One Wisconsin Now Blog

Recently in R3W Category

It's no secret that a lot of the tea party movement anger is fueled by a combination of ignorance and racism.

Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 1.57.48 PM.png

But as this caravan of extremism trucks in a cadre of malcontents, ne-er do wells, and in the case of Joe the Not Plumber, lampreys on the corporate money shark, one wonders: Will Alberta Darling accept their invitation to come and speak?

We've documented tea party racism and hatred in Wisconsin, here...and...here. And here, where the-wackadoo Tea Party Express spokesliar Mark Williams told Wisconsin that "political correctness was responsible for 9/11 and political correctness was responsible for Barack Obama."

Let's also not forget this appalling episode of the Tea Party Express, when Williams said in a hateful letter to the NAACP, "I am disinclined to take lectures on racial sensitivity from a group that insists on calling black people, 'Colored.'"

Lovely.

The question is: Will Alberta Darling join the hate fest, or will she condemn, or will she offer the kind of wink and nod to the hatred, ignorance and extremism of the tea party?

Remember it was the tea party that in 2010 was going to dispatch its people as the poll workers to suppress minority and students votes

This may be why many elected Republicans, like Scott Walker, have embraced this hateful movement. What will Alberta Darling do when they're in her community this week?

 

Our Posts #F*ckYouWashington

You may have heard about the amazing outpouring of frustration and outrage realized this weekend over the ceaseless power of corporate special interests which own the Republicans and can occasionally rent a few Democrats in Congress. This, combined with a superficial and senationalistic horserace mentality by the national media have pushed the patience of the people to the breaking point.

Pondering all of the gridlock, blogger Jeff Jarvis finally encouraged people to share their anger with the simple twitter hashtag "fuckyouwashington"

One Wisconsin Now noted this new tag in the early evening Saturday, and after reading what others were saying about the failed corporate policies mixed with noxious conservative ideological extremism that has brought progress in our nation to a grinding halt.

We thought we'd provide a running tally of our contributions. Feel free to add your own (pun intended) as the mood strikes you. Your voice matters. Use it how you see fit.

Here's ours. There's the use of "language," but it was the only way to populate the tag. And if you think about, the policies are a helluva a lot more obscene than the word itself.

#FuckYouWashington for making Mark Halperin a celebrity. #wiunion

#FuckYouWashington for allowing 60 votes to be an excuse for ignoring Wall St./Corporate accountability. #wiunion

#FuckYouWashington for making Gen X/Y indentured servants to student loans - tops $1 trillion on 12/1/11. #wiunion #boomerfailure

#FuckYouWashington for Politico. #wiunion #rightwingmedia

#FuckYouWashington for the "Redskins." #racistmascots #wiunion #macaca

#FuckYouWashington for "Freedom Fries" #wiunion #globalembarassment #obamagotbinladen #bushfail

#FuckYouWashington for "Ronald Reagan National Airport" #taxcutsforrich #welfarequeens #deficits #scalia #bork

#FuckYouWashington for Michelle Rhee. #rheediculous

RT @RawStory: #fuckyouwashington Twitter hashtag unleashes a "shitstorm" of grievances. http://cot.ag/mRD7Ey #wiunion

#fuckyouwashington for making racist septuagenarians yelling at town halls more important than gen x/y soldiers dying in war. #mediafail

#fuckyouwashington for making Palin's twitter the moral equivalent of a White House press briefing. #mediafail

#fuckyouwashington for experts Liz Cheney, Alwayswrong Kristol and Dumb Doug Feith #mediafail

#fuckyouwashington for "Mission Accomplished" #mediafail #kristolalwayswrong

#fuckyouwashington for telecom policy allowing six ginormous corporations to own our media. #mediamonopoly

#fuckyouwashington for allowing a hapless crook like Rod Paige to forever screw education policy #nochildlefteducated

We continue to enjoy....RT @jeffjarvis: My blog post about the saga of #fuckyouwashington, so far: http://bit.ly/o4gcIV

We're going to take a break from populating the tag, but our sentiments remain. It's time to free America from the soullessness of our corporate "persons." Our government, whether it's that of Paul Ryan or that Scott Walker, will remain in business of transferring of our tax dollars to unaccountable corporate interests at the expense of education, health care, seniors, students, neighborhoods and the needy -- that is until we liberate this nation once and for all.

