Thursday, August 31, 2006
The Democrats hired some folks to help them raise money for their congressional candidates. One of their talking points is minimum wage. Unfortunately, the people they have hired are not all making minimum wage themselves.
Dem-hired outfit pays sub-minimum wages to push for higher minimum wage
Alex Scherer-Jones began working for Grassroots Campaigns to fight the Bush administration and elevate the fortunes of the Democratic Party. The 21-year-old MATC student left feeling exploited and sour: "I went in there being very idealistic and it kind of ruined my idealism."
The job involves going door to door asking people to give money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, using talking points that include a call to raise the minimum wage. For this, Scherer-Jones says he was paid far less than the state minimum wage of $6.50 an hour.
"I worked 37 hours one week and got paid around $130 [after taxes]," recalls Scherer-Jones, who quit after two weeks.
John Dedering worked for Grassroots Campaigns for about a month last year and again this year. He says the company paid a satisfactory base wage in 2005, when he canvassed for Environmental Action, but this year switched to a new system, dropping his wages to less than minimum.
Juan Ruiz says he put in about 45 hours working at Grassroots Campaigns for five days this year, and was paid just $56. And Miles Kristan produces pay stubs for two two-week periods, during which he says he typically worked 50 hours per week. One is for $339.81, the other for $281.50. Before taxes. (For these and more, see Document Feed at The DailyPage.com.)
In ads that have appeared in Isthmus, Grassroots Campaigns claims to pay $1,200 to $2,000 a month; this squares with signs around town that mention a range of $300 to $500 per week. The ads picture George Bush below the words, "Corruption and Scandal / Had Enough?"
Grassroots Campaigns is a for-profit company based in Boston, with operations in 18 U.S. cities. It is currently canvassing for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which raises money for targeted congressional races. None are in Wisconsin, but the Dem who wins the three-way primary in the state's 8th Congressional District could get some DCCC cash.
Emily Larson, Grassroots Campaigns' regional director (she also oversees operations in Minnesota, Texas and Colorado), defers all wage-related questions to Wes Jones, the company's national canvass director. Jones confirms that some Madison canvassers may be receiving sub-minimum wage, but insists there's nothing wrong with this.
"These kind of fundraising and sales positions are governed under different [rules]," asserts Jones in a phone interview from Seattle. He says canvassers get a base pay of $300 per week if they meet their "minimal fundraising standard" and can make more if they do especially well. But if they fail to meet quota - which changes based on the group average - they get a straight-up commission of 47% of whatever they collect.
Jones also confirms that Grassroots Campaigns does not pay for an initial "observation day" in which applicants are trained and then sent to canvass. The company considers this experience - which Scherer-Jones says is an all-day shift in which money is raised - to be "a second interview."
These practices likely violate state law. Rose Lynch, spokesperson for the state Department of Workforce Development, says there are no special rules for canvassing firms and "even individuals paid on a commission basis must receive at least minimum wage." She adds that workers should be paid for any mandatory training and get overtime for anything beyond 40 hours a week. Lynch urges anyone who feels these rights were violated to file complaints. (Forms are available off the DWD Web site or by calling 266-3345.)
DCCC spokesperson Bill Burton asserts that all of the money collected by Grassroots Campaigns - every last penny - goes to his group, which then pays Grassroots Campaign a fee for its role. But he refuses to divulge how this shakes out as a percentage of what's collected: "The terms of the contract are confidential." (Figure less than half, with Grassroots Campaigns' commissions, costs and profits.)
How does the DCCC feel about having workers making less than minimum wage soliciting contributions to help it force the evil Republicans to raise the minimum wage? Burton said he'd look into this, then failed to call back.
Twice last week, former Grassroots Campaigns workers staged protests in front of its Madison office, 222 N. Hamilton St., holding up a huge banner. Says Kristan, "We will continue to demonstrate until Grassroots Campaigns pays all of its employees minimum wage."
Jake Titus, canvass director for the group's Madison office, says staffing is "a little fluid right now," at less than 15 employees. But the outfit plans a "college-recruitment push" that he hopes will swell its ranks in advance of the fall elections: "I would like to have as many people as would like to come work for us."
Waukesha County DA Paul Bucher said he charged former Dem state Senate candidate Donovan Riley today with voting twice in the 2000 election, once in Wisconsin and once in Illinois.
Bucher, who is seeking the GOP nomination for AG, said the felony count carries a penalty of up to four years, six months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Riley dropped out of his primary challenge of incumbent Sen. Jeff Plale, D-South Milwaukee, last week amid Bucher's investigation into the voting allegations.
Richard Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the CIA leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday.
Mr. Armitage did not return calls for comment. But the lawyer and other associates of Mr. Armitage have said he has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a Central Intelligence Agency officer.
The identification of Mr. Armitage as the original leaker to Mr. Novak ends what has been a tantalizing mystery. In recent months, however, Mr. Armitage’s role had become clear to many, and it was recently reported by Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post.
In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Mr. Armitage disclosed casually to Mr. Novak that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. at the end of an interview in his State Department office. Mr. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a written memorandum by Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.
Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby’s inquiry was prompted by an Op-Ed article on May 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof and an article on June 12, 2003, in The Washington Post by Walter Pincus.
The two articles reported on a trip by a former ambassador to Africa sponsored by the C.I.A. to check reports that Iraq was seeking enriched uranium to help with its nuclear arms program.
