Here’s my weekly round-up of political news from Wisconsin. I added a selection of coming events to the end. As always, if I forgot something ultra-important, leave me a comment about it.
About Voucher Schools in Wisconsin…
I hope you’ll read and then come back to this post:
Take Action: Five Things You Can Do to Fight Voucher Schools – from ACLU
A Peek Into the World of Publicly Funded Private Schools – Wisconsin Soapbox – MARCH 12
Walker’s budget means millions in cuts, Madison superintendent says
Madison district projects $8 million in cuts next year
– Mar 14 Channel3000
Racine’s Newest Voucher School Owner Already Declares Bankruptcy – Root River Siren
Charter Schools: Separate and Unequal – Senator Chris Larson’s weekly newsletter
Sign onto Senator Larson’s email newsletter HERE.
Interview of Sen. Larson on Joy Cardin show 3/11/13 “He gives a progress report on the current legislative session with regard to mining, the budget, education and other measures.” Download or play from HERE.
Election in April: Tony Evers vs. Don Pridemore for Superintendent of WI Schools
Video included: This has to stop Evers says of attacks on public education
Walker and China
Walker Gearing Up for Chinese Trade Mission Trip
Wisconsin Ag Connection – 03/11/2013
“Specifically, the delegation will be meeting with companies involved with dairy products, ginseng and processed foods. China is Wisconsin’s third-largest export market behind Canada and Mexico.”
Sidenote: Last year Walker visited Texas for a Chinese investor expo. A number of those same investors also came to Milwaukee and Madison in September of 2012.
Go ahead and bargain, all ye School Boards
Wisconsin Act 10 is still neutered by Judge Colas
Pines et al say Walker’s WERC agency must comply or face contempt of court.
Janesville teachers union threatens lawsuit against school board for non-negotiation. Deadline: Wednesday March 20. – blue cheddar blog
Welcome to Corruption Corner
Sooooo. This happened:
WI Republicans hand over redistricting hard drives AFTER they’re damaged or wiped clean – blue cheddar blog
For some GREAT ranting on the subject, see Jake’s blog:
“How is every GOP that was associated with this not sitting in a jail cell for contempt after clearly violating a court order? I’m dead fucking serious here? And the tentacles in this case reach down from RNC head Reince Priebus, through Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and convicted criminal Scooter Jensen, down to the staffer hacks who went off of the Capitol grounds and used the Madison offices of Michael, Best and Friedrich to try to get around open records laws.”
Release the emails from the John Doe investigation – M.J.Sentinel Editorial
Marshfield News Herald Mar 10, 2013: “Community members and panelists expressed concern about lack of regulation of the frac sand industry during a panel discussion about the benefits and risks of frac sand mining Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Marshfield.”
Mine Bill Signed
Meet The Constitutional Provision That Lawyers Will Use In Mining Bill Fight – WPR
“The Public Trust Doctrine states that the navigable waters of the state shall be common highways and forever free.”
— It will take a few hours of digging to confirm this suspicion of mine, but it seems to me this is the first time a major Wisconsin news outlet wrote an article that focuses squarely on the Pubic Trust Doctrine. AFTER the ink’s dry on the bill.
If you want more on Wisconsin’s Public Trust Doctrine, try HERE
Photo appears here with permission of Roberta Retrum.
This description accompanied Roberta’s photo on facebook. It comes from the page Occupy Wisconsin (Reoccupied)
“Rhinelander today to sell-off Wisconsin’s environmental protections to an out-of-state corporation and to jeopardize the future of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe by signing into law the “ferrous” mining de-regulation known as SB1. Worth noting is that the bill is SO popular amongst the local residents and native peoples who would be most directly affected by a mine in the Penokee Hills that Walker signed the bill in two cities that are over 100 and 300 miles away, respectively, from the planned location of the GTac mine. But these proud and diligent individuals braved the cold to give the GovernEr a nice Wisconsin Winter Soldier welcome wagon upon his arrival in Rhinelander. Best part: this was the only entrance and exit to the event, so the tunnel-running bastage and his entourage actually had to pass in public view for a change.
Pioneer Press 15 March, 2013: “The formal tournament format is uncharacteristic of winter spearing in northern Wisconsin, and could result in effort and harvest rates not typical of standard winter spearing activities,” said Mike Staggs, DNR fisheries bureau director.
An “atypical harvest”, eh? Do ya think this is related to tribes being ignored and rudely treated by the GOP-dominated legislature and the Gov.? Wisconsin Pro-tip: Read up on ceded lands.. [I saved an archived copy of that page in case DNR pulls it]
Hellacious curse of a document.
Budget Bill Siphons off an Additional $54 Million from Welfare Reform Block Grant
Monday, March 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM by Jon Peacock
Apparently Wisconsin is not broke anymore.
Scott Walker’s budget borrows $1 billion, mostly for roads – M.J.Sentinel
“Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget would borrow more than $1 billion over two years, the Legislature’s budget office reported Thursday.
…Almost all the borrowing in Walker’s proposed budget would go toward transportation. In all, he would bond $994.2 million for transportation, including $404 million for major highways, $302 million for the Zoo Interchange, $200 million for the Hoan Bridge and $60 million for rail.”
Note that it is not just a choice to borrow. It is a choice to spend more.
See this February Madison.com quote – “Walker’s two-year spending plan will devote about $6.4 billion to transportation work, up from about $5.9 billion in the 2011-2013 budget, according to his office. The governor spent Friday traveling to news conferences in Pewaukee, Green Bay and Baraboo to announce the plan.”
Milwaukee and Roads [Roads!]
Freeway Expansion Could Move South – Urban Milwaukee
“I-94 could be straightened to run through current Miller Park parking lots. Brewers are open to this option.”
Right Wingers say, “Holy Schultz”
Wisconsin Club for Growth is going after Senator Dale Schultz
“There is a long-established strain of Republicanism that craves the approval of upper-class leftists, and Schultz has demonstrated unseemly vigor as he plays this idiotic game.”
March 12-22, 2013 Education talks at the UW Madison campus
* Monday March 18 – Politics of School Choice in New Orleans & Milwaukee
* Tuesday March 19 – “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System”
* Thursday March 21 – The Chicago Teachers Strike: Reframing Education Reform and Teacher Unions
WI Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ) 3/23 Saturday Meeting in Eau Claire to feature frac sand discussion.
Speakers: Pat Popple and Heather Andersen of the Save the Hills Alliance
April 4th Screening of “The Price of Sand” – a documentary about frac sand, Chippewa Falls 7PM, Heyde Ctr. for the Arts. Here is a PDF flyer of the event to print, distribute, post.
April 3rd Asian Carp Webinar – Sponsored by The River Alliance