Wisconsin Protests, Monday, May 9 - Sunday, May 15, 2011


2:56 p.m. - Summer Abdoh reports for CMD:

Protesters took to Wisconsin's capital once more on May 14th to prove neither pessimism nor weather could dampen their enthusiasm. An estimated 10-15,000 Wisconsinites gathered on the State Street steps equipped with new chants and signs protesting Walker's collective bargaining bill, education cuts, Badger Care cuts and immigrant rights. Summing up the feeling of many, one protester held a sign saying "Too Many Bad Bills for One Sign!"

Read more here.



The Nation: The Post-Wisconsin Game Plan

Mary Kay Henry had just spent a day talking with many of the thousands of Wisconsinites who had packed the State Capitol in Madison for the February protests against Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposals to scrap collective bargaining rights and slash funding for public education and services. Now, as she waited in a legislative hearing room that had been turned into a makeshift studio for a Pennsylvania labor radio show, the new president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union was marveling at what she had seen. "It's inspiring, so inspiring, but we have to pay attention to what's happening here," she said, in a calm, thoughtful voice. "We've got to take this national, and we've got to keep the spirit, the energy. We've got to do it right." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Most threats to Wis. lawmakers dismissed by police

Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin reviewed 90 complaints of threats or harassment amid a contentious debate on an anti-union bill, most of them directed at Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers from both parties, and about a dozen of the threats remain under criminal investigation, according to records released Thursday. The records released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice show the 90 complaints were forwarded to law enforcement from Feb. 16 to March 25. Beyond those singled out as possible criminal behavior, the others included 30 reported threats or harassing comments against Democrats and 27 against Walker and other Republicans. The remaining complaints were either vague threats against other officials and protesters or were unrelated to the protests READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Panel votes to stop paying to collect racial data

The Legislature's budget committee has voted to stop paying for the analysis of traffic stop data submitted to the state to determine if police are racial profiling. The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to go along with Gov. Scott Walker's recommendation to remove the funding. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Walker wants more DNR autonomy

Gov. Scott Walker is developing a plan to revamp how the Department of Natural Resources is organized, in part to speed approval of environmental permits. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the proposal would allow DNR experts to meet in advance with regulated parties to try to expedite the process. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Republican plan would speed mining permit process

As plans for an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin take shape, Republican lawmakers are crafting legislation to speed the review process and reduce other regulatory requirements for constructing mines. Environmentalists and some lawmakers are worried the effort is moving too quickly, and the allure of jobs will prod the Legislature to fast-track a bill at the expense of the environment. The draft legislation, which received considerable input from the owner of the mining project, Gogebic Taconite of Hurley, would give the company more regulatory certainty than existing laws. A key measure in a draft bill now circulating would require the Department of Natural Resources to act on an iron mining permit within 300 days. Under existing law, a time frame for approval of a mine is less certain. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Committee approves freezing property tax hikes

Property taxes would essentially be frozen for the next two years as Gov. Scott Walker proposed, but would be allowed to increase slightly after that under a plan that has passed the Legislature's budget committee. The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to cap property tax levy increases for counties and municipalities over the next two years, but would allow up to a half-percent of unused levy authority to be tapped. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Bill would extend bargaining restrictions to police, firefighters

A bill was quietly introduced Tuesday that would expand on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employees by extending bargaining restrictions to police and firefighters. "We're not surprised a bill has been introduced to bring us in," said Mahlon Mitchell, state president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, on Thursday. "We've been hearing rumors this would be done since Walker first introduced his plan in February." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: GOP eyes budget bill for anti-collective bargaining law

Get ready, protesters. The collective bargaining bill could soon be back before the Legislature. Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Thursday that while the "preferred avenue" for implementing the collective bargaining bill is still the state courts, there is a "possibility" the bill will be inserted into the 2011-2013 state budget. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wisconsin State Journal: Walker, GOP not changing tune with news of budget boost

A potential $636 million boost to the state's coffers the next three years has Republican leadership at the Capitol optimistic about the future but wary of changing course during the ongoing budget debate. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Wednesday released a revised estimate of state tax revenues showing Wisconsin collecting an additional $233 million this fiscal year, $204 million the next year and $199 million in 2012-13. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: GOP seeks to repeal limits on payday lenders, auto title loans

Loans secured with auto titles would again be legal in Wisconsin under a proposal adopted Thursday by the Legislature's budget committee that also rolls back other restrictions on payday loans. The Joint Finance Committee voted without debate 11-5 to add the proposal to the state budget, with all Republicans except Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) voting for the proposal and all Democrats voting against it. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.


