Sep 16, 2014

Dream or Nightmare in Central Wisconsin

Glacial Lake Wisconsin -
17,000 years ago
The Central Plain or Golden Sands of Wisconsin is a geological region of some 13,000 square miles of sandstone.

Some 17,000 years ago, the Golden Sands region housed a mammoth ancient lake, the Ancient Glacial Lake Wisconsin.

Today, stunning natural beauty at the site of the Lake makes central Wisconsin a tourism and recreation destination.

The array of natural resources whom the likes of Aldo Leopold and John Muir vowed to protect are threatened today by Big Ag, and the politicians and bureaucrats who do their bidding as Big Ag literally dumps liquid shite into their neighbors' environment.

The Golden Sands region is set to house a world-class golf resort, Sand Valley (Melanie Lawder, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune) that will be sited along the bottom of Glacial Lake Wisconsin, a can't miss recreational and tourism project.

Golf resort designer Mike Keiser says the project that has recently begun construction, a "lovefest" judged by the reception from residents of central Wisconsin.

Keiser better use protection.

The Wysocki Family of Companies is no lover, it's a Big Ag outfit that does NOT seek permission or a show of hands about what to inflict onto a region, doesn't care about natural resources and even less about Keiser's proposed golf resort as Wysocki moves forward on its own "Golden Sands" project almost touching the Sand Valley site.

Sand at the bottom of this ancient glacial lake will make for the innovative design of world-class courses, but sand is susceptible to carrying toxins down to the groundwater, and the problems presented by runoff of liquid cow manure from a proposed Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) could easily kill this project just as CAFOs are creating Dead Zones in Wisconsin lakes.

The last thing golfers enjoying themselves need to consider are the soil properties of Plainfield Sand, nitrate and E-coli levels.

Bet you Tiger Woods never worries about the stench and health effects of particulate contamination and inhaling ammonia.

This is because no public official in her right mind sites a CAFO next to a golf resort.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources under Scott Walker does, and the degradation of tourism, recreation and natural resources is just another act of corruption as Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans take in a big haul from Big Ag.

"WE DO NOT WANT KEISER TO RETHINK HIS PROJECT!" writes a Town of Rome resident working to stop the proposed Wysocki Golden Sands CAFO that would comprise 7,838 total acres, according to the DNR.

In fact, Mike Keiser's project is presented as exactly the development a region dependent on recreational and development wants, pro-water advocates say, just as CAFOs are precisely the water-polluting, water aquifer-sucking corporate actor the region does not want or need.

Wysocki doesn't care about ancient glacial lakes, dream golf resorts and the legacy of men like Aldo Leopold and John Muir.

Wysocki already has a massive CAFO, the Central Sands Dairy, in the Town of Armenia in Juneau County within miles of the Sand Valley resort and the results have been tragic. ["It was an ammonia smell. It hurt so bad even to breathe. ... Critics also question the ability of the DNR, relying mostly on citizen complaints and self-reporting by the huge dairies, to adequately regulate a practice that has already been shown to pollute waters and drive people from their homes," notes Ron Seely]

Water samples taken around the Central Sands Dairy reveal "(e)vidence ... of substantial contamination in both ground and surface waters." (Kenneth S. Wade Report)

In the shot below taken in a private airplane, the beginning of construction of the Sand Valley Resort is seen in the center-right, with Lake Petenwell/Wisconsin River in the background, a body of water described by one resident as "stench is putrid" due to runoff.

We should be doing everything to attract projects like Mike Keiser's golf resort, and everything to protect our state from Big Ag.

Instead, Scott Walker and the Republicans like Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) are selling us out for political expedience.

Construction just begun at the Sand Valley Resort at center-right
Shot is taken from a plane at 2,000 feet by Adams County residents
worried that Sand Valley and their homes and lakes are threatened
by an environmental predator: The Wysocki Family

Sep 15, 2014

Judge Frank Easterbrook Disappoints

Judge Frank Easterbrook (of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) shamed himself.

Easterbrook is on the three-judge panel that ordered the reinstatement of Wisconsin Act 23, the photo voter ID law.

I expect this type of action in the Judiciary from the likes of Diane Sykes (one of Easterbrook's colleague on the panel), or from a decision in the Fifth or 11th circuits in the south.

Not from Easterbrook, who it appears did not give the panel's order much thought, staying the injunction 53 days out from Election Day without any stated concern.

