Walker Protested at VFW in Appleton

Yesterday the soon to be former governor visited the V.F.W. in Appleton to sign a bill that helps military veterans. Of course, he was met with a good sized “welcoming committee”. It’s heartwarming for this wonk to know that they could get a pretty good sized crowd together on such short notice. Some people in the group estimated there were between 40 and 45 protesters present. I’ll take their word on it as I didn’t do a head count.

According to the Appleton Post Crescent, about 100 veterans and supporters turned out to witness him signing the bill. Read the Post-Crescent article for more information on this bill.

Walker arrived in a car this time, not the usual black SUV. One protester stated that he’s the “100 meter dash governor”. That observation not only made me chuckle, it seemed to be a fair assessment of what we saw. Walker really moves fast when he’s trying to get away from protesters.

An important point to remember is that people were there to protest Walker and his failed policies. They were not there to protest military veterans, in fact, quite a few people thanked the veterans for their service.

From the Post-Crescent article:

“About 25 Walker protesters gathered on sidewalks, bearing posters and pins. They yelled “Shame, shame!” as Walker came and went.
However, many protesters said they support the veterans bills — several clapped and thanked the veterans who walked past them — but they just don’t back the governor.”

There are a couple of amusing anecdotes from the protest. One veteran who was attending the event told a protester something to the effect of “I’m here to hear what the c***sucker has to say for himself”.

Another incident involved a passerby trying to yell something at the protesters. Unfortunately his teeth fell out as he was speaking so he couldn’t finish his thought. This caused the group to break into spontaneous giggles. This laughter was captured in the video below. I didn’t personally see that happen, but did hear chanting turn into laughter. It’s not too often serious chanting turns into guffaws. I’m happy to have caught that moment. The protesters may never know for sure if he was a Walker supporter because he was “silenced” when his teeth fell out. In my humble opinion no one should be silenced because they lack denture adhesive.

Any day is a good day to protest Walker and yesterday was no exception. Here are some pictures from the event.

Wisconsin’s sustained job loss streak is “a little bit inexplicable”. Time for a new Walker TV ad.

On Thursday a jobs report for Wisconsin will be released. Is Scott Walker a little nervous?

Yesterday this article came out from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wisconsin missing out on U.S. jobs gains
6-month losing streak raises stakes for upcoming January report

“Frankly, it’s a little bit inexplicable to us,” said Mike Klonsinski, chief operating officer at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the recently restructured state Department of Commerce.”

Seriously? The Walker administration’s strategy of cuts, corporate hand-outs, punishing unions, and praying to God is not working? I don’t think it’s possible for Scott Walker to rethink his strategy. I have a hunch he’s written it 100 times in front of Grover Norquist and David Koch and sworn on a stack of Tea Party flags to uphold it no matter what it does to the rank and file citizen of Wisconsin.

However it is possible for him to afford another piece of propaganda advertising.

At the end of his ad he asks the viewer to pledge him to stop the recall.

That’s why at the end of my post I’m asking you to SUPPORT Walker’s recall.
It’s not just that it can happen. It must happen.

This is a link to the WisDems.org RECALL WALKER HQ

The latest:

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

Reclaim Wisconsin Tour Stops in Kaukauna, WI

Last night the Reclaim Wisconsin Tour came to Kaukauna, Wisconsin. These events are sponsored by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO among other groups.

From the Wisconsin AFL-CIO:
“The “Reclaim Wisconsin Tour” will discuss the impact of Gov. Walker’s policies on working people including the loss of family-sustaining jobs, the loss of employment protections and benefits, the continual transfer of wealth to Wisconsin’s 1% and the hammering of quality public services and education.”

This tour is giving Wisconsinites the opportunity to see the individual stories behind the “it’s working” nonsense. Catch phrases like “it’s working” and “tough decisions” are easy to remember and parrot, but they don’t express the individual and sometimes painful stories behind them. We all need to be aware of the truth behind the glib, easily spoken slogans.

Here’s Amy Spaulding speaking. She gave a very moving speech. I only wish I had captured all of her words.

This video is of Andrea Reichenberger and Cheryl Myer. They counted their blessings of the past year when they spoke. It’s really worth a watch or three.

Marty Beil’s gives a rousing speech.

