Monday, April 23, 2012

Anti-Union Website Sponsored by Wisconsin State Journal - More Far-Right Media

Lee Enterprises, the publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, has set up an anti-union website with many myths, have truths, and tons of spin to make you think you're better off negotiating with employers by yourself than collectively.

The site is called Lee Union Free, and is a despicable website coming from what is supposed to be an unbiased news source.  Lee Enterprises recently chided their employees for signing recall petitions, as if signing a recall petition says you don't support Walker. They did this in an effort to look unbiased, but in fact their behavior just supports their bias towards Walker by chiding people who signed the petition but may plan to vote for Walker in the recall election, just like the far-right Walker supporting Gannett.

The biggest spin of them all on the site: "You don't need a union. Let your performance speak for itself." If that was true, we would have never needed unions, but that's definitely NOT true. Lee Enterprises would rather keep unions out so they can pay you what they want based on the performance they want to measure.

Their "Facts about Unions" page plays a video from the Daily Show. Really? I know they *can* be factual, but that's LE's only source of facts against unions? They're a newspaper for crying out loud! They couldn't dig up their own facts or reliable sources?

Besides the Daily Show video, they provide a link to which is some non-profit in Washington D.C. The site profiles the extreme cases of union corruption, which I have deep concerns about, but it barely mentions the benefits of collective bargaining. Yes, any organization can become corrupt, and we must prevent that as best as possible, but that doesn't mean unions are bad. If anything, it means that anti-corruption policies that govern both unions and corporations are not working.

The site even violates their supposed policy: "Participation in public affairs or events that may leave the impression that news judgment is being influenced by activism is prohibited." Creating an anti-union website is clearly public and political activism biased against unions, but singing a recall petition is not biased. Signing a recall petition doesn't mean you can't support Walker and vote for him in the recall election. It means that you support Wisconsin's ability to choose in the future whether to replace an official before their term is up. So, signing a recall petition should not leave any biased impression. If Lee Enterprises wanted to assure their readers that their employees weren't biased for signing the recall petitions, Lee Enterprises could have simply reported on the facts of a recall, but that doesn't make for "attractive" headlines.

Now, it's very clear that Lee Enterprises is far-right Walker supporting media. They don't like unions or recall petition signers. They punish employees for taking part in an unbiased form of democracy, but then create an activist website that supports Walker's anti-union agenda.

If the Wisconsin State Journal, the La Crosse Tribune, and others want to appear unbiased, they need to shut this blatantly biased and spun website down! You can't have your cake and it eat, too. Either you're unbiased and show support for no particular cause, or you are biased.

NOTE: I'm not qualifying my statement about our far-right media in Wisconsin anymore, they're clearly far-right Walker-supporting media.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Where Are Wisconsin's Jobs? Wait Til After Recall Walker Says

Things were starting to look up for Wisconsin's job outlook at the beginning of the year, but Scott Walker's far-right policies have continued to hemorrhage jobs. Wisconsin lost 4,500 jobs in the month of March! All while the rest of the nation speeds to a recovery.

250,000 jobs. That's what Walker said he'd bring to Wisconsin in four years. Unfortunately for all of us, we've lost thousands of jobs since Walker took office. Walker hasn't brought any jobs to Wisconsin, instead he's made things worse.

In fact, Walker's fired over 1,400 teachers since he stripped their collective bargaining rights last spring. Even though he said his "tools" would prevent it.

So, where are all of those jobs Walker promised he'd create with his tax cuts for the corporations and massive budget cuts to education? They seem to be just to the south in Illinois where they've had lot's of successful job growth. Illinois didn't strip collective bargaining rights from their public workers or introduce massive cuts to education. No, only Walker did, and now we see the results.

Walker admitted trying to get those jobs we've lost to Illinois when he went to see the Illinois Chamber of Commerce yesterday. Unfortunately, it appears that because of Walker, those employers like the climate in Illinois much better.

No Republican governor even wants to be thought of as a Scott Walker after what he's done for Wisconsin.

However, Walker says that if you just wait until after the recall elections, Wisconsin will have a "dramatic" increase in the number of new jobs.

Trust me, Walker, employers are not waiting to see if you keep your job before they hire more workers. That's just plain asinine and narcissistic!

