Thursday, May 30, 2019

Same As It Ever Was

By Jeff Simpson

One thing we know about our friends on the right, especially the folks at Wisconsin Law and Liberty (WILL) is that they love to file frivolous lawsuits.   Rick Esenberg, has to justify his $200,000 + year salary(running his "non profit") by using his law degree to sue anytime a Democrat in WI sneezes. 

Now we see on White Right Wisconsin( I read it so you don't have to), that a "teacher" is joining the lawsuit to keep ACT10 since the operating engineers are trying to have it ruled unconstitutional. 

The "teacher" name is Kristi Koschkee and her argument is:

“As a public school teacher who refused union membership, the lawsuit will restrict my freedoms in the classroom,” Koschkee said in a statement released Friday. “The public unions are once again trying to use the courts to handcuff all teachers, union or not, to collective bargaining agreements. If the unions are successful, it will hurt my ability to do what I love: teach students.”
Kristi Koschkee, was much more famously known as her maiden name during the ACT10 battles of Kristi Lacroix.  LaCroix who was a teacher, then left to try and start an alternative to teachers unions(irony alert), and now is apparently teaching again.   Along the way, Ms. Lacroix also had a stint with the Knot my Wisconsin goon squad, all the while complaining about the supposed vitriol spewed at her by union supporters.   She more than fulfills her daily dose of irony! 

Now Kristi Koschkee's argument, is that by restoring collective bargaining, it will hurt her ability to teach students.  Not exactly sure how that would happen but it makes for a great line to throw red meat out to the hard core right wing base that will never be able to understand the nuance or lack of logic in her statement.   The fact that WILL can base an argument on such loose logic explains what you need to know about them also.     That is why they are known for frivolous lawsuits, they have unlimited Michael Grebe money to clog the courts. 

While I do not know when or why Kristi returned to teaching, there is something I do know for certain about her contract.  Thanks to ACT 10 that she so vocally promoted, she (and all teachers in WI) make $2000 less in base pay than they did pre Act10.

Thanks to White Right Wisconsin we know that the attacks on public education are nevereneding with a certain, well funded group in WI and we need to continue to stay vigilant.

Our kids are depending on us! 



Friday, May 10, 2019

Scott Walker's Clueless Columns

By Jeff Simpson

In the immortal words of - Ronald Reagan - the person Scott Walker first voted for as a teen"There you go again".

Walker who, for some reason has been giving column inches in the Rev. Moon's Washington Times, is out with his second column.   The first was incomprehensible and things have not gotten much better   However what you can gleem from Walker's second column is that he has never had much self awareness. 

Recently, Social media giant Facebook, culled from its community a bunch of far right extremists, like hate monger lunatic Alex Jones, Wisconsin Republican Parties own white Supremacist Paul Nehlen, even a crazy WISGOP group Wisconsin Conservative Union(which has caused Dan ODonnell countless faux tears), among many others (even Louis Farrakhan). 

One thing that our friends on the right are great at, is playing the part of the poor innocent victim.   Yes, there are claims of censorship, but Facebook is a private company and not bound to the first amendment.   When the Republicans can not control something/someone it makes them crazy. 

Which leads us into Walkers latest attempt at an opinion column.  Incredibly titled - Who wants to live in a country that can block free speech.   More of his obsession with Venezuela.

History shows us that dictators often seek to deny the people access to information to thwart revolutions. And in Venezuela, the government has historically had a heavy hand on the media.
Radio and television are censored by an organization sympathetic to the government, and most newspapers are owned by supporters of Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
Now, they are turning their efforts to blocking digital to stop dissent. We saw similar attempts in 2011, during the April Spring uprisings. Eight years ago, the government in Egypt shut down all access to the Internet. Now, it is happening again in our hemisphere.

Scott Walker, who controlled the message for 8 years, by when he did make a rare appearance in public, only had the courage for invite only events. 

However, nothing showed a heavy hand of the Government and total censorship of free speech as when Scott Walker as Governor, ordered the arrest of anyone who dared sing in the Rotunda of the Capitol. 

Here are pics of the Capitol Police arresting Vietnam War Hero Will Williams and then him falling down on the stairs as they take him down to process him.  He put his life on the line for our country in Vietnam but was treated like crap by Scott Walker for singing in a public building. 

While there are many many many other stories of censorship and desperation in controlling information from the Walker administration, there is one image that sums up the lack of transparency and Unconstitutional actions that defined Scott Walker.

When this picture defines your tenure, you should probably take a good, hard, long look in the mirror before you offer an opinion on censorship anywhere else in the world! 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Wisconsin Loses Again

By Jeff Simpson 

A Wisconsin 2020 election preview just played out in the spring election season here and it is not a good thing for the people of Wisconsin. 

In almost a slam dunk race, the Democrats grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in one of the most important (and winnable)  State Supreme Court Elections there has been.   Far right extremist, and Scott Walker crony,  barely defeated Judge Lisa Neubauer.   

