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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 46,087

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Wisconsin: Joint Finance budgets additional $5M for 500 more prisoners in next two years

Maybe they're planning on arresting the Solidarity Singers again.

from my email ...

On Tuesday, May 19, with about 30 minutes notice and virtually no discussion, the legislative Joint Finance Committee accepted the Department of Corrections request for an additional $5 million to INCREASE THE PRISON POPULATION by about 500 people in the next 2 years.

There was no discussion about why the Department of Corrections refuses to take common sense steps that will reduce the prison population. There was no discussion of how unsticking the broken old law parole system could safely release hundreds of prisoners, how instituting more alternatives to revocation could stop us from sending thousands of people back to prison who have not committed a new crime.

The Joint Finance Committee and the DOC know very well that it is not necessary to grow the prison population. They know they could reduce it safely, responsibly and immediately. Though legislators appeared to listen at hearings, they apparently heard nothing. And the DOC refuses to even acknowledge our requests to meet.

We need a to respond in ways they cannot continue to ignore! Those who can should plan to meet us at the Capitol at 12 noon next Wednesday, May 27 for a press conference and a still-to-be-determined action. Watch for details.

Whether or not you can join us on Wednesday, we will need everyone to write letters to the editor, to make phone calls, and more. Those $5 million are needed for our schools and universities. They are needed for Treatment Alternatives and Diversions. They are needed for Transitional Jobs.

This is a moment that calls for an urgent response. It is time to say enough is enough, and to call our state officials to act responsibly.

Below is the Legislative Fiscal Bureau paper upon which Joint Finance based their allocation. Please note that it does not question WHY they assume there will be more prisoners. And, it assumes there is no alternative.


If we want to win in 2016, we need Bernie Sanders as our candidate.

I don't agree with the "conventional wisdom" that Hillary gives us our best chance of winning. The right has been taught to hate her for a generation. The left is luke warm about her at best. She's reduced to trying to peel off the mythical moderate Republican voter to even compete. Most importantly, she will attract no one from that half of the potential electorate who historically do not bother to vote, and that's where Bernie will excel.

Not only are fully half the votes out there for the taking, but Bernie doesn't need to get half of those potential voters to the polls. Nor a quarter of them. Nor 10%. In 2008, Barack Obama won with a 7.27% margin. In 2012 his margin was 3.86%. Bush won in 2004 with a 2.46% margin and in 2000 he "won" with a minus 0.51% margin. (Source)

It's in the half of the electorate who typically don't vote that the votes are available. And Bernie's the guy to make them see that the parties are indeed different, that there's a candidate actually representing them, and that they should get off their duffs and vote. And that's the path to victory in 2016.

Why do Republicans really oppose infrastructure spending?


2. Privatizing the nation's infrastructure: This is the big kahuna that the press generally feels uncomfortable reporting. Republicans - at the behest of their mega-bank/private equity patrons - really, deeply want to privatize the nation's infrastructure and turn such public resources into privately owned, profit centers. More than anything else, this privatization fetish explains Republicans' efforts to gut and discredit public infrastructure, and it runs the gamut from disastrous instances of privatizing private parking meters to plans to privatize the federal highway system.


3. Private Activity Bonds: This one is a real unreported doozy, and is directly related to both privatization efforts and the Starve the Beast scheme. Known as "Private Activity Bonds," under current law, state and local governments are allowed, effectively, to delegate the ability to issue tax-free bonds to private corporations and investors. As a result, the private investors have the lower borrowing costs associated with government financing and the interest earned on such bonds is tax-free at both the federal and state level. Do you get that? Local governments are financing the efforts to privatize their own public assets and the private equity investors earn tax free profits on their investment. Privatization is not just a golden opportunity, but a tax-payer subsidized, tax-free opportunity - - with no demonstrated public benefit:


4. Repeal Labor and Environmental Laws: Finally, Republicans refuse to fund infrastructure spending because the larger goal is to repeal or weaken labor and environmental laws associated with such large scale construction projects. For example, while you may be rightly worried that your commuter bridge is structurally unsound, Republicans are much more concerned with first repealing laws like the Davis-Bacon Act, a 1931 New Deal law which requires payment of the local prevailing wages on all public works projects for laborers and mechanics. Repealing this employment protection law is a much larger Republican priority than repairing any specific bridge or tunnel. As Republican Senator Mike Lee explained the priorities of his "infrastructure proposal":


In sum, the question of why we cannot enact needed, common-sense infrastructure spending is truly mystifying . . . so long as we ignore that the Republican party is hyper-partisan, engaged in a destructive Starve the Beast agenda, wants to privatize public infrastructure, promotes an increasing "financialization" of the economy, and is ideologically opposed to labor and environmental laws. Most importantly, all of the above must not be even acknowledged in public reporting on this vital issue. Right?

More at the link.

Scott Walker's Wisconsin is no model to follow


Third, Walker enacted every major piece of legislation he asked for from the Republican legislature. The result? Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest in job creation, is divided with partisanship as never before and is dogged by a budget deficit topping $2 billion.


Governor Walker put cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy at the top of his agenda. While it’s done nothing for Wisconsin’s middle class, which is shrinking faster than in any other state in the country, according to respected independent research, it has been a windfall for Gov. Walker’s political fortunes, earning him campaign contributions of $100,000, $250,000 and even $500,000 from millionaires and billionaires inside and outside of Wisconsin.

Here’s an example: A tax cut signed into law by Governor Walker benefiting huge factory farms and other corporations has grown from a $10 million annual giveaway in 2012 to a $275 million corporate boondoggle. To “pay” for his tax breaks, Walker made the biggest cuts to public education in Wisconsin history. The cuts were so dramatic that they resulted in the second largest per pupil cut of any state in the country.


Over four years, Governor Walker has slashed the University of Wisconsin system by more than $650 million, students are paying hundreds of millions of dollars more in tuition and 41,000 eligible university and technical college students were denied financial aid by Governor Walker.

Wisconsin MoveOn Petition: Keep the 48-Hour Waiting Period for Handgun Purchases


Pot death toll still at zero.


In Wisconsin, more people die in drunken falls than crashes

"... the most recent figures available, for 2012, show 349 deaths from alcohol-related falls and 223 alcohol-related traffic deaths."

Democratic Party candidates for President 2016: Compare and Contrast

I just volunteered for and contributed to Bernie's campaign. Please join me if you can.


Scott Walker, prosecutors trade pointed swipes on John Doe


Waukee, Iowa — In a swing through the crucial presidential state of Iowa this weekend, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the rare step of lashing out at prosecutors who had probed his campaign by questioning whether their tactics were constitutional.

In an equally unusual turn, prosecutors fired back by calling Walker's comments inaccurate, offensive and defamatory — with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm suggesting Walker could be criminally charged for lying. They said Walker should call for the release of sealed court records so the public could know more about the investigation and raids on people's homes, but Walker gave that notion little heed.


"As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin's, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others," Chisholm said in a statement Saturday responding to Walker's comments. In a separate statement, Schmitz said he was surprised Walker would "speak publicly about specific issues which are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision."

"His description of the investigation as a 'political witch hunt' is offensive when he knows that the investigation was authorized by a bipartisan group of judges and is directed by a Republican special prosecutor appointed at the request of a bipartisan group of district attorneys," Schmitz's statement said.

Walker's backers can take heart knowing that the majority of the State Supreme Court is co-owned by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Koch brothers.

I've found one real positive in the TPP. Nothing in history has done so much to ....

... expose the trolls here on DU.
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