“I can no longer in good conscience lend my name and support to Justice Prosser’s candidacy. Too much has come to light that Justice Prosser has lost that most crucial of characteristics for a Supreme Court Justice: even-handed impartiality. Along with that failing has come a disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court in the face of demands that are sure to be placed on it in these times of great political and legal volatility.”—Former Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey, resigning from his position as honorary co-chair of Prosser’s campaign and withdrawing his support.
The options for the next Milwaukee County Executive are sort of really weak. And the Shepherd Express confronts that fact head-on in its endorsement of Chris Abele. It’s one of the most enjoyable endorsements I’ve ever read just because it’s so refreshingly honest. Some highlights:
The Shepherd has worked with Chris Abele, and we have definitely had our differences, but he is the better choice.
We have been contacted by readers who say that they have a difficult time connecting with Abele…but they don’t support Stone’s positions or his unquestioned support of Walker. These readers have considered not voting for county executive at all.
Despite his many shortcomings, we strongly encourage you to vote in the county executive race and to vote for Chris Abele. We cannot afford to have another conservative Republican county executive who does not believe in government.
“The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”—Field of Dreams
New to tumbler, and really enjoy your content. I haven't figured out how to use tumbler like I use Twitter yet - do you tweet your new content?
Welcome to tumblr! And thanks for letting me know you like my posts…I really appreciate hearing that. I hadn’t been tweeting my posts, but I decided to do so after reading your message. So, today I started a new twitter account to link to my tumblr…you can find me here.
Mark your calendars: Tuesday, April 5th, is a big election day in Wisconsin.
If you need to find your polling place, learn about registering to vote (and remember, in Wisconsin, you can even register the day of the election!), or more information about your voting rights, check out this site.
When we arrived, a pile of wood-handled picket signs was gathering near the north entrance to the capitol building at 3 pm. Two security guards, armed and wearing fur hats borrowed from the set of Fargo, flanked the revolving oak door as we, alongside families, small groups of friends and lone protesters, ambled into the building no faster than the snow was falling on that grey Madison afternoon. The officers stared ahead, stopping the occasional man or woman to prevent wooden planks from entering the building. Everyone obliged.
In a bizarre twist, some of the money that Walker is now seeking originally was allocated for the Milwaukee-to-Madison route he previously turned down. That money is available because a fellow Republican governor rejected it, as well. linked above.
“Now that I’ve made my earlier order as clear as it possibly can be, I must state that those who act in open and willful defiance of the court order place not only themselves at peril of sanctions, they also jeopardize the financial and the governmental stability of the state of Wisconsin.”— Judge Maryann Sumi, halting further implementation of the bill that banned collective bargaining.
Walker appointed Phil Montgomery to chair the Public Service Commission today. The PSC is responsible for regulating public utilities (including electricity, natural gas, and water, among others). PSC’s approval is typically required before utilities can set new rates, issue stocks or bonds, or undertake major construction projects (remember those state power plants Walker wants to sell in a no-bid process?). A few fun facts about Phil:
If new quasi-public agencies are included, Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget would increase overall spending by 1% over two years rather than reduce it as the administration had said earlier this month.
A report released Monday by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau showed the state would spend a proposed $64.1 billion in state and federal dollars over two years after including amounts that are being transferred to quasi-public authorities like the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That would amount to $609.5 million more over the 2011-‘13 budget.
When Walker unveiled his budget proposal on March 1, he said it would cut spending of all dollars by more than $4 billion, or 6%. But those amounts didn’t include spending cuts that simply amounted to transferring entities like UW-Madison and a new agency to replace the state Department of Commerce off the state’s books.
If you’re interested in learning about the GOP’s use of the open records law to intimidate critics, be sure to read Paul Krugman’s latest column in the New York Times; it’s outstanding.
If this action strikes you as no big deal, you’re missing the point. The hard right — which these days is more or less synonymous with the Republican Party — has a modus operandi when it comes to scholars expressing views it dislikes: never mind the substance, go for the smear. And that demand for copies of e-mails is obviously motivated by no more than a hope that it will provide something, anything, that can be used to subject Mr. Cronon to the usual treatment.
