Mar 21, 2018

Man Given Civil Citation for Being Gay and Disorderly in New London, Wisconsin

No gays allowed? Water Street Vintage, LLC, (New London,
Wisconsin), antique clerk accosts Madison man; phones police
who arrive and then cite John Quinlan with a disorderly
conduct citation, apparently for being gay and
living in Madison.
Madison, Wisconsin—In Madison, most everyone is two degrees away from at least having met social justice activist, John Quinlan.

There's John Quinlan doing his weekly show on WORT-Radio, (Madison, Wisconsin).

There's John Quinlan receiving the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.

There's John Quinlan working for marriage equity, and on and on.

Quinlan the gentle soul that he is visited his hometown in northeastern Wisconsin, New London, (pop. 7,295), and visited an antique store, Water Street Vintage, LLC, this week.

As reported by Quinlan, a fundamentalist, anti-choice Water Street Vintage clerk caught up with Quinlan while shopping and accosted the man about Donald Trump, Scott Walker, going to hell, being a "heathen" and so forth.

Quinlan complained to the owner, while the clerk phoned the New London, Wisconsin Police who arrived with three cops, including one chief Jeffrey A. Schlueter, and cite Quinlan! for disorderly conduct.

This municipal-citation bomb is a new tactic and now frequent occurrence by small-town Wisconsin fundamentalists and less-than-gifted police who tend to be corrupt, authoritarian and rightwing Trumpists.

An attempt to contact Water Street Vintage, LLC by phone was unsuccessful.

The registered agent of Water Street Vintage, LLC is Kelly Rickert, according to the Wisconsin Dept of Financial Institutions.

A Linked-in search of Rickert lists Rickert as "Business Owner at Water Street Vintage."

Quinlan has contacted the ACLU of Wisconsin and plans to contest the bogus disorderly conduct citation.

In a Facebook post this week, Quinlan recounts the experience, reproduced below.

Yesterday, while visiting an antique store in downtown New London (one of my hometowns), the store clerk, a rabidly righteous self-identified "pro-lifer" started ranting and raving about Trump (he was her hero because he didn't take crap), Walker (a traitor because he didn't do enough to punish Planned Parenthood) and her rigidly dogmatic faith ("I can tell you're a hell-bound heathen, I can see it in your eyes," she shouted getting right up in my face). I managed to escape, but after a few minutes on the street I doubled back to inform the owner, with whom I'd had a decidedly friendlier interaction, that this was not a way to win over customers.

The ranting woman retaliated by calling the New London Police on me, and they detained me, frisked me and interrogated me in a cold and windy riverside parking lot for over an hour. I'd done nothing to provoke her, but they believed her and not me (probably because I was living now in Madison) and issued a citation for disorderly conduct, with a fine of $250, telling me I should be happy it was not more. No due process, abject humiliation, and blatant disrespect, all delivered with sarcasm and a smile. Spent this morning at the ACLU seeking recourse, and plans are coming into place. They're not getting away with this, and I'm not about to let this happen to anyone else. I have deeper roots in New London than anyone working in that store and in comparison with all 3 of the police involved, and there are countless people there who remember me and respect me, and loved my parents.

This was outrageous, and I'm still shaking and my back is spasming as this toxic moment replays itself in my thoughts and feelings again and again. The obnoxious "Christian" smarmily righteous ignorant paranoid demon-spawn woman (who's not even from New London herself) thinks she's clever and she's won; nothing could be further from the truth. I don't know how Kelly, the store's owner, let this happen. Too bad, because it's really a wonderful store, in my experience, one of the best of its kind in Wisconsin.

New London and its wonderful people are better than this, and the behavior displayed by this woman and the police as their police chief belligerently looked on, and in the end, justice shall prevail. They have no idea who they're dealing with, and the story is just beginning.

By the way, this woman brags that, working with bands of other "pro-life" extremists, she forcibly prevents women seeking health care from entering Planned Parenthood clinics, and that its doctors (and the police who protect them) deserve to die and face eternal damnation. But the police fell for her theatrics without thinking twice about her history or motivations. She was a whining conspiracy-minded hypocrite who claimed the world was out to get her, and who despised all authority. How's that for irony?

Many of my best friends are police officers, including a close friend who recently retired from the New London police force. Following their chief's shortsighted lead, these officers deeply dishonored their profession yesterday, staining the integrity and reputation of a beautiful town I'd been proud to call home. I'm not the only one there who feels this way, and with any luck, cooler heads will win the day. New London deserves better. We all deserve better.

Mar 20, 2018

Central Wisconsin Clean Water Group Endorses Rebecca Dallet for Supreme Court

Proposed Golden Sands factory farm in central
Wisconsin could turn rural paradise into an
industrial wasteland. Don Ystad of Adams County
who has been promoting tourism
and recreation
for years writes:
"Take a step back from the politics of this
situation and ask yourself, 'what is best
for the state of Wisconsin? Another CAFO sited, or the
preservation and growth of an existing, vibrant area,
poised to be the 'golf mecca of the Midwest?'
Unfortunately, the Wysocki CAFO has the
political support of local State Rep. Scott Krug,
(R-Nekoosa, Wisconsin) and State Sen.
Testin, (R-Stevens Point). These pols
have already chosen Big Ag over everything else,
including a new Sand Valley Golf Resort,
multi-generational families and entire communities.

