Needed: Election integrity, not GOP fraud

There's election fraud in Wisconsin -- but not where you might think if you believe all of the bombast from Atty. Gen. JB Van Hollen, who continues to act as though there is some vast conspiracy to steal Wisconsin's elections.  Those claims are the real fraud.

One Wisconsin Now pointed out this week, as Van Hollen trumpeted his expanded election task force, that after almost four years of searching for fraudulent voting in the 2008 presidential election, he's come up almost entirely empty.

Despite the scary headlines, OWN noted, Van Hollen has found only 11 potentially-improper votes cast out of 3 million people who voted. 

Van Hollen's "partisan-fueled, taxpayers-financed anti-voter witch hunt," is a bust, said OWN's highly quotable Scot Ross. "Van Hollen claims there is widespread error  ...

Netroots Wisconsin, Care2

Two brief site notes -

The Netroots Wisconsin conference is a regional conference of Netroots Nation.  Come to participate in promoting the Cheddarsphere, meet netroots from around the state, and learn how to communicate more effectively wth the Internet.  This is a first year conference, and I'd really like to see it be a success.  Admission prices go up by $10 on Sunday, so if you're interested in coming on Sept. 25, you can save some cash by signing up now.

Second -- You'll note that the site now has some actions from Care2 sprinkled around it,  These are effective ways for you to make your voice heard, and to participate in actions around the country. Itt's also a way for you to support Uppity Wisconsin by signing up for these actions. Take a look.  They're at the bottom of all of the content on the site currently (that may move with an upcoming site redesign). 

'We have to spill the oil where it is'

Jim Rowen asks: Can we keep the Michigan oil spill out of the Great Lakes?

Senator wannabe Ron Johnson, caught unstaffed, said:

"I think the government should just stay the hell out of this and let nature take its course. We have to spill the oil where it is."

OK, he didn't really say that, at least in public. But it would not be out of character, given his previous statements.


Pay-to-Plale update: Anyone for a Koch?

The hits just keep on coming from Jeff Plale's finance report. We call it Pay to Plale.

Lisa Kaiser of the Shepherd Express  discovers a donation from a lobbyist for Koch (say Coke) Industries. We'll let her tell it:

Why is this so important?

Well, Koch is the biggest privately owned oil company in America. It also owns Georgia Pacific.

The profits from the Koch conglomerate also fund Americans for Prosperity, the nutty Astro-turf group hyping the tea parties. (Well, I'm not so sure the various tea party "patriot" groups want to be linked to AFP, but AFP's doing its damnedest to do it to look legit.)

Koch is also a primary funder of climate change-denying think tanks and other free market outfits like the Cato Institute.

Greenpeace reports:

Billionaire tycoon David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is, "The biggest company you’ve never heard of".

Harley: Soaring profits, squeezing workers

A somewhat edited version of a recent NY Times story, which you can read here in its entirety. I've highlighted a few things to ease your reading experience. And here's a link to a relevant Stuart Carlson cartoon,

By most measures, Harley-Davidson has been having a rough ride.

Motorcycle sales are falling in 2010, as they have for each of the last three years. The company does not expect a turnaround anytime soon.

But despite that drought, Harley’s profits are rising — soaring, in fact. Last week, Harley reported a $71 million profit in the second quarter, more than triple what it earned a year ago....

Many companies are focusing on cost-cutting to keep profits growing, but the benefits are mostly going to shareholders instead of the broader economy, as management conserves cash rather than bolstering hiring and production. Harley, for example, has announced plans to cut 1,400 to 1,600 more jobs by the end of next year.

Quote, unquote

"As chairman, I have the obligation to bring this supplemental before the House to allow the institution to work its will. But I also have the obligation to my conscience to indicate - by my individual vote - my profound skepticism that this action will accomplish much more than to serve as a recruiting incentive for those who most want to do us ill." --Rep. Dave Obey, House Appropriations Committee chair.

Obey voted against a new appropriation for the Afghanistan war Tuesday, as did three Wisconsin colleagues -- Tammy Baldwin, Gwen Moore, and Steve Kagan.  Democrat Ron Kind and Republicans F. James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan voted yes.  The bill passed 308-114, with 102 Democrats voting no -- 70 more than on last year's appropriation.

Pay to Plale: Special interests line up

State Sen. Jeff Plale, a South Milwaukee Dixiecrat, has a serious challenge in the Democratic primary for the first time since he won the seat in a special election in 2003.  And his friends are digging deep to contribute to his campaign and help him stay in office.

Those friends are not the working folks of Cudahy, South Milwaukee, or Bay View, however.  They are, by and large, the special interests that he has served so well in the legislature.

Blogging Blue noted that a huge chunk of the $35,452 Plale reported raising in the last six months came from people connected to cable television and energy utilities, both of which he has served well at the expense of his constituents. But Zach Wisnieski's tally omitted some of the special interest money that came in smaller donations through conduits.

If you add in the conduit money, $8,100 of the $35,500 -- 23 per cent -- of the money Plale raised came from people connected to electric utilities.


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