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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CREW: Scott Walker Wins Worst Governor In America Award



It's all about ethics and responsibility. Simply put, Scott Walker has none.

Citizens For Ethics and Responsibility In Washington Excerpt:
Washington, D.C. — In the past he’s employed illegal tactics and abused his power to round up votes, but Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) didn’t have to break a sweat to win this contest.

For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.

Read full story here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Janesville Advisory Committee Loaded With Divide and Conquer Boosters


The Janesville Gazette title, "Residents will help pick city manager" is pretty short on honesty when the residents they refer to is a select group of eleven individuals hand-picked by the Janesville City Council President Kathy Voskuil.

Of major alarm are seven individuals on the committee of whom are little more than second-string boosters for the politically active collectivist business group, Forward Janesville, and its sister cartel, the notorious Rock County 5.0. Janesville does not have elected mayoral leadership accountable to the people, so the city manager performing in the role of an employee, can become a powerful puppet and tool for the insiders club driving the appointment.

Members of the City Manager Recruitment Advisory Committee are:

Gazette Excerpt:

- Mark Bush, chairman of Data Dimensions.
- David Cullen, CEO of JP Cullen & Sons.
- Steve Kennedy, vice president Rock Road.
- Jeff Helgesen, president of Helgesen Development.
- Dave Riemer, owner of Harris Ace Hardware.
- Joe Pregont, president and CEO of Prent.
- Larry Squire, regional president of Johnson Bank.
- Lisa Furseth, executive director of Community Action.
- Kay Dupree, representing neighborhoods.
- Kristin Fillhouer, assistant dean at UW-Rock County.
- Ed Madere, retired city manager.

I would be hard-pressed to find a consensus in the blue-collar neighborhoods of Janesville to agree with the make-up of this committee. Yet, very few in the city seem to connect Janesville's at-large elected council with essentially having your neighborhood or representation being permanently redistricted out of power, or care to do something about how Janesville's so-called "progressive" system of government has been exploited and co-opted by a self-interest wealthy minority.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What? Now We Need A Permit Just To Watch Free Speech?


I don't have a news link for this, but it sure sounds logical considering Sen. Scott Fitzgerald warned all legislative staff that they will be ticketed if they congregate along the balcony during the protests.

Via Eileen VanderVelden:
"Just heard that WPR reported this a.m. that capitol staff and legislative aids were instructed to not observe the noon activities...."

Also being reported this AM is a story about the wedding couple who were "forced" outside into the rain by protesters during the Friday Sing-Along. Totally false!

It turns out to be just another lie from Walker's DOA offices fed to their social media trolls. There was a wedding on Friday but it took place on the Capitol steps outdoors at 11:45. The wedding was NOT disrupted and in fact received full cooperation from protesters in the near vicinity. Even the tour guide at the info desk was telling people the wedding party went outside at 11:30. Fact is, the permit was for an outdoors wedding from the start, only to brought inside if the weather was bad.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Capitol Police Gone Wild, Arrest Janesville Marine Vet and Step On The Flag




One of the folks arrested during Thursday's Capitol Police riot in the state capitol rotunda is a regular participant in the Veterans For Peace and Justice rallies seen near Rep. Paul Ryan's office on South Main in Janesville on Tuesday Afternoons.

The man, a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran who served 1967 - 1971, was dressed in his Veterans for Peace and Justice vest with a bandanna tied over his mouth similar to that of a POW. The Vet was also holding a neatly folded United States Flag in his arms. Unable to speak, sing or make any gesturing sign or movement, Capitol Police bumped into him and then aggressively carried the Vet away while trampling his flag in the process. They arrested him for “resisting arrest.”

At first I thought the police were just doing their jobs (carrying out orders) while being as reasonably respectful of the citizens as possible. But after watching the video below, I'm not so sure.

Watch it:



YouTube - Tourists, Visitors arrested at Capitol

Teamster Nation - Wisconsin police arrest a child for singing in the Capitol

Note: I have omitted using this veteran's name in this post to avoid web crawlers and out of respect for his privacy.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When "Do Not Distribute or Post Publicly" Means Nothing


This week, the Janesville Police Department began a bizarre "no serve list" alcohol campaign by distributing a letter and a list of names of offending heavy drinkers to all licensed alcohol vendors in the city.

The letter included pages detailing the names, ages, heights and weights of 10 individuals on the department's first "no serve" list. Seven of the names have mug shots accompanying them. Besides the seemingly obvious persecution of individuals without due process and a potential for blacklisting abuse, the department also does an Orwellian double-speak regarding alcohol establishments. On one hand they state, "businesses are not required to comply with the policy and won’t face a fine if they sell to someone who’s barred." However, "if businesses consistently disobey, their business could be referred to the alcohol licensing committee."

