Wisconsin Set to Throw the Republicans Out

According to Andrew Feldman’s Christmas Eve opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Despite Democrats’ massive protests and their success at gathering recall signatures, most Wisconsinites did not appear to be in a ‘throw the Republicans out’ mood in 2011. If they had been, Supreme Court Justice David Prosser would be out of a job and Democrats would have won back the state Senate during the summer.”

First, not all of those who protested Walker’s draconian budget bill in February and March were Democrats. And it’s not only Democrats who are circulating recall Walker and Kleefisch petitions or signing them. Many of those who voted for Walker are more than disillusioned and disappointed. They’re furious—furious enough to work very hard on the recall effort. And the signatures are coming, not just from Madison and Milwaukee but from all over Wisconsin. Over 507,000 signatures were collected in the first 28 days—that’s 94 percent of the signatures needed (540,208) and 70 percent of the signatures hoped for (720,277)—in less than half the time allotted (60 days).

You may recall that voter turnout for the Prosser/Kloppenburg Supreme Court race was unprecedented. The outcome was perilously close and is still considered highly questionable. When the election began, Kloppenburg was not particularly well known, and she was trying to unseat the incumbent. Even if the dubious votes that Kathy Nickolaus miraculously discovered were indeed legitimate, the election can’t be dismissed as a failure for Democrats. We sure as hell gave Prosser a run for his money—a LOT of money, come to that. And I wonder how those who voted for Prosser in April feel about his bad behavior since then.

You can hardly call the recall elections of this past summer a Republican victory. The accomplishments of Democrats, progressives, and labor organizations this summer were truly remarkable. On August 10, 2011, John Nichols told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! that “Democrats and progressive groups, labor especially, took on six entrenched Republican incumbents in districts that were drawn to elect Republicans and that, in some cases, have elected Republicans steadily for more than a century. So, this fight was played out on the turf of conservative Republicans. With that reality, you saw two Democrats win.” Recall elections targeted six Republican senators and three Democratic senators. Democrats held on to all three senate seats and successfully recalled two Republican senators.

In August, Ian Millhiser pointed out how truly remarkable those achievements were:

All of the Republican state senators who were eligible for recall in [2011] were Republicans who held on in 2008 despite the fact that they had to stand for election during a Democratic wave. Likewise, all of the Republicans who were elected in 2010 only because they were fortunate enough to run during a Republican wave were immune from recall. Come 2012, however, all of this changes.

In 2011, we were only just getting started. Some of the battles we have already fought were at least as challenging as the ones that await us in 2012, if not more so. We set very high goals for ourselves, and that we didn’t attain everything we went after doesn’t mean that the victories we did achieve count for nothing. Our accomplishments thus far are formidable and cannot be dismissed or discounted.

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Feldman is quite correct that unseating Walker will be a daunting challenge. But don’t make the mistake of underestimating how angry Wisconsinites—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—are about Walker’s actions. Feldman is also right about the need for Democrats to “create a bold agenda that does nothing less than revive Wisconsin’s progressive tradition.” But for my part, I am inclined to believe that Wisconsin is indeed in a “throw the Republicans out” kind of mood.

What does this mean to you?: David Prosser won’t be charged in choking of fellow Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Bradley

"Need a choke? - See the judge" Written near Capitol building, Madison Wisconsin

Did you expect Prosser would be charged with attempting to choke his colleague? Since Prosser is loyal to Scott Walker, it would’ve blown my mind if he’d been charged with a crime. But every once in a while, the world surprises us, and so I held out a slim bit of hope.

But there is another power play on display, here: Prosser is male and Bradley is female. My twitter and tumblr pal Cabell had a disturbing interaction with a fellow protester she saw Thursday:

“When I saw you with your sign as I headed across the Capitol Square, I thought we had something in common. I spent almost every day at the Capitol for a month and a half, after all.

When as you passed me, you turned to me and gleefully pronounced, with no effort to provide even a shred of context, “Did you know it’s legal to CHOKE A WOMAN in Wisconsin?” I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was a hell of a lot that we didn’t.” Read more HERE.

Is that just a lone rude man and only that? Or do you think that people are getting the message that a man can get away with attempting to choke a woman in Wisconsin because Prosser is not being charged?

The Deputy Report – Interview with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley

On cracking jokes, demanding democracy, and Prossercuting the Strangler

Almost every day I’ve seen a new photo by local photographer Peter Patau, known as @MadisonGuy on twitter and on flickr. When I saw the photo below, I realized that in my fixation on recall primaries, I’d overlooked the “Prosser Must Go” rally.

Last night my fella asked, “What’s going on now with Prossergate? Is he going to get Prossercuted?” and we chuckled.

Forward Against Prosser

This started me to pondering the jokes and icons we use to cope with our new world. We call Wisconsin “Fitzwalkerstan”. Friends mockingly choke each other, take pictures, and caption them with something like, “I’m being Prossered”. This blend of the gallows and play is nothing new. Continue reading

Appeals Court to Attorney General Van Hollen: NO

Every moment when one of Walker’s crew is told “no” is a happy one for me.

Today State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen was told, to my understanding:

– the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV lacks the authority to withdraw an appeal to the Supreme Court, and so, we will not do that.

– you can’t just say that telling the LRB do do a print job makes a document a law.

“..it is apparent that the Attorney General does not merely request an order permitting the withdrawal of the petition; he seeks a ruling on an entirely new question: whether an act by the Legislative Reference Bureau on Friday March 25, 2011 means that the Act, which is the subject of the injunction, has become law. The Attorney General’s desire for a ruling on this issue is apparent because the only ground he offers to justify withdrawal is his legal argument and assertion that the act has become law.”

Full notification from Wisconsin Court of Appeals Disctrict IV

In Wisconsin we are fighting a disinformation campaign from Walker Inc. It’s as absurd as a Monty Python skit without all the funny. I would be as disturbed by Walker waking up one day and declaring the sky is green  as I am that the Walker administration decided to declare Wisconsin Act 10 complete.

Actually, this is more disturbing. We would all feel qualified to contradict Walker on a matter such as sky color. But the law … you’ll need an expert. Here’s where I acknowledge Walker is creating  new work in Wisconsin. I just wish it wasn’t for lawyers.

Court of Appeals Kicking Collective Bargaining Law up to Wisconsin Supreme Court

Comments still closed. Come on over to facebook and chat there. Thanks.

Here is the original appeal statement. (I’m no lawyer. illusory tenant is and con provide a more scholarly analysis. I’ll still try to do my best to summarize in layman’s terms.)

The most important bit of news is that the Governor’s “budget repair bill” will move on up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for review – likely adding even more fuel to the April 5th election and the campaigns of Joanne Kloppenburg and David Prosser.

The appeals court says that the central question is whether the Open Meetings Law should be considered to be upholding our rights under the state constitution which would mean that it is within the power of Dane County Judge Sumi, or really _any judge_, to take Continue reading

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

 

Image from rowie k of flickr

Tax plan passes House. To be signed this afternoon.

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

Here’s how the Wisconsinites voted:

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

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

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

To see all House of Rep votes, go HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

And how do we make the papers stop printing them?