The Cronon affair, then, is one more indicator of just how reflexively vindictive, how un-American, one of our two great political parties has become.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin responded by filing an open records request for Cronon’s emails (although they misspelled his name in the press release they issued). Specifically, they requested all emails “into and out of Cronon’s state email account from January 1, 2011 to present which reference any of the following terms: Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union, Alberta Darling, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, Rob Cowles, Scott Fitzgerald, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Glenn Grothman, Mary Lazich, Jeff Fitzgerald, Marty Beil, or Mary Bell.”
Cronon has started a blog about this issue and I would encourage you to check it out (it, too, is very thoughtful and well-written) and keep an eye on this story as it unfolds.
“Plainly, this case has broad statewide implications for the general public and those most directly affected by the challenged act,” said the unanimous opinion by Judges Brian Blanchard, Paul Higginbotham and Paul Lundsten.
They did not weigh in on the merits of the case.
The case is closely watched because it will determine whether the law limiting collective bargaining takes effect. The plan by GOP Gov. Scott Walker drew national attention as swarms of protesters flocked to the Capitol for weeks.
It is not clear how quickly the Supreme Court will decide whether to take up the case and, if it does, how soon it would rule. Four of the seven justices must now agree to take the case.
this is a very interesting turn with the upcoming election with one of the supreme court seats (prosser’s) on the line. i would guess that he will be the deciding factor in whether or when to take up this case and is currently weighing the political implications of the choice.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson has taken to the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal to reinvigorate the misinformation campaign against health care reform as he continues to press the death panel narrative.
“Perhaps that is why I have found myself returning over the past few weeks to the question posed by the lawyer Joseph N. Welch during the hearings that finally helped bring down another Wisconsin Republican, Joe McCarthy, in 1954: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”—William Cronon’s New York Times article, “Wisconsin’s Radical Break.” A fascinating piece.
“For Wisconsinites who prefer the ancient model of governing that put all power in a monarch, Prosser is the right choice. He is running as an explicit supporter of the governor. That is his right. But it is also the right of the voters to set a higher standard. And they have an opportunity to do so by electing a highly qualified and highly regarded candidate who would re-establish the court as an independent branch of government. Kloppenburg offers a reminder that it is still possible to disregard politics and to respect, honor and maintain the rule of law.”—Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
“Those good Wisconsin schools have done a pretty good job of educating the Wisconsin people, so when Walker and company overplayed their hand and exposed their real agenda, Wisconsinites quickly understood what had happened and exercised their constitutional rights to assemble and to petition their government. They understood that this is not just an attack on public employees and their unions, but the first step in an effort to slap down the entire middle class.”—Shepherd Express article, What You Can Do
The Kloppenburg campaign has run out of yard signs and has no more cash for an additional printing due to her acceptance of public campaign financing. Click the link for a DIY how-to on making your own yard sign.
“It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the law”—Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumim, who issued a temporary restraining order (!) barring the publication of the union-busting bill. This is in response to the complaint filed by the Dane County DA that Republicans violated the open meeting law last week.
The Dane County DA filed a complaint today alleging Jeff Fitzgerald violated the state’s open meetings law when a special committee convened to adopt the union busting bill last week. Article linked above.
A complaint has been filed with the attorney general’s office, alleging that State Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) no longer lives in the district he represents. Hopper admits he no longer resides at the address he officially lists with the state legislature, saying he now rents an apartment in Fond du Lac. However, when the Capital Times tried to verify that address, they learned that it was actually not an apartment; instead, it was a $600,000 home belonging to one of Hopper’s employees. I have yet to see anything that reports on whether he has been collecting the $88 per diem for Senators who reside outside of Dane County; anyone know if this is being explored?
Hopper has also hired a national GOP veteran campaign manager, Jeff Harvey, to help protect him from recall efforts and allegations that he no longer even resides in the district he is supposed to be representing. Harvey previously managed Republican Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey.
Also: the most hilarious photoshop job of the week involves Mr. Hopper and his recent scandals. The original picture, here (the July 1st, “Brownsville” one.) Wonkette’s awesome photoshop version, here.
“They are free to cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.”—Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, explaining how the Democratic Senators’ votes will no longer count because they’re in contempt after going to Illinois to prevent quorum.
That’s all we have left to collect the signatures required to recall the Republican 8! All hands on deck. Check out www.recalltherepublican8.com to get involved! There are volunteer opportunities on weekdays and the weekend, work that involves interacting with a lot of people and work that is more behind-the-scenes…you can find something that works well for you. You don’t need to give a lot of time; even an hour or two here and there can be tremendously helpful.