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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Wisconsin: Vote "NO" on the "Wisconsin Transportation Fund Amendment, Question 1"


The Wisconsin Transportation Fund Amendment, Question 1 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Wisconsin as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would, upon voter approval, require that revenue generated by transportation fees and taxes be deposited into the state's transportation fund. None of the revenue collected from transportation-related levies could be appropriated to any program that is not directly administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Therefore, the amendment would guarantee that revenue from transportation-related levies, such as the gas tax and vehicle registration fee, would be allocated to transportation-related projects.
Text of the measure

Ballot title
The official ballot text reads as follows:

“Question 1: "Creation of a Transportation Fund. Shall section 9 (2) of article IV and section 11 of article VIII of the constitution be created to require that revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin's transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund?"


Rep. Gary Hebl (D-46) disagreed with putting constitutional protections on one segregated fund, but not the other segregated funds. He viewed this as prioritizing transportation over other important budget issues, such as education and health care, since the transportation fund could not be raided, but the other funds could still be raided. Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-99), the only Republican to vote against the amendment, issued a similar statement, saying all segregated state funds should be protected, not just the transportation fund.

Republicans are all for it, Democrats against.

Citizen Journalist Arrested, Jailed for Asking Wisconsin Politician a Question

Weird. Barca is thought to be one of the good guys, and was one of the "Fab 14".


29 year-old Miles Kristan was on his way to Wisconsin State Assemblyman Peter Barca’s press conference when he ran into Barca on the way. Kristan asked him a simple question: was Barca aware that Robb Kahl -- a state assembly candidate Barca endorsed -- was a Republican who had once shared the stage with controversial Wisconsin governor Scott Walker? Barca is seen on video ignoring Kristan’s yes-or-no question, then sending a staffer named George Aldrich into the hallway to confront Kristan. The staffer refused to answer Kristan’s question on Barca’s behalf, and closed the door. Moments later, seven Wisconsin State Capitol Police officers arrived on the scene, some of them with their hands on the butt of their guns, and detained Kristan against his will, without telling him why. Kristan was then arrested and taken to the Dane County Jail and charged with criminal disorderly conduct and harassment.

Curiously enough, Kristan’s police report, which can be viewed here, directly contradicts evidence in Kristan’s video. Rep. Barca made a statement to Detective Meverden that Kristan forced himself into his office. However, in the video, Kristan never steps beyond the doorway. Another statement Barca made to Officer Navarre about the incident states that Kristan followed Barca into his office, shouting at him, while Barca asked Kristan to leave multiple times. Kristan’s video, however, shows Barca with his back turned to Kristan the entire time, walking into an entirely separate room, and ignoring Kristan’s question. George Aldrich, the staffer who spoke with Kristan before his arrest, is not mentioned in the report. Making false statements to police is a class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, carrying a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

Kristan’s story has gone largely untouched by progressive media publications in Madison, possibly due to Barca’s popularity with progressives. He was once rumored to be a possible candidate to challenge Scott Walker for governor in the 2014 elections. First elected to the assembly in 1984, Barca served a brief term as a member of U.S. Congress after a special election in 1993, in which his predecessor was appointed as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense. Barca was once again elected to the assembly in 2008.

Barca, who currently serves as minority leader in the Wisconsin State Assembly, was once the majority caucus chairman when Democrats controlled the chamber. He faced criticism by the Wisconsin State Journal’s editorial board for not choosing a non-partisan redistricting plan similar to Iowa’s, instead gambling on maintaining a majority after the 2010 election and hoping to gerrymander districts to Democrats’ advantage. Kristan has previously asked Barca about his endorsement of Robb Kahl on video, with Barca angrily dismissing him.

Wisconsin: The ACLU provides answers to some voter ID questions


1) As of Sept. 12, 2014, voter ID is in effect for the November election.

2) Most voters will need to obtain and show one of the following kinds of photo ID to vote:
Wisconsin drivers' license (current or expired since 11/6/12) (If you have this you do NOT need any other “voter ID” card)
Wisconsin photo ID card (from DMV) (current or expired since 11/6/12)
Receipt from DMV from applying for license or ID card within 60 days
U.S. Passport (current or expired since 11/6/12)
Military ID (current or expired since 11/6/12)
Photo ID from federally recognized tribe in Wisconsin
Student ID from a Wisconsin college or university IF the ID has name, photo, signature, issuance date, & expiration date no more than 2 years from issuance date, PLUS proof of enrollment.

3) Your photo ID does NOT have to have your current address to be valid for voting. (If you need to register to vote you need a document with your current address, which can be – but does not have to be – your license or ID card.)

4) If you do NOT have valid photo ID, you can apply for an ID for free at the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You need to bring:
Proof of identity (http://dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-identity.htm )
Proof of residence (http://dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-resident.htm)
Birth certificate if you have one or could get one for free
(or, one of a few less common kinds of proof of name and date of birth: http://dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-dob.htm )
If you would have to pay for a birth certificate, you can go to DMV and fill out the “Document Process Verification” form (MV3012) that is at this link, to try to have birth records verified for free: http://dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/petition-process.htm
If you’ve changed your name (for example, due to marriage, divorce or name change) you also need to . If you would have to pay for documents to prove that and DMV won’t help you, contact us right away bring proof of the name change!
(Visit this page of our website with some of this information and copies of the forms for you.)

5) Military and overseas voters do NOT need photo ID.

