Friday, May 22, 2015

Scott Walker Fired From His Own Job Creation Agency

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) was going to be the feather in Scott Walker's cap as he prepared to run for president. It was with this quasi public/private entity that Walker was going to create the 250,000 jobs that he had promised while campaigning for governor. Even though this type of program has failed everywhere else, Walker knew better.

Walker was so assured of its success that he made himself chairman of the board for WEDC.

But instead of a feather in his cap, WEDC has become an albatross around his neck.

The official numbers are in and Walker barely made it to half of the promised jobs, gaining only 121,000 jobs. And if you take out the jobs that were created through the policies and budget of his predecessor, Jim Doyle, Walker didn't even break 100,000 jobs in his first term.

Not only did Walker and WEDC fail miserably to perform as promised, but the agency has been plagued with corruption and ineptitude. Audit after audit showed that the agency lost track of tens of millions of dollars, didn't follow its own rules regarding giving loans and spent money on things like iTunes and Badger football tickets.

In the most recent audit, it was learned that Walker's top aides were leaning heavily on WEDC to give a construction company a $4.3 million loan. The loan ended up being $500,000 but the company created no jobs, went under and never repaid the loan.

It was further revealed that Walker was aware of the progress on securing the loan. You see, Walker had a personal interest in this loan going through since the company owner had given Walker's campaign a $10,000 campaign donation.

Walker went into damage control mode and called for his agency to stop all loans, basically admitting to the failure and corruption of WEDC, which he oversaw.

Days later, it was revealed that Walker had tried to slip into his budget a rule that WEDC would be exempt from FOIA requests.

Finally, the Republicans in the legislature had had enough. Well, either that or they wanted to try to distance Walker from his failure in WEDC. Either way, they ended up firing Walker as chair of the group he created:
The state’s Republican-led budget committee Thursday retained legislative oversight of Gov. Scott Walker’s troubled job-creation agency, removed the governor from its board and pledged further changes later this fall in the wake of a recent critical audit and a State Journal investigation.

The Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines for the changes to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., but only after rejecting a series of Democratic ideas to reform the agency and more than an hour of debate during which even Republicans conceded that the agency needs fixing.

“We know that it’s time to reform this,” said Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson. “We can’t do it in the middle of the budget.”

Knudson even made the sobering admission that he didn’t believe in the mission of the agency — to leverage state tax dollars to help create jobs.
Imagine that. Walker and WEDC failed so miserably that his fellow Republicans had to pull his butt out of the fire he created.

But Walker's WEDC woes doesn't end here.

State Democrats have finally woken up and started acting like Democrats by calling for a federal investigation into Walker's blatant pay for play stunt. Whether the feds actually do anything is yet to be seen.

Sadly, taking Walker out of his position as chair of WEDC won't help the state much. The only real solution to the WEDC debacle is to end it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Running The Numbers

By Jeff Simpson

In a week and a half, the Wisconsin Democratic Party will be holding their annual convention in Milwaukee.

Approximately 1200 Democratic Party Members who signed up ahead of time to be delegates will get the privilege to vote for the next party chair (I highly recommend Joe Wineke) and there are five candidates running.

Whoever wins the party chair(please please do not vote in Jason Rae), there are four very important numbers that they have to keep in mind.

The first number is 1,121,555.  

That is the amount of votes Mary Burke received.   Let's say there are 2000 people at the upcoming convention, that means there are 1,119,555 people who vote Democratic, when given a reason, who are not at the convention.

How will YOU reach out and treat them.

The second number is 1,259,163.

That number is one more than the vote total that Scott Walker received to win re-election.

How will the Democratic Party raise their vote total so that we take over the Governorship next time?

The Third Number is 99.

99 members in the Wisconsin Assembly and the current breakdown is 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats.   The Democratic party NEEDS to pick up 14 seats.

How do you plan on doing that(PS: its a long slow process is the wrong answer).

The Fourth and final number is 33!

There are 33 seats in the State Senate and currently Republicans hold 19 of them and the Democrats 14.  That means the Democrats MUST take three more seats!   Its Mandatory!

What is the path to success?

Those are the key questions that the new chair of the Democratic Party has to answer! 


By Jeff Simpson

You seriously could not make this up if you tried.

 Breidbardt's little Gilligan, James O' Keefe(Eric O'Keefe's friend - no relation) is "interviewing" Judith Miller, the former New York Times Reporter who helped Bush/Cheney lie us into the Iraq war, on of all things (sit down for this) Journalistic Integrity.

Honestly! The only one missing in this discussion is Christian Schneider.  

If you watched that whole fiasco, now in order to cleanse yourself, you must watch All The President's Men and the following Jon Stewart Video and the pain will slowly go away.

Scott Walker And Josh Duggar

Scott Walker really knows how to pick his friends.  In a long string of embarrassments, Walker has done it again:

Duggar is renowned for being part of the infamous reality TV family with the show "19 and Counting."  Duggar is also a lobbyist for the anti-gay, anti-women's rights group Family Research Council.

Or I should say, was a lobbyist, since he resigned Thursday after it was found that he had molested several underage girls:
In the wake of a tabloid report alleging that he molested several underage girls while he was a teenager, reality-television star Josh Duggar said Thursday that he “acted inexcusably” and was “deeply sorry” for what he called “my wrongdoing.”

The 27-year-old Duggar, a high-profile member of the evangelical Christian family that stars on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” also resigned his post with the conservative Family Research Council.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.

“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
By the way, Walker has not made any comment about his friend. Then again, he never denounced his friends Tim Russell and Brian Pierick for their sexual crimes against minors either.

