Archives for posts with tag: Republican

Now that Wisconsin news outlets are shifting back and forth between news of Governor Walker’s anti-worker law, news of his budget proposals and news of elections and recall efforts, I plan to pull together short daily news summaries of keys news items from each day.  As I do almost every day, I will also log all news articles, editorials and other resources in my “Save the State” page for later reference.  I hope you find these resources helpful, but if you have any suggestions to make these pages more meaningful, don’t hesitate to send me an email at duchessofstubb at gmail dot com.

Here are Wednesday’s reasons why Scott Walker and the republican leadership are bad for Wisconsin:

1. School cuts to most districts, except wealthy suburbs of Milwaukee:

That’s right, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis, under the formula used by the Governor’s office for his proposed cuts, some of the least-needy districts in the state will avoid any cuts whatsoever.  From the Journal Sentinel:

The Dover School District in Racine County would be the biggest winner in the state with a 17.5% increase. Other local districts that would have gained state aid and their percentages are: Fox Point (4.6%), Mequon-Thiensville (3.2%), Nicolet (2.9%), Pewaukee (7.4%) and Stone Bank (0.7%).

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Public Schools would have seen its aid decrease by 8% and a large number of other school districts would have lost 10% or more of their aid.

Even if your child happens to attend one of the few districts benefiting from this formula, does this seem like a very logical or equitable way to “share sacrifices”? The Governor  gave a news conference today where he touted that districts can off-set his cuts by cutting 10% from their employees’ pay (By the way, this is pretty much the ONLY way districts are allowed to offset these cuts. So much for local control, right). But this was widely disputed by many of the school district representatives who were at the Capitol today but were not allowed to attend the press conference because they would draw attention to the fact that our Governor pretty much lies or misleads any time he opens his mouth.

2. Lawsuits, Lawsuits, and other questionable ethics:

Today Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed a civil lawsuit to void Walker’s anti-worker legislation because it was passed illegally in a committee in which republican members knowingly violated state public meeting laws.  There will be a hearing on this lawsuit tomorrow before a Dane County judge.  According to the Journal Sentinel, this judge will on Friday also hear a different lawsuit filed against the Governor by Dane County.

Meanwhile Governor Walker today was forced to settle a joint lawsuit filed by the Isthmus and Associated Press for failing to respond to their public records requests.  Under the settlement Governor Walker will produce the requested records on a CD (so the news organizations are not burdened by printing costs) and will also pay  for the legal fees incurred by the news organizations.  (Actually, the state will pay the legal fees on the Governor’s behalf.)

Finally, Democratic Senators Pocan and Risser today were forced to boycott a different public meeting held by the republican leadership because it was not fully accessible to the public.  The governor claimed afterwards that meeting was fully open, even though key members of the public were not allowed access.

3. Terrible leadership, anti-worker laws causing a massive wave of public service retirements

The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal ran similar pieces today on the high amount of public employees retiring because of Governor Walker’s anti-worker measures.  Although the retirements might allow some younger employees to enter the workforce, the sheer amount of retirements will result in a massive  amount of brain-drain in a number of key issue areas.  From the Capital Times:

Despite these short-term assurances, it’s clear from interviews with public employees that the potential for losing benefits in the near future looms large and is one motivation for those heading for the doors. Others are leaving because they are tired of feeling like they have a “target on their backs,” as one put it, and oppose the cuts they fear will hurt the citizens they serve.

As seasoned workers leave, people inside and outside of state government worry about a loss of institutional experience and memory.

The DNR’s Lathrop, for instance, will be hard, if not impossible, to replace, colleagues say.

“Dick is the ‘go-to’ guy regarding lake issues in Wisconsin,” says Ken Potter of the UW-Madison’s department of civil & environmental engineering. “His early retirement is a great loss to the DNR, the University of Wisconsin and the people of Wisconsin.”

From the stories it sounds like many older workers are retiring because the worry about their ability to maintain benefits they planned to retire on.  Others, also feel pushed to retire because programs they helped develop are being undermined or even dismantled by the Walker administration.  One such program is Family Care, which uses innovative approaches to treatments and nursing care to keep adults out of nursing homes.  The program actually saves the state money, but that hasn’t stopped the Walker administration from proposing an eligibility cap that will force people into costly nursing home care.

If you were a public worker who had spent 20 years building a program to cut down on costs and improve services to Wisconsinites, would you want to stick around and watch it fall apart? In addition, losing people who can properly administer public service programs is just another blow to low-income working families in our community.  To learn more, the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families recently released this damning analysis of the effects that Governor Walker’s proposals will have on working families.

People, when are we ready to say that enough is enough?

