Sunday, May 31, 2015

AFL-CIO Targets TPP Sell Out

The AFL-CIO in California is taking direct action to protect American jobs:
The AFL-CIO has been threatening for weeks to make an example of a Democrat who dares support giving the president fast-track trade authority — a warning shot to others leaning that way. And now they’ve picked their man: Sacramento’s Ami Bera, a two-term congressman who barely held on to his seat in one of last year’s most expensive House races.

The union leaders are going after Bera hard. They’re getting personal and vicious. And they say they don’t care if it means that a Republican wins the seat instead.

“Ami Bera won off the support of working families’ boots in the district, knocking on doors for him,” AFL-CIO spokesperson Amaya Smith said. “But no one’s saying, ‘Let’s not call him out because we’re scared of a Republican taking him out.’”


Throughout this past recess week, union-linked protesters have been in Bera’s district holding out giant Q-tips, urging him to clean out his ears. On Friday, labor activists went up with an $84,000 ad buy in the California district. On Sunday, the communications director for the California Labor Federation published an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee calling his support for the TPA “a slap in the face to those who worked so hard to elect him.”

Now they’re going guerrilla, with a mock classified ad that will run in Monday’s Sacramento Bee and on Sacramento Craigslist.

“Wanted in CA-7: A congressman w/backbone to represent working families,” the Craigslist ad says. “Successful candidate will stand with constituents, not multinational corporations, for good jobs and fair trade. Must have backbone. No sell-outs need apply. Taking applications now.”
Labor has been talking about no longer going along to get along for a while. It's good to see that they are no longer willing to be doormats for corporate Democrats.

The DPW Chair Race And The Millionaire's Dollars Question

As the gentle reader is surely aware, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) will be holding their state convection this coming weekend.  At the convention, delegates will elect a new chair to lead the party into the vital 2016 elections.

The five candidates are:
  • Jason Rae the establishment candidate and corporate Democrat, hand-picked by the departing chair, Mike Tate. Rae's campaign has been rather disappointing with a lot of negative attacks, faux outrage and melodrama.  Due to the way the system is rigged, he is likely to be the winner, sad to say.  If Rae is elected, don't look for much to change.
  • Joe Wineke, the former chair who gave us Tate and furthered the corporatization of the party.
  • Steve Smith, basically the "who's that?" candidate.
  • Jeff Smith, running as the outsider candidate. I like a lot of the things Smith has to say, but I'm very concerned that he chose an education privatization supporter for his partner.
  • Martha Laning, some people (the establishment caucus) have expressed concerns about Laning's relative newness to the party, which shows how tone deaf they are to what the general public is saying and their hypocrisy about telling people to join and organize if they want to see changes.  Laning also is saying a lot of good things and scored big when she picked State Representative David Bowen as her running partner.
While each candidate has their strong points and their weaknesses, there is one glaring omission that causes me concern - none of the candidates have talked publicly about the elephant in the room: the plutocrat Chris Abele.

Abele has to be one of the most unDemocratic and undemocratic Democrats in history.  In his few years as Milwaukee County Emperor, Abele has actively opposed almost every tenet of the Democrats' platform:
  • Abele has attacked workers, in both the public and private sector, and has pushed his pro-poverty plantation economics agenda.
  • Abele has abandoned Milwaukee's most vulnerable citizens to corporate wolves, which has already led to increased violence and death.
  • Abele has eviscerated representative government in Milwaukee County by decimating the authority of the Milwaukee County Board and consolidating power into his inept hands. 
  • As a side effect of Abele's power grab, he has also effectively ruined the farm team for Milwaukee Democrats and shrinking their already small bench.
  • Abele has attacked and undermined other Democrats besides those on the county board, like Senator Chris Larson and anyone else who dares to disagree with him.
  • Not only has Abele gone after Democrats, he's made campaign donations to some of the most rabid of Teapublicans and even held fundraisers for them.
  • Abele eagerly agreed to become Milwaukee's education privatization czar for the Teapublicans.
  • In exchange for being their education privatization czar, the Teapublicans are letting Abele throw the poor to the wolves so that he can have a new arena.
The list of examples of Abele's malfeasance goes on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Yet despite Abele actively working against the Party's best interests, Democratic leadership has not only turned a blind eye to Abele's misdeeds but have squelched party members who would criticize Abele.



