“Family Values” Republican Michelle Litjens to Divorce

UPDATE: Michelle Litjens will be in office until next January.

Tea Party darling and Michelle Bachmann “wannabe”, Michelle Litjens has been busy reinventing herself this year. First, the freshman Republican announced in February that she would not seek re-election to the state assembly. At the time TMJ reported that she wanted to spend more time with her family. Apparently that sentiment didn’t extend to her soon to be ex-husband because she filed for divorce against her husband on June 8th, as reported on June 17 by Root River Siren.

All this makes me wonder what other changes Michelle is going to make before the year is over. One thing that I’m sure won’t change is how reliably she provides content to lefty bloggers. No matter how slow the news day, we can count on her because she is a never ending supply of “seriously? she just said that?”.

WARNING: Put Wisconsin First, a pro-Walker recall petition site and facebook page, does not tolerate facts

This is a post by Ronald Kossik

“Put Wisconsin First” are the folks responsible for an online database of Walker recall petition signers, searchable by zip code, by anyone with an Internet connection. This is not merely some guy with a web site; this is part of a collaboration of formidable organizations, capable of marshaling the resources necessary to manually type 800,000 names and addresses from the scanned petition sheets provided by the GAB (assuming they really did type in a total of 800,000 signatures, as claimed).

Substantial amounts of time and money were invested by Walker supporters to try to intimidate recall signers, and to use disinformation to discredit the petition itself.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many right-wing advocacy groups, they are determined to spread lies and confusion, and they aggressively renounce and suppress any facts that expose their deceit. For example, Put Wisconsin First claims that only 800,000 signatures were submitted, an unreasonably low number which is partly explained by their decision to only include signatures that are accompanied by a valid Wisconsin zip code. They also just assume that the name and other information must be legible in order for the signature to be valid.

Put Wisconsin First recently posted a sort-of-friendly message on their Facebook page, explaining what to do if a name is missing from their database:

  • Put Wisconsin First New house rule: If someone wants to complain they can’t find their signature please ask them to provide a link to the PDF page, at the GAB web site, and the text of the names and addresses and we will include them in the ZIP CODE search tool.

“That sounds reasonable,” I thought, so I posted this polite and factual comment:

  • Ronald Kossik The zip code is not required, so when I was circulating, I often told people to skip it to save time. The signatures are still valid. Is there a way to find signatures without zip codes? If not, that’s a LOT of valid signatures to exclude.

That seemed pretty mild to me, but “Bill”, who seems to be a Put Wisconsin First moderator, starts getting upset:

  • Bill Schmalfeldt I think Zip codes are required. Please provide a link to the recall law saying they are not.
  • Bill Schmalfeldt Also again, this is a tool to help find petitions. If it doesn’t work for you don’t use it.
  • Bill Schmalfeldt If you want to search by something else, make your own tool I guess.
  • Bill Schmalfeldt Let me ask, why have it on the face in the area of required fields if it isn’t required?

It’s not my responsibility to educate Bill, but in the interest of fighting misinformation, I pulled up the recall statutes (something Bill should have done before he started spreading his false assumptions), and posted the information that Bill demanded:

  • Ronald Kossik
    (e) An individual signature on a petition sheet may not be counted if

    4. The residency of the signer of the petition sheet cannot be determined by the address given

    (g) The burden of proof for any challenge rests with the individual bringing the challenge.

Posting the facts proving Bill wrong was too much, and so a moderator deleted the state statutes I posted, I guess because they don’t like them, so they’re going to pretend they don’t exist! And they even deleted Bill’s posts, probably because they show that the people running the site don’t know anything about recall law! Now Bill isn’t even pretending to be helpful any longer:

  • Bill Schmalfeldt “Is there a way to find signatures without zip codes?” – Yes, go to the GAB web site and start looking. You could ask me, I have a searchable one, as you can see from the comment just above this one.

Even so, I post another polite and factual response:

  • Ronald Kossik Bill, Of course you have the right publish any subset of legally submitted signatures that you choose. The point is, if you don’t include signatures because of missing or incorrect zip codes, your database excludes thousands of valid signatures.

That was too factual, too much truth for them to handle! In response, all of my comments were removed, and comments in responding to my comments were removed. (If you look at my last page capture, there are still posts referring to my comments, even though they don’t make much sense by themselves.)