This tour has already made stops in La Crosse, Wausau and Eau Claire. The final stop will be in Madison with a candlelight vigil at the capital at 6 pm on March 9 followed up with a rally at 1 pm on Saturday, March 10. Here’s a complete list of tour dates and locations:

Reclaim Wisconsin Tour Dates & Locations
• Wed. Feb. 15:     La Crosse – Copeland Park – 1130 Copeland Park Drive, 5:30pm
• Wed. Feb. 22:     Wausau, Wausau Labor Temple – 318 S. 3rd Ave 5:30pm
• Thurs. Feb. 23:   Eau Claire Phoenix Park Pavilion, Riverfront Terrace, 5:30pm
• Mon. Feb. 27:     Kaukauna UA Local 400 – 2700 Northridge Drive, 5:30pm
• Mon. March 5:    Racine Monument Square – Main & 5th Street,5:30pm
• Wed. March 7:    Milwaukee Serb Hall – 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue, 7:00pm
• Fri. March 9:       Madison Capitol – Candlelight Vigil 6:00pm
• Sat. March 10:    Madison Capitol “Reclaim Wisconsin March at the Capitol” – Rally 1:00pm

NBC 26 did a short segment on the event. It can be found here. It’s worth a peak.

These are “must attend” events and I highly recommend going to at least one of these events as they are guaranteed to educate, inspire and motivate. There’s also nothing quite like spending quality time with like-minded union brothers and sisters. It’s like a family reunion of people who are related by ideas instead of by biology. For full disclosure, I have never had the opportunity to join a union, but will support unions and union workers as much as I can because these are the people that created America’s middle class.

Click here to see pictures from the event.

Raised fist image is by JoePhilipson of flickr. Use is through Creative Commons license.

“One Year Longer, One Year Stronger” Reflections on the Protests in Wisconsin

As many of you are aware it’s been just over one year since soon to be former Governor Walker announced his “budget repair bill”. Part of this budget repair bill took away collective bargaining rights from public workers. The thing that made my blood boil was the “budget repair bill” was “needed” because of all the tax cuts Walker gave to companies during his first month as governor. This told me that the current administration valued tax cuts to corporations more than workers’ rights. A strong middle class is built because workers have some say in their work place. Taking away any workers’ rights is NOT the “Wisconsin way”.

So much has happened since that fateful day in February it’s tough to even know where to start. There have been so many highs and just as many lows. It’s difficult to keep up on everything happening in Wisconsin politics. I’ve seen mass protests form almost overnight. In fact one of the very first protests against Walker was at the Post Crescent office here in Appleton. I’ve seen a large number of people become politically active for the first time in their lives. I’ve seen an unprecedented number of recall elections.

Before this I never really paid attention to state politics because in the back of my mind I always thought Wisconsin was different and that somehow our politicians were more reasonable than in other states. In my mind, all Wisconsin politicians strove to do the “right thing” for the state and were willing to listen to everyone, even dissenters. Boy, was I wrong and more than a little naive.

In the last year I’ve seen politicians who avoid town hall meetings with their constituents. Some of our elected legislators prefer either a pay for event like a breakfast or telephone conference call. I’ve heard politicians say they’re not interested in listening to people testifying at “listening sessions”. I don’t know about you, but I always believed “we the people” hired these officials by electing them. It’s part of their job description to listen to everyone, not just the people that voted for them. We shouldn’t have to pay to speak with them nor agree completely with them in order to be heard.

Most importantly, I’ve seen a state-wide community of progressives form. Since this started I have found so many unsung Wisconsin heroes, it’s impossible to name them all. There are the people who braved blizzards and froze while protesting at the capital last winter, the people who canvassed neighborhoods during the heat of the summer and who can forget the tens of thousands of people who gathered recall signatures this winter. It may have started because of collective bargaining rights, but it’s branched out to become something much bigger than that. This has turned into a movement that has gained the attention and support of people from all over the country. Many progressives from other states are pinning their hopes and dreams on the successes we have here. They believe their states have a chance to improve if we succeed here in Wisconsin. We can and will make things better. At the beginning people would say “one day longer, one day stronger”, now we can all say “one year longer, one year stronger”. Let’s keep this amazing progressive momentum going FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!

Video: Wisconsin One Year Stronger, Anniversary Week of Action

This is an excellent video by Arthur over at the facebook page SSWIDTMS. It reminds you why this Anniversary Week of Action is so important – in case you weren’t already convinced.

See the whole list of events on facebook here.

Text below is from Wisconsin Wave:

Why an Anniversary Week of Action?
To remember and honor the unprecedented protests of February and March of 2011, when the people of Wisconsin rediscovered the power of collective action.

To reconvene the empowered community that launched the Capitol Occupation and organized state-wide protests, and to reinvigorate the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that fueled them.

To identify ways we can expose the political and economic interests that exploit our democratic process out of greed, and set a course to defeat them.

To create a space where our movement can articulate a long term vision for structural change centered around social, economic, racial, and environmental justice for all people.

To sustain Wisconsin’s 150+ year tradition as a laboratory of democracy by developing new forms of direct democratic decision making.
What is being planned?

