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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 47,556

Journal Archives

That awkward moment when ...

That awkward moment when there are 17 presidential candidates and yet not one Republican wants to be Speaker of the House.


It's legal to take "upskirt" photos in Wisconsin

from my email ...

This year, in my beloved state of Wisconsin, a man was arrested for secretly recording up the skirts of more than 300 unsuspecting women. This act of photographing women’s body parts without their consent is actually common enough that it has a name: “upskirting”.

Despite the silly word, it’s no laughing matter. Victims of this act experience similar effects as those of other sexual assaults, namely fear, guilt, and shame. Wisconsin doesn’t have any laws on the books to punish upskirting. Perpetrators have been given the very petty charges of disorderly conduct, invasion of privacy, and sometimes nothing at all -- if the victim is wearing the “right” kind of undergarment when the photo is taken, the photo is considered perfectly legal under current state statutes.

This is obviously absurd and must be changed. A bipartisan bill to address this issue recently passed the Wisconsin State Assembly, but it has stalled in the Senate. The bill would create a new charge and punishment for upskirting, one that fits the crime.

Please join me in calling on Wisconsin state senators to schedule and pass AB8-SB4. Upskirting goes far beyond invading privacy, and should be treated with the gravity of other sexual assaults. It is non-consensual, unwanted sexual misconduct, and should be punished as such by law enforcement and prosecutors.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Denounces Republican Plan to Smash the GAB


MADISON—The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign blasted the bill (link is external) the Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature just introduced to do away with the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics and elections watchdog. “It’s a disgraceful move, constructed on a pile of lies, and it’s a recipe for more scandal,” said Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “For months now, the Republican leadership has been issuing one lie after another to discredit this agency,” Rothschild said.

“It’s a lie that the staff was going behind the backs of the judges who govern the agency. The second phase audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau proves that, as do the statements of the judges themselves,” Rothschild said. For example, Judge Gerald Nichol, chair of the board, wrote in a letter to the leaders of the legislature on Sept. 29: “I can attest that the Board makes its own decisions guided by the law, not partisan politics.”

“It’s a lie that the Government Accountability Board exceeded its authority in the John Doe investigation. It has such authority by statute and by court ruling,” Rothschild said. He cited Wis. Stat. 5.05 (2m), which states: “The board shall investigate violations of laws administered by the board.” And he cited the Barland decision of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated that “the GAB has joint enforcement authority with elected district attorneys to investigate violations of the state election laws.”

“It’s a lie that it’s unaccountable to the people,” Rothschild added. “Here’s how the judges on the Board are chosen: First, a panel of appellate judges chooses several retired judges as potential board members to nominate. From that list of nominees, the governor appoints one of the retired judges, and then the state senate confirms the appointment. So there is accountability through each of the three branches of government. And by the way, Gov. Walker appointed or reappointed five of the six current members of the Board, so it’s kind of silly for him or other Republican leaders to be complaining that they’re unaccountable.”

They went to great heights to make this movie ...

Saw "Everest" last night. Decent flick, great scenery, quite informative. Would have enjoyed more of Kathmandu.

Only gripe is all the exposed faces in (supposedly) sub-zero temperatures, but I guess no one would know which actor was which if they were all appropriately covered.

The TPP: Another Trade Scam (The Progressive Magazine)


A cabal of global corporations and their friends in the Obama Administration are waging a wholesale assault on our jobs, environment, health, and even our people’s sovereignty. Their weapon is a scheme hidden inside a scam. Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the scam is their claim that TPP is nothing but another free trade deal that ties our economy to Brunei, Vietnam, and nine other nations around the Pacific Rim. But of the twenty-nine chapters in this deal, only five are about tariffs and other trade matters.

The real deal is in the twenty-four other chapters that create a supranational scheme of secretive, private tribunals that corporations from any TPP nation can use to challenge and overturn our local, state, and national laws. All a corporate power has to do to win in these closed proceedings is to show that a particular law or regulation might reduce its future profits.

This is big stuff, amounting to the enthronement of a global corporate oligarchy over us. Yet it’s been negotiated among trade officials of the twelve countries and 500 corporate executives in strict secrecy. In March, the President arranged a briefing to woo House Democrats to support the TPP. But he classified the briefing as a secret session, meaning the lawmakers are not allowed to tell you, me, or anyone else anything about it.

