Sep 25, 2018

Foxconn Takings Take Toll on Wisconsin Families

Foxconn razes Wisconsin as pols and communities
go dark amid race for gov of corporate Wisconsin.
Foxconn and Scott Walker Raze the American Dream, as Tony Evers Remains Silent

Madison, Wisconsin — "You are taking people's homes from them. You are snatching their heart out," a homeowner said, objecting to Foxconn stealing their home, land, and family refuge for the benefit of the Taiwanese super-predator (Lemoine, Fox6-Now-Milwaukee).

In Gov. Scott Walker's (R) Wisconsin, your home and safe water no longer come first because you are not a Republican-approved special interest. It's the way it is now.

Not that Democratic Party nominee for governor, Tony Evers, is any better.

Tony Evers' silence—as families' homes and sense of security are ravaged—is deafening. This is why I call the man, Tony Mush.

Watching Wisconsin Die

My first major series in journalism covered the 1989-1990 project by the Houston-based Enron Co. that would have ravaged homeowners and small farm-owners by running a large natural-gas pipeline through their land, without consultation or approval.

The reaction against Enron by the local and state political world here was swift, almost brutal.

The story was a crash course on Dane County.

I quickly learned what manner of stuff is to be found in people named Wild, Sayles, Solie, Chvala, Wineke, Bauer, Garvey, Klassy, Feingold, Kohl, Anderson, Tesch, and far too many 100s to list. The significance of community in tiny Belleville and Paoli, Wisconsin, became apparent.

All manner of political persuasions, wildly divergent in world views, and loads of legal and political talent, delivered a full-spectrum message to Enron: Don't f$%&^ with our homes and our land.

The people won. The massive pipeline route was scrapped and moved along a safe(r) rail corridor.


That was then.

Today, homes and dreams are not safe and secure. A united front against rampaging corporate power is for days gone by.

What counts is corporate power, and both major political parties are not worth a damn when it comes to protecting homes and small businesses.

What is worth a damn is the reporting of Ricardo Torres and the staff at the Racine Journal-Times, as the daily beefs up coverage of those assaulted by Foxconn.

Torres covers the pumpkin farmers, the homeowners and those with dreams—little people in Racine County—standing alone against corporate power and supine politicians.

Who stands with these people today? Communities, politicians?

I have no idea and neither do they.

Sep 22, 2018

Wisconsin Gov Candidate, Tony Evers, Hit in The American Prospect on Foxconn

Scott Walker pro-Foxconn campaign ads are everywhere
in Wisconsin.
Update: More mush from Tony Evers on Foxconn: "It’s a lousy deal, and we’re going to have to hold Foxconn’s feet to the fire going forward."

Evers did not say he would undo or change the agreement with Foxconn if elected governor.

"We can, and we should, compel them to be good corporate citizens," Evers said, (Torres, Racine Journal-Times)

Madison, Wisconsin — Tony Evers, the Democratic Party nominee for governor, favors the most massive state give-away to a foreign corporation in United States history — Foxconn.

As policy, the Foxconn give-away of $billions in public monies is lunacy, jammed through the gerrymandered Republican legislature in August-Sept 2017 supported by lies.

Yet, in the Wisconsin political culture, the Democratic Party's Tony Evers' complicity in the Foxconn debacle is a truth that dare not be spoken outside independent progressive citizen-action movements.

A piece just out the The American Prospect by Lawrence Tabak offers a run-down on Foxconn in Wisconsin, including the fact the Tony Evers campaign refuses to support litigation against the Foxconn-Wisconsin contract.

Evers' deceitful campaign posture reads: "When I’m governor, we’ll hold Foxconn’s feet to the fire and make sure that Wisconsin is getting the best return on investment possible."

This is what passes for policy commitment on Foxconn from Tony Evers.

The American Prospect piece is implicitly critical of this mush. Writes Tabak:

The soft-spoken Evers may believe he can convince Wisconsin voters that Walker has misspent billions of taxpayer dollars to bring Foxconn to the state. But as of yet, he has not articulated exactly how he would go about modifying the signed contracts and the promised subsidies, nor is it clear that an onslaught of Walker ads touting the thousands of wonderful Foxconn jobs and concomitant statewide economic bounty will fail to sway. After all, which is easier to parse: 13,000 'family-supporting jobs' or 'just thinking' about what a few billion dollars could do if spent on education. (emphasis added)

Foxconn remains widely unpopular, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state where Tony Evers must outperform losing Democratic Party showings in 2010, 2014, and 2016.

Another truth about Tony Evers is that he is mediocre school bureaucrat from east-central (white) Wisconsin with a pedestrian understanding of public policy, ill-equipped to meaningfully oppose the Republican Party's wrecking ball Wisconsin has suffered the last seven years.

