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Commentary from us and our readers.

Wisconsin's Capitol a Disaster Area! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 11 February 2016 17:08

capitol-night-wiscAB 723 limiting the ability of towns and counties to issue local IDs, AB 868 the "Mark Harris bill" prohibiting legislators from simultaneously holding the office of county executive, bills to siphon more of our taxpayer dollars away from our public schools, maneuverings in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and more attacks on local control lead the list.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 February 2016 17:31
Seinfeld vs. Duck Dynasty PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Monday, 08 February 2016 19:25

duck-dynastyALTOONA, WI - It’s been said art imitates life. But when it comes to politics these days, it’s the other way around.

For the past several decades, the Democratic Party has been the political embodiment of Seinfeld. Urbane, smart-alecky, talking a lot but seemingly never working – just like Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. Seinfeld was a show about nothing. For many a year now the Democrats have stood for next to nothing.

Today’s Republican Party is Duck Dynasty. Republicans are working for the Carringtons but are politically shrewd enough to know that looking and acting upper crust won’t sell to the masses. So the GOP markets itself as the Robertsons.

Long beards, camo from head to foot, stars-and-stripes bandanas, fundamentalist religion, redneck attitudes and a business fabricating duck calls and decoys that grew from a mom-and-pop operation to a multi-million dollar sporting empire have the Robertsons living large. Got ’em their own TV show too. And, like the Republican Party, the Robertsons are increasingly split politically.

Seinfeld had a big audience. Duck Dynasty has one now. Again, sort of the like the Democrats and Republicans.

Both Seinfeld and Duck Dynasty are entertaining in their own right. Both are good for a laugh. Both have memorable if not lovable characters. Both are seriously lacking in substance. Neither has much redeeming social value. More ways the major parties currently reflect the boob tube.

If the promise of the American Revolution is to be carried forward, if our republic is to endure much longer, at some point we are going to have to do a whole lot better than sitting around in a coffee shop or duck blind, if you catch my drift.

VOTE: Walker's worst ideas? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Tammy Baldwin, Senator from Wisconsin   
Sunday, 07 February 2016 12:23

scott-walkerMADISON - Wisconsinites have a celebrated history of progressivism. We value civic engagement and activism. We believe in the power of regular people and government’s role in improving and protecting the lives of citizens.

But after six years under Governor Walker’s failed leadership, many of the values Wisconsinites hold dear are being eroded and undermined.

Today we want you to tell us which of Governor Walker’s policies you think are the most harmful to Wisconsinites.

Was it his attempts to...

  1. Rollback worker protections
  2. Make it more difficult to vote
  3. Infringe on a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions
  4. Cut funding from our public schools and universities
  5. Weaken government accountability measures
  6. Other
  7. All of the above

It’s no secret that Governor Walker’s drastic departure from Wisconsin’s progressive traditions has negatively impacted people across our state. But if we’re going to return to our roots and fight back against his extreme right-wing agenda, we need you to speak out.

Make sure you answer our quick survey and let us know which of Governor Walker’s policies affected you the most.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out our survey.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2016 12:34
Watch Those “Issue” ads! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Sunday, 07 February 2016 11:42

rebecca-bradleyRebecca Bradley is running to keep the seat Scott Walker gave her last fall on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and she's using video from the Bradley Foundation backed Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, run by former Republican operatives, in her campaign. This coordination, which Bradley previously said she wouldn’t engage in, is now legal in Wisconsin.

MADISON - You can tell election season is open in Wisconsin now because your TV screens and your mailboxes are starting to fill up with bogus “issue” ads.

The first group out of the gate is the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, run by former Republican operatives. They’ve put together an ad that praises Rebecca Bradley, who is running to keep the seat Scott Walker gave her last fall on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. And they’ve even used video from Bradley’s campaign itself. This coordination, which Bradley previously said she wouldn’t engage in, is now legal in Wisconsin, by the way.

Group’s “issue ad” cribs from Supreme Court candidate’s campaign

And we just got a call today from one of our members who got a mailing from this same group that cast aspersions on Iowa County DA Larry Nelson, who is running for circuit court judge.

If you see an “issue” ad from any group, please contact us.

The best way to do so is to go to our Hijack Hotline on our website.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the online reporting form or would rather discuss the details directly: (608) 255-4260.

Speaking of Larry Nelson, he’s one of the three district attorneys who recently joined the John Doe II case and is trying to appeal the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling in the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now those who were being investigated by the John Doe are trying to block any such appeal, as we wrote here:

John Doe opponents try to block path to U.S. Supreme Court

One other issue we’re following closely is the outrageous effort to loosen the restrictions on high-capacity wells that factory farms use. The latest twist is that Speaker Robin Vos has urged AG Brad Schimel to intervene and overrule the DNR on this one. Turns out Schimel has gotten money from some of the biggest factory farm owners, as we show here:

Schimel to rule on wells after getting contributions from factory farms

You never know what they’ll come up with next! But you can count on us to expose it.

Walker Turns Back on Pardons PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Lena Taylor, State Senator, 4th District   
Sunday, 07 February 2016 11:12

scottwalker-dreamMILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Constitution states, “The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction…” Yet, the only person in the entire state who has the power to grant a pardon, Governor Scott Walker, has refused to do so. It is appalling that someone who has taken an oath to honor the constitution would deliberately evade their responsibilities as the leader of our state.

Republican Governor Tommy Thompson issued 148 pardons during his years in office. Democratic Governor Jim Doyle issued nearly 300 pardons. But it's not about how many people get a pardon. It's about the principle. The duty of the government is to serve its people first and foremost, and we cannot do that without first lending our ears. If we do not even listen to those who have served their sentence and repented their crimes, we deny them an opportunity for full rehabilitation and restoration of their citizenship.

I have recently introduced a bill to create an independent pardon council. This bill would create a panel of nine judges from around the state to consider each application for a pardon and make recommendations to the governor and the legislature. Although Walker has been neglectful to his people, this bill would allow hundreds to have their voice heard and allow them to get another chance.

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