Appleton Taxpayers United and “Much Ado About” Doughnuts

Last year Appleton Taxpayers United railed against same sex partner benefits for city workers in Appleton This year the group has filed an ethics complaint with the city of Appleton against Common Council President Cathy Spears because she delivered doughnuts to poll workers. Really.

From an article at the Post Crescent.

“Appleton Taxpayers United, and its president Perry Bovee, filed an ethics complaint with the city this week after Spears purchased and distributed doughnuts to workers at a District 12 poll. The group claimed the gesture could be an attempt by Spears, who was not on the ballot last Tuesday but is seeking re-election in April, to influence the election.”

Also from the article:

“Although it may not be a bribe, it could be the simple perception that causes a problem, said Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in elections.
Burden pointed to strict rules against electioneering at polls and suggested candidates purchasing food for someone with access to ballots also could run contrary to the spirit of those rules.

“It’s probably not an illegal practice, but it would be safest to avoid it,” Burden said. “I don’t have any evidence that doughnuts have swayed any election, but appearances matter a lot in politics.””

One, it’s common practice for people to bring snacks and other treats to poll workers. Two, Cathy Spears wasn’t on the ballot. The complaint states that she could be trying to “influence” the election in April. Does anyone believe that a simple doughnut can influence a future election? Three, it smacks of “much ado about nothing”. My favorite quote from the article comes from Alderman Curt Konetzke. He said in an email “We have much more pressing issues in this city than to worry about doughnuts …” He’s right. I don’t see how anyone can “perceive” doughnuts as anything beyond a very tasty treat.

Grab Bag ‘o’ Wisconsin: Impending election news, Vote for wild things, Walker curries favor with union-haters nationally

Election News Incoming Today 4/11 at 2pm CST (according to some tweets, 1pm…but this blurb from WQOW says 2), G.A.B. and the Milwaukee County D.A. will deliver a press conference. Nobody knows what topic they will discuss. However a tweet from @illusory_tenant says,

“Walker disciples advised to pack change of underwear for MKE DA /GAB press conference”

Blogging Blue’s Zach speculates that today’s press conference will be on an ” investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office into alleged illegal campaign work on the part of Tim Russell and Darlene Wink, both of whom worked in Scott Walker’s office during Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive. .. due to allegations they engaged in illegal campaign work on behalf of Walker’s gubernatorial campaign from their County offices and on County time.”.

Tonight in Wisconsin in 72 locations: a Vote on the Wild Things -The Conservation Congress

I urge Wisconsinites to attend this vote tonight at 7pm. There are 72 locations, one for each of Wisconsin’s counties.

From Grassroots Northshore: “Significant matters under vote include:

1.     To allow widespread hunting and trapping in state parks.

2.     To kill 350 of the state’s 700 wild wolves.

3.     To allow shooting within 100 feet of a human-occupied building.

4.     To allow hunting of the 200 elk in the state.

5.     To allow bears to be killed with dog packs.

With some exceptions for the annual hunting of deer, Continue reading

Grab bag On Wisconsin: The border war, Scooter’s expensive bluster, Not the white man’s, A tall glass of chromium

On that border war… Huffington Post cuts through the escape rhetoric and does the tax numbers. And also tosses in a choice quote:”Wisconsin is not the mecca where everybody is going to be running off to. The last time I looked, their climate is a lot s**ttier than ours.” – Chicago Huffington Post

Bluster Blunders I fear that Governor Walker will be repeating mistakes that will be magnified at the state level. Such as missteps in Milwaukee County that stemmed from making bloated political pronouncements that he claims will save money, but which ultimately wind up costing a lot. In the case of his illegal Continue reading

Grab bag of blogging: Three things Wisconsinites are sure of-cats, snow, and taxes

Palin has thoroughly ruined the word “purport” for me. And she got me all flustered about “blood libel”. Bah! Back to the topic of politics and life in Wisconsin with a skim of the news with a few added facts & comments.


Fat, friendly feline keeps tabs on village. I’m a sucker for cats. Here’s a sweet video about a kitty that lives in the Village of Sharon’s city building.

Interim Milwaukee County Executive Holloway proposes community-based mental health centers to be located in neighborhoods not “dangerous” to patients.”We will not set them up in an area where (patients) will be preyed upon,” said Holloway. from Milwaukee J. S.