Abele is filthy rich and regularly cuts checks to the Party and Party members.  Ironically, as they allow Abele further weaken the Party, they become even more dependent on his money and the downward spiral the Democrats are in continues unabated.

If members of the DPW wish to stop the Party's downward spiral, to make the Party whole, and to start attracting members, activists and donors instead of driving people away, it would greatly behoove them to choose a leader that will put the Party's platform before Abele's pocketbook. They will need to choose someone that can not only stand up to Abele and his coercion, but wean the Party off of his money by being able to find new ways of fundraising besides selling out to the boy prince.
If they fail to do so and instead elect another chair that will grovel to Abele for his pocket change, don't expect things to get better for a long, long time.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Indeed, We Are Worth More!

Remember when Scott Walker said that the push for raising the minimum wage was "a distraction" and that the minimum wage "doesn't serve a purpose?"  He even echoed the right wing talking point that raising the minimum wage - especially to $15 - would do nothing but force businesses to close and kill a bajillion jobs.

We should be so lucky:
If Seattle businesses are closing up shop in response to our $15 minimum wage, you wouldn’t know it from our falling unemployment rate:
King County’s unemployment rate reach[ed] a low not seen since April 2008, data released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department show.

King County’s unemployment rate in April was 3.3 percent, compared to 4 percent in March and 4.1 percent in April 2014.
Okay, monthly unemployment data is not seasonally adjusted, so the rate will surely rise in May and June as college and high school graduates join the workforce (like it does every year). And of course, it will take years—maybe even a couple decades—to fully suss out the employment effect (if any) of Seattle’s phased-in $15 minimum wage.

But again, if employers are cutting back on hiring in anticipation of rising labor costs—like $15 critics insist a rationally self-interested employer would—you wouldn’t know it from our falling unemployment rate.
So, I would say to the unions and organizations like Wisconsin Jobs Now, keep on fighting!

We'll all be better off for it when you are victorious.

Leadership? Not So Much.

The last month (on top of the last 5+ years) has been a month of unprecedented attacks on Wisconsin.

With so many awful topics to choose from, which one do you suppose outgoing chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Mike Tate picked for his Facebook post topic yesterday?

A) Praising labor leaders for once again taking their personal time to try to stop the repeal of prevailing wage (they held this off successfully once before);

B) Praising local grassroots parent groups for (at least partial) success in getting funding restored to local schools;

C) Denouncing Republican plans to lower the bar for teacher qualifications, jeopardizing learning outcomes for students;

D) Piling on to the effort to eliminate WEDC;

E) A statement setting the tone, with just seven days left until the state convention in Milwaukee, of fairness and a need to work together no matter who wins the chair race; or

F) A statement that repeats details from the poorly researched, now-removed Blogging Blue piece written by supporters of your hand-picked successor.

If you guessed “F”, you’d be right! See for yourself below.

Here is the post:
At a time many malign the division and negativity among our party chair candidates I think it's important to take notice when they each come to the right decision on their own. It bodes well for the future. There was to be a forum tomorrow in Milwaukee organized by several very questionable characters. Robert Miranda, currently on probation for stealing public funds and former speaker at the RPW convention (not to mention a Fox News esqu {sic} fake reporter), a minister who has made repeated anti-Semitic and anti LGBT comments and a woman who has been working unsuccessfully for years to defeat good Democrats in Milwaukee organized it. Some could have taken the opportunity to attend and further sling more mud and fuel the personal attacks in this race. Instead all of them (minus Jeff Smith who is still deciding) have made the decision not to attend. In the middle of the nastiness of the race I want to commend the chair candidates who made the decision to not engage with characters who wish our party nothing but ill. True leadership has been lacking in this race by some, when it happens we should acknowledge it. So hats off to Jason Rae, Joe Wineke, Stephen Smith and Martha Laning.
A wiser leader would have seen that while these hosts have some very problematic public statements, and some have a history of run-ins with the law, they are also the only grassroots group of color that has tried to organize such a forum. Candidates could have organized something similar themselves, but unfortunately, no one has.

