Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mike McCabe Weighs In On DPW Chair Race

Earlier this year, Mike Tate, current chair of the Democrat Party of Wisconsin, saw the writing on the wall and announced that he would not run for reelection.  Thus far, to the best of my knowledge, five people have announced their candidacy for this position.

Jason Rae appears to the establishment candidate and has the backing of the party machine and the corporate faction of the party.

However, another candidate, Jeff Smith, has picked up a significant endorsement, Mike McCabe:
Quite a few people who presumably are card-carrying members of DPW and are planning to attend the convention in June have asked me which of the announced candidates for state party chair best embodies the ideas in my book Blue Jeans in High Places. That would be Jeff Smith, by a longshot. Jeff knows how to relate to people in rural areas of the state that used to elect Democrats but now prefer the GOP. He not only knows how to talk to them, he’s shown he can win their trust and has been elected to represent voters in areas that have become so bright red. I can’t say I will vote for Jeff because I don’t have a vote in this election. I am not a party member and will not be a delegate at the convention. But I can say that Jeff Smith is without question the most “blue jean” of the candidates for state chair.
This could mean a significant change among the party members that are tired of the status quo.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

The gentle reader is aware that the education profiteer group School Choice Wisconsin sent out a massive amount of open record requests to school districts across the state to troll for information on the children that attend school in those districts.  Fortunately, due to public outrage, the profiteers modified their requests, at least in Green Bay.

Over the weekend, Molly Beck, of the Wisconsin State Journal, wrote about the "creep factor" of the these requests.  Overall, it's a pretty decent article.  However, there is one part that needs to be corrected.

Beck wrote this:
The matter was brought to light in February after liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now disclosed that the Green Bay School District received a request from the voucher advocates.

“I think this points to a larger concern that public education advocates have about the unaccountable privatization movement and that is they see children as commodities and our children’s education is a product to generate profit from,” said OWN executive director Scot Ross.

Because some school districts either allow a student’s information to be included in all directory data requests or none, Ross said “it doesn’t seem fair a kid can’t be in a yearbook just because they don’t want to get calls at their house from some private entity.”
Now, I love me some One Wisconsin Now and have relied on their research and reporting a lot.  I have the highest esteem for Scot Ross. I consider myself to be fortunate to call him my friend.  Trust me, the state would be in even more dire straits if it weren't for these good people.

But Ms. Beck is incorrect in stating that OWN, as wonderful as they are, broke the story.

That was actually my friend and colleague, Jeff Simpson, who wrote about the creep factor first, first at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Purple Wisconsin blog page and then at this here blog.

Now, Jeff and I have been doing this long enough to know what it feels like to have someone else use one of our stories without being given credit for it.  But I have to call this one out, especially since Jeff was the one that had to deal with all the faux outrage to the point at losing his privileges at Purple Wisconsin.

If a person has to go through all that crap, he should get some acknowledgement for it.

Monday, March 2, 2015

More Proof Showing #RTW = Right To Woe

Via the Cap Times, another report, this time done by UW-Extension shows what our "representatives" in state government are going to do to us:
In right-to-work states, Diller says, economic policies are geared toward lowering the cost of doing business — cutting taxes, driving down the cost of labor and limiting regulation. But such policies also are at odds with promoting high-growth and high-wage industries.

"This would help explain why income and education levels tend to be lower in RTW states," Diller writes. "Firms that are attracted to RTW states prefer to keep costs as low as possible."

The study compared the 22 right-to-work states that existed prior to 2012 — when both Michigan and Indiana adopted right-to-work laws — with states that didn't have right-to-work laws.

The comparison found that in right-to-work states, manufacturing jobs paid an average of $52,900, while in non-right-to-work states, manufacturing workers earned $61,000. Per capita income in right-to-work states was $3,875 less in right-to-work states, $33,101 versus $36,976.

The individual poverty rate in right-to-work states was nearly 2 percent higher: 13.9 percent versus 12 percent. And the percentage of people with a college degree was nearly 4 percent lower in right-to-work states: 24.4 percent versus 28.2 percent.

Cutting through the #RTW BS



Over the weekend, Faux News' Cavuto On Business were singing paeans to Scott Walker for ramming through the utterly misnamed Right to Work (RTW) legislation. The panel, which consisted of Neil Cavuto hosting along with Adam Lashinsky, Ben Stein, Charles Payne, Charlie Gasparino and Dagen McDowell, said that it was un-American to force people to pay union dues and compared unions to the Mafia. In the same breath though, they praised their own unions. Go figure.

Oddly enough, they made no mention that Walker said that he didn't want RTW in Wisconsin, calling it "a distraction."

What their little propaganda session was was nothing more than just the regurgitation of the same discredited talking points for RTW. They claimed it was all about choice and freedom and 'Murica and how it would create more jobs and increase wages.

It does sound grand, doesn't it? Too bad it it's more full of shit than a industrial dairy farm.

First of all, workers already have the choice not to belong in a union. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed closed shops.

What RTW legislation actually does is have government interfere with the contracts between private businesses and their employees by stating that workers don't have to pay their fair share. In other words, it means that the worker can get all the benefits of union representation without paying for it. This is why many people call RTW the Right to Freeload.

It would be like having the right to live in a community where there are police and firefighters to protect you, where your garbage gets picked up and your roads get plowed, but you don't have to pay for it. Your neighbors can pay for it, if they so choose. Naturally, these services will decline and/or disappear since not enough people are paying for them.

It's the same with the unions. If not enough people support, they lose the ability to fight for adequate pay, decent benefits and job safety.This is why RTW states have lower wages, higher levels of poverty, lesser benefits, poorer schools (no money to pay for them), and higher rates of death and injuries on the job sites.

As for the supposed economic benefits of this draconian legislation, I would refer the gentle reader to Abdur Chowdhury, an economics professor at Marquette University, who cleanly cuts through the RTW lies:
Proponents of right-to-work laws advance two major arguments. First, they claim right-to-work laws make a state more attractive to business investment. Second, that passage of a right-to-work law will lead to job growth.

Most evidence, however, suggests that right-to-work legislation, by itself, is not much of a factor in where firms locate. Studies have consistently found there are several key factors that business decision-makers consider and compare when deciding among alternative investment sites. In annual surveys of small manufacturers conducted by Area Development magazine, including the most recent last month, right-to-work never ranked in the top 10 factors influencing location decisions. Issues such as transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting, existing workforce, state and local tax policy and several others were considered more important to site selectors.

