Archives for posts with tag: Democrats

This week Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker continued his undeclared war on the majority of Wisconsinites by announcing a budget aimed at cutting public education, environmental protections, support of local governments and safety net services for the poor and disabled.  Apparently Governor Walker’s plan for creating 250,000 jobs is to start by ensuring the elimination of about 100,000 of them first and essentially destroying Wisconsin’s quality of life??

But never fear, not everyone in Wisconsin will feel the pain. The Governor’s budget gives an additional $400 million in funding to transportation!  But by transportation I mean only road building, as the Governor’s proposed budget would also decimate bus systems and pedestrian/bike programs. I’m sure this “improved” funding for road builders is all about job creation or something and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that road builders gave over $120,000 to Governor Walker’s campaign–making them one of his largest donors.

At the bottom of the page is a run-down of some of the budget info I’ve compiled over last couple of days. But it is very, very bad.  Huge cuts to education (the poorest districts will suffer the most).  But more funding to choice and charter schools–so rich people in the Republican Milwaukee suburbs will be set! Major cuts to environmental programs, like recycling?? Cuts, to local government with the aim of forcing them to cut salary and benefits for teachers.  It’s truly reprehensible. You can find out all about the budget proposal PLUS information about the battle to save unions on my “Save the State” page.  I will update it as the debates and battles continue.  In the meantime, here’s an ad from Bold Progressives, which supports ActBlue (which is raising money for the 14 Dem Senators in Illinois and to get the word out across the state about the devastation contained within the Governor’s proposals).

2011-2013 Biennial Budget (By Subject)

General

MJS–The new normal of sacrifice

Politifact: Scott Walker says Wisconsin is broke (Ruling: False)

Governor Walker’s budget cuts would reshape the state

Cieslewicz, Falk blast Walker’s budget plans

In Madison–Governor Walker packed his budget address with ringers

Scott Walker’s Budget Address: The ego has landed

Transformative, yes, but is this budget fair?

Wispolitics Budget Blog

Transcript–Scott Walker’s Budget Address

Department of Administration Budget Page

Education (K-12, UW-System, Charter Schools, Technical Colleges)

State actions have local teachers weighing retirement

MJS–Don’t forget students when mulling what’s next for MPS

MJS–Wisconsin school districts studying impact of proposed cuts

MJS–MPS has to cut $74 million more

Facing cut to state aid: MATC officials wonder how they’ll pay for new buildings

Walker’s war on equality

Walker’s budget hits MATC hard

Budget cuts hundreds of millions from schools

University of Wisconsin System faces $250 million in cuts, restructuring

Walker plans to phase out Wisconsin Covenant

Budget would take more than $20 million from Madison schools

Walker gives charter more chance

Good news, bad news for UW tuition

Local Governments

Municipal, county governments target of large cuts in Walker budget

Health Care (Medicaid, Badger Care, Women’s Health)

CT–Guess why Walker wants to freeze State Life Fund

MJS–Experimentation yes, but done with transparency

CT–Right-to-lifers are on cloud nine

MJS–Women’s health–Culture war redux

Advocates for people on Medicaid pan Walker’s budget speech

Walker’s budget removes insurance requirement to cover birth control

Budget aims to end growth of Medicaid programs in the state

Taxes

Walker’s budget slashes that aid poor

Walker’s proposed capital gains tax breaks get lukewarm backing

Environmental Issues

CT–Energy Programs get Walker ax

Walker budget would eliminate office of energy independence (Also pulls back on mandates for agencies to use less gas)

State recycling mandate, funding eliminated under Walker’s budget

Walker’s budget removes $1.1 million for recycling in Madison

Transportation

MJS–Busting Bus Systems

Walker budget eliminates money for bike/pedestrian improvements

Full speed ahead for Zoo Interchange

Other

State pension shift faces a 401 (k) turn

Ethan Allen closing stows hope

Walker’s budget all but kills public financing for state supreme court elections

Budget would end early release program for non-violent prisoners

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Shortly after 1:00 a.m. this morning the Wisconsin State Assembly passed Governor Walker’s middle-class punishing budget repair bill–essentially making Wisconsin 14 Democratic State Senators away from having virtually no collective bargaining rights for tens of thousands of public employees. The vote was done after nearly 60 hours of debate and with no warning to Democrats. In fact, Democrats still had 15 speakers left to talk about the bill. Only a handful of Democrats even voted on the measure before Republicans shut down voting. Here’ is the chaos that resulted:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

UNCUT: Assembly Calls Vote & Passes Budget Repa…, posted with vodpod

This was followed by calls of “Shame! Shame!” from Democrats as Republicans fled the Assembly floor avoiding any interaction with the media.  Peter Barca, a Democrat from Kenosha believes the vote may have been illegal and was quickly done as more and more Republicans began to waver on the bill.  Interestingly, four Republicans made up the 17 “no” votes their leaders allowed to occur.