The Knudson Mentality

By Jeff Simpson

Assembly Representative Dean Knudson, who misrepresents the Hudson, WI area, tweeted this recently:

In typical Republican, intimidated, cowardly fashion, he deleted this tweet shortly after.   This does show the Republican mindset in Wisconsin.  The problem with hiss "62 Assembly Colleagues" is that he actually has 98 Assembly colleagues.    In modern day Wisconsin, Democrats are less than human and their ideas and opinions are of no interest to the Republicans, despite the fact that the Democrats represent millions of Wisconsinites.  

There is a reason they gerrymandered the state, this kind of attitude would not be approved by the voters of Wisconsin in an even remotely swing district.

Private School Vouchers Win Big at Expense of Public Schools

MADISON – Early today, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee threw crumbs to Wisconsin’s public schools while continuing to fill the coffers of private voucher schools.  Over the next biennium and on top of $450 million already budgeted, an additional $48 million will be taken from K-12 public schools for private schools.  After filling Governor Walker’s unnecessary proposed $127 million cut to public K-12 schools and taking an additional $48 million away for private schools, Wisconsin’s 871,000 public school children will barely see an increase in state money for public schools. 

“It was Christmas morning for private voucher schools after Republicans delivered a late night bonanza that included a consistent amount of funding for every child in a private voucher school that only goes up, further expanding this system state-wide with increases in pupil enrollment over the next decade, and even more money for private schools that accept special education students without providing any special instruction.  Republicans gave our public schools crumbs, while they served up lobster and caviar for some of their biggest campaign donors, the private voucher school industry which has invested millions in their elections.

“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have followed Governor Walker’s lead in selling out our public schools to the highest bidder.  After Republicans slashed $1.3 billion from K-12 since Governor Walker took over, our public school children needed us to make an investment in their future and in our state.  Instead of listening to the people of the state who asked repeatedly that K-12 public education be a top priority in this budget, Republicans sided with their special interest friends and campaign donors.” 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

With Friends Like These....

By Jeff Simpson

We recently brought you the story of Thad Nation, Founder of Nation Consulting and all of the work he has done helping Republicans destroy our state.   Nation Consulting is relevant because one of their associates, Jason Rae,  is trying to become the new chair of the Democratic party of WI.  

Nation Consulting consists of the Founder(Thad Nation), two partners and three associates.   We have documented the right wing bent of Mr. Nation and one of the other partners is Jeff Blumb.  

As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words, and here is Mr. Blumb:

Is this what you want running the Democratic Party?  Is there any wonder Nation Consulting's Democratic clients are not successful in elections?  

Please, if you are lucky enough to be deemed a delegate by your local Democratic party, do the right thing and let's star ridding ourselves of these right wing lobbyists from the leadership of the Democratic party,   

Our state depends on it!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RoJo: I'd Believe The Ayatollah Over Obama

Via Talking Points Memo, we learn that our dumb senator strikes again:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, suggested at a recent town hall event in Cerdarburg, Wisc., that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may be more trustworthy than President Obama when it comes to the nuclear deal.

"Now, a President who was awarded the 2013 Politifact Lie of the Year, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period. If you like your doctor you can keep it, period. They lied boldfaced to the American public repeatedly with Obamacare," Johnson said, according to a clip surfaced by Buzzfeed News on Tuesday.

"I don’t know, I hate to admit it, but in terms of this framework, do I trust President Obama, or do I trust the Ayatollah? In terms of what the framework actually says? I’m not so sure I’m trusting President Obama on this," Johnson continued.
This is coming from a guy that has lied about how he built his own business and earned his millions of dollars. This is also the guy that said that global climate change is caused by sunspots.

The question isn't whether we can believe Obama.  The question is why should we believe RoJo?

H/T Heather

Joe Wineke For Chair

Image result for joe wineke

By Jeff Simpson

The Wisconsin State Democratic Convention is coming up and while I will not be there, there is an incredibly important vote going on.  The vote for who will be the next head of the State of Wisconsin Democratic Party(and first vice chair).

In the running are:

Martha Laning/David Bowen -  Martha Laning ran for WI Senate in the 9th district and while running gave basically the same answer as Mary Burke was giving regarding ACT 10.  Some gobbeldygook about it helping balance the massive budget deficit which showed she didn't understand the deficit, or ACT 10 and is more than willing to throw public workers under the bus.   Laning also does not support a raise in the minimum wage. No thanks!

Also, running on her ticket for first vice chair, is Representative David Bowen.   I really like and respect Mr. Bowen and see a strong future for him in the Democratic party and the state of Wisconsin.   However he needs to get his own house in order before worrying about the party.   The Assembly, under Peter Barca's "leadership" has lost seats every year, and last year let 26 of the 99 seats go unchallenged.   When Bowen challenges Barca, I am on board 100%, now I am not on board at all.

Jeff Smith/ Stephanie Findley:   I also like and respect Jeff Smith,   I hope he stays involved and active in the Democratic party for many years to come.   However I can not support his candidacy at this time.  I personally think, that the number one issue that Democrats can get behind and win on is public education.  We see it every election cycle with referendum after referendum passing.

People want what is best for their kids, and what is best for their kids is a strong public education.  

Unfortunately, Ms. Findley is very much on the wrong end of this argument.   The alternative to public education, is a public education that has the resources needed to succeed,  When you want to give even a penny of our public education dollars to snake oil salesmen like Zeus Rodriguez or formerly convicted felons like Scott Jensen, then you are running for leadership of the wrong party.    
Jason Rae//Penny Bernard Schaber:  This is the biggest head scratcher of them all.   It amazes me that someone from the lobbying/consulting firm - Nation Consulting, would be bold enough to try and run the Democratic Party.   One of the important issues that Democrats stand for is getting money out of politics.  To elect a lobbyist to run the party would be like hiring a someone who was knee deep in the caucus scandal to run the gubernatorial campaign against Scott Walker.   Ok, we tried that and it did not work out very well.