Another argument for right-to-work is the claim that it creates more jobs. But numerous studies have shown it is not right-to-work laws that matter, but rather the "pro-business package" offered by right-to-work states that seems to matter. The 24 states with right-to-work laws have very different economies, and their economic fortunes are mostly explained by the unique features of their economies and state economic development policies.

The facts also show that right-to-work legislation puts downward pressure on wages. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics from 2013, the average wage for all occupations in right-to-work states was nearly $4 an hour lower than in the remaining states. At the same time, right-to-work legislation erodes the quality of a state's labor force by encouraging the best and the brightest to migrate to states where wages are higher.

Another finding relates to income and spending. Right-to-work laws reduce wages, which negatively impacts income and spending, causing both to decline. Reduction in income also negatively affects the amount local government collects in tax revenue, resulting in lower sales tax receipts. Thus, right-to-work laws undermine the ability of state and local governments to raise adequate tax revenues to pay for public services.

Right-to-work also makes for less-safe workplaces, including increases in on-site injuries and even fatalities for construction workers, according to Roland Zullo, a Michigan economist. In Wisconsin, unions spend significant resources on occupational safety and negotiate job safety procedures beyond those contained in OSHA regulations.

The Economic Policy Institute also did a study, with similar findings. One thing about the EPI report does stand out - RTW is intended to lower wages:
The goal of RTW—according to its supporters—is to cut wages and benefits in the hopes of encouraging out-of-state manufacturers to move in. If it didn’t lower wages, there would be no incentive for companies to move into the state. As the Indiana Chamber of Commerce explained, “Unionization increases labor costs … [and thus] makes a given location a less attractive place to invest.” RTW is supposed to solve this problem. Similarly, a Missouri state representative championed RTW by projecting it would cut wages by “2 to 3 dollars an hour” as part of the process of attracting more companies to hire cheaper labor
If RTW was so popular, states like Wisconsin wouldn't be trying to ram it through as fast as they can before more people catch on to what they are trying to do. Even with their rush job, 1,776 people signed up to testify about RTW with the Wisconsin State Senate last week. Out of that 1,776, 1,751 were opposed to the legislation. Of the 25 that supported it, all but none were paid to be their to lobby for it.

The question that begs to be asked is why these dark money special interest groups willing to spend billions of dollars to try to destroy unions?

Thomas Donahue already gave us that answer: "The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor"

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wisconsin, Scott Walker Just Isn't Into You

Image courtesy of Worley Dervish


Nicholas Confessore and Jonathan Martin at the New York Times wrote an excellent piece about the GOP presidential wannabes and their pandering and butt-kissing of the nation's wealthy conservative cash cows.

In said article, they discuss Walker's galavanting around the country from one fundraiser to another, from one ass-kissing session to another. Walker's attitude towards his current job as governor of Wisconsin was rather nonchalant and full of hubris:
The season of donor events poses hurdles both logistical and ideological: Mr. Bush, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas all sought to attend both the Palm Beach gathering and the overlapping Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington. Mr. Walker’s appearances at donor conclaves will take him back and forth across the country several times between late January and early March.

In an interview, Mr. Walker said he was unconcerned about the appearance of spending so much time and energy courting donors, noting that he expected to do plenty of retail campaigning in the months ahead.

“Oh, I think along the way I’ll be at plenty of dairy events and farm events and factories just like when I was governor,” Mr. Walker said.
Now, I recognize that all politicians tend to have a massive ego, but Walker has himself convinced that he is already president and is talking about his present job in the past tense.

While some people might think that Walker started running for president when he was reelected at the end of last year. The truth is he started his run the second he want in 2010. Sadly, the good people in Wisconsin will be paying for his hubris and his campaign for decades to come.

Walker Does A Complete Flip Flop On Immigration



Sunday Morning, Scott Walker appeared with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" and completely reversed himself on immigration:
His response now is that President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration forged Walker's new belief.

"I don't believe in amnesty, and part of the reason why I've made that a firm position is I look at the way that this president has handled that issue," Obama told Wallace. "I was one of the first governors that joined the lawsuit that has been successful at least on this initial technicality, and I hope we prevail ultimately throughout the courts.

"And then going forward, I think the way you enforce it is not through amnesty. I think the better approach is to enforce the laws and to give employers, job creators, the tools like E-Verify and other things, to make sure the law is being upheld going forward."

That led to this exchange between Wallace and Walker:

Wallace: "The question was, can you envision a world where if these people paid a penalty, that they would have a path to citizenship, and you said, sure that makes sense."

Walker: "I believe there's a way that you can do that. First and foremost, you've got to secure that border or none of these plans make any sense."

Wallace: "But it's a little bit slippery here. Back when you were the Milwaukee County Executive, you actually supported the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration plan. Are you basically saying that as part of a comprehensive plan — tough enforcement, E-Verify — the 11 million people already here pay penalty, they get citizenship?"

Walker: No, I'm not talking about amnesty. And the reason for that is, over time —

Wallace: "But you said you supported it."


Walker: "And my view has changed. I'm flat-out saying it. Candidates can say that. Sometimes they don't. I'm saying my view has —

Wallace: "So you've changed from 2013?"

Walker: "Absolutely. I look at the problems we've experienced for the last few years. I've talked to governors on the border and others out there. I've talked to people all across America. And the concern I have is that we need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a legal immigration system that works, and part of doing that is putting the onus on employers. Give them E-Verify and the tools to do that, but I don't think you do it through amnesty."
Hmm... Walker decided he was against amnesty after Barack Obama, the first black president, did an executive order to allow it? Gee, do you think that Walker might just be blowing his dog whistle to appease his radical fringe base and pandering to his racist, big money donors? Just maybe?

Media Matters actually caught the change in Walker's position a month ago when he said the same thing on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos

Then again, Walker flip flopping on issues is nothing new. He's built his career on telling people what he wants them to hear for decades. Another recent example of this is his double reversal on so called Right to Work legislation which he was for before he was against before he was for it again.

In Wisconsin, we joke that if you don't like the weather, stick around ten minutes and it will change. The same can be said for Walker's position on any given issue.