Democrats tried without success to approach Governor Walker with compromise legislation that allowed union concessions while preserving collective bargaining–an alternative that actually left Wisconsin with more money than Governor Walker’s proposal.  But this measure was voted down by Republicans.  That’s right, a measure that would have ended all of the protests at the Capitol, provided the Governor with the concessions he asked for, protected the employees Scott Walker keeps threatening to lay off and left the state with MORE money was voted down by Republicans.

Why? It’s hard not to be cynical about this, but I can think of no other reason other than that the Republicans are so consumed by “winning,” or helping Governor Walker “win” by passing his measure without changes, that they are willing to allow the lay off of hundreds of  hard-working people.

Even more troubling, the Republican-controlled State Senate today pushed the budget repair bill past the amendable stage.  This means that the bill Governor Walker proposed will pass without changes or it won’t pass at all. Wisconsin Republicans have consistently criticized the 14 Democratic Senators who are hiding in Illinois as “not doing their jobs” by not voting on the bill. But the Republicans have made it clear they will not consider any of the Democrats ideas and they simply want them to rubber stamp a 144-page bill that Governor Walker has admitted will change the course of Wisconsin history.

Republicans aren’t listening to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who have voiced concerns about the “repair bill” either in person at the Capitol or through letters and phone calls. Republicans aren’t listening to the minority party, which still represents millions of Wisconsinites.  Republicans aren’t listening to recent editorials from across the state that have asked the Governor and legislators to fully debate and pass a version of the bill less restrictive towards collective bargaining and with fewer executive branch power-grabs. (Examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here.) Republicans aren’t listening to their own members who have offered compromise solutions.  Republicans aren’t listening to the growing concerns about Governor Walker’s ethics and leadership ability. (Some examples from across Wisconsin are found here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here,  here, here, here, here, here, here.) Republicans aren’t listening because they are too busy “winning” at any cost–even if that cost is irreparable damage to the people and the state they’ve vowed to serve.

Today I cast an early vote for the November 2nd general election.  It was easy and fun in the way that voting is always fun.  Frankly, if you are American and have opinions you should freaking vote in all elections.  Even if I don’t agree with the way you will vote, I want you to vote.  How lucky are we that we get to vote in U.S. elections? I digress…to vote early, I just went to the city hall and gave the clerk my name (I’m registered already because I always vote). If you need to register, just remember to bring a piece of mail with your full name and address.  In Wisconsin that’s all you need.

Although you should enjoy voting in whatever way you feel best represents you, to my fellow Wisconsinites may I offer this humble consideration: rehire Senator Russ Feingold.  He’s a lone wolf.  Whether we like to admit it or not, I think we’ve all had our Feingold pride moments.

Remember how he votes independently regardless of external pressures (like the time he was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act. He was also the only Democrat to vote against the motion to dismiss the Clinton impeachment because he thought the House of Representatives needed to have “every opportunity” to prove its case.) Remember how he visits every single Wisconsin county once every year?  72 counties every year.  And he listens to people, no matter how angry, old, frustrating and Republican they are:

Seriously, dude represents.  Even when it sucks and we are a-holes.  When I lived out of state people always told me how lucky I was to have a Senator with a backbone.  Those don’t exist in other states.  Every other states has spineless millionaires “representing” them, which we, too, might have after November 2nd.

Here are some classics Feingold ads.  To me, he is still this Senator:

Also, I love that he finally got to vote for some kind of health legislation.  Also, he is still against NAFTA:

Okay, I have to admit these campaign ads make me wonder why he hasn’t been running campaign ads like this during this election cycle. They are winners.  That being said, he is still all of these things, Wisconsin.  Yes, he’s higher profile, but he’s middle class and votes for things he thinks will help middle class Wisconsinites:

Please, please Wisconsin.  Campaign finance reform.  That was a great idea!  He did that one, too. Think of all the great ideas that will never come to be if we vote for another boring millionaire who regurgitates talking points and has no ideas of his own.