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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Janesville Council Member Attacks Fellow Council Member In Email

Janesville City Council member Frank Perrotto went on a scathing personal attack against fellow council member Yuri Rashkin when Rashkin simply vacated the Forward Janesville dinner when Scott Walker went on the stage to speak to the business dinner crowd.

According to Rashkin, he left to engage with the throngs of Janesville residents and protesters outside the building because he felt it was necessary and to exercise his rights. Fair enough. Soon afterwards, Perrotto sent Rashkin an outrageously reprehensible email attacking him with childish name-calling and describing Rashkin's behavior as despicable, stupid and a partisan just to name a few. This behavior though is not unusual for Perrotto as he is known for his outbursts of cross-eyed vein popping smart-alecky rage and blusterous arrogance during council meetings against one of the city's council critics, K. Andreah Briarmoon. But this is the first time that I'm aware of where he punishes a fellow council member with his self-righteous wrath. That's his right too and Perrotto stands by his words. It should be noted that Frank Perrotto is up for re-election to the city council on the April ballot.

Being a voting and taxpaying resident of the city of Janesville with a non-district at-large city council, what I want to know is how Janesville City Council members Kathy Voskuil, Frank Perrotto and George Brunner represented the folks protesting outside the Forward Janesville dinner. In their own words. The fact is after the fact – they didn’t. Yet according to all counts, there were more folks outside the Holiday Inn than in.

Even without that, I want to know how they represented the majority position of Janesville voters. In November when Janesville voters spoke, they voted for Not Walker – 56%, Walker – 44% and that was when voters trusted Walker. Walker of course won the statewide election, but Janesville city council members do not represent or speak for the state of Wisconsin nor should they represent the business membership of a politically active lobby group. They are supposed to represent all of the city of Janesville – for good or for bad. That includes the folks outside too.

So far, Voskuil, Brunner and Perrotto only showed us how they represent a tiny albeit wealthy minority of Janesville. So, I want to know not only how they represent the Janesville majority who did not vote for Walker, I want to what their personal position is as well and what they intend to do to transmit the wishes of the at-large Janesville majority and incorporate those views into city government.

Do tell.

But what Rashkin attempted to do in my view, was the impossible. He tried to bridge a gap, represent and placate both sides in an environment that is fast approaching civil war levels at the same time showing his personal distaste for Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. Whether he did this to gain some political advantage is pure speculation. It could back-fire. But he was completely entitled to exercising his 1st Amendment rights for his statements and position without being trashed by the hyper-partisan sycophant capitulating Perrotto.

The fact is Kathy Voskuil wouldn’t even try to bridge that gap. Perrotto ran away from it and George Brunner wouldn’t do it either. Instead, they stood on the inside with a small exclusive minority of Janesville voters who for the most part, do not represent the at-large Janesville population at all. This time, I give Rashkin much credit for his courageous decision.

Read another blog perspective here.

Conservatives Insulting Women Not Insulting When They Do It

I'm been opening up a few emails for two days now from readers regarding comments made by the Gazette's rodeo clown Dan Conry about protesters at the Forward Janesville dinner.

I'm not going to dispute whatever he claims to have heard because I spent two-and-half hours roaming the area and I heard three, count 'em three instances in that time where rough language was used. I also saw many drivers respond with provocative mouth and finger gestures of their own.

But what I also saw was that the vast majority (over 1,000 estimate) of the protesters were respectful adult people who feel they're being ripped off and wrongly maligned - tensions are very high. This is not make-believe stuff. I saw absolutely nothing to be concerned about except some hurt feelings from a few fragile minded guests pulling through. Was the rough language justified? No, not in my view. But we're talking about adults here - the world is not fair - deal with it. For an ex-cop, Conry is showing a pretty thin skin. Not surprisingly though, the lowbrow Conry levels a steaming pile of insults himself, not at the single individual or two that may have hurled insults, but at the entire protest group as a whole. He condemns them (us) all. We can handle it.

Fortunately he makes his provocative remarks from the safety of his padded bully pulpit at the WCLO radio room a day later. No doubt Conry is speaking for the entire Bliss Com outfit. My advice to my readers is to stay away from this guy. He's looking to provoke trouble and hopes some will come his way. His show ratings must be in the toilet.

Anyways, I've created three parsed clips from his blistering attack on the protesters and added a fourth clip to the end from the beginning of a phone interview he had with Justice David Prosser. Remember, Conry called the protesters filthy and degenerate for hurling foul remarks at women we assume, but he beams over David Prosser as a reasonable and well opinioned judge. This interview just coming a week after a report that Prosser called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" in a fit of rage, and threatened to "destroy her." Prosser admitted to it and said he was "goaded." Conry thinks Prosser was set up and eventually said of Prosser, "good for him." Obviously then, because Prosser is no union goon degenerate school teaching thug protester in Conry's eyes, Abrahamson must have deserved it.

But Prosser's a ...

Also: Listen for Conry's attempt in the last segment to set up an excuse for having Prosser on his show again because Prosser wants to respond to comments made earlier on his show by Kloppenburg, when Prosser then says, "what did she say?" The Bliss Com propaganda machine at it's finest. Mopping up to protect their WMC-bought justice.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lions Quick Marts - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry. Changing the way we do business.

Lions Quick Marts Inc.
Contact: James Johnson. Donated $1,350 to Walker, $500 To Evan Wynn and $500 to Joe Knilans. Lions Quick Marts is thee premier heavy among local gas station/convenience stores in Janesville when it comes to political contributions to the GOP. Less visible in big-name political circles - but a solid consumer driven example of a serious four-bagger.

Total Political contributions: (Post 2008 election cycle)
DEMOCRATIC $500 Source

Rating: FJ+ (3/27/11) Legend

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video: Janesville Marches in Protest To Scott Walker/Forward Janesville

The Protest Scott Walker/Forward Janesville Facebook page lied. They had 356 signed up to attend but I would swear 1,000 showed up by 5:30 PM. A count from one of the organizers put the attendance at 1,532. But that kind of miscalculation, if I may call it that, is perfectly okay with me because it was a beautiful day in Janesville to go for a walk and exercise the vocal cords. There were lots of handmade signs on display all around as protesters lined both sides of the entrance street to the Holiday Inn forcing Walker's dinner guests in their Denalis and Benz through a middle class "gauntlet." It must have made their skin crawl to see hard workin' dirty finger nails and teacher's clip boards up so close. I was constantly moving around on both sides and caught glimpses of John Nichols from The Nation/CapTimes and John "Sly" Sylvester in attendance.

I was somewhat surprised to see so many of Forward Janesville dinner guests pointing antagonistically towards protesters and laughing from inside their cars as they drove through the gauntlet. A few turned around as they approached the Inn entrance doors and flipped the bird our way in a final salute before entering. Not many noticed it as most of the attention was kept focused on the protesters in the street.

Whatever the Janesville Gazette tried to conjure up against the protesters over the past two weeks failed to materialize. No counter protesters were noticed and no employees from the Gazette were arrested.

In the video below, I was stationed near the middle of the street facing the other way when everyone reclaimed the street and marched up through the middle to the Holiday Inn cul-de-sac entrance. Because of that I was unable to pan the scene or capture a wider view.

Slideshow here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Protest Walker At Forward Janesville Dinner

Protest Scott Walker with signs on public sidewalks around the Holiday Inn. The Forward Janesville dinner event starts at 5 PM (Cocktail Hour), but people are being asked to meet at 4 PM.

Where: Holiday Inn Express Hotel
3100 Wellington Pl, Janesville, WI 53546-1148 · Get Directions

When: Tues March 29, beginning at 4pm

Keynote Speaker: Governor Scott Walker

Opening the evening will be Rock County 5.0 Co-chairs, Diane Hendricks and Mary Willmer-Sheedy.

Protest Scott Walker/Forward Janesville Facebook

« What's this?
Holiday Inn Express & Janesville Conference Center, Contact: Stan S. Jones. No political contributions have been registered from the Janesville location. However, Holiday Inn (WI) has over $5,000 registered in political contributions (none for Scott Walker). Stan Jones served on the Board of Directors for the Janesville Chamber of Commerce and several other business associations in the Janesville area. A key player in Forward Janesville.

