Our Common Good

Aside from getting tons of money from out of state corporate interests, Walker is on record with the single biggest donor to his campaign admitting that his union busting policies were never about “fiscal responsiblity” as he claimed to the voters.  He admitted that it’s about “Divide and Conquer.” Then he lied to congress about it.

From the transcript:

» any chance we’ll get to be a completely red state and work on these unions and become a right to work? what can we do to help you?

» we’re going to start in a couple of weeks with our budget adjustment. the first step is deal with collective bargaining for all public employees. use divide and conquer.

» it’s a look inside the governor’s head and agenda less than one month before he staged an all out assault. at the time he lied about his reasons for gutting the public sector. his biggest lie happened during congressional testimony in april of 2011.

» have you ever had a conversation with respect to your actions in wisconsin in using them to punish members of the opposition party and their donor base?

» no.

» you’ve never had such a conversation?

» no.

» let’s go back and take another look at what the he told billionaire donor three months earlier.

» the first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employees. use divide and conquer.

One would think the DNC would want to run with this tell all video of Walker’s confession to a fellow corporatist.

One would think the DNC would recognize the importance of the recall election, to the people of Wisconsin who have been through corporatist hell, thanks to Walker and his puppet masters, the Koch Brothers.

Let’s encourage the DNC to get off its ass and help Tom Barrett.

Moveon.org has a petition going calling on the DNC to:

invest now in the crucial fight to remove Scott Walker from office in Wisconsin–the people have worked hard and it’s time to help.

Sign it! Share it! Tweet it!

The reality is, the GOP is in it to win it and they are putting their money where their corporate speech is.

It’s time for the DNC to stand up for the people of Wisconsin!

(via Tell the DNC to Get Off Its a$$ and Help Beat Walker! | Nuts and Dolts)

For all the efforts of Gov. Scott Walker to convince the hosts on Fox and CNBC that he is a popular governor who is threatened not by angry citizens but by “the left, the radical left, and the big labor union bosses” who are “somehow counting on the idea that they can bring enough money and enough bodies into Wisconsin to dissuade voters,” the message from farm country tells an entirely different story.

Walker has had the overwhelming spending advantage since the recall fight started last November. Walker has had all the benefits of the Republican Party organization, which has gone into overdrive to aid his candidacy, while Democrats have faced a multi-candidate primary fight.

Yet Walker does not have the swing counties of western Wisconsin wrapped up. Not by a long shot.

Along Highway 14, heading out of Dane County and into Iowa and Richland counties, hundreds of hand-painted signs propose to “Recall Walker.” Most list reasons for the governor’s removal: “Worst Job Losses in U.S.,” “Attacks on Collective Bargaining,” “Cut Education,” “Cut BadgerCare,” “Divided State,” “John Doe.”

[…]

In the new Marquette University Law School Poll, disapproval of the governor’s performance had moved up to 51 percent. Indeed, his approval rating has now declined to 47 percent, the lowest point so far this year. And one of the prospective Democratic challengers, Tom Barrett, has now moved ahead of Walker in head-to-head matchups run by the Marquette pollsters.

What has changed? The polling shows that Wisconsinites, who once felt that Republicans had the right equation for creating jobs (tax cuts for multinational corporations, attacks on public employees and their unions, slashing of education and public service funding), have soured on the GOP and its poster-boy governor. They’ve been influenced, of course, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics study showing that, in the year since Walker implemented his austerity agenda, Wisconsin has suffered the worst job losses in the nation. The Marquette poll shows that Wisconsinites now believe that investments in education, good relations with unions, and fair tax policies are more likely to grow the economy than Walker’s “war on workers” approach.

The governor admitted Wednesday that the recall contest on June 5 is “a 50-50 race.” But what’s notable is that his numbers are declining, while numbers for the opposition are rising.

kileyrae:

(@news3jessica)

wisconsinforward:

The New York Times published a letter to the editor today from a political science student who thinks the only reason people are recalling Gov. Walker is because of “unpopular” legislation, and doesn’t believe recalls should be used for that purpose.

The Times invites people to submit letters in response, and will publish some of the letters in its Sunday Review.  The original letter and details on how to submit your response are linked above.

quickhits:

After pretense of belt-tightening, Gov. Walker shells out taxpayer money for political payback.

Associated Press:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker established a program that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit raises and bonuses to some state workers even as he preached cost-cutting and pushed through a law reducing most public workers’ pay and eliminating their union rights.
An analysis of data The Associated Press obtained through an open records request showed Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to nearly 220 employees.
The awards are meant to reward stellar performance. But they come as the state faces a $143 million shortfall and after thousands of state workers took pay cuts through provisions in the collective bargaining law requiring them to contribute more to their pensions and health care.
Walker, who faces a June 5 recall election prompted by anger over the collective bargaining law, prides himself on fiscal restraint.

Ok, ok… So that’s not so bad, right? It sounds like Walker’s finally realized that public service has merit and should be rewarded. He’s going all lefty and stuff.
But then come the sordid details:

According to the AP analysis, 218 employees across nine agencies received raises or bonuses adding up to $765,195 between Jan. 1, when the merit program took effect, and Tuesday.
The state Department of Justice, which couldn’t find enough money to fully fund services for sexual assault victims last year, was the biggest spender, giving out nearly $300,000 to 94 workers.
Assistant Attorney General Maria Lazar, who defended Walker’s collective bargaining law in an open meetings challenge and has handled the state’s defense of Republican redistricting legislation, got a $1,000 bonus and a $1.50-an-hour raise in March, bumping her salary by more than $3,000 to $104,730.
Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John, who defended the collective bargaining law in front of the state Supreme Court, got a $2.51-an-hour raise in March that adds up to more than $5,000 per year and brings his pay to $134,307.

No money to help victims of actual crimes like sexual assault, but plenty to hand out to lawyers who did a “stellar” job defending Walker’s union-busting.
Seriously, if you’re from Wisconsin, aren’t rich, and think these guys have your back, you are a world class chump.

quickhits:

After pretense of belt-tightening, Gov. Walker shells out taxpayer money for political payback.

Associated Press:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker established a program that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit raises and bonuses to some state workers even as he preached cost-cutting and pushed through a law reducing most public workers’ pay and eliminating their union rights.

An analysis of data The Associated Press obtained through an open records request showed Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to nearly 220 employees.

The awards are meant to reward stellar performance. But they come as the state faces a $143 million shortfall and after thousands of state workers took pay cuts through provisions in the collective bargaining law requiring them to contribute more to their pensions and health care.

Walker, who faces a June 5 recall election prompted by anger over the collective bargaining law, prides himself on fiscal restraint.

Ok, ok… So that’s not so bad, right? It sounds like Walker’s finally realized that public service has merit and should be rewarded. He’s going all lefty and stuff.

But then come the sordid details:

According to the AP analysis, 218 employees across nine agencies received raises or bonuses adding up to $765,195 between Jan. 1, when the merit program took effect, and Tuesday.

The state Department of Justice, which couldn’t find enough money to fully fund services for sexual assault victims last year, was the biggest spender, giving out nearly $300,000 to 94 workers.

Assistant Attorney General Maria Lazar, who defended Walker’s collective bargaining law in an open meetings challenge and has handled the state’s defense of Republican redistricting legislation, got a $1,000 bonus and a $1.50-an-hour raise in March, bumping her salary by more than $3,000 to $104,730.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John, who defended the collective bargaining law in front of the state Supreme Court, got a $2.51-an-hour raise in March that adds up to more than $5,000 per year and brings his pay to $134,307.

No money to help victims of actual crimes like sexual assault, but plenty to hand out to lawyers who did a “stellar” job defending Walker’s union-busting.

Seriously, if you’re from Wisconsin, aren’t rich, and think these guys have your back, you are a world class chump.

wisconsinforward:

Planned Parenthood stops performing non-surgical abortions in Wisconsin because of a new law that threatens doctors with felony charges.  And Mitt Romney “absolutely” supports amending the Constitution to define life as beginning at conception.

Walker now regularly huddles with the wealthy and the famous. He attended a Christmas party thrown by Grover Norquist, the conservative power broker, and raised money with Hank Greenberg, founder and former CEO of American International Group, at his Manhattan office.

Last week, he mingled with Oklahoma’s corporate elite and top Republicans at a fundraiser co-sponsored by Koch Industries, the oil company led by billionaire brothers who are top backers of conservative causes nationwide. Also in attendance were executives from Devon Energy Corp., which is building a 50-story tower that is changing the Oklahoma City skyline.

As Walker stares down a June 5 recall election, he has used his cachet as a conservative hero to rake in campaign cash never before seen in Wisconsin. And it’s put his Democratic challengers at a disadvantage in their effort to make him only the third governor in the nation’s history to be ousted in a recall.

"He has become something of a rock star nationally for right-wing conservatives," said Mike McCabe, director of the government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. "There’s appeal there, and I think he’s found it pretty easy to get people to crack their checkbooks."

Texas financier Bob Perry cut Walker two $250,000 checks and is his single biggest donor. Perry helped pay for the Swift Boat Veterans ads that attacked Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

By all estimates, the Wisconsin recall election—only the third in the nation’s history—is going to be a close vote. As a result, mistakes can have grave consequences for those seeking to replace the controversial Walker who has, in his short time in office, ended many collective bargaining rights for state employees, made huge cuts in the state’s education and health care budgets, and, according to many, taken steps to dramatically curtail voting rights for Wisconsinites more likely to vote for Democrats.

shihtzuman:

Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is fighting for his political life in a recall election forced by opponents of his anti-labor agenda, began his reelection campaign with a six-city campaign swing on Tuesday. At each event, Walker entered his gathering to the sound of John Mellencamp’s song, “Small Town.”

There’s only one problem with Walker’s musical selection.

Mellencamp is pro-union.

Democrats in Wisconsin on Thursday demanded that election officials disqualify fake candidates running in recall primary elections this spring, according to the Associated Press.

The Democrats are being represented by attorney Jeremy Levinson, who claims the fake candidates are violating Wisconsin election laws.

“The fraudulent candidates and the RPW [Republican Party of Wisconsin] have explicitly acknowledged that, in fact, these fraudulent primary candidates are part of an effort to manipulate the electoral process in support of Republican incumbents facing recall,” Levinson wrote in a complaint to the Government Accountability Board.

Levinson claims that the candidates are required to state under oath that their candidacy is representing the political party for which the primary is to take place. But the fake Democratic candidates are running in the primary elections to help the Republican Party, and have publicly admitted that is their intention.

“The RPW’s scheme,” Levinson wrote, “involves serial election fraud and invalidates each of the six phony candidacies.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four Wisconsin Republican state senators all face recall elections on May 8 or June 5.

This is why I wasn’t that happy to see Arthur Kohl-Riggs’ campaign.

Guess it is for real.  GOP’s “fake candidate” trick backfires as progressive activist gets approval from the Wisconsin GAB to run as a Republican against Scott Walker.

Turning the tables on the Republican game…

In a huge twist, Wisconsin Democrats now have the potential to remove Scott Walker before he even has a chance to face off with a Democratic challenger. With the out-of-nowhere candidacy of progressive activist Arthur Kohl-Riggs on the Republican ticket Democrats could now vote out Walker in the Republican primary.  Wisconsin law allows an open primary in which Democrats can vote in the Republican primary, or vice versa.

I know you have to fight fire with fire, but unsure how I really feel about this. 

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) quietly signed three controversial bills on the eve of a holiday weekend to significantly limit access to abortion services and sex education. Walker “signed the bills Thursday but didn’t announce the move until midday Friday, when his office released a list of more than 50 bills he signed Thursday and Friday,” the Associated Press reports. The measures include:

  • A ban on abortion coverage in policies obtained through a health insurance exchange, set to be created under the federal health care reform law starting in 2014. The only exceptions would be in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity.
  • A woman seeking an abortion must undergo an exam and consult with a doctor alone, away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine whether someone is pressuring the woman into the procedure. Doctors who break the law could be charged with a felony.
  • Teachers in schools that offer sex education must stress abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Declares that sex education teachers do not have to address contraception. That’s a dramatic shift from current state law, which requires teachers to instruct students on birth control options.

Among the 47 other bills, Walker approved the repeal the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which had offered individuals legal recourse to fight wage discrimination based on race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or other factors. According to the Daily Beast, “in the two years the law was in effect, not a single equal-pay lawsuit was filed,” but employers responded to the law by increasing their workplace diversity. In 2009, Wisconsin ranked 36th for gender-parity. A year later, “it had climbed to 24th,” as the gender pay gap narrowed significantly, the U.S. Department of Labor found.

Walker, who could be recalled from office in the next two months, may also be considering a presidential bid. During a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, he said that "God’s got a plan for us" that may include “bigger things” than his current job. “Who knows where it might be, beyond just serving as Governor of this state,” Walker told David Brody.

Geez.  Their God seems to be terribly busy guiding all these white guys on how to subjugate women.   I think he needs another vocation.

As you may have heard, Governor Scott Walker (WI-Big R) quietly repealed the State’s Equal pay enforcement Act which was applauded by Republicans. But what’s equally interesting is that one of the drivers in the repeal’s go-to source for information was that bastion of partisan mis/disinformation, Ann Coulter.

Fifteen months after taking control of Minnesota’s Legislature, Republicans have put a gay marriage ban on this November’s ballot, moved to expand gun rights and cast dozens of votes to cut state spending. But there’s one issue where they failed to get traction: watering down the strength of organized labor with a right-to-work law.

The problem isn’t so much opposition from Democrats. And it isn’t a lack of enthusiasm for the idea, which many conservatives consider essential for creating a business-friendly economic climate. The problem lies with Republicans who fear triggering a huge rebellion among opposition labor unions and sending a surge of sympathetic voters to the polls in November to vote Democratic.

In Minnesota and elsewhere across the Midwest, the question of what to do about the right-to-work issue is pitting Republican against Republican, straining relationships among longtime allies and weighing cherished ideals against political tactics.