Showing posts with label corruption scott walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corruption scott walker. Show all posts

Oct 19, 2013

New Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Propaganda on Suffrage

Update: A reader notes the discovery of phantom "additional qualifications" for voters in the Wisconsin Constitutions is consistent with GOP voter obstruction efforts in Kansas and Arizona where as the Washington Post notes:

NOTHING FRIGHTENS today’s Republican Party quite like the voters. Before the 2012 elections, GOP lawmakers in statehouses across the country tightened voter identification laws with one goal in common: to suppress turnout on Election Day among likely Democratic voters, especially minorities and the poor. It didn’t work.

Now, harking back to the days of Jim Crow, they are at it again. In Arizona and Kansas, GOP officials are moving to adopt a two-tiered voting system, the effect of which would be to disenfranchise thousands of voters. The ploy relies on requiring birth certificates, passports and other documents that establish proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in state and local elections. Such documents are not necessary to register for federal elections.

"Additional qualifications" to vote are not in the Wisconsin Constitution, but just the same are derived from the text, say the GOP and Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau in a new theory intended to disenfranchise African-Americans, college students, the poor, the elderly and homeless, disaffected veterans.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau's (LRB) Bruce Hoesly, Revising Attorney/Code Editor, is spouting new Republican propaganda again.

Not content to parrot the disingenuous Republican line in its use of the declining-in-judicial-currency Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) decision, the LRB has launched more partisan spin in its new page on Wisconsin's Constitutional voting rights webpage, Suffrage.

The Republican Party propaganda states as settled law, the interpretation of a Wisconsin appellate court panel in May 2013 rejecting a facial challenge to the Wisconsin Photo Voter ID law, Act 23.

Wisconsin citizens' right to vote in jeopardy by the GOP's Act 23 face a law that:
  • Remains enjoined
  • Is under appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Is under challenge in two federal cases set for trial for November 4, 2013
The pro-voter and anti-voter advocates, the contending parties, will not even present intermediate appellate constitutional interpretations as settled law in Wisconsin Voter ID cases, but the GOP line is good enough for the LRB.

The LRB adopts GOP-friendly constitutional positions, though its reference in its new Suffrage annotation is anything but settled.

The annotation reads from a 1856 case:
Cothren, State ex rel. Knowlton v. Williams, 5 Wis. 308, contains a general rule for election law cases addressing constitutionality under a facial 'additional qualifications' challenge: whether the challenged requirement or procedure allows election officials 'to ascertain whether the person offering to vote possessed the qualifications required.' The legislature may impose such requirements or procedures because the legislature has a legitimate interest in preserving the integrity of elections. The general rule is made especially clear in the Cothren court's statement that the legislature may demand 'such proof' from potential voters 'as it deems requisite' for this purpose. League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc. v. Walker, 2013 WI App 77, ___ Wis. 2d ___, ___ N.W.2d ___, 12-0584.
To translate, the LRB is asserting that the government has the authority to enact laws that are additional constitutional qualifications that are not listed in Section 2 of ARTICLE III - SUFFRAGE of the Wisconsin Constitution.

The LRB is ignoring that the League case is under appeal in state and federal court, is enjoined; and anyway, Cothren, State ex rel. Knowlton v. Williams reads in part: "an act of the legislature which deprives a person of the right to vote, although he [sic] has every qualification which the constitution makes necessary, cannot be sustained."

Surly, 100,000s of qualified, registered voters not being able to present GOP-crafted IDs demonstrates an undue burden, just as GOP intends.

The GOP did not attempt to present a wide array of acceptable IDs that almost every citizen has (as some states do) when they narrowly crafted the range of IDs in 2011 to defeat the specter of in-person voter fraud, though the legislature cannot point to one case of in-person voter fraud out of millions of votes cast.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) is not intended as a Republican Party propaganda outlet. But this is the new Wisconsin, agencies serve the Party and favored citizens should have an easier time when voting than non-favored.

The LRB page states, it is a "nonpartisan, professional, and confidential bill drafting, legal publishing, research and library services to the legislature and the public."

Reads a brief LRB history:

Since its establishment as the first professional, nonpartisan drafting and research services agency for a state legislature, the LRB has been committed to maintaining high standards of quality and to providing thorough and expeditious drafting and reference services for the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Each chief has seen the bureau through the changes that are inevitable with the passage of time. However, each has also maintained continuity with the past, holding fast to the traditions of quality, efficiency, and nonpartisanship that were established with the agency more than 100 years ago.

Not anymore.

Incidentally, Wisconsin appellate Justices Lundsten, Higginbotham, and Blanchard in the League opinion that Hoesly presents as settled law do not relate the text of Act 23 to the 100,000s of Wisconsin citizens like 86-year-old Ruthell Frank who would report to the polls as Frank has for over 60 years in Brokaw, Wisconsin and now be told she is not qualified to vote under Act 23, because she does not have the additional qualification of a driver's license or other GOP-prescribed ID.

Under this reasoning if the GOP legislature and GOP Governor pass a law that says photo IDs are now too easy to forge, in the interests of preserving the integrity of elections, a law stating a third party in your voting district has to attest to your identity and residence would survive a facial Wisconsin Constitutional challenge, though the hypothetical law would not be an amendment to Section 2 of ARTICLE III - SUFFRAGE of the Wisconsin Constitution.

