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View Full Version : The Cheesehead Saga ptIII - Gov't choking Unions, Judges choking Judges


Pages : [1] 2 3

VinVega
07-23-11, 07:09 PM
Part 2: HERE (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/politics-world-events/588511-cheeseheads-rioting-thread-ptii-lets-bust-some-unions-37.html)

Somehow I never would have expected to see this many threads dedicated to Wisconsin that did not involve Brett Favre.

movielib
07-23-11, 07:38 PM
Part 2: HERE (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/politics-world-events/588511-cheeseheads-rioting-thread-ptii-lets-bust-some-unions-37.html)

Somehow I never would have expected to see this many threads dedicated to Wisconsin that did not involve Brett Favre.
He was in a union.

aktick
07-23-11, 07:43 PM
Somehow I never would have expected to see this many threads dedicated to Wisconsin that did not involve Brett Favre.

Our new state motto is...Wisconsin: The Other Florida!

movielib
07-23-11, 07:53 PM
Our new state motto is...Wisconsin: The Other Florida!
You mean, Wisconsin: The Cold Florida?

OK, not right now.

movielib
07-24-11, 08:42 AM
Memo to Illinois: Be more like Wisconsin.

http://www.bnd.com/2011/07/24/1797745/guest-view-illinois-must-rebalance.html

Opinion
Sunday, Jul. 24, 2011
Guest view: Illinois must rebalance pay, benefits
By Ted Dabrowski

State workers who belong to AFSCME picketed across the state earlier this month because they were denied their third raise in just seven months. Many of the picketers carried signs that said: "Public servants deserve fair pay."

That begs the question: Do state workers get a raw deal when it comes to pay?

Absolutely not.

A new study by the Illinois Policy Institute found that not only are state workers paid well, but the average state worker takes home more than the average private sector Illinoisan.

In 2008, the average state worker was paid $54,900 in wages. Add the state's generous benefits to the mix, and total compensation reached $69,500.

In the private sector, the average Illinoisan made just $47,200 in wages. With benefits, total compensation was just $56,500, a full 23 percent behind state government workers. m]

Fair pay for public servants? That's more than fair. But these aren't the only perks state workers enjoy.

While many of us in the private sector have faced layoffs and company closures or mergers, that simply doesn't happen in the public arena; Illinois will not merge with Wisconsin anytime soon.

Public workers also enjoy generous perks off the clock. When it comes to paid days off, over a 40-year career a state worker will average 510 days more in paid vacation than the comparable private sector employee.

This brings us to perhaps to the best measurement of public versus private pay -- how much public employees value their jobs.

The bottom line is public sector workers quit their jobs much less often. Voluntary turnover in the public sector is one-fourth the rate it is in the private sector. What does this mean? If state workers really didn't receive fair pay, there would be a mass exodus of underpaid, over-qualified state workers to the private sector. But the fact is, with high pay, overly generous benefits and the luxury of a union doing the negotiating, public workers know they have good jobs and have no incentive to leave government.

Union brass like to argue that comparing the average state worker to someone in the private sector doesn't make sense. State workers, they contend, are more educated and more experienced.

But that argument can't explain why, when adjusted for inflation, state workers saw their total compensation rise by 17.6 percent between 1993 and 2008. Meanwhile, during that same pre-recession period, the private sector saw their total compensation drop by more than 2 percent.

Clearly, the public sector is operating in a different reality.

Why does all this matter? Because growing public sector pay and benefits are driving the larger problems that Illinois faces.

The state continues to run deficits and can't pay its bills, even after raising the state income tax by 67 percent. Moreover, Illinois' unfunded pension obligations now exceed a staggering $200 billion.

More than one-third of the state's budget goes to wages and benefits for state employees, and that number will only grow as the state increases its payments toward Illinois' public sector pensions.

And AFSCME and the politicians who negotiate with them seem to forget just who pays for those generous public sector salaries, benefits and pensions: the private sector.

This is the same private sector that is facing 9.2 percent unemployment and is struggling daily under the competitive pressures of layoffs, bankruptcies and salary cuts. The same private sector that saw tax bills rise this year by an average $1,500 per family.

Illinois's fiscal woes will never improve if the private sector is overburdened by a bloated and growing public sector. This state needs to retrench fast.

What can be done?

First, the collective bargaining arrangements must be rebalanced. This is already happening across the country, and it must happen in Illinois.

Second, legislators need to stop accepting bad deals the state cannot afford. And third, the state needs a comprehensive and independent annual employee compensation report that brings transparency to public sector pay. Something similar to Pennsylvania's "Governor's Workforce Report" is a great place to start.

Only then will we begin to move toward parity between those who pay for government, and those who work for it.

And only then will the taxpayer get some relief.

Ted Dabrowski is vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
Oh yeah, and pass concealed carry too.

I have a soft spot for Illinois. I'm a White Sox and Blackhawks fan (though not Cubs, Bears or Bulls). I graduated from Northwestern, I very much enjoyed my four years in Evanston and I'm still a rabid fan of the Wildcats.

But, as White Sox fans sing...

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye. Wisconsin is kicking your butt, Illinois.

movielib
07-24-11, 08:59 AM
Good opinion piece in the rabidly left wing, "progressive" Capital Times (which no longer has a print edition) online:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_d35e23f9-7bc7-5b5f-9bb5-23f8403043e2.html

What is wrong with these recalls?
BILL BALGORD | local guest columnist |
Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 6:30 am

The decision by Gov. Scott Walker and the state Legislature boiled down to a choice between putting Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order or following Illinois, California and Michigan down the road toward bankruptcy.

As painful as it first appeared to public service employees, making the necessary adjustments during this legislative session will prevent future layoffs of younger teachers and numbers of state and local government workers.

Raising taxes on the “rich,” favored by Democrats, or massive borrowing to cover budget shortfalls over the next two years were never serious solutions to a spending problem that has grown for decades under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Having lost the legislative round, the unions subsequently initiated recall campaigns aimed at tilting the senate majority back to the Democrats. But even if that effort succeeds, it would not roll back changes to collective bargaining already going into effect.

To win legislatively, unions would need to prevail a second time by recalling Walker in 2012. By then budgetary reforms should begin to make Wisconsin’s business climate more favorable to companies looking to expand operations and brighten the prospects for many thousands among the state’s unemployed.

Illinois recently raised taxes on individuals and businesses. By doing so Gov. Pat Quinn’s initiatives discourage plant expansions and the relocation of facilities to Illinois. Raising tax rates during a downturn is counterproductive to the extent it depresses economic activity and triggers a further drop in tax revenues.

The additional amounts lower pay-scale workers will now pay for benefits (in pension contributions and insurance premiums) will be nearly offset by the elimination of mandatory union dues no longer being deducted from their paychecks.

Whatever the outcome of the upcoming recalls, the unions have no ready means to undo the damage already done to their cause. The big benefit to taxpayers — like those in the Kaukauna school district, which just negotiated a million and half dollars of savings in insurance premiums — is that fewer tax dollars will find their way to the campaigns of Democrats sympathetic to public sector unions via automatic collection of dues.

No wonder they put up a fight.

The unions’ federal lawsuit alleges that restricting collective bargaining rights violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of right of assembly and association. But the unions will still exist. The right to collectively bargain as originally granted through legislation is now being restricted (in part) by that same authority. The lawsuit further alleges a violation of equal protection — the police and firefighters are not subject to the same legislation. This argument could have merit. But the federal case will likely drag out for months, even years as it wends through the judicial system. If the unions prevail, the Legislature might still take away bargaining rights from the police and firefighters.

Most states’ constitutions that provide for recall specify what constitutes acceptable grounds for recalling elected officials. The Wisconsin constitution (amended in 1926) does not specify grounds to initiate a recall and permits any U.S. citizen also a resident of the state to file a petition according to carefully defined procedures. This apparent oversight seems to open the way for frivolous recalls initiated by a disgruntled constituent. In the end the petition must collect sufficient numbers of valid signatures to force an election.

But it opens up a rarely used process (only three past Wisconsin state senators have stood for recall) to remove an incumbent who has engaged in lawful political activity: voting for legislation the petitioner and signatories dislike — precisely the motive behind the current effort.

The petitioned senators have excellent legislative records. Recalls are ordinarily intended for removing officials who have engaged in malfeasance or committed a criminal act, but not to thwart legislation. The opportunity for removing an official from office comes up every two or four years in regularly scheduled elections. Wisconsin voters have an extraordinary opportunity to decide who to keep in the weeks ahead.

Bill Balgord, a consultant and writer, heads Environmental and Resources Technology Inc. in Middleton.
It seems to me that recalls should not be allowed simply for votes a legislator makes. Malfeasance of some sort should be required. Arguably, the Democratic senators leaving the state might be grounds for malfeasance. Certainly, voting the way one does not like isn't.

JasonF
07-24-11, 11:02 AM
It seems to me that recalls should not be allowed simply for votes a legislator makes.

Why not? If a legislator is making votes that a majority of his district dislikes, shouldn't the district have an opportunity to get a legislator more in line with the views in the district?

starman9000
07-24-11, 11:27 AM
Then you might as well abolish the legislature all together and have everything be done via popular vote.

aktick
07-24-11, 12:19 PM
Then you might as well abolish the legislature all together and have everything be done via popular vote.

No kidding. What would be the point of general elections?

JasonF
07-24-11, 12:54 PM
Then you might as well abolish the legislature all together and have everything be done via popular vote.

Why is everything always all or nothing around here? I doubt any of us agrees with his legislator 100% of the time. And I think most people are smart enough to recognize that they won't get their way 100% of the time. But when a vote is big enough and egregious enough to galvanize the constituency, then why not allow for recall?

kvrdave
07-24-11, 01:08 PM
Extend it to the presidency and I will agree.

wmansir
07-24-11, 01:17 PM
I'm curious, what was the turn out for the recent recall election? Are these recall election results representative of the will of the majority, or the most motivate minority?

JasonF
07-24-11, 01:42 PM
I'm curious, what was the turn out for the recent recall election? Are these recall election results representative of the will of the majority, or the most motivate minority?

Is any election representative of the will of the majority, or the most motivate minority?

movielib
07-24-11, 02:45 PM
Why not? If a legislator is making votes that a majority of his district dislikes, shouldn't the district have an opportunity to get a legislator more in line with the views in the district?
Because we don't have enough regular elections?

movielib
07-24-11, 03:42 PM
What the Democrats wanted to do to the 2011-13 budget.

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/07/analysis-of-budget-amendments-wisc-assembly-democrats-would-have-added-1-7-billion-in-spending-created-1-4-billion-deficit/

Analysis of Budget Amendments

Wisc. Assembly Democrats Would Have Added $1.7 Billion in Spending, Created $1.4 Billion Deficit
July 24, 2011

Part One

A comprehensive analysis of Assembly Democrats’ proposed amendments to the recently passed state budget shows that had their amendments been adopted, spending would have increased by $1.7 billion.

Our analysts consulted with the nonpartisan Legisaltive Fiscal Bureau as they went through the amendment packages line by line. Their findings: If the Assembly Democrats’ twelve major packaged amendments to the budget bill had passed, Wisconsin would be looking at a $1,779,098,700 spending increase.

None of the amendments offered by the assembly Democrats passed and many of the later amendments containing similar provisions of earlier packages.

In our analysis of the twelve major amendment packages offered by Assembly Democrats we did not ‘double count’ proposed expenditures: If a specific spending proposal was included in more than one amendment, we only counted the spending once.

The first overt increase in spending was proposed in Amendment 4, titled the Education Package. The package would have increased spending by a total of $1,271,709,900. The largest proposed spending increase would have restored $1.2 billion in general education equalization aid. Interestingly, the Democrats attempted to use a familiar accounting gimmick, common in previous Wisconsin budgets, to make this look like only a $349.6 million dollar spending increase. Assembly Democrats attempted to shift $897.4 million of this increase onto the 2013-2015 budget. The amendment as proposed did not reflect this but the Legislative Fiscal Bureau provided this detail. Regardless of the timing, Assembly Democrats attempted to increase spending by $1,271,709,900.

Amendment 6, which the Democrats labeled the Clean Government Package, increased childcare funding, a program wrought with fraud and abuse. In March 2010, the MacIver Institute uncovered a cumulative total of $7 million in overpayments. This amendment would have increased spending by over $5 million.

Amendment 7, the so-called Tax Fairness Package, would have increased taxes on capital gains and manufacturers by $356.3 million. It also attempted to restore $56.2 million for the earned income tax credit and $13.6 million for the homestead tax credit. Critics classify these programs as welfare spending even though they contain the word “tax” in their title. These credits would give “tax refunds” to people who don’t pay taxes to begin with.

In Amendment 8 they proposed a $71.6 million increase in aid to technical colleges. Along with spending for a transitional jobs program and the Department of Administration, the amendment totaled $84,468,400 in increases.

In their package on Healthcare, Amendment 9, the Democrats attempted to remove the enrollment cap on family care, a move that would have cost the state an estimated $290 million over the biennium. The Democrats also attempted to stipulate that $466 million in unspecified cuts made by the governor’s bill could only be made through efficiencies. This was an attempt to maintain current services, remove eligibility restrictions, and not increase cost sharing by enrollees.

In the Public Safety Package, Amendment 10, the Democrats attempted to increase funding to the Assistant District Attorneys by $2 million. The total cost of the amendment was $2,071,400.

In Amendment 11, the Democrats’ Higher Education Package, they proposed an increase in funding to WiSys Technologies to the tune of $800,000. The amendment also included the same increase in technical college aid as amendments 8 and 35.

Their Environment Package, Amendment 12, proposed an increase in the bonding allowance of the land stewardship fund by $234 million as well as to the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) by $12 million. The total proposed bonding increase was $246,000,000. These increases would have cost the state $2,980,000 in principle and interest payments over the biennium. The Joint Finance Committee’s budget bill did not zero out these bonding allowances. The bill only decreased them from $86 to $60 million per year from fiscal year 2011-12 through 2019-20 for the stewardship program. The amendment also increased aid for recycling by $26 million over the two-year period. This brings the total spending increase to $28,980,000.

Their self-titled Safety Net Package, Amendment 13, was made up of mostly welfare spending. The democrats proposed a $21 million increase to the Wisconsin Works Program and another $4 million in child support local assistance.

As it was passed by the legislature, the new state budget erased the structural deficit and is scheduled to leave the budget $300 million in the black.

However, had the Assembly Democrats been successful in their attempts to amend the budget, the plan would have left the state with a $1.4 billion deficit going into the 2013-2015 budget deliberations.

http://maciverinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Screen-shot-2011-07-22-at-10.39.56-AM.png
In other words, the Democrats would gave had our state in the same financial mess we have been in for maybe two decades or so, which includes both Democratic and Republican governors. Jim Doyle (D) was a disaster but Tommy Thompson (R) was quite bad also.

mosquitobite
07-24-11, 06:52 PM
The unions’ federal lawsuit alleges that restricting collective bargaining rights violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of right of assembly and association. But the unions will still exist. The right to collectively bargain as originally granted through legislation is now being restricted (in part) by that same authority. The lawsuit further alleges a violation of equal protection — the police and firefighters are not subject to the same legislation. This argument could have merit. But the federal case will likely drag out for months, even years as it wends through the judicial system. If the unions prevail, the Legislature might still take away bargaining rights from the police and firefighters.

Also, by the time it gets heard by SCOTUS, many other states will have taken up the same reform. They're just learning from the current suits how best to make it SCOTUS proof. ;)

movielib
07-25-11, 06:18 PM
Here we go again. Kenosha to lay off hundreds of teachers.

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/07/kenosha-like-milwaukee-chooses-teacher-layoffs-instead-of-teacher-contributions/

Kenosha, Like Milwaukee, Chooses Teacher Layoffs Instead of Teacher Contributions
Union Refuses to Negotiate, Jeopardizes Union Jobs
By Christian D’Andrea
July 25, 2011

Move over, Milwaukee. There is another Wisconsin school district preparing to fire hundreds of teachers in 2011.

Though Milwaukee’s upcoming teacher layoffs have garnered national coverage, the City of Kenosha’s problems have slid under the radar; this despite the fact the district has an enrollment of nearly 24,000 students. Thanks to a previously agreed upon contract and a refusal of the teachers’ union to enter a side agreement as allowed by the new state law, 338 teachers are staring down pink slips for the 2011-2012 school year. Only three of the state’s 15 largest school districts have refused to negotiate or reopen contract talks to include cost saving measures in the face of upcoming budget cuts.

The Kenosha Unified School District is facing a deficit of $33 million between existing structural shortcomings and their share of the 2011-2013 Wisconsin state budget, which includes a reduction in state aid. Their plan so far has been to slash payroll by releasing staff members. Cutting 212 full-time teachers will save an estimated $17.4 million in 2011.

However, much like in Milwaukee, these coming layoffs are preventable.

Districts across Wisconsin have been able to save teacher jobs by including modest teacher benefit contributions into their contracts. These contributions, defined in Act 10, include payments of 5.8 percent of wages towards the state pension program (which is matched by the state) and 12.6 percent of monthly health care premiums. Twelve of the state’s 15 largest districts have either approved or are in the process of negotiating contracts with these stipulations built in to save teaching jobs. Only Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Janesville have held out amongst the state’s biggest cities.

The local teachers’ union has rejected a call to make these concessions. The teachers in the city have refused to reopen the existing pact even though contracts for locally employed school secretaries, carpenters, painters, and other support staff recently inked a contract that includes the mandated contributions. In short, teachers are being protected from these concessions while other employees in the district, including substitute teachers, are making the necessary sacrifices to save jobs in Kenosha’s schools.

Kenosha Superintendent Dr. Michele Hancock has placed the blame for not reopening contract talks to include job-saving provisions on the Kenosha Education Association – the local teachers’ union. In a letter to teachers in March, Hancock reiterated that the district was in favor of amending the previous contract: “Let me state emphatically, the District has asked the KEA to reopen the contract.” However, the deal has gone unchanged so far.

The pact in question is a two-year deal that would fall under Act 10 regulations when it expires in 2013, but currently does not include the significant contribution package included in many other districts. KEA Executive Director Joe Kiriaki has been steadfast in his group’s refusal to reopen the contract that had been approved in the middle of the 2010-2011 school year. An email to teachers from his desk suggests that a growing rift between KEA and the school board may play a role in this standoff.

“What is becoming more and more clear is that the current administration is no longer interested in having a collaborative working relationship with the KEA and its leadership,” Kiriaki wrote on March 23, 2011. “They are pushing toward establishing a more adversarial relationship; and in the end this will only hurt the District, the staff, and ultimately the kids.”

The KEA’s defense of its contract has been fierce, even at the expense of the jobs of over 200 of its members. Since the district alone cannot ignite these negotiations, KEA’s refusal has left the district to figure out how to overcome a $33 million funding gap. Without negotiations and Act 10’s cost-saving tools to fall back on, this means that hundreds of full-time teachers will lose their jobs.

Because of the ‘last-in, first-out’ seniority system which the unions had previously negotiated, these cuts will affect the youngest class of teachers in the district. Many of the educators who are facing layoff notices started in 2007 or later. As a result, some of Kenosha’s most eager and brightest teachers may find themselves looking for work when August rolls around. Though there’s still time to reopen the 2011-2013 contract and retain hundreds of teachers in the district, KEA’s strong-willed refusals suggest that Kenosha’s educators are willing to cut off their noses to spite their own faces.

Should the tension between the Kenosha school board and its teachers continue, many good teachers will be out of work. While hundreds of educators will suffer, it is the 23,000 + students that will hurt the most as a result.
Don't forget: The unions claimed back in Feb/Mar that they had agreed to the insurance and pension contributions.

movielib
07-25-11, 11:04 PM
http://www.thewambulance.com/images/wambulance_logo.jpg

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/126143853.html

Resorting to tantrum politics in Wisconsin
By Jack Bruss
July 25, 2011 6:36 p.m.

What's with Wisconsin Democrats? When the voter ID bill passed the Senate a while back, eight Democrats didn't bother to vote. Instead, they talked and talked for nine hours and then complained they didn't have their voices heard as the ever-present crowd chanted "shame, shame."

When Democratic senators didn't like the fact that they were about to lose the vote on the budget-repair bill earlier this year, they left the state for three weeks, preventing a vote. When Assembly Democrats didn't like the fact that they were going to lose the vote on the same bill, they talked for 59 hours and then claimed their voices were squelched as they chanted "shame, shame" on the Assembly floor.

What has happened to democracy in our state? For the past eight years, many of us on the right were extremely upset about many of the things done by Gov. Jim Doyle and the Democrats. Doyle vetoed three different voter ID bills. That made me and many others very angry.

He raided segregated funds to help pay for policies that I and others regarded as harmful to the state. That also made us angry.

In 2009, in a sop to trial lawyers, he stuck a bunch of auto insurance regulations in a budget bill in the dead of night that led to increased auto insurance rates. I and many others were angry about that.

Did we chant, beat drums, walk off our jobs, make death threats, occupy the Capitol, etc.? Of course not. We are adults living in a democracy, and we know the way to change the course of politics is at the voting booth.

Many liberals seem to hold no such values. Evidently, they haven't learned that democracy means you don't always get your way.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed to block Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining bill, and a Dane County circuit judge was able to stall the bill on a technicality for months. Now six Republican senators face recall elections because they have done their job and balanced the Wisconsin budget for the first time in years.

I suppose you could call this democracy, but a more apt description would be tantrum politics. The idea is to scream and yell as loud and as long as you can, and eventually many will conclude that your opponent is terribly polarizing and that you really have something to scream about.

Walker has explained with civility and logic the reasons for his actions to limit collective bargaining for most public employees. Have his opponents done the same to explain their side of the issue? Have they ever tried to explain what benefits Wisconsin accrues if public employees retain the privilege of collective bargaining?

No, they haven't, and it's pretty clear that Democrats don't want that kind of discussion. Why go through the messy process of explaining an untenable position when it's so easy to engage in tantrum politics?
Don't forget Doyle vetoed two concealed carry bills. The Democrats had their way on almost everything for eight years. But they lose an election and they act like four year olds.

I don't think the above article is entirely fair. The Democrats have tried to explain the benefits of the unions keeping collective bargaining. They value education in Wisconsin and all that. But the Republicans do too. The Democrats just can't admit that maybe the Republicans don't have evil intentions and maybe there is more than one way of looking at it.

orangecrush
07-26-11, 08:57 AM
Why is everything always all or nothing around here? I doubt any of us agrees with his legislator 100% of the time. And I think most people are smart enough to recognize that they won't get their way 100% of the time. But when a vote is big enough and egregious enough to galvanize the constituency, then why not allow for recall?I think that as a practical matter, recalls can be quite costly and should be reserved for things other than voting on specific pieces of legislation. If terms were much longer, I think it would make more sense to use recalls as “early termination.”

movielib
07-26-11, 04:28 PM
The good school news continues.

http://biggovernment.com/kolson/2011/07/26/the-falling-price-of-wisconsin-public-education/

The Falling Price of Wisconsin Public Education
by Kyle Olson
July 26, 2011

Wisconsin schools, once scrambling for every tax dollar available and relentlessly proposing new ones for taxpayers, are now seeing their cost of doing business drop, thanks to the collective bargaining reform law that has now taken effect.

The new law, which was met with union protests unlike this generation has seen, put more power into the hands of school boards and administrators to set spending policy. That’s because spending policy was taken off the collective bargaining table, where the Wisconsin Education Association Council could manipulate the process to its own self-serving advantage. Perhaps most significantly, the new law took employee health insurance off the bargaining table, so WEAC is no longer able to pressure school boards to purchased overpriced coverage from WEA Trust, an insurance carrier established by the union. Read an exposé on that here (http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/view_online.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publicschoolspending.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F11%2FWEATrustfinalreport1.pdf).

That has all been wiped away and many school boards are about to reap the rewards.

The MacIver Institute recently produced a report showing the potential savings many school districts stand to receive, just from new mandatory employee contributions to health benefit premiums and pension plans. For example, in the Green Bay district, if employees contribute 12.6% of the health insurance premium and 5.8% to their pensions, it stands to save $11 million. With similar contributions by employees, Madison would see $15.5 million; MacIver estimates the Racine district would save $19.2 million.

And now that WEA Trust has a little competition, its rates are mysteriously falling. Byron York has been covering the situation and wrote:

“And it just happens that the Hartland-Lakeside teachers’ collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30. So now, freed from the expensive WEA Trust deal, the school district has changed insurers.

“‘It’s going to save us about $690,000 in 2011-2012,’ says [Superintendent Glenn] Schilling. Insurance costs that had been about $2.5 million a year will now be around $1.8 million. What union leaders said would be a catastrophe will in fact be a boon to teachers and students.”

Suddenly this month-long fight about “rights” suddenly looks more like a fight about union power and money.

The fundamental question is whether government schools are public works projects for the adults or institutions of learning focused on students. In Wisconsin, the reforms are allowing schools to be more student focused by spending more money on students. What’s bad for the union is very good for the children of Wisconsin.

movielib
07-28-11, 11:36 PM
Majority of Milwaukee teachers say no to pension concession equal to the amount called for by the budget repair bill.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/126336843.html

Milwaukee teachers survey: 52.4% oppose more concessions
By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel
July 28, 2011 12:51 p.m.

The results of an internal survey conducted by the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association reveal 52.4% of respondents are opposed to offering additional concessions in order to bring dozens of laid-off teachers back to work this year, according to the MTEA.

The survey indicates a deep divide in the membership: 47.5% of respondents voted in favor of additional concessions, which likely would have resulted in teachers contributing 5.8% of their pay toward their pension.

In a letter to members, MTEA President Bob Peterson said that based on the survey results and comments from members, the MTEA executive board would not pursue additional concessions.

Milwaukee Public Schools laid off 519 district employees to balance the budget this year, including 354 teachers.

The administration estimated that if the MTEA agreed to the pension contribution, the $19.2 million generated could have paved the way for the restoration of 198 teaching positions, including 51 positions in the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education, or SAGE, program. That program allows an 18-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grade at schools with qualifying low-income children.

The pension contribution savings also could restore 22 nurses and one nursing supervisor position, plus 27 art and music teachers, Board President Michael Bonds had said.

Peterson said in his statement to members that some people might use the survey to continue their scapegoating of teachers. But teachers didn't create the financial crisis in Wisconsin, he said.

"We did not cut over $80 million from MPS," he wrote. "We did not create the unfair state funding system that has underfunded MPS for decades. Nor did we create the private voucher program that takes $50 million from MPS annually. What we did do was save the district tens of millions of dollars in the next two years through our concessionary contract negotiated last fall."

In a news release, MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton called the MTEA's decision not to negotiate a pension contribution "deeply disappointing."

Thornton said that the district had made a pledge that all the funds resulting from a pension contribution from the teachers' union would be used to return laid-off teachers to the classroom.

"We continue to look for opportunities to restore programs and services for students," Thornton said.

But, he added, "with the budget challenges as they are, restoration of programs, and certainly the restoration of the jobs of any of the 519 employees laid off in June, will require the discovery of new money to the district: funds from sources such as union concessions."
Of course, Milwaukee signed a contract with the union after Walker was elected but before he even took office (signed December 2, 2010, retroactive to July 1, 2009, expiring on June 30, 2013; I've heard of teachers working after a contract has expired before and I don't think this is that unusual). In other words, before they knew exactly what Walker was going to propose. But they knew there would be concessions required from the teachers. They could have waited but didn't. That's what got them in trouble. Then, only after the budget repair bill was finally approved and they saw how much trouble they were in, the district asked for just one of the two major concessions. I had heard that the union leadership did not want to give the concession and most of the teachers agreed and said fuck off. Thus it appears all those jobs will be lost although some, if not all of them (see below), could have been saved.

Most of the teachers will not give up a little to save those jobs and the district has no one to blame but itself for not waiting.

The comments, at least the early ones (there are a lot of comments and I'm not going to read them all), are almost completely against those who voted against giving the concessions. Here's one from a teacher:

bobdylansbeard - Jul 28, 2011 1:17 PM

I am a special education teacher with seven years of experience. In special education, this is enough to guarantee that I was not going to be laid off.

With that said, I voted gladly to pay more in concessions, which on this survey were related to pension plan pay-in as well as furlough days (or day, as it were). My heart is broken that the result came out this way, and so close. We have lost MANY fine teachers who were younger or newer. I personally have lost many friends who I witnessed as excellent, be they somewhat inexperienced, teachers.

In addition, my school has already lost music. We have now lost art. We have lost tech ed and our librarian and will likely lose physical education or at least see drastic cuts in the future. This is not the time to close our pocketbooks. Though we DID NOT cause the state's alleged "budget crisis", the time is now to do what we can to help our colleagues and to help tomorrow's great educators. This will not amount to much per person. Instead, we are forsaking colleague's entire livelihood. It is simply not acceptable.

Please fight for our school district, and show everyone that we really are working in solidarity. At least 47.5% of us understand this.
Here's another:

mankind6767 - Jul 28, 2011 1:39 PM

As an MPS teacher who has been emailing and phoning the MTEA office for months asking for at least even a vote for concessions, I'm absolutely shocked that nearly 48 percent of members were willing to offer concessions to save jobs. It just goes to show that the Union is not in tune at all with many of its members, not just me. Funny how so many members of a "union" can slit so many of their own member's throats at a blink of an eye. I'm anxiously looking forward to not paying nearly $1,000 a month in after tax dollars in Union dues in less than 2 years, thanks to Governor Walker.
(The amount of dues didn't seem right to me and I found Milwaukee teachers pay about $1000/yr, not $1000/mo. I think the teacher certainly knew this and just made an error.)

This source (see http://biggovernment.com/mtrackers/2011/05/25/walker-budget-repair-legislation-could-save-450-milwaukee-public-school-jobs/) says that if the teachers also made the insurance concession, another 222 teachers' jobs could be saved. 198+222=420. 354 teachers' jobs are being lost; all could be save with 66 left over. Then there are the 23 nursing jobs, leaving 43. I'm confused whether the 27 art and music teacher jobs are included in the original 354 but if not, that would still leave 16. That still wouldn't quite cover the 519 total jobs lost in the district but it would cover more than 80% of them.

With additional tools that other districts who waited got because of the end of collective bargaining (lower priced insurance because of competitive bidding being a biggie but far from the only one), it seems certain no one would have lost his or her job and the district would probably have been in the black.