Total Political contributions: Holiday Inn (Statewide)
DEMOCRATIC $1,117) Source

Rating: FJ$ (3/26/11) Legend of Symbols

True Colors - Changing The Way We Do Business

This is the "unveiling" of a campaign I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It was inspired by and is my response to the Republican party's state and national legislative campaign to defund organizations and individuals who oppose their wealth redistributive corporate driven agenda. I've given it the name "True Colors" with a rainbow as it's symbol.

Although this campaign might have some characteristics of a boycott - it is not a true boycott and is not affiliated with labor unions, a political organization or party. With that said, I do support all boycott efforts against business contributors of Walker and legislative GOP candidates who voted for the Budget Repair Bill.

In addition, boycotts are usually temporary actions used to coerce a specific desired reaction from their targets. This campaign, with any luck, is permanent and asks for nothing in return. There are no ultimatums, redemptions or quid pro quos, but only a promise from those who see a personal value in the information to better our community by changing the way we do business. The promise however is to yourself, that you will make the best effort possible under your particular economic and social circumstances to use the information as the impetus or reminder to stop supporting businesses that hurt your family and friends. Wisconsin's working families and singles will be bringing home a smaller paycheck under Walker's regime so it is imperative to start making household cuts wisely. True Colors should help as a guide when making those decisions. I will however continue to remind you (and myself) of the urgency to change the way we do business and encourage people to use their good conscience and do no harm to yourself when making these tough choices.

In short, True Colors is simply my contribution to empower myself and the working poor and middle-class with publicly known information about business members in our community who have shown support for Scott Walker and the class war hostility being waged by the Republican Party on the State of Wisconsin and across our great land.

The main feature of True Colors I'm hoping that will keep your interest will be in the continuous daily and weekly posting of data collection for the project. The driver of that aspect of the campaign will be the local business(es) promoted or referenced in articles from our local establishment newspapers, the Janesville Gazette and Janesville Messenger. The idea of course is to blow the lid off of the business's true colors and contributions to politicians. The business name and contacts will be run through two different political campaign contribution Web sites for contribution information along with an acknowledgment of whether or not the business is a member of Forward Janesville. The results will then be posted here with a short summary of their true colors and rated with "at a glance" symbols of either tea bags, a rainbow or a pot 'o gold.

The other part of True Colors will be a more static compilation of local republican legislators and their major business contributors along with a top 10 contributors list of FJ's members to Scott Walker. That section still needs work but I expect have it up and running in about a week.

True Colors Mission Statement: “I (We) believe business exists to support society. When instead business undermines society’s basic principles, then we each must choose as consumers and citizens whether or not to tolerate it with continued financial support through our purchases or in B2B transactions.”

Again, this information is not meant to exert any pressure on legislators or businesses, it is strictly an aid for the local consumer or business partner to supplement their own judgment when making a purchase decision.

I've only laid down the basic foundation and parameters for this campaign, so more structuring and refinements are in order. Being a work in progress, I'll be happy to hear from any folks with suggestions and ideas on improving it or insider information pertaining to the political inner workings of our local businesses. Also watch for the "True Colors" link in the header bar to appear soon containing a dedicated page with the expanding list of FJ members and their ratings. I expect this to be a regular feature of my blog.

To give you an idea of what to expect, I will be kicking off the project with the business promoted in Friday's Janesville Gazette - Van Galder Bus Lines.

Van Galder Bus/Coach USA
Contact: Steve Van Galder. No known government aid or subsidies at the time of this inquiry. A steady supporter of Tommy Thompson, more recent campaign contributions to Joe Knilans $100, Rick Richard $400.

Total Political contributions:

Rated: FJ+ (3/25/11) Legend of Symbols


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gazette Editor's Sound Off Against Protesters

Sunday's Janesville Gazette editorial was a simple rehash, cut and paste of the Beckord Forward Janesville editorial posted just days earlier, except the newspaper continues to malign the protesters without cause.

JG Editorial: (Titled: Forward Janesville is right to bring Governor here)
"The last thing Janesville needs is an ugly incident Tuesday that sends the wrong message about our community."

Yet despite dozens of peaceful local protests around the state during the past week including the multiple massive protests of tens of thousands in the Capitol without an "incident," the Janesville Gazette continues to demonize the protesters. What does the Gazette know about that? Are they working on planting some trouble or a "false flag" project to embarrass the protesters? Or are they just spreading fear?

No business in Janesville, not even the Forward Janesville corporate collective, has used their business services in such a way as to spread misinformation, lies, chaos and fear against the working poor, middle class, labor unions and now the protesters of Forward Janesville's dinner with Scott Walker - than the Janesville Gazette. Clearly the protesters are protesting the wrong institution.

Boycott Scott Walker Contributors Facebook

Ramblings published in the Janesville Gazette anonymously

On School Budget: Once again, the teachers union say "no" to concessions. Their next strategy will be to tell us we don't care about our children. That's worked in the past.

Excuse me? But it was Scott Walker who said "no" to concessions, negotiations and compromise. He's leading the way. Don't blame anyone for following his lead. But look at the bright side. You'll be able to stop worrying about the teachers strategy when Walker finishes cutting nearly $900 million from education. Your children will be in your care.

On Unions: As unions continue their policy of negotiation by intimidation by calling for boycotts of businesses that supported candidates that they don't like, they should be aware that it could backfire. What if somebody called for a boycott of GM, Ford, and Chrysler and supported only buying cars from companies that build in America by non-union workers?

There's a lot of festering hate in that one. First of all, unions are not the only ones calling for boycotts. Plenty of regular old-mom-and-pop-never-been-in-a-union or "goons and thugs" in your book, are calling for a dramatic change in buying habits to help turn our ship around away from the brink of serfdom. Calling these boycotts "union" driven is repeating a false narrative from the guns blazing defensive corporate media. Plus, consumers have been boycotting, without union direction, American auto unions for over 30 years now, it's called Toyota. So go ahead, at this point it no longer matters.

On Yuri Rashkin: Regarding the March 23 Sound Off about a nonpartisan city council, if you think Rashkin is partisan, check out his Facebook; you will not believe it. He is not non-partisan at all.

I really love these. One anonymous statement challenging another anonymous statement. No nick name or screen name to follow. No attribution, no nothing but the fact that it is published in a newspaper. The truth is the partisanship or lack of partisanship of individual city council members has no bearing on the quality of the city council as a whole non-partisan entity. It's all in your head. However, a breach of that confidence arises when council members acting under the auspice of city council government endorse the legislative agenda of a politically active lobby group. Such was the case in January of 2009 when Rashkin made the motion to approve a resolution endorsing Forward Janesville's agenda. I gather however by the obviously neutral tone of the anonymous statement that it wasn't referring to that brand of partisanship.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Court Order Ignored - LRB Publishes Anti-Union Legislation

Denver Post Excerpt:
MADISON, Wis.—The Wisconsin law taking away collective bargaining rights that a court had ordered not to be published by the secretary of state has been published instead by the Legislative Reference Bureau. The action was noted on the Legislature's home page Friday. It's not immediately clear whether the publication has the force of law. But if legally published, the law takes effect Saturday.

Channel 3000 Excerpt:
A judge last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law. But the Reference Bureau said it's required to publish every new law within 10 working days after it's signed by the governor. Gov. Scott Walker signed the collective bargaining measure on March 11. Walker's office says the administration will carry out the law as required.

LaFollette's Letter instructing to remove all reference to March 25, 2011 as the publication date and not to proceed until a new date is set.

Let's Focus On Sharing Pie In Janesville

Uh-oh. That word "sharing" is in there. It must be a Socialist plot. This posting is a response to an editorial published in Thursday's Janesville Gazette written by Forward Janesville's John Beckord.

In his writing, Beckord tries to do several things. First he claims that the business establishment group Forward Janesville cultivates a working relationship with state administrations and politicians from either side of the aisle to make the best of things - whatever they are. That's not true as my previous posting shows that the group will publicly oppose the state's leadership and legislation if it runs counter to their own ideas. As far as anyone can tell, Scott Walker's budget plans satisfy the group's goals. Knowing the group's political ideology, I would have been shocked if FJ opposed Walker's budget or the GOP legislators.