The League opinion notes the following in a footnote as well:

In the same vein, given the League’s limited arguments in this case, we make note of, but see no reason to discuss further, the United States Supreme Court’s split opinion addressing a facial challenge, under the federal constitution, to an Indiana law requiring photo identification to vote.  See Crawford v. Marion Cnty. Election Bd., 553 U.S. 181, 187, 189, 200 (2008).  Crawford involved allegations that the Indiana law “substantially burdens the right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution]; that it is neither a necessary nor appropriate method of avoiding election fraud; and that it will arbitrarily disenfranchise qualified voters who do not possess the required identification and will place an unjustified burden on those who cannot readily obtain such identification.”  Id. at 187.  A plurality of the Court concluded that the evidence in the record was insufficient “to support a facial attack on the validity of the entire statute.”  See id. at 189.
Hey, you note that Crawford was argued alleging a federal constitutional violation, not a Wisconsin constitutional violation, so what again is its relevancy?

Ask around. Justices Lundsten, Higginbotham, and Blanchard blew this opinion in its hard-right decision (apparently written by a GOP law clerk) that is political and one in which the justices apparently self-consciously take the GOP line in an effort to write an opinion that the four GOP Wisconsin Supreme Court justices can use, if they have no sense of shame.

Thankfully, federal court may now offer protection for Wisconsin voters from the GOP voter obstruction project, and perhaps Frank v. Walker, (Case 11cv1128), and Jones et al v. Deininger et al (Case 2:12-cv-00185) will become landmark federal voting rights cases.

Sep 17, 2013

Wisconsin Pays, Scott Walker Spends

Scott Walker on tape making pledges to billionaire, Diane Hendricks
Hendricks is Walker's largest donor, along with the Koch brothers
In March 2011, Scott Walker pushed and signed a law in which he gives himself the power to mandate Wisconsin taxpayers pay up cash for 37 new Walker political appointments. (See Stein, Marley. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 17, 2011; and Walker power grabs)

This was only the first in the train wrecks that do everything from paying off cronies with taxpayer money, to giving Scott Walker the power to sell off virtually any public land or facility to moneyed interests.

No consultations with the Wisconsin people, no campaigning on these radical policies; Walker is selling out Wisconsin and I would not be surprised to see Walker put the state capitol, what used to be known as the people's house, on the chopping block.

The examples of Walker's public corruption are legion.

The latest spend-thrift spree of Walker's is his tax-payer subsidy to Scott Suder, Walker's co-conspirator with ALEC and the Koch front group, Americans for Prosperity.

"In his new (Wisconsin Public Service Commission) job, Suder will earn $94,000 a year — an 88 percent increase over the $49,943 he made as a legislator. He'll be in charge of the agency divisions responsible for water compliance and consumer affairs," reports Uppity Wisconsinn.

All the while Suder and other Republicans continue to illegally ignore Open Records requests.

In the latest outrage, "Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy."

It's Republican rule; and the people for whom they work are not the Wisconsin people so Republicans and Walker keep their business secret from the people.

With disdain for the Wisconsin people, in favor of a small groups of moneyed interests and cronies, is it any wonder Scott Walker has created a structural (built in) deficit and ruined the state budget by amassing a state debt that reaches record levels in the 2013-15 budget, as noted by State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma).

See also RE Sen. Vinehout's budget-deficit analysis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel simply refuses to take "yes" for an answer.

Schools, lakes, cemeteries for military veterans, the environment and people take huge hits while Walker and Republicans pocket huge pay-outs. The list of what Scott Walker is selling out is too long to fully note here.

As for that 250,000 new jobs promise Scott Walker campaigned on, Walker now says "it's really not about jobs."

The only people making out are Walker cronies getting paid by you.

Aug 26, 2013

Altering of online Wisconsin Constitution; Is LRB Going GOP?

Updated - New LRB page on Suffrage.

Updated - I was surprised to find in the online Wisconsin Constitution's webpage on Suffrage (Section III, aka voting) changes have been made to support the GOP's Wisconsin Attorney General-GOP's position on photo voter ID.

Weird to find annotations in the Constitution to a federal voting rights case directly refuting the clear language on the Wisconsin Constitution.

So, this morning I spoke with Bruce Hoesly, Revising Attorney/Code Editor at the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB).

Hoesly says he updates the website for the Wisconsin Constitution.

Hoesly has worked at the LRB for 22 years, he said.

Hoesly appeared not very well-versed on the Wisconsin Constitution this morning on a phone call.

Background

The following misleading sentence has been added to the online Wisconsin Constitution's Voting Section, III: "An Indiana statute requiring citizens voting in person on election day, or casting a ballot in person at the office of the circuit court clerk prior to election day, to present photo identification issued by the government did not violate constitutional standards. Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181, 128 S. Ct. 1610, 170 L. Ed. 2d 574 (2008)." (emphasis mine) [The webpage reads "Current through May 21, 2013" at the bottom of the page.]

This appears a naked display on what used to be a non-political webpage on the Wisconsin Constitution maintained under the auspices of the Wisconsin Reference Bureau (LRB). 

Hoesly

So I asked the LRB's attorney Hoesly why the page has been altered to reflect AG Van Hollen's ludicrous spin that Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (a federal case relying on a reading of the U.S. Constitution) should be added under the online Wisconsin Constitution's text, with its broad guarantee to vote vis a vis the United States Constitution.

Van Hollen's office had issued a press release dated July 19, 2012 reading in part: "Voter identification helps ensure election integrity.  It is a measure that protects the right to vote. And similar election integrity reforms have been upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court."

After Hoesly denied anything partisan is afoot, I asked Hoesly should he not adopt some "rigor" into adding editorial comment under the Wisconsin Constitution's text on voting rights, in light of his inserted language about Crawford.

Hoesly said, "no," adding, "I don't believe it (editing the text of online Wisconsin Constitution) deserves more rigor."

I asked Hoesly, the relevancy of Artcile III of the Wisconsin Constitution to the federal case, Crawford.