"The record says virtually nothing about the difficulties faced by either indigent voters or voters with religious objections to being photographed. While one elderly man stated that he did not have the money to pay for a birth certificate, when asked if he did not have the money or did not wish to spend it, he replied, “both.” App. 211–212. From this limited evidence we do not know the magnitude of the impact SEA 483 will have on indigent voters in Indiana. The record does contain the affidavit of one homeless woman who has a copy of her birth certificate, but was denied a photo identification card because she did not have an address. Id., at 67. But that single affidavit gives no indication of how common the problem is." - (Justice Stevens opinion announcing the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion in which The Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy in WILLIAM CRAWFORD, et al., PETITIONERS v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BOARD et al (2008))

Compare this dearth of social scientific evidence in Crawford with the mountain of evidence presented in Frank v. Walker, (Case 11cv1128) and League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin v. Deininger (Case 2:12-cv-00185).

What is Easterbrook thinking?

Yes, a plurality of three justices joined the opinion of the Court in Crawford in 2008 in which no trial took place.

So that's it forever? Crawford can never be overturned or altered; no matter what or how much evidence or argument is presented in federal court demonstrating its effect on real people whom
Easterbrook seems to forget are these being with emanating rights?

Consider: Footnote 6 from Crawford: "In other words, an estimated 99% of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements of SEA 483.” 458 F. Supp. 2d, at 807. Given the availability of free photo identification and greater public awareness of the new statutory requirement, presumably that percentage has increased since SEA 483 was enacted and will continue to increase in the future."

Some 90 per cent are estimated in Wisconsin to lack the proper ID. That extra nine in Wisconsin as opposed to Indiana was found at trial to compose some 300,000 voters.

So, Wisconsin has had since Monday opportunity for greater public awareness of the new statutory requirement to vote, and the some 300,000 Wisconsin citizens who are eligible to vote but don't have a GOP-approved ID.

No substantive problem for Easterbrook.

But consider this from Easterbrook and his two colleagues order last week: "It [U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman] did this [issued a permanent injunction] based on findings that it thought showed that Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest, and that persons of lower income (disproportionately minorities) are less likely to have driver’s licenses, other acceptable photo ID, or the birth certificates needed to obtain them, which led the court to hold that the statute violates §2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973. 

No.

The panel misstates Judge Adelman's ruling in this strange formulation: "Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest." Adelman is not in the legislating business.

This did-not-need-this-law sentence is amateur stuff, and surely was not written by Easterbrook.

What Adelman did find is that no state interest was served by Wisconsin Act 23's mandate to present a photo ID as a condition to vote to stop in-person voter fraud, a crime which even the State of Wisconsin admitted it could not produce even one instance of ever occurring.

In fact, Adelman's opinion, as a good opinion should, well considers the State's justifications for Act 23, and takes them apart.

"Wisconsin Republicans ... four justifications for the Photo ID restriction: "(1) detecting and preventing in-person voter-impersonation fraud; (2) promoting public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process; (3) detecting and deterring 'other types of voter fraud;' and 4) promoting orderly election administration and accurate recordkeeping."(Canning, The Brad Blog)

Against this Adelman found as fact that potentially some 300,000 Wisconsin voters lack the restrictive form of ID.

Adelman proceeded to use the balancing test, the Anderson/Burdick test, that six members of the Crawford Court said is appropriate essentially finding that ZERO voter in-person voter fraud against some 300,000 weighs towards the 300,000.

I recommend Easterbrook read Ernest A. Canning's work on this matter, and maybe have a chat with Judge Richard Posner.

Electoral Chaos in Wisconsin Begins

Update: New York Times: Rick Hasen: "It is hard enough to administer an election with set rules — much less to change the rules midstream."
---
The ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has election clerks and the Wisconsin GAB wondering what to do now that the Court has seen it fit to change the rules on the eve of the election and carry out the GOP objective: Chaos and voter obstruction.

Almost 12,000 absentee ballots have already been mailed out.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) notes there is one set of rules for some voters and another set for other voters:

"Absentee ballots that are mailed will need to include uniform instructions depending upon the type of voter which incorporate directions about the photo ID requirement.  For that reason, municipalities are directed not to mail out any additional absentee ballots until the G.A.B. issues those uniform instructions which will occur as soon as possible."

Military and permanent overseas voters are exempt from the photo ID requirement."

The GAB also notes: "The Government Accountability Board will communicate additional guidance to local election officials next (this) week, which will include instructions regarding the processing of absentee ballots which have already been issued."

This means apparently that different sets of ballots are processed under different rules.

Some voters will have to follow the law, others will not.

Rick Hasen notes:

Friday’s 7th Circuit order was the height of irresponsibility which did not even bother to consider or mention the difficulty of rolling out voter id when the voting process had already started. 