Secondly, he claims the group is non-partisan and that they don't fund candidates - that simply by saying so - it must be true. However, the group's own top donors within the organization and their key membership are nearly all verifiably committed right-wing corporate ideologues who donate substantial amounts to Republican candidates and incumbents compared to Democratic candidates. A random sampling shows a margin of at least 20 to 1. Some of the top donors don't donate to Democrats - ever. Sorry to say, but Forward Janesville is nothing without its donor membership and their membership says "partisan." Who's right?

Thirdly, he downplays emailers who complained about "massive tax breaks" given to corporations. Beckord brings up only the $140 million Walker tax break to corporations and because it's a "future" tax liability, it won't have much effect on the current deficit. That's okay if it works for you.

But what about all the other tax breaks, tax credit zones, TIF tax shifts, corporate tax loopholes and surplus fund hand-outs? This is the ideological issue that is fueling a class war. Personally, I think if any tax credits are given for job creation at all - the workers should get them to help spur demand. Outrageous huh? But I also believe the Federal government should ban state and local communities across the country from offering selective tax credits and cash hand-outs to stock-owned and wealthy companies to compete for jobs. Allowing this bribery/extortion atmosphere to continue makes a mockery of good government and institutionalizes crony capitalism. It is a destructive force on modest local treasuries that pits one community against another, undermines the private sector venture capital and loan industries, increases taxes on the core population and defunds much needed public services. It's a loser for everyone except the top 2 percent. Lawmakers in Congress would do well by creating a law making such "incentive" activity illegal. That's what lawmakers are for.

Economic development incentives are designed to return to the State's Treasury more dollars than are granted in tax credits. -- Beckord

But from where are the dollars returned to the Treasury coming from? That revenue is coming from the paychecks of the workers while the tax credit dollars are recycled through the backdoor to the top profit collectors and dividend holders of the very company they're working for. This is wealth redistribution - only worse. It squeezes blood from a turnip and funnels it back to a bloated and carnivorous vampire. It's an outrage!

Lastly, Beckord frames the opposition to FJ's legislative goals and Walker's scorched earth budget as demonizers who are branding the state as anti-business and anti-corporation. When ironically, it was the mother lode chamber ship herself, the WMC, that pushed a media campaign during Doyle's last term doing just that - branding the state as an anti-business "Tax Hell."

On a related note: The Janesville Gazette, their affiliate Messenger publication and now Forward Janesville have all come out attempting to re-frame Wisconsinites contemplating boycott action against businesses that support Walker as ham-handed "zealots" who will only end up hurting their own local economy. False. (loud gameshow buzzer sound) Boycotting certain local businesses means other local businesses will see more economic activity. This in turn will create jobs and economic expansion where otherwise might not be possible. Consumers armed with the right information to support businesses that don't contribute to destructive causes will enjoy an individual enlightenment that can and will have a long lasting and positive pro-business effect on their quality of life and the community.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Indiana Prosecutor Resigns After Suggesting Walker Frame Unions

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism uncovered an email to Gov. Scott Walker in which the writer suggested a fake attack on the governor to discredit union protesters.

Capital Times Excerpt:
"If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions," the email said.

This is always something to worry about when the opposition has nothing to run on or counter with in a civil way. Whether it is an organization, issue or a blog, others will fight back, plant ammunition or write notes threatening violence even if they have to frame you as characterized by the email writer Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Ind. They don't care. It also shows how high the stakes really are for these issues as they effect a huge transfer of wealth from the working poor and middle class to the rich. Lam is the second Indiana prosecutor to resign over suggestions to use violence in Wisconsin. So what's going on in Indiana? Is this what their democracy looks like?

Forward Janesville Opposed Democrats Budget Bill In 2007

I knew something didn't smell right when John Beckord of Forward Janesville implied that the business establishment lobby group doesn't take sides in the political arena. Through their media partner, the Janesville Gazette, the group constantly tries to paint itself as a willing participant and a non-partisan player regardless of the state's party leadership or legislative agenda.

JG Excerpt:
“If you think about the role and mission of this organization as it relates to economic development, it makes sense for us to cultivate a good working relationship with every administration, Democrat or Republican,” Beckord said..... “A key part of the concept of civility is a certain level of respect for our elected officials whether one agrees with them or not on matters of policy.”

None of that go-along-to-get-along with state leadership mattered to Forward Janesville or the Janesville Gazette when both institutions signed a petition to stop the state budget in 2007. Of course, Democrats were in charge at the time.

List Of Rock County Businesses Opposing Democrats Budget Bill 2007

You can view the full list of Wisconsin businesses that opposed the State Budget when Democrats were in control here.

From the Rock Netroots Archives:

Forward Janesville suffers from identity crisis

Forward Janesville chip off the old block (WMC)

Group gets Paul Ryan grant money

Local Alliance needs some Sunlight

Can local jobs be created without tax credits and subsidies?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Emails Against Democrats Action Counted As Support For Walker's Budget Bill?

Yahoo Excerpt:
But an Associated Press analysis of the emails shows that, for close to a week, messages in Walker's inbox were running roughly 2-to-1 against his plans.

That's amazing. When average Wisconsinites addressed the nuts and bolts of the budget bill, they stood against Walker by a landslide. Removing the partisan aspect from the budget bill, I'd say the opposition to Walker among real Wisconsinites has now grown 3 - 1.

Yahoo Excerpt:
The tide did not turn in his favor until shortly after desperate Democrats fled the state to stop a vote they knew they would lose.

Many of those "after" emails should be discarded as evidence of support for Walker or the budget bill. They do not qualify as untainted support for the budget bill simply because they were inspired by the democrats filibuster. Instead, most of those are emotional "putting on the hate" emails against democrats from GOP partisans and RNC PAC robots, many from out of state, who had no reason to comment on the budget bill before until given an issue to attack democrats with.

Local Business "Leaders" Maintain Unwavering Support For Scott Walker

Last week, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch met with the area's business establishment collective in a warm-up sponsored by Forward Janesville to help clear the way for the organization's main event dinner party for Scott Walker. According to the Janesville Gazette however, she was "listening to their concerns about creating jobs and attracting employees."

Among the highlights from some of our business "leaders" were:

JG Excerpt:
Elizabeth Olson of R&R Concrete and Excavating said she couldn’t find people willing to work. “Everyone wants the glory jobs. Nobody wants to do construction,” she said. “A lot of people just don’t think it’s important to have a good, hard day’s work.”

Concrete construction is a grueling job that deserves a glorious paycheck - not the other way around. But one would think a business sounding this desperate for workers would have a list of links on their home Web page for job openings. However, none could be found. They do however post a link to an employment application at the bottom of their "About us" page. A quick view of the Gazette's jobs section also turned up zero help wanted ads from R&R.

Mark Bush of Data Dimensions said his company added jobs in this tough economy but it was difficult. He said it’s hard for Wisconsin companies to compete with foreign companies.

What's the fix? More state aid, government leverage and less taxes for you? What about the rest of us?

Bud Gayhart of the UW-Whitewater Small Business Development Center said businesses have been frustrated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He said the DNR did not allow some businesses to expand because of nearby wetlands, even though the area wasn’t designated a wetland when the business opened.

The Janesville/Beloit/Rock County area is pock-marked with dozens upon dozens of vacant factory/warehouse/office buildings. Are you trying to me that regulations preventing the expansion of building over wetlands is a key reason why demand is down and jobs are scarce? Yeah, I think Bud is.

Kleefisch said many problems she has heard in Rock County are the same problems she has heard across the state. “What we need to do right now is help pull the private sector up by its bootstraps,” Kleefisch said.

Comment Quote from Gazette
GP -- "Isn't the expression pulling oneself up by one's own bootstraps? It kind of loses it's meaning when you enlist help."

Make no mistake, members of Forward Janesville know the company they keep. Despite some rumblings of dissatisfaction with Walker, none of them including the Janesville Gazette has stepped forward over the past several weeks to publicly condemn Scott Walker or his plans. Instead they seem more determined than ever to make sure his plans happen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Time To Move Public Notices To The Web

During last week's Janesville city council meeting, at least two residents complained about the city's lack of communication and said they were unaware of public meeting and hearing notices regarding an ordinance effecting consignment and resale shops. After their comments, Council Member Tom McDonald offered this statement...

