Showing posts with label Scott Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Walker. Show all posts

May 6, 2014

Mary Burke—Sign of the Times for Wisconsin

Mary Burke campaigns
from an undisclosed
location
Update II: Graeme Jonathan Zielinski, the most inept political operative since ... Mike Tate, argues that Wisconsin political headquarters are inviolate and off-limits to passersby (Facebook). Since when? Zielinske goes on to say only field offices are accessible to the public, though Zielinske fails to notice there are no field offices listed in Burke's campaign website.

Update: A reader comments, "If this is Mary Burke's idea of transparency and openness, why the hell should we even consider electing her as governor?"
---
"There were, into the month of May (2014), no signs in the front windows of Mary Burke’s campaign office across the street from the state Capitol in Madison, nothing to broadcast her name to the many people passing by," reports Bill Lueders in Wisconsin Watch.

Lueders underplays his lede.

Ms. Burke's campaign is in worse shape.

I phoned Burke's campaign office this morning located somewhere on the Capitol square, and the phone was answered by a woman named Lizzie, who identified herself as the office manager.

I wanted to confirm Lueders' fact about no signs being in Burke's Madison campaign offices.

Sure enough, Lueders is correct.

I asked Lizzie for the street address of Burke for Governor on the square.

"Is this a particular reason you would like to come to our office," replied Lizzie.

"Due respect, that's my business," I replied.

Lizzie explained that the Mary Burke headquarters' Madison address is "confidential" information.

"Why," I replied.

Lizzie explained that Burke staffers are fearful of "disruptive" visitors, and "we're trying to limit that."

What if passersby on the Capitol square just want to drop by. Lizzie explained that they cannot, and the location remains undisclosed, hence no signs in the windows.

Bill Lueders continues in his piece:

"That’s an odd missed opportunity (no signs) for a candidate struggling to make herself known. A Marquette Law School poll in March found that an astonishing 59 percent of respondents did not have either a favorable or unfavorable impression of Burke," Lueders concludes.

Yes, secret headquarters and no signs are odd for a political candidate.

This is also emblematic for the Burke campaign running for statewide office against an incumbent who has been running for the governor's office since 2002, often illegally from a public office. Emblematic of incompetence by Burke.

Missed opportunities, yes.

But it is Mary Burke's failure to engage the Wisconsin public in almost a mirror image of Scott Walker's campaign that will underscore the bad news for Wisconsin in November when Walker is reelected.

It is Burke's contempt for retail campaigning and the Wisconsin people that demonstrates that though she would not be Scott Walker, well that's all Burke shows.

I visited Scott Walker's website looking for a phone number to see if Walker keeps his reelection headquarters a secret. No luck there, no contact info.

In 2012, Scott Walker kept his campaign headquarters location a secret, using roughly the same justification that the Burke campaign espouses.

Alleigh Marré, press secretary of the Walker campaign, contacted by phone says the campaign keeps its headquarters secret as well, though Ms. Marré allows the headquarters is in Madison.

She said "field offices" opening soon across the state will be the locations where voters can get literature and bumper stickers for example, in person, or just drop by.

Now, Wisconsin is no longer Iowa with retail campaigning still of paramount importance.

But I thought we were better than this.

The days of dropping by the offices of candidates for political office; browsing the campaign literature; maybe picking up a bumper sticker, or catching the candidate in person and exchanging pleasantries and expressing concerns appear to waning in Wisconsin.

Mar 14, 2014

Scott Walker v. Mary Burke—Forfeited by Ms. Burke and the Loser Is Wisconsin

Horse Latitudes - Wisconsin,
you're the horses
Mary Burke has the same chance of being elected governor of Wisconsin as Scott Walker does of becoming the next president of the United States.

I wish to thank Ms. Burke for sticking Wisconsin with Scott Walker for another four years; appreciate this, extraordinary work from the campaign that can't shoot straight.

As anti-citizen bill after anti-citizen bill wafts from the GOP-dominated Wisconsin legislature, Mary Burke decided the prudent communications strategy to employ is that used by Sen. Michael Ellis (R-Neenah), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Scott Walker: Go dark, be silent and hope no one notices.

Brilliant. I had never even considered doing nothing as a winning game plan.

Yet, the reasoning behind the Burke campaign's lack of action appears unsound.

Of course, there is an opposing view on campaign communications.

For example, when Republicans and only Republicans attack voting (Senate Bill 324) a candidate could actually point this out, repeatedly.

[Note to Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), there is still time to get on the ballot for governor, if only to light the equivalent of a white phosphorus grenade under the Burke campaign's collective ass. (This is a metaphor—met·a·phor [ méttə fàwr ]—for the benefit of the Burke communications team.)]

Another example of Republican chicanery of the most foul, that surely penetrated the brains in the Burke campaign are Senate Bill 300 and Senate Bill 13.

SB 300 helps cancer victims and their families get affordable chemo treatments and is being blocked in the Senate by Republicans after being unanimously passed by the Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing in late January.

Silence emanates from the Burke campaign on SB 300 though likely not because Scott Walker and Republicans get loads of money from the health insurance, finance and real estate industry.

Nationally, this anti-democratic sector gave $129,843,765 to federal candidates since 1990, and is trending Republican fast. Walker's take from the insurance industry and finance sector is well into the $ millions.

Burke's reasoning here is unclear.

Then there's Senate Bill 13 (Senate Substitute Amendment SA1-AB19) that blocks veterans, veterans!, and other cancer victims suffering from Mesothelioma.

Senate Bill 13 passed without comment from Burke.

The thing with cancer survivors and the people who die from it is that cancer—Mesothelioma, Leukemia and too many to list—this condition, this trauma, is what high-priced political consultants and political scientists refer to as: Really bad.

Comforting and pitching in to help a family member or friend dying from cancer is the type of experience that resonates with people, as would the unbelievably callous actions of Republicans and the health insurance industry, if so noted.

Check with your political consultants on this one, Ms. Burke; nevermind, I guess that time has passed.