An Update On Jeff Simpson

As the gentle reader is aware, our colleague Jeff Simpson had a very long and complicated surgery on Friday to remove a rare type of cancer.

I am overjoyed to report that the surgery was successful.  The doctors believed that they have removed the entire tumor and did not have to remove any organs.

Even better, Jeff's recovery is proceeding rapidly.  He is already up and moving around.  Today, he made it down to the waiting room to watch and cheer for the Badgers basketball team.  He has said that soon he will be ready for visitors.

On behalf of Jeff and his family, I would like to thank his friends and readers who have shown an outpouring of affection, well wishes and generous donations.  If you wish to donate, you can still do so here or using the PayPal button on the top right corner of this blog.

I know I'm looking forward to the day that Jeff is back to terrorizing the right wing evil doers.

Warren Whacks Walker

As the gentle reader is already aware, Scott Walker is catching hell for his inane comment comparing Wisconsin workers exercising their First Amendment Rights to extremist terrorists,

Walker should catch hell for it. He also should publicly apologize for it.

One of the more cutting remarks came from Senator Elizabeth Warren, who, in one sentence, cut through all of Walker's malarkey:



Indeed, who are Walker's friends?

There are the ultra conservative billionaires and millionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Boyz (even the fake ones). Walker has his nose so far up their butts he could tell you what they had for breakfast.

Another good friend of Walker's is Michael Grebe, head of the Bradley Foundation. Grebe also served as Walker's campaign chair. One doesn't have to go farther than that to see why Walker is gutting public education and opening the state to a hostile private takeover of the state's education system. The Bradley Foundation has spent millions of dollars to push school profiteering, including the Bell Curve, a study that says that poor children - most of whom are African American - are "incapable of benefiting from an education."

Not all of Walker's friends are rich and infamous. Some are poor and infamous.

Two glaring examples are Tim Russell and Brian Pierick.

Russell is a lifelong friend of Walker's. Russell served in various positions under Walker during his time as Milwaukee County Executive, as well as working on most of Walker's campaigns.

Russell was convicted of stealing money from a veterans fund and from two political campaigns. He used that money to go on lavish vacations and to meet with then presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

Russell was just released from prison after serving a two year sentence. He actually got off pretty easy, considering how many other things they could have gotten him on, including illegal politicking and setting up a secret router in order to avoid FOIA requests.

Pierick, who is/was Russell's business and life partner, was convicted of trying to entice an underage boy during a sexting exchange. (Warning: The dialogue is very graphic.)

The ironic thing about Warren's tweet is that Walker would agree with her. Just one year ago, Walker said pretty much the same thing:
Asked how voters might judge governors who bid for the presidency, Walker replied: “Governors should be defined not just by what they do and say, but who they surround themselves with, making sure to have the smartest person for a particular task or to head a specific agency. They should be judged on that basis and who they take advice from.”
It's safe to say that Walker has failed on all accounts.

Walker Performs Poorly With Big Money Base


It's not a good sign for Scott Walker when the Club for Growth, one of the dark money groups he needs to support his presidential bid, starts to slap him around:
Frayda Levin, a member of the Club for Growth’s board of directors who was moderating a question-and-answer session, told Walker that he left donors unimpressed at a meeting in New York earlier this month. That private session came one day after another controversial Walker event where Rudy Giuliani declared that President Barack Obama does not love America.

“To be honest, the feedback was you were not prepared to speak about foreign policy,” Levin, who supports Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for president, told Walker. “So can you tell us what you’re doing to prepare for foreign policy should you run for president?”

Walker seemed a little caught off guard.
Walker then said he was ready to deal with all of the complicated foreign policy issues because he once had breakfast with Henry Kissinger.

Yeah, that's like saying that Walker is ready to deal with Putin because he's watched all the Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes with Boris Badenov.

After trotting out his tired and thoroughly debunked line about Reagan scaring the Russions by firing government workers, Walker then got caught flat-footed again:
On domestic policy, Walker gave vague answers about whether the Dodd-Frank financial reform law should be amended or repealed, along with what changes he’d make to the tax code.

“If you make something as fair as possible, people will be able to complete,” he said when asked about Dodd-Frank. “Let freedom drive the path.”

The non-answer bothered the moderator, so she gave him another chance.

“You have some of your constituents here who have just been audited” because of the law, she said. “You have several community banks, and this is taking a huge toll. Are you just not that aware of what’s happening with Dodd-Frank?”

“Oh, no,” Walker said. “I understand the concern. My point is I’m going to lay out a whole plan not just on this but a whole series of things should I choose to be a candidate for president.”

“It’s not just about Dodd-Frank; it’s about the entire regulatory framework,” he added. “You don’t just nitpick one piece at a time. You have to take on the whole package.”

Asked about what changes he’d make to the tax code, Walker promised “exceptionally detailed plans” down the road.
It should be noted that in 2006, the national Club for Growth (not to be confused with the Wisconsin Club for Growth) chose to support Mark Neumann over Walker when he first ran for governor. Their decision was based on actually looking at Walker's budgets as Milwaukee County Executive.

This also displays the truth about Walker. He excels at presenting a certain image and staying on his talking points, regardless of how full of holes and lies that they might be. But he is not smart enough or adept enough to think on his feet and cannot respond to anything that is not in his carefully crafted script.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Unintimidated? No, Unmitigated

Remember how Walker was boasting how he took on all those protesters and was now ready for ISIS?

Yeah, he took them on alright:


You just can't make this stuff up, folks.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Walker's Other Qualifications

Stemming from Scott Walker blowing the dog whistle for his extreme fringe base, came the following tweet by Thomas Schaller:

Now that's funny!

But that got me thinking that there could be a million of these that we could come up with.

Stuff like how Walker would be qualified to take on North Korean hackers because he once got his earbuds untangled.

Or how Walker would be able to take on Vladimir Putin because he saw all the Bullwinkle and Rocky episodes with Boris Badenov and Walker is almost as smart as Bullwinkle.

What others can you come up with?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scott Walker's Bogus Bravado

By now, the gentle reader is fully aware that Scott Walker really put his foot in his mouth this time with a grandiose statement of bravado while speaking at this years CPAC convention (Motto: The black hole of IQs):



“I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil,” said Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Yeah, okay. Just call me caliph capper.