6) Voters who are elderly or disabled and consider themselves “indefinitely confined” to home can vote absentee by mail without photo ID. It's GAB Form 121 - Mark item 6 as “indefinitely confined” on the absentee ballot application form which you can find here: http://gab.wi.gov/forms/gab-121-english

7) If you run into problems getting your ID from DMV, we urge you to complete this form to provide us information: https://www.aclu.org/secure/wi-voter-id-2014

8) If you have other questions or concerns about voter ID, we urge you to “Like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook and message or post your questions or concerns there. If you do not have access to Facebook, you can email questions or concerns to vote@aclu-wi.org and we will respond as soon as we can.

Wisconsin: I guess she should have copied from ALEC


Mary Burke accused of copying portions of jobs plan from other Democrats

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is being accused of swiping significant sections of her jobs plan from earlier propsals published by three Democratic candidates who ran for governor elsewhere.

BuzzFeed reported late Thursday that Burke's plan, called "Invest for Success," includes nearly verbatim passages from the economic development plans put forward by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in 2008, Ward Cammack of Tennessee in 2009 and John Gregg of Indiana in 2012. Cammack withdrew from his race, and Gregg was defeated.

The Burke campaign blamed the plagiarized passages on a consultant, Eric Schnurer, who worked on the jobs plans for the other Democratic candidates. Schnurer is founder and president of Public Works, a Philadelphia-based consulting firm.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the campaign fired Schnurer Thursday evening. The sections in question, Zepecki said, represented "fewer than 10 paragraphs of a 49-page plan." He suggested that the main ideas in the proposal are Burke's alone.

Wisconsin GOP legislative leaders sue over redesign of state ballots

This, after the ballots have already been printed, and some absentee ballots already mailed.


Madison — The top two Republican leaders in the Legislature sued election officials Wednesday over a redesign of state ballots, opening a new front in the fight over how Wisconsin elections are run just seven weeks before voters go to the polls.


The lawsuit, to be heard by Waukesha County Circuit Judge James Kieffer, comes as election officials find themselves already immersed in litigation over Wisconsin's voter ID law.That law was struck down by a federal judge in April and restored for now by an appeals court last week.


At a news conference at the state Republican Party's headquarters, Vos and Fitzgerald said there was not enough separation on the ballots between the offices up for election and the candidates. Because Democrats are listed first on the ballot, it makes them appear to be the incumbents, Vos said. Contests farther down the ballot can be hard to distinguish from one another, he argued, raising the possibility that some people would not vote in those races.


Democrats are listed first on this year's ballot, and the lawsuit contends some voters may wrongly believe only one candidate — a Democrat — is running for some offices. Democrats are listed first on the ballots this year because they won the most presidential votes in Wisconsin in 2012. Two years ago, Republicans appeared first on the ballots because they had won the most votes in the 2010 race for governor.

Earth is not a platform for human life.

NYT: How Insurers Are Finding Ways to Shift Costs to the Sick


Health insurance companies are no longer allowed to turn away patients because of their pre-existing conditions or charge them more because of those conditions. But some health policy experts say insurers may be doing so in a more subtle way: by forcing people with a variety of illnesses — including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and epilepsy — to pay more for their drugs.

Insurers have long tried to steer their members away from more expensive brand name drugs, labeling them as “non-preferred” and charging higher co-payments. But according to an editorial published Wednesday in the American Journal of Managed Care, several prominent health plans have taken it a step further, applying that same concept even to generic drugs.


Generics, which come to the market after a name-brand drug loses its patent protection, used to have one low price in many insurance plans, typically $5 or $10. But as their prices have increased, sometimes sharply, many insurers have split the drugs into two cost groupings as they have long done with name-brand drugs. “Non-preferred” generic drugs have higher co-pays, though they are still cheaper than brand-name drugs. With brand names, there’s usually at least one preferred option in each disease category. Not so for generics, the authors of the editorial found.

One of the authors, Gerry Oster, a vice president at the consulting firm Policy Analysis, said he stumbled upon the issue much as I did. He went to his pharmacy to pick up a medication he had been taking for a couple of years. The prior month it cost him $5, but this time it was $20. As he looked into it, he came to the conclusion that this phenomenon was unknown even to health policy experts. “It’s completely stealth,” he said.

Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site - Obtaining a Voter ID card

Barring another court decision, voter ID will be required in November.


Any Wisconsin resident who does not presently hold a valid driver license (from Wisconsin or another jurisdiction) may apply for an ID card. You may not hold a valid driver license and an ID card at the same time. If you hold a valid driver license and wish to obtain an ID card, you will be required to surrender your driver license.

There is no age limit to apply for an ID card.

When applying for an original ID card you must visit a DMV service center, complete form MV3004 (Wisconsin Identification Card (ID) application) and provide:

-- Proof of name and date of birth, for example, a certified U.S. birth certificate, valid passport or certificate of naturalization. (See petition process if fees arise in order to obtain free ID card for voting).

-- Proof of identity (usually a document with a signature or photo).

-- Proof of Wisconsin residency.

-- Proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent resident status, legal conditional resident status or legal temporary visitor status. (See petition process if fees arise in order to obtain free ID card for voting).

-- Your social security number.

Note: If you have held a driver license in the past eight years and now wish to apply for an original ID card, you would only be required to provide proof of identity upon application for your ID card.

Sarah Palin has a new video up criticizing Obama for not invading Ebola.


The Iraqi prime minister says foreign ground troops are not warranted against ISIL, so I’m sure John McCain will just drop his invasion talk

Sorry, I just can’t make myself care whether Scotland secedes from England until someone explains how it’s all Obama’s fault.

The 2016 GOP Presidential debates may encounter scheduling conflicts due to limited visitation at federal prisons.
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