Christian Groups Run Radio Ad in Rep. Ryan's District: GOP Budget Abandons Pro-Life Values

As Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) returns home for a Congressional recess this weekend, he'll be greeted by a hard-hitting radio ad in his district criticizing his federal budget proposal for abandoning pro-life values.

A local Catholic priest voices the ad (available here), reminding Rep. Ryan that "actions speak louder than words" and pointing out that the GOP budget's huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will harm seniors, children and persons with disabilities.

Governor Scott Walker's union-busting bill remains tied-up in state courts. What's next in the legal battles surrounding the controversial bill?

To recap, on March 9 Wisconsin GOP leaders forced the union-busting bill through the legislature, prompting three lawsuits alleging they violated state Open Meetings laws in the process. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne's case proceeded, and Judge Maryann Sumi found a probable Open Meetings law violation and temporarily halted implementation of the bill on March 18 and again on March 31. In issuing the March 31 temporary order, Judge Sumi set a May 23 deadline for further briefing on issues related to legislative immunity and the law's application, after which she will likely schedule further hearings to determine whether to make the order permanent.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering whether to accept an appeal of Judge Sumi's March 31 temporary order. Before Sumi issued her latest order, Attorney General JB Van Hollen asked the Court of Appeals to strike down Sumi's first order, and that Court fast-tracked the appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The state's highest court has scheduled oral argument for June 6 on whether it should accept the case at all. If the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides to accept jurisdiction after the June 6 session, it will likely be months before any decision is made on the merits of the appeal.

The legislature has always maintained the right to call a new vote on the bill -- the legal battle is not about the content of the union-busting legislation, but the manner in which it was passed. While Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said "we passed the law correctly, legally, the first time," and that "passing the law correctly and legally a second or third time wouldn't change anything," With recall elections looming for many Wisconsin Republicans, some in the capitol are speculating the bill may not pass a second time, and those facing recall fear motivating their opponents through a second vote. GOP leaders have indicated the union-busting bill could instead be inserted into the 2011-2013 budget by the Joint Finance Committee, giving GOP legislators cover for their vote. They may also be concerned that giving 24 hours notice would allow bill opponents time to organize a new set of massive protests. With Wisconsin Republicans rushing their agenda in anticipation of recalls (passing voter ID, concealed carry, telecom deregulation, and school privatization), another vote on the union-busting measure, in one way or the other, may not be far behind. Stay tuned.


The Cap Times: State not so broke after all

Turns out Wisconsin is not facing as big a financial crisis as some have claimed. A new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that tax collections are running well ahead of initial projections. As a result, Wisconsin could see an additional $636 million in revenues over the next three years, helping to close an estimated $3 billion budget deficit. The rise in revenues is due mainly to higher income tax collections due to a booming stock market in 2009 and more business owners filing as individuals, the fiscal bureau said. Corporate and sales tax collections are actually coming in lower than predicted. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Assembly approves voter ID, sends bill to Senate

Madison — The Assembly late Wednesday approved requiring people to show photo ID at the polls, putting the measure on a fast track to becoming law. The Senate is expected to sign off on the plan Tuesday. The move comes when drivers are about to have to present more documentation to get their licenses and wait longer to get them. The Assembly passed the bill 60-35 amid shouts from a small group of protesters in the viewing gallery. "Welcome to Wisconsin, Jim Crow!" one of them shouted. The Republican-run Assembly quickly adjourned as the protesters chanted "Shame!" and were led out of the gallery by police officers. Democrats Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee and Tony Staskunas of West Allis joined all Republicans in approving the bill. In a change that's separate from the photo ID legislation, drivers will soon have to present more documents proving their identity to get licenses under a federal anti-terrorism law. And instead of receiving their licenses when they visit a Division of Motor Vehicles office, they will get them a week to 10 days later in the mail. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wausau Daily Herald: Democrats say group trying to recall Julie Lassa broke law

A local group working to recall state Sen. Julie Lassa might have violated state campaign finance law when it ran advertisements in local newspapers that exceeded the contribution threshold. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Wednesday asked the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to investigate the ads, paid for by a group called Citizens of District 24. The request comes just days before the Lassa recall effort must turn in its signatures to the state. Democrats have become increasingly concerned with efforts to recall their senators and believe groups such as Citizens of District 24 are flouting the law. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Dems fear GOP will race to redistrict before recall elections

In coming weeks state Republicans hope to legalize concealed weapons, pass a voter ID bill, expand the use of school vouchers and further deregulate the telecommunications industry. Democrats also fear they'll turn to redistricting, moving up the statutory schedule so they can lock in electoral gains from last year's election before recall efforts give Democrats a chance to pry control of the state Senate from GOP hands. "There's every indication that the Republicans are moving their agenda forward rapidly, and it could be with recalls on the horizon they would want to move redistricting forward in advance of the traditional schedule," says Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

John Nichols, The Cap Times: Principled Ron Paul challenges GOP orthodoxy

Even analysts who disagree with Texas Congressman Ron Paul on the issues recognized last week that the principled libertarian turned in the ablest performance at the first Republican presidential debate. Indeed, as Paul prepares to mount his third campaign for the presidency, he does so from a dramatically better position than at the beginnings of his previous bids. In 1988, he was a Libertarian shouting from the political wilderness about the supposed sameness of Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.


2:56 a.m. - Rebekah Wilce reports for CMD:

This afternoon, the People's Rights Campaign, a coalition of labor and community organizations, organized a community action on Madison's Capitol Square. Activists scrounged for their last pennies and taped them to "deposit slips" so that they could be deposited directly into the accounts of the CEOs of M&I Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank. M&I CEO Mark Furlong's Deposit SlipM&I CEO Mark Furlong's Deposit Slip"Why should they have to pay any taxes at all when grubby peasants and working stiffs still have a few pennies left in their pockets?" asked the group's press release.

Read more here.


11:30 a.m. - Jennifer Page reports for CMD:

It seems wherever Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker goes, protesters seem to follow. This rule held true earlier this week in Washington D.C., when Walker used his newly burnished credentials as an extremist to address a forum promoting the privatization of public schools. The American Federation for Children (ACF) promotes school privatization and voucher schemes that take away critically needed funds for public education to fund private schools. Inside the Marriott, The American Federation for Children's "School Choice Now: Empowering America's Children" policy summit attracted voucher boosters like Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Michelle Rhee, the former controversial head of the Washington D.C. public school system. Outside the Marriott, there were around 200 protesters with signs that read "Public Education Not Privatization," "Save Our Schools," and "Vouchers Aren't the Answer."

Read more here.


Tampa Bay: Billionaire's role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions

A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university. A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University's economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting "political economy and free enterprise." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Voucher plan for other cities creates fears, cheers

Gov. Scott Walker didn't offer details about how private school voucher programs could work in Green Bay, Racine and Beloit, but on Tuesday, advocates in those cities said they envisioned systems similar to the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Or, perhaps, similar to Walker's future vision for the Milwaukee program, which Walker has pushed to modify by lifting the cap on enrollment, phasing out income limits for participants and expanding the program to Milwaukee County so suburban private schools can accept publicly funded voucher students from the city. "Why reinvent the wheel all over again when we can learn from the benefits and mistakes of the Milwaukee program?" asked Laura Sumner Coon, the head of a nonprofit in Racine that currently provides scholarships for 13 area low-income students to attend private schools. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Fond du Lac Reporter: Voter ID rules would impact July 12 recall elections

MADISON — The latest version of a bill requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls cleared the Legislature's budget-writing committee after undergoing more changes that Democrats said will only lead to chaos and confusion. The measure could clear the Legislature as soon as today. Democrats decried the new photo ID requirement and other changes affecting voters and registration which have been pushed by Republicans for years, saying it will lead to disenfranchising students, the elderly and other voters. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wisconsin Reporter: Recount costs continue to roll in

MADISON — The statewide recount of ballots in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race will cost the state at least $42,000, based on initial cost estimates from counties surveyed by Wisconsin Reporter. Recount costs from 11 counties -- Pepin, Portage, Price, Rock, Rusk, Sheboygan, Taylor, Vernon, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago -- total about $42,365, according to county officials. The majority of the county clerks contacted Tuesday said their totals were less than anticipated, largely because many had overestimated how long the recount process would take. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Walker wants private sector to run assistance programs

Vivian Colon is often the first point of contact for Dane County's most vulnerable residents when they find themselves in desperate situations. From parents seeking emergency medical care for a sick child to those who live paycheck to paycheck and have little money left for food, Colon treats everyone the same when they walk through the doors of the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Avenue. She greets them with a smile. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Cap Times: Walker needs national economy to soar

Scott Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs during his four years as governor (providing he makes it that far) and so he's got his staff trumpeting every small sign that he may be on his way to that goal. Trouble is, in his zealousness to pat himself on the back at every uptick in the economy, he's making himself look foolish -- even more so than he's already done in just four months in office. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Rachel Maddow: Do special elections have predictive value?



12:05 a.m. - Jennifer Page reports for CMD:

A wave of voter suppression legislation is emerging from newly elected GOP governors and Republican legislators that would make it much more difficult for traditional Democratic constituencies to vote -- just in time for the 2012 election. About a dozen states are are actively considering legislation that would make voting much more difficult for college students, minorities, the elderly and the disabled. In some states, like Ohio, it is estimated that close to 1 million people would be affected by these changes.

Read more here.


Daily Kos: Hundreds protest Walker, Corbett, and Rhee at DeVos-funded "policy summit"

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee were the star attractions at a "policy summit" held by the American Federation for Children -- and hundreds turned out to protest. What's the American Federation for Children? Alex Pareene at Salon sums it up pithily. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

The Nation: 65 Arrested at Kickoff of California Teachers' Protest

California's largest teachers union started off its "State of Emergency" campaign with a daylong rally at the Capitol that included about 1,000 teachers, parents, school supporters and religious leaders. Attendees urged lawmakers to pass a tax extension to avoid further education cuts. Though the protest was overwhelmingly peaceful, law enforcement officials arrested about 65 protesters after warning them to leave the Capitol rotunda after the building closed at 6 p.m. The activists were charged with misdemeanor trespassing. Those arrested were mostly college-age protesters from the Bay area, but also included about a dozen schoolteachers, including the president of the Oakland Education Association, the union that represents 2,700 teachers in the Oakland Unified School District. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

John Nichols, The Cap Times: Gov. Walker takes fight to privatize education to D.C.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continues to court national support for an extreme agenda of attacking public employees and public services while diminishing local democracy and shifting public money to private political allies. Despite the fact that Walker's moves have been widely condemned in his home state, the hyper-ambitious career politician has repeatedly suggested that he will not moderate his positions because he wants to shift the tenor of politics and policymaking far beyond Wisconsin. Walker's stance has earned him talk as a possible dark-horse contender for a chance at the 2012 Republican nod, and the governor has not discouraged it. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Recount cuts little from Prosser lead

With the recount in the April 5 Supreme Court race now complete in every county but Waukesha, JoAnne Kloppenburg has sliced a mere 355 votes off Justice David Prosser's lead of 7,316 votes, underscoring the extreme odds against Kloppenburg emerging victorious in the fiercely contested judicial contest. In effect, Kloppenburg would have to gain 6,962 votes in one county - Waukesha - after gaining a tiny fraction of that in the recount of all the state's other counties. In those 71 counties recounted so far, Kloppenburg has made a net pick-up of one vote for every 3,873 votes cast. In Waukesha County, which Prosser won overwhelmingly, she would have to make a net pick-up of one vote for every 18 votes cast. And that math actually understates the improbability of a successful outcome for Kloppenburg because about 30% of Waukesha County has already completed the recount process. So far, there's a net gain of 18 votes for Prosser, according to the latest figures posted Monday night by the state's Government Accountability Board. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: GOP moves quickly on voter ID bill

Madison — The fast pace of a bill requiring photo ID at the polls is the latest sign Republicans are moving quickly on their legislative agenda in the face of likely recall elections. The Joint Finance Committee approved the bill 12-2 Monday on party lines, despite fierce objections from Democrats that the bill was taken up when a key opponent of the bill couldn't attend for medical reasons. Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), co-chairman of the committee, said the group had to meet Monday because Democrats will likely slow it down when it gets to the floor of the Assembly on Wednesday. To vote, people would have to show Wisconsin driver's licenses, state-issued ID cards, military IDs, passports, naturalization certificates, IDs issued by Wisconsin-based tribes or certain student IDs. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Upitty Wisconsin: At long last, Governor, have you no sense of irony?

Uppity Wisconsin, Progressive News from the Cheddarsphere - May 9, 2011:

Is anyone in the governor's office familiar with the word irony? First it was the plan to give awards to public employees, announced by Gov. Scott Walker with a straight face. Now it's Walker's declaration of Women's Health Week, which brings this retort from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin: "At a time when women throughout Wisconsin are gravely concerned about what will happen to their own health and the health of their families, Governor Walker's proclamation rings hollow... Forty percent of the Governor's budget cuts are from programs that serve primarily women and children. The simple fact is, if women's health were truly a priority for Governor Walker's administration, he would not be gutting women's health by eliminating state funding for the health care programs and community services that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin women rely on everyday. Wisconsin women won't be fooled by this. Governor Walker is saying one thing, but doing another when it comes to women and their health." Among other things, Walker's budget eliminates $3.8 million for Wisconsin's family planning program, which supports some 50 local women's health centers where 30,000 women receive basic health care; jeopardizes an $11 million Federal Maternal Child Health Grant, which supports a broad range of programs including prenatal care, preventive care for newborns, health care coverage for special needs children and programs to reduce infant mortality; eliminates funding that is used to provide cervical cancer screenings for uninsured women; and cuts more than $500 million from Medicaid programs including BadgerCare, which covers the health care needs of more than 686,000 Wisconsinites per month. READ MORE AT: Uppity Wisconsin.

Public Citizen: Federal Judge Favors Free Speech, Rules That Political Spoof Against Koch Industries Did Not Break Law

Press Release - May 9, 2011:

Statement of Deepak Gupta, Attorney, Public Citizen: A federal judge's ruling today in Utah dismissing Koch Industries' lawsuit against a group of anonymous climate-change activists known as Youth for Climate Truth is an important victory for free speech online. The judge ruled that Youth for Climate Truth had a First Amendment right to issue its satirical press release and website -- in which the group impersonated Koch and announced that the company had reversed its position on climate change -- in an effort to call attention to Koch's bankrolling efforts to deny climate change. The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah rejected all of Koch's legal claims, which alleged trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, computer hacking and breach of the company website's terms of use. The judge also issued an order barring Koch from using any identifying information it already obtained by subpoena about the anonymous group. We are gratified that the court affirmed our clients' First Amendment right to engage in anonymous political speech and rejected Koch's baseless legal theories. This lawsuit was a well-financed attempt by Koch to bully its political opponents into submission. The court was right to dismiss this lawsuit, which was based on a harmless prank. This important precedent will prevent future lawsuits aimed at stifling political speech. To read more about this case, visit: Public Citizen. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.

One Wisconsin Now: You're paying WI Republicans to belong to corporate ALEC

"The breaking news: One Wisconsin Now has obtained documents showing that 12 current Republican members of the State Senate are forcing you to pay the cost for their private membership in one of the nation's most powerful and influential corporate policy outfits -- the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The media will get this information Monday, but you have been there for us and we thought you deserve to get the news first. As you know, ALEC is the corporate front group that has concocted and supported disastrous attacks on the middle class like ending collective bargaining, privatizing public schools, preventing access to affordable health care and starving local governments -- taking police officers and firefighters off the streets."