Walker's show of faux machismo was met with instant criticism:
“To compare the hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, grandmothers, veterans, correctional officers, nurses and all the workers who came out to peacefully protest and stand together for their rights as Americans to ISIS terrorists is disgusting and unacceptable,” Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, said in a statement. “Coming together to peacefully protest for freedom, to raise your voice for a better Wisconsin, this is not an act of terror.”

[...]

Marquette Law School political science professor Charles Franklin said Walker “may have crossed the line” by linking international affairs and union protests. “But it’s not a brand new thing for him to connect toughness in Act 10 and toughness in international affairs.”
Even the right wing National Review Online didn't let Walker off the hook:
That is a terrible response. First, taking on a bunch of protesters is not comparably difficult to taking on a Caliphate with sympathizers and terrorists around the globe, and saying so suggests Walker doesn’t quite understand the complexity of the challenge from ISIS and its allied groups.

Secondly, it is insulting to the protesters, a group I take no pleasure in defending. The protesters in Wisconsin, so furiously angry over Walker’s reforms and disruptive to the procedures of passing laws, earned plenty of legitimate criticism. But they’re not ISIS. They’re not beheading innocent people. They’re Americans, and as much as we may find their ideas, worldview, and perspective spectacularly wrongheaded, they don’t deserve to be compared to murderous terrorists.
The best line came from the DNC:
"If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting," DNC communications director Mo Elleithee said.
And punt is exactly did when Walker realized he made a major blunder and tried to backpedal from his statement by blaming it on the media:
Walker immediately sought to clarify his comments as he shuttled between media interviews after the speech. His political nonprofit group also issued a statement.

“Let me be perfectly clear: I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling this difficult situation is the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with,” Walker told reporters. Asked if he regretted the statement, he said, “No.”

“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit,” he said. “That’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.”
Make no mistake in thinking that this was a gaffe by Walker. If there is one thing he does well, it is blowing the dog whistle. The only mistake he might have made was underestimating the level of blow back he would receive.  Even his staunchest supporters are eventually going to pull back if he keeps making one inane statement after another.

But take a moment to think about Walker said.

This is what he says prepared him to take on savage terrorists with missiles, machine guns and a blood thirst:


Walker's other claims to heroism turn out to be just fabrications of his warped mind.

As the gentle reader can see, his claims of the threats he faced were so exaggerated as to being to the point of ridiculous.  But not only were the supposed threats exaggerated, he also conflated his level of success against them.

As this past week showed with thousands of people converging on the Capitol, he did not do away with the unions.

And those savage Solidarity Singers?  They all had their civil and constitutional rights protected by a court of law and are still singing there every day.

In summary, Walker's idea of terrorists are Americans exercising their constitutional rights, people singing and figments of his imagination.  Even worse, he has proven himself to be ineffective against such grave threats.

What again is he going to do when confronted with armed terrorist who are not afraid of killing or being killed?  I mean, besides wetting himself and running away, screaming like a little kid.

Light A Candle For Jeff Simpson

As many of Jeff Simpson's friends and friends of this blog know, Jeff is a cancer survivor.  In 2010, he had a major operation to remove a large tumor.  The cancer was Chondrosarcoma - "an uncommon type of cancer that begins in cartilage around bones."

Sadly, four and a half years later, Jeff has experienced a recurrence.

The good news is that due to Jeff's taking good care of himself and having regular scans, they caught it much earlier this time.  Even then, the tumor is two inches long.

Due to the fact that this particular type of cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation, surgery is necessary.  Jeff will have an operation on Friday to remove the tumor.  While the tumor is much smaller than last time, it is in a difficult location.  Jeff's doctor has compared it to reaching for something in the back of a drawer.  It's difficult but very doable.

While Jeff is experiencing some anxiety, which is utterly understandable and perfectly normal, he is maintaining a very positive attitude and is confident that he will overcome this as he has every other obstacle.

During a time like this, one would expect that people could put aside their differences and out of basic human decency, at least say nothing, if not wish Jeff well.

Unfortunately, in Fitzwalkerstan, that is too much to expect.  On an old post by Jeff, regarding the Knotzies, one of them left a message last week to show how devoid of decency these trolls are by leaving the following comment (which, for obvious reasons, was never published):
Hope that you die of cancer Jeff Simpson 
Nice, huh?

Anyway, we know that the majority of our readers are much nicer and way classier than these fools.

Saying that, please join us at Cog Dis and remember Jeff and his family this Friday in your thoughts and prayers.  Jeff and his family also invite us to join them in lighting a candle at 9 pm tonight in a show of solidarity and well-wishing.

If you wish to donate some money to Jeff and his family, you can do so here or using the PayPal button at the top right corner of the blog site.

Even if you cannot donate, Jeff and his family would appreciate any help that you can offer, whether it's a prayer, a kind word, the lighting of a candle or a decent cup of coffee.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The De-Evolution of the Republican Party


Will Williams Testimony

By Jeff Simpson

American Hero and Wisconsin Treasure, Will Williams spoke up against the RTW bill yesterday:



Thank you Mr. Williams for your service when you were active duty and beyond!  It is unfortunate none of the Republicans on the panel cared what you had to say.  




Scottholm Syndrome

By Jeff Simpson

Rebeccaforreal posted this on her facebook page:



It's a small wonder the Governor's message is resonating across the country: what a study in contrasts...as our president vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline, killing the creation of thousands of new jobs, here in Wisconsin our State Senate votes "Right to Work" legislation out of committee, moving our state into position to create thousands of new jobs. What a difference 852 miles can make.

To which someone left this comment:

Shari Pes----------wski: God has blessed us with a governor who cares about the citizens and not big businesses.

In case you think your eyes have deceived you let me post that again:

Shari Pes----------wski: God has blessed us with a governor who cares about the citizens and not big businesses.

There really are no words and there really is no hope for WI.  




Randy Bryce Speaks!

By Jeff Simpson

We brought you earlier, the story of how Steve nASS(R- Fraidy-Cat) got scared of people testifying against the bill that his Bosses in ALEC told him he had to pass, so he ran out of the room, cowering in fear.

One of the people they cut off was our friend Randy Bryce. Shame on the people of Senate District 21 for not electing Mr. Bryce!

