Wisconsin update
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Author:  will in chicago [ Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Wisconsin update

Here are some stories on Wisconsin, First from ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Wisconsin Voters Launch Recall Campaign Against Eight GOP State Senators

Last month, ThinkProgress reported that Wisconsin law allows any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term to be recalled from office. Today, a group of Wisconsin voters took the first step towards invoking this recall process. According to a Wisconsin Democratic Party e-mail that was obtained by ThinkProgress:

This morning citizens from around the state took the first steps by filing recall papers against key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining. And we learned just last night that their disastrous budget that will cut millions from our schools and universities. . . .

Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall for their radical partisan overreach. Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators [Democrats] are targeting, [Democrats] can regain control of the Senate.

In a disturbing development, the Wisconsin 14 now may face arrest:

The Republicans are now playing hardball, threatening to issue an contempt order ont he absent Democratic legislators. From Talking Points Memo:

Wisconsin GOPers Threaten Contempt For Fugitive DemsWisconsin Senate Republicans briefly convened the chamber on Thursday, in order to lay down yet another ultimatum to the 14 Democrats who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union proposals: Return by 4 p.m. Central Time...or you're in contempt!

The state Senate has previously issued "calls of the house," under which the authorities could compel to the Dems to come to the chamber. This new resolution appears to be a slightly more severe wording of the same effort -- which didn't work the first time around, of course, because the Dems are out of state.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the resolution passed by the state Senate orders the Sergeant at Arms, if the Dems don't show up by 4 p.m., to "take any and all necessary steps, with or without force, and with or without the assistance of law enforcement officers, by warrant or other legal process, as he may deem necessary in order to bring that senator to the Senate chambers so that the Senate may convene with a quorum of no less than 20 senators."

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Thank you, will....RECALL all of those REpubs that can be recalled...I hope Wisconsin stays the course....

I watched Hardball last evening when one of the Wisconsin Republican senators was being interviewed by Chris Matthews. Can't remember the senator's name, but his arrogance was appalling. His smirk reminded me of Bush and an expression kept washing over his face like he was clean and the protesters were dirty. He had just been shown to have referred to those protesting in Madison as "SLOBS." :evil:

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update ... 36164.html

Pro-Labor Group Working America Recruits 20,000 New Wisconsin Members In Wake Of Budget Protests

WASHINGTON -- While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) may have won the most recent battle in Madison by securing passage of an anti-union bill, labor activists are optimistic they may emerge as the victors in the long run.

Forming a union is a lengthy process, and although labor officials say they already see more interest from workers, it's too soon to measure an increase in membership numbers. But there is one indication the battles in Wisconsin are providing a boost for labor.

Working America, an advocacy organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO that provides an outlet for non-union members to support the labor movement, has signed up approximately 20,000 new members since Feb. 15. The group was active in the state in 2008, when it built up the bulk of its membership, which now stands at 65,000. It was inactive for the past couple years, however, and just reopened shop the beginning of 2011.

Author:  Catherine [ Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Pro-union protesters surround tea partiers at Wisconsin Palin/Breitbart/tea party rally

In my earlier post of the excruciating Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity tea party event here, including the Palin shrieks and Andrew Breitbart’s crass outburst, I had mentioned someone tweeting that the counter-protesters outnumbered the teabaggers.

I didn’t have a link at that time, but thanks to a Think Progress tweet, I do now. Via CBS:

Hundreds of pro-union labor supporters are surrounding smaller groups of conservative Tea Party members attending a rally featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

A video of Sarah the Screecher being overscreamed by boos at the rally here.

Prior to her appearance, labor supporters still smarting from the passage of Walker’s polarizing bill eliminating most public employees’ collective bargaining rights drowned out Palin’s supporters, shouting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Scott Walker’s got to go.” [...]

The Capitol police estimate about 6,500 people were on the Capitol grounds and vicinity by about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, reports CBS Affiliate WISC.

There were no reports or arrests, according to the state Department of Administration.

6,500 people, including union supporters. There were at least ten times that number at the anti-Walker rallies, week after week after week, sometimes up to 100,000.

Wait, stop, huh, what? No arrests? But, the Progressives and union “thugs” are constantly being accused of bullying and violence. Palin said so herself at the rally


Author:  Catherine [ Wed May 18, 2011 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update



Republican Gov. Scott Walker is steadily remaking the Wisconsin government, implementing conservative ideals and quietly consolidating power under the office of the governor. His actions range from the much-publicized move to strip collective bargaining rights from powerful public unions to the less-noticed efforts to add more political appointees at state agencies and take away responsibilities from Wisconsin's democratically elected secretary of state.

Supporters have praised what Walker and his allies are doing as a long-overdue steps to cut spending and unnecessary bureaucracy. But critics fear a loss of public input and transparency in the way the state government operates.

"It's a power grab," said Doug La Follette, Wisconsin's Democratic Secretary of State. "[Walker] wants to control everything."

"It's turning Wisconsin's state government from a body that is charged with serving the needs of the people of Wisconsin, into making its first priority serving corporations -- both inside and outside of Wisconsin," added Scot Ross, executive director of the progressive group One Wisconsin Now. "This is the most massive turn toward privatization of public services in not only the history of the state of Wisconsin, but possibly across the country."

Walker's office did not respond to a request for comment for this report.


Author:  Catherine [ Wed May 18, 2011 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update



Author:  Catherine [ Sun May 22, 2011 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Wis. Elections Staff Recommend Recalls Against Three GOPers

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, is poised to approve recalls for three Republican state senators, as the process unfolds in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation.

The GAB staff has recommended to the board -- which is made up of retired judges selected through a non-partisan process -- to approve recalls against state Sens. Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper and Luther Olsen, when the board meets this Monday. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, these were the first three legislators to have recall signatures filed against them.

