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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, January 31, 2005

Saw It Coming

Here's a followup to a story from last year.

Last year, ESPN held its Outdoor Games in Madison. Madison, being dominated by wacky liberals, threw up all kinds of hurdles to the outdoor games dominated by rugged outdoor activities. For instance, they hemmed and hawed about issuing them a permit to use firearms for the target competition.

After they finally happened, the games were a huge economic boom to Madison, bringing in an estimated $2 to $11 million dollar economic impact to the city.

At the time, I said this:

Madison is going to lose a great event because of their stupidity and liberal arrogance.

Today, this happened:

In a tersely worded press release Monday, ESPN announced: "We worked extremely hard to deliver tremendous economic impact and promotional value to the area. Published reports of Madison's offer have been greatly exaggerated and were primarily speculative. It has become clear that further discussion would not result in an agreement that fairly recognized the value we delivered."

By that, senior director of communications for ESPN George McNeilly said, the last offer from the state, Dane County and city of Madison of $750,000 to bring the Great Outdoor Games back to Madison for a second year, was "not really $750,000 but something less" and did not meet what ESPN thought it needed.

"In fact, when we came to Madison last year we came in considerably below market value but felt the city would be a good fit for what we were presenting," he added.

I'll give you a hint. It wasn't just about the money.

(Cross posted at Boots & Sabers)

Testimonial to the state of Education

With the direction that education has been going the last 10 years or so and the recent stance of Jim (Weac) Doyle, who refuses to allow any more educational competition in Milwaukee, has led to questions we all need to ask our selves. Is anything in the education stronghold here in Wisconsin ever going to change? I offer a very recent article on my blog, Testimony, that points out that one of our liberties in life is the freedom to choose. The government's monopoly on education must change, if we as a nation are to survive. Very compelling reading here...

Charlie has a question for us

Check out Sykes Writes and post your ideas. I answered here.

WI Blogosphere Gets the Shaft

After not posting an update last week, WisOpinion posted its weekly "Political Stock Report."

Missing is us - Wisconsin Bloggers. Those of us that have kept the drumbeat going on the fiasco down in Milwaukee are forgotten.

I'll admit that I never got into blogging for the prestige that doesn't come with it. But some minor recognition from the arbiters of Wisconsin politics would be nice every once in a while.

On the upside, we are thrown this small bone as the only one falling.
Lisa Artison: The hits just keep on coming for Milwaukee's embattled elections chief. A relative unknown before November, Artison is fast becoming Wisconsin Republicans' version of Katherine Harris (the Florida secretary of state that Dems loved to hate during the 2000 recount). While evidence of fraud isn't firm, a picture is emerging of a disorganized bureaucracy and Republicans are of course taking advantage of the situation. The fallout, Dems say, is washing over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett hates to fire anybody, friends say. But one longtime Milwaukee Dem strategist says Barrett must cut his losses and let her go or risk permanent damage to his administration.
This may explain the op-ed in yesterday's JS. Maybe not.

Cross Posted over at Lakeshore Laments by Kevin.

From the mouths of babes...

Today at lunch I showed my kids the photo of an Iraqi woman showing her purple-inked finger: the proof of her vote, and safeguard against fraudulent double voting.

My 12-year-old daughter looked surprised, and immediately said,
"But Mom! If Iraqi people can have something like that to make sure people only vote once, why can't we?"
Good question!

After all, in Iraq, a purple-stained finger could mark you for death, according to the terrorists' threats, and yet the Iraqis still went ahead and proudly inked their fingers.

Here, it would simply indicate that we've voted; nothing more, nothing less.

Now, I'm not saying we should start using permanent ink marks at the polls... but then again, I guess I'm not saying we shouldn't, either.

As the Boots and Sabers post below makes clear, we have to do something, and soon.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Different Perspectives

Wisconsin's election debacle has been chronicled on blogs, the radio, and (finally) the local mainstream media. I don't think that anyone can seriously argue that we don't have severe problems with our electoral system.

Some of the problems with our electoral system has to do with the way that it is structured. Rules like same-day registration and the lack of a photo ID requirement make it easy for anyone short of an imbecile to fraud our system. Beyond these rules, many of the rules that do exist around our electoral system are either ignored, enforced improperly, or not known by election officials.

In the coming weeks and months, more outrages will be uncovered. More people will come forward with horror stories about election day. As we parse through the mountain of evidence of the failure of Wisconsin to hold a fair and free vote, we must look to corrective action.

There will be proposals that come forward, like a photo ID requirement, that will cause a flurry of fiery rhetoric. Off of the front pages, many people will begin working hard to make sure that the rules that were ignored are finally followed.

With all of the arguments that will come forth from this scandal, most of the debate will center on two different perspectives of how our electoral system should be structured.

On the one side, championed by the Democrats, the goal of our electoral laws should be to provide maximum access to the polls. They are willing to accept the fact that the system is open to fraud in order to make sure that as many people can exercise their franchise as possible.

On the other side, championed by the Republicans, the goal of our electoral system should be to ensure that each vote is secure so that the vote is the correct reflection of the will of the people.

They are willing to accept that it will be more difficult for people to vote in order to ensure that each vote is actually cast by the person to whom it belongs.

In the end, we are both talking about disenfranchisement.

The position of the Democrats was summed up in this statement from a recent story:

"The problems of the system are better than the alternative, which is to disenfranchise voters," D'Amato said.

I would argue that our current system is disenfranchising voters. What does it matter if I go to the polls and cast my vote legally, if a bus load of criminals cast their vote illegally in Appleton? How can I have faith that my government reflects the will of the people of Wisconsin when I don't have faith that the vote is secure?

I fully support ballot access. We should make it as easily as reasonable possible for every eligible citizen to cast hos or her vote. The key word in that sentence is "reasonable." Let's talk about a few specifics to illustrate my position.

Democrats oppose photo ID verification at the polls because, they argue, some people who do not have ready access to get an ID would be disenfranchised. OK. Fine. I am willing to spend tax dollars to provide a mobile ID office for those who can't get one on their own. We can send around a van to make IDs if the person has a valid reason that they can't do it themselves. It's a small expense for the integrity of our vote.

Many people support same-day registration because they argue that if people are legally authorized to vote, then they should be able to on elections day even if they failed to properly register beforehand. Given how easy it is to register, I find this argument weak, but I'll take them at their word. Can we at least make the same-day registration process more secure? How about this: let's make it a criminal offense for a poll worker to verify a registration without a photo ID. This would mean limiting the acceptable forms of identification to a few standard documents. Currently, a poll worker has to sign off on the registration form. They did so in this past election for forms where all of the fields were not filled out, or where the address was obviously fake. Let's require a copy of the photo ID to be attached to the registration form and prosecute poll workers who sign fraudulent forms.

Legal voters will not be disenfranchised by either of these measures.

We must also not lose sight of the fact that Wisconsin does not operate in a vacuum. There are 49 other states and dozens of other countries that vote. We can look to other examples of how people conduct elections. I would venture to guess that if we look to other states that require a photo ID to vote, that we would find no more than a handful of people who could reasonably claim to be disenfranchised. Compare those handful to the thousands of unverifiable votes cast in Milwaukee alone. Each one of those thousands represents a legal voter who was disenfranchised.

Let us look to states that do not allow same-day registration. Has anyone been disenfranchised? How do those numbers compare to the thousands of same-day registrants in Wisconsin for whom no actual voter can be produced?

I think that all honest people want the same thing. We want for our electoral system to be free and fair. There will always be some fraud. There will always be people for whom the impediments to voting are too strong to get them to the polls. Let us strive to minimize both of those factors so that we can proudly point to Wisconsin's electoral system as a model for the rest of the world.

(Cross posted at Boots & Sabers)

It's your fault you evil tax cutting Republicans!