A gag order on Congress? Holy Thomas Paine! The only reason Obama is desperate to hide his oligarchic scheme from us is because he knows the people would overwhelmingly oppose it. So he’s resorting to government by sucker punch. It’s cowardly—and disgraceful.

The graphic is perfect.

Great Scott Walker Quotes


"I hate big Government, " says Scott Walker who ordered his personal police force to arrest anyone who sang or held a sign inside the publicly funded Capitol building. These illegal and Unconstitutional actions just cost the taxpayers over $245,000 in legal fees.

"I really hate Government that does not work." says Scott Walker, who spent 1 day in Wisconsin in July(for our friends at RightWisconsin, there are 31 days in July).

" So when they say we either have to raise taxes or cut services, it's actually a false choice." says the Governor who has to delay major road work projects in Wisconsin because we do not have the money, thus costing Wisconsin taxpayers over $160 Million wasted dollars.

Says the Governor who was Chairman of the Board of his signature "jobs"agency, where he gave out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to donors and received little to nothing in return.

Wisconsin: Tues. Oct 6: Hearing on Wisconsin civil service and Vigil to honor Marty Beil


A public hearing on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, in Room 411 South of the State Capitol.

-The public hearing will start at 8:30 a.m., and recess at 11:50 a.m., for partisan caucuses.

-The committee will reconvene at 2:15 p.m., and take testimony until 6:00 p.m., that evening.

-Depending on the number of registrants wishing to speak, the Chairman may find it necessary to utilize a time limit for each speaker. The time limit may be adjusted throughout the public hearing in order to accommodate the number of registrants.

-In the event that more speakers register than time permits to speak, their registrations of speaking for or against the legislation will be changed to registering for or against.

For more info. on the proposed changes, see Joanne Brown’s blog post “End of civil service”


Real wick candles are not allowed to be set aflame on the Wisconsin Capitol grounds. You can bring a flashlight or else purchase electric candles at discount stores.

Candlelight Vigil
Tuesday 5PM
October 6
Wisconsin State Capitol
2 East Main Street, Madison, Wisconsin

“We lost not only a champion of the people today, but a brother, Marty Beil.

To honor him please join me for a candlelight vigil Tuesday Oct. 6th starting at 5:00 on the Capitol Steps (of course coinciding with a hearing to kill civil service, because of course Marty wouldn’t have it any other way!)

Be sure to bring a candle and wear your AFSCME Green!


Wisconsin: BAD groundwater bill scheduled for a hearing this Wed, Oct 7 in Madison

from my email ...

Hello Friends of Water,

A bad groundwater bill is going to hearing this Wednesday, October 7th at 2:30. If you can, please consider going to Madison to help see that this bill does not gain traction. A good summary and what you can do is below, sent to Central Sands Water Action Coalition from River Alliance of Wisconsin. There are some car pools being organized for Wednesday, so if can trek to Madison with us, please let me or others know.

Additionally, here is Dr. Kraft’s blog that explains the proposal http://wiswaterguy.com/2015/09/14/bill-introduced-to-ease-high-capacity-well-transfers-and-replacement/

Good afternoon Central Sands Water Action Coalition partners,

Senator Gudex's bill is going for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism next Wednesday, October 7th at 2:30. As folks have been discussing recently, this bill does nothing to fix the problems you are facing with groundwater overpumping in the Central Sands and the committee should know that voters are unhappy about it.

The committee chair, Senator Moulton, has co-sponsored Gudex's bill but I don't think he anticipates a lot of public opposition to this bill. So it's important he realizes this is a hot potato. The hearing on Wednesday is just that, a hearing. The committee will not be voting on moving the bill to the floor yet so a strong public response can influence how willing the committee will be to move this thing forward.

How can CSWAC members best weigh in?

1. Contact the Ag Committee members to voice your opposition

2. Pack the hearing on Wednesday

3. Testify against the bill

1. Contact Ag Committee Members and your legislators:

This is the first and most important step for the coalition to move on. You are a coalition comprised of hundreds of individuals who collectively can send a very strong message. If you can reach out to the group you represent to ask them to call or email their legislators and the committee to voice their opposition, it's the most immediate and tangible impact you can have on this bill.