Someone wise once said: “Court orders affecting elections, especially conflicting orders, can themselves result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls. As an election draws closer, that risk will increase.” Oh yeah, it was the U.S. Supreme Court. Why didn’t the Seventh Circuit listen?

Elsewhere, Ari Berman points out Wisconsin features a unique set of facts and arguments in light of Crawford v. Marion County, which is supposed to be a content and state-specific ruling, suggesting an emergency hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals and soon.

Sep 14, 2014

Pro-Water Group Announces Candidate Forum in Central Wisconsin

Two pro-environmental citizens groups announced this weekend they are holding a state assembly candidate forum on October 6 at the Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center.

The groups are trying to stop a massive, proposed CAFO bordering four counties in central Wisconsin.

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors and Rome and Saratoga Friendly (Facebook) also say that tourism and recreation are threatened by the Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and non-point pollution runoff that befoul lakes, trout streams and drinking water aquifers.

The two candidates fielding questions are State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) and Dana Duncan (D-Port Edwards), nominee for the Democratic Party and a disability rights attorney.

The announcement reads:

72nd Assembly Debate - Scott Krug vs Dana Duncan
Monday October 6th from 6:30-8:30 PM
Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center

After an incredible amount of work in a very short period of time, a small group of volunteers have come together and are dedicated to organizing this very important event. 

As we all know, who Wisconsinites decide to vote into office will affect the progress of our fight.  We need to decide who we feel will fight along side us to preserve our precious resources.

The Protect Wood County and Rome Saratoga Friendly groups are committed to supplying non-biased and non-partisan information to our followers in an attempt to allow you to make the best possible choice at the voting booths this coming November. 

Questions will be generated from constituents of the 72nd district and cover issues such as education, health care, tourism, the economy and much more.  To submit a question for consideration reply to this email, visit our website at www.protectwoodcounty.org , or mail your questions to P.O. Box 1532 Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495

Attached is the flyer created to promote this event. We need your help in getting our announcement in workplaces and break-rooms all over the 72nd district.  No printer? No problem!  If you are willing to distribute flyers at your place of work or share them with community or church groups you attend, we will mail flyers to you.  This is a big undertaking and we need everyone's help getting the word out.

Mark Your calendars, you will not want to miss this debate!

Scott Walker Does Not Know as Much as Jeopardy's Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings

Readers who DVR Jeopardy (Sony Corp) know last week featured Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in the Battle of the Decades.

Rutter and Jennings are amazing minds, dominating this American gaming institution like Roberto Duran dominated the lightweight division in boxing in the 1970s and, I can't think of another example.

To hear Scott Walker, he simply does not have an immense general knowledge base rivaling Rutter and Jennings,' and doesn't know his mind as well, what with god inserting some many thoughts.

Part of what make these two millionaires so great at Jeopardy is not just that they know so much and are fast in clicking in on a question.

Rutter and Jennings also know their minds with striking clarity, often clicking in to be first and then voicing the correct answer (question) on occasions when they didn't know the answer when they clicked, but knew the answer would come to them fast.

This came to mind because Saturday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorialized against dark money and asked Scott Walker if he knew about a well-publicized $700,000 contribution from Gogebic Taconite (GTac) LLC, a mining company that wrote a Republican mining bill before proposing its massive project that would devastate a pristine area in Iron and Ashland counties with North America's largest open pit mine.

Writes the Journal-Sentinel:

Gov. Scott Walker says he had nothing to do with soliciting a $700,000 donation from the mining company Gogebic Taconite for Wisconsin Club for Growth during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Asked whether he was aware of the donation, he responded with "not to my knowledge." (Which means exactly what?)

It means, if Scott Walker is to be believed, that Scott Walker simply does not know to his knowledge if GTac gave a $700,000 contribution to Club for Growth as Walker urged that all contributions be laundered through Club for Growth, a pro-Scott Walker group directed by Walker's campaign adviser.

If Walker loses in November, he can forget Jeopardy.

Walker is programmed by his attorneys and is attempting to be reelected without answering a question about the fact Walker was at the center of a criminal scheme placing him in criminal jeopardy, but we should give Walker a break about not being Rutter or Jennings.

Scott Walker Asked If He Knew of $700,000 Mining Co. Payoff: "Not to my knowledge"

Scott Walker, when asked if he was aware of the $700,000 donation the mining company, Gogebic Taconite gave Wisconsin Club for Growth responded with "not to my knowledge." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 14, 2014) (Which means exactly what?)

This means Scott Walker is a fraud who cannot be trusted.

