Apr 14, 2014

Sexual Assault Is Not Groping

'Minimizing sexual assault sends a message that our communities don’t take this crime seriously, which negatively impacts efforts to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable'

As Wisconsin media covering the beginning of Rep. Bill Kramer's (R-Waukesha) legal proceedings on Kramer's serial sexual violence, our friends at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) are setting the record straight on reporting sexual violence.

From Ian Henderson, Director of Legal and Systems Services at WCASA (608 257-1516, Direct Line: 608 284-5485):

Madison – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), which is a time to raise public awareness about sexual assault.  While there are many events occurring across the state honoring SAAM, we also believe now is a good time to discuss what sexual assault really is.  Sexual violence occurs when someone is forced or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity without their consent.  It is a broad term that includes rape, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual contact, and human trafficking.  “When talking about sexual assault, it is incumbent on all of us to describe it in a way that does not minimize the true nature of this horrific crime” said Pennie Meyers, Executive Director of WCASA.  “It is about domination and exerting control over another person.”

The language we use when describing sexual assault has an impact on survivors, perpetrators, and communities.  WCASA believes recent media accounts describing felony sexual assault as “groping” minimizes the impact of this crime.  Minimizing sexual assault sends a message that our communities don’t take this crime seriously, which negatively impacts efforts to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.  “Any nonconsensual sexual contact is a crime” commented Pennie Meyers.  “It can have a long-term impact on a survivor’s sense of trust in others and feelings of safety.  We owe it to all survivors to call it what it is – sexual assault.”  

Media Minimizes Bill Kramer's Sexual Attacks

After one victim of State Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) promised in 2011 to file criminal charges if Kramer ever assaulted another woman, Kramer sexually assaulted more women.

The GOP stripped Kramer of his majority leader position he held for eight months, and GOP and Democratic party official called for his resignation, but stopped short of calling for his expulsion.

Today, Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) in his initial Court appearance got off with a signature bond and pled not guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault.

Kramer reappeared from an undisclosed location for "treatment" after a February "fundraiser in Washington, D.C., (where) observers say they saw Kramer make crude remarks to a Wisconsin lobbyist and touch the breast of a legislative aide. That led to Kramer's removal from his leadership job and a personnel investigation. (Luthern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault exist as an advocate for victims of sexual assault.

If Scott Walker, the GOP and the go-along, too-often complicit Democrats in the Wisconsin capitol refuse expulsion of Kramer, advocacy and other citizen groups like the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault will be needed more than ever in this high-profile case.

Meanwhile the Wisconsin media is minimizing the graphic police report and District Attorney criminal complaint as against today's AP report that the victim's allegations are "groping" as opposed to terror, trauma and fear of rape and battery.

Kramer is due in Court again on May 15 for a preliminary hearing.

If you have not read this piece on Rep. Bill Kramer's (R-Waukesha) misogyny by Kristin Hansen (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 30, 2014), check it out.

Ms. Hansen's voice describing the misogyny of Bill Kramer is also needed, critically.

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, here is Rachel Maddow's brilliant work on Bill Kramer, Ron Johnson and the look-the-other-way GOP that enabled Bill Kramer's rise to political power in Wisconsin Republican politics.

Whitewashing Bill Kramer's Sexual Assualts Is Underway; Signature Bond, Not Guilty Plea

Update II: Kramer to plead "not guilty," and is ordered released on signature bond. Guess that "treatment" center at an undisclosed location must have really helped Kramer; now, he's innocent.

Kramer's attorney said he trusts the judge will not allow the case to "become a circus- or carnival-like atmosphere." (Luthern. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Yes, we would not want the experience to be unpleasant for Kramer.

Update: Recall Scott Walker hedging days ago advising caution on expulsion proceedings. "I think the concern that some have had, and that they’re trying to look at, is if they took action to expel him, that might actually require the victim to have to testify and could have an impact on the court case," Walker said. (WRN) Walker's statement is of course ludicrous.

A preface today noting the Prosecutor's Sexual Assault Reference Book, "dedicated to all the courageous survivors of sexual assault and to the tireless advocates and prosecutors that join them in seeking healing and justice." (From the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA)).

This bears mention as the AP report prior to Rep. Bill Kramer's (R-Waukesha) initial court appearance in 10 minutes is a whitewash of the graphic police report and criminal complaint.

Apr 13, 2014

Bail Hearing Monday for Wisconsin Rep. Bill Kramer; Republican, All-around Human Garbage

"I oppose placing sex offenders in our
communities and helped lead the fight
against the placement of one of
Wisconsin's most violent offenders
in our community," Rep. Bill Kramer
(R-Waukesha) in his 2012 reelection page
.
Updated: If any Republican (or enabling Democrat) tells you they want to refrain from expulsion proceedings out of their concern for the victim(s), know they are bought-and-paid-for, dishonor among politicians. Any Democrat protecting Bill Kramer should be held as accountable as the GOP leadership for shielding Kramer. Stay tuned.

State Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) will make his first court appearance Monday morning in which the presiding judge will set bail and formally deliver the criminal complaint of two felony sexual assaults to Kramer's attorney.

Scott Walker and the GOP Assembly Republicans still refuse to hold expulsion proceedings, effectively shielding the Waukesha Republican who continues to draw his tax-payer salary, health care and pension benefits, a public expenditure Walker apparently does not mind if the recipient is Republican.

Sitting state representative.

This bears repeating, and as Kramer and his Republican clique protecting him have become national news, it will be repeated.

Mary Burke, Walker's Democratic opponent for governor, issued another of her eloquent soliloquies of silence on the issue.

One can only hope clients of this owner and president of Kramer Financial Management take their business elsewhere as a protest against this dangerous misogynist.

How high will bail be for the serial sexual assaulter and sexual harasser the Assembly Republicans made majority leader in 2013 replacing former Republican majority leader Scott Suder before his scandal broke?

We'll find out Monday.

Personally, no bail seems just to me.

This bastard has hurt a lot of people, and has a demonstrated hatred of women.