In case anyone needs contact info for their legislator, they can find it here (just type in your address): http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov

The Senate Ag Committee list and contact is found here: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/committees/senate/1365

Ideally you would contact all members but at the very least, the Chair's office and Sen. Lassa, especially if she is your senator.

Talking Points:

Be brief, state your name, your address and why you care about the issue and how it impacts you personally;

Indicate that you oppose SB239;

SB 239 does not solve the growing water crisis in the state, it only locks down the a system that has led to the problem in the first place;

Any law to manage groundwater pumping needs to be fair, science-based and needs to address current and future water conflicts in the state. SB239 does none of this.

We have re-attached our analysis of SB239 if you would like additional information, but really, just stating your opposition is the main goal.

2. Testify against the bill on Wednesday

Many of you have first-hand experience about how over pumping is harming your property, quality of life and access to water. Others of you have paid out of pocket to seek recourse for unchecked pumping. Legislators need to hear over and over again that the problem is not the future of agriculture in the state, the problem is a growing water crisis that is playing out right now. The committee needs to hear these stories. As Scott mentioned, Big Ag will be out in full force telling their version of the story, so we really need to counter-balance that with thoughtful citizen testimony about how groundwater over pumping is harmful.

Testimony should be no longer than 3 minutes. Focus on personal stories. Several of you have already let us know you are planning to testify.

We would love to know how many of you are planning to testify. We will be sending out a follow-up email on Monday with some tips for preparing testimony.

We have reserved a hospitality room for CSWAC folks coming to the hearing on October 7. We will be in Room 425 SW from 11am-3pm. Come by early, we will have sandwiches and snacks in the room and can coach you on testifying if you're new to this. Also, it would be great to plan a few legislative visits that day since you're already coming to Madison and we can help arrange all the details in advance.

3. Even if you don't testify, consider attending the hearing and registering your opposition

This is important! Legislators need to get a clear message that they cannot roll back groundwater protection without a huge fight. A packed hearing room full of folks who oppose the bill will let Senator Gudex (and Senator Cowles, too) know that people are watching and ready to make a big deal of bad groundwater legislation.

Thanks for all you do and please do not hesitate to contact me or Allison with questions.

Talk to you on Monday!

Doonesbury, Saint Ronald and the Mob

Uihleins spend big to help Ron Johnson defend Senate seat from Russ Feingold


The Uihleins — owners of Pleasant Prairie-based Uline Corp. — also are staking a claim in the hotly contested race between U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and his predecessor, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold. Records show that the Uihleins and their company already have pumped at least $1.3 million into three outside groups putting up ads either helping Johnson, a Republican, or criticizing Feingold, a Democrat. The election, of course, is still 13 months away.

Most recently, Uline Corp. gave $500,000 to Club for Growth, making the company the biggest donor by far to the national conservative group this year. Uline's support represents more than two-thirds of Club for Growth's total take of $762,767 in 2015. The Uline money arrived a few months before the group launched a $700,000 ad campaign attacking Feingold. Club for Growth has announced that it hopes to spend more than three times that amount helping to re-elect Johnson.

Tom Russell, campaign manager for Feingold, said it's not surprising that out-of-state multimillionaires are "bankrolling" his opponent's campaign via Club for Growth. Russell said they are doing this because Johnson supported, among other things, the policies that led to the 2013 federal government shutdown. Earlier this year, Richard Uihlein chipped in $800,000 to two conservative political action committees running TV and radio spots on the race — $300,000 to Restoration PAC and an additional $500,000 to Americas PAC.


The Uihleins — who own property in northern Wisconsin — have come under scrutiny in recent weeks for asking Gov. Scott Walker's administration to approve two land deals that would benefit them. First, Elizabeth Uihlein is trying to buy 1.75 acres of prime lakefront property in Vilas County from the Department of Natural Resources. Richard Uihlein also wants state approval to tie down a 12-acre floating bog to keep it away from his family property. The politically active couple has given some $3 million in support of Walker's successful gubernatorial and unsuccessful presidential campaigns.

Guess it's time for Scuba to send another $25 to Russ.
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