All we need to do is allow Thad Nation, to have access to the full party and who knows how many pipelines we can get flowing through Wisconsin.

It is unfortunate that Ms. Schaber has hitched her wagons to a lobbyist because she has served our state well.

Please, whatever happens, putting Nation Consulting in charge of the Democratic Party would be a death knell to the party.

All of the people running, I appreciate that they are.  I also believe that the Democratic party has to be a big tent party.  I also understand that party purity is hard to find in terms of candidates and members, however we need it in our chair.  

Finally the team that I support and fully endorse:

Joe Wineke/Dottie LeClair:

Joe Wineke used to be party chair and last time he was in control, the Democrats had both houses and the Governor.   My how things have fallen.

I know one of the biggest complaints is that Mr. Wineke brought Nation into the Democratic party and was a lobbyist for AT&T.   While everyone makes mistakes, hopefully we know enough now about Nation Consulting that they will be blackballed from the Democratic party and all Democratic candidates.   I know I personally will not send a nickel to any candidate that hires them.

As for the lobbyist gig, let me address that.   I have always, and still do, hold the profession of lobbying, slightly below ambulance chasers and snake handlers.  That being said, Mr. Wineke was taking no salary at the time as head of the party(people need to make money, so the chair should take a salary) and everyone needs to make money.  Secondly, while it was not the best move in the world, after getting some pressure, he resigned his position.

Let me say that again.  After getting pressure from the people in the party, he actually listened and resigned his position.

Had our last "leader" actually listened to the people in the party we might be in a different position right now.

In the end, it is results that speak to me and it is undeniable(while I understand Wineke does not get full credit) that when he was in charge of the party, Democrats won elections.  

That is enough for me and I urge the people who signed up to be delegates(and who actually get to vote) to vote for Joe Wineke/Dottie LeClair ticket!

Some more on Joe Wineke:

Here he is on Sly

Here he is again on Sly discussing the party chair position

A Q & A session with his local paper

A Blogging Blue interview

Dave Zweifel of the Capital Times, take on Joe

One last thing, the last time I joined the Democratic Party was the day the Senators left Wisconsin to slow down the fast tracked Walker anti-worker agenda.   After that year, I let me party membership lapse because it seemed like once they came back to WI, they stopped representing us.  If Joe Wineke wins the party chair election, I will join the party the following Monday.

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CCXLII

Scott Walker is traveling the country, telling people that he should be president because his agenda was so successful in Wisconsin.

There are now 300 people in Ripon who could testify that it's still not working - and neither are they:
ConAgra Foods plans to close its west cookie plant in Ripon.

The move will put about 300 full-time employees out of work, according to the company. Workers were told Monday today and layoffs are expected to be finished by December. Employees have the option of applying for other open positions within ConAgra.

The plant in question is the company’s west plant, which makes soft baked and chocolate dipped cookies.

The employee union told FOX 11 the popular Rippin’ Good Cookie Outlet Store will also close.
I have repeatedly pointed out that as Walker takes money out of the economy and gives it to wealthy campaign donors, this causes a ripple effect in which people cut back on things, including cookies:
Through a statement, the company told FOX 11 it made the decision based on the need to operate its overall plant network as effectively and efficiently as possible. The statement went on to say declining demand and overall operating costs do not allow the company to meet the needs of the business and customers.
Ironically, Ripon is the birth place of the GOP. One could say that the chickens have come home to roost.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Scott Walker Hates The Marines

By Jeff Simpson

Capper reported yesterday, on the further "Palin"ization of Scott Walker.  He has been on the national stage and embarrassing himself daily.  

"As a governor, I've been, just recently in Germany, in Spain and France," Walker explained. "Earlier in the year, it was the United Kingdom on trade related missions. A few years back in China and Japan. So, that's probably the most of any governor of either party has is that experience in terms of trade relations.
"Probably the most", of course he would not take the time to do his research since he has proven that the truth matters little to him.   Which is almost as bad as spending a day or two in six sovereign countries out of 196(3%) and declaring himself a foreign policy expert.  

The worst thing that he said in his gaffe filled appearance was this:

The possible candidate suggested that he would model his foreign policy after President Ronald Reagan, who he described "the best president" on foreign policy of his lifetime.
What was Ronald Reagan most known for foreign policy wise as president?

Yes a suicide bomber killed 299 people, 214 were American Servicemen and President Reagans response was to cut and run.   Brilliant.

But WAIT!  There's more!

We can not forget Reagan;s love affair with Saddam Hussein(remember him)?

Or the fact that Ronald Reagan played a direct role in Osama Bin Laden's ascendency into power.  Reagan also armed the Nicaraguan fighters, this time against the U.S.'s own treaties. 

That was not very successful either.  

If Reagan is Scott Walker's ideal of the perfect foreign policy expert, then heaven help us all if he gets elected!  

Image result for scott walker foreign policy

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scott Walker's Quote Of The Day

On Sunday, Scott Walker appeared on Face the Nation to tout his suddenly attained foreign policy chops by being a glorified tourist in six foreign countries.

Also from the show comes this wonderful little blurb:
"As a governor, you have to put a cabinet in place and hopefully you pick people as smart or smarter than you on any given topic," he remarked. "I think that's something that's required of a successful president."
I think Walker could easily do that.

In fact, I think it would be impossible to find someone that is not at least as smart, if not smarter, than Walker.

Even easier would be to find someone more ethical.

Walker Claims To Be Most Qualified On Foreign Policy

Via Crooks and Liars, we find that Scott Walker is claiming to be the most qualified GOP presidential wannabe on foreign policy because - get this - he visited six countries in the past two years!