While all this is going on, in another post, Bill uses incorrect information to aggressively berate someone else with concerns about their database:

  • Bill Schmalfeldt And another thing, if you think the data is bad, LOOK AT THE PETITIONS! Spelling errors, people don’t know their own zip code, people can’t even spell their own name in some. The fault of bad data isn’t entirely the database, the source is crap. Tell people signing recall petitions to sign legibly, AS REQUIRED BY LAW.

In spite of Bill’s hostile response, I posted another polite correction:

  • Ronald Kossik Bill, you are wrong; the law does not require an elector to sign or print their name legibly. (Even though you said it in all caps, it doesn’t make it true!) Only a signature is required, and a signature can be ANY MARK, including an “X”. The signature is still valid.

My comment was deleted along with all my other comments, but they left up Bill’s incorrect post to continue to spread bad information to the public! Signatures do NOT have to be legible; that’s a lie, and they know it, but they don’t care.

In response to the polite, factual comments I have quoted above, Put Wisconsin First has removed those comments and blocked me from making additional corrections to their disinformation. The last thing Put Wisconsin First wants is someone posting things like Wisconsin state statutes that explain the truth about the recall process. Put Wisconsin First will continue to spread their lies without tolerating any opportunity for the truth to interfere with the propaganda against the recall.

Below are a series of screen shots taken from Put Wisconsin First‘s Facebook page:

ALEC rat hunt leads to interview with MacIver’s Brian Fraley on Koch money in Wisconsin

This is another fine video from Arthur of the facebook page SSWIDTMS. He’s the man who brought you video of Joel Kleefisch’s voter fraud in the Assembly.

It’s a video of the ALEC rat hunt, coordinated as part of a nationwide Occupy Wall Street action against ALEC [if you’re still rather unfamiliar with this corporate-funded legislation mill, please see AlecExposed]

At the 2:14 mark of the video below he interviews Brian Fraley, communications director with the right wing “think” tank MacIver Institute. For just a quick sample of how that goes:

Arthur: “I was wondering what Koch said about his donations to Americans for Prosperity – and the MacIver partnership with Americans for Prosperity.

    He said he is directly helping Walker.

To my understanding the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity aren’t allowed to directly lobby against or for any candidate”

Brian Fraley: “..The It’s Working television campaign…in none of our communications have we mentioned a candidate for office or a politician…”

Arthur: “The money that he spent went to you…”

When you’re done with the video, please consider offering a donation to Arthur’s video equipment fund.

The man who you’ll see calling out ALEC rats by name is a chief organizer of this action, John Peck from Family Farm Defenders.

Photo credit: pchgorman of flickr,Creative Commons license

The Sins and Prevarications of The Authoritarian Right by Timothy Riley

This is a guest post by Timothy Riley

$688,000 and counting, that is the amount of taxpayer dollars the Republican Legislators and the Governor have paid private law firms to date to draw and defend redistricting maps designed to create a one party system and disenfranchise voters.

Some of these funds were in fact spent to draft contractual “secrecy agreements” under which these same Republican legislators swore to keep the truth regarding the drawing process and content of the maps a “secret” from the very constituents they were elected to serve.

Before all is said and done the legal fees paid to private law firms will easily surpass one million dollars. The Governor has in fact authorized an additional $637,000 in future fees to the law firm protecting his interests. Make no mistake about it, the taxpayer monies are committed solely to protect his and the Republican legislators interests and not those of we the people.

Add this to the approximately four million dollars the Republicans spent on the Voter ID law more commonly and, perceptively, known as the voter suppression act. Legislation, again, enacted solely in the interest of disenfranchising voters to consolidate their power and create a one party system.

Their passion to subvert a democratic State was never more evident than in the repeal of collective bargaining rights and the attendant restrictions they enacted to destroy public sector unions.Under the propaganda, the, “big lie”, if you will that the repeal of collective bargaining rights was necessary to balance the State Budget. They have continued to spew this lie even after the Governor was compelled to testify,under oath, that the repeal did not save the State,”one nickle”. They have continued to spew this lie even after the Senate Republicans extracted the provisions from the Budget Bill and passed them in the dead of night as a separate measure. Thus conceding that the repeal of collective bargaining rights was not a monetary budget item and in fact had no fiscal impact.

The true impact and intent of the legislation was to destroy a perceived political enemy and power base of the opposition all in the interest of creating a one party system.