Mar 12, 2014

Republican Effort to Disenfranchise 100,000s of Wisconsin Voters Began in 2011

Scott Walker's convicted top aides and friends are likely
cheering on Walker and Republicans today.
In 2011, Scott Walker and the Republicans shortened the Wisconsin early voting period by some 18 days, passing Act 23 that limited early voting for all towns, villages and cities to only 12 days. 

Before Act 23, in-person, absentee (early voting) could start when the ballots were printed and clerks received them, providing as many as 30 days of early voting.

Republicans also eliminated early voting on the weekend directly preceding election day in Act 23, passed with sole Republican support.

Now, Republicans today, passed a "bill (that limits) 'early voting' to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday leading up to an election. A municipality would also be limited to 45 hours per week of accepting the in-person absentee ballots," reports Quorum Call.

Republicans in 2011 also extended the residency requirement for voters from ten to 28 days, suppressing the votes of citizens who have recently moved.

Republicans in 2011 also cut the time period allowed for absentee ballots to be cast from 30 days before elections to 14 days.

Republicans' voter ID law, Act 23, has been found to be unconstitutional and is under judicial deliberation in state and federal court.

Now, a host of anti-voting bills is being considered because of the fear Republicans have of voters casting votes. Inaccurately described as preventing voter fraud, these bills are designed to suppress the democratic right of citizens to vote.

No doubt Scott Walker's former staff and close aides, Tim Russell (who embezzled from veterans) and Kelly Rindfleisch (who committed misconduct in the public office held by Scott Walker) are cheering Walker and the Republicans on.

By the way, Mary Burke, you can comment on these matters. If you don't, what does that say about your commitment to defending the constitution? Hello, Mary, Mary?

Wisconsin Republicans Target Veterans and Voters Today

Update III: GOP shafts veterans again. "Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, said the bill presumes that 'somehow the corporations are the victims here, and not the men and women who were willing to put the lives on the line for their country.'" (Quorum Call)

Update II: Republicans slash early voting, no weekend voting, no night voting.

Update: To keep abreast of developments on how Republicans aim to diminish Wisconsin democracy and injure our veterans suffering from Mesothelioma cancer, check out Quorum Call or Wisconsin Eye.

The Republican, gerrymandered legislature is targeting voters and veterans today.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald say he "hates" his colleagues' anti-veterans bill (Wisconsin Senate Bill 13) hurting veterans, therefore he is supporting this anti-veterans bill because "it's just something that has to be done."

This has to be done because the insurance industry, the Koch brothers and other special interests want this done.

Fitzgerald's powers of logic are on a par with our dumb governor Walker.

"Every vets group oppose this bill because it's unfair to vets," said Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), notes Quorum Call.

Fitzgerald and the Republicans should reject the money they get from special interests supporting this anti-veterans bill, and instead take a heap of asbestos and breathe in deeply, sharing the remainder with the whole Republican caucus except Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center).

Republicans know much of what they will pass is unconstitutional. So, they are also trying to corrupt the judicial process.

Republicans last month took up Senate Bill 154 [replaced by a vague SENATE SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1, TO ASSEMBLY BILL 161 that is now passed by the legislature] reading in part:

"If a circuit court or a court of appeals enters an injunction, a restraining order, or any other final or interlocutory order suspending or restraining the enforcement of any statute of this state, the injunction, restraining order, or other final or interlocutory order is immediately appealable as a matter of right."

What if a Court orders a trial and temporary restraining order on a GOP-passed statute like Dane County Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan did in March 2012 on Scott Walker's unconstitutional photo voter ID law?

Injured Wisconsin citizens get no day in court while an unconstitutional law inflicts damage?

What exactly do Republicans fear from the rule of law, and voters?

Mar 11, 2014

In Nation's Most Segregated Urban Region, Scott Walker, GOP Fan Flames of Racial Violence

Racist T-shirts sold in Milwaukee at the "Republicans
for Wisconsin" booth at the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair
Update: Republicans pass voter "suppression effort" mandating poll workers "from those outside a community to dictate how elections are run," reports Quorum Call. Republicans inflict another hit on local control, and insult and inflame the African-American communities in Milwaukee and other urban centers.
---
Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans know their objectives in their anti-voter election bills in the state legislature.

It's not only about rigging elections.

Walker and the GOP want to use the nation's most segregated urban area and pass legislation that will plant white election inspectors and obnoxious white election observers from out of the African-American wards in a terribly irresponsible and reprehensible effort to promote violence, confusion and chaos at the polls on election day.

This is what Republicans spend their time doing, Senate Bill 20.

State Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) said Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) "hates blacks and Latinos" on the floor of the Wisconsin state senate. (Quorum Call. WisPolitics)

Yes. What Walker and the Republicans are doing is sociopathic and certainly hateful.

Carpenter was referring to Senate Bill 20, an opportunity to provoke Milwaukee African-Americans and, Republicans hope, infuse some chaos on election day, a situation that they hope to achieve by repealing early voting, ("push(ed) off (for) a final vote on the measure until (Wednesday)").

The Republicans' I hate you, blacks is intended to met in turn.

It's not enough that the GOP's Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine has already given license for racist whites to kill young black kids, for example Bo Morrision of Slinger, Wisconsin shot and killed by a white racist protected by the Castle Doctrine in 2012. You can bet Scott Walker cried no tears for young Mr. Morrison.

Walker surrounds himself with racists, all getting laughs from racist jokes told among this tight group.

There will be black observers in Milwaukee on election day, as well civil rights workers from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to help keep the peace in the face of white racists brought in by Walker.

There should not have to be.

This is 2014 Wisconsin, not 1966 Alabama:
Nor had violence disappeared as a form of political intimidation (after the Voting Rights Act of 1965). Poll watcher Andrew Jones, a quiet man who was passionate about voting, was struck in the back of the head while on duty in Fort Deposit, (Alabama) Klan bastion [in Lowndes County as, known "Bloody Lowndes" because of the lynchings, and other murders of blacks]. Stokeley Carmichael went ballistic and, with a California friend named Huey Newton, organized a group of armed blacks to search for Jones's attacker. But they never found him. [(Frye Gaillard, "Notes and Quotes: The Interview for Cradle of Freedom, 2000-2002," 45, Frye Gallillard Papers, Alabama State University; Southern Courier, November 12-13, 1966, 2. Cited in (Bending Toward Justice - The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy (Gary May. Basic Books; 2013; p.233) ]

Scott Walker and Racist GOP Fear Voters; Impede Voting Again

Update: Debating Republicans who want to install election officials to harass African-Americans and Latinos, Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) said Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) "hates blacks and Latinos" on the floor of the Wisconsin state senate. (Quorum Call. WisPolitics)That's a fact; Republicans today are racists and depend on racism as a major electoral tool. See, for example, Scott Walker and his staff joking about blacks, Jews and gays.

