Steve Hanson's blog

Go Vote…Even on Saturday

Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
On a beautiful October Saturday afternoon, my college-student son and I went to vote. Afterwards, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Just between you and me, I worried about my son voting. Would he come home before Election Day? Would he know the rules about mail-in ballots?
Mail-in early voting is complex.
You must request the ballot by mail by downloading the ballot request form. ( You fill out the ballot request form and make sure you mail it so your clerk receives it by 5:00 pm November 3rd  2016.


The web site is a new project for my web development company. Think of it as a set of  mini-sites about different topcs and (eventually) different parts of the state. At the moment we're concentrating on the Chippewa Valley.  If you are in the area please join me at our first Community Meeting -- at 6 PM on Monday the 24th.  The meeting will be in the classroom at the beautiful classroom at Menomonie Market Food Co-op - it's upstairs in the office area.

Organizing Co-op helps to pass CAFO moratorium

Courtesy Wikipedia

The Dunn County Board last night passed a six month moratorium on CAFO expansion of more than 10% on farms of over 1000 animals in the county. This is in response to a very large expansion of Cranberry Creek Farm planned for the county, and was prompted by many questions raised about the ability of the farm owners to manage runoff, and some serious issues with the application and the ability of the DNR to properly consider the issues  in awarding a permit. The permit is for an expansion of up to 7150 animals.

Court rejects Walker pee-in-a-cup plea

A federal court has stymied the state of Wisconsin’s effort to drug test food stamp applicants.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) championed the drug test policy as he launched a doomed presidential bid in 2015. The Obama administration said federal law doesn’t allow states to drug test food stamp recipients, so the Walker administration asked a federal court to decide.

And they decided.  Once again proving that the current administration has very little concept of how federal law works, the court basically said that you cannot ask for a test on a law you have not written yet. This is  not quite the same as rejecting the plan to drug test benefit recipients, just that the Walker administration would need to first have their law be rejected, and then appeal. One more case of our govrernment's time and money being sucked up by legal posturing for pointless ideological purpooses.

John Doe II - it's dead

Scott Walker

This morning the US Supreme court rejected the appeal on the John Doe II case. The case, which was brought by three county district attorneys, was the last hope for continuation of the John Doe probe in Wisconsin. We can now assume that the investigaition is officially dead, and that the corruption, pay-for-play, and flow of dark money into the state will continue. 

CAFO petition in Dunn County

Cafo Meeting

The Citizen Action Western Wisconsin Organizing Co-op is continuing to fight the new CAFO in Dunn County. If you want to help to stop large dairy operations with uncertain controls over their pollution, please sign the petition against the CAFO expansion.

Also, if you would like to support political organizing in Western Wisconsin, and become a part of actions such as this, please consider signing up to become a member of the Co-op. They have been effective already on several fronts, including promoting fair living wages, environmental issues such as this, and fighting against Payday Lending - they could use your support, both financially by becoming a member, and by volunteering to help out.

Ever-Changing VoterID implementation leaves potential voters out in the cold

Update -- On Friday federal district court Judge James Peterson demanded the state investigate the DMV's implementation of Voter ID and the ID process. The state must produce a report by Oct. 7.  At the same time the state ACLU filed a motion in the 7th District Court alleging that the state is not giving ID's to people who request them. This is a lot of litigation and expense to solve a problem that does not exist.

I try to keep track of these things - but if you were to ask me exactly what the status is of getting an ID to vote in Wisconsin if you cannot come up with, for example, a birth certificate, I'd have trouble remembering what today's story is. The state has been scrambling to find some sort of way to more-or-less conform to court rulings on voter ID while still managing to in practice make it hard to get those ID's.

According to a new story in The Nation, it sounds like they are succeeding admirably as people try to continue to go through the voter ID hoops, only to find that apparently nobody at the DMV offices actually understands the current rules, and even if they do understand the rules they are not very good at carrying them out.

Legal experts say they’re extremely troubled by the state’s continued failure to fairly enforce the voter-ID law. “Wisconsin has promised the court that voters would be able to get an ID with whatever documents they have,” says Sean Young of the ACLU. “They’ve completely failed to live up to that promise.”


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