Just listen to Mordecai Lee place the blame for the massive vote fraud right on the shoulders of those that want to cut property taxes

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Comparing Iraq's Voting Security with Wisconsin's

History is being made as I write these words. Voting has begun in Iraq. That's great news for Iraqis and Americans. For Iraqis it's another step on the road to liberty. For Americans it's one step closer to getting our soldiers home and making the world safer from Islamist terrorism.

I just want to point out the voting procedures for the Iraqi elections. In Iraq the method being used to prevent vote fraud through multiple voting is indelible ink put on a voters hand after they turn in their ballot. For Iraqis voting in the United States there's more levels of security:
The seven showed election officials their passports and registration cards. Each then dipped part of an index finger in purple ink, a practice aimed at preventing a person from casting more than one vote.

Compare that with Wisconsin where you can waltz into a polling place without identification, have someone vouch for you, and get a ballot. At least in Wisconsin you don't risk getting killed by a bomb. Someone tell Gov. Doyle that what's good enough for Iraqi expatriates should be good enough for Wisconsinites.

A solder with a local connection.

620 WTMJ radio's morning host Ken Herrera's son Christopher has been deployed to Iraq about a week ago. WTMJ has adopted him as their own and have put up a page that will be used as a diary of his time in Iraq. There isn't much there now, but a he settles in, he will be posting by email and sending pictures regularly, so you might want to save the link to Our Soldier in Iraq.

Happy Birthday Thomas Paine

Happy BirthdayJanuary 29 marks the anniversary of Thomas Paine's birth in 1737. He is primarily remembered for his fiery rhetoric in support of America's revolution, and it would be hard to overestimate his role in it. As John Adams once said, "without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain."

Common Sense, first published in January 1776, argued strongly for independence from England, and was the most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution, selling almost 500,000 copies to a population of 2.5 million. The first essay of The Crisis (with the famous opening line: "These are the times that that try men's souls"), written by Paine at the front lines with Washington's army in 1776, was read aloud in every army camp. Its essays (from 1776-1883) were read by a larger fraction of the population than watch the Super Bowl today. And Paine did not make a penny from either, letting the proceeds go to the revolutionary cause instead.

Thomas Paine, An Appreciation

Friday, January 28, 2005

Iraqi Election Day

Iraq's election is this Sunday. Here's a quote from the Bishop of Kirkuk that Hugh Hewitt has today:
"The elections are something immense and new. Nothing of the kind has happened in the past 50 years: first because of clashes and revolts, then due to 35 years of dictatorship. There has never been freedom of expression. But now, anything is possible: If there are people and parties arguing and clashing, that is because they are free to do so. Now, Iraqis must learn to discuss in a civil manner."
Hewitt links to the full article on the Belmont Club; read the whole thing.

In addition, if you have C-SPAN, you might be able to watch this Spirit of America (SOA) program on Sunday afternoon. They'll have ground-level election coverage, as well as invited guests including prominent Iraqis, Christopher Hitchens, and others. According to the SOA blog, the program will also be streamed on the Internet.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Barrett's off the milk carton

Yesterday, Speaker John Gard was on the radio with Charlie Sykes, he said something that hit me and I posted the audio, as Charlie heard the audio on this blog, it struck him as well. The Speaker was talking about how 4th grade white kids were outperforming 8th grade black kids. Charlie replayed the audio I posted yesterday and it seems to have prompted the Mayor to come out of his bunker and defend the policy.

As you listen to today's audio, you can hear Barrett's spin... And spin he does :)(Link corrected)

After the discussion of the Enrollment caps, Charlie cornered Barrett on the voting scandal and his opposition to photo ID's for voting like they do in 44 other states. Barrett is still standing up for Lisa Artison As you listen to the audio, tell me if this isn't the very definition of President Bush's phrase "soft bigotry of low expectations". Barrett talked about the kids at North Division High School, they don't have Driver Ed. so they don't get drivers licenses. Contrasting it with the rich white kids from the suburbs, they get their drivers licenses, so as you see, it's raciest to expect poor black people to get a photo ID. Listen to Barrett's tortured defense of the status quo.

The talk on School Cap issues from Gard and Barrett also prompted a call from former Superintendent Dr. Howard Fuller. I have to run off to work, but here is the audio if you are interested in the Cap issue. Dr. Fuller's passion on this issue is so apparent, this is a man that cares about these kids!
I was able to obtain the voter totals for Rock County, Wisconsin.
I placed the data into a blog in case anyone has the time and wants to go through the numbers.
I have to get to work, so I will not have a chance till tommorrow.
You can find them here:

I will also place an example of the sheets I received online tommorrow.

Blog General at Brainpost

Feingold speaks, the Cap Times swoons

The Capital Times says that if Senator Feingold opposes Alberto Gonzales, why then, Democrats and Republicans alike should pay attention! Because Feingold, The Capital Times says, has a longstanding record of non-partisanship.

When it comes to the confirmation of Cabinet members, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., casts the most critical vote.

That is why the fact that he joined fellow Judiciary Committee members to oppose the nomination of White House counsel Alberto Gonzales as attorney general should be seen by the rest of the Senate, and the nation, as an indication that Gonzales cannot be allowed to take charge of the Department of Justice.

Why is Feingold's vote so significant? For the simple reason that no other senator brings to Cabinet confirmation debates Feingold's record of nonpartisanship.

Feingold nonpartisan? Says who? Says Feingold!

"My votes may not have always pleased my political supporters, or my party's leadership," he explains. "But in carrying out my part in the constitutional scheme, as one who is asked to advise on and consent to a president's nominations, I am guided by my conscience and by the history and practices of the United States Senate. Rejecting a Cabinet nominee is a very rare event. The decision to do so must never be taken lightly." Thus, when Feingold voted Wednesday against the Gonzales nomination, it could not be read as a partisan gesture.

I like that "thus" in there. Feingold's assertion that he's non-partisan is absolute proof to the Cap Times. He says he's not partisan, thus, he's not. QED.

Before the Gonzales nomination is considered by the full Senate, wavering Democrats and Republicans who are generally inclined to back President Bush should reflect on Feingold's concerns. If Alberto Gonzales failed to pass the Feingold test, then, surely, he should not be confirmed as attorney general.

So if Feingold says he's against Gonzales, why, everyone should pay attention! As for the Capital Times, pay no attention at all. The Cap Times editorial board can't even be bothered to analyze the matter. They simply reprint Senator Feingold's press releases and call them "editorials."

(Cross posted to Darn Floor)

Coming to a Phone Call Near You

A friend of mine who works for the RNC dropped this little bit of news to me.

So guess what I just found out. The American Federation of Teachers is plugging phone calls into certain congressman's districts telling them to call a 1-800 number and voice their non-support for personal accounts. The script is below. We're trying to get folks to call this number and say they support the President's plan.

"Hi, I am calling to alert you that your Congressman Mike Rogers supports privatizing Social Security. This plan would cost taxpayers $2 trillion dollars. It would also decrease future benefits to retirees by 47%. The Social Security Trust Fund should be in a lock box, not a Wall Street slot machine. Tell Congressman Rogers that we want real Social Security reform, not a risky Wall Street gamble. Call him at 1-800-839-5276."
I have now idea if that number works or not.

Ah, AFT not NEA. Guess the gig's up on who NEA works for.

Or is it the other way around? I get lost some days.

Hopefully this won't work. This was listed on Political Diary, the White House's plan for solidifying those weak-in-the knees GOP members of Congress.