On the other side of the ledger the Governor and his acolytes’ unbridled assault on education, consumer rights,woman’s rights,the environment,health care, the elderly, the working poor and disabled has been conducted at the behest and will of their corporate masters who,in return, fill their campaign coffers. Not content with mere direct campaign contributions, they then spend millions more through 501(c)(3) “corporations” on bogus “issue advocacy” ads. Hence the Koch Bros. funded “It’s Working” tripe that has been flooding our airwaves. Or, as I refer to it,30 lies in 60 seconds.

The unfettered flow of cash to the Governor and his legislative cronies further serves to foster and create their desired one party system.In short there is no expense too great, no act too devious, no lie too big to dissuade their pursuit of the consolidation and perpetuation of their power and control.

This is a guest post by Timothy Riley

Wisconsin News: Republicans Lazich, Galloway,and Grothman want to make it harder to get an abortion in WI

“A bill pro-life advocates say is designed to protect women but opponents say throws up more roadblocks to obtaining an abortion will be up for a vote in the Senate Tuesday.

The so-called coercion and webcam abortion prevention bill, SB 306, is the latest attack on women’s health care by the current Republican administration, asserts Nicole Safar, public policy director with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

The pro-choice group joined nine other groups, including the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Public Health Association and the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, in opposing the bill. The three groups who lobbied in favor of the bill are Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Catholic Conference….”

3 ways the bill alters WI law:

1. “The first would require doctors to speak alone and in person with a woman seeking an abortion and to inform her of services for victims of domestic abuse if they believe she’s being coerced into seeking an abortion. ..”

2. “The bill also eliminates the possibility of what are called webcam abortions from being performed in Wisconsin by requiring doctors to examine patients in person before prescribing abortion-inducing drugs like mifepristone. ..”

3.”The bill also would require a woman to return to an abortion clinic for a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after being given the drug. ..”

Read more at Capitol Report: Bill to prevent webcam abortions up for vote in Senate 

Wisconsin State Rep. Michelle Litjens Not Seeking Re-Election

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! In what could be viewed as the best Valentine’s day present for this wonk, TMJ is reporting that Tea Party and John Birch Society darling Michelle Litjens won’t be seeking re-election. She is one of 3 state-level GOP legislators that have decided to leave political life. The other two GOP legislators not seeking re-election are Richard Spanbauer and Dan Meyer.

According to the article: “Litjens was elected in 2010. She says she has helped turn the state around and now wants to spend more time with her family.” If by turning around she means go backwards, then her statement is accurate, but I prefer moving out state forward.

News of Michelle Litjens not seeking re-election makes me wonder who will run as a Republican in her district. I know of two Democratic candidates running for this seat, Diana Lawrence and Richard Schoenbohm.

Stay tuned folks because this race could get interesting fast.

GOP now Grand Old Mob: A leak reveals Wisconsin Republican intimidation tactics

These people make me sick.

This is an update on the pact that 58 Assembly Republicans and 17 Republican Wisconsin state senators signed to keep exactly how they redistricted our state a secret. Even the fact that they signed a pact was a secret until a 3-judge panel forced the legislators to reveal all.

Now from Wisconsin Public Television blogger Zac Schultz we learn of more secret information: GOP legislators were shown two district maps to get them to comply with the Walker-Vos agenda. One was a map of the district they’d get to keep if they complied with Vos’ wishes and went along with the secret pact and the GOP redistricting plan. The other map pretty much ensured that the legislator in question would be out of a job come next election. We get the picture and it syncs perfectly with the behavior we’ve seen from this white collar criminal crew. The GOP of Wisconsin intimidates each member to guarantee there will be no action taken by that member to serve constituents with personal duty, with conscience, with repect for liberty or democracy, or by the wishes of the constituency that each legislator takes an oathe to serve.

“…Last spring Republicans in control of the Assembly and Senate hired a private law firm, at taxpayer expense, to help draw the new maps. After the maps were drawn, individual Republicans were brought in one by one to look at a map of their district. They were required to sign a secrecy pledge, in which they promised not to reveal what they had just seen. According to one lawmaker who asked not to be named, the logic they were given was the maps and the documents would be protected by attorney-client privilege, and the secrecy pledges were needed to protect that. But this lawmaker told me he felt part of the pledge was intimidation, to keep the rank and file from complaining. He was even shown two versions of the map, one more favorable and one less favorable, and was told if he didn’t go along, the less favorable version would become law. Republicans had already gone through a grueling battle over Governor Walker’s collective bargaining changes, and they were facing the prospect of multiple recalls in the Senate later that summer.

No Democrats were involved in the process, and they didn’t see the maps until they were released to the public on a Friday afternoon in July.