Neither article identified the ambassador, but it was known inside the government that he was Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ms. Wilson’s husband. White House officials wanted to know how much of a role she had in selecting him for the assignment.
Ms. Wilson was a covert employee, and after Mr. Novak printed her identity, the agency requested an investigation to see whether her name had been leaked illegally.
Some administration critics said her name had been made public in a campaign to punish Mr. Wilson, who had written in a commentary in The Times that his investigation in Africa led him to believe that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify an attack on Iraq.
The complaints after Mr. Novak’s column led to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identity.
The special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, did not bring charges in connection with laws that prohibit the willful disclosure of the identity of an C.I.A. officer. But Mr. Fitzgerald did indict Mr. Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, saying Mr. Libby had testified untruthfully to a grand jury and federal agents when he said he learned about Ms. Wilson’s role at the agency from reporters rather than from several officials, including Mr. Cheney.
According to an account in a coming book, “Hubris, the Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War’’ by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, excerpts of which appeared in Newsweek this week, Mr. Armitage told a few State Department colleagues that he might have been the leaker whose identity was being sought.
The book says Mr. Armitage realized that when Mr. Novak published a second column in October 2003 that said his source had been an official who was “not a political gunslinger.’’
The Justice Department was quickly informed, and Mr. Armitage disclosed his talks with Mr. Novak in subsequent interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, even before Mr. Fitzgerald’s appointment.
The book quotes Carl W. Ford Jr., then head of the intelligence and research bureau at the State Department, as saying that Mr. Armitage had told him, “I may be the guy who caused this whole thing,’’ and that he regretted having told the columnist more than he should have.
Mr. Grossman’s memorandum did not mention that Ms. Wilson had undercover status.
Apart from Mr. Ford, as quoted in the book, the lawyer and colleagues of Mr. Armitage who discussed the case have spoken insisting on anonymity, apparently because Mr. Armitage was still not comfortable with the public acknowledgment of his role.
He was also the source for another journalist about Ms. Wilson, a reporter who did not write about her. The lawyers and associates said Mr. Armitage also told Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post and a well-known author, of her identity in June 2003.
Mr. Woodward was a late player in the legal drama when he disclosed last November that he had the received the information and testified to a grand jury about it after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Mark Green legally transferred funds from his congressional account to his gubernatorial account and followed the rules that were in place at that time. This transaction took place in January of 2005.
Today the State Elections board made some of the PAC funds that Green transferred illegal and made the rule retroactive. Funds that were transferred legally a year and a half ago are no longer legal today. About $150,000 to $200,000 can no longer be used by the Green campaign.
Just this past Friday, an attorney for the State Elections Board stated:
The memo was written in response to a complaint from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which argued Green was $156,140 over the state limit of $485,000 in political action committee donations. The WDC also said Green should not be allowed to spend nearly $468,000 in money received from PACs not registered in Wisconsin.But Dunst said in the memo that the money in question was raised by Green as a member of Congress and therefore not counted under the limit for candidates for governor. The clock on counting contributions for Green's race for governor started on Jan. 1, 2005, Dunst said.Wisconsin has no law that counts money raised in one campaign as donations received for another when it is carried over, Dunst said.
The State Elections Board changed this rule today to benefit Jim Doyle.
This is ludicrous.
I am calling on every single person who is a Green supporter to do two things.
Donate to Mark Green’s Campaign if you can. Donate the maximum $10,000 if you can. If you cannot donate any money, the Green campaign would gladly use you for lit drops, making phone calls or distribute yard signs!
Call the state elections board. Call your state senators and representatives. It is time to throw a hissyfit!
I have never heard of any state elections board every pulling this kind of stunt before. This will end up in court. In the meantime, we must elect an new governor.
With this little stunt that the Jim Doyle and state elections board pulled today, this is proof positive that Jim Doyle and the State Elections board are completely corrupt!
Colin Powell has known for three years who the real leaker was and instead of stepping forward and taking responsibility, he let the media hang the President, VP, Rove and Libby for something they did not do.
Now we find out that three years ago, media darling Powell, bald faced lied to the media.
Check it out, from Bryon York at NRO-
On October 3, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell talked to reporters after meeting with Laszlo Kovacs, the foreign minister of Hungary. The meeting went well, with nothing controversial to discuss. It went so well, in fact, that a reporter said to Powell, “Mr. Secretary, things are so smooth I thought I’d ask you about something else. The State Department is offering to help in the search for the person who leaked the CIA official’s name. Can you say something about that situation? How might the State Department help?”
“We have been asked by the Justice Department, those who are conducting this investigation, to make ourselves available for any purpose that they have,” Powell answered. Promising to cooperate fully, Powell added, “We are doing our searches in response to the letter we received yesterday, and make ourselves available. I’m not sure what they will be looking for or what they wish to contact us about, but we are anxious to be of all assistance to the inquiry.”
No one in the press corps knew it at the time, but if a newly published account of the CIA-leak case is accurate, Powell knew much, much more than he let on during that session with the press. Two days earlier, according to Hubris, the new book by the Nation’s David Corn and Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, Powell had been told by his top deputy and close friend Richard Armitage that he, Armitage, leaked the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak. Armitage had, in other words, set off the CIA-leak affair.
