Debates: Zielinksi and Pierce, Dimitrijevic and an empty chair?

I’ve been waiting for this announcement and found it on Supervisor Dimitrijevic’s FB page this afternoon.

The League of Women Voters and the Bay View Compass have announced details for the next Bay View Candidate Forum.

Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: Doors open at 6:30; event begins at 7pm.
Venue: Bay View United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 2772 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Alderman District 14: Alderman Tony Zielinski and Challenger Jan Pierce

County Supervisor District 4: County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic

*Bay View Compass believes that candidate for (County Supervisor) Mr. Buresh has decided not to participate at this time.

BB was asked to help facilitate an aldermanic debate by one of our regular readers but the real heavy lifting was done by the League and Katherine Keller at the Compass. My involvement was limited to contacting the candidates initially and doing this promo. I dropped a pair of emails on Mr. Buresh but did not receive a reply. Apparently he hasn’t accepted an invitation from the League of Women voters or the Compass either

How serious were Republicans on finding compromise on mining legislation? [UPDATE]

Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson asks the question:

How serious were Republicans about working across the aisle on mining? Well, they cancelled the mining meeting on Monday just after the senate split and there would have been a 50/50 voice on how to move forward. This, after they put all 3 bills on the agenda specifically to prevent them from being taken up before the end of session.

Perhaps now that they don’t hold a majority in the State Senate Republicans will learn that they’re not going to move Wisconsin forward by imposing their radical agenda without regard for those who may not share their radical views.

Here’s a satellite view of Mountain Iron, Minnesota, which is what Bellin, Wisconsin could look like once mining commences in northern Wisconsin:

Galloway quits!


Madison – State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) confirmed her plans Friday and said he believed Galloway would make an announcement later in the day.

Fitzgerald said Galloway was resigning because of health issues in her family. He said he was confident she could have won the recall election.

Her resignation would cause the Republicans to lose their majority. Republicans would hold 16 seats and Democrats would hold 16 seats.

That could change in May or June, when recall elections are expected to be held for Fitzgerald and two other senators.

Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) had planned to run against Galloway.

The Wisconsin Movement – a political cooperative governed by its members

Now here’s something new and interesting….an organization that wants to be truly grassroots by keeping control and direction of the organization in the hands of the people responsible the successes we’ve had with the recall efforts, instead of ceding control to political insiders.

Here’s a message from the Wisconsin Movement website:

Welcome to the Wisconsin Movement, a Political Cooperative. We are forming a new kind of political organization. The last year has been historic in Wisconsin. The fire ignited by the actions of Scott Walker and his contingent in the legislature has Wisconsin residents of all persuasions united in their efforts to remove them from office. However, if every single recall is successful not one piece of legislation will be reversed. There will be far more work to accomplish.

What makes the Wisconsin Movement unique is that great care is being taken to keep the control and direction of the organization in the hands of the people responsible for our great successes. We believe it is the only way to sustain the momentum of the movement.

We have selected the Cooperative entity structure because it offers the most control to the members of any organization format we can find. The agenda and leadership of the organization will be selected by the members of the organization at the annual meeting. A full 70% of the voting power at the annual meeting is vested in the volunteers members. Further, individuals can gather more voting power purely by volunteering! Yes, the more you do, the more say you’ll have. In fact, we plan to credit time served in organizations that have similar goals and principles. See the beta version of our bylaws here. Please understand this is a draft document that will require more input both from members and the legal team.

It is not our intention to supplant successful local organizations. It is our hope to empower, engage, and promote the local groups and their agendas by providing them tools to be successful whether promoting a local candidate or a statewide recall effort. An organization call the Wisconsin Volunteer Action Network is being formed under the umbrella of the Wisconsin Movement for just that purpose.

As this group is forming we are seeking a broad base of partnership organizations, volunteers, volunteer organizers, and even leadership candidates to help formulate the organization.

The efforts to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and the four Republican State Senators facing recalls have truly been grassroots efforts, and I applaud the folks at Wisconsin Movement for understanding that and striving to let the same folks who powered the recall efforts have a say in things, instead of ceding control to political insiders.

Reps. Roys, Pocan issue statements on GOP war on women in Wisconsin

Last night Republicans in the State Assembly waged all-out war on the rights of women here in Wisconsin, and not surprisingly there’s a lot of outrage about what Republicans have done. Democratic State Rep. Kelda Roys is just one of many Democratic elected officials who issued statements critical of Republicans who’ve declared war on women in Wisconsin.

“At all levels of government, Republicans and their right wing ideologue supporters have been pushing for a true reversal of many of the laws that guarantee women an equal opportunity to function in our society. I am only able to serve the constituents of my district because of the successes of past generations of women, including the ability to plan my family. I am devastated that, in my final days in the State Assembly, the very measures that allowed me and other women to serve here are being rolled back,” said Rep. Roys.

To highlight the hypocrisy of Republican efforts to insert themselves into the doctor-patient relationship, Rep. Roys introduced a series of legislative amendments that sought to place these anti-women bills in the proper context.
Rep. Roys’ amendments would:

  1. Amend an abortion restriction bill to require all men seeking prescriptions for erectile dysfunction to receive a rectal exam and cardiac stress test. Anti-women legislators have a history of adding medically unnecessary procedures to women seeking abortions, and Wisconsin already has burdensome mandatory lectures and delays for women seeking abortion care.
  2. Amend an abortion restriction bill to require a state legislator be present in the exam room during the state mandated “shaming” lecture. Anti-women legislators have already gone so far in inserting themselves into the doctor-patient relationship, requiring their presence as official “State Shamers” will simply make it official.
  3. Amend the repeal of the Healthy Youth Act’s requirements for medically accurate, age appropriate sex education to also leave the teaching of the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease up to local control. Ultimately, the only 100% effective way to protect young people from disease is to withhold knowledge of handwashing and instead have them spend life in a hermetically sealed bubble.

Rep. Mark Pocan, who is also running for the Congressional seat being vacated by Tammy Baldwin, issued a statement as well.

“I’m proud to have served in a body that four years ago passed my bipartisan bill to ensure rape victims have access to emergency contraception in emergency rooms. It was about comprehensive access to healthcare, and it was an important victory for advancing equality in Wisconsin.

“Yet, four short years later, I hardly recognize the Wisconsin State Assembly. This legislative session, Republicans have taken it upon themselves to insert their ‘moral’ judgment into a woman’s very personal and very private medical decisions over and over again.

“Requiring unfair and discriminatory barriers to getting healthcare is wrong. Senate Bill 306 is nothing more than an attempt to turn back the clock a hundred years to a time where women were treated unequally and as second class citizens.

“This session saw attacks on the middle class, consumers, education, health care, the environment and, once again, women. I am saddened that my final legislative session ended with the Legislature rolling back Wisconsin’s Equal Pay for Equal Work law, a woman’s right to choose and educating our kids with medically accurate sex education.

“Equality isn’t something given freely. We have to continue to fight each and every day to make sure that all people are treated fairly. I have always fought for equality, and I always will.”

As a husband and a (step)father, I’m disgusted at the war Republicans in Wisconsin are waging against women and their rights. What Republicans in the legislature have been doing when it comes to the rights of women isn’t progress; it’s regression.

Instead of moving Wisconsin “Forward,” Republicans in the legislature have made it clear they want to move our state backwards…as in back to the 1950’s.

Callie Otto: A letter to the editor – and to Sen. Ron Johnson

Over the last few weeks birth control access across the country has been hotly debated- sadly mostly inaccurately. Just last week Rush Limbaugh implied that women need access to more birth control because they are having more sex. Clearly, Rush missed high school health class because women take birth control every day regardless of how often or if you have sex, not to mention many women use if for reasons other than just a contraceptive.

Which leads me to the second inaccuracy that has been perpetrated- sadly by my Uncle- US Senator Ron Johnson. He stated, “Any woman in America can get free contraceptives if they can’t afford to pay for them through county health services, through a variety of places. This is about an assault on freedom.”

I just wish that Uncle Ron could see the importance of women’s health care and that he would listen to me and other women in our family. The truth of the matter is most women do not have access to free birth control which is a significant barrier to consistent and effective use of birth control for the majority of women who rely on birth control. In fact, Governor Walker’s recent cuts to women’s birth control programs in the Fox Valley have made affordable birth control access even more challenging. Even our local paper acknowledged that women’s access to preventative care, including birth control, is at a tipping point because of ideological attacks limiting access to this common sense health care. This is the very reason why President Obama has moved to include birth control in the list of preventive medications covered by the Affordable Care Act.

The facts here are pretty simple. Women of all faiths — even Catholics — use birth control. Catholic women use birth control in the same proportions as all other women. And virtually all women use birth control. It’s preventive health care, as well as an economic issue. Birth control is also a matter of individual choice. Women rely on birth control to control polycystic ovarian syndrome, relieve the symptoms of endometriosis and to regulate their periods. If a woman is lucky enough to have health insurance coverage for birth control it can cost as much as $50 a month in co-pays. So to suggest that women have unfettered access to contraceptives is just plain wrong.

Not all families are like ours- have the financial ability to pay hundreds of dollars in out of pocket co-pay’s for birth control. The typical woman spends five years pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, and 30 years trying prevent pregnancy. This is a common sense issue for women. Moreover, the Institute of Medicine recommended that birth control be included as a preventive health care benefit, because it is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families. It saves lives, helps prevent unintended pregnancies, improves the outcomes for children, and reduces abortion.

That’s the amazing thing about this benefit; it will make birth control more accessible and more affordable. That means more women can plan their families; more women can have healthy pregnancies; and more women can have healthy children.

And that Uncle Ron, is something I would think we could agree on.

Callie Otto is the President of the Catholic University Students for Choice and a member of Catholic University of America’s Class of 2012. Callie is also the niece of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

From The Desk of Stephan nASS (part 3)

I have spent the last couple days chronicling Steve "Joe McCarthy" nASS attempts to jail a cartoonist for daring to make fun of him. I wanted one more post on this and hopefully the next time we hear about this will be in Steve nASS’s concession speech on election night where he apologizes to Mr. Konopacki.

In today's Wisconsin State Journal:

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Wednesday his office is considering whether to file a felony charge against a political cartoonist who reproduced the letterhead of state Rep. Steve Nass on a phony press release sent to a Madison newspaper.

Ozanne said Capitol Police have asked his office to determine whether Mike Konopacki of Madison should be charged with violating a state law that makes it a felony for someone who is not a public officer or public employee to act in an official capacity or to exercise any function of a public office.

The Class I felony is punishable by up to 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Ozanne said his office has the discretion to file a different felony or misdemeanor charge, or to not prosecute.

Konopacki, 60, said Wednesday he believes his parody — which makes fun of Nass, a Republican from Whitewater, for his role in canceling an art exhibit related to last year’s protests at the state Capitol — is protected political speech

Yes I know, ridiculous. But wait there’s more:

Nass filed a formal complaint with Capitol Police on March 8 asking that Konopacki be charged, said spokesman Mike Mikalsen. He said Nass’ office contacted Capitol Police the night of Feb. 25 with concerns over the misuse of the letterhead.

Mikalsen said that if such fabrications became the norm, it would make it difficult for lawmakers to communicate to the public and for media organizations to trust that the news releases they put out are genuine.

yes, All Mikalsen cares about is being communicating with the public. Open Public communication is so important to them, they have won awards for their diligence. Just ask nASS how important transparency is he will tell you!

In terms of is this a crime or not, I believe this video answers that question:

From FAQ:

OK, back to your other stuff. Why haven’t you been fed to the bears, or at least arrested? Isn’t what you do illegal?

Perhaps it is! And we don’t know! Bears would be too good for us, but our targets don’t want the risk. At least that’s our theory. Anytime anyone has done something about us—saying they “deplore” us, complaining that we’re a Political Action Committee, whatever—they’ve looked ridiculous to the press.

On the other hand, what we do might not be illegal. Lawyers don’t seem to know; the ones we’ve asked can’t point to such-and-such a law that means we’re in trouble. But then the law is pretty irrelevant, as far as corporations are concerned—if they want you silenced, they just throw a totally bogus lawsuit at you, that invariably gets thrown out, and in the meantime ties you up in red tape. That’s called a SLAPP suit, and it’s the main way corporations silence community activists whose causes aren’t sexy enough for the mainstream media to follow.

McLibel Lawsuit information here!