 

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In this amazing political ad from the 2010 republican primary for governor, then-candidate Scott Walker gives a pretty moving summation as to why he should be recalled later this year. In the ad, candidate Walker weaves us a tale about a people so shocked by one leader’s  poor stewardship and reckless cronyism that the people joined together to recall that leader.  As candidate Walker will tell you, it was not about anger, but about the people taking back their government so that it would once again reflect the wishes of its constituents.  Obviously, candidate Walker was referring to the recall election in Milwaukee County that led to his becoming County Executive, but as people on Twitter pointed out, with a few edits (we’d have to cut off the last minute as he starts spewing some confusing Walker logic) this really could be the first ad for the petition campaign to recall Governor Walker. Plus there’s Braveheart music and shadowy lighting:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As always, for those of you trying to keep track of the State of Wisconsin’s grievances against Scott Walker and the republican leadership, please visit my “Save the State” page, which is regularly updated to help everyone stay informed about these crucial issues.

 

Okay, welfare queens, pick your uterus up by it bootstraps

Today, March 8th, marks the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day.  And what better day to point  out that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal would eliminate all state funding for family planning services for low-income people.  That’s right, apparently the math in Governor Walker’s mind tells him that the state funding condoms and generic versions of orto-tri-cyclen costs more than the state funding life-long public assistance programs for unwanted children.  That’s our gov, always using his big brain!

Here’s the thing, as with many of the Governor’s proposals, this brain-dead logic has nothing to do with the cost to run a program, but has everything to do with complying with the GOP’s national platform.  Walker is in fact just copying the “big boys” in Washington D.C.  The GOP is attempting to rile up its Pro-Life base for 2012 by claiming that their move to defund Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics is really a move to stop the public funding of abortion.  But what Scott Walker and his D.C. counterparts ignore is that federal and state laws already prohibit the public funding of abortion.

But that’s not stopping local pro-lifers from backing these measures.  From the Capital Times:

Federal law, however, prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortion services, as does Wisconsin law, so none of the funds targeted in Walker’s budget are used to fund abortion services.

Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, nevertheless insists that Planned Parenthood uses taxpayer dollars to help “underwrite” its abortion practices.

But isn’t the whole point of family planning and contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies and, subsequently, abortions? Aren’t these pro-lifers actually backing policies that give them more of what they don’t want?

Like most poorly-reasoned Republican base-bating proposals, Scott Walker’s proposal will have dire consequences in Wisconsin.  Walker’s anti-family planning budget will cut numerous critical public health programs for low-income families in our state, which actually makes Wisconsin vulnerable to losing millions in federal matching dollars. Further, Walker’s proposals will restrict low-income people’s access to health care and will limit their ability to plan when and how to have children:

Sara Finger, executive director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, says about 50 centers around the state would be affected by the elimination of family planning dollars. These centers, which treat men and women, provide cervical, breast and prostate screenings, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment and access to birth control.

Walker’s budget proposal, she says, “has the threat of dismantling the family planning infrastructure in the state.”

One thing can be said about Governor Walker’s budget, his plan to cut family planning,  disease testing and treatment certainly holds fast to the national GOP platform: Big government in the bedroom, little government where you actually need it.

Residents protesting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union bill packed a Wauwatosa town hall meeting hosted by Republican U.S. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner this evening, which he adjourned early after repeated interruptions from attendees. The protesters took particular ire with the presence and presentation of Republican State Senator Leah Vukmir, who was arguing with protesters over her support of Walker’s bill.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Attendees packed a meeting room in the Wauwatosa Public Library while an adjacent hallway was filled with the meeting’s overflow. Budget bill opponents hoping to recall Vukmir gathered signatures in the lobby of the Wauwatosa Civic Center while outside about 75 protesters denounced the bill and called for Walker’s recall.

“I am very disappointed in Congressman Sensenbrenner tonight for shutting down the meeting strictly because people were here in opposition and he got uncomfortable with them,” said Milwaukee Public Schools teacher Andrew Reiser.

Here is footage of the town hall in which you can hear Sensenbrenner sternly order protesters to be quiet while Vukmir parrots the same talking points we have heard Governor Walker exhaust over the last couple days. Attendees become especially incensed as Vukmir uses a news story from Oshkosh (also referenced by Governor Walker yesterday) claiming their district may be able to come out even, they think, under Walker’s budget proposal. “What about Tosa?!” shouts one angry protester at the 1:30 minute mark. The meeting is adjourned shortly thereafter to loud boos and calls of “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

Fun facts: Wauwatosa is Governor Walker’s adopted hometown and he won Vukmir’s district by 54%.  And yes, petitions are being gathered for Vukmir’s recall. Thoughts? Speculation?

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Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Town Hall Meeting 3/7/11, posted with vodpod