Hagedorn, became famous for his 1820's anti gay views, so much so, that many traditional funders/bosses of the Republican party, distanced themselves from him.  The WISGOP however felt that his hatred of anyone gay was a feather in his hat and took over the funding and the campaign.   

As Steve Elbow from the CapTimes puts it:

Polling by a group backing Hagedorn showed him trailing badly as he headed into the final week of the campaign.
Yet on Election Day, he edged out Neubauer by nearly 6,000 votes, thanks, some say, to a $1.3 million effort by Republican operatives in the closing days of the campaign.
The initiative by the Republican State Leadership Committee targeted conservative voters who didn’t vote in the spring election last year when liberal candidate Rebecca Dallet won a spot on the Supreme Court. The group estimated that it mobilized 160,000 voters with a multi-media campaign that painted Neubauer as a radical liberal, linked attacks on Hagedorn with last fall’s contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearing and tapped into support for President Donald Trump.
Yes Hagedorn was behind the last week, rightly so, and ended up winning.   Now we have a far right, Hyper partisan,  Supreme Court for a few more years at least. 

Where did we go wrong?   There are many reasons, let's check out a few.

We already pointed out, that Neubauer, paid almost a million dollars in consulting fees.

While we can blame the WISDEMS, and they definitely should shoulder their fair share of the blame but as always, they had help.    As s typical the candidates hired consulting groups:  Nation Consulting,Scott Spector Strategies(Moonlighting from Tammy Baldwin's office). G Strategies,  Spiros ConsultingAL Media and 50+1. 
This is all to the tune of $893,656.60 in the last filing period alone.  
Almost a million dollars in Consulting fees, to end up losing to a homophobic bigot that his own biggest donors would not touch.  
Then there is the case of her campaign manager being not ready for Prime time:

Asked if Neubauer intentionally placed a firewall between herself and the party, campaign manager Tyler Hendricks said: “Yes.”
“We ran a fair, impartial and independent campaign,” he said in a response through the Neubauer campaign’s Facebook page. “Over $100k changed hands between our opponent and the WisGOP in the final days of the campaign, raising serious questions as to his claims of impartiality.”
One of the dumbest statements you will ever read.   Of course Hagedorn is not impartial.  Anyone who paid even remote attention, knows that the candidates who the Republican party runs, are chosen because they are not the least bit impartial.   They know exactly how they will vote and rule n 99% of their cases which is why they were chosen.  To pretend otherwise is naive. 

Neubauer, wanted to distance herself from the Democratic Party.  Yet what voters want is authenticity.  Neubauers resume made it impossible to distance herself. 

There’s no question that Neubauer is a Democrat. She and her husband, Jeffrey, a former state Democratic Party chair, have shelled out more than $100,000 for liberal causes and candidates over the years. She was appointed by a Democratic governor. Her daughter, Greta, is a Democratic state legislator and her husband is a former one. She’s worked for Democrats and she’s campaigned for them.
Yet in her recent bid for the Supreme Court, she sought to brush those Democratic ties under the rug. And she urged liberal outside groups supporting her to stay out.
Of course the "Liberal" groups did not listen, they stayed in and helped tip the scales. 

Zepecki conceded it was a game well-played.
“They’ve got a story to tell because they took a flyer on this race and it worked,” Zepecki said. “They didn’t spend $1 million-plus knowing that they were going to be able to turn out 160,000 conservative voters. But they thought it was worth trying. Sometimes the narrow path to victory pans out. That’s what happened here.”
He said the multi-media approach kept the campaign under the radar. No one knows, he said, what lands in people’s mailboxes or what texts they get on their phones. When the television ad appeared, it was too late to do anything about it.
“We all sort of missed it,” he said. “Most folks were looking at the TV spend and the disproportionate levels of spending there going, ‘Oh this thing’s probably over in the other direction.’ And it turned out there was a whole other campaign happening.”

A million plus dollars on consultants paid for by the campaign, and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to consultants outside of the campaign and "We all sorta missed it".

Good work if you can get it.   Being paid thousands upon thousands of dollars to get your ass kicked and then come back the next election to charge as much and lose again. 

Lather, rinse, repeat. 

As long as  we continue our downward spiral in continually hiring the same consultants to do the same work, we will continue to be the state that used to be Progressive.   

If by some chance, we decide to cleanse our politics of political lifers, whose main goal is to cash a check, then we can get back to the people powered, grass roots efforts that made us a blue state for years.   

I, for one, am not optimistic. 

One last thing, the devil is always in the details.    Everyone knows that the DNC Convention will be coming to Milwaukee in 2020, but everyone might not know that the Registered agent of the Milwaukee 2020 committee is Thad Nation of Nation Consulting.   

Something to keep in mind when you decide if you want to volunteer to do the hard jobs there, while Nation Consulting fills their coffers.