Scott Walker authorized payment to Michael Best & Friedrich of up to $500,000; to date, the firm has billed Wisconsin nearly $100,000. Scott Walker has provided no explanation for why this contract is appropriate and has yet to respond to open record requests seeking information. Not surprisingly, the state’s largest paper (and Walker endorser), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, still hasn’t touched this story. For more, see the article linked above.
“This afternoon I ask those who have said they will never compromise on any terms to think about who their stubbornness will really hurt: seniors, soldiers, and others.”—Senator Harry Reid (D - Nevada).
“Democracy doesn’t end in November.”— Sandy Pasch, Wisconsin State Representative, in response to Republican statements such as “what the voters asked for in November…” Sandy Pasch is challenging Republican State Senator Alberta Darling in the upcoming recall election.
On this day in 1934, two people were killed, 40 others were injured, and the National Guard occupied Kohler, Wisconsin. Kohler Company workers were on strike to demand better hours, higher wages, and recognition of the American Federation of Labor as their collective bargaining agent. The National Guard turned to tear gas, rifles, and shotguns to break up the strike, resulting in the deaths and injuries.
According to the Wisconsin Historical Society:
Owner Walter Kohler blamed Communists and outside agitators for the violence, while union leaders blamed Kohler exclusively. Not settled until 1941, the strike marked the beginning of what was to become a prolonged struggle between the Kohler Company and organized labor in Wisconsin; a second Kohler strike lasted from 1954 to 1965.
Check out the original 1934 coverage in the Sheboygan Press here.
So you want to obtain an ID in order to vote in Wisconsin? You’ll evidently need to demonstrate bank account activity, at least according to the clerks at one DMV. You’ll also have to pay $28 unless you explicitly specify the ID is for voting. A must-see example of voter disenfranchisement, linked above.
Democrats need to pick up three Republican seats to take control of the state Senate, and they lead in three seats. What’s more, Democrats are way ahead in one of the six campaigns. This means they only need to win two of the five campaigns that are actually competitive, while Republicans have to win four of those five. That is a significant Democratic edge.
To be sure, the campaign is still close. A shift of just three points toward Republicans in one district, and they recapture the lead. With an almost unlimited supply of right-wing corporate money at their disposal, Republicans may well be able to make that comeback.
“I’m sure that was an edified discussion for their big [Gang of Six] senate plan, which the president likes, but it is not the president and the senate who need to get together to decide this thing. It’s the president and the senate and the drunk kids at the other end of the building who are setting their Barbies on fire and cooking metal in the microwave until it explodes.”—
“House Republicans have lost sight of the country’s welfare. It’s hard to conclude anything else from their latest actions, including the House speaker’s dismissal of President Obama’s plea for compromise Monday night. They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America’s economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation. They have warped an exercise in paying off current debt into an argument about future spending. Yet, when they win another concession, they walk away.”—The New York Times.
“The American people may have voted for a divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.”—President Obama. Like his advice? Here’s the directory for the Senate. And for the House.
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver’s licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.
One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.
Since possible low voter turnout is one concern about having summer elections, I tried to pull together some helpful links for those who will be out of town for the upcoming recall elections (August 9th or August 16th depending on the district in which you reside) and needing to vote absentee.
Voting In-Person Before Election Day? You can vote in-person at your municipal clerk’s office until 5 p.m. the Friday before Election Day. As with voting on Election Day, you will be asked, but not required, to show photo identification when you vote in-person absentee in 2011.
I’m back from a long, unannounced hiatus. I’ve been clerking for a judge all summer, and while I feel insanely lucky to have had this experience and wouldn’t trade it for the world, it also meant 60+ hour work weeks and I neglected my poor little tumblr. Clerking is winding down (I’m working 30 hours/week through the rest of summer) and I’m back to tumblin; I hope you’ll stick around.