Against every community of interest except the Republican Party, the Wisconsin state senate is posed to pass along partisan lines a bunch of bills making it harder to vote.

The election of Scott Walker proved people don't matter, Republicans believe; but they want to make certain.

AP writer, Scott Bauer, reports that "Gov. Scott Walker signaled Tuesday that he was open to signing a bill that would limit early voting, including disallowing it on weekends in the two weeks leading up to an election."

Bauer writes:

When asked about the early voting bill following a Wisconsin Bankers Association event, Walker said that it wasn't on his radar yet but he would 'take a look at it' once it clears the Legislature.

'We've got a whole stack of things to look at when they pass through both houses,' Walker said.
Scott Walker is lying as usual. He knows perfectly well what's coming his way.

Walker has threatened to call a special session after Wisconsin's photo voter ID is declared unconstitutional in state and federal court, as is expected.

Walker does not want unfettered access to the polls for Wisconsin citizens disinclined to vote for him in November.

The anti-early voting bill, Senate Bill 324, may pass but don't fret, singling out cities to destroy the votes of those who live in cities is likely to be ruled unconstitutional.

Like restrictive, new qualifications for voting like the GOP's Voter ID, these anti-voting efforts have a way of blowing back on the Republicans.

You're Old and Want to Vote—the GOP Wants to Harass and Stop You

Updated - "For those with a taste for irony, Tuesday’s session of the Wisconsin state Senate will be a rich feast."

A chamber that has again and again tried to take steps to make it easier for rich people and out-of-state corporations to influence politics with their money will consider making it harder for working Wisconsinites to vote." (Nichols. The Capital Times)

Used to be the younger Wisconsin generations showed respect and helped retired folks, elderly folks and especially veterans.

Wisconsin citizens still do, but not the Republican Party that wants to throw barrier after barrier just to make it more difficult for retired folks to vote.

Take a look at Assembly Bill 396—introduced, sponsored and voted for only by Republicans—a GOP effort to make harder to vote; just as the GOP did in its effort to cut early voting, expected to be voted on in the Senate today.

Used to be village and town clerks could send election inspectors out to community-based residential facilities, retirement home, and adult family homes to help folks vote.

Now, the Republicans are targeting this reaching out to help people because the Republican Party doesn't fare well in institutions where people gather to help each other.

The text of AB 396 is so laden with redacted words and paragraphs it looks like rebar before the concrete is poured.

That's because the GOP's AB 396 mandates partisan observers and a host of other rules controlling how municipal election officials are able to facilitate the franchise for the very people who have given the most to our state.

This Republican stunt stinks, as does every other GOP effort to impede voting.

Republicans won't be happy until they are assured only people who vote Republican are able to cast votes.

Mar 10, 2014

GOP Going All-out to Block Wisconsin Voting‏

Sen. Frank Lasee is not working for you
Update: AB 396 passes on an 17-16 vote, with Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) joining the pro-democracy Democrats.

Update: Look for a constitutional challenge to many of these anti-voting initiatives, for example AB 396: restricting absentee voting by residents of certain adult-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities by placing unnecessary and burdensome notice requirements prior to the absentee voting process. These anti-voting bills would target and destroy the right to vote of discrete segments of the population in, for example, Agrace HospiceCare of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Dying of Agent Orange, huh, well you can't vote!

On March 11, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin state senate is set to consider a raft of bills aimed at impeding Wisconsin voters, consumers, and victims of poison and other toxic agents.

Who are the Republicans working for? Not us.

From the AFL-CIO:

Voting rights are under attack in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin State Senate is getting ready to vote on multiple anti-democracy and voter suppression bills on Tuesday, March 11. These bills will promote ‘pay to play’ politics, deny citizens’ access to the ballot and make it more difficult for people to register to vote.

Also, up for a vote on Tuesday are changes to the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex (SB 565). This bill would remove local control over a local institution, a notion that runs afoul to fundamental democratic principles and should frighten communities across the state. 

Republicans in the state legislature are trying to ram these bills through as quickly as possible in the final days of session. Contact your legislator today in opposition of these bills

Anti-democracy bills that will expected to go to vote on Tuesday, March 11 as of March 10, 2014 include:

•    SB 324: Limits early voting hours allowed by municipalities and removes the option of weekend and evening voting leading up to Election Day.  This would end convenient opportunities for working people, the elderly and the disabled to vote prior to Election Day. 

•    SB 267:  Places additional burdens on people who wish to register early and on the municipal clerks who register them by demanding certain documents as proof of residence and that the clerks record 2 or 4 digits of the document account number on voter registration forms. It amounts to an unnecessary hurdle for both voters and clerks.

•     SB 655: Pay to Play Politics -- allows lobbyists to donate to politicians during election years even if session is ongoing.  This allows lobbyist more time to bribe elected officials and unduly influence state policy. 

•     AB 396: Restricts absentee voting by residents of certain adult-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities by placing unnecessary and burdensome notice requirements prior to the absentee voting process. In addition, all voting at certain adult-care facilities must occur in the presence of 2 election officials, one from each political party. Further, if some residents in an assisted living facility vote absentee at the facility, then all residents must vote by absentee at the facility and are disallowed from voting in the clerk's office or by absentee mail ballot.

*Sen. Grothman has introduced an outrageous bill to end same day voter registration in Wisconsin!   Allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day makes our democracy strong and accessible.  People who work for a living, move frequently or are voting for the first time can find it burdensome to register to vote prior to Election Day.  In Wisconsin, we have a proud tradition of welcoming all citizens to participate in our democracy.  Sen. Grothman’s attempt to control the electorate and limit the voting population is transparent and disgusting. 