Oh well, July 1, 2013 is less than two years away and relief is in sight. If the Dems don't reverse the reforms and screw things up again.

kvrdave
07-29-11, 01:09 AM
Nice to see it was close to 50/50. The impression one would get during the entire "SHAME" fiasco was that it would be 90/10. A good friend of mine is a janitor at the schools. He has told me several times that if you proposed to cut the teaching staff in half but double the salaries of those who remain, the oldest teachers would do it in a heartbeat, even though it would mean 45 to 50 kids per class, and they know that would be a disaster for their education.

I am also thankful that music is mandatory in WA. The band director is the safest job there is, because music cannot be cut.

Bill Needle
07-29-11, 03:11 AM
So apparently the teacher's union socialistic tendency only applies to collecting other people's money.

movielib
07-29-11, 06:25 AM
Nice to see it was close to 50/50. The impression one would get during the entire "SHAME" fiasco was that it would be 90/10. A good friend of mine is a janitor at the schools. He has told me several times that if you proposed to cut the teaching staff in half but double the salaries of those who remain, the oldest teachers would do it in a heartbeat, even though it would mean 45 to 50 kids per class, and they know that would be a disaster for their education.
There are a lot of people who don't believe the union and think they lied about the results of the survey (which I don't think was binding but if they lost, it would have been difficult for the union to not make the concessions). In fact, before the survey was even over I heard a lot of talk radio callers saying the union would lose the survey but would lie about it. You can also see a lot of people making this charge in the comments. Apparently the union tallied the results (it was not done by an independent third party) but did not release the ballots.

I have no idea whether the charges are true but the belief is there.

aktick
07-29-11, 07:14 AM
Good to see the union sticking to their motto..."Uniting educators. Moving education forward." :lol:

wmansir
07-29-11, 03:09 PM
Any update on the choking investigation? I have a feeling they are going to dump the report on a Friday.

movielib
07-29-11, 03:26 PM
Any update on the choking investigation? I have a feeling they are going to dump the report on a Friday.
Nothing, and it's been almost five weeks since the first reports, more than 6.5 weeks since the incident.

There are two investigations, one by the Dane County Sheriff's Department (minus the Dane County Sheriff who recused himself because he has campaigned against Prosser) and one by the State Judicial Board (or whatever it's called, I'm too lazy to look it up). I can see why the latter might take awhile but I am baffled by the length of the Sheriff's investigation. It was a short incident witnessed bu six people, all Supreme Court justices, two claiming the choking and four who say there was no choking. The length of time being taken seems ridiculous.

guildda
07-30-11, 12:09 AM
Question Re: Milwaukee and layoffs

I can't find an answer to this searching around. Is the union at least allowing the health plan be put up for bid instead of forcing it to the WEA Trust?

movielib
07-30-11, 07:19 AM
Question Re: Milwaukee and layoffs

I can't find an answer to this searching around. Is the union at least allowing the health plan be put up for bid instead of forcing it to the WEA Trust?
Unless there was a contract in place when the budget repair bill went into effect (June 29) that prevented it, the union cannot stop a school district from getting competitive bids.

If you're asking about Milwaukee, they did have a contract that was signed in Dec 2010, retroactive back to July 2009, and goes until June 2013. I don't believe Milwaukee uses the WEA Trust (not all school districts did but I think the majority did) but I'm not certain as to specifics.

In the present contract I think Milwaukee did get a better deal for health care than they did in their previous contract but again, I don't know details. I'm pretty sure it was not as good a deal as districts that are using the new law have gotten.

movielib
07-30-11, 07:09 PM
Janesville, like Milwaukee, is in trouble.

http://gazettextra.com/news/2011/jul/30/changes-state-law-put-schools-vexing-tax-situation/

Changes to state law put schools in vexing tax situation
By FRANK SCHULTZ
Saturday, July 30, 2011

JANESVILLE — After touting their plans to hold the line on taxes, Republicans say they can’t help Janesville taxpayers facing a school-tax increase as high as 7.6 percent.

Janesville School Board President Bill Sodemann said he listened to lawmakers and expected they would hold property taxes down, so he was surprised when the latest estimate included such a potential large tax hike.

Officials with the Wisconsin Association of Schools Boards, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Janesville School District and the Department of Public Instruction could not provide a clear answer about what led to Janesville’s tax situation.

The answer might lie in the massive, new state budget, but experts were unable to put a finger on what change or changes made the difference.

Rep. Joe Knilans, R-Janesville, who voted for the state budget, said the governor did the best he could. And indeed, state officials agree that on a statewide average, property taxes for schools will rise only 0.6 percent.

But as is always the case, individual school districts’ tax situations vary because of the state school-funding formula. Enrollments, property values, and previous taxing and spending decisions all play a role in determining a district’s maximum tax levy.

Janesville is not alone in finding itself in this situation. Tomah schools are facing an 8.5 percent levy increase, according to the La Crosse Tribune.

The Janesville School Board is facing a new budget hole because the July 1 state-aid estimate shows about a $5 million cut in state aid instead of the previously announced $3 million cut.

Raising taxes to fill the deficit would mean an estimated 6.4 percent property tax increase. Officials have said that would be an increase of about $55 a year on the average house.

“Gov. Walker has indicated that property tax control is a priority,” Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie was quoted as saying in February.

Asked why the state didn’t hold down property taxes for Janesville, Werwie and Knilans said that’s not the issue. The governor gave school districts the tools to balance their budgets, they said, by imposing economic concessions on workers.

Knilans returned to this line in several phone calls: If Janesville teachers began paying their share of their pension payments this year, that would save the district $3 million. That would be more than enough money to eliminate the need for any tax increase.

Teachers and other Janesville district workers don’t have to make those payments because they’re protected by pre-existing contracts that remain in effect until 2013. The only way to use the governor’s “tools” is if the unions volunteer to make concessions.

“Property taxpayers are stuck getting the bill because the Janesville school board rushed contracts through prior to enactment of the reforms that would have allowed them to realize savings from the provisions in Gov. Walker’s budget,” Werwie wrote in an email to the Gazette. “Now the teachers union is refusing to reopen those contracts to realize the savings.”

Werwie did not respond to a follow-up email that pointed out that the teachers’ contract was approved last September, months before Walker and other Republicans took over state government and cut state aid.

Knilans understands that chronology, but he is adamant that the Janesville teachers hold the solution, not only to averting a tax hike but also from the need to lay off more teachers for the 2012-13 school year because the district’s budget troubles are projected to continue.

“I understand the school board is in a tight situation, here, but the state budget was in a tight situation, too,” Knilans said when asked whether there’s something lawmakers can do now to help districts such as Janesville.

“I’m a Janesville homeowner. I understand that my taxes probably are going to go up if the school district isn’t able to negotiate with the JEA and come to a conclusion,” Knilans said.

JEA is the teachers union, whose members will not take up the question until they return to their jobs in late August, the union president has said.

The school board on Tuesday instructed Sodemann to meet with teachers-union president Dave Parr to find out whether there’s a chance the union would make concessions.

Sodemann said he hopes to have that meeting and report to the board at its Aug. 9 meeting.
It's true that Janesville signed its contract before the 2010 election. But in September it was fairly obvious that Walker would probably win the election and the Dems were going to be routed. If Janesville had at least heeded that probability it could have waited. They knew Walker was not going to settle for the status quo and if they had looked into his years as Milwaukee County Executive they would have seen he wasn't your ordinary weaselly politician.

Janesville wasn't as bad as Milwaukee which signed its contract a month after Walker was elected but a little foresight could have saved them from this mess.

I find I was wrong about something. I had thought school districts and local governments would not be able to raise property taxes under the new laws.

Of course, falling property values contribute to the problem. My house has fallen the last two years. If the values fall and the rate is not raised, obviously revenue decreases, at least per capita.

Now we wait and see if the union will reopen negotiations and help Janesville out of its mess. If the Milwaukee experience is any indication the answer will be no.

kvrdave
07-30-11, 07:57 PM
In WA, the amount for schools is a set amount and the tax rate rises or falls based on overall values. Other taxing authorities do get to set a rate and enjoy the benefit of a rising market, but the schools do not. Nor should they, imo.

movielib
08-01-11, 10:36 AM
Any update on the choking investigation? I have a feeling they are going to dump the report on a Friday.
There is now actually something to report.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/126515368.html

Prosecutors now have case on dispute between justices
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 1, 2011 9:39 a.m.

Madison -- An investigation into an altercation between two state Supreme Court justices has been turned over to prosecutors.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Monday he received the investigative file from the Dane County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Investigators made no recommendation on whether to charge anyone, Ozanne said.

Ozanne said he is now reviewing whether his office has a conflict of interest in handling the case. Justices were arguing over a case Ozanne was involved in when Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley got into a physical dispute. Ozanne said he hopes to reach a decision this week on whether to have his office handle it or refer it to a special prosecutor.

Bradley has alleged Prosser put her in a "chokehold," while others have said Bradley came at Prosser with her fists up and he raised his hands to block her or push her back. Four of the other five justices were nearby when the incident occurred in Bradley's suite of offices in the Capitol.

The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. June 13, a day before the deeply divided court issued a 4-3 ruling upholding Gov. Scott Walker's legislation curtailing collective bargaining for public employees.
I have no idea why it took about a month to investigate an incident in which there were six and only six witnesses including the two who were involved.

kvrdave
08-01-11, 10:45 AM
might be as simple as this being big enough that you want to make sure you make no mistakes in the investigation. Hope that's it.

mosquitobite
08-01-11, 01:31 PM
Ozanne said he is now reviewing whether his office has a conflict of interest in handling the case. Justices were arguing over a case Ozanne was involved in when Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley got into a physical dispute. Ozanne said he hopes to reach a decision this week on whether to have his office handle it or refer it to a special prosecutor.

I'm sure it needs to go to a special prosecutor to waste more taxpayer money on it.

movielib
08-01-11, 02:10 PM
I'm sure it needs to go to a special prosecutor to waste more taxpayer money on it.
Ozanne has requested the special prosecutor.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_b4f62398-bc5e-11e0-9ee5-001cc4c03286.html

Dane County DA requests special prosecutor for Supreme Court fracas
ED TRELEVEN
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 12:30 pm

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to decide whether any criminal charges should be filed involving an alleged fracas in June between state Supreme Court justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley.

In a news release issued Monday morning, Ozanne said he has received reports from the Dane County Sheriff's Office regarding the alleged June 13 incident, in which Prosser is alleged to have choked Bradley in her office after Bradley told him to leave.

Prosser has denied the allegations.

Ozanne said in an interview that he received the reports on Thursday, and that they did not make any recommendation on whether to charge anyone.

Ozanne said he was requesting that a special prosecutor be appointed because of his role in litigation that was connected to the alleged incident. At the time of the incident, the Supreme Court was deciding an open meetings lawsuit brought by Ozanne that involved a law stripping most public workers of most collective bargaining rights.

"Process matters," Ozanne said in the news release. "How we do our jobs is just as important as what we do in our jobs. The people of this state deserve to feel confident in the rule of law and the exercise of discretion by their constitutional officers."

Ozanne wrote that he was taking the action not because he thought his office would not be fair but so that any decision it makes "can be free from accusations to ensure the public's trust in the system and to allow the incident to be reviewed on the merits with no appearance of political motivation for any decision or outcome."

Ozanne said he will ask Chief Judge William Foust, himself a former Dane County district attorney, to appoint a special prosecutor. He said he expected to get a written request to Foust today.

Ozanne is a Democrat. Prosser is a former Republican legislator who was first appointed to the Supreme Court in 1998 by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office investigated the alleged incident at the request of Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs. Sheriff Dave Mahoney, also a Democrat, removed himself from any personal involvement in the investigation.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said Monday that she did not know why it took more than a month to complete the investigation. But Ozanne said it wasn't his impression that the pace of the investigation was unusual.

"I would say they were probably making sure they dotted the I's and crossed the T's," Ozanne said.
Odd that the news article didn't mention the opposing story that three of the four witnesses (other than the participants) apparently attested to.

movielib
08-01-11, 05:15 PM
The return of the craft beer issue.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2011/08/01/wisconsin-reps-ringhand-and-bewley.html?page=all

Proposal would exempt craft brewers from new law
The Business Journal - by Rich Rovito
Date: Monday, August 1, 2011, 2:59pm CDT

State Reps. Janis Ringhand and Janet Bewley began circulating legislation Monday that would exempt craft breweries from beer distribution changes made in the 2011-13 state budget.

Strong opposition from consumers and small businesses throughout the state prompted the action, they said.

“Craft brewing is a growing industry in Wisconsin and they are putting communities across Wisconsin on the map. We should be supporting the entrepreneurs and small business owners that are helping rebuild our economy,” said Ringhand (D-Evansville). “They have made it clear that the new regulations hurt competition, limit trade and discourage investment. If Wisconsin is truly open for business, we will protect craft brewers from these damaging new laws.”

Added to the budget by the Joint Committee on Finance, the new beer distribution model restricts small brewers’ ability to get critical wholesale licenses and limits where and how they distribute their products, Ringhand and Bewley said.

The Ringhand-Bewley proposal would exempt craft brewers that manufacture fewer than 300,000 barrels per year from this new model. The bill is endorsed by the Wisconsin Craft Brewers Guild.

“We should be concentrating on helping small businesses and finding ways to keep our neighbors on Main Street up and running,” said Bewley (D-Ashland).

Despite a great partisan divide on the overall budget, there was significant bipartisan cooperation in an attempt to defeat the beer distribution model changes, Ringhand and Bewley claimed.

The budget signed June 26 by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker contains a proposal that combines the brewer’s permit and wholesale and retail licenses into a single permit under state — not municipal — control that effectively bans brewers from having ownership stakes in wholesale distributors. Under the current law, brewers must obtain three separate licenses — a brewer’s permit, a wholesaler’s license and retail license.

The legislation prohibits wholesale distributors from investing in a brewery, but grandfathers in any existing deals. Breweries that produce fewer than 300,000 barrels of beer each year can sell their own product without a distributor.

Despite considerable opposition, Walker didn’t veto the controversial provision in the state budget.

Backers of provision claimed the legislation is needed to stop St. Louis-based Budweiser and Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos. from buying wholesale distributors in Wisconsin. The vote sends a strong message to the nation’s dominant brewer, which has been pursuing a national agenda to develop so-called brewery branches throughout the country, said those in favor of the legislation, including the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association.
Both of these representatives are Democrats. I hope they get this through and it gets bipartisan support which it should. Walker should have vetoed the provision.

movielib
08-01-11, 05:38 PM
might be as simple as this being big enough that you want to make sure you make no mistakes in the investigation. Hope that's it.
On the plus side, because some deputy was out interviewing Shirley Abrahamson's cousin's mother-in-law's hairdresser, maybe I didn't get a speeding ticket.

logrus9
08-01-11, 08:29 PM
Odd that the news article didn't mention the opposing story that three of the four witnesses (other than the participants) apparently attested to.

I also noticed it changed from putting his hands on her throat to a chokehold.

movielib
08-02-11, 07:56 AM
Who wants this job?

http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/blog/article_3acd7704-bc7e-11e0-83c4-001cc4c002e0.html

Crime and Courts: Picking a prosecutor in Supreme Court fracas a tough call
STEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 3:24 pm

Talk about a hot potato.

You have a Supreme Court justice who's a former Republican legislative leader, under investigation for allegedly putting a chokehold on a Democratic-leaning colleague in a hyper-partisan atmosphere.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office, led by a Democratic sheriff, investigated the incident, then forwarded the investigative reports to the District Attorney's Office with no charging referrals -- not unheard of, but a little out of the ordinary. The district attorney, a Democrat, asks the county's chief judge, a former Democratic district attorney, to appoint a special prosecutor.

For now, the buck has stopped on the desk of Dane County Chief Judge William Foust, who knows he's got a touchy situation.

"I haven't talked to anybody about it yet, so I don't know if I'm going to get a reaction of ‘no thanks' or what," Foust told me today.

Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, you can probably see how prickly the situation is. Since the election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republican majorities in the Assembly and Senate, Wisconsin has been ground zero for partisan ugliness. The alleged choker, Justice David Prosser, was narrowly re-elected to the court after the race became a referendum on Walker's attack on public worker unions.

The race laid bare the partisan divide on the court. And as the court mulled the legality of a GOP law stripping public workers of collective bargaining rights, a June 13 dispute between Prosser and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley became physical, with Bradley claiming Prosser choked her. Some sources claimed that Prosser was merely reacting to Bradley, who came at Prosser with her fists raised.

Who'd want to wade into that mess?

Like Foust says, some attorneys might not want the job. Whoever gets it will be put through a meat grinder of scrutiny, and any past political affiliations will be pounced on by partisan interests.

UW political science professor Donald Downs sees it as a tough choice, but not an impossible one.

"There are people out there who have a reputation for fairness and objectivity," he says. "And to find someone who cares about that reputation, that's the best you can do."

But fair or not, finding an attorney with the experience to take on the job and who isn't aligned with a political party will be nearly impossible.

"I think it's a question of degree," Downs says. "There are those that may have contributed a little bit but are not that involved. I think you've got to find someone like that."

Downs says some names come to mind. He offered one: Stephen Hurley.

Hurley, one of the state's top criminal defense attorneys, has represented Republicans and Democrats alike in politically charged cases. He got a former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson aide, Nick Hurtgen, off from federal extortion and fraud charges involving a Chicago hospital contract, and he got Georgia Thompson, a former state worker under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, off from bid-rigging charges.

An equal opportunity defender.

Hurley's office told me he was too busy to field a phone call seeking comment on how he would feel about taking the job if it were offered.

But Hurley leans Democratic. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's campaign finance database, his political contributions went mostly to liberal judicial candidates or to Democratic office seekers, although he did give to Republicans Tommy Thompson and Thompson's successor, Scott McCallum. That history undoubtedly would be pounced upon by Republicans if he decided to level charges against Prosser.

Asked if the pill might not be easier for conservatives to swallow if charging decisions were made by someone who leans Republican, Downs says, "They would be smart to have someone who's a little more Republican."

The name Brian Brophy comes to mind. Brophy, a Republican, was appointed by Tommy Thompson as Dane County district attorney in 2000, but was booted only months later when he lost the election to Democrat Brian Blanchard.

He's now a partner with the law firm Sipsma, Hahn, Brophy.

Brophy was not available for comment today. He may be a Republican, but he's stayed out of the partisan fray that has overtaken the state. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign website, he's only contributed to one Republican candidate over the years -- $400 to former state Rep. Brett Davis, R-Oregon. The only other contribution I could find on the WDC's database was $100 in 2003 to Paul Higginbotham, who is considered a liberal judge. It was in 2003 that Higginbotham was chosen to serve on the state Court of Appeals after being a Dane County District Court judge.

Foust says he's not offering any possible names. Indeed, he says, he hasn't even gotten the request for the special prosecutor from the DA's office yet. "All I've been getting is emails and phone calls from reporters," he says.

He says he'd like the matter to be resolved as soon as possible "so you will all stop calling me."

JasonF
08-02-11, 08:12 AM
AFP Wisconsin ballots have late return date

Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.

The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk "before Aug. 11."

A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.

"These are people who are our 1's in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain't AFP members, that's for damn sure," the source said.

One flier was discovered in Hudson, Wisc. where Democrat Shelly Moore is attempting to upend GOP State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf in District 10; the other was found in Kaukauna, where Democrat Nancy Nusbaum is challenging Sen. Robert Cowles in District 2.

"If they're targeting for Aug. 16, they're hundreds and hundreds of miles off," said the Democratic activist who has been on the ground in Madison for months. "This has nothing to do with either Democratic incumbent up on August 16th."

The absentee trickery comes just as AFP has purchased $150,000 in ad time in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison to boost GOP candidates.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/0811/AFP_Wisconsin_ballots_have_late_return_date.html?showall

AFP is an anti-gay-rights group funded by the Koch brothers (booga booga!), so somehow, I doubt that they accidentally put the wrong date on the flier they sent to solidly Democratic voters.

kvrdave
08-02-11, 08:41 AM
Democrats would never infiltrate a conservative group with the goal to make them look bad. Never happened with the Tea Party. Never happened anywhere.

But I would hope you are correct. I think "political terrorism" is something we will see more and more of.

JasonF
08-02-11, 09:00 AM
Democrats would never infiltrate a conservative group with the goal to make them look bad. Never happened with the Tea Party. Never happened anywhere.

Are you suggesting that Democrats infiltrated the anti-gay group, then used the anti-gay group to try to tip the election in favor of Republicans in the hope that word would get out, thereby making the anti-gay group look bad?

movielib
08-02-11, 09:36 AM
And it goes both ways:

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110802/APC0101/110802033/Voters-receiving-misleading-information-about-recall-election-dates?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

MADISON — Voters across Wisconsin are receiving misleading information about the dates of upcoming recall elections.

Absentee voter applications sent by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity tell voters to return the mailing after the Aug. 9 recall elections targeting Republican Sens. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls and Rob Cowles of Allouez.

And the Democratic National Committee has been placing calls giving the wrong date for the recall election against Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke of La Crosse.

Wisconsin Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney says DNC officials were contacted about the calls with the wrong date and they told election officials the calls would stop.

The GAB is also urging voters who want to cast absentee ballots to not rely on mailings but instead to contact their local election official.
So good for them. They stopped. But could the DNC really not know the dates?

At least some stories tell both sides.

aktick
08-02-11, 09:41 AM
And it goes both ways:

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110802/APC0101/110802033/Voters-receiving-misleading-information-about-recall-election-dates?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s


So good for them. They stopped. But could the DNC really not know the dates?

At least some stories tell both sides.

Say it ain't so! You've forever tarnished my long held belief that only Republicans played dirty politics. :sad:

movielib
08-02-11, 09:45 AM
http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/0811/AFP_Wisconsin_ballots_have_late_return_date.html?showall

AFP is an anti-gay-rights group funded by the Koch brothers (booga booga!), so somehow, I doubt that they accidentally put the wrong date on the flier they sent to solidly Democratic voters.
AFP may be anti-gay. I don't know. This is their "about us."

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/about


About Americans for Prosperity

Our Missions

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. AFP is an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state, and federal levels. The grassroots activists of AFP advocate for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint. To that end, AFP supports:

* Cutting taxes and government spending in order to halt the encroachment of government in the economic lives of citizens by fighting proposed tax increases and pointing out evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse.
* Tax and Expenditure Limitations to promote fiscal responsibility.
* Removing unnecessary barriers to entrepreneurship and opportunity by sparking citizen involvement in the regulatory process early on in order to reduce red tape.
* Restoring fairness to our judicial system.

Who We Are

The heart and soul of AFP is our citizen activists. They organize events, write letters to the editor, and petition their lawmakers to uphold freedom and prosperity. Americans for Prosperity has more than 1,750,000 activists in all 50 states, and 31 state chapters and affiliates. More than 80,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or our sister organization, AFP Foundation.

What We Do

AFP’s network of organized and influential citizen leaders in a growing number of states throughout the country is working to change the nation one state at a time.

* AFP mobilizes citizens to effectively make their voices heard in public policy issue campaigns.
* AFP educates citizens about where their elected officials stand on our issues.
* AFP combines "best-in-class" capabilities built once at the national level with local knowledge from our state staff and on-the-ground grassroots to create economies of scale that win.
* AFP leverages our comparative advantages with those of other groups by building coalitions of local, state, and national grassroots organizations fighting for a common cause.
Clearly, their main "mission" is economic. That's what I've known them for. Since they are obviously conservative I don't doubt that they are, for the most part, not big on gay rights. I disagree with them on that but that's hardly their main purpose.

movielib
08-02-11, 10:06 AM
I clickd on AFP's "issues" page.

Here are their issues:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/issues

Issues

Education
Energy
EPA
Health
Limited Government
Spending
Taxes
Technology
They are clearly obsessed with gayness.

movielib
08-02-11, 10:13 AM
I googled the term "gay" on the AFP site. I found a grand total of nine articles, none later than 2007. Here's one:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/dnc-attacks-afp-about-defending-american-dream-summit

DNC attacks AFP about Defending the American Dream Summit

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) attacked the Defending the American Dream Summit and AFP. The DNC complained that the Summit had "no representation of African American voters, Latinos, young people, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) community, teachers, organized labor, and even College Republicans. "

Odd thing is we had several of the fellow attendees from 'virtually' everyone of those groups. There were College Republicans. Teachers from Oklahoma, a fair representation of minorities, and union officials as well as a man who is a union chapter president (who promotes reform from within). I know we had plenty of young people there (and a few people brought their kids). I am not quite sure how they know no one from the LGBT was there or not? We didn't go in their rooms to check nor did we ask.

Anyways, I am almost certain the DNC will read this post and realize the error in such statments and will surely print a retraction. Let us hope against all hope...
Wow, they really are concerned whether someone is gay, right? They're pretty feeble as an "anti-gay group."
I didn't read every one of these articles but I don't think they much care.

I would bet their membership is mostly against gay marriage but so are many Democrats including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

kvrdave
08-02-11, 10:21 AM
Are you suggesting that Democrats infiltrated the anti-gay group, then used the anti-gay group to try to tip the election in favor of Republicans in the hope that word would get out, thereby making the anti-gay group look bad?

I'm saying that these things have happened before, so I'd hold my outrage. But it also appears that they are only anti-gay in that they are conservative fiscally. No doubt they are also racist and hate women as a result. -wink-

movielib
08-02-11, 10:22 AM
AFP is an anti-gay-rights group funded by the Koch brothers (booga booga!), so somehow, I doubt that they accidentally put the wrong date on the flier they sent to solidly Democratic voters.
I'm never concerned with a group being branded with the evil "Koch" label. For every one of them there are probably two with the pure and lovely "Soros" label. ;)

JasonF
08-02-11, 10:42 AM
AFP may be anti-gay. I don't know. This is their "about us."

They are clearly obsessed with gayness.

I googled the term "gay" on the AFP site.

Speaking of obsessed ....

I saw them characterized as anti-gay on a liberal blog. I didn't want to link to the liberal blog, so I googled a more non-partisan source for the story and posted what I found. But that story didn't provide context on who AFP was, so I just repeated what I had seen on the liberal blog. I guess the joke is on me.

As for your "The DNC is doing it too!" article, the question I'd like to know the answer is who is the DNC calling. If they are targeting likely Republican voters with the misinformation, then I agree -- they are just as bad. If they are calling people on their own (pro-Democrat) mailing list, then I would guess that they are morons, not malicious.

JasonF
08-02-11, 10:44 AM
I'm saying that these things have happened before

When? That's a serious question, by the way -- I can't think of a single instance of liberals infiltrating conservative groups to make them look bad from within.

(On the other hand, there was that conservative dude who dressed up as a pimp to make ACORN look bad. But he wasn't so subtle as to get a job with ACORN, then do something malicious and hope to get caught and make ACORN look bad.)

mosquitobite
08-02-11, 10:59 AM
When? That's a serious question, by the way -- I can't think of a single instance of liberals infiltrating conservative groups to make them look bad from within.

(On the other hand, there was that conservative dude who dressed up as a pimp to make ACORN look bad. But he wasn't so subtle as to get a job with ACORN, then do something malicious and hope to get caught and make ACORN look bad.)

I remember at least one instance where a liberal pretended to be a tea party member, complete with racist sign. I think he was even involved with a national Democratic campaign. The reporters lapped him up and portrayed him as a typical tea party supporter. :rolleyes:

JasonF
08-02-11, 11:06 AM
I remember at least one instance where a liberal pretended to be a tea party member, complete with racist sign. I think he was even involved with a national Democratic campaign. The reporters lapped him up and portrayed him as a typical tea party supporter. :rolleyes:

I don't remember that at all, but it sounds like something that could have happened. :shrug:

logrus9
08-02-11, 11:20 AM
Or is it a Democratic group pretending to be a Republican group to manufacture some outrage?

:tinfoil:

kvrdave
08-02-11, 11:28 AM
I don't remember that at all, but it sounds like something that could have happened. :shrug:

It happened more than once. Happened in OR not too long ago. I might be more sensitive to it because it was relatively close to me.

Save Ferris
08-02-11, 11:39 AM
almost the same thing?

"Michigan Dems charged in fake Tea Party scheme
Two county-level Democratic officials face charges of perjury and forgery for creating bogus Tea Party candidates..."

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/17/dems_tea_party_charges

movielib
08-02-11, 11:42 AM
they are morons, not malicious.
I know I saw somewhere else they were calling likely Republicans. I couldn't find that article in a short period of time days later.

In any event, it would probably be Republicans who would complain.

JasonF
08-02-11, 11:42 AM
almost the same thing?

"Michigan Dems charged in fake Tea Party scheme
Two county-level Democratic officials face charges of perjury and forgery for creating bogus Tea Party candidates..."

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/17/dems_tea_party_charges

That sounds more like the Republicans who were running fake Democratic candidates in the Wisconsin primaries, but either way, it's sleazy.

JasonF
08-02-11, 11:47 AM
I know I saw somewhere else they were calling likely Republicans. I couldn't find that article in a short period of time days later.

If that's the case, then I agree -- they're just as bad as the AFP.

movielib
08-02-11, 11:53 AM
Speaking of obsessed ....
I like to make the best case. As a lawyer you probably know that. ;)

I saw them characterized as anti-gay on a liberal blog. I didn't want to link to the liberal blog, so I googled a more non-partisan source for the story and posted what I found. But that story didn't provide context on who AFP was, so I just repeated what I had seen on the liberal blog. I guess the joke is on me.
Well, OK then. Ha ha.

dork
08-02-11, 01:11 PM
AFP is working with Wisconsin Family Action, a rabidly anti-gay group. Fuck 'em all.

movielib
08-02-11, 02:59 PM
Are Sandy Pasch and her supporters breaking election laws?

http://foxpoint.patch.com/articles/report-union-groups-election-block-parties-come-under-scrutiny

Report: Union Group's Election 'Block Parties' Come Under Scrutiny
August 1, 2011

Offering prizes, food and a ride to the polls in 8th Senate District recall race may have violated state election laws, official says.

Wisconsin election officials are questioning whether a liberal group broke the law by offering both free food and free rides to vote in the 8th Senate District recall election, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting.

