Jan 15, 2019

Tony Evers Is Hush on Foxconn and Astronomical Give-away of Public Dollars

Madison, Wisconsin — Wisconsin Republicans foisted a $multi-billion public subsidy in late Summer 2017 under cover of minimal public hearings to create what was subsequently dubbed "the 8th wonder of the world" by Donald Trump, (CBS News).

The political rogues announcing the boondoggle — led by Ryan, Walker and Trump — included Trump's extemporaneous assurance that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou told Trump "off-the-record" that the company will triple its promised $10 billion investment in Wisconsin to $30 billion, (Associated Press).

Good enough for Wisconsin Gov Tony Evers (D), (Mal Contends, The American Prospect).

Evers avoids policy positions on Foxconn, sticking to his ridiculous 'hold Foxconn's feet to the fire' line, a labored metaphor voiced with all the sincerity of Scott Walker professing his love for public education.

Even as experienced litigators point the way forward for Evers, the current policy of Evers on Foxconn is identical to Walker's.

Foxconn is also eyeing acquiring intellectual property rights from UW-Madison staff and students, (Urban Milwaukee).

Dan Kaufman, the author of the book The Fall of Wisconsin, offers an analysis on why the Walker-Evers-Foxconn fiasco may dominate Evers' first term and decimate the state for many decades, (New Yorker Radio Hour).

Tony Evers should tune in.

Jan 14, 2019

New Wisconsin Attorney General Is X-Factor in Making a Murderer Case

One hopes for justice against dirty cops
such as Manitowoc County Sheriff'
Lt. James Lenk. Lenk infamously
"found the (incriminating) keys to
(murder victim) Halbach's vehicle inside
Avery's bedroom in plain view after
officers from Calumet County,
the state Division of Criminal Investigation
and Two Rivers Police Department
apparently did not see them in previous
searches," (Appleton Post-Crescent).
Now, a "'never-before-seen video'
shows that evidence against
the subject of the hit documentary
Making a Murderer must have been
planted or fabricated, defense
attorney Kathleen Zellner tells
Newsweek." This is a frame-up in
plain sight. The work of the new
Wisconsin attorney general will
determine the lives of the innocent.

Josh Kaul's character, or lack thereof will decide fate of innocents

Madison, Wisconsin — The truth shall make you free is an article of faith for the wrongfully convicted.

In the Wisconsin criminal case featured in Making a Murderer, an obvious case of small-town injustice is kept shielded from a new trial, lest the duplicity, corruption and misconduct defining the Manitowoc County District Attorney and Sheriff's Dept become more of a spectacle.

Still, 2019 will be a year to remember in Wisconsin legal history. Forget procedure and the rule of law. One man will decide whether the innocent live free, or die behind bars.

Not Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz presiding over Steven Avery's post-conviction litigation. She will likely be bounced off the case. A bureaucrat and politician has to have her priorities.

There is a new attorney general and governor in Wisconsin.

The election of Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) and Gov. Tony Evers (D) are generally presented as good news for post-conviction relief of innocents in Wisconsin.

But Gov. Evers is an empty suit on criminal justice reform and civil liberties, as Evers is on most public policy.

But Attorney General Josh Kaul appears equipped to restore the good name of the Wisconsin Dept of Justice that functioned as an adjunct of the Republican Party for the last 12 years.

Kaul had lifelong exposure to what Wisconsin police and prosecutors are capable of, before serving in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.

Kaul did not of course campaign on the rights of the accused, post-conviction relief, challenging police misconduct or the importance of liberty in American society.

The mob that is the electorate does not comprehend such matters deriving from Constitutional niceties, though this condition may be improving.

Josh Kaul, Fond du Lac-Oshkosh boy made good, will likely not become another Roberts Jackson.

But supporters of the wrongfully convicted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey look to Kaul with modest hopes: To work with Avery's post-conviction attorney, Kathleen Zellner, and good-faith adherence to post-conviction procedure and transparency.

In so many words, simple decency, ethics and the light of day, a professional climate that cannot sustain these wrongful convictions anymore.