A couple of items worth noting in the meantime:

Wisconsin Dems Hope for Massive Republican Implosion—Their Only Shot in 2014

Intercepted communication from
the Wisconsin Democratic Party,
or possibly from Mary Burke.
Difficult to see the source or message.
Matthew DeFour's analysis in this morning's Wisconsin State Journal on the prospects of Wisconsin Democrats retaking the legislature is telling.

DeFour does not mention the words, "gerrymander," instead referring to "(p)artisan redistricting."

Republican voting obstruction is described as changes to "voting rules."

The rest of the piece is tripe with quotes from Democratic and Republican Party bureaucrats, though the conclusion the Democratic Party can retake the state senate is sound.

That's what we can expect from the traditional media in Wisconsin.

The problem for the Democrats is the campaign communications of their candidate at the top of the November ticket, Mary Burke, assuming no one else jumps in.

Does Burke rail incessantly against the most corrupt, destructive governor in Wisconsin history a la Bob La Follette or Gaylord Nelson who virtually reinvented political movements?

Not a chance, and Burke's communications director, Joe Zepecki, has to be the most useless political operative since, well take your pick among the current cast of Wisconsin Democratic do-nothings.

Has anyone ever seen such a broad array of killer issues the Republicans have supplied non-Republicans?

The traditional media of dailies and broadcast media are as uninformative as the performance of the Wisconsin Democratic Party functionaries who appear more interested in drawing paychecks than winning elections, much less creating something resembling a political infrastructure.

And Wisconsin progressives should not waste time with George Lakoff as some political savior for progressive communications, in the absence of an effective Democratic Party.

Useless.

Lakoff's main contention is obvious, the assertion that compelling communications supporting an appealing message are more politically effective than non-compelling communications (or no political communications) in support of a not-so-appealing message.

Think impressions—the projection of one image onto one human brain (a voter).

This is what is called public relations, and it's been around about a century.

"If Lakoff is right, his theory can do everything from overturning millennia of misguided thinking in the Western intellectual tradition to putting a Democrat in the White House," writes Steven Pinker is a scathing review of Lakoff's work. "Though it contains messianic claims about everything from epistemology to political tactics, [Lakoff's 2006 Whose Freedom ...] has no footnotes or references (just a generic reading list), and cites no studies from political science or economics, and barely mentions linguistics. Its use of cognitive neuroscience goes way beyond any consensus within that field, and its analysis of political ideologies is skewed by the author's own politics and limited by his disregard of centuries of prior thinking on the subject."

Forget Lakoff, use Scott Walker.

Scott Walker is the most target-rich politician in Wisconsin since Joe McCarthy and Burke and the Democrats keep missing the mark.

"'If your goal is to hold down wages and turn Wisconsin into a subsidiary of Koch Industries, then Governor Walker’s your guy,' [Maryland Gov. Martin] O’Malley (D) said, referring to the giant conglomerate headed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who are prolific political donors." (Wagner. Washington Post)

That's the message.

Throw in Walker's jobs failure and the host of other issues on which Wisconsin state Democrats [national Democrats are much more effective] are mostly silent and November 2014 might be an exciting month for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin activists and writers aren't giving up.

But the Democratic Party of Wisconsin should rightfully drown itself in the waters of Lake Winnebago, and campaign from the bottom with the zebra mussels.

The way the party campaign is proceeding, it will take a John Doe revelation (Walker and the GOP are trying to stall the criminal probe), with an effective Democratic Party response, for Scott Walker and the Republicans to fall.

Otherwise Georgia is going to elect a Democratic governor before Wisconsin.

Apr 11, 2014

Republicans Tried to Expel Independent in 2009, GOP Protects Sexual Predator Today

Update III: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Maybe if someone points this out to the Republican Party of Wisconsin, it will stop coddling Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha).

Update II: "Protects" in title is more descriptive and accurate than 'won't touch.'

Update: Perhaps the most eloquent piece on Rep. Bill Kramer's (R-Waukesha) misogyny is by Kristin Hansen (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 30, 2014).

Writes Hansen, "As I left the meeting, Kramer followed me into the parking lot and yelled to me as I got to my car. He got within inches of my face and started yelling about the smoking ban again, and telling me that I needed to listen to him so he could 'educate' me about it. I was shocked. I was the president of the organization he had been invited to speak to and he was screaming at me in the parking lot. I thought he was going to hit me.  It got so bad that one of the male members of the club came over and pulled him away from me. When I got in my car I was trembling."

Bill Kramer is a misogynist. I am convinced that is what is at the root of his sexual assault and harassment problems. He cannot handle a woman being his equal, much less his superior. It is why he touched Kelda Roys inappropriately, so she was put in her place, and why he attempted to turn professional staffers into sexual playthings. Does he have even one respectful, healthy relationship with a woman?"
---
Bill Kramer is whom the Republicans are protecting because Bill Kramer is a Republican.

Wisconsin GOP Expulsion Hypocrisy Outrageous Even for Them

In 2009, State Rep. Jeff Wood (R-2002-08; Independent-2008-2010) was convicted of his third-offense OWI in 20 years and possession of drug paraphernalia.

State Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater) authored a resolution to expel Wood in 2009 that ultimately failed, and Nass demanded Wood be expelled in a hurry before any convictions of Wood's third charge were obtained. Wood was censured in April 2010.

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) (2008-2011) pushed Nass' resolution forward in October 2009, appointing an ethics committee to consider Nass' expulsion resolution.

Nass' resolution reads in part:
Whereas, the Wisconsin Constitution, under article IV, section 8, envisions the need of each house of the legislature to address 'contempt and disorderly behavior. ...

Whereas, continued service by Representative Wood is no longer compatible with his oath of office and the reasonable social norms of expected behavior for a member of the assembly, as he continues to deal with his personal conduct issues that frequently lead to dangerous behaviors that jeopardize his life and the life of innocent citizens; now, therefore, be it


Resolved by the assembly, That Representative Jeffrey Wood is hereby expelled from membership in the Wisconsin state assembly.
What motivated Nass' expulsion resolution: Wood left the Republican Party in 2008 to become an independent.

That Wood had two OWIs in 2001-2002 did not bother Nass when Wood was a member of the Republican Party.