"Oh, how the press wants to write a story about Republicans knifing their own president [over Social Security]... My alternative theory gets its first test as congressional Republicans begin their annual bicameral retreat at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va. today. And several knowledgeable sources say the White House has an impressive arsenal of speakers and statistics to ease lawmakers' concerns about the planned level of political support and the flexibility they will provide Congress in shaping a final product. 'Based on what I've heard, the members are going to be very impressed with the White House plan,' a knowledgeable Republican staffer told me. 'I think they could come away from the retreat believing the administration really has their ducks in a row on the issue'" -- Washington Times columnist Gary J. Andres.
Cross Posted at Lakeshore Laments by Kevin. Readers at my home blog know I'm a fairly BIG fan on Social Security Reform.

***UPDATE*** My friend at the RNC just emailed me to tell me AFT is abandoning this plan, the 1800 number has been disconnected.

Ah, but I wanted to hang up on the monotonous recording.

Capital Times Diatribe About Walker

John Nichols, Associate editor of the Capital Times, is taking off right where Dave Zweifel left off last week. The lefty newspaper associate is spewing a diatribe of classical victim-hood, so often used by the ilk of this Madison paper about Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Then later, backs off and criticizes Doyle. In the end, though, he is from Madison, who do you think he supports?
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has launched his campaign for governor with promises to make it harder for Wisconsinites to vote, and for Wisconsin communities to deliver basic services.

Since when is 'Accountability' by election boards deemed a hassle; especially with the revelations the last 10 days or so in Milwaukee? When is the word 'Accountability' by Madison bureaucrats to live within the means of the average Wisconsin citizen considered making it hard for communities to deliver basic services? For that matter, how do you define 'basic' ?
He's for placing strict new controls on voter participation in a state that historically has led the nation in opening access to the political process, he's for taking away the power of local government to determine and then meet budgetary requirements, he's for discrimination against gays and lesbians, and he's for stalker-friendly gun laws.

Uhh. John? Most people are for those things. We have over 40 states that require identification to vote. I presume he thinks TABOR will take away the power of local government. But this too is a fallacy. John forgets that the Government is by the people for the people, not people for the Government. Per the State Constitution, counties and municipalities are agents of the state and under state control. The majority of taxes and fees are created, collected, and regulated by the state. The state then redistributes the taxes (shared revenue) under a formula they control. TABOR specifically allows local government to override any tax growth limits by a simple vote of local citizens. Defining marriage in the state's constitution does not discriminate to those of alternate lifestyles. And how do you, John, know what type of weapons stalkers carry, or are you just trying to alarm us?

Then Mr. Nichols goes on to say the only intelligent piece of the article:

Gov. Jim Doyle's doctrinaire approach to governing has stymied opportunities for progress. By refusing to support fair taxation initiatives that would lower taxes for working Wisconsinites while asking corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share, he has denied Wisconsin creative and effective solutions to its budget woes. He has promoted a privatization agenda that is now at the center of the Department of Transportation scandal. And he has become so cozy with special interests that he no longer even makes an effort to promote the campaign finance and ethics reforms that the state so desperately needs.

Doyle has been a deeply disappointing governor.

I don't specifically know Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's platform yet, but I do know Doyle's. But if any of Walker's stances and views is anything like what was mentioned above, I have to consider him my front-runner.

Cross Posted @ On the Borderline

Election woes here and in Washington State

We’re not the only state with post-election headaches. We’ve all heard about the fiasco of the gubernatorial election in Washington. Here’s a recent statement from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), in Olympia, Washington (hat tip InsiderOnline, a Heritage Foundation site):
A soon-to-be-released report will detail VIP’s [Voter Integrity Project’s] investigation, which has uncovered or substantiated some startling and disappointing facts. Among them: More than 55,000 ballots "enhanced" by election workers; more ballots counted than cast; newly "discovered" ballots illegally added to the count; voting by felons, dead people and the homeless; 3,500 duplicate absentee ballots sent in King County; some military ballots sent too late; violation of privacy rights; improper election certification; etc.
Back here at home, as the election investigation gets underway, this Journal-Sentinel article suggests to me that Ward 176 might be an interesting place to start:
The most lopsided result was in Ward 176 on the north side, where voting was done in the field house at Auer Avenue Playground, 2221 W. Auer Ave. Kerry won 99% of the vote, with 573 votes; Bush had six votes and Nader had one.
Ninety-nine percent of the vote? Kerry did as well in that ward as Saddam Hussein used to do in Iraq.

Now I'm not saying he couldn't get 99% of the vote. And I'm not saying anything fishy went on.

I just want to know how those six Bush votes got in there.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hop Aboard the Ballot Bus!

Iowahawk comments on the Wisconsin Voter Fraud flap in typically hilarious Iowahawk fashion.

As a member of Chicago Local 186 of AFSCME, you do the hard work that keeps the Windy City humming -- manning the tollbooths, filling the potholes, making sure the right envelopes get to the right ward Alderman. That's why we at Local 186 think you deserve a little time off for fun, and why we are pleased to announce an exciting free travel gift designed especially for you. Get ready, because on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, AFSCME will be holding a fabulous one day whirlwind bus tour of scenic southern Wisconsin, featuring stops at five exotic ports of call -- Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Madison, and Beloit!

There's lots more at the link.

(We should give this guy some sort of award. Case of Leinie's, Jib? Wedge o' Cheese hat?)

(He appears to be a beer lover. Definitely a case of Leinie's. ~Jib.)

Feingold tortures the torture memos

Peripatetic Russ Feingold weighed in today with his thoughts about Alberto Gonzales as AG. Briefly, he's against it. And like other Senate Democrats, he attempts to pin the blame for Abu Ghraib directly on Gonzales.

Time after time, Judge Gonzales has been a key participant in developing secret legal theories to justify policies that, as they have become public, have tarnished our nation's international reputation and made it harder, not easier, for us to prevail in this struggle. He requested and then disseminated the infamous Office of Legal Counsel ("OLC") memo that for almost two years, until it was revealed and discredited, made it the position of the government of the United States of America that the International Convention Against Torture, and statutes implementing that treaty, prohibit only causing physical pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." Under that standard, the images from Abu Ghraib that revolted the entire world would not be considered torture, nor, according to some, would the shocking interrogation technique called "waterboarding."

Russ Feingold is a smart man, so he certainly knows that Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with interrogation. So why does he connect the two? And what's with the crack about "secret legal theories"? (Gotta have a secret something in order to make a conspiracy, I guess.)

He must also know that the "torture memo" was a document of legal advisement, not one of policy advisement, and in no way constituted the position of the U.S. or gave interrogators carte blanche to commit acts of torture. He must know that, therefore, there was nothing to be "revealed and discredited."

And of course he must know that interrogation specialists in the field in Afghanistan and Guantanamo were unaware of the "torture memo" and could not possibly have adopted it "as the position of the government," as he suggests. The abuse at Abu Ghraib was a violation of our policies, not a compliance with them. Surely Senator Feingold understands this.

And therefore, we understand that this is simply raw, partisan politics. I will be happy to remind Wisconsin's voters of this in six years.

On an unrelated note, if Mr. Feingold wants images that revolt the entire world, he should take a look at the images of real torture from Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime.

(Posted to Darn Floor in a slightly different form.)

Task force to probe Milwaukee election

Task force to probe Milwaukee election
Local and federal law enforcement authorities are finalizing a task force that is to look into potential fraud in Milwaukee in the Nov. 2 election, sources confirmed today.

The details are being worked out between Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty and the local office of the FBI.

The task force comes in the wake of Journal Sentinel revelations that more than 1,200 votes came from invalid addresses and that there were other problems with how the election was run in the city.

Complete coverage of this story will appear online later tonight and in the Journal Sentinel in the morning.

Notice he points to his own work as the reason we are getting the investigation, but it has been Talk Radio and the Wisconsin Blogosphere that have been pounding this story for weeks... oh well, as long as we get a decent investigation.

What the County Clerks Say

Here's the report I was able to get from offices of my area county clerks offices (Manitowoc / Sheboygan)

Sheboygan: The Office of State Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) is still waiting on this information according to the nice lady I spoke to when I called his local office.