Here is one reason that the Republicans were so scared - a healthy dose of reality and truth!
My testimony on #WageTheftBill (that was not allowed to be read before the committee due to GOP cowardice)

My name is Randy Bryce. I have been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997.

I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses, and, numerous parts of our infrastructure.

Prior to this, after leaving the US Army with an honorable discharge, I had several jobs that had no bright future, but, allowed me to pay my bills. (usually two jobs at a time)
One day, a friend of our family - a physician who had a patient that was the former ironworker apprenticeship coordinator let me know that the ironworkers were taking applications. I hated the job that I was at. It was in a dirty warehouse, and, I dreaded going into work every day.

I applied. I had never done construction work before. After going through the application process, I finally made it onto the apprenticeship list. I’m not going to go into great detail explaining how my apprenticeship went, because I understand that this body has a bill that they’d like to ram through before the rest of the state is aware of how horrible it really is. I’ll be as brief as possible.

Fact is, the ironworker's apprenticeship has the ability to take unskilled people off of the street, and, gives them a career that they are proud of. They taught me everything that I needed to know in order to now have a career that not only takes care of my family, but, has me proudly pointing out every project that I worked on as I drive throughout the state to my son Ben.

That training isn’t cheap. But, WE pay for it through our union dues, and, from contributions from the contractors who hire us. The apprenticeship board consists of 5 union reps, 5 contractor reps, and, a rep from the state who meet monthly. Zero tax dollars are used. After passing the #WageTheftBill (lets not pretend that this bill involves rights or the ability to work) Michigan has found out that it is now lacking with skilled trades workers. They will soon be using tax money to train workers.

This horrible attack on the Building Trades is not good for anyone in the state. It is a blatant attack due to political ideologies. Sen. Fitzgerald admitted such when this idea was first mentioned when he sought to exempt certain unions who supported Republican candidates. (Unconstitutional) Proponents have admitted that it will not raise wages.

I am sure that you are all aware of the Wisconsin Contractor coalition - a group of around 400 private businesses - many of who donated heavily to Republican candidates - who are opposed to this bill. They see it for what it is - the government getting in the middle of how they hire their help.

We make those contractors a LOT of money. They CHOOSE to use us.

If we are not allowed to collect money from members who freely choose to join our organization, who will pay to train us? Why stop at collecting union dues. A college tuition freeze is nice, but, why not let the student get a degree, then pay what they feel it is worth? Why do groups who want to see this passed charge a membership fee? Wisconsin Manufactorers and Commerce charge fees. The Associated Builders and Contractors charge membership fees. Even ALEC charges membership fees - and I recall that taxpayers foot the bill for a few members of Wisconsin’s legislature to belong to that group. Think of all of the extra jobs that they could create if this bill only went a little bit further and actually addressed freeloading for all. Why not let people pay taxes based on how well they feel that they are being represented? (I think we know how that would turn out)
Another aspect of what is trying to be sold is that this bill gives workers a choice. There already is a choice. If somebody wants to do what I do for a living, there are plenty of open shops that already exist. People are free to go work there. They won’t get the same training that our union dues pay for, and, they probably won’t make the same amount of money as a result, but, they exist. Their lessor wages are what I refer to as their “nonunion dues”. It’s the cost that they choose to be paid for not joining a highly skilled workforce.

The ironworkers created the first union in order to pool money together in order to give someone killed on the job a decent burial. Because of what we saw that could be done by looking out for each other, we were able to demand safer working conditions. Our trade is annually listed among the top 5 with regard to having a high mortality rate, but, it is a lot better than it used to be.

The union that I belong to is self insured. We get no sick days or holiday pay. As stated before, we pay to self train. Our instructors are experienced journey men ironworkers.There is ZERO burden on the taxpayer. The 4 year apprenticeship has members graduate with no student loan debt. Once graduating to Journeyman status, one can work anywhere in North America with a network that has been set up to attract skilled labor when an area faces a shortage. We have no seniority. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Our vacations are taken understanding that we will not get paid for the days that we are on vacation. All of our representatives are elected. All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers local 8 is PURE. DEMOCRACY.

Every single member of the legislature is cordially invited to come view our training facility. When running for state senate, I made it a point to invite members of the opposition party to see what we do.
I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but, how it is being passed. I am proud to be among those who build Wisconsin. My job is construction. This bill is demolition.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind. Because I belong to a union, I was able to take off of work today and not fear that I would lose my job.

Steve nASS (R - Fraidy-Cat)



By Jeff Simpson 

This latest legislative session in Wisconsin, started exactly how you think it would.  A sham hearing, lots of not listening going on and it ending abruptly with the Republicans running out of the room. cowering in fear




Steve nASS gets a special mention for his incredible feat of cowardice, all he was missing was the "Bawk, Bawk" sound effects.

The committee chair, Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said he was concerned a planned protest would become unsafe.
Nass cited an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying union groups planned to peacefully protest the end of testimony at 7 p.m., calling that a credible threat to the safety of the people at the hearing
Steve nASS was sprinting towards the exit so fast, you would think someone was trying to collect past due child support from him.  

Who scared Mr. nASS so badly that he had to call the police and run and hide?

She did!




Mr. nASS can never claim to be #unintimidated.  It is amazing his district, as badly gerrymandered as it is, would want such a milksop as its Representative.  

WI Republicans Start The Fast Track To RTW Ruin

Image courtesy of Citizens Action of Wisconsin
The ongoing downward spiral for Wisconsin continues this week as Scott Walker and his Republican allies continue to ramrod through so-called "Right to Work" legislation in an extraordinary session of the state legislature.

On Monday, labor leaders, community leaders and business owners converged on the Capitol to speak with state senators but were denied access.

On Tuesday, thousands of Wisconsinites went to Madison, some driving five and a half hours, to attend the sham of a public hearing. Scores of Wisconsinites did not get to testify but the Republican clowns made sure that out of state special interests got to say their piece:
It's a rare citizen who would rush to testify that the higher wages, benefits, and training that unions bring are a bad idea. Fortunately, the Wisconsin GOP had the full support of the Koch-funded "think tanks" that are a critical part of the right-wing infrastructure.