City Council Transcript:
"I'm a little bit concerned with the communication process because we've hearing alot from people who didn't get communication. On the other hand, there was an initial reading and when there was the initial reading of this ordinance, this story was in the newspaper. And then two weeks later it was in the newspaper again, not just as what's going to happen at the council meeting but there was a second story in the newspaper about how it effects consignment shops. And I'm just curious because there were alot of people here tonight, and people seem to communicate with each other tonight, why that didn't happen? Does not one pawn shop, gun shop, second hand dealer follow the newspaper or listen to stories on the radio - when these kind of things come up? Because we hear this, not just specific to this issue but it's other issues that come to the council as well. We get people who after the fact that say "I didn't know this was going to happen." But, we can't mail out the agenda to every single business and every single home in town. So we will look into the communication issue to be sure, but I'm also going to say residents and businesses have the responsibility to pay attention to what's going on in our city and I'll just leave it at that." -- Council Member Tom McDonald

I completely disagree with the direction of McDonald's statement. It is not incumbent upon residents to purchase (read) a newspaper or listen to the radio to find out what city government is up to.

McDonald's statement however did not surprise me at all. In the past he opposed televising city council study sessions on public television because he was worried how it might cut into the Janesville Gazette's ability to monopolize the public meetings for their own interests. He was also responsible for cutting the city's highly informative newsletter. In fact, had it not been for the mandated annual water report, the now once-a-year summer edition newsletter would have also been scrapped. And it was McDonald again who worked on the Gazette's behalf to change the city charter and start council meetings a half-hour earlier so the newspaper could meet their new editing deadlines. With his latest comments, one has to wonder whether McDonald has a vested interest in Bliss Communications and/or whether it's right to use his position on the city council to the newspaper's advantage.

But McDonald's statement brings up a great counter-point for hard-pressed Janesville taxpayers to consider. Everything is now about saving dollars we supposedly don't have. Public meeting and hearing notices published in newspapers cost local governments tens of thousands of dollars a year. What's the point to spending that kind of money when we can simply post and archive them on the city's web site. The same goes for the county's board meetings and foreclosure notices. Many communities are now only beginning to realize a huge cost savings by switching to Web only notices.

Milwaukee News Buzz Excerpt:
Roys argues that the costs of advertising are too great for local governments. “We will have to have a public discussion and decide: Do we want to continue to force local government to spend their scarce resources on printing notices when there are better ways of communicating?”

Why bother with a public discussion? Particularly now that we're living in a state governed by scorched earth budget cuts across the board without debate or negotiation. That's the new leadership. It's pretty much "f!#% you" - we can't afford it. Yet aside from that current intellectual belligerence, there is no reason to continue paying tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars to post notices in newspapers nobody reads. Now is the time to do it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The 4H Club Of Conservatism

Although this letter is already a year old, it's still very relevant today. Plus, any dyed-in-the-wool new media 'logger will certainly appreciate the amount of time and effort the TPM blogwriter 'AmericanDad' put into his open letter to Conservatives. The letter contains a solid list of resource links outlining the GOP's long history of hyperbole, hypocrisy and hatred.

Another State Republican Confirms Defunding The Dems Base

An editorial posted in the Janesville Gazette written by Rep. Tyler August, R-Walworth titled, "Why the state of Wisconsin needs to reform its budget" contained the usual list of empty republican talking points. But among them was this brow raiser...

Public unions, who have contributed nearly $7 million to state candidates in Wisconsin over the last six elections, have been negotiating with amateurs (politicans) whose campaigns they may have contributed to. -- August

This sort of language on the surface seems innocent enough if not confusingly irrelevant, but there is absolutely no reason for legislators or the governor to even mention, let alone factor in and target the opposing party's contribution base for defunding as a key provision for reform in the state's budget. I believe it is this continued affirmation from the likes of August, that has fractured communities and families around the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Republicans are not legislating laws and budgets for the common good through compromise and negotiation. Instead their entire "reform" legislation mantra is built on one basic tenet; to defund and demoralize the contribution base of the opposing party and their supporting organizations. The cat's out of the bag and it's the Republicans alone who have pushed the partisan hyperbole beyond the point of no return. If someone wonders aloud why thousands of Wisconsinites are now planning to conscientiously object to this outrage and begin boycotting businesses and organizations that contribute to republican party candidates, look no further than to the flaming intentions of Walker, the Fitzgeralds and August. They have no one to blame but themselves.

To think this is only the beginning.

View Tyler August's list of contributors here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unhinged Prosser Threatened To Put A Hurt On Justice Abrahamson

JS Online Excerpt:
As the deeply divided state Supreme Court wrestled over whether to force one member off criminal cases last year, Justice David Prosser exploded at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson behind closed doors, calling her a "bitch" and threatening to "destroy" her.

"In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '. . . I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,' " Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote in a Feb. 18, 2010, e-mail to Prosser and others.

"I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted..."
-- Justice David Prosser

The mad dog says he was "goaded."

I fully expect the corporate media to run a blitz campaign in defense of Prosser.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Only Heartless Gutless Liars and Cowards Would Cut SeniorCare, BadgerCare

With the story that the Walker Administration plans to jack up BadgerCare premiums over 50% in hopes to push anxious people off the program comes all the lame excuses...

Post Crescent Excerpt:
"BadgerCare Basic was never intended to be funded with state taxpayer dollars," he said.

That's not stopping them on SeniorCare. SeniorCare much like BadgerCare was intended to be funded in large part by participant's premiums. The problem with SeniorCare is it does not provide as massive a subsidy as the Medicare Part D boondoggle provides for the GOP's other contribution base, Big Pharma. Despite Seniorcare saving the Federal government millions of dollars and sparring poor seniors the high costs of Part D and operating for much less than expected (It currently is running a $20 million surplus!!), Walker intends on dismantling that program as well even after claiming he wouldn't touch it.

Fox11 Excerpt: (Feb. 9, 2011)
Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he will not cut benefits to the popular SeniorCare program to help balance the budget...

Excerpt: (Feb. 18, 2011)
On Rep. Evan Wynn --- He said the alternative to Walker's plan could mean layoffs of 6,000 state employees and cuts to BadgerCare for more than 100,000 people.

Wynn, like Walker, said the state is broke. Yeah, sure. Well, for everybody except the poorest of the poor. They could afford a monthly increase of over 50% to their state health care plan. We're no longer living in that "alternate" universe that could mean severe cuts to BadgerCare according to Wynn. He lied - Welcome to hell.

Only the most pathetic would unnecessarily cut BadgerCare and jack wagon premiums because it's posting a $2 million deficit while cutting Seniorcare when it's showing a $20 million surplus.

Nationwide, Republicans and their contribution base chambers of commerce have declared war not just on the middle class and working poor, but on the unemployed and destitute poor as well. Nobody but the worst kind of human beings would do this to the people that depend on these programs. There comes a point even in our compassionate and Christian society where the likes of Walker, Loudenbeck, Wynn, Knilans and August must be shunned and outcast. They're not human - they're animals.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Video: Walker Narrates Wisconsin's Fight To Take Our Government back

One of Scott Walker's campaign narratives was superimposed over the Solidarity movement and backlash against his policies taking place here in Wisconsin.

This is delish-ious.

Republicans Kick Active-Duty Troops In The Teeth

House Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan and the rest of the Wisconsin GOP delegation defeated a bid by Democrats to continue the Emergency Mortgage Relief program (HR836) for military families preventing ACTIVE-DUTY troops from losing their homes. Get this....Republicans argued against Democrats on the basis that the national debt also imperils our military. No, I am not joking.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Protest Events Planned For Beloit, Janesville and Whitewater

From the Milwaukee Area Labor Council AFL-CIO

Friday, March 18, 2011- 7:30 a.m.
Protesting Forward Janesville Roundtable with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Holiday Inn Express 3100 Wellington Pl. Janesville - Meet on the sidewalk

Friday, March 18, 2011 - 6:00 p.m.
Whitewater Rally - Main Street - Flag Pole - City Hall.

Friday, March 25th,2011- 7:30 A.M.
Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast Picket- Representitives Wynn, Knilans, and Loudenbeck to be present. Country Club of Beloit, 2327 Riverside Drive. We will picket on the sidewalk.

Tuesday March 29, 2011 - 5:00 PM
Protest Governor Walker at Forward Janesville Dinner, Holiday Inn Express & Conference Center, Janesville

Walker's Fraudulent Cheerleaders Double As Security Guard?