Now, we have sexual predator, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) facing two felony charges of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault/Use of Force this-coming Monday, and Nass, Scott Walker and the Republican State Assembly leadership won't do anything.

Nass, the fake moralist, does not mind sexual felonies, as long as they are perpetrated by Republicans.

Not one word from Nass, and certainly not an expulsion resolution.

Expulsion proceedings for serial sexual predator? Kramer is a Republican you see, so normal rules don't apply.

Or, perhaps sexually assaulting women is not, in Nass' mind, incompatible with his oath of office and the reasonable social norms of expected behavior for a member of the assembly, nor does sexual assault jeopardize the life of innocent citizens

Bill Kramer Retains Top Defense Lawyer, Eduardo M. Borda

"I oppose placing sex offenders in our
communities and helped lead the fight
against the placement of one of
Wisconsin's most violent offenders
in our community," Rep. Bill Kramer
(R-Waukesha) in his 2012 reelection page
.
Sexual predator, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) continues to draw his tax payer-financed salary, health care and pension; Scott Walker and the Republican State Assembly leadership have his back.

That's not enough for Kramer.

Kramer is due in court Monday, and has retained the services of one of a top defense attorneys in Wisconsin, Eduardo M. Borda of Milwaukee.

Walker and Assembly Republicans still refuse to begin expulsion proceedings against the former GOP majority leader, and sitting Wisconsin state representative from Waukesha.

Attorney Borda replaces attorney James Gatzke, who had accused Waukesha officials of improperly releasing city of Muskego police reports on Kramer's alleged sexual assaults.

Wisconsin Town Bureaucrats Block Public Comment on Proposed Open Pit Mine

Kakagon/Bad River Sloughs - Photo Credit: Jim Meeker
Wisconsin municipal citizens and Native Americans concerned about the toxic destruction of habitat from proposed mines like Gogebic Taconite (GTac) are empowered by Wisconsin statute (293.33) to form local impact and joint committees in a display of local democracy at work.

Jeff Ehrhardt, Town of Morse and Bud Benter, Town of Anderson (chair and vice chair respectively of the Joint Mining Impact Committee Meeting) have different ideas about local democracy, seeing their function as running interference for GTac against local citizens concerned about the destruction of the Penokee Hills and the watersheds and wetlands that would be destroyed by the operation and construction of the proposed massive open pit mine.

Ehrhardt and Benter refused public questions from the floor of the April 9 Iron County, and Town of Morse (AAIM) Joint Mining Impact Committee meeting.

"So we hear the Town of Morse  no longer allows questions from the floor about the Penokee mountaintop removal. We are instructed to simply write our comments out and submit them to the mining company for them to answer at their leisure," writes Nick Vander Puy of Iron County in northern Wisconsin.

Vander Puy has more reason to complain than most as he is the target of a bizarre effort by Wisconsin State Sen. Tom Tiffany (Hazelhurst, Wisconsin) to have this environmental activist, Vander Puy arrested for voting on April 1, an effort knocked down as baseless and frivolous by Iron County attorney, Anthony Stella.

Vander Puy and a handful of activists are manning the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) in Iron County to educate the public, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the massive destruction GTac's proposed mine would inflict upon the habitats and environment in Iron and Ashland counties in far-northern Wisconsin, including Lake Superior.
This river would be devastated by the proposed GTac mine in northern Wisconsin.
Photo by Erik Schyvinck at Citizens Concerned about the proposed Penokee Mine

Eagles Back, Signaling Spring

The family of three baby eagles (eaglets) are back in Decorah, Iowa (and all over Wisconsin) and the famous Decorah Eagle-Cam is amassing heavy viewing.

Below is a shot of the family of eagles from early morning, April 11, 2014.

Nature webcams are growing in popularity around the country as Americans increasingly see the eco-systems and habitats under assault or destroyed by energy extraction corporations run by the Koch brothers and Christopher Cline.

Apr 10, 2014

Civil Rights v. Republicans, Time to Choose a Side

President Barack Obama delivers remarks as First Lady Michelle
Obama, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and LBJ Presidential Library
Director Mark Updegrove, listen at right at the LBJ Presidential
Library in Austin, Texas, April 10, 2014. They attended a Civil Rights
Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the
Civil Rights Act.
(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Today, 50 years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, President Obama spoke at the LBJ Presidential Library to honor the work and legacy of our nation’s 36th president.
 

“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we honor the men and women who made it possible,” President Obama said. “We recall the countless unheralded Americans, black and white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers -- whose names are etched not on monuments, but in the hearts of their loved ones, and in the fabric of the country they helped to change.”

“But we also gather here,” President Obama said, “deep in the heart of the state that shaped him, to recall one giant man’s remarkable efforts to make real the promise of our founding:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”’

April 10, 2014

Remarks by the President at LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit

Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library
Austin, Texas

12:16 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Please, please, have a seat.  Thank you. 

What a singular honor it is for me to be here today.  I want to thank, first and foremost, the Johnson family for giving us this opportunity and the graciousness with which Michelle and I have been received. 

We came down a little bit late because we were upstairs looking at some of the exhibits and some of the private offices that were used by President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson.  And Michelle was in particular interested to -- of a recording in which Lady Bird is critiquing President Johnson’s performance.  (Laughter.)  And she said, come, come, you need to listen to this.  (Laughter.)  And she pressed the button and nodded her head.  Some things do not change -- (laughter) -- even 50 years later.

To all the members of Congress, the warriors for justice, the elected officials and community leaders who are here today  -- I want to thank you.

Four days into his sudden presidency -- and the night before he would address a joint session of the Congress in which he once served -- Lyndon Johnson sat around a table with his closest advisors, preparing his remarks to a shattered and grieving nation.

He wanted to call on senators and representatives to pass a civil rights bill -- the most sweeping since Reconstruction.  And most of his staff counseled him against it.  They said it was hopeless; that it would anger powerful Southern Democrats and committee chairmen; that it risked derailing the rest of his domestic agenda.  And one particularly bold aide said he did not believe a President should spend his time and power on lost causes, however worthy they might be.  To which, it is said, President Johnson replied, “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”  (Laughter and applause.)  What the hell’s the presidency for if not to fight for causes you believe in?