At the time, top administration officials, including President Bush, were vowing to “get to the bottom” of the matter. But Armitage was already there, and he told Powell, who told top State Department officials, who told the Justice Department. From the first week of October 2003, then, investigators knew who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity — the ostensible purpose of an investigation that still continues, a few months shy of three years after it began.
Colin Powell was "not sure what they will be looking for or what they wish to contact us about"???
Colin Powell knew exactly what the Justice department was looking for. Colin Powell should have just said that his department was fully cooperating with investigators and left it at that.
I have no respect for the man any more after reading about his involvement in this.
So why do Democrats hate Walmart so much?
I read this interesting piece about Walmart at Real Clear Politics-
WASHINGTON -- It's not surprising that, as The New York Times reports, leading Democratic politicians have latched onto bashing Wal-Mart as a "new rallying cry'' that "could prove powerful in the midterm elections and in 2008.'' America's political culture routinely demands at least one hideous corporate villain. In recent decades that role has fallen to General Motors, IBM, Exxon Mobil and Microsoft; now Wal-Mart has assumed the mantle. But these wishy-washy politicians have missed the obvious solution to the Wal-Mart problem: nationalization.
Congress should just buy the company and then legislate good behavior. Wal-Mart executives "talk about paying them (workers) $10 an hour,'' Sen. Joseph Biden told a rally in Iowa, according to the Times. "How can you live a middle-class life on that?''
Well, if $10 is too little, the government could order the Department of Wal-Mart to pay more. How about $15 or $20? Similarly, if Wal-Mart's health insurance is inadequate, Congress could command more coverage. (I asked Wal-Mart for coverage figures, which it declined to provide. All a spokesperson said is that more than half its 1.3 million U.S. employees are full time, enjoying higher coverage rates, and that 75 percent of all workers have some coverage through the company, the government or spouses' plans.)
OK, I jest. Congress isn't going to buy Wal-Mart -- which would cost roughly $183 billion at its current stock price of about $44 a share -- and I don't think it should. Still, pretending to nationalize Wal-Mart is a useful thought exercise. It shows why Wal-Mart as a government agency would actually provide fewer public benefits than as a grubby, profit-seeking colossus. The company's incentives would shift. Instead of trying to lower costs, improve efficiency and raise profits, it would focus on pleasing its political patrons and complying with their demands.
Our weekly phone bank will be this Wednesday night;
Your help is needed in this battle we fight!
At Republican HQ--41st Ave.and 60th Street, we are told;
Bring a jacket or sweater, in case you feel cold.
Please come when you can, 5 to 8:30;
You can come clean, or you can come dirty!
Our quota of calls goes up once again;
So now for each 8 calls, we need to make 10.
We've Luigi's pizza--that's our meal, so don't fuss;
And Marie's carrot cake for bunnies and us!
For each 100 calls in this next two-week stint covering;
Your name in the Reagan video drawing will be hovering.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
2996 bloggers have signed up to honor the memory of the 2996 victims who lost their lives on 9/11.
On August 28, 11:19 PM EDT the 2,996th name was assigned.
Howard (Barry) Kirschbaum, age 53, a resident of New York, N.Y., will be honored by El Rider at the blog Flying Debris.
There will be more to come. But every name will be honored. It took exactly 90 days, and more hours than I’d care to count–and not just from me.
But for tonight I’ll take this victory and sleep well.
Quite a few Wisconsin Bloggers are among the 2996 bloggers. Congratulations to you all!
A special congratulations to D. Challener Roe, the person who put this whole thing together!!!
What a whacko.
Tehran, Iran- Iran's hard-line president challenged the United Nations on Tuesday, two days before a Security Council ultimatum demanding his country roll back its suspect nuclear program, and instead proposed a televised debate with President Bush.
Does this goof really believe that if he can somehow win a debate against George Bush, that means Iran can keep their nuclear weapon?We saw how well things worked out for John Kerry and he won three debates against Bush. It didn't matter.
We have been having a very interesting discussion on drinking and driving and whether or not Wisconsin laws should be stiffened.
For the most part, folks have been very respectful of each other. I just wanted to take another moment to address some of the issues that were brought up in the comment section.
In addition, several people have called or sent an email regarding the same subject. Here are some of the issues and arguments that I have heard from a few folks this past week- many of these arguments are legitimate and deserve a response.
I was asked to take the emotion out of this- Sorry, but I cannot do that. It is almost like asking Americans to take the emotion out of 9/11. It is just not possible. In the last 20 years that statistics have been available, 1984 thru 2004, 410,997 people have been killed in alcohol related crashes. Almost half a million people have been killed in drunken driving crashes in 20 years. We all need to be emotional about these types of problems.
Someone stated that this is a slippery slope- Yes, it is a slippery slope. Police officers who may be stopping folks have the opportunity to not only check and see if a person has been drinking, but also look for various other infractions also. However, the police are still required to follow the same laws that we have now. You can refuse to have your car searched and you may even refuse to take a sobriety test. I expect law enforcement to follow the rules when stopping and searching vehicles. If they do not, we have ways of protecting ourselves in a court of law.
Someone told me that she wanted no more new laws- I can understand this, but people are dying on our streets. Some of the laws we have today are not working. I do not want to live in a lawless society. Some laws are necessary to protect people.