Tate did have one thing right:
True leadership has been lacking in this race by some, when it happens we should acknowledge it.
Well, it could have happened yesterday. Instead, with Wisconsin in ruins, this is how he’s choosing to finish his time as chair. Delegates, pick carefully next week. This blogger won’t be endorsing anyone, but does suggest that you pay close attention to how Tate and Rae supporters have spent their time in the past month and how they spend it these next seven days. See if you notice any “true leadership” from the chair candidates or those who support them, and when you do see it, cast your vote accordingly.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ron Johnson Versus The Legos

Image courtesy of BlueGal aka Fran

Ron Johnson once again shows why we Wisconsinites refer to him as "Our Dumb Senator."

RoJo gave a rambling interview to Kay Nolan at In said interview, RoJo went on to say this:
Johnson described the need to streamline the process for large construction projects to obtain permits and overcome environmental hurdles part of an overall fight against laws that hamper economic growth.

He lamented what he called a "cultural attitude" that "government is good and business is bad," giving as an example the animated "LEGO" movie, in which the villain is called "Lord Business."

"That's done for a reason," Johnson said. "They're starting that propaganda, and it's insidious."
It's nice to see RoJo is not afraid to take on people or things bigger than him or smarter than him.

This comment was picked up by Ryan Grim at HuffPo who added the keen insight that RoJo might be taking things a bit personally:
For Johnson, a self-described "rich guy," the offense is also personal. When he jumped into the race in 2010 against incumbent Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, he said in interviews that his wealth had been called to service by Fox News pundit Dick Morris.

“I was sitting home, watching Fox News, and Dick Morris came on and said… ‘If you’re a rich guy from Wisconsin, step up to the plate,’" Johnson said. "And I kinda looked at [my wife] Jane and go, ‘Is he like talking to me?’”

Johnson has several reasons to be concerned about how people view the rich. While he is often described as a "self-made millionaire," Johnson's wealth actually comes by virtue of marriage. He made his fortune as an executive at a plastics company owned by his father-in-law. Then the company, in a roundabout way, paid for what was referred to in the press as a self-financed campaign in 2010. Johnson spent around $9 million on his campaign; after winning election, the company made a lump sum payment of around $10 million to Johnson.
Indeed, besides the examples cited by Grim, RoJo has a history of championing Big Business over the little people.

When running for office in 2010, RoJo praised the business environment in China as being better than in the U.S. It was later revealed that RoJo had a small fortune invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas.

RoJo also bemoaned the settlement BP made to help clean up their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,saying it was bad for the American economy. What he meant was that it was bad for his portfolio and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he had invested in the oil giant.

But wait! There's more. There's always more.

RoJo decided to respond to Grim's piece - using his official government webpage to do so:

But even if it weren’t for that essay, the point that “The Lego Movie” was an especially grievous slam on business was made by others. For instance, The Weekly Standard, the Economist, the Boston Globe – even the liberal Atlantic and the far-left New Statesman.

The strange thing isn’t that a kids’ movie was anti-business, it is that someone claiming to be a journalist never encountered the idea before.
Speaking for myself, I can't wait until RoJo tears into George Bailey and Clarence Odbody of "It's A Wonderful Life." Then again, we could always hold out hope for RoJo. Even Ebeneezer Scrooge came to see the light.

Either way, we can add this to the list on why RoJo is the most vulnerable senator in 2016.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Deal Between Devils - MPS For An Arena And Another Abele Power Grab

We learned a couple of weeks ago that State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga made a deal with Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele, in which Abele would help introduce Jim Crow to Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

At the time, Abele's apologists were trying to say Abele had no choice but to become the MPS Privatization Czar, because it was either him or Scott Walker.  As I pointed out, that excuse was utter bullshit.  Abele has had a lot of friendly dealings with his fellow conservatives in the state legislature.   So much so that Abele has given campaign donations to and held fundraisers for Republicans, including Kooyenga.

I somehow doubt that the Republicans had to do a lot of arm twisting to get Abele to go along on the hostile takeover of our schools and the auctioning off of our children's futures.  After all, Abele and his good friend and mentor, Sheldon Lubar, have been quite frank and  open that MPS was their next target after hamstringing The Milwaukee County Board.

Cog Dis has since learned from reliable sources in Madison and Milwaukee that Abele and the Republicans made a deal only the Devil could love - Abele would become the MPS Privatization Czar and the Republicans would make sure that Abele would get his new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.  In other words, Abele traded our children's futures so that his already filthy rich friends can become even richer and so he can have even better courtside seats. What a guy!

