Iowa is Proof Repealing Prevailing Wage Does NOT Reduce Costs

A lot has been made about the "nonpartisan" Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance's recent and very timely "study" saying that taking away mandatory minimum wages for the workers who build our roadways and other public projects will result in savings of $200-300 million. 

Why?   Because the owners of the companies that build these projects will pass along all their savings in lower  wages right to the  taxpayer in the form of lower bids!  It's trickle-down government!

Memo to Wisconsin's star chamber: Just the facts, please

Those of you old enough might remember the disclaimer that accompanied every episode of TV's 1950s-'60s police show, "Dragnet." A narrator would entone: "The story you are about to see is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent." That also roughly describes one of the reasons Wisconsin law has enshrined the John Doe investigation, a kind of closed grand jury process, minus the grand jury.

We're Number One! Thank you Governor Walker!

The recent blog from the Business Cheat Sheat lists “5 States where the Middle Class is being buldozed."

Wisconsin: -5.7%

The clear winner (or loser) in the race to the bottom has been Wisconsin, losing 5.7% of its middle households since 2000. Average median income has dropped by roughly $9,000 annually, and costs of living have gone up as well.

Rebuilding the Uppitywis Calendar - Update

Calendar

You may have noticed that since our Drupal 7 transition the calendar has been pretty sparse.  There are multiple reasons for this, some of which are more political than technical.

In any case - we're interested in building in a new calendaring infrastructure.   It's next on the list of site improvements, along with a readable list of bills in the state legislature.  I'd like to ask for your help.

Update -- We've started importing some events from the county parties around the state - this is an experiment, but we'd like to see a common calendar for progressive events in Wisconsin, and we're starting to work on that. Some of this is challenging since most sites don't have importable calendars, and some of the ones that do are subtly broken (time zones are always difficult). 

Walker's latest fundraising appeal gives chutzpah a bad name.

It is standard operating procedure for politicians seeking an office to point out the current administration’s failures and make it campaign fodder.

But it takes some real brass to point out a successful policy and promise its repeal as a fundraising gimmick.

Scott Walker used the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to send out an appeal to his supporters by calling the act a failure and to send him money to help him “spread the message.”

Walker and Menards: Gov's dark money exploits worse than previously reported ... $1.5 million worse

Michael Isikoff, pictured here, is an award-winning national investigative journalist who has worked for Newsweek, NBC, the Washington Post and other news media. Yesterday Isikoff broke a literally huge Scott Walker story. His report shows just how reckless and damaging the U.S. Supreme Court's recent "money is speech and anonymity is cool" rulings on campaign finance have almost by themselves turned our democracy into a kleptocracy and even oligarchy. And how Walker is at the heart of darkness.

Quick Note on Voter ID

As you may have heard, the US Supreme Court today decided not to hear the appeal of the Wisconsin Voter ID cases, which left a question as to whether Voter ID will apply in the April 7 elections:. 

From the GAB a few minutes ago:

Following Monday's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of Wisconsin's voter ID cases, the Government Accountability Board has consulted with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and determined that photo ID will not be required for the April 7 Spring Election.  Photo ID will be required for subsequent elections, including any special elections in 2015.

Advocacy Gives Voice to the Voiceless - Families Support Family Care and IRIS

Kathleen Vinehout
March 25, 2015
 
Advocacy Gives Voice to the Voiceless - Families Support Family Care and IRIS
By
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
I remember when I first met a man I’ll call ‘Ron’. He came to my office with his caregiver. He couldn’t speak but used a speech synthesizer and an iPad to introduce himself. He was joined by several friends – all in wheelchairs – who told me their inspiring stories of independence.
 
Ron passionately detailed how his caregiver assisted him with everyday activities we take for granted. He wanted me to work for funding so he could pay his caregiver a living wage. Wages for care workers are very low and have been for years.
 
Fast-forward a few years. Ron and his friends joined hundreds of citizens in the Capitol to advocate for critical long-term care programs. Many of the visitors had never been the Capitol and never met with a legislator. These citizen lobbyists were advocating for programs that provide them or their family member with health and independence.

Watching Wisconsin's heart break

Broken Heart

I am in my office today trying to work and at the same time listen to the testimony at the budget hearing in  Milwaukee on Wiseye.org. It's difficult to do CMS upgrades and listen to the heart of Wisconsin breaking  at the same time. Person after person is testifying against the draconian provisions of the budget, telling very personal stories of how they and their organizations will be impacted by the proposed budget. Individuals with health problems, education professionals, people of faith, and others of every persuasion in life are testifying about how the massive budget cuts will affect the elderly, the poor, the ill, students, teachers, and others. 

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