Once again, the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints has been called into question- No one has the right to drive. See below for the rest of my argument.
As for my rebuttal, I would like to point out one simple fact that everyone seems to overlook when discussing this issue. Driving is not a right. Driving is not a freedom that we have been assured in the constitution.
Driving is a privilege and a responsibility.
Think about this for a moment. In order to get a driver’s license, we must all pass a series of tests. A person must first be physically able to drive. For instance a blind person may not drive. They do not have the right to drive, nor are they given the responsibility to drive, for obvious reasons. We take drivers licenses from the elderly when they become a danger to themselves and a danger to others. We take licenses from perfectly healthy people when they have too many accidents and are clearly a risk to themselves and to the people around them.
Driving is a lot like flying. A person does not have the right to fly. All of us are well aware of the fact that there are security checkpoints a person must go thru before you are able to fly. They can search our bags without reason. Airport securities x-ray everything in our bags. If airport security chooses to, they may even pull you out of line and search you individually. These days, even our shoes get to take a little ride on the conveyer belt.
These are all practices that we accept if we plan on flying. We do not argue with these rules, we accept them as a part of flying. If we do not like the rules, we just do not fly. Most of us understand that these rules are necessary and our meant to keep us safe.
These rules are not meant to harass us.
Why is it that we cannot get similar rules for the road?
We know that around 17,000 people are killed and over 250,000 people are injured each year in alcohol related crashes, when does the madness stop?
As Americans, we have no problems fighting the war on terrorism. More people are dying from drunken driving and yet, too many Americans are not willing to fight the war on drunken driving.
17,000 deaths and 250,000 injuries a year by drunken driving is a huge problem. We can fix this problem.
No one is trying to take your beer away from you, Wisconsin. Drink all you want, just don’t drive.
A drunk driver has already taken the life of one of my friends, I don't want a drunk driver taking the life of any more of my friends.
Just like the war on terror, we as a nation need to fight the war on drunken driving.
It is time to just tell the truth- Wisconsin schools are failing.
A new study comes down hard on Wisconsin for not setting stronger academic standards - ranking it 46th of the 50 states and giving it an overall "D-" grade.
It's the fourth time in three months that a national study has accused state officials of shirking their responsibilities, particularly to minority students and those from low-income homes. Two national education reformers said Monday that Department of Public Instruction officials have misled citizens about their work to improve the quality of education in Wisconsin.
The report being released today by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in Washington uses harsh terms in critiquing the standards that are intended to guide instruction in Wisconsin schools. "Depth is nowhere to be found," it said of the science standards. "This document has no structure or method," it said of the world history standards. "Skimpy content and vague wording," it said in describing the math standards.
D- ? Is the best that we can do in Wisconsin?
Haycock said, "If you want both your kids and your schools to work harder to get more kids prepared for the 21st century, you have to start by being honest about where you are." She said many students who were being rated as proficient in reading under Wisconsin's state tests are not rated as proficient on NAEP tests.
Monday, August 28, 2006
The polls get a little dull and boring, but every once in a while a good poll comes out.
Fred from RealDebateWisconsin has his new poll up-
Battle of the bands--- Sinatra or Aerosmith?
You are cordially invited to a
“MEET & GREET PIZZA PARTY”
Sheriff David Beth
Jeff Kehl, Candidate for Kenosha County Treasurer
Bring your friends to meet Jeff Kehl, the candidate who will bring professionalism, efficiency and cost savings as your County Treasurer. These are exciting times and together we can make a difference!
Donations Greatly Appreciated -----Checks payable to: Friends of Jeffrey Kehl for Treasurer
Authorized & Paid for by Friends of Jeffrey Kehl for Treasurer, Paul Grochowski, Treasurer
This whole think was a scam in order to get the Bush Administration. It appears that Fitzgerald had to have know the day he took the case that Richard Armitage was the leak to the media. Everything done beyond this was an attempt to entrap folks in the Bush administration.
This whole case was nothing but a witchhunt that has lasted for 3 years longer than it should have. The FBI knew since OCT 2003 who the leaker was and yet a reporter was sent to jail to reveal their sources, when the source had already confessed. Libby was questioned so many times that he was entrapped by Fitzgerald.
Lives have been destroyed because of this witchhunt.
Think of the millions of dollars spent over the last 3 years.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The very fact that Colin Powell knew that Armitage was the leaker and said nothing to protect his boss, the President, makes Powell just as much of a scoundrel as Armitage.
Sept. 4, 2006 issue - In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."
Armitage's admission led to a flurry of anxious phone calls and meetings that day at the State Department. (Days earlier, the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into the Plame leak after the CIA informed officials there that she was an undercover officer.) Within hours, William Howard Taft IV, the State Department's legal adviser, notified a senior Justice official that Armitage had information relevant to the case. The next day, a team of FBI agents and Justice prosecutors investigating the leak questioned the deputy secretary. Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson's wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA. (The memo made no reference to her undercover status.) Armitage had met with Novak in his State Department office on July 8, 2003—just days before Novak published his first piece identifying Plame. Powell, Armitage and Taft, the only three officials at the State Department who knew the story, never breathed a word of it publicly and Armitage's role remained secret.