Boingboing (March 2, 2011) on Walker's budget speech,

Walker entered to thunderous applause, though not from the Democrats, who refused to rise. At least two-thirds of the East audience galley was loudly applauding but they had nothing on the West coast. It was now clear who the men in business attire were. Nearly without exception, the west gallery was all men in black suits and, when the governor said something meaningful, they all rose and applauded, and they did it with verve and volume. I'm not saying these guys were not from Wisconsin, but if you know Wisconsin, you know for a fact that even for most businessmen, black suits are not part of the wardrobe. In general, the only time one will see a large gathering of Wisconsin men in black suits is at a funeral, or, apparently at a Governor Walker budget address.

Reporter Kristin Knutsen found evidence that many of these ringers may have entered through the capitol's access tunnels, noting the presence of the Division of Criminal Investigation--the same officers I saw upstairs outside the Assembly chambers following the address escorting unidentified men.

And then there's a more recent video (below) of a separate incident posted on Youtube March 9th showing dudes in black suits blocking pedestrian passage into the Capitol Building from the parking area.

Cops have to identify themselves, apparently these guys don't. The first guy in the video to confront the girl is wearing a lapel pin she identifies as a "scary eagle." That appears to be a Wakenhut logo. Yet, he's identified himself as a police officer without showing a badge or ID. After trying to use coercive intimidation, watch how he slowly removes himself from the situation. The other guys appear to be wearing a Wisconsin State Patrol lapel pins with the same yellow/orange color scheme. But if the first guy's Wakenhut, he just committed a felony by impersonating an officer.

Who are they? Walker's Republican Guard? Are they the same folks used as applause ringers in the balcony from his budget speech?

Finally, there's Rachel Maddow's story about Walker's long running infatuation with the disgraceful security company that engages in drunken sexually charged hazing activities. In the meantime, Walker and the Republican party endorses this firm giving them contracts worth millions of dollars.

Well, this is one item taxpayers ain't broke enough for - Walker's personal applause team security force.

Walker To Grandstand Federal Dollars For Employee Training

According to the Janesville Gazette, Scott Walker will be in Evansville today to make what they refer to as an economic development announcement, according to a news release.

Walker will speak at 12:10 p.m. at Stoughton Trailers, 101 County M.

Walker is expected to announce a Federal Community Development Block Grant for economic development for up to $756,000 to Stoughton Trailers, which is expected to use the money to train employees and buy equipment. ST appears to be one of those companies that wants Big Government in the way. Well, at least $756,000 worth.

Hopefully for Walker he announced this late enough to prevent half the town from picketing and protesting his arrival. On one hand, the fork-tongued Walker brags of cutting $900 million from education while on the other grandstands a Federal handout to a company to help train employees.

You can pledge your name to support the recall of Scott walker here.

New Local Blog - The Angry Middle Class

Here's a new blog from Janesville with plenty of passion and an interesting set of ideas, sample emails and a letter area residents should consider checking out if preparing to send a written communication to Scott Walker's local contributor base and lobby group, Forward Janesville.

Main Page - The Angry Middle Class

Paul Ryan - Scott Walker With a Smile

The Progressive Excerpt: (Title: The Truth About Paul Ryan)
“Paul Ryan is a phony and a disaster,” says John Dohner, president of Local 95 of the United Auto Workers in Janesville, Ryan’s hometown. “The people I know aren’t fooled by his smile or surprised by his votes. They see him as a slickster, not a friend.”

The Progressive Excerpt:
He accuses President Obama of favoring a “European-style welfare state” and, after the election, he all but called those who receive unemployment benefits lazy.

The Progressive Excerpt:
UAW member Diane Hrovaiten, who was among 3,800 workers who lost their jobs when the Delphi auto-parts plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, relocated work to Mexico, is not fond of Ryan’s plan. “Ryan’s ‘Road map’ protects the fortunes of the rich,” she says, “but for the rest of us, it’s an eight-lane expressway to destruction.”

The Progressive Excerpt:
“I do believe President Obama does believe more in economic redistribution,” he told Fox TV. “He’s clearly a class warfare guy.” But the class that’s winning the war in his district is not made up of working people.

The district is pockmarked with ghostly factories from one end to the other.

The Progressive Excerpt:
Ryan voted against new regulations on the banking industry in 2007. He voted against monitoring TARP funds. And he voted against modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid foreclosures.

In the meantime, he has opposed federal programs designed to provide immediate relief for people who are suffering—including those in his district.

It should come as no surprise that Walker's backdoor tax hikes on the working poor are right out of the Ryan/Norquist/Rove class war playbook. It's built on a bizarre orientation drawn from the fictional works of Ayn Rand, that the working poor and middle classes need less money in their pockets in order to liberate themselves from poverty. That's troubling enough, but if less money in workers pockets is supposed to give us a stronger sense of pride and individual responsibility, why then must the wealthiest require more money?

From the Internets -- Scott Walker and Paul Ryan are very much alike, neither will hesitate to twist a sharp object into your back. The only difference is Ryan will smile at you when he's doing it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bradford Town Board Posts Special Meeting For Factory Farm

The Bradford Town Board, apparently taking their cue from the state GOP's impromptu ramming success, will be holding a SPECIAL meeting to create an amendment to allow the spraying of liquid shit (pardon my English) through the nozzles of center-pivot sprayers over the land.

For consideration of creation of an amendment to Chapter 1, the zoning ordinance to require a conditional use permit for center pivot applications.

The special meeting is scheduled for 6:30 on Friday night March 18 at the Bradford Town Hall.

Hudson Residents Greet Scott Walker, No Cheers

Hudson Wisconsin, a rivertown with a population 11,900, turned out a good sized group to protest Walker's visit to a heavy equipment manufacturer. During his visit, Walker said that since some private sector workers have accepted lower wages for their work, everyone else will have to make sacrifices.

Why is it that folks who think they're "taxed enough already" claiming they can no longer afford to pay an extra dime in taxes are so eager to have thousands of dollars in wages stripped away from their peers even in the private sector?

Democurmudgeon Excerpt:
As their lives get more miserable and job security, wages and benefits disappear, instead of fighting an oppressive business model, they support policies that would drag everyone down to their level. For a party that wants to keep all their hard earned money, they’re sure anxious to take away the hard earned income of others, just so we can all “sacrifice” together.

This seems to be a difficult concept for many to understand, that lowering wages has nearly the same effect as raising taxes on workers pockets. Less money means less demand. Less demand means fewer workers. The only thing fiercely defended is the "party's" profit margin.

Local Group Holding Brainstorm Session In Wake Of Budget Bill

From Rock County Progressives,

Let's get together tomorrow and "get this ball rolling," Wednesday, 6:30 PM at Mocha Moment in Janesville (1121 Center Avenue).

On the agenda: electing Kloppenburg, "Come Alive on 5", along with ideas and suggestions for possible boycotting -- One idea floated is a “Vote Twice” campaign, the second being a vote with the pocketbook. Another thought was to call the project “Two for Tuesday.” The group is looking to see how much ground level support exists in Rock County to defend the working poor and middle class and wishes to hear from others in this common cause.

If you can't make it, please pass on your ideas about what you would like to see us do or pledge your support for this campaign to:

Forwarded by Chuck Ogg (slight revision)

P.S. You don't have to be a "progressive" to join this effort. Just standing up for progress will do. -- L.K.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

List Of 100 Wisconsin Businesses For Kleefisch

From Rebecca Kleefisch Forward.

