Usual suspect Steve Nass fires up protest expense feud, insults Rep. Terese Berceau

I’m pondering whether I’ll start drawing social security before or after this feud over protest-related expenses ends. (23 years from now, give or take).

As you recall, Wisconsin’s DOA got the message out that protests at the Capitol were an expensive burden, saying it would cost $7.5 million for Capitol building cleaning – which later got knocked down to about $350,000. We’re back to talking big numbers but this time on security: $8.1 million in security costs during the high protest weeks at the Capitol.

Representatives Terese Berceau of Madison and Steve Nass of Whitewater seem to be designated fighters sparring on this issue.

Dem. Rep. Terese Berceau
Therese Berceau: “I am horrified that Governor Walker’s paranoia toward the people of Wisconsin has now resulted
in Wisconsin taxpayers being forced to shoulder an extra $8.1 million dollars in security costs. At the height of the protests earlier this year I was in the Capitol on a daily and nightly basis. Nothing warranted this cost. I saw seven state patrol officers outside of a second-floor bathroom with no protesters in sight. Twenty-eight state troopers stood outside the Assembly chambers when we were voting on redistricting when almost no one was in the Capitol. At one time, I actually heard a state trooper say, ‘Who do we call to say that two-thirds of us aren’t needed?’ – link to her full statement dated August 15.

I can cosign. And I can understand over-staffing in the early days, but as time wore on, it became clear the crowds were mature and even organizing their own volunteer “marshals” to act as vigilant watchdogs, ensuring civility.

When Nass wrote back to Berceau, he said that Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, County Executive Kathleen Falk, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, and Madison Police Chief Noble Wray were “siding with the siege participants” and egging them on.

(A little perspective on Tea Partier Nass’ relationship with Madison – he thinks that the Indian Mascot law should be repealed because the old name-your-team-after-an-Indian system wasn’t discriminatory while he IS worried about car driver discrimination committed by the “liberal extremists in Madison who hate cars and think everyone should bike to work.”)

Nass is missing the point that the amount of security was out of balance with the situation. But let’s say I do entertain this argument–that Dane County leaders have some responsibility for keeping the crowds strong and present. Then by the same logic, Nass and the whole largely boy band of Republicans bear a heavy burden of responsibility for standing by the legislative equivalent of Walker’s Atom Bomb. They refused to budge an inch on the laundry list of offenses within Wisconsin Act 10 and the rush of legislation that followed, only giving us maybe an 8th of an inch particularly by keeping Wisconsin’s Seniorcare program intact [This is a program which I’ve witnessed get put on the chopping block periodically over the years only to be revived at the last minute as if it’s fated to star in some ritual drama. This I know because I’ve heard my 84-year-old mom worrying about it each time]

As for the Dane County side of enforcement aid, Nass is not addressing squarely what caused tension between DOA and the Dane County Sheriff, David Mahoney, which is that the DOA refused to comply with a court order that opened up the Capitol building to the public and Mahoney responded by pulling his men and women, refusing to use them as “palace guards”:
“The deputies had been told that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. yesterday, but that didn’t happen and the officers didn’t find out why until the afternoon, Mahoney said.
“When asked to stand guard at the doors that duty was turned over to the Wisconsin State Patrol because our deputies would not stand and be palace guards,” Mahoney said. “I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards.”” -press conference 3/1/11

Nass seems to be assuming that if local enforcement were more involved, the whole security detail would’ve been cheaper. I don’t see anything to prove it. Plus Madison and Dane County have had to float the $ to pay those personnel and they aren’t even reimbursed yet. Why would they want to take on more of the expense and wait this long to get $ – especially from a hostile administration like Walker’s?

Nass finishes off with a pithy paragraph about truth and the “fight to save our state and country”. The thousands who were so moved to assemble at his place of work and our Capitol to appeal to him also ARE OF THIS STATE AND COUNTRY. They also hold truth–apparently as seen through a different lense. They stood in the snow for hours. They didn’t demand Nass stand outside with them. They just wanted Nass and his kind to unthaw enough to move an unseen dial to a middle place inside their hearts or minds and accept the task of governing for all Wisconsinites. Nass has no noble claim of serving state and country. He’s lost that.

Nass stayed inside safe and dry and stubborn, and left too many people out in the cold.

——————————————————————-

Rep. Nass: Letter to Rep. Berceau re: Round 2 Capitol security costs
8/18/2011

Representative Terese Berceau
Room 127 West
State Capitol

RE: Round 2 – Capitol Security Costs and Reading Comprehension

Dear Representative Berceau:

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter of August 16, 2011. I appreciate you taking the time to obtain a response from the public sector union bosses and forwarding their thoughts on to me.

I encourage you to review your letter since it fails to accurately depict the content of my letter (not a press release). I stated my opposition to reimbursement of costs incurred by the City of Madison Police Department and the DaneCounty Sheriff’s Department (emphasis added to assist in ease of reading). Your letter dishonestly states I am opposed to paying all law enforcement agencies for their service at the State Capitol.

During the Capitol Siege, I understand that you were busy pandering to the protesters while wearing your orange shirt, but the media documented the statements of Sheriff Dave Mahoney, County Executive Kathleen Falk, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, and Police Chief Noble Wray.

In those statements, it was clear these local Madison officials were siding with the siege participants and even encouraging their conduct. These local actions clearly played a role in the need for the Department of Administration and the Capitol Police Department to seek assistance from other state and local law enforcement agencies in re-establishing law and order at the State Capitol.

If the Madison Police Department and the DaneCounty Sheriff’s Department were permitted to provide service within the State Capitol, then it might not have been necessary to obtain manpower from other agencies. However, the local leadership of these law enforcement agencies ( City of Madison and Dane County) restricted those officers from participating in the proper law enforcement function of securing the State Capitol and removing the obstructing protesters.

I am not surprised that you would attempt re-write history and whitewash the terrible conduct of your colleagues in the professional protest community. However, the intentional dishonesty in your communications are another telling sign of the desperate need of Assembly Democrats to hide their behavior from decent people of this state. While the truth may be your enemy, it is the life’s blood of the citizens that took back their government in November 2010 and will continue to fight to save our state and country.

Sincerely,

Steve Nass
State Representative
31st Assembly District

Letter originally located at wispolitics.com

To communicate with Rep. Steve Nass:
Capitol Telephone
(608) 266-5715 Or
(888) 529-0031

District Telephone
(262) 495-3424

Email
Rep.Nass@legis.wisconsin.gov
Room 12 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

Voting Address
N8330 Jackson Road
Whitewater, WI 53190

Nass’ district:
Steve Nass Wisconsin Assembly District 31
Image from GazetteExtra

How much Madison/Dane County did kick in: According to Isthmus “The state has calculated that costs for providing security during the months of protests is more than $8 million. Madison is asking to be reimbursed $682,842 for services it provided, including $555,098 for police, $37,719 for fire personnel, $79,148 for Metro Transit and $10,876 for use of the fire department’s command center. The state expects to pay Dane County $534,081.”

Statement from Madison Police Chief Noble Wray

Public opinion of Scott Walker tanking: 58% of Fall 2010 voters disapprove of Walker

Here’s a new Badger Poll #32 from the University of Wisconsin Survey Center

I’m about to do a very shifty thing and attempt to massage some meaning out of statistics. It’s fun!

Let’s start with votes. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place:
58% of those who voted in November of 2010 disapprove of Walker
41% of those who voted in November of 2010 approve of Walker
That’s a 17 point spread against Walker.

Back in November, Walker won by 52% over Milwaukee’s mayor, Tom Barrett who got 47%. Hmmm. 5 point spread in favor of Walker all gone. Quite a flip there, eh?

Yes, yes- I realize these are just surveys and going to the voting booth is really something else. And inserting a named opponent into the question certainly will change everything. But even considering that, think about Russ Feingold: back on June 7, a PPP survey found that Russ Feingold would lead 52% to Walker’s 42% in a match up. [That news made me happy and got everybody all excited about Russ Feingold running for governor.]

Here’s a response that made me ponder the impact of the voter ID.
65% of those likely to vote disapprove
33% of those likely to vote approve
Here we have a 32 point spread. Wow.
Why is the ‘likely to’ skewing like this? I welcome your speculation. I’m going to guess people who don’t usually vote in the midterms like younger people. and Independents fit in here. I’m just wondering if these “likely to”‘s have current driver’s licenses and are registered to vote already. Maybe not as likely.

This is about what I’d expect, and I didn’t think it was a big deal…at first:
59% disapprove of the way Scott Walker is handling his job as Governor.
60% disapprove of the way the State Legislature is handling its job
A PPP survey in early June said his disapproval rating was at 54%. I realize there is slightly different wording here but – hey! – still looks to be where it should be going to me.

Interesting to me – the number 59 and 60 are just about mirroring each other. Perhaps this makes sense since the Republican legislature have marched in a remarkably synchronized pattern with the governor. (Or well, such synchronized movement is remarkable if we function in a democracy where men and women have free will).

I’m not surprised that Wisconsinites respond as disatisfied with “the way things are going in the state today with what is called “a new high” at 55%. But I am surprised that 78% of those surveyed say that the recall option in our state constitution is a good thing. I might be listening to closely to the vigorous grousing of Republicans. I guess they just don’t like Republicans getting recalled? But they want that law sitting around for themselves when they want to use it?  40% of those surveyed said they feel worse about Wisconsin politics due to the recalls. I fit into the camp – 50% – that feels better about our politics due to the current recalls. For me, that’s hope.

Some percentage of amazon sales here support the blue cheddar blog. Spend like there’s no tomorrow.

Amazon.com Widgets

You might use the argument that as the perception of the economy tanks, the approval of the governor tanks. 81% of those surveyed in this recent poll say that Wisconsin is living in bad economic times. Former governor Doyle’s approval Continue reading

Wisconsin Republicans to redistrict some Dem recall candidates out of their homes. Dems fire back with federal lawsuit

“This has nothing to do with redistricting, or to ensure proper representation.
This has nothing to do with advancing sound policy – or creating jobs.
This is the continuation of what we saw last winter — a punitive assault with the only goal of making 50% of Wisconinites’ values and voices extinct.”-WI Dem Chair, Mike Tate

 

[maps at post’s end]

Redistricting maps Republicans have been working on in secrecy for weeks were unveiled to the general public Friday and a lawsuit has already been filed in federal court against them. The maps are just the sort of gamesmanship you’d expect from the people that recently restricted voter access to the polls.

The altered maps protect U.S. Rep Sean Duffy‘s seat in the 7th congressional district and in turn add more Democratic Party votes to U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s 3rd district. The new maps move Democrat s Nancy Nusbaum and Fred Clark right out of the Senate districts they hope to win in this summer’s recalls. The GOP plans also make Alberta Darling‘s Continue reading

Attention Fox viewers, this week Walker will manufacture a Wisconsin riot especially for you

 

Image is from http://www.angryblacklady.com/

A guest post from Jim Mueller:

Here is what could happen now that the Republicans will be in Extraordinary Sessions:

They do not want to let the Democrats rip about the Budget piece by piece on camera and win over people who haven’t been paying attention. So the Republicans need a distraction, large crowd will already be there, planted agitators start some violence, riot squads throw in some tear gas, the Republicans and Faux News spin it as a riot, the budget is so important to the State that the Fitzgeralds bravely continue on except that with a riot in progress they have to close access to the Chambers, to the Capitol (since they can prove that protesters have breached security in the past).

They quickly ram the Budget through and the story across all of the TV stations and the Newpapers is about the riot, not the budget.

They have the majorities and feel that they can do whatever they want and if we do not like it we have to sue. They use the tax money from the people to hire the best attorneys money can buy in order to fight us. They quickly kick any law suit up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court which finds that the Open Meetings Law does not apply in an Extraordinary Session and although the Wisconsin Constitution Article IV Section 10 says, “…open doors…The doors of each house shall be kept open except when the public welfare shall require secrecy, ” secrecy and security both start with the letter “s” (that is 2 esses- “SS”) and if secrecy is permitted than certainly security is permitted and besides Wisconsin Eye will cover it all (except the parts that they do not want us to see).

Walker is playing for all of the marbles. Keep in mind that his nickname in High School was Desperado.

We have to make sure that the protests stay non-violent (except to the extent that the agitators fight us when we try to prevent them from starting a riot).

 

How to Choke the Vote: Wisconsin Assembly Voter ID Bill 7 Passed

My guy says, “What are you watching?”

I say, “Watching the Wisconsin Assembly talk about the ‘$7.5 million dollar prevention of a problem that didn’t exist in the first place so we can keep minorities, old women, and college kids from voting’ bill.”

According to Wisconsin Republicans, and ALEC, voter fraud is a big problem.  But it’s not.

There were 63 fraud complaints in 14 counties during the 2008 election according to a survey of Wisconsin’s district attorneys conducted by the Government Accountability Board after.  Thirty-two of the complaints were in Milwaukee County, and 22 counties reported receiving no complaints”.-source

That’s 63 possibly shady votes out of 2.9 million votes or in other words, 0.002 percent of Wisconsin votes are *potentially* fraudulent and we will spend $7.5 million dollars on protecting us from that.

Wisconsin Republicans want to also protect us from our successful same-day voter registration at the polls. Instead of using a utility bill, or a bank bill to register, Republicans want us to instead produce photo I.D.s. to both register and vote. Also, our 10 day residency requirement will change, bumping up to 28 days.

If you’re still wondering why the GOP is doing this, I believe the Republicans still intend on implementing this new practice in time to muck up the July 12 recall elections. You may have heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  I think the Republican motto here is, “If it ain’t broke, let’s break it”.

Clarification: “The photo requirement would kick in in 2012. Other provisions of the bill would take effect almost immediately.”-source MJS

More audio from the Assembly plays in my ears:

Dem. Rep. Chris Danou of Trempealeau

“This bill is not fair to rural wisconsin to Western Wisconsin in particular”… [applause]  … Buffalo County has no DMV service center… It’s appalling that somebody who lives in Buffalo County, an older woman, will have to find a ride and will have to go to a DMV service center now to qualify to vote in a place she’s voted in for the last 50 years.”…”Let’s open up these DMV service centers, let’s have them open on evenings and weekends.” -Rep. Chris Danou of Trempealeau, 91st district

Rep. Fred Kessler of Milwaukee’s 12th district says he can’t believe that River Falls students have no DMV center in their community. Dean Knudson responds that St. Croix county has 2 centers and that the Hudson location is really only a 9 minute drive to River Falls. Rep Kessler isn’t giving up the fight though. He asks exactly how many miles are between the school and the DMV center. The response from Knudson is 8 or 9 miles, and he adds “I assume that 90% of these students who came to River Falls have a drivers’ license”.

Statistics from a UW Milwaukee study suggest the opposite: “The percentage (82%) of 18, 19, and 20 year olds without a driver’s license at their ZIP code for college student-intensive neighborhoods in Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens Point, Stout, and Whitewater, Wisconsin.”-source

 I think at this juncture the student I.D.s will be allowed as-is to be checked against voter rolls but the “Student IDs are allowed but will need a current address, birth date, signature and expiration date/”. –Reuters  

Currently, few if any student I.D.s carry this information. Also, the I.D.s may not be older than 2 years old

Wisconsin Assembly Democrats are presenting amendments to soften the bill’s blow. It’s all they can do tonight. They don’t have the majority and they know Republicans are, as Bob Jauch noted 2 days ago, “gleeful” at the prospect of restricting the vote in Wisconsin.

Dems offer an amendment to add DMVs in poverty-stricken areas in Milwaukee. An amendment to add mobile DMV service centers to help people get access to a DMV to get a photo I.D. is presented. Rep. Peggy Krusick pleads for absentee ballots to continue much like they have. It does not matter. All Democratic amendments are tabled after the delivery of vigorous speeches to convince the other side of the aisle.

The blow they are trying to soften will fall on voters 65 and up in Wisconsin, of which 177,399 have neither a driver’s license nor a state ID.

The voter I.D. bill will also narrow vote access for racial minorities in Wisconsin: “Statewide, 59% of Hispanic females, 55% of African American males, 49% of African American females, and 46% of Hispanic males, compared to 17% of white males and 17% of white females, were without a valid driver’s license”.-source

Rules of the floor permit questions to be asked of particular members, and these question-answer sessions between the Republicans and Democrats remind me of  the strained conversations of a divorcing couple.

Rep. Jeff Stone (R) of Greendale

GOP Rep. Jeff Stone of  Greendale says he’ll “look at” the difficulties of voters who need to get a birth certificate from out-of-state locations before they can get their DMV licenses or I.Ds. There is discussion that while the Assembly Bill 7 or “voter I.D. bill” does make the photo I.D. bill free, there are documents that must be shown in some situations to acquire it, and those required documents are NOT free.

The man who asked Stone about this seems to have developed a particular negative  relationship with him:  Rep. Fred Kessler of Milwaukee. And to see the number of questions placed to Jeff Stone tonight, and to hear his pedantic tone, he must be a proud, leading voter supressionist [I think I just made up a word there… I’m too tired to look it up]

Dems complain of an “unfunded mandate” while Wisconsin is “broke” [Scott Walker’s favorite word]. But Jeff Stone dismisses the $7.5 million dollar price tag of AB-7 which will be paid by the state. Stone says that Wisconsin and all states will face an inevitable and impending federal action: the Real I.D. Act which he claims will force us all to have an I.D. anyway.

This is not necessarily so. The Real I.D. act is terribly unpopular and pricey, explaining why the date to comply keeps on being shoved into the future. The latest extension to this 2005 law now puts the deadline to January of 2013. Public sentiment on this runs from “This Act will make it easier for the National government to survey your actions under the guise of “fighting terrorism, ” to   “I rather Texas just secede and we will not have to put up with this nonsense anymore” to  the tweet “#REALID = #666 #mark of beast #ENDTIMES“.

Side Note: According to a 5/11 MJS article, there are plans to implement the Real I.D. Act by the end of 2012 in Wisconsin.

The tweeter is adding a biblical twist to a popular concern: that the ID plan will embed a chip in the new card,  enabling Homeland Security to track its whereabouts. A few states HAVE complied with the plan. You can take a look at Connecticut’s DMV site to see that the Real I.D. plan makes  getting a driver’s license much more complex.

I do hope Wisconsin still keeps fighting adoption of the Real I.D. plan. We don’t need any more complications with I.D.’s than we already have.

At about 11:15pm tonight, the Assembly passed its voter I.D. bill. It will go to the Senate and to Walker, and become Wisconsin law.

Archived videorecording of Assembly Bil 7 action at WisEye.org

A summary of the draft bill, current as of the morning of 05/11/11.

More info is at One Wisconsin Now

“Apology” to Judge Sumi from Dane County GOP, Wisconsin

Sometimes words fail me. And it’s OK –  because I’m laughing.

Full disclosure: I am never invited to these Leftist cocktail parties that the GOP speaks of in what you are about to read, and I am a little miffed to find out what I’ve been missing out on.

Below is an excerpt from an “apology” from the Dane County Republicans to Judge Sumi – who if you do not know, has an injunction against Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Act 10 because it is the product of a violation of the state’s open meetings law. Now Wisconsin’s GOP – meaning Scott Walker, Scott Fitzgerald, and bumbling Attorney General JB Van Hollen – have turned and twisted themselves about in a tangle after printing the act through an agency illegally.  And further, violating the injunction by implementing the law. We have a courtroom circus here in Dane County.

A note: 2 people asked me if this is a fake. 5 people asked Emily Mills of Isthmus’ The Daily Page if it is a fake.

Seeing that it is published on The Wheeler Report assured me it is real. I have yet more evidence it is real forthcoming…

Republican Party of Dane County Apologizes To Judge Sumi The Republican

… this isn’t about the law, is it? The Republican Party of Dane County recognizes that Judge Sumi is a leftist living in Continue reading

Solidarity Shopper: The Coupon Series by Michael Martin

This is a very good day. That’s because I found 5 Solidarity Shopper Coupons by Michael Martin on facebook!   HERE’s where I found all 5 of these little deal-breakers. Continue reading