Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for the ‘Wisconsin protests’ Category

Political Activist Sara Johann, Candidate for WI Assembly District 10, Needs Your Help

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Folks, I’m doing something different today. So if you don’t live in Wisconsin, or you don’t have any interest in politics, you may as well tune out right now — I promise, I won’t be offended.

Now, as for the rest of you . . . I had a request from Sara Johann, a brilliant woman I’ve known for several years due to our joint political activism; you see, she is running for Wisconsin Assembly District 10, and is having trouble getting the word out about her candidacy.

Now, I don’t live in District 10. (Think “Shorewood,” and you’re not too far wrong as to where District 10 is in Wisconsin. Take a look at this map from the blog Retiring Guy’s Digest; it’ll give you a good idea.) But I do know Sara. She is a hard-working, principled, honest and forthright person who believes with all her heart that Wisconsin is on the wrong track economically — and she believes if she can get to the Assembly and give the other Assemblymen and women a dose of some good Wisconsin common sense, she can make a positive difference.

This is why she’s running for office.

But because she is not wealthy, and because she’s running against three other Democrats and hasn’t any endorsements, this is very much an uphill struggle. She needs to be able to get out and meet the people of her district, bare minimum; she needs to know them, for them to know her, and traveling around takes money.

Sara is a citizen activist. She is in many ways a moderate. The independents who supported the recall, much less the statewide judicial recount of the race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg a few years ago, should like Sara if they only can find out she’s out there and shares their needs and interests.

And obviously, most Democrats are going to flock to her if she can get past the actual primary. But they won’t do that if she can’t make a go of it right now.

Personally, I think anyone who has the courage to put her money where her mouth is and run for office deserves to be supported regardless of party. But in this particular case, because I know Sara and know how hard she works — and how strong her commitment is to a better and brighter economy, to marriage equality and social justice and civil rights and safe, legal and extremely rare abortions — I believe she’d be an outstanding member of the state Assembly from her first day in office.

If you worked on the recalls, if you worked on the recount between Prosser and Kloppenburg, or if you just want to support a solid, hard-working Wisconsinite who isn’t made of money but wants and needs to run for office because she’s sure she can make a difference, please consider making a donation to Sara’s campaign at this link. It doesn’t have to be a lot; even $3, if 100 people all decided to give that, would make an enormous difference to her.

And I know there are far more than 100 political activists in Wisconsin who want to see moderate, citizen legislators in office who aren’t beholden to special interests.

Besides, Sara not having any endorsements is actually an asset in an odd way; she’s not going to be beholden to anyone but the voters.

And isn’t that a refreshing change?

So please . . . consider donating to Sara’s campaign. And do help her get the word out that she is running.

Because we need more real, honest, hard-working Wisconsinites in the Assembly. Truly.

(Thus concludes today’s political missive. I’ll be back to baseball and writing and everything else tomorrow, no doubt.)

Walker, Kleefisch, Wanggaard Recall Dates Set; WI Rs to Put More “Fake Dems” into D Primaries

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As of tonight, the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch has been set; the primary will be held on May 8, 2012, and the general election will be held on June 5, 2012.  These are not-so-coincidentally the same dates on which the four Republican state Senators (including Racine’s own Van Wanggaard, my current Senator) will have to defend their seats; this should alleviate some of the financial problems court clerks around the state had been concerned about as all the recalls are going to be run at the same time.  While I’m not fond of this — as I’ve said before, I think the state Senator recalls should already be over and done with as the 2011 Senatorial recall elections were taken care of in a far more expeditious manner — it does make logistical and financial sense.

But the GOP has decided to field obviously fake Democratic candidates — “fake Dems” — in the Senate recall races in order to give the Rs more time to raise money (due to a quirk in Wisconsin law, an incumbent facing recall may raise unlimited amounts of money so long as the recall election is forthcoming).  I had predicted they’d do this very thing, but I don’t like their reasoning for it.

From tonight’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article:

Within hours, the state Republican Party said it would run fake Democrats in all the races, ensuring there will be primaries.

“The protest candidates will run as Democrats to guarantee that there is one clear date for the primary election and one clear date for the general election,” said Stephan Thomas, the party’s executive director.

He said the move was made because otherwise some or all of the general elections for state senators would happen the same day as the primary for governor – when Democrats flood to the polls to pick their candidate for governor.

Note that Thomas says quite forthrightly that of course the WI Rs are going to send more “fake Dems” into the fray, just as they did in 2011.  He’s using the rationale that this way, all of the “real” recall races will be held at the same time, as all of the real Democrats running to replace the four incumbent R Senators will now have to face a primary. 

But is this really a good rationale for such a practice?  Considering the WI Rs have a very bad reputation for not listening (except for “mavericks” like Dale Schultz of Richland Center), an even worse one for refusing to explain anything, and the worst one imaginable for failing to understand that their high-handed actions would set off massive unrest in Wisconsin, perhaps doing this again — sending in the “fake Dems,” all so their four R Senate candidates can rake in some more money before facing their day of reckoning on June 8, 2012 — wasn’t the world’s best move.

Because while you’re allowed to do such a thing under Wisconsin law, it’s not exactly ethical.  Voters in the 2011 recall elections were quite perturbed about the Rs doing this, and I’d imagine they will be this time, too; because I remember just how angry people were over this “fake Dem” tactic, it’s not a place I’d want to go if I were a strategist for the WI Rs.  (You can go to the well once too often, y’know.  So why tempt fate?)

Anyway, the other tidbit in this article is that Lt. Gov. Kleefisch is the first ever Lieutenant Governor to be recalled in the entire United States.  (I bet she feels special now!)  Which just goes to show how angry much of the state is; most of the state barely knows who she is, yet she was recalled right along with Walker and the four Senators.

This is why, were I a member of the Wisconsin GOP, I’d want to tread lightly with regards to the whole issue around the “fake Dems.”  Because at some point, enough’s going to be enough.  Once that point is reached, it’ll be hard even for the practical politicians like Dale Schultz (who actually listen to their constituents) to hold onto their seats.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm

2011: My Year in Review (the Good, the Bad, and the Incredibly Sad)

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Everyone’s doing a “2011 Year in Review” column; at some places, like Shiny Book Review, this makes more sense (there, we did a “best of 2011” piece; check it out here).  So I thought I’d do one, too, incorporating most of what went on that’s fit to print that made any sort of impact on my life whatsoever.

Note that as Shiny Book Review has already been covered, I’m not going to say much about it here; I enjoyed posting reviews in 2011, and I will continue to do the same in 2012.

As far as fiction writing goes, I estimate that I wrote about 150,000 words on various projects.  I completed a new chapter and a half of CHANGING FACES; this will be finished in 2012.  I wrote a new chapter and revised five chapters of KEISHA’S VOW, an ELFY prequel set in 1954.  I wrote a new chapter and a half and revised six chapters of AN ELFY ABROAD, the direct sequel to ELFY.  I did my best to find an agent, but found no takers.

As far as editing goes, I was pleased to edit six different books — one on conventions and careers, four medical books (including one anthology), and one science fiction novel.  More editing is planned for the New Year.

Now, let’s get to the month-by-month breakdown of other events.

January 2011: 

New Republican Governor Scott Walker takes office, turns down federal railroad funds (following through on his election promise to do so), vows to work with everyone, etc.  (Too bad that last was all talk.)

“Joey Maverick: On Westmount Station” published at e-Quill Publishing (with Michael B. Caffrey).  This is the first piece of writing in Michael’s universe sold in over five years; I wrote over half of this story, but it continues to go under Michael’s name as an editorial decision by e-Quill’s publisher as it’s a continuing series.  (I’m sure Michael wouldn’t have approved, but there’s nothing to be done.  My name is on it as the secondary writer and there’s a permanent link to this story on this blog’s sidebar.)

Green Bay Packers blow through post-season, winning the National Football Conference championship.  Will represent NFC in the Super Bowl.

January 8:  United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) shot in the head by crazed gunman; she miraculously survives and recovers.  Several staff-members and innocent bystanders killed, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.  Gunman in police custody.

February 2011: 

February 6:  Packers win Super Bowl XLV. 

February 11:   Scott Walker vows to eliminate collective bargaining for all public employee unions (including teachers, nurses, and snowplow drivers, among others) except for fire and police personnel.  A firestorm of protest follows; the fourteen Democratic state Senators (“Wisconsin 14”) flee the state in order to deny the Legislature a quorum to keep the Republican-dominated Senate from passing a companion bill to the quickly-passed bill from the Republican-dominated Assembly.  The “WI 14” state their reason for doing this as the only way to educate the public as to what this bill will do to the state; more protests ensue.

March 2011: 

Gov. Walker and his allies, including Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon, brother of Scott F.), take to the airwaves urging the WI 14 to return to Wisconsin so Senate Bill 10 (eliminating collective bargaining for all public employee unions, even though the teachers, nurses, etc., have all vowed publicly to take paycuts and give back vacation days and pay more for their health and life insurance providing collective bargaining is left in place) can be passed.

March 9:  Senate strips all financial provisions out of the bill, allowing it to be passed without a quorum.  Only Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) opposes this bill, saying it goes too far; the Senate passes this motion 18-1.

March 12:  WI 14 returns to state to loud acclaim from most; some vow to recall their sitting state Senators from both parties.

April 2011: 

Milwaukee Brewers start their season.

Vinny Rottino starts season with New Orleans Zephyrs of the Pacific Coast League (affiliated with the Florida Marlins, prior to the Marlins’ name change).

JoAnne Kloppenburg loses state Supreme Court race to incumbent David Prosser by less than 1/2 of 1% of the vote.  Recount commences.

April 21:  Recall petitions filed for nine Senators, six Republicans and three Democrats.  Elections scheduled for three different days; the first is held in mid-July.

May 2011:

Rottino has a fantastic month for the Zephyrs. 

Brewers are still rounding into form. 

Looking forward to recall elections. 

Receive praise but no sales for three separate pieces of writing.

May 1:  Osama bin Laden killed, at long last.

May 23: Recount confirms David Prosser as winner of state Supreme Court seat.  JoAnne Kloppenburg decides not to sue; eventually seeks seat on state’s Appellate Court.

June 2011:

Observe my ninth wedding anniversary, the seventh spent alone since Michael’s untimely death in 2004.

Waiting avidly for recall elections.

July 2011: 

Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks elected to represent the Brewers at the All-Star Game.  Braun is on the disabled list; does not play.  Minor controversy ensues as closer John Axford, having an excellent season, is not named to the All-Star team, nor is Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo.

Observe my late husband’s birthday even though, were he alive, he’d have taken no notice of the event.  (Michael counted unBirthdays instead, as there were a whole lot more of them, thus more to celebrate.)

Vinny Rottino makes the AAA All-Star team for the first time since 2008.

July 19: Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is easily retained in his recall election.

July 31: Debt-ceiling crisis legislation is signed by President Obama.  Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) claims victory.  Most people unimpressed; Congress’s approval rating falls to new lows, and the President’s approval rating takes a hit, too.

August 2011:

Observe my birthday, though my best friend Jeff is many states away and my husband is long dead, so I wonder what the point is.

August 9: Two Republican state Senators, Dan Kapanke (La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac) are ousted in recall elections.  Another four Republican state Senators, Alberta Darling (River Hills), Robert Cowles (Green Bay), Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls) and Luther Olsen (Ripon) are retained.

August 16:  Both Democratic Senators up for recall, Bob Wirch of Kenosha and Jim Holperin of Conover, are easily retained.  Status of nine recalls:  Two Rs lost their seats, while four Rs were retained.  All three Ds were retained.  Wisconsin state Senate stands at 17 Rs and 16 Ds.

September 2011: 

Vinny Rottino’s fine AAA season is rewarded by a September call-up from the Florida Marlins.  He plays in several games, mostly as a pinch hitter or in the outfield.  Gets a few hits.

Occupy Wall Street (soon to be Occupy Everywhere) movement starts.

Tenth anniversary of 9/11/01. 

Observed the seventh anniversary of Michael’s last day of life on 9/21/11. 

Late September: Jeff falls ill but does not go to the doctor. 

September 28: Milwaukee Brewers win first National League Central division title in history, make post-season play for first time since 2008.  Hopes are high.  John Axford sets single-season saves record with 46 and most saves successfully converted in a row with 42.

October 2011:

October 7:  Brewers win first post-season series against Arizona Diamondbacks (3-2).

mid-October:  Jeff is taken to the hospital and is quickly transferred to the best specialty hospital in Northern Colorado.  Bacterial endocarditis is the diagnosis.  I don’t find out about it until he’s been in the hospital seven days (fortunately he told a good friend there how to get a hold of me).  He nearly dies on the table due to open-heart surgery, something I don’t find out until nearly two days afterward.  He’s unable to talk for nearly two weeks and is mostly unresponsive to stimuli.  Death seems near.

October 16:  Brewers lose National League Championship series to eventual World Series champs St. Louis Cardinals; I’m more obsessed with Jeff’s condition and say so.

October 20:  Moammar Qaddafi, dictator of Libya, killed.  This, too, barely registers.

November 2011:

Jeff slowly starts to get better, regaining his powers of speech and mobility.  Cannot read well, which vexes him as a longtime, avid reader — and cannot write or create, which vexes him as a writer.  He improves so much he’s transferred to a long-term rehabiliation place (I talk with him every night he’s able, which basically is every single night).

However, Jeff only lives for four days after he’s transferred to rehab; in our last conversation on November 11, he tells me he’s exhausted and wondering when he’s going to get better, though he’s mostly upbeat.  Inwardly, I cheer that he has enough energy to mildly complain; I look forward to our next phone call, which was to be on November 12 at 7:45 p.m MST.

November 12:  At 7 p.m. MST, Jeff has a massive stroke and is taken back to the specialty hospital.  I don’t find out about this until November 13; all I know at the time is that Jeff hasn’t answered his phone, and I’m not able to get anyone at the rehab place to find out why.

November 13:  Get call from Jeff’s brother, Randy; Jeff is dead.  The stroke killed him.  His parents were with him when he died. 

None of this comforts me at all, as I’d been hoping somehow to get out to him to visit and cheer him up. 

His death, which a few weeks ago had seemed imminent, now seems like an extremely bad joke made by an unloving, uncaring Deity; Jeff had worked so hard to regain his speech and mobility, and could reason and think.  His personality and most of his memories were intact.  He deserved a lot more time, to fully recover, and for him and I to be able to see each other, bare minimum.  To say that I find this monstrously unfair is a severe understatement.

November 15:  Wrote a poem for Jeff, in memoriam.  I hope he’d have enjoyed it (poem is below).

November 21:  Jeff would’ve turned 48 today, had he lived.  Instead, his memorial service is called in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I’m unable to go due to financial considerations (I will regret this to the end of my life, and probably afterward). 

I start to slowly come to terms with the fact that the best friend I’ve ever had, save only my late husband Michael, is dead.  (Jeff was my staunchest supporter as a writer and poet who gave well-thought out, helpful criticism.)  I find out that Jeff was writing a novel, which he’d never shown me (though he had shown me six in-progress short stories, various pieces of non-fiction, and other writing, all of it excellent), at the time of his passing.  Now, none of his writing will ever be completed.

I reflect upon Jeff’s compassion, which was probably his strongest and best quality besides his high intelligence and creativity.  I reflect upon the fact that six years ago, I had no idea our friendship would grow to the point that he was my acknowledged best friend . . . who knows where it would’ve gone, had he lived?  (Now, I will never know, and that’s a sadness I can’t even begin to express, were I to write from now until the end of time.)  I’m grateful for the time I had with him, but I really wish there had been more of it because if anyone deserved more, it was Jeff.

I wonder, again, what the point is, when I can’t even get to see my best friend before he dies, then can’t get to his funeral, either, when I dearly wanted to do both things.  (Financial considerations be damned.)

Other stuff:

November 15:  Recall petitions to oust Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and Racine’s state Senator Van Wanggaard (all Rs) are filed.  I’d been looking forward to this for months, but due to Jeff’s death, it barely registers.  Did sign the recall forms and get a few signatures, as Jeff was very strongly in favor of all of these people being recalled (we talked of this on November 11, and he’s the one who brought it up — as I said, his mind was intact and it was sharp); I tell myself that he’d be happy I was doing something I’d looked forward to, and try to be content with that even though I know I’ll never hear his voice again.

Ryan Braun wins NL Most Valuable Player award.  Prince Fielder departs in free agency (is currently unsigned).

Vinny Rottino signs a minor league free-agent contract with the New York Mets; he will be invited to Spring Training.

December 2011: 

December 13:  Play first concert in thirteen years as a member of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Community Band; I play a lengthy, extended solo in Valerie Coleman’s composition, “Roma.”   My sister is in the audience, and says I haven’t lost a thing.  (I like to think that both Michael and Jeff were listening, too, from wherever they are in the positive afterlife.  I hope they were pleased.)

mid-December:  Ryan Braun accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs; he appeals this decision and proclaims his innocence.  (For the record, I believe him.)

December 17:  North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il dies.

Just before Christmas:  Federal government plunges into yet another crisis when House of Representatives initially refuses to extend the payroll tax cut.  Speaker Boehner adamantly defends his party, which includes many hard-right Rs self-identifying as “Tea Party” members, but is eventually talked around due to public statements made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove, and a strongly-worded Wall Street Journal editorial advising him to just give in already.  Congress adjourns and goes home for the holidays.

Winter holidays commence; once again, I wonder what the point is.  The present I’d bought for my friend Jeff gathers dust as I can’t bear to put it away, nor can I part with it; the musical composition I’m working on to commemorate Jeff’s life and death is, at best, half-finished at 64 bars.   I’m told by a couple of poets I respect that my poem for Jeff won’t stand alone, thus has no chance of independent publication — which is why it’s here, so you all can read it and think about it, instead.

Note that this is a very formal way of writing, which is quite different from my usual, free-form style.  I wanted to impose some sort of structure on my shock, which is why I came up with this particular poem.  And while I believe this is among the most important pieces of writing I’ve ever created, it’s something I profoundly wish I’d not have had to do — much less this soon.

Here goes . . . but before I forget, Happy New Year, everyone.

*********** POETRY SEPARATOR ***********

“A Poem for Jeff Wilson — in Memoriam”

by Barb Caffrey


One who seeks is

one who asks

the questions that

no one else dares.