Manitowoc: The County Clerk's office, after being on hold for a few minutes, was really helpful. They told me the 5,000 township rule will be gone with the statewide voter list. All Wisconsinites will now register. (Come to think of it, I was allowed to pre-register for 2006 after voting for 2004 in the Township of Schleswig.) I was then transferred over to City Clerk in the City of Manitowoc.

In Manitowoc, the city 'does not have a problem.' They send postcards out to all registrants after each election. These cards just recently went out. Could not get a real bead on any return to sender numbers or a percentage of voters in Manitowoc that were same-day registrants.

This might lead to an actual visit to the City Hall of Manitowoc and a talk to the City Clerk there myself.

Cross Posted at Lakeshore Laments by Kevin

Assembly Speaker Gard will not run for Governor & More

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker John Gard announced today that he would not run for Governor in 2006, this leaves the field to most likely Scott Walker (already announced) and Mark Green. I think this is a good thing for the State, these three men are Wisconsin's GOP 1st string, each would make an awesome Governor, but I would hate to see the three of them bloody each other in the primary.

You can read his statement here.
Gard: I Will Not Be a Candidate for Governor in 2006

The Important Comments

Speaker Gard was on the Charlie Sykes show today speaking on this decision, but the most important part of the interview was the last 4 ½ minutes when talk turned to Jim Doyle's refusal to raise the caps on School Choice in Milwaukee. Listen in as Gard talks about the effects Doyles refusal is going to have on primarily Milwaukee's inner city black students. Right now, many 4th grade white students are outperforming 8th grade black students from Milwaukee's failing schools. Here is the audio.

Cross posted: My View

Students at MPS school reward kids to wear black to protest Bush

Milwaukee’s Sign Language Elementary School rewarded it’s kids with a pizza party if they would wear only black clothes on the Bush Inauguration day. if they did not wear all black they would have to sit in the cafeteria and not get pizza.

Listen to the audio of the news report.

Audio on the Racine Vote Fraud story

I have posted the audio of Charlie Sykes reading the email on the Racine Vote fraud story posted below.


Well, the Journal Sentinel's Editorial Board has finally spoken up. And from what we learned, it once again proves that in order to get on the JS editorial board, you must have a partial lobotomy performed on you.

I'd go into this thing with a fine-tooth comb but since
Sean's already done some of that and my personal ethics to not go into a exploitive-laden post, discourse will rule the day - for the moment.

Republicans are quick to jump on discrepancies, real or imagined, in voting data in Milwaukee as proof of widespread fraud in the big city. In their minds, the Journal Sentinel's findings fit that pattern. A more plausible explanation, however, is that the findings reflect the unfortunate tendency of voting systems throughout America to err. Milwaukee voters with dubious addresses made up four-tenths of 1% of the turnout, by the way. Nevertheless, the disclosures should give impetus to efforts to upgrade the electoral apparatus.
First of all, many of these discrepancies are real. There are at least 1,200 votes from people who live in parks, alleys, vacant lots, and mobile gyro stands. Captain Ed is reporting that 186 of those 1,200 come from the list of 5,600 the state GOP asked Lisa Artison (you know the incompetent one) to watch out for.

This does not 'reflect the unfortunate tendency of voting systems throughout America,' it reflects on the WISCONSIN VOTING SYSTEM. Upgrading the Wisconsin system won't fix anything. It's like having a virus on your computer, upgrading your OS won't wipe out the virus. It will only infect the new OS.

It is time to purge the system and start anew.
The errors must be corrected. But photo IDs, the cure-all pushed by Republicans, would cure hardly anything. What's more, the GOP's obsession with Milwaukee doesn't help. After all, electoral glitches pockmark the entire state. But Republicans are threatening to myopically focus only on Milwaukee. Any probe must widen to the entire state or at least big chunks of it.
Pardon me if I read between the lines in that paragraph. Yes, photo IDs will not be the cure-all. Photo IDs and ending same-day registration will be the cure-all.

The problem is that politicians in this state don't have the political guts to fix the problem. They're afraid of what United Council will say about the college students (who should be voting only absentee), they're afraid of what the Gwen Moores of the world who will scream bloody murder, or the Jim Doyles who worry about their 88 year-old mothers in nursing homes. (Jim -
Hold a Bingo game if you want your mom to vote, or pay the $4 and take her to the Dane Co. DMV for Pete's sake.)

Also, if one read betweens the lines of the last two sentences of that paragraph as well as this one:

Suburban legislators lack empathy, unfortunately. One of them, Rep. Jeff Stone, a Greenfield Republican, is beating the drums for a probe of the Milwaukee elections. He has seized on the gap between the 84,000 people the city estimated registered on election day and the 73,000 cards it sent out to new registrants to verify their addresses. Indeed, in fixing the system, city officials must address that gap. But problems with the cards seem widespread in Wisconsin. What explains Stone's fixation on Milwaukee?
You notice the JS editorial board making pot shots at the focus on Milwaukee. There is only one thing to decipher from those statements. The JS board is subtlely raising the specter that the state GOP is only doing this because they are racists. After all, Milwaukee is the most segregated city in America. It's recent mayoral election was black Milwaukee versus white Milwaukee.

With the line 'fixation on Milwaukee' the JS is hoping that all of these voter anomalies can be sweep under the rug by hint at throwing the race card down. Unfortunately for the JS editorial board, the state is about to get an audit going statewide - as it should - ending the race-baiting.

Meanwhile, the state is moving closer to an audit of election procedures that is expected to include a major focus on the problems in Milwaukee.

The statewide audit, which had already been approved by the Legislature, has been accelerated, and a "scope of audit" - the step that formally launches the state probe - could be approved as soon as Thursday.

"To have this information about the addresses out there before the election and have it ignored is another mind-boggling element of this whole thing," said state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), who is also preparing to reintroduce a photo identification requirement for all voters.

I know for a fact that Greg Borowoski, the only reporter who seems to actually want to cover this, has called other counties. My state senator has told me that a call was made to the Sheboygan County Clerk. That was done on last Wednesday, no answer has come back to my knowledge.

I plan on calling Manitowoc County Clerk Char Peterson today on this matter. Manitowoc County, due to Wisconsin's insane registration rule that states if you live in a city, town, village, or township with a population less than 5,000 (unless changed by local ordinance) you are not required to register, only has the cities of Manitowoc and Two Rivers where voter registration verification cards are legally required to be sent out. In Sheboygan County, the City of Sheboygan, Town of Sheboygan, City of Sheboygan Falls, and the City of Plymouth are all required to have voter registration verification cards sent out.

It's going to be a tough fight. Our pin-head of a Governor Jim Doyle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WEAC, had this to say on the matter.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who opposes a photo ID requirement, said Tuesday he believes most of the issues raised could be traced back to processing problems, not fraud.

"I think we have a pretty good system," Doyle said. "If you register at the polls, you have to show appropriate identification to show that you are who you claim to be and that you reside at that
In all likelihood that fight ends in 2007. With the inauguration of someone other than James E. Doyle as Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

Cross posted at Lakeshore Laments by Kevin
Note: Any updates on this post can be found at my home blog.

An agreement? Not really

Greg Borowski and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are back today with more on Milwaukee's election problems (give the Journal Sentinel credit for unleashing Borowski on this story). Today they go back to the 5,619 bad addresses that state Republicans challenged prior to the election, and which the Milwaukee Election Commission refused to toss out. The agreement that had been struck stated that elections workers would ask for ID from those trying to vote from the 5619 addresses on that list. They found that at least 186 votes came from bad addresses on that list anyway.
That led GOP officials to question Tuesday whether the city complied with its later agreement to have poll workers seek identification from anyone who attempted to vote from those addresses.
Borowski also looks into whether the city did comply or not:
Graber and other party officials have said they received reports from poll watchers in the city that the lists of questionable addresses were not being used at some of the wards or were delivered late.
Give Borowski (and any assisting staff) his due. He is doing some first rate work on these stories. See also his accompanying story on loopholes in state election law.