Today, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we honor the men and women who made it possible.  Some of them are here today.  We celebrate giants like John Lewis and Andrew Young and Julian Bond.  We recall the countless unheralded Americans, black and white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers -- whose names are etched not on monuments, but in the hearts of their loved ones, and in the fabric of the country they helped to change. 

But we also gather here, deep in the heart of the state that shaped him, to recall one giant man’s remarkable efforts to make real the promise of our founding:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Those of us who have had the singular privilege to hold the office of the Presidency know well that progress in this country can be hard and it can be slow, frustrating and sometimes you’re stymied.  The office humbles you.  You’re reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions made by those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision.

But the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents -- by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates; by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be.

This was President Johnson’s genius.  As a master of politics and the legislative process, he grasped like few others the power of government to bring about change. 

LBJ was nothing if not a realist.  He was well aware that the law alone isn’t enough to change hearts and minds.  A full century after Lincoln’s time, he said, “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

He understood laws couldn’t accomplish everything.  But he also knew that only the law could anchor change, and set hearts and minds on a different course.  And a lot of Americans needed the law’s most basic protections at that time.  As Dr. King said at the time, “It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”  (Applause.)

And passing laws was what LBJ knew how to do.  No one knew politics and no one loved legislating more than President Johnson.  He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required.  (Laughter.)  He could wear you down with logic and argument.  He could horse trade, and he could flatter.  “You come with me on this bill,” he would reportedly tell a key Republican leader from my home state during the fight for the Civil Rights Bill, “and 200 years from now, schoolchildren will know only two names:  Abraham Lincoln and Everett Dirksen!”  (Laughter.)  And he knew that senators would believe things like that.  (Laughter and applause.)

President Johnson liked power.  He liked the feel of it, the wielding of it.  But that hunger was harnessed and redeemed by a deeper understanding of the human condition; by a sympathy for the underdog, for the downtrodden, for the outcast.  And it was a sympathy rooted in his own experience.

As a young boy growing up in the Texas Hill Country, Johnson knew what being poor felt like.  “Poverty was so common,” he would later say, “we didn’t even know it had a name.”  (Laughter.)  The family home didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing.  Everybody worked hard, including the children.  President Johnson had known the metallic taste of hunger; the feel of a mother’s calloused hands, rubbed raw from washing and cleaning and holding a household together.  His cousin Ava remembered sweltering days spent on her hands and knees in the cotton fields, with Lyndon whispering beside her, “Boy, there’s got to be a better way to make a living than this.  There’s got to be a better way.”

It wasn’t until years later when he was teaching at a so-called Mexican school in a tiny town in Texas that he came to understand how much worse the persistent pain of poverty could be for other races in a Jim Crow South.  Oftentimes his students would show up to class hungry.  And when he’d visit their homes, he’d meet fathers who were paid slave wages by the farmers they worked for.  Those children were taught, he would later say, “that the end of life is in a beet row, a spinach field, or a cotton patch.” 

Deprivation and discrimination -- these were not abstractions to Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He knew that poverty and injustice are as inseparable as opportunity and justice are joined.  So that was in him from an early age.

Now, like any of us, he was not a perfect man.  His experiences in rural Texas may have stretched his moral imagination, but he was ambitious, very ambitious, a young man in a hurry to plot his own escape from poverty and to chart his own political career.  And in the Jim Crow South, that meant not challenging convention.  During his first 20 years in Congress, he opposed every civil rights bill that came up for a vote, once calling the push for federal legislation “a farce and a sham.”  He was chosen as a vice presidential nominee in part because of his affinity with, and ability to deliver, that Southern white vote.  And at the beginning of the Kennedy administration, he shared with President Kennedy a caution towards racial controversy. 

But marchers kept marching.  Four little girls were killed in a church.  Bloody Sunday happened.  The winds of change blew.  And when the time came, when LBJ stood in the Oval Office -- I picture him standing there, taking up the entire doorframe, looking out over the South Lawn in a quiet moment -- and asked himself what the true purpose of his office was for, what was the endpoint of his ambitions, he would reach back in his own memory and he’d remember his own experience with want. 

And he knew that he had a unique capacity, as the most powerful white politician from the South, to not merely challenge the convention that had crushed the dreams of so many, but to ultimately dismantle for good the structures of legal segregation.  He’s the only guy who could do it -- and he knew there would be a cost, famously saying the Democratic Party may “have lost the South for a generation.” 

That’s what his presidency was for.  That’s where he meets his moment.  And possessed with an iron will, possessed with those skills that he had honed so many years in Congress, pushed and supported by a movement of those willing to sacrifice everything for their own liberation, President Johnson fought for and argued and horse traded and bullied and persuaded until ultimately he signed the Civil Rights Act into law. 

And he didn’t stop there -- even though his advisors again told him to wait, again told him let the dust settle, let the country absorb this momentous decision.  He shook them off.  “The meat in the coconut,” as President Johnson would put it, was the Voting Rights Act, so he fought for and passed that as well.  Immigration reform came shortly after.  And then, a Fair Housing Act.  And then, a health care law that opponents described as “socialized medicine” that would curtail America’s freedom, but ultimately freed millions of seniors from the fear that illness could rob them of dignity and security in their golden years, which we now know today as Medicare.  (Applause.)

What President Johnson understood was that equality required more than the absence of oppression.  It required the presence of economic opportunity.  He wouldn’t be as eloquent as Dr. King would be in describing that linkage, as Dr. King moved into mobilizing sanitation workers and a poor people’s movement, but he understood that connection because he had lived it.  A decent job, decent wages, health care -- those, too, were civil rights worth fighting for.  An economy where hard work is rewarded and success is shared, that was his goal.  And he knew, as someone who had seen the New Deal transform the landscape of his Texas childhood, who had seen the difference electricity had made because of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the transformation concretely day in and day out in the life of his own family, he understood that government had a role to play in broadening prosperity to all those who would strive for it.

“We want to open the gates to opportunity,” President Johnson said, “But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help they need to walk through those gates.” 