The maps were law within a matter of days, with both the Senate and Assembly passing them on party-line votes, and Governor Walker signing them into law. …”

Read Zac’s post in full at Redistricting Secrecy Pledges

A criminal complaint has been filed with the Dane County district attorney alleging serious violations of the Wisconsin Constitution and open meetings statutes. State Rep. Robin Vos has been identified as a key figure in this secret scheme. He is behind the formerly secret “talking points memo” which informed his GOP lackeys that “Public comments on this map may be different than what you hear in this room. Ignore the public comments.”

“What we have here is an egregious example of intentional violation of the public trust. That secrecy agreement went to the planning process, the negotiating process, and ultimately the decision-making process,” – Peter Earle, attorney representing Voces de la Frontera and other groups in a lawsuit challenging the redistricting maps.

Bill Kramer Totes Gun Into Wisconsin Assembly: “Have you been in the Capitol lately?”

I’m not saying that Bill Kramer of Waukesha is a violent man with a screw loose. It would be redundant to repeat what everybody else is saying about the man. Kramer is the Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Pro Tem and he’s packing a Glock 26 when he presides over the Assembly floor.  

It’s a tough job. He’s the man responsible for scolding the citizen audience when they murmur or say “bullshit!”. He is the guy who might have to order the gallery cleared by state troopers when Wisconsinites exercise their lawful right to record government meetings.

I’m sure that on more than 1 occasion he’s had to walk closely to bands of loud singers in the rotunda.

“Have you been in the Capitol lately?” Kramer said. “The saying is you don’t need a gun until you need it. I hope to go to my grave having never fired it at anything but a paper target.”

I’m assuming he’s frightened of Scott Walker’s opposition. He might want to remember to focus on his peers in the Assembly  who he says are also packing.

Here’s a story about a real life altercation between legislators that led to a murder right on the floor of the 1842 Wisconsin Territorial Legislature. It’s a perfect time to revisit that time’s history. Walker’s Tea Party agenda is marching us right back to the civilisation, or lack thereof, we enjoyed in the mid-1800’s.

“On February 11, 1842 the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature met in Madison only to be interrupted by the shooting of one member by another. The legislature was debating the appointment of Enos S. Baker for sheriff of Grant County, one of the most important appointive county offices. Following a debate on the floor of the Council of the Legislative Assembly, Charles C.P. Arndt implied that fellow Council member James R. Vineyard, a personal friend of Baker, had made misstatements on Baker’s behalf. After an uproar during which Vineyard denied Arndt’s accusations, adjournment was declared.

In the moments following adjournment, Arndt approached Vineyard’s desk on the floor of the assembly and the two continued their disagreement. As Arndt came closer to Vineyard he raised his hand and struck Vineyard in the head. Before any other legislator could intervene to separate the two men, Vineyard drew a pistol and shot Arndt in the chest. Arndt reeled backward and fell to the floor, dying where he had fallen about five minutes later.

Authorities quickly rushed Vineyard off to jail where he composed his resignation from the Council. The Council itself, however, refused to accept his resignation, instead voting to expel Vineyard as being unworthy to be a member of their body. After many judicial delays and a change of venue from Dane County to Vineyard’s own district in Green County, he was tried and acquitted of manslaughter in October 1843.”

You can get a few more details and see a photo of the vest Charles C.P. Arndt wore when he got shot, complete with bullet hole and icky blood stain over at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Fight (with apologies to Dylan Thomas)

By Steven P. Senski
Do not go gentle into that good fight

Our hearts should burn and rage at come what may

Rage, rage against the lying of the Right

Tho Walker at his end knows of our might

He’ll use sweet words, tho forked with lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good fight

Good folk, a million strong, their names did write

Their frail flesh made stronger in their say

Rage, rage against the crying of the Right

Wild fiends descended ‘pon this state like blight

But learned, too late, they could not get their way

Do not go gentle into that good fight

For ALEC thinks Wisconsin in its sight

But Badgers vow it shall not have its sway

Rage, rage against the buying of the Right

And you, forefathers, clad in heav’nly light

Please bless us now, and our election day

Do not go gentle into that good fight

Rage, rage and lo! The dying of the Right

for David W.