Sep 13, 2014

Citizen Ystad Makes Appeal to Save 'Dream' Golf Resort in Central Wisconsin

Increasing opposition to proposed
massive CAFO in Adams
and Wood counties in central
Wisconsin. Threat to Dream Golf Resort
Photo by Mary Captain-Braund
'I have no patience for the bureaucrats playing dumb on the sidelines while our recreational community is threatened by this proposed CAFO'

Melanie Lawder has another excellent piece on the economic boom Mike Keiser's proposed golf resort would deliver onto the area in central Wisconsin known as the Golden Sands. (Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)

Lawder and the Tribune are writing up a series on the proposed resort in the town of Rome in northern Adams County.

The latest piece focuses on the jobs and economic benefits as reflected in a similar success story by Keiser at the world-famous Bandon Dunes golf resort in the state of Oregon to which Keiser's Sand Valley Golf Resort is often compared.

Keiser's Sand Valley resort is under construction on a 1,400-acre site in Rome on the bottom of an ancient glacial lake, and his course architects are designing a five-course resort that would conform to the golden sands geology of the region also known as the Wisconsin Central Plains.

A reader doesn't have to read Golf Digest for a description of the 'Dream' resort that has everyone from golf fanatics to casual retirees breathing heavy. The economic potential is enormous, and the innovation is roundly applauded.

See for example, Teddy Greenstein's piece in the Chicago Tribune, and Gary D’Amato's piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Everyone is extremely supportive. It's like a lovefest," said Keiser, referring to the reception his project is receiving in central Wisconsin.

Keiser isn't kidding.

The region already features lakes, streams, restaurants and is a tourism and recreational destination.

The potential from a resort - self-consciously conforming to existing geology and so laden with sand the sand courses would present little strain on water aquifers - is expected to attract golfing tourists and pros from around the world after the first course opens in 2017.

Can't miss, right?

There's a threat to this project, and this problem is not just throwing cold water on Keiser's (and not just his) dream.

This obstacle is no game. It is throwing toxic and disgusting liquid brown cow manure on this party and residents and retirees living in the Adams, Wood and the surrounding counties wish this were a distasteful metaphor.

Runoff
The problem is a massive, proposed Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) owned by the Wysocki Family of Companies, an outfit that is already sucking up massive quantities of groundwater and sending back toxic-filled liquid cow waste, just a few miles from the site of Sand Valley.

The incongruity and danger to Keiser's resort is not lost on residents.

Here is another communication from Don Ystad who owns a home on Lake Camelot in Rome where he likes to entertain his grandkids and relax when he is not fighting Wysocki, and protecting the water and land for his community.

Policymakers would do well to listen to this man:
---
Governor Walker, Mary Burke, representatives, agency people, and the hundreds blind copied here,

You're probably tired of hearing from me. 

Especially when I point out the elephant in the room when articles appear about the great recreational area here in Rome and Saratoga and the expected growth from developments like Mike Keiser's Sand Valley Golf Resort. 

Wow! 475 full time jobs and 125 part time jobs, plus all kinds of supporting businesses popping up to support the recreation and tourism it provides.

If it's anything like Bandon Dunes, the benefits will be felt throughout the state as golfers come to Sand Valley, then visit other premier courses in Green lake and Kohler, among others, not to mention our very own Arrowhead courses.

What will they think as they are driven through the stench of the Wysocki's planned dairy CAFO along Highway 13 between the Wisconsin Rapids airport and the new course in Rome?

Residents of Nekoosa complain about the stench from the Wysocki's current dairy CAFO, 11 miles away from them in Armenia.

With Sand valley within 4 miles of the planned dairy CAFO in Saratoga, what will the odors be like?  And, if as experts predict, our water quality and lake levels suffer from the planned CAFO, what effect will the diminished recreational area have on those who pass through Rome on their way to this premier golf resort?

As administration heads, agency heads, state representatives and voters, do you stick your head in the sand (no pun intended) and ignore the fact that there can be a tremendous boost to recreation and tourism here in an area already tailored to recreation and tourism? 

The approximately $20 million spent by area residents and visitors could easily double once this development is in full swing. 

Every one of you knows the proposed CAFO is incompatible with the current Rome/Saratoga recreational environment, and standing on the sidelines and allowing this to happen is just plain wrong, whether you are a voter, or an employee of this state. As some of our representatives speak out about the incompatibility of the proposed CAFO, the message needs to ring clear in Madison. For those of you blind copied here, you can send that message by replying to those addressed here, or just wait until November when you place your vote.

I am a concerned resident of Rome, WI, and I vote.