Now, if some of this sounds familiar, it’s because today we remain locked in this same great debate about equality and opportunity, and the role of government in ensuring each.  As was true 50 years ago, there are those who dismiss the Great Society as a failed experiment and an encroachment on liberty; who argue that government has become the true source of all that ails us, and that poverty is due to the moral failings of those who suffer from it.  There are also those who argue, John, that nothing has changed; that racism is so embedded in our DNA that there is no use trying politics -- the game is rigged. 

But such theories ignore history.  Yes, it’s true that, despite laws like the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act and Medicare, our society is still racked with division and poverty.  Yes, race still colors our political debates, and there have been government programs that have fallen short.  In a time when cynicism is too often passed off as wisdom, it’s perhaps easy to conclude that there are limits to change; that we are trapped by our own history; and politics is a fool’s errand, and we’d be better off if we roll back big chunks of LBJ’s legacy, or at least if we don’t put too much of our hope, invest too much of our hope in our government.

I reject such thinking.  (Applause.)  Not just because Medicare and Medicaid have lifted millions from suffering; not just because the poverty rate in this nation would be far worse without food stamps and Head Start and all the Great Society programs that survive to this day.  I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts.  Because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts.  Because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts.  Because I and millions of my generation were in a position to take the baton that he handed to us.  (Applause.)

Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody -- not all at once, but they swung open.  Not just blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability.  They swung open for you, and they swung open for me.  And that’s why I’m standing here today -- because of those efforts, because of that legacy.  (Applause.)

And that means we’ve got a debt to pay.  That means we can’t afford to be cynical.  Half a century later, the laws LBJ passed are now as fundamental to our conception of ourselves and our democracy as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  They are foundational; an essential piece of the American character. 

But we are here today because we know we cannot be complacent.  For history travels not only forwards; history can travel backwards, history can travel sideways.  And securing the gains this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens.  Our rights, our freedoms -- they are not given.  They must be won.  They must be nurtured through struggle and discipline, and persistence and faith. 

And one concern I have sometimes during these moments, the celebration of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the March on Washington -- from a distance, sometimes these commemorations seem inevitable, they seem easy.  All the pain and difficulty and struggle and doubt -- all that is rubbed away.  And we look at ourselves and we say, oh, things are just too different now;  we couldn’t possibly do what was done then -- these giants, what they accomplished.  And yet, they were men and women, too.  It wasn’t easy then.  It wasn’t certain then. 

Still, the story of America is a story of progress.  However slow, however incomplete, however harshly challenged at each point on our journey, however flawed our leaders, however many times we have to take a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf -- the story of America is a story of progress.  And that’s true because of men like President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  (Applause.)

In so many ways, he embodied America, with all our gifts and all our flaws, in all our restlessness and all our big dreams.  This man -- born into poverty, weaned in a world full of racial hatred -- somehow found within himself the ability to connect his experience with the brown child in a small Texas town; the white child in Appalachia; the black child in Watts.  As powerful as he became in that Oval Office, he understood them.  He understood what it meant to be on the outside.  And he believed that their plight was his plight too; that his freedom ultimately was wrapped up in theirs; and that making their lives better was what the hell the presidency was for.  (Applause.)

And those children were on his mind when he strode to the podium that night in the House Chamber, when he called for the vote on the Civil Rights law.  “It never occurred to me,” he said, “in my fondest dreams that I might have the chance to help the sons and daughters of those students” that he had taught so many years ago, “and to help people like them all over this country.  But now I do have that chance.  And I’ll let you in on a secret -- I mean to use it.  And I hope that you will use it with me.”  (Applause.)

That was LBJ’s greatness.  That’s why we remember him.  And if there is one thing that he and this year’s anniversary should teach us, if there’s one lesson I hope that Malia and Sasha and young people everywhere learn from this day, it’s that with enough effort, and enough empathy, and enough perseverance, and enough courage, people who love their country can change it.

In his final year, President Johnson stood on this stage, racked with pain, battered by the controversies of Vietnam, looking far older than his 64 years, and he delivered what would be his final public speech. 

“We have proved that great progress is possible,” he said.  “We know how much still remains to be done.  And if our efforts continue, and if our will is strong, and if our hearts are right, and if courage remains our constant companion, then, my fellow Americans, I am confident, we shall overcome.”  (Applause.)

We shall overcome.  We, the citizens of the United States.  Like Dr. King, like Abraham Lincoln, like countless citizens who have driven this country inexorably forward, President Johnson knew that ours in the end is a story of optimism, a story of achievement and constant striving that is unique upon this Earth.  He knew because he had lived that story.  He believed that together we can build an America that is more fair, more equal, and more free than the one we inherited.  He believed we make our own destiny.  And in part because of him, we must believe it as well.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

END
12:46 P.M. CDT

Bill Kramer Should Not Get Tax Payer-financed Salary, Health Care and Pension

"I oppose placing sex offenders in our
communities and helped lead the fight
against the placement of one of
Wisconsin's most violent offenders
in our community," Rep. Bill Kramer
(R-Waukesha) in his 2012 reelection page
.
No, and sexual predator, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) continues to draw tax payer-financed salary, health care and pension.

Will the Republican Assembly leadership convene a special session to expel sexual predator, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha)?

No.

Will Scott Walker call a special session to expel sexual predator, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha)?

No.

What is wrong with Wisconsin Republicans?

The money they obtain by selling out Wisconsin, with their racism and misogyny unleashed, makes the more pathological of the GOP believe they are entitled to do whatever they want, when they want it, entitling them to commit sexual assault against women of their choosing, whom they constantly dehumanize.

This is why anti-choice measures aimed at Wisconsin women brings a Scott Walker statement, 'I don't have a problem with it.'

Well, has Scott Walker consulted women about what they wish to have inflicted upon their own bodies?

No, they don't know and they don't care, just ask Bill Kramer, if you can find him.

Illinois House Passes Bipartisan Measure Protecting Voters

Wisconsin blocks the vote, right
as Illinois protects the vote
Illinois Vote to Ban Voter Suppression

As Wisconsin's Scott Walker and the GOP enacted a host of anti-voter measures, Illinois' state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to ban voter suppression.