This poem is published at the blue cheddar blog with the permission of Steven P. Senski

Walker Supporter Behaving Badly

The following post is based on reports from social media and from the video above. Zach W. at Blogging Blue has also covered this incident. His post is worth the read. I find myself with more questions than answers regarding what’s being shown on this video. Why would anyone say something to the effect of “You are being harassed and pretty soon you’re going to be killed” when they know they are being videotaped, especially when they know their company vehicle and license plate number are also on the video? In my humble opinion everyone should be condemning this behavior. Wisconsin, we are better than this. We can disagree politically without it coming to threats and or harassment. I have some “feelers” out there and hope to gather more information on this later in the day. Stay tuned for the developing story.

The whole Glenn Grothman thing

I almost missed this nice interview of Al Schumacher, superintendent of Madison’s streets department.

Check out this part:

CT: How about the whole Glenn Grothman thing?
AS: Oh, Glenn Grothman doesn’t bother me. Glenn Grothman is Glenn Grothman. He’s out there. We’d like to plow Glenn Grothman’s car in on the Square. (Laughs.) No, we never retaliate like that.
CT: That’s a joke, right?
AS: That’s a joke! We do not do that. Although there was this one situation where people did complain about me in an editorial and my people came to me and said I know where that guy lives, Al, do you want me to take care of him? And I went, no, it’s not worth worrying about.
CT: You’re joking again, but I could swear sometimes your plow drivers come right after I’ve shoveled my car out and plow the snow right back around my car.

If you’re scratching your head on “the whole Glenn Grothman thing”, let’s revisit December of 2009. Glenn Grothman got a bee in his TeaPublican tricorner hat after the City of Madison did a rather poor snow removal job on 14 inches of wet snow that choked the city 12/08/09. The bee must’ve stung him repeatedly. He went so far as to actually introduce legislation to hand over Madison’s snow removal authority to Wisconsin’s state DOT.

In reply, mayoral assistant Mario Mendoza said “It’s ironic that someone who has made a career talking about local control wants to reach in and take that precisely away from us. …”

If Mr. Grothman had spoken with this resident of Madison he’d have been informed that the locals were already doing just fine going ballistic over the situation on their own — calling for Mayor Dave’s head on a platter and so on – – and we did not need ANYBODY from West Bend to wrest local control from the city and hand it to the state, let alone some proponent of keeping women pregnant and in the kitchen.

While we chuckle at Grothman’s dingbattiness, the scary thing is that he’s on the state’s most powerful committee- the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules – where he can happily help Walker provide the fairest election he can rig.

Here’s more on Grothman from the blue cheddar cheese cave:
Glenn Grothman: “The Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock”

This is what SLOB-ocracy looks like: the Grothman Recall Rally

Glenn Grothman connects intimately with a protester.

And you can always visit Glenn’s own page. (I notice that he’s taken down all the snake flags he used to have up. Innnteresting.)

The REAL story behind the Madison Prep Academy Proposal? Helping “At Risk” Kids is a Cover for Union-Busting

Madison’s proposed Preparatory Academy is making some new changes to their plans for the all-girls and all-boys charter schools

Now it comes out that the prep school backers want to use non-union teachers & staff. In journalism school, this is called “burying the lede.” The real story here is union busting as an excuse for helping “at risk” kids.

The same thing happened in Milwaukee. About 10-15 years ago, the so-called “school choice” voucher proponents teamed up with Dr. Howard Fuller to do the same thing to Milwaukee Public Schools.

Voucher Schools were sold as superior to regular schools. After all of these years with the most extensive “choice” program in the country, independent studies have shown that the performance of voucher schools is about the same as Milwaukee’s “regular” public schools. Even Fuller himself admits that.

There are some good aspects to the prep school proposal, but they can be accomplished within the framework of negotiating with Madison Teachers.

It’s an old story–use a group of underserved minorities with genuine needs as class war pawns with the ultimate result leading to no real improvement and continued erosion of the middle class.

And no. I’m not a teachers’ union member. I’m one of the 99% who is tired of being manipulated by the agenda of the 1%.

Battleground Milwaukee. Walker’s War Against Public Education from blue cheddar blog

Madison School Board’s Ed Huges can’t wait for teachers’ contracts to expire at SLY’s blog

Chalkboard: Will Madison School Board go for non-union Madison Prep? from CapTimes

A Working Stiff Calls “bullcrap” on the Republican Agenda: Terry Fritter’s Testimony

I think “Top Walker Stalker” when I see Terry Fritter. I’ve seen him in nearly all the protesting-Scott-Walker videos I’ve seen. He’s even followed Walker to Tennessee. [I’ve only made it as far as Fort Atkinson].