Hoesly replied, "I'm not an expert on Article III (of the Wisconsin Constitution)," adding that he thought of the Crawford language "that it might be useful to readers."

I pointed out to Hoesly that Crawford relies on the U.S. Constitution while the ruling currently enjoining Wisconsin photo voter ID relies on the Wisconsin Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote.

Hoesly's response is babble.

So, why the Republican spin in Hoesly's language on a page that is supposed to be the online text of Wisconsin Constitution? 

Corruption is my guess. 

The GOP-added sentence to Suffrage is misleading for several reasons. Here again is a summary:

1. Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) is a federal case based upon a facial challenge (a law asserted to be illegal or unconstitutional on its face) to an Indiana state law obstructing voting.  
Crawford relied upon the weak warrant to vote under the United States Constitution, not the Wisconsin Constitution. And the Crawford case included no social scientific evidence as was presented in
Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492) (2012).

2. The Wisconsin Constitution—the topic of the Wisconsin Constitution's webpage—includes a strong, affirmative right to vote under ARTICLE III, Suffrage vis a vis the United States Constitution. (Hence, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison's (D-MN) Right to Vote Amendment, explicitly guaranteeing Americans' right to vote in the U.S. Constitution." Hey, Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-White People), still waiting for your support of the Right to Vote Amendment in light of your unshakable commitment of voting rights.

3. The Wisconsin Constitution explicitly specifies the type of laws that may be enacted to regulate elections, enumerating the specific conditions under which the qualifications of voters (electors) may be changed by the enactment of laws under Section 2, and only Section 2. Anything outside this scope and the legislature has to change the Wisconsin Constitution.

This GOP pretension that the federal case, Crawford, controls Wisconsin state voting rights case is a disingenuous political talking point, hawked by Wisconsin's GOP Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen and other GOP politicos.

As Judge David T. Flanagan writes in striking down the GOP Photo Voter ID bill in July 2012 in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492):

The Crawford decision has very little application to the dispute now before this Court, however, for three primary reasons. First, this case is founded up the Wiscosnin Constitution which expressly guarantees the right to vote, while Crawford was based upon the U.S. Constitution which offers no such guarantee. Second, the Indiana law is less rigid than Act 23, and noted by the U.S. Supreme Court, offered alternative voting opportunities to voters who lacked the Photo ID. Finally, Crawford came to the Court based upon a flawed factual record, lacking the substantial evidence that has been offered by the plaintiffs in this action. This case is based on a claim that Act 23 violates the Wisconsin Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. The people of Wisconsin may choose to assure to themselves rights under their own constitution that differ or exceed those guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, State v. Doe, 78 Wis 2d 161, 172 (1977). The question of what is permitted and what is protected by the Wisconsin Constitution is the issue before this court and that issue was not before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Crawford case.
This is not the first time Van Hollen and the Republican Party have lied about federal law and federal case law in order to obstruct voting rights on the state level.

See Van Hollen's and the GOP 2008 efforts at voter suppression in which Van Hollen's similarly ridiculous effort was tossed out of court.

In the 2008 case, (J B Van Hollen vs. Government Accountability Board (GAB) et al) Van Hollen tried to create a new Wisconsin constitutional qualification to vote by fiat: A perfect match of the spelling of voters' names in state bureaucracies, after assuring fellow Republicans he would commence this frivolous legal action at the 2008 Republican National Convention held in Minneapolis, as first reported by WisPolitics in a scoop that includes audio.

Several former judges serving on the GAB Board would have failed Van Hollen's new constitutional standard proposed in 2008, as this GOP effort drew wide ridicule.

"Nothing in state or federal law requires that there be a data match as a prerequisite for a citizen's right to vote," Judge Maryann Sumi said in dismissing Van Hollen's lawsuit that tried to use the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) as a voter suppression tool.

Our corrupt attorney general, up for reelection on 2014, will not give up his Party's project of denying the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens; and neither will the Republican Party now holding sway in the gerrymandered state legislature, and it would appear in the
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB)

Non-GOP-fixed Section III on the Wisconsin Constitution on Suffrage - Voting 

Aug 23, 2013

GOP Legislature Altered Wisconsin Constitution Webpage; Changes Mislead on Voting Rights

Updated - New LRB page on Suffrage.

See the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB)'s response.

The Wisconsin Legislature Reference Bureau webpage on Suffrage, voting, has been changed while under GOP control since 2011.

The following misleading sentence has been added: "An Indiana statute requiring citizens voting in person on election day, or casting a ballot in person at the office of the circuit court clerk prior to election day, to present photo identification issued by the government did not violate constitutional standards. Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181, 128 S. Ct. 1610, 170 L. Ed. 2d 574 (2008)."

This is the first time such a naked display of partisanship has been on display on what used to be a non-political webpage on the Wisconsin Constitution maintained under the auspices of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB). The URL is:  http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/wiscon/_12 .

Any Wisconsin document, record, history and archives should be examined to ensure that they have not been cleansed by the Republicans in Wisconsin government in the manner of a Soviet-based authoritarian regime. 

I have been told of other cleansing efforts that I cannot reveal for fear of GOP recrimination against whistle blowers holding appointed positions.

The GOP-added sentence to the Wisconsin Legislature's webpage on Suffrage is misleading for several reasons. 

1. Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) is a federal case based upon a facial challenge (a law asserted to be illegal or unconstitutional on its face) to an Indiana state law obstructing voting.  

Crawford relied upon the weak warrant to vote under the United States Constitution, not the Wisconsin Constitution. And the Crawford case included no social scientific evidence as was presented in
Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492) (2012).