I appreciate Mike Keiser's foresight in picking this unusual, natural sand barren to build his course, while returning it to it's original beauty.  My vote this year is all about protecting our recreational area and promoting our positive growth. I have no patience for the bureaucrats playing dumb on the sidelines while our recreational community is threatened by this proposed CAFO.

Don Ystad
Rome, WI

Proposed Nightmare CAFO
 Dream Golf Resort

Willful Ignorance, Complexity and Corruption in Wisconsin Voter ID Ruling

One wonders since the new DMV service center policy is cited in Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker (14-2058), as is the Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker ruling, does the record also include One Wisconsin Now's Amicus Curiae Brief detailing how "Obtaining a State-Issued ID Is Difficult, Inconvenient, Impracticable, and –For Some –Insurmountable," and the lack of "Wisconsin’s DMV Inaccessibility Creates A Voter Access Issue."
 
The brief is worth checking out and certainly should be included in an emergency appeal and should be a topic of federal court deliberation.
---
Judge Richard Posner of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is the author of the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board  opinion (2007) [one year later came a U.S. Supreme Court confused landmark case with a plurality opinion authored by Justice Stevens (since retracted) from which the order from the Seventh Circuit's panel used to justify its extraordinary ruling changing the Wisconsin voting landscape some 50 days out from Election Day.]

It is appropriate that Judge Posner, a leading public intellectual and legal scholar, notes in his Reflections on Judging (Harvard University Press. 2013) that the educational background of fellow Justices and judges reflects the belief that law is a humanity rather than a science or at least a social science. (p. 81)

Posner, appointed to the bench in 1981, has turned into the conscience of the Seventh Circuit, and conscience and fidelity to the principles animating the dispassionate and fair deliberation of the law is missing from Frank v. Walker and its companion case.

"We are very disappointed in the damaging decision to lift the injunction against [Wisconsin] Voter ID, which will cause chaos and disruption for voters and elections workers for the November election.  The state has not demonstrated it is prepared to make this new ID scheme work.  The new procedures were presented at the last second and it is unclear whether or how they will work in time to ensure that eligible voters are actually able to vote. It has not demonstrated how it will train 1,852 municipal clerks and tens of thousands of poll workers, as well as notifying voters of the new rules. We will continue to review and closely monitor this decision," writes Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director.

Wisconsin's Act 23 is one of the most restrictive Republican-authored voter obstruction state laws exceeded perhaps only by Texas and North Carolina, all three of which are intended to block as many disfavored citizens as possible from casting votes, with an emphasis on ethnic minorities, most of whom in Wisconsin reside in one county.

Clayton Kawski, an assistant Wisconsin attorney general, sounded more like a politician of the likes of Scott Walker and the odious Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-White People) than a jurist in oral arguments, using the GOP catch phrase "common sense" numerous times to justify the constitutionality of this clearly unconstitutional law, (Davey, NYT) even citing for the panel the perceived popularity of Act 23 as a polling data point.

"The district court [Judge Lynn Adelman] held the state law invalid, and enjoined its implementation, even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008)," reads yesterday's appellate order.

Materially identical?

This is ironic language to use for the Wisconsin law vis a vis Indiana's.

Last year in U.S. district court Wisconsin featured a long trial at which was presented a mountain of testimony and social scientific evidence demonstrating that Wisconsin's photo voter ID law would disenfranchise potentially 100,000s, while also demonstrating that only one case of voter impersonation voter fraud occurred out of 10s of Millions of votes cast going back to 2004.

No such trial took place in Indiana in 2007-08, yet the appellate panel finds as fact that the two state laws are materially identical; based on what evidence, what examination, what trial?

Judge Posner commenting on the challenge of complexity in federal litigation notes that a careful examination of evidence is imperative if the rights of citizens under law are to be realized by a judiciary that often misses the mark.

"I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana's requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo id—a law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention." (pp. 84–85)

Notes Posner, "Consider what judges do when they don't understand the activity from which a case before them has arisen. They duck, bluff, weave, change the subject." (pp 85-86)

This is precisely what the appellate panel has done, writing: "After the district court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court."

Actually, the new policy is not in effect until Monday and the sophistication of DMV clerk, the dearth of DMV centers in Wisconsin and the ability to travel to DMV centers are of no apparent concern to Easterbrook, Sykes and Tinder.