Sure enough, suddenly there is a deal for a new arena that really puts the screws to Milwaukeeans, both financially and democratically ((emphasis mine):
The state would be responsible for bonds worth more than $55 million. The state would commit $4 million a year over 20 years, or $80 million total, to cover its shares of principal and interest costs.

The Wisconsin Center District would issue $93 million in zero-coupon bonds that could be paid off years from now.

The city would spend $35 million on a new 1,240-vehicle parking structure and provide $12 million in tax incremental financing.

In the most unusual feature of the deal, Milwaukee County would "certify" tens of millions of dollars in uncollected county debt. The county, in effect, would then count on the state to recover at least $4 million of that debt a year for 20 years, a total of another $80 million that would then be funneled to the arena project. 
One source said that plan could put the state at risk of having to put more toward the project. But another source said if there's a shortfall the sum could be deducted from aid the state provides the county.

A source said the Milwaukee County Board would not have a vote on the deal, including the financing piece affecting county taxpayers.

"There may be other County Board reforms that will be part of this package," said one official close to the negotiations.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele — who has generally been quiet about the county's possible role in the deal — has been a key player in putting together the proposal that would centralize control of the key assets. He has been unavailable for comment.
Talk about your lose-lose-lose propositions!

In one fell swoop - and with absolutely no say in the matter - Milwaukeeans will have public assets (the schools) and their children's lives ripped from them and given to education profiteers of Abele's choosing.  On top of that, Milwaukeeans get to pay over a quarter of a billion dollars to make millionaires (like Abele) and billionaires even richer.

And not only are Milwaukeeans losing control of their schools, but now there voices in county government will be hushed even further.  (Don't be surprised if one of those changes is that Abele can arbitrarily change civil service rules because running a clean government and treating workers fairly and with respect is just more than he can do.)

It was going to take years if not decades to repair the damage Scott Walker has done to Milwaukee.  With the damage caused by Abele and his Republican friends, it will take generations, if it can be fixed at all.

ADDENDUM:  Since I first posted this, I have learned that the "uncollected debt" are unpaid property taxes and unpaid criminal fines. In other words, Abele is promising to kick Grandma from her house to help pay for the arena.  And when that fails to cover the tab, Walker will cut shared revenue even further. Then Abele will either have to raise property taxes and/or cut services. How fiscally conservative of him!

Legislature Effectiveness

Image result for mary czaja

By Jeff Simpson 

In Wisconsin, our wonderful legislators have come up with something they called educator effectiveness.  

What is the Educator Effectiveness System?
The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System is a performance-based evaluation system designed to improve the education for all students in the state of Wisconsin by supporting guided, individualized, self-determined professional growth and development of educators.

It is a complicated system that involves many different observations and evaluations throughout the year.  In the world of trying to figure out a way to evaluate what teachers do, its an ok system.  

It was just turned inside out by the Wisconsin Republican legislature.  

 Anyone with a bachelor's degree could be hired and licensed to teach sixth- through 12th-grade English, math, social studies or science in Wisconsin under a provision slipped into the state budget proposal by a Republican lawmaker.And any person with relevant experience — even a high school dropout — could be licensed to teach in any other non-core academic subject in those grades, according to the provision.
Critics argue the changes, if approved, would dramatically lower Wisconsin's teaching standards.
The teacher certification provision was approved as part of a package of K-12 budget items by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee last week in a 1:30 a.m. vote. It was proposed by Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma). She said she pursued the measure to help rural schools find and retain qualified teachers in hard-to-fill subjects.
Ms. Czaja had better hope that no one ever makes testing mandatory for legislators because her memorization skills are terrible.

 Czaja couldn't name any districts that had asked for the broader flexibilities.

Either that or Ms. Czaja is a liar:

But a rural schools leader said that's not what rural schools asked for.
"Heavens no," said Jerry Fiene, executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance. "This totally destroys any licensure requirements that we have in Wisconsin. It's very concerning."
Fiene said rural school district leaders have been looking for flexibility to expand options for degreed, licensed teachers. For example, allowing a credentialed English teacher already on staff to teach another subject if he or she has relevant experience.

 Nevermind, its is an ALEC bill so she is just doing what she is being told to do by her bosses.

