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Monday, February 19, 2018

Scott Walker Offers State Assistance For Those Suffering With Too Much Money


JS Online Excerpt:
Walker has repeatedly rejected federal money to expand Medicaid health programs for the poor. But with Assembly Bill 885, the governor seeks to accept federal money to help hold down rising costs within the Obamacare individual insurance exchanges for those who make too much to qualify for federal subsidies.

Although it appears like the health care insurance industry operating outside of Obamacare subsidies is collapsing from Trump/Ryan tax cut inflationary pressures, Walker spin twists his healthcare for the wealthy by blaming Obamacare yet again.

"Obamacare is collapsing. Washington has failed to fix it. Wisconsin will lead!" Walker tweeted. When it turns out that Obamacare is his only refuge.

ADDITIONAL:

RNR - Gov. Scott Walker. Is He Evil Or What? (2013)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Real Janesville Embodies Red State Values


As predicted, the Janesville city council unanimously endorsed a council policy "update" (Council Policy #77) underwritten by Gov. Scott Walker's local booster club, Forward Janesville, the "Divide and Conquer" red-state cash-cow group, Rock County 5.0, and their public sector liaison, Rock County Alliance.

To be fair, at least one of their representatives in attendance spoke up to promote the red state group's update agenda. Council Member Richard Gruber, who also happens to be a ranking member of Forward Janesville, said everything the city of Janesville has done over the past several years embodies the new directives of their recommended update and the council's unanimous approval will essentially memorialize its acceptance. I have to admit, watching Gruber and the city's corporate welfare director, Gale Price, put words in each other's mouth without choking or coughing provided some comical entertainment.

But Gruber is right. I couldn't have said it better myself. Welcome to Red State Janesville! We're conquered and united!!

On another red state front, council members grappled over a resolution meant to force the city’s two most diverse neighborhoods to vote in a police station. That's right.

The polling location change is temporary due to remodeling at the city’s municipal building. But moving the voting location to a police station has had a chilling effect on minority communities in the cities.

Three council members, Gruber and Janesville's council "odd couple," Doug Marklein and Jens Jorgensen, were united in their belief that ethnically diverse and woefully underrepresented voters in the city should be able to easily set aside generations of indifference they have experienced from law enforcement. Marklein and Jorgensen in particular seemed to think that Election Day presents itself as a unique opportunity for police outreach and that disenfranchised voters should be willing to accept those circumstances without reservation. They implied anyone thinking different insults the Janesville Police Department.

During the discussion, City Manager Mark Freitag offered another option. He suggested that with the addition of some light and portable heaters, the City Hall parking garage could be converted into a polling place for 3rd and 4th Ward voters.

Of note, Jorgensen was the only council member to vote "no" to two questions on seeking an alternate polling location, leaving bewildered viewers with the impression that he strongly believes it was wrong for the council to even consider options to the police station polling place venue.

ADDITIONAL:

Urban Milwaukee - Congressional Candidate Calls On Janesville City Council To Reject Police Station Polling Place

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Red State Groups Drive Deep Into Janesville City Hall ...Meh


Heres' an extremely alarming development to report that will sure not only be ignored by Janesville "community" pages, but supported in silence by their administrators.

Scheduled for a vote at the next Janesville city council meeting is a resolution to "update" the city's economic development "Comprehensive Plan," with language and new policy directives from none other than Gov. Scott Walker's local donor clubs, Forward Janesville, Rock County Alliance and the Rock County 5.0.

You might remember the roles those groups played in supporting Walker's attacks on Wisconsin's middle-class from the documentary, "As goes Janesville" and from articles posted at this blog. All three groups are ideologically tied to one another to form a large steaming quivering political octopus with tentacles wrapped around every office of local government.

One group is no more egregious than the other with the exception that Rock County 5.0 is the group of Scott Walker's "Divide and Conquer" fame. Its chair-person, Diane Hendricks, has donated in excess of $500,000 to Walker's efforts to turn Wisconsin red while the other groups have members deeply embedded in local, city and county offices promoting red state policies.