The list of business leaders supporting Rebecca Kleefisch with their endorsements or contributions includes:

Judith M Couri – President, Couri Insurance Associates LLC & Couri Tax & Accounting Service INC , Ex-VP of Couri Insurance Agency Inc & Treasurer-Secretary of Couri Financial Services

Gerald E Couri – President Couri Insurance Agency Inc, Ex Vice President Couri Insurance Associates LLC VP of Couri Tax & Accounting and VP of Couri Financial Services

Caryn M Papenthien – Vice President Commercial Lines, Couri Insurance Associates LLC and Owner, The Danserz Closet

Jeanne Safro – President & CEO, JRS Holding, Inc. Dealer Principal of Jack Safro Toyota, Lexus of Brookfield, Lexus North Shore, and Jack Safro Ford & Lincoln

Dwyn D. Von Bereghy – President, Centrifugal Castings – Milwaukee

P. Michael Mahoney – Chairman of the Board, CEO, Park Bank, Milwaukee

Mike Duckett – Executive Director, Miller Park – Milwaukee President, Duckett Group

Rexford W. Titus III – CEO, Pro Health Care - Waukesha

Terry Briscoe – CEO – National Insurance Service – Brookfield

Gus Antonneau – CEO, David Insurance Agency – Racine

Lisa Mauer – President, Tools Service Corporation – Milwaukee

David L. Bahl – President, Weldall Manufacturing – Waukesha

Diane M. Hendricks – Beloit

John N. Mac Donough – Hartland

Ken Dragotta, President, Systems Engineering & Automation, Milwaukee

Trygve A. Solberg – Owner, T.A. Solberg Co., Inc – Minocqua

Robert Hultquist – Attorney – Robert Hultquist, LTC – Oconomowoc

Bruce Grassman – President – Results Broadcasting – Shawano

Don & Sharon Sydow – CEO, Oconomowoc Mfg – Oconomowoc

Timothy T. Kay, Attorney – Kay & Kay Attorneys At Law – Brookfield

Bradley J. Evans – General Manager, Elder Flag Manufacturing Company - Oak Creek

Charles Joyce, Owner – Faith Automotive – Juneau

Gary and Elizabeth Scherper – Owners, Sherpers, Inc. Oconomowoc

Brett Achtenhagen – Partner, Brett Achtenhagen Seasonal Services - Dousman

David Dayler – Owner, Dayler Financial – Brookfield

Richard L. Blomquist – President, Blomquist Benefits LLC – Brookfield

Jim Nowakowski – Attorney, Nowakowski & McManus LLP – Elm Grove

Eric & Lisa Olesen – Owner, O & H Danish Bakery – Racine

Richard and Carol Bayerlein – Owner, Bay-San Company – Waukesha

Michael Cudahy – Owner, Endeavors Group – Milwaukee

Joseph Dentice – Owner, Dentice Properties – Oconomowoc

Rick Eckert – Owner, Olympia Resort – Oconomowoc

Michael Eisenga – Owner, First American Funding – Columbus

Bill Eyers – Owner, Ever Dry Waterproofing – Waukesha

Angela Gende – Owner, Goff’s Auto Body – Waukesha

David Geraldson – President, Precision Gears – Pewaukee

Dominic Giuffere – Owner, Giuffere Brothers Cranes – Milwaukee

Anthony and Frances Goff – Owner, Goff Enterprises – Pewaukee

Peter Gottsacher – CEO, Wixon – St. Francis

Jerry & Linda Hepp – Owner, Jerry Hepp Excavating – Watertown

Gerry & Linda Holton – Owner, Dublin Contractors – Butler

Michael Hupy – Attorney, Hupy & Associates – Milwaukee

Gary Jacobi – Owner, Jacobi Concrete Pumping – St.Germain

Craig Jorgensen – President, VJS Construction Service – Pewaukee

Anup K. Khullar – Chairman, Priya Corporation – Milwaukee

Aldo Madrigrano – President, WOW Distributing – Sussex

Howard and Myra Miller – Owner, Master Machine Solutions, Inc - Appleton

Robert W. Mulcahy – Attorney, Michael Best & Friedrich – Milwaukee

Gary Murray – Owner, The Gary Murray Team – Oconomowoc

Tim Musson – Owner, Musson Brothers – Rhinelander

Craig Ochs – Owner, Wiscomm LLC – Elm Grove

Jim O’Malley – Owner, O’Malley Development Group – Franklin

Emil Pfenniger – CEO, United Wisconsin Insurance Company – New Berlin

Steven R. Reis – Owner, Profile Finishing – Waukesha

Gary N. Scherper – Owner, Scherpers Inc. – Hales Corners

John Schober – Attorney, Schober, Schober & Mitchell – New Berlin

Michael Sipek – COO, Bradley Corporation – Menomonee Falls

Margaret K. Smith – Owner, Empire Photography – Nashotah

Michael & Jean Denesha – Owner, Wayne Pigment Corp – Milwaukee

Craig Anderson – Vice President/General Manager – Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Waukesha

Dave Bruno – Bruno Independent Living Aids

David Stein – Advanced Pain Management

Steve Hepp – Owner, Steve’s Limousine Service – Watertown

Tom Schober – Attorney, Schober, Schober & Mitchell – New Berlin

John Alberts – Owner, Alberts & Associates – Oconomowoc

Linda Johnson – Realtor, First Weber Realtors – Delafield

Mary Lynn & Donald Kane – Owner, Lake Country Cigars – Delafield

Myra & Howard Miller – Owner, Master Mechanic Solutions – Appleton

Thomas L. Sykora – Realtor, Coldwall Banker – Mequon

Nancy A. Showers – Owner, The Fabric Gallery – Oconomowoc

Charles Symicek – Owner, Symicek Adult Family Home – Hartford

Dr. Carol Uebelacker – Health Directions – Delafield

Terrence Wall – Owner, T. Wall Properties – Madison

Timothy M. Wallace – Great Lakes Pathologists

Bryan Waltersdorf – Owner, Wristband Resource – Brookfield

Karen Wenzel – Realtor – Brookfield

Louis Young – Vice President, Process Displays – New Berlin

Roger Forray – Owner, Roger’s Voline Garage – Oak Creek

Joe and Pam DeRosa – President, The DeRosa Corporation, owners of Eddie Martini’s, The Chancery, The Original Pancake House, Jose’s Blue Sombrero

Brian Bergmann DDS – Bergmann and Holm Dental Group – Okauchee

Doug Bertrand – Owner, Lake Country Pest Service – Delafield

John Erske – Owner, Erske Drywall – Watertown

Greg Essig – Owner, Western Lakes Golf Club – Pewaukee

Carl Geraldson – Secretary-Treasurer, Precision Gears Inc. – Pewaukee

Bill Eyers – Owner, Ever Dry Waterproofing – Waukesha

Hans Weissgerber – Owner, Golden Mast Restaurant

Wilbert G. Gill, DDS – WG Gill DDS – Oconomowoc

Carol Euringer, Associate Vice President – First Weber Realty – Lake

Michael J. Hucovski, CPA – Schenck SC – Green Bay

Linda Johnson – Realtor – First Weber Realtors – Delafield

Vicki Nease – Owner, Fitness Techs – Brookfield

Alan Petelinsek – President, Power Test Inc. – Menomonee Falls

Gloria Lehrer – Owner, Designs Galore – Oconomowoc

Mark Krueger – President, Atlas Refrigeration Services – Milwaukee

Brian Hagmayer – CEO, Adron Tool – Menomonee Falls

Emil Pfenninger – CEO, United Heartland Insurance Company – New Berlin

Mike Kreinz – President, C S Logistics, Inc – Milwaukee

Eric Geraldson – Vice President of Manufacturing – Precision Gears, Inc – Pewaukee

Debra Meunier – Owner, Debra Meunier American Family Insurance Agency - Oconomowoc

Byron and Nancy Didenko – Owner, Waters View Investments LLC - Delafield Waters End Investments LLC Hartland Meadows Retirement Apartments, LLC

Democrats Should Stay Home Until Phony Contempt Warrant is Dropped

"For them to be welcomed back with some kind of hero's greeting is just to me not only irritating but mind-boggling." -- Sen. Scott Fitzgerald

This jealous crybaby sounds like he expected Wisconsin's "slobs" to treat him like the hero. He continues to slap the democratic senators and now strikes at the people of Wisconsin.

Democrats should not return until they are assured that some semblance of a democracy is restored. Stay home senators!!

Update: Work Has Begun On The Fitzgerald Project

Just letting my readers know that I've begun spending more time working on building a list of local businesses that have donated heavily to Scott Walker and local republicans. What I found in a random sampling of 30 businesses in Janesville was both disheartening yet promising. Disheartening to find that a solid majority of the businesses in Janesville that do contribute to politicians are not only heavy and steady donors to GOP candidates, but that only a handful donate to both candidates. Of the few "republican" businesses that do cross over and donate to democrats, the amounts given are not even close. There is a clear and wide disparity. I knew this was a problem among Forward Janesville's membership, but I had no idea how much the republican establishment have local democrats over a barrel when it comes to cash support. It's huge. They're just throwing scraps to the democrats. For those voters who follow local politics closely, there will be few surprises.