We need someone to come up with a legislature effectiveness system so we can send these do nothing legislators, in their gerrymandered districts, home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

And That Is Why You Fail.....

By Jeff Simpson

The Wisconsin Democratic Party, in the last days of Mike Tate's rule, touted to people to stay tuned for an upcoming surprise. 

In the year 2015, the upcoming surprise turned out to be, an updated website, with a blatant typo on the home page.

Paid for by Paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Mike Tate, Chair

Boy were we not surprised and if this is not the perfect ending to Mike Tate's career as head of the party I do not know what is.    

As the great Yoda says:

Laning's Republican Fawning

By Jeff Simpson

Martha Laning is running to be chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, after losing out in a bid for State Senate in the last election.

Here is one of her ads:

I ask you, in the wake of the right-to-work-for less laws, telling people on snap what kind of cheese is acceptable, taking over public schools and making them charter schools and overturning Prevailing wage laws as we speak, when was the last time that a Republican had good ideas?

I am open to suggestions because once we get past Abe Lincoln I can not think of one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


From ALEC Exposed:

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CCXLIII

Even after five years of Scott Walker and his apologists telling us that his agenda is working and that Wisconsin is "Open For Business," it appears that reality hasn't gotten the memo:
Oilgear Corp. will sell its 200,000-square-foot Milwaukee factory and headquarters building and move to smaller space in the area, a company executive said Tuesday.

The move comes as Oilgear shuts down manufacturing at the plant at 2300 S. 51st St., eliminating 45 jobs. Oilgear notified government officials of the plant closing last week.

Catherine Cerny, human resources director for the company, said a prospective buyer for the complex has emerged. Oilgear expects to complete the sale this year, she said.

"We're negotiating right now and have already been approached by people who are interested in the property," Cerny said.

The firm will relocate the Milwaukee production to its plants in Traverse City, Mich., and Fremont, Neb. That will leave Oilgear with about 85 employees here. Remaining will be the corporate office personnel and engineering staff.
And you mjust know it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

WI Republicans Throw Walker's Campaign A (Pro-) Life Preserver

As Scott Walker nears the time that he lets the cat out of the cellophane bag and formally announces his presidential bid, he has to take care of an image problem he has with conservative Christians. They are less than enthused with his wimpy stances regarding gay marriage and abortion:
So even though Walker has said he'd rather not get sidetracked with discussions on the divisive issues, Christian leaders want him to talk about it and openly.

"He cannot campaign in Iowa and South Carolina and not talk about the issues of life and marriage," Penny Nance, who leads the conservative Concerned Women for America group, told Politico. "And even if it appears that he's not talking about it, he's done," she added.
Wisconsin Republican legislators are riding to the rescue and are fast-tracking a bill which would ban abortions after the 20th week, even in cases of rape or incest:
State Republicans are looking to fast-track a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, potentially bringing the proposal to a vote before the Legislature begins debate on the state budget in June.

State Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) told the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network last week that she hopes to see a vote on the proposal, which has more than 30 co-sponsors, as soon as possible.

"As soon as we can do the logistics of sorting out committee meetings and getting those things done, we will be proceeding," Lazich said.

As Senate president, Lazich assigns bills to committees and sits on the panel that decides which bills will come to a floor vote. Lazich is a lead sponsor of the bill.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is preparing a likely run for the presidency, said in March he would sign the measure if it came to his desk.

The bill includes penalties of up to $10,000 and 31/2 years in jail for anyone who is convicted of performing an abortion after 20 weeks, when Lazich said research shows a fetus begins to feel pain. Opponents of the bill dispute that, saying the scientific community does not believe fetuses can feel pain at that stage of development.
Even though similar laws have been stopped in other states and the senate president admits that she doesn't know whether this bill would stand to a court challenge, they're still planning on suppressing more women's rights for the political aspirations of Walker.

What's the rights of people or the squandering of tax dollars compared to the chance for Walker to show he's as depraved conservative as any of the other presidential wannabes, even if he doesn't necessarily mean it?

The Troupis Dump

By Jeff Simpson 

It has been a time honored, bipartisan tradition, that when politicians are actually embarrassed by the things they are doing, they wait until Friday afternoon to announce it.  THis is because our lazy complaint media cares more about getting the weekend started than scrutinizing said politician.   If you are really embarrassed, than you wait until the Friday of a Holiday weekend,  

Our very own Scott Walker has become the master at this news dump and the Friday before Memorial Day 2015 could have been his master dump. As Capper covered the other day,  Walker appointed a bunch of political hacks and unqualified people to some very important positions.  