The proposed constitutional measure easily passed the House, 109-5 in a roll call vote, (McKinney. Sun Times), needing three-fifths (71 votes) of the vote to pass. "The intent of this constitutional amendment is to provide in Illinois, constitutionally, that voter-suppression laws would not be permitted," said State Rep. Michael Madigan, (D-Chicago).

The amendment "(p)roposes to amend the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Constitution. Provides that no person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, sex, sexual orientation, or income."

The measure now goes to the Illinois Senate where it is also expected to pass, facing no organized opposition.

In voting rights, Illinois is light years ahead of Wisconsin, where the Republican Party is organized to use every tool at its disposal to obstruct any voter not voting Republican, with only one dissenting GOP legislator, Sen. Dale Schultze (R-Richland Center).

The final step to becoming an Illinois Constitutional amendment is the referendum question facing the people of Illinois on Nov. 4, an expected heavy turn-out affair, featuring the Illinois gubernatorial election.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin which became the latest state to restrict voter access, state Republican Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) condemned his own Republican party for trying to suppress the vote: "I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted." (Sheapeard. Care 2)

Wisconsin could sure use a Constitutional amendment protecting our voters against Republicans such as HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 52.

New Voting Rights Amendment Act Is Worse Than Nothing

Updated-Rick Hasen wants progressives to get agitated for the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA).
(W)here are the public demonstrations to pass this desperately needed fix? Outside the minority community, which is pushing hard for the VRAA, where is the agitation? The voting rights issue seems to have fallen off the radar screen, even though the Roberts court's reasoning in the Shelby County case is just as indefensible as its reasoning in Citizens United and McCutcheon in the campaign finance arena.
Here's why the lack of political action for the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA).

The VRAA sucks.

The VRAA actually enshrines one of the major state voter obstruction laws that Republicans use to obstruct minority voters, among other voters: Voter ID statutes. Moreoever, passage of the VRAA would torpedo many of the legal federal challenges to the GOP voter ID laws.

Nice way to mark 50th anniversary celebration of the Civil Rights Act. Maybe we'll have better luck next year with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Voting Rights Act.

Anniversaries and sentiment are needed, but the Republican Party is forever busy with new schemes, a phenomenon that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was intended to address.

"About one month after the Shelby decision, Republicans in North Carolina pushed through a package of extreme voting restrictions, including ending same-day registration, shortening early voting by a week, requiring photo ID, and ending a program that encourages high schoolers to sign up to vote when they turn 18," writes Dana Liebelson.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 reads: Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973a(c)) is amended by striking ‘‘violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment’’ and inserting ‘‘violations of the 14th or 15th Amendment; violations of this Act (other than a violation of section 2(a) which is based on the imposition of a requirement that an individual provide a photo identification as a condition of receiving a ballot for voting in an election for Federal, State, or local office) ... ."

Hasen wants people to hit the streets for this crap?

 Derick T. Dingle writes, "Legal scholars found the voter ID provision as a gaping hole in the law (HR 3899), avoiding one of the major voter suppression issues of the day."

Hasen writes, "It's about time for Congress to pass some new laws protecting voting rights, and it's high time – right now – for us to dare the supreme court to strike even more of them down."

Maybe if we double-dare the U.S. Supreme Court it will back down from ever disenfranchising Americans again because the five GOP justices really care what the American people think, and they cherish civil rights.

Apr 9, 2014

Racism Thriving, Scott Walker Is Counting on It

Former Madison, Wisconsin Police Chief David Couper has a new piece out in which he writes, "my family is bi-racial. My wife and I adopted two Asian daughters. They are now adult women. As they grew up, I could have written an article similar to (Prof. Christopher E Smith's), 'What I learned about racism by watching my two minority daughters grow up in a liberal Midwest city.'"

Couper refers to what should be Smith's literary sensation shocking the conscience of America, What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son - The 'special tax' on men of color is more than an inconvenience. A father shares his firsthand observations and fears.

Smith writes:
When I heard that my 21-year-old son, a student at Harvard, had been stopped by New York City police on more than one occasion during the brief summer he spent as a Wall Street intern, I was angry. On one occasion, while wearing his best business suit, he was forced to lie face-down on a filthy sidewalk because—well, let’s be honest about it, because of the color of his skin. As an attorney and a college professor who teaches criminal justice classes, I knew that his constitutional rights had been violated. As a parent, I feared for his safety at the hands of the police—a fear that I feel every single day, whether he is in New York or elsewhere.
While the Republicans Party and many racist, vicious police continue their organized campaign against younger people of color, the stories appear to be getting worse every day.

I often walk to the Meadowood shopping center on Madison's far-west side on Raymond Road.

On almost every occasion, I see a white person nervously grab a look or cast a look of askance at a young black man walking by. It seems young black men know better than to walk as a group, or god forbid: Run.

I could have written a similar piece of Smith's about growing up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and the entire Fox Valley for that matter.

Anecdotal, but one gets the distinct impression American white people are becoming increasingly moronic.

Here in Wisconsin without Paul Ryan, the Koch brothers and the Republican Party constantly sounding their racist dog whistles, not to mention obstructing the votes of people of color and that "urban vote", vermin such as Scott Walker would not stand a chance.

Lots of good folks around. I recommend The Advancement Project, the Grio,  and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Expulsion of Bill Kramer Is Simple Affair, Faces Only Republican Opposition

Republicans for reasons only they can fathom maintain their stance against expelling sexual predator, Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha).

Why would Republicans want to protect this low life? They still like the guy, and don't care about his many victims.

So, Kramer remains on the payroll, with healthcare and pension benefits courtesy of the Wisconsin taxpayer.

A simple call to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau reveals the process to expel the sexual predator, despoiling a capitol already polluted with Republican corruption.