Racine polling problems, part 1

As I mentioned earlier, Dirty Harry at Stranded on Blue Islands has posted on his site an email from a Racine poll worker that is, quite frankly, a bit stunning. I've chatted a bit with Harry, and I think this story is very credible. I am posting some pictures as a favor to Dirty Harry, because he is unable to post them to his site. I am not going to reproduce the email here because it is Dirty Harry's source and his story, so make sure you check out his post about the poll worker email, and remember these pictures are part of that person's story.

Racine polling problems, part 2

Another picture from Racine

Racine polling problems, part 3

A final picture from Racine

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

3 Year Old Kindergarten!

Looks like WEAC has found another way to ask for more money, and they get to thank Governor Doyle once again. There probably isn't a worse time to add an expensive program to the state public education menu, but Doyle proposed just that during his State of the State speech last week. The governor proposed extra money for 4-year-old kindergarten despite a looming $1.6 billion state budget deficit. Now originally I thought isn't this much too early to take the children and start indoctrinating them in public education. I thought a child was supposed to go to kindergarten when they were 5 years old. So, do these babysitters, and thats what they are at that age, get the benefits of a teacher? Are they teachers? So I thought I'd do a little research.

I enter "4 year old kindergarten" in google and low and behold, I get page after page of links all referencing Wisconsin schools. Is Wisconsin the only one who has 4 year old kindergarten? Down one of those pages of links I see a link titled '3 - 4- and 5 - year Old Kindergarten'. It takes me to a Milwaukee Public School site. My gosh, I'm speechless! 3 Years old!

I see the Wisconsin DPI is pushing for 4 Year old kindergarten. I did find find that they did say "Teachers with BA or higher degrees in early childhood education have the experience and training to provide quality learning opportunities." So when you hear the rhetoric of the left saying "Do it for the kids", they mean it. All of them between 3 and 20. I think its just a WEAC jobs program. 3 years old....

Cross Posted @ On the Borderline

Quick comment on Condi

Now that Condi is on the floor of the Senate, she is still the smartest person in the room... But that's not what I wanted to comment on, did anyone notice that the first person to delay Condi's confirmation vote was the same man that voted against both African American Supreme Court Judges, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. it was the former Ku Klux Klan member, Senator Robert Byrd. Anyone see a pattern here?

Cross Posted @ My View

A story of suspicious activity from a Racine poll worker

Stranded on Blue Islands posted an email this morning from a Racine poll worker. The poll worker tells a first hand story of what he/she witnessed at the Tyler-Domer Community Center on election day and is a must read.

Green Growing His Green

Mark Green has made the first steps towards an official run for governor.

U.S. Rep. Mark Green all but made his campaign for governor official Tuesday, filing the paperwork allowing him to begin raising money for a gubernatorial bid.

The Republican congressman from Green Bay also transferred $1.3 million from his federal campaign fund to his new state account. But senior aide Mark Graul said the moves were not an official announcement that he was seeking the GOP nomination for governor in 2006.

"We're in January and this election is two years away essentially," Graul said. "There's no need to do formal announcements right now. If it's something you're likely to do, you want to be prepared to do it."

Mark Green and Scott Walker are very strong candidates for the GOP. The hope is that they refrain from bloodying each other too badly. The GOP primary is very late. It comes in September of 2006 with the general election coming in November. As we all saw with the US Senate race against Feingold, there is no margin for error for whichever candidate wins the GOP primary.

Doyle is weak, but not stupid - and he has a lot of time to prepare. Whoever wins the Primary should be ready to spend $10-$15 Million.

In any case, it is good to see the GOP putting forth its best people for the 2006 race. I am also cautiously hopeful that the national GOP will put this race high on its priority list. A GOP governor in the swing state of Wisconsin will help in the presidential race of 2008.

(Cross posted at Boots & Sabers)

Sunsetting the Stadium Tax

With everything else going on, Cathy Stepp has introduced a bill to sunset the stadium tax for Miller Park in 2014.


A Crime Not a "Prank"

The Journal Sentinel editorial board buried the lede in their comment on the tire slashing charges. At the top they called the slashings an "election day prank." Only in the middle of the editorial do they label the crimes exactly what they were--voter supression.

The board also has lots of faith in E. Michael McCann. They write that he has a "well-earned reputation for honesty and dispassion." He also has a reputation for plea-bargaining. The Journal Sentinel editorial board is silent about reducing the charges.

"Editorial: Tire-Slashing was No Joke"

Welcome InstaPundit Readers

Thanks Glenn for the attention.

Readers new to the blog can either scroll down and read the individual posts below or access any of the member blogs found on the right.

We've all been covering this since it broke on Saturday January 15th. (It's been 10 days already?)

Thanks for your patronage.
For those Wisconsin Bloggers that are looking for more traffic, try getting posted / listed on other sites. This is one from the paper in the Twin Cities

Welcome Stand in the Trenches

Please welcome Mary Eileen from Stand in the Trenches to the Badger Blog Alliance. She is a very enthusiastic blogger from the Milwaukee area who recently worked to help re-elect George W. Bush. Check out her blog and leave her a few welcome comments.

With the addition of Stand in the Trenches, there is going to be a two week pause in new memberships. There are a number of great bloggers in Wisconsin who would be great members of the BBA, and I hope we will see continued growth in that area. A lot has gone on here in the last couple of weeks, though, and it is time for a pause in new memberships so things can stabilize a little bit. If you belong in the blogroll, leave a comment and you will be added. There will be no pause in adding links to the blogroll. If you'd like to participate here, let me know, because after the two weeks we'll open things back up again.

Verification Postcards "Just a Partisan Ploy"

The Wisconsin Voter Fraud story reminds me of fractal patterns. As the grand design is revealed, very interesting things happen around the fringes.

Voter fraud in Wisconsin takes on many creative forms (everyone remember the "Bingo for Votes" incident?), but the most obvious pattern to emerge in 2004 was the failure by election officials to verify the voters who registered at the polls on election day.

Election officials are required by law to mail postcards out to verify the addresses of these voters. In Milwaukee, about 8,300 more votes were cast than the number of people who were recorded as voting. Election officials say this was due mainly to problems with the same-day registration cards that were incomplete or illegible and therefore couldn't be send out. But a review of those records by the Milwaukee Journal found more than 1,200 of the addresses on these cards were non-existent. (Hat tip: The American Mind.)

But it turns out that in some locations, election officials simply don't bother to send out the verification cards. The Journal Sentinel reported last week that the Richland Center clerk didn't send them out because everyone there knows everyone anyway. (Note to those hoping to commit voter fraud in future elections: take that busload of Chicagoans to Richland Center.)

In Racine, we've discovered that the city clerk, Carolyn Moskonas, failed to send out verification postcards to more than 3,000 people who registered on election day. Moskonas said that there is no record of the city ever sending out verification cards, and added that there's no money in her budget to do it anyway.

Let's recall that in Wisconsin the 2004 Presidential election was decided by about 11,000 votes. The 2000 Presidential election was even closer, decided by around 6,000 votes. In this context, 3,000 unverified voters can make quite a bit of difference. And that's just 3,000 voters in Racine alone. Add in the totals from just Milwaukee and you've matched the margin of victory in 2004.

Today in an editorial, The Racine Journal Times writes that address verification postcards are just a "partisan ploy" by Republicans intent on disenfranchising voters. After all, they reason, these voters had to bring proof of residency to the polling place in the form of an ID or a recent utility bill. In Wisconsin, even another registered voter can vouch for their residency. Therefore, says the Journal Times, their residency was already proven. (Because everyone knows that IDs and utility bills can't be faked. And having another voter vouch for your eligibility is proof beyond measure, right?)