Personal note – A family member who has a mental illness and lives in one such center and works in another  [not in the Midwest] told me Continue reading

Grab bag of blogging: Budget Czar Paul Ryan | A snowy tale of two cities | Super-sized Govmobile | MJ Sentinel suitable cage liner | Union fight or flight or …”forging”?

Paul Ryan will be able to set spending limits in the House without a vote, flying “in the face of the GOP’s promise to end backroom deals and increase transparency”.

Snowpocolypse Happens Mayor Bloomberg of New York City learns what Mayor Dave of Madison learned last Winter: clear snow or risk removal of your head. As for that Pennsylvania Gov calling everybody wussy…that’s too much armchair quarterbacking, in my opinion.

Lotta room for a bumper sticker here Still a hot story on Isthmus: Mr. Scott “thrifty” Walker is going to drive a Yukon XL in 2011. Price of leased vehicle?: $2,054.10 for the first month. Value of inevitable super-sized bumper sticker jokes? Priceless.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel forces me to consider purchasing a bird so that I might line its cage with its pages. Scott Walker is selected “person of the year” with zero mention of the high-speed rail fail. Something is rotten in the editorial board of that “paper”. I don’t know what it is, but please, somebody carry it to the curb.

Stop, drop, and roll. Fight, flee or forge… Why did I laugh when I read that WEAC, the Wisconsin teacher’s union, will try to “forge relationships” with GOP leadership in Wisconsin?

We are outta here Wisconsin state employees rush to retire in 2010. Expect some disarray in early 2011 as a result.

A shot of Glenn Grothman scolding gay marriage supporters, calling them the "hard, anti-Christian left" who were "afraid of the truth." frm

This just in: Different day, same Grothman I’ve had the great displeasure of hearing Glenn Grothman utter many asinine things. Here we go again: Grothman wants to ax kindergarten for 4-year-olds.

Not the college students of yesteryear Apathy of college students and their “self-reported narcissism” has reached new heights. Before you get bent out of shape, ask yourself if the average American still has access to college? What is the economic and racial make-up of a college student in 2010 as opposed to 2000 or earlier?

Pic links to PBS video of Soglin talking about times as a UW protester and leader

Odds are heavily weighted in favor of a Paul Soglin win for Mayor of Madison in Spring-UNLESS his heart condition flares. He’s got that street cred from being a leader on the UW campus in the 60’s, making some old-school East siders happy. And he’s got two runs as mayor under his belt that I think showed fiscal prudence …appealing to more conservative Madtowners. Time to review his blog.

Obama’s Michael Vick call I am not angered by it, and I’d like to write about why it is probably a good thing for Obama’s connection with black Americans.  But if you’re enraged and have been writing “I hate Obama” 100 times, take a deep breath and read what I think is the classiest, savviest response I’ve seen so far. It imagines the President calling the shelter that is rehabilitating some of the dogs Vick abused: Best Friends Animal Society.

Grab bag of blogging: King-elect Walker, Pathological hatred for Madison,…

King-Elect Scott Walker State agencies would be limited in setting regulations and the governor would need to approve any proposed rules under legislation proposed by Gov.-elect Scott Walker. Scooter says his legislation “will take the power of regulating away from unelected bureaucrats and put it back where it belongs — in the hands of the people”. As I recall,  corporations are people too under the law.

“Republicans who are poised to run state government seem to despise Madison — and all it represents — in ways that border on the pathological.”Paul Fanlund

“R Place” Sues Madison Park Street area bar “R place” sues City of Madison for discriminatory treatment. I’m happy to see the lawsuit and I hope they can show hard evidence. I’ve been hearing about troubles for black bars in Madison for years.

Scott Jensen was found guilty of three felonies and one misdemeanor after a jury of his peers heard weeks of testimony about the former speaker using state employees for campaign purposes. Caffeinated Politics says Jensen’s plea deal is too easy an out for the guy.

Madison alders? Anita Weier: yes. Paul Skidmore: no. Forward Lookout let me know about some new Madison alder candidates. One is a former boss, Anita Weier, who was an editor and writer at Capital Times. And I see current alder Skidmore has a contender. I’m inclined to help Anita who is sharp and civic-minded. And I’m inclined to try to depose Skidmore who is a daft, rigid, conservative I got thoroughly sick of while appealing to the Parks Commission with the “Madison Fruits and Nuts”. More on that later.  City map of districts in case you get into this.

