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Saturday, April 25, 2015

PicToon: Koch Candidate Scott Walker

Click image to embiggen.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Parallel In Tactics Seen To Defeat Recall And The John Doe Investigation

Here's an interesting perspective from Truth-Out/Buzzflash about the Koch brothers recent admission to donors that they think Scott Walker could be their candidate. But this segment in the article caught my eye ...

“During the 2012 recall elections, David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity spent $10 million supporting Walker, which included at least 70 paid staffers flown into Wisconsin, plus bus tours, rallies, town hall meetings, phone banks, and canvassers, not to mention the months of TV ads.”

As if that spending wasn’t enough, Fischer reported that “A mysterious group called ‘Coalition for American Values’ poured $400,000 into a barrage of last-minute ads that made a unique appeal: instead of promoting Governor Scott Walker or attacking his opponent, the ads attacked the premise of the recall itself.”

To the surprise of many, Walker prevailed. “CMD discovered that all of Coalition for American Values' known contributions came [from] the Koch-tied Freedom Partners.”

I immediately thought those are the exact same tactics they are using to defeat the second John Doe investigation.

Those alleged to have committed wrong-doing are not debating the allegations or trying to prove their innocence. Instead of promoting evidence contrary to the prosecution's case file, they are attacking the premise of the entire John Doe process and smearing those who carried out due process of the law. That appears to be their final defense against the allegations.

On the other hand, there are some smart respected legal experts that have poured over the evidence made available to the public and believe Scott Walker and his dark money donor base broke state laws as they are currently written.

But just like in the final days of the Recall election, those in question are making the same "unique" appeal to win sympathy by convincing those remaining, for the Recall it was voters, for the John Doe it's public opinion and the state supreme court, to disregard the record and the nuts and bolts of the allegations. That, it's the process that is wrong and they are merely innocent victims of a flawed system abused by partisan operators. The same accusations they made of process and opponents during the recall.

Am I reading too much into this and does it matter? Well, it's the same players involved defending the same prize and they were convincing enough using those tactics to win the last time.

Sorry to say, but with justice out of way in today's politics, that is all that counts.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nincompoop Ron Johnson Dedicated To Destroy Obamacare, Now Leads Bill To Extend It

This comes from a guy who for the past five years wasted one of Wisconsin's congressional senate seats hellbent on destroying Obamacare,
now wants to extend it past the 2016 elections ...ahem, to protect Americans from its damaging effects. For freedom. For the moochers.

I couldn't make this stuff up no matter how hard I tried.

TPM Excerpt:
WASHINGTON — The Senate's top five Republican leaders have cosponsored legislation to extend until 2017 the Obamacare insurance subsidies that may be struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.

The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal tax credits at stake in King v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.

Washington Post - Tea Party Senator accidentally reveals absurdity of GOP stance on Obamacare. [ ... ] The Johnson plan would keep subsidies going — for everybody across the country who would be adversely impacted by a Court ruling — until September of 2017.

Sen. Ron Johnson's Web Page - Johnson Introduces Bill to Protect Americans from Further Damaging Effects of Obamacare: Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care

THE IRONY: By extending Obamacare, Johnson IS preserving freedom and choice in health care.

Madison Institute 2015 Spring Forum: What's Left?

The Madison Institute presents Our 2015 Spring Forum

What’s Left? - Reflections on the Decline of Progressive Politics.

A panel discussion with John Nichols, Ed Garvey, Stan Gruszynski, Peg Lautenschlager, Barbara Lawton & Matt Rothschild

Friday, April 24, 7:30 PM to 9 PM

UW-Madison Pyle Center
Room DE 235
702 Langdon St.
Madison, WI

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Partisan Hacks Run Amok With Easily Debunked Story About "Partisan" Prosecutors

Several stories running on the coattails of one posted at the National Review have been making the social media rounds lately. All of them are half-baked attempts using old partisan attacks against prosecutors to neutralize the criminal scandals swirling around Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Besides their obvious politically tainted journalism, the National Review sadly attempts to take advantage of the recent national fervor surrounding the wrongful deaths of suspects at the hands of police officers by pushing Wisconsin law enforcement officials working the case under the same bus. Yes, they do "guilt by association" extremely well and in doing so, further demonize the prosecutors and law enforcement professionals in hopes to finally collapse the John Doe case under the weight of total chaotic nonsense.