Instead of only posting a list of businesses, I'll also be posting the amounts they donated to Scott Walker and rate the donor's political rigidity with a 1 to 4 star rating system. But I won't be using stars. At the same time I'll be limiting the list to key contributors only. I'll also post separate lists of donors for the three republicans that were elected to local assembly seats. That's the promising part. The working poor and middle class wage earners will be able to see whether or not our hard earned spending dollars have been working against us. You'll be able to make a smart choice on whether to allow it to continue or not.

I originally intended on calling this endeavor the Fitzgerald Response Project in honor of State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald for his bold-faced remark that the budget bill should go a long way to help defunding the democratic caucus and their contribution base. I will have to thank him someday. But I've changed the name and also came up with a logo that I'll think you'll find both positive and cool. That alone has taken nearly a week. It'll be at least another 2-3 weeks to put it all together. I'll post the name and logo sometime along the way to keep you in suspense. I think it'll be well worth it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Will Janesville Post Delinquent Developers Names On The Web?

For years Janesville taxpayers helped private developers skirt the free market banking and loan system by underwriting loans to pay for development infrastructure improvements. Few people thought it was wrong - except me of course. But now it's come home to roost as the city finds itself in a $3 million hole. Oftentimes billed as a public/private partnership, Janesville taxpayers have suddenly found ourselves without a partner when it came time to help share in the losses.

The amount delinquent on the lots is about $1.77 million, with additional amounts owing, but not due, of $1.15 million. Of the $2.92 million total, about 65 percent is owed to the general fund, 18 percent to the water utility and 16.5 percent to the wastewater utility.

So the question is: will the City of Janesville take the same kind of pro-active approach the state has taken with delinquent taxpayers and post the identities of the delinquent developers on a dedicated page on the internet? Why not? The state now posts the names of delinquent taxpayers who owe $5,000 or more. Janesville taxpayers deserve to know exactly who failed to keep their end of a bargain that will eventually cost us $3 million. We should also have the duty to warn others so this won't happen to another unsuspecting lender.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dirty Newspaper Spreads Vicious Rumor

Today's Janesville Gazette anonymous column "Sound Off" was loaded with all the typical cheapshots and political propaganda aimed at supporting the newspaper's GOP political agenda, but this time the Gazette posted a dirty anonymous comment they want their readers to believe carries a genuine but veiled threat of violence against the area's GOP campaign contribution base, Forward Janesville. Forward Janesville will be hosting a victory party with Gov. Scott Walker in a couple weeks here in Janesville.

On Forward Janesville:
Congratulations to John Beckord and Forward Janesville for selecting a college drop-out, who dictates to an entire state and refuses to talk with 14 senators elected by the people, to be speaker at your annual dinner. He should fit right in with your group. I hope you are paying for security.

Once a year, the editors at the Gazette detail all the time and careful consideration they put into "selecting" comments for their supposedly anonymous column. As far as I'm concerned, when Gazette editors carefully "plant" unattributable comments like that in their print copy newspaper, they are totally complicit in stoking the flames of division and fear, they own its actions and intentions. It belongs to no one but them.

On Bliss Communications:
I am not going to read the Gazette, listen to WJVL or WCLO nor read the Messenger until your editorial policy is more in line with citizens of Rock County. This is much more Democratic and liberal county than your editorial policy reflects.

This one was worth a good chuckle. My friend (assuming this comment wasn't written by a Gazette tool), it's perfectly okay to read the Gazette and listen to their right-wing programming. Always keep abreast to what the opposition is doing, and they are certainly entitled to any editorial policy they want to impose on the community. But it's all beginning to boil down to whether you support them and their advertisers with your hard earned dollars. That is the bottom line. By doing so, you support the Republican Party. Sunday's newspaper alone contained the equivalent of a $2,000 contribution in propaganda to the GOP party, its candidates and goals. That's how they contribute.

Janesville Rally Set For Today

A rally is planned at 1 p.m. Sunday in downtown Janesville in Upper Courthouse Park behind the Rock County Courthouse.

From Rock County Progressives

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Opposition To Walker Increases By The Minute

A short zoom out video from the AFL-CIO of the crowd at this afternoon's rally in Madison. After ramming through the GOP's defund democracy "budget" bill, Scott Walker said he has "no doubt" that support for the measure would grow over time.

Photos of the "Tractorcade" and more video here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Area Lobby Group Will Pow Wow With Lt. Gov. Kleefisch

As noted in the Janesville Gazette. The politically active lobby group Forward Janesville will be holding a strategy roundtable with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch beginning at 7:30 AM Friday, March 18, at the Holiday Inn Express & Janesville Conference Center, 3100 Wellington Place.

Firefighters: "Move Your Money" Out From M&I Bank

Dane 101 Excerpt:
When the firefighters arrived at the Capitol this morning they started the chant "MOVE YOUR MONEY!" Firefighters Local 311 President Joe Conway told the audience they should move their money out of M&I Bank. The bank was one of the leading contributors to the Walker campaign due to contributions by current and former executives and board members.

DailyKos Excerpt:
Firefighters in Wisconsin marched to the M&I bank earlier today in Madison and withdrew their money. In total they took an estimated $192,000. They asked others to follow their lead. Apparently others did.

Just updated:
A call to M&I's Capitol Square branch confirms the bank is closed for the rest of the day.

Read letter from public employee consortium to M&I here.

Firefighters: Move Your Money

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rock County Assembly Representatives Betray Constituents

Assembly Republicans ram anti-union measure through

The three assembly districts that comprise over 90% of Rock County are represented by Evan Wynn (R) 43rd, Joe Knilans (R) 44th and Amy Loudenbeck (R) 45th. In November, Rock County voted Barrett 53% to Walker's 46% - keep in mind that was when people thought Walker was trustworthy. When these three voted for Walker's budget plan, they voted against the wishes of their constituency. They voted for Walker and their party. If they don't resign, they must be recalled.

They Broke The Trust - The War Is On

Wisconsin's Republican Senators found a way to pass Gov. Walker's class war anti-worker proposal by claiming collective bargaining agreements have no spending impact on the state's budget, while previously insisting it will save millions. Without it having fiscal ramifications -- they were able to pass it without a single Democratic Senator present. It's an outrage!

Breaking the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers will have a ripple effect in the private sector and throughout the Wisconsin wage earning population. Wages will be going down further, benefits will be stripped, pensions will be defunded and hi-jacked all in name to break unions and defund working class support for the democratic party. It's an outrage!!

While Walker's top campaign contributors get billion$$ in road construction money and a special $200 million economic development slush fund kick-back corporation, the rest of us get stuck with the bill and having hundreds of millions stripped from public education. It's a double outrage!!

We, the working poor and middle classes of America, Wisconsin and Janesville Rock County have got to start fighting back. There's a war on for nearly a decade and we've been held down in submission by a wealthy but small minority.

We've been playing only defense when pushed. We need to get on the offense too. National and local Chambers of Commerce and their media enablers have the upper hand. While the working poor and middle class Americans work day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck, the corporate masters and their affiliates have all the time, energy and capital resources to organize and strategize the hi-jacking of all three branches of government including local. They've held strategy meetings in places like Palm Springs, California with elected officials to destabilize wage earners and working families, while their employees toil away creating their wealth. Their strategy is to defeat the checks and balances of power and to demoralize and defeat their fellow American. They are the enemy within.

What can we do? Well, all politics is local and the state GOP and their operatives have not been shy to admit that the phony-ed up Wisconsin budget repair bill is little more than an ideologically driven class war scheme to economically punish supporters of their political counterparts. That cannot stand. We must reciprocate. We must match their routine and double-up the focus on their support base as well. At the top of the list are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce followed by their state affiliates like the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) followed by local chambers like Rock County's Forward Janesville and the government usurping elitists of the Rock County 5.0. With tremendous help from their media enablers, these groups have been quietly waging a tax-shifting and power-grabbing war against the non-member population under the guise of job creation and lower taxes. The jig is up.

