Oct 18, 2014

Toss Sleazy Political Hate Mail Propping up Pols Like Scott Krug

Sleazy direct mail pieces trying to save Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) from defeat this November are being sent out in the 72nd assembly district in central Wisconsin.

The pieces come from the shadowy Job First Coalition, Inc out of Brookfield, working on Krug's behalf to defame the character of Krug's opponent. This is what we have come to expect from anyone working on Krug's behalf.

Krug is ethically unfit for office.

This morning's Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune has some advice for voters regarding this dishonest and sleazy attack in the 72nd assembly district:

Every other October is also attack-mailer season, and anyone with a mailbox can attest that, right on time, the slimy, sketchily sourced fliers have begun appearing daily.

We've seen them in many races across the region and they're not worth dignifying with a rebuttal. After all, they aren't making arguments; they're trying to scare voters through implication, association and selective editing.

They are a gross part of politics, perhaps even worse than broadcast attacks. The proper response is to quickly dispense with them, straight into the recycling bin.

Oct 17, 2014

Report: Judge Shopping Confirmed by Special Interest-in-GOP-Campaigns Group

"When a conservative group filed a lawsuit over campaign finance laws earlier this month, its lawyers filled out court paperwork in a way that all but guaranteed they got a judge (Rudolph Randa) who has already ruled groups and candidates can work closely together."

The plan worked. On Tuesday, two weeks after Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates filed its suit, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa issued an order limiting how campaign finance laws could be enforced, opening the door for groups and candidates to team up in the weeks before the Nov. 4 election," reports Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Sleazy pay-as-you-go politics filed with a corrupt federal judge whom the special interests knew would rule their way, the Scott Walker way.

This is what Wisconsin is up against. Never give up.

Corruption May Turn Friday Scott Walker-Mary Burke into Spectacle

Update: No talk of water, the environment, corruption, race and bigotry. This column's prediction of fireworks was way-off. I'll give this debate a two on a one-to-ten scale.
Since Scott Walker began his the high-profile chapter of his life-long political career, corruption, misconduct in office and ties to special interests have defined Scott Walker's fetid, authoritarian radicalism.

One would hope tonight's debate will feature a discussion of Scott Walker's many ethical and likely criminal lapses in pursuit of his rightwing vies.

Scott Walker is an extremist. His views should be put to the test.

Just a couple of questions about clean water, high capacity wells, and what we owe to future generations in being good stewards of the environments ought to do it.

From WPR: Walker Contends He's Left Wisconsin's Environment Cleaner Than When He Found It
(Mary Burke's) campaign sent a statement in which she promises to bring together all stakeholders to find the right balance between economic development and our public health and natural resources. Those are welcome words in part of the state troubled by contaminated runoff from big farms.
As is typical of striking a balance projecting the environment and cultivating a sustainable agriculture, retired business consultant and citizen of Rome, Wisconsin has the best stuff out there.

Talk about corruption. Scott Walker is selling out the environment and the health of our children for campaign money from polluting special interests

From citizen Don Ystad:

Concerned citizens,

There's not a lot more to add to Dr. Iwen's message below about this linked video. It's frightening, it's real, and as unpleasant as the message is, you have to view it. Having attended the same public hearing this week that Dr. Iwen attended, I would echo his concerns about the attitudes expressed by the MilkSource Attorney and the shill from the Dairy Business Association.  They are a self-serving bunch who care nothing about what they are doing to our health and well being and will say anything to further the greed of the Big Ag guys who fund them.

Politicians and agency people copied here,

I'm encouraged by the groundswell of public concern regarding this issue. It's unfortunate that you are so slow to take action on our behalf. How many more people will become ill as you pander to these self serving, greedy industrial agriculturists? And how many lakes, streams and wells will be contaminated as you are entertained by their ag lobbyists in Madison? There is a middle ground and the pendulum swings both ways.

Watch the video and judge for yourself.

Don Ystad.
Rome, WI

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Iwen
Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM
Subject: CAFO industry and the spread of super bacteria such as MRSA, E. Coli 0157: H7, Salmonella and much more!

Good evening fellow CAFO fighters,

I hope all of you have watched the PBS presentation referenced below.

