HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Friday, April 1, 2011


Lately I have been reading. I bought two books by John NIchols, a very engaging speaker as well as writer, whose work I first encountered through the Rachel Maddow and Ed Shultz shows on MSNBC at the height of the Madison marches in February. The first of the books, the one he wrote entirely himself, is entitled: "Dick - The Man Who is President" which confirmed my suspicions that Cheney was indeed the president for the eight years that Dubbya pretended that he was.

The book I am currently delving into is "Tragedy and Farce" "How the American Media sells wars, spins elections, and destroys Democracy".

It wasn't surprising to me when I received an e mail forwarded to me by my friend Linda Gruen with these two photos , one of which was run on FOX news on thursday, March 31.

In case you missed Fox's fair and balanced reporting, they ran the first photograph as a "Tea Party Protest" in Washington D.C., dismissing the small size of the crowd with the excuse that "it was drizzling".

Tea party organizers had high hopes for their rally in Washington, DC—high enough hopes that they arranged for Fox to give it live coverage.

Then something sad happened. Just a few dozen people showed up. And Fox, naturally, blamed the weather! Yeah, in all fairness and "balanceness", it was drizzling rain!

Well, WAAAH!

Yeah, the weather really killed the rally. Just like the only reason the rallies were so big in Madison, Wisconsin, this past February, was its gorgeous mid-winter weather - a huge 85,000 plus crowd got little coverage at all on Fox except for the producers to hunt through some close up footage showing police handling the union slobs and thugs - (complete with sunny blue skies and palm trees!).

The only Americans who saw that on TV and knew that the Wisconsin marches were entirely peaceful were those who were actually in attendance. And those intelligent enough to see PALM TREES IN THE BACKGROUND!!

Or here's another thought: maybe the Tea Party fizzle has something to do with the fact that the Tea Party isn't popular anymore.

Still you can be certain that every time a Tea Partier farts, FOX will be there to cover it!

If you get a chance, pick up John Nichols "Tragedy and Farce". you will never watch television news the same way again.

Which brings me to more of the latest "fiction" being tossed off as truth in TV ads supporting David Prosser for Wisconsin Supreme Court. The big dollar backing of "Citizens For a Stronger America" and "Americans For Prosperity", both funded by guess who? (The Koch Brothers and the Tea Party) are running two ads of pure fiction to try to defeat JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsn State Supreme Court.

As I sat in the bar at Draganetti's awaiting my turn to perform at a private party last night, I saw two ads that really pissed me off!

Because they can’t win this campaign on the facts they resort to disrespectful and deceitful ad campaigns.

Let’s set the record straight on a couple of their most outrageous allegations:

Fiction: JoAnne put an 80-year-old farmer in jail for not planting native grasses on a field.

Fact: A farmer named Wayne Hensler in Jefferson County was ordered by the State of Wisconsin to take action to stop pollution from run-off from his farm going into Rock Lake. Mr. Hensler refused to do the work but finally agreed to pay to have others do the remediation work. Then he refused to pay the money he’d agreed to pay. Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick (who you may remember ran against Shirley Abrahamson) ordered Mr. Hensler to pay what he owed. He would not. Finally, another Judge in Jefferson County, John Ullsvik, found Hensler in contempt and put him in jail for a few days. Two facts are pertinent here: no attorney can put anyone in jail. Only a Judge can do that. Secondly, the farmer was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to pay money he had been repeatedly ordered to pay, not for “refusing to plant a field.”

Big money being used to try to mislead you: Our research shows that the “Citizens for a Stronger America” is spending about $526,000 on this TV ad.

Fiction: JoAnne is unqualified for the Court because she has never been a judge and because in the past she has applied for open judgeships for which others were chosen.

Fact: JoAnne is a graduate of Yale, Princeton and the UW Law School. She has been a prosecutor for 21 years. Her legal experience is broad and deep and she has tried numerous cases in Wisconsin Circuit Courts, the Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. JoAnne has earned the endorsement of sitting Judges who know best what what it takes to do the job.