At issue are five get-out-the-vote "block parties" sponsored by Wisconsin Jobs Now, a coalition of community and labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union, the newspaper said.

The coalition has been supporting state Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) in her campaign against Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) in the Aug. 9 recall election.

At each party, participants were offered free food and prizes - and free shuttles to Milwaukee City Hall, where voters could cast absentee ballots.

The Journal Sentinel quoted a spokesman from state Government Accountability Board as saying it would be illegal to combine free food and transportation to the polls in the same event - even if, as the organization contends, people could take the food without boarding the buses.

http://foxpoint.patch.com/articles/gop-files-complaint-over-possible-collusion-between-pasch-and-special-interest-group

GOP Files Complaint Over Possible Collusion Between Pasch, Outside Group

State Republican Party seeks investigation into whether Democrat in 8th Senate District Recall Race is coordinating efforts with organization.

By Sarah Worthman and Mark Maley
August 1, 2011

The Republican Party of Wisconsin Monday filed a complaint with the state Government Accountability Board, asking the agency to investigate possible collusion between Democrat state Rep. Sandy Pasch's campaign and a special-interest group.

Pasch, who is facing Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling in the Aug. 9 recall election, sits on the board of the directors of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a group actively involved in the recall race.

The group has filed papers with the state saying that it plans spend money to support Pasch in the recall, but as of Monday it hasn't reported doing so.

"(No reports) have been reported yet," said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan group that monitors campaign spending. "But that doesn’t mean they haven’t spent some money. It just hasn’t been reported yet."

There is nothing illegal about Pasch being on the board of directors or the group spending money on her behalf. However, Citizen Action cannot coordinate its efforts with the candidate.

"At this point, we don’t know if they’ve spent any money, and if they do, we would need to see some evidence of actual coordination," Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, said Friday. "Just because she is on the board doesn’t mean there’s been coordination. At this point, it's really too early to draw any conclusions because we don’t know if they’ve spent any money."

Magney said Monday the GAB has received the complaint from the state party but declined to comment on the details in the complaint.

When the GAB receives a complaint, it first assesses whether there is a reasonable basis to investigate. If the board believes there is a sufficient basis to proceed, it may authorize an investigation.

However, Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said there are signs that Pasch and the group may be working together.

“In recent weeks, Citizen Action has taken an unusual interest in attacking Alberta Darling, with nearly identical messaging as the Pasch campaign,” he said in a statement. “We feel that it is only prudent to ensure that these circumstances are uncanny coincidences, not the result of illegal activity on the part of the Pasch campaign.”

Robert Kraig, executive director at Citizen Action, said allegations of collusion are unfounded.

"It’s entirely untrue. If it were true, it’d be illegal," Kraig told Patch. "Then someone could present evidence to the GAB and we’d be in jeopardy. We’ve been involved in elections for many years and we know you can't coordinate with candidates and we don’t do it."

Gillian Morris, a spokeswoman for Pasch's campaign, also said there is no coordination between the candidate and the group.

"Sandy has been a member of their board for years, but she has had absolutely no involvement in any campaign strategy or plans, or anything like that," Morris said.

"This is a laughtable attempt to attack her because they're running scared and they're seeing the writing on the wall that Sandy is in a strong position to win that seat," she added.

But the Darling campaign described the allegation as a "very serious matter" and urged the state to investigate.

“As we have seen throughout the campaign from Sandy Pasch, she has little regard for right and wrong," said Darling campaign manager Andrew Davis in a statement. "Sandy is willing to blatantly and repeatedly lie about Medicare cuts. She’s received a ‘Pants on Fire’ from the Journal Sentinel’s Politifact for saying Alberta wants to end health care for seniors. Now we uncover the fact that there is possibly illegal coordination occurring.

"It’s going to be rather difficult for Sandy Pasch to plead ignorance when she sits on the board of directors for Citizen Action Wisconsin, and her campaign treasurer is also managing the finances for that same third-party group," he added.
Maybe it's just me but it seems rather stupid to be on this Board of Directors when one is running for office and to use the treasurer of that organization as your campaign's treasurer. Of those two, the treasurer thing is probably worse.

movielib
08-02-11, 03:35 PM
Why there will be no charges filed in the Prosser/Bradley melee.

http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=34264

Blaska's Blog explains why no charges will be filed in Prosser v. Ann Walsh Bradley
David Blaska on Tuesday 08/02/2011 12:05 pm

Judge William Foust should deny Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne's request for a special prosecutor in the State Supreme Court kerfuffle.

There is no case here and the D.A. knows it. But the District Attorney is stuck on flypaper and he wants off. Ozanne is in possession of the Dane County Sheriff's office investigation into the incident of June 13 in the court's Capitol chambers. The initial story had Ann Walsh Bradley gasping for air as her fellow justice, Dave Prosser, throttled her with hands around her neck, presumably to the horror of the other four justices present in the room.

But the sheriff's investigatory report, so long in the making, does not recommend prosecution, Ozanne tells us. The Wisconsin State Journal has the story.

That tells me the entire contretemps in the offices of Justice Bradley is seven shades of gray, Roshomon in black robes, with both Justice David Prosser and Bradley wishing they had behaved differently but guilty of no crime.

The more nuanced version reported by Christian Schneider had disputatious words exchanged before Bradley flew at Prosser with fists raised. Prosser fends her off while another justice, unnamed, pulls Bradley away. She cries, "I was choked." Another of the justices present responds, "You were not choked."

If the facts as presented by the sheriff's report jump off the page demanding legal retribution, then file charges, Mr. D.A. If the inescapable conclusion drawn by a reasonable person is that a crime has occurred, don't fiddle faddle. Bring the indictment. Because if the sheriff's report does not make the case, no one will. It is worth noting that Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs poked into the case and chose not to make an arrest, either.

Ismael Ozanne does not want to bring charges and for good reason. He knows he has no case but fears that deciding not to charge will enrage the howling mob in Madison. He fears that his liberal privileges will be revoked and that he will be the target of sing-alongs and vuvuzelas. He will be linked to the Koch Brothers and ALEC. Oh, and he can forget about election to the post to which he has been appointed.

Shirley Abrahamson does not want charges to be filed. She does not want to sit on the witness stand for three days running as the defense attorney starts from the very beginning of her reign as chief justice 15 years ago to plumb the institutional dysfunction she has wrought. (Defense attorneys have greater latitude.)

Justice Bradley does not want charges to be filed. She does not want to be contradicted on the witness stand by some of her fellow justices. She does not want to answer why, if she was choked, she or Abrahamson or both went to liberal advocacy journalist Bill Lueders, a notorious enemy of Prosser, instead of filing a complaint with the police. Ann Walsh Bradley does not want to subject herself to perjury.

Nor does the court system want to house and feed that Waukesha County jury that any first-year law student would demand on Day One.

But if you got to have a special prosecutor, get E. Michael McCann out of Milwaukee. He's available and straight down the middle.
All this makes a lot of sense.

Here's what I said in Post #895, last thread:

Here's what I think will happen. The investigation will find things "inconclusive." I don't think they will find the Abrahamson/Bradley story convincing enough to file charges, particularly when the other four justices present will not endorse that story. No one will be arrested or indicted. No one was hurt and it will be chalked up to the heat of the moment. All the justices will stay and most, if not all, will just be happy to put it all behind them.

But the lefties will never let it go.
Nothing has changed my mind.

TheBigDave
08-02-11, 05:13 PM
When? That's a serious question, by the way -- I can't think of a single instance of liberals infiltrating conservative groups to make them look bad from within.

(On the other hand, there was that conservative dude who dressed up as a pimp to make ACORN look bad. But he wasn't so subtle as to get a job with ACORN, then do something malicious and hope to get caught and make ACORN look bad.)

Just a couple weeks ago some gay activists did a hidden camera sting on Marcus Bachmann's counseling center.

movielib
08-02-11, 05:57 PM
Followup to Post #62.

There may be a connection between Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Jobs Now. I have seen descriptions that CAW is the parent or sponsor of WJN or that WJN is an offshoot of CAW. There is at least this connection:

http://mediatrackers.org/2011/08/media-trackers-first-to-file-complaint-with-gab-milwaukee-da-over-bbq-for-votes/ (last paragraph)

In the wake of allegations against Wisconsin Jobs Now!, their website underwent a thorough purge removing the name Matthew Brusky as treasurer for the organization and deleting the “block party” event page. Matthew Brusky serves as Political Director for Citizen Action of Wisconsin, an organization whom Sandy Pasch’s affiliation with has drawn criticism.
Now:

http://wisconsinjobsnow.org/upcoming-events/

PAID FOR BY WISCONSIN JOBS NOW, A NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATION.
NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE'S COMMITTEE

Then:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:rWSnDtopZnwJ:wisconsinjobsnow.org/upcoming-events/+wisconsin+jobs+now+matthew+brusky&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

PAID FOR BY WISCONSIN JOBS NOW, A NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATION, MATT BRUSKY, TREASURER.
NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE'S COMMITTEE (emphasis added)

Look at the bottom of the pages.

Gotta love the cache.

Brusky indeed shows up at CAW:

http://citizenactionwi.org/staff/citizen-action-staff.html

Matt Brusky - Political Director & Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Project
The connections between Sandy Pasch, CAW and WJN are starting to appear uncomfortable.

I am always suspicious when web pages are "purged" in the wake of inconvenient news. I remember when Carol Browner, former Obama Climate Czar, disappeared from the board of a socialist group's website when the affiliation was discovered.

Why do people think they can hide such inconvenient facts in the computer age?

kvrdave
08-02-11, 06:48 PM
Shirley Abrahamson does not want charges to be filed. She does not want to sit on the witness stand for three days running as the defense attorney starts from the very beginning of her reign as chief justice 15 years ago to plumb the institutional dysfunction she has wrought. (Defense attorneys have greater latitude.)

Justice Bradley does not want charges to be filed. She does not want to be contradicted on the witness stand by some of her fellow justices. She does not want to answer why, if she was choked, she or Abrahamson or both went to liberal advocacy journalist Bill Lueders, a notorious enemy of Prosser, instead of filing a complaint with the police. Ann Walsh Bradley does not want to subject herself to perjury.


This is exactly why I want charges filed. :lol:

mosquitobite
08-02-11, 08:50 PM
I don't remember that at all, but it sounds like something that could have happened. :shrug:

Found it on Slate even (http://www.slate.com/content/slate/blogs/weigel/2010/08/09/tea_party_infiltration_done_wrong.html)

And more on the guy: Tyler Collins (http://www.slate.com/content/slate/blogs/weigel/2010/08/11/more_about_tyler_collins_the_man_who_posed_as_a_rand_paul_fan_complete_with_tinfoil_hat.html)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4120/4882202239_c8298f31d3.jpg

movielib
08-02-11, 09:23 PM
This is exactly why I want charges filed. :lol:
That could be endlessly entertaining.

aktick
08-03-11, 10:03 AM
Appleton (the 6th largest district in the state) balances their budget...

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110803/APC0101/108030511/Union-law-helps-Appleton-school-district-reach-balanced-budget-2011-12?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

movielib
08-03-11, 06:48 PM
Sandy Pasch campaign, Wisconsin Jobs Now, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Rather intertwined.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gtMSeHcpTgs?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gtMSeHcpTgs?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

I had not known that WJN and CAW had the same address and phone number. Definitely connected.

Even if Pasch herself has done nothing wrong, it's almost as if she went out of her way to present an appearance of collusion. Not too bright.

movielib
08-04-11, 06:43 PM
I'm in northern Wisconsin at my wife's parents' old house with no internet access and intermittent access from some network. I may not be able to post much now through Sunday. I'm going to try.

movielib
08-04-11, 07:00 PM
More help for Sandy Pasch?

http://watchdog.org/10752/bitter-battle-rages-on-in-wisconsin%E2%80%99s-recall-campaign/

Bitter battle rages on in Wisconsin’s recall campaign
Posted on August 4, 2011
By M.D. Kittle Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — The campaign accusations and allegations continued to fly Wednesday, just six days before Wisconsin’s Super Tuesday of recalls.

Among the more serious charges leveled again centered on the embattled Sandy Pasch campaign.

Milwaukee election officials, according to multiple reports and a signed affidavit, have sent duplicate absentee ballots to voters in the city’s heavily Democratic Ward 259 in front of Tuesday’s recall election. The race pits Pasch, a Whitefish Bay Democrat, against incumbent Republican Alberta Darling, of River Hills, for the 8th Senate District seat.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin demanded an immediate investigation from the Milwaukee County district attorney to “ensure ballot integrity” in a district that has been hit hard in recent days with accusations of questionable campaign practices.

“We hope this is simply incompetence from Milwaukee, rather than … voter fraud, but every new scandal makes it clear that Sandy Pasch’s allies will do anything to win, on either side of the law,” Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement.

Milwaukee County’s district attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. The office, according to voice mail, was apparently closed, just moments after 5 p.m.

The Republicans stepped up the rhetoric Wednesday, reiterating accusations that the Pasch campaign and supporters engaged in illegal coordination and election bribery.
It could be that all the Pasch stuff is innocent and all the Democrats in the district have a collective IQ of 40. Sure, that's it.

On one of those personal notes: Sandy Pasch is from Whitefish Bay, where I graduated high school in 1965. There was a Barbara Pasch in my class and a Carol Pasch who I think was one year older. They were either sisters or cousins, I just can't remember. At least one of them went to the same synagogue as my family. My family knew theirs but I wasn't close to the kids. Very probably, Sandy is some relation to them. I hope she gets creamed (but I know it's going to be close).

kvrdave
08-04-11, 09:16 PM
I'm in northern Wisconsin at my wife's parents' old house with no internet access and intermittent access from some network. I may not be able to post much now through Sunday. I'm going to try.

:lol: At least I will be in Vegas next week and can still check up on what is going on.

movielib
08-04-11, 09:27 PM
:lol: At least I will be in Vegas next week and can still check up on what is going on.
I seem to have found a sweet spot for my laptop on the unsecured network. I just hope I don't lose it.

I have a smart phone and can surf the internet with it but posting from it is way too much of a pain.

movielib
08-04-11, 09:47 PM
Accusations are flying both ways in Darling/Pasch race.



As Election Day Nears, Allegations of Wrongdoing Fly Free

Democrats ask state to investigate possible collusion between Darling and outside groups - the latest of nearly half a dozen other complaints against both sides made this week.
By Adam W. McCoy
August 4, 2011

In the midst of a week full of accusations of wrongdoing by both political parties, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Thursday filed a complaint with the state Government Accountability Board Thursday, accusing GOP Sen. Alberta Darling covering up of collusion with several special-interest groups.

The party is alleging that Darling has had e-mail coordination with four conservative outside groups and she hasn't yet responded to open records requests the party filed on July 13. The complaint alleges collusion with conservative groups - Americans For Prosperity, Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life and American Federation for Children.

"Darling's refusal is an intentional coverup of her illegal collusion," the complaint states.

Democratic Party Chairpman Mike Tate said Darling only responded to the requests after being threatened with legal action by the Dane County District Attorney’s office but she still hasn't released all the records, he said.

“We believe Alberta Darling has broken the law,” Tate said in a press conference Thursday. "The last acts of her desperate campaign are not merely pathetic. They are illegal."

Under state law, it would be illegal for Darling to coordinate her efforts with any outside group.

Darling's campaign manager Andrew Davis didn't immediately return a call Friday. But during a candidate forum Wednesday, Darling responded to a similar complaint filed by One Wisconsin Now! after she failed to respond to a June 8 open records request.

“We have sent both records request back to them,” Darling said. “I have to tell you that my office is going to hear about that one because we routinely answer those requests as soon as possible.”

Tate said the complaint filed against Darling is different than the others filed this week, and isn’t political tit-for-tat.

“All of the evidence is on the table for the allegations against Pasch,” he said.

Yet, the complaint comes with less than a week to go until Darling battles challenger Rep. Sandy Pasch of Whitefish Bay to retain her 8th Senate District seat and on the heels of a similar complaint over cullusion filed by the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

The flying allegations before a big election isn't anything out of the ordinary, said Ken Goldstein, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group and former professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In big elections like the 8th Senate District contest, campaigns and outside groups pull out all the stops, he said.

"In a close race like the Darling-Pasch one, either campaign will do everything possible to get ahead," he said.

The GOP on Monday asked the Government Accountability Board to investigate whether Pasch is in collusion with the special-interest group Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Pasch sits on the board of the directors of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a group actively involved in the recall race.

The group has filed papers with the state saying that it plans spend money to support Pasch in the recall, but as of Monday it hasn't reported doing so.

There is nothing illegal about Pasch being on the board of directors or the group spending money on her behalf, but the group and Pasch can not coordinate efforts.

Special-interest groups on either side of the political spectrum also have been accused of swapping value for votes this week.

On Monday, Wisconsin Jobs Now came under scrunity after it held five get-out-the-vote block parties where it offered free food and free rides to Milwaukee City Hall to cast absentee ballots.

During the parties, the liberal group offered prizes, free t-shirts, free food and free shuttles to the clerk's office to vote in the 8th Senate District race, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. GAB officials and local law enforcement are looking into the parties.

The newspaper quoted Wisconsin Jobs Now spokesperson Janet Veum as calling the parties as "a celebration of voting."

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office opened an investigation into whether the special-interest groups Wisconsin Right to Life and Family Action coalition offered gift cards to volunteers who persuaded voters to fill out absentee ballot applications, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.

If volunteers were able to obtain 15 pro-life voters to complete an absentee ballot, they’d receive a $25 gift card. The top volunteer would receive a $75 gift card, according to an e-mail the newspaper said.

A spokesperson for the group, Susan Armacost, said the group did nothing illegal.

State law prohibits offering potiental voters anything of value to vote.
I had not heard about the allegations against Darling until I read this article. If Wisconsin Right to Life and Family Action coalition have done what they are accused of it is as bad as the Wisconsin Jobs Now picnic and bus ride to vote. Or maybe not. The incentive is to the voter gatherers, not to the voters. I don't know if the Wisconsin law makes such distinctions. Still, it should probably not be done.

One thing: I see no evidence of Darling having any connections with any of the groups supporting her as there is with Pasch being on the board of directors of one group and sharing its treasurer with her campaign.

wmansir
08-04-11, 10:16 PM
The pro-life "volunteers" being paid seems like a non-issue to me. Various organizations pay people all the time to gather signatures or register voters, and in many places paying the voter/signer directly for those activities is illegal.

movielib
08-04-11, 10:20 PM
The pro-life "volunteers" being paid seems like a non-issue to me. Various organizations pay people all the time to gather signatures or register voters, and in many places paying the voter/signer directly for those activities is illegal.
You're probably right. There is a difference. People are paid all the time to get out the vote. They are not being paid to vote, nor are the voters they get out.

JasonF
08-04-11, 10:51 PM
Back in the founding era, it was common for candidates to provide booze to voters. I've heard that George Washington lost his first election because he didn't provide as much rum as his opponent did. According to what I've read, Washington vowed never to let that happen again, and in the next election provided a gallon(!) of liquor per voter.

kvrdave
08-04-11, 11:14 PM
He's got my vote.

movielib
08-05-11, 03:51 PM
Wisconsin unions again show their class.

http://www.wisn.com/r/28769947/detail.html (Video here too)

Anti-Walker Protest Erupts During Opening Of State Fair
POSTED: 5:14 pm CDT August 4, 2011
UPDATED: 6:42 pm CDT August 4, 2011

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Controversy erupted during the opening ceremony of the Wisconsin State Fair.

Political protesters shouted down Gov. Scott Walker Thursday as he officially declared the fair open for business.

From the moment Walker stepped on stage for the State Fair opening ceremony, a group of protesters in the crowd tried to shout him down.

But Walker carried on, trying not to let it interfere with his message, or the fair itself.

"Eight hundred thousand people are going to be here this week, and that handful of people will not distract the majority. People from around the state and around the Midwest are going to come and have a fun time," Walker said.

There was a also a strong showing of Walker supporters in the crowd, but they appeared outnumbered and outshouted by the anti-Walker protesters.

The governor has become accustomed to seeing protesters but questioned why people would do that at the fair.

"It's one of those things people have a right to do. Most people come to the fair, and they set aside politics and business and just have a good time," Walker said.

The protesters did not let up, and so as many in the crowd called for his recall, the governor continued on and did what he came to do.

"We declare the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair open for business," Walker said.

Other than the chanting during the governor's address, the ceremony went off without incident.

The governor is expected to return for the governor's auction next week.
Another video (shows more):

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/08/union-thugs-disrupt-wisconsin-state-fair.php

kvrdave
08-05-11, 04:02 PM
Those tea baggers really piss me off.

Th0r S1mpson
08-05-11, 04:03 PM
The last time I held an Anti-Walker protest, they called the cops to escort me out of the nursing home.

movielib
08-05-11, 04:12 PM
Here's an even more disgusting video of the event. Raw footage rather than edited news The people who took this film are apparently proud of what they did.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zvnKyJJxisQ?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zvnKyJJxisQ?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

It's on a YouTube page that seems to be anti-Walker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zvnKyJJxisQ#at=29

wmansir
08-05-11, 04:38 PM
Now I see Walker's strategy: Save as many teacher's jobs so that once the school year starts they will be too busy working to protest him on weekdays during work hours.

kvrdave
08-05-11, 05:02 PM
:lol:

movielib
08-05-11, 05:23 PM
Now I see Walker's strategy: Save as many teacher's jobs so that once the school year starts they will be too busy working to protest him on weekdays during work hours.
That didn't stop them before.

Jason
08-05-11, 06:01 PM
Here's an even more disgusting video of the event. Raw footage rather than edited news The people who took this film are apparently proud of what they did.


They should be. The guy's a dick.

If algore were shouted down at the next global warming summit, I'm sure you would be equally offended.

kvrdave
08-05-11, 06:14 PM
They should be. The guy's a dick.

If algore were shouted down at the next global warming summit, I'm sure you would be equally offended.

Maybe not. But if it was a county fair or something, I'd probably think that wasn't exactly the place to do it. Not as bad as when they shouted him down at the Special Olympics, though. If Al Gore were shouted down at the next special olympics ceremony, I'm sure you'd be equally ambivalent. -wink-

movielib
08-05-11, 06:51 PM
They should be. The guy's a dick.
Good for you.

If algore were shouted down at the next global warming summit, I'm sure you would be equally offended.
No worries. Gore never appears anywhere unless he expects to be surrounded by sycophants.

If you remember a couple of times Gore has been in his element (the only element he will appear in) but has been surprised by journalist Phelim MacAleer.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_jqcnBugnl8?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_jqcnBugnl8?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fooYtalS9Gc?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fooYtalS9Gc?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

Gore's protectors cut off MacAleer, not the other way around.

I do think Gore should be asked questions. He almost never answers any. But no, I would not shout him down nor would I approve of his being shouted down.
.

movielib
08-06-11, 08:57 AM
Bizarre email from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to news outlet:

http://www.wisconsinreporter.com/wisconsin-democrats-threaten-wisconsin-reporter

Wisconsin Democrats threaten Wisconsin Reporter
August 5th, 2011

By Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — Clearly not pleased with Wisconsin Reporter’s news coverage, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Friday sent a tersely worded email to Wisconsin Reporter, threatening to let loose party “activists” in a campaign to expose the news bureau’s “obvious bias.”

First Amendment experts call the party spokesman’s threats petulant and “out there,” asserting that the official’s threat to influence the status of Wisconsin Reporter’s statehouse credentials borders on free speech suppression.

Graeme Zielinski, communications director for Wisconsin’s Democrats, criticized a Wisconsin Reporter staffer about a recent interview conducted by the Heritage Foundation with Gov. Scott Walker.

Zielinski was quoted in the Wisconsin Reporter’s story about the interview saying the Walker administration’s proclamation of economic victory is “right-wing fantasy, a total lie.”

Wisconsin’s economy created 9,500 jobs in June, more than half of the total 18,000 positions added nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of labor.

Zielinski pointed to neighbor Illinois as outpacing Wisconsin’s economy. The Land of Lincoln, however, shed 18,900 jobs in June, pushing the state’s total jobless to north of 600,000.

“In your Walker water-carrying article, you made all sorts of arguments for Scott Walker, then used a snippet of my quote, and then used apposite information to debate me. IN MY OWN QUOTE. I’ve never seen that before in my life,” Zielinski wrote in the email to the staff writer.

In short, Zielinski said Wisconsin Reporter is some kind of shill for the Republican Party and isn’t balanced in its news coverage.

Then, the Democratic Party spokesman goes on to write “What happens next.”

“What happens next is that I contact the publishers and editors of the papers that publish you as ‘unbiased,’ and let them know our deep concern about the obvious bias that permeates your entire operation,” Zielinski states in his email.

“Then, we let our activists know which papers publish you, and they write the publisher and editor. Then, we contact the Capitol press pool and let them know about our concerns about your credentialing.

“And we continue on until you actually admit to the truth of your operation.”

What is the “truth of the operation?”

Jason Stverak, president of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the nonprofit open government advocate that owns and operates Wisconsin Reporter and several other news agencies like it in the U.S., calls Zielinski’s assertions “factually incorrect.”

“Wisconsin Reporter’s content is trusted by tens of thousands of individuals in Wisconsin who get our stories, whether through our newspaper partners, our website, or they read it on Facebook or Twitter,” Stverak said. “The people of Wisconsin have come to rely on Wisconsin Reporter for trustworthy and credible content so they know what’s going on, not only in Madison but across the state.”

Wisconsin Reporter, which launched operations late last year, distributes its news products to more than a dozen daily newspapers throughout Wisconsin and northeast Iowa.

“But just because you disagree with a story does not mean you should be able to threaten the ability for that news organization to put out credible news content,” the executive said, calling the Democratic Party spokesman’s statements to Wisconsin Reporter a “direct threat” to the freedom of the press at large.

“The people of Wisconsin and citizens across the country rely on the ability of a free press to not only provide them information of what’s going on in government but of the principal actors in government,” Stverak said.

First Amendment experts have their concerns, too.

Beth Bennett, executive director of the Wisconsin Newspapers Association, served 20-plus years in government relations in the often politically rancorous state of Illinois, and she said she has never seen anything like Zielinski’s email to Wisconsin Reporter.

“To have a party official put something in writing like that is pretty out there,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of emotions. Politics are bubbling to the surface in a way we don’t normally see with editorial products, but this is uncharted territory.”

Kenneth Bunting, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Missouri School of Journalism, said most of Zielinski’s threats are petulant but not pure attacks on the First Amendment.

“I’m not a gambling man, but I’m betting he’s going to back down on telling the publishers of the papers you serve that you suck before you go out of business,” Bunting said.

Where the Democratic Party spokesman stood as of Friday evening was unclear; he did not return a phone call and emails from Wisconsin Reporter seeking comment.

The more serious challenge, Bunting said, is the threat to affect Wisconsin Reporter’s press credentials to cover Capitol news.

Below is Graeme Zielinski email to Wisconsin Reporter Bureau Chief M.D. Kittle:

http://cdn.statehousemedia.com/wisconsin/Pics/ZielinskiEmail.jpg
I don't know if the Wisconsin Reporter has a right wing bias. From what I've seen I suspect it does although it is not blatant. But then, newspapers or websites such as the Capital Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have left wing biases, the former's being in the extreme. But then, to a Madison Democrat, any news outlet to the right of the Capital Times, including the left leaning Journal Sentinel has a right wing bias. But so what? It's hardly new and permeates nearly all of journalism.

NORML54601
08-08-11, 06:10 PM
I'd be surprised if Kapanke gets more than 40% of the votes tomorrow.

movielib
08-08-11, 07:24 PM
I'd be surprised if Kapanke gets more than 40% of the votes tomorrow.
Yeah, he's going to lose. Hopper will probably lose. Darling and Olsen are very close. The other two Republicans will probably win. Darling and Olsen are the keys. If they both win, the Republicans will keep control. If one loses, it will come down to the Dem elections next week, one of which the Dems are going to win and one in which the Repub has a shot. If both Darling and Olsen lose, the Dems will almost certainly take control.

wmansir
08-09-11, 10:00 PM
GOP Recall results: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/127331193.html

Currently it looks like the GOP have 3 locked up. Dems lead 3 of the 4 remaining, but they are all too close to call with less than 50% reporting. Turn out is said to be very high, perhaps greater than 2010.

Pharoh
08-09-11, 10:24 PM
Yeah, he's going to lose. Hopper will probably lose. Darling and Olsen are very close. The other two Republicans will probably win. Darling and Olsen are the keys. If they both win, the Republicans will keep control. If one loses, it will come down to the Dem elections next week, one of which the Dems are going to win and one in which the Repub has a shot. If both Darling and Olsen lose, the Dems will almost certainly take control.

Hopper closer than expected, though I am uncertain what districts are still out. Darling closing, and should move ahead with the next batch of reportings.

movielib
08-09-11, 10:29 PM
Republicans 3, Democrats 1 with two very close ones left. If the Rs win one of them they keep the Senate no matter what else happens. If the Ds win both they also need to be two for two next week to control the Senate.

movielib
08-09-11, 10:31 PM
Hopper closer than expected, though I am uncertain what districts are still out. Darling closing, and should move ahead with the next batch of reportings.
In Hopper's race I hear Oshkosh is still out. I don't know how Oshkosh swings.

Edit: King leads Hopper by 1200 with 97% in. I think Hopper is not going to pull it out. If so, it all comes down to Pasch/Darling. Pasch has a lead of about 1700 but supposedly Darling districts are most of the ones left. Only 67% of the vote is in.

Pharoh
08-09-11, 10:38 PM
In Hopper's race I hear Oshkosh is still out. I don't know how Oshkosh swings.

Looks like Darling is falling further behind.


Let me add: I have no idea where the remaining votes are from.

Pharoh
08-09-11, 10:40 PM
King projected as winner.

movielib
08-09-11, 10:49 PM
Looks like Darling is falling further behind.


Let me add: I have no idea where the remaining votes are from.
She just cut the lead from about 1700 to just over 1100 with only 1% added. Still 32% to go. It all depends on where those votes are.

Pharoh
08-09-11, 10:54 PM
She just cut the lead from about 1700 to just over 1100 with only 1% added. Still 32% to go. It all depends on where those votes are.

Possibly from Waukesha county? If so, that should be very favourable for Darling, no?

Pharoh
08-09-11, 10:57 PM
:lol:

Might not get results for over an hour from now.