2. The Wisconsin Constitution—the topic of the Wisconsin Constitution's webpage—includes a strong, affirmative right to vote under ARTICLE III, Suffrage vis a vis the United States Constitution. (Hence, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison's (D-MN) Right to Vote Amendment, explicitly guaranteeing Americans' right to vote in the U.S. Constitution." Hey, Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-White People), still waiting for your support of the Right to Vote Amendment in light of your unshakable commitment of voting rights.

3. The Wisconsin Constitution explicitly specifies the type of laws that may be enacted to regulate elections, enumerating the specific conditions under which the qualifications of voters (electors) may be changed by the enactment of laws under Section 2, and only Section 2. Anything outside this scope and the legislature has to change the Wisconsin Constitution.

This GOP pretension that the federal case, Crawford, controls Wisconsin state voting rights case is a disingenuous political talking point, hawked by Wisconsin's GOP Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen and other GOP politicos.

As Judge David T. Flanagan writes in striking down the GOP Photo Voter ID bill in July 2012 in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492):

The Crawford decision has very little application to the dispute now before this Court, however, for three primary reasons. First, this case is founded up the Wiscosnin Constitution which expressly guarantees the right to vote, while Crawford was based upon the U.S. Constitution which offers no such guarantee. Second, the Indiana law is less rigid than Act 23, and noted by the U.S. Supreme Court, offered alternative voting opportunities to voters who lacked the Photo ID. Finally, Crawford came to the Court based upon a flawed factual record, lacking the substantial evidence that has been offered by the plaintiffs in this action. This case is based on a claim that Act 23 violates the Wisconsin Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. The people of Wisconsin may choose to assure to themselves rights under their own constitution that differ or exceed those guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, State v. Doe, 78 Wis 2d 161, 172 (1977). The question of what is permitted and what is protected by the Wisconsin Constitution is the issue before this court and that issue was not before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Crawford case.
This is not the first time Van Hollen and the Republican Party have lied about federal law and federal case law in order to obstruct voting rights on the state level.

See Van Hollen's and the GOP 2008 efforts at voter suppression in which Van Hollen's similarly ridiculous effort was tossed out of court.

In the 2008 case, (J B Van Hollen vs. Government Accountability Board (GAB) et al) Van Hollen tried to create a new Wisconsin constitutional qualification to vote by fiat: A perfect match of the spelling of voters' names in state bureaucracies, after assuring fellow Republicans he would commence this frivolous legal action at the 2008 Republican National Convention held in Minneapolis, as first reported by WisPolitics in a scoop that includes audio.

Several former judges serving on the GAB Board would have failed Van Hollen's new constitutional standard proposed in 2008, as this GOP effort drew wide ridicule.

"Nothing in state or federal law requires that there be a data match as a prerequisite for a citizen's right to vote," Judge Maryann Sumi said in dismissing Van Hollen's lawsuit that tried to use the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) as a voter suppression tool.

Our corrupt attorney general, up for reelection on 2014, will not give up his Party's project of denying the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens; and neither will the Republican Party now holding sway in the gerrymandered state legislature.

Aug 18, 2013

Capitol Police chief gets $111,000, and five-figure shady bonus to bash rights for Scott Walker

Chief David Erwin is a slime, real shocker.

Erwin moved from a ghostjob and back to grab himself an extra gift from Wisconsin taxpayers—an $11,680 annual raise to his $111,067 a year gig.

Erwin is what Paul Ryan calls a "taker."

By Jason Stein and Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Scott Walker's administration rewarded the new hardline Capitol Police chief and his top deputy with double-digit pay raises earlier this year after moving the pair on paper to phantom jobs for two weeks and then back to their real posts.

Chief Dave Erwin — who has overseen a crackdown on Walker protesters at the statehouse — received an overall salary hike of 11.7%, to $111,067 a year, the same rate as his predecessor. That amounts to an $11,680 annual raise.

That hefty raise was possible only because Walker officials transferred Erwin on Feb. 5 to a ghostposition in the state Department of Administration, according to a copy of the transfer letter obtained by the Journal Sentinel. Then, on the same day, he was shuffled back to his real job as head of the Capitol Police force.

Aug 17, 2013

Scott Walker Fills Post after Axing Student for Signing Recall Walker Petition

Photo by RockNetRoots
UW-Platteville student Joshua Inglett found out last June how petty Scott Walker is.

Days after being appointed on a Monday in June by Walker to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, the mild-mannered engineering student's appointment was rescinded by Walker when Walker found out Inglett had signed the Recall Walker petition to show support for his mother who is a substitute teacher.

Walker waited until this Friday in slow-news month, August to announce he is appointing Inglett's replacement, Chad Landes, who did not sign the Recall Walker petition.

"This is absolute McCarthyism. It's the very definition of it," Sen Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) said in June. "No legislator and no governor should make the litmus test did you sign or didn't you sign. ... The question is whether or not you are qualified to do the job."

Walker denied being involved in his appointing Inglett in the first place, but Walker then changed his mind and denied being involved in changing his mind either.

"Again, I wasn't involved in that directly. In the interest of not pulling him (Inglett) through the details on this, we withdrew the nomination," Walker said in June.

Walker also said: "We've got plenty of other good candidates and we're not going to get into specifics about it. I'm not going to comment one way or the other." (Scott Bauer. AP)

Actually, Inglett publicly asked Walker for an explanation of details and specifics.

"I feel like it's a public attack on my character," Inglett told The Associated Press, referring to the withdrawn appointment.

Inglett's signing of the Recall Walker petition, and Walker's decision to rescind his nomination that Walker said he was not involved in, was first reported by RightWisconsin.