But their primary goal to neutralize Walker's scandals on the eve of his expected presidential campaign announcement isn't complete until they whip out the old victim card by re-framing Scott Walker and themselves as victims of a witch-hunt carried out against conservatives by "democrat" partisan prosecutors.

However, typical of the National Review, their expertise in alarmist hack-style writing combined with their sloppy investigative reporting left them with no choice but to omit a key element of the John Doe II investigation from their attack story to make it work as intended. It is the "partisan" element of their rambling story you can easily debunk by simply opening up your browser search box on each web page and input the name "Schmitz." You'll find that name appears nowhere in their text.

Why is that important? Well, because Schmitz is for Francis Schmitz and he happens to be a respected 30-year federal prosecutor appointed Special Prosecutor in the John Doe II investigation.

If you're an informed Wisconsin voter, you probably know Schmitz filed a sworn declaration of statements pertaining to his "partisanship" with the U.S. District Court. Schmitz stated he voted for Scott Walker in the 2012 Recall Election, joined the Republican Party when he was being considered for a judicial appointment by President Bush, has no issue with Act 10 and said he has absolutely nothing personal against Scott Walker.

JS Online Excerpt:
"In my role as a special prosecutor, while I have sought input and counsel from others involved in the investigation, I have made the final decisions on what actions to take and the content of pleadings and other filings," Schmitz wrote.

So, debunking the partisan element of their story is as simple as that. Without including Schmitz, it's not the prosecutors but the writers of those stories who expose themselves as unhinged attack dog partisans. Plus, false stories fabricated through omission is the oldest trick in the book.

My main point should be obvious. If you're going to get partisan over the prosecutors, which by the way is a ridiculous and extremely poor defense against documented evidence of wrongdoing, make sure to include all of them, particularly those in lead roles. Otherwise, you are the partisan you're projecting onto others.

JS Online - John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of 'criminal scheme'

JS Online - Exhibit C: Prosecutors lay out the case against Scott Walker

PRwatch - Was John Doe Raid Led by Republicans?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Local Tax and Spend Fiscal Phonies Lobby Madison On Tax Day

So the local Walker-booster club Forward Janesville held their "lobby" day in Madison on "Tax Day" Wednesday. A very fitting day for their annual junket, although April Fools would have been more accurate.

But did they go to Madison to lobby lawmakers to reform the state aid funding formula making it more equitable for municipalities in the post-2008 recession economy? Nope. How about more funding for public schools? Nope. How about more funding to repair and maintain our existing local roads? Noooo, not at all.

In this story at the Janesville Gazette, none of the pressing needs listed above are mentioned. Instead, as the story goes, they were in Madison to preserve funding for the Interstate expansion and to plant seed for a new idea. Hmmm.

As in previous years, this group of special interest lobbyists was in Madison on behalf of their membership and their all-important and highly political road companies. That's it. Period. These folks are like the Halliburton of Rock County. They need a constant stream of profits and without government collectivist public works, they're completely sunk.

In fact, Forward Janesville was thee central player in a behind-closed-doors deal for the interstate expansion that shifted hundreds of millions in state/federal dollars away from maintenance of Wisconsin's existing rural and city roads. So of course they're pushing local taxpayers for tax and spend referendums. They want that too. That's who they are. It's about their vision and other people's money.

I can hear some folks asking, "but don't you want to expand our roads, build new bridges and infrastructure?" Sure I do, but not at the expense of defunding existing roads, bridges and infrastructure. You want something new? Go out there and create new funding mechanisms first - not steal resources from existing needs. To put it another way, they're saying since we don't have funding or can't afford to maintain the windows on our 100-story skyscraper today, lets build 20 more stories of windows on the top. That'll impress everyone. * eyeroll *

None of Forward Janesville's backward lobby priorities surprises me because all of this comes after they got theirs. "Theirs" being state income tax cuts for their membership, low-wage conservative right-to-work regulations, TIF District modifications, enterprise zones, tax credits, portable and transferable tax credits. They've even set up a taxpayer funded slush cache allowing businesses that created jobs but could not claim the credits because of the way they file taxes, to essentially barter the tax credits for goods or services or sell those credits to their big-profit business pals like they're black market food stamps. Good deal, uh? All legal. They figure, hey, why let that welfare money go to waste.