Probably the most egregious is appointing Republican lawyer and Wisconsin taxpayer leech Jim Troupis to a judgeship in Dane County.  

Walker's other politically appointed judge is Attorney Jim Troupis to Dane County Circuit Court:
Attorney Jim Troupis has been appointed to fill the seat of retiring Dane County Circuit Judge John C. Albert and will serve until August 2016. Troupis’ appointment comes seven weeks after a committee and group of advisers that vet judicial hopefuls rejected all four applicants for the job.

Those applicants were: state Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, state Assistant Public Defender David Klauser, criminal defense attorney John Hyland and Madison attorney and UW-Madison adjunct professor of law Nick Schweitzer.

Hyland, who said in his interview that he had signed the 2012 recall petition against Walker, plans to run for the seat next April and has formed a campaign committee.

Troupis was a partner at the Madison law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich before starting his own law firm in 2010. He worked with Republican legislators during their redistricting of the state following the 2010 census and also represented state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the recount of the 2011 election.

Even if you have not heard of attorney Jim Troupis, you have been paying him for his work handsomely.   While taking no bids, the Wisconsin taxpayers have been paying Mr. Troupis $395/hr to defend Scott Walker in court(which keeps Jim very busy).  

Paying Mr. Troupis so well, you would think you would get high quality work for the public good from him.   You would be wrong.   Troupis was waste deep in the unethical filth that was the Republicans Redistricting    gerrymandering of our state.  Even though it was done by a handful of extreme right wing ideologues, they could not even stand Mr. Troupis.

McLeod then added, "I think Tad and (especially) Adam have Jim's 'number,' as my parents generation would say. He's hurt himself in this engagment. Given enough 'rope' he'll do further damage to himself as time goes by."
Plus they illegally withheld emails, that they were court ordered to turn over.  I wonder if judge Troupis will think its OK to blatantly ignore a court order?

Troupis also has contempt for his new peers, as he had this to say when Judge Sumi was purported to be considering a run at the State Supreme Court:

Troupis was disappointed Judge Sumi is considering a run. "It's obvious she was talked into it because of Act 10," Troupis said. "It should be about competence and qualifications, and clearly the only purpose of her running is to open that pro-union stuff."

Who does this guy get along with?  Well hate radio's own cop hitter, Vicki Mckenna for one.  They even went on a "Freedom Pervasion" tour of the state together.  

That is of course, when he is not busy taking trips around the world.  He thanks you for the money to be able to take such an extravagant trip!   

The most ridiculous part of Troupis' career though, would be when the 14 Senators left Wisconsin to slow down the passage of ACT 10.   Jim Troupis gave legal cover to Scott Fitzgerald to try and have democratically elected representatives arrested.   Seriously.  

But James Troupis, an attorney for Fitzgerald, said rounding up the senators is legal under a constitutional provision that allows the Senate to enforce its own rules, including mandatory attendance. That section allows each house to "compel the attendance of absent members."

Troupis insisted the detention is not an arrest because the senators are not suspected of any crimes. Rather, he said, the resolution seeks to enforce a legislative process.
"The Legislature has its own powers - that's the principle here," he said. "The constitution is quite explicit in providing our Legislature with independent authority."

But the distinction between "arrest" and "detention" was lost on a pair of Madison attorneys who are active in Democratic politics who said the state constitution provides an absolute bar against legislators being arrested for non-criminal offenses.

In an open letter to the Senate, Madison attorneys Lester Pines and Susan Crawford said "none of the fourteen absent Senators has been charged with a crime. Nor has any crime occurred. The Wisconsin Senate has absolutely no authority to order any of its members arrested or taken into custody in order to compel their attendance."

At least the irony is strong, when someone can  illegally and ridiculously try and have sitting elected officials "detained" then go on a "History of Freedom" tour around the state.

Troupis/Fitzgerald, actually sent State Troopers to the homes of the 14 Senators.  Wonder what other Government officials have sent police to the homes of their political opposition to have them detained in our History?  

Apparently Troupis feels the need to be in Wisconsin at your job, does not apply to Scott Walker.

