Breaking: Drafting Docs Clearly Verify Walker Camp Intended to Kill WI Idea

Just got these from the Legislative Reference Bureau.  

The first set of documents from the Walker administration, clearly requesting that the language for the Wisconsin Idea be removed.  The second set of documents is from the Walker administration, confirming, that they intended to delete the Wisconsin Idea from Wisconsin statutes.

Stay tuned:  More to follow. 

Letter from Walker Admin to Legislative Drafting by lounsburyjud

Jeff Smith on his run for Democratic Party Chair

Dear Democrats,

I'm writing to let all of you know that I'm running to be the next chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. I made this decision because our party is in trouble and we need someone with the grit, determination, resolve and experience required to get us back on track. I strongly believe I'm that person and I'll tell you why.

I'm the only candidate for DPW Chair who has won a seat in the legislature against a long serving Republican in a republican leaning Assembly district. I did that in 2006 by running my own campaign, with my own local volunteers, raising my own money, developing my own messaging, and by talking with voters from dawn until dusk. I'll bring that kind of work ethic to my job as DPW Chair.

I've also served as a Regional Political Director for the DPW. I've seen firsthand what does and doesn’t work. There are changes we need to make in how the party functions and I know how to implement those changes.

The 2012 election results showed us that there are more democrats who vote in Wisconsin than there are republicans, but not all of those voters go to the polls in the mid-term elections. This has turned our state government to a deep red. How do we begin to turn that around?

Smoking Gun Found: Scott Walker's Bag Man Paid for Hit on GOP Senator

In Walker's Wisconsin, it's never "agree to disagree"-- it's agree to agree with the Governor.

If you don't, you'll end up like former Republican State Senator Mike Ellis. Ellis was Wisconsin's longest serving Republican state senator and, although he historically had been considered a staunch conservative, after the Walker caliphate was installed in 2011, he came to be viewed more and more as a moderate because he dared to be something other than a yes man.

So, Walker had him whacked-- at least that was the rumor. No, no, no silly rabbit, not that kind of whacked-- he killed his political career by having the notorious political mercenary, James O'Keefe (of New Jersey) pay a visit to Wisconsin and bait Ellis into saying embarrassing things into a hidden camera. (So embarrassing, in fact, that Ellis decide not to seek re-election in 2014.)

At the time, everyone in Wisconsin was scratching their collective cheeseheads wondering why in the hell James O'Keefe would be interested in A) putting a hit on a fellow Republican and B) wasting his time with an obscure state Senator in Wisconsin. The only obvious answer: Scott Walker was tired of Ellis being only a 90% head-nodder and put out a hit on him. But like most rumors, there wasn't any proof tying Walker to O'Keefe and it faded into the political ether.

We Don't Need No Education


I am a native Wisconsinite who currently lives in Wisconsin and works overseas as a higher education consultant.  I have worked with ministries of education in developing nations throughout Asia and have regularly used the University of Wisconsin System as an example of an outstanding public university that serves the population of the state.  In 2009 while serving a consultancy with the Asian Development Bank in Vietnam I made a point of illustrating how the traditions in a state like Wisconsin with a population of less than 6 million people could have supported a major research university like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which at that time was ranked as the number seventeenth Research University in the World. 

My work in higher education in developing nations involved developing and implementing policies and strategic plans that would move these nations ahead by developing World Class Universities in the region.  These involved plans that were over twenty years long and included an entire rethinking of university governance. The World Bank consultants agreed that a World Class University needed the following;

Concentration of talent

The concentration of talent involves not only the best teachers and researchers but also the best students.  World Class Universities must plan to attract both.

Ron Johnson Chooses Out-of-State Chain to "Showcase Local Businesses"

As his re-election looms, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is making a desperate attempt to fix his image of being Senator Snipe-- the Senator who is rumored to exist, but who nobody ever actually sees.

So, his staff came whipped up the idea to do a "Supper Club Tour," which is described as a two-fer:  It gives his constituents the opportunity to verify that he is actually real and it gives Johnson the "opportunity to showcase local businesses."  After all, what says, "I am not the elite gazillionaire that married into ridiculous wealth" more than going out for a beer and burger at the local supper club?

You know what I'm talkin' about --some place like the Kall Inn near Hazel Green, that has been in the Kahle family since 1945.  It doesn't get any more local than that!

Yeah, well... that's not quite what Johnson had in mind.  

Myth Busting Walker's "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" Getting Fired Story

This past weekend in Iowa, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rolled out one his favorite talking points:  The story of how Wisconsin's 2010 "outstanding teacher of the year" winner Megan Sampson got laid off days after receiving the award and how his "reforms" prevent that from ever happening again.

This would be a compelling true if it were true, but it’s mostly fiction. 

Yes, Sampson did get an award in 2010, but it wasn't for "outstanding teacher of the year" as Walker claims.  Sampson was awarded something called the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award, which is given by a small group called the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English (WCTE) for "an outstanding first-year teacher of the English language arts." In order to be considered for the award, a first year English teacher must apply for it by writing a cover letter and including two letters of recommendation. 

A few thoughts on Scott Walker's latest budget ironies

What's wrong with this picture? Scott Walker says his coming state budget proposal will include $220 million in bonding authority for a new Milwaukee sports arena even while he's planning another $300 million budget cut for the University of Wisconsin System.

So, more money for bread and circuses (well, since Walker has trimmed food assistance programs for low income residents, actually it's just circuses) and less money for higher education and advanced research.

A couple of points on each of these proposals, starting with:


Bonding is essentially borrowing authority, backed by the state for public and private projects. The Milwaukee arena would be an essentially private development. Without a new arena, the Bucks probably leave the state. On the other hand, Republicans profess to hate borrowing.  I stress the word "profess."

Walker is already past the billion-dollar point in borrowing for highways and other state government needs, as much and more indebtedness than past Democratic governors ran up. The GOP legislature has blessed that approach. Message: borrowing is bad...but, hey, it's good!

Let’s Not Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Let’s Not Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water”

GAB Audit Hearing shows path to improved operation


Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“I’m not a clerk. I’m just a citizen who observed several recounts and recalls,” Bill Wasser of Reedsburg told the Audit Committee. “Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let’s make some changes and make it work.”

Mr. Wasser responded to some lawmakers who threatened to dismantle the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The state agency oversees elections, campaign finance, lobbying and ethics.

One of the lawmakers intent on dismantling the nonpartisan agency is Assembly Speaker Robin Vos who told reporters the GAB “will not exist in its current form much longer.”

At the recent public hearing many local elected officials from across the state testified in support of the GAB. The work of the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) confirmed what clerks were saying: GAB staff members were consistent and inventive in training and supporting clerks during a tumultuous time in Wisconsin’s history.

Real David Koch Keeps "Fly You Out to Cali" Promise Made to Walker

I'll give Scott Walker this:  No one can accuse him of having deflated balls.  

Despite getting caught on tape accepting an illegal offer from someone he thought was billionaire David Koch to "fly you out to Cali and show you a good time" after Walker "crushed those bastards"-- and then later lying about the conversation under oath, saying, "I don't even know where Cali is"-- Walker now has the cajones to accept a real trip to the real California from the real David Koch... where he is sure to be shown a real good time. 

He  definitely knows where "Cali" is now. 


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