Many employers would like you gone right now. In fact, I predict that if Walker loses in the recall, there will be a dramatic increase in new jobs, but if he wins we're stuck. It's Walker's far-right policies that have kept jobs away, not the fear of recall elections. Just look at when we started hemorrhaging jobs, it was long before Walker's recall began.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ira Robbins: Candidate With No Special Interests

Ira Robbins, a retired police officer, is running for Lt. Governor of Wisconsin in the recall election against Rebecca Kleefisch. However, unlike the other candidates for Lt. Governor, Robbins doesn't take money from any special interests. In fact, he doesn't accept money from anyone. He's one of a few candidates with no special interests, a true people's candidate.

Robbins is a big supporter of teachers and collective bargaining rights. In fact, he's running on a platform of returning to quality education while getting special interest money out of politics.

Since Robbins doesn't take money from any special interests, he'll have no reason to listen to them if he's elected. No Koch brothers, no ALEC, and no unions. Only people. This doesn't mean that Robbins doesn't align with the interests of members of any organizations, he just won't give them special treatment like nearly every other politician - Democrat and Republican. See, he's for collective bargaining rights, but not for succumbing to every whim of unions.

I encourage you to take a look at his website at and find out more about Ira Robbins. If you think he would be a good Lt. Gov., he really needs your help getting the word out, because everyone else is getting lots of help from big special interests. Voting for people like Ira Robbins is the only way we'll get special interest money out of politics and return Wisconsin back to the people.

How Many Teachers Has Scott Walker Fired?

I was talking to a teacher the other day who was telling me about 21 teachers who will lose their job under her district's latest plans. She asked me, "How many teachers has Scott Walker fired?" I couldn't answer her question at the time, but I thought it was a very interesting question.

See, the whole reason that Walker says he stripped the rights of our public workers last year was to give local governments and districts the "tools" needed to deal with his massive budget cuts without firing any teachers. Walker said that this would save thousands of teachers jobs. However, we know that this has been far from the case. So, how many teachers has Scott Walker fired?

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Scott Walker has fired* at least 1,446 teachers!

That's 2.4% of Wisconsin's teachers!  All fired by Scott Walker in one year, so that corporations and super rich people like Diane Hendricks can pay little or no state taxes. In the end, we suffer with lower-quality education. The children of the super rich go to the best private schools money can buy.

So much for saving thousands of teachers' jobs, but we all know that wasn't the reason Walker stripped their collective bargaining rights. It was to push his far-right ideological and corporate goal of stripping rights from a specific group of people he figured he could get away with, public employees. "Divide-and-conquer," as he told Diane Hendricks just before she gave Walker the biggest donation in Wisconsin history and less than a month before he "dropped the bomb."

Walker's "tools" don't work.

But we all know Walker is a big fat liar.

*Yes, I know he didn't directly fire them, but they lost their jobs due to his massive budget cuts to give tax breaks to corporations. So the buck stops at Walker.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Republican Sources: Ron Johnson Can't Do Anything But Gab

According to multiple Republican sources, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, the joke on Wisconsin, can't get anything done and he's about to fire nearly his entire staff in a "temper tantrum." Johnson has spent too much time talking and not enough listening and working, and so he hasn't made any friends in the Senate and can't move any of his policies. Thank God.
“He’s an interesting case study of someone who has talked more than he has listened, lectured more than he has developed relationships with his colleagues, and now he’s having a tough time because of that behavior in advancing his policy goals. It’s kind of like watching a temper tantrum by a 2-year-old in the middle of the grocery store.”
Apparently, Johnson's troubles with his staff are no secret in Washington D.C. I can't say I didn't see this coming.

So, what's Ron Johnson's plan to turn things around for himself? Focus more on messaging!

Give me a minute to scrape myself off the floor.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wanna See Scott Walker's Special Interests?

If you wanna see who Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's special interests are, now you can thanks to the superb interactive page put together by the Journal Sentinel. The page lets you visually compare how much money many of the recall candidates have received, from whom and from where.  It's as plain as day to see that nearly half (47%) of Walker's $12 million comes from out-of-state special interests, far more than any other candidate.

One of the other things you'll first notice is that Walker's top 5 donors are all rich individuals except one named "Unitemized."

I have no idea who's money is "Unitemized," but it's clear by the donors lists and the secretly-funded billboards popping up all over Wisconsin, that there's a few loud rich people who support Walker and are doing everything they can to make their voices louder than everyone else. It's time we take Wisconsin back for the people - not just the few rich and powerful!

We can't take Wisconsin back for the people until we get special interest money out of politics. In order to do that, we must support candidates who refuse money from special interests - any nonhuman entity, particularly those from out of state. On the No Special Interests website, you can quickly see which recall candidates take money from special interests and which do not.  From there you can decide which candidates to support or to help persuade your favorite candidate to stop taking money from special interests.