Good night.

movielib
08-09-11, 10:59 PM
Possibly from Waukesha county? If so, that should be very favourable for Darling, no?
I'm reading that Mequon, Germantown and Menomonee Falls are still left to report. All very Republican. UW-Milwaukee political science prof Mordecai Lee who is a former Democratic legislator says Darling will win. I hope so.

DGibFen
08-09-11, 11:00 PM
From a Weekly Standard reporter (aka take it for what you will):

GOP source: with 98 percent in, it's Darling 30,868 to 28,170

http://twitter.com/#!/McCormackJohn/statuses/101139153302986752

wmansir
08-09-11, 11:12 PM
AP reporting similar numbers (about 500 less each), but with only 79% reporting.

movielib
08-09-11, 11:14 PM
From a Weekly Standard reporter (aka take it for what you will):



http://twitter.com/#!/McCormackJohn/statuses/101139153302986752
That doesn't make sense since I see numbers similar to that with only 79% in. But Darling has taken a 2600 vote lead.

Oops, wmansir beat me.

Edit: Now a 3100 vote lead with 80%.

movielib
08-09-11, 11:24 PM
Darling now up 3800 with 81% in. She's gaining huge with every percent. This may not even end up very close. But I'm still nervous with this many votes left.

wmansir
08-09-11, 11:25 PM
What are the polls/prospects for the Dem races next week?

movielib
08-09-11, 11:30 PM
Darling now up by 3700 with 96% in. There probably aren't even that many votes left.

movielib
08-09-11, 11:32 PM
What are the polls/prospects for the Dem races next week?
One Dem will almost certainly win. The other probably has a better than 50/50 chance but there could be an upset. That's why the Republicans pretty much had to win 4 of 6 today. It looks like they have.

DGibFen
08-09-11, 11:33 PM
That didn't take long:

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following evidence of election tampering in the 8th State Senate District race.

"The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results."

http://www.wisdems.org/news/press/view/2011-08-waukesha-county-tampering

birdseye
08-09-11, 11:35 PM
So the Unions spent $30 million on this recall and only manged to win 2 seats? :lol:

DGibFen
08-09-11, 11:36 PM
with 96% of the vote in, News 3 is calling District 8 for Incumbent Sen. Alberta Darling.

http://twitter.com/#!/news3jessica/status/101148880997056512

TheBigDave
08-09-11, 11:36 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9572/unions.jpg

:lol:

movielib
08-09-11, 11:40 PM
That didn't take long:

http://www.wisdems.org/news/press/view/2011-08-waukesha-county-tampering
How predictable was that? rotfl

Edit: I'm reading that Darling won the Waukesha County portion of the district by 72%-28%. That's very typical in that county and Prosser won it by more. Walker got 71.5%, almost the same. That claim is screwy and will go nowhere.

Oh wait, Kathy Nickolaus cheated every time.

DGibFen
08-09-11, 11:59 PM
Andy Levy of Red Eye:

Great wire calling tonight, everyone! #wirecall

http://twitter.com/#!/andylevy/status/101154877467672576

rotfl

JasonF
08-10-11, 12:00 AM
I can see the headlines now: GOP LOSES TWO SEATS IN RECALL. ALMOST LOSE THIRD. MAJOR WIN FOR REPUBLICANS.

movielib
08-10-11, 12:08 AM
I can see the headlines now: GOP LOSES TWO SEATS IN RECALL. ALMOST LOSE THIRD. MAJOR WIN FOR REPUBLICANS.
Seeing how Kapanke was in a district that leans Dem and Hopper had left his wife and was living with his girlfriend and may not even have been still living in his district. It was almost a given they would both lose. Hopper made his a lot closer than was expected. He probably would have won were it not for the personal garbage he was making of his life.

The Republicans won the two districts they were supposed to win, the Democrats won the two they were supposed to win. And the Republicans won both toss-ups. I'd say that is a win for them. Not major but a win. If they win at least one of two next week I'll call it a major win, even though they will have lost one seat overall.

BTW, Hopper almost won and his race was a lot closer than Darling's. It was the closest of the evening. Now if they were playing horseshoes...

But maybe you were talking about Olsen's win which was also closer than Darling's.

BTW, where are you seeing these headlines? Certainly not in major Wisconsin papers which are mostly quite liberal.

JasonF
08-10-11, 12:57 AM
Seeing how Kapanke was in a district that leans Dem and Hopper had left his wife and was living with his girlfriend and may not even have been still living in his district. It was almost a given they would both lose. Hopper made his a lot closer than was expected. He probably would have won were it not for the personal garbage he was making of his life.

The Republicans won the two districts they were supposed to win, the Democrats won the two they were supposed to win. And the Republicans won both toss-ups. I'd say that is a win for them. Not major but a win. If they win at least one of two next week I'll call it a major win, even though they will have lost one seat overall.

BTW, Hopper almost won and his race was a lot closer than Darling's. It was the closest of the evening. Now if they were playing horseshoes...

But maybe you were talking about Olsen's win which was also closer than Darling's.

BTW, where are you seeing these headlines? Certainly not in major Wisconsin papers which are mostly quite liberal.

Spin spin spinnity spin spin.

(It wasn't a real headline, by the way -- I'm just speculating on how a headline might read).

Also, that Kapanke guy must be pretty impressive to have won as a Republican in a leans-D district in 2008.

wmansir
08-10-11, 01:50 AM
Compare Tonight's results each candidate's 2008 results:
GOP winners:

Cowles and Olsen ran unopposed in 2008.

Darling: (2008) 51% -> (2011) 54%

Harsdorf: 56% -> 58%

GOP Losers:

Hooper: 50% -> 49%

Kapanke: 51% -> 45%

--------------
I don't know if that tells us anything, but I don't think it shows the people of Wisconsin have rejected the Walker agenda.

TheBigDave
08-10-11, 04:26 AM
I guess they'll save the "vote tampering" card in case the elections are close next week.

Dems back off vote-tampering charges

Wisconsin Democrats are backing off charges of vote-tampering in the 8th Senate District recall, less than 1-1/2 hours after they leveled those accusations.

"Though we believe that Sandy Pasch was able to battle Alberta Darling to a virtual tie, on her turf, we will not pursue questions of irregularities. Those heat-of-the-moment statements came in light of the uncertainties that arose from a recent election, known too well," state party Chairman Mike Tate said in a prepared statement early Wednesday morning.

Late Tuesday night, party spokesman Graeme Zielinski had accused Waukesha County Kathy Nickolaus of manipulating the Menomonee Falls vote count as Pasch, a Democratic representative from Whitefish Bay, sought to oust Darling, the River Hills Republican senator. When Zielinski spoke, all 10 Menomonee Falls wards in the district were still out, but they soon came in and swung the lead in the race to Darling.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/127437863.html

movielib
08-10-11, 06:32 AM
Spin spin spinnity spin spin.
Funny, I thought that was what you were doing in sort of a reverse fashion. Given that the results in Kapanke's and Hopper's districts have been expected from the beginning and the elections were closer than expected and Hopper almost pulled it off I fail to see how I'm spinning. And Darling ended up winning quite comfortably with 54% and a 5300 vote margin. That was the district where the Dems and outside groups spent the most. As wmansir pointed out, Darling won by a lot more than she did in 2008. I think this was in part because of people starting to see through the Dem rhetoric of "Evil Scott Walker ruining the state" and the "Shame" nonsense. Give thepeople of the state a little more time to see the results of Walker's policies and I think the Republicans will hold both houses if there are recalls next year and Walker will win a recall if it happens.

(It wasn't a real headline, by the way -- I'm just speculating on how a headline might read).
I know that. I meant in what paper do you think you would see anything like that?

Also, that Kapanke guy must be pretty impressive to have won as a Republican in a leans-D district in 2008.
I don't know anything about the district except it was being said that it normally leans Dem. You act like it would be the first time a Republican won in a district that usually leans the other way or vice versa.

movielib
08-10-11, 06:39 AM
I guess they'll save the "vote tampering" card in case the elections are close next week.

"Though we believe that Sandy Pasch was able to battle Alberta Darling to a virtual tie, on her turf..."
So now a virtual tie is getting 46%? Wow. And why was this Darling's turf any more than Pasch's, especially given that Pasch is already in the Assembly? Now that's spin!

mcnabb
08-10-11, 07:01 AM
These recall elections are a waste of taxpayer money. (And this isn't a partisan issue as I didn't like the recall election of Governor Davis in California back in 2003). Hopefully someone who lives in Wisconsin could tell me how much this cost? We have elections every 2 years for most of our elected officials, as I now worry we will see more of these needless recall elections in other states.

movielib
08-10-11, 07:29 AM
Interesting winner/loser tally. Remember, this is one person's opinion and not necessarily mine.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/127441838.html

Winners and losers in Tuesday's election
By Daniel Bice of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 10, 2011 7:15 a.m.

The political candidates weren't the only winners and losers in the six Senate recall contests.

Here is a quick take on how some of the important players fared as a result of Tuesday's election:

Gov. Scott Walker - Winner. Yes, he disappeared from the public eye in recent weeks. Yes, he has lost a little of his swagger. But his agenda was not derailed after less than eight months in office. That would have been huge. Instead, he will have Republican majorities in both legislative houses - even if the one in the Senate is razor thin. The bottom line: He can push forward with his policies, albeit a bit more cautiously.

We are Wisconsin - Loser. What happened to the unions' much-lauded ground game? They dumped up to $20 million in the state and ended up with just two Senate seats. That's a lot of money to shore up the Democratic minority in one legislative chamber. The number could even dwindle to one net seat if Republican Kim Simac pulls an upset over Democratic Sen. Jim Holperin next week.

Moderate GOP senators - Winner. There aren't a lot of them, but two - Luther Olsen and Rob Cowles - scored victories Tuesday. They gain even more power if Republicans hold the Senate by only a 17-16 count. Remember all the havoc Sen. Gary George created in a similar situation? Republican Sens. Mike Ellis and Dale Schultze - the two most likely to buck the governor - witnessed George's antics first-hand.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Loser. This marks two consecutive elections in which the party under Chairman Mike Tate fell short of its goals. Democrats were shellacked in 2010, and they came up one Senate seat short this time with former Mayor Tom Barrett campaign manager Phil Walzak at the helm. You can bet President Obama's 2012 team is keeping a close eye on these developments.

Sen. Alberta Darling - Winner. Democrats would be crazy to waste even more millions trying to knock off the River Hills Republican in 2012, especially in her newly reconfigured district. The tough, 67-year-old pol can keep her Senate seat for the next five years - or even longer - if she remains healthy and hungry.

Recall Walker campaign - Loser. Do you hear that hissing sound? It's the air going out of the campaign to recall the first-term governor in January. No doubt, died-hard liberals will still push the idea. But realize this: Staging a statewide recall campaign - collecting 540,000 signatures and then running a campaign against an incumbent governor - is a monumental task even if you have all the momentum. Tuesday's results make it nearly impossible.

MacIver Institute and Media Trackers - Winner. The two websites produced original, campaign-related opposition research that had an impact in several races. Look for more groups like this in the future, though MacIver looks like it, in particular, is here to stay.

GOP candidate Jonathan Steitz - Loser. Top Republicans are writing off his chances of defeating Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch next week. Instead, both parties will be using most of their money, manpower and media buys on the more competitive contest between Holperin and Simac.

Conservative independent expenditure groups - Winner. Club for Growth scored an early and decisive blow against Democrat Shelly Moore with its ad lifting snippets of her speeches at union rallies. But no ad was more startling and powerful than the one by Wisconsin Family Action using video of Rep. Fred Clark's car striking a biker. Clark may see that video again in future races.

Waukesha County election fraud - Loser. Many on the left were accusing Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus of vote tampering when she was slow to report results in the Darling race against Rep. Sandy Pasch. An emotional Dem Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski demanded an investigation, accusing Nickolaus of "dirty tricks." After Darling won, Tate retracted the demand.

Speed Queen - Winner. The local eatery scored free advertising as outside groups, talk radio and the media debated what was dubbed the "BBQ for votes" scandal in the Darling-Pasch contest. Here's the complete menu if you have a hankering for some ribs.

Sen. Randy Hopper - Loser. It's never fun to watch someone's personal life implode on the public stage. But even with all of his troubles - and some calls for him to step aside - the Fond du Lac Republican ran very hard and fell just 1,200 votes short of doing the impossible and winning his recall race, something neither side considered remotely possible a couple of weeks ago. In the end, though, a loss is still a loss.

Those are my six winners and six losers in Tuesday's six recall races. Feel free to add your own - or disagree with mine - in the comments.

classicman2
08-10-11, 07:43 AM
Organized labor is the big loser.

Red Dog
08-10-11, 07:46 AM
The Democratic cheerleaders must be crushed. I'm so glad my state doesn't have recalls - such a tremendous waste of money from various entities. Well, I guess the local TV stations in WI made out though.

movielib
08-10-11, 07:58 AM
These recall elections are a waste of taxpayer money. (And this isn't a partisan issue as I didn't like the recall election of Governor Davis in California back in 2003). Hopefully someone who lives in Wisconsin could tell me how much this cost? We have elections every 2 years for most of our elected officials, as I now worry we will see more of these needless recall elections in other states.
Candidates and outside groups had spent upwards of $30 million as of the last accounting period. It will end up much more. Also, expect to see a lot more poured into the one competitive race next week.

I think it has cost the state a few million to conduct the elections.

CRM114
08-10-11, 08:14 AM
The Democratic cheerleaders must be crushed. I'm so glad my state doesn't have recalls - such a tremendous waste of money from various entities. Well, I guess the local TV stations in WI made out though.

Recalls are dumb except in the case of an official that has broken the law or something and won't resign. I can't believe they allow recalls of state legislators in WI. Hopefully, they don't have anything like that here. I've never heard of it.

movielib
08-10-11, 08:43 AM
Recalls are dumb except in the case of an official that has broken the law or something and won't resign.
I agree with you. Holy shit, I never thought I'd say that. Some sort of malfeasance should be required at the very least.

I can't believe they allow recalls of state legislators in WI. Hopefully, they don't have anything like that here. I've never heard of it.
Shows what a screwed up state we are in some ways.

movielib
08-10-11, 08:50 AM
Call it spin if you want but the Rs gave the Ds two gifts - the R challenger last month who didn't get a stinking, measly 400 signatures and Hopper's miserable personal life (I'm hearing a lot of R women were disgusted and stayed home) - and they still didn't win the Senate (which was obviously their goal) despite spending maybe $20 million.

BTW, Hopper's girlfriend he left his wife for is a 26 year old for whom he obtained a state job. I'm disgusted.

movielib
08-10-11, 09:11 AM
The thinking now is that since they cannot take over the Senate, the union money will dry up for the Democratic incumbents next week. Would they pour in more untold millions just to hold a 16-17 minority? You can bet the Republicans will be hitting it really hard. Go Kochs! ;)

The Democrats had thought they won a victory when they got their elections to be held a week after the Republicans. The Republicans were screaming about it because they thought it was very bad for them. It looks like that all backfired. And it looks like the Republicans' "fake candidates" in the primaries last month may have worked. At least one can say it didn't hurt.

CRM114
08-10-11, 09:21 AM
I'm glad the Democrats stay in the minority. "Elections have consequences." That's the popular phrase. Let the Repubs play out their term and then allow the electorate to assess the performance.

I was thinking the same thing BTW. No way is money going to flow into those races next week. What's the point? I suppose there is one Repub Senator that voted with the minority on Walker's budget so I suppose there is some merit to a one seat minority.

movielib
08-10-11, 09:38 AM
I'm glad the Democrats stay in the minority. "Elections have consequences." That's the popular phrase. Let the Repubs play out their term and then allow the electorate to assess the performance.

I was thinking the same thing BTW. No way is money going to flow into those races next week. What's the point? I suppose there is one Repub Senator that voted with the minority on Walker's budget so I suppose there is some merit to a one seat minority.
Yeah, that Republican is Dale Schultz. He's known as a moderate. But I don't think he'll side with the Dems if his vote would make the difference. I don't think the unions would pour in more millions on that speculation.

BTW, I heard that more than $8 million was spent (and probably more when final accounting is in) on the Darling/Pasch race. That's for a freaking state legislature position. That seems insane.

movielib
08-10-11, 09:41 AM
On the upside, this may be good for Illinois' economy because more Dem senators will flee the state next time.

Red Dog
08-10-11, 09:52 AM
On the upside, this may be good for Illinois' economy because more Dem senators will flee the state next time.

Chicago TV stations that serve southern WI probably did well too scooping up ad dollars.

Bill Needle
08-10-11, 09:54 AM
BTW, I heard that more than $8 million was spent (and probably more when final accounting is in) on the Darling/Pasch race. That's for a freaking state legislature position. That seems insane.

Wow, well over $100 per vote cast, or nearly $250 per vote cast for their candidate. Hmm...I normally consider consider myself a principled guy and voting to be a semi-sacred privilege, but...

Scaled up that would be the equivalent of one side spending over $10 billion on a presidential election.

movielib
08-10-11, 10:14 AM
Chicago TV stations that serve southern WI probably did well too scooping up ad dollars.
The best is next week with a Kenosha district.

Minneapolis/St Paul cashed in on races in western Wisconsin.

movielib
08-10-11, 10:55 AM
Dems sticking to Walker recall plans.

http://www.channel3000.com/politics/28822215/detail.html

Wisconsin Dems Stand By Plan To Recall Walker
Democrats Unable To Gain Senate Control From Recall
Updated: 10:29 am CDT August 10, 2011


MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Democratic Party is standing by its plan to force a recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker despite losing four of six recalls targeting GOP state senators.

Party Chairman Mike Tate issued a statement Wednesday saying the Democrats' winning of two Senate recall elections shows how vulnerable Walker is to a recall effort.

Republicans held on to majority control in the Senate through their four wins on Tuesday.

Tate called Democratic gains historic and said they will continue to "restore balance and accountability to our state" with a recall of Walker in November 2012.

Democrats could attempt an earlier recall date, but Tate's memo indicates they will try to time it to take place at the same time as the presidential election next year.
Vulnerable?

OK, Hopper had his personal problems. Even before those started, he won his election last time against the same rival by only 163 votes.

And, as has been stated, Kapanke was hanging on in a Dem leaning district. He was predicted to be toast from the get-go.

More importantly, the Dems couldn't win either of the races that were supposed to be very close.

And are they sure they want to do the recall in November 2012? There's likely to be a big anti-Obama vote (if the Republicans can run someone halfway decent). No matter when they do it (if they do), I think it will fail.

movielib
08-10-11, 11:16 AM
Good article:

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/08/10/milwaukee-journal-sentinel-walkers-reforms-are-working/

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Walker’s Reforms Are Working
August 10, 2011

The JS didn’t title their editorial, which came out after the polls closed last night, in a way that directly supports Gov. Scott Walker’s reforms. But the text of the article makes it clear enough.

So it turns out that the sky isn’t going to fall on all local governments in Wisconsin.

They should have finished that sentence “…despite what the unions, the Democrats and us liberal media predicted. And hoped for.”

The numbers now starting to come in show that Gov. Scott Walker’s “tools” for local governments apparently will help at least some of them deal with cuts in state aid imposed by the state budget.

That’s contrary to the expectation and the rhetoric of critics in the spring, and it’s to Walker’s credit. It bears out the governor’s assessment of his budget-repair bill, although we still maintain he could have reached his goals without dealing a body blow to public employee unions.

That’s called being stubborn.

]Local government officials also need to keep in mind that not all governments will share equally – Milwaukee County is one example – and that tough choices remain. And state legislators should make adjustments in any follow-on budget-repair bill to make sure that any pain is fairly shared.

But the news is good for many. The latest example is Milwaukee, where the most recent estimates show the city with a net gain of at least $11 million for its 2012 budget. That will take a slice out of the city’s structural deficit, which is created by costs rising faster than revenue, and will reduce cuts that Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council must impose.

The city projects it will save at least $25 million a year – the figure could be as high as $36 million in 2012 – from health care benefit and pension changes it didn’t have to negotiate with unions because of the changes wrought by the new law that ended most collective bargaining for most public employees.

That certainly will help the city deal with the $14 million in cuts in state aid in the 2011-’13 state budget.

City officials were loath to give Walker any credit.

Of course they were. Walker did things that he said would benefit them and the state, and they opposed him for political reasons. They resisted reform and have been proven wrong. Proven wrong. Politicians and the journalists who love them hate to be proven wrong. And last night’s elections tied a bow around all that.

The Democrats face two recalls next week thanks to their own over reach, and they’re still going forward with recalling Walker next year. They would be fools to press on with that, but politics seldom generates wisdom.

In Scott Walker, Wisconsin has the real deal: A leader with the guts to make very tough choices necessary to carry through with effective reform. That state should hang onto him and ignore his petulant critics, who have been proven wrong.
Note that the fairly liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel understands Walker's reforms are working. (They started seeing things last year when they surprisingly - some may say shockingly - endorsed Walker.) Also note that Milwaukee as a whole is saving money in spite of the misguided contract they signed with the teachers union last December.

movielib
08-10-11, 11:26 AM
Spin spin spinnity spin spin.

...

Also, that Kapanke guy must be pretty impressive to have won as a Republican in a leans-D district in 2008.
You seem to question whether Kapanke's district leans Dem. I just read that Obama carried it by a margin of more than 20 points in 2008 (see http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/274204/spite-all-cash-unions-came-short-christian-schneider#). While it was a big Democratic year, that huge a margin could not have happened if the district did not at least lean Dem somewhat.

wmansir
08-10-11, 12:04 PM
First I've heard of the Fred Clark ad/accident. I can't believe the guy got away with an $88 fine, especially given his driving record. They should be recalling the DA.

BearFan
08-10-11, 12:31 PM
I really do not agree with recalls, except in extreme cases With that said, they are interesting to follow and I think these recall elections show a recall against Walker would be bound to fail and I think the Dems would look foolish to keep pursuing it, even moreso if stories keep coming out that the budget repair bill seems to be working as advertised.

Bill Needle
08-10-11, 12:38 PM
The best is next week with a Kenosha district.

Minneapolis/St Paul cashed in on races in western Wisconsin.

I saw many of these ads in the Twin Cities area the week before the election. Surprisingly the R ads seemed just as pentiful as the D ads (nothing scientific though, just my impression).

Bill Needle
08-10-11, 12:42 PM
Good article:

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/08/10/milwaukee-journal-sentinel-walkers-reforms-are-working/


Note that the fairly liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel understands Walker's reforms are working. (They started seeing things last year when they surprisingly - some may say shockingly - endorsed Walker.) Also note that Milwaukee as a whole is saving money in spite of the misguided contract they signed with the teachers union last December.

Time is not on the side of the Dems in the recall Walker effort. His changes are already effective and working the longer they are in place, and the kind of phony hysteria the unions are trying to use against him is tough to maintain over the long haul. The longer you scream the sky is falling and the average person can clearly see that it is not the bigger the buffoon you appear to be.

CRM114
08-10-11, 01:31 PM
Is all the money in Wisconsin a result of the Citizens United ruling? I saw some story that only 3 of the top 10 PACs donating funds in Wisconsin represented the Democrats. The rest were (I believe the top 6) GOP PACs.

movielib
08-10-11, 03:31 PM
Is all the money in Wisconsin a result of the Citizens United ruling? I saw some story that only 3 of the top 10 PACs donating funds in Wisconsin represented the Democrats. The rest were (I believe the top 6) GOP PACs.
I don't know the number of PACs on each side but I have no doubt that the Dems spent at least as much. It will be interesting to see the final numbers.

wmansir
08-10-11, 04:34 PM
I'm not sure about the Citizens United angle, but from what I've read estimates are that spending was very evenly divided overall. One article mentioned a slight GOP advantage, but said it was difficult to get an accurate account since so many 3rd party groups are involved.

movielib
08-10-11, 05:12 PM
Spin spin spinnity spin spin.
You asked for it, you got it:

http://exchange.ydr.com/index.php?showtopic=11969

Published on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 by The Nation
Wisconsin Recalls Replace Two Republican Senators in a Rebuke to Governor's Anti-Labor Agenda
by John Nichols

MADISON, WI - Five months to the day after the Republican majority in the Wisconsin State Senate voted to approve Governor Scott Walker's plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public emloyees, two of the most governor's most prominent allies in the chamber have been removed from office.

Two men cast their votes for the 32nd Senate District recall election yesterday, at the OmniCenter in Onalaska, Wis. Six Wisconsin senators fought Tuesday to keep their jobs in a recall election, trying to beat back Democratic challengers who stoked a political backlash against Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his efforts to strip public employees of most union rights. (Associated Press/La Crosse Tribune, Rory O'Driscoll) Western Wisconsin State Senator Dan Kapanke and eastern Wisconsin Senator Randy Hopper were both defeated in recall elections that provided a powerful indication of the state's anger with Governor Walker's assault on worker rights.

Running in districts that were drawn to elect Republicans, that have consistently elected Republicans for generations, and that all backed Walker last November, the Democrats prevailed. "Six months ago no one would have ever expected we would be where we are tonight. The people of Wisconsin have made history," said Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller. "Democrats, moderates, independents and even Republicans fought back against the radical Walker overreach that attacked core Wisconsin values. We fought on Republican turf and added two Democrats to the State Senate.

The Democrats did no take control of the Senate from the Republicans, as labor, farm and community activists -- who filled the streets of the state's capitol, city, Madison, and other communities with mass protests in February and March -- had hoped would be the case. While Kapanke was defeated by Democratic challenger Jennifer Shilling and Hopper was defeated by Democrat Jess King, three other Republican incumbents who were forced into recall races -- Rob Cowles in the Green Bay area, Luther Olsen in the center of the state and Sheila Harsdorf in the northwest --prevailed against their Democratic challengers.

A fourth Republican incumbent, Alberta Darling who has for many years represented a suburban Milwaukee district, was declared the victor over Democrat Sandy Pasch early Wednesday morning after a messy count that saw controversial Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a Republican stalwart, fail to report the results until late in the evening. Nickolaus stirred a national outcry in April, when she reported two days after a hotly-contested state Supreme Court election that she had discovered more than 7,000 additional votes for the candidate favored by the GOP and Governor Walker. And her delays Tuesday night led Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate to complain at one point in the evening that: "The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse."

The recalls of the six Republican senators all played out on conservative turf, in historically Republican districts. The uphill runs were made more difficult by the fact that national groups funded by conservative billionaires such as Charles and David Koch poured money into television advertising on behalf of the incumbents as part of what has been called the first "Citizen's United Campaign. (That's a reference to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed traditional limits on campaigning by corporations and wealthy individuals.) Watchdog groups predicted that spending in the Wisconsin contests could exceed $40 million.

Against those odds, it is more than merely notable that Democrats were able to dramatically narrow the Republican majority in the Senate, from a comfortable 19-14 margin to a razor-thin 17-16. difference.

That one-vote GOP majority becomes significant from an organizational and policy standpoint. That's because one Republican senator, Dale Schultz, voted against the governor's assault on collective bargaining -- which he referred to as "collosal overreach." Schultz has been highly critical of the governor in recent weeks, and the extent to which he decided to work with the Democrats could tip the balance on labor, education and public services issues where the moderate Schultz has differed with his fellow Republicans.

That prospect unsettles Republicans and their special-interest allies, who poured tens of millions of dollars into an effort to defend the incumbents who sided with Walker. Next Tuesday, Republicans will mount challenges to a pair of Democratic senators, Jim Holperin in the northern part of the state and Bob Wirch in the southern part. Because of the uncertainty about the role Schultz will play, Republicans will work hard to displace at least one of the two Democrats -- with Holperin being aggressively targeted by a Tea Party candidate, Kim Simac, who has drawn raves from Glenn Beck.

Next week's recall voting will continue the rolling referendum of Governor Walker's agenda that began in July, when state Senator Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, defeated a Republican recall challenge by a 67-33 margin -- the biggest victory so far in a struggle that could yet see a recall of Walker himself.

"A grassroots coalition sparked by hundreds of impassioned community members worked countless hours on behalf of a belief in Wisconsin as not just a place, but as an idea worthy of preserving," said Sandy Pasch, one of the Democratic recall candidates.

"On Tuesday night, Wisconsin spoke loud and clear with the recall of two entrenched Republicans. This is an accomplishment of historic proportions...," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Tate. "The fact of the matter remains, that, fighting on Republican turf, we have begun the work of stopping the Scott Walker agenda."
John Nichols is an extreme lefty who mostly writes for the now defunct except on the internet extreme lefty (Madison) Capital Times. He lives in a fantasy world that exists only inside his own head.

From this you would have to conclude the Republicans suffered a crushing defeat from which they could never return.

He, like the Wisconsin head of the Democratic Party, Mike Tate, started taking shots at Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickolaus. The only problem: the late votes were from Ozaukee County, not Waukesha County. Expect a correction and apology. Yeah, sure.

He says all the districts were strong Republican. He doesn't mention Kapanke's leans Dem. He failed to mention Hopper's personal problems which, given the closeness of his race, probably were what beat him.

And these two "entrenched" Republicans each won by very small margins in 2008.

He brags about the Democratic hold of a seat last month but not a word about the fact that the viable Republican candidate blew it by not getting the measly 400 signatures he needed and so wasn't on the ballot.

He rails about the Republican money. The Democratic money - never mind, I guess there wasn't any. These Democrats must have run on rainbows, wonderful intentions, sincerity and the red heart balloons unleashed and worshiped by the progressive mobs at the state capitol.

If Nichols thinks moderate Republican Dale Schultz will side with the Dems if the margin remains at 17-16 and his vote would make the difference, he's dreaming (but then, he's always dreaming).

It's a good thing Nichols is in Madison because I don't think he could function except in the "77 square miles surrounded by reality" that is our fair city.

movielib
08-10-11, 05:32 PM
Probably the greatest political car message ever:

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/Walker%20Car%20sign.jpg

rotfl

I sure hope I get to see it in person some day.

movielib
08-10-11, 10:53 PM
Time is not on the side of the Dems in the recall Walker effort. His changes are already effective and working the longer they are in place, and the kind of phony hysteria the unions are trying to use against him is tough to maintain over the long haul. The longer you scream the sky is falling and the average person can clearly see that it is not the bigger the buffoon you appear to be.
Please write this note to Al Gore.

movielib
08-11-11, 09:28 AM
Protests in Feb/Mar will cost state more than $8 million for security. Accounting not done so it will go higher.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_b596c2d0-c3b6-11e0-b68c-001cc4c002e0.html

Capitol security costs for protests expected to top $8 million
SANDY CULLEN
Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:00 am

The months of protests over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget and collective bargaining measures around the state Capitol are expected to cost the state more than $8 million to reimburse nearly 200 law enforcement agencies and seven state agencies brought in to provide around-the-clock security.