Troupis tried to become a Federal Judge in 2007, under his old client George W Bush, but was soundly rejected.   Even the cronyism of Dubya could not see fit to giving Troupis more power.  

Another question that needs to be answered, is why would Dave Blaska have the Troupis appointment information two days before Scott Walker dumped on the people of Wisconsin?

Congratulations #2 — to Dane County’s newest judge, Jim Troupis.

Troupis Law Office
7609 Elmwood Ave
Suite 102
Middleton, WI 53562
608.807.4096 `|

The UW System Cuts Disaster

By Jeff Simpson

 Even though we have had five years of complete Republican rule, and the Governor and his co-horts campaigned on us having a surplus, the sad reality is that we have a bigger budget deficit than when Scot Walker took office.  That led to a ridiculous austerity budget and one of the places where they proposed the biggest cuts was to the University of Wisconsin system.

While it is too late to do anything about the Republican dishonesty, it is not to late to stop these devastating cuts to the UW System.

Thanks to WisconsinBudgetProject, we know how bad they can be.


Scott Walker is definitely "focused like a laser beam" on jobs.....unfortunately his focus seems to be on eliminating jobs.   

Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Paying Job in Wisconsin Is:

Image result for scott walker money wi

By Jeff Simpson

It has to be (drum roll please)


See Milwaukee's own Mary Sue Shannon is a top donor, and has given $110,000 just to Scott Walker alone.   Who knew that being a homemaker paid so well.   However Ms. Shannon is extremely talented. because not only can she rake in the money being a home maker, she does not even "make a home"(emphasis mine)

My research determined that Mary Sue Shannon is the wife of Milwaukee-area native and prominent University of Wisconsin alum Mike Shannon. Mike Shannon is a founding partner of KSL Capital Partners, a multibillion-dollar Denver private equity firm.

The Shannons are major supporters of Republican candidates nationwide and often list their address as 2323 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, in an office building called the Heritage House at Mayfair.

The building includes a first-floor Marine Bank branch and also is the home of Jacobus Wealth Management. Sources tell me the Shannons are Jacobus Wealth Management clients.

She is technically an "office building maker" who must have one hell of a rainy day fund!

PS:  A quick little fun fact, out of the top 25 Walker for Governor of Wisconsin donors, a whopping 5 of them live in Wisconsin.  At least he knows enough to take out of state campaign money while campaigning against it!

Memorial Day

As the gentle reader is aware, today is Memorial Day, a national day of recognition for the men and women who fought for and died for our country.

Sadly, for way to many, it is just the third day of a three day weekend to be filled up with cook outs, yard work or Netflix.

Even sadder, many politicians - mostly Teapublicans and Republicrats - to pose for holy pictures and make some insincere comments before cutting services and benefits for the still-living veterans.

Saddest of all, we have idiots like Scott Walker going around promising to cause the deaths of more of our military personnel for nothing more than the politics of hate and greed.

To Be "Fiscally Conservative" Is To Be Pro-Poverty

This article is directed at conservatives like Wisconsin's Teapublicans, but damn if it isn't even more appropriate for the likes of the boy prince, Boss Abele and the other Republicrats!  The whole article is well worth the read, but I would point out this part:
And in case you hadn’t noticed, poverty — including the cycle of poverty and the effect of poverty on children – disproportionately affects African Americans, Hispanics, other people of color, women, trans people, disabled people, and other marginalized groups.

So what does this have to do with fiscal policy? Well, duh. Poverty is perpetuated or alleviated, worsened or improved, by fiscal policy. That’s not the only thing affecting poverty, but it’s one of the biggest things. To list just a few of the most obvious examples of very direct influence: Tax policy. Minimum wage. Funding of public schools and universities. Unionization rights. Banking and lending laws. Labor laws. Funding of public transportation. Public health care. Unemployment benefits. Disability benefits. Welfare policy. Public assistance that doesn’t penalize people for having savings. Child care. Having a functioning infrastructure, having economic policies that support labor, having a tax system that doesn’t steal from the poor to give to the rich, having a social safety net — a real safety net, not one that just barely keeps people from starving to death but one that actually lets people get on their feet and function — makes a difference. When these systems are working, and are working well, it’s easier for people to get out of poverty. When they’re not, it’s difficult to impossible. And I haven’t even gotten into the fiscal policy of so-called “free” trade, and all the ways it feeds poverty both in the U.S. and around the world. (I’ll get to that in a bit.)