But there they are in Madison looking to lock up public dollars for the interstate expansion while much greater needs go unfunded and oh, I almost forgot ...their "new idea." It's called Vision Wisconsin. Purportedly spun off from an Iowa program for funding quality-of-life improvements. It certainly appears that Forward Janesville, after stating Janesville faces a "death spiral" if we don't increase our local tax obligations, have taken their high tax demands state-wide.

Keep in mind however this group along with the Janesville Gazette remained silent during the passage of low-wage right-to-work, have shown no support to raise the minimum wage and again are absent on a position regarding the end of prevailing wage provisions. Yet they claim to want to attract young people to Wisconsin?

Had they shown support for the proper side of those top-flight quality-of-life issues first, maybe some folks wouldn't think they're nothing more than tax and spend fiscal phonies.


RNR - Divide and Conquer Club: Without Higher Taxpayer Obligations, Quality Of Life Could "Death Spiral"

RNR - At The Crossroads, Paul Ryan's Hometown Facing a Death Spiral. But Where's Ryan?

RNR - Local Walker Cartel Gear Up To Provide "Cover" For Political Cronies

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Special Interests Should Recuse From Janesville City Council Or Resign

At Monday's Janesville city council meeting, a resident spoke out about what he said is an issue of fairness. Spurred by a advisory recommendation opposing the issuance of a liquor license by the city's alcohol advisory committee, the resident noticed that a member of the board of directors of a local issue advocacy group JM4C (Janesville Mobilization for Change) also sits on the city committee. He said she should have recused herself from voting on the committee's recommendation. It should be noted that Janesville's advisory committees are just that, they are advisory and don't have the decision making power the council holds.

However, sitting on Janesville's seven-member city council are two individuals with very close ties to the hyper-partisan Walker-booster group Forward Janesville. Council member Richard Gruber is on FJ's board of directors and Marklein Builders (Doug Marklein) is listed as a member in its directory.

Not only as an issue of fairness, but also one of trust, I think those two council members should recuse from council discussion and voting on every resolution and agenda item that involves economic development, business incentives, contracts, bids, licenses, and public private partnerships OR resign from the council. And, not just recuse on council legislation involving fellow Forward Janesville members, but also on agenda items that involve non-members as their council position can be used to squelch or defeat market competition to their business allies.

Note: The group Forward Janesville said its overriding goal is to advance the interests of its members and is deeply involved in partisan politics.

Note: The group JM4C describes its advocacy as "Creating a Safer, Healthier Community for Our Youth."

You can watch the resident speak about the advisory committee here. It begins at the 00:50:50 time mark.


RNR - Political Business Group Suffering Identity Crisis?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Scott Walker's Campaign Saves Big Money! But Not At Menards

Scott Walker's trip to Great Britain in February cost Wisconsin taxpayers $138,200

JS Online Excerpt:
Madison — On the eve of another foreign trip, Gov. Scott Walker's administration disclosed Thursday that Wisconsin taxpayers paid $138,200 for his February trip to Great Britain — a trade mission laden with political overtones from his likely 2016 presidential bid.

Walker is all packed up and ready to do it again.

JS Online Excerpt:
Walker leaves on Sunday on a state-sponsored trade mission paid by Wisconsin taxpayers to the cities of Hannover, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; and Montpellier, France. In another sign of his all but certain presidential run ...

...and I'm so wrong because everyone knows Scott Walker would never allow anything to get in the way of his dedication to the state of Wisconsin ...

...he is expected to cut off his participation in the trip several days before the other state officials to join other likely GOP contenders for the White House for a New Hampshire event on April 17 and 18.

But ...but Obama something.