Support for I-94 expansion below 50%

That wasn't the headline, of course. But it could have been.

A survey shows 49% for I-94 expansion, 41% for high speed rail and 42% for commuter rail. So the Journal Sentinel played up the lack of support for rail -- in the four-county metro Milwaukee area, which includes three conservative red counties and one big blue one.

Margin of error? Plus or minus 5 per cent. So support for I-94 expansion could have been as low as 44%, and support for rail as high as 47%.

But that wouldn't fit the newspaper's template, as my old friend Jessica McBride used to say.

David Clarke, the constitutional sheriff

Illusory Tenant took the words out of my mouth about Sheriff David Clarke's plan for a Milwaukee County boot camp for prisoners. The quote in the story that really jumped out:


The sheriff dropped hints earlier about his boot camp idea, but has not yet consulted with judges, prosecutors and others in the criminal justice system. He plans to formally roll out the plan soon and said he hopes to get other officials to buy in. If not, he'll impose it anyway, Clarke said.

"With my constitutional authority, if I have to, I'll do it unilaterally," he said.

Clarke, the right-winger who gets elected by posing as a Democrat, has long had a theory that as a state constitutional officer he is free to do whatever he pleases. (Register of deeds, treasurer, clerk, DA and other county officials also were created by the state constituion, but no one else makes that claim.)

That hasn't always worked out so well.

50 State Blog Roundup - July 3, 2010

This week's roundup will be a little bit abbreviated, as I'm on the road this week to visit family in Oklahoma. Always interesting, of course, as we're spending the first few days in the "single stoplight town" of Checotah, OK, which has since added a stoplight to accommodate the new Super WalMart near the highway. And thus ends the first and last Carrie Underwood reference on OpenLeft.

Already I've seen several commercials for the gubernatorial candidates running to see who will replace term-limited Democrat Brad Henry. Democratic nominee Lt. Gov Jari Askins has a good one on women in the workplace:

And Democrat Drew Edmonson wants to drill, baby drill and frack, baby, frack:

Six gun law returns to Jackson County

Who needs a judicial system when we have Jackson County DA Gerald Fox?

While others ponder the effect of the US Supreme Court's recent gun decision, Fox has declared there is no need for further review: light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling this week that the Second Amendment clearly applies to the states, he will no longer prosecute people for carrying concealed weapons, or certain other gun related offenses.

The high court's ruling in McDonald vs. Chicago, "immediately renders some of Wisconsin's current laws unconstitutional," Fox said in a news release. Therefore, he said, his office won't take any cases police might refer that are solely about violations of concealed carry, uncased or loaded weapons in vehicles, guns in public buildings or where alcohol is sold or served. Nor will Fox prosecute the possession of switchblade and other types of easy-opening knives.

Don't you have to be a lawyer to be district attorney? Sure, someone has to graduate last in his class, but still...

UPDATE: Jeri Bonavia of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE):

On Music Appreciation, Or, I'm Taking The Day Off

It is a huge news day today, what with death and confirmation on everyone’s mind...and I’m not going to do anything about it—well, not today, anyway.

Instead, I’m taking the day off to bring you something more compelling: a music appreciation class, with recordings old and new, and just right for your summer soundtrack. And if that’s not an amazing coincidence, we also get to talk about the (I never even know it existed) McRice burger, and, just for a summer bonus, we even have a smoking hot male model to grab your attention.

It’s all about fun today, so let’s get right to having some.

The Johnson-Angle ticket: Get a job, you bums!

Why do we keep comparing Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson to Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, the loose cannonTea Partier who's been mostly hiding from the media? Gee, I dunno:

SHARRON ANGLE: I would have voted no, because the truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does.[ Face to Face with John Ralston, 6/29/10]
RON JOHNSON: “The extension of unemployment benefits actually prolongs unemployment....“When you give, when you continue to extend unemployment benefits, people really don’t have the incentive to go take other jobs, you know, they’ll just wait the system out until their benefits run out.” [Wisconsin Public Television, Here and Now on 6/11/10]

Stop me before I read again

You have to be very sick to read the Journal Sentinel comments, mostly dominated by a pack of right-wing trolls who get their jollies by being personally mean and vicious. Please stop me before I read again.

This one, however, is worth sharing, regarding that wacky Rebecca Kleefisch, GOP candidate for LtGov:

jimtherepublican - Jun 30, 2010 5:54 PM Becki is a cute lady. Very nice person, great wife & terrific mom. That said, this is her first run for office. Normally, it wouldn't bother me. But if Walker wins this year, his record would be impressive to the Washington crowd. If he moves up the political ladder, could she handle being governor? I really don't know.

I've had a cocktail or two with Bret Davis. I like him. Stable great family man with a good head on his shoulders. There are some who claim he's not a conservative. I disagree. He's as conservative as they come and he could take over if Scott moved on.

Jim, Jim, I have a lot of questions. Couldn't a "cute lady" take over when Walker moves on? Do you think Brett's a cute guy?

Ron Johnson's TV ads costing him name ID

Bad news for Senate candidate Ron Johnson in the latest poll, this one from Public Poicy Polling. Like Rasmussen Reports, it is automated and we don't know who's paying for it -- two things that are troubling no matter who does the polling. The Public Policy poll has Feingold slightly ahead of Johnson; Rasmussen did, too.

But what's really remarkable is Johnson's name recognition in the two polls. In the Public Policy poll, only 38% of the people know enough about Johnson to be able to rate him favorably or unfavorably. Feingold has 85% recognition.

But in the Rasmussen poll done earlier this month, Johnson had 76% name recognition. In May, it was 68%.

Rasmussen also had Johnson's primary opponent, David Westlake, at 64% recognition in May. According to Public Policy Polling, Westlake's current name recognition is 20%.

Since that May poll, Johnson has spent about a million dollars on television to introduce himself to voters. But Johnson's name recognition is way down.

Either it's time to pull the plug on his TV advertising, or it's time for Republicans to stop touting those phony polls.

State Supreme Court Upholds DIscrimination

The state supreme court has unanimously upheld the ban on gay marriage in Wisconsin.  Although I clearly have to respect the legal decision, which seems reasonable enough on the face of it, I still have to ask myself how the  normally fair-minded people of Wisconsin voted for this discriminatory referendum?

Going even further than a simple ban on marriage, we continue to live under a rule that has effectively made gay people in the state second class citizens. Now that the court has ruled the referendum legal, it's time to fire up our resources to attempt to repeal the ban on gay marriage and domestic partnerships. This will happen eventually, as the newer generations of people in the state become the majority. Younger people simply generally can't understand what the big deal is, and frankly, neither do I.  I spend a lot of time in Vermont, and so far my marriage has withstood the strain of being in a gay marriage state. Wisconsinites can do the same. I continue to find it abhorrent that we as a state not only allow a form of discrimination, but have made a law out of it.

Everyone take a deep breath, relax, and then come back out swinging.


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