Acting as an obtuse judiciary, Judges Easterbrook, Sykes and Tinder are at best willfully ignorant:

Notes Judge Adelman in his April 2014 opinion that is meticulously crafted:

"Although it is true that those individuals who already have IDs must have at one time experienced the burdens and inconveniences of obtaining them (and must continue to experience the burdens and inconveniences of keeping their IDs valid), the photo ID requirement creates a unique barrier for those who would not obtain a photo ID but for Act 23." (pp 22-23)

The three judges are redolent of George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina:

'Why don't you just hop in the SUV and take your family and make sure everyone has their IDs in order and the DMV will help you now' echoes George W. Bush's inability to understand why families didn't evacuate when the approach of Katrina gave them days warning in 2005. [In a historical irony, Bush's perceived indifference to African Americans led Karl Rove to push Congress into a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act, which proving too beneficial to African Americans and Latinos' voting so it had to be gutted by the GOP judiciary on the U.S. Supreme Court.]

The socioeconomic reality and the new precondition to vote imposed by Act 23 escapes Easterbrook, Sykes and Tinder who can only see a similarity in the text of state laws, but remain oblivious to the reality of the livesthough presented in the record with a huge body of evidence whom the law serves.

I have to believe Easterbrook is willfully ignorant and Sykes and Tinder are corrupt.

In the Easterbrook-Sykes-Tinder order, the panel cites Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014).

It is worth noting that "... Wisconsin will still have only one DMV location that is open during the weekend, on Madison's west side. By comparison, Indiana has 124 DMV centers that are open during the weekend." (Roller, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

One wonders since the new DMV service center policy is cited; as is the Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker ruling, does the record also include One Wisconsin Now's Amicus Curiae Brief detailing how "Obtaining a State-Issued ID Is Difficult, Inconvenient, Impracticable, and –For Some –Insurmountable." and the lack of "Wisconsin’s DMV Inaccessibility Creates A Voter Access Issue."

The brief is worth checking out and certainly should be included in an emergency appeal and should be a topic of federal court deliberation.

Sep 12, 2014

Seventh Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin's Photo Voter ID Law 53 Days from Election Day

Massive Mobilization Required to Offset This Incredible Ruling - Needed Now: Mass Applications for Your Municipality's Special Registration Deputy Appointment

Updated - Scott Walker is trying to steal this election, and Republicans on the judiciary are happy to help.

A three-judge panel has stayed the federal court injunction against mandatory photo voter ID in Wisconsin, reinstating the photo voter ID law in a spectacular ruling.

"The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November's elections. The appeals remain under advisement, and an opinion on the merits will issue in due course," the three Republican-appointed judges ordered.

Republicans do so wish.

Reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Marley and Stein):

The appellate court said Friday that it was satisfied by changes imposed on the law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a separate decision earlier this year.
"This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court," the order reads.
The head of the state's election agency said Friday he would do everything possible to get the law back in place in time for the election — something agency officials previously said would be a challenge.

Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin citizens do not have a photo voter ID, and the ruling will result in a sprint to the local DMV to obtain an ID.

Huge lines will also likely be a consequence of the ruling, due to Scott Walker and the GOP's shortening of the early voting period.

Politically, the judicial ruling is an active (dynamic) and not a static development, meaning the voter obstruction intent of Wisconsin Act 23 will likely produce a reaction among targeted demographics of the GOP, including minorities, college students, disaffected veterans, the elderly and the homeless.

Confusion, long lines and frustration will be hallmarks of the November 4 Election Day, objective achieved by Scott Walker and the Republican Party.
---
United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Chicago, Illinois 60604  
September 12, 2014  
Before 
FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge 
DIANE S. SYKES, Circuit Judge 
JOHN DANIEL TINDER, Circuit Judge    
Nos. 14-2058 and 14-2059 
RUTHELLE FRANK, et al.,  Plaintiffs-Appellees, 
  v. 
SCOTT WALKER, in his official capacity as Governor of State of Wisconsin, et al.,  Defendants-Appellants.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 
Nos. 11-CV-01128 and 12-CV-00185 Lynn Adelman, Judge.  
LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS OF WISCONSIN, et al.,  Plaintiffs-Appellees, 
  v. 
DAVID G. DEININGER, et al.,  Defendants-Appellants.     
Case: 14-2059      Document: 65            Filed: 09/12/2014      Pages: 2
Nos. 14-2058 and 14-2059  Page 2   
Order 
 On August 21, 2014, this court issued an order providing that the motion for a stay would be considered by the panel assigned to decide the case on the merits. This order further provided that the state was free, in the interim, to implement the changes to the procedures for obtaining (or excusing reliance on) birth certificates, and similar documents, that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin adopted in Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014). 

 Having read the briefs and heard oral argument, this court now stays the injunction issued by the district court. The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections. 