In case you missed it, here's a partial transcript:
"And I do think if foreign policy plays an important role, the contrast will be clear because just about everywhere Hillary Clinton has played a role with this president -- under President Obama -- that part of the world is largely a failure, a mess," he continued. "Because of the policies we've seen from Obama and Clinton."

After noting that Walker had recently visited Israel, a trip partially paid for by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Schieffer wondered what made the Wisconsin governor qualified to lead the county's foreign policy.

"As a governor, I've been, just recently in Germany, in Spain and France," Walker explained. "Earlier in the year, it was the United Kingdom on trade related missions. A few years back in China and Japan. So, that's probably the most of any governor of either party has is that experience in terms of trade relations."

The possible candidate suggested that he would model his foreign policy after President Ronald Reagan, who he described "the best president" on foreign policy of his lifetime. He argued that "one of the worst presidents" was President Barack Obama.
Of course, Walker fails to mention that he only spent a day or three in each country. Granted, that's more time than he's spent in Wisconsin since being reelected, but still...

To be honest, though, claiming to be the most qualified on foreign policy because he went sight seeing in six countries is better than when he claimed to be qualified by running away from protesters.

And even when he is in said foreign countries, he either is hush-hush about everything or he punts.

I'm just a little surprised he didn't count going to Taco Bell as another notch in his foreign policy credentials.

Scott Walker - Pander King

 By Jeff Simpson

There was a time, not too long ago, when Scott Walker let everyone in Wisconsin know that he wanted to be Governor of Wisconsin for the next four years.   That might be the last time he has actually been in WI.  

Yesterday, the non-candidate for President, tweeted this pic out:

Is there anything more sad than watching someone who has been given such power and responsibility to run a state, completely shirk their duties and pander and grovel all over the country?

Embedded image permalink

Friday, May 15, 2015

More Democratic Party Games

Last week, I pointed out how the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is becoming more and more like their counterparts on the farther right in that the party has become under the control of the establishment machine.

Unfortunately, it appears that I was just scratching the surface.

With the DPW convention just two short weeks away, the deadline for applying to be a delegate to the convention is close of business today.  To be a delegate, one has to pay the $25 membership fee ($10 for low income) and then another $25 to go to the convention.  And that's if you live in town.  If you are upstate, then you also need to get an overpriced hotel room for a couple of nights.

The number of delegates from each county is determined by the number of Democratic votes in the last presidential election.  Obviously, this would favor Dane County and Milwaukee County, since they have the largest populations and also have the highest concentration of delegates.

If the number of applicants is equal or less than the number of delegate seats allowed, there is no problem. All applicants should get a seat.

However, if the number of applicants exceed the number of allowed delegates, then the party officers decide who gets to be a delegate and who is slotted as a reserve delegate.  The problem with this is that it is rather arbitrary.

County party officials are supposed to make their decisions based on who is the most active and who are the strongest supporters of the Party - a rather subjective basis that gives short shrift to the grassroot activists in favor of the establishment members.

This is even more disconcerting when one considers that in places like Milwaukee County, party officials like Marlene Ott have come out in full support of Jason Rae.  Given the personalities of many of these officials, it is not a great leap of logic to believe that they would favor Rae supporters over others.  Or in other words, one would have to pass their purity test.

Then at the convention itself, they do not have a secret ballot. This way the Party bosses can make sure that the delegates vote the way they're supposed to.  I pity the delegate that doesn't vote the "right way."

Furthermore, the vote is a plurality vote, meaning that the winner is the one that has the most votes, not necessarily the majority of votes.  That means the winning candidate could get just 21% of the vote to carry the election.

Now, given that the bulk of delegates will be coming from Milwaukee and Dane Counties, and that Jason Rae has been out there working the system even before Mike Tate formally announced that he was finally going to step down, it doesn't seem that there is a snowball's chance in Hell that this will be a truly fair election.

I checked Rae's website and Facebook page, but I could not find his plan on how he is going to reunite the party when he has to game the system just to win the chair.

I tell you, the Working Families Party cannot get here soon enough.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MPS Takeover: A Big Red Flag

Click on image to embiggen

The talk of the week has been the proposed privatization of Milwaukee Public Schools.  State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga are pushing for taking away public control of MPS schools and handing them over to Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele so that he could proceed in privatizing them.  Abele is absolutely giddy about the prospect.

But why Abele?

Sources have said that Darling and Kooyenga had originally approached Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to do it.  They probably figured that Barrett would be the best choice because he is the mayor and because he had already proposed taking over the school system himself.  The backlash from parents, voters and teachers was so great that Barrett quickly dropped the idea.

Barrett, remembering the sting of the strong rebuke, wisely passed up on the Republicans' offer to be their stooge.

So then they went to Abele, even though his jurisdiction is Milwaukee County and not the city.  Abele was a better fit for them because he's more like a Republican.  Abele also embraces the pro-poverty agenda of plantation economics.  And heck, Abele even made campaign donations to Kooyenga.  On top of this, Abele is good friends with - and heavily influenced by - Michael Grebe, the head of the Bradley Foundation, which has been pushing for school privatization for decades.

As noted above, when the Republicans came to Abele, being the dimwitted and pompous ass that he is, he gladly took up the offer.

SIDE NOTE:  Abele's apologists are saying that it was either Abele or Walker leading this and Abele felt he was the better choice.  This is, of course, utter bullshit.  Abele is just as incompetent and maleficent as Walker.  Politically, it would have been better to make Walker own this, especially as Walker is spending all his time and our money running for president.

Claire Zautke
But with Abele being the proposed education privatization czar, there is a big red flag and a potential scandal.

