Legislative Season Brings Many Capitol Visitors

Kathleen Vinehout
March 11, 2015
Legislative Season Brings Many Capitol Visitors
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“I’ve never done this before,” the young woman told me.  She came to my Capitol office for the first time to talk about issues important to her and her profession. She was one of about two-dozen groups that recently visited.
People imagine a legislator’s job as debating on the Senate floor. But much of my time is spent listening and learning. Here’s a sample of visits from a single day.
My day started working with my staff to distill the important decisions of the state budget into a PowerPoint for use at Town Hall meetings. Budget choices include what happens to local schools, the UW, health care, local government, public safety, state parks, our environment, agriculture, roads and bridges.
Soon into my budget work, my staff interrupted saying, “There’s a group waiting for you.”

WI Company That Claimed Unions Hurting Earnings Had Record Earnings Last Year

Today Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will sign the Orwellian-named "Right-to-Work" legislation at a company whose CEO recently threatened to move the company's few remaining Wisconsin jobs to Mexico if the union-busting bill did not come to fruition. 

The clear point that Badger Meter's CEO Rich Meuusen is making is that the unions are hurting the company's earnings so much that they would have to send jobs to Mexico to keep the shareholders from going to bed hungry.  

BIG FAIL: The incredible shrinking Walker candidacy

While his poll numbers among rather insular tea party Republicans in Iowa may at the moment be high, wider evidence suggests the Walker worm may be turning.

The biggest sign of trouble? Growing questions about Scott Walker’s campaign style and performance, especially from within the conservative and Republican camp.

If you seek evidence that the Wisconsin governor’s national political rise already is slowing, look no further than today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The paper's opinion and news pages today are blanketed with increasing skepticism about Walker's political acumen and policies.

Belling Brings "Bimbo" Back Home

Conservative radio talk show host Mark Belling, who has previously referred to teachers as "lunatics" and "not good people"; Hispanics as "wetbacks"; and the Milwaukee County Chairwoman as a "bitch," has a new line on his sterling resume:  He referred to a WTMJ female reporter as a "bimbo" for getting the definition of the so-called "right-to-work" legislation wrong.  

"Right to work" mash-up: Presenting Upton Sinclair and The Buckinghams

The famous muckracking novelist Upton Sinclair had it right when he said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

He was speaking in the 1930s, another time of American economic upheaval, but Sinclair's observation very well applies to today's Wisconsin Republican Party, a bunch of ideologues and opportunists for whom facts and public sentiment don't matter as much as their own fortunes.

Re Journal Sentinel's "right to work" newsroom, Media Trackers runs off the rails

Media Trackers, a conservative web site that is a self-styled critic of the supposedly liberal mainstream (or, if you're a Palin fan, "lamestream")  news media, is thumping its chest again over the fact that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's newsroom is (gasp!) not only unionized, but that it already is (double-gasp!) a "right-to-work" shop. Indeed, say the Trackers, fully 38 percent of the JS employees eligible for union membership (triple-gasp!) have opted out of membership. Let's review just how overinflated these revelations truly are.

Economic Development $$$ Grow ~ Public Oversight Shrinks

Economic Development $$$ Grow ~ Public Oversight Shrinks
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“I’ve heard about the cuts,” the Buffalo County man said. “But this budget spends more. Who’s getting more money?”
Folks are concerned about big cuts to the UW; cuts to local schools; scaling back of health programs for the disabled; public radio and TV losing state support.
But the new budget spends $3 billion more than the last. Where is that money going?
One place to look is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Despite its name, WEDC is a part of state government; in fiscal year 2012-13 it received over $62 million from the budget (including about $4 million in federal funds) and the agency can authorize potentially millions more in tax credits.

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.

No. 1 most disgusting silence on right-to-work-for-less bill: public-safety unions exempt from Act 10

This week the players' unions for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Hockey League all issued statements opposing the Republican Party's blitzkrieg move to turn Wisconsin into a so-called "right to work" state that would gut private-sector union power. http://www.wqow.com/story/28204175/unions-for-professional-athletes-oppo...


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