Also in the JPD letter was a request that the names on the list be kept private.

JPD Letter Excerpt:
Attached you will find a copy of the Janesville Police Department "No Serve List." This is a list of individuals you should decline the purchase of alcohol. This is a list for internal use only by you and your employees. Do not distribute or post it publicly.

Emphasis is theirs.

So, what does the Janesville Gazette newspaper do with this list? Why they publish it of course!

Remember, the Gazette is the sort of newspaper that thought an independent filmmaker owed a local political business group the omission of statements relevant to the story as an unwritten courtesy for recording access. Yet at the same time they openly publish information that comes with a clear request not to do so.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Video: Sen. Jauch Speaks Out On Police Action At Capitol




Youtube Source

Isthmus - Tensions escalate at Wisconsin Capitol as police commence new round of Solidarity Sing Along arrests

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Paul Ryan Was For ID Data Hubs Before He Fearmongered Against It



Saw this story first at the Democurmudgeon about Rep. Paul Ryan's fearmongering to the media about the implementation of an ID system for Obamacare.

Like any business, subscription or membership, Obamacare must have an ID system at its core to administer the program and identify those participating in the plan. It's beyond the pale that a sitting congressman would imply that a data collection hub for such a large system would not be necessary, but in fact fearmongers it.

JS Online Excerpt:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Tuesday that a "data hub" being compiled for Obamacare presents a danger to Americans. "This thing gives me a tingle down my spine. It's just chilling," the Janesville Republican told (a) conservative Milwaukee talk show host. "It's the biggest database ever collected on us, meaning people, the citizens of this country," Ryan claimed.

What the duplicitous Ryan leaves out is the fact that he supported not one but two national ID systems. His congressional voting record bears that out.

The first one in Oct. 2004 was H.R. 10 (911 Recommmendations Act). The final vote results for Roll Call 523 on H.R. 10 shows Rep. Paul Ryan voting affirmative for the creation of a federal ID database that will contain the name and personal information of every person in America.

In 2005, Ryan voted "aye" again in favor of the implementation of a standardized national ID system in the Real ID Act (H.R. 418).

Both bills passed the House with bipartisan support. Although it should be noted that while a majority of republicans support the idea of a national ID data hub on both counts, a majority of democrats oppose it.

Of course all this ignores the fact that the Obamacare "data hub" Ryan deliberately mischaracterizes does not collect, centralize or access records about health conditions. It could access other "personal" details beyond health status, including adjusted gross income and Social Security numbers, but those already exist in federal databases, so the hub wouldn’t represent an expansion of federal data collection.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Statewide Referendum To Be Proposed On Citizens United



A statewide referendum...

Wednesday, July 24 @ 10:30 AM
Press Conference, Money Out, Voters In Coalition Resolution:
State Capitol in Madison, Assembly Parlor (2nd floor West)

Speakers will include State Representative Chris Taylor...
James Hartwick, Rock River Move to Amend
Lori Compas, Wisconsin Business Alliance
Lisa Subeck, United Wisconsin
Mike McCabe, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Bruce Speight, WISPIRG
-----------
To be introduced by Chris Taylor in the Assembly and Dave Hansen in the Senate:

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and related cases allow unlimited spending to influence local, state, and federal elections. To allow all Americans to have an equal say in our democracy, shall Wisconsin’s congressional delegation support, and the Wisconsin legislature ratify, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating:

1.Only human beings—not corporations, unions, nonprofit organizations, or similar associations—are endowed with constitutional rights, and

2.Money is not speech, and therefore limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to restricting political speech.

Facebook Source

Friday, July 19, 2013

CEOs, Business Owners! Get Free Money From Wisconsin Taxpayers!!




One Wisconsin Now recently issued a report revealing that employees and owners of companies receiving large state tax credits authorized by the economic development agency between January of 2011 and March 2013 donated $395,930 to Gov. Walker's 2010 campaign and through 2012. Walker serves as chair of the board entrusted with overseeing the operations of the quasi-private WEDC.

With payback well over 1000% for some, the return on "investment" is nothing short of phenomenal. I'm surprised this hasn't made it on Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" yet.

Boo. Yah.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scott Walker Makes List Of Worst Governors In America




From Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW) comes a seriously well-researched report with attributions on the 18 worst governors in America. Our governor, Scott Walker, makes the worst of the worst top six as a "Ringmaster."