That red flag is Claire Zautke.

Zautke is a member of the Milwaukee school board.  Her track record is less than stellar.  She has voted in favor of charter schools.

Besides being a Milwaukee School Director, Zautke is also Abele's Principal Executive Assistant at Milwaukee County.  Per her Linked In profile, she does Abele's scheduling, liaising, organizing, internal communications and employee relations.  She is also in charge of Abele's internship program.

Obviously, she works very closely with Abele.

Think about it for a minute.  A school board member, who is less than friendly to the public schools and has voted for charter schools, working for and closely with the guy that has been tagged to privatize the schools.

What could possibly go wrong?

I'm sure that they have both maintained a strictly professional attitude at work, focusing only on county business.  I'm  sure that there were no communication between them about information of the school system, its budget, its staffing levels or anything like that.  Even though Abele has never displayed that kind of professionalism or ethics before, there is no reason not to believe there is a first time for something like this.

By the way, don't expect the Democrats to do anything about any of this.  They are too afraid that if they criticize Abele for his role in selling out our children and their futures, he might stop writing them the occasional check - not that all of his money has helped them win any races for the past several years.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where Are They Now? - The Pam Galloway Edition

Remember Pam Galloway, the Republican state senator from the Wausau area?

Y'know, she is the one that suddenly and abruptly resigned just months before her recall election, although she claimed it had nothing to do with the recall (emphasis mine):
Former state Sen. Pam Galloway dismissed as "totally implausible" speculation that she resigned her position to avoid a recall race.

Galloway, a Republican from Wausau, spoke publicly for the first time Sunday about her decision to leave the Senate since she made the surprise announcement on Friday.

Her resignation was effective at midnight Saturday.

Galloway's father-in-law in Illinois and her brother in Virginia both are facing long-term, serious health problems, she said, and she decided that she could no longer fulfill the demands of her office and care for them at the same time.

"I always said that my family comes first," she said.
Oddly enough, Galloway ended up missing those states and is now running for congress in Indiana.
Warsaw resident Pam Galloway is the first announced candidate for next year’s congressional election in Indiana’s 3rd District.

Galloway, 59, is a retired physician and a former Wisconsin state legislator, and she chaired the campaign committee that helped elect state Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen, to the Indiana House in 2014.

Galloway seeks the seat of fifth-year Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a LaGrange County farmer who announced Saturday he will run in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat that will open with the retirement of Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., at the end of his term.


Asked in a telephone interview whether she shares Stutzman’s conservative philosophies, Galloway said: “I would say that Congressman Stutzman and I do agree on many issues. My biggest issues are repealing Obamacare, defending the Second Amendment and protecting life, faith, family and country.”
But wait! There's more! There's always more.

Further down in the article is this little blurb:
Her statement said Galloway and her husband, Dr. Chris Magiera, an Indiana native, moved from Wisconsin to Indiana in 2012 to be closer to family members who faced “sudden, severe illnesses.”

Either there was some seriously shoddy reporting somewhere or Galloway has the most widely spread and most sickly family in the world.

Because, as we all know, Galloway would never, ever lie for political convenience, right?

Chris Christie Can Sure Eat and Drink!

By Jeff Simpson 

In New Jersey, like in Wisconsin, the Republican Legislature is very adamant on drug testing anyone who receives public assistance.

In New Jersey, bills have been introduced in the Assembly and the Senate to require random drug testing for anyone on public assistance. Is this because there’s evidence these people are significantly more likely to abuse drugs? No.
“I don’t need a study,” said Republican Gary Chiusano of Sussex County, sponsor of the Assembly bill.
“They’re spending taxpayers’ money on drugs,” he maintained of many people on public assistance. “This is common knowledge.”
The one thing that New Jersey has is the perfect example of Gluttony.

New Jersey Governor and head of the Republican Governor's Association.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent more than $80,000 of taxpayer money on snacks at NFL games between 2010 and 2011, according to a report from New Jersey Watchdog. Christie used his government debit card 58 times at MetLife Stadium, and his office “did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense.”
Christie’s office has defended his use of the expense account, but were clearly embarrassed by the revelation that the governor was expensing quite a few beers while watching the Giants and Jets play because it reimbursed the costs associated with the games.
My first response was shock, of course. Christie averaged $1,500 in concessions at each game and didn’t bother keeping receipts to explain the expenses. But my second response was total envy. Spending $82,000 on snacks is an actual dream of mine. I mean, not the exact amount but the idea of spending the cost of a down payment on a home on queso and hot dogs has always been very appealing to me.
With all of the beers that the NJ taxpayers have had to pay for, a drug test of the piggish Christie is more than in order!

What else could you buy for $82000? 


Abele Boasts About MPS Privatization Scheme

As reported yesterday, Chris Abele - the Mitt Romney of Milwaukee County - was in cahoots with Republican State Senator Alberta Darling and Republican State Representative Dale Kooyenga to bring in a Jim Crow education plan to the Milwaukee Public School System.

Today, via WISN-TV, Abele finally speaks about the debacle and is very proud of it:
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele would oversee the failing schools under the plan.

He released this statement Monday afternoon:

"Providing the best K-12 education system for the community should be a priority for everyone who lives in Milwaukee. For the past 20 years, it has been a priority of mine as I have been actively involved in a variety of education policy efforts in Milwaukee. I have worked with every MPS Superintendent going back to Superintendent Andrekopoulos, I helped the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, on whose board I still sit, in partnering with over 35 MPS schools, I assisted in crafting the successful Race To The Top grant proposal that MPS was awarded, and I continue to be involved in Schools That Can Milwaukee, an organization that seeks to ensure that 20,000 Milwaukee students attend high-quality urban schools by 2020.