After seeing this video I don’t just think “Walker Stalker” when I see Terry– I think “truth teller”. This is his November 17, 2011 testimony in front of a Joint Committee on Employment Relations. He does an excellent job of explaining the Wisconsin Republican agenda in plain terms while also drawing on the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment to the constitution-a document we all hold sacred and certainly what the Wisconsin Tea Party has proclaimed it held sacred.

He’s not eloquent but he is riveting. He is completely authentic, even a little funny–stopping to wish his mom a “Happy Birthday”. He calls himself a working stiff – a guy who was dealing with slaughter in Oscar Meyer for years and now with animals under experimentation at the UW Madison. He’s in touch with the other working stiff union employees that are not “the haves” and are suffering dire consequences for the union gutting acts the Republicans are doing under the guise of “budget balancing”. As eloquent as a John Nichols or Peter Barca speech might be, they are not speaking from the trenches the way Terry is. Only a working stiff can deliver a working stiff speech.

Terry says after working with animals he is “pretty knowledgeable about animal feces” and can identify bullcrap when he sees it. Terry: I see it too. Thanks for getting up there and calling the bullcrap out.

Backup link to video.

Thank you to ladyforward1 for the video. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel.
Hat tip to Bill D. for sharing with me.

Republican deception hits Wisconsin poll workers now

Republicans are reviving a state law which is already on the books but hasn’t been used in recent memory. It’s going to make being a clerk in Wisconsin more difficult at a time when clerks are already bracing themselves for implementation of the new voter ID law.

The law states that for *first consideration* for either a volunteer or paid poll worker slot, you have to be either a Dem or GOP member and appear on a list provided by the party. But the calls and emails put out by the GOP suggest that the  workers MUST join a political party. And they suggest that the workers must join the Republican party.

From an  article in Waunakee Tribune

“Deceptive tactics?
…First, the callers give the impression that the municipal clerks have referred them, and secondly, they tell elections inspectors that if they want to keep working, they have to join a political party, Hermann-Brown said.

“They can make the phone calls. They can submit a party list to the clerk, but the pretense they’re making these calls under is not right,” Hermann-Brown said.

Hermann-Brown added that most of the poll workers are independent and not affiliated with any political party.”

Diane Hermann-Brown, City of Sun Prairie Clerk, is the elections communications chair for the the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association.


“Clerks around the southeastern part of state became concerned last week when their poll workers reported that the Republican Party had contacted them and asked them to join. According to emails from clerks, election inspectors had received phone calls from Republican Party members who told them that to be included on their list of poll workers, they would need to join the Republican Party and send a check for $15….”

According to Anne Uecker, president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, most of the activity was reported from the Washington County area.

Is this an isolated problem? Knowing the Wisconsin GOP, I doubt it. Stay tuned.

More at WaunakeeTribune.com

Blame Waukesha. And while you’re at it, blame Don Taylor.

If I were to mention the word “Waukesha” while yakking with political friends, it wouldn’t take too long for somebody to mention “Kathy Nickolaus” – the Waukesha county clerk who rather infamously discovered about 7,500 votes following the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

But after reading Scott Wittkopf’s article “Blame Waukesha” in the Madison weekly The Isthmus I’m wondering why nobody talks about Don Taylor?

As Scott Wittkopf makes apparent, Taylor is the Waukesha County Republican Party Chair and a key Wisconsin fund raiser for all GOP candidates who hope to win a statewide election. His ascent to power has brought a hard right political agenda with it. Writes Wittkopf: “In 1977, Taylor was considered so radical a conservative in Waukesha County he could not even receive delegate status to the state GOP Convention.” But by now a political conduit fund managed by Taylor is, “so successful that most significant state GOP campaigns maintain a staffed office in Waukesha County to be close to Don Taylor and the fund” according to Scott Jensen.

Yes, he even interviewed infamous Scooter Jensen, one of the key figures in the caucus scandal. Jensen is now a key figure in an effort I find just about as distasteful- the push to route public dollars to private charter schools. I’m not alone in my concern. The responses that a couple of other Waukesha figures Wittkopf speaks with make me wonder if Walker’s attack on public education isn’t the last straw for many Republicans.

Wittkopf’s article also delves into Waukesha County’s socioeconomics, its voting stats, the ultra-conservative lawmakers Taylor grooms for success, and more.

Read on at Blame Waukesha: The GOP’s answer to liberal Dane County swings elections to the right

Scott Wittkopf writes at Badger Democracy