If you have not, please google this address below, watch the Video and then consider the added very serious worries that should voiced over the proposed dairy in Richfield....or Kewaunee County or anywhere in Wisconsin or the U.S.

This PBS expose' clearly shows the sheer body of overwhelming and growing evidence and the correlation to increased illnesses in citizens unfortunate enough to be living within the reach of air or water transmission of sewage from a CAFO.  Air and water transportation systems are carrying very dangerous bacteria to the surrounding countryside and to susceptible citizens OF ALL AGES .
Richfield Dairy and every CAFO in the U.S. must be mandated to disclose the amount of antibiotics they use and the State must be disclosing and tracking the super bacteria existing in those areas.   This may appear to be an overwhelming agenda, but we MUST all keep pushing the button of alarm over and over and over with a growing chorus of citizens and a growing urgency.

When attorney DuQuaine (Milk Source lawyer) says the the cumulative well effects have been studied "ad nauseam" he is showing his profound ignorance and indifference "ad nauseam" to the most dangerous elements of this industry and is demonstrating this clearly by merely paying simple minded lip service to his professional "cash cow" and addressing only the High Cap well problem.
When John Holevoet (DBA talking head) utters his nonsense, he too is showing profound ignorance and indifference  to the bigger issue.  His comments are so out of line with reality that he owes the community at large a public apology...unless is so totally ignorant  that he will never understand OR that he really does not care one wit about consequences of an industry founded on the principles of  money, power and greed.

Bill Iwen

Oct 16, 2014

GOP Dirty Tricks Is the Only Way Forward for Scott Walker

Have not read am empirical study but asserting corrupt public officials tend to ally themselves with political groups employing dishonest, illegal and dirty trick seems a truism.

Coming off legal defeats obstructing disfavored citizens from voting, the Republican Party of Wisconsin that used the now-blocked voter ID law as "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government," the prediction that dirty tricks including harassment and interference with a voters' effort to vote are coming is the safest bet in politics.

John Peterson has the story.

Wisconsin's Future Motto: 'Don't Drink the Water'—Unless We Act

Wisconsin's future motto
Updated: Another town, Nasewaupee in northeastern Wisconsin, discusses banning manure spraying.

The stakes are high.

So, anything the Dairy Business Association (DBA) tells you should be disregarded as propaganda.

No, liquid cow manure is not good for you, and it smells horrific.

Unless we come up with a solution to the DBA's pollution of our waters through CAFOs (Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operations), and the DBA's members' sucking up Wisconsin's fresh water through high capacity wells, Wisconsin will have a new state motto.

It won't be America's Dairy Land, or Forward or The Progressive State, if Scott Walker is reelected and continues with turning the DNR into the pollution-protecting agency it has become under Walker's administration.

Wisconsin's new unofficial motto will be: Don't drink the water.

And forget about tourism and recreation in beautiful Wisconsin.

Ask Kewaunee County.

"Few people know what a CAFO is and I am always embarrassed to explain. The response is most often an incredulous stare," said Robyn Mulhaney, Kewaunee County business owner. (Peninsula Pulse)

Bring the kids, fire up the grills and check out the CAFO lagoons filled with the liquid cow excrement.

This is what happens when the stewards of the environment hand over responsibility to Big Ag.

GOP Is as Desperate in Texas as Wisconsin

Update: See Ernest A. Canning excellent analysis on the Brad Blog. "The state," the Veasey petition argues, "has no interest in --- and the public certainly has no interest --- in enforcing intentionally discriminatory laws." The DoJ adds to the weight of that argument by pointing to the District Court's findings as to how, in the face of demographic changes that threaten to reduce white Anglo Texans to minority status, each successive Photo ID bill enacted by the state became increasingly restrictive of minority voting rights --- with SB 14 having been passed "with 'unnatural speed' over the objection of legislators who represented predominantly non-white districts," and that "the Texas Legislature had rejected a 'litany of ameliorative amendments' that would have softened SB 14's impact on minority voters."
Republicans were dealt a body blow in their efforts to block voters in Wisconsin last week.

How are Republicans supposed to win if they can't block voters and gerrymander districts?

Next up is Texas which has an even more restrictive Voter ID law than Wisconsin's.

