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Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:49 AM PST

We come for your pension...

by Up North

It's been gallows humor amongst Wisconsin public employees that Walker and his Republican hordes final step in crushing us back to peon status was to find a legal way to tap into our pensions...Well not an overt grab on the part of the Governor, it has begun...

WEDC head asks for $200 million in pension funds

Just a quick reminder. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is the "quasi" governmental body created by Walker and the Republican state legislature that is essentially exempt from oversight and has been plagued by myriad issues and incompetence from the start...

Walker's WEDC Faces Serious Problems...

Walker claims that the newly named head of the WEDC, Reed Hall, is the answer to the horrific management that is endemic throughout the nonaccountable organization. "Nothing to see here folks..."

So thank God, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) rejected the WEDC request for 200 million dollars of Wisconsin public employees' money to be used for seed money for business development and incubation in the state.

This should serve as yet another reminder that there are scant few firewalls between us and complete control of Walker's Republican and business cronies...


Just posted on the Journal-Sentinel site...It seems as though things are finally starting to move...A lot of people have been waiting for a long time for something, anything, to stick to Walker. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end...Sorry for the short diary and run...Have salary negotiations to get to this evening...


So I was watching my local NBC affiliate, WEAU, and of course they played footage from a recent interview our illustrious governor had given them (could have been any television or radio station...he says the exact same things to them all)...Mostly to continue to spread the same boilerplate lines about how he is the greatest thing to happen to Wisconsin since beer, cheese, and the Green Bay Packers...What struck me, after I was able to get past the deadened look in his eyes (I mean come's almost like from the invasion of the body snatchers), was that what he was saying was correct...just not in the context that he is comprehending it.

Walker: "To me if you do things for the right reasons long term people will see what we’re doing is historic here in Wisconsin and even maybe in the county."

He's right. The only difference is that it's our movement that is creating history from right action.

Walker: "It will show we stood up and did the right thing. "

Again, right on. Fighting for the dignity of working people, the environment, education, and a litany of other critical issues is the right thing to do...

Walker: "We thought more about the next generation then we did about just the next election."

Again...Spot on. When I look at my two young children...I know, I KNOW, that we must nurture a place in which they are able to get educated, have safe access to drinking water, be able to afford to go to college if they so choose, be respected on the job, and have access to a safe and dignified retirement. Thank you Scott for crystallizing for me, again, why we are doing what we are doing...


Public Policy Polling has released a poll that shows that Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett is the preferred choice of Wisconsin Democrats to face off, again, against Scott Walker in Wisconsin's upcoming recall election. Barrett does better with Democratic voters than former Dane County Executive, Kathleen Falk and former congressman, Dave Obey.

My preferred choice is the same as many of you as well: Russ Feingold. But with all indications that he has no interest in running, I am wondering what you guys think of a rematch between Barrett and Walker. Falk has never really appealed to me as a candidate. I love Dave Obey's no B.S., aggressive style...Is Barrett our best shot? He certainly has name recognition after his previous run. What do the folks from his neck of the woods think?


This should come as a shock to exactly....nobody... The judge selected to hear Governor Walker's assertion the the GAB should discard obviously false names has ruled in the Governor's favor...Waukesha County...huh...who would have figured...This is clearly a judicial end around the explicit purpose of the law which requires the candidate up for recall to sift and filter through the names and addresses in order to challenge the perceived invalid ones.

This is clearly a disappointing ruling and, honestly, I am not sure how this is all going to play out...what with the make up of our illustrious State Supreme Court. The end result seems to be this...Governor Walker, and his ilk, get a free pass with regards to the heavy lifting they should be required to do. Regardless, I am certain that those in the position of vetting petitions on our end will have done a very good job of limiting the type of signatures the Republicans want everyone to believe are rampant...

Either way, the clock is ticking for Scott Walker...

Solidarity everyone!


Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 07:47 AM PST

Walkerites Behaving Badly...

by Up North

Not that this surprises anyone...but I thought I'd share it anyway. The Capital Times, out of Madison, reported that two men were arrested Saturday for spitting on recall volunteers in Arena, Wisconsin...Like I said, not surprising...disgusting yes, surprising no. This behavior will, of course, continue and worsen (as some numerous fellow Kossacks have shared their stories) as the recall and removal of Walker becomes more and more close at hand.

The old saying "like father, like son" really hits home with this sort of thing. I assume that they are father and son from the names reported. It made me reflect on my relationship with my son, and whether or not I am burdening him with crippling prejudices and acceptance of abhorrent behaviors, as is clearly the case with these two men.