I realize that Republican legislators take orders from rightwing think tanks and GOP big-money contributors, so for the edification of the Republican leadership:

Joint Rule 12(2)(b) – Required Vote Total
(b) Two-thirds of all the members elected to that house in which the member serves are necessary to approve the expulsion of a member under section 8 of Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution

Assembly Rule 21 – Special Ethics Committee
Assembly Rule 21. Ethics and standards of conduct, special committee on.
(1) Any resolution to reprimand, censure, or expel an officer or member of the assembly shall be referred to a special committee on ethics and standards of conduct, convened for the purpose of holding one or more public hearings on the resolution and submitting the committee's recommendation to the assembly. The special committee shall consist of 3 members of the majority party and 3 members of the minority party, appointed as are the members of standing committees.
(2) The hearing shall be scheduled as soon as possible, allowing reasonable time to ascertain the facts of the controversy, to furnish a copy of the detailed written charges to the officer or member cited, and to permit that person to prepare a proper defense.
(3) At the hearing, the officer or member cited may have the advice of counsel, may offer testimony to mitigate or refute the charges, and may cross-examine any witness testifying in support of the charges.
(4) With the consent of the officer or member cited, the committee may vote to close parts of the hearing to the public.
(5) Promptly after the conclusion of the hearing, the committee shall return the resolution to the assembly together with a written report containing the committee's recommendation for action on the resolution.
(6) Following assembly action on the committee's report, by adoption or rejection of the resolution, referral of the resolution to a standing committee, or return of the resolution to its primary author, the special committee on ethics and standards of conduct is discharged.

Assembly Rule 43(3) – Privileged Resolutions
Assembly Rule 43. Privileged resolutions.
(1) Any resolution or joint resolution relating to the officers, members, former members, procedures, or organization of the assembly or legislature is privileged in that it may be offered under any order of business by a member who has the floor and may be taken up immediately before all other proposals, unless referred by the presiding officer to a standing committee or to the calendar.
(2) Any resolution subject to rule 89 that is referred to the calendar shall be taken up on the 8th order of business on the 2nd legislative day after it is offered notwithstanding the existence of any unfinished calendars.
(3) Any resolution to reprimand, censure, or expel an officer or member of the assembly shall identify the charges against the officer or member cited and shall be referred to the committee on ethics and standards of conduct for review under rule 21.

Gtac's Proposed Mine in Wisconsin Faces High Legal and Political Hurdles

Getches, Wilkinson, Williams and Fletcher's
Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law
Wisconsin citizens feeling distraught that the proposed massive GTac open-pit iron ore mine is a fait accompli can take solace the rule of law still exists, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still protect our environment and our waters from the billionaire rapists of the land and water, the Koch brothers and Christopher Cline.

This pristine land that GTac wishes to obliterate also faces federal Native American Treaty law, trumping the racism of small segments of the population in Iron and Ashland counties in northern Wisconsin.

Noted Charles WilkersonDistinguished Professor, Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, last summer:
This iron mine complex cannot go ahead without a full analysis of the treaty rights of the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) band. More than a century and a half ago, the LCO negotiated treaties that guaranteed tribal members the right to hunt and fish on their former lands. The transfer of those lands by the tribes has been of great benefit to the non-Indians of northern Wisconsin but the courts have squarely recognized that, in return, those promises must be honored.
While Wisconsin Republicans like Scott Walker with their hands thrust out to billionaires are padding their campaign chests, it is increasingly likely that popular opposition, Native American activism and the rule of law will spell defeat to the anti-social forces and underground movements threatening the physical fabric, the eco-system and democracy of our country,

From a March 25, 2014 EPA press release:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) today jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act. The agencies are launching a robust outreach effort over the next 90 days, holding discussions around the country and gathering input needed to shape a final rule.

Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. For nearly a decade, members of Congress, state and local officials, industry, agriculture, environmental groups, and the public asked for a rulemaking to provide clarity.

The proposed rule clarifies protection for streams and wetlands. The proposed definitions of waters will apply to all Clean Water Act programs. It does not protect any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act and is consistent with the Supreme Court’s more narrow reading of Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

“We are clarifying protection for the upstream waters that are absolutely vital to downstream communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Clean water is essential to every single American, from families who rely on safe places to swim and healthy fish to eat, to farmers who need abundant and reliable sources of water to grow their crops, to hunters and fishermen who depend on healthy waters for recreation and their work, and to businesses that need a steady supply of water for operations.”

"America's waters and wetlands are valuable resources that must be protected today and for future generations,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. “Today's rulemaking will better protect our aquatic resources, by strengthening the consistency, predictability, and transparency of our jurisdictional determinations. The rule's clarifications will result in a better public service nationwide."

The health of rivers, lakes, bays, and coastal waters depend on the streams and wetlands where they begin. Streams and wetlands provide many benefits to communities – they trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. They are also economic drivers because of their role in fishing, hunting, agriculture, recreation, energy, and manufacturing.

About 60 percent of stream miles in the U.S. only flow seasonally or after rain, but have a considerable impact on the downstream waters. And approximately 117 million people – one in three Americans – get drinking water from public systems that rely in part on these streams. These are important waterways for which EPA and the Army Corps is clarifying protection.

Specifically, the proposed rule clarifies that under the Clean Water Act and based on the science:

· Most seasonal and rain-dependent streams are protected.
· Wetlands near rivers and streams are protected.
· Other types of waters may have more uncertain connections with downstream water and protection will be evaluated through a case specific analysis of whether the connection is or is not significant.

However, to provide more certainty, the proposal requests comment on options protecting similarly situated waters in certain geographic areas or adding to the categories of waters protected without case specific analysis.  The proposed rule preserves the Clean Water Act exemptions and exclusions for agriculture. Additionally, EPA and the Army Corps have coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop an interpretive rule to ensure that 56 specific conservation practices that protect or improve water quality will not be subject to Section 404 dredged or fill permitting requirements. The agencies will work together to implement these new exemptions and periodically review, and update USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practice standards and activities that would qualify under the exemption. Any agriculture activity that does not result in the discharge of a pollutant to waters of the U.S. still does not require a permit.

The proposed rule also helps states and tribes – according to a study by the Environmental Law Institute, 36 states have legal limitations on their ability to fully protect waters that aren’t covered by the Clean Water Act.

The proposed rule is supported by the latest peer-reviewed science, including a draft scientific assessment by EPA, which presents a review and synthesis of more than 1,000 pieces of scientific literature. The rule will not be finalized until the final version of this scientific assessment is complete.

