New Ad for Incumbent DPI Superintendent Tony Evers

Although I haven’t always agreed with Superintendent Evers on some of his decisions with the DPI, he has shown the ability to work with Governor Walker. He is a far better supporter of public education than nearly anyone currently resident in state government. And his opponent, State Representative Don Pridmore (R – Hartford) who recently decided he wouldn’t talk to the liberal press anymore, would be an utter disaster as DPI superintendent.

So here is Superintendent Evers’ most recent video ad:

Don Pridemore to run for Superintendent of Department of Public Instruction

Has there been a less qualified candidate to oversee our state’s public school system than Don Pridemore?

Republican state Rep. Don Pridemore launched his campaign to become Wisconsin’s top education leader on Monday, saying he would bring a conservative approach to the job while refusing to talk specifically about what policies he would push.

It’s notable that despite the fact that the office of Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan position, Pridemore made a point to mention Republican Gov. Scott Walker would have a friend in the office if he (Pridemore) were elected.

Pridemore’s DPI Superintendent announcement rife with grammatical errors

We all make grammatical errors from time to time, myself included. But if I ever decided to make a run for, say, DPI Superintendent, you can bet money that the press release announcing my intent to run would be error-free. Nobody in their right mind would hire a candidate who lacks basic writing skills to run Wisconsin schools, right? Enter Rep. Don Pridemore (R).

Here is Don Pridemore’s press release announcing his intent to possibly run for DPI Superintendent, from The Wheeler Report:

November 28, 2012

Madison- State Representative Don pridemore (R-Erin) has filed papers to form a committee to explore to possibility of running for the position of DPI Superintendant this coming spring.

“The status quo is simply not working. After spending billions of dollars on education in Wisconsin, we have not moved the needle a bit. I believe it’s time for a fresh set of ideas”, Pridemore said.

“Our children’s education has suffered as a result and I believe it’s time to change that.” Pridemore added. Pridemore went on to say that he expects to reach a decision on the race very soon.

Okay, so I’m not a teacher, but I was raised by a family of teachers aka union thugs, and if I ever put out a press release like this one, they’d lose all respect for me.

Here’s what they’d probably have to say about this press release:

“Pridemore” is a proper noun and should be capitalized. That’s so basic!

Look at the first sentence. It should read,  “THE possibility” not “TO possibility.” That’s just laziness. Sheesh.

For the love of God, “Superintendent” is spelled incorrectly! We raised you better than this.

The comma should be inside the quotation marks after “ideas.”

There should be a comma instead of a period after “change that” before “Pridemore added.”

“…expects to reach a decision on the race.” Please re-word that so it makes more sense.

This press release is really embarrassing.

And so on and so forth. There may be other errors in Rep. Pridemore’s press release, but like I said, I’m not a teacher or a DPI Superintendent, nor do I aspire to be one. I wish Rep. Pridemore the best of luck. Looks like he’s going to need it.

The Plight of Women in 2012 America

Much has been waged on the war on women recently and I wanted to highlight some more of it and try and bring it full circle. The first story, and as a father of a daughter is the hardest to read, comes from comes from the great NY Time Columnist Nicholas Kristof. Kristof writes of one specific aspect of the American sex trade/human trafficing that is such a problem in America. That of companies that enable this to happen specifically backpage.com.

“You can’t buy a child at Wal-Mart, can you?” she asked me. “No, but you can go to Backpage and buy me on Backpage.”

Backpage accounts for about 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five Web sites that carry such ads in the United States, earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a media research and consulting company. It is now the premier Web site for human trafficking in the United States, according to the National Association of Attorneys General. And it’s not a fly-by-night operation. Backpage is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns the estimable Village Voice newspaper.

Attorneys general from 48 states have written a joint letter to Village Voice Media, pleading with it to get out of the flesh trade. An online petition at Change.org has gathered 94,000 signatures asking Village Voice Media to stop taking prostitution advertising. Instead, the company has used The Village Voice to mock its critics

In 2012 America profits trump people especially when the profits are $22,000,000 and the people are faceless women. Kristoff writes and I agree, that this is a major problem that goes beyond the websites but everything helps in this fight.

There are no simple solutions to end sex trafficking, but it would help to have public pressure on Village Voice Media to stop carrying prostitution advertising. The Film Forum has already announced that it will stop buying ads in The Village Voice. About 100 advertisers have dropped Rush Limbaugh’s radio show because of his demeaning remarks about women. Isn’t it infinitely more insulting to provide a forum for the sale of women and girls?

Let’s be honest: Backpage’s exit from prostitution advertising wouldn’t solve the problem, for smaller Web sites would take on some of the ads. But it would be a setback for pimps to lose a major online marketplace. When Craigslist stopped taking such ads in 2010, many did not migrate to new sites: online prostitution advertising plummeted by more than 50 percent, according to AIM Group.

This is a problem that everyone needs to take seriously and address. In 2012 America we should make being a successful pimp next to impossible. Maybe the NYPD could focus their energy on this the way that they have worked on keeping OWS out of Zucotti park. While this story was based in New York, it is a problem for all of America. More information here. Now we can head down to Texas(again in a problem that effects everyone). Let’s go back to Nickolas Kristof, where he talks about the recent law passed in Texas(and attempted elsewhere).

HERE’S what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.

Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen.

She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion.

The Texas Governor who desperately tried to be president but was deemed to crazy and unintelligent by the republican base is now interfering in the lives of women! Again while all of these stories effect women everywhere, lets bring up our final one that is uniquely Wisconsin.

This latest from West Bend's own Glenn Grothman. The big government unmarried, childless republican senator has actually proposed legislation that would require Wisconsin’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board “to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

Grothman thinks that parents(he does not distinguish between mother/father(although its implied) who are divorced, widowed, together but not married, couples where one spouse is serving a long deployment, travels for business, etc… all these people (do you happen to know anyone that fits that description?) are contributing factors to child abuse and neglect. Fortunately, they are losing the messaging race big time. Unfortunately they are well funded.

Well funded enough for the Bradley/Koch machine to send two of their lapdogs out to defend the Senator. The first comes from the discredited law professor Sh & Sh: to tell us how right Glenn Grothman is (here is he telling us of the war on the white male in today's society).

Grothman may well be right.

I’ve done a of reading on this in connection with the marriage issue. There is an awful lot of support for Grothman’s position. Children raised in single parent and step families are more likely to be the victims of abuse and neglect.This is not to say that all – or, thank God, even most – single or step parents will be abusers. It simply reflects the fact that raising children alone or with someone who is not that child’s biological parent (and, therefore, likely to be less invested in that child) is difficult.

Wow where to begin here.

this is not to say that all – or, thank God, even most – single or step parents will be abusers
well then should we continue on with this ridiculousness now that we have confirmed what Grothman (and you) were saying is bullshit?? If you bozo’s ever did any research whatsoever, you would know that Most children are abused by someone they know and trust, although boys are more likely than girls to be abused outside of the family. Will Grothmans next bill be one that doesnt allow kids to be around anyone they know? The Strangers aren’t danger act?

Next they also sent out unmarried, childless far right blogger Kevin Binversie. who first takes it upon himself to defend Grothmans blatantly racist past(maybe there was a bonus for that):

State Sen. Glenn Grothman loves controversy.

In 2003, the West Bend Republican questioned whether Kwanza was a real holiday. In 2009, he speculated that University of Wisconsin-Madison’s diversity-based admissions policies were evidence of the university’s hatred of white men.

Then went to work defending Grothman:

When pressed by the left-leaning Huffington Post, Grothman made the fairly bland observation that, yes, it would be better if women married the men who father their children.

“Society would be better off with two-parent families,” Grothman told Wisconsin Reporter. “My critics are trying to misrepresent the findings behind this bill.”

Those findings are pretty powerful. Single-parent households, it turns out, are increasingly common in some places. Last month, the New York Times cited 2009 government data showing that 59 percent of mothers under 30 when they gave birth were single.

Yes it is quite obvious that kids children raised in a two parent household are much more stable. Unless of course The father is on the road so much no one knows where he is!

Now we know why Don Pridemore said: women in abusive relationships should not seek divorces. If they did it would be the end of the republican party as we know it!

Remind me again how republicans win elections, please!

Don Pridemore: women in abusive relationships should not seek divorces

Republican State Rep. Don “white” Pridemore, speaking in support of the bill he co-sponsored with State Sen. Glenn Grothman that says single parenting is a contributing factor to child abuse (emphasis added):

The bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Don Pridemore, told TODAY’S TMJ4 he thinks even in abusive relationships, there are other options than divorce.

“If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” said Representative Don Pridemore.

Once again Republicans show that when it comes to women, they’d prefer the “good old days” when abused women (or women in general) were nothing but second-class citizens.

Adolf Hitler Never Goes Away

Adolf Hitler is one the most vile, disgusting human beings in the history of the world (millions of years to most of us, just a few thousand years if your from West Bend). That being said, his name is still bandied about often so if you are going to use it(you shouldnt), there are a few “Hitler Rules” to be aware of.

1. Don’t use it, there is no comparison to Hitler, when you use it you, you use the debate.

2. As Godwin's Law suggests: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches

3. Mel Brooks can make anything funny even Hitler.

4. This is also funny!

5. Finally if your a republican STOP PRETENDING YOU HAVE THE HIGH GROUND HERE – You do not!

A teacher from Slinger is under fire for making a Hitler reference in an email to his elected representative – Don Pridemore.

Pridemore wrote that school districts had benefited from the budgetary tools in the legislation, passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature, that stripped most public employee unions of most bargaining ability and required members to contribute more to their health insurance and pensions.

Koszarek identified himself in the email as a “proud WEAC Board member, Slinger teachers’ negotiator and Wisconsin citizen.” WEAC is the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers union, which bitterly opposed the state legislation, known as Act 10, and Koszarek took exception to Pridemore’s analysis of its benefits.

“Of course you are in Washington County where Hitler would have defeated Reagan had he the ‘R’ in front of his name on the ballot,” Koszarek said in the email, which was dated Jan. 1 at 10:26 p.m.

Pridemore is wrong, Koszarek is even more wrong, we get it.

Robert Reynolds, district administrator, said he talked to Koszarek.

Should be end of story right, after all, the email was written on Koszarek’s own time, at home and on his own computer. Of course the vindictive republican party is never happy until people lose their jobs so that is not enough for them.

Pridemore made the email public, and soon the district was inundated with angry calls and emails. Internet chatter also was buzzing.

The republican smell blood in the water and they attack. I am glad Representative Pridemore released the email immediately to the public, I wonder however if he also so quick and thorough with open records requests?

Koszarek emailed an apology the next day but that is not enough for Superintendent Reynolds.

Still, Reynolds says, the email did damage to the school district.

Superintendent Reynolds, i am sure you are a very intelligent person and well qualified for your position. I would just like to clarify something for you? A teacher exercising his first amendment rights hurts the school district, yet a The $517.85 per pupil cut in funding that Rep. Pridemore gladly voted for does not? Remind me not to send my children to the college that you attended!

Finally to representative Pridemore and his aide who ran to the Superintendent. One thing I learned in school was to check your work. I am glad that you were outraged that someone would use a Hitler reference, so let us see if you are consistent on that:

1. Recently Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald , based an a fabricated macgruber report, sent out a fundraising letter saying Hitler was signing recall petitions. Hmmmm 0 hits on Google.

2. Nationally known political activist kim Simac, loves to throw Hitler and Nazi references around when talking about Wisconsin's public servants. . Yet I can not find a single story of you denouncing her.

3. Dane Deutsch wisconsin assembly republican candidate professed his love for Hitler's leadership abilities. Can not seem to find anywhere your denouncement of this despicableness.

So let’s be real Representative Pridemore, you just released the email and ran to the Superintendent to continue your attack on public workers, feed the divide and hatred in this state and try and score political points. There is absolute no consistency whatsoever in your selective outrage. SHAME on you Representative Pridemore. SHAME ON YOU!

** PS: If I am wrong, and you did publicly denounce any of the aforementioned despicable acts, please let me know and I will gladly correct my post.

Finally here is rule #3:

Don Pridemore must think puppy mills create jobs

Republican State Rep. Don Pridemore is focused on creating jobs in Wisconsin.

In fact, Rep. Pridemore is so focused on creating jobs here in Wisconsin that he wants to loosen laws put into place in 2009 to eliminate “puppy mills” where dogs live in abusive and neglectful conditions. Under Pridemore’s legislation, the number of dogs that may be sold by breeders without licenses in a given year would be raised from 25 to 100, but curiously I found no mention of the number of jobs that would be created by his legislation.

I find puppy mills to be a revolting way to raise dogs, and I’m disappointed (but not surprised) that a lawmaker wants to make it easier for puppy mills to operate in Wisconsin.

What is the difference?

Yesterday in Madison, they debated the \"Keep Wisconsin from voting act\" in committee. During this committee hearing, there were two events that happened and I am trying to figure out the difference between the two.

Event number 1. Protesters disrupted the meeting.

Protesters disrupt meeting

Three protesters hijacked the Joint Finance Committee, forcing it to go into a recess after they moved in front of the committee table and tried to hold their own “people’s finance committee.”

The protesters refused to move when asked by Senate Co-Chair Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and tried to conduct some sort of quasi-meeting. The disruption came right after the committee adopted a motion.

Dem Sen. Bob Jauch pleaded with them to get out of the way and let the meeting proceed.

“I’m on your side for chrissake,” Jauch said.

After several minutes, Capitol Police officers came into the room and escorted the three protesters out.

Assembly Co-chair Robin Vos said he wanted the police to get the names of the individuals so he can press charges.

After the incident, Jauch said the behavior was “indefensible.”

We can all come to a bi-partisan agreement that yes these are public meetings, the public should be heard and there is no excuse for disruptions. Robin Vos wants to make sure and press charges for those who interfered with the people being heard.

This brings me to event #2(which was not an event so much as something that happened all day): This from a LTE in the Captimes today:

Dear Editor: I attending the hearing of the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Election and Campaign Reform on April 27. Sen. Joseph Leibham, R-Sheboygan, presented opening remarks that were precise and informative. Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, also presented interesting opening remarks.

I was both appalled and shocked by the continual talking and laughing that went on both by Stone and Rep. Don Pridemore, R-Hartford, during the proceedings. If this was indeed a public meeting at which views from many perspectives were to be listened to, I cannot understand how all this visiting could have gone on. By their actions, the lawmakers implied that they did not need to listen to the views offered by an attorney for the Board of Regents, representing 182,000 students, or a Dane County supervisor or a representative of the state League of Women Voters.

Some of the committee members, such as Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, were taking copious notes. Obviously, neither Stone nor Pridemore had the time to take many notes.

It is an absolute shock to me when so little respect is shown to the presenters at a hearing at the Capitol. If democracy is not put into place at a public hearing at the Capitol, where should I look for representative government in our society?

So let’s be clear: Do not let assemblymen be heard, go to jail. Assemblymen do not let the people be heard its all in good fun?

The quashing of the vote

Today the the legislature started debate on the \"Stop Democrats from Voting\" bill. This bill is being pushed by Representative Don Pridemore, who represents Waukesha of all places, and is “worried” about the sanctity of the vote.

The New York Times broke down today exactly who these bills will affect.

Spreading fear of a nonexistent flood of voter fraud, they are demanding that citizens be required to show a government-issued identification before they are allowed to vote. Republicans have been pushing these changes for years, but now more than two-thirds of the states have adopted or are considering such laws. The Advancement Project, an advocacy group of civil rights lawyers, correctly describes the push as “the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”

Anyone who has stood on the long lines at a motor vehicle office knows that it isn’t easy to get such documents. For working people, it could mean giving up a day’s wages.

A survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law found that 11 percent of citizens, 21 million people, do not have a current photo ID. That fraction increases to 15 percent of low-income voting-age citizens, 18 percent of young eligible voters and 25 percent of black eligible voters. Those demographic groups tend to vote Democratic, and Republicans are imposing requirements that they know many will be unable to meet.

Wisconsin’s proposed law will be THE most restrictive in the country. The Wisconsin bill refuses to recognize college photo ID cards, even if they are issued by a state university, thus cutting off many students at the University of Wisconsin and other campuses.

Whatever it takes to win(issues not included)!

Did Pridemore coordinate his questionable press release?

I blogged earlier today about State DPI Superintendent candidate Tony Evers’ use of state resources to engage in campaign-related activities. However, as some bloggers and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin have noted, Republican State Representative Don Pridemore may have violated state election laws for an email he sent off using his state email account, and now there’s grumbling that Pridemore coordinated his questionable press release with the campaign of DPI Superintendent candidate Rose Fernandez before he released it:

“The Democratic Party already has evidence that Fernandez and Pridemore were in contact on DPI issues,” said Jason Stephany, Executive Director of the DPW. “Now Fernandez needs to come clean and admit that her campaign helped orchestrate this illegal campaign attack the GAB is poised to investigate.”

The DPW is asking Pridemore’s office to immediately release all e-mails, memos, letters, phone logs, and daily calendars related to the DPI race, Rose Fernandez or Tony Evers. Pridemore’s office must also release all records of meetings with Fernandez or any member of her staff.

Last week Pridemore violated state ethics rules by using his taxpayer-funded office to launch a blatant campaign attack against DPI candidate Tony Evers.

This was a calculated political attack, done on the taxpayer dime, designed to assist Fernandez.

If Rep. Pridemore did coordinate his Fernandez-friendly attack on Tony Evers with the Fernandez campaign before he issued his press release, then hopefully he’ll be punished, just as Tony Evers is likely to be punished for his apparent transgression of election law.