 

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

But Abrahamson wrote that the order seems to open the court unnecessarily to the charge that the majority has "reached a predetermined conclusion not based on the facts and the law, which undermines the majority's ultimate decision."

The majority justices "make their own findings of fact, mischaracterize the parties' arguments, misinterpret statutes, minimize (if not eliminate) Wisconsin constitutional guarantees, and misstate case law, appearing to silently overrule case law dating back to at least 1891," Abrahamson wrote.

"Justices" Gableman, Prosser, Roggensack and Ziegler have time and again showed they are unconcerned about the law, but rather use their power to serve the interests of corporate America and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. It is shameful. It is against the values of Wisconsin.

It is madness. 

 

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted to raise taxes on as many as 270,000 working Wisconsinites through changes in the Earned Income Tax Credit, while handing out more than $84 million in corporate tax breaks.

So far, budget committee Republicans have voted in favor of raising taxes on as many as 500,000 Wisconsin families.

The Republican math is clear: raise taxes on 500,000 Wisconsin families and to reward as few as 400 Wisconsin companies. These 500,000 Wisconsin families are more of the victims of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans' unconscionable version of "shared sacrifice."

Republicans yesterday pushed through $84 million in new corporate tax cuts. At the same time, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee unanimously increased taxes on people by $43 million by altering the Earned Income Tax Credit. Previously, Republicans voted to freeze Homestead Property Tax Credit. [Wisconsin State Journal, 3/6/11, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/31/11]

When fully phased in, additional capital gains tax cuts will put the total at nearly $140 million every year in total tax breaks for corporations. [Legislative Fiscal Bureau Budget Analysis]

The tax increases to 500,000 Wisconsin families come on the heels of a number of additional attacks on the middle class and those in need by Gov. Walker and the Republicans, including:

  • Reducing funds available for public schools by $1.6 billion, while expanding unaccountable private school investment by $40 million.
  • Stripping 175,000 workers of their right to collective bargaining.
  • Giving the Walker administration the ability to cut 70,000 people from accessing health care, as well as raising costs on health care for 1 million Wisconsinites.
  • Risking the end of SeniorCare prescription drug benefits, or raising the costs of prescription drugs for participating seniors.
  • Privatizing broad functions of state government services, many involving no-bid contracts.
  • Consolidating power in the hands of the Governor's office and unelected bureaucrats.


Wall Street, the nation's largest banks and speculators nearly bankrupted the economy, but Gov. Walker and the Republicans want to punish the working poor.

Once again, Republicans remind Wisconsin that their idea of 'shared sacrifice' is the middle class and poor sacrifice and the rich and big business get to share our tax dollars.

 

It's the same old story with Todd Berry and the conservative, pro-corporate Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

wistax giving.JPG

Their biased view says there's only money available in the treasury for corporate tax cuts - everything else is second-tier.

In a story today in the Wisconsin State Journal about the additional $636 million in new revenue Wisconsin has from the state's rebounding economy due to the investments by President Obama, former Gov. Jim Doyle and the then-Democratic-controlled legislature, conservative WISTAX head Berry had this to say:

[Berry] said the state was in a similar position in 1979, 1994 and 2005: coming out of an economic downturn and finally seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel. Berry said leaders then chose to spend the money.

"The question I have is: Have our politicians learned anything from our history?" Berry said. "We will see if this time they will be fiscally mature."

Excuse me?

You'll note the biased Berry doesn't say word one about, perhaps rolling back the $200 million in corporate tax breaks and tax breaks for the wealthy that Gov. Walker has pushed for in the past four months.

Always the loyal propagandist, Berry's argument is always about the affordability of spending that goes to the middle class and the working poor - never about the unpaid-for corporate taxes or the unfair tax system that allows the investment income of the wealthy avoid the taxation leveled upon the income earned by the labor of the middle class.

No, apparently, Todd Berry and the conservative WISTAX think that a $1 billion cuts to education, which we now see is not needed, is a responsible action for the state's economic future.

And Todd Berry and the conservative WISTAX think that cutting 70,000 people off of BadgerCare is a responsible thing to do, when the state now has funds.

And Todd Berry and the conservative WISTAX think that gutting the university system and the technical college system will allow us to fully-realize the unlimited potential of the free market?