“Undercover” mass arrest? 135 anti-war veterans chained themselves to the White House and got arrested last Friday. Included in this group: Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who released the Pentagon Papers.  But no “big media” reported on it. From blog ‘This Can’t be Happening’, ” the news industry and the journalism profession has converted itself from a Fourth Estate to a handmaiden to power.”

Grab bag of blogging: How Wisconsin House reps voted on stinky tax bill | Kloppenburg needs $10 | Die Asian carp. Die!


Image from rowie k of flickr

Tax plan passes House. To be signed this afternoon.

After hours of railing against various evils in the Obama tax plan, the House passed it, and without any amendment to increase the estate tax..something the Dems seemed very hot for. Estimated price tag of bill signed today: $858 billion. No help for the 99ers, 13 months of unemployment, 2 years of tax cuts across the board extended, underfunding the social security fund for 1 year, $55 billion in pork More atOpenCongress

Here’s how the Wisconsinites voted:

No votes: Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Steve Kagen, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Dave Obey

Yes votes: Republicans Thomas Petri, Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner

If you’re interested, here’s the Obama cheerleader squad’s math on the bill.

To see all House of Rep votes, go HERE.

Joanne Kloppenburg pledges no ass kissing and a clean campaign. And she needs $10. Here’s part of an email I got today:

This is an historic Wisconsin State Supreme Court race.
It marks the first use of Wisconsin’s “Impartial Justice Act” to provide  public financing of Supreme Court campaigns.  In order to qualify for public financing, JoAnne must obtain contributions from 1,000 individuals by January 3, 2011.  Each contribution must be between $5 and $100.  She can raise no more than $15,000 from 1,000 contributors.  JoAnne needs your help to meet that requirement.
The conservative in the ring, David Prosser, has pledged to kiss Scott Walker’s ring.Joel Winnig is out there on the Left of Center & showed up to speak at the Hemp Festival. I know zero about contender Marla Stephens.
I’m inclined to at least give Joanne Kloppenburg $10 so she can show us what she’s got. Here is her impressive resume.

So those Asian carp….they’re bad. I attended the excellent Sierra Club Autumn Assembly and listened to a talk on Asian carp for one hour and left thoroughly convinced they were the spawn of the devil. But plans to thwart their advance are halted by the Obama administration. More HERE.

I recorded that talk. It’ll find its way here sometime during my trip.

Governor Doyle, just be classy and fade quietly into the sunset. Another nonsensical piece on Doyle. He says he’s “not going away”and will stay in Madison. Are these articles intended to find the guy a job?

And how do we make the papers stop printing them?


Grab bag of blogging, Nov 17

Nancy Pelosi now House Minority Leader: If this were a reality show, Nancy Pelosi would not get kicked off the island. She is House minority leader as of today. I’m glad.

Daily Kos on Nancy Pelosi “For the past two years, there was absolutely no leader in the Democratic Party who was more committed to, and more effective at, passing good public policy than Nancy Pelosi. That is actually her entire governing philosophy.”

This just in: GOP hates women. “Today, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against legislation to close the pay gap between women and men. The Senate voted 58-41 against allowing debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help end discriminatory pay practices against women. It had already passed the House.

On average, females make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes in the U.S.,  but “the gap is even worse for women of color: African-American women earn 61 cents and Latinas earn 52 cents for every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earns.” More at truth-out

And Kanye West was on the right track: “We started after Hurricane Katrina because we believed that Black America couldn’t rely on existing organizations, leaders, or a political party to deliver the change needed to protect and uplift our communities.” James Rucker says having Barack Obama in office and backing Democrats has not fixed black unemployment which is at 16%, or young male unemployment of 40%. has 700,000 members.

BTW, at the moment, they’re urging people to TURN OFF FOX and avoid businesses that air or support Fox.

Montana Payday Lenders claim they can’t profit at a 36% interest cap: New law in Montana knocks interest rate from 300-600% on revolving loans down to a 36% cap. Payday outfits leaving the state, now. Good riddance. NPR did a story, too.

And on where we get our oil: So I’m wondering if it’s common knowledge that most of our fuel in Wisconsin comes from Albertan tar sands? We use the dirtiest most ecologically devastating stuff on the planet. So if you use the bus or bike or run to work and you live in Wisconsin, you get like…5 gold stars for that in eco-karma.

Sweet Tweet: @MackeySara Guns don’t kill people. Dancing Palins kill people. RT @wfrv5 Man shoots TV after seeing Bristol Palin dance.