CREW assessed the governors based on the following criteria:

CREW Excerpt:

■Corruption: Has there been outright corruption? Did a governor violate state ethics laws or campaign finance laws, or did the governor use his or her position to influence the awarding of state contracts?
■Transparency: Did a governor block access to records that state law deems discoverable? Similarly, did the governor oppose legislation to make public records more accessible or promote measures to make government less transparent? Finally, did the governor take steps to foil transparency, such as, for instance, using private e-mail accounts for public business?
■Partisan politics: Did a governor appear to put partisan politics above the interests of the citizens of his or her state?
■Pressuring public officials: Has a governor attempted to pressure or intimidate other state officials in an inappropriate manner?
■Cronyism: Did a governor abuse his or her position to reward family, friends, or major donors with state employment or other benefits?
■Self-enrichment: Did a governor use his or her position for personal financial enrichment?
■Scandal: Was a governor involved in a personal scandal that clearly distracted from his or her ability to govern effectively?
■Mismanagement: Did a governor fail to discharge his or her duties responsibly and in the public interest?

DOWNLOAD the full report by clicking here. (PDF)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Video: Solidarity Singers Issue Declaration Against Walker's Chilling Effect

In spite of the Capitol Police threatening to arrest any groups larger than 20 and even spectators(!), about four groups of twenty peaceful participants, gathered together and declared that any attempts to chill free speech and assembly will be met with tuneful dissent.

Watch it:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Workforce Skills Gap: There Was None Until They Got The Memo


In this one minute segment from the documentary "As Goes Janesville," you'll hear the president of the local economic development group, Forward Janesville, cackle over the thought that the loss of middle-class paying factory jobs at the unionized Janesville GM Plant will compel the remaining local workforce to accept lower pay. He suggests lower wages will work in the "plus column" for the business group’s purposes. Leaders of the notorious "Divide and Conquer" Rock County 5.0 group nod in agreement.

But of new importance in this segment to the state's fabricated "skills gap" mime that I overlooked the last time I posted on it, is the confident answer they gave to the question of how fast they could hire and train a workforce for a new manufacturing plant. Remember, these folks are essentially the area's chamber of commerce and operate as an ally and satellite to the WMC. Their response was "quickly," "easy." WATCH IT:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Video: Peter Barca Draws Packed House To Janesville Forum


Thanks to the Rock County Progressives for hosting this forum and Basics community room, Rep. Peter Barca arrived in Janesville to a packed house (standing room only).

Upon his arrival he took questions first of what is most important to the local community and then proceeded to go over the types of bills passed, how state republicans passed them, and the impact the bills have on the entire state as a result.

Besides talking about Walker's divide and conquer philosophy, his cruel tax shifts, the privatization of education, BadgerCare, ultrasound and the mining disaster up north, Barca also made a plea to citizens to urge their local media/newspapers to start reporting accurately on the consequences of Walker's wrongheaded ideas. Barca covers it all.

Big H/T to Vicki for the video.

Watch it:

Part 1 of 2


YouTube - Part 2 of 2

What's This? Some Good News In Wisconsin For Free Speech?


This story is two days old but I felt obligated to post something on it since Janesville and Rock County are so well represented by the Solidarity Singers and others who continued to remain active at the Capitol despite constant police harassment.

Yes, a federal judge struck down part of the highly restrictive "administrative" access rules Gov. Scott Walker and Capitol Police Chief David Erwin developed to effectively shut down public access in and around the Capitol Building.

As noted in this article, Judge Conley recognized the unique and historic function of Wisconsin's Capitol building as a place meant for public discourse. He eventually ruled that portions of Walker's policy are unconstitutional, and no groups of 20 or less will be required to get a permit. Groups greater than 20 however, I would assume gathered in the same cause, will still require a permit.

Afterwards, it was reported that Walker's administration said it will not challenge Judge Conley's order. Good news indeed!

But it's still only a bittersweet victory for the citizens of Wisconsin that the good news is in actuality a return, at least in part, to a policy before Scott Walker was elected governor. Walker's term in office is beginning to shape up as "the lost years" for Wisconsin. But at this stage under his heavy-handed rule, we'll have to take anything we can get.

RELATED:

ACLU - Judge Says Capitol Free Speech Restrictions “Create Extraordinary Chilling Effect”

Occupy River West - Protestor Attacked

Blue Cheddar - Victory for free speech (and song) in Wisconsin

Facebook Page - Solidarity Sing Along

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Adding Some Levity To The Disturbing Mercenary-Style Security Episode


I don't think we should make light of the heavily-armed corporate-commissioned security guards invading the Penokee Hills up north, but wouldn't you like to throw tomatoes at these guys and the GTAC CEO who hired them? I know I would and this is the closest I'll likely ever get.

 photo scumbags2_zps35dececf.gif

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Republican Policies Turning Wisconsin Into Third-World Mercenary State


Here's another fast moving story sweeping through the Wisconsin intertubes about mercenary-style corporate security guards taking possession of areas in the Penokee Mountains.