And Todd Berry and the conservative WISTAX think that jacking prescription drug prices for seniors so that private prescription drug plans can reap $100 million or more in tax dollars.

As One Wisconsin Now documented at WISTAX Watch, our comprehensive research project about corporate influence of the clearly ideological, pro-corporate Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, Todd Berry's outfit is in the pocket of the right wing message machine.

When we first explored the organization in 2010, we uncovered the following:


The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has regularly served the conservative agenda by consistently structuring the education spending debate singularly as a tax debate: Wisconsin spends money on education and that makes taxes high. When it creates "studies" of education, the data is blatantly skewed to ensure the results are those desired by the WISTAX anti-public education supporters.

As the Institute for One Wisconsin's report "We're Not Broke" showed, the tax burden has risen on the middle class because the burden has dramatically decreased amongst the wealthy and corporations. It is biased, pro-corporate groups like WISTAX, who have served, and continued to serve, as propaganda machines in the war on the middle class.

WISTAX has advocated getting rid of the corporate income tax, because of all reasons, corporations use a now-closed loophole that allowed them to avoid taxes on Wisconsin profits by setting up a phony post office box "address" in a state without corporate income taxes. WISTAX regularly reports the corporate income tax collections as unpredictable, despite other taxes having less predictability year to year.

WISTAX has a number of time-tested conservative techniques when it comes to advancing its anti-tax argument. For instance, using a relationship between whatever tax is being discussed and income levels, which raises Wisconsin's ranking because average income is under the national average. WISTAX will isolate a tax without talking about what it is used to finance. WISTAX will ignore fees paid by other states, not paid in Wisconsin, such as toll roads. Lastly, WISTAX will omit important context for a tax and the relationship between taxes paid by businesses or not paid by businesses.

Rather than Todd Berry asking for "fiscal maturity," mayhaps it's time the media starts asking for a little "intellectual honesty" from Todd Berry and the conservative, pro-corporate Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

For instance, the budget hawks of WISTAX have run a $2 million organizational deficit from 1998-2008, according to filings at the IRS. Turns out in 2009, they ran another $268,000 deficit. I thought the first rule from the conservatives was: don't spend more than you bring in?

Even this one, I have trouble believing.

The breaking news: One Wisconsin Now has obtained documents showing that 12 current Republican members of the State Senate are forcing you to pay the cost for their private membership in one of the nation's most powerful and influential corporate policy outfits - the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC is the corporate front group that has concocted and supported disastrous attacks on the middle class like ending collective bargaining, privatizing public schools, preventing access to affordable health care and starving local governments - taking police officers and firefighters off the streets.

When you think about how the people on this list, such as Dan Kapanke, Alberta Darling and Scott Fitzgerald have claimed over and over that Wisconsin is broke and we have to cut workers' rights, dismantle public education and raise health care costs for seniors, children and working families, their hypocrisy is enough to make your blood boil. Use this link to the see the Senate's Dishonorable Dozen:

http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/blog/WI%20Senate%20Republicans%20ALEC%20Membership.pdf

You are probably well aware ALEC was founded nearly 40 years ago to create pro-corporate legislation at the expense of the middle class. Among the many corporate and conservative interests to finance the group is the Koch Foundation and Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation. All 23 members of its public board are identified Republicans and 71 of its 73 state legislative chairs are Republicans.

Not only have Senate Republicans spent tax dollars on ALEC memberships, but also there are substantial ties between ALEC and Gov. Scott Walker, as well as the Republican Assembly Majority. Walker has served previously as a speaker at ALEC, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald was appointed Wisconsin Chair of ALEC in 2008 and Republican Assembly Joint Finance Chair Robin Vos is current Wisconsin ALEC chair. [ALEC website; Fond du Lac Reporter, 12/28/08]

Let's not mince words here. The American Legislative Exchange Council is nothing more than a corporate propaganda machine and Kapanke, Darling and the other 10 Senate Republicans should immediate return the taxpayers' money and apologize for this improper use of our tax dollars.

If past is prologue, ALEC and its minions may retaliate against One Wisconsin Now. After all, when a University of Wisconsin professor criticized the group, the Republican Party of Wisconsin launched an unprecedented attack on him.

But we are not going to back down from any corporate special interest group or any political party. The stakes are simply too high.