Other Scott Walker News

The Wisconsin public does not know where Walker is today as Walker keeps his public schedule private, but Walker announced he has stacked the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission with new GOP anti-worker appointees

In related news, Shelby Sebens reports this week Scott Walker, will be taking his message to Seattle in early September. Sebens reports:
Walker will be in Seattle on Sept. 5 to speak at the Washington Policy Center's awards dinner, according to a press release from the conservative, free-market think tank. He will be touting his new book, 'Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge.' 

The Washington Policy Center is a rightiwng think-tank heavily supported by the health insurance industry, hedge funds and moneyed interests hostile to Medicare and Social Security.

Aug 12, 2013

Corrupt Iron County DA Has Conservationists Looking to Neighbor

Update: Heavily Armed Bulletproof did operate illegally in Ashland County. The StellaReport has the story.

As light shines on the isolated Iron County in northern Wisconsin, its corruption and the lurid nature of its public officials are getting a wider audience.

The light comes after the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron mine in Iron and Ashland counties was approved with special mining-company-written legislation, rushed through the Wisconsin legislature with sole Republican Party support in early 2013.

The Iron County District Attorney, Martin Lipske used to support Wisconsin Democratic Party Governor, James Doyle, but after Scott Walker and the GOP drummed up support for the mining bill, Lipske changed his party affiliation from the Democratic Party and ran as an independent in 2012, narrowly winning reelection.

Lipske is known in Iron County for fronting for the GOP-mining interests, and protecting it, refusing, for example, to prosecute the heavily armed rightwing militia, Bulletproof Securities, for operating without a license in criminal violation of Wisconsin law.

Now, citizens in Iron County are looking for evidence Bulletproof operated in neighboring Ashland County, in the face of Lipske's refusal to prosecute Bulletproof for repeated violations of the law.

Lipske is infamous locally as well for launching a prosecution against an innocent man whom Lipske incredibly taunts in a recent letter sent to the man, Donald R. Miller, in prison, chastising Miller for the work of his parents and supporters for maintaining a website—Anatomy of a Wrongful Prosecution.

Miller refused to plead no-contest after Lipske in a DA-proposed plea agreement in 1997.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School's Innocence Project was working on freeing Miller from 2011-12, obtaining an agreement from Lipske stipulating Miller's immediate release in late 2012.

Lipske reneged on the agreement after Lipske's political mentor and predecessor as DA, Iron County Judge Patrick J. Madden, rejected the agreement in late 2012 with no objection from Lipske.

Now, the Innocence Project continues its work.

A parole hearing is scheduled for later this year.

The Innocence Project is scheduled to meet with Lipske's office this week.

The latest:

Read this letter below and tell me the Wisconsin Iron County District Attorney's office is not corrupt.

Iron County DA Martin Lipske taunts innocent man,
sending him a letter while in prison

Jul 29, 2013

Former Police Chief on Historic Obstacles to Civil Rights

Shouldn't the Madison Capitol Police be out
raising pit bulls or planning Klan rallies?
That is more their style.
In the wake of the Scott Walker's Dept. of Administration ordering that any citizen in the vicinity of a group of citizens singing in the Wisconsin state capitol is subject to arrest, we have seen children and 80-plus-year-old citizens dragged from the Wisconsin People's House.

This deplorable action is in direct defiance of U.S. District Court Judge William Conley.

Notes the Wisconsin Lawyers Guild:

All the singers and others present arrested Wednesday [and last week] 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. 
It is time for federal marshals to be ordered by Justice Conley to accompany Wisconsin citizens as they are assaulted by capitol police and their liberties discarded.

This morning former Madison Police Chief David Couper writes in an e-mail on policing in a democracy: "I still maintain that police will never be as effective as they could be unless they overcome the four historic obstacles that have tended to 'arrest' their development: anti-intellectualism, violence, corruption, and discourtesy."

Can anyone viewing the actions of Capitol Police Chief David Erwin and Scott Walker dispute the anti-intellectualism, violence, corruption, and discourtesy employed in what Republicans apparently view as their political fortress?

No questions from any police; just obey orders and the hell of with Wisconsin citizens' civil rights.

A sad show by the likes of Erwin and Walker.

And one we have come to expect.

Jul 26, 2013

What is wrong with Scott Walker; Will corporate press begin asking?

About a year ago John Dean penned among the most perceptive of analyses of Scott Walker as a "Double High Social Dominator," a potentially dangerous personality type marked by inadequacies and an accompanying slate of qualities including being: "mean-spirited, narrow-minded, intolerant, bullying, zealous, dogmatic, and uncritical toward chosen authority .... hypocritical, inconsistent and contradictory, prone to panic easily, highly self-righteous, ... severely punitive; with little self-awareness, and ... usually political and economic conservatives and/or Republicans."

In the 1950s and 1960s, many social scientists—still baffled by the phenomenon of normal, seemingly moral people throwing away critical faculties and becoming unquestioning followers of fascist leaders in Europe—see their work found in Dean's words, "recurring traits that, in varying degrees, are found in authoritarian followers—a group that includes both men and women—are as follows: They are submissive to authority but aggressive on that authority’s behalf. They are conventional and highly religious, with moderate to little education. They trust untrustworthy authorities, exhibit prejudice (particularly against homosexuals, women and followers of religions other than their own), and are mean-spirited, narrow-minded, intolerant, bullying, zealous, dogmatic, and uncritical toward chosen authority."

In Walker's case, he exhibits the qualities of a both social dominator and a submissive follower.

Writes Dean:
When testing social dominators, scientists noticed an incomparable situation: They occasionally found persons who garnered high scores for their cold, calculating dominance, yet also gained high scores on the tests for submissive followers.  How, it was asked, could the same person test high on both scales, since these traits are seemingly inconsistent?  Social scientists labeled these people 'Double Highs' because of their high scores on both testing scales.

