the party, he actually listened and resigned his position.

Had our last "leader" actually listened to the people in the party we might be in a different position right now.

In the end, it is results that speak to me and it is undeniable(while I understand Wineke does not get full credit) that when he was in charge of the party, Democrats won elections.  

That is enough for me and I urge the people who signed up to be delegates(and who actually get to vote) to vote for Joe Wineke/Dottie LeClair ticket!

Some more on Joe Wineke:

Here he is on Sly

Here he is again on Sly discussing the party chair position

A Q & A session with his local paper

A Blogging Blue interview

Dave Zweifel of the Capital Times, take on Joe



One last thing, the last time I joined the Democratic Party was the day the Senators left Wisconsin to slow down the fast tracked Walker anti-worker agenda.   After that year, I let me party membership lapse because it seemed like once they came back to WI, they stopped representing us.  If Joe Wineke wins the party chair election, I will join the party the following Monday.