A Department of Administration breakdown of reimbursement claims shows 196 municipalities from Adams to Wisconsin Rapids are seeking a total of $4,172,853 for assisting with security during the protests in February and March.

That includes $3.8 million for wages and benefits, $110,050 for mileage, $50,268 for lodging and meals, and $185,888 in other costs.

In addition, seven state agencies will be reimbursed $3,915,688 — $1.9 million less than they requested, according to a funding request that DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch sent Friday to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

With the exception of the state Department of Natural Resources, which receives federal funds with certain restrictions, state agencies are only being reimbursed for overtime, not regular hours, the request states. Other state agencies being reimbursed are the Department of Justice, State Patrol, State Fair Park, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside.

In addition, $900,000 in extra security costs incurred by Capitol Police was absorbed by DOA.

In all, the costs for providing additional security in and around the Capitol and the Capitol Square as reported by state and local agencies totaled about $10.9 million, of which the state expects to reimburse about $8,088,541.

Audits have been completed on all but 23 of the 196 local law enforcement agencies and indicate they will be reimbursed for the total amount requested.

The city of Madison, which is asking for $682,842, is among those whose audits have not been completed and have been asked to provide additional information. Those costs include $555,098 for police, $37,719 for fire personnel, $79,148 for Metro Transit and $10,876 for use of the Fire Department’s command center.

In his funding request, Huebsch said any differences between the amounts claimed and actually reimbursed are expected to be minimal.

Debra Simon, city budget and audit manager, said she has submitted detailed information in the format requested by the state, along with supporting invoices.

Protests began Feb. 13 with about 125 people and quickly grew to include a 24-hour presence and as many as 100,000 protesters on Feb. 26, Huebsch wrote, noting that Capitol Police had 21 officers assigned to three patrol shifts in February.
Note that the costs are pegged at almost $11 million. All of it isn't being reimbursed. And again, it will go higher.

Predictably, the liberal comments blame Scott Walker.

One of the conservative comments:

WI_Expat said on: August 10, 2011, 11:31 pm

In case the Department of Admin doesn't have them, here are the addresses for those who organized the protests to send the bills to:

AFL-CIO
815 16th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
1625 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-5687

National Education Association
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036-3290

American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
555 New Jersey Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Madison Teachers Inc.
821 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703

International Socialist Organization
P.O. Box 16085
Chicago, IL 60616
If only.

The freedom to protest isn't free.

CRM114
08-11-11, 09:34 AM
Are you saying people should not protest their government because it isn't fiscally responsible? :lol:

Red Dog
08-11-11, 09:48 AM
I wonder how much the state paid out in sick leave taken by protesters.

CRM114
08-11-11, 10:08 AM
I wonder how much sick leave factored into the price of the Pepsi I drank last night.

mosquitobite
08-11-11, 10:35 AM
Are you saying people should not protest their government because it isn't fiscally responsible? :lol:

Are you saying taxpayers [even those who agreed with Walker] should foot the bill because the protesters shouldn't have to worry about what is fiscally responsible? :lol:

kefrank
08-11-11, 11:49 AM
Are you saying taxpayers [even those who agreed with Walker] should foot the bill because the protesters shouldn't have to worry about what is fiscally responsible? :lol:
What does agreeing with Walker have to do with it? Those tax dollars are going toward supporting an important and basic freedom. Personally, I'd rather they be spent on a direct manifestation of the first amendment than on many of the things they get spent on normally.

mosquitobite
08-11-11, 12:07 PM
So if the right decided to protest any number of liberal legislative actions - the taxpayer should still foot the bill?

Sure protesting and free speech is a right - that doesn't mean it's a right that should be PAID FOR by others. You want to protest? Fine. But I'm not paying for you to protest something I agree with. I'm not going to pay for security & clean up of the court house because someone thinks free speech means marking all over it. Make sense for you now?

wishbone
08-11-11, 12:08 PM
http://i52.tinypic.com/2vl5zci.jpg

Perhaps it's like a convenience store -- take a sign, leave a sign... :shrug:

JasonF
08-11-11, 12:12 PM
So if the right decided to protest any number of liberal legislative actions - the taxpayer should still foot the bill?

I hadn't realized the Tea Party was cutting checks to the Treasury for every time they show up on public property with their stupid little tricorner hats. Good to know.

CRM114
08-11-11, 01:10 PM
Are you saying taxpayers [even those who agreed with Walker] should foot the bill because the protesters shouldn't have to worry about what is fiscally responsible? :lol:

No, I'm saying having a workforce comes with an expense. Workers are not there to save you money, they are there to perform services for you.

CRM114
08-11-11, 01:12 PM
So if the right decided to protest any number of liberal legislative actions - the taxpayer should still foot the bill?

Sure protesting and free speech is a right - that doesn't mean it's a right that should be PAID FOR by others. You want to protest? Fine. But I'm not paying for you to protest something I agree with. I'm not going to pay for security & clean up of the court house because someone thinks free speech means marking all over it. Make sense for you now?

Who do you think pays top clean up after all the goofy right wing protests in Washington?

Red Dog
08-11-11, 01:15 PM
One thing you can say about the Tea Party protesters....at least they didn't camp out in the Capitol for days. They came, protested, and left. Thank god.

CRM114
08-11-11, 01:32 PM
That's the difference between real and feigned outrage.

Red Dog
08-11-11, 01:41 PM
I guess with real outrage, you protest on someone else's dime and time.

CRM114
08-11-11, 01:51 PM
You're new to this whole protest thing, eh? I guess you also assume the Tea Party cut a check to the treasury? :lol:

Red Dog
08-11-11, 01:53 PM
I guess you don't understand what "someone else's dime and time" means. Not surprising. The tea-partiers didn't protest their employers and get their protest time paid for with sick leave paid for by the employer. It's nice work if you can get it.

Binger
08-11-11, 01:58 PM
I hadn't realized the Tea Party was cutting checks to the Treasury for every time they show up on public property with their stupid little tricorner hats. Good to know.

I don't recall the Tea Party taking over a State Capitol Building, or any building for that matter, and obstructing people from doing their jobs for even an hour, let alone weeks. I don't recall the Tea Party harassing anyone or threatening violence causing a need for extra security. I also don't recall the Tea Party leaving their protest sites looking like a land fill. As a matter of fact, the Tea Party shows up, protests peacefully and cleans up their mess leaving the site as clean, if not cleaner, than when they arrived. Can you say the same about the Wisconsin protesters?

Red Dog
08-11-11, 02:02 PM
I don't recall the Tea Party taking over a State Capitol Building, or any building for that matter, and obstructing people from doing their jobs for even an hour, let alone weeks. I don't recall the Tea Party harassing anyone or threatening violence causing a need for extra security. I also don't recall the Tea Party leaving their protest sites looking like a land fill. As a matter of fact, the Tea Party shows up, protests peacefully and cleans up their mess leaving the site as clean, if not cleaner, than when they arrived.

You're apparently new to this whole protest thing. ;)

CRM114
08-11-11, 02:14 PM
I guess you don't understand what "someone else's dime and time" means. Not surprising. The tea-partiers didn't protest their employers and get their protest time paid for with sick leave paid for by the employer. It's nice work if you can get it.

You are making the broad assumption that every tea party protester was either off, on a vacation day, or unemployed. The target of their protest is beside the point.

CRM114
08-11-11, 02:16 PM
I don't recall the Tea Party taking over a State Capitol Building, or any building for that matter, and obstructing people from doing their jobs for even an hour, let alone weeks. I don't recall the Tea Party harassing anyone or threatening violence causing a need for extra security. I also don't recall the Tea Party leaving their protest sites looking like a land fill. As a matter of fact, the Tea Party shows up, protests peacefully and cleans up their mess leaving the site as clean, if not cleaner, than when they arrived. Can you say the same about the Wisconsin protesters?

Oh please. Cleaner? :lol:

By the way, absolutely no one paid attention to any of the tea party protests. That should tell you something. Real protests aren't neat and tidy little packages to which Fox News can attribute bogus numbers to and project fake images. Real protests are visceral and sometimes angry affairs.

Red Dog
08-11-11, 02:29 PM
You are making the broad assumption that every tea party protester was either off, on a vacation day, or unemployed. The target of their protest is beside the point.

No not everyone was. But it was well-documented that many were using sick time and getting fabricated sick notes. And I think the target is quite relevant -- when a private employee goes on strike against their employer (and is protesting outside the company), they ain't taking sick leave. They're truly sacrificing. They're risking their jobs. That I can respect. They're also not making a mess of the property and camping out in the halls of the company.

Red Dog
08-11-11, 02:30 PM
Oh please. Cleaner? :lol:

By the way, absolutely no one paid attention to any of the tea party protests. That should tell you something. Real protests aren't neat and tidy little packages to which Fox News can attribute bogus numbers to and project fake images. Real protests are visceral and sometimes angry affairs.

You sure did. You couldn't shut up about them.

CRM114
08-11-11, 02:42 PM
No not everyone was. But it was well-documented that many were using sick time and getting fabricated sick notes. And I think the target is quite relevant -- when a private employee goes on strike against their employer (and is protesting outside the company), they ain't taking sick leave. They're truly sacrificing. They're risking their jobs. That I can respect. They're also not making a mess of the property and camping out in the halls of the company.

You are conflating a strike and a protest. The protest in Madison included many people who weren't employed by the state. You are also making the ludicrous assertion that no one ever fakes sick days outside of these cretins.

CRM114
08-11-11, 02:43 PM
You sure did. You couldn't shut up about them.

I love these manufactured impressions you come up with.

wishbone
08-11-11, 03:18 PM
You sure did. You couldn't shut up about them.I love these manufactured impressions you come up with.As I drove by the Tea Party protesters yesterday at Biden's visit, I wondered if these 75 or so white dudes had jobs. Middle of the day, hanging on the street corner. I wonder if any are accepting unemployment benefits, disability, or some other federal dollars. The hippies at least have an excuse - they're hippies.http://i54.tinypic.com/2cwvmo9.jpg

"I'm sorry, I don't do impressions -- my training's in psychiatry."

kefrank
08-11-11, 03:21 PM
So if the right decided to protest any number of liberal legislative actions - the taxpayer should still foot the bill?
I don't understand why right or left would have anything to do with it. In general, I think upholding the first amendment is a valid use of taxpayer money, regardless of the content of the free speech, assembly, or government petitioning.

Sure protesting and free speech is a right - that doesn't mean it's a right that should be PAID FOR by others.
So where do you draw the line on what rights our government should be able to spend money on to accommodate and uphold?

You want to protest? Fine. But I'm not paying for you to protest something I agree with.
Assuming you meant disagree...that's fine and all, but that's simply not how our country works.

I'm not going to pay for security & clean up of the court house because someone thinks free speech means marking all over it. Make sense for you now?
There's certainly room for a debate over what responsible free speech, free assembly, and petitioning of the government looks like and how taxpayer money should be allocated in light of that. I just don't think it makes much sense to broadly say, "I want my taxes to be used to uphold free speech, but not if it's free speech that I disagree with!" That's actually pretty far from what America is all about.

Red Dog
08-11-11, 03:39 PM
wishbone :lol::thumbsup:

Then there was that whole thread started by guess who -- ranting about their use of pictures of guns in their signs.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/politics-world-events/571527-sedition-tea-party-christian-militia.html

Manufactured impressions, indeed.

Red Dog
08-11-11, 03:44 PM
You are conflating a strike and a protest. The protest in Madison included many people who weren't employed by the state. You are also making the ludicrous assertion that no one ever fakes sick days outside of these cretins.

No one (except these folks who had no fear of losing their jobs) that I've ever heard of fakes sick days to go protest their employer. And I made no such assertion. Talk about manufacturing something. I really don't care about people, even gov't employees, faking a sick day now and then. I just think it takes a lot of nerve to do it so that you can go protest your employer.

movielib
08-11-11, 04:06 PM
Are you saying people should not protest their government because it isn't fiscally responsible? :lol:
:lol: You like to make the wildest leaps, don't you?

I've heard of very few 8-figure protests. I don't think taxpayers should have to pay for that.

Now you'll ask, how much should they pay.

I'm not sure, but that is excessive. If protesters are going to cause that much cost they should help pay the bill.

kvrdave
08-11-11, 06:29 PM
That's the difference between real and feigned outrage.

It's the difference between getting paid to protest and having to go back to your job.

movielib
08-12-11, 08:00 AM
Biggest lobbyist in Wisconsin? The teachers union.

http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_8e8ee876-c46e-11e0-b903-001cc4c03286.html

Teachers union has plenty of say
A Wisconsin State Journal editorial
Friday, August 12, 2011 6:00 am

Nobody has spent more money on twisting arms down at the state Capitol than the big teachers union.

No wonder the union got so much of what it wanted last legislative session, when the Democrats had a lock on power.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council spent $2.5 million on 12,364 hours of lobbying during the 2009-2010 session, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office. That's an average of 17 hours every day for two years, according to the Associated Press.

The teachers union spent more than twice as much as the $985,000 that big tobacco company Altria Client Services spent fighting (unsuccessfully) another cigarette tax hike.

And the teachers union spent nearly three times as much on lobbying as the $856,000 that big business group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce spent over the same period.

The only group that even came close to spending as much as WEAC was the Forest County Potawatomi Community, which spent almost $2 million on lobbying. The tribe was interested in a number of bills, including one to boost clean energy.

With all its lobbying might, WEAC succeeded in convincing Democrats to expand the union's collective bargaining leverage. The Democrats lifted a cap on teacher raises, for example, and forbid arbitrators from considering local economic conditions when settling contract disputes.

Of course, the Republicans who won control of the state Capitol last fall reversed those actions — and then some. Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-run Legislature strictly limited collective bargaining for most public workers, prompting huge union-backed protests outside the Capitol.

It will be interesting to see how much money WEAC and WMC spend on lobbying during the current legislative session.

What's clear is that the teachers union has had plenty of power in the past, and it continues as a major force in Wisconsin politics.

WEAC has every right to lobby state leaders the same as other interest groups. And despite Walker's changes, it still has a loud voice and lots of money to influence public policy.

CRM114
08-12-11, 08:37 AM
http://i54.tinypic.com/2cwvmo9.jpg

"I'm sorry, I don't do impressions -- my training's in psychiatry."

You came up with a single post about an event 1 mile from my house. Congratulations! rotfl

This whole ridiculous exercise you have with Red Dog is completely beside the point (as usual in both of your cases). THe point was that the media didn't care not some single clown posting on a message board.

Red Dog
08-12-11, 08:43 AM
I'm not the one who claimed that nobody is paying attention to tea party protesters. And it wasn't an exercise, since you make it so easy.

wishbone
08-12-11, 09:02 AM
You came up with a single post about an event 1 mile from my house. Congratulations! rotfl

This whole ridiculous exercise you have with Red Dog is completely beside the point (as usual in both of your cases). THe point was that the media didn't care not some single clown posting on a message board.http://i53.tinypic.com/fkofg8.jpg

The mehhy mehness of meh indeed. :up:

CRM114
08-12-11, 09:04 AM
You two are really grasping for snarkiness now. :lol:

Red Dog
08-12-11, 09:06 AM
Oh and to the media reaction, the media most certainly has talked about the tea party protests. Whether to mock and ridicule them and/or to discuss whether they were a bunch of racists.

movielib
08-13-11, 03:29 PM
For those waiting breathlessly for more news on the Prosser/Bradley "brawl" the news is that there really isn't any news exactly two months after the incident took place.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_bf532586-c54e-11e0-9f5f-001cc4c002e0.html

Records of alleged Supreme Court fight won’t be released until special prosecutor’s decision
SANDY CULLEN
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 11:30 am

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it has given reports of its investigation into an alleged physical altercation between two state Supreme Court justices to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which enforces standards of judicial conduct.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said neither agency will release the reports until a special prosecutor decides whether charges will be filed.

The Wisconsin State Journal had requested the reports involving the June 13 incident in which Justice David Prosser is alleged to have choked Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in her office after Bradley told him to leave. Prosser has denied the accusations.

At the time of the incident, the Supreme Court was deciding an open meetings lawsuit involving a law stripping most public workers of most collective bargaining rights.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne asked that a special prosecutor be appointed to decide if criminal charges should be filed.

The Judicial Commission also opened an investigation into the incident.

Schaffer said the commission requested the reports, which were shared at the authorization of Chief Judge William Foust.

Schaffer declined to give a reason the State Journal’s records request was denied other than to say the case “is tenuous for everyone involved and no information will be released until the case has gone through the criminal justice system.”

Foust’s office said Friday a special prosecutor had not yet been appointed.
Note that you get only the shorthand Bradley side of the story in the article. You also get the collective bargaining "rights" rhetoric. Someone should tell the Wisconsin State Journal that they are not the Capital Times.

So the public does not have a right to know, at least not yet, and the special prosecutor hasn't even been appointed.

movielib
08-13-11, 04:45 PM
Dems jump the gun.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-politics/article_b28eca30-c526-11e0-b870-001cc4c03286.html

On the Capitol: Waukesha clerk at center of another election controversy! — or not
CLAY BARBOUR and MARY SPICUZZA
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 8:00 am

For a brief — some would say, scary — moment Tuesday, it appeared another election would come down to the counting abilities of controversial Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

That moment passed, but evidently not fast enough to prevent several pundits and politicos from dining on their own feet.

Late Tuesday, state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, was in a recall dogfight with state Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Whitefish Bay.

Hinging on that race were the hopes and dreams of not only Pasch, but the Democratic Party as well. If Darling fell, Democrats would gain the majority in the Senate and at long last have a way to hinder the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.

The Associated Press struggled to get numbers from a few wards late Tuesday. One of those was Waukesha County, the site of a kerfuffle during the state Supreme Court race between incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser and his liberal challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Back in April, it first appeared Kloppenburg had pulled off an upset. That is until Nickolaus announced the day after the election that she failed to report 14,000 votes. The new votes gave Prosser a 7,316-vote lead.

So on Tuesday night, as the pundits waited for results, all eyes turned toward Waukesha. In less time than it takes protesters to cry "shame" whenever a Republican lawmaker shows up, officials with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin accused Nickolaus of tampering. And though the charge carried no details, several MSNBC hosts ran with it anyway. Only problem was, it wasn't true.

In fact, Waukesha's numbers were not the last ones to come in, and had been posted on the county's website long before AP reported them. The next day DPW Chairman Mike Tate was forced to issue a mea culpa — sort of.

"Though we believe that Sandy Pasch was able to battle Alberta Darling to a virtual tie, on her turf, we will not pursue questions of irregularities," he said in a statement. "Those heat-of-the-moment statements came in light of the uncertainties that arose from a recent election, known too well."

Back to work

Of course, lost in all this talk about recalls and vote tampering is the fact that, come September, the Legislature returns to Madison to do some work. Or what passes for it in these parts.

In the past month, the governor and his staff have met with more than 80 lawmakers — Republican and Democratic — to discuss legislation for the upcoming fall floor session. Walker told OTC this week that he has made a list of the legislation suggested to him by the lawmakers and plans to meet with the four main leaders of the Senate and Assembly — Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha — to find common ground.

The meeting, according to Walker's staff, should take place sometime in the next few weeks. Who knows what they will agree on, but a quick survey of staffers and legislators tells us the fall session will include bills to expand school vouchers for special education, create an Arizona-style immigration law, outlaw the use of fetal body parts in research and establish new mining and venture capital legislation.

That should keep them busy until January, when recall fever picks back up and takes aim at Walker.
If you look above you will see that I named the county that actually was late: Ozaukee.

movielib
08-15-11, 06:37 PM
Prosser/Bradley special prosecutor appointed.

http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=34387

Sauk County DA Patricia Barrett appointed special prosecutor in Wisconsin Supreme Court dustup
Vic Feuerherd on Monday 08/15/2011 5:34 pm

When Bill Foust reached Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett and popped the question, it didn't take Barrett long to respond to the chief judge of the Dane County Circuit Court.

"Judges ask questions because they need answers," Barrett said during a phone interview. "He asked if I would accept the job, and I said, 'Yes, I accept.'"

"It's part of my job," she added.

On Monday Foust named Barrett the special prosecutor who will determine whether charges will be filed in the politically charged dustup between State Supreme Court Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley. Barrett has been Sauk County's DA for the past 17 years.

Barrett, who said she will retire after her current term ends in 2012, is now asked to sift through the Dane County Sheriff's Office investigation of the alleged June 13 incident. That was one day before the Supreme Court voted 4-3 to overturn a circuit court judge's ruling that a legislative committee had violated the state's open meetings law when it passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposal eliminating the collective bargaining rights of most public workers.

By Bradley's account, Prosser put her in a chokehold while the two were in her office discussing the court's decision. Prosser, who voted with the majority in the case, refutes that account and says he was protecting himself when Bradley charged him.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne asked Foust to appoint a special prosecutor to eliminate an appearance of a conflict of interest. Ozanne was a party to the open meetings lawsuit.

It was not clear why Foust selected Barrett to handle the investigation. He emailed a terse "no comment" after being contacted for comment.

Barrett is a Republican, though that may be in name only. Tim McCumber, the head of the Republican Party in Sauk County, described her as more of an independent who initially used the Republican label to get a spot on the ballot back in 1994.

"I know she's a pretty good prosecutor," said McCumber, whose organization's website declares, "Holding the line against Madison."

"She ran for judge a few years ago and I voted against her because I thought she did such a good job as DA. I've never told her that, so I'll probably get in trouble now. But she's pretty independent. She's not especially active, or maybe I should say she's not an activist.

"I'm surprised when anyone in Dane County does something fair and shows common sense."

Barrett said that though she runs as a Republican, she leaves politics at the door when it comes to her job.

"My belief has always been that the prosecutor and sheriff's jobs are not partisan," she said. "It's just not appropriate to hold those positions and be partisan."

Barrett, 62, said she has not had legal business with either justice in the case, though she has met both socially.

Barrett was not sure what role, if any, her pending retirement may have played in Foust's decision. She made the announcement during her 2008 campaign, the first time she was elected to a four-year term after seven campaigns for two-year terms.

"Actually, I'm pretty old," she said with a laugh. "I don't think you should be doing this job when you're 68."
I'm glad the special prosecutor is not in Dane County. Barrett sounds like a very sensible and experienced person.

movielib
08-15-11, 07:27 PM
I'm going to handicap the Dem recalls tomorrow.

Bob Wirch(D)/Jonathan Steitz (R) - 9 to 1 in favor of Wirch (odds, not vote percentages)

Jim Holperin (D)/Kim Simac (R) - 3 to 2 in favor of Holperin

Neither Republican challenger is that good a candidate. While many of the Denocratic candidates last week were already in the Assembly, both Republicans this week have never held elective office. Steitz is a corporate attorney who commutes to Chicago. Simac is a Tea Party organizer. Both have had tax issues which is never good.

But much like last week, the outcomes may be decided by which side turns out its supporters. With control of the Senate no longer at stake, I sense a lot less excitement this week.

movielib
08-16-11, 06:59 AM
Wisconsin's biggest lobbyist (see Post #181) is laying off 40% of its staff.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/article_6ee3f158-c7a0-11e0-aba0-001cc4c002e0.html

Teachers union layoffs could be bellwether for other public employee unions

DEBORAH ZIFF and STEVEN VERBURG
Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:00 am

The statewide teachers union issued layoff notices to 42 employees Monday, about 40 percent of its staff, blaming Gov. Scott Walker's "union-busting" legislation.

The executive director of the Wisconsin Education Association Council said the collective bargaining law — which ends payroll deduction for union dues, among other things — forced the layoffs.

"Despite the budget cuts and layoffs our goal remains the same," said Dan Burkhalter, executive director of WEAC. "To be a strong and viable organization that represents the voices of Wisconsin's public school employees."

Walker's spokesman said the governor had no comment.

The Madison-based WEAC has traditionally been one of the biggest powerbrokers in the state, spending $2.5 million lobbying state lawmakers in 2009 and 2010, more than any other group, according to the Government Accountability Board.

It has spent more than $4 million trying to influence Wisconsin elections since 2008, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The group filed an oath with the Government Accountability Board opposing all Republican senators eligible for recall in last week's elections.

The shrinking size of WEAC's office staff could be a bellwether for the future of other public sector unions in the state.

The law reduces public employees' take-home pay to cover more of the costs of pension and health care premiums, requires annual union recertification votes and forbids collective bargaining on things like vacations, sick pay, seniority preferences, overtime and grievance procedures.

"Across the state, school districts are eliminating positions either through layoffs or not hiring staff," Burkhalter said in a conference call with reporters. "Fewer school employees means loss of revenue for WEAC that represents them."

Before the new law, WEAC represented about 98,000 public education employees. But about a third of those employees are no longer under contract with the state, which means that WEAC needs to get those individuals to sign up as members.

Burkhalter declined to say how many of those employees have voluntarily signed up as WEAC members.

"We had to make decisions about this budget year that starts in a couple weeks, based on the number of members we have now," Burkhalter said.

WEAC's budget year runs from September 2011 to August 2012.

The union issued 42 layoff notices Monday and posted six new positions, which will be filled internally. Some staff will choose early retirement, Burkhalter said. He said he is optimistic the "environment will change" and he will be able to call people back to work.

Other public sector unions have taken hits, too.

Seven of 38 staff positions are being left vacant at American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 40, which represents about 32,000 local government workers in Wisconsin outside Milwaukee County, executive director Rick Badger said Monday.

Council 40 leaders will assess dues collections next year and decide on whether further reductions are needed, Badger said.

The union is working on obtaining dues commitments from about 3,000 members whose contracts have expired. Contracts will lapse for another 9,500 on Jan. 1.

"Part of the (state's) goal was to weaken labor unions," Badger said. "Forcing labor unions to cut staff certainly serves that goal."
We'll see how the teachers union and other public employee unions do when they can't forcibly make employees pay dues. As more current contracts expire the picture will clear.

movielib
08-16-11, 07:18 AM
Interesting. Employee handbooks replacing union contracts for teacher rules.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/127669538.html

Handbooks replace union contracts in Wisconsin schools
By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 13, 2011

Some are calling it the summer of the teacher handbook.

With the start of school approaching on Sept. 1, about two-thirds of Wisconsin's school districts are rushing to finalize employee handbooks to replace now-extinct collective bargaining agreements that for decades outlined duties and salaries for workers.

The passage of the state's new "Act 10" legislation - in effect for all districts that didn't extend a contract with teachers before the passage of the law - gives administrators the ability to make sweeping changes to teachers' pay scales, hours and working conditions without having to negotiate them with unions.

Some sacred cows are disappearing, such as teacher tenure, layoffs based on seniority and the guarantee of 10 years' worth of post-retirement health insurance. Other big and complex changes on the horizon include new salary structures and pay-for-performance plans.

Many teachers, especially those still feeling bruised from divisive union fights and the requirement to pay more for their health insurance and retirement, are concerned about the changes being made unilaterally by management, said Christina Brey, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union.

In districts that extended contracts, employees have a greater idea of the workplace rules and expectations than those educators coming into a new environment under Act 10, Brey said. Some never got to look at the handbook before it was approved, she said.

Teachers in Fond du Lac's schools, for example, have protested their district's recently adopted handbook and voiced opposition about being left out of the process.

But in some districts, working outside of collective bargaining reportedly has resulted in more collaboration with teachers.

The Hartland-Lakeside School District in Waukesha County designed its employee handbook with a team of 12 teachers, three principals, three central office employees and an attorney from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, which created a model handbook template.

Last year, the district and teachers union went to arbitration over retirement benefits. Now the parties have sat together to figure out everything from a new teacher evaluation model to performance pay and a "just cause" model for dismissal of teachers who don't perform.

"This is the first time we've had a real collaborative, cooperative approach to figuring out how to go forward," said Ann Charlesworth, a fourth-grade teacher who was a union negotiator. "Our approach in the past was always adversarial because of the structure of collective bargaining. . . . But we see how strapped (the district is) with state cuts to education. We know we have to do what's best for everybody with the scraps left. You can't fight over the scraps anymore."

Charles, who has taught in the district for more than 20 years, said teachers are more united now than they were under her leadership.

"In the past, union negotiators were veteran teachers," she said. "Younger teachers on probation wouldn't risk their position by having an adversarial position with the union."

The Hartland-Lakeside handbook will be reviewed by the board Monday.

The employee handbooks in most districts are a work in progress and likely to be changed this year. The Cedarburg School Board will review its new handbook on Tuesday, and Superintendent Daryl Herrick said he believes that many districts will spend this year paying close attention to changes neighboring districts are making. He predicted more intriguing changes to the handbooks would come in year two.

Major changes

So far, some of the biggest changes districts are implementing to save money and influence teacher performance include:

Changing health insurance options. Changing the carrier, altering plan design and increasing teachers' contributions to health care all have been considered by schools in an attempt to rein in higher costs of insurance. Officials at the School District of Greenfield will roll out health insurance changes this year that will require teachers to pay more co-pays or higher deductibles. The teachers in Greenfield already had a relatively high contribution to their health insurance - 10% of the premium - before Gov. Scott Walker's legislation, which asked teachers to pay 12.6% of the cost of the premium.

Reducing post-retirement benefits. Many districts have offered up to 10 years of post-retirement health insurance for retirees, meaning teachers could retire at 55 and rely on the district to pay that health insurance benefit until Medicare kicked in at age 65. A popular change is to replace an open-ended obligation with a promise to contribute a fixed amount of money to a health insurance fund for the employee, similar to in the private sector. But districts must also figure out where to draw the line on who is grandfathered in with the old benefit.

Ending tenure and layoff decisions based on seniority. Until now, most teachers who had their fourth-year contract renewed received tenure - a system that made it difficult for administrators to remove lower-performing teachers. Now teachers can be on year-to-year contracts, and nonrenewal decisions can be based on performance. When districts have to lay off employees for financial reasons, they also may use factors other than seniority in that decision.