The same political groupthink and Democratic Party consultants who bequeathed Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Donald Trump onto Wisconsin is capable of thwarting what should be an easy win for an opponent of Walker in 2018 Wisconsin.

As has been written in these pages, those concerned about democracy in Wisconsin can take solace in the heavy political winds against Walker and Republicans this campaign cycle.

Rural women are especially appalled by Republicans, inform anecdotes from two central and northern Wisconsin political field operations from Democratic Party nominees for the legislature.

Can citizen action lift a milquetoast Tony Evers over Scott Walker?

Yes, it can; but a call to Tony Evers' campaign and a kick in his ass are called for as Foxconn's unpopularity mounts.

See Rick Romell's latest piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Sep 20, 2018

Midterm Voting Has Begun — Trump, Grassley, Hatch, McConnell All Lie for Rapist-Wannabe

Republican wannabe rapist hides from FBI with help
from GOP senators and Trump.
Voting has begun for American servicemembers.

The federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) law mandates states and territories transmit ballots for federal elections "to absent uniformed services and overseas voters no later than 45 days before federal elections. Sept 24 is the latest date to send out absentee ballots.

Republican senators do not care, though they pretended to care two years ago.

Voting has begun, the 2018 elections are happening now.

Republicans will do anything to get the felon Brett Kavanaugh onto the United States Supreme Court, though this piece of shit belongs in prison.

Sep 19, 2018

Foxconn Polls Badly in New Marquette Law School Poll

Madison, Wisconsin — The $4 billion in public subsidies to Foxconn remain unpopular in Wisconsin, show results in the new Marquette University Law School Poll.

The Marquette poll shows registered voters think public monies paid to Foxconn are not worth the enormous costs —  48 to 39 percent of registered voters think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth.

Reads the Poll release dated Sept 18

Forty-eight percent of registered voters think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 39 percent think the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant. Thirteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. In the August poll, 44 percent said the state was paying too much and 41 percent said it was worth it.

A 58 percent majority of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 31 percent do not think it will and 11 percent say they don’t know. In the August poll, 61 percent said the Milwaukee area would benefit while 27 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 33 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 54 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 14 percent don’t know. In the August poll 32 percent said their local businesses would benefit, while 61 percent did not think so.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) has made Foxconn a central campaign plank as the administration continues to direct public monies to private corporations.

Pro-Foxconn ads by Walker seem ubiquitous, while Democratic Party nominee for governor, Tony Evers, refuses a position on Foxconn.

Evers changed his post-Primary election posture from no comment to, "we’ll hold Foxconn’s feet to the fire and make sure that Wisconsin is getting the best return on investment possible," (BizTimes, Mal Contends).

Weasel words and inept metaphors are the order of the day from Tony 'the Mush' Evers, holding Foxconn's feet to the fire and getting the best return on investment possible are not serious issue positions.

Sep 18, 2018

Absentee Voters Begin Casting Ballots this Week in Wisconsin, Rights Workers Eye Hostile DoJ

Updated - Madison, Wisconsin — An expected 100,000s of absentee voters begin casting ballots this week in the midterm Wisconsin general elections.

In the last gubernatorial election in 2014, 374,075 residents cast absentee ballots,(General Election Voter Registration and Absentee Statistics 1984-2016. 2014 voter turnout, 54.84%, Wisconsin Election Commission).

This year both absentee voting and turnout are expected to soar following increased efforts of election clerks in metro voting districts to help eligible voters cast their votes, (In These Times).

The metro clerks, who administer elections, have been freed from Republican-enacted restrictions to serve eligible voters since July 2016 when a federal voting rights case ruling swept away large elements of the Republican Party's voter-obstruction legislative initiative.

Madison has led the way in assisting voters. Most recently, a record (unofficial) turnout of 42.76 percent in the August primary elections was achieved in a continuing effort to secure the right to vote under Article III of the Wisconsin Constitution.

Madison announced its tentative schedule and new record number of locations for early voting, slated to begin on Sept 20 at City Hall.
The federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) law mandates states and territories transmit ballots for federal elections "to absent uniformed services and overseas voters no later than 45 days before federal elections," (Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE). This year the 45-day mandate makes Sept 24 the deadline.
Voting rights workers are watching the Republican Wisconsin Dept of Justice for whom voting rights are a societal defect to be overcome.

The Republican DoJ could attempt a last-minute legal effort to halt voting rights, as the DoJ did in 2014 in a widely criticized state action and federal appellate ruling.

Two federal voting rights cases  — One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen and Frank v. Walker — are before the full circuit at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

In August, Mal Contends emailed a voting rights question to two state DoJ officials, Mss. Ballwegra and Mikalofsky, reading: "Can we expect a new filing to Seventh Circuit from DoJ in the next several weeks Re One Wisconsin Now and Walker v. Frank?"

No response has been received. ---