Professor Robert Altemeyer, solved this conundrum when he found that these Double Highs relate to the questions regarding submission not by considering how they themselves submit to others, but rather how others submit to them.  They simply see the world as a place where they are always in charge.
So, it is no great surprise to hear Walker speak of taking his political cues from the "messiah."

Writes Dean in part II of his mini-treatise on the dangerous personality type, Social Dominator:

To be amoral, of course, is to be insensitive to moral matters.  A politician like Scott Walker will wrap himself in a cloak of morality, while, in fact, acting anything but morally.

Needless to say, Walker’s policies that attack poor women by cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood; his slashing of education budgets while giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations; and his pursuit of similar radical Republican actions all raise serious moral issues.  But different people have different moral standards and views of such activity, so I have excluded these matters from this discussion. ...

Nonetheless, Walker’s amorality is conspicuous.  It is found in his history of ethics violations and the record of his lying. A lengthy article could (and should) be written about both, but suffice it here to note that his ethics problems go back to his Marquette University days, when the college newspaper called him “unfit” for student office.

Later, in the Assembly (in 2005), Walker would earn the distinction of receiving the second-highest fine for an ethics violation in Wisconsin history.  His lying is notorious. Politifacts Wisconsin (which I am told is more reliable than most of these sites) finds Walker to be an accomplished falsifier. With respect to 44 statements that Politifacts examined, Walker was found to have been truthful only on six occasions.  The fact that 38 statements were pants-on-fire false, false, mostly false, or half-truths is stark evidence of amorality.

I watched a video of a Walker speech at the Goldwater Institute.  He’s slick: Fast-talking, confident, and dishonest—I watched him distort facts with which I was familiar.  He spoke in mostly half-truths, and certainly not with the kind of candor that the late Senator Goldwater expected from political figures.

Clearly, Walker has all the traits of a social dominator and authoritarian leader. More strikingly, it is also clear that he is, in fact, what social scientists term a 'double high authoritarian.'

Scott Walker Also Has Traits of Authoritarian Followers   

As I mentioned in Part One in this series of columns, to fit the definition of a double high authoritarian, a person must score highly as both a dominator/leader, and ironically, also as an authoritarian follower (because such people see themselves running the world, and believe that others should always follow leaders, like themselves).

Again, I listed all the traits of those who follow authoritarian leaders in that prior column.  The key and defining characteristics of such people are (1) their willingness to submit to established authority, (2) their aggressiveness on behalf of that authority, and (3) their conventionality.  Scott Walker has long shown that he possesses these traits, conspicuously so, and thus he would likely score high on such a test.

Jul 25, 2013

White House's Public Schedule, Scott Walker's Secret

Update: Lisa Kaiser has been culling "Walker’sjust-released 1,695-page campaign finance report." And Kaiser has documented that Walker is a traveling man. "Scott Walker spared no expense while he raised $3 million in the past six months (of 2013)," notes Kaiser.

Perhaps this explains why Walker is so secretive.

Any given day, the public can view the schedule of the President of the United States.

Not so with Scott Walker.

Walker continues to hide from the people of Wisconsin, while having flacks tell the press Walker is really committed to transparency.

Is Walker so afraid of the people of Wisconsin that now two years-plus into his administration, Walker can't face the people in one even one listening session?

Is Walker's schedule really so scary for Walker to reveal?

President Obama became the first U.S. president to put his daily schedule on the White House website for the sake of transparency and alerting the people to what their president was doing.

Walker on the other hand is the most fearful governor in Wisconsin's history.

President's Schedule - July 25, 2013


10:15 am
The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam
Oval Office
Pool Spray at the Bottom
11:30 am
The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
South Lawn
Open Press
11:45 am
The President departs Joint Base Andrews
Travel Pool Coverage
1:25 pm
The President arrives Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville International Airport
Open Press
1:55 pm
The President tours the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT)
Travel Pool Coverage
2:35 pm
The President delivers remarks
FL, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Port (JAXPORT)
Open Press
3:40 pm
The President departs Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville International Airport
Open Press
5:20 pm
The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
Travel Pool Coverage
5:35 pm
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
Open Press
8:45 pm
The President hosts an Iftar dinner
State Dining Room
Pooled Press
Detailed Press Information
In-Town
Pool Call Time: 
9:30 AM
Wires: 
AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: 
AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: 
CBS
Print: 
CS Monitor
Radio: 
FOX
Out of Town
Wires: 
AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: 
AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: 
CBS
Print: 
Dallas Morning News
Radio: 
NBC

Jul 19, 2013

Scott Walker Assures Wisconsin His Administration Is Transparent

Today, Scott Bauer reports that Walker campaign contributor and real estate developer, Terrence Wall, secretly went to Scott Walker and proposed buying public properties and leasing them back to the state, "at the same time the Legislature was considering doing away with competitive bidding for such sales."

The Republican-controlled Legislature agreed 11 days later to allow no-bid sales of state properties over the objection of Democrats, who argued that it opened the door for political cronies to be cut special deals."

Another Day, Another Story of Corruption by Scott Walker

Walker contributor sent e-mail to Walker on buying public property as GOP worked to change law to allow auctioning of state property to private sector.

Jun 29, 2013

Portage, Wisc Mayor Says to Scott Walker: Leave Local Control to Communities

Walker: I know what's best for your town.
At stake is local control, said the Portland, Wisconsin Mayor.  'Let that be the Portland Common Council’s decision, not the folks in Madison.'

