Steve Hanson's blog

Quick Note on Voter ID

As you may have heard, the US Supreme Court today decided not to hear the appeal of the Wisconsin Voter ID cases, which left a question as to whether Voter ID will apply in the April 7 elections:. 

From the GAB a few minutes ago:

Following Monday's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of Wisconsin's voter ID cases, the Government Accountability Board has consulted with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and determined that photo ID will not be required for the April 7 Spring Election.  Photo ID will be required for subsequent elections, including any special elections in 2015.

Watching Wisconsin's heart break

Broken Heart

I am in my office today trying to work and at the same time listen to the testimony at the budget hearing in  Milwaukee on It's difficult to do CMS upgrades and listen to the heart of Wisconsin breaking  at the same time. Person after person is testifying against the draconian provisions of the budget, telling very personal stories of how they and their organizations will be impacted by the proposed budget. Individuals with health problems, education professionals, people of faith, and others of every persuasion in life are testifying about how the massive budget cuts will affect the elderly, the poor, the ill, students, teachers, and others. 

More stealth law-making at work - update and good news!

Top Secret

The executive session for tomorrow to vote on AB1 in committee has been cancelled.  This may be because Thiesfeldt has not been able to raise enough support within the GOP for the revised bill. It may also be in part due to the response he has received from citizens.  In any case at least for the time being this version of the bill is dead in the water.

The state GOP continues its parade of "bad ideas in legislation" as they work to pass yet another stealth bill. Changes to AB1 regarding punishment of school districts for not receiving good letter grades now removes all power from local school boards and hands it  over to the superintendent.  Foolish you, you probably thought that electing local officials actually meant something. This bill is being shoved through, and will possibly be voted on tomorrow in committee. I'm including the text from an email I received this morning.  It's from Sondy Pope, and I hope you will consider taking action as outlined below:

Wisconsin Worker Freedom to Agree?


The GOP in Wisconsin just launched a new Wisconsin Worker Freedom web site. 

Its there to let you express your opinion on the Right-To-Work legislation

It even shows the twitter feed for @wiworkerfreedom, and gives you a chance to send tweets to them.  Interestingly though, the "feed" on their web site only shows the tweets they want you to see - the ones that promote the Right To Work legislation. Compare the site to the actual twitter feed for @wiworkerfreedom . Now, it's not at all surprising to realize that the GOP only wants to hear opinions supporting their union-busting interests.  We saw that the last couple days during the public hearing where the vast majority of people speaking were against the bill, and a very large percentage speaking in favor were from other states. And which ended early because the GOP was afraid that people would speak out of turn.  This was a "threat".  Remember these are the same people who found little girls doodling in the gallery to be a threat because they might write something they did not like.  They took their paper away.

Where is the love for "right to work"?

This is a guest editorial by Lori Compas. Lori is the executive director of the Wisconsin Business Alliance.

by Lori Compas

I spent this morning calling local chambers of commerce in Republican state senate districts in an effort to get their take on the so-called “right to work” legislation that is scheduled to be introduced at the State Capitol this week.

Since the State Chamber of Commerce, or WMC, is strongly supporting the legislation, I was curious to learn where local business associations stand on the issue.

Specifically, I wanted to learn the answer to this question: Is WMC really representing Wisconsin’s broad and diverse business community when it claims that businesses want legislators to enact “right to work” laws?

The answer was astonishing: I could not find a single Chamber in the districts of senators Fitzgerald, Cowles, Moulton, Petrowski, Nass, Lasee, or Harsdorf that supports “right to work.”

Welcome to the new Uppity Wisconsin

Happy Birthday

It's hard to believe, but Uppity Wisconsin will be nine years old next week. In honor of that, and in honor of finally getting the *_)*_)(*( thing working, here is the new Uppity Wisconsin. Sure, I know it doesn't look all that different, but it's a whole new version of Drupal with a whole slug of new potential features (hardly any of which are actually in place yet). Gist of all of this is that it will put us in a good position to move forward .  A few notes:

  • We will now look MUCH better on mobile devices than we ever have (so you should now be able to actually read it on your cell phone or tablet - more adjustments to that are on the way. )
  • We have a lot more control over placement of things - very little of which is now in use.
  • Look forward to new features like petitions, etc. which we have never been able to do very well.
  • We're moving into a version of Drupal that will be supported much longer. Which is good.

This has taken a while to get going, and almost all of the content from the old site has been moved over here.  We're on a new (somewhat smaller) server with some different features. If you see problems with the site, or want to make suggestions, please use the contact form to send me an email.

The main thing I'm trying to say here is that we're moving into new territory, and you can expect that the look, performance, and features of the site will be going through a lot of changes in the next month or two.  May we live in interesting times.

Steve Hanson

Scott Walker's protests against right to work have a hollow ring to them

As the state legislature barrels forward to create yet another bogus "jobs" bill that will not create jobs, Scott Walker protests.  A little.  Though of course if the bill actually gets passed next week, he'll have "no choice but to sign it because it's the will of the people".

Walker insists that Right to Work is a "distraction" and is not what the legislature should be working on. I suspect this is simply a ruse to appear more "moderate" as he runs for president. The general impression he is currently giving is that he will say or do anything to be president, including completely contradicting his past statements. His continual kowtowing to big money and changing his position on things reeks of desperation, and is unlikely to fool much of anyone once he actually declares and starts to be held accountable. Please remember that this is still "Divide and Conquer" Scott Walker we're talking about - remember this choice conversation with Diane Hendricks?

UW Budget Cut protest at UW-Eau Claire

Approximately 300 people, mostly students, braved the cold at UW-Eau Claire on Friday to protest the budget cuts in Scott Walker's proposed budget. Several students and faculty spoke at the rally, and State Representative Dana Wachs finished the rally with a speech defending the University system from cuts. After the rally the group marched around the center part of the campus, ending up at the student center, where many of them made posters and wrote letters to their representatives.

Wisconsin budget cut rally Eau Claire

Jeff Smith running for Democratic Party Chair

This afternoon I talked to Jeff Smith on the phone about his run for Democratic Party Chair. Jeff is the former representative from the 93rd district, and has worked as an organizer for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  I talked to Jeff about what his plans are, what he would do as party chair, and what makes him different from the other candidates.  Please excuse some of the audio quality here - this was a cell phone interview.


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