Forward Janesville for instance, lobbied state legislators heavily for special tax cuts and credits for themselves while supporting every local tax hike referendum imaginable.

Forward Janesville, boasting the largest membership of the axis, also had their legislative agenda endorsed by the Janesville city council just prior to Walker winning election in 2010. So these groups enjoy nearly unanimous support among local elected officials. It's a sad commentary for sure. But many residents in Janesville support these groups. Obviously, I don't.

As expected, this latest story on red state penetration deep into Janesville government is reframed by the groups media enabler, the Janesville Gazette, as an innocent "update" to the city's 19-year-old economic development strategy. Never mind the fact the city's Comprehensive plan was renewed and updated in 2009. Who would care to know that, right? Anyways, you can read the Gazette's faux news report here, but just so you know, they have a pay wall.

Of course Janesville's City Manager, Mark Freitag, recommends the council approve the new policy directives since he was hand-picked for the job by a Forward Janesville heavy committee. The Janesville city council is expected to fully comply and approve the resolution. That's how it works here.

OK. So here's the skinny:
Until the people of Janesville empower themselves with a mayor, democratic district representation and completely revamp policies in city hall, it doesn't matter who we elect to the city council under the current system. Although Janesville has several individuals right now on the council with major conflicts of interest, I don't blame any of them personally for their obvious deceptions and subservience to these nefarious groups. They really have no choice. None of them do.

Afterall, Janesville voters installed them into office and once approved by the council, the "update" will revise the framework for more red state control by these self-important unelected groups. IT WILL BE "City Council policy."

That means any future council members falling out of line or in disagreement with their agenda will be reminded of city policy and thoroughly reprimanded by peers and the city's propaganda media network. Again, that's just the way it works here.

Besides, we're a red state now.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Cost To His Party Outweighs Cost To The State In Walker's Special Election Decision


Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 8 Excerpt:
(d) Any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the assembly occurring before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular election is held to fill that seat shall be filled as promptly as possible by special election.

Thanks to a very questionable decision by Gov. Scott Walker - whose governorship has been propped up by out-of-state dark money and failed reforms - to skip filling two seats vacated by his appointees, taxpayers in Kewaunee, Door and Columbia Counties will continue to pay taxes to the state even though they will not have representation in the State Legislature.

But is that a problem? Well, it can be a problem for some since “taxation without representation” is what fueled much of the resentment towards the crown in the Revolutionary War.

Daily Cardinal Excerpt:
Special elections will not be held for two vacant seats in the state Legislature, Gov. Scott Walker announced, leaving thousands of Wisconsinites unrepresented for the time being.

The decision leaves the 42nd Assembly and 1st Senate district seats empty for most of 2018.

The offices were vacated when former state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, and Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, took jobs in the Walker administration.

There is no question that Walker not calling for special elections stinks of partisan politics, but his excuses don't look much better even if we dismiss that aspect. Walker defended his decision by citing the fiscal burden two additional elections can have on the state. However, the "burden" can't be much since Walker also recently boasted of a $579 million budget "surplus." So there's that.

Then there's the results of a special election held in January that showed a significant enough net swing toward Democrats, including picking up a seat, that Walker - instead of congratulating the winners - immediately sounded a "wake-up call" warning to his party loyals. It's now obvious that it's more important to Walker to hold off his party's slide as much as possible - call for special sessions to legislate emergency repairs - than to call for special elections so the people can choose a new representative in a timely manner.

Then there is this insightful analysis composed by Scott Gordon of WisContext on Walker's decision including a chart showing days of vacancy to election covering the last fifty years in Wisconsin. Gordon's perspective, layered with the state's tradition of prompt special elections as seen through a non-partisan lense, shows Walker's recent decision as a disturbing anomaly from a historical perspective. Gordon's work on this is a highly recommended read.