In Texas the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit imposed this onerous Voter ID law even closer to Election Day than did the Seventh Circuit on Sept. 12 (before this decision was vacated).

"On October 9, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down Texas’s harsh photo ID law, ruling after a lengthy trial that the Texas legislature enacted the law to purposely discriminate against minority voters," notes the Brennan Center.

Plaintiffs' emergency application against the Texas ID law and others are being heard by Justice Scalia.

The U.S. Dept of Justice has also filed an application.

The case is Veasey v. Perry (No 14A393). The state of Texas' response is due Thursday at 5 pm.

An array of civil rights groups and the US Dept of Justice against Texas.

Oct 15, 2014

Burke-Lehman Retail Campaign on Environment

Ripon College Democrats hosted State Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine), candidate for Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday night.

Attendees went away impressed. Most people don't want to told their drinking water is not safe to drink, like what happened up north earlier this month.

Wrote attendee Elaine Swanson from Ripon College:

John Lehman came to the Ripon College campus last night.  He spoke about important issues - and left time for questions.  I brought up my neighbor Rosendale Dairy (the largest CAFO in Wisconsin)and the operation's untreated waste spread over fields surrounding homes where people are living; spray irrigation being pushed. 

Senator Lehman responded by telling of the tour he recently had in the central part of the state where a CAFO has been proposed.  He said he met the citizens who are fearful of the impacts on their lakes and streams from high-cap wells.  I was applauding you guys up in Rome & Saratoga for organizing that very important tour!

As I'm remembering, it was a tour of CAFOs in Kewaunee County that indirectly introduced more conservationists to spreading industrial operations in WI - like champion Greg Farnham. Thanks Kewaunee for organizing those tours that create lasting images - and lasting odors!

Oct 14, 2014

Judge Rudolph Randa Stands Naked and Corrupt for Scott Walker

Update II: Group gamed filing federal lawsuit to be assigned to Rudolph Randa. (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Update: Two other points. Randa has ignored the Pursell principle and changed Wisconsin election law less than three weeks before Election Day. Secondly, through Randa's two rulings against Wisconsin campaign finance law enforcement, Randa has given Scott Walker an arguable defense if the John Doe Probe is allowed to proceed with its investigation though Scott Walker knows what he did is illegal. A federal judge declared what Scott Walker and others did is not illegal, so how can John Doe prosecutors find Walker, for example, guilty of breaking finance law when Randa has imposed ambiguity in the law that will be read against the state in a criminal prosecution.
An obscure rightwing group, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates (CRG), has filed a complaint in federal court based upon a discredited view of the First Amendment to halt virtually all Wisconsin campaign finance law.

That's good enough for U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa who issued a preliminary injunction "before the GAB (Government Accountability Board) and (Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm) had even spoken with the attorney assigned to represent them," notes Brendan Fischer at PR Watch. Nor had the GAB and Chisholm's attorney even filed a brief before Randa ruled.

The federal case is Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates v. Barland et al.

Randa wants to engineer the law to work for political allies and specifically shield Scott Walker from getting criminally charged or politically embarrassed by facts of the ongoing John Doe probe.

Randa heard CRG's complaint and issued a ruling today in this naked attempt to protect Scott Walker in what will likely raise corruption and misconduct questions before the supervising Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after a likely reversal.

"The general election is only three weeks away. Any further delay threatens to negate the effectiveness of CRG’s requested relief," writes Randa.

"Randa issued his latest order even though those who are being sued didn't have an attorney until Monday. Because the lawyer was only recently hired, he has not submitted a brief to the judge explaining his clients' views on campaign finance laws or why they believe they are valid," notes Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Randa had already made up his mind.

This is typical Randa, using his position on the federal bench to benefit Scott Walker less than three weeks before Election Day by blocking "enforcement of a Wisconsin election law that's at the center of an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and more than two dozen conservative groups." (AP)

Wisconsin law enforcement has more than reasonable doubt to believe that Scott Walker is part of a criminal collaboration scheme that Randa is declaring no longer to be criminal, using this case, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates v. Barland et al to issue this bizarre ruling today.