For example, in Brown Deer Public Schools' new employee handbook, seniority is the sixth factor to consider in a layoff. Performance is first. Contribution to the school environment is close behind. But that also means schools need to be able to define what high-quality teaching looks like, and they'll need to get more consistent in using teacher evaluations to measure performance. Otherwise, experts say, they'll be open to lawsuits based on age discrimination.

Modifying work expectations. Teacher contracts traditionally specify a variety of work-related conditions, from the maximum number of contact hours with students, to the number of prep periods, to the length and number of work days. Some districts now are converting some paid holidays or extra days used for professional development to work days, extending the day to eight hours if it was only 7.5 hours before, reducing prep periods from two to one and/or requiring more professional-development time.

WEAC's Brey said teachers across the state have been most concerned with losing prep time, which can have a direct effect on the quality of lessons and student performance.

Changing teacher compensation structures. Districts are eager to get away from the traditional step-and-lane salary structure, which awards additional compensation based on education credits and years of service; but changing to a new system is complex and likely will require another year or more of work. Many administrators want salary raises to be based more on quality and performance than on years of service.

The traditional system didn't take student growth into account, said Conrad Farner, superintendent of Greenfield's schools. "The hard part when we change that is how to be fair."

Cautious approach

Barry Forbes, a staff attorney at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, said schools most likely will pay teachers this year the same as they did last year. For next year, Forbes said, a lot of districts intend to offer teachers the maximum salary increase under the new law of about 1.6% because they saved enough money in other places by having employees contribute to health care and retirement.

"A lot of boards and administrations believe that teachers were paid too little in salary and too much in fringe benefits," Forbes said. "This is the start of the process of fixing that."

Forbes also has cautioned districts to not make too many changes too fast in the new frontier of limited collective bargaining. For example, some districts are trying to reduce sick days for teachers, when they should probably focus their efforts on the changes most needed to make the budgets work, he said.

"There's a lot of residual anger out there," he said, adding that he didn't think the pro-employer law would be a permanent change in Wisconsin.

"The pendulum always swings back," Forbes said. "We're telling people to be careful with how you use this power."
It looks like mostly a good start. Probably the districts should consult teachers (the people, not the unions) and include them in the process a little more than some seem to have. I think all these things can improve with the decreased power of the unions.

JasonF
08-16-11, 07:57 AM
It looks like mostly a good start. Probably the districts should consult teachers (the people, not the unions) and include them in the process a little more than some seem to have.

Good idea. Do you think the districts should consult with each teacher one-on-one? That seems unwieldy. Maybe there could be some sort of organization that speaks on behalf of the teachers.

movielib
08-16-11, 08:09 AM
Good idea. Do you think the districts should consult with each teacher one-on-one? That seems unwieldy. Maybe there could be some sort of organization that speaks on behalf of the teachers.
No, I think the teachers could choose a few from among their ranks to sit on a committee with the administrators and the administrators should agree to that. It's an employee handbook, not rocket science. The unions cannot bargain in any binding way any more (except to negotiate salaries up to the cost of living increases) and the administrators don't have to do this with the unions (which have, in my opinion, been rather poisonous). They clearly don't have to include the teachers either. I think it's wise to include input from the teachers but the administrators still have the last word. Call me crazy but I think they can do things more amicably and get better results without the unions.

JasonF
08-16-11, 07:03 PM
No, I think the teachers could choose a few from among their ranks to sit on a committee with the administrators and the administrators should agree to that. It's an employee handbook, not rocket science. The unions cannot bargain in any binding way any more (except to negotiate salaries up to the cost of living increases) and the administrators don't have to do this with the unions (which have, in my opinion, been rather poisonous). They clearly don't have to include the teachers either. I think it's wise to include input from the teachers but the administrators still have the last word. Call me crazy but I think they can do things more amicably and get better results without the unions.

Wait ... what exactly do you think a union is? The whole point of a union is that the teachers choose a few representatives from among their ranks, and those representatives meet with management on behalf of the general population of employees. I am at a loss as to what you think is the difference between what you're proposing and a union.

movielib
08-16-11, 07:49 PM
Wait ... what exactly do you think a union is? The whole point of a union is that the teachers choose a few representatives from among their ranks, and those representatives meet with management on behalf of the general population of employees. I am at a loss as to what you think is the difference between what you're proposing and a union.
Very simple. There is no collective bargaining. There is nothing binding. The administrators don't have to do it. They are still free to accept or decline any suggestions. All I'm saying is I think they should. I don't know how you are making that into a union.

My company listens to our employees because we owners value their input, they often have good ideas and we think they are worth listening to. We don't have a union. No one wants one.

All unions are groups of employees. All groups of employees are not unions.

But if you think they are, fine, screw 'em and never listen to a word they say. ;)

kvrdave
08-16-11, 08:58 PM
Good idea. Do you think the districts should consult with each teacher one-on-one? That seems unwieldy. Maybe there could be some sort of organization that speaks on behalf of the teachers.

:lol: There are certainly never committees formed in school districts for other reasons. How will this new system possibly work without a giant, all encompassing union?

Our teachers haven't allowed a union rep into negotiations in about 16 years. As a result, the district hasn't used a lawyer for negotiations in about 16 years. Perhaps they can learn to get along at the district level or go somewhere they think they will be better appreciated.

movielib
08-16-11, 09:37 PM
In recall land Wirch (D) has held on. He has 56%-44% and a 3200 vote lead with 94% in.

Holperin (D) is up 54%-46% and about 1800 votes with 46% in. I know almost nothing about that district so I don't know if Simac still has a chance.

But it's going about as I expected so far. Glad the Republicans held on last week. 17-16 is way better than 16-17.

movielib
08-16-11, 09:54 PM
Holperin has won also. It's over, for now.

The Senate remains 17-16 Republican.

movielib
08-16-11, 10:05 PM
:lol: There are certainly never committees formed in school districts for other reasons. How will this new system possibly work without a giant, all encompassing union?

Our teachers haven't allowed a union rep into negotiations in about 16 years. As a result, the district hasn't used a lawyer for negotiations in about 16 years. Perhaps they can learn to get along at the district level or go somewhere they think they will be better appreciated.
You know the famous "Wedding Song":

"Whenever two or more of you are gathered... it's a union!" - Paul Stookey

movielib
08-17-11, 11:04 PM
Union sending state workers political emails. Trying not to lose members (and dues).

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/08/union-continues-to-send-political-emails-to-state-employees/

Union Continues to Send Political Emails to State Employees
MacIver News Service | August 17, 2011

[Madison, Wisc..] Just because state employees can no longer be forced to be members of public employee unions doesn’t mean the unions will refrain from contacting them using their government emails.

Thousands of Wisconsin state employees were met with a highly political email from their union when they came to work Wednesday morning.

“Walker thinks he can cripple our union by making payroll deduction for union dues illegal,” the email solicitation, sent by AFT-Wisconsin Communications Representative Jill Bakken, began. “By re-committing to our union, we are standing strong and sending a message: Walker doesn’t decide whether we have a voice – we do.”

AFT-Wisconsin is a labor union that had 17,000 public employees in the state of as members before the recent labor reforms became law.

Some thought such overt politicking in the workplace was a thing of the past, or that since they were no longer having dues forcibly deducted from their payment, they were no longer members of the union. Wednesdays email raises questions as to whether public employees are still considered ‘members’ of a union if they no longer are paying dues.

“Under the new laws, I thought I would be freed from this union harassment and propaganda,” said one state employee who wished to remain anonymous avoid harassment in the workplace. “I should not have to proactively opt out of an organization to which I never wanted to belong in the first place, but since I have to in order to avoid getting their spam emails, I certainly will.”

MacIver News Service’s call to AFT-Wisconsin for comment on the matter was not returned.

The email warns that “This is a member-to-member communication from AFT-Wisconsin to its members pursuant to Wisconsin State Statutes 11.29. Members should check workplace rules regarding political action in the workplace before responding.”

State officials tell the MacIver News Service that there is no way for them to prevent an email from coming into a state email account, however they warn that state workers shouldn’t be responding to or forwarding any non-work related emails using government resources while on the clock at their government jobs. Furthermore, according to the Wisconsin Department of Adiminstration’s Internet and Email Usage Policy “No employe may use department’s Internet or e-mail facilities for personal financial gain or for political activities.”

AFT used the occasion of yesterday’s Democratic victories in two recall elections to send the solicitation to state employees who previously had membership dues automatically deducted from their paychecks, a practice that is no longer legal in Wisconsin. While union membership is now an option for most government workers in the state, the unions still have access to their former members’ personal and business contact information.

“Today, voters in Senate Districts 22 and 12 voted decisively to keep state senators Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch in Madison. Wirch and Holperin had been targeted for recall because, along with the other “Fab 14” Democratic state senators, they left Wisconsin last winter for three weeks to try to prevent the passage of Gov. Walker’s union-busting bill,” the email read in part. “Both senators also fought fiercely against the deep cuts the governor’s budget imposes on our neighborhood schools, our health care, and our communities.”

“I just want to do my job and move beyond this bickering but the union is hell bent on driving wedges between co-workers and families,” said the recipient who forwarded the email to the MacIver News Service. “What’s done is done. I’m grateful for the freedom to choose whether or not to be in a union and I don’t want any part of their cynical take on current events.”

The entire email, with the recipient’s contact information redacted:

From: Bakken.Jill@aft-wisconsin.org

Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:15 PM

To: XXXXXXXXX REDACTED STATE EMPLOYEE .GOV EMAIL ADDRESSXXXXXXX

Subject: PSA: Holperin and Wirch win!

Walker thinks he can cripple our union by making payroll deduction for union dues illegal. By re-committing to our union, we are standing strong and sending a message: Walker doesn’t decide whether we have a voice – we do.

Click here to visit our website and continue your commitment to our union. We can build our union and take back our state. Who decides? WE decide.

Holperin and Wirch win, giving anti-Walker Dems a 5-4 victory in summer’s recalls

Today, voters in Senate Districts 22 and 12 voted decisively to keep state senators Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch in Madison. Wirch and Holperin had been targeted for recall because, along with the other “Fab 14” Democratic state senators, they left Wisconsin last winter for three weeks to try to prevent the passage of Gov. Walker’s union-busting bill. Both senators also fought fiercely against the deep cuts the governor’s budget imposes on our neighborhood schools, our health care, and our communities.

In a race where some speculated turnout might be low, clerks in both districts reported that voters came out in force—and true Wisconsin values prevailed. Wirch shut out challenger Jonathan Steitz by 58-42 percent. As of this writing, with 79 of the vote it, and Holperin leads challenger Kim Simac by 54-46 percent.

Both Wirch and Holperin won by significant margins against candidates trading on the Walkerite politics of division and fear. Holperin faced Kim Simac, a Tea Party leader whose rhetoric was long on anger and short on ideas. (Asked in a WRJO radio forum which specific pieces of legislation she would support or oppose if elected, Simac could not think of a single one, replying that she was “stumped” by the question). In campaign speeches, interviews, and one now-infamous blog posting, Simac tried to demonize teachers, public employees, and just about any group that protests the Walker regime.

Bob Wirch faced Jonathan Steitz, a corporate lawyer for a Chicago firm who repeatedly attacked Sen. Wirch for standing up for public employees’ constitutional right to have a union.

Simac and Steitz did their best to flack Walker’s extremist agenda, but voters weren’t buying it. Wirch and Holperin won—Wirch by double-digit margins—despite millions in spending on these races from extremist right wing groups such as the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. [Of course, the unions didn't throw in millions. -m]

Holperin’s victory is especially sweet: he was considered the most vulnerable Democrat in the recall races, and his district was won by Walker in November 2010 with 57.4% of the vote, while 10 of its 11 counties went for conservative Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in April. But this time, voters in the 12th District echoed the swing away from Walker Republicanism that was also apparent in the six recall elections last Tuesday, in which Democratic challengers gained in every single Republican district over Walker’s performance in 2010, averaging a 4% boost in each.

Tonight’s results are a tonic for many who are tired of hearing the misleading, defeatist media take on last week’s recalls. That storyline claimed that because pro-working-family candidates didn’t flip the balance of the state senate, the recalls were a loss for anti-Walker Dems. The real story? Dems gained ground, taking two seats in Republican strongholds that went for Walker in 2010, and winning five out of a total of nine recall election races. Five of the six Republican incumbents actually lagged Walker’s 2010 performance.

As a result of the recalls, Walker Republicans now hold only a razor-thin 17-16 margin in the state senate—a margin that includes moderate Republican Dale Schultz, the sole Republican who courageously voted against Scott Walker’s anti-union bill.

Just as heartening, the Republican-to-Democrat voter swing in the August 9 elections indicates that Walker could easily lose in a recall. Perhaps in response, Gov. Walker is already adopting a more conciliatory posture—though many doubt its sincerity. (As the Capital Times observed, “He’s not the kind of a guy who generates much trust.”)

The two senate seat wins today were one more expression of a surging Wisconsin progressive movement that has galvanized more than 12,000 volunteers who reached out to more than 1 million voters. That movement is still growing by leaps and bounds.

These two races bring us another step closer to our goal: halting and reversing the damage done by Scott Walker and his followers, and winning back the Wisconsin we love.

________________________________

As a member of AFT-Wisconsin, you have been registered to receive The Public Service Advocate. If you have story ideas or suggestions on how to make the publication better, please contact us at: bakken.jill@aft-wisconsin.org. This is a member-to-member communication from AFT-Wisconsin to its members pursuant to Wisconsin State Statutes 11.29. Members should check workplace rules regarding political action in the workplace before responding.

Click here to unsubscribe from this mailing
What sweet people the unionistas are.

I'm not sure how many "members" the unions will lose now that they cannot be forced. My sister-in-law is a state worker in a northwestern city in Wisconsin. She says her office is roughly divided 50-50 (she's anti-union) and there is a lot of animosity between the two sides.

kvrdave
08-17-11, 11:20 PM
Man, it's like finding out that all your recurring credit card charges have to be authorized again, but the one that you always got charged for nothing in return you can simply ignore.

Undoubtedly the pro-choice party finally found something for which they do not believe choice should be allowed. :lol:

movielib
08-18-11, 10:01 AM
Republicans missed a whole lot of opportunities. As I have said before, the Republican challengers pretty much sucked.

http://www.wisconsinreporter.com/commentary-democrats-recruitment-victories-led-recall-edge

COMMENTARY: Democrats recruitment victories led recall edge
August 17th, 2011
By Kevin Binversie

If the just completed recall elections show us anything, it is how Wisconsin Democrats wanted the best candidates possible for their challenges, while Wisconsin Republicans appeared to just want warm bodies.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It takes an immense amount of courage to be a candidate for public office and run in today’s political environment. We live in a world where nearly every action a candidate has done since age 12 is put under the public and media microscope, and where a 24/7 news cycle of competing cable channels, blogs and establishment media websites seek to expose every tiny aspect of one’s life. That attention gets amplified.

Being a first-time candidate in such an environment is tough. It gets tougher when recall elections like the ones Wisconsin just wrapped up come to the nation’s attention. Instead of rookie candidates, Republicans should have recruited more experienced politicians who know how to handle the pressure of such a media spotlight.

Wisconsin Democrats knew this off the bat and showed it by recruiting five sitting or former politicians in their six state Senate recall challenges. They did even better by having three of those five — Sandy Pasch, of Whitefish Bay; Fred Clark, of Baraboo; and Jennifer Shilling, of La Crosse — be sitting state legislators. The other two were locally elected officials or former candidates like Jess King, the Oshkosh deputy mayor, and Nancy Nusbaum who was once Brown County executive, the mayor of De Pere and a candidate for Congress.

Republicans took a different route, and it clearly showed in the results of the recall challenges. In only one recall did Republicans get a sitting state assemblyman to run when Marinette’s John Nygren announced he would challenge Green Bay state Sen. Dave Hansen.

This was the likely match-up, but because of incompetent campaign management, Nygren failed to gather enough valid voter signatures to even make the ballot. This wasted opportunity left Republicans stuck with the deeply flawed candidacy of conservative activist David VanderLeest, whose personal history and legal troubles dominated the mainstream media’s storyline of the Hansen recall.

The same could be said in the 12th Senate District, where Republicans hold all three Assembly districts, but instead ran tea party leader Kim Simac. There media reports over Simac’s property tax problems and past statements she made on blogs and podcasts became the story in the waning days of the campaign.

University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin said experienced candidates are always a better option to run in any campaign.

“A candidate who has proven to succeed in elections, no matter how local or how municipal, will always have a leg up against a first-time candidate," Franklin said. "They’ve been vetted. Most of the possible skeletons in their closets have been exposed, and most importantly, they know how to behave like a candidate.”

The use of more experienced candidates gave Democrats not just victory in the recruitment wars, but no doubt allowed them to hold on to their own recalled state senators with ease. For that, they should be commended for making the most out of the opportunity the recalls gave them.

What will more campaign-tested candidates — and the newly drawn state senate districts — give the GOP in future elections? Next year’s regularly scheduled elections will be that next test.

But for finding suitable and competitive candidates in the recalls, Wisconsin Republicans failed to seize the opportunity before them.
The Democrats had a chance to win two of the three Democratic recalls. And if Randy Hopper's personal life had not killed the defense of his seat he would have almost certainly won given the margin, the lowest of all the elections. They were going to lose Kapanke's seat from the beginning. They were always unlikely to win Wirch's seat.

The Republicans could have won as much as a net one or very likely at least have broken even without all the stupidity. At the very worst it should have been a loss of only one.

Here's hoping they are smarter in the future.

I await the "excuses" comments. Sure, they're excuses. But that doesn't mean they're not true.

JasonF
08-18-11, 01:00 PM
I await the "excuses" comments. Sure, they're excuses. But that doesn't mean they're not true.

You can make excuses -- that's no problem. The important thing is that you're not sending people e-mails, because that is simply beyond the pale.

movielib
08-18-11, 02:20 PM
You can make excuses -- that's no problem. The important thing is that you're not sending people e-mails, because that is simply beyond the pale.
No, it's OK when they're such nice, polite, respectful emails like the one above.

But good for the union. The email is so nasty it will probably have a backlash. Many employees will feel insulted if they don't share the unions' rabid hatred of "Walker." All the recipients are not in Madison where they eat up this stuff. My sister-in-law, for one, I know would think the tone is excessive ("beyond the pale" if you prefer). I don't know if she has been (forcibly) in the union that sent this email.

I do wonder what the rules are for the unions using the government email system. Especially when some of these employees will discontinue paying dues and presumably will no longer be union members.

JasonF
08-18-11, 04:29 PM
I do wonder what the rules are for the unions using the government email system. Especially when some of these employees will discontinue paying dues and presumably will no longer be union members.

It looks to me like the union is using its own email system -- aft-wisconsin.org. Or are you suggesting that they shouldn't be allowed to send e-mails to employees at .gov addresses?

movielib
08-18-11, 05:17 PM
It looks to me like the union is using its own email system -- aft-wisconsin.org. Or are you suggesting that they shouldn't be allowed to send e-mails to employees at .gov addresses?
Nope. That's fine. I notice the employees can unsubscribe too.

But that doesn't mean the leaders of the unions are not a bunch of creeps. ;)

Do you think the email could have been a little more temperate? The people they already have do not need more of the rabid rhetoric, they're already on board. Nothing they do is likely to change the minds of those like my sister-in-law, they're already lost. But those more in the middle may be turned off.

JasonF
08-18-11, 06:29 PM
Do you think the email could have been a little more temperate? The people they already have do not need more of the rabid rhetoric, they're already on board. Nothing they do is likely to change the minds of those like my sister-in-law, they're already lost. But those more in the middle may be turned off.

Sure, it could have been more temperate. Lots of emails could be more temperate. Are we PR consultants for the union now?

movielib
08-18-11, 06:42 PM
Sure, it could have been more temperate. Lots of emails could be more temperate. Are we PR consultants for the union now?
Just trying to help. :)

Bill Needle
08-18-11, 06:53 PM
Compared to most union communications it is temperate.

movielib
08-19-11, 08:56 AM
Russ Feingold has announced he will not run for retiring Herb Kohls' US Senate seat or for governor in a possible recall against Scott Walker in 2012.

movielib
08-19-11, 09:03 AM
June job gains lost in July.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/128016853.html

Walker blames turmoil in economy, uncertainty created by recall elections
By John Schmid of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 18, 2011

Wisconsin lost 12,500 private-sector jobs last month in the deepest single-month decline since the depths of the 2008-'09 recession, effectively annulling most of the previous month's gains.

Gov. Scott Walker, who last month credited his administration's business-friendly policies for big job gains in June, attributed the July job losses to turmoil in the national and international economy as well as to uncertainty created by the state's special recall elections.

Asked whether he should be held accountable for July's decline as long as he also wants credit for June's gain, Walker responded by describing what he called "incredible uncertainty both at the federal level - in terms of the debt ceiling and all the tension of that, and the negative impact that had on the economy - combined with July and August, when you saw the height of the recall commercials. And I think for a lot of employers we talked to, that created a high level of uncertainty, not knowing what was going to come next."

Walker spoke in Waukesha on Thursday at Weldall Manufacturing Inc., which received state and local incentives to boost investment and expansion in the metals fabricator. Weldall, which had 110 employees as of Sept. 10, today has 239, with plans to hire another 40 or 50.

"In the first six months, the policies we put in place helped create certainty in the state," Walker said.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Workforce Development, the state's unemployment rate rose to 7.8% in July from 7.6% in June, even as the national unemployment rate improved to 9.1% from 9.2%.

The loss of 12,500 private-sector jobs last month represented the biggest decline since April 2009, when the state lost 22,900 jobs in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage meltdown and the collapse of Wall Street financial institutions.

The July decrease also offset most of the state's gains from June, which were revised Thursday to a net increase of 14,800 jobs - up from the preliminary gain of 12,900 that was reported last month.

"Wisconsin is not immune to the national economic slowdown this summer, and we are seeing the effects of the national economy in our July numbers," said Scott Baumbach, secretary of the Department of Workforce Development. "The wild market fluctuations during the debt ceiling negotiations, the European debt crisis and other factors contributed to a great deal of uncertainty, which may very well have affected Wisconsin's job numbers given our state's ties to the national economy."

Virtually every sector of the state, from professional services and construction to health care and tourism, lost ground in July, although the heaviest losses were in the service industries.

Durable goods manufacturing added 2,000 net new jobs in July even as non-durable manufacturing lost 2,100.

Each month's state figures are based on relatively small government sample sizes and amount to estimates. They are also preliminary and prone to revision. Additionally, the figures are seasonally adjusted to smooth out annually expected shifts related to weather, tourism and school holidays.

Government jobs continued to gyrate in July, as they have throughout the recovery. According to Thursday's data, public authorities at the municipal and county level added 4,100 jobs in the month, a figure that overshoots in an unrealistic extrapolation because many public schools and cities have been slashing budgets, economists said. Many analysts argue that the monthly jigs and jags in government employment reflect the distortions and statistical "noise" that always are inherent in the monthly jobs report.

"I don't put much stock in these numbers. They are subject to revision and those revisions can be extreme," said Brian Jacobsen, a Milwaukee-area economist at Wells Fargo Bank.

With or without statistical distortions, July's report shows that job creation remains stunted two years into what counts as a recovery. And few doubt that the national and international economies have cooled.

The stock market fell sharply Thursday in another reminder that the nation continues to feel the aftershocks of the recession. Europe is in the throes of its own debt crisis. China, which has been a global growth engine, is slowing.

Thursday's state jobs report also shows that many unemployed Wisconsinites have given up looking for work, which statistically removes them from the category of "unemployed," said John Heywood, a professor of labor economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "These discouraged workers do not show up in the unemployment rate but have been a fixture in both the state and the nation," Heywood said.

One month ago, when Walker announced the increase in private-sector job gains for June, he took credit for shifting the tone of the state's economic debate and creating an economic climate conducive to investment and employment.

"For a new governor eager to show his policies are working, cheerleading in this economy can easily backfire," said Andy Feldman, director of Madison-based BadgerStat.org, which collects and analyzes state economic metrics. "One month there's good news, but the next month may be bad news. The reality is that the economic forces at play are much bigger than Walker or even Wisconsin itself."
Sorry Governor, you can't have it both ways. If you tout a win without really knowing a reason you can't excuse a loss for other reasons you really do not know.

I shouldn't have either last month. Fair is fair and I will eat my crow. I have confidence that a better economic climate is now in place in the state. But let's see what happens in the long run.

kvrdave
08-19-11, 10:51 AM
When I am president or governor, I will piss everyone off by simply getting up to the podium and say, "Ebb and flow, man....ebb and flow."

movielib
08-20-11, 09:34 AM
When the protests were in full force in February and March, the UW-Madison teaching assistants were big participants. Yet the TA Union just failed to win a vote of its members for certification.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/university/article_c1f4aa2c-ca8e-11e0-8066-001cc4c002e0.html

UW-Madison teaching assistants union votes against state certification
STEVEN VERBURG
Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:45 pm

The 3,000-member teaching assistants union at UW-Madison has voted narrowly against seeking official state certification under a controversial new law that prohibits most collective bargaining for most public sector employees.

Under the law signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, teachers and other public workers would need to vote for their unions each year in order to bargain for cost-of-living raises. The law no longer allows negotiations on working conditions, benefits or anything else.

Under the previous law, unions typically certified once, when they formed.

"Investing resources in this process would divert resources from other forms of activism," said Adrienne Pagac, co-president of the Teaching Assistants' Association.

The new law requires 51 percent of the bargaining unit to vote in favor of the union for it to be recognized by the state. Pagac noted elections are usually decided by a majority of those voting, and that Walker and most other politicians wouldn't be in office if they had to win votes of 51 percent of the electorate.

The certification process is "illegitimate" and designed to sap union resources, Pagac said.

Even though the uncertified union won't be recognized and won't have a legally binding contract to negotiate and enforce, it will continue to fight for good pay and working conditions for members through informal discussions with university managers and through other activism, leaders said.

Pagac said there haven't been serious discussions about work stoppages since March when the collective bargaining bill was before the Legislature. But she said she wouldn't rule out job actions if members feel they are necessary.

The union's members teach thousands of classes, including nearly half of all lecture, discussion and laboratory sections, and they grade most of the papers at the university, Pagac said.

For now, the university is informally following the provisions of the last labor contract.

"They (the university) will abide by the contract until they don't," Pagac said. "Our membership will decide our response when the time comes."

The decision not to seek state certification wasn't easy for the teaching assistants, who were at the forefront of weeks of massive protests against the new law, Pagac said.

After two and a half hours of debate Thursday night, the certification question was decided in a very close vote, she said. She declined to provide the vote totals.

Union leaders representing state and local government workers said they, too, are leaning toward forgoing certification. Only the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union, has indicated it plans to seek official union status with the state.

"I believe all of the unions ... are going to have to make difficult decisions about recertification," teachers union president Mary Bell said Friday.

The others, including the teaching assistants union, said they will still act as unions even if the state doesn't recognize them, and that they will organize members to contribute dues and fight for members' interests in the workplace and the political arena.

"Our members' concerns go beyond just wages," Pagac said. "The reason hundreds of thousands people showed up at the Capitol in the cold (in February and March) isn't because they are concerned only about wages. They are concerned about democracy in the workplace."

Dues drying up

Pagac said the union's first task was signing up members to continue contributing dues. Under the new state law, public employers no longer may collect the dues through payroll deductions.

The collective bargaining law doesn't affect union employees until their contracts expire, as they have for 22,000 state workers. Unions representing teachers and local government employees are being affected more gradually, but all are feeling the loss of payroll deductions and are seeking dues through new means.

WEAC officials have said contracts are expired for a third of the 98,000 members it had before the law was enacted, and on Monday the union announced it was laying off 42 of its 100 union staffers. AFSCME Council 40, which represented about 32,000 local government workers in Wisconsin, has 3,000 with expired contracts. The council is leaving seven of its 38 staff posts open, officials said.

The teaching assistants union has just two part-time staff. About one in 10 members have signed up to pay $12 to $28 monthly dues, depending on income, through automatic bank withdrawals or credit card payments, Pagac said. More sign-ups likely will occur starting Thursday, when graduate students are due to arrive on campus.

Its members are among those who'll pay more for health care premiums under the law. Teaching assistants' payments that are as low as $15.50 a month for a single person will rise in September and October to $42. Premium increases will be higher for those with family coverage, Pagac said.
I think the analogy between the majority needed to certify the union and a majority of all eligible voters to elect someone to an office is invalid. Are they suggesting that only a majority of those voting in the certification election be required? Or what? I think it should take at least a majority of all members to certify the union as this new rule requires. That would seem to be the minimum for legitimacy. If a majority of all those eligible or at least registered to vote were required to elect someone, no one would ever be elected. Wait, maybe that's not such a bad idea. ;)

So solidarity? Not so much. And only 10% signing up to voluntarily pay the dues? The article says more will sign up when they arrive on campus but I would think most already have or they wouldn't have had the vote yet. The article is kind of vague on a lot of points. But it is clear that many will not choose to voluntarily pay dues and many don't think having a union is so life and death important.

One would think the TA union would be one of the most loyal, even if the union can't do that much for them any more. That they lost this union certification vote seems to be of some significance.

movielib
08-20-11, 10:03 AM
Commentary on the Dems chances of keeping Herb Kohl's seat or beating Scott Walker in a recall with Russ Feingold out.

http://www.wisconsinreporter.com/commentary-feingold-senate-decision-raises-odds-against-walker-recall

COMMENTARY: Feingold Senate decision raises odds against Walker recall
August 19th, 2011
By Kevin Binversie

It was not the type of wake-up call Democrats in the Badger State wanted to have on Friday.

In an email from his Progressives United political action committee, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin announced he would not be running for any public office in 2012, and he was “thoroughly enjoying the life of a private citizen in this great state of Wisconsin.”

With Feingold finishing a book on foreign policy and continuing as a professor at Marquette Law School, he will not be trying to return to his old job with a Senate run for the seat of the retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee.

His exit makes a list of potential big-name candidates in any recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker even shorter.

It also leaves any potential recall effort without any true top-tier challenger. Recent polling from North Carolina-based Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling showed Feingold as the strongest challenger in a Walker recall. Without him, Democrats must scramble to find a well-known, popular candidate if a recall effort can even get off the ground.