I believe the wage earning class of each community must look inward to identify those that have been working against them and begin economic sanctions. This is not an action, suggestion or position against economic development or business. At the same time, this is not a labor union directive. Or a teachers strike. Or a police or firemen's boycott initiative. It must be people driven in solidarity with goals to restore the free market bargaining rights we once had. It is however a counter initiative to the actions they have taken by supporting Scott Walker and the bomb throwing republican party.

Boycott Scott Walker Excerpt:
Money can buy anything, even a governor. Of course, when you buy something, you expect to be able to use it. This is what is happening right now with the people who bought Scott Walker’s governorship. Let’s strike back with a powerful tool at our disposal, the power of economic sanctions. The mission of this website is to help take some of the confusion out of the process of boycotting businesses that support policies that you don’t approve of. We hope to make it a little easier by listing businesses by type and area, and listing products and services that are offered by these businesses. They have made their will felt with their money, let’s do the same with ours!

In order for these boycotts to have any effect, we must bring it home. We can't be satisfied by boycotting products and services from out-of-state or national corporations while giving a pass to the local sponsors of this outrage. That won't do. It's going to hurt. But it's going to hurt alot more if we do nothing.

In Janesville and the smaller communities in Rock County, it'll be difficult identifying local businesses that helped elect Scott Walker, Joe Knilans, Evan Wynn and Amy Loudenbeck and boycott them simply for the localism aspect, but you can start by looking at this list of Forward Janeville members. The list is large but there are alternatives to shop at and spend your money. I'd like to see some help from folks who know of businesses that are not members of Forward Janesville so I can create a strong list of alternatives and post them here. You can send them to me at

Don't worry about folks who say they'll stop buying union, if they're comfortable saying it now, they already have long ago. Don't worry about folks who say they'll patronize these businesses twice as much. Good, because they'll have to. They'll have to buy twice the product and double-up on their subscriptions and services just to keep pace. Let them. We need the work.

The bottom line is to strike back with economic sanctions against the people that paid for Scott Walker’s campaign for governor. They are complicit in what is happening to Wisconsin and to all Wisconsinites right now. At the same time, this would offer an opportunity for individual business members of Forward Janesville to stand up with solidarity and condemn Scott Walker and local republicans if they feel they've been wrongly associated. Your support is welcome.


For starters, this is a short list of major sponsors of Forward Janesville and their legislative agenda.

ABC Supply, Inc.
Blain's Farm & Fleet
Bliss Communications (Janesville Gazette and affiliates)
Data Dimensions
Hendricks Holding Company
J.P. Cullen & Sons
Johnson Bank
Johnson Insurance
KANDU/Best Events
M&I Bank
Mercy Health System
Murphy Desmond
Rock Road Companies
Seneca Foods Corporation
SSI Technologies, Inc.
Terry Print Solutions

Forward Janesville will be hosting a victory party on March 29, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Express; Janesville Conference Center, 3100 Wellington Place from 5:00 - 8:30pm Keynote Speaker - Governor Scott Walker. This would be a great time if someone could pick up the ball and organize a protest.

Going along to get along is not good enough. It's time to realize that the person who wants to defeat us might not be our mortal enemy, but they're certainly not our friend either. There will be hypocrisies. There will be trade-offs. There will be collateral damage. But it's time to act!

The fight is only just beginning. The people. United. Will never be defeated.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wisconsin Under Siege - Republicans Will Break Employees Rights In The Dark

From Bold Progressive.Org

Rally to stop Gov. Walker's radical plan and power grab!

We have an emergency. Tonight, the Republicans are planning to pass Gov. Walker's bill to strip collective bargaining from all public employees by bending the rules to do it without the Democrats.

We need everyone who can, to come to the capitol right now and let them know that we will not stand for this assault on our rights!

Wednesday, March 9
NOW: Rally at the Capitol
(2 East Main Street, Madison, WI)

From FAIR Wisconsin:

We need you NOW at the Capitol, and in the Senate Parlor room ASAP.

Collective bargaining bill appears to be on its way to passage tonight

Senate Leader Fitz Admits Budget Bill About Defunding Democrats, Population

Think Progress Excerpt;
In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly moments ago, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), one of Walker’s closest allies in the legislature, confirmed the true political motive of Walker’s anti-union push. Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin:

FITZGERALD: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.
More here

There's a war on the working class people of America. Stop playing only defense. We need to get on the offense too. Chambers of Commerce and their media enablers have the upper hand. While the working poor and middle class Americans work day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck, the corporate masters and their affiliates have all the time and capital resources to organize and strategize the hi-jacking of all three branches of government including local. They want to defeat their fellow American.

America is in a ideologically driven class-based civil war. It's time to start fighting back.

Clubbin' Scott Fitzgerald Playa-Hatin On Protesters

A.V. Club Excerpt:
The video is allegedly a covert recording of Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald talking to two others at the Esquire Club (1025 N. Sherman Ave., 608-249-0193) about the “disrespectful” protesters, and the audio is either funny or outrageous, depending on your point of view. “These Goddamn goofy-haired... these long-haired goof f**kers…just roaming the building.”

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Watch Spectacular Tour De Force 360

This is spectacular! For those who couldn't be there and for those who were.

Click Here.

After you click, simply choose your resolution and hang on.


•SD: Standard Definition will appear in the window above and is best for slower internet connections and/or computers.

•HD: High Definition provides the best experience. The image will fill your screen.

You can also look around by clicking and dragging the image with your mouse, or use your keyboard's arrow keys. Zoom in and out using your mouse wheel or the +/- buttons at the bottom of the image.


Sensenbrenner, Vukmir Cut and Run From Constituents

This is democracy the Republican way....
State reps Jim Sensenbrenner and Leah Vukmir, of the 5th Senate District, walked out on their unhappy constituents after about 30 minutes of threatening to do so because attendees wanted to discuss the political unrest in Wisconsin. If you listen early on Sensenbrenner tells people to shut up.

Progressives Flushed Out - Where's Beck and Ryan?

Remember when Paul Ryan told Glenn Beck he wants to "flush Progressives out into the field of open debate."





Now, I realize this isn't solely a progressive movement, but it's safe to say it is directly opposite to whatever Wisconsin's "conservatives" have proposed.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Letters: Democrats Seeking Forward Progress, Republicans Combative and Backstabbing

Sen. Miller's letter to Walker and Fitzgerald Excerpt:
I assure you that Democratic State Senators, despite our differences and the vigorous debate we have had, remain ready and willing to find a reasonable compromise. To that end, I would ask that you or your authorized representatives agree to meet with us near the Wisconsin-Illinois border to formally resume serious discussions as soon as possible.

The people of Wisconsin are overwhelmingly supportive of us reaching a bipartisan, negotiated compromise. Senate Democrats stand ready to do just that, we ask that you do the same.

Read Fitzgerald's pathetic and combative response here

Uppity Wisconsin Power-crazed Walker Wants to Pick Senate Dems Leader Too

Here's Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) standing with the unions he's now destroying. This picture is from March 2010.

Even Farmers Will Be Plowing Into The Capitol

From Facebook

Time: Saturday, March 12 · 12:00pm - 2:00pm

Location: The Capitol, Madison WI

Next week, farmers from across the dairyland will bring tractors and solidarity to the WI capitol to fight for labor rights and a just state budget. Rural communities will be disproportionately hurt by the cuts to education and badgercare, and farmers in Wisconsin stand with state workers, and all working and middle class families in the state. The event is sponsored by Family Farm Defenders, Wisconsin Farmers Union and Land Stewardship project. All farmers and eaters welcome and encouraged to come!

If you have a tractor and would like to join in the tractorcade please contact John Peck at Family Farm Defenders - (608) 260-0900;

Solidarity Ad - My Fight Too

Koch Program Booklet From AFP Strategy Meeting

Although this is only the program for a strategy meeting held in Palm Springs, California two months ago by the Koch brothers and their astro-turf machine, Americans For Prosperity, it's still worthy of a download and quick study.

Koch Strategy Meeting Program Excerpt:
In order to understand issues and develop strategies more effectively, the proceedings of this meeting are confidential. The meetings are closed to the public, including media. Please be mindful of the security and confidentiality of your meeting notes and materials, and do not post updates or information about the meeting on blogs, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, or in traditional media articles. These meetings are invitation only and nametags should be worn for all meeting functions.

Related: Who supports Scott Walker?