"U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa on Tuesday barred state election officials and Milwaukee's top prosecutor from enforcing their interpretation of campaign finance laws limiting the ability of candidates and purportedly independent groups from collaborating," writes Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Earlier this year, Randa expressed similar skepticism toward campaign finance laws and halted an investigation into collaboration between Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and groups backing him. That ruling was thrown out three weeks ago by an appeals court that took Randa to task for his decision, in part because the panel said the case belonged in state — not federal — court."

Randa's earlier campaign finance decision was overturned in September in O'Keefe and Club for Growth, Inc v. Chisholm and Schmitz, with Judge Frank Easterbrook writing for a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that included Judges Diane Wood and William Bauer, "No opinion issued by the Supreme Court, or by any court of appeals, establishes ('clearly' or otherwise) that the First Amendment forbids regulation of coordination between campaign committees and issue-advocacy groups ... ."

Knocked down hard by the appellate court, Randa is apparently not guided by the appellate court's admonitions or its orders. Easterbrook called September ruling "imprudent," "unnecessary," and "an abuse of discretion." (Fischer, PR Watch)

Overturning Randa's decision in O'Keefe and Club for Growth, Inc., Easterbrook wrote, "Until the district court's opinion in this case, neither a state nor a federal court had held that Wisconsin's (or any other state's) regulation of coordinated fundraising and issue advocacy violates the First Amendment. ...It is not possible to treat as 'bad faith' a criminal investigation that reflects (the U.S. Supreme Court's) interpretation of the First Amendment."

This appellate opinion is inconvenient to Randa's political agenda, and could hurt Scott Walker if more evidence of what Scott Walker did goes public.

Randa just thinks up the results of cases and rules, throwing in an opinion at the end.

Critics and most jurists call this "results-oriented" jurisprudence.

Other people call it corruption.

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, corruption at its worst, also got in the act.

"In a surprising move, Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen reversed his office's position on the scope of Wisconsin campaign finance law, and declined to represent the GAB and Chisholm in the lawsuit. In a letter to the GAB -- the agency tasked with interpreting and enforcing Wisconsin campaign finance law -- Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dan Lennington called the agency's interpretation of Wisconsin campaign finance law 'tenuous,'" notes Fischer.

Finding Your Voice on November 4

Final Report of the Northeast
Wisconsin Karst Task Force
Toxins in Our Waters Should Guide for Whom We Vote

The fix for the safety of our drinking water is easy.

It's called local control, (calling in the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers as force multipliers) and when Republicans in the state legislature and Scott Walker run political interference for the special interests who pollute our water and take away local control—vote the bums out.

Retiring State Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) (Assembly District One) killed local-control legislation, with help from his Republican friends—legislators, polluters and their money.

One would think Rep. Bies and Republicans would appreciate, if not the environment, at least the safety of our drinking water and the tourism and recreation dollars in Door and Kewaunee counties.

By Don Freix of Fish Creek, Wisconsin in Door County, (Wisconsin Assembly District One)

In the Final Report of the Northeast Wisconsin Karst Task Force (Feb. 9, 2007) sufficient scientific study needed to describe our region’s unique geological limitations as to the amounts of industrial and feedlot toxins that could be safely spread on the land without immediately endangering public health and safety, and polluting our ground water and precious Great Lakes resources, were clearly explained. (See also Golden, Wisconsin Watch)

State legislators passed out of Committee, Senate Bill 632 (SB 632) in 2009, which in recognizing the susceptibility of our shallow soils and fractured bedrock, granted greater local control and allowed for stricter regional environmental regulations regarding disposal of these toxic wastes.

Specifically the toxins coming from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), uncritically and improperly described far too often, as large "dairy farms." More precisely these are cosmetically regulated industrial factories, disproportionally usurping public water and legally enabled to directly poison our environment for the financial profits of a very select few.

In 2009, SB 632 died a certain death as Rep. Garey Bies refused to co-sponsor the bill and introduce it to the appropriate Assembly Committee for further consideration.

Responsible preventative actions could have been initiated, stemming predicted problems. Problems that have become the current, inexcusable, permanent and growing human health and safety crisis underway in Kewaunee County and literally spreading throughout parts of Door County, because of willful, if not criminal, state majority party executive and legislative negligence.