James Sherk, an attorney for the D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, flew out to pile on. Sherk's innovative legal effort to devise a local right to work strategy and peddle it though the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was featured on the front page of the New York Times recently in an article entitled "Foes of Unions Try Their Luck at the County Level." The Heritage Foundation received $650,000 in 2012 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which was one of the Koch Family Foundations before it closed in 2013. The Lambe Foundation contributed at least $4.8 million to the Heritage Foundation between 1998 and 2012. See our SourceWatch profile here.

Sherk waxed lyrical over the fact that right to work legislation would "drive down labor costs." Sen. Larson translated for the audience: "You say labor costs. You know, I would call that wages."

Greg Mourad from the National Right to Work Committee, which received $1 million from the Koch brothers' secret bank Freedom Partners in 2012, was not keen to discuss where his paycheck comes from.

"Have you never asked yourself why some of the richest people in the country are spending so much money on your group -- people pushing an extreme anti-worker and anti-environment agenda?" Sen. Larson asked Mourad. He had not. The National Right to Work Committee has been a national leader in the effort to destroy public and private sector unions by pushing anti-union legislation at the state and federal level and by bringing lawsuits, such as the 2014 Harris v. Quinn case in the U.S. Supreme Court attacking unions in Illinois. The three groups associated with the Committee reported over $25 million in revenue in 2012. CMD's Sourcewatch profile of the group can be found here.

F. Vincent Vernuccio flew in all the way from Michigan, where workers were "freed" to make lower wages in 2013. Vernuccio works for Michigan's Mackinac Center, one of the largest state-based think tanks in the nation, and part of the $84 million dollar State Policy Network, a sister organization to ALEC. The Mackinac Center received $1,494,000 from the Koch conduits DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund between 2010 and 2012. See CMD's ;SourceWatch profile here.

Last year, Vernuccio masterminded a coordinated campaign attacking teachers in Michigan. Together with the Koch-founded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the National Right to Work Committee, Mackinac released targeted Facebook and Google ads, built webpages, published op-eds in local and state newspapers, and flooded Michiganders with mass mailings and robo-calls -- all with the aim of destroying the teachers' union by creating a mass exodus of members.

There was one Wisconsinite ready to testify. Scott Manley, representing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), bemoaned the fact that Wisconsin is lagging in new job creation compared to right to work states (the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Wisconsin 32 out of 50 states in new job creation). But just a few months ago, during Walker's campaign for reelection, WMC aired TV ad after TV adpraising Governor Walker for the state's blockbuster economic performance.
It should be noted that Manley was also forced to admit that only 7% of the companies he is supposed to be representing actually support this. The vast majority of companies in Wisconsin resent this intrusion into how they conduct their business.

The Republicans and their corporate bosses weren't done making a mockery of democacy.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a quick story saying that the unions were planning a protest for the end of the hearing. State Senator Steve Nass, who was the day's ring master, conflated that to a threat to their safety and called an end to the meeting more than a half hour before it was scheduled to end.

Even though this Nass-clown supposedly felt in fear for his life, he did make sure to take the time to take a roll call vote, passing this piece of ALEC written legislation for Wednesday's session. It should be noted that it passed on a 3-1 vote. The other Democrat, Senator Chris Larson, was not given the opportunity to vote.

And as far as that threat goes, there was none, unless one considers dissent to be a threat:
During the meeting, the source for the Journal Sentinel report, Bruce Colburn of the Service Employees International Union state council, stood up in the middle of the committee hearing and told Nass that there was no threat or need for concern. Colburn and AFSCME Council 48 Executive Director Boyd McCamish later told the Journal Sentinel that the newspaper's report was accurate but that they disagreed with Nass' contention that their plans constituted a "threat," calling that argument a "sham."

"There was no threat," Colburn said. "We wanted to ensure that people had a right to speak."

"They used it as a straw man to get out of a very uncomfortable position," McCamish added. "It's an act of political cowardice."

Union supporters reacted with disbelief and anger to the sudden vote, shouting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" as police escorted Republican lawmakers from the hearing room. A spokesman for the Walker administration and Capitol Police said there was one arrest before the Capitol closed.
It is expected that Wednesday will present with a continuation of this farce as the corporate-controlled Republicans do their masters' bidding in ramming this through. It can also be expected that the Republicans will squelch the speech of the Democrats as much as possible.

The Republicans really, really don't want the people to know what they are about to do to them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hey Scott, I See The Signs!



By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker was doing what he does best recently, campaigning out of state and telling tall tales. This time to a Christian media convention:

He told a Christian Media Convention in Tennessee that he has not yet decided whether to run for president.  He told the crowd that he's waiting on a sign from a higher power. He says it takes a certain kind of person to want to be president. 
Governor Walker says, "You've got to be crazy to want to be president of the United States. You've got to be crazy. When you look at what it does to a person and a family - you've got to be crazy."
Apparently, the fact that he is the only person in America to have their political organization open up campaign offices in Iowa and New Hampshire (the first two Presidential Primary states) is not sign enough.   

I guess Mr. Walker was speaking in tongues when he learned about the 9th and 10th Commandments.  

Milwaukee Dems Asked To Expel Chris Abele

The gentle reader is already aware that Chris Abele had been on a yearlong mission to rob county retirees of their pensions.  Fortunately, the county board was able to stop him before he created a bigger - and absolutely avoidable - problem for the county and the taxpayers.  Earlier this month, Abele vetoed the board's repair job but they were able to override his recklessness.

However, Abele is not going to be able to just walk away without taking some responsibility for his actions, which he is used to doing due to his father's wealth.

Dennis Hughes, who just restored justice and democracy to Janesville and their school board, has once again stood up to hold Abele accountable for his deplorable attack and maltreatment of these retirees.  Hughes has sent the following letter to the executive board of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, asking them to expel Abele from the Party for going so against one of the most basic tenets of the party:





It will be interesting to see how the Milwaukee Democrats handle this. It seems that Hughes' request will get little serious consideration. The chair, Marlene Ott, is known to be such an Abele fanatic that she suspends disbelief and ignores reality to support whatever he does, including this attack on the retirees.

Adding to the muddle is that other officers have conflicts of interest, including Secretary Brandon Savage, who has been on Abele's payroll.

Nor can the county party look to the state party for help.  Mike Tate, the soon but not soon enough to be gone chair of the state party, is personal friends with Abele and even has called him a leader and honored him despite Abele's antics.