Forty years ago, two-thirds of America’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters were unsafe for fishing and swimming. Because of the Clean Water Act, that number has been cut in half. However, one-third of the nation’s waters still do not meet standards.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. The interpretive rule for agricultural activities is effective immediately.

Rachel Maddow Blasts Wisconsin Republicans, Bill Kramer in Lede Segment

Sex crime scandal exacerbated by GOP insider silence
Rachel Maddow reports on the burgeoning sexual crime scandal made more outrageous by the mishandling of a police report and the silence of high level politicians such as U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) who allowed a man with serious criminal allegations against him, Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha), to ascend in the political ranks of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Kramer makes a court appearance Monday morning, April 14, to face two counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault/Use of Force, but this lurid scandal of sexual criminality and complicit silence by the Wisconsin Republican leadership is now a national political story out of control, and a shame to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

We thank Rachel Maddow for last night's segment on Wisconsin Republicans and their protection of serial sexual predator, Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) whom Republicans are shielding, still refusing to commence expulsion proceedings against Kramer.

This is today's Republican Party; and it's ugly, shameful and complicit before and after the fact in the sexual assaults against women, after which the Republicans made the perpetrator, Bill Kramer, their State Assembly majority leader.

"Bill has fought for the citizens ... and worked to ensure safe communities," reads Kramer's 2012 reelection site. Right. "I oppose placing sex offenders in our communities and helped lead the fight against the placement of one of Wisconsin's most violent offenders in our community," also said  Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) in his 2012 reelection webpage.

"Kramer, a Certified Financial Planner © and Duke University School of Law graduate, was first elected to the State Assembly in 2006. He is Owner and President of Kramer Financial Management, a financial services firm specializing in helping families and seniors with their long-term financial planning needs," Kramer's site reads.

Kramer's own long-term financial planning needs are to become paramount after he makes restitution to his many sexual assault and sexual harassment victims.

Like so many other Republicans, you give Kramer some money from special interests, a Party title, and he thinks he can do anything he likes, no matter how repulsive and no matter who gets hurt.

Apr 8, 2014

Wisconsin's Bill Kramer: 'I oppose placing sex offenders in our communities'

"I oppose placing sex offenders in our communities and helped lead the fight against the placement of one of Wisconsin's most violent offenders in our community," says Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) is 2012 reelection webpage.

So, where is this sexual predator going to live?

Scott Walker threatens to call a special session of the state legislature to enact a new photo voter ID law to obstruct Wisconsin voters.

But Walker won't call a special session and urge the expulsion of sexual predator, Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha), Walker's political ally.

Republicans leaders could announce their intention to begin expulsion proceedings tomorrow.

Republicans lack only the will and decency.

Here's what the Wisconsin Constitution has to say on expelling legislators like Kramer.

ARTICLE IV
Rules; contempts; expulsion.
Section 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt and disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same cause.
Courts have no jurisdiction to review legislative rules of proceeding, which are those rules having "to do with the process the legislature uses to propose or pass legislation or how it determines the qualifications of its members." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. DOA, 2009 WI 79, 319 Wis. 2d 439, 768 N.W.2d 700, 07-1160.
Bill Kramer and Scott Walker, Republicans allies and friends forever.
Assembly majority leader (stripped of leader title and nothing else) and governor
have covered for each other since 2011, continuing today.

Graphic Police Report Fails to Move Wisconsin GOP on Sexual Predator; Remains Sitting Legislator

Another repulsive GOP mess
Wisconsin Republican State Rep. and sexual predator's lawyer says Democrats demanding Bill Kramer's resignation should be "ashamed." Seriously.

Serial sexual predator State Rep. Bill Kramer's (R-Waukesha) attorney lashed back at Wisconsin Democrats demanding Kramer's resignation in the wake of a flurry of reports of criminal sexual assaults, serial sexual harassment and the release of a graphic police report and criminal complaint obtained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Republican Assembly leaders who control the legislative body refuse to begin expulsion proceedings, but have made calls for Kramer to resign.

Reports Mary Spicuzza in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Jim Gatzke, Kramer's attorney, on Monday accused [Democrats] of being in "campaign mode," and said they should be ashamed of themselves.

"The level of ignorance coming from individuals were are supposed to be the legislative voice of this state is staggering. Each and every one of the signatories of these documents took an oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of Wisconsin, yet they are each prepared to deny a basic Constitutional protection, the right to due process, to Bill Kramer," Gatzke said in an email. "The political discourse in this state has declined to the point that politicians on both sides of the aisle are prepared to cast aside an individual’s basic rights in order to exact political revenge or score political points. They should be ashamed of themselves."
No word from Attorney Gatzke if he feels his client, the former Republican majority leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly ought to be feeling "ashamed" and remorseful.

Apparently Gatzke does not realize the Wisconsin State Assembly is not a Court of Law, but rather a legislative body, a distinction that perhaps eludes attorney Gatzke in his zeal to defend his client, sexual predator Bill Kramer.

Nor does Gatzke appear to realize leaders of both parties have called for Kramer's immediate resignation.

Wonder how much Gatzke is charging Kramer per hour, in any event Wisconsin tax payers are footing Gatzke's legal fees, as Kramer remains the state representative from the 97th Assembly District of Wisconsin.

From the Waukesha County criminal complaint dated March 28, 2014 containing elements of the City of Muskego police criminal report of one incident by Kramer in 2011:
... The defendant (Kramer) immediately locked the car doors and aggressively leaned into her, crossing the center console with his body and grabbed her left shoulder in a hard manner with his right hand. The defendant stated "I want to fuck you, I wanted to for a long time. I know you want it too. I want to get into your pants. I want to touch your pussy." D.R. [name of victims is shielded] indicates that the defendant again forcibly kissed her in the mouth and pulled her top away from her chest trying to look at her exposed breasts. He then grabbed and touched her groin over her clothes. ...
Maybe the Republican political party that asserts it knows what's best for women's health and reproductive choice, that wants to control women's bodies against their will, also knows what women want during criminal sexual assaults, as Kramer asserted during his attack.

Below is one excerpt from, page 2 of the criminal complaint: