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Old Tape of Scott Walker Talking About David Duke Reveals that Walker has Always Been a Nihilistic Fruitcake

In 1992, David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was seeking to be put on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin. As this was an embarassment for the Republican party, they sought to block Duke from the ballot. Scott Walker was working for the Republican Party of Wisconsin at the time and appeared with Duke on Milwaukee Public Television's "Smith & Company" to discuss the matter.

So, seems like an easy gig, right? Go on the show, condemn Duke as an extremist, racist, nut job and say his views aren't representative of the Republican Party.

Instead, Walker went on the show and made a point of saying that he was condemning Duke for his past involement in the KKK and not for "issues" he was then bringing-up. In fact, Walker went out of way to say that issues Duke was talking were not extreme, saying:

The distinction we're making is not one of saying his issues are extreme, they certainly are not.





Governor Walker Jets Around Wisconsin - Again?

Governor Walker announced early today that once again he was taking the Wisconsin tour on his jet. He arrived in Eau Claire about 20 minutes late due to the snow around the state. This is at least the 3rd time since the gridlock in Madison that Walker has done this fancy jet tour. He was asked by one of the reporters why. See the video for his answer. 

About 50 people showed up at Heartland Aviation to greet the governor in protest. When the governor arrived you could hear their shouts inside the Heartland facility where about 12 members of the local press (including me) were waiting for his statement.





Scott Fitzgerald admits why they're killing the unions -- on Fox

Amazingly, after insisting over and over that it's all about balancing the budget --- apparently not so much.  Shockingly, it's all about defeating Democrats, not saving money for the taxpayers.





Media and the Wisconsin labor struggle

Moderator Bob McChesney joins John Nichols (The Nation), Frank Emspak (Workers Independent News), Molly Stentz (WORT-FM Community Radio), Matt Rothschild (The Progressive), and Lisa Graves (Center for Media and Democracy) in a discussion of how the newsmedia have reported on and influenced the American labor movement historically, and in the context of the recent Wisconsin Labor Struggle. Recorded Thursday, March 3, 2011 at Madison, Wisconsin's historic Orpheum Theater. Produced under the auspices of the Labor and Working Class Studies Project, an initiative linking labor, campus, and community.





Video of today's protest at the Stand for Walker rally

This is another video from today's protest at the Pro-Walker rally sponsored by Americans for Prosperity.  Thanks to Iconostar Productions in Eau Claire for the video.  I'm not going to make an attempt at the numbers game, but there were quite a few more protesters against the AFP bus than there were supporters.





Joe the Speaker? Petryk the Captive?

 

On March 5, Tea Bagger Celebrity, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher a.k. a Joe the Plumber came to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. You may remember Mr. Wurzelbacher from the 2008 presidential campaign. Wurelbacher rose to fame when he was put on national news with the question that he posed to Barack Obama during a campaign stop. Wurzelbacher said, "I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year. Your new tax plan's going to tax me more, isn't it?" The McCain-Palin campaign almost immediately began using Wurzelbacher in their own campaign. He often appeared at Republican rallies and became the GOP symbol for middle-class Americans.

It appears Wurzelbacker is still a hero for the right as he is now a part of a bus tour that is going across Wisconsin called, "Stand Against Spending. Stand With Walker" sponsored by "Americans for Prosperity" (AFP). AFP is a group fronting special interests started by oil billionaire David Koch and Richard Fink ( a member of the board of Directors of Koch Industries).

AFP started this tour on Thursday, March 3 in Kenosha and is scheduled to end on Sunday, March 6 in Madison with 10 stops around the state. It appears as though "Joe the Plumber" must now be "Joe the Speaker".

Saturday's AFP rally in Eau Claire was held at the Holiday Inn on Craig Road. The "Stand With Walker" bus that AFP is using for this tour could only drop off it's sole passenger and had to move on as there was not a parking spot to be found. The lot was likely filled with cars of people who came to counter this planned rally.

Both sides of the street where the hotel entrance is, were lined with over 1000 people protesting Scott Walker's budget bill. Inside where the AFP rally was taking place, was a "standing room only" crowd of about 100 people.





If I can't dance, I don't want your revolution!

Commonly attributed to Emma Goldman - whether she said it or not, here's your opportunity to dance along - Cheddar Revolution by VO5.





New TV spot, website rip Walker's budget

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed two-year budget is “devastating” for Wisconsin’s middle class families, a new television commercial says, urging citizens to call their state senators to stop Walker’s plans.

Walker wants to cut $900-million from schools, the deepest cut in state history; slash $500-million for health care, including BadgerCare and SeniorCare; and make drastic cuts that will endanger police and fire protection, the commercial says.

“Governor Walker’s budget is devastating, and so are state senators who blindly follow him,” the ad says. “Tell your state senator to stop selling out the middle class and stop Walker’s budget.”

The commercial, by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, an issue advocacy organization (Disclosure: I am a board member), began airing statewide on Saturday, the group’s executive director, Michelle McGrorty said.





The Republican War on Wisconsin Workers

New ad that has started running today. We need to keep reminding people that the GOP's plans in Wisconsin and across the nation are having real effects on families. The poor and middle class are parts of our country too.





Breaking: Sen. Schultz Repeatedly Scolds Walker, Calls Union-Busting "Classic Overreach," Says GOP Sen Colleagues Unsure

I just uploaded excerpts of a half hour interview Republican State Senator Dale Schultz gave this morning on WEKZ, which I recorded. Below are some of the highlights:

"It's about dignity" (on his empathy with workers about the potential loss of collective bargaining rights.)

"All I know is that we're not talking, we're wasting valuable time about collective bargaining, which I don't ever remember being a part of last election's discussion what so ever."

"You know, to me, this just looks like the classic overreach."

"That's correct. And you know what? I can tell my colleagues are very good and listening to ... I can't tell you how they're going to vote." (Answering a question related to the Democrats needing three Republicans to join their cause.)

"We have, you know, the governor taking a phone call on a prank... and umm... you know, you wonder why people don't have any faith in the political process."





City Garages

Let me know if you like. In other words, share this, link to it ect. I need to know if the effort is worth it. 





Walker Busted for Illegal Campaign Coordination with Koch (And Doing It On The Taxpayer's Dime)

One aspect that is being under-appreciated in prankgate is that Walker is in serious legal trouble because he asked the person he believed to be billionaire David Koch to run phony "issue advocacy" ads that would benefit Walker and the Republican Party. And he did this solicitation on the taxpayer's dime in the Governor's office.

David Koch, of course is the kingpin of "Americans For Prosperity," which dumps millions of dollars from Koch's corporation, Koch Industries, into Wisconsin and other states in the form of phony "issue advocacy ads." These ads are supposedly done independently and without coordination from GOP officials such as Walker, because it is tantamount to soliciting corporate cash, which is, of course, very illegal... even after Citizens United.





Walker Prank Tape Clearly Shows Walker Illegally Coordinating Campaign Ads with "David Koch"

One aspect that is being overlooked in prankgate is that Walker clearly asked the person he believed to be billionaire David Koch to run phony "issue advocacy" ads that would benefit Walker and the Republican Party.

David Koch, of course is the kingpin of "Americans For Prosperity," which dumps millions of dollars from Koch's corporation, Koch Industries, into Wisconsin and other states in the form of phony "issue advocacy ads." These ads are supposedly done independently and without coordination from GOP officials such as Walker, because it is tantamount to soliciting corporate cash, which is, of course, very illegal.

If you listen to exerpt of the tape (below) you can clearly hear this exchange:

"Koch": So, what else can we do for you guys down there?

Walker: Well, two things

And then after a long Walker bloviatation, he says:





Richard Trumka press conference at Madison Protests

Richard Trumka (president of the AFL-CIO)  was at the protests about the Scott Walker Budget Repair Bill this week.  While he was here he took an hour to sit down with bloggers covering the protests in Madison. This is an unedited video of this interview.  My apologies for the sound - this was done under very sub-optimal conditions in a hotel conference room.





Last post from Madison today

There've been a few happenings recently. The Joint Finance Committe has started actually voting.  They passed an amendment on party lines 12-4 that made some minor changes including restoring benefits to LTE's.

A Democratic amendment to restore collective bargaining rights failed on party lines as well.

I finally got this video uploaded - it's John Nichols speaking at the rally tonight, just before the protesters all went into the rotunda.

More tomorrow - need to get some sleep.





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Yesterday, February 16

  • Steve Hanson
    2:44pm

    Changes to Image
     
    Image: money-foxconn-manufacturing-uncertainties-forces-groundbreaking.jpg
     
    Image: money-foxconn-manufacturing-uncertainties-forces-groundbreaking.jpg
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    Caption (WYSIWYG):
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    <p>President Trump at Foxconn Groundbreaking</p>
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  • Your profile picture
    12:40pm

    Last week I wrote about how water is life. This week I hope to show how important water is for all of us to not only survive, but also to thrive.

    In my Capitol office hangs an old re-election poster for former Governor Gaylord Nelson. The founder of Earth Day, Governor Nelson was one of Wisconsin’s fiercest advocates for our environment. He was also a pragmatist – he understood not only how important clean water was, but he also acknowledged its importance for our economy.

    Milk, cheese, beer, and paper -- these are quintessential Wisconsin products. Each of these water-dependent products requires large amounts of clean water.

    Water is abundant in Wisconsin. Our 1,017 miles of Great Lakes shoreland offer our state excellent access to the world’s largest supply of freshwater. Wisconsin’s “west coast,” is mostly lined by the Mississippi River, which is the 2nd largest watershed in the world. We even have more lakes than Minnesota! Wisconsin is so watery that 17% of our state is covered by water.

    Every decision about water we make as representatives and senators in the State Capitol has a globally significant impact. We know how important water is, but so do companies hoping to gain access to our water.

    In 2003, Wisconsin limited the ability of local governments to oppose Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). CAFOs are defined as operations with more than 1,000 animals on the farm. Here in the counties within the 31st Senate District, we have 24 of the 272 dairy CAFOs in Wisconsin.

    High capacity wells on CAFOs pump vast quantities of water in a very small area, and the massive volume of animal waste generated at these facilities is too much for the surrounding cropland to handle as fertilizer. America’s Dairyland has always looked to small family farms to supply our country with high-quality milk and cheese. Low milk prices are driving smaller dairy farms out of business and CAFOs are taking their place. Without relief, more family farms will continue to struggle and large CAFOs will continue to expand.

    ...
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  • Steve Hanson
    11:56am

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    Image: money-foxconn-manufacturing-uncertainties-forces-groundbreaking.jpg
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    4 FORCES FEEDING UNCERTAINTY ABOUT FOXCONN'S FUTURE IN WISCONSIN =============
      
     
    A bubbling sense of uncertainty enveloping Foxconn's plans for its manufacturing and research operations in Wisconsin has sparked considerable speculation around the state in the opening months of 2019. Industry analysts and other observers are wondering to what extent the company's promises would, or even could, come to fruition as its public commitments evolve at a fast clip.
     
    A bubbling sense of uncertainty enveloping Foxconn's plans for its manufacturing and research operations in Wisconsin has sparked considerable speculation around the state in the opening months of 2019. Industry analysts and other observers are wondering to what extent the company's promises would, or even could, come to fruition as its public commitments evolve at a fast clip.
     
    What's driving this renewed uncertainty? Identifying any single factor as the root cause would be an oversimplification, at best. Many variables are likely to influence an economic development proposal of this scale, which spans continents and cultures and is unfolding during a volatile time in state, national and global politics. Still, distilling the sundry forces at play, four key factors are contributing to the questions about Foxconn's future in Wisconsin.
     
    What's driving this renewed uncertainty? Identifying any single factor as the root cause would be an oversimplification, at best. Many variables are likely to influence an economic development proposal of this scale, which spans continents and cultures and is unfolding during a volatile time in state, national and global politics. Still, distilling the sundry forces at play, four key factors are contributing to the questions about Foxconn's future in Wisconsin.
    Read more
  • Steve Hanson
    11:55am

    A bubbling sense of uncertainty enveloping Foxconn's plans for its manufacturing and research operations in Wisconsin has sparked considerable speculation around the state in the opening months of 2019. Industry analysts and other observers are wondering to what extent the company's promises would, or even could, come to fruition as its public commitments evolve at a fast clip.

    What's driving this renewed uncertainty? Identifying any single factor as the root cause would be an oversimplification, at best. Many variables are likely to influence an economic development proposal of this scale, which spans continents and cultures and is unfolding during a volatile time in state, national and global politics. Still, distilling the sundry forces at play, four key factors are contributing to the questions about Foxconn's future in Wisconsin.

    1. Foxconn's priority is its bottom line.

    Various observers of the LCD industry were skeptical from the outset that Foxconn would generate up to 13,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. Reports that the company was scaling down its manufacturing plans in the state seemed to confirm such doubts.

    Einar Tangen, a political and economic affairs commentator based in Beijing, said in a Feb. 8, 2019 interview on Wisconsin Public Television's Here & Now that higher labor costs in the United States make the prospect of bringing thousands of manufacturing jobs to Wisconsin a non-starter for a global firm like Foxconn.

    "For what is in essence a one-hour wage [in Wisconsin], you can hire somebody in Vietnam or India or Bangladesh for an entire week," Tangen said. "So from a productivity point of view and labor, it does not make any sense."

    Read more
  • Steve Hanson
    11:28am

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    AS NUMBER OF WISCONSIN'S WOMEN LEGISLATORS STALLS, PARTISAN MIX SHIFTS =======
      
     
    November 6, 2018 marked an historic election in the United States due to the unprecedented numbers of women elected to state and national offices. Iowa, Maine and South Dakota elected their first women governors, Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee elected their first women senators, and 37 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. These historic results, however, were not equally distributed between the two major political parties.
     
    November 6, 2018 marked an historic election in the United States due to the unprecedented numbers of women elected to state and national offices. Iowa, Maine and South Dakota elected their first women governors, Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee elected their first women senators, and 37 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. These historic results, however, were not equally distributed between the two major political parties.
     
    Of the 37 women newly elected to the House in 2018, 35 were Democrats. Out of the 102 women overall in the House, 89 are Democrats compared to 13 Republicans, a nearly sevenfold difference. As for the U.S. Senate, one-quarter of the upper chamber of Congress is made up of women, 17 of whom are Democrats compared to eight Republicans. At the state level, the number of women serving in many legislatures mirror national trends, though some states, like Wisconsin, lag behind these levels.
     
    Of the 37 women newly elected to the House in 2018, 35 were Democrats. Out of the 102 women overall in the House, 89 are Democrats compared to 13 Republicans, a nearly sevenfold difference. As for the U.S. Senate, one-quarter of the upper chamber of Congress is made up of women, 17 of whom are Democrats compared to eight Republicans. At the state level, the number of women serving in many legislatures mirror national trends, though some states, like Wisconsin, lag behind these levels.
    Read more
  • Steve Hanson
    11:28am

    November 6, 2018 marked an historic election in the United States due to the unprecedented numbers of women elected to state and national offices. Iowa, Maine and South Dakota elected their first women governors, Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee elected their first women senators, and 37 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. These historic results, however, were not equally distributed between the two major political parties.

    Of the 37 women newly elected to the House in 2018, 35 were Democrats. Out of the 102 women overall in the House, 89 are Democrats compared to 13 Republicans, a nearly sevenfold difference. As for the U.S. Senate, one-quarter of the upper chamber of Congress is made up of women, 17 of whom are Democrats compared to eight Republicans. At the state level, the number of women serving in many legislatures mirror national trends, though some states, like Wisconsin, lag behind these levels.

    A WisContext investigation of how this phenomenon played out in the 2018 midterms within Wisconsin illustrated how these elections yielded far fewer women candidates — and winners — for state-level elections compared to neighboring states. Data provided by the Wisconsin Women's Council show representation in the state legislature has not exceeded a high of 37 total women in the Assembly and state Senate, previously reached in 1989 and 2003. The 2019-20 class of legislators in Wisconsin has only 29 women serving in office, out of a total 132 seats in both chambers.

    As is the case with national trends, women in the Wisconsin Legislature are more likely to be Democrats. Since 2001, the percentage of Democrats who are women in the Assembly and Senate has seen a steady increase, with 2019 marking the first year over 50 percent of Democrats elected to the Assembly are women. On the other hand, women state senators who are Republicans comprised nearly 47 percent of all GOP state senators in 2001, dropping to less than 11 percent almost two decades later.

       

    The 2010 midterm elections marked a noteworthy juncture in Wisconsin politics. Riding the tea party wave, Wisconsin Republicans achieved significant victories, and took control of both legislative houses and the governorship. By 2012, the Republicans majority...

    Read more