 The district court held the state law invalid, and enjoined its implementation, even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008). It did this based on findings that it thought showed that Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest, and that persons of lower income (disproportionately minorities) are less likely to have driver’s licenses, other acceptable photo ID, or the birth certificates needed to obtain them, which led the court to hold that the statute violates §2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973. 

After the district court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court. 

 The appeals remain under advisement, and an opinion on the merits will issue in due course.

Voter ID Makes It Easier to Vote, Says Wisconsin DoJ Atty

"(Requiring photo voter ID) will make it easier to vote," said Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Attorney General Clayton Kawski during oral arguments today (14-2058; Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker).

This is an absurd statement and is representative of the nature of the argumentation from the voter obstruction party with Scott Walker and Wisconsin Atty General J.B. Van Hollen at the helm in Wisconsin.

As a veteran election inspector who worked the low turn-out affair in February 2012 Spring primary in the one election when photo voter ID was used in Wisconsin (no statewide election were held that day), I can attest that some two to three minutes are added to the voting process for each voter, a time unit that is increased exponentially during high turn-out elections when there will be long lines.

Each voter's extra time is added to the voters' waiting in line in high turnout affairs.

As for a single voter operating under a photo voter ID law, each voter reports to the voter roll's table, states her name and address and then presents her ID.

The ID is then checked by two election inspectors both of whom check names, dates, photo resemblance, check against acceptable photo IDs, hands back the ID before handing a voter number and sending the voter to the ballot table to pick up a ballot.

This is a substantial delay, and would make for lines resembling Florida and Ohio.

Panel Hears Scott Walker's Desperate Plea to Reinstate Voter ID 53 Days Before Election Day

Seventh Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin's Photo Voter ID Law 53 Days from Election Day

Update: Oral arguments are up online; 14-2058  Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker.

Questioning the wisdom and practicality of lifting Judge Lynn Adelman's permanent injunction of  Wisconsin's restrictive Photo Voter ID law (Act 23) a three-judge appellate panel has left uncertainty over whether the law will be in force during the coming November election in 53 days.

After some analysis, mal contends asserts lifting Judge Adelman's injunction would be an outrage for an appellate circuit that prides itself on scholarly opinions, so one can rest easy. Look for a quick decision denying Scott Walker's attempt to shrink the Wisconsin electorate.

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is not the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a discredited institution with about the same creditability as the Wisconsin State Assembly.

The case, Walker v. Frank (consolidated with a case bought by the Wisconsin chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens) was heard this morning by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Oral arguments will be available online this afternoon at the Court's site.

The three judges hearing the case today are Judges Frank Easterbrook, Diane Sykes (rightwing activist appointed by W. Bush) and John Tinder (rightwing activist appointed by W. Bush).

Judge Dianne Sykes questioning the voting rights attorney, John Ulin, opined that the voters had won a "whooper" of a remedy in Adelman's injunction, reports Patrick Marley of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Sykes also noted the Dept of Justice attorney was asking for lifting a stay on the "eve of an election."

At a federal trial last year, Judge Adelman found zero cases of voter impersonation (a finding of fact admitted by the Dept of Justice attorney at trial) and a mountain of social scientific evidence that as many 300,000 eligible and registered Wisconsin voters could lose their right to vote should Wisconsin's Act 23 be given the green light and Adelman's injunction be stayed during further adjudication in federal court.

"He took evidence and found the Supreme Court was wrong," Easterbrook said referring to the Crawford vs. Marion County Elections Board case (2008).

Easterbrook is likely pointing out that vis a vis Crawford, Walker v. Frank (and the consolidated case) feature a mountain of social scientific evidence presented at trial and on the record.

As attorney Earnest Canning notes this May in the Brad Blog: Crawford used the "Anderson/Burdick test, which requires the courts, on a case-by-case basis, to measure a law's potential damage to voters' right to vote, against the specific claims made by the state as to why such additional burdens and restrictions are necessary."

Applied to the Wisconsin voter ID law, it was established at trial that zero cases of impersonation voter fraud exists versus 100,000s of eligible Wisconsin voters losing their franchise to vote under Act 23.

This would certainly suggest a likelihood of success for voting rights advocates in further federal litigation and point for maintaining the injunction.

Canning notes, "As Judge Adelman observed, Crawford lacked a 'majority opinion'" --- that is an opinion in which five Justices agreed on the reasons for the decision. Instead, there were four separate opinions: a lead opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy), a concurring opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia (joined by Justices Thomas and Alito), a dissenting opinion written by Justice David Souter (joined by Justice Ginsburg) and a separate dissent by Justice Breyer."