By far the biggest implication of the Feingold announcement is it marks the start of the 2012 election cycle for the Wisconsin political class. Off the bat, it almost instantly sets in motion the stalled U.S. Senate race. After months of delay by the state Senate recalls and a Waiting-for-Feingold scenario among potential candidates, the dominoes now can begin to fall fast and furiously, as candidates assemble campaigns.

In upcoming weeks, don’t be surprised to see Senate campaign launches with big rallies of supporters from U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, of Madison, and former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, of Appleton, on the Democratic side. From the Republicans, announcements could be coming from former Gov. Tommy Thompson; former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, of East Troy; former Brookfield state Sen. Ted Kanavas and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

Then dominoes will fall from the Senate race.

With Baldwin running for the Senate, speculation is high on who will seize the once-in-a-generation opportunity to run for her congressional seat. I put together a list of possible candidates in the past, and so far, the list hasn’t changed much.

If Fitzgerald takes the plunge in the U.S. Senate race, it could mean a leadership void in the Republican-led Assembly. If history is any indication, Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairman Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, is the next Assembly speaker, as former Speakers Scott Jensen and John Gard took the same path to their speakerships.

Welcome to the carnival of the 2012 political cycle in Wisconsin. It was a tad late getting started, but come on in. The merry-go-round is about to get cranked up at full speed.
I would love to see Tammy Baldwin run for the senate seat. We will be rid of her as our House Rep and I don't think her ultraliberal "progressive" message will resonate across the state. If Tommy Thompson runs (and it looks like he will), I think she would get trounced. I've never been a Tommy fan (his extreme popularity in Wisconsin has always mystified me) but he'd be an improvement over what we have now.

I don't harbor any illusions that my district will elect a Republican (that probably died forever when the surprisingly popular Republican, Rep Scott Klug, gave up his seat in 1999 and kept a promise to serve only four terms, ushering in the age of Baldwin and making this a perpetual Democratic seat). But just about anyone would be less loathsome than Baldwin.

And right now, I don't see a particularly great Democrat to run against Walker if there is a recall. Probably the strongest would be Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who lost to Walker in 2010. I think Walker would beat him again although it might be close.

kvrdave
08-20-11, 12:40 PM
TA union didn't vote to keep it certified. :lol:

Bill Needle
08-20-11, 03:23 PM
Funny how quickly things fall apart once they can't forcibly confiscate money from people.

movielib
08-20-11, 07:30 PM
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/75/f750f620-cb48-11e0-96da-001cc4c002e0/4e4fdfe2d15b1.image.jpg
Accompanying commentary:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/column/phil_hands/article_df4a6db8-cb57-11e0-806f-001cc4c002e0.html

Hands on Wisconsin: Democrats use old budget tricks to explain their momentum
By Phil Hands
Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2011 12:53 pm

Now that the recall elections are all wrapped up, it's time for both parties to claim victory. Neither party really won. Democrats picked up two Senate seats, but neither district was particularly conservative.

Still, the Democrats are using some convoluted logic to explain that despite the fact they didn't gain a majority in the Senate, they still won the recall elections. This reminds me of the tricks the Democrats used to pull to "balance" the budget when they controlled all the branches of government.

And this is what upsets me most about the Democrats. They had the opportunity to use several budgets to remake the state in their own image. They could have cut corporate tax loopholes and raised revenue to pay for desirable social programs. They could have stood up to the public sector unions for minor benefit concessions while preserving collective bargaining rights.

They didn't do that.

They robbed Peter to pay Paul and used accounting gimmicks to make the numbers balance, without addressing the gap between spending and revenue. That's a major reason voters put Republicans in control of government in 2010.

Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers very quickly put forward and rammed through a balanced budget that also shrank the size of government and adhered to their radical ideology.

Ideologically, I have more in common with the progressive Democrats in this state, but I have to admire the ability of Republicans to address serious fiscal issues and actually get things done.
Quite a comment from a "progressive."

movielib
08-21-11, 10:58 AM
I don't think it was a clear Republican victory but overall I'm satisfied. Some insights in this opinion piece.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/128103903.html

The season of the recall ends
Democrats lost; there's no other way to spin it
By Rick Esenberg
Aug. 20, 2011

Spinning is part of a politician's job description, but the Democrats have got to be dizzy.

I understand their argument that the state Senate recalls constituted some type of "historic" victory, but the claim is belied by polling data that shows Democrats are overwhelmingly disappointed in the results while Republicans are almost uniformly overjoyed.

Think of it this way. The Democrats believe - or at least they say - that Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to rein in public-employee unions and balance the state's budget are just about the worst thing that has ever happened in this state - an unspeakable horror that justified turning our state Capitol into a circus and the entire Senate Democratic caucus into fugitives.

In response to Walker's reforms, they and their supporters selected the six most vulnerable Republican senators eligible for recall and poured millions of dollars into an effort to unseat them.

For the past six weeks, one could scarcely turn on a television or a radio without hearing that the targeted Republicans were inhumane monsters who, while they may not eat children, want them - and just about everyone else - to live lives of miserable penury.

The elections were scheduled for late summer when the type of voter turnout efforts that unions supposedly excel at would be at a premium.

In other words, they went all in. Yet only two Republicans were defeated - one who represents a district that is trending Democratic and another who, having won his last race by only 163 votes, managed to embroil himself in a messy personal scandal.

Walker acted boldly. He stuck to his guns. He held the Senate. It takes a lot of spinning to turn that into a Democratic victory.

This is not to say that the Republicans have not paid a political price. Both collective bargaining reform and the biennial budget stepped on some powerful toes. Difficult problems require hard decisions. Hard decisions make political enemies. That's why politicians normally avoid them.

Walker did not avoid them, and his party survived. That may be the real - and best - lesson of the recalls. Whatever one thinks of Walker's policies, they are quite clearly based upon a coherent and consistent vision of the public good. He believes in lower taxes and smaller government, and allowed those beliefs to shape his response to the state's budgetary crisis.

So perhaps we have learned that our public officials do not have to run away from tough challenges or allow unaddressed issues to fester. Maybe they don't have to gloss over unpleasant realities. They just may be able to act upon principle and treat the voters as adults who understand that there are times when pain is unavoidable.

The recalls were always a bad idea. Every one of the legislators who just faced recalls was scheduled to be up for re-election next year. If voters - having had an opportunity to assess the impact of Walker's reforms - wished to vote them out of office, they would not have had to wait long. Recalls based upon nothing more than policy differences rest uneasily with a fixed term of office. We want our politicians to have some reasonable period of time in which they can go about the business of governing, not campaigning.

Recalls create a perpetual campaign in which there is little room for deliberation or consideration of much beyond the immediate political impact of a decision. Politicians, notorious for ignoring the long-term consequences of their actions, are unable to think in even the medium term. Being constantly at war breeds a more bellicose community. In this sense, the best possible outcome of the recalls is that they accomplished so little.

When it comes to recall elections, a little bit of discouragement is not a bad thing.
Sure, there's spin here too. But many of the lefty comments are still trying to spin a huge Dem victory.

My favorite comment:

outoftowner - Aug 21, 2011 9:40 AM

The only thing the leftists won is the ability to make 16 reservations at northern Illinois hotels rather than 14.

movielib
08-22-11, 09:34 AM
From the last article:

I understand [the Democrats'] argument that the state Senate recalls constituted some type of "historic" victory, but the claim is belied by polling data that shows Democrats are overwhelmingly disappointed in the results while Republicans are almost uniformly overjoyed.

I have those figures.

http://ashlandcurrent.com/article/11/08/21/wisconsin-voters-narrowly-against-walker-recall (excerpt):

Poll results show that voters are not particularly upset with Wisconsin's recall election results. Forty-three percent are happy with the outcomes, and 39 percent are unhappy. Since they took two seats but were unable to win a third for the majority, 17 percent of Democrats are happy, but 64 percent unhappy, and 19 percent not sure what to feel. Republicans are more unilaterally elated (73-13), and indepenedents split at 41-38.
That is a subjective measure of who "won" but it seems significant. The Dems' "happy minus unhappy" is -45% and the Repubs' is +60%. The latter number may be less reliable because, well, who doesn't want to claim victory? But the Dems' number shows genuine disappointment. They think they lost.

kvrdave
08-22-11, 10:31 AM
It's like asking Libby Dole on election day if Bob will be the next president. "I think people will think about it on the way to the polls and vote for him today." Always claim victory. :lol:

CRM114
08-22-11, 11:45 AM
Funny how quickly things fall apart once they can't forcibly confiscate money from people.

Or when they "won't." Take a look at Pennsylvania roads.

JasonF
08-22-11, 11:45 AM
:shrug: Democrats were happy the kept the U.S. Senate in 2010, but I wouldn't call those results a victory for the Democratic Party.

kvrdave
08-22-11, 11:49 AM
:shrug: Democrats were happy the kept the U.S. Senate in 2010, but I wouldn't call those results a victory for the Democratic Party.

It was, though. Just happened to be a battle they didn't want to have to take part in to begin with.

movielib
08-22-11, 05:06 PM
:shrug: Democrats were happy the kept the U.S. Senate in 2010, but I wouldn't call those results a victory for the Democratic Party.
At least the Republicans didn't lose the Assembly like the Democrats lost the House. ;)

Anyway, I'm not talking about the Republicans having a great victory by losing two seats. But it's more win than loss because control is pretty darned important.

movielib
08-25-11, 03:11 PM
No charges in Prosser/Bradley incident.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_71cdf512-cf48-11e0-a941-001cc4c03286.html

Justice Prosser 'gratified' at prosecutor's decision not to press charges
SANDY CULLEN
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 1:23 pm

No criminal charges will be filed in an alleged physical altercation between two state Supreme Court justices in June as the court was deciding to uphold a controversial law stripping most public workers of most collective bargaining rights.

Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett, acting as special prosecutor in the case, said Thursday she found no basis to file criminal charges against Justices David Prosser or Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, who said Prosser put her in a "chokehold" after she told him to leave her office on June 13. Prosser, a former Republican legislator, has denied the allegation.

Barrett, a Republican, told the Associated Press that accounts from other justices who witnessed the apparent altercation varied but declined to elaborate.

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which enforces standards of judicial conduct, also is investigating the incident.

In a statement released by his campaign spokesman, Prosser said Bradley "made the decision to sensationalize" the incident. "I was confident the truth would come out — and it did," Prosser said. "I am gratified that the prosecutor founds these scurrilous charges were without merit."

Bradley, in a statement issued by the court, said the matter "is and remains an issue of workplace safety."

"My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution," she said. "I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction. The prosecution's burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be."

Bradley said she contacted law enforcement the night of the incident for "assistance to try to have the entire court address informally this workplace safety issue that has progressed over the years."

Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs "promptly met with the entire court, but the efforts to address workplace safety concerns were rebuffed," she wrote.

Tubbs later asked the Dane County Sheriff's Office to investigate the incident.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, asked that a special prosecutor be appointed to decide if criminal charges should be filed because of his role in bringing an open meetings lawsuit that was connected to the incident.
First off, pretty bad headline. It makes it sound like Prosser is grateful charges were not being filed as if it were a favor to him when he's gratified that the prosecutor found the scurrilous charges without merit. But we all know headline writers can be idiots.

A few points:

I was right from the beginning that no charges would be filed.

If no charges are being filed it pretty much has to mean that investigators found the testimony of the three witnesses (three justices plus Prosser) who said there was no choking more credible than the testimony of one (the chief justice plus Bradley) who claimed there was. This probably means Bradley and Abrahamson lied but I never thought those charges would be filed either.

The Dane County Sheriff and DA probably did not want to make the announcement (thus they passed it off to a special prosecutor) because they knew there was no basis for charges and they didn't want to piss off the Madison liberal foaming at the mouth contingent.

The people and groups that demanded Prosser step down pending the investigation or that he should outright resign should apologize. That will happen - never. These people deserve a huge overwhelming "Shame, shame, shame."

There is still the judicial investigation but all that is about is ethics. The only violation left that I can think of is the possibility that Bradley and Abrahamson lied. But probably nothing will come of that either.

aktick
08-25-11, 03:25 PM
Heard an anti-Tommy Thompson commercial (from a conservative group) on 620 today. :lol: Getting a good head start on campaign season. :rolleyes:

Like movielib, I'm not crazy about the guy, I'm just not sure who would be a better (more electable) choice right now? Whoever can beat Baldwin (I've gotta imagine she'll end up the Dem candidate) has my vote.

movielib
08-25-11, 04:00 PM
Heard an anti-Tommy Thompson commercial (from a conservative group) on 620 today. :lol: Getting a good head start on campaign season. :rolleyes:

Like movielib, I'm not crazy about the guy, I'm just not sure who would be a better (more electable) choice right now? Whoever can beat Baldwin (I've gotta imagine she'll end up the Dem candidate) has my vote.
I heard about that commercial and I heard a recording of it. The other leading candidate is Mark Neumann (formerly a House member in the district now represented by Paul Ryan) who lost in the 2010 gubernatorial primary to Scott Walker. I heard that two of the people involved with the group that made this commercial used to work for Neumann.

I don't like Neumann either and I think Baldwin would have a much better chance of beating Neumann than Thompson.

wmansir
08-25-11, 06:18 PM
Regarding Prosser,

It seemed obvious from the start that their wasn't enough evidence for a conviction. Absent any physical evidence having just one other Supreme Court Justice back up his version of events would be enough for reasonable doubt.

However, it seems a bit premature for Prosser to be declaring victory with the Judicial Commission still "investigating".

movielib
08-25-11, 07:58 PM
Regarding Prosser,

It seemed obvious from the start that their wasn't enough evidence for a conviction. Absent any physical evidence having just one other Supreme Court Justice back up his version of events would be enough for reasonable doubt.

However, it seems a bit premature for Prosser to be declaring victory with the Judicial Commission still "investigating".
What are they investigating? They are not doing a criminal investigation, that's not their job. It's the job of the police and DA and that investigation is closed. I would think the Judicial Commission has to accept that aspect.

The Judicial Commission investigates impropriety and ethical violations.

Here is the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct:

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/committees/judicialcommission/code.htm

The relevant sections would seem to be:

SCR 60.03 A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge's activities. (1) A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
and

SCR 60.05 A judge shall so conduct the judge's extra-judicial activities as to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial obligations. (1) Extra-judicial Activities in General. A judge shall conduct all of the judge's extra-judicial activities so that they do none of the following:

(b) Demean the judicial office.
Unsurprisingly vague. I suppose both Prosser and Bradley could be charged with not promoting public confidence in their integrity and demeaning the judicial office. Which was the aggressor? I think Bradley (and Abrahamson) lied but I don't think the Commission will want to get involved with that since they, also, were not charged.

I think at worst, Prosser and Bradley get a judicial slap on the wrist of some sort for appearances or nothing will be done. I think Prosser can claim "victory" or at least vindication.

movielib
08-25-11, 08:14 PM
Madison newspaper editorial chastising Madison officials for rushing through contracts and not waiting for legislation to be completed.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/editorial/article_26b6d7a0-ceb3-11e0-b979-001cc4c03286.html

Editorial
Surprise, surprise: layoffs and cuts
Wisconsin State Journal editorial
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 5:00 am

Former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz extended several city labor contracts in February.

Then he signed and extended contracts again in March — just before his April re-election bid.

The unions, which feared Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s looming changes to collective bargaining, were happy with the deals. And AFSCME endorsed Cieslewicz’s campaign.

But now the results are painfully clear for city residents.

City agencies just proposed laying off 38 cops and 27 firefighters while reducing salt and sand on covered streets during winter. The agencies also proposed eliminating the school crossing guard program and reducing lifeguards at beaches while closing some city skating rinks.

These cuts are being floated even though new (and old) Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, who defeated Cieslewicz in the spring election, is proposing a 3 percent property tax hike.

Cieslewicz and other city leaders should have seen this coming. And they should have waited to finalize any new city contracts with labor unions until after state changes to collective bargaining kicked in.

That would have given city leaders more flexibility to save on employee wages and benefits — in the same way that school districts all around the state have done — rather than laying off workers and cutting services for potentially years to come.

Soglin said this week the full array of cuts floated by city agencies is “not acceptable.” Some of the agency proposals may be exaggerated for effect.

Even so, Madison would not be in such a difficult situation if Cieslewicz and others city leaders had been more patient and fiscally responsible earlier this year. Had they waited on the contracts until after the collective bargaining changes took effect, they would have been in a better position to control costs.

We wish Soglin luck in trying to minimize the budget pain next year and in future years of these contracts.
Totally common sense but most Madison leftists don't have it.

Nick Danger
08-25-11, 09:05 PM
That sounds like a Washington Monument defense to me. I take it that there are no proposed cuts to accounting, internal audits, capital planning, business licensing, and zoning enforcement.

Bill Needle
08-25-11, 11:56 PM
"Former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz extended several city labor contracts in February.

Then he signed and extended contracts again in March — just before his April re-election bid.

The unions, which feared Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s looming changes to collective bargaining, were happy with the deals. And AFSCME endorsed Cieslewicz’s campaign.

But now the results are painfully clear for city residents."


No corruption to see here folks, keep moving.

movielib
08-26-11, 10:57 AM
Doors to inner city Milwaukee Catholic school superglued shut right before Gov Walker was going to be protested while he read to kids (no, not My Pet Goat).

http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/128458763.html

Inner-city Catholic school doors super glued before Gov. Walker visit Friday
By Jay Sorgi and Jon Byman
August 26, 2011

MILWAUKEE - Someone has vandalized a school in Milwaukee ahead of a visit from Governor Walker and threats of protests over the Governor's visit. Someone super glued the front door to Messmer Preparatory School on Milwaukee's north side before the Governor's visit.

"Some of these folks super glued our front doors at the prep school," said Br. Bob Smith, OFM, the president of Messmer Catholic Schools, about the school on the corner of North Fratney and East Burleigh Streets.

He told Newsradio 620 WTMJ that a woman was walking in front of the school Thursday, asking people to protest.

According to Br. Smith, one protester said " 'Get ready for a riot,' because they were going to disrupt the visit."

Br. Smith said that, in his opinion, the Republican governor's visit to read to students there on Friday was not about political overtones connected to protests that have been happening all year in the state regarding the rollback of collective bargaining rights for many public workers.

"People ought to start acting like adults," said Br. Smith.

"You've got little kids who have no clue what you're even talking about, and you make something political when it isn't, that's just flat-out wrong.
Nice.

aktick
08-26-11, 11:29 AM
Doors to inner city Milwaukee Catholic school superglued shut right before Gov Walker was going to be protested while he read to kids (no, not My Pet Goat).

http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/128458763.html


Nice.

:lol: Definitely plenty of people still acting like children.

Speaking of kids...my next door neighbors are both teachers, and while we never discuss politics (they probably knew I wouldn't be too sympathetic after I had a Walker sign in my yard last fall), a few weeks back I could hear their girls singing while on the swingset - they were making up a song about "take a walk Walker" or some such nonsense. These girls are about 7 and 9 years old, I believe. I'm sure they completely understand why mom and dad hate the guy. :lol:

movielib
08-26-11, 05:40 PM
70 page Prosser/Bradley report is released.

http://www.isthmus.com/daily/article.php?article=34499

Blaska's Blog: Justice Ann Bradley once whacked Justice Gableman, he says
David Blaska on Friday 08/26/2011 3:06 pm

Four points emerge from the 70-page investigatory report, released today, of the notorious June 13 confrontation in the State Supreme Court's inner chambers, as compiled by two detectives with the Dane County Sheriff's Department.

The first is that Justices Michael Gabelman and Patience Roggensack, both witnesses, support Justice Prosser's contention that Justice Ann Walsh Bradley came running at Justice David Prosser with fists flying. Another witness, Justice Annette Ziegler, heard Justice Roggensack say "Ann stop it, this is not like you."

All three concur that at no point did Prosser have Bradley in a choke hold.
That account vindicates the Christian Schneider account for NRO on June 28.

The second is that Bradley has done this before, once whacking Justice Michael Gableman, he alleges, upside the head for addressing Chief Justice Abrahamson by her first name, Shirley. (We call that a "Gibbs" for the hero of NCIS whacking his assistants when they screw up.)

The third is that it is likely it was Bradley who leaked the incident to complaisant reporters and spun it her way.

"If I cannot get any assurances from you, the court, that this problem is going to be addressed, then I will go to the outside and take other means," Bradley threatened at a follow-up meeting with the Justices and Capitol PD Chief Charles Tubbs.

The fourth is that Justice Prosser is, at the very least, voluble.

Excerpts from Justice Patience Roggensack

Justice Roggensack said the Chief Justice and Justice Prosser were arguing about whether or not a press release was going to be issued, and it was during this argument that Justice Bradley "charged at him [Justice Prosser] with her fist in the air". Justice Roggensack said when Justice Bradley approached Justice Prosser, Justice Prosser raised his hands and put his hands up near Justice Bradley's neck, but his hands were "never in a choke hold." Justice Roggensack said she recalled Justice Bradley saying something to the effect of "don't put your hands on me."

Justice Roggensack again stated Justice Bradley had a fist up at this time. Justice Roggensack then said she wanted to make it clear that at no point did Justice Prosser have Justice Bradley in a chokehold, and Justice Prosser never applied pressure with his hands on Justice Bradley. Justice Roggensack said as soon as Justice Prosser's hands were placed on Justice Bradley, she got in between the two of them and she immediately told Justice Bradley that this was not like her.

Justice Roggensack said Justice Bradley had always been a sort of protector for the Chief Justice because they go back a long way and they are friends. Justice Roggensack said if she had not got in between the two of them, she believes Justice Bradley would have "smacked him in the face with her fist."

... Justice Roggensack believed Justice Bradley was the person that released the info to the press regarding the incident from February 2010 in which Justice Prosser had called the Chief Justice a bitch. ... Justice Roggensack said she recalls during that meeting the Chief Justice was "needling" Justice Prosser at that time, and added that she felt the Chief Justice was "needling" Justice Prosser when they met with her on June 13, 2011 in Justice Bradley's office.

Justice Roggensack said when Justice Prosser gets needled by the Chief Justice, and begins to react and respond to the Chief Justice; Justice Bradley steps in right away to protect the Chief Justice.

Justice Roggensack said she does not fear for her physical safety and feels that she does work in a safe work environment.

I then reviewed Justice Roggensack's statements and stated that I wanted to clarify her statement from her notes from June 13, 2011. When I told her that I wanted to ask her about when Justice Bradley "walked" towards Justice Prosser, she immediately stopped me and corrected me by saying that Justice Bradley did not walk towards Justice Prosser, "she moved towards him very quickly."

Excerpts from Justice Patrick Crooks

Crooks was the only justice not present during the supposed altercation June 13. He is an ally of Abrahamson and Bradley, while Gableman, Ziegler, and Roggensack are usually allied with Prosser as part of the 4-3 majority.

Justice Crooks said he has noted Justice Prosser "loses his cool repeatedly." Justice Crooks has witnessed Justice Prosser get red and pound on tables with his fists, and get louder and louder in tone during meetings, conferences and sometimes even during public meetings. Justice Crooks said there are times that nothing happens that trigger Justice Prosser losing his cool. Justice Crooks said he estimated Justice Prosser "explodes and storms out of a room" approximately three to four times a year.

... Justice Crooks said he has noted Justice Prosser "loses his cool repeatedly." Justice Crooks has witnessed Justice Prosser get red and pound on tables with his fists, and get louder and louder in tone during meetings, conferences and sometimes even during public meetings. Justice Crooks said there are times that nothing happens that trigger Justice Prosser losing his cool. Justice Crooks said he estimated Justice Prosser "explodes and storms out of a room" approximately three to four times a year.

Excerpts from Justice Michael Gableman

Justice Gableman said he recalled Justice Roggensack saying, "Ann this isn't the person you are. This isn't you." Justice Gableman believed Justice Roggensack was pulling on Justice Bradley's left arm at this time. Justice Gableman said Justice Prosser raised his hands and "pushed" Justice Bradley in "a defensive move."

Justice Gableman said he believed Justice Prosser's hands were on the area where the shoulders meet the neck on Justice Bradley at this time. Justice Gableman said it was not a violent push, and after a brief pause he recalled Justice Bradley saying, "you choked me, you choked me." Justice Gableman said he immediately responded to Justice Bradley by saying "he didn't choke you, he pushed you to get your fist out of his face."

Justice Gableman said at this time his mind also went back to September 18, 2008, a date that he recalled because it was his birthday. Justice Gableman said he had been on the court for approximately one month at the time, and while in a meeting with the other justices, Justice Crooks was reading the horoscopes. Justice Gableman said he remembers making a comment to the chief justice in a joking manner and used her first name, Shirley, during this comment towards her.

Justice Gableman said right after he said the chief justice's first name, Justice Bradley came over to him, hit him on the back of the head and told him that he needed to show respect to the chief. Justice Gableman said that he believed Justice Bradley was not joking because nobody was laughing at the time.
Here are the raw reports (I haven't read them):

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/view_online.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com%2Fhost.madison.com%2Fcontent%2 Ftncms%2Fassets%2Fv3%2Feditorial%2F4%2Fc3%2F4c314d8a-cff8-11e0-b72d-001cc4c03286%2F4e57bc07d217d.pdf.pdf

Here's the story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/128463653.html

Prosser admits touching Bradley's neck; she says she suffered no harm
By Jason Stein and Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel
Updated: Aug. 26, 2011 4:12 p.m. |(600) Comments

Madison - Supreme Court Justice David Prosser acknowledged to detectives touching Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's neck - even feeling its warmth - and Bradley acknowledged getting "face to face to confront him" but suffering no physical harm from the contact, the judges said in separate interviews with law enforcement.

The Dane County Sheriff's Department released 117 pages of investigation records Friday that provide a peephole into both a physical altercation on June 13 between the two judges and the increasing dysfunction on the state's highest court. The interviews detailed cross-claims of justices accusing one another of shouting, slamming doors, being physically threatening and locking their doors at night because of concerns , with at least a couple of statements being made that appeared to be contradicted by the evidence.

The interviews show that the three justices in the minority have had with serious personal problems with Prosser - a member of the court's four-person conservative majority - that have gone back at least 10 years. According to the report, Bradley and another justice met with court staff about Prosser's anger issues in February 2010 - more than a year before the latest incident.

In a June 30 interview with detectives, Supreme Court Justice Annette K. Ziegler summed up the fracas in a statement that could have applied to the court as a whole.

"The whole thing was just bizarre," Ziegler said.

None of the seven justices immediately responded to a request for comment made through a court spokeswoman. On Thursday, a special prosecutor in the case announced that she would not bring charges against either Prosser or Bradley for an altercation that broke out as the judges were arguing over whether and when to send out a statement on GOP Gov. Scott Walker's union bargaining law. The prosecutor's decision cleared the way for records of the investigation to be released by the Dane County Sheriff's Department.

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which oversees the state's ethics code for judges, is separately investigating the case. If the commission found any wrongdoing, it would have to submit its findings to the Supreme Court to consider.

In interviews with a detective on July 8, Prosser said that during an informal argument between two groups of justices Bradley "charged" him with her fist raised. He said that he believed he was unable to back up because of a piece of office furniture behind him and that he put up his hands to defend himself.

"Did my hands touch her neck, yes, I admit that. Did I try to touch her neck, no, absolutely not, it was a total reflex," Prosser said.

Only Prosser's interview with detectives was recorded, a fact that is not explained in the report.

The confrontation between Prosser and Bradley happened after he questioned Abrahamson, saying he had lost faith in her ability to lead the court as chief justice.

Bradley said she wanted Prosser to leave the suite of offices that serve her and her staff and confronted him to tell him to leave because she felt he was being disrespectful to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Bradley said she was "in control" and denied that she had rushed toward him or raised her fist, saying instead she had walked to him and pointed to the door.

" 'Buddy, get out of my office,' " Bradley said she told Prosser during an interview with a detective on July 12. While saying that, she said in a June 28 interview she was "standing face to face to confront (Prosser)."

She said she specifically remembered using the word "buddy" for a reason.

"Buddy puts me in control and them in the diminutive," she told a detective.

Later, Bradley said, she could recall the contact of Prosser's hands on her neck but no pain or pressure that affected her breathing. She did, however, say that she had become emotional after the incident.

In his interview, the report says, Prosser told a detective he remembered "feeling the warmth on the side of Justice Bradley's neck in his hands." He said that he then pulled his hands back and then he believed he "went limp."

"Oh my God, I'm touching her neck," Prosser said he thought, adding later, "What does any self-respecting man do when suddenly that man finds that his hands, or part of his hands are on a woman's neck? Get them off the neck as soon as possible."

Twice in recounting the altercation to detectives, during the June 28 interview and again on July 12, Bradley cried, according to the records.

Bradley started attempting to write down what had happened during the altercation immediately afterward. Prosser did not write down what happened until July 7 at the urging of his attorney.

The records released Friday noted that Prosser retained prominent Madison lawyer Stephen Meyer to represent him in the case and that Meyer was present for the July 8 interview. No other justices had legal counsel with them during their interviews.

Meyer said Friday he didn't wish to comment on the release of the records, saying only that he'd conducted his own parallel investigation.

Abrahamson said in her interview with detectives on July 1 that Bradley had walked toward Prosser and that she had not seen Bradley raise her fist, though she may have pointed toward the door or motioned with her hand. When Prosser put his hands on Bradley's neck, the chief justice said she was concerned for Bradley's safety though she didn't think Prosser actually squeezed.

"I was shocked at what I saw," Abrahamson said, adding that Bradley "never, never, never touched him and I'm certain of that."

Justice Michael Gableman told detectives in a July 5 interview that Bradley "rushed" to Prosser and punched the air around his face. He described Bradley as being a little bit taller than Prosser and compared Bradley's stance with Prosser to a famous photo of then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson leaning over a shorter, cowed senator.

According to the records, however, Prosser is 5-feet-9-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. Bradley is 5-feet-3-inches and weighs 131 pounds.

Gableman told detectives that at a meeting in September 2008 - about a month after he joined the court - he referred to Abrahamson by her first name and Bradley hit him on the back of the head to remind him to show respect for the chief. He said he didn't think Bradley was joking because no one was laughing.