One who seeks is

one who finds

the answers, which are



One who waits is

one who looks

for love, creeping

in unawares . . . .


One who waits is

one who hopes

for light, which breaks

the dark forever.


One who waits is

one who seeks

out answers, or

merely himself.

——– written November 15, 2011

Occupy Writers: Articulate Speakers for the Bottom 99%

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Tonight, via MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” I found out about the Website Occupy Writers because Maddow had author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) on to discuss his recent post at that site.  A few of Lemony Snicket’s salient points from his post at Occupy Writers follow:

6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.


11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.

(Good words.  I can’t top them.)

Note that is where many of my favorite authors have signed up in support of the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Everything Else movement that’s going on right now.  A few of my favorite science fiction and fantasy authors who’ve signed their names in support at that site include Rosemary Edghill, Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, Melinda Snodgrass, Laura Resnick, Laura Anne Gilman, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Neil Gaiman — I’m sure there were more, but those were the ones I noted right away.  There are many, many writers on that list, some who are extremely well-known (like Salman Rushdie), some who are well-known to SF/F readers like myself (see above) and some who aren’t known — including some editors of various magazines, including Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar.  (I’d gladly sign my name to the list, too, but I don’t have a novel published yet.  Otherwise, I’d have done this as soon as I knew the site was available.)

What I think is great about is that it shows that people who are creative understand what’s going on in this world.  Our economy is not just bad; it’s truly terrible, and it’s something that all Americans — not just the “bottom 99%” — should care about.  These writers get that, which is great.

Now, it’s time for the top 1%, like those who sit in the United States Congress, to realize that without the “bottom 99%,” nothing gets done in this country.  Period.

Speaking of that, CNN’s Jack Cafferty has an excellent blog about why the Congress doesn’t seem to care at all about the “bottom 99%”.  This is because they, themselves, benefitted from the horrible policies they instituted — greatly.

During the height of the recession, Congress actually became 25% richer.  Meaning they were “feathering their own nests” while the rest of us got the shaft — as disgusting as this is, there’s more to the story.

From Cafferty’s blog post:

“Roll Call” reports that members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010.

That was up about 25 percent from 2008, during the height of the recession.

And these wealth totals likely underestimate how rich Congress really is. That’s because they don’t include homes and other non-income generating property, which could come out to hundreds of millions in additional dollars.

This wealth is split fairly evenly between both Democrats and Republicans.

Overall, about 200 members of Congress are millionaires. Once again, this doesn’t include the value of their homes.

So did you catch all that?  As bad as this is that the Congress is so much wealthier, overall, than the rest of the country — including the vast majority of their own constituents — this doesn’t even include the value of their homes or other property, which anyone else would have to claim as a matter of course as part of his or her overall wealth.

Cafferty continues a bit lower with:

Another expert suggests members of Congress do better with their investments than the average American because they are privy to inside information.

Really? Seriously? They would take advantage of that… something that is clearly illegal for the rest of us?

The bottom line is this body of lawmakers has next to nothing in common with the average American. Yet we keep sending most of the same rat pack back year after year.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say when members of Congress got 25% richer during the height of the recession?

I don’t know about anyone else, but what it says to me is that Congress is behaving in an unethical, immoral, blatantly dishonest manner.  And it once again reminds me why we must be vigilant, watch what our representatives do (not just what they say), and perhaps most importantly of all, keep an eye on who — and what — is financing their campaigns.

This is why I, for one, intend to vote out as many wealthy incumbents who are in Congress as I possibly can.  In this case, there’s one name who tops my list — my long-time Representative, Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), who clearly has forgotten that most of his constituents make far less money than he does.  Ryan has done himself no favors, either, as he’s shown little to no understanding of the whole “Occupy” movement, nor any compassion as to how difficult it is nowadays to find work in America — even for our honored military veterans, some of whom have gone out in support at various “Occupy” protests and have been hurt badly by police, most especially in Oakland, California.

And I’m sorry; I cannot support anyone who doesn’t want to help promote job growth in this country.  Rep. Ryan’s been in office for twelve whole years; he’s had twelve years to try to improve the economy, and he’s done very little about it.  Ryan has obviously lost touch with the people of his district, and more importantly, the people of this country.  If he can’t even figure out that the economy is in the tank, so the House of Representatives should have better things to do with their time than re-affirm “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States (as they did earlier this week) rather than take up any measure that could possibly help create employment in this country (see previous post for details), I know that just about anyone would do a better job as my US Rep. than Paul Ryan.

Worse yet, he’s said several times that he doesn’t understand the “Occupy” movement; he doesn’t believe it’s helpful.   Yet military veterans, who Ryan claims to appreciate, are coming home to no jobs and a 12% unemployment rate, which is why some are going to “Occupy” protests across the US of A in order to ask, “Where are the jobs, and why doesn’t anybody in Washington, DC, or in the halls of power seem to care?”

I’m sorry; if you can’t be bothered to understand why people are upset because there’s a high unemployment rate overall, including a very high unemployment rate for returning military vets who’ve fought the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, it’s time for you to go.

So please, Mr. Ryan — don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.


I, indeed, am an “Occupy Writer” even if I never am able to sign that petition — and I hope that I’ve done my level best to speak for the bottom 99% this evening, even if I did originally say “top 99%” because I was thinking about our morals, manners, and ethics — where we are, indeed, the top 99%, and those who don’t get it have to be the bottom 1% in these areas.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republicans/Legislature, fare poorly in June 2011 Poll

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As the recalls against the Wisconsin Republicans continue to gain steam, it’s time to take a look at the most recent poll, put out by the UW Badger Poll (TM) conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, link available here.   It states:

. . . a majority of Wisconsinites are not happy with current state of affairs in the Badger state.

  • 55% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state today, a new high for the UW Badger Poll.
  • 81% said Wisconsin is in bad times economically and 50% expect it will be in about the same economic condition in the next 12 months, while 20% said things will get worse.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites feel that state government is run for the benefit of a few big interests over that of all the people and can only be trusted to do the right thing some of the time.
  • 59% disapprove of the way Scott Walker is handling his job as Governor.
  • 60% disapprove of the way the State Legislature is handling its job.
  • 56% disapprove of the job Republicans in the State Legislature are doing.
  • 48% disapprove of the job Democrats in the State Legislature are doing.
  • Wisconsinites overwhelming think the recall option in the state constitution is a good thing (78%), and 50% said the current recalls of state senators made them feel better about Wisconsin politics.

In fact, the only thing the Wisconsin Republicans can take any heart in is the following statistic, also from the recent poll:

  • 59% of residents statewide preferred that the Democratic state senators remain in office rather than be recalled and 49% said the same of the Republican state senators.

Now, I went over this poll in depth, and what the folks said about the Wisconsin Rs is a little more nuanced; 46% want them out, while 49% believe they should be retained.  (The poll did not ask people specifically about their own sitting Senator or representatives in the Assembly; they asked about the person’s overall feeling.)  The margin of error for this poll was 4.9%, which means this particular thing is within the margin of error — still, that one last bit of data is probably the only thing that would hearten me if I were a Wisconsin R.

At any rate, this poll looks really bad for Scott Walker.  And looks really good for his recall effort, which will start in November of this year.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

John Nichols said it best: in WI, no checks, no balances, exist.

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Folks, all week I’ve resisted the impulse to post anything after the recent “victory” by Scott Walker and his allies on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Please see this article from John Nichols at the Capital Times, who agrees with me that after this week’s decision, no effective checks or balances to the power of Gov. Scott Walker (R) may be seen to exist.

Then, see this extraordinary decision by the WI state Supreme Court, along with the incendiary dissents of Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and learned, scholarly judge N. Patrick Crooks.

Now, as for what I feel about all this?

After several days of reflection, I’m spitting mad.   I believe that the four Rs on the court — including two who seem heavily tainted, Michael Gableman and the recently re-elected David Prosser  — have not done the people’s business here.  Further, they’ve made a mockery out of the whole “separation of powers” that is inherent in the United States Constitution and re-affirmed in the Wisconsin state Constitution — these four Justices appear to remember, always, that they are conservative Republicans first, and Supreme Court justices second.  And, apparently, being a conservative R seems to trump everything else.

Justice N. Patrick Crooks, a renowned legal scholar, said on p. 11 of his dissent that:

The ready availability of a direct appeal by aggrieved parties makes this all the more puzzling. The majority does not really come to grips with the obvious fact that an appeal is an available remedy here. As many of the parties to these cases have argued, it would be a simple matter for an aggrieved party to intervene in this matter and file an ordinary appeal, which would proceed the usual way.

In other words, there was no need to create a precedent here, but the four Rs on the court did just that; they set aside Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi’s ruling in total, because they felt Sumi had overstepped her authority — yet her ruling was detailed, thorough, and took months to decide.  Whereas the Supreme Court of the state of Wisconsin took only a few days.

Abrahamson’s dissent (most relevant parts quoted in Nichols’s article) is stinging, but Crooks’s dissent is even worse in a scholarly, non-argumentative way.  Crooks seems completely dismayed with what’s occurred here; he doesn’t get it, and if people as knowledgeable about the court as Abrahamson, Crooks, and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley don’t get it, I suppose it’s not too surprising that I don’t get it, either.  (Nor does Nichols seem to understand why the four Rs did this, except for purely political, rather than legal, reasons.  While I hope that isn’t the case, it surely doesn’t look good at this time for those four conservative Justices.)

* * * * *

UPDATE:  Blogger Rick Ungar of conservative Forbes magazine agrees with Nichols, and me, that this ruling is seriously messed up. 

Relevant (unfortunately rather lengthy) quote:

While the State of Wisconsin has a lot on its plate in the recall department, I’m afraid they now have little choice but to consider taking a look at some of their Supreme Court Justices for similar action.

Not because the court handed down a ruling that will make people unhappy – but because the people of Wisconsin now have every reason to believe that their Supreme Court has been corrupted and their opinions subject to invalidation.

Make no mistake. This is not about a judicial philosophy with which I might disagree. Reasonable, learned judges can – and often do – apply the law to a fact situation and come up with different opinions and they do so in the utmost of good faith and their best understanding of  the law.

However, the minority opinion issued yesterday in the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not charge mistaken application of law. The opinion charged perversion of the facts and the law to meet a desired result.

If this is true, this is court corruption at its absolute worst and the people of Wisconsin cannot permit this to stand.

Amen, brother!

* * * * * end update * * * * (Now, back to our regularly scheduled posting.)

Really, there was no need to create a precedent here; the Supreme Court should’ve taken its time and decided this case solely on the narrow merits — did the Fitzgerald Brothers (Jeff in the Assembly, Scott in the Senate) break the Open Meetings Law, or not?  Justice Sumi said they did; the three Supreme Court dissenters appeared to believe Sumi had done her job thoroughly and that more time needed to be given, by them, to figure out whether or not Sumi’s judgment was inherently flawed.   But those four Rs apparently believed there was no need for deliberation; Scott and Jeff Fitzgerald said the case needed to be decided by Tuesday night, and thus, perhaps not so coincidentally, those Justices decided that case by Tuesday night.

This is why the recall elections are so important.  Right now the Court (judicial branch) is in the hands of the Republican Party, the Governorship (the executive branch) is in the hands of the Republicans, and the Legislature (legislative branch) is also in the hands of the Republicans.  This is too much power for any given party, and it must not be allowed to stand.

That some Republican Senators, like Alberta Darling (who will face a recall election on July 12, 2011) and my own R Senator Van Wanggaard, seem to think this was a good result and have said so, quite loudly and vociferously, just shows how out of touch they are.  And how badly they need to be recalled, because they just aren’t listening to their own constituents, the people of the state of Wisconsin.

We know that times are tough.  There would have been hard choices to make, economically, this year for any Governor, and any Legislature.  But the choices being made thus far have disproportionately affected the low-income folks, the disabled, children, senior citizens, and the unemployed.  This is no way to run a government, and it is not the Wisconsin way to throw people out just because right now they are ill, or injured, or have no money, or can’t give you a campaign donation.

Whoever our elected representatives are, regardless of their respective offices, they should be trying to do the best they can for all the people of Wisconsin.  Writing a budget that cuts $800 million from the public schools and gives tax breaks to rich people so they can send their kids to private schools is plain, flat wrong — yet people like Darling and Wanggaard believe that’s the right way to go.

The only thing we can do, as voters, is educate ourselves as to what our representatives are doing.  And then, if we disagree with them, as we have the power to recall our duly elected representatives in Wisconsin if we feel they are failing to do their jobs by listening to us and acknowledging our concerns in some way — then, it’s time to first recall them, then vote them out.

Those of you who have a Republican Senator, if you disagree with him or her, kick your Senator to the curb.  And if you have a Democratic Senator who is up for recall, and you don’t agree with him — then you also have the right to vote him out.  But I’d rather you concentrated on the folks who have proven they aren’t listening — the Republicans, who control all three branches of Wisconsin state government at this time — and re-install the checks and balances we depend upon by voting in someone new in those races against the six Republican Senators.

Voting the Rs out is the only way — the only way — to guarantee that your representatives, Dem or R, will start to listen.  Because if the people of Wisconsin send a message by voting out those who aren’t listening, that should finally make the others listen, or be voted out in turn.  (And yes, Van Wanggaard, I’m looking squarely at you.)

Ed Schultz — From Hero, to Goat, to . . . ?

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Ed Schultz, for the past several months, has done a great job reporting on what’s going on in Wisconsin.  Schultz was probably the first person to take an interest in the protests against Governor Scott Walker (a Republican), and he went to Madison early on during the protests to show the real Wisconsinites who were upset over Walker’s proposed “budget-repair bill.”  These protests broke out partly because the Wisconsin 14 — the Democratic state Senators — went to Illinois to filibuster the proposed legislation, because the WI 14 knew that if they weren’t there, the Senate would not have a quorum as per Wisconsin rules on financial matters, and partly because Walker’s proposal was extremely unpopular.   I gave Schultz great credit for doing all this, as he understood the story from the Democratic and Independent perspective, and he explained it accurately — one of the first, and best, to do so overall.

But then, yesterday, he said something truly inappropriate regarding Laura Ingraham, a right-wing radio talk show host.   His comment was about our current President, Barack Obama, being photographed taking a swig of beer in Ireland, and how when George W. Bush did the same thing, no one complained — and the substance of that is true.   But he took it a step further when he called Ms. Ingraham a very nasty name on his Sirius XM Radio talk show — I will not reproduce this epithet — and now, MSNBC has suspended him for a week without pay.

Here’s a link regarding the whole mess:

Schultz went from a progressive hero of sorts — someone willing to tell the truth about why people were so upset in Wisconsin (it wasn’t just in Madison; there were protests all over the state including Union Grove, a little town of 4,322, a place that usually votes strongly Republican but wasn’t having any of Scott Walker’s proposal to do away with collective bargains for public-employee unions), someone who was willing to stand up for the “little guys” who are rarely talked about by the media — to a goat.  And an extremely smelly and foul-tempered goat, at that.

Now Ed Schultz has been suspended from MSNBC.   According to what I just listened to during the first segment of his “Ed Show” tonight, Schultz offered to take an unpaid leave of absence because he recognized that his behavior was beyond the pale.   He said he tried to get a hold of Ms. Ingraham to apologize, left a message for her apologizing, and will continue to try to get a hold of her because in any context, what he said was not acceptable. 

And he’s right — it wasn’t.

Schultz also discussed how he has failed, big-time, on this issue.  That he expects better of his children and grandchildren, and how can he possibly set a good example for them when he has fallen down on the job this way.  And that he hopes to do better in the future and that he promises that he will never, ever, use the incendiary verbiage that came out of his mouth during a radio ad-lib — that he will, indeed, do better.

Mr. Schultz, I commend you for apologizing and for admitting how wrong you were to do this.   I hope you will remember this day, not because of your humiliation, but because you were right to apologize and to step aside for a week (or however long it may turn out to be) to get your head right.  Your speech tonight showed true remorse and I hope that you will remember that no matter how much you dislike someone — no matter how stupidly they may behave — they are still a human being, and they don’t deserve to be called nasty names.

An insult to one woman is an insult to all of us, Mr. Schultz; I am not a fan of Ms. Ingraham, but I believe very strongly that you shouldn’t have insulted her.  You lowered the tone of the discussion, and that was indefensible, as you said yourself this evening — and the only possible good that could come out of this is a frank discussion about why the term you used is inappropriate for anyone with taste, class, or an education. 

My advice is this: learn from this.  Become a better person.  And please, please, continue to focus on the real people who’ve been hurt by Walker’s proposals in Wisconsin,  because that is where your true gift lies.

Updates: More pending recalls (Dems and Rs), etc.

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Before we get to the latest folks being recalled, the first update has to do with the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.   The two sides (Prosser and Kloppenburg) have come to an agreement about the recount, and it will start next Monday.  Please see this story for further details, which gives details about how this particular state-wide recount (the first in twenty-two years) will take place:

Now, as for the newest pending recalls — the drive to recall the Republican 8 continues, as the committee to recall Republican Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) turned in 30,000 signatures — significantly more than the 20,043 signatures required by law (1/4 of the last election) — to see her recalled.

However, we now have three Democrats — Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha) and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) — who have had recall petitions filed against them.   The signatures needed for Holperin was 15,960, with over 23,000 turned in; the signatures needed for Wirch was 13,537, with over 18,000 turned in, and the signatures for Hansen was 13,852 with nearly 19,000 turned in.

See this link for further details:

The main difference between the Dems and the Rs at this point is that two of these three Dems appear to be in “safe,” heavily Democratic districts — Hansen and Wirch both have districts that went for Kloppenburg in the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election, while Holperin’s district is the only one I’d really tend to be worried about — while all five of the Rs with recalls pending could easily lose and lose big.

Here’s a quote from the rally to recall Alberta Darling held on Thursday, April 21, 2011, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article of the same date (link posted above):

Kristopher Rowe of Shorewood, a Darling recall leader who created the Facebook page that sparked the campaign, told several hundred people at the Kletzsch Park rally that they weren’t done until Darling was voted out of office.

“We’re going to finish, and we’re going to finish strong,” he said.

Now, you might be wondering why, in particular, recall groups have focused on getting rid of Alberta Darling.  It’s because she was co-chair of the committee that allowed Gov. Scott Walker (R)’s “budget-repair bill” into the whole Senate; she had all the power in the world to stop that bill from ever coming to light unless/until some of the worst problems with it were fixed, yet she refused to use it.

Further from the Journal-Sentinel article:

Darling is the fifth Republican state senator against whom petitions have been filed.

Darling, a co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, is a central figure in the budget battles that spawned recall efforts against eight Republican and eight Democratic senators. Her opponents clearly will try to hang the budget on her, as did one rally speaker, who referred to the proposed budget as “both immoral and bad economics.”

As I’ve said before, the other four Republicans with recalls pending are:  Luther Olson (R-Ripon), Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Sheila Harsdorf (R-Hudson/River Falls).

And finally, it is confirmed that both Sheldon Wasserman (former Rep., who nearly beat Darling in 2008, losing by about 1000 votes) and Sandy Pasch (the current Rep., D-Whitefish Bay) are seriously thinking about challenging Darling in the pending recall election.  (Note that the Journal-Sentinel had a PolitiFact article today saying it’s wrong to say any of these Senators have been recalled; all we can say is “recalls pending,” as I’ve been saying, or that the “recall petitions have been filed.”)  Both are strong candidates, and the Journal-Sentinel rates this race as “the most competitive race . . .  in the Milwaukee area” (there are five Senators, both R and Dem., who will have to run in recall elections providing the signatures hold up).

Because of the pending recount in the Kloppenburg-Prosser judicial race, it’s possible the recall petitions will take longer to “‘vet” than usual; the Government Accountability Board has been quite busy this year, with no signs of letting up, and it’s the GAB that must oversee both things.

Finally, in personal news, I have one good thing to report.  I wrote 2000 words into part 47 of AN ELFY ABROAD last night, breaking a log-jam that had lasted three weeks after first talking with a friend about the story, then hearing from a different one why I should just give it up already.  (Obviously I disagreed with my second friend.)

Otherwise, I just hit the six year and seven month observance in my personal “grief journey” . . . I tried hard to distract myself and even succeeded for a while, but then I wondered, “What the Hell am I doing?”

Recount necessary — for one, Waukesha County Voting Irregularities go back to 2004

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We’ve been having interesting times this year in Wisconsin, with protests against Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin state Senate Republicans for passing Walker’s “budget repair bill” that stripped public employee union members of their collective bargaining rights, then a hotly-contested state Supreme Court election that looked to be won by the challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg by about 200 votes over incumbent Justice David Prosser.

Realize that right now, the Wisconsin state Supreme Court (with David Prosser as a sitting Justice) has a 4-3 conservative-liberal/centrist edge; then realize that Walker’s “budget-repair bill” is likely headed to the Supreme Court.  Then realize that David Prosser is a former Republican Speaker of the Assembly (Wisconsin’s lower house, equivalent to the federal House of Representatives) . . . that’s why the race for state Supreme Court justice was so vitally important.

But then came Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus — County Clerk of the “reddest” Republican district in the entire state —  who said she’d “forgotten to save” the accurate count for the Town of Brookfield two days after the election was over; when those votes were added in, all of a sudden Prosser led Kloppenburg by over 7,000 votes. 

And that’s where it’s stood ever since; the Government Accountability Board is still investigating Waukesha and its County Clerk, but has certified the results of the Supreme Court election.   Because the vote totals were so close (each candidate had about 750,000 votes), and is within 1/2 of a percentage point (meaning Prosser leads Kloppenburg right now with 50.04% of the vote to Kloppenburg’s 49.96% or something along those lines), the state of Wisconsin must pick up the tab if a recount is requested.

Because a 7,000 vote margin is nearly impossible to make up — especially when that margin is established after the voting is over, because a county clerk “realized (her) error” — the Kloppenburg campaign is still mulling over whether to request this recount.

However, with all the allegations regarding the problems in Waukesha County alone, a recount must be requested — only then will the voters of Wisconsin know that all the votes have been properly tallied.  A hand-recount is absolutely vital, and remains the only way to know for certain who voted for whom and why — right now, the canvass only counted vote totals, and we know totals can be manipulated deliberately (as well as be wrong due to human error).

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Waukesha County’s problems are worse than just this year, folks.  In fact, Waukesha County’s problems are so bad that it’s absolutely, positively stunning.

For example, in Waukesha County in 2006, there were more votes cast than there were voters.

Here’s a link:

And here’s a quote:

NOVEMBER 7, 2006

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 211).  .  .  .  .       210   99.53
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL .  .  .  .  .        0
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .            156,804

DOYLE/LAWTON (DEM)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    61,401   34.86
GREEN/HUNDERTMARK (REP).  .  .  .  .   112,242   63.73
EISMAN/TODD (WGR).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,320    1.32
WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .             149     .08

 KATHLEEN FALK (DEM) .  .  .  .  .  .  .    55,608   31.95              
 J.B. VAN HOLLEN (REP)  .  .  .  .  .  .     118,342   67.99              
 WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .            97     .06

SECRETARY OF STATE                                                      
 DOUG LA FOLLETTE (DEM) .  .  .  .  .  .    68,302   40.07              
 SANDY SULLIVAN (REP).  .  .  .  .  .  .     96,199   56.44              
 MICHAEL LAFOREST (WGR) .  .  .  .  .  .   5,886    3.45              
 WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .              53     .03

So, do you see it? In the race for Governor/Lieutenant Governor there were a total of 176,112 votes cast. For Attorney General there were a total of 174,047 votes cast. And for Secretary of State there were a total 170,440 votes cast.

So, look at the 3rd line of the top of that report…Total Ballots Cast: 156,804. So based on those numbers 20,000 extra votes were cast in the election that weren’t actually accounted for in the ballots cast. Again, another sign of election fraud.

(Quote ends.)

Note that the original figures are available here:

And that’s not all — also from this DKos article, did you know that in 2004, apparently a whopping 97.63% — no, that’s not a misprint — of registered voters went out to vote?  And that in 2005, an off-year for elections, 50,000 new voters were registered when in ’04 there was only a 1.3% increase (about 3,000 voters) for a hotly-contested Presidential election?

I’m sorry, folks; this does not pass the “smell test.”  Something’s really off here.