Justice Stevens writes that Crawford is "is state-specific and record-specific."

Judge Adelman writes the state interest in detecting and deterring alleged voter fraud is vanishingly small "because virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin and it is exceedingly unlikely that voter impersonation will become a problem in Wisconsin in the foreseeable future, this particular state interest has very little weight." (p.11)

To get an idea of how restrictive Wisconsin's Act 23 is, consider that a Wisconsin polling worker (election inspector) who wears a photo ID issued by the municipality for whom she works would not be able to cast a vote under Act 23 if she showed up for work without further identification.

Wisconsin Act 23 was passed with exclusive Republican support and signed into law in 2011 as a voter obstruction measure that would add some two to three minutes to each voter's reporting to the voter roll's table, stating her name and address and then presenting her ID.

The ID is then checked by two election inspectors who check dates, photo resemblance, check against acceptable photo IDs before handing a voter number and sending the voter to the ballot table to pick up a ballot.

In a high turnout election such as this coming general election, the lines would be vastly increased and polling places will be understaffed, as rightwing voter observers stood three feet behind the voting rolls' tables and loudly voiced opinions. [The latter will happen.]

Confusion, frustration and obstruction remain Republican objectives.

Voter ID in Wisconsin likely will be one objective unmet.

Scott Walker Back at Appellate Court Asking for Photo ID Law Okay; Panel Includes Two Rightwing Judicial Activists

Update III: Oral arguments are up online; 14-2058  Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker.

Three-judge Appellate Panel Includes Two Rightwing Activist Judges

Update II: Orals online this afternoon on Court site. (14-2058, 14-2059)

Update - Rick Hasen points out that two of the panel voted for Crawford in a highly qualified FYI.

A desperate Scott Walker administration is back in federal appellate court asking a judicial panel to halt (stay) U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman's permanent injunction against Wisconsin's Voter Law which remains unenforceable under a federal court order.

The cases to argued are Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker and LULAC v. Deininger (14-2058, 14-2059) consolidated for appeal with the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The panel hearing the cases is composed of Judges Frank Easterbrook, Diane Sykes (rightwing activist appointed by W. Bush). and John Tinder (rightwing activist appointed by W. Bush).

Walker filed for an expedited motion on August 5 to stay Judge Adelman's ruling, hoping that the photo voter ID law could be put into place to obstruct non-GOP-voting segments of the Wisconsin population for the November general election.

"The court will reserve decision on appellantʹs (Scott Walker and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R)) motion to stay the permanent injunction until after oral argument on September 12, 2014," announced the appellate court on August 21.

Walker's attorneys working today to implement the GOP-passed photo voter ID law in the face of no evidence of photo impersonation and a mountain of evidence presented at federal trial last year demonstrating potentially 100,000s of Wisconsin citizens would be deprived of their right to vote is incredible and brash just 53 days out from Election Day.

The August 21 order also stated the Walker administration is free to implement the portion of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's vague order that the state DMV exercise discretion for persons who cannot afford the often substantial costs of obtaining birth certificates and other documents.

It would be extraordinary for the panel to stay Judge Adelman's injunction under two months before Election Day but Walker and Wisconsin Republicans bid for a long-shot ruling after implementing the discretionary cost-free order for supporting documentation to obtain free photo voter IDs has some pro-voting rights activists nervous.

Sep 11, 2014

Wisconsin Voter Obstruction Operative Sought and Received Scott Walker's Advice

Scott Walker and the party of voter obstruction are still doing their worst to deter the wrong kind of voters, especially voting while black.

More evidence from a story breaking of Scott Walker's dedication to the GOP's anti-voting project, as pro-voting advocates still play a defensive, reactive game.

Report Dan Bice and Bill Glauber in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

A venture fund manager consulted with then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker about state and federal voting laws in 2010, just weeks before the businessman began posting controversial ads on billboards in Milwaukee that warned "Voter Fraud is a Felony."

"Scott, I need to know the rules for illegal voting in Wisconsin," Stephen Einhorn wrote in an email on July 22, 2010. "Please check into the rules, including federal statutes. I need to know what the law is, if you violate it."

Einhorn continued, "I need this for some work that I am doing, and would appreciate your prompt response."

Walker forwarded the email to Cheryl Berdan, an assistant administrator in his office with the instructions, "Please help him out."

Until voting rights advocates, and this includes the Democratic Party, launch an offensive for voting rights, assholes like Stephen Einhorn and Scott Walker feel politically empowered to obstruct voting.

Today, Republicans know well that the higher the turnout, the lower the probability Scott Walker has of salvaging his shameful administration in November.