The Wisconsin State Senate today passed a bill requiring that Wisconsin women seeking an abortion undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure, after which the physician must give an account of the number of “unborn children” present, the characteristics, dimensions, and location in the womb. Because, of course, women are too ignorant to know “what they’re carrying in their womb and what they’re doing” unless it’s rammed down their throats. Senator Mary Lazich (R) has proclaimed that “it’s time for women to know the facts.” Because how could we possibly “know the facts” about what’s happening in our own bodies without her and her Republican colleagues forcing them on us?

Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D) pointed out that not a single one of the constituents in her district asked for this bill or expressed support for it. She related the concerns of a couple of her constituents, one of whom pointed out that only 16 percent of rapes are reported, that one in six women in the U.S. will at some point in their life experience rape, and that that comes to more than 400,000 Wisconsin women.

Senator Lazich dismissed Sen. Vinehout’s “theatrics” (before proceeding with her own) by pointing out that the bill exempts rape and incest. Does it also exempt unreported rapes? Because those are the rapes Sen. Vinehout was referring to. In case you forgot, that’s 84 percent of rapes.

Here’s how it went down:

For those who don’t have the stomach to watch the video (and believe me, I don’t blame you one bit—watching it over and over again to get all the juicy quotes was truly nauseating), let me describe to you the “very cold, cold procedure and what happened, and the cold environment” in which democracy was dealt yet another death blow in Wisconsin.

Your voice and the voices of many of your legislative representatives were dismissed and discounted. After Senator Lazich’s animated testimony, Democratic senators tried to continue, but they were silenced. Senate President Mike Ellis came completely unhinged and shouted while slamming down his gavel so hard that it broke: “You’re out of order! Sit down! You’re not recognized! The question before the house is nondebatable. Call the roll!”

So that’s how democracy dies in Wisconsin. At least it was with some drama and the perfect symbolism of a broken gavel. And once this bill passes, we will have to live with it “day after day after day after day” for the rest of our lives. The women of Wisconsin will have to “live with this trauma” of having our voices silenced, of having our knowledge and judgment questioned, of having unnecessary medical procedures forced upon us by a legislature that refuses to hear our voices or even consider our concerns. “And it’s time for that to end.”

It’s time for those whom Senator Lazich and Senator Ellis purport to represent to know the facts about how their senators are carrying on in the state capitol in their name and what they’re doing when they reelect these legislative bullies over and over again. “If you have a loved one that’s thinking about” voting Republican, “for crying out loud, you want them to have full information. … You want them to know what’s going on” in that legislative body and “what they’re doing and that they’re not going to be able to change that for the rest of their life. They make that decision. It’s over. It’s over in a few minutes, and then later on they can live with the fact that” with that one decision in the voting booth, they supported the death of democracy in Wisconsin.

GOP throws more wrenches at Wisconsin recalls. Will moderate Dale Schultz help block all of it?

Laws may be enacted to facilitate its operation but no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.-Wisconsin Constitution

Republican Senator Dale Schultz says he will not be voting for Mary Lazich’s bill SB268 which would bump up the date of redistricting by 1 year – to November 2011 instead of November 2012. In doing so, he is lending a deciding vote to Wisconsin Dems in the state senate and ensuring that citizens can work on recalling other state legislators when they work to recall Scott Walker starting November 15th.

But it’s unclear as of yet how Schultz will vote on two other actions discussed Monday night which also have a significant impact on Walker’s impending recall: a proposed amendment to 840(2) of Wisconsin Statue which would require a notary public to certify each sheet of recall signatures and what is technically LRB-3339/1 which allows local clerks to recruit pollworkers from the entire county instead of only the most local municipality or town put forward by Senators Lazich, Grothman, and Kedzie .

I just called Senator Schultz’ office and was told by his staffer he hasn’t made a formal decision on the other 2 bills and in fact I was only the 2nd person to ask about the poll worker bill. I asked him to extend my thanks to Dale Schultz for being a moderate Republican in Wisconsin and said it gives me hope. I asked if he’s getting a lot of nasty calls from Republicans. He replied, “Oh yeah. But that’s OK. We consider ourselves a tough bunch, here”.

Madame Chair, a word with you on your redistricting plan…

Lazich said in committee last night that SB268 is necessary because Assembly and Senate members currently represent the new districts drawn by the GOP in Act 43 but recalls initiated this fall will rely on “old” district maps and thus signatures from individuals who voted in those maps.

Senator Coggs said that “the people who elected me in the first place should have the right to recall me, not the people whom I’ve never served before even though I technically serve them because of your bill…”

Or as I would word it, I want to be represented by somebody I had a chance to vote for, not by somebody who got switched to my geographic region by a majority of Wisconsin Republicans and $400,000 of legal work at taxpayer expense.

He said the simple solution would be for Wisconsin to stick to what it has been doing which is representing all “old” districts until elections and switching to new redistrict maps at time of election. “We represent the district we were elected to until there is a regular election again”.

I’ve heard this whole discussion once. I am listening again. And either Lazich is stubborn as a mule or is a fantastic actress. Every statement she makes assumes that legislators will represent the GOP’s newly drawn map right now.

Update: And illusory tenant has a post which explains why Kevin Kennedy said in testimony [roughly paraphrased] “And I have concerns about the Assembly districts but you have asked me to not raise those here”

Lazich: “That can be done. That is what is probably what has been done since the beginning of time..This recall landscape is a whole new world for us… So to do that-Let’s just say we did that…because we have recalls if we do that we are disenfranchising those odd number districts because they would right now recall us in those old districts and you’d recall a senator that has got 3 years left on their term and the people in that district couldn’t make the decision on it. They couldn’t do the recall and they couldn’t vote for the person to be the senator. They are disenfranchised if we made the consistency the other way. That’s the problem.”

To add to the confusion, the committee kept on referring to a court case brought by Judy Robson and 14 other citizens which is in progress and could nullify the newly drawn districts. They say the new map disenfranchises 300,000 voters.

Good video here of Bryan Bliss’ testimony. Well worth your time.
“Mary Lazich in your district we went door to door and there were lockstep tried and true straight party Republicans who came to the door and said “You know what I’m not promising to vote for whoever goes on this ticket but I am signing this recall petition.” 20,000 people wanted you out because you betrayed them. You lied to them. You shook their hands, you took their money. You representated yourself in a way that said I will represent you and you didn’t do that. The politicians that say “representation” in such jingoistic ways while at the same time selling us out and betraying us to your corporate donors and buddies- you need to stand accountable. And it is our constitutional right. No law shall be effected to restrict or inhibit recall recall and that’s exactly what this law does.”

Senator Lazich cheats, restacks deck for Recalls from bryan bliss on Vimeo.

[Watch all of the committee’s testimony in full here. More on Schultz stalling the redistricting plan is at]

Lazich Now Notorious for Notary Push

As we sit here reading this, an army of volunteers and trainers are readying themselves to gather signatures to recall Walker. And Lazich and friends scurry to add one more hoop for them to jump through. Another Lazich bill would require a notary public to certify the signature gatherer – not each individual signature which appears on each recall sheet. However in yesterday’s hearing G.A.B.’s Kevin Kennedy made clear that when the signature gatherer gets that sheet of, for example, 10 signatures notorized, they are taking an oath which opens them up to possibly felony conviction.

I’m not so sure the notary requirement really has a dampening effect on recall volunteers. They are passionate volunteer citizens who take their duty very seriously already. Which is why this looks like its supposed to act as a speed bump, slowing down the recall process against Walker, which needs to gather 540,000 or so signatures minimum within a 60 day time period.

I called SWDFI and spoke with a very helpful secretary who had no idea about Lazich’s notary plan and has not gotten a rash of calls. From her: every Wednesday new notary public authorizations go out. If I submitted a complete application today, it would go out tomorrow.

I did a bit of asking around on twitter and fellow Wisconsinites said they have been charged everything from nothing to $15 for a notary seal, however the figure Kevin Kennedy gave as an example in testimony was 50 cents per signature. Friends on twitter said they’ve gotten documents notarized at libraries and banks. I doubt a public library would gouge recall volunteers because they have a civic mission. I have no such feeling about banks since, well — they are all about money and there seem to be more people marching in a street somewhere yelling about them every day.

And these are political documents, with multiples of signatures on each page. That’s not a real estate document. Will all banks handle them? My one quick call to a guy named Jim at UW Credit Union in Madison gave me hope. He said they notarize any and all documents for members but don’t notarize at all for non-members.

I learned if I decide to become a notary public, I have to fill out a form from SWDFI, pay $20, purchase a “notary public” seal, complete either an online test or essay, and get a “notary public bond” in the amount of $500 which looks like it would run me another $20. I would have to purchase a separate Errors and Omissions policy to gain protection against whatever civil lawsuit might be brought against me for my work.

Lazich’s notary public push is technically called LRB−3341/1 at the moment.

Want to work the polls? What party are you from?

You may not be aware that a Wisconsin state statute already on the books calls for clerks to first refer to lists of Democrats and Republicans when recruiting poll workers. Pridemore and Lazich are pledging to call for enforcement of this statute and using that as ammo for a bill to allow municipal or town clerks to cull from their greater county populations when looking for poll workers.

There could be some goodness to this and there could be a lot of evil in the implementation of this (like so many things, but especially in Wisconsin politics). This bill widens the pool of potential applicants where poll workers are unpaid volunteers. This bill might tick off the occasional independent or third party voter who operated under the delusion that the two party system wasn’t running things. And this will give some of the red communities in Milwaukee County a chance to get their workers into the City of Milwaukee: an area from which they believe voter fraud flows like water through the Wolf River.

Luther Olsen Recall Signatures are In + My Status Check on Recall of Wisconsin Republican Senators

We will see AT LEAST 5 sets of signatures to recall 5 Wisconsin GOP Senators turned in by May 2nd–barring unforeseen natural disasters and devilish acts we can’t foresee.

Senator Sheila Harsdorf  Signatures Incoming Tues. 4/19/11

“Organizers of the recall effort tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they have more than 22,000 signatures, 7,000 more than the 15,744 needed for a recall.  Those organizers say they’re headed to Madison Tuesday morning to get the signatures validated.”-kaaltv

You can join the Recall Sheila Harsdorf campaign cause page.

Senator Luther Olsen

About 24,000 signatures were filed today with Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board by the “Committee to Recall Olsen”. The group needed to collect 14,733 signatures.

As I tool around social media, I see that a number of volunteers from the 14th WI senate district (MAP) hope that Dem. Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo will run against Olsen in the ensuing special election.

For extra geeky gold stars, check out Project Vote Smart for more on Olsen and Clark‘s voting record.

Hopper and Kapanke In Already

Signatures are already submitted to recall Senator Randy Hopper and Senator Dan Kapanke, making the Olsen signature hand-in the 3rd submission of necessary signatures to recall GOP senators in Wisconsin.

Jessica King of OshKosh looks like a shoe-in to run against Hopper. She lost to him by only 164 votes in 2008. Dem. Rep. Jennifer Shilling has thrown in her hat to run against Kapanke.

I was very excited to see Ms. Shilling run. I admit I don’t know Ms. Shilling so well, but I do like what she’s said and her presence of mind in the dramatic events of the past few months.

UppityWis says they’ve collected 110% of the signatures needed to recall Harsdorf.

Senator Alberta Darling

“We are getting close” – from the leader of the Darling recall, Kristopher Rowe. Darling represents the 8th District which covers parts of Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties, as well as North Shore communities in Milwaukee County and several small parts of the city of Milwaukee.

Darling is co-chair on Wisconsin’s powerful Joint Finance Committee and she is known for loyally standing by Scott Walker and his agenda. Here’s the Recall Alberta Darling facebook page.

Rep. Pasch or Dr. Sheldon Wasserman could run against Darling in a Recall…

Re. Sandy Pasch

Pasch: “State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) said Tuesday she is considering running against Sen. Alberta Darling, should a recall election happen.” More at AOL/Huffington Post’s property “the Patch”

Dr. Sheldon Wasserman: Notes on Wasserman’s facebook page indicate there’s some energy that could support him running against Darling. Darling defeated Wasserman 52% to 48% in 2008 in a tough year for Wisconsin Republicans.  Wasserman served in the 22nd Assembly District from 1994 until 2008. Here’s a brief debate between Wasserman and Darling on Mike Gousha’s show uploaded in Aug.2008. Here’s an ad against Wasserman, and an ad against Darling from ’08.

Senator Mary Lazich

The call is out there for more volunteer help and volunteers stood outside today with petitions Noon – 3PM in New Berlin.  Recall Mary Lazich facebook page.

Senator Robert Cowles

I don’t have a feel for how many signatures they have collected, but they are very busy and are ramping up activity.  The group that is working to recall Democratic Senator Dave Hansen – also from the Green Bay area – claims to have collected enough signatures already. Here’s the Recall Cowles facebook page.

Senator Glenn Grothman

A healthy gathering – nearly as much as that woman from Wasilla brought to Madison – came for a rally on Saturday called “Rally Supporting Labor Over Billionaires (SLOBs) and to Recall Grothman” . I’m estimating a few hundred people gathered based on this YouTube video from the event. It would be tough to pull off the recall in this red district, but the recallers are gaining some real blue momentum. They are no doubt setting the stage for a bump up in blue votes in Grothman’s district in 2012.  Here’s their facebook page.

FYI – Grothman’s district includes these cities: Campbellsport, Theresa, West Bend, Kewaskum, Jackson, Slinger, Newburg, Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington, Saukville, Fredonia, Belgium, Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Random Lake or Town of Wilson (just south of Sheboygan.)

Pictured: Signatures to recall Olsen being submitted today at G.A.B. Image: from MSpicuzzaWSJ

I suggest you follow Mary Spicuzza, known as MSpicuzzaWSJ on twitter. That’s her photo of 22,000+/- recall signatures. She writes for the Wisconsin State Journal.