But the fact is, too, that some voters, especially those on the low end of the income ladder, are more transient than others - they live in apartments or with relatives and not in a gated horse farm in Caledonia. They're more apt to move and, historically, they're more apt to vote Democratic -- and that's why they're targeted by [state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia] and other Republicans.

In Milwaukee, apparently 1,242 of them live on baseball diamonds, alleys, bridges, and billboards, causing even Lisa Artison, the executive director of Milwaukee's Election Commission to remark: “The results you obtained make it clear the new statewide voter system is very badly needed and long overdue.”

These efforts aren't about fairness, they're about harassment and disenfranchisement. What other reason to make vague threats of felony prosecutions and push to send district attorney offices on address checks?

Perhaps because failure to send out verification cards is a crime? Because to do anything else is an invitation to voter fraud? But the Journal Times isn't interested in whether there was voter fraud.

The fact is that, despite the heated presidential election last November, more than a quarter of eligible voters didn't cast ballots - now that's really a crime.

In some countries, failure to vote is a crime. We like to think of it as a civic duty. We also naively assume that people will refrain from cheating. We're just too nice around here. But never mind that, . . . that last line in the editorial is meant to be a distraction from the real issue.

Racine Mayor Gary Becker agreed last week to comply with the law and send out the verification postcards, but added "there are certain people that seem to want to make voting difficult for most people in some areas. My goal is to make sure that every individual who is eligible to vote and wants to vote is able to with as little inconvenience as possible."

But the "inconvenience" in question doesn’t belong to the voters, it belongs to the election officials, for whom verifying the residency of election-day registrants is apparently too much trouble. Voting has never been inconvenient in Wisconsin. The only way we could possibly make it easier is if we went door to door with already completed absentee ballots, and just asked residents for their signatures. (And don't think someone hasn't already considered that.)

But at least then we'd know that these voters actually had doors.

Wisconsin has obviously made voting far too easy for far too long. Wisconsin will soon be known as the voter-fraud state, as synonymous with election fraud as Chicago is. If we're serious about election reform in Wisconsin, the first thing that has to go is same-day voter registration. But you can bet that an attempt to clean up the election process in Wisconsin is going to be a hard-fought battle.

(Cross posted to Darn Floor)

Scott Walker to run for Governor

Scott Walker announced yesterday that he’s going to run for Governor of Wisconsin, hoping to defeat incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle.

This is very good news.

Scott Walker, Republican, has been the County Executive of Democratic-stronghold Milwaukee County for the past three years. He’s done an outstanding job of holding the line on taxes, calling attention to the tremendous potential for vote fraud in the City of Milwaukee (prior to the election), and co-chairing the Bush/Cheney campaign this fall.

This past spring, he won re-election with 58% of the vote. Again, this is pretty impressive for a Republican in a traditionally very Democratic county.

Milwaukee County – in fact, this entire state -- is so ready to be Red. And I really think that Scott Walker is just the candidate to help us get there.

Here’s an excerpt from his website:
Three years ago, I was honored to be serving as a member of the State Legislature from Wauwatosa, when the local government here was racked by a political scandal involving self serving politicians and public officials. Then, something amazing took place. Tens of thousands of ordinary people did an extraordinary thing in our County, they took their government back. It wasn’t a movement fueled by anger, but rather hope. And it is in that same optimistic spirit of hope that I will mount my campaign for Governor. Area residents here had the hope that their involvement could lead to dramatic changes in their government. They were right. Even though I hadn’t considered running for County Executive, I was moved to do my part, and together with tens of thousands of concerned taxpayers, we set out to take on the old political machine in Milwaukee County. We took them on, and we won.
This fall, I attended a Milwaukee County training session for Bush/Cheney volunteers. It was held at Serb Hall, in the heart of Democratic Milwaukee. I had to park four blocks away. Inside, it was standing-room only, with over 2,000 volunteers in attendance. When Scott was introduced, the crowd went nuts. They were on their feet for a standing ovation, before the man even said a single word.

Republicans in Milwaukee love this guy. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say they consider him something of a hero for conservative causes. But it’s not just Republicans who love him; obviously, he appeals to plenty of Democrats and Independents, too, with re-election numbers like he got last April.

There will possibly be other contenders for the Republican nomination for Governor before it's all over, but Scott Walker, in my opinion, would be an excellent choice.

UPDATE: In my haste to post this before Blogger tanked on me again, I neglected to introduce myself and to thank Jib for allowing me to be a posting member of this fine Alliance. So, thank you! I'm honored to be a part of the BBA. And if you want to find out a little more about me, please stop by my primary blog, Stand in the Trenches.

Wisconsin Teachers Benefits 58% Higher than National Average!

This past summer, Governor Doyle's Task Force on Educational Excellence issued their final report. This document was developed in response to a daunting charge from the governor in which he asked the task force to study, and make recommendations for change on, wide ranging aspects of Wisconsin's public school system. This charge included reviewing existing barriers to academic achievement for students, studying ways to attract and retain quality teachers, and an analysis of issues relating to early childhood and special education in Wisconsin.

Not surprisingly, the section of the report that addressed teacher attraction and retention was centered on public school teacher compensation. The report included statistics that show Wisconsin teacher salaries lagging behind other Great Lakes states, as well as a decline since 1989 in Wisconsin's rank among the fifty states average teacher pay. In response to these, and other troubling statistics about Wisconsin public school teacher pay, the task force made a number of recommendations related to teacher compensation.

In the Task Force report, no mention was made of Wisconsin teachers' national rank in the fringe benefit component of total compensation. U.S. Census Bureau data from 2001-2002 shows that Wisconsin provides the second most generous fringe benefits in the nation,in terms of per-pupil costs, for teachers. Only New York teachers enjoy more lucrative benefit packages than educators in Wisconsin. In 2001-2002, Wisconsin taxpayers spent an average of $1,397 per pupil on public school teacher benefits while the national average was $884 per pupil. Thats 58% more than the national average.

So something as fundamental about this either shows that the Task Force and their findings were biased, were incomplete, weighted disproportionally with people in education and government, or simply wrong. Look at the dynamics of our local Long Range Facility Task Force and their 'GroupThink' we had in Hudson. I think the same can be said for this Task Force.

In the know @ On the Borderline

Another twist on Milwaukee's election problems

After this is all said and done, and we've finally fixed the problems with Wisconsin's election laws, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Greg Borowski may be the expert to go to for any scholars looking to write a book on the issue. Borowski has been the Journal Sentinel's point man for this story, and he's back with another story on Milwaukee's election problems today. Let's skip the lede and go straight to the heart of the story:
The newspaper’s review, the most extensive analysis done so far of the election, revealed 1,242 votes coming from a total of 1,135 invalid addresses. That is, in some cases more than one person is listed as voting from the address. Of the 1,242 voters with invalid addresses, 75% registered on site on election day, according to city records.

This would be an example of the incompetence of Milwaukee's Election Commission, an incompetance that an earlier Journal Sentinel article shows may be occuring in other Wisconsin election commissions. Having said that, let's take a look at what the Mayor's Chief of Staff has to say on the matter:
Barrett Chief of Staff Patrick Curley said the newspaper’s findings underscore the need to improve the handling of elections, particularly large-turnout ones that strain the system.

Curley said he believes the problematic addresses - less than 1% of those who voted - are a sign of procedural problems in the Election Commission office, not widespread fraud.

“The process is what we’ve charged the election task force with,” Curley said. “Obviously, improvements are needed.”