Author:  Catherine [ Thu May 26, 2011 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Wisconsin Anti-Union Law Struck Down By Judge, But Measure Could Still Go Into Effect :P :lol: :bounce:

Author:  Catherine [ Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update


MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin lawmakers have re-opened the fight over collective bargaining rights.

The Legislature's budget committee voted early Friday morning to require newly hired police and firefighters to pay more for their health insurance and pension benefits.

The change was approved by the Republican-controlled committee on an 11-4 party line vote. It would force police and firefighters to make the same level of contributions that other public workers would be required to make under a bill pushed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and passed by the Legislature in March.

Police and firefighters were exempt under that bill.

That measure also took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from state workers. It was voided by a circuit court judge last month and hasn't taken effect.

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wis. Recalls

Don't let anyone say there isn't bipartisanship in Wisconsin.

The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state representative, who will challenge official Democratic candidate Nancy Nusbaum for the recall against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles.

As the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, Junkermann very openly professes to support Cowles:

Otto Junkermann, 82 of Allouez, said he thinks "very highly" of Cowles, a Republican also from Allouez, and will run against Nusbaum as a "conservative Democrat."

"I respect Rob a great deal. I've known him, I followed him into the Assembly and took the position he had when he went into the Senate, and I always admired him," Junkermann said.

Junkermann served in the Assembly as a Republican for one term from 1987-88. He was also a Brown County supervisor from 1982-87 and ran again in 2002, 2004 and 2008 but lost.

Asked if he was a so-called "spoiler candidate," Junkermann said: "I don't know how I could avoid being considered that."

Over in another district, a 25-year old county GOP official has signed up to run as a ringer Democrat in a primary. And in another district, a retiree who has donated to multiple Republicans is running as a fake Dem.

The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials' proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would immediately be held as the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election in August.

Also, thanks to Wisconsin's open primary system in which anybody can vote in a party primary, it would force the Democrats to spend time, money and resources campaigning for their own nominations.

The strategy is being officially coordinated by state Republican leaders, and has been endorsed by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

Author:  Catherine [ Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

WI GOP Legislator Uses Paul Ryan To Raise Money, Steps In Medicare Trap

State legislators aren't able to vote either way on the Medicare-ending House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Nevertheless, Democrats, labor leaders and progressives trying to recall GOP state Senators in Wisconsin are eager to tie them to Ryan's budget which, in one prominent case at least, has proven to be political kryptonite for supposedly safe Republicans.

In the case of state Sen. Alberta Darling (R), Democrats may have just found the connection they needed.

Author:  Catherine [ Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker To Cut Medicaid Without Public Hearings

Republicans argue that states are the “laboratories of democracy” that should be charged with developing new, innovative ways for delivering quality health care more efficiently. But that point is far harder to make in the face of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) effort to shut the public out of a debate about Medicaid cuts and shield legislators from having to weigh in on cutting benefits and services for the neediest Americans:

The new state budget bill grants broader power to Gov. Scott Walker’s administration to remake BadgerCare Plus and other state health programs with little legislative oversight, a situation that worries advocates for the roughly 1 million people covered by those programs.

The major question: how the governor’s Department of Health Services will use that authority as it cuts a projected $466 million in costs from the programs over the next two years.

“We don’t know exactly what will be coming down the pike,” said Bob Jacobson, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families. “And we don’t know how we can have a voice in those decisions when the Legislature has been taken out of the picture.” [...]

The budget-repair bill passed earlier this year gave the Department of Health Services the authority to make changes in the programs without legislative approval but required the department to hold public hearings.

The budget bill passed last week dropped the public hearing requirement. The exemption would remain in effect throughout the governor’s term.

The pending changes in the programs could range from new rules on eligibility and cost sharing to managing care for people with severe mental illnesses.

This also doesn’t bode well for the GOP’s push to block grant the Medicaid program. After all, if states like Wisconsin — or any other Republican state that isn’t very invested in maintaining government-sponsored health care programs — are already demonstrating that they’re more interested in slashing enrollment rolls than developing any truly revolutionary health delivery models, you can easily predict how they would react to a block grant that does not keep up with projected health care costs.

Author:  dori [ Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Can any of this be turned around if new people are voted into key positions? In the case of WI, there will be votes this summer to recall Rs and put new people in their place.

Of course those new people could still be Rs if those Rs run as Dems. Is there anything Republicans won't do to further themselves over everyone else?

I know Bush left young Conservatives throughout government for long periods of time. Possibly that is partly why Obama can't seem to get anything of value going for us. That, along with Rs balking at every piece of legislation that might help the people of the U.S.

Is it that way is the states too?

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

Democratic State Sen. Dave Hansen Wins First Wisconsin Recall Election

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) handily won Tuesday's recall election, giving Democrats a victory in the first of nine contests being held this summer.

With 65 percent of the vote in, the Associated Press called the race for Hansen, who had more than double the votes of his Republican challenger, David VanderLeest.

Democrats quickly put out statements declaring the race a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker's (R) agenda.

"Scott Walker and his cronies pulled out all the stops trying to defeat Dave Hansen, and the people of the 30th Senate District said loudly and clearly Tuesday, 'Enough,'" said the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

“Sen. Hansen’s victory is a validation of the lengths he and the rest of the ‘Wisconsin 14’ went to in their efforts to stall the Wisconsin GOP’s extreme right-wing, anti-working family agenda,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant. “His constituents understand that he fights for them, not for extreme ideologues."

Author:  dori [ Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wisconsin update

And the six real Dems won over the R Dems too. By handy margins.

So far, so good!

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