"In all of these efforts, my goal has always been the best quality education for as many kids and their families as possible, delivered in the fairest, most sustainable way possible. While this legislation is not something I sought, when I was recently approached by Rep. Kooyenga and Sen. Darling asking if I would be the appointing authority, I told them that it was hard to have an opinion absent all of the details. But IF the bill passed that way, it’s a responsibility that I would accept and take very seriously.

"Proponents of this legislation should know the following: I like and respect MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver and would want to work very closely with her; I remain very concerned about the funding flaw that the current voucher system continues to create for MPS; and I believe public money should be directed to open admission schools, not selective admission schools.

"If placed in this position, I’m committed to work hard to take this proposal and ensure that its implementation is as successful as it can possibly be. The families in Milwaukee deserve no less."
He likes and respects and wants to work closely with MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver.


Boss Abele once said that he wanted to work closely with the Milwaukee County Board. That was before he hamstrung them, took away their authority and consolidated power into his own hands.

Are there any guesses on what he would do if he got control of any of the MPS schools?

Another area that should concern people is Abele's overall track record just running the county.  Even after five years, it is obvious that Abele is way over his head and unable to do the job.  And his failure is costing people their jobs and their lives.

What makes this situation even more disconcerting is the fact that the majority of Democratic Party leadership is silent on Abele's complicity with this attack on public schools - maybe they are too busy putting up inane, ineffective and irrelevant billboards..  Even worse, Marlene Ott, the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, is actually defending Abele's willing assault on our children.

With "progressives" like these, who needs conservatives?

The Cavalry Is Not Coming

By Jeff Simpson

Sorry to break the news to you, but if you have had a dog in the fight of prevailing wage, or the massive, UW system wide cuts, to the devastating cuts to our public education system.

Maybe its the fight over Right to Work, or maybe the unbelievable proposed takeover of the Milwaukee School District.

Whatever ring you are fighting in at the moment, I want to be perfectly clear.  

There is no help coming!  None.   There is no cavalry and there is no reinforcements.    

The Democratic party, led by lame duck Mike Tate. has all but abandoned the people of WI, and pulled a huge no show in the Spring election.

Now they come out of hiding, swinging, with a billboard about(you guessed it) Scott Walker(who I am not even sure lives in Wisconsin anymore).   The Billboard is here:

Image result for democrats billboards scott walker wi

Ok so swinging was the wrong word, maybe chasing their tail would be a better phrase.  

We are a full 18 months away from the next election and 42 months away from the next Governor's race and this is the best that we can come up with.

If you are busy fighting real issues, God Bless You and stop looking over your shoulders, no one is on their way to help!  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jason Rae - The Choice of Christian Schneider

By Jeff Simpson

Nuff Said. 

From Indiana to Enbridge - A Nation's Journey

By Jeff Simpson

We found out recently that Nation Consulting(where one of their four associates is trying to take over the Democratic Party Leadership) has close ties to right wing extremist groups Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks.  The IRS filing that was linked to was very telling.

It is even worse than you think at first glance.

Readers of Cogdis, know to wait - Because there is always more.

When we take a look at Nation Consulting's founder - Thad Nation, we see there is a whole lot more!

We see that he got his start in politics the old fashioned way - Daddy.

Thad Nation followed in the footsteps of his father -- literally.
Soon after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1994, Nation became the press secretary for former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh. Nation's father, Fred, was the press secretary for Bayh before his son took over.
"I sat in the same chair at the same desk with the same photos on the wall," Nation said.
After a few years of working for the Governor of Indiana, Nation had enough.  He wanted to go to the private sector where the real money was.   This time he did not follow in daddy's footsteps, he laid his own path - literally!(emphasis mine). 

After Nation broke away from Wilhelm & Conlon, Wisconsin Energy became his first client. Nation still counts Wisconsin Energy as one of 20 companies on his client roster. Other clients include the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance, a coalition of companies that produce ethanol; New North, a regional development group based in Green Bay; TV4US, a trade coalition advertising on behalf of the Wisconsin video services bill; and Global Pipeline Partners.

"Two things distinguish Nation Consulting from the pack -- pragmatic advice and a superior network of media and political contacts throughout the state," said David Stegeman, an executive vice president for Michels Corp., Brownsville.

Stegeman is also a spokesman for Global Pipeline Partners, which is a joint venture made up of four companies building a new oil pipeline for Enbridge Inc. from Superior to Delavan. Nation Consulting works as the public relations and community affairs firm for Global Pipeline. Michels Corp. is the lead partner in the joint venture. Enbridge is an oil and gas distribution company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
If you have not heard of Michel's corp., that is fine by them, but Scott Walker has $129,000 reasons to know them very well.

If you have not heard of the Enbridge Pipeline, let's pray to God that you never do.  

Kaufman told CMD that Enbridge Line 61 hasn't received the national attention that the Keystone XL Pipeline has because "the pipeline itself already has been built and it is carrying roughly 400,000 barrels of Tar Sands-derived and lighter conventional crude oil already. Theenvironmental assessment that was done in 2006 was prior to one of the largest spills -- probably the largest inland oil spill -- in American history, which was a spill by this company, Enbridge, who also owns Line 61."

Kaufman was referring to Enbridge's disastrous Kalamazoo River oil spill in Michican in July 2010, which took an estimated $1.21 billion and four years to partially clean up. A Sierra Club report detailed that since 1999, Enbridge has had 800 spills, including spills in Wisconsin and neighboring states. Enbridge was fined a record $2.4 million in connection to an explosion that killed two workers in Clearbrook, Minnesota.

After the Kalamazoo spill, Enbridge was strongly criticized by the National Transportation Safety Board for lapses, including ignoring alarms in their system and trying to restart the pipeline twice, which discharged more oil.

