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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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I usually don't wait ...

Wisconsin: Partisan maps good for politicians, not the public

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/editorial/partisan-maps-good-for-politicians-not-the-public/article_b112ee56-2664-5a2a-bb31-10ed684a7e0a.html

And of all the places to draw a new boundary between the 5th and 6th congressional districts, the map makers picked a narrow passage between the homes of the two most powerful state lawmakers who live less than 10 miles apart: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and his younger brother, then-Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon.

...

“The decision to run the boundary line between the homes was made by the (congressional) delegation,” Romportl wrote in an email. “If it’s your belief that there was an ulterior motive behind the decision, you would have to ask one of them.” Yes, Wisconsin’s congressional delegation has traditionally drawn its own lines, just as state lawmakers draw legislative lines. But nobody has more power in the process than the Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker, because the Legislature has the final say.

That the Fitzgeralds weren’t involved in the Dodge County change or that it wasn’t done as a favor for them — “That’s just not believable,” said Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, on Friday. Cullen and Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, along with many other state lawmakers, are pushing to reform the ugly and secretive process before the 2020 census, after which the next remapping will occur.

Cullen, Schultz and the others want to adopt Iowa’s nonpartisan model for redistricting in which a state agency — rather than the politicians — draw the lines, with strict rules not to consider political implications. In Iowa, all congressional districts neatly follow county lines. In Wisconsin, they wildly split communities and contort into odd shapes as top lawmakers scheme for political advantage.


Corporate America Buys the Statehouse

http://lifedeathandiguanas.blogspot.com/2013/09/corporate-america-buys-statehouse.html#links


According to Nichols, legislation authored by ALEC has as a goal, "the advancement of an agenda that seems to be dictated at almost every turn by multinational corporations. It's to clear the way for lower taxes, less regulation, a lot of protection against lawsuits, [and] ALEC is very, very active in [the] opening up of areas via privatization for corporations to make more money, particularly in places you might not usually expect like public education."[52]


Hmmm—is that true? Well, here’s a copy and paste from one of the 800 pieces of model education, taken from the group’s own website: The Charter Schools Act allows groups of citizens to seek charters from the state to create and operate innovative, outcomes-based schools. These schools would be exempt from state laws and regulations that apply to public schools. Schools are funded on a per-pupil rate, the same as public schools. Currently, Minnesota operates the most well-known program.

...

I just want to emphasize it’s fine for corporations to be involved in the process. Corporations have the right to present their arguments, but they don’t have the right to do it secretly. They don’t have the right to lobby people and not register as lobbyists. They don’t have the right to take people away on trips, convince them of it, send them back here, and then nobody has seen what’s gone on and how that legislator had gotten that idea and where is it coming from. All I’m asking... is to make sure that all of those expenses are reported as if they are lobbying expenses and all those gifts that legislators received are reported as if they’re receiving gifts from lobbyists. So the public can find out and make up their own minds about who is influencing what.


Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, not according to J. B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin State Attorney General. He has just declared Leah Vukmir, a state legislator from Wauwatosa, has immunity from turning over her record in the state’s open record standards. And why? Because when in session, the legislators have “immunity” from lawsuits requesting them to turn over records. The problem? The legislature is almost always in session.

The new CEO makes his bones.

The Board of Directors of a large corporation felt it was time for a shakeup and hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to show some authority and rid the company of slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was filled with workers and he decided to let them know that he meant business. So he asked the guy, “How much money do you make a week?”

The young man was a little surprised and looked at him and replied, “$400 a week. Why?”

The CEO reached into his pocket, counted out $800 in cash and handed it to him saying, “Here is two weeks' pay. Now GET OUT and don't come back.”

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that goofball did here?”

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From across the room a voice yelled, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino's.”

On Friday night I had dinner with JackPine Radical.

He's every bit as nice - and eloquent - in real life as he is in his posts. He also has a dominant "progressive gene" that provides him with a great value system.

We're lucky to have JackPine as a member here.

Wisconsin: Chris Taylor and the Raging Grannies!!!

The Hottest New Rock Band in the Nation... oh no, it's Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor and the Madison protesters known as the Raging Grannies.

from my email ...



Scuba --

Last night, State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) joined us in honoring the Raging Grannies of Madison with our first annual 'Forward Award for Grassroots Activism.'

This group of passionate activists have been on the front lines of Walker's crackdown on free speech in our state Capitol, and have used the power of song to speak out and raise awareness of the destructive policies brought upon our state by Walker's extreme right-wing agenda.

While last night's special event was filled with music and cheer, it was also a time to talk seriously about the road forward to restoring Wisconsin's progressive values - and how our work at United Wisconsin is vital to growing the progressive movement.




If you can help, please show your support for a Scott-free 2014 by chipping in here.

A newbie has a question ...

How many times can they rob us?



http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/who-holds-the-note-look-in-the-mirror-infographic

http://useconomy.about.com/od/monetarypolicy/f/Who-Owns-US-National-Debt.htm

Wisconsin Attorney General Seeks to Vitiate Open Records Law to Protect ALEC’s National Treasurer

http://www.prwatch.org/node/12242

Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.

Van Hollen's department asserted in court filings that Wisconsin Senator -- and American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) national treasurer -- Leah Vukmir cannot be served with a court order demanding that she comply with her legal responsibilities under the open records law.

This novel legal argument reverses the policy and practice of prior Attorneys General and would make any state legislator immune from enforcement of the state open records law and any other civil matter.

...

The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit against Senator Vukmir in June for her failure to release ALEC-related public records. Senator Vukmir is ALEC's national treasurer. She attended ALEC's Oklahoma City meeting in May 2013 and sponsored an ALEC "model" bill that was adopted by ALEC politicians and corporate lobbyists as ALEC policy. Now she is asserting she does not have a single record relating to the bill or the Oklahoma meeting responsive to CMD's routine request.

Wisconsin: 92,000 will lose BadgerCare coverage on Dec. 31

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/92000-will-lose-badgercare-coverage-on-dec-31-b99104528z1-224896892.html

Madison — Gov. Scott Walker's administration is notifying 92,000 Wisconsin residents this month that their BadgerCare health coverage will run out at the end of the year, requiring them to buy coverage through new and potentially more costly federal marketplaces.

The Republican governor's plan for dealing with the looming federal health care law involves shifting some recipients from the state's BadgerCare Plus program into a new federal online insurance marketplace, where the participants are supposed find replacement coverage.

...

The notification letters reignited the debate over Walker's decision to reject additional federal money to expand BadgerCare. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a strong supporter of the federal law, wrote a letter to Walker on Monday saying his approach could lead to confusion or loss of coverage among some BadgerCare recipients.

"Instead of playing political games with people's health care and calling for repealing, defunding or delaying the ACA, it is my sincere hope that you will lead on the law's implementation because you have a shared responsibility to make sure it works for Wisconsin," Baldwin wrote.


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