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Posts Tagged ‘wisconsin’

Republican Lie Of The Day: “Janesville Plant Closed Despite Obama Promise”. Reality: Bush Was Still In Office When It Shut Down.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 20, 2012

Paul Ryan and his surrogates are shameless liars.

The latest evidence: An American Freedom Fund ad that uses this lie:

If the hometown of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has had an icon during his lifetime, it was a sprawling General Motors auto assembly plant.

For decades, the Janesville, Wis., plant gave thousands of people a comfortable living. In 1970, the year Ryan was born, it employed 7,000.

Ryan stirred memories of the factory on Aug. 16, 2012, attacking President Barack Obama during a campaign speech in Ohio.

“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open. One more broken promise,” Ryan said.

He made the same point Aug. 29 during his speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa:

“My home state voted for President Obama,” he said. “When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

Did Obama make such a promise as a candidate and break it after becoming president?

Actually, the plant closed before he even took office.


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News Roundup: WI Senate Recount, Obamacare-Hating Cons Moving To Canada, Media Depict NFIB Shill As Just A Plain Ol’ Businessman

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 30, 2012

So much to write about, so little time:

— Add Joe Olivo of Perfect Printing to the list of right-wing and/or business lobby shills the media choose to pretend are just plain old folks with no hidden agenda:

Wow — two news organizations covering the same story scoured the nation for a random small business owner to comment on that story — and they both found the same one! How’d that happen? What are the odds?

Well, as it turns out, Joe Olivo of Perfect Printing turns up quite a bit in public discussions of this and other issues. Here he is testifying against the health care law before House and Senate committees in January 2011. Here he is on the Fox Business Network around the same time, discussing the same subject. Here he is a few days ago, also on Fox Business, talking to John Stossel about the law. Here he is discussing the same subject on a New Jersey Fox affiliate.


NFIB, you will not be surprised to learn, is linked to the ALEC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, and to the usual rogues’ gallery of right-wing zillionaires.

So Joe Olivo isn’t just some random business owner — he’s dispatched by NFIB whenever there’s a need for someone to play a random small business owner on TV.

It’s time to make a list of these clowns. I know that Olivo’s not the first person whose conservative and/or business lobby ties our allegedly-liberal media doesn’t disclose when choosing to use him or her as their “average person without an agenda” soundbite provider.

— Speaking of clowns, these right-wingers apparently think that moving to a country with socialized medicine is a good way to express their hatred for socialized medicine. (If right-wing drivel of this sort is something you find wildly entertaining, TBogg has come along to harvest some choice examples.)

— In other news, once and future Wisconsin state senator John Lehman (D-Racine) is winning the optional recount that the state Republicans demanded and for which they are paying out of their own pockets, as Lehman’s lead was big enough to avoid triggering a mandatory recount. If control of the Wisconsin State Senate during recess (a recess that Walker can end at any time, just as he did last year) wasn’t such a big deal, why are state Republicans fighting so hard to delay the inevitable turnover to the state Democrats?

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Will Wisconsin Republicans Pay Up To Delay The Inevitable Democratic State Senate Takeover?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2012

Van Wanggard is doing a silly stalling tactic to keep from admitting he lost or from choosing to pay for a recount he will very likely lose:

State Senate Republican Van Wanggaard had not conceded defeat as of late Wednesday morning.

Unofficial vote totals show that Wanggaard lost to the senator he defeated in 2010, Democrat John Lehman, by 779 votes with almost 72,000 cast.

The margin was around 1.1 percent – which means Wangaard’s campaign would have to pay for a recount if it wants one. Taxpayers only fund a recount when the margin is one-half-of-one-percent or less.

So the question is: Will the Wisconsin Republicans, having siphoned a big chunk of money (at the very least $40 million worth) from their national mother ship as well as from various billionaire donors to keep Walker in power, go to them one more time to pay for a recount that won’t change the end result?

They have until June 20 to decide, so they’d better hurry up if they’re going to pony up some more wasted money.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Will Wisconsin Republicans Pay Up To Delay The Inevitable Democratic State Senate Takeover?

Exit Poll: 53% of Walker Voters Back Obama

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 5, 2012

It’s been all over the TV, and was mentioned here: Exit polls showed that 53% of Walker voters back Obama.

In other words, what I’d been hearing from some Sconnie friends is true: There are a lot of Wisconsinites of all parties who dislike recalls done for anything but criminal convictions and the like, or to redress a perceived imbalance (as happened when Wisconsin voters recalled enough Republican state senators to make the chamber even-steven). Anything that seems like mere political payback simply won’t fly.

So while the Republicans and their local and national media helpers will try to spin this as an anti-Obama vote, it was actually an anti-‘frivolous’-recall vote.

UPDATE: Elsewhere, I’ve used the term “recall resentment” to describe the force that enabled Scott Walker to survive the recall vote. Here’s what I mean by “recall resentment”:

Sixty percent of Wisconsin voters in today’s recall election say recall elections are only appropriate for official misconduct, according to early CBS News exit polls. Twenty-eight percent said they think they are suitable for any reason, while nine percent think they are never appropriate.