It's not like the Democrats don't already have enough grounds to take action.

Along with the attack on retirees, there has been Abele's repeated attempts to utterly bust the unions, there has been his decimation of representative government and subsequent loss of democracy and the simple fact that he has donated to the likes of rabid Tea Party Republicans like Dale Kooyenga and Joe Sanfelippo.

Hopefully, the board will be responsible enough to take action now before Abele undermines the party even further and sends them further into chaos.

Home Schooling In Action

By Jeff Simpson 

Idaho Republican Vito Barbieri shows that he somehow muct be related to Glenn Grothman with his brilliant question at a recent hearing:

As the Associated Press reported, Barbieri tried to compare telemedicine abortion procedures to colonoscopies during a meeting of the House State Affairs Committee. But his comeuppance was more thorough than wire reports suggested.
“You mention the risk of colonoscopy,” Barbieri told physician Julie Madsen. “Can that be done by drugs?”
“It can not be done by drugs,” Madsen replied. “It can, however, be done remotely, where you swallow a pill, and this pill has a little camera and it makes its way through your intestines, and those images are uploaded to a doctor who’s often thousands of miles away who then interprets that.”
“Can this same procedure be done in a pregnancy — swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is with the child?” Barbieri asked.
“It cannot be done in pregnancy simply because, when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina,” she answered prompting loud laughter from within the chamber.
“Fascinating,” Barbieri said. “That certainly makes sense, doctor.”
YIKES!   One might ask how could someone this ignorant be holding elected office, but I doubt thats a question you would ask if you have been paying attention to some of the elected Republicans in WI.
Barbieri has become a national laughingstock, and a quick look at his resume you see where he was given such brilliant information(emphasis mine):

Retired attorney, practicing in California for 20 years. Incumbent state representative. Barbieri owns a catering business and the “Vap-It” electronic cigarette store in Post Falls. In his two terms in the House, he’s been an outspoken tea party supporter and opponent of Medicaid expansion and civil rights protections for gays. Barbieri is board chairman of the Open Arms crisis pregnancy center and clinic in Coeur d’Alene. A home-schooling advocate, he’s called on Christians to pull their children out of Idaho’s “Godless” public schools.




Are we ever going to hold our elected officials to a higher standard?  At this point, I would settle for a basic competency test.  If you think continually handing these guys the wheel of our nation will not have serious long term effects, you are sadly mistaken.  

Hi. I'm Scott Walker and I'm Incompetent. Give Me Money.

In the past week, Scott Walker has shown time and time again that he is not ready to run with the big boys. He has presented a strong case that he can't even answer simple questions that don't match the scripted lines that he worked so hard on memorizing.

Walker has punted a question about evolution. He then fumbled when asked whether he thought President Barack Obama loved the United States. And lest we forget, Walker damn near fainted when he was asked if Obama was a Christian.

So Walker does what comes naturally to him - he tries to monetize it!

Click image to embiggen


Only to Republicans would it make sense to give $1,000 to someone for proving that they are incompetent, spineless and mindless. I guess they didn't have time to film a commercial with Walker looking forlornly into the camera while the narrator says only you can save Koch puppets from the abuse suffered at the hands of the media.

The irony of it all is simply mind boggling.

As bad as this fundraiser email is, it will never top the one he sent out on Black Friday in 2013, in which he told people to forego buying Christmas presents for their children and give him the money instead.

H/T to James Rowen at The Political Environment

Monday, February 23, 2015

Right to Work is Wrong For Wisconsin


 

By Jeff Simpson

 Mayor Paul Soglin tells how wrong the Republicans are in trying to rush through Right to Work in Wisconsin.  


MADISON (WKOW)-- Saturday Madison Mayor Paul Soglin blasted plans to pass right-to-work legislation in the senate next week.
The Senate is set to hold a public hearing on the bill Tuesday and take a vote Wednesday. The bill would make it illegal to require a person to join an union or pay union dues as a requirement of their employment.
Mayor Soglin says it will hurt workers and credits unions with boosting the local economy.
“In Madison and Dane County where we have one of the most robust economies in the nation, where we are going contrary to the trend in the rest of the state, which is what really needs to be presented in a legislative hearing process, we have strong unions,” Mayor Soglin said.

The Wisconsin Business Alliance, a business group that actually cares about Wisconsin and has some actual business sense, has found out that Right to work isn't popular in Wisconsin.   



I spent this morning calling local chambers of commerce in Republican state senate districts in an effort to get their take on the so-called “right to work” legislation that is scheduled to be introduced at the State Capitol this week.
Since the State Chamber of Commerce, or WMC, is strongly supporting the legislation, I was curious to learn where local business associations stand on the issue.
Specifically, I wanted to learn the answer to this question: Is WMC really representing Wisconsin’s broad and diverse business community when it claims that businesses want legislators to enact “right to work” laws?The answer was astonishing: I could not find a single Chamber in the districts of senators Fitzgerald, Cowles, Moulton, Petrowski, Nass, Lasee, or Harsdorf that supports “right to work.”In fact, I heard statements like these again and again: “We’re not taking a position on that.” “We don’t take a stand on political issues.” “We only advocate for political issues when there’s a strong consensus among our members — and we don’t have consensus on this.”
Let's see, the Mayor of one of the best cities in the country to live is against it, the Chambers of Commerce in every Republican Senators district will not speak in favor of it, so who is for it.  

O yeah ALEC

There is of course a full daily dose of Irony, that the party that was abhorred, by one of Mary Burke's consultants copying his earlier work while writing policy, then introducing as their first bill, one plagiarized word for word from their masters at ALEC.

Of course it would take a media that cared about objective facts and the search for truth to actually bring that up.   It even took one of the Republicans long time donor's and cheerleaders to point out that not a single Republican campaigned on this issue that they are now fast tracking.   



What does a campaign mean when almost none of the major policy departures contained in the budget were proposed or debated during the year-long exchange of policy ideas by Democrat Mary Burke and Republican Scott Walker?
The major issue in that hard-fought and money-drenched contest was job creation. That priority has almost disappeared from the Republican dialogue now coming out of the governor’s office and Republican-controlled capitol. As if to declare victory, the current focus is now about workforce development and filling jobs.
Lest we celebrate prematurely, there are still about a half million unemployed or underemployed adults in the state, many in the central city of Milwaukee; we still have a brain drain of more than 10,000 college graduates; and our wage levels are still in the bottom third of states.
A little digging though and we see exactly where this bill is coming from:

WISCONSIN RIGHT TO WORK COMMITTEE, INC.