Enbridge claims to have invested several billion dollars more in improving its response since the Kalamazoo River disaster, but as Kaufman noted, there have been spills since.

PS;  When it spills in your backyard, you do NOT get to keep the oil.

So how does a pipeline that carries dangerous crude oil from Canada through our backyard and we do not see any benefits of it but it could completely destroy our ecosystem, get approved?

Thad Nation.

"I have found something here I like and that I think I'm good at," Thad Nation said.

Thanks Nation!

As Meghan Trainor might say - "It's all about that bank, bout that bank -no morals".

Another Walker Talking Point Blown To Smithereens

When Scott Walker was running for governor in 2010, one of his campaign slogans was that he would spend our tax money like it was his own. To connive people into thinking that he was all about austerity and frugality, he would brag about driving in an old, beat up Saturn and taking bag lunches to work.

Walker is trotting out that same theme as he is running for president, such as bragging about getting a sweater at Kohl's Department store for a deeply discounted rate (Walker usually claims it was for a dollar, but that amount changes in each speech). This was evidenced by the introduction given by David Bossie of Citizens United at the Freedom Summit in South Carolina, which repeated this utter bullshit.

But the truth is, Walker is not that good with money, whether it was in the Milwaukee County budgets, the state budgets or his own personal finances:
Scott Walker owes Sears up to $50,000.

According to his most recent financial disclosure forms, the governor owed between $10,000 and $100,000 to credit card companies in 2014. One of the cards listed is a Barclay Card, and the other is a Sears MasterCard.

“Over the years, the governor has given $370,000 of his salary back to taxpayers,” emailed AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC. “He has two kids in college, parents who live with him, a mortgage, car payments, and small credit card use. All in all, pretty ordinary stuff.”

The governor’s credit card situation, along with other potential 2016 contenders financial circumstances, was highlighted by The Boston Globe—and has provided an opening for some of his critics.

“Both Walker's household and the deficit-laden state of Wisconsin under his purview are spending far more than they bring in,” said Scot Ross of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “Seems Scott Walker might want to change his slogan to ‘Do as I say, not as do.’”

The Boston Globe noted that Walker has the lowest net worth of any serious presidential contender: -$72,500.

That’s vastly lower than the next lowest, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who clocks in at $330,507.

The Wisconsin governor has made his personal spending habits a central part of his campaign messaging (without any mention of credit card debt, naturally).

On the pre-presidential non-campaign trail, he often discusses his love of bargain-hunting at Kohl’s.

He talks about it so much, in fact, that he makes headlines when he doesn’t bring up the Wisconsin-based, sale-happy department store. Frugality is a part of his political identity, which places him in stark contrast to Mitt Romney. Many on the right hope the GOP picks a candidate without their former presidential nominee’s fancy-pants lifestyle.
The response from Walker's spokesperson was as much crap as Walker's claim that he is frugal. Walker did give some of his salary back, but stopped doing that in 2008.

For over four years, Walker's salary has been $137,000, nearly triple the average Wisconsin household income.

So where did that money go?

Well, I don't know, but I would say it's safe to say that Walker got himself deep into debt when all of his money was going to pay his silk-stocking attorneys during the Walkergate investigations:

We learned that today when Dan Bice broke the story that Walker has racked up somewhere between $55,000 and $99,999 in legal bills:

But the first-term Republican governor must have retained the pair long before he made it public.
As of Dec. 31, Walker owed more than $50,000 to Sidley Austin, a large Chicago-based firm that employs Gallo. Walker also disclosed that he owed between $5,000 and $50,000 to Terschan, Steinle & Ness, the Milwaukee firm where Steinle is a partner.
The state requires public officials and political candidates to disclose in the annual statement any creditor to which they owe more than $5,000. Wisconsin officials and candidates then must say whether the debt is greater than or up to $50,000.
Given how reckless Walker is with his own money - not to mention his complete lack of ethics - why would anyone, much less a tight-fisted Tea Party member, want him anywhere near our tax dollars?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Abele, Republicans Propose A Jim Crow Education Plan For Milwaukee

Just when you thought the Republicans couldn't go any lower or do anything more despicable than what they already have done, they take it as a challenge and outdo themselves.

State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga have come out with a proposal they quaintly and misleadingly call "Opportunity Schools Partnership Program."  Despite its cheery little name, it is nothing more than a proposal to hasten the privatization of the Milwaukee Public School System.

The gist of the plan is that they declare a number of Milwaukee Public Schools as "failing" and target them for take over by a private school.

But there is a particularly nasty twist to their plan.

These privatized schools would be run by Milwaukee County Executive Emperor Chris "Boss" Abele:

Solution: The Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program (OSPP) will create a new governance>structure in MPS to free students from nonperforming schools.
  • OSPP shall be run by a Commissioner for an at will term appointed by the Milwaukee County Executive
  • The Commissioner shall operate independently from the MPS Board
  • The Commissioner shall receive parallel authority to the Board, but shall be free of all state and local regulations except for safety, health, special education, and non-discrimination laws 
Now, the gentle reader is probably asking themselves why would they choose the Milwaukee County Executive Emperor to run the City of Milwaukee's schools?

Well, Abele believes in plantation economics, just like his Republican friends.  Abele is also good friends with - and heavily influenced by - Michael Grebe, the head of the Bradley Foundation, which has been pushing for privatization of public schools for years and years.  Oh, and Abele has donated money to Kooyenga.

This Jim Crow education plan is flawed on many levels, which have been outlined by the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association.

Chief among the flaws is the misrepresentation that the schools caused Milwaukee's economic and social woes.  The truth is the opposite of their assertion.  The economic and social segregation imposed by Abele and his Republican friends are what is driving the poor test scores.