Once again, Wisconsin bloggers and citizen journalists were first to record and report on the situation, easily beating Wisconsin's corporate-owned lamestream media to the punch. Of note is this posting at Blue Cheddar containing a list of media outlets for readers to contact to help further expose this ongoing travesty of lawless corporate rule and intimidation.

There were some early attempts by social media right-wingers to debunk the story by claiming the heavily armed individuals were false flags (mine opposition) staged to discredit the mining interests by depicting GTAC as armed thugs guarding the raid and rape of Wisconsin's natural resources. But the false flag narrative fell apart like a house of cards once a video exposing the corps-hired mercenaries was posted on YouTube. Watch it:



The remaining bits and pieces of the story up to this point include Gogebic Taconite spokesperson, Bob Seitz, admitting that the heavily-armed security force belongs to GTAC and were hired to spy on and gather information on nearby campers. That is followed by an open letter from two state legislators to Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams calling on him to immediately remove the heavily armed masked commando security from the the Penokee Hills. You can read their full letter here.

There's no question in my mind that state republicans will take the low road and work on something quickly to limit public access to public property just like they did at the State Capitol. Wisconsin is single-party rule so there is no check or balance to the republican mob.

ALSO: UPDATE TO FOLLOW


Facebook Source

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 7:00 AM Joy Cardin’s show on Wisconsin Public Radio is an update on armed guards patrolling the public land where GTAC wants to put in an iron mine.

Guests:
- Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio reporter in Superior; he's been covering the mining issue in northern Wisconsin.
- Janet Bewley, Democratic State Representative from Ashland, whose district includes the proposed mining site.
- Mike Wiggins, Tribal Chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe

You can join the conversations by calling 1-800-642-1234 (Madison Listeners please use 263-1890). You can also e-mail questions to talk@wpr.org.

MORE LINKS:

Indian Country News - Hired Guns In The Penokee Mountains

OPED News - GTAC Mine and Scott Walker

DailyKos -Mercenaries In Northwoods Wisconsin Protecting Destruction

United In Defense Of Water - Upcoming meetings On Mining and Water Issues

Blogging Blue - The New Face of Gogebic Taconite

Northland News Center - Tribal Flags Stolen In Penokee Hills

Monday, July 08, 2013

July 10: Janesville Forum, "Update On The Capitol" With Rep. Peter Barca


The Rock County Progressives present...

Forum: 'Update on the Capitol'

Speaker: Rep. Peter Barca, 64th District, Assembly Minority Leader

>>> Free Community Event - Open To The Public <<<

When:
Wednesday, July 10
6 PM-6:30 PM cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM- 7:45 PM, speakers & discussion


Where:
*Basics Food Cooperative
1711 Lodge Dr
Janesville, Wisconsin

(* This is an independent event not affiliated with Basics)

Directions: from Madison route 90 until 1st Janesville exit, south on Route 26 past route 14, look for Toys R Us on the right, right on Lodge Drive, on right across from Toys R Us.

The Community Room is to the left when you come in.

Check us out at RockCountyProgressives.org, also on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Gov. Walker Is Fundamentally Opposed To ObamaCare But Prefers It Works




From the WTF category of did he really say that? ...

JS Online Excerpt:
Walker said even though he "fundamentally" disagrees with Obamacare, "as an American first, and not a Republican or a politician, for the sake of the country, I would prefer that it work."


Walker just admitted, not that it's anything new, that fundamentally, he's not an American first. He's got different thinking and different values on his mind. Mainly self-serving political values. But just so you know how much he loves the people of his state, he's sacrificed his values by forcing poor people on ObamaCare so they can take charge of their own destiny. See what we made him do?

Or, that Obamacare is on the right side of history and Walker doesn't want to burn that bridge completely down. Or for the sake of his teabilly career, he's fundamentally opposed to it but for the sake of the country he wants it to work. In the meantime Walker has done everything he can possibly do to not make Obamacare work in the State of Wisconsin.

Actually, there is really no explaining needed to qualify what he said. Just impossible self-hating nuts.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Janesville Concert In The Park Event Turns Political


Here's an ad from Tuesday's Janesville Gazette featuring the Director of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra for a musical event to be held at the Rock County Courthouse Park in Downtown Janesville and ...Congressman Paul Ryan. I have no idea why Ryan was pictured since there is no other reference to him or other area public officials in the ad. Nor do I feel comfortable that someone has approved of turning this event into a political carnival.



The Beloit/Janesville Symphony is listed as a 501(c)3 organization.