By the way, is Scott Walker breaking the law right now?

Join the grassroots movement to finally rid our politics of special interest money!

Is Scott Walker Breaking Wisconsin Law?

Is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker breaking the law right now?

Walker set up a legal defense fund several weeks ago in response to the FBI's criminal John Doe investigation, otherwise known as Walkergate. This lead many to believe Walker must be a target of the investigation - most likely the John Doe.

However, Walker continues to say he's not a target in the investigation. Yet, if he's not a target in the investigation, then he's breaking the law, because that's the only time a legal defense fund can be setup under Wisconsin law. Several news organizations have asked Walker since, and none have gotten a straight answer. If Walker isn't breaking the law, then we deserve to know how and why.

It's time this gets investigated. Either Walker is breaking the law or he is not, and Wisconsin deserves to know. Who begins such an investigation? If it's Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, that explains why we still don't know. This is someone's responsibility, and these questions need to be answered now, particularly because he'll soon be standing before Wisconsin's recall.

Can someone please tell me how we determine if Scott Walker is breaking Wisconsin law? And has Walker met with prosecutors or the FBI yet?

Walker is either being investigated for breaking the law or he's breaking the law now.

Wisconsin needs answers now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Waukesha Poll Workers Illegally Turned Down Voters for No ID

Waukesha is at it again with Wisconsin elections. Poll workers in Waukesha illegally disenfranchised at least one elderly voter for not having her photo ID when photo IDs are not required to vote. An elderly woman and her daughter were asked by poll workers for their ID. When they didn't have one and were told they couldn't vote, they called the Wisconsin GAB. The GAB has confirmed the incident happened.

IDs haven't been required to vote since two judges found the law unconstitutional. There doesn't appear to be any legal reason that the rulings will be overturned. So, please make sure people know they don't need an ID. Maybe someone standing in line in Waukesha could have informed the poll workers of their illegal disenfranchisement.

From the way it sounds, these poll workers were asking everyone for an ID, and these two voters didn't try until near the closing of polls. How many people were illegally disenfranchised for not having IDs?

I guess we might find out tomorrow when the Waukesha Deputy City Clerk explains at least this incident. Why does it always take a day for Waukesha to explain incidents in elections that should be very easy to explain?

The voter suppression by far-right people in Wisconsin must end now! Bombing medical clinicsbringing guns to vote, and subs for votes. These guys will do whatever it takes.

Update: (4/4 12:17am) Thanks to O for pointing out that a polling place in Fitchburg was asking voters for IDs. However, I can't find any information as to whether any voters were actually turned away or left before they were allowed to vote. Was anyone unable to vote for not having an ID in Fitchburg or anywhere else?

Update: (4/4 8:24am) It also appears that Waukesha County is having problems counting votes AGAIN.

Did Scott Walker Meet with John Doe Prosecutor Today?

DailyKos blogger ForestLake spotted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the first governor to ever set up a legal defense fund, rushing into the Milwaukee County Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse around 9 this morning. I tried finding any news about his trip to the Federal Building, but I haven't found anything. Was Walker finally meeting with the DA in the FBI John Doe investigation?

That's a great question, with an interesting answer most likely no matter what, and we might know if he made his schedule public on his website.

Another great question that hasn't been answered is, is Walker breaking Wisconsin law?

Walker set up a legal defense fund several weeks ago. However, he says he's not a target in the investigation. If he's not a target in the investigation then he's breaking the law, because that's the only time a legal defense can be setup under Wisconsin law. Several news organizations have asked Walker since, and none have gotten a straight answer. If Walker isn't breaking the law, then we deserve to know how and why.

It's time this gets investigated. Either Walker is breaking the law or he is not, and Wisconsin deserves to know. Who begins such an investigation? If it's Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, that explains why we still don't know. This is someone's responsibility, and these questions need to be answered now, particularly before he stands before Wisconsin's recall.

Can someone please tell me how we determine if Walker is breaking Wisconsin law?

Wisconsin needs answers.

Update: (2:11pm) No one yet seems to know what Walker was doing. Walker's sighting at the Federal Building may not have anything to do with the John Doe investigation, given that neither the FBI nor the DA would probably meet with Walker there. There aren't any better explanations yet.