My Wisconsin friends had hinted this might happen: Essentially, a lot of them saw this second batch of recalls — which happened fifteen months after the first, when Walker’s betrayals were still fresh in everyone’s mind and people hadn’t got used to having him in power — as more political revenge/payback than a righteous effort to remove a guy unfit for office.

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Scott Walker Basically Admits He’s Under Criminal Investigation

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 2, 2012

Here’s the scoop:

Following reports that Scott Walker’s criminal defense fund grew by $100,000 in May, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is today reporting major revelations in the John Doe criminal corruption probe, including Scott Walker’s mistaken admission that he is under investigation.

–Scott Walker mistakenly admits that he is a target in the John Doe criminal corruption probe

Walker, in a rare moment of candor, stated to reporters that he would not use the criminal defense fund to pay for the legal defenses of his aides, who have been charged with crimes ranging from child enticement, to theft from veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, to misuse of taxpayer resources to illegally campaign for Scott Walker, and would instead use the funds for himself or his campaign.

Wisconsin law is very clear: an elected official can only establish a legal defense fund if they, or their agent, are under investigation for, charged with, or convicted of violations of Wisconsin’s campaign finance and election laws.
Nothing provides for an elected official creating a legal defense fund for the sole purpose of campaign compliance, assisting the prosecution or aiding an investigation, as Scott Walker claims he is doing.

Since he is not paying for the defense of an agent acting on his behalf, it is now clear that Scott Walker is under investigation.

More can be found here.

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First Gilmore, Now Prosser: What Is It with Republican Hotheads and Women Hatred?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 25, 2011

Prosser cartoon by Mike Konopacki of the Madison, WI Capitol Times; Gilmore mugshot by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Barely a week after local Republican insider and Minnesota Conservatives blogger John Gilmore was arrested for harassing a pair of Muslim women and their Caucasian pedicabbie friend, we hear that just over the border to the east Supreme Court Chief Justice (and former Republican Assemblyman) David Prosser was trying to choke a female colleague of his into submission:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources.

Details of the incident, investigated jointly by Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, remain sketchy. The sources spoke on the condition that they not be named, citing a need to preserve professional relationships.

They say an argument that occurred before the court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees culminated in a physical altercation in the presence of other justices. Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.

Charming. NOT.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in Minnesota | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Scott Walker Will Be Recalled in 2012

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 26, 2011

That’s as close to a lead-pipe cinch as I can see right now:

…The Democratic recall drives in five Republican-friendly districts have yielded roughly 115,000 signatures. There are 33 state Senate districts. If the pattern were to hold statewide, that would yield roughly 760,000 signatures — probably considerably more when heavily Democratic areas such as Madison and Milwaukee are added to the mix.

The baseline number of signatures needed to recall Walker, in a process that can begin next January, is 540,208. Do the math and it becomes clear that, while 2011 is shaping up as a remarkable political year, 2012 could well be the year when Wisconsin shows the whole country what democracy looks like.

Scott Walker, this is for you:

Posted in 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

GOP Lies About Everything: Michele Bachmann Family Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 13, 2011

Welcome to yet another episode of “If a Democrat did this his or her career would be toast”:

Bachmann, who’s flirting with a presidential run, was in the early-primary state of Iowa last week for the Rediscover God in America conference. Bachmann was born in Iowa, as she told the crowd. But she couldn’t leave it at just being an ordinary Iowan:

“I’m actually even more than just an Iowan,” she told her audience. “I’m a seventh-generation Iowan. Our family goes back to the 1850s, to the first pioneers that came to Iowa from Sognfjord, Norway.”

And from there, Bachmann was off and running, spinning an American story about her ancestors, Melchior and Martha Munson, who braved a 13-week ocean passage to Quebec and from there trekked overland to carve a homestead out of the wilderness of Iowa, felling trees and building a better life for themselves on the frontier.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t hold water, as researcher Chris Rodda ably points out at OpEdNews.

How off is Bachmann’s revisionist history? Really off. As in really, really, really off:

Since Bachmann said her great-great-great grandparents, whose names she provided, emigrated from Norway to Iowa in the 1850s, I searched the 1860 federal census for them. I started by searching for a Melchior Munson in Iowa, but came up empty. But, since unfamiliar foreign first names like Melchior were often misspelled or Americanized when written down by census workers, I didn’t think it was unusual not to find him on the first shot. So I tried Martha Munson, Melchior’s wife, since Martha was a common name that wouldn’t be misspelled. Still nothing. So I broadened my search to include sound-alike last names for Munson, in case it was their last name that was misspelled. Still nothing. Giving my search one last shot, I removed all search parameters except the first name Martha and the last name Munson, including any sound-alike last names. It was only then that I found Melchior and Martha — but not in Iowa. They were in Wisconsin.(1) So, there went that part of Bachmann’s ‘Iowanizing’ of her family history. Her great-great-great grandparents hadn’t gone from Quebec to Iowa. They had settled in Wisconsin.