Rebecca Dallet is our Supreme Court candidate, says Saratoga Concerned in Republican-dominated central Wisconsin

"Rural America once had strong communities. It would have been very difficult for anyone who built a CAFO facotry farm in a rural area in earlier times. It wasn’t socially or morally acceptable for one person in the community to benefit at the expense of others."
 —John Ikerd, Rural Communities of Necessity
The communities of Saratoga and Rome, in central Wisconsin say the Wisconsin Supreme Court race is personal.

The April 3 race featuring candidates Rebecca Dallet, (a mainstream rule-of-law Milwaukee County judge), and Michael Screnock, (extremist rightwing Sauk County judge) will determine if rightwingers control the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the next nine years.

The stakes are high, but even more so for central Wisconsin where Republican interests and Big Ag are trying to use a local case awaiting decision from the Supreme Court to obliterate local control and codify corporate property rights in a radical and novel interpretation that is dreaded by families.

In Golden Sands Dairy, (Wysocki corporation),  LLC v. Town of Saratoga case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide whether some 1.7 million Wisconsin citizen, some 30 percent of the state living in towns, can act locally to protect local conditions, property values, families, drinking water quality, and local character.  [For legal updates on the case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, enter 15ap1258 in the Appeal Number field.]

The case was argued Jan 11, 2018.

It's personal because 1,000s of families in Wood, Adams and Juneau counties who have spent generations building lives, security and opportunity for future generations will see dreams shattered and security gone if the Wysocki corporation's badly polluting factory farm begins operations.

The proposed massive factory farm, a CAFO or Confined Animal Feeding Operation, would leave the region an economic moonscape.

That's fine with Wisconsin Republicans, and Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock whose campaign runs for and is funded by Republican special interests. Screnock in fact is a former attorney for Big Ag against virtually everyone else in Wisconsin.

A major group fighting for entire communities and central Wisconsin families just came out for Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet, and against Screnock.

The group, Saratoga Concerned, is awaiting word from the Supreme Court on Golden Sands Dairy. They are nervous and frightened. Who came blame them?

Today, according to an email, Saratoga Concerned endorsed Rebecca Dallet over Michael Screnock.

From Saratoga Concerned:

As we are all aware, politics are dirty. It doesn't matter the party or the platform, each side spins false innuendos and statements at the other in the hopes of having you simply dislike the other candidate more. The race for Supreme Court is no different even though it is supposed to be a nonpartisan position.

We encourage everyone to vote on Tuesday, April 3rd but instead of voting by your political party leaning, we encourage you to vote the issues. Let's face it, the Wisconsin Republican and the Democratic party are not what they used to be years ago. Voting the issues is the only way to get folks in office who are going to truly represent your interests. We all need to be willing to put our political partisanship aside and vote on the things that are important to our fight.

Saratoga Concerned leadership team has identified our issues  1) Clean water  2) Protection of our Natural Resources and 3) Protecting local control. When looking solely at these three topics we feel strongly Rebecca Dallet is our candidate. Her challenger, Michael Screnock, has repeatedly represented CAFO owners in court against the average citizen and denies their civil right to clean and plentiful water. Not to mention his work with the Michael Best and Friedrich law office that is retained by Wysocki. We cringe just thinking about what may happen if he earns a seat on the bench.

We encourage you to vote the issues on April 3rd.

Our Saratoga fights need a Justice like Rebecca Dallet on the bench.

Mar 19, 2018

Trump Still Silent on Serial Bomber Assassinating Black and Brown Folks in Austin

Austin, Texas police chief speaks to reporters after bombing
last week, (Huffington Post)
Last night the fourth terrorist bombing in Texas claimed two more casualties.

Two weeks and four bombs. But there is an element here that makes these crimes even more spectacular: The victims are black and brown, so Donald Trump is silent.

Imagine if the victims were white and lived in small-town Pennsylvania and Wisconsin?

From Shaun King at The Intercept:

Here’s what I know and what makes living in this country so damn exhausting: If the victims were white and the suspects were known to be Muslims, the president of the United States would care. In these cases, however, with no profile of the attacker available and a trail of black and brown victims, it seems like this square peg doesn’t fit into the round hole of Trump’s agenda. 

The United States has a white supremacist in the White House, with an emboldened base of white supremacists cheering this lunatic on.

Mar 18, 2018

Mark Pocan Offers FBI's McCabe New Job after Trump Admin Firing

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Wisconsin) offers fired FBI
number 2, Andrew McCabe, a new federal job on
March 17, 2018.
Madison, Wisconsin—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Wisconsin), has offered the fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe a new federal job after Attorney General Jeff Sessions axed the No. 2 at the FBI, the culmination of an eight-month public pursuit of McCabe by Donald Trump, (Pocan, Wisconsin 2nd district, Pocan-Twitter, Slate).