Beginning Saturday, February 11th people from across Wisconsin will converge in Madison for a Week of Action to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s Wisconsin Uprising and the sustained occupation of the Capitol building. The Week of Action will include two rallies, a march from UW-Madison to the capitol building, and a Documentation Station inside the Capitol to help preserve the collective memory of those historic events. Other actions may be included as well.

The Week of Action will culminate on Sunday, February 19th, 2012 with a participatory planning session that will set the stage for a statewide people’s assembly, the WisConvocation, to take place in the weeks to come. Participants in the the WisConvocation will deliberate on issues of public concern and formulate proposals for action such as a People’s Budget, a People’s Platform, and a list of movement demands for candidates participating in the 2012 recall elections.

Schedule of Events so far:
(please visit the Week of Action facebook page for a complete list)

Pre Event:
Thursday, February 9th; 7-9pm
“The Wisconsin Uprising One Year On: What Happened and What Next?”

Saturday, February 11th; 10:30am-1pm
“Bury the Mining Bill Feeder March” at 10:30am
“Wisconsin Day! Rally to Kick-off a Week of Action at 12pm”

Sunday, February 12th; 11:00am-1pm
Picket the Governor’s Mansion!

Tuesday, February 14th; 8am-5:15pm
“ICWJ Faith-Labor Breakfest” at 8am
“I Still ♥ UW March and Rally” at 12:15pm
“Show the Love, Save Our Schools! Rally” at 4:15pm

Tuesday, February 14th, Wednesday February 15th; 10-6pm both days
“Capitol Occupation Documentation Station”

Thursday, February 16th; 7-9pm
“One Year Later – Lessons from the Wisconsin Uprising”

Sunday, February 19th; 2-5pm
“WisConvocation Public Planning Session”

Who We Are

The Week of Action is being planned by a broad coalition of organizations and individuals including the Wisconsin Wave! Other endorsers include:

United Wisconsin, Wisconsin AFL-CIO, AFT-Wisconsin, Wisconsin Jobs Now, Family Farm Defenders, Voces de la Frontera, SEIU Healthcare WI, Teaching Assistants Association (TAA) Executive Board (UW-Madison), Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, 9to5 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, National Lawyers Guild, Wisconsin Bail Out the People, Autonomous Solidarity Organization, Occupy Wisconsin, Occupy Riverwest, Liberty Tree Foundation, Socialist Alternative, International Socialist Organization.

If you or your group would like to endorse, get involved, or add an event to the schedule please contact Harriet Rowan at hattierowan@gmail.com

Golden throne to follow Scott Walker across America

Now that is one classy toilet.

UPDATE: A 2nd video

1% Walker Awarded Golden Toilet at Bankers Conference 2.6.12 from Matt Brusky on Vimeo.

See the TMJ4 golden toilet presentation video.

If you’re wondering why people in Wisconsin are vowing to send a golden toilet to Florida, it’s because Walker will be in Naples this week courting the people of large wallets on yet another fund raising junket. More on that in Scott Walker’s “If you got the money” tour hits Milwaukee, Naples, and Washington D.C.

The protest in the video was organized with the aid of Wisconsin Jobs Now.

By the way- – I guess giving golden toilets is pretty common these days. Here’s another toilet presentation:

Dozens protest CME Group incentives
from 1/25/12 Activists chant slogans decrying CME Group Inc.’s ‘corporate welfare’ as they deliver a golden toilet to its headquarters

Fraudulent elections?: “This does ruin people’s days. They don’t want to hear this.”

Jonathan D. Simon, Executive Director of Election Defense Alliance, is who you’ll hear from first in this video from August 27 at Wisconsin’s 2011 Democracy Convention. He says that in election after election, his watchdog organization has observed what he calls a “red shift”. He says the statistical improbabilities of the elections alone should alarm us.

In the 2006 House election there was a huge win for Democrats. The Dems gained a net of about 60 seats and they did it with a vote margin across the country of over 8%.
In 2010, the GOP won 128 seats in the House with a margin of 6.9% nationally. He adds that 2/3 of the Republican House members won with less than 55% of the vote. “Basically every Republican competitive race was won by a margin of less than 10% and the Republicans got less than 55% of the vote. .. and they won all of them! This is a pattern that is just not compatible with statistics. Again. It’s rigging central.”

Sheila Parks walks the audience through a history of questionable elections and evidence that have convinced her clerks must return to hand-counting paper ballots.

You’ll hear plenty of questions and discussion of vote irregularities, torn open ballot bags, and discovered Waukesha County votes during the Q & A session.

I attended the Convention on August 27 but missed this Election Integrity talk. A big thanks to ladyforward1 of youtube for filming this.