I think back to my experience of standing outside a local hotel/conference hall with protestors in Eau Claire in February or March of this year and having a man in his Mercedes SUV rolling down his window and flipping us all off...with his two small children in car seats in the backseat...So keep up the great work Wisconsin! Try to stay positive...and safe...

I guess at least these two guys got to spend a little quality time together this Christmas holding cells...



You mean that an exodus of Wisconsin's prison employees as a result of Scott Walker's attack against public employees could lead to dangerous working conditions? People tend to focus only on the financial component of Wisconsin's Act 10, and as bad as that is for working families, there is a more insidious and dangerous part that is not often looked at.

With the new law limiting collective bargaining to base wages, prison workers have zero say in their working conditions. As a result, administrators and political toadies have the ultimate authority to institute any "reforms" they want regarding personnel and working conditions.

Isn't it possible that the front line employees working with some of Wisconsin's most dangerous population might have valuable insights gained from years of professional experience...Doesn't matter...and we are now seeing the ugly results of this. Attacks on staff are on the rise at Wisconsin's Dodge County Correctional Facility...


Not that this is surprising to anyone, of course...

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I turned on the NBC and ABC affiliates in my city. Both channels were running the newest installment of Americans for Prosperity's commercials celebrating their savior (and according them, our savior as well), Scott Walker. I am sure Walker is shocked and incredulous that money from outside state interests is being dumped into the recall process on his behalf! ;)

In their ad, they made the claim that there has been no significant public employee layoffs. We, of course, know that this has not been the case. Wisconsin's own Department of Workforce Development recently reported that we have lost 8,500 public sector jobs in the past year. This accounts for approximately five percent of all public sector employment in the state. That's one year. As the budget continues to get sliced thinner and thinner, it is just a matter of time before these numbers increase even more dramatically.

My doctor once told me that in medical school they taught him that all bleeding eventually stops...but for our sake, it's be nice if we could begin to staunch the bleeding by removing this governor sooner, rather than allowing the patient to expire...



In Wisconsin today, as everybody knows, we are locked in what can be regarded as an existential battle going on between the forces that see value in average, everyday working people, fair compensation, and a voice in the workplace, and those that see these people as a fundamental threat to the well heeled and their contemporary version of laissez faire economic policies and interests. I digress. As I was teaching a class recently, I came across a quote by abolitionist Wendell Phillips that I think really reflects our governor. "He is a first rate, second rate man." Phillips was referring to President Lincoln and his vacillations on whether or not he should enact some sort of order that would lead to emancipation of slaves.

I understand the historical context is vastly different, at least superficially, between that situation and our situation in Wisconsin. And I am certainly not correlating Walker to Lincoln. Lincoln at least struggled with his inaction. Walker, and his G.O.P. cohorts seem gleeful in their efforts at crushing the strong voice that unions have given average people in Wisconsin. I know that their moves are self-serving and political in nature. I don't like it, but I can understand it on some level. But there is an additional, personal joy they seem to elicit from their actions. That joy is what ensures that Walker will always be a second rate person, both as governor, and in a few months...a private citizen...



Not sure why they are releasing this data right now, but whatever...Needing to average around 9,000 signatures a day, we seem to be off to a good start for just a couple of days into the effort. Now granted, this weekend is the opening of deer hunting, so I have no idea what organizers and petition circulators can expect, but overall a great start! I'd say that we are coming for you Governor Walker...


I don't even like talking about this because bad economic news means that real families are hurting. However, this data serves to remind us Wisconsinites that Scott Walker's promise of 250,000 additional jobs by the end of his first term is simply just a slogan...much like his stupid "Wisconsin:Open for Business" one posted on all the signs coming into the state. The reality is this: our state has 8500 fewer public jobs compared to this time last year. This includes teachers, police officers, street crews, etc...The argument that people are not seeing a drop in public jobs or services simply does not hold water...Walker's slash and burn attacks against public employee unions has done nothing to maintain jobs or services. And the 14,500 total new jobs over the past year owe nothing to his policies and tax breaks for the well-heeled...At this rate, Walker will only have to be in office for another 17.25 years to reach his goal...Or maybe just a few more months...pending the peoples' judgement.


After 200 union machinists walked off the job for Manitowoc Crane on Monday, over the company's insistence that a new contract contain language making the company an open shop, management has now laid off 150 additional workers...blaming the striking workers...This is, of course, solely the responsibility of management and falls squarely at their feet. It is just another attempt to break the resolve of the union members by hurting their friends and colleagues. Again...standard boilerplate for management...and timeless and shameless!

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