Well, yes and no on that "not widespread fraud" part. There is a two part problem here, and I hope that individuals like Curley can follow the 'nuance', if you will. These 1200 votes are clearly signs of incompetence. So is the failure to verify 80,000 voter registrations immediately after the election. The fact that 75% of the 1200 bad addresses were same day registrants, that is an indicator of fraud. So are the bad addresses that were discovered prior to the election. So too may be the 8,300 (or 10,000, depending on the numbers your trust) same day registrations that were so illegible they couldn't even be mailed. For now, there is a clear line of demarcation: Election officials are guilty of incompetence, and possibly a large number of voters participated in fraud. Unless they have something to hide, government officials in Milwaukee need to stop dodging the fraud issue, because that isn't being leveled at them. Instead, they need to clean their house, because it is their incompetence which has made the fraud by voters possible.

(Cross posted at Jiblog)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Charges filed in tire slashing case

The charges have finally been filed in the Milwaukee election day tire slashing case. Read the criminal complaint here, and visit the Badger Blog Alliance and it's member sites for more on this story throughout the day.

My View of the World has the story and audio.
For those interested in getting more national exposure for your blogs, there is a new Blue State Conservatives blog that will allow most anyone "from a blue state" to post on issues. - H.T. DUMMOCRATS

Crosswalk has this story of political correctness gone to far....again...!
Magnetic Yellow Ribbons that say "Support The Troops" have been surreptitiously banned by the administration at the University of Oregon. The
origin of the policy was a complaint from a fellow employee and the claim was that the sticker was in fact a "political statement".The employee who had the magnetic ribbons had put them on his vehicle months previous - but Friday a university employee complained.
So let's review...
1. University employees at the University of Oregon are not allowed to support the troops who defend those employees' freedoms and the security they live under.
2. "Supporting the troops" is deemed a political much for the "We all support the troops" talking points.
3. Even if this WAS political expression - university employees are not allowed to express themselves politically?

Last week, Milwaukee came out with it's new logo.
I think it may be time for a more accurate depiction of Milwaukee values to the rest of the world.

Now, I'm not the best graphics guy, so I am open for other suggestions. The image has a picture of a bus with an "Illinois for Kerry" sign on the side as they did a lot of "work" in Wisconsin. The words "Vote early, Vote often" and one of Joseph Stalin's more famous quotes...
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything"

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A mission for the Wisconsin Blogosphere.

Charlie is calling on us for help, check Sykes Writes today, he has a woman that has been "recruited" by her school district to advocate against TABOR and she is looking for help in busting through the school board spin. Please dig up your best pro TABOR information and share them with both Ms. Thomas and Charlie.

I know this is a subject that Owen from Boots & Sabers has posted eloquently on, a search of his posts on the subject and a review of his actions with the Mequon school district and their TABOR stand would be a good place to start.

On the Borderline has written a number of posts on TABOR as well. All of the TABOR posts can be found here. (~Jib)

ADDITION #2 (from comments)
Be sure to look through the info on Rep. Frank Lasee's website - he is the main author of TABOR.

I believe CRG Network also has a great deal of info: (no www on that one). (~Lance Burri)
I've been hitting TABOR hard since meeting Frank Lasee for the first time last fall. My Blog started doing Google TABOR Alerts since. I try to answer any or all critics of it. I've also had Frank clarify some things on my blog. The critical elements of countering anti-TABOR people is to consider the source, that is why they are against it. Usually it's because they are beholden to the tax dollar who pays their wages, funds their pensions, and pays for 99% of their health care, or in the case here in Hudson, people who are married or related to people who are. You are going to find Education, Unions (State and County workers), and Government as 80% of the opposition. Another 10% are going to be those who depend on government funding of their pet programs, and the last 10 are the ones who do not know any better. Another aspect is that there are 2 Brands of TABOR, 1 that will only be a feeble attempt to limit government with loop-holes and exemptions, and the other, authored by Lasee. Check out my blog and you'll see a pattern to defend it.

Wisconsin Bloggers Rock!


A more permanent thank you

The members of the Badger Blog Alliance have wanted a more permanent thank you on the site to Charlie Sykes. Charlie has been a champion of the Wisconsin blogosphere, and his attention to Wisconsin blogs has led to a greater cohesiveness amongst Wisconsin bloggers. In fact, without Charlie championing Wisconsin blogs, the Badger Blog Alliance would not be nearly as advanced as it is right now. We are going to put a permanent link in the sidebar to Sykes Writes as a token of our appreciation.

(I am open to replacing this icon with a nicer one, if any of you are creative with Photoshop.)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Audio: Belling breaking the latest scandal

Check Brainpost for some great info on the latest 8,000 phantom voters,

Friday, January 21, 2005

More Ballots Than Voters

Here's the info about more ballots than voters Mark Belling pointed out on his show today.
A Journal Sentinel review shows that the city's records list 269,212 people - those with confirmed addresses or who could be sent verification cards - as voting, while 277,535 ballots were cast. That suggests a gap of 8,323 voters who cannot be sent the cards.

In other elections in 2004, Milwaukee consistently had more ballots cast than people who voted.

We have to thank Greg Borowski of the Journal Sentinel for not letting this story fade away.

"Evaluation of Election Begins" [via Stranded on Blue Islands]

Badger Image

The friend of mine that made the Badger/Wisconsin image has made a few more, all on transparent backgrounds and half are in red.

Thanks Jewlz!

21st Century Schizoid Man!

Here is a post from On the Borderline.

Doyle’s walk down the yellow brick road

It looks like we have two Gov. Jim Doyles running the state.

Last week a Gov. Doyle flew into to New Richmond for a quick press conference to schmooze Western Wisconsin. He expounded on what great things he has done for the state and what he plans to do. He didn’t raise taxes, he plans on increasing shared revenue for schools, reduce government spending, add faculty to the University of Wisconsin, but cut administration, fix the state deficit of $1.6 billion, balanced the last budget, sold seven state-owned airplane, and 600 state-owned cars.

In the next two years, according to his state-of-the-state address, he plans to pass a meaningful worker training bill, increase the school breakfast assistance by 50 percent, reforming the way teachers are paid, new funding for SAGE, require a third year of math and science, invest $750 million in biotechnology, $3 million in Alzheimer’s research, increase college tuition tax deduction, full funding for shared revenue, significantly increase aid to education, and (last but not least) provide a billion dollars in property tax relief. Don’t hold your breath.

Then there is the Gov. Doyle who wanted to call a special session of the legislature to roll over bonding debt to reduce interest rate that saves $10 million, but vetoed a bill to put teachers in the state health plan that would have saved $100 million. This would have saved New Richmond, $326,000; Hudson, $499,000; Ellsworth, $360,000; and St. Croix Central, $207,000.

This Gov. wants to do away with the qualified economic offer (QEO) which is hated by the teacher’s union. It will not happen unless both houses of the legislature turn Democrat.

This Gov. Doyle has no good words to say about taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR) patterned after Colorado’s TABOR. He expresses total ignorance about the constitutional amendment presently in the legislature. If enacted, this amendment would limit spending of all state entities (state, counties, towns, villages, cities, and school districts) to the cost of living increase in Milwaukee/Racine plus increases in population, student enrollment, or new construction. I have only one question: why can’t governments live with cost of living spending increases, hmmmmm?

TABOR has nothing to do with a property tax freeze nor will it hurt education. Much has been made of the Colorado’s poor performance in the ACT scores of high school students. The reason is that Colorado is the only state requiring 100 percent student ACT participation. Common sense tells us that requiring all students to take the test skews scores downward because some of the students have lower abilities, are less motivated, or have less ambition.