Walker rescinds layoff notices to state prosecutors

In the month-long stare down over state prosecutor budgets, Gov. Scott Walker blinked Friday. Walker announced he had ordered layoff notices to approximately 350 assistant district attorneys be rescinded. The layoffs were to take effect Sunday. "It's unfortunate that the previous administration largely tied the state's hands and limited our ability to balance our budget without significant cuts to public safety," Walker said in a statement. "However, public safety is a top concern of my administration and thousands of Wisconsin families that cannot be disregarded. For this reason, we will ensure that prosecutors are not furloughed and receive the funding necessary to pursue justice." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker, GOP reversing green initiatives

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature have moved quickly to weaken a string of environmental and energy programs as they contend with a budget deficit and make economic development their top priority. The governor and GOP lawmakers have pushed more than a dozen initiatives that would reverse the course set by Democrats when they held power. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gun bills trigger applause, dismay

A newly floated bill that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons without getting permits, background checks or training would essentially let the state catch up with the latest thinking in gun law, according to backers who call the approach "constitutional carry." Others, however, seem stunned at the idea that anyone who could lawfully own a gun could carry it just about anywhere, under a coat or in a purse, without any government oversight. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association was neutral on past concealed-carry proposals, said Executive Director Jim Palmer, because of different views among rural and urban officers. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wisconsin State Journal: As voter ID bill heads toward passage, the only certainty is a high price tag

Steven Prieve saw a lot of interesting things in his 10 years of running a polling place in Madison. The 59-year-old retired repairman watched as groups of Hmong immigrants arrived with translators in tow. He witnessed droves of students vote in their first elections. And he helped many elderly take part in some of their last. But despite the thousands of people he helped over the years, Prieve never witnessed someone voting twice or trying to vote under a fake name. "I just don't see the fraud," he said. "Not around here." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Fond du Lac Reporter: Hopper kicks off State Senate recall campaign

Town of Fond du Lac retired businessman Jim Nolan was among the crowd gathered at Republican Party headquarters in Fond du Lac to kick off the campaign effort of state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac."As far as I'm concerned, he's the man," Nolan said Saturday. "I'm on Social Security and my taxes went up $1,200 last year. I sure don't want to pay for state employees' retirement benefit increases." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: All counties but Waukesha expected to meet recount deadline

All counties with the exception of Waukesha County are expected to complete the recount of the state Supreme Court election by the 5 p.m. Monday deadline, the Government Accountability Board said late Friday afternoon. Waukesha County officials earlier in the week informed the board that the hand recount would not be completed by the deadline and the board will seek a court extension of the deadline on Monday. Kevin Kennedy, accountability board director, said the court hearing on the extension for Waukesha County is scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday in Dane County Circuit Court. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

John Nichols, The Cap Times: A cruel and punishing GOP debate

Waterboarding is torture. But it is not the only cruel and unusual punishment. Consider Thursday night's "presidential" debate between Republican also-rans Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson and Ron Paul -- a former governor, a former senator, a former CEO, another former governor and a former Libertarian Party nominee for the nation's top job. The first face-off between the Grand Old Party's third stringers was so bereft of consequence that House Speaker John Boehner, spotted at a Washington steak house at the same time the Fox News-hosted debate was going on, allowed as how he would be satisfied to "read about it tomorrow." READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

PolitiusUSA: Wisconsin GOP Voter Fraud Exposed

The GOP in their old fashioned ways OUTSOURCED THE JOB of collect signatures to a corporation named, Kennedy Enterprises. The Republican Party of Wisconsin paid this corporation nearly $100,000 to circulate recall petitions.

Not only are there fraudulent names, but actual people who did sign the petition were told it was a recall for Governor Scott Walker.

"Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Richard Madrill claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker."

"Another voter has filed an affidavit attesting that circulator John Prijic claimed the petitions were for work to be done on a local park."

Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Annette Lord claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Senator Cowles, when in fact it was to recall a Democrat.

Republicans have a long history of claiming Democrats using ACORN and other organizations to commit "voter fraud", but it seems as though they only say that to divert attention away from their own fraudulent behavior.

Read the full article here.

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