As a final note, One Wisconsin Now also uncovered this: According to the IRS, ALEC, which says on its State Budget Reform page that, "states face structural deficits created by overspending," spent more than it raised in both 2008 and 2009.

A coalition of respected scientists from countries spanning four continents praised this morning's "tweet" supporting Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser from cable reality show washout Sarah Palin for not only its proper spelling, but also for correctly identifying the date of Wisconsin's Supreme Court election.

palin.JPG

"We have come expect from Sarah Palin factual error, mangled grammar and use of words which exist not in the English language," said Dr. Rint Reggie Backsby, Director of Linguistics at Oxblood University. "Repeated screenings of this Palin tweet reveal none of this."

Backsby added, "You can't refudiate that the election is April 5, 2011. There's no squirmish over that."

Wisconsin homes are getting an interesting robo-call from Assembly Republican sheep team member Rep. Michelle Litjens.

litjens.JPG

Enjoy the noxious hyperbole and sanctimony and then we'll talk more:

This is Michelle Litjens, I'm a Republican state representative from the Fox Valley.  Recently, a Democrat legislator threatened my life on the floor of the Capitol.  He apologized later, and as a Christian I moved on.

But it demonstrates the divisiveness created by public union bosses who have interfered with our legislative process.

Now these same public union bosses are trying to take over control of our Wisconsin Supreme Court. I commend Justice David Prosser, a judicial conservative, for his proven record of deciding each case on the merits not the dictates of a special interest group.

Let Justice David Prosser know that you agree with him that justice should be based on the merits, not the special interests.

So, here are my thoughts of this call, which was paid for by the Illinois-based PatrioticVeterans.org, whoever they are.

First of all, no one threatened her life. A state legie yelled something in her direction when he was outraged about the nonsense they pulled and their illegal vote in the middle of the night in the Wisconsin Assembly (not to be confused with the illegal vote in the Senate). So, get over yourself.

Second, on the tossing of the "as a Christian" card. If you're so outraged about the conduct of your colleague, then why aren't you mortified by the fact that David Prosser, who you are endorsing and who you are supporting with this irritating robo-call, he screamed at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson that she is a "total bitch" and that he was going to "destroy her"?

Third, if "as a Christian" you "moved on," why are recording a paid robo-call by some non-Wisconsin outfit that's so fly-by-night it doesn't even have a website?

Lastly, defending someone who refused to prosecute a pedophile priest who went on to molest others is not the Christian thing to do. And it raises the question: Why does Michelle Litjens want pedophile priests to get away with molesting children? It's a question I'll be asking myself for the next few days: Why does Michelle Litjens want pedophile priests to get away with molesting children? After all, if union leaders are responsible for a colleague yelling something on the floor of the Assembly, then by your logic, we can hold you also responsible for failing to make sure that a pedophile priest was imprisoned for molesting children.

Bottom line: This robo-call is a smoke screen to try and divert attention from issues of Prosser's infamous temper highlighted in One Wisconsin Now's "Prosser's Abuse Conduct Troubling" video. It's been seen almost 15,000 times since we put it up and if you like it, help us spread the word.

But back to the Convenient Christian. Here's what we'll do, gentle readers, we'll try and get Litjens on the record answering these questions, particularly why Michelle Litjens doesn't want pedophile priest to be prosecuted for molesting children, and then we'll report back.

Wisconsin thanks you for clarifying. And David Prosser thanks you for your snappy headline writing, no doubt. (Note: The graphic below is directly from WRTL and not photoshopped.)

wrtl prosser.JPG

 

Last week, we revealed that the corporate-financed mother of all special interest smear ad groups, the Republican State Leadership Committee, had a false ad about Sen. Dave Hansen with false claims about a fake teacher who would leave Wisconsin.

teacher-stock.png

That "teacher" sure does get around, as an ad to attack workers in Florida, paid for by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, has footage of the same fake "Wisconsin teacher."

More evidence that the RSLC's false claim that this is a "Wisconsin teacher" has been confirmed to be a lie.

The ad should be yanked for outright falsehoods. Maybe they can appeal to Attorney General JB Van Hollen.

Oh, wait, Van Hollen got $10,000 from RSLC last election cycle. Oh, yeah and his top lieutenant was getting advice from RSLC's political director before doing corporate America's bidding and wasting our tax dollars trying to jump in on the lawsuit to block the federal health reform act.