It is not unusual for attorneys who aren’t judges to be elected or appointed as a judge and many legal experts say it is healthy that judges come from a variety of backgrounds. David Prosser was not a judge when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Nor was Shirley Abrahamson. One of the Supreme Court Justices David Prosser says he admires most, Justice Rehnquist was not a judge before being appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

It is also not unusual for attorneys to apply for open judgeships and JoAnne has applied for open seats. Those openings usually attract long lists of very qualified applicants and only one can be chosen. Some of those applicants end up not being selected for the judgeship and running for office. For example, Brian Blanchard applied to be an appeals court judge. He was not selected. He then ran for the Court and was elected handily.

Big money being used to try to mislead you: Our research shows that "Americans for Prosperity" and the Tea Party are spending about $45,000 on radio and TV ads with this fiction in it. It is also in the Citizens for a Stronger America ad.

So now it is up to us, average Wisconsin citizens, to help to get the facts out. With only five days before the election, quickly setting the record straight is crucial -- because spreading untrue statements about JoAnne is all that our opponents have left.


With the following good news, JoAnne's election is even more important as she has campaigned on being entirely non-partisan and fair in her judgements of any and all suits bought before the high court. The same cannot be said for "rubber stamp" Prosser who lives in Scotty's back pocket.

MADISON, Wis. — A week ago, Wisconsin Republicans thought they'd won the fight over the state's polarizing union rights bill. They'd weathered massive protests, outfoxed Senate Democrats who fled the state and gotten around a restraining order blocking the law by having an obscure state agency publish it. They even started preparations to pull money from public workers' paychecks.

But the victory was short-lived. A judge ruled Friday that the restraining order will stay in place for at least two months she while considers whether Republicans passed the law illegally. It was the second blow to Republicans in as many days after the same judge declared Thursday that the law hadn't been properly published and wasn't in effect as they claimed.

Republicans now must either wait for the case to wind its way through the courts or pass the law again to get around complaints it wasn't done properly the first time. One GOP leader said Friday he didn't see much point in that.

"We passed the law correctly, legally the first time," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Passing the law correctly and legally a second or third time wouldn't change anything. It certainly wouldn't stop another activist judge and (a) room full of lawyers from trying to start this merry-go-round all over again."

The law would force public employees to pay more for their health care and pension benefits, which amounts to an 8 percent pay cut. It also would eliminate their ability to collectively bargain anything except wage increases no higher than inflation.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has said the law is needed to help schools and local governments deal with cuts in state funding he expects to make to address an estimated $3.6 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget. His spokesman referred questions Friday to state Department of Administration officials, who declined to comment.

Democrats have said the bill is meant to weaken the public employee unions that have been some of their strongest campaign supporters. Its introduction in mid-February set off a month of protests that drew up to 85,000 people to the state Capitol and sent Senate Democrats scurrying to Illinois to block a vote in that chamber.

Republicans eventually got around the Democrats' boycott by removing fiscal provisions from the bill so it could be passed with fewer senators present.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi has been considering a lawsuit that claims Republican lawmakers violated the state's opening meetings law when they met to change the bill. The lawsuit filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says the state's open meetings law requires 24 hours notice of a meeting but Republicans provided barely two. Republican legislative leaders say proper notice was given under Senate rules.

Sumi heard testimony Friday from people who said they heard about the meeting only minutes before it began. They said they arrived to find long lines at the Capitol's entrances and by the time they reached the room where the meeting was held, police wouldn't allow them in.

Rich Judge, chief of staff for Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, testified that someone dropped off a petition at Barca's office the night of the meeting that was signed by nearly 3,000 people who claimed they had been denied access.

Brian Gleason of Madison testified he reached the Senate parlor, where the committee hearing was being held, about 20 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin. He found a crowd of about 150 people and a line of police standing shoulder to shoulder denying access.

"Frankly, I was angry," he said. "At that point, the train going into the Senate parlor was already closed to me."

Sumi gave the attorneys until May 23 to make additional arguments, delaying a decision for nearly two months and possibly longer. Even when she does rule, one side or the other is likely to appeal in an attempt to get the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The state has already appealed her restraining order to the high court, but it has not said whether it will hear the case and is under no deadline to do so.

Two other, separate lawsuits also have been filed, which could further drag out the matter.

Anger over the bill also has prompted recall efforts against 16 state senators, including eight from each party. On Friday, Democrats announced they had collected enough signatures for a recall election against one of the Republicans.

It has been a week of good news and hope! The LaCrosse area has gathered well over enough recall signatures against Dan Kapanke. Let's hope that seven more will be filed before the deadline!


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