Carole Davis, a supporter of the wrongfully convicted, asks of Josh Kaul in part, "are you an honest man."
I don't know the answer to Davis' question. I do know conviction, imprisoning and defending the indefeasible is standard fare of too many jurists who out of convenience and career destroy the lives of those whom they know to be innocent. Penny Brummer is another living example.

Josh Kaul is on political probation with this Wisconsin citizen. I have seen too much to be surprised by anything Kaul may do vis s vis Avery and Dassey.

Surveying social media the last several months, lay supporters of the innocents appear scared, knowing that a dedicated attorney general who would act from malice and other base motives is among the most dangerous people this republic can produce.

But who would have thought that an obscure Netflix docu-series could so move millions so that a provincial and corrupt county in east-central Wisconsin becomes the focus of demands for simple justice?

Social currents, ripples of creation and good deed, nourished by light can conspire to make one person ensure that Avery and Dassey go free.

Who is Josh Kaul?

Less than a drop in the great, blue motion of the sunlit sea, a drop who may yet sparkle through history and the lives of innocents.

Jan 3, 2019

Wisconsin Democrats Target Minorities with New Criminalization Expansion

Brueghel's The Blind Leading the Blind
Dems throw sober analysis out the window as new Evers regime wants a more pervasive police state

Madison, Wisconsin —  State Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Gov Tony Evers are calling for new criminalization laws against dangerous activity already illegal in another effort aimed at minorities.

In a recent weekly Democratic Party radio address, Larson said she wants to change Wisconsin's drinking "culture," and expand Wisconsin's criminal code to include drunk-driving laws, a current situation in which to be accused is to be convicted.

Larson's assumed role as culture warrior-temperance movement activist echoes Kathleen Falk's failed crusade a decade ago, when Falk called for armed roadblocks and police "checkpoints," as well as a war against any activity in which Wisconsinites drink beer, for example, (Mal Contends, Mal Contends).

Democrats are completely out-of-touch with realty in metro Wisconsin where municipalities often function as mini-police states aimed at black and brown residents, or more likely approve of the results of criminalization.

Liberties go out the window, and Larson and Evers surely know the truism that any expansion of the criminal code is used first and viciously against minorities, already targeted in the worst state to be black.

Noone advocates drunk driving. But Larson needs a straw-man and proclaims, "We cannot rest until we change our culture around drinking and driving."

Really? After 55 years in Wisconsin, I know of not one person, institution, movement or Party or culture that defends drunk driving.

But when it comes to being white and clueless, Larson and Evers share the features of an authoritarian Democratic Party with a disdain for the Fourth Amendment.

From 2009, below is reprint of a pro-Fourth Amendment dissent from a United States Supreme Court case (1990) that should give the new culture warriors and police-state advocates pause.

Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk's strong advocacy of police roadblocks in her self-proclaimed effort to change the drinking "culture" of Wisconsin in 2009 should have put an end to this foolishness.

Too many liberals are all too happy to aid the effort of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (1994–2005) who was never hesitant to weaken the Bill of Rights during his tenure on the court as he did in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1988) (decided in 1990) that enables states to enact roadblocks to battle drunk drivers, no matter the Fourth Amendment for those drivers who are doing absolutely nothing wrong or illegal.

You say you are an innocent, but you drive a car. Well, your Fourth Amendment rights go out the window like so many gas fumes out of your tailpipe is the effect of the Rehnquist decision.

In 2009, one news daily's column (online) spoke out for the Fourth Amendment on the police roadblock/Kathleen Falk question in the Capital Times:

No matter how they are operated, checkpoints where motorists are forced to pull over even where there is no indication of impaired driving are a form of unreasonable search and seizure that cannot be sanctioned in Wisconsin. Other states, with less regard for basic liberties, may allow checkpoints. But there is insufficient legal or scientific justification to warrant such an intrusion by state and local authorities in a state that has always set a higher standard when it comes to protecting the right to privacy.
Others should speak out today.

So it's worth reviewing the three dissents in the Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1988) decision written by John Paul Stevens, William J. Brennan, Jr. and that most uppity of black men, Thurgood Marshall, who recall the maxim of brother Brandeis.