In this immediate crisis of CAFO toxins, of further degradation of public health, of sustainable tourism, and of stable property values if not addressed, please consider this. Who has or will actually represent you in Madison?

In central Wisconsin Assembly District 72, CAFO toxins have become the defining issue of the campaign.

Action against or perpetrating for moving toxins into our environment ought weigh heavily on whom we elect in Assembly District One,—Door and Kewaunee counties, and our friends and our fellow constituents in Brown and Manitowoc counties.

"Representative" Bies willfully forfeited his primary responsibility of being our voice in Madison, as did Sen. Frank G. Lasee (R-De Pere) who both voted to grant sole authority over administrative rule-making to Gov. Scott Walker.

Will candidate Joel Kitchens (R), whose current business success depends upon industrial agriculture, veterinary services to thousands of cows, or will Sen. Lasee who is reported to not even reside in the 1st District and who has already abdicated his responsibility as our voice in Madison, actually listen to you?

Public health, sustainable tourism, stable property values, clean water and local control, or life under narrowly beneficial, authoritarian dictates.

Top to bottom of the ticket, reclaim your voice on Nov 4.

Scott Walker-GOP's Halting Milwaukee Paid Sick Leave Is Reckless Public Health

In May 2011, Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans passed legislation that imposed a uniform Scott Walker-knows-best policy nullifying Milwaukee's Paid Sick Leave ordinance.

"When Governor Walker and state legislators overrode this ordinance, they not only steamrolled local democratic will (overriding a law that passed by an overwhelming vote), but they also repealed the rights of working people to get medical treatment they need, lead healthier lives, and help safeguard the health of their families, coworkers and customers," notes Emily Osborne.

Safeguarding the public should be a public health concern; why force sick people to come to work?

As the flu, or the Enterovirus D68 are likely to be immediately problematic to Wisconsin citizens than say Ebola, consider how irresponsible as a public heath and safety issue Scott Walker's politically motivated decision to disregard the will of the people and kill Milwaukee's Paid Sick Leave law.

This is the very definition of gross criminal negligence on the part of the Scott Walker and the Republicans.

Scott Walker imposes disaster and then moves on.

Wisconsin Points Way for Public Health Research as Ebola Breeds Fear

Wisconsin is regarded as the premier influenza virus surveillance public health program anywhere in the country.

Public research and public health investments our state made over the 20th century spurred on by liberal, secular types at UW-Madison that laid the scientific ground for the political will to establish a sophisticated public health system.

Wisconsin's public health commitment was built upon pioneering work in Madison by some extraordinary people like Pete Shult and Jeff Davis, according to health and research authorities.

The Unites States would benefit from the Wisconsin Idea.

The Wisconsin Idea is unlikely to replicated while Republicans run Congress. See NIH director: Budget cuts delayed Ebola vaccine, treatment.

For a dose of sanity regarding viruses and public health, see:
Influenza: A Disease at the Interface of Animals and Human Beings
Christopher Olsen, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Recorded April 17, 2009

Oct 13, 2014

Vile, Racist Email Found in Scott Walker Documents

This is who Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans are.

Check out Crooks and Liars.

Voter ID Takes Hits Across the Board

This has been a bad week for the Republican Party's voter obstruction project.

More light has been shone on the anti-voting efforts of the GOP across the nation.

GOP allies in the judiciary, especially the Soviet bloc on the U.S. Supreme Court—Scalia, Thomas and Alito—are hostile to voting. They would prefer a different system of government.

Rick Hasen puts it thusly: "Simply put, Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas do not value the right to vote as strongly as the other members of the Court."

This morning's lede editorial in the New York Times notes voter ID laws are an "antidemocratic sham."

State and municipal election bureaucrats in Wisconsin are mostly silent on these facts that Republicans are attacking the foundation of representative democracy.

One man who is not silent is Judge Richard Posner writing for dissenting colleagues on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Posner notes the fact that it is Republicans who are trying to stop citizens from voting.

Rarely has a white power structure, not since Jim Crow, have underground political movements been called out at the judicial level for its actions against the Constitution.

From Posner's October 10 dissent:
States with Strict Photo ID Laws — Political Makeup When the Laws Were Adopted
(Nos. 14-2058 and 14-2059; p. 17)