Featured speakers:
Sheila Parks:
Sheila Parks, Ed.D. is a long time socialist feminist internationalist. She has been active in the current wave of voting rights since the 2000 Florida presidential election. Parks is the founder of the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, http://www.handcountedpaperballots.org . Over the years she has been active in many arenas, including defending the abortion clinics with her body and spending a year in prison for the 13th non-violent Plowshares action against first strike nuclear weapons.

Victoria Collier:
Victoria Collier is the editor of www.votescam.org. Daughter and niece of James and Kenneth Collier, authors of “Votescam: The Stealing of America,” Victoria continues to educate the public on her family’s groundbreaking 25 year investigation into how elections are centrally rigged using computerized voting machines. Victoria was co-founder of Tierra Lucero, an educational organic farm and Permaculture education center. She now works with the Organic Consumers Association on the BioDemocracy Project, uniting the issues of Environment, Health, Peace, Justice and Democracy to form a broader, more powerful Movement.

Jonathan D. Simon:
Jonathan is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law, and a member of the Bar of Massachusetts. He is also a Chiropractic Physician practicing since 1991 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Simon is co-founder and currently Executive Director of Election Defense Alliance, a national coordinating body for citizen electoral integrity groups and individuals. He also has worked closely with several other election integrity organizations, and in the shaping and production of several films, including Stealing America: Vote by Vote and Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections. He has authored or coauthored numerous papers addressing statistical anomalies and other evidence of computerized election fraud, including most recently with Bruce O’Dell Landslide Denied: Exit Polls vs. Vote Count 2006, presenting powerful evidence and analysis of systemic tabulation fraud; (with O’Dell, Dale Tavris, and Josh Mitteldorf) Fingerprints of Election Theft: Were Competitive Contests Targeted?, exposing the pattern of manipulation; and Believe It Or Not: The Massachusetts Special Election For US Senate. As a result of his prior experience as a political survey research analyst for Peter D. Hart Research Associates in Washington, Dr. Simon became an early advocate for an exit poll-based electoral “burglar alarm” system, independent of media and corporate control, to detect computerized vote shifting in Election 2004. In the absence of such a system, he was nevertheless able to capture and analyze critical official exit poll data briefly posted on the web prior to its election-night disappearance, data which served as an initial basis for questioning the validity of Election 2004. He has subsequently focused on developing election forensics protocols appropriate to the new technology of computerized voting systems, but has ultimately reached the conclusion that observable vote counting by humans is inherent to the rights of citizens in a democracy and that the current concealed, computerized process of tabulation is inherently unacceptable, independent of particular demonstrations of fraud.

Video: Mike McCabe calls for Wisconsin to occupy democracy William Proxmire-style

I’m not 100% sure Ed Garvey and Mike McCabe know how to run winning statewide campaigns. But I have to admit I’m relieved to know they’ve got progressives talking about dropping tired old campaign tactics.

This is a video of Mike McCabe delivering a rousing speech to the 200 or so folks that assembled for a People’s Legislature in Madison recently.

He starts out by describing the immense amounts of money Walker is pulling in, saying “Half of the money that Scott Walker got came from 33 donors in the last reporting period.”

“…What if somebody ran for office Proxmire-style?”
He asks us to remember William Proxmire’s who never spent over $300 on a campaign. He acknowledges that he can feel the “collective cringe” of the pundits and party insiders who can’t see it happening.

But given the current challenge before Wisconsin he says, “If ever there is a moment that cries out for political innovation this is that moment.”

He asks his audience to gather their courage and ready themselves for risk the way the 1911 Wisconsin legislature did when it created child labor laws, enforced worker rights, protected womens’ rights in the workplace, created workers compensation, and regulated insurance and more.

He said that the 1911 legislature couldn’t have happened if bribery wasn’t made illegal by the Wisconsin legislature in 1897 and if campaign contributions weren’t regulated in 1905.

“That means for the first half century of statehood it was perfectly legal to bribe an official!”

He calls our current form of political campaign funding “legal bribery” and then asks,

“What if the push back against legal bribery started with … What if somebody ran Proxmire-style? What if someone occupied democracy? You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. [laughter] People crave this, I’m telling you. Across the political spectrum. If this isn’t a golden opportunity for political innovation, I don’t know what is. Because I’ll tell you this, if somebody ran Proxmire-style, they would have something going for them that Prox never did. 30,000 people were out there petitioning. An army of 30,000 people could fan across the state and be where Proxmire was….There were a million people that signed those petitions.”

“…Here’s the bottom line for me… The way things stand today, if he [Walker] loses it will not be because people see a thrilling alternative and that’s what people should be offered: a thrilling alternative.”

“…The most important question is really a question for the politicians: Do you trust in that army of 30,000 petitioners? Do you trust in those million signers?”

Mike McCabe is executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. which specializes in tracking the flow of money through Wisconsin politics.