Justice Patience Roggensack told detectives on July 5 that Bradley came at Prosser "very fast" with her fist in the air. She said that Prosser's thumbs touched Bradley's neck but that his hands were never around it. That statement was contradicted by both Bradley's and Prosser's statements that his hands did touch her neck.

Roggensack said she got in between Bradley and Prosser and that she believes that if she had not done so Bradley would have "smacked him in the face with her fist."

"Justice Roggensack said in her opinion both Justices Bradley and Prosser were out of line and both of them would have received 'an F' for that incident," the report reads.

Several of the justices, including Abrahamson, said that Bradley was protective of the chief justice.

Two days later, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs and court human resources officer Margaret Brady met with the justices about the incident. Tubbs said that he was to mediate for the justice and that he would not take notes about it because they would become a public record. At the meeting, Tubbs asked for a commitment from the justices to avoid any more verbal and physical abuse and told them that in a workplace a man can never put his hands on a woman.

At the meeting, Bradley read a prepared three-page statement about "workplace safety" to the justices and said that her husband, Mark Bradley, wanted her to go to court to get a restraining order against Prosser. But she asked if the incident could be dealt with internally instead. She asked that Prosser seek out counseling, saying he was at times a "wonderful person" but at other times abusive.

"If I cannot get any assurances from you, the court, that this problem is going to be addressed, then I will go to the outside and take other means," Bradley said.

Justice N. Patrick Crooks, the only justice not present at the June 13 altercation, told detectives he had observed blowups by Prosser going back more than a decade. In a June 29 interview, Crooks told detectives that during a meeting sometime around the fall of 1999, Prosser had aggressively called him a "viper" for not supporting Abrahamson's re-election campaign and then left the room, slamming the door hard enough to make the glass vibrate. Crooks said Prosser "explodes and storms out of a room" about three or four times a year.

Crooks also recounted to detectives a Feb. 10, 2010, closed meeting of the justices in which Prosser called Abrahamson a "bitch" and said she would be "destroyed," an incident that Prosser has acknowledged. Crooks said that on Feb. 22, 2010, he and Bradley met with Brady, the courts human resources officer, and John Voelker, the director of state courts, "because they felt there was an escalation" in Prosser's aggression, the records said.

Crooks said after the February 2010 incident Abrahamson described Prosser's behavior to friend who was a mental health professional to seek advice on whether Prosser was a threat. At that time, the professional decided he was not.

In her interview, Abrahamson said that Prosser had had "temper tantrums" at times and that she had tried to deal with them by having the court take 10-minute breaks. She said she had talked to friends and colleagues about how to deal with Prosser's behavior.

Though no charges have been filed, the incident still could have far-reaching effects - possibly even opening the doors of the court to the public as justices debate how to decide cases. Abrahamson said Thursday she would propose "the presumption will be that court conferences are open to the public," as a way to lead the fractious court back toward civility. If attempted, such a move would be unprecedented for a high court and potentially difficult to carry out.

At an event in Milwaukee Friday, Gov. Scott Walker said that of the three branches, the judicial branch should be the most dispassionate.

"Clearly, they've not been," he said.

Walker said he's offered his help, but that's it's not his place to tell the justices what to do.

In an interview Thursday, Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett said the evidence did not support criminal charges but steered clear of specifics. She did note, however, that varying accounts were given by witnesses - a group that would have included most of the justices and colleagues - and said that was common in cases with multiple witnesses.

The incident occurred a day before the deeply divided court issued a 4-3 ruling upholding Walker's legislation curtailing collective bargaining for public employees.

The collective bargaining case leading to the incident began when Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne brought a lawsuit claiming a legislative committee violated the state's open meetings law in March in forwarding the legislation to the state Senate. Ozanne sought to invalidate the law, and implementing it was delayed for months while the case was pending.

The high court ultimately ruled key parts of the meetings law do not apply to lawmakers.

Once news of the altercation between Prosser and Bradley surfaced, the Dane County Sheriff's Department launched an investigation. The office gave its findings to Ozanne this month but made no recommendations on whether anyone should be charged.

Ozanne, a Democrat, then asked Dane County Circuit Chief Judge William Foust to name a special prosecutor because Ozanne had brought the case the two justices were arguing about when the incident occurred.
Every justice was interviewed by the Sheriff's Department. For some unknown reason, only the Prosser recording is available. Apparently it's not even known if the other interviews were recorded.

I will say that Bradley's account has changed several times (e.g. she was choked, she wasn't choked). Prosser's account and those who backed up his story has remained consistent. As far as I know.

One surprise to me is Roggensack's opinion that Bradley leaked the story to a friendly to her reporter. I thought Abrahamson did that.

Interesting that a justice accused Bradley of hitting him before when he addressed Abrahamson by her first name and Bradley demanded he respect her. So what is worse, hitting someone or calling someone a bitch (both previous incidents)?

And isn't Bradley allegedly hitting Gableman for his "disrespect" of Abrahamson in calling her "Shirley" completely consistent with her allegedly charging Prosser for his "disrespect" of Abrahamson when he said he didn't have confidence in his leadership? Bradley seems to think her role is to be Abrahamson's pit bull.

"And don't call me Shirley."

movielib
08-26-11, 06:44 PM
This is what apologizing should look like:

http://www.isthmus.com/daily/article.php?article=34495

Blaska's Blog: Where does David Prosser go to get his reputation back?
David Blaska on Friday 08/26/2011 11:41 am

So asked Reagan Labor Secretary Ray Donovan after watching the pre-Fox News media of the 1980s drag his name through the mud, only to be exonerated.

There are some people who need to apologize to Mr. Justice David Prosser now that he has been cleared and soon. They took a shallowly researched and preposterous allegation -- that Prosser held fellow justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold -- and ran to the guillotine with it. Breath is not being held here at the Stately Manor. In fact, Ruben Mamoulian seems to be huffing a dangerous substance: liberal self-righteousness, uncut.

About that kerfuffle of June 13, 2011, in the chambers of the Wisconsin Supreme Court:

Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs investigated and made no arrests.

The Dane County Sheriff's Department investigated and made no arrests. (Read the investigatory report.)

Dane County District Atty. Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, reviewed the investigatory reports and did not prosecute. Instead, he shunted the matter off to Judge Foust, asking that he appoint a special prosecutor.

That prosecutor, Sauk County D.A. Patricia Barrett, a Republican, reviewed the case and determined no foul, no crime (as this blog predicted on August 2).

They did their job, however haltingly. In the above-cited blog, I noted that if a crime jumped off the pages of the sheriff's investigatory report, Ozanne had a duty to prosecute. That he punted the case to Sauk County is a measure of the climate of intimidation that the unionistas have imposed hereabouts.

Here is a list of people who should apologize for their rush to judgment. These named should be ashamed of their lynch mob mentality. Their judgment, blinded as it was by partisan fury, should forever be suspect. Their names must be synonyms for ignominy, the triumph of willful ignorance over patient fact-finding. They are practitioners of the dark arts of "by any means necessary."

They put our democracy in a chokehold.

The Blaska Policy Research Factory heads the list with those who danced under "Prosser Must Go!" signs on the steps of the State Capitol. (Watch it on Wisconsin Eye.) Please do not cavil that some of them said they merely wanted Justice Prosser "step down" pending the results of the investigation. A neat trick. Make a spurious allegation; maybe it sticks, maybe no. In the meantime, you knock your political opponent to the sidelines. Worth a try.

No, the signs in the picture -- you can see it here -- say clearly that Prosser Must Go!

Let us start with the most notorious name, that would-be governor, that would-be attorney general: "The Kathleen" Falk. Apologize, The Kathleen.

Madison Ald. Lisa Subeck must atone for organizing the low-tech lynching.

County Board Supervisors Melissa Sargent and Diane Hesselbine must apologize. They used their public trust to trammel the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

The Capital Times owes an apology for savaging County Sup. Eileen Bruskewitz for merely requesting that her sister supervisors show more circumspection.

Annie Laurie Gaylor must apologize for stating that their campaign of vilification should force Justice Prosser to quit just months after he was re-elected. ("Justice will be served when public opinion forces Prosser to resign.")

Samantha Leonard, a third-year law student representing the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, should be denied her law license until she learns how our criminal justice system operates. ("outright misogyny," however unfortunate, is not a crime nor is Prosser proven guilty of it.)

Ms. Emily Mills owes an apology for blogging that UW law professor and bloggress Ann Althouse "has gone to great and terrible lengths to excuse the alleged behavior, attack the credibility of only the anonymous sources with whom she disagrees, suggest that no arrests (yet) mean no wrongdoing, impugn the honor of Justice Bradley, and cast doubt on the very justice system of this state." Looks like it is the other way around, Ms. Emily.

Liberal advocacy journalist Bill Lueders owes, at least, an explanation for how he came upon one side of the story -- that of Justice Bradley's -- but not Justice Prosser's.

Anyone who calls him/herself "progressive" should be ashamed. Time to rebrand with a new moniker. Let's be clear: their outrage had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with politics. David Prosser is a conservative jurist whom they tried and failed to defeat in the April 5 election as a stand-in for Gov. Scott Walker; Ann Walsh Bradley is a member of the court's 3-4 liberal minority.

Finally, Justice Bradley should apologize. If she does not understand what constitutes a crime under Wisconsin law, the high court is in more trouble than we realized. At any time during the last three months she could have made a simple statement: "Neither of us acquitted ourselves very well that day in June but no crime was committed."

Instead, she let her fellow justice twist in the wind.

No apologies expected

There are some people who cannot be expected to apologize because they lack the sweet milk of civility so necessary in a democracy.

I will not ask One Scot Ross, executive director of liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, to apologize for ginning up a petition demanding Prosser's outright resignation (no temporary recusal) -- only because he is incapable of redemption.

All of these people went where even my fearless comrade, John Nichols, dared not.

Madison, WI, this year has resembled the Directorate of the French Revolution when allegation = fact, when accusation = condemnation. This is not what democracy looks like.

Stately Manor visitors, whom has the Squire forgotten? Names, please, for the record.
We will not see a single one of these apologies.

wmansir
08-26-11, 10:02 PM
She said she specifically remembered using the word "buddy" for a reason.

"Buddy puts me in control and them in the diminutive," she told a detective.

I think here we see a glimps of Bradley's mentality and an example of what others on the court have described as Bradley and Abrahamson's deliberate baiting.

movielib
08-26-11, 10:44 PM
I think here we see a glimps of Bradley's mentality and an example of what others on the court have described as Bradley and Abrahamson's deliberate baiting.
I'm amazed she admitted that. It seems pretty stupid.

Then again, I think she's wrong about the effect. If someone said that to me I think I'd break out laughing. It just sounds ditzy. Did she get that from a life coach or something?

kvrdave
08-26-11, 11:22 PM
Must be regional, "buddy" around here would mean that you were honestly trying to make amends. You people suck at English, I say. Probably don't even know that a carbonated beverage is a pop.

crazyronin
08-27-11, 09:07 AM
Must be regional, "buddy" around here would mean that you were honestly trying to make amends. You people suck at English, I say. Probably don't even know that a carbonated beverage is a pop.

I'm not your buddy, guy!

movielib
08-27-11, 09:15 AM
Must be regional, "buddy" around here would mean that you were honestly trying to make amends. You people suck at English, I say. Probably don't even know that a carbonated beverage is a pop.
It would depend on the way you said "buddy." With the right emphasis it would be sarcastic. I don't see how it would be intimidating as Bradley and her life coach think.

And yes, buddy, we do know that a carbonated beverage is "pop."







;)

movielib
08-27-11, 09:18 AM
Video of incident from Post #234:

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aktick
08-27-11, 12:20 PM
Nice. :lol:

I do feel for the teachers, just as I feel for all the private sector employees who have been losing benefits or having to pay more to keep them...but it's amazing to me that they actually think protesting like that will help their reputation at all. I'm assuming the one dork was getting in the face of a parent or teacher?

kvrdave
08-29-11, 11:07 AM
Makes it tough to listen to the union when they say they are about quality education.

movielib
08-29-11, 07:28 PM
The unions bar Republicans from Labor Day parade in Wausau.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/29/no-republicans-at-a-labor-day-event/

No Republicans at a Labor Day event?
posted at 10:45 am on August 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Via Instapundit, it looks like the unions will be sore losers for some time in Wisconsin. After losing on the public-employee union reforms, the Prosser-Kloppenburg race, and the overall recall effort, Marathon County’s Central Labor Council has decided that it doesn’t want any Republicans at its party on Labor Day. They told Sean Duffy, the Congressional Representative for the area, not to bother showing up for a spot in the parade:

Organizers of a Labor Day parade in Wausau say Republican lawmakers should not attend.

The Marathon County Central Labor Council says it does not want to invite elected officials who have “openly attacked workers’ rights” or did nothing when state workers lost most rights to collectively bargain.

The display of incredible pettiness from the Labor Council and Randy Radtke is not likely to help the union cause. Wisconsin voters were already fed up with the PEUs and the high costs they created for taxpayers, and their displays in Madison and their recall threats have not endeared them to voters, either. Now they have effectively disinvited Republicans in the area from attending the parade at all. So who will benefit from the Labor Day message now? The only people likely to show up for the event will be those Democrats who support the unions already. Instead of having an event that attempts to broaden the reach and influence of the union movement, they’ll be conducting nothing more than a concert to the choir.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the county take control of the Labor Day festivities next year from the Labor Council after this display of petulance and immaturity. And it might be worthwhile to investigate whether the Labor Council is spending funds on a partisan political event now that they have told Republicans to stay away, and whether they are complying with the appropriate regulations on such events.
Well, it's not the county but the city. And the mayor is not amused.

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20110829/WDH0101/110829093/Update-City-will-pull-financial-support-Labor-Day-parade-isn-t-open-all

Update: City will pull financial support if Labor Day parade isn't open to all
4:21 PM, Aug. 29, 2011
Written by Wausau Daily Herald

City officials are encouraging organizers of a Labor Day parade to allow members of all political parties to participate or risk losing all support for the event.

According to a statement issued by Mayor Jim Tipple this afternoon, the city is a “co-sponsor” of the event, providing an insurance premium, construction of a stage and other city services at no cost to the Marathon County Central Labor Council.

“The banning of a political party from participation at any event co-sponsored by the city is against public policy and not in the best interest of all the citizens of the city of Wausau. And therefore, we encourage the event organizer to invite all interested parties, or reimburse the city for other costs,” the statement read.

The labor council decided to bar all local Republican lawmakers from Monday’s Labor Day parade this year. Council President Randy Radtke said Republican lawmakers haven’t supported organized labor in Madison or Washington D.C. this year and shouldn’t be permitted to participate.

“It seems like all they ever do is bash us and now they want to be in our parade,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right.”

Brandon Moody, chief of staff for Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Ashland, said the freshman congressman’s office was informed last week that no Republicans were welcome in the parade.

“It concerns (Duffy) that we’re not able to come together on this,” Moody said. “I think he’s pretty disappointed, not just about the parade, but the level to which discourse has devolved.”

A statement posted this weekend on the Marathon County Labor Council’s website attributed to President Randy Radtke said the parade is “not a political event or a stop on the campaign trail.”

“It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker’s rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain,” the statement said.

A representative for state Sen. Pam Galloway’s office said two phone messages asking about participating in the event have not been returned. Galloway participated in the parade last year as a candidate, spokeswoman Jennifer Esser said.

A spokesman for state Rep. Jerry Petrowski, R-Stettin, said he has participated in past years but wasn’t sure whether Petrowski had planned to attend on Monday.

State Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, is listed as the grand marshal of the parade on the labor council’s website. She did not immediately return a call seeking comment this morning.
You may remember when the Racine firefighters union tried to stop a firefighter from driving a float in the July 4 parade that commemorated the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11. He had driven the float in the parade in 2002. The firefighter's sin was that he supported Scott Walker and did not support the firefighters union. There was a big bru-ha-ha and the firefighter ultimately did drive the float.

See:

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/124830329.html

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/124970184.html

Obviously, the unions did not learn anything from the July 4 incident. They have continued with their nasty pettiness and there is no indication that will change in the foreseeable future.

kvrdave
08-29-11, 10:07 PM
Holy crap. What a bunch of crybabies. If they don't like the Republicans, don't vote for them. But lay the fuck off until the next election. I can't imagine this shit.

I could get all Dr. Mabuse about this and how labor is dying, and it will be the end of civilization, but if labor unions are going to continually act like this, I want their demise to hasten. I have to put up with hippie crap, but the moment they lose an election, they start their chants, their shower strikes, and everything else that has nothing to do with the will of the majority, but the will of those paid to protest.


FUCK THEM.

Bill Needle
08-29-11, 10:50 PM
What do you expect from a political entity that over the years came to fully expect it's threats, tantrums, and thuggery to always be tolerated? That it should take crushing defeats kindly? Leopard, spots, etc.

movielib
08-30-11, 11:55 AM
Why Bradley was wrong and still is wrong.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2011/08/wi-justice-ann-walsh-bradleys-abusive-claim-of-abuse/

WI Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s abusive claim of abuse
Posted by William A. Jacobson
Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:31am

Wisconsin Justice Ann Walsh Bradley publicly accused Justice David Prosser of using a “chokehold” on her during an incident on June 13, 2011.

As discussed on Thursday, the investigative file shows that the accusation was false and misleading. Read my post, Turns out WI Justice Ann Walsh Bradley was the one with the anger management problem, for the details.

Prosser never choked Bradley, much less used a chokehold, even though Bradley told the public otherwise and sat by as Prosser was widely vilified for having choked Bradley.

There is another aspect of this case, however, which is just as troubling as the false accusation of a chokehold. Bradley has cynically use of the very real problem of workplace safety as both a sword with which to attack Prosser and a shield to deflect from her own aggressive conduct which precipitated the incident.

Whatever was the past history of acrimony on the Court, there was only one person on the Wisconsin Supreme Court who initiated a physical confrontation with another Justice, and that person was Bradley.

I quote extensively from the investigative file below, and include even longer excerpts in a companion post. (Note: Emphasis in the quoted sections is mine.) It is important that the record be quoted, because Bradley has been so vociferous and public in her claim that she is the victim of workplace violence while the facts show otherwise.

There are some differences in observation and memory among the Justices present, which is not suprising in an event that lasted seconds. But there also is a surprising commonality to their observations.

The investigative file shows that multiple Justices informed investigators that Prosser was standing just outside Bradley’s office in the room where Bradley’s secretary sat, when Prosser made a comment to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson that he did not have confidence in her leadership.

While Bradley says Prosser used a loud voice, others say he did not. But no one, including Bradley, claims that Prosser moved towards either Abrahamson or Bradley, or undertook any other physically hostile actions.

At that point, after Prosser’s comment to Abrahamson, Bradley left her chair behind her desk, moved quickly towards Prosser (some describe it as walking quickly, some as charging):

From Ziegler Interview: “Justice Ziegler stated this statement prompted Justice Bradley to stand up from her desk and “walk quickly” towards Justice Prosser. Justice Ziegler said Justice Bradley walked past her and walked in front of Justice Prosser and “got in David’s face.”"

From Gableman Interview: “Justice Gableman said it was this comment that he believes prompted Justice Bradley to rush over to Justice Prosser. Justice Gableman said he had not seen Justice Bradley in her office from where he was standing, until she was “rushing towards Justice Prosser” out of her office.”

Bradley told investigators that she approached Prosser in an aggressive manner deliberately:

From Bradley Interview: “Justice Bradley said she began to walk over towards where Justice Prosser was standing, which was just outside of her office doorway. As she got closer to him Justice Bradley told Justice Prosser “Buddy don’t raise your voice again. I’m no longer willing to put up with this.”

Justice Bradley described how she was now standing close to Justice Prosser and was “face to face to confront him.” Justice Bradley stated she was pointing with her left hand towards the door that was behind him and said, “You get out of my office. ””

…. Justice Bradley said, “Buddy puts me in control and them in the diminutive.” Justice Bradley again said she knew exactly what she was doing and saying to Justice Prosser on the evening of June 13, and added, “I intended to do it just the way I did it.” Justice Bradley repeated several different times during our conversation with her that she was in control on June 13, 2011 and she knew exactly what she was doing the whole time.

According to two Justices present (Roggensack and Ganbleman) Bradley raised her fist in Prosser’s face such that one Justice pulled her away for fear Bradley would strike Prosser in the face:

From Roggensack interview: “Justice Roggensack said if she had not got in between the two of them, she believes Justice Bradley would have “smacked him in the face with her fist .””

From Gableman interview: “Justice Gableman said Justice Bradley’s fist was going towards and away from Justice Prosser’s face in almost a punching motion. Justice Gableman said he wanted to make clear that Justice Bradley’s fist was not going up and down, but rather in and out towards and away from Justice Prosser during this incident. Justice Gableman said Justice Bradley’s fist was in Justice Prosser’s face and came within about an inch every time she would extend her fist while speaking to Justice Prosser.”

Bradley told investigators that she did not have a closed fist, but was pointing with her index finger, with the other fingers clenched:

From Bradley Interview: “Justice Bradley said as she was walking towards Justice Prosser, her left hand was up with her index finger pointing towards the outer door of her chambers and he other three fingers were curled up….”

So by multiple accounts, Bradley either had a fully or almost fully clenched raised fist as she approached Prosser.

Bradley’s approach was so aggressive that Justice Roggensack jumped in to pull Bradley away from Prosser, and scolded Bradley that such conduct was not like her. Bradley did not deny this had happened:

From Bradley Interview: “Justice Bradley recalled right after or as she was pulled away by Justice Roggensack, Justice Roggensack said, “Anne, this isn’t like you, you charged at him.” Justice Bradley stated she responded by saying, “I didn’t touch him at all.”"

In this incident, which lasted just a few seconds, Prosser raised his hands to push Bradley away. Everyone, from Bradley to Prosser to every other Justice present who was able to observe, told investigators that Prosser raised his hands only in response to Bradley’s approach.

Everyone, including Bradley, also told investigators that Prosser’s hands came in contact with Bradley’s neck area only momentarily, with no pressure being applied.

From Bradley Interview: “Justice Bradley did not recall Justice Prosser squeezing or applying pressure around her neck.”

From Roggensack Interview: “Justice Roggensack said Justice Bradley mentioned [at a meeting two days later] how Justice Prosser had her in a chokehold, and Justice Roggensack responded by saying he did not have her in a chokehold at any point. Justice Bradley responded to her by saying “that’s because you stopped him.” Justice Roggensack told Justice Bradley that she did not stop him from anything, and added, “I stopped you from hitting him.”"

This is consistent with Prosser’s statement that he reacted to Bradley’s approach reflexively, sought to push her away from him, and pulled back when he realized his hands had touched her neck, not just her shoulders.

Yet Bradley immediately and repeatedly claimed a chokehold was used on her.

An incident in which Bradley charged or quickly moved at Prosser, did so deliberately to intimidate him and get in his face, in which Bradley’s fully or almost fully raised fist was near Prosser’s face, was turned by Bradley into a choking incident even though she admitted to investigators and her colleagues that there was no choking.

From the moment of the incident, Bradley began a campaign to paint the issue as not about her own aggressive conduct, but workplace safety and Prosser’s alleged past history of verbal conflict with other Justices.

Soon after the incident Bradley called the Capitol Police to demand a meeting about workplace safety, and then gave a planned presentation to the other Justices at a conference two days later using the following script (the full script is printed in the companion post):

I have brought this to the attention to all of you as my colleagues to see if we can deal with this internally.

In some ways this is simple. It is about workplace safety.

I have the right to go to my workplace without fear of verbal abuse or physical abuse.

Dave, at times you are a wonderful person. But there is another side. I have seen Dave engage in verbal abuse, threats and two days ago in anger he put his hands around my neck in a choke hold.

What’s next.

I have the right as a state employee to enter my workplace without any fear of verbal or physical abuse

Bradley’s script also emphasized violence against women:

Monday night [my husband] said to me, if one of our daughters called and said a co-worker had just in anger put his hands around her neck in a choke hold) that I would be on her to do everything possible that it did not happen again … And he is right.

He said, I cannot care for myself any less in response than I would care for my daughters.

Bradley has continued to use the theme of workplace safety even after the charges were dropped against Prosser, in this statement she released:

This is and remains an issue of workplace safety.

My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety….

I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction. The prosecution’s burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be….

With the potential for prosecution now eliminated, I will renew my efforts to seek the cooperation of my colleagues on the court to resolve this progressive workplace safety issue. With the continued cooperation of others both on court staff and outside the court, I remain committed to the goal that we can achieve the safe workplace that all employees—private and public—are entitled to have under the law.

Yet absent from any of Bradley’s statements and demands for workplace safety is an acknowledgement that she precipitated this confrontation by aggressively moving at Prosser in a manner which a reasonable person could view as threatening, or at least react to by pushing back.

Bradley’s actions forced Prosser, in a fraction of a second, either to push her away or risk what Justice Roggensack feared for Prosser, a punch in the face. It is not surprising that in these circumstances no charges were brought against Prosser.

The issue was not, as Bradley suggested in her statement, that the prosecution would have had a “very heavy burden of proof.” By suggesting that Prosser committed a crime but it could not be proven, Bradley once again demonstrated an inability to consider the significance of her own actions.

Bradley and Bradley alone was the person who turned an argument in which she was not even involved into a face-to-face physical confrontation.

It was bad enough that Bradley made a false public accusation that a chokehold was used on her. That accusation has forever damaged David Prosser.

Bradley compounded that error by invoking workplace safety as a rhetorical sword and shield to direct attention away from her own aggressive conduct. By falsely crying workplace safety, Bradley damaged the fight against real workplace violence.

movielib
09-01-11, 10:23 AM
Gableman's account of Bradley hitting him is disputed.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_a68b84d0-d41c-11e0-b5c1-001cc4c002e0.html

Justices dispute Gableman account of second altercation involving Bradley
DEE J. HAL
Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011 6:45 am

Three Wisconsin Supreme Court justices are disputing an allegation by Justice Michael Gableman that Justice Ann Walsh Bradley rapped him on the head during a 2008 meeting at which they were reportedly present.

Gableman relayed the alleged incident to Dane County Sheriff's deputies during the investigation into a June 13 altercation between Bradley and Justice David Prosser.

Prosser has acknowledged putting his hands on Bradley's neck during an argument over when to release a decision on the state's controversial collective bargaining law. Prosser told investigators he acted out of reflex after Bradley sharply confronted him over a remark he made about Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's leadership.

During a July 5 interview about that incident, Gableman told Dane County Detectives Pete Hansen and Sabrina Sims of an alleged incident between him and Bradley. The event took place during a meeting with the other justices on Sept. 18, 2008, Gableman said, a date he said he remembers because it was his birthday and just weeks after he joined the court.

According to the sheriff's reports, Gableman said he was in a meeting with other justices, including Justice Patrick Crooks, who he said was "reading the horoscopes." Gableman said he made a joking comment to Abrahamson, calling her by her first name.

In response, Gableman said, "Justice Bradley came over to him, hit him on the back of the head and told him that he needed to show respect to the chief," according to sheriff's reports. He said he believed Bradley wasn't being playful because no one was laughing at the time.

No records of meeting taking place

Asked to respond to the allegation, Bradley said in an email to the Wisconsin State Journal that "Justice Gableman recounts an event that never happened on a date that, according to my records, it could not have occurred."

And Abrahamson said that, according to her records, "no meeting, conference or oral argument of the court occurred on September 18, 2008, or on any day that week." Her calendar showed she had appointments outside the Capitol that day, including in Milwaukee, she said.

She said she asked Bradley and Crooks to check their records, which also show no meetings that week. And, she said, Justice Patience Roggensack earlier requested that the court not schedule anything between Sept. 15 and Sept. 29 that year.

"Such a request is ordinarily granted, as appears to have been the case here," Abrahamson told the State Journal. "To the best of my recollection (and Justice Crooks's recollection is the same) no incident as described (and no similar incident) ever occurred in our presence."

Messages left with Gableman, Prosser and Justice Annette Ziegler were not returned. Roggensack declined to comment.

Former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske called the contradiction between Gableman's account and the denials by the three justices "disturbing" and the account itself "bizarre."

"I have known Justice Bradley for 20 years. I cannot imagine her hitting another justice in anger because he (Gableman) called Justice Abrahamson 'Shirley' — because everybody calls her Shirley," said Geske, adding that even the custodial staff at the court refers to the chief justice by her first name.

Geske, a law professor at Marquette University, also wondered why other justices did not mention the alleged 2008 incident during the investigation into the June altercation.

"Somebody physically hitting someone in the conference is something that everyone would remember," Geske said.

In fact, Ziegler did mention it in her second interview with law enforcement — but only after Gableman told her about it. In a July 17 sheriff's report, Ziegler said Gableman had recently told her of the incident, but that she did not have any details about it and did not know when it happened.

Varying accounts

The gulf between the justices' accounts mirrors the divide — along ideological lines — over the June 13 incident involving Prosser and Bradley.

In recounting that incident, Gableman and his fellow conservative justices — Prosser, Roggensack and Ziegler — painted Bradley as the agressor, while liberal justices Abrahamson and Bradley said it was Prosser. Crooks, also considered part of the liberal bloc, was not present.

In his account of the incident, Gableman said Prosser was speaking in a "meek and intently sincere" voice about having lost confidence in Abrahamson's leadership when Bradley "rushed toward Prosser and, with right hand in a fist, made three to four punching motions back and forth, coming within an inch of Prosser's left cheek."

Roggensack and Prosser also described Bradley as having a raised fist. But Abrahamson and Bradley said Bradley never raised her hands to Prosser but was pointing at the door to her office and telling Prosser to leave.

Gableman also insisted to the detectives that Prosser never put his hands on Bradley's neck. But even Prosser acknowledged doing that, calling it a "total reflex."

Special prosecutor Patricia Barrett has declined to issue charges stemming from that incident. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission continues to investigate.

Geske said Gableman's allegation — and the denials by the three justices — further damages the credibility of the court. "The allegation that Justice Gableman makes is a very serious one, and it was made to a law enforcement officer in the course of an investigation," she said.

"The question is, 'How do they rebuild the faith of the people?' I think they have work to do."
Prosser's side in the other incident seemed more credible but in this one I think Gableman's side (which is really only him) does not sound credible.

I would caution though that just because no meetings were scheduled it doesn't mean none took place and even if Abrahamson had to go to Milwaukee it doesn't mean she wasn't out of her office all day.