Wisconsin and Minnesota rank themselves near the top because the ranking disregards states with less than 50 percent participation. Wisconsin is actually tied for ninth place. Vermont has the highest ACT scores, but only 12 percent of the students take the test. It’s a dirty little secret perpetuated by the teacher’s union. Like the car companies love to say, ” Wisconsin is best in its class.”

bobz @ Ontheborderline

Artison Tesitifies

The Journal Sentinel has an article up on Lisa Artison's testimony before the vote task force. A couple of quick thoughts:

-The fact that Artison is adament about stressing the 84,000 number as an estimate is disturbing. 2 months after the election, she should have exact numbers. Secondly, this "estimate" business smacks of an early cya until a better explanation can be put forth.

-She questions whether critics have an agenda by using the 10,000 number. Well, no, the 10,000 number came from her estimate. As for an agenda, yes, there is an agenda-to secure the integrity of Wisconsin's elections, something several Wisconsin bloggers have hit on already.

-City records show that there are 8300 more votes than people recorded as having voted at this time, like that is some sort of a consolation. It's not.

Election reform in Wisconsin

Wendy has a great open letter to Wisconsin on election reform over at Boots & Sabers. A recommended read.

Too Close For Comfort?

Here's an interesting tidbit. As most people know, Milwaukee had a huge pension scandal where the County basically gave themselves sweet pension deals on the taxpayers' dime. The scandal caused numerous recalls and had many ancillary effects.

Since then, the County has been fighting off various lawsuits regarding various aspects of the pension deal. In a new turn of events, the County is now going to sue private firms that were responsible for cost estimates and other tasks when crafting the pension deal. Essentially, they are trying to shift blame.

There are primarily two firms that were involved on the back end of the pension deal and this is what the County official had to say about them:

Of the outside firms, two did heavy lifting on the deal: Mercer Human Resources Consulting and the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren.

Domina said it was unlikely Reinhart would be sued. Asked about Mercer, he declined comment.

So, what's so interesting? This:

Tom Barrett, whose 10-year run in Congress ended Friday, announced he will join the Milwaukee law firm Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren.
Barrett, 49, said he will become a partner in the firm's government relations practice beginning Tuesday.

Tom Barrett is currently the Mayor of Milwaukee.

I'm going to have to see a dang good reason if Mercer gets sued and Reinhart doesn't.

(Cross posted at Boots & Sabers)

Moose Balian still has his defenders

The EMT that ran over and killed a boy and is serving a laughably light 3 years weaseled out of a bail jumping charge that would have actually punished him more than he got for murdering a kid, and over at My View, I have someone that is happy, he talks about what a great guy Moose is and how the witness in the bail jumping charge is only a friend of "the gengler woman" as he calls her, that would be the murdered child's mother.

How does one defend a killer? An EMT that didn't even try to help... that's just a cold blooded killer in my book.

Redefinition of Objectivity

Oh Boy, here comes the cavalry! Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, has appointed a task force to investigate the election problems in his city. Now who would be the most objective and impartial person to have on that board? Hmm. Maybe Lisa Artison, executive director of the Election Commission, whose job was to make sure this did not happen and wife of Barrett's election supporter. Hmm. Maybe some city officials, we wouldn't want to have some outside impartial people criticize us now would we? I know what else would be a good idea! Lets string this thing along and not report our findings till, lets say late June. Maybe it will be all forgotten by then. See JSOnline article here.

That is just what Tom Barrett is doing. God, does he really think we are that stupid? I don't think so, I think it is usual obfuscation by the left and there is something to hide.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Chippewa Falls home owners should watch their wallets

The City of Chippewa Falls is looking at setting up a storm sewer utility, charging city home owners $3 a month for a service they already pay for with their property taxes. They are pitching this as a chance for home owners to realize a savings on their property taxes. The Chippewa Herald warns that it is unlikely they'll see any savings.

Wisconsin round up 1/20/05

Lakeshore Laments looks at banning of cell phone usage while driving as an expansion of the nanny state, and holds Republicans partially responsible with nominations for his WTF* awards.

In a piece to make Rush Limbaugh proud, Darn Floor goes after Maureen Dowd for her immaturity in her latest column (aren't they all, though?).

The American Mind looks at the knob with a thing for knobs.

jkhat at Dummocrats has photos of protestors from the innauguration, while Kris pokes fun at Madison protestors.

Sanity in Mad City honors Bush's innauguration with the words that may be his historical legacy.

Stranded on Blue Islands live blogged the MSM coverage of the innauguration.

Charlie Sykes publishes some great letters from teachers in regards to this story.

Tom Barrett Sighting Planned

Mark your calendars, Tom Barrett will come off the milk carton.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will deliver his first "State of the City" address Feb. 2, at the new Kern Center on the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus downtown, officials said today.

The speech will begin at 8 a.m.

The $31 million center, located at N. Broadway and E. Knapp St., recently opened. It is the first major project completed in the Park East area, since the freeway stub was

Barrett was elected last April.

He has only been seen periodically.

Originally posted at Lakeshore Laments.

DA's role in unauthenticated voter registrations

My View of the World jumps on an article in this morning's Journal Sentinel which explains that any registration confirmation cards which the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver must be delivered to the district attorney for investigation into fraud. This is clearly not occuring, which is important because it is this step that holds potentially fraudulent voters legally accountable for their actions.

The Journal Sentinel called on district attorneys across the state on this issue, and here are just a couple of the responses:
In Marathon County, Wausau doesn't send out the cards. "When they register (at the polls), they are signing something swearing they are who they say they are and are qualified to vote," said Mary Goede, deputy city clerk.

In Richland County, Richland Center does not send out verification cards. And District Attorney Andrew Sharp said sending out verification cards in a rural county would be "silly," because "everyone in the county knows everybody, so that (voter fraud) couldn't happen here."
While neither location has a major metropolitan area, comments such as those are just willful ignorance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Idea worth looking at further

Rep. Rob Kreibich has floated the idea of merging Wisconsin's 13 two year campuses with its 13 four year universities as a means to streamline the University of Wisconsin system, saving the state an as yet undetermined amount of money. It's an idea worth looking at and perhaps even testing in the near future.


It is widely believed in GOP circles that Mark Gundrum will run for AG. If so, he will have to give up his seat.

Furthermore, if TABOR doesn't get passed, it is very likely that someone will challenge Lazich in the primary (and win). If Gundrum goes for AG, he can't be that challenger.

In an exercise of pure speculation, who will step up to replace Gundrum if he runs for AG? For bonus points, who will challenge Lazich (is that why Stone is making so much noise)?

The Lesson of Thrift

Critics of the Bush administration plan to reform Social Security with personal accounts have a seemingly endless supply of reasons why it can't possibly work. You know the litany: It's too risky. It's too expensive. It's too complicated.

The critics never mention that there's already a government-administered retirement system that has shown for over 15 years that personal accounts are prudent, inexpensive, and simple. It's the Thrift Savings Plan of the United States federal government, currently serving 3.3 million government employees.

Article Here...

That's why the S&P 500 fund part of the Thrift Savings Plan has earned just about as much for Thrift participants as the plan's money-market account, with only half the money invested. So what is good for 3.3 Million Government Employees should be good enough for us!

Cool, I can Post Now?

Thanks for the belated Welcome. For those who aren't sure what I'm doing over in my neck of the woods, my feelings on the entire Milwaukee Vote fraud thing are this.

We possibly stand here on the edge of an iceberg of fraud. Vote fraud in Wisconsin is possible because of its own 'golden square.'

The sides of that 'square' are these 4 factors:
  1. Local officials who don't care about fraud. (Barrett, Artison, McCann, Doyle)
  2. Same-Day Voter Registration.
  3. No legal requirement for showing a photo ID.
  4. Not everyone is legally required to register; a point I mentioned in my post today.
Protectors of the current system are more concerned about protecting themselves and not the people of Wisconsin. Hence the vetoes of even sensible election reform and the failure to override that veto using the excuse of 'protecting our governor politically.'

That is no doubt a 'steaming pant-load' and we all now it. The system must not only be replaced, but it must be one that we can all respect.