Update: (2:43pm) I called Walker's staff, but they didn't have Walker's schedule for today and weren't able to tell me where he was. I was told to email Cullen Werwie to find out, and I have. Waiting...

Update: (8:37pm) No response from Werwie so far, and I can't find any more information. Jud Lounsbury at UppityWis believes that Walker may have been visiting the RICO prosecutor. If the visit was just normal governor business, why are we being kept in the dark. What was Walker doing?

Update: (4/9 2:37pm) No response from Werwie after several attempts from several addresses. I haven't seen anything in the press about Walker's whereabouts that day.  So, I guess we'll just never know. Annoyingly secretive Walker!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Report From a Doug La Follette Nomination Circulator

I spent part of this weekend talking to people who vote for Democrats and some who vote for Republicans about Doug La Follette's campaign for Wisconsin Governor as I collected signatures for his nomination, and I've gotten a very good reception from everyone. After my introduction, I always went to "Doug La Follette doesn't take money from any special interests." I told them that fact is one of the primary reasons I'm supporting him for governor, and then I asked if they would be willing to support his name on the ballot. No one has turned me down yet. No more questions.

Everyone likes to hear that a candidate doesn't receive support from special interests, especially these days, and everyone I talked to was excited to help such a candidate get on the ballot.

This is positive news for Doug La Follette's campaign. All of the Democratic candidates are in a statistical dead-heat with Walker. So we're going to need a strong candidate with a stark contrast from Scott Walker, and Doug La Follette's confidence to stand for the people of Wisconsin without special interest support is the starkest contrast among the Democrats.

My experience this weekend also convinced me to create the No Special website to help us get special interest money out of our politics. It became quite clear to me that people in Wisconsin are yearning for candidates who reject special interests. With this and all the political energy on both sides right now, I believe Wisconsin can start blazing another political trail - the defeat of special interests in politics.

Help us make that happen by spreading the word and supporting candidates who refuse money from special interests.

No Special Interests: A Grassroots Viral Movement to Rid Politics of Special Interest Money

That may be a bit grandiose, but that's the goal of No Special, the website that I created over the weekend. One of the biggest problems in politics today is the influence of various special interests from corporations to unions and everything in between. It's only gotten worse with the Citizens United ruling, and both sides of the aisle agree. Yet, nearly every politician says that they don't cater to special interests. So, the only way we can rid our politics of special interest influence is to find and elect candidates who truly aren't supported by special interests. No Special was created to assist Wisconsinites with that effort and to hopefully start a nonpartisan grassroots movement to rid politics of special interest money.

Candidates who refuse money from special interests really need the support of Wisconsinites to win, and they need to win for us to take Wisconsin back for the people. They're already at a disadvantage by refusing support from special interests. They get less press and less advertising. Yet, they're the type of candidates we should support with the confidence to stand on their own for the people of Wisconsin. We must make an effort to support them if we want to have any chance at success. That means spreading the word about these candidates and why they're better for the people of Wisconsin.

The first step is getting people to realize the significance of special interest money in our politics and the candidates who accept it. Then, we need to encourage support for candidates who refuse support from special interests and put pressure on candidates who accept support from special interests. If we're loud enough, they will listen or stand the chance of losing, and the movement will grow exponentially stronger with each candidate who refuses special interest support.

The lack of support from special interests can be the one differentiating factor in the upcoming elections for candidates on both sides of the aisle. With enough volume, we can make it impossible for candidates to accept money from special interests. We attain success by using our voices and support to elect candidates who are people-funded.

With the historic recall elections approaching and political energy on both sides, we can make significant progress towards our goal quickly. Especially, if we elect a governor who refused special interest support. Everyone agrees this is the time we can really bring about change, and this is the only way we can do it.

On No Special you'll find more information on why we need to get special interest money out of politics, how a little effort from each of us can make this happen, and why this movement can work here in Wisconsin right now.

Most importantly, you'll find information on where Wisconsin candidates stand on special interest support. So, you can see who is running a people-funded campaign and who is running a campaign on special interest money. Over the next few days I'll be adding all of the candidates for the races in the upcoming recall elections and the November election. I welcome all constructive feedback and greatly appreciate it!

However, the website is nothing without you. All it takes is a tweet, an email, or just talking to friends. We need to do this all ourselves, and we can do this all ourselves. Lets get this movement started.

We can take Wisconsin back for the people!

I'll soon be tweeting about No Special and this effort with the hash tag #NoSpecialInterests and #tincup for short. You can also join the movement on Facebook at

I hope you'll join us!