A good friend of mine found all this out from this blog, and posted it to my Facebook page:

As this latter blog from Tech Dirt points out:

To say the least, these numbers are pretty troubling if you believe in the integrity of democratic elections.

Amen to that — and that’s exactly why we need a hand recount of all the ballots cast in the recent Supreme Court election.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Scott Walker’s first 100 days — Can We Say, “Fiasco?”

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Those of you who do not live in Wisconsin, be glad.  Because that means Scott Walker is not your Governor.

I lead with that tonight because today was the day Scott Walker, the current Governor of the state of Wisconsin, marked his first 100 days in office.   And he was very proud of his accomplishments in “creating jobs” and his “budget-repair bill,” even though the latter is stalled in the courts right now — I know this because he said so on WTMJ-AM, NewsRadio 620 in Milwaukee, WI, this afternoon.

Now, a more balanced and nuanced way to look at Scott Walker’s first 100 days is this article from the LaCrosse Tribune, where the headline says it all:  “Walker’s First 100 Days a Mixed Bag.”  See this link:

Here’s a good quote from that article:

“Walker has pushed through an unprecedented amount of legislation,” said Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan government watchdog group. “But the way he has gone about it has divided the state in ways I’ve never seen before. And I am just not sure how we get back from where we are now.”

See, that’s where I’d fall on the spectrum — I really don’t know how we go on from here, except by recalling every single last legislator who voted for the noxious “budget-repair bill” in a possibly-illegal vote.

Here’s another quote from the article which I think is quite relevant:

“Things were running along smoothly for about six weeks and then (Walker) took a hard turn to the right and became this incredibly divisive figure,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha. “The honeymoon ended quickly, but he has no one to blame but himself.”

Amen, brother!

At any rate, this is how I see it: we’ve never had eight sitting Republican Senators targeted for recall before.  (As for the eight Dems also being targeted for recall, only three may be recalled.  All eight Rs will be recalled — that is, have to run in recall elections to hold their seats — and at least five will lose their seats in the election.  So far, two Rs — Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac — have already had the recall signatures turned in to the Government Accountability Board, and we know they definitely will have recall elections.  Because the GAB is not stupid, they are waiting for the other six Rs to reach the required amount of signatures, so all eight recall elections can be run at the same time.)

Here’s the link to the best site on the Web that’s working to recall the Republican 8:

But getting back to what Wisconsinites feel about Walker, there are some people who believe Walker is doing well — not many, but some.  This article from Eau Claire (WEAU) had locals grade Scott Walker; here’s a link:

Now, here’s what the folks said:

“You know, I’d give him an A-minus, and the reason I’d give him an A-minus is that he’s doing the best he can,” says Regla Garcia, adding people should give all politicians their fair chance to do their work.

“I’d say he’s getting like a B-plus. He’s balancing the budget and he’s evening things out,” says Ken Holm, adding that Walker could work on his negotiation skills a little bit more.

“As a former teacher, I know a little bit about grading, and I would give him an F,” says Paul Hoff, mentioning the funding cuts to education and collective bargaining as reasons for Walker’s failures.

“I’d give him a big fat F. I don’t think he’s done what anybody expected him to do,” says Mary Jurmain, who says she plans on leading recall efforts against the governor when he becomes eligible.

Now, notice the two nice scores?  One said Walker needs to “work on his negotiation skills” and the other basically said Walker hasn’t had enough time yet to prove whether he’ll be any good or not.  While the other two were very blunt — they gave Walker Fs, and one said that not only will she work to recall the Governor, she plans to work very hard to recall him and implied that she is looking forward to doing so.

That, in essence, is what Scott Walker has done to Wisconsin.  He has divided my state like no one else; he currently has about a 40% approval rating, with a strong 30% Republican disapproving of his policies — that is, his own party disapproves of him that much.

And that, exactly, is why I say that Walker’s first 100 days have been a flat-out fiasco.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin (aka WisDems) had this to say today about Scott Walker’s first 100 days, at this link:

And a relevant quote (all of this is from Mike Tate, Democratic Party Chair):

“We knew it was going to be bad, but nobody could have predicted it would be this bad. Scott Walker’s first 100 days in office have been an unqualified disgrace.”

Then, a bit later, the press release goes on with:

“In his first 100 days, Scott Walker has torn Wisconsin in two in a deliberate plot to drive wages and benefits into the dirt and hasten the concentration of power in the hands of the wealthy few.

The good news is that Wisconsin has seen through Scott Walker and his schemes. The working families of Wisconsin are standing up and taking their state back.

Scott Walker’s first 100 days were a disgrace. Let us hope for Wisconsin’s sake he uses the next 100 to change from his disastrous course.”

In case you’re wondering why Mike Tate took such a hard line, perhaps you missed this story about Scott Walker’s major Republican fundraiser Bill Gardner and his money-laundering, who has a plea agreement pending to save him from jail:

This is a story from John Nichols of the Nation; he points out that while Scott Walker was against high-speed rail, he definitely was for this one donor’s rail system — and no wonder, as Gardner illegally funneled thousands of dollars to Walker.  Gardner is going to plead guilty to two felony counts of money-laundering in order to get a suspended sentence; he also will receive a $166,000 fine, while seven employees — those Gardner coerced, mind you, to give money to Walker — are all fined $250 apiece.  This is the largest fine the Government Accountability Board has ever leveled against any single contributor.

Anyway, this only caps off what I already felt about Scott Walker — and let’s not even start about last week’s Supreme Court race, which is still in doubt (the 14,000 votes the Waukesha County clerk found at the last minute has apparently tipped the race to incumbent Justice David Prosser, but the GAB has refused to certify the election and has called clerk Nickolaus “incompetent” thus far), or I’ll really get mad — and that’s this:

Walker must go.  Recall.  Recall.  Recall.**


** You may have noticed that my tag says “Scott Walker, temporary Governor.”  That’s because I firmly believe Walker will be recalled and will be voted out as soon as the recall election is held (in January or February, 2012).  In Wisconsin, we cannot recall a legislator until he has served one full year — but we can start getting signatures in November of this year.  My own state Senator, Van Wanggaard, can and will be recalled at the same time, as I’ve said before due to his own “yes” vote for the “budget-repair” bill that eliminated collective bargaining for public-employee unions despite Wanggaard being a former policeman and police union member.