And what about all those hardships that Bachmann says her ancestors persevered through during their first few years in Iowa — the worst winter in fifty years, the worst flooding in forty-two years, the worst drought that anyone had ever recorded, and a plague of locusts to boot? Well, obviously, none of this happened in Iowa, because her ancestors weren’t in Iowa. And it didn’t happen in Wisconsin either. This all happened in the Dakota Territory. That’s where Melchoir and Martha Munson and their children were from 1861 to 1864.(2) Like many Norwegian immigrants who had settled in Wisconsin, the Munsons set out for the Dakota Territory once Congress made it a territory in 1861.


But it’s not just where these events occurred that Bachmann is lying about in her revisionist version of her “Iwegian” family history. According to Bachmann, her ancestors “kept going, and they persevered, and they were people of faith.” But did her faithful ancestors really persevere and keep going? Well, no. They were among the settlers written about in the History of southeastern Dakota who “abandoned the Territory for the purpose of making homes elsewhere.” That’s how Melchior and Martha Munson ended up in Iowa — seven years after they came to America. By the time the Munsons abandoned the Dakota Territory in 1864, there was a well established Norwegian community in Chickasaw County, Iowa, so that’s where they stopped and resettled. Clearly, Iowa was never the intended destination of Bachmann’s great-great-great grandfather and grandmother when they left Norway in 1857, as she claims.

Bachmann even fudges the number of generations from Melchior’s and Martha’s to her own: Depending on how (and who) you count, it could be as few as four or as many as six, but it’s not seven. Then again, considering she’s an adherent of the Christian nationalist revisionist history movement as espoused by David Barton and John Eidsmoe (aka “Liars for Jesus” as Rodda calls it), this shouldn’t be surprising.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Kloppenburg Filing Open Records Request For Waukesha County

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 8, 2011

Per WisPolitics, this statement from the Kloppenburg campaign, concerning the sudden discovery of what may be just enough Prosser votes to pull him into a lead without an automatic recount:

“Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results.”

I understand that Waukesha County uses paper ballots. Which means a true recount is possible. Good news, considering the strangeness that swirls around that county and its clerk, who used to work for Prosser when he was the leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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GOP County Clerk Dinged For Past Elections Handling “Finds” 7,381 Votes For Prosser

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 7, 2011

Photo by Invisible Hour (Flickr Creative Commons)

Something is stinky in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. A whole bunch of people are calling shenanigans over this:

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus just announced that she forgot to report votes from the City of Brookfield on election night, giving Justice David Prosser an additional 7,381 vote edge, ending any free recount possibilities, and giving Prosser the election.

The scenario, given the cast of characters, requires one to suspend disbelief to accept it as true.

Nickolaus, a highly partisan Republican who formerly worked in the Republican Assembly caucus, has been under fire for insisting on keeping voting records in her own personal computer rather than using a more sophisticated system most of the rest of Wisconsin uses.

Who brings us the news?  Not a legitimate media outlet, but Christian Schneider, an operative of the right-wing Wisconsin Public Research Institute.  The first “breaking news” came from the National Review Online. How did he get the news?

Nickolaus said in a news conference tonight that “human error” was responsible for her failure to include City of Brookfield totals in the vote counts she reported for Waukesha County on election night.

“It was human error … which I apologize for … which is common,” she said somewhat haltingly.

In fact, earlier in the day, before the magic laptop votes appeared, One Wisconsin Now noted the really odd poll results pattern in Waukesha County:

On Tuesday, shockingly-large turnout suddenly emerged from Waukesha County, which did not comport with either the results of previous spring elections, or even internal estimates from city officials mid-day. In fact, a Waukesha City Deputy Clerk said at 1:18pm that turnout was very typical, predicting somewhere between 20 to 25 percent. As Tuesday night wore on, reporting in Waukesha County stopped altogether for hours, leaving observers to wonder what was going on. Then suddenly, results suggesting massive turnout started to pour in rapidly with Prosser adding dramatically to his total by a 73-27 percent margin.

One Wisconsin Now estimates put overall turnout near 38 percent, a wild outlier to historical data and the earlier mid-day estimation of Waukesha’s own officials. In April 2009, turnout was 20 percent; April 2008, turnout was 22 percent and in April 2007, turnout was 24 percent. All of these elections had hotly-contested Supreme Court races as well.

And when you add in the fact that Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former staffer for the Republican State Assembly Caucus when Prosser led that caucus, has been chastised before and repeatedly for her secrecy and her rather hinky handling of election data, suddenly things start to look REALLY suspicious.

Here’s what super-duper stinky about this: If these magic laptop votes, discovered two days after the election, are allowed to stand, they make it so that Prosser’s margin is just large enough to avoid an automatic recount; Kloppenburg would have to pay for one if she wanted one. How convenient — for Prosser, who used to be her boss. What a coincidence — that they would be found in a county whose voting system was run by someone known for her penchant for secrecy and cutting corners, as well as being a hardcore Republican ideologue.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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