MICHELLE LITJENS

3765 MAXWELL RD
PO BOX 296
OSHKOSH , WI 54904 

Hmmmm I wonder if Robin Vos will recuse himself?   




The President Hunter



By Jeff Simpson 

Apparently we have come out with the sequel to the important 70's film the Deer Hunter.  The Deer Hunter is explained as:

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

The sequel being made before our eyes is a called The President Hunter and stars our very own Scott Walker.   The President Hunter can best be described this way:


An in-depth examination of the ways in which, the absolute lust to be President by their Governor, impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small Midwestern state - Wisconsin.

Scott Walker, during his "I'm not running but I am really running for President official 2015 National Tour", likes to tell a story.  

 Scott Walker, on tele-town hall, tells Iowans about death threats: "gut my wife like a deer," and "be the 1st WI gov to be assassinated."— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 3, 2015
I think we can all agree that who ever said anything about "gutting Tonette like a deer" is one sick f&ck and needs to be arrested and hospitalized.   The person who would say that needs serious serious help.  

What I believe we disagree on is who exactly said that.

See it is out in the public and a story told and retold numerous times.  So someone had to originally say it.   The problem is there is overwhelming evidence that the person who actually said that was ---
SCOTT WALKER.

Mr. Walker has never ever produced this message in any form, anywhere.   Mr. Walker also has a history of lying about his dangerous situation that protesters have put him in, that would make Bill O' Reilly proud.

Add to that a recent AP story that the Justice Department admitted that there is are current death threat investigations regarding Scott Walker.  

Madison - The Wisconsin Department of Justice has no open investigations into death threats against Gov. Scott Walker, the agency said Monday after Walker's office released more than 100 pages of emails and other documents showing perceived threats made against him over the past two years.
Walker's office released 116 pages of documents Friday following an open records request from The Associated Press.
Anything perceived by Walker's staff to be a threat was saved and referred to law enforcement, said Walker's assistant legal counsel, Teri Hatchell, in a letter accompanying the records. Hatchell said the records were released after consulting with law enforcement to ensure doing so would not jeopardize any investigations.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the agency has no open investigations.
Walker's spokesman declined to comment.
Most of the threats in the documents provided to AP come from shortly after Walker took office in 2011, when the Republican governor's proposal to effectively end collective bargaining rights for most public workers resulted in massive protests that lasted weeks. The most recent email was from February 2012.
The threats came in the form of emails, letters and tips from Walker backers pointing to postings on websites such as Facebook.
The records include about 65 messages, including at least 25 from the same person.
That person sent insulting emails to Walker but also left his telephone number.
The Department of Justice previously released details of threats it investigated that were made against Walker and state lawmakers.
Only one case where a person made threats against Walker or lawmakers has led to charges in Dane County. In that case, a Cross Plains woman emailed death threats to 15 Republican state senators in 2011. She pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat and was placed in a first-offenders program.
D'oh!

If Governor Scott Walker can produce and does the message stating that someone actually said that about Tonette, I promise a full apology and correction to the story.   I do not foresee that happening.

If Governor Walker can not, which many suspect and the evidence is overwhelming, then he is truly one twisted individual, to say this about his wife in order to get more support from his base.  

In my mind it would be a lie where people should demand immediate resignation from his position,

What will it be Governor, will you show us who actually made this threat to your wife, or is your silence on this topic the answer we need?










The Good, The Bad and The Ugly



When Ron Johnson was named the US Senator most likely to lose his seat to the other party, one just knew that this race was gonna get good.

The Republicans knew this too. When there was even just a rumor of a rumor that Russ Feingold was going to run, they became very defensive and started attacking Feingold.

Now their worst fears have taken a step closer to becoming reality.

Feingold has resigned from his ambassadorship and is returning to Wisconsin. This has strengthened the speculation that Feingold will indeed seek his old seat back. The excitement people are feeling at just the prospect of this is almost palpable.

Besides the thought of Feingold coming back, RoJo has another problem to deal with.

When RoJo ran for office in 2010, he said that any climate change that might be happening was due to natural causes, like sunspots. He was fiercely defended by scientist Willie Soon. It turns out that Soon was on the Koch payroll after all (just like RoJo). Only time will tell if the corporate media will actually call RoJo out on this.

Interestingly, it appears that a third candidate is sending out feelers into this race.

Chris Abele, the son of billionaire John Abele of Boston Scientific fame, has been gearing up to run against Ron Johnson.

On Sunday morning, Abele's good friend and political operative, Dan Adams, was on the Charlie Sykes show ( a local version of Faux News). Adams went on the offensive for Abele, but instead of attacking RoJo, he went after Feingold:



"My losers are Wisconsin Democrats if Russ Feingold is the Party's candidate. I mean, really! Friends, this is the best we're going to do? Another retreaded baby boomer seeking one more shot at redemption?! While the Party bench is light, there must be a fresh face to carry the mantle."
For those that are wondering who Abele is, he is the current Milwaukee County Executive who has picked up exactly were Scott Walker left off.

Abele's claims to fame so far include, but are in no way limited to:
  • Dismantling representative government in the county
  • Taking away local control of services, such as the mental health system. He gave that system to a board of unelected, political appointees with taxing powers. (Can you say taxation without representation?)
  • Trying to make the county a right to work entity
  • Taking away worker's rights and civil service protections
  • Selling county assets to fellow millionaire buddies for cheap in no bid contracts
And this guy claims to be a Democrat.

What he is is a plutocrat's plutocrat. Abele believes in austerity for the little people while he sits in his ivory tower. He has actively fought against a living wage, workers rights to unionize and even tried to charge people to get a referendum question on the ballot.

In short, Abele is a lot like what Scott Walker would be like if he was independently wealthy.

Abele doesn't have much of a chance. He is grossly underestimating Feingold's popularity and grossly overestimating his own popularity, even among other Democrats.

At least between Abele and RoJo, this race will offer lots of entertainment as they flail around.