ADDITIONAL:

CapTimes - Scott Walker's rejection of representative democracy is shameful John Nichols

Friday, February 02, 2018

Walker's Statement On Gas Tax Is Gold For Democrats IF They Know How


For most of Scott Walker's self-praising reports and policy position campaign ad banners that run the Web without challenge from his democratic opponents, I have to fight myself from flooding Twitter or Facebook with my own citizen-styled grassroots banner rebuttals. After all, I'm not running for governor or the House and most of the candidates have their own advisers for winning.

The truth is however, for several election cycles in Wisconsin, I watched seemingly smart, engaging and electable democrats running for office let their opponents' campaign statements go unanswered OR at the least failed to engage indirectly with their positions on the subject. At times thinking to myself that they either don't want to telegraph their strategy or are saving their best material for the 30 day window before Election Tuesday. Yeah, just wait ...you'll see.

To my major disappointment, none of the messaging I thought the candidates needed to do to win transpired. As I helplessly watched those final thirty days wind down for the Burke and Feingold campaigns in particular, I thought their campaigns had to be sabotaged from within. It was that bad. At least to me it appeared that way.

So now as I watch this huge field of democrats for governor offer tepid to no response to many of Walker's statements, I get that eerie sense of deja vu. I don't know what they're waiting for ...they SHOULD have something to say.

It's nice that the candidates are united. But there is no cavalry coming to the rescue. Sure, the winner of the primary will likely get a boost this year from anti-Trumpers and the Blue Wave, but democrats can't and shouldn't depend on winning by default. Not against a deeply entrenched and heavily funded incumbent like Scott Walker. Point is, voters need to see one or two candidates start to jell very soon.

With that said, this recent banner on gas tax policy posted by Walker is literally a huge, huge gift of gold on not one but several policy fronts for the democratic field of candidates for governor.


But lucky for Walker they seem to be absolutely clueless. Sorry, it's that deja vu thing again. BUT, the one (or two) who figures it out (Hint: promising to raise taxes is the wrong response), will pull away and ahead from the rest of the field.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Next Question For Janesville: Why Isn't There a Rebuttal To The State Of The City?


Good news.

No doubt due to my prompting, the Janesville administration decided not to sit on the city manager's "state of the city" speech like they have in the past. It has suddenly popped up on Youtube and that's a good thing. You can watch it here but be forewarned, it is one of the most uneventful yet self-aggrandizing skits you'll see just short of the city manager declaring a monarchy and awarding himself a crown.

However, regardless of its obviously staged promotion and low value for meaningful dialogue, viewing the event brought me to the next obvious question. Why isn't there ever a rebuttal to the City Manager's "State of the City" report?

Is it because we have no choice but to drink the kool-aid? Or is it because nobody wants to be targeted by city officials for having a different perspective or different ideas?

That's all a very good possibility since during the past ten years, some council presidents would publicly reprimand fellow members as divisive and argumentative for not marching in lockstep with the Forward Janesville agenda or the city bureaucracy. So with that, council members can't offer an official rebuttal without being vilified. Same for top ranking city employees since they would likely be fired for challenging or criticizing their boss in a public address. God forbid.

City residents too would likely be isolated by the establishment and tormented on social media for being power hungry opportunists if not delusional. It can get scary.

There is also the possibility that no one objects (except malcontents like myself) to the way the city is run or how more than half of the city's geographical population is not represented in council. People like it like it is.


But put it this way, if you like gerrymandered single party rule at the national and state levels, you'll love the way Janesville is run. To be clear, it's not that a single political party rules Janesville per se, but that there is a one-track "man behind the curtain" Oz-like authority and agenda operating with the same "gerrymandered" control enabled only by disempowering the majority through media manipulation. Whew-wee.

Remember, Janesville has no democratically elected mayor or district representation on the city council. To disagree with those calling the shots behind the curtain is to become a negative influence and hater of the city according to local media propagandists.

But all of that makes even a stronger case for the need for a rebuttal to open up dialogue if at least to engage the public. You've read part of my take on it, so I ask my Janesville readers: Why isn't there a rebuttal to the state of the city?