So basically, millions upon millions of dollars have been spent trying to get Rove, Bush, and Cheney. As it turns out, two of the President's major critics, Powell and Armitage, were the ones behind this entire mess. Cheney hater, Richard Armitage succeeded in damaging Cheney and the President with his own cover-up.
Indeed, Armitage was a member of the administration's small moderate wing. Along with his boss and good friend, Powell, he had deep misgivings about President George W. Bush's march to war. A barrel-chested Vietnam vet who had volunteered for combat, Armitage at times expressed disdain for Dick Cheney and other administration war hawks who had never served in the military. Armitage routinely returned from White House meetings shaking his head at the armchair warriors. "One day," says Powell's former chief of staff Larry Wilkerson, "we were walking into his office and Rich turned to me and said, 'Larry, these guys never heard a bullet go by their ears in anger ... None of them ever served. They're a bunch of jerks'."
Powell and the State Department even went so far as to cover up their involvement with this to the President.
Instead of telling the whole truth to the President, Colin Powell let the President and everyone in his administration dangle in front of the media and a grand jury.
Colin Powell protected his buddy Armitage instead of doing his job as the head of this country's State Department. He protected Armitage instead of telling the President the truth.
Taft, the State Department lawyer, also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more. Armitage's role thus remained that rarest of Washington phenomena: a hot secret that never leaked.
I do find it entertaining that someone in the media actually admitted that someone in the Bush Adminstration actually followed the rules.
The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
There is still a small window of opportunity for bloggers that are interested in paying tribute to one of the victims of 9/11.
Since Michelle Malkin promoted this on her website, new bloggers are signing up fast. As of this moment 117 bloggers are still needed to pay tribute.
Sign up today.
Here is a link to the website and an explanation of 2996-
2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.
We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.
If you would like to help out, either by pledging to post a tribute on your own blog, or by offering your services to promote this cause, just leave a comment here and I’ll email you the name of a victim.
Then, on 9/11/2006, you will post a tribute to that victim on your blog.
But, and this is critical, the tributes should celebrate the lives of these people–kind of like a wake. Over the last 5 years we’ve heard the names of the killers, and all about the victim’s deaths. This is a chance to learn about and celebrate those who died. Forget the murderers, they don’t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered–2,996 people.
Here you go-
Memo TO: The White House/Mark Green
FROM: Charles J. Sykes
RE: Stem cell breakthrough
Declare victory. Defuse the Issue. Move on.
The anouncement that scientists have been able to harvest embryonic stem cells without damaging or destroying the embryos is a huge opportunity that you should not squander. You can make several points...
On Wednesday, the Kenosha News plastered the story about Mark Green and the donations he transferred from his congressional fund to his gubernatorial fund.
This is not the first time that we have heard this story. I posted on this over a month ago.
I have to say, I am surprised that somehow this story has resurfaced. It was a non-story over a month ago and again today, it was proven a non-story.
From the Kenosha News online AP story-
The memo was written in response to a complaint from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which argued Green was $156,140 over the state limit of $485,000 in political action committee donations. The WDC also said Green should not be allowed to spend nearly $468,000 in money received from PACs not registered in Wisconsin.
But Dunst said in the memo that the money in question was raised by Green as a member of Congress and therefore not counted under the limit for candidates for governor. The clock on counting contributions for Green's race for governor started on Jan. 1, 2005, Dunst said.
Wisconsin has no law that counts money raised in one campaign as donations received for another when it is carried over, Dunst said.
I understand the Mike McCabe does not care to hear this from the State Elections Board. But Mark Green and his staff are required to follow the rules of the State Elections Board, not Mike McCabe’s election rules.
Clearly, Mark Green has followed the rules given to him by the State Elections Board.
Green's campaign, which had argued all along nothing was done wrong, treated the memo as vindication.
"The memo released today by Mr. Dunst confirms what we have been saying all along: Mark Green's campaign has complied with all aspects of Wisconsin law and has followed every piece of advice from the State Elections Board," said Green's campaign manager Mark Graul.
It appears that Mr. McCabe is up to his old “cheap trick politics” again.
I am not sure how he snookered the Kenosha News into bringing out this story a full month after originally released. I am disappointed that the Kenosha News fell for this cheap tactic. Normally the Kenosha News is good at checking this stuff out before printing it.
It would have been nice if the Kenosha News had checked with the State Elections Board, before they printed this story.
On Wednesday, the Kenosha News left readers with the impression that Mark Green broke the elections rules. Now we find out several days later that Mark Green did not break the rules.
I wonder what the Kenosha News will do to rectify this mistake.
I will be buying a Kenosha News paper today to see if they have printed this correction on its pages.
The questions we are left wondering now are-
Where is Mike McCabe heading to next?
Will he head to the Racine Journal Times and tried to push this non-story to them?
How many media outlets will continue to leave voters with the impression that Mark Green broke the rules, when clearly Mark Green did not?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
This process of reopening a wound happened again this week. It began on Tuesday morning as I was listening to Dan, Nicole, and Pat, on 1130 AM “The Early Spin”. The three began to discuss drinking and driving. Normally, when I hear discussions about drinking and driving, I would flip off my radio or turn off my TV. It is too painful for me to listen too. This time I thought to myself that two of the three people on the radio are conservatives; they would probably defend tough laws on drinking and driving. Well, not this time.
The reason I was so disappointed in the conservative talk show hosts is that I lost someone very dear to me in a drunken driving crash many years ago. My friend Chris was heading home from work one night when a drunk driver struck her vehicle. She died in the hospital about an hour after the crash.
It has been almost 20 years and I still struggle to talk about her death. It is difficult to describe the heartbreak of losing someone you care about to a drunk driver.
The three talk show hosts were discussing the issue that the AG candidates were speaking on. The first issue is whether to criminalize the first offense for drinking and driving. One of the talk show hosts, Dan, seemed to agree the proper thing to do was to criminalize the first offense of drinking and driving. Good, I agree.
The second issue they were discussing was sobriety checkpoints. All three talk show hosts were against any sobriety checkpoints. The three gave the typical excuses I have heard for years.
· Sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional. Wrong! Actually, this is not true. The Supreme Court has ruled on this issue many times and have deemed that the sobriety checkpoints are in fact constitutional.(See Michigan vs. Sitz, 1990)
· Sobriety checkpoints do not work. Although this argument has been made so many times, we will never know exactly how well sobriety checkpoints actually work. The whole point of a sobriety checkpoint is to prevent drinking and driving. We will never know exactly how many folks actually decided not to drink and drive because they believed that might have to go thru a sobriety checkpoint. Some folks actually believe that unless tons of arrests are made at these checkpoints then they are not working. Fewer and fewer arrests at these checkpoints are exactly what we want. Get the drunk drivers off the road, that is the whole point!
· Sobriety checkpoints are inconvenient. Yes, they are inconvenient. Some are probably more inconvenient than others are. I have been stopped on two occasions at a sobriety checkpoint. Both times occurred in Illinois on a Saturday night as I was driving back from shopping in the city. Neither time did I spend longer that 5 minutes in traffic and no more than 20 seconds speaking to the police officer. The police officer asked me a couple of questions, I looked the man right in the eye as I spoke to him and he sent me on my way after giving me a polite “thank you and have a good evening”. I had not been drinking, so I did not feel inconvenienced on either occasion. Since people are dying every day due to drunken driving, isn’t it worth a couple of minutes out of our weekends to do whatever we can to save lives?
Now I am not going to say that any of these talk show hosts were doing anything to condone drinking and driving, because they were doing no such thing. In my opinion, they are just dead wrong about this issue.
Of course, even thru this discussion, they had to drag politicians into this conversation. Paul Bucher and Kathleen Falk both supported sobriety checkpoints. JB Van Hollen did not. The talks show hosts implied that JB’s reason for not supporting sobriety checkpoints is that “it would clog up the courts.” If I could have gotten thru on the phone to these three talk show hosts, I would have asked the question- “Would JB rather clog the courts or the morgues?”
Thank goodness I could not get thru on the phone because I have not found a single article where JB is making this claim. Therefore, I am a little cautious as to exactly what JB’s claim on this issue is.
Since I do not exactly know where JB stands on this issue, I would prefer to direct my questions to JB. I do not want to find out that JB Van Hollen was misrepresented or his comments were taken out of context. This would not be fair to JB. I will not be blasting JB on this position until I fully understand what JB’s position is. I am certain JB Van Hollen does not condone drinking and driving.
This issue is so important and deserves the attention of our AG candidates. In 2004 alone, more than 17,000 were killed in alcohol related crashes in the US. In the last 10 years, over 250,000 Americans have died in alcohol related crashes. Over 40% of the fatal crashes in the state of Wisconsin are alcohol related. Since this is the #1 reason that people are dying on our streets in Wisconsin, it is imperative that this issue be dealt with NOW!
I cannot understand why we still have people dying on our streets because of drinking and driving. Their deaths are unnecessary and preventable. There is absolutely no good excuse why any American should die because of drinking and driving.
When the Wisconsin District Attorney’s Association was asked what their opinion on this issue was, Scott Horne stated:
“Prosecutors are concerned about resource issues”
To all of the District Attorneys across Wisconsin and all four of our Attorney General candidates- pictured below you will see a photograph of a resource that Wisconsin can no longer afford to lose.
Tyler James Greeley, Clear Lake Wisconsin- Age 3, killed June 30, 2002 by a drunk driver
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!
What was wrong with the museum? According to the Journal Sentinel-
"I know he's passionate about his stuff, but it all just sits there," Pollocoff said, adding that if the museum had indoor storage, it could have stayed.
Of course, the stuff just sits there, it is a museum!!!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Here is Tammie's report and impression of today's event. It sure sounds like she had a great time.
In the Shadow of Greatness
This is what I realized as I sat today less than 25 feet from America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. This is Time magazine’s Man of the Year for 2001. This is the man who brought New York City from ruins to greatness. And, as Mark Green pointed out, it is about so much more than September 11, 2001. It is about how the Mayor of New York City took was once called “the rotting Big Apple” and made it a safe city to be proud of. I was writing so fast, trying to soak up the brilliance of the former Mayor, and I hope Presidential Candidate in ’08. But, as Giuliani said himself, anyone that is running now and not focusing on the 2006 elections is foolish and selfish. Right now, we need to get ourselves a new governor!
Surprising first impression – Rudy Giuliani is a very funny man! He cracked jokes and seemed to know just when to lighten the mood. He noted how political leaders get blamed for everything, so he wanted to get credit for the Yankees winning the World Series during his tenure and a reduction in snowfall. He even called Paul Bucher on the carpet for using his Blackberry during the speech, “I see your D.A. is here and he’s on his Blackberry, did someone just get indicted?” to a roar of laughter from the crowd. Like Bucher, Giuliani got tough on crime. He took over a city with 2,000 murders a year and left it with less than 600. A 2/3 decrease – a lower murder rate than the City of Chicago, which is less than half the size of N.Y.C. But, the most amazing thing is that he did not only focus on murders and violent crimes. He went after all the seemingly small crimes too, from graffiti to the guys that used to squeegee windows at a red light and demand money. Mr. Giuliani says we have to get away from this mentality that small crimes are “normal” and make them shocking again. BRILLIANT. It’s true, isn’t it? Why do we accept more and more each year, and become de-sensitized. These small crimes are what kill a neighborhood, and kill the spirit of the community.
The recipe for success laid out by Giuliani includes increasing the police department and increasing the accountability for each officer. He explained how he created a system to measure crime in every precinct, every day. This information was discussed once a week at a meeting, and the force was distributed accordingly. The officers were sent where they were needed most and created a presence. He also merged three smaller police departments into one. He created accountability and crime dropped a total of 57%.
Giuliani says you must have a safe neighborhood with a good school, to create growth and progress. It seems simple, but he showed us how to do it. His plan worked and 200 new businesses came into the previously “worst” neighborhoods. New business means new jobs. People need to feel safe going to work and school, and while at work and school. They cannot be worried about being victimized. He points out that poor people are most often the victims of crimes. Crimes holds people and communities back. The former Mayor said, “I love people. I care about poor people”. He resents the fact that the Democrats get all the credit for caring for the poor, especially when it was the previous Dem. Leadership that locked New Yorkers into such crime and poverty.
Giuliani also resents the school of thought that poor kids have no parents or bad parents. And poor kids aren’t the “problem” of those in the suburbs. He calls on Americans to realize that it is everyone’s problem that so many kids are forced to go into inadequate schools each day. He loves the school voucher and choice programs in Wisconsin. The school choice program forces the public school down the road to rise and compete for business (students). It gives parents that cannot otherwise afford to give their son or daughter a chance, to have a choice and a new opportunity. In fact, the former Mayor claims that this is the most dramatic way to increase education, by creating competition and choice.
Mark Green seemed humbled seated behind Rudy Giuliani and looked like he felt as honored as I was to be soaking up the genius being offered. As Green said, Giuliani has the “recipe for leadership”. Giuliani feels Green is the one to get Wisconsin back on track, and closed as he began, on a funny note. “He needs money, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the media is slanted”. As conservatives, we don’t have the benefit of FREE coverage, so we need more money just to break even.
Thank you Mayor Giuliani, for sharing your wisdom. I left ready to not only work harder for Mark Green, but ready to put the Giuliani in ’08 bumper sticker on my car! This is the Right stuff, folks. Women lining up to leave said “I wish I had taken notes, I need to run home and write things down!” I am glad I brought the ever present notebook, and glad to share it with all of you! And I am glad that Kim Travis let me be her daughter for a day! Thanks Kim for the invite!
How in the world did this Democrat win 11% of the vote in a Democratic primary?
The man had been convicted of voter fraud- even if he won the election, he would not have been able to hold office.
In Wyoming, popular incumbent Gov. Dave Freudenthal handily defeated challenger Al Hamburg for the Democratic nomination. Freudenthal received 89 percent of the vote against Hamburg, a retired house painter whose 1989 conviction for election fraud would have prevented him from holding office even if he won.
So how in the world does this man receive 11% of the votes from Democrats in spite of this?
Now what in the world does this mean?
Iran said Tuesday that it is ready for "serious negotiations" as Tehran gave its long-awaited reply to a joint U.S.-European offer aimed at ending the standoff over the country's nuclear research program.
Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said Tehran had responded "positively" to the Western offer, but he refused to say whether Iran would comply with the key demand: suspending its uranium enrichment program.
Our next phone bank is this Wednesday night,
Any time, 5:00 to 8:30, would be just right.
Our phone goal is 980, up from last week;
Your presence to help us we really do seek.
Come to Republican HQ, 4103-60th Street,
We really do need you, we must repeat!
The new script's about taxes, says Jessica Irving,
And food from Panera's we will be serving.
For those who make at least 100 calls,
Your name into a 2-week drawing falls;
The winner will win a video surprise;
Featuring Ronald Reagan, a really great prize!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I tried to guess what was behind his back. He even dropped a few hints now and then. You can imagine after a couple of minutes of playing this little game, I literally began chasing him around the house. During those moments, nothing mattered to me more than finding out what he was hiding.
This desire to find out the truth, never actually leaves us, even as adults.
Governor Jim Doyle is hiding something from us. Spivak and Bice point out, not only is Governor Doyle refusing to release information after an open records request, but now the taunting stage has begun. Not only does the Doyle administration have no intention of opening up their records, but also if you happen to file an open records request, you are just a partisan hack.
Sean Dilweg, one of Doyle’s top administration officials is making it very clear, when it comes to the $68 million Kenilworth project, and the $51,000 given to the Doyle campaign- you will get no answers.
Sean Dilweg, a top administration department official, had this response to our inquiries:
"The Kenilworth Dormitory Project was handled appropriately. This line of questioning appears to simply be a partisan attack."
Clearly, Governor Doyle and his administration are trying to hide the Kenilworth project details from the public’s view.
Governor Doyle needs to realize that the more he attempts to hide what truly happened, the more determined people would be to try to find out what he is hiding. It is human nature.
Since Governor Doyle defiantly refuses to tell the taxpayers what he is up to, people begin guessing. The more people guess, the worse Governor Doyle looks.
In January of 2003, Jim Doyle promised us during his inaugural speech-
And, from here on out, restoring Wisconsin's reputation for clean and honest government will be a sacred commitment, not an empty and neglected rhetorical flourish.
Perhaps now is the time for the governor to show us some of that “clean and honest government” that he promised us.
Governor Jim Doyle and his friends are hiding something from the taxpayers of Wisconsin. We can only guess what it is that he is hiding.
My guess is- Governor Jim Doyle is not exactly running a “clean and honest government”.
I am also guessing that the media are not done with this subject. It is doubtful the Wisconsin voters are done with this subject either.
Whether Doyle wins or loses in November, the truth will eventually come out.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Today was one of those days.
They said they would be greeted as liberators for toppling the old regime. Instead, they find themselves caught in a quagmire--a vicious, unwinnable civil war with incalculable costs in both resources and prestige.
We refer, of course, to the Democrats in Connecticut.
An exchange between "TPM reader BM" and Angry Left blogger Steve Gilliard illustrates their predicament going into an intraparty general election race between Sen. Joe Lieberman, now an independent, and Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. Here is BM:
I don't like Joe Lieberman and hope he isn't in the Senate. End of story. Let's all move on and focus on the races where Republicans can be defeated. If Democrats regain the House or the Senate, even if Joe is elected it won't matter as much. As long as liberal blogs devote 20-30% of their time beating on Joe, they are missing out on beating on all of the vulnerable and possibly vulnerable Republican Congressmen. Conservatives understand--make your point then move on to where you can have an effect. The best use of resources is to defeat as many Republicans as possible. Why win the "Sore Loserman" battle and lose the war?
The problem is that Lieberman is the flying wedge for the GOP. He can say the Dems are weak and captive of radicals, and bolster Bush at the same time.
Taking him out is the number one priority because his continued presence hurts all races, especially the Connecticut House races. He is literally their lifesaver. Joe attacking Dems hurt all Dems, in all their races. Ignoring him would be suicidal. Getting him out of the race should be the priority. Not just for Connecticut Dems, but for the entire party.
Lieberman was a horribly divisive character and unless his political career is ended, other Dems will pay.
In a way these two are talking past each other. BM says defeating Lieberman in November shouldn't be the Democrats' top priority. Gilliard doesn't disagree; he says the priority should be "getting him out of the race."
But hope is not a plan, and Gilliard doesn't say how he proposes to get Lieberman out. They went to war without a plan to win the peace!
Not only did Iran turn down the incentive package, now they are denying the UN inspectors access to one of its nuclear sites.
Iran has turned away U.N. inspectors wanting to examine its underground nuclear site in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, diplomats and U.N. officials said Monday.
So when will the UN start writing the next resolution that Iran will completely ignore?
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Here is a snip:
Because we all know that if a Republican got caught committing flagrant vote fraud we would be hearing about it every day and reporters would have their microphones in front of other candidates, and state party officials asking for quotes and putting them in uncomfortable situations. (I would argue this would all be justified)
The DNC is telling their party loyalists, either you do what the DNC says, or you will be punished.
The NY Times story-
The sanctions will be directed at candidates who campaign in any state that refuses to follow a 2008 calendar of primaries and caucuses that was also approved Saturday. Any candidate who campaigns in a state that does not abide by the new calendar will be stripped at the party convention of delegates won in that state.
The party adopted a broad definition of campaigning, barring candidates from giving speeches, attending party events, mailing literature or running television advertisements.
According to Howard Dean's DNC-, a candidate had better not advertise, give a speech, attend a party or run any television ad is any state that they have not previously approved by the DNC.
According to the Boston Globe, DNC officials are stating that a candidate better not set foot in any state they have not previously approved.
DNC officials said the party may penalize any candidate who sets foot in a state that flouts the new scheduling rules.
Spivak and Bice are asking the question:
Doyle re-election coffers flow with tribal money
Is it Indian groups ensuring "good government" or casino interests buying an election?
My guess is that the Spice boys already know the answer to this question and the question is rhetorical.
The Spivak and Bice article-
Where there's a will, there's a way.
And Indian tribes here and elsewhere have found yet another way to help out Gov. Jim Doyle's re-election efforts.
Federal records show three tribes - the Mohegans in Connecticut and the Potawatomi and Oneida in Wisconsin - have poured $50,000 into the state Democratic Party's federal account in the past year.
That's on top of all the money that tribe members and others have given directly and indirectly to help ensure that the first-term Democrat wins a second term.
Here is the holier-than-thou explanation for the donations from the spokesman for the Mohegan tribe, which hopes to manage the $808 million off-reservation casino that is being proposed for Kenosha:
"They want to make sure that there is good government in Wisconsin," said Evan Zeppos, "and they think by supporting this fund they can help to ensure that."
Not buying the "good government" argument is the campaign boss for Doyle's Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Mark