Update on Local Living Wage Preemption:  This bill stalled in the state Senate last week with Sen. Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) stating it is “unlikely that it will move through the Senate.” However, Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) has said he and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) will continue to lobby fellow legislators for support adding that, “in the Legislature you never count on something being dead until session is actually complete.”

There is still time to make your voice heard.  Contact your legislator today in support of voting rights and democracy!

Mar 9, 2014

Scott Walker's War against Local Control in Wisconsin Drawing Flak

Mining monster, GTac's Bill Williams is seen here leaving
the Wisconsin Assembly on January 26, 2012, the evening
that the first mining bill GTac authored, AB426,
was pushed through, behind the locked doors so
ordered by Rep. Bill Kramer (R-ALEC).
Photo by Rebecca Kemble
Discussing Scott Walker and what his Republican Party are trying to inflict onto Wisconsin this week, it's worth noting Walker has too much baggage and to be candid is too dumb to become the Republican Party's 2016 nominee for president.

These marks against Walker, however, do not disqualify him in his re-election bid for governor of Wisconsin—a fact that can get residents down somewhat on occasion.

There is one titanic issue in a democracy beyond Walker's jobs failure and Walker's stunning lack of character that spells defeat in November if only the presumptive Democratic Party challenger's campaign will fire the bullets in a near-constant stream: Walker's attack on local control.

Note the Wisconsin Republican Party is hierarchical and authoritarian in the way it runs its operation.

When Scott Walker evades and pretends he has no idea what the Republicans in the legislature are doing, Walker is lying.

Ask outgoing Wisconsin state senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center, Wisconsin) how Republicans react when one Republican does not get on board with the decisions made by the special interests funding the Party.

"When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore? You just sit there and take votes and you’re kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money," said Schultz in an important piece in the Madison Capital Times, (Jack Craver. "The Last Moderate ...") last August when speculation ran that Schultz could not longer function in the Republican-controlled state legislature and be obedient to special interests.

These same special interests are after Wisconsin's natural resources and they brook no dissent, certainly not from Wisconsin towns, villages and other units of local control.

Wisconsin towns are worried about kids and the elderly breathing in crystalline silica from frac sand mines and processing plants; tell it to someone cares, people.

Republicans, led by state Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R-Hazelhurst, Wisconsin), are voting on legislation preventing Wisconsin towns and other municipalities from saying 'No.' This means no instituting safety rules, and this means invalidating existing rules in Wisconsin Senate Bill 632 and Assembly Bill 816. Local communities deserve no say in these matters, Wisconsin Republicans believe.

This same Republican aversion to local control applies to community living wage ordinances, community protection for tenants, community early voting for local residents, the infamous Act 10 outlawing public unions' working with local communities, ending "local residency rules statewide for all units of local government" (Don Walker. MJS), ending local control over water bill, and even the Wisconsin people's access to water inscribed in the Wisconsin Constitution as Article IX, "The Public Trust Doctrine."

One can go on and on. Mary Burke, Scott Walker's opponent for governor, should.


Mar 8, 2014

Sen. Frank Lasee Changes Vote—Wisconsin GOP Attacks Early Voting; Floor Vote on March 11

Sen. Frank Lasee switched his vote;
now backs GOP bill to block voters

Constitutional challenge likely on GOP effort to impede the right to vote for voters living in high-population municipalities. Targeted obstruction of voters remains illegal.

Updated: Sen. Frank Lasee's (R-De Pere) office can be reached at: (608) 266-3512. Lasee claims he is honored to serve his constituents as state senator for Wisconsin senate District One. Give Lasee a call and ask why he wants to make voting more difficult.

Wonder if this attempt to rig election for Republicans is on Scott Walker's "radar." Walker likes to pretend he has no idea what Wisconsin legislative Republicans are doing.

A reader here advises that Lasee's original objection to the bill in committee was based on Lasee's insistence that observers be allowed to be stationed at municipal clerks' offices during early voting hours. GOP observers frequently harass voters and voting officials, a practice that has not gone unnoted by poll workers.
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Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) voted 'No' on a bill attacking early voting in the Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs earlier this year, defeating the anti-voting measure in committee.

The GOP bill that Lasee voted against would limit early voting in all municipal clerks' offices around the state to only weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Now, Lasee changed his vote in committee late Friday on an amended bill, Senate Bill 324, with no explanation for his constituents for his vote for an amended bill that bans early voting on weeknights and weekends, and limits early voting to 45 hours a week.

The amended bill limits early voting in all municipal clerks' offices around the state to only weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 7 p.m.

We know why Lasee changed his vote of course; to help Republicans keep people from voting in high turn-out, statewide elections that Republicans tend to lose.

Everyone, and I mean everyone expected Lasee to cave to the Republican Party over his constituents, Lasee is up for reelection in 2014 and the first-term senator is a noted GOP flunky.

A February Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial blasting the GOP bill after the committee defeat reads, "This partisan, anti-democratic bill is far from dead, and we wouldn't be surprised if Republicans try to push it forward before the end of the session. ... municipalities have large numbers of voters, and it makes sense for them to make it as easy as possible for citizens to vote. That should be something everyone can support. Early voting reduces congestion at the polls on election day. We favor extending this important democratic franchise to as many people as possible. If longer hours during the election season help to promote voting, that's a good thing."

After Lasee's earlier 'No' vote, the GOP attack on early voting—most people think Lasee mistakenly voted No on the bill in committee at first because Lasee is not the brightest bulb—looked to go down to legislative defeat 17-16.

Wisconsin State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) had announced his opposition to the bill in late February, then Lasee changed his committee vote on the bill, amended and now worse for voters than the original bill.

The amended bill now looks to pass 17-16 with Lasee's cave. The anti-voting companion bill, Assembly Bill 54, passed on a party-line vote last year. So, the state assembly would need to pass the senate's version.

Notes One Wisconsin Now, under the amended bill: "Municipalities would be barred from offering in-person voting after 7pm on weekdays and could not allow voters access to their state constitutional right to vote for more than 45 hours per week in the weeks leading up to election day. In addition, weekend in person voting would be outlawed killing non-partisan 'souls to the polls' drives oftentimes organized by faith-based organizations in minority communities."

Sen. Schultz (R-Richland Center), the lone GOP voice against the GOP attack on voting, blasted the bill, saying: small-town Wisconsin clerks say "prefer the flexibility they now have and are tired of Madison (the legislature and governor's office) trying to control and tell localities how to do their business."

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross made the following statement about this latest Republican plot to restrict access to the franchise by outlawing most after hours, early in-person voting in Wisconsin:

"Senate Republicans have outdone themselves. Not only have they revived legislation voted down in committee just weeks ago, they managed to make it even worse.

"Republicans are sending a clear message to working families, minorities, seniors and students that their participation in our democracy is not wanted.

"Whatever the bill number this is yet another cynical and shameful attempt to take away rights and manipulate the rules on voting from Republicans seeking to gain unfair partisan advantage for themselves.

"This fight won't be over if Gov. Walker signs the bill, it will be over when a judge rules this obscene attempt to restrict access to the franchise for minority, elderly and working class voters unconstitutional."

Feb 15, 2014

Scott Walker Took Money from "Kristallnacht" Billionaire

Scott Walker took money to fund his campaign from the vile Tom Perkins who compared taxing billionaires to the beginning of the NAZI genocide on European Jewry.

Root River Siren has the repulsive story, that the GOP has for now blocked from Facebook.

The question is:  Will Scott Walker give this money back?

Feb 14, 2014

Report: Republican Governors Association to Run Six-Figure Ad Buy Next Week

AP writer Scott Bauer has a piece today running the story first reported in the Washington Post that the "Republican Governors Association will go to bat for one of its all-stars with an early advertisement aimed at bolstering Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign."

This week, Walker, after benefiting from some $15 million in past support from the Republican Governors Association (RGA) of which Christie is now Chair, praised Chris Christie:

"He told me the same thing in private that he did to the press in New Jersey, and I have every reason to believe that the information he said is consistent with the truth, and so I still support him in his role as governor and his role in the RGA," Walker said of Christie at an economic conference. (Politico)

Walker's loyalty to Christie is being amply reciprocated by the coming statewide attack ad that implausibly attributes the national Bush-Cheney recession of 2007-08 to Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle, while claiming credit for the Obama recovery through the efforts of Scott Walker.

Walker's 250,000 new jobs campaign promise continues to be regarded as a cruel joke, and Wisconsin has underperformed the rest of the country and the Midwest in recovering from the Bush-Cheney recession.

Few outside of Scott Walker's circle see Chris Christie as anything but corrupt and a likely future criminal defendant whose fall has been a spectacular political story for months.

Why Walker's presumptive Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, passed on hitting Walker's praising the butt of late night jokes and the paradigm of corruption has left many Wisconsin progressives shaking their heads in silence.

The RGA statewide ad buy will run as 1,000s of e-mails are released from Scott Walker's secret campaign e-mail system that Walker ran from his office of Milwaukee County Executive, a scandal investigated by a John Doe probe that resulted in Walker's top aides and appointees being convicted of criminal felonies.

Walker's former aide, Kelly M. Rindfleisch, tried unsuccessfully to keep the e-mails secret so their release next week is expected to shed more light on Walker's scandal that has been largely buried by Wisconsin's Gannett newspapers and local broadcast media.

Thirteen Scott Walker associates and staffers took immunity deals to keep from being criminally charged in the John Doe probe as provided by Wisconsin's John Doe statute, a move now trumpeted by Walker aides that they say proves Walker ran a clean office.

No mention of the six Walker aides, appointees and associates convicted of crimes typically follows this line from Walker's office.

In fact, it is a distinct possibility that the e-mails will show Scott Walker hip-deep in the illegal campaign run out of his office during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the ad buy was no surprise in light of the $ millions spent by special interests on Walker as Wisconsin's middle class shrinks under Walker's tenure.

Burke's campaign is not being run as a grassroots operation, she a Democratic Party placeholder candidate whose primary political qualification is that she is not Scott Walker.

But Scott Walker is so dependent on ad buys by huge out-of-state interests, with massive corruption charges looming heavily that anti-Walker forces hope Walker's political house of cards could tumble in time for the November general election.

National politicos wondering 'what's the matter with Wisconsin,' need only look at the shell of the Democratic Party that has withered under Chair Mike Tate who evidently harbors an aversion to political infrastructure and a communications team.

Grassroots citizen organizations are about the only thing that has kept the radical and corrupt Republican Party at bay, such as it is, replete with $10s of millions from special interests such as the Republican Governors Association.

Feb 13, 2014

Does Mary Burke Really Want to Be Wisconsin Governor

Mary Burke's bid to unseat Scott Walker: White noise
with a hint of obscure, formless past activity

There's nothing about Mary

Check out Mary Burke for Governor in Google and the first result is a fake Burke site, put out by the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Cybersquatting sucks, but the fake site seems apropos because Mary Burke appears intent on keeping her run against Walker a closely held secret.

Walker has been running for governor for some seven years; and here we are nine months out from the general election and Burke is as dynamic as an early morning stroll down your drive-way in the cold to pick up the paper.

Walker is pursuing a radical social engineering project, and Burke is approaching the campaign with little apparent sense of urgency.

Say what you will about Walker but he campaigns hard and the air war for which Walker is well-armed has not even begun yet.

Emblematic of Burke's lassitude is the white noise emitting from the Burke campaign on the hottest political story in the U.S. right now: the titanic fall of Chris Christie.

Scott Walker, after benefitting from $15 million in support from the Republican Governors Association of which Christie is now Chair, as pointed out by One Wisconsin Now, hails Chris Christie, the most clearly corrupt governor with Walker at number two.

“He told me the same thing in private that he did to the press in New Jersey, and I have every reason to believe that the information he said is consistent with the truth, and so I still support him in his role as governor and his role in the RGA,” Walker said of Christie at an economic conference. (Politico)

So what does Burke do in response? Nothing. Not a press release, not a statement to media outlets, not a beeper, not even a tweet.
 
I bet Scott Walker is just shivering with fear right about now. Maybe someone should contact political prognosticators,

Jan 30, 2014

Obama Plays Scott Walker-Rahm Emanuel Card in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son -
Obama challenges Wisconsin to not
think and ask so many questions
President Obama Pens Personal Apology to an Art Historian.

Obama to Wisconsin: Forget about college; that's for me not for thee

The disheartening aspect about seeing President Obama yucking it up with Scott Walker at the Wisconsin Air National Guard 128th Air Refueling Wing, next to Billy Mitchell International Airport (Paulsen. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) is the growing realization of the lack of irony in the image.

Nothing wrong with Walker and Obama talking of course, they have many times.

What's alarming is that Scott Walker's disdain for public education seems to have worn into Obama's rhetoric, just as he postures concern about the vast wealth inequality inducing two generations of Americans backwards.

From a transcript by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel of Obama's talk given at General Electric’s gas engine facility in Waukesha comes this nugget of wisdom from the president:
But I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree -- I love art history. (Laughter.) So I don't want to get a bunch of emails from everybody. (Laughter.) I'm just saying you can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need. (Applause.)

Putting aside Obama's former chief of staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel waging war on public teachers, while Obama amps up his appeasement with anti-public Republicans, Obama's remarks are ludicrous in ways we hope he doesn't imagine.

Innovation, critical thinking and inspiration are not honed at trade schools. And I'm quite sure Obama received a well-rounded education at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Occidental College.

I know many art history students with graduate degrees, and they share more than intellectual brilliance, a keen sense of social history, professional success, and an understanding of why mass suffering and institutional misery are directly relevant to the platitudes of a 21st century president preaching unquestioning allegiance to wage slavery—a tunnel that Obama forgets he avoided with the help of reformist elements of a society intent on seeing him aim higher.

Art History is the study of beauty and creation through a realm of social and psychological insight so powerful that Hitler felt compelled to ban art in NAZI Germany.

So while Obama ponders the relevancy of Ben Shahn and Eugene Higgins on some dark night after a few fundraisers, he may consider the words of Noam Chomsky as well:

"There's, furthermore, no way to measure the human and social costs of converting schools and universities into facilities that produce commodities for the job market, abandoning the traditional ideal of the universities: fostering creative and independent thought and inquiry, challenging perceived beliefs, exploring new horizons and forgetting external constraints. That's an ideal that's no doubt been flawed in practice, but to the extent that it's realized is a good measure of the level of civilization achieved."
- Noam Chomsky. University of Toronto, Scarborough, April 6, 2011

Dec 2, 2013

Scott Walker: I Don't Obsess with Abortion

David Cook of the Christian Science Monitor has a piece on Scott Walker where true to form, Walker misleads and obfuscates.

Reads Cook's profile of Walker's "pro-life position on abortion":

"I don't apologize for that, but I don't focus on that; I don't obsess with it."
In reality land, Scott Walker opposes all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest; and has signed a law (enjoined) requiring forced ultrasounds.

Walker has forced the closure of Planned Parenthood clinics, and on and on.

Nov 22, 2013

Jobs Reports Is Bad News for Scott Walker and Wisconsin

Updated—Mike Ivey has a piece out the new jobs report for Wisconsin, and the report paints a dreary picture, as Wisconsin under Walker has maintained its position in last place in jobs growth or virtually tied for last place among Wisconsin's five border states.

Wisconsin lags behind the nation as a whole in job growth as well, with the nation adding 6,484,000 jobs (5.82%) since 2011, and Wisconsin adding 88,000 jobs (3.37%).

The jobs numbers come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

The QCEW numbers are the standard non-partisan numbers economists use in gauging unemployment.
Scott Walker who is expected to run for reelection made an unequivocal and repeated promise that he would bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin during his first term.

Walker's 88,000 jobs are 65 percent short of his promise, 162,000 jobs short; and Walker has 13 months to go.

Walker would need our citizens to get 12,461 new jobs a month to make good on his promise.

Walker's line is that he has exceeded the economic performance on the 2007-09 recession and the two years after the worst national recession since the Great Depression. 

Walker will need all of his big-money cats to help him explain why dead-last in the region is good, exceeding the great recession is commendable; and bringing up the rear nationally makes his case for reelection and president.

Nov 19, 2013

Scott Walker: I care about you too much for you to have Heathcare

Update: Jack Craver of the Capital Times writes: Will Obamacare problems deliver another term for Scott Walker?

Craver notes: "Walker refused to set up a state-specific insurance exchange and rejected hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid funds, meaning that many state residents would be pushed off the Medicaid rolls and on to what has turned out to be a dysfunctional federal exchange," and downward pressure on health insurance costs are not applied in Wisconsin.

How stopping Wisconsin people from getting healthcare helps Scott Walker is not explained by Craver.
---
"I care too much about the people of this state not to empower them to control their own destiny," Walker told the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce earlier this year after rejecting federal money for Medicaid that may end up dwarfing the $800,000 Walker shooed away in highs-speed rail infrastructure.

Earlier this year Scot Walker made it clear that healthcare is not a right, and that society ought not be organized for people's welfare.

Sure, it;'s good Walker for who has had his own healthcare subsidized since 1993, by the public. But Walker has an in with God and David Koch. Normal rules don't apply.

"I want to have fewer people in the state who are uninsured," Scott Walker said in February 13. 2013, in the Wisconsin State Journal. "And I want to have fewer people in this state who are dependent on government."

"U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a La Crosse Democrat who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said that the federal money was in place and Walker was 'putting politics before people in Wisconsin.'
'I do not foresee a better deal being offered to Wisconsin or any other state in our lifetime,' Kind said. (Stein. Milwaukee Journal -Sentinel, February 13. 2013)

"Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, said Walker was taking the right approach. She said she worries federal money now available for a Medicaid expansion could be withdrawn in future years. Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, said Walker was taking the right approach. She said she worries federal money now available for a Medicaid expansion could be withdrawn in future years." (Stein. Milwaukee Journal -Sentinel, February 13. 2013)

By that logic, "Then don't take highway money. Don't take education money," Robert Laszewski, a consultant with Health Policy and Strategy Associates LLC siad. "Don't take any federal money. Of course they (federal government) can renege." (Stein. Milwaukee Journal -Sentinel, February 13. 2013)

Matt Rothschild says Republicans have no answers on healthcare as President Obama scrabbles to find a way to bring healthcare to American families. Rothschild is right that Republicans have answers; they don't believe healthcare is a right any more than they believe public education is a right.

The Medicaid expansion alone would cover some 20 million people within the next decade, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Only some one half of the states have decided to take the Medicaid expansion, paid for in full by the federal government for the first three years.

Those state rejecting Medicaid are  disproportionately hurting those living in urban ares.

“The economic argument is completely overwhelming for the big cities,” says Anne Dunkelberg with the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Texas, which has advocated (unsuccessfully) for Medicaid expansion there. “They’re paying 100 percent local tax dollars instead of getting 100 percent federal funding.”

Take Wisconsin.

"Governor Walker of Wisconsin has made history in this regard by not only refusing to expand Medicaid but by kicking more people from the program than any other state in the country. If they accepted federal funds to assist low-income Americans through Medicaid, governors could help approximately 5.4 million more people receive health insurance coverage by 2016. Despite Republican resistance and the challenging rollout, the overwhelming need for quality and affordable health insurance cannot be ignored", notes Rep Gwen Mppre (D-Milwaukee). Congress, we are divided on many issues, but whether Americans across this nation deserve quality and affordable health care should never be one of them. Despite the wishes of some, the Affordable Care Act will survive its constant threats, and in doing so American lives will be saved as well."

On one side we have Democrats working through the barriers of the health insurance industry and the Republicans to get people healthcare. On the other side, we have Republicans pulling out all the stops to prevent health care for American families.

Moore's right, the AFC will survive and people's lives and health will be saved.

Nov 1, 2013

Scott Walker's Sabotage of Healthcare in Wisconsin

Sowing fear and confusion 

You would think intentionally obstructing healthcare for families would be some sort of a crime.

It's not, it's Scott Walker's policy, and it is the position of the Republican Party.

Robert Kraig and Kevin Kane of Wisconsin Citizen Action have the scoop on the results of Scott Walker blocking healthcare, a report that has received far too little publicity.

Walker has blocked information about healthcare rates; blocked $100s millions in Medicaid with the assurance that most Wisconsin media will go along with the Walker charade that he just cares so much about the Wisconsin people that he needs to block their families' access to healthcare.

Walker and his family have been living on tax-payer-financed healthcare since Walker was 24-years-old and hungry for a public position. Walker moved to the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa so he could run for an open GOP-leaning district in 1993. That's 20 years of tax-payer-supported healthcare for Scott Walker.

Shouldn't Governor Walker and his family abide by the same rules for healthcare that he is proposing for everyone else?  Shouldn't all public officials?

Now, Walker spends his time raising money from fat-cats and living on the public dime, while ranting against and blocking anything providing for the common good of the Wisconsin people -- like easy access to healthcare for other peoples' families. Walker says God tells him what to do.

Consumer activists and the Obama administration remain busy trying to put out information, such as Helping Consumers Understand their Coverage Options, from Coast to Coast.

For those looking for specific rate information who live in states such as Wisconsin with a healthcare-hostile governor, where do you go now?

You can try your local county healthcare site, until the federal web site is more reliable.

You have to wait for the national site to function because private contractors built the HealthCare.gov site, as healthcare industry whistleblower Wendall Potter points out.

 I would have liked to have single payer healthcare for everyone, but that is too much to ask in this dysfunctional Congress.

Scott Walker meanwhile is raising even more money; still living on publicly-funded healthcare for his family, and now a John Doe probe is looking into how Walker and his party raised all that money in the 2012 Recall election.

Oct 21, 2013

Wisconsin's Next Governor Could Be State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout

Scott Walker is I assert not going to run for president.

Walker's Democratic opponent for Wisconsin governor remains to be seen.

Mary Burke and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (Alma, Wisconsin) are currently leading the Democratic field.

The following in one sentence tells why Vinehout will be the Democratic nominee in 2014:

Jul 27, 2013

Former Madison Mayor Distorts Fed Judge's Ruling; Sides with Scott Walker Again

Photo taken Friday at capitol. By Overpass Light Brigade
As combined police forces acting under Scott Walker's orders attempt to halt speech based on anti-Walker content, former Mayor Madison David J. Cieslewicz (2003 to 2011) has apparently gone off the rails and is now supporting Walker in the latest unconstitutional crackdown this week.

As Walker has literally taken over the state of Wisconsin and turned our state into what Esquire's Charles Pierce aptly termed, "Wisconsin Inc.," Cieslewicz—ever the ambitious if not coherent politician—has decided again to employ the false equivalence fallacy.

Everyone just needs to let Scott Walker continue his work and "move on with their lives," Cieslewicz intones.

Strange conception of democracy. But yes, this is what David Cieslewicz writes in his Thursday column in the Isthmus.

The first reader commenting, Bill Dunn, writes for many, concluding: "At times, but not all the time, Dave is merely annoying. The above [column of Cieslewicz'] is merely pathetic, with a unhealthy dash of clueless."

Police manhandle frightened boy Photo: Dawn Henke
Why citizens redressing their government as corrupt and dangerous is regarded by Scott Walker as being "unreasonable" is mystifying.

But this is not the first time Cieslewicz has veered deeply into incoherency.

Getting back to Cieslewicz, a former Cieslewicz supporter has grown disgusted and speaks for many in her column, reprinted below.

This is Karen Bassler's response to former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's  recent column  in The Isthmus about the arrests of peaceful singers at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Dave:

I can no longer refer to you as Mayor Dave, or Citizen Dave, though up until yesterday I had been using both interchangeable.

I’ve been your biggest fan up until yesterday. I’d praise you to the skies, laud your vision for urban areas, your happy-go-lucky attitude, your non-confrontational style of governing. If I heard anyone maligning you, I’d be the first to lead to your defense: “That’s not the Dave *I* know!”

You had me at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. You had me with your wit and wisdom and can-do approach. You had me in your honesty and forthrightness.

But you lost me on the Sing Along.

I’ve been a part-time participant in the Singalong since the first days it sprang to life. While I freely admit I cannot carry a tune, the mass of voices singing together in irrepressible strength always sends a shiver down my spine, no matter how terrible the marble of the Capitol acts as a sound chamber. “We shall not be moved.”

The people singing are not how you seem to see them, Dave. They are retirees, city and state employees, union workers, students, regular schmoes and long-time activists. They are east-siders and west-siders and north-siders. They represent what is best about this city and this state.

We are not people who need to “get on with” our lives. Our lives are intertwined with our love of Wisconsin’s proud progressive tradition, and we are fighting to keep that alive, so that our lives can go on, too.

We are not a bunch of stinky hippies (in fact, the hippie-to-ordinary-citizen ratio is strikingly low). We are state patriots, who see our history and tradition of open government being trampled and destroyed willy-nilly, and who will not stand idly by and let that happen. We are testifying in public that whatever rules or laws or under the table payments may be made by Walker and his fellow Koch-owned legislators, we honor the greater good, the importance of government by the people, for the people. We are those who sob to see what made us proud to call Wisconsin home is now openly mocked and cast aside by people in power for the moment.

We will not apply for a permit because the Capitol has always been an open forum, free for anyone to come and speak their piece, and we will not kowtow to a frightened governor demanding order.

You are correct that the Capitol is a public space, but you are so wrong in saying that we dominate it at the expense of others. One hour a day, 4 days a week (Friday Singalongs are held outside, regardless of weather) is not too much time to spend articulating our belief in the traditions of open, progressive, involved government. (Actually, it is somewhat less than one hour a day, four days a week — if another group has a permit to use the rotunda, we take it outside.)

You lost me Dave, as you pontificated from your comfy home about people you don’t know. Come out and meet us and see why we sing, and maybe I will be able to forgive you. But right now, from where I sit, you have outed yourself as a complacent tool.

I used to admire you.

I don’t any more.

Karen

PS: I can tell you haven’t really heard us when you say that we sing "old protest songs." Over half the song catalog is made up of new tunes written by outraged Wisconsinites.
 ###
Statement from the Madison, Wisconsin Lawyers Guild: State Distorts Court’s Ruling to Justify Dissident Arrests

To understand why mass arrests are illegal, an understanding that eludes Cieslewicz, consider the Statement from the Madison, Wisconsin Lawyers Guild: State Distorts Court’s Ruling to Justify Dissident Arrests.

So, whatever job Cieslewicz is angling for, a possible Walker appointee perhaps, he ought to consider what Madison citizens and civil libertarians are writing, viz:

An injunction was issued because the court determined that the permitting scheme was improperly content-based and overly broad, and that the plaintiff Michael Kissick had shown a likelihood of success in his case against (DoA Sec Michael Huebsch and (Chief David Erwin. One of Kissick’s attorneys, Larry Dupuis of the A.C.L.U. of Wisconsin, issued a press release condemning the misrepresentation of Judge Conley’s ruling by Secretary Huebsch and the DOA’s media handlers

MADISON, WI – Citizens singing traditional civil rights songs, some with lyrics rewritten to criticize the current governor and state legislative priorities, were again subjected to mass arrest in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda July 24 and July 25. After U.S. District Court Judge William Conley issued an injunction against enforcement of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and Capitol Access policies on July 8, the Wisconsin Department of Administration tried to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in their ongoing campaign to stifle voices of dissent in the Capitol. Twenty three people were arrested Wednesday, and another twenty or so on Thursday, some more than once, while hundreds sang along or looked on, including a number of Democratic state legislators.

Dept. of Administration Secretary Michael Huebsch, announcing the impending arrests on Wednesday, which included two people aged 80 and over and two journalists, claimed that the state was “enforcing” Judge Conley’s ruling, as if the judge had directed arrests. The decision issued in the lawsuit filed against Huebsch and Capitol Police Chief David Erwin did not direct arrests. Nor did it find that the state’s permitting scheme was constitutional, despite such claims by DOA spokesperson Stephanie Marquise.

“Rather than impose a blanket prohibition on enforcing the existing permitting scheme, however, the court will preliminarily enjoin defendants from (1) distinguishing based on the content of the speech between “rallies” and other events for permitting purposes inside the Capitol and (2) enforcing the permit requirement for gatherings expected to draw 20 or fewer persons inside the Capitol rotunda itself. Of course, nothing in this decision prohibits enforcement of existing laws and regulations that restrict disruptive noise or other disorderly conduct,” wrote Judge Conley granting the injunction against enforcement of the rules as rewritten by the DOA on an “emergency” basis in April, 2013.

All the singers and others present arrested Wednesday were charged with violating an administrative code provision that describes what kind of activity would justify a declaration of an “unlawful event” by Capitol Police. Yet no access was blocked to any part of the building, and no violence, threats of violence or any interference with the operations of state government during the lunch hour singing was observed during the event, which has continued for over two years every weekday in or outside the Capitol. The tickets merely listed “No Permit” as the basis for getting a citation, and when citizens asked why they were being arrested, Capitol police, state troopers and DNR wardens told them they would “find out downstairs,” but no further explanation was offered. Agents of the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice Criminal Investigations unit were called in to help process the large number of people arrested.

The Madison Mass Defense group, involving attorney and legal worker members of the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU and others concerned about federal and state constitutional rights to petition and protest the government, has represented most of the 40 defendants given over 160 tickets in the “crackdown” ordered by Capitol Police Chief Erwin since he became chief a year ago. Only one case has gone to a jury trial resulting in a guilty verdict, and over 70 cases have been dismissed by the prosecuting Wisconsin Attorney General’s office or denied prosecution by the Dane County District Attorney. An appeal is pending in the Court of Appeals which may result in the state being ordered to pay the defendants’ attorneys’ fees if the prosecutions were not “substantially justified.”
Anyone needing legal assistance for arrests while singing or observing singing at the Capitol can call the NLG at 608-520-0654. The coordinator will then attempt to find legal representation for the person who has been arrested.

The Madison Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is the local arm of the national organization of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers. The National Lawyers Guild represents progressive political movements, and its motto is that human rights are more sacred than property interests.