Republican efforts to take away local control of communities continue to draw demands that Wisconsin villages, towns and cities know what it is best for homes, and not Scott Walker and the Republicans legislature.

From Portage, Wisconsin, Mayor Bill Tierney became the latest municipal official to blast Scott Walker in a letter delivered to Walker by two Wisconsin state senators.

By Lyn Jerde, Portland Daily Register

Portage Mayor Bill Tierney is asking Gov. Scott Walker to veto a provision of the 2013-15 state budget that, if enacted, would cost Portage $205,000 in property tax revenue next year.

Joining Tierney are two lawmakers who represent the Portage area, Rep. Fred Clark, D-Sauk City, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton.

In a letter to Walker dated Friday and signed by Tierney, Clark and Erpenbach, objections are raised to a budget provision inserted by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance that would require towns, villages and cities to offset their allowable property tax levy by the amount of new revenue collected to fund services that would otherwise be paid for with property taxes.

The Portage Common Council on June 17 voted unanimously to move ahead with the creation of a stormwater utility, funded by fees from property owners.

In 2013, Tierney said, the city budgeted $205,000 in property tax revenues for stormwater treatment. With the utility, all property owners — even government bodies, school districts and nonprofit organizations that are exempt from city property taxes — would pay fees that would cover the cost of stormwater treatment.

Tierney noted that under current rules, the Common Council could choose to reduce the amount of property tax money that the city collects to offset the fees collected. Or, it could use the $205,000 in tax revenue, now used for stormwater treatment, for other infrastructure improvements.

When Tierney found out about the provision, he said he contacted Clark’s office, only to learn that the Assembly had already passed the budget.

At stake is local control, Tierney said.

“Let that be the Common Council’s decision, not the folks in Madison,” he said.

Walker is expected to sign the 2013-15 budget no later than Monday, but he has the authority to veto parts of the budget.

The issue affects many towns, villages and cities, not just Portage, Tierney said.

The letter concludes this way:

“Local officials are elected to make decisions that best reflect the interests of the residents who put them in office. We believe that local elected officials shouldn’t have their hands tied by state mandates. They know how best to serve their communities, and in many cases they’re already implementing innovative ways to of serving their communities while protecting the taxpayer’s dollars.

“As you begin veto process, we hope you will take the time to talk with local elected officials to understand how this policy will negatively affect our local communities.”

Even if Walker does not veto the provision and it becomes law, Tierney said he thinks it is still a good idea for Portage to implement a stormwater utility because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Many of the structures that generate the most stormwater in need of treatment, he said, are large buildings that belong to entities that don’t pay property taxes, but which would be required to pay stormwater utility fees.

Tierney said he hopes, however, that municipalities such as Portage will be able to decide what to do regarding property tax revenues that have been supplanted by fees.

“I guess I’ll know on Monday,” he said, “whether the letter was effective or not.”

Jun 18, 2013

Scott Walker, GOP Did Not Run on What They Are Doing to Wisconsin

Republicans are pouring out their extremist legislative agenda that ought to concern all Wisconsin citizens just now learning about it.

Did you ever hear Scott Walker and the Republicans say a top priority is limiting women's choice what to do with their bodies which Republicans assert should be used according to its Party's dictates; mandatory ultrasound for women seeking abortions; restricting access to contraceptives; and creating a new pretend issue stopping women from obtaining abortion that calculates sex selection?

Did you hear Republicans campaign on Wisconsin adopting an ALEC-Supported, for-profit Bail Bonding bill slipped into the budget?

Republican do not believe in accountability.

Their conception of government is authoritarian, disdainful of civil liberties, and misogynistic.

Who wants to run on that?

Wisconsin's War on Women escalates:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jun 17, 2013

Nieman Foundation: Walker, GOP Legislature Threaten Wisconsin's Tradition of Innovation

Magda Konieczna, has a piece out on Scott Walker and the GOP's political war against another of Wisconsin's cherished traditions, innovation at the great state of University of Wisconsin-Madison, for now directed at journalistic innovation.

Writes Konieczna:

The Wisconsin state legislature’s attempt last week to evict the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from the campus on which it operates poses a threat to one hopeful model for the future of journalism, and suggests that a long history of journalistic innovation at American universities may be in trouble.
Walker has taken a lot of hits for being petty and vindictive in using the state budget as a tool for to punish what Walker believes is a politically incorrect institution.

The GOP's including items in the state budget forbidding the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from using UW-Madison facilities looks like the start of a war against Wisconsin's great public university system, a stronghold of anti-Walker political sentiment.

The attack on the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism follows Walker's withdrawing the appointment of Joshua Inglett to the UW System Board of Regents after Walker found out Inglett signed a Recall Walker petition to show support for his mother who is a substitute teacher.

The new litmus test in Wisconsin among Republicans and the Tea Party is:  "did you sign or didn't you sign" the recall Walker petition; 930,000 people in Wisconsin did sign the recall, roughly one out of every nine out of Wisconsin's population of an estimated 5,726,398 people.

Incredibly, Walker now says wasn't involved in his decision to withdraw his nomination of Inglett.


"Again, I wasn't involved in that directly. In the interest of not pulling him through the details on this, we withdrew the nomination," Walker said.

May 23, 2013

Scott Walker Is Blatantly, Purposefully Breaking Campaign Promises

Scott Walker promised never to use the budget process to corruptly slip in legislation that could not withstand the light of day.

Local, community control? Walker has eviscerated this former commitment of the Republican Party, while in the process targeting public education.

Anyone wishing to complain can reach Walker in Iowa tonight, after his multi-day trip coming back from Connecticut and New York City.