Writes Pocan Saturday morning:

Pocan's employment offer, inspired by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, was followed by multiple congressional Democrats making similar federal employment overtures.

The McCabe firing is widely regarded as politically inspired by the Trump administration and a possible corruption of federal employee regulations.

McCabe is reportedly a key witness in the federal probe led by Robert S. Mueller investigating possible obstruction of justice crimes by Donald Trump, among other matters arising from possible links from the Russian government and individuals associated with Trump's campaign.

The federal probe began May, 17, 2017.

Trump has voiced malice against Andrew McCabe, going so far as to insult McCabe's wife as a "loser" in a January comment leading many to again question Trump's psychological growth into adulthood, (NBC News).

The Trump administration continues its bizarre, corrupt and malicious pursuit of perceived enemies, as congressional Democrats and good-government groups work to save a functioning federal government.

From the Huffington Post:

In a statement on Saturday, Pocan called his proposal to McCabe 'a legitimate offer,' adding: 'Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity.'

The offer came in response to a tweet from NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, who suggested that a 'friendly member of Congress' hire McCabe so he could 'qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days.'

McCabe is reported to be considering all options.

Pocan's March 17 press release is reproduced below:

WASHINGTON, DC (March 17, 2018) – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today extended an offer of employment to Andrew McCabe, the former Deputy Director of the FBI, so that he can reach the needed length of service after President Trump fired him just days before he was set to retire.

"Andrew McCabe’s firing makes it clear that President Trump is doing everything he can to discredit the FBI and undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation," said Rep. Pocan. "While Speaker Ryan and House Republicans have become complicit in the President’s destruction of our democracy, we must do all that we can to ensure that the investigation into Russia’s interference in our election is completed and that future elections are safeguarded from these kinds of attacks."

"My offer of employmentto Mr. McCabe is a legitimate offer to work on election security. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity," continued Rep. Pocan. "From Governor Walker’s outrageous voter ID laws that kept an estimated17,000 registered Wisconsin votersfrom the polls in 2016, to Republicans in Pennsylvania gerrymandering a map to rig elections in their favor, our electoral systems are under attack. We must take serious steps to not only secure our elections from foreign actors like Russia, but also ensure that the American people have faith that their votes matter."

"Finally, I’d like to thank Mr. McCabe for his years of service to the FBI and our country. He deserves the full retirement that he has been promised, not to have it taken away as a result of the President’s political games," concluded Rep. Pocan.

Last year, Pocan introduced the Securing America’s Future Elections Act (SAFE Act), which would safeguard U.S. elections from future foreign cyber-attacks and interference by permanently classifying the integrity and security of U.S. elections as a key component of critical infrastructure. This important classification would place elections systems in the same category as other critical infrastructure including the power grid, the banking system, and other utilities.

The SAFE Act also addresses election standards to protect against cyber-threats, better voting machines to provide paper ballots, and execute random audits of ballots to thwart interference.

Mar 16, 2018

Wisconsin Governor's Race—Kelda Helen Roys, First Candidate Scratched from My List

Wisconsin candidate for governor,
Kelda Helen Roys airs what
she claims is unscripted and
pioneering campaign video.
Milking it for what it's worth in campaign video ploy

Madison, Wisconsin—Kelda Helen Roys is a candidate for the Wisconsin Democratic Party nominee for governor.

Like every other Democratic candidate, Roys is part of the pack in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

Voting for the fall gubernatorial primary begins on June 30.

To break out of the pack Roys is airing a contrived campaign video entitled "Our Girls" that the campaign presents as "groundbreaking" in a March press release.

The ploy worked and this well-conceived PR stunt garnered pieces across Wisconsin, and even a piece in People Magazine.

Roys came out for motherhood last week, and in what the candidate insists is an unplanned, unscripted moment, Roys breastfeeds her four-month-old daughter who is crying and just happened to be on hand for the video shoot that by happenstance discussed infant and child safety.

"I was right in the middle of talking so they just kept rolling figuring they would be able to use the sound," Roys told the Wisconsin State Journal,

Roys elaborated her defense of motherhood, saying that, "I don’t view it as a downside, the fact that I have kids. I view it as my greatest motivator and I think there are parents all over the state that will relate to that because they want the same things for their kids as I want for mine," (Wisconsin State Journal).

Roys told the same story to The Capital Times:

[Roys] also breastfeeds her four-month-old daughter, in a move she says was unplanned.

'I mean, no, other than that I’m a normal person. I’m a mom, I’m a businesswoman, I’m an advocate,' Roys said when asked if she intended for the breastfeeding moment to be the takeaway from the video. 'Like most working parents around the state, I juggle a lot of things and responsibilities, and I wear a lot of hats. When we were shooting the video, my family was obviously there, and when the baby needs to eat I just feed her.'

Roys is bright, progressive and has a lovely family. Moreover, Roys is 100-percent, spot-on the issues.

But c'mon, no one believes this stunt was not planned and the video on infant and child safety was not scripted.

This video is calculating and manipulative posturing.

Does Roys sincerely believe the Democratic Party electorate is stupid?

The Our Girls is below: