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Shady Republican maneuvers in Wisconsin recall election


 
With with the unusual volume of noise in the media lately, one major story that’s getting crowded out is the hotly contested recall election in Wisconsin, which is just a little more than a week away.

A look at the polls show a mixed slate slightly, if not mostly, favoring Democrats. So what can the Republican party do if they can’t win the election fair and square?

Here’s a plan: How about sending absentee ballots to Democrats with instructions to return the paperwork AFTER the election date? That’s exactly what Americans for Prosperity, a conservative front group for the goals of the rightwing billionaire Koch brothers did.

Is there no low these creeps won’t stoop to? Apparently not!

Politico broke the story this morning:

Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.

The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk “before Aug. 11.”

A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.

“These are people who are our 1’s in the voterfile who we already knew.  They ain’t AFP members, that’s for damn sure,” the source said.

The “1s” referred to above are extremely likely Democratic voters. Along with this lowdown trickery—did they REALLY think this would not get found out? Do they not even care??—Americans for Prosperity have spent another $150,000 of the Koch’s money to buy pro-Republican television airtime in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison.

And here’s another item of interest. Not saying this IS suspicious until the fire department have had a proper look, but the timing for this is fortuitous for the GOP isn’t it, when their opponents’s headquarters burn to the ground just a little over a week before an election? Well, that’s what happened to the pro-labor We Are Wisconsin PAC in LaCrosse. From Crooks and Liars:

Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown. Firefighters thought they had the blaze under control in the afternoon, however, that wasn’t the case and it continued into the evening, the newspaper reported.

We Are Wisconsin used the building at 432 Jay St. to oversee its efforts in the 32nd Senate District recall election, which will be held Aug. 9. Incumbent Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke is being challenged by Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling in that district.

A spokesman for the group told the La Crosse Tribune that the group’s office was a total loss.

Just sayin…

A final word: Don’t look on this as merely a statewide election, What happens in Wisconsin is one of the most important turning points in American life for decades to come. If the left can’t win the state where the labor movement was arguably birthed, this country is fucked.

You can help get the Democratic vote out from your own home by making canvassing calls for the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s phone bank. They could use your help

Help beat back the Reichwing in Wisconsin. If not, your state—and your job—might be next.

Via Politico/Daily Kos

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Slave labor in America: Union workers replaced by prisoners in Wisconsin


 
The highly controversial new law in Wisconsin gutting collective bargaining rights for state union workers is now in effect and already changes are afoot in the dairy state. Not good ones.

Via Think Progress:

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with [Governor Scott] Walker’s new law, they have no recourse.

The use of free inmate labor to replace public sector workers is truly a disturbing trend. That’s right folks. Forget about the off-shore outsourcing of jobs. Forget about China’s cheap labor. India’s, too. And don’t blame the Mexicans and illegal immigrants for taking your job, either, bub.

Nope. We’ve got a bigger problem now: How are Americans going to compete in the jobs marketplace against slave labor?

Deeply unpopular Gov. Scott Walker promised to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin during his term in office, but he didn’t say these jobs would be created in the county jails!

This is what you get when you vote Republican.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Village Voice set to strike? Looming walkout at America’s oldest alt weekly
06.28.2011
02:12 pm

Topics:
Class War
Current Events
Media

Tags:
pro labor
Village Voice


This cover seemed the most appropriate, under the circumstances…
 
Anticipating a near certain strike, Village Voice journos have set-up an online alt-weekly to their alt-weekly at The Real Voice:

The current three-year contract between Village Voice Media and UAW Local 2110, representing the workers of The Village Voice, expires midnight June 30. The membership has unanimously passed a strike authorization vote.

Over the past three years, the Voice staff has been cut by an estimated 60%, and average annual salaries have markedly diminished. Management has so far played hardball with the union, refusing to make an offer, while demanding extensive concessions from the newspaper’s staff, including a substantial, ever-increasing contribution to an inferior health plan, as well as the elimination of management’s own contribution to employees’ retirement accounts. The union membership sees the quality of their medical coverage as the critical issue. “That’s why I came to work here,” said one staff writer. “The health insurance is the one thing that made low wages bearable.”

In the event of a work stoppage, writers, bloggers, photographers, editors, designers, and sales staff—as well as former Voice staff members and other supporters—will be publishing an alternate website, TheRealVoice.org, where readers will find the same high-quality writing there that they currently enjoy in the paper and on Voice blogs.

A strike benefit will be held on Wednesday, June 29, beginning at 8 p.m. at Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-384-4586), featuring the bands Fort Lean, K-Holes, and Alan Watts. The suggested $10 donation will go to the Village Voice Strike Fund. Voice alumni, including many distinguished writers and editors, are expected to attend.

The Village Voice is the nation’s oldest and largest alternative newsweekly and the recipient of numerous journalism awards, including three Pulitzers. It was founded in 1955 by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and Norman Mailer. The Voice, along with the rest of its six-newspaper chain, was acquired in 2006 by Phoenix-based New Times Media, since renamed Village Voice Media. The Village Voice is the only unionized newspaper in the now 13-weekly VVM chain. The shop includes workers from all parts of the paper, including Production, Editorial, and Sales.

More information at The Real Voice

This clip seemed the most appropriate, under the circumstances…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Winner of the Ultimate Teabagger Challenge: ‘Pot Smoking Neo Marxists’

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This guy takes the cake. And it’s a wedding cake that will serve a thousand guests. Give a round of applause to the BEST Teabagger I’ve yet seen… this guy!

He never really shows this sign to the camera completely, but you can see that the word “Hitler” is written on it. 

They give that nobody Joe the Plumber his own webs series? Sign this guy up, He’s an inadvertent comedic genius! The non-thinking man’s Michael Savage!...
 

 
Via Wonkette

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Teabagger metaphor: Half a fry short of a Value Meal (seriously)

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I laughed to myself the other day when I saw longtime Republican pollster/spinmeister Frank Luntz on one of the cable news outlets—probably Fox News, but I can’t recall—giving some GOP talking points a dry run.

Not that he was exactly trying anything new, or innovating. In the context of the budget battle, Obama’s speech and the DOA “Ryan plan” etc., Luntz merely trotted out the by-now familiar threadbare Republican shuck and jive routine about how American families understand that you can’t live beyond your means and that the only remedy for that would be to tighten belts, stop living on credit cards and pay off debts. And the Ryan plan is going to achieve this in Washington by blah blah blah. I don’t even know why he bothered to finish his thought, he just should have said “blah, blah, blah” and everyone still would have understood what exactly he meant, anyway. Who cares? Who gives a shit? We’ve heard this all before, ten thousand times… Enough.

It’s too predictable. Too rote. Too by the numbers. Too old-fashioned. Shtick. The Republican orthodoxy is over-exposed. Transparently obvious. People are sick of hearing it, and when they are forced to listen to it over and over and over again ad infinitum on Fox News and elsewhere, what might have sounded like simple down home “common sense” when Ronald Reagan said it, just sounds like disingenuous bullshit in 2011. Bullshit being dished out, in most instances by mean-looking old white guys on the tee-vee talking about lowering the nation’s prospects, en masse, of living out old age with dignity, in favor of still more tax cuts for the top 1%. The problem with this simplistic focus group-tested “homespun” GOP messaging stuff is that no one buys it anymore except for the very least sophisticated characters amongst us, i.e. the real Republican base: The Dummies.

Republicans need some new material. Badly. With Donald Trump in the race it’s going to take a turn for the “even dumber.” It’s bad not just for them, but for everybody. (Everybody except Obama… and Donald Trump, of course, who is playing everyone, or thinks he is. He wins no matter what!)

A short item that ran on Wonkette, I think, sums up just how stupid the “Republican message” is getting to sound to… the rest of us, when the latest gloss on their talking points goes something like this… Quoting from Team Sarah:

The $60 billion that the Republicans wanted to cut from spending (simple cuts, not “reductions in rates”) was to the Federal Budget what 1/2 of a French Fry would be to a Big Mac Value Meal (medium size). That’s right, 1/2 of a fry. So why did the Dems manage to get the Republicans to cut that down to $38 billion? Do you realize what that amounts to in the same Value Meal? 1/4 of a French Fry. That’s the equivalent amount of calories in the Big Mac Value Meal that the $38 billion represents in terms of government spending. Think about that the next time you get a Value Meal (of any kind) at the fast food drive-thru.

I certainly shall!

Sarah Palin herself has always seemed “one fry short of a Happy Meal” to me—a whole fry, mind you, not half of one—but even accounting for the bottomless pit appetite for the regurgitation of ludicrously simplistic talking points on the right, this is a new, groan-worthy, anti-intellectual low. Even coming from her blinkered camp. Why wouldn’t someone conclude that the Teabaggers are idiots after reading the kinds of… uh… fucking idiocy they espouse?

I mean who can take a metaphor about a Value Meal seriously?

It’s obvious: Dummies.

Below, pro-labor demonstrators nearly drown out Sarah Palin as she screeches nonsense addressing the Tea party faithful some dummies in Madison, WI, on April 15th. She tells them to fight for America, to take their country back and blah, blah, blah…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
What the hell happened in Wisconsin today???

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Whoops, wrong stolen election!

If you are looking for a way to get your head around what happened today in the hotly-contested Wisconsin election shocker, this clip from Daily Kos explains it in a rather succinct nutshell.

In WI, an automatic recount at state-expense is triggered if an election is within .5%, and we have a fully verifiable paper trail to audit election results. That means in this election with approximately 740k for Kloppenburg and 739k for Prosser, the vote gets recounted at state-expense if the election is within ~7400 votes.

So the last 2 days the WI-GOP has been scrambling trying to figure out how they can still get Prosser into office. What was the result of their brain-storming? Add a few extra votes in a friendly area (Waukesha), and call it a clerical error. But in order to steal the election, they NEED to be able to keep a recount from occurring, because a recount would expose their attempted fraud to the light of day.

So they couldn’t just give Prosser a couple hundred to put him barely in the lead by 40. They had to give him more than 7500 in order to get above the threshold for automatic recount, so that the only way for a recount to happen would be if Kloppenburg ponies up the money for a state-wide recount, which could be expensive. Granted, all of us in WI would be happy to donate to a potential recount effort if it gets to that point, but the resolve of the Kloppenburg camp remains to be seen.

When the Republicans have declared victory starting tomorrow, they will use the full power of their media empire to pressure KloJo to concede instead of paying for a recount. They’ll say she’s a sore loser if she pushes for a recount outside of the .5% margin. They’ll say the gap is so wide that a recount couldn’t possibly swing enough votes her way, so she shouldn’t waste the time of election workers. They’ll say she’s just further trying to divide the people of WI. They will do EVERYTHING they can to make sure NO ONE checks the paper trail. Because the paper trail will be the nail in their coffin.

We must not let them succeed in this attempted fraud.

It is NOT a coincidence that Prosser didn’t get +300 votes or +1000, it had to be +7500 or more in order for the fraud to work. +7400 just wouldn’t have been enough.

RECOUNT WISCONSIN!

Now read this, from OneWisconsinNow. Does Kathy Nickolaus in any way seem kinda shady, do you think? Do ya?

Election Returns: What Went On in Waukesha?
After Hours of Silence, Embattled Clerk Reports Wildly-High Turnout in Prosser’s Top County

Madison—As counties statewide move to certify Tuesday’s shocking upset victory by JoAnne Kloppenburg over heavily-favored David Prosser, unanswered questions remain about returns from Tuesday night in Waukesha County—the top-performing county in the state for Scott Walker’s self-proclaimed “complement” on the Supreme Court.

“Wisconsin deserves elections that are fair, clean and transparent,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions.”

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former staffer for the Assembly Republican Caucus, has been sharply criticized in recent months for her handling of recent elections. Even the archly-conservative Waukesha County Board has sharply condemned Nickolaus after past elections, demanding an immediate audit of her practices following ominous red-flags that emerged regarding her lack of oversight, failure to create backup files and her stubborn insistence to “keep everything secret.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

The County auditors said it was eminently possible—including historical precedent—for Nickolaus or a rogue employee to tamper with data. Why? Nickolaus insists on controlling password access and has unilaterally decided to move sensitive files, like election results, onto her personal computer.

Nickolaus has actually scoffed at complying with impartial audits, thumbing her nose at critics. A move that drew a sharp reaction at the time from the County Board Chair:

“There really is nothing funny about this, Kathy,” said Waukesha County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer when Nickolaus willfully ignored complying with the earlier impartial audit. “Don’t sit there and grin when I’m explaining what this is about.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

On Tuesday, shockingly-large turnout suddenly emerged from Waukesha County, which did not comport with either the results of previous spring elections, or even internal estimates from city officials mid-day. In fact, a Waukesha City Deputy Clerk said at 1:18pm that turnout was very typical, predicting somewhere between 20 to 25 percent. As Tuesday night wore on, reporting in Waukesha County stopped altogether for hours, leaving observers to wonder what was going on. Then suddenly, results suggesting massive turnout started to pour in rapidly with Prosser adding dramatically to his total by a 73-27 percent margin.

One Wisconsin Now estimates put overall turnout near 38 percent, a wild outlier to historical data and the earlier mid-day estimation of Waukesha’s own officials. In April 2009, turnout was 20 percent; April 2008, turnout was 22 percent and in April 2007, turnout was 24

Fishy or not? You decide!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
GOP Family Values: New scandal brewing for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker just can’t get a break. Only in office a few months, already he seems to posses a bottomless pit of sleazy, stupid things that he’s done that are making it, you might say, a little hot for him.

On the eve of his buddy Judge David Prosser getting his ass kicked all over the electoral map, word has leaked out of a new scandal that’s taking shape in Madison: It seems that the ne’r do well. loser drunkard progeny of one of Walker’s biggest donors, Jerry Deshane, was given a plum state job.

From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel:

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?

It’s all in the family.

This is what happens when you vote for Republicans…

Can you imagine being a high school teacher worried about having your benefits cut or losing your job and hearing about some idiot rich kid with TWO DUIs getting a job at the taxpayer tit for over $80k a year and getting a fucking 16% raise in just eight weeks? Rep. Brett Hulsey, a Democrat from Madison said of party boy Deschane: “It doesn’t look like he’s ever had a real job.”

No, but he’s got a real rich daddy... Did he even have to write a resume or fill out a job application? I kinda doubt it, don’t you?

And in related news, a second WI Republican, Sen. Randy Hopper is likely going to face a recall election. You may recall Hopper as the fellow who left his wife for someone half his age who also got a government job well above the standard pay scale. Wisconsin Democrats and labor supporters have previously collected 145% of the necessary signatures needed to recall another Republican senator, Dan Kapanke. I don’t think either of these gentlemen will see out the end of the summer in their current offices. Nor will their buddy Scott Walker be in any position to give them sweetheart jobs when the voters sack them, because those days are over. Walker’s being watched for ANY slip up at this point and although for sure he’s DUMB, he’s not so dumb that he can’t read the writing on the wall. (Can you imagine what it must feel like to be Scott Walker? What a god-damned buffoon!)

This is getting sooooo gooood. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s vote in Wisconsin. Republican schadenfreude? Count me in, I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Zombies vs. Teabaggers

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Look who wants in on the class war: It’s the undead vs. the Teabaggers as hordes of pro-labor zombies roamed around Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend in search of some brains. Looking for high IQ dining anywhere near the Tea party-dominated statehouse was perhaps a poor idea for a zombie banquet…
 
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Via Joe My God

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Wisconsin is going to kick some Republican ass on Tuesday

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Above, WI Judge David Prosser AKA “Prosser the Tosser” and his dimwitted pal Scotty…

Although I doubt there are many Wisconsinites who need reminding, tomorrow’s WI Supreme Court election between incumbent Judge David Prosser—who has said he’d rubber stamp Gov. Walker’s ticket to destroy the unions—and challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, will be of the most important statewide elections in decades. Important not just for Wisconsin, but to all of America’s working people. What happens tomorrow—and fuck it, our team is gonna win this one—should scare the shit out of the Republican Party, because when the dust settles, they are going to know—definitively—for whom the bell tolls. Guys, make no mistake about it, it’s tolling for your dumb asses.

Judge Prosser’s top aide said that Prosser would be a “complement” to Walker. How can a Supreme Court justice be anything BUT impartial? And Sarah Palin’s brain-dead Twitter-endorsement? I thought Republicans were against activist judges? Oh right, only when they’re on the other side? Seems to me that the Republicans don’t want to live by their own rules, and they damned sure don’t want others to live by their rules either. These people are clowns, just fucking clowns… and tomorrow they are going to have their heads handed to them on a Vanity Fair paper plate. They have to know it.

Last week former Gov. Patrick Lucey withdrew his support for Prosser and endorsed JoAnne Kloppenburg. Lucey released a statement that Prosser’s sleazy behavior has revealed what he described as “a disturbing distemper and lack of civility” in the Republican’s conduct. Earlier it had come out that Prosser is prone to hissy fits, including one where he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a “total bitch” and threatened to “destroy” her.

David Prosser is a slug that needs some salt thrown on him.

Working people are starting to wise up and the events in Wisconsin have educated even some Tea party-types as that movement burns itself out and loses steam. In the past week alone, it’s been reported that GOP-affiliated special interest groups (many of them from outside of Wisconsin, of course) have bombarded the state with $2 million dollars worth of anti-Kloppenberg advertising. For a state supreme court election? Incredible. Clearly, the Republicans are scared shitless and they should be…

According to Kloppenburg, “The events of the last few weeks have put into sharp relief how important the Supreme Court is as a check on overreach in other branches of government.” The American Federation of Teachers issued a statement that “a Kloppenburg victory will swing the balance to our side.  A vote for Prosser is a vote for Walker.  It’s time to ‘get even.’”

Get even? Sure, but as much as I love me some Republican schadenfreude—their misfortune, my comedy—I just want to see some justice for the working people of Wisconsin. Tomorrow I expect both.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
IN prosecutor resigns after advising Walker to stage fake attack on himself!

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Above, Carlos F. Lam, former Indiana Deputy Prosecutor, now and forevermore, just an unemployable idiot!
 
The gods of Republican schadenfreude have once again smiled on America’s working class. However the events in this story took place so quickly that there was scarcely enough time for it to make the news nationally, so here’s a post-mortem on the dead as a doornail legal career of one utterly silly fellow,  a former Indiana deputy persecutor prosecutor—and arch Republican buffoon—by the name of Carlos F. Lam.

Amidst the more than 50,000 emails sent to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during the heat of the anti-union uprising, a two paragraph email from Lam, shall we say, stuck out like a sore thumb. In it, a PUBLIC OFFICIAL WHO ACTUALLY HAS A LAW DEGREE wrote:

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions. Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and umbrella union organizations in the protests. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

According to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism:

Carlos F. Lam submitted his resignation shortly before the Center published a story quoting his Feb. 19 email, which praised Walker for standing up to unions but went on to say that the chaos in Wisconsin presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.”

At 5 a.m. Thursday, expecting the story to come out that day, Lam called his boss, Johnson County, Ind., Prosecutor Brad Cooper, and told him he had been up all night thinking about it. “He wanted to come clean, I guess, and said he is the one who sent that email,” Cooper said.

He came into the office and gave his resignation verbally, Cooper told the Daily Journal in Franklin, Ind. The resignation was announced after the Center’s initial story was published.

Email headers with detailed IP addresses suggested that the message was sent from Indianapolis.

Lam, an Indianapolis resident, at first told the Center he never wrote it.

Reached Tuesday by phone at the number listed on the email, Lam confirmed his email address matched the Hotmail address appearing on the Walker email, but said he had never written to Walker. “I am flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that’s just not me,” he said, after being read the email.

Except that it was him. And he SIGNED IT WITH HIS OWN NAME and even added his telephone number! And it came from his IP address! Of course it’s not him, why, a um, a UNION THUG must have sent it!!!!

Shit, these Republicans crack me the fuck up! How can someone able to pass the bar exam not realize this is a PREPOSTEROUSLY stupid thing to do???

From Mother Jones:

Lam wasn’t alone in proposing to undermine unions with sleazy tactics during the Wisconsin protests. The day after Lam sent his email, radio talk show host Mark Williams [former Tea Party Express leader] wrote a blog post urging his followers to cause trouble at a Sacramento solidarity event by wearing Service Employees International Union T-shirts and say outrageous things to embarrass the union. “If I do get the ‘in’ I am going to do my darnedest to get podium access and take the mic to do that rant from there,” Williams wrote. “With any luck and if I can manage the moments to build up to it, I can probably get a cheer out of the crowd for something extreme.” This, of course, was the same Mark Williams who infamously wrote a blog post in the voice of black slave who said that slavery was “a great gig.”

You expect such buffoonery from Williams. But from a deputy attorney general and a county prosecutor? All in all, it’s been a rough month or so for prosecutors in the great state of Indiana.

That last sentence, should you have already forgotten, refers also to disgraced Indiana state Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox, who wrote on his Twitter account that riot police should “use live ammunition” in the Wisconsin capital against union members and protesters. When Mother Jones reported on this matter on Feb. 23, Cox was fired from his job.As he should have been.

With all their new-found free time, Cox and Lam will have lots of time to consider the fact that career-wise, they’re both KAPUT in the legal profession. Who would hire lawyers THIS STUPID? An idiotic, loose cannon attorney is the last thing any respectable law firm requires. These stunts will follow them around on Google like shit on their shoes for the rest of their lives and I sure hope they’ve both got some INSANE debt from law school. Imagine what it must be like googling yourself and reading articles like this one calling you an abject moron and there are tens of thousands of them! And if either one of them is married, good luck holding onto your wife!

Indiana prosecutor Carlos F. Lam resigns after recommending Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stage fake attack against himself (Post Crescent)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wisconsin’s broke? So why did GOP Rep’s mistress get such a sweet gig?

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I just got this via email from Daily Kos. This is totally worth kicking in a few bucks to.

Wisconsin Republicans say the state is too broke to pay for teachers, but they just gave the 26-year-old mistress of a union-busting Republican Senator a state job with a fat raise. It’s a classic Republican scandal filled with hypocrisy, cronyism, and their special version of “family values.”

Here’s the story. Last year, Wisconsin Republican state Senator Randy Hopper left his wife to live with a young Republican political operative. Last month, as Governor Scott Walker unveiled legislation calling for deep cuts in state workers’ salaries and collective bargaining rights, Hopper’s mistress was hired by the state on the advice of Scott Walker’s cabinet as a “communications liaison.” Further, her salary is 35% higher than her predecessor’s.

Randy Hopper is now facing recall. At Daily Kos, by using something called Google Surge, we can make sure that when anyone in Hopper’s district goes online for almost an entire week they will see an ad about the scandal.

It will cost us $12,128 for us to do this. Can you contribute $12 to Daily Kos help make it happen?

Randy Hopper is one of the most vulnerable Republicans facing recall. He is a freshman, and only won his seat by 163 votes. A poll conducted by Daily Kos and PPP shows Hopper losing to a generic Democrat 49%-44%.

You can see the ad we’re going to run on the right-hand side of this email. When it runs, it will link to a local Wisconsin news story verifying all the details. Since we are using Google Surge, any voter in Hopper’s district who goes online will see the ad multiple times.

With Randy Hopper already teetering on the brink of defeat, it’s hard to imagine how he could win a recall election after an ad campaign like this. Please, contribute $12 to Daily Kos and make sure every voter in Randy Hopper’s district knows about this scandal.

Keep fighting,

Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos

Hold these filthy lying bastards’ feet to the fire. Do your part to see a Republican humiliated!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Protesters in DC crash fundraiser for Wisconsin GOP

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Yay team! Yesterday protesters crashed a fundraising event for the Wisconsin Republican Party in Washington D.C. A Salon videographer was there:
 

 
Via Scott Walker Watch

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Union member interviewed as Walker was signing the union-busting bill

 

So tell me your name?

Ken Larson.

And where do you work?

I work for the University. I work for the elevator crew, and in the electric shop.

And this year, you’re retiring?

Yes, I’m retiring in June, prompted by all of the goings on. I had planned to retire in December, but I can’t take the chance.

And how many years do you have in?

I have, with the University, seventeen years.

And what does this mean to you?

Aw this, it started out, to me, as an issue between collective bargaining, and the fact that, uh…[breaks down]

I’m a Vietnam vet. That’s alright.

But when he talked about the National Guard, it became personal. He talked about bringing out the Guard, you know, hinting that the Guard would be called, it became personal. But I’m over all that now, that’s why what’s really personal to us all, is [pauses to collect himself]

...are my grandchildren. I don’t want them to be deprived, because this guy has to give it to millionaires. He doesn’t deserve that. My kids, my grandkids deserve everything. So this became personal to me, very personal now, because of all the families, the poor, and moderate-income families that he’s depriving of a better life.

That’s the best I can say.

Via Tina Dupuy/Crooks & Liars

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Mega-rally: Large protests expected in Michigan tomorrow

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Tomorrow a large rally to protest the policies of unpopular Michigan Governor Rick Synder will take place in Lansing. There was a protest held there earlier today attended by more than 1,000 pissed-off senior citizens whose pensions Gov. Snyder wants to tax. That was just the orchestra tuning up. Snyder’s outlandish budget proposal would give even a goon like Scott Walker pause. Synder’s plan would raise taxes on the working class by 31% while cutting taxes for corporations by 86%. WTF is right! Get on the bus!

Below, Michael Moore’s open letter to his fellow Michiganders:

Friends and neighbors,

The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.

What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries—and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue—has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.

Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.

In just 8 short weeks he has:

* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.

* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by—I kid you not—senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people—even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!

* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.

These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”

I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale—and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.

Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE—and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.

Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.

Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.

Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dems have nearly half of signatures needed for recall of Wisconsin GOP state senators

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Democrats in Wisconsin got out of the gate with a very strong start for the race to gain the necessary signatures needed for a recall election in the “Forward” state. This can’t come as good news to the Republicans and Gov. Walker (nicknamed “Dead Man Walker” by no less of a representative of mainstream American opinion than TIME magazine).

Greg Sargent writes in the Washington Post:

Dems have now collected over 56,000 signatures supporting the recall drives, according to party spokesman Graeme Zielinski, after another surge in organizing activity over the weekend. That’s up from rougly 14,000 after last weekend. This means Dems are well ahead of schedule: In each targeted district, Dems need to amass the required signatures — 25 percent of the number who voted in the last gubernatorial election — by a deadline of 60 days after first filing for recalls, which happened nearly two weeks ago.

In other words, Dems are reporting they are nearly halfway to the finish line, with roughly three-fourths of the alloted time remaining.

Though the national media has largely treated the Wisconsin story as resolved, now that Republicans used a procedural maneuver to pass Scott Walker’s measure, the new signature numbers suggest the GOP’s maneuver may only be giving more momentum to the recall drives. The recall fight has drawn the attention of national Dems, who are keeping attention on the battle in hopes that it will have ramifications in the 2012 Congressional and presidential elections, by galvanizing the Dem base, persuading independents that the GOP has overreached, and reawakening the affection of blue collar whites for unions.

Some will insist that these numbers are unreliable, because they are coming from Dems. But if they did cook the numbers, such exaggerations would quickly become apparent if they fell well short of their goals by the deadline. (Republicans are refusing to reveal the amount of signatures they’ve collected to recall Dems.) What’s more, these signatures numbers claimed by Dems mirror other indicators of enthusiasm: Dems and labor continue to raise money for the recall drives at a dizzying clip, and a huge rally amassed in Madison over the weekend.

According to Wisconsin Dem spokesman Zielinski, Dems are ahead of pace in signature gathering in every single one of the eight districts being targteted, and in three of the districts, Dems have well over 50 percent of the number required.

And in a related note, popular Wisconsin resident, Jeff Skiles, who was co-pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane, told WISC-TV that he will be closing his accounts (totaling over $400,000) at M&I Bank today. M&I’s executives were amongst the largest donors to embattled Gov. Scott Walker’s election campaign. Below, Skiles speaks to pro-labor protesters in Madison on Feb. 26, 2011.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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