Abele and friends also ignore the vast evidence that privatized schools are no better - and often much worse - performers than public schools.

But hey, who needs facts when there is profits to be had?

Another problem with their scheme is this line:
All employees at a school incorporated may apply for a position in the new school. However, such an application waives current and future privileges to be represented by any union as all employment within OSPP is at will.

That is in violation of federal labor laws regarding the private sector.

Then again, Abele and his Republicans also have never shown any respect for the law, nor do they have any love lost for the unions.

For a front line view of this battle for Milwaukee's future, I strongly urge the gentle reader to go to Wisconsin Soapbox, who has more on this wrong-minded debacle.

Then, if you're as righteously outraged as I am, please go here and sign up (at the bottom of the page) to show your support for our public schools, for our teachers and for our children.

Appreciate Teachers All Year Round

The following is an article written by Waring R. Fincke, a retired attorney and Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Washington County.  It is being republished here with the expressed permission of Mr. Fincke:
Appreciate teachers all year round
Fair treatment is the first step

West Bend’s school superintendent, Ted Neitzke, lives in a fantasy world. After years of demonizing, demoralizing and vilifying teachers, he has the unmitigated gall to send an email fairy tale to parents of kids in district schools, reprinted here Tuesday and reposted on the district website, about how much they should appreciate district teachers.

This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week. We need to celebrate and appreciate the hard work and dedication of those who choose to devote their lives to educating the community’s children. Neitzke’s request to send a card or letter to your child’s teacher just doesn’t cut it. He needs to be honest with the community and help organize parents, teachers and community leaders to demand adequate funding for public education.

Our community leaders and the tea party faction of the Republican Party they serve have spent decades blaming teachers for all that ails our society. Most local teachers do not feel safe enough to publicly claim membership in their valued profession for fear of being further ostracized.

Teacher salaries were published in an ad in this paper with the claim that teachers are nothing more than overpaid babysitters who feed at the public trough. School board candidates won campaigns on reducing teacher pay to save a few property tax bucks. Our current School Board and administration have embraced the union-busting and school-funding reductions in Gov. Scott Walker’s budgets while approving five-figure raises for top administrators, a new six figure salaried standardized testing czar and an $80,000 program to create tests teachers could easily write.

Neitzke is correct that teachers go the extra mile, using their own resources to buy supplies for their classrooms and free time preparing to teach each day. These are conscious decisions made out of necessity so kids can learn. We should provide the resources educators need. They should not have to use their salaries to do what we hire them to do.

Supply budgets have been slashed. If it were not for the money that comes out of teacher wallets, many students would not have vibrant classrooms equipped for learning, pens to write with, notebooks to write in or breakfast in the morning. Teachers spend nights and weekends away from their families because school-day preparation and grading time has been eliminated by the addition of more class sections, larger classes, off-the-clock professional development and senseless data gathering.

The instruction teachers were hired to provide has been severely curtailed with the imposition of more and more standardized testing. There are so many tests to administer, with high stakes results in the balance, that much of the curriculum that encourages critical thinking and creativity has been put on the shelf.

Even though there is not a shred of empirical research to support the use of standardized test results as a significant factor in teacher performance evaluations and compensation, Neitzke and the school board started this year with a new teacher compensation package that does just that. When parents and staff complained, he backpedaled, indicating that maybe there would be less testing in the future. Whatever testing remains will still be used to determine teacher compensation.

While it is abundantly clear that many students need extra help getting ready to learn or staying in the classroom, no funds have been added to rehire the social workers we used to have in every building. 
Libraries need librarians to keep order, buy materials, teach reading (along with a love of books) and help kids learn how to search out information from our collectively stored knowledge. We used to have librarians in every school. Soon, there will be only one for the whole district.

Staff morale is at an all-time low. Neitzke’s recent gift to staff of a bumper sticker proclaiming “Proud to teach in the West Bend School District” won’t get much use until he changes his behavior.
Currently, Neitzke’s administration governs by fear, intimidation and the granting of favors to a chosen few. Letters of reprimand or discipline flow into teacher personnel files when they speak out about concerns in ways critical to the administration. Staff social media postings about district problems earn an unfriendly invite to Neitzke’s office. He and his administrators refuse to recognize or talk with the elected representatives in the recertified union about how they might work together on issues of common concern.

We need to appreciate teachers all year, not just for a single week. That appreciation needs to be shown tangibly and consistently with fair treatment, reasonable workloads and compensation based on empathy, creativity and actual observation by administrators who live and are involved in our community.

Ron Johnson Bemoans The Constitution

US Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) appeared on CNN's State of the Union gabfest on Sunday. He repeated the right wing fear campaign about ISIS and how they are an immediate threat to the United States. As proof, he cited the incident in Texas provoked by the attention-seeking Pam Geller. RoJo then the Scott Walker talking point of needing to go to war in the Middle East again, just to show them who's boss (or the real terrorists).

Then RoJo committed a gaffe by revealing a Republican talking point that they usually keep among themselves:
Johnson admitted, though, that tracking ISIS sympathizers in the United States is a particular challenge, since the group has communicated with potential recruits over social media and because law enforcement officers can't track every possible suspect.

"The problem is, what do you do with the not-guilty-yet?" Johnson said. "We do have laws, we have a Constitution, and it's extremely difficult for law enforcement officials when you might have tens of thousands of sympathizers -- how do you track them all?"
Just days after the US Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA went too far in their data collection, RoJo is complaining that they can't go further in tracking people.

But remember, folks, he is of the party that wants "smaller government."

I, for one, can not wait for Russ Feingold, the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, to formally announce his campaign to get his seat back.

Cross posted from Crooks and Liars, which also has the video.