Walker maintains the lie that he has no interest in running for the GOP nomination for president.

Few Wisconsin journalists will call him on it.

Breaking campaign promises, with a history of close aides convicted of felonies.

What better qualification for GOP nominee for president.

May 17, 2013

Scott Walker's Dismal Failure on Jobs

Lie, lie and deny.

Some call it spinning.

Scott Walker's continuing failure on jobs is met with celebration by Republicans and Tea Baggers.

Reports Rick Romell:

'These are exciting times in Wisconsin,' Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said in a statement. 'Our economy is back on track and jobs are being created across the state.'

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and other Democrats pointed to Wisconsin's job-creating record compared against other states - 44th by the most recent data available.

'If Republicans spent half as much time creating jobs as they do spinning lackluster job numbers, Wisconsin might not be falling so far behind in job creation,' Barca said in a statement.
Wisconsin's economy is back on track?

Right, and Scott Walker's friend, Tim Russell, is an avid veterans' advocate.

Cognitive Dissidence has the story, and it's not so "exciting," if a healthy economy is considered stimulating.

The following two graphs illustrate Scott Walker and the Republicans' dismal jobs reality—reality, that liberal, empirical world so frightening to the minds of the GOP.


May 16, 2013

Scott Walker's Broken Promises

Not working
"[E]very initiative that's undertaken and every program that's administered will be examined for its effect on jobs. Every decision must be considered in the context of what it means for job creation and economic recovery."
- Scott Walker's 2010 Campaign Site

A reformist Wisconsin press committed to good government, holding politicians accountable, and reporting the truth would be giving Scott Walker failing grades in fulfilling campaign promises, accusing him of deceit or incompetence on a massive scale.

But don't look at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's PolitiFact's "Walk-O-Meter: Tracking the promises of Scott Walker" for such a scale.

Politifact is a scam, a newspaper gimmick flacking for Walker's most important promise: 250,000 new jobs, rated by Politifact as "in the works."

Walker's 250,000 is constantly spun by this dishonest administration, and Walker's performance is found wanting.

Here's the Capital Times database keeping track of the 250,000 jobs mark. Wisconsin is bringing up the rear among our neighboring states.

Such data should be kept by every media outlet.

In fact Wisconsin has dropped down to 44th in the nation in creating private-sector jobs.

Walker also made a promise to "(s)trip policy and pork projects from the state budget," another broken promise that even some Republicans are calling Walker on, as noted by Bill Lueders in Isthmus.

Consider taxes. Walker hiked taxes on seniors and working families by nearly $70 million, as noted by Melissa Baldauff.

Education, check out Walker's 2010 site; in fact pick any issue and Walker has failed miserably.

But the jobs promise is the most egregious of Walker's broken promises, aka lies:

Presenting Scott Walker's 68 Page Plan to Create 250,000 Jobs

After Scott's big primary victory, he has been traveling the state to spread the word about his plan to get government out of the way to allow the private sector to create 250,000 jobs during his first term. ...
One could talk about Walker's secret agenda as well.

About that "Cline Group’s Wisconsin-based subsidiary Gogebic Taconite’s proposed $1.5 billion open pit iron mine in the Penokee Range south of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin’s Ashland and Iron counties."

That's one hell of bomb to drop on the Wisconsin people.

May 12, 2013

Scott Walker's Bombs Include Obliterating Community Control

Christopher Cline's Mega Mansion in North Palm Beach
Mining mogul Cline has his eyes set on northern Wisconsin's iron ore,
but Cline will not appear in person before community boards
concerned about environmental disasters and massive pollution.
The trip to Wisconsin from Palm Beach might interfere with Cline's life.
Cline is an avid mega yacht enthusiast - northern Wisconsin is not his place.
Cline famously sold his $27-million yacht, the 161-foot Mine Games,
because Cline had a larger boat on order, so don't expect Cline to
come up before some County Board and community panels to justify
his company coming in and destroying a near-pristine environment.
The man's too busy for Wisconsin.
Scott Walker never campaigned on taking away the liberty of workers to organise.

Walker never campaigned on taking away local control of communities to set policies protecting citizens, protecting its schools, and local environments.

Walker never campaigned on taking away a women's right to choose, or closing Planned Parenthood centers serving women's health care.

But only two years into Walker's administration, these rights and many others lie in ruin, as if hit by a depleted uranium shell air strike from a corrupt administration literally targeting its own citizens in service to huge-moneyed interests.

It would be nice to hear to voices of opposition on every medium, every street corner. But the guns of opposition have gone virtually silent. For now. Citizen action is gathering and war plans are being made.

Walker won't back down—because he's so brave (ask him)—from taking away the power of communities enacting residency requirements for their local employees.

Walker and the GOP are sneaking the anti-residency provision into the state budget, against almost unanimous opposition from community mayors, village presidents, town managers and other elected municipal representatives.

As more extreme, severe-weather events occur, Walker's usurpation could have another unforeseen effect, at least an uncared-about effect.

Said Larry Arft, City Manager in Beloit, Wisconsin: "Don’t forget, public works employees are also first responders. Winter storm events, summer rain storms, wind storms, we have people on call for our utilities. 24/7 somebody has to be on call and they need to be there in a few minutes."

Not Walker's concern.

If communities start passing laws protecting their land in any capacity, how can out-of-state billionaires strip the land? What would be next, stopping fracking?

Walker is getting set to cash in on his work for billionaires and out-of-state interests who could not care less if Wisconsin tips over and falls into Lake Michigan, as long as the Christopher Clines (a pure bastard of a man hooked up with the Carlyle Group) and the Koch brothers get their hands on our resources, the Wisconsin people and our public land and waters be damned.