Fiscal policy affects poverty. And in the United States, “fiscally conservative” means supporting fiscal policies that perpetuate poverty. “Fiscally conservative” means slashing support systems that help the poor, lowering taxes for the rich, cutting corners for big business, and screwing labor — policies that both worsen poverty and make it even more of an inescapable trap.
And then there is this, which just screams out the hypocrisy of Abele and his supporters:
If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

And that means not being a fiscal conservative.
Ironically, Abele and his sheeple keep trying to refer to true progressives and liberals as the "Tea Party" of the left. Unfortunately for them, all of Abele's money cannot by them the truth. It is they who are supporting people and policies that are not only against their best interest, but harm all of us just as much - if not more - than Scott Walker's maleficence.

DPW Chair Elections: Questions and "Answers"

There is so much mud flying, mainly from the DPW “leadership” camp, that it can be hard to keep track of the ways in which your opinion doesn’t matter, or the ways in which your vote for chair doesn’t count, is not informed, etc.  Innocent questions asked on Facebook soon devolve into attacks on the asker's character, longevity with the DPW, local party affiliation, etc.  ALL of the questions and answers below are based on personal conversations between Dem voters and  people who know better than Dem voters: party insiders (mainly paid campaign consultants) who have a financial stake in getting their candidate elected. 

We should be talking about why, as a state, less than 1% of the people who voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential election choose to belong to the DPW. We should be talking about why only a tiny group of consultants with very poor track records ever get tapped to run campaigns in Wisconsin. To quote Dr. Phil, "Based on results, how's that working out for ya?" We all know the answer to that.  We see it in our paychecks, in our schools, in our degrading environments, and so much more.

Now, on to our questions and "answers" portion...

Q:  What if I support someone for chair other than the person closely associated with the outgoing DPW leadership?

A1: When was the last time you came to a convention?

A2) Okay, so you went to the last several conventions. How about county party meetings and events?

A3) So you come to county party meetings or events. When did you start doing this? (This is usually followed by some reason why, if you have only been participating for 5, 10, or 20 years, you’re not really worthy, though the reason is not specified.)

Q: What if I want to vote for someone based on his or her resume? I like that some of these candidates have started or grown family businesses. That’s hard work. I like that others have lots of years of experience with volunteer-based non-profits.

A1: Some of these people have not even been DPW members for very long. That totally trumps real-world experience. I mean, how can we continue our winning streak if someone hasn’t been paying dues for years?

A2: They may not be tight with campaign consultants, and that might affect someone’s bottom line (mine).

A3:  When was the last time you came to a convention?

Q: The next chair is going to need to unite rural and urban voters better than the outgoing one has. I hear so many tales of rural candidates getting ditched by the DPW.  How can we compete if we keep this up?

A1:  It’s who’s in tightest with the party establishment that will be able to make the biggest difference. (If you point out how poorly this has worked out for Wisconsin, they will refer you to answer 2.)

A2: How well do you understand the by-laws for the DPW or our local party? It sounds like you don’t know those, so I don’t have to listen to you.
A3: When was the last time you came to the convention?

Q:  Why are so many party insiders saying that only one candidate has a plan? As far as I can tell, they all have plans, but only a couple have the real-life experience and grassroots connections to carry these out. 

A1: Why are you so homophobic?

A2: That person was only chosen as First Vice Chair because they are Black.

A3: When was the last time you went to the convention?

A4: Have you even read the by-laws for the DPW?

Q: If the candidate with the deepest ties to the current DPW leadership wins, what will he do differently that will reverse the massive losses Wisconsin’s suffered since 2010?

A1: When was the last time you went to the convention?

A2: Some of the other candidates have not been members of the DPW for very long.

A3: These attacks on my favorite candidate just prove how little you know about politics/the party.

Yes, these answers are ridiculous and unacceptable. They are also real answers given to people who are sincerely looking for the best way to steer Wisconsin back to what used to be a proud Progressive tradition.  Let’s vote based on experience, a candidate’s track record professionally outside of politics, and on the issues each candidate stands for. Let's stop with the non-answers and challenge everyone to make their case for their candidate, not their case against the person asking questions. May the best team for Wisconsin win!