Liberty-destroying efforts ought not be defended.

Below are links to the Brennan-Marshall and the Stevens dissents, and the text of the Brennan-Marshall dissent.

- Brennan and Marshall's dissenting opinion in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1988)
- John Paul Stevens' dissenting opinion (joined by Marshall and Brennan) in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1988)
496 U.S. 444 Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz
No. 88-1897 Argued: Feb. 27, 1990 --- Decided: June 14, 1990

Justice BRENNAN, with whom Justice MARSHALL joins, dissenting.

Today, the Court rejects a Fourth Amendment challenge to a sobriety checkpoint policy in which police stop all cars and inspect all drivers for signs of intoxication without any individualized suspicion that a specific driver is intoxicated. The Court does so by balancing the State's interest in preventing drunken driving, the extent to which this system can reasonably be said to advance that interest, and the degree of intrusion upon individual motorists who are briefly stopped. Ante at 455.
For the reasons stated by JUSTICE STEVENS in Parts I and II of his dissenting opinion, I agree that the Court misapplies that test by undervaluing the nature of the intrusion and exaggerating the law enforcement need to use the roadblocks to prevent drunken driving. See also United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543, 567 (1976) (BRENNAN, J., dissenting). I write separately to express a few additional points.

The majority opinion creates the impression that the Court generally engages in a balancing test in order to determine [p457] the constitutionality of all seizures, or at least those "dealing with police stops of motorists on public highways." Ante at 450. This is not the case. In most cases, the police must possess probable cause for a seizure to be judged reasonable. See Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 209 (1979). Only when a seizure is "substantially less intrusive," id. at 210, than a typical arrest is the general rule replaced by a balancing test. I agree with the Court that the initial stop of a car at a roadblock under the Michigan State Police sobriety checkpoint policy is sufficiently less intrusive than an arrest so that the reasonableness of the seizure may be judged, not by the presence of probable cause, but by balancing the gravity of the public concerns served by the seizure, the degree to which the seizure advances the public interest, and the severity of the interference with individual liberty.

Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, 51 (1979). But one searches the majority opinion in vain for any acknowledgment that the reason for employing the balancing test is that the seizure is minimally intrusive.

Indeed, the opinion reads as if the minimal nature of the seizure ends rather than begins the inquiry into reasonableness. Once the Court establishes that the seizure is "slight," ante at 451, it asserts without explanation that the balance "weighs in favor of the state program." Ante at 455.
The Court ignores the fact that, in this class of minimally intrusive searches, we have generally required the Government to prove that it had reasonable suspicion for a minimally intrusive seizure to be considered reasonable. See, e.g., Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 661 (1979); United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 882-883 (1975); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27, (1968). Some level of individualized suspicion is a core component of the protection the Fourth Amendment provides against arbitrary government action. See Prouse, supra, 440 U.S. at 654-655; Martinez-Fuerte, supra, 428 U.S. at 577 (BRENNAN, J., dissenting) ("Action based merely on [p458] whatever may pique the curiosity of a particular officer is the antithesis of the objective standards requisite to reasonable conduct and to avoiding abuse and harassment"). By holding that no level of suspicion is necessary before the police may stop a car for the purpose of preventing drunken driving, the Court potentially subjects the general public to arbitrary or harassing conduct by the police. I would have hoped that before taking such a step, the Court would carefully explain how such a plan fits within our constitutional framework.

Presumably, the Court purports to draw support from Martinez-Fuerte, supra, which is the only case in which the Court has upheld a program that subjects the general public to suspicionless seizures. But as JUSTICE STEVENS demonstrates, post at 463-466, 471-472, the Michigan State Police policy is sufficiently different from the program at issue in Martinez-Fuerte that such reliance is unavailing. Moreover, even if the policy at issue here were comparable to the program at issue in Martinez-Fuerte, it does not follow that the balance of factors in this case also justifies abandoning a requirement of individualized suspicion. In Martinez-Fuerte, the Court explained that suspicionless stops were justified because

[a] requirement that stops . . . be based on reasonable suspicion would be impractical because the flow of traffic tends to be too heavy to allow the particularized study of a given car that would enable it to be identified as a possible carrier of illegal aliens.
428 U.S. at 557. There has been no showing in this case that there is a similar difficulty in detecting individuals who are driving under the influence of alcohol, nor is it intuitively obvious that such a difficulty exists. See Prouse, supra, 440 U.S. at 661. That stopping every car might make it easier to prevent drunken driving, but see post at 469-471, is an insufficient justification for abandoning the requirement of individualized suspicion.
The needs of law enforcement stand in constant tension with the Constitution's protections [p459] of the individual against certain exercises of official power. It is precisely the predictability of these pressures that counsels a resolute loyalty to constitutional safeguards.

Alameida-Sanchez v. United States, 413 U.S. 266, 273 (1973). Without proof that the police cannot develop individualized suspicion that a person is driving while impaired by alcohol, I believe the constitutional balance must be struck in favor of protecting the public against even the "minimally intrusive" seizures involved in this case.

I do not dispute the immense social cost caused by drunken drivers, nor do I slight the government's efforts to prevent such tragic losses. Indeed, I would hazard a guess that today's opinion will be received favorably by a majority of our society, who would willingly suffer the minimal intrusion of a sobriety checkpoint stop in order to prevent drunken driving. But consensus that a particular law enforcement technique serves a laudable purpose has never been the touchstone of constitutional analysis.
The Fourth Amendment was designed not merely to protect against official intrusions whose social utility was less as measured by some "balancing test" than its intrusion on individual privacy; it was designed in addition to grant the individual a zone of privacy whose protections could be breached only where the "reasonable" requirements of the probable cause standard were met. Moved by whatever momentary evil has aroused their fears, officials -- perhaps even supported by a majority of citizens -- may be tempted to conduct searches that sacrifice the liberty of each citizen to assuage the perceived evil. But the Fourth Amendment rests on the principle that a true balance between the individual and society depends on the recognition of "the right to be let alone -- the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).
New Jersey [p460] v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 361-362 (1985) (BRENNAN, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part) (footnote omitted).

In the face of the "momentary evil" of drunken driving, the Court today abdicates its role as the protector of that fundamental right. I respectfully dissent. #

Scott Walker Leaves Wisconsin — Petulant and Ungrateful as a Classical Liberal Society Looks to Future

Time flies, as Scott Walker leaves corruption, scandal and
lies as a legacy. Seems like only yesterday, Scott Walker
campaigned with felons, Tim Russell and Brian Pierick,
two aides who embezzled from military veterans. Walker
leaves Wisconsin, living on the same pensions and
healthcare that the great charlatan campaigned against.
Madison, Wisconsin — Defeated Gov Scott Walker (R) will leave Wisconsin diminished while the man-child hits the rightwing welfare circuit, three years after having been rejected by Republican Presidential Primary voters as not equipped for the White House.

It will take Wisconsin years to recover from (and discover) the full extent of systemic damage to every corner of government that Walker tried to engineer for his donors against the people during Wisconsin's lost decade of corruption and malice.

But make no mistake, Scott Walker failed in his mission to destroy democracy in Wisconsin, and the voters, flush off a major voting rights victory gave Walker the boot.

No surprise, Walker exits Wisconsin with a new and outrageous attack on voting rights, in defiance of the authority of the federal courts.

Incidentally, incoming Gov Tony Evers (D) is not the man for the job. Evers is already making vague threats against black and brown residents that the criminal code will be expanded, to be wielded by local agents of white supremacy — Republican-dominated municipal police.

Notwithstanding the moribund quality of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, (which can be every bit as obtuse, racist and provincial as the GOP), Wisconsin remains intact.

Wisconsin's world-class University System survived Scott Walker, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison remains the vibrant oasis of empirical investigation, liberal education, radical activism and pioneering discovery that each year draws 1,000s the world-over to help launch new lives.

As rural parts of the state grow even whiter and older, and young families look for new regions in which to set down roots, an energetic 45-plus percent of small-town Wisconsin remains, engaged in a rights-based, innovative politics for the future, of which clean and safe water necessary for life remains at the top of the agenda.

With Dane County again leading the state in private-sector, high-wage jobs that make Madison, for example, an illustration of everything Scott Walker is not — independent, educated, innovative, rights-based and progressive — Wisconsin will recover from Walker.

Blind allegiance to the Democratic Party is not the answer.

Demand from representative government what you believe as public policy; it's a classical liberal thing.

"True freedom and prosperity do not come from the clumsy hand of the government," says Scott Walker in a New Year's email.

Why then did Scott Walker give Wisconsin government to donors and corporate America, while preaching the value of private industry? Scott Walker is a liar with a psychology and character untroubled by hypocrisy and deceit.

Looking to 2020, Wisconsin remains a beacon, with a world-class University and millions of citizens who defeated a child who would destroy what took generations to create.

Scott Walker lost, and Wisconsin is flush with renewed hope, dreams and commitment for the future.

Dec 29, 2018

Making a Murderer Developments Point to a Decisive 2019

As one of his final acts in office,
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad
Schimel (R) worked to block DNA
examination of critical evidence
in Avery v. Wiscosnin.
Madison, Wisconsin — If post-conviction attorney Kathleen Zellner were to file a new motion that includes video showing Manitowoc County Sheriff Dept yahoos planting evidence, then County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz would still refuse a new trial for Steven Avery, a framed defendant featured in Making a Murderer.

Attorney Zellner is handling post-conviction litigation to free the wrongfully convicted Steven Avery, a living testament to the kangaroo-court quality of the Wisconsin judiciary that makes Oklahoma look like enlightened champions of liberty and truth, in comparison.

Sutkiewicz, presiding over Avery's post-conviction litigation at the circuit court level, is a striking example of the Wisconsin court system, and more broadly a culture that is corrupted against the accused.
Part of the problem here is the lack of a vibrant, critical daily press.

Pick up even an editorially progressive paper such as the Capital Times (Madison), and this daily's news columns read "tough-on crime-conservative" as a characterization of defeated Gov Scott Walker (R). As opposed to what? A 'weak-on-crime liberal?' (Elbow, The Capital Times).

With the dailies pushing Walker's polemics, who needs rightwing propaganda?
But Sutkiewicz is a disgrace whose depleted powers of reasoning have lifelong effects on the accused unfortunate enough to appear in her kangaroo court.

Hundreds of defendants request judicial substitutions, knowing Sutkiewicz has already found them guilty.

Sutkiewicz ' court is in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Dist Two jurisdiction composed of four judges — Lisa Neubauer, Brian Hagedorn, Mark Gundrum and Paul F. Reilly.

There is cause to wonder if the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Dist Two is a fair forum for Avery any more than Sutkiewicz ' court.
Avery's atty, Zellner, made an announcement on Dec. 17 on social media after filing a motion in Wisconsin appellate court to remand the Avery case so advanced DNA testing can be performed by newly retained DNA expert, Dr. Richard Selden.

On Dec. 28, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Dist Two, denied the Avery motion.

Notes Wisconsin attorney, Jerome Buting, an observer of the Avery post-conviction litigation, the appellate court made quick work of Zellner's brief:

I have as much faith in the Wisconsin judiciary as I do in Santa Claus.

Hagedorn and Gundrum were first appointed by Gov Walker, hence are hostile to defendants and liberty, and resistant to facts and any litigation highlighting police misconduct.

Hagedorn and Gundrum are not judges, they're dangerous political flacks who routinely betray the Wisconsin people.

Neubauer and Reilly are unreliable, but better than Hagedorn and Gundrum.

Neubauer is running for Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2019, so she is concerned about any judicial action that can paint her in a negative light in a 20-second TV spot. Girl's gotta have her standards.

Here's the latest on Avery's legal fight as the state of Wisconsin works to block out the light on corruption and police misconduct:

A new reformist-minded Wisconsin attorney general, Josh Kaul, takes office in Jan.

Will Kaul continue the cover-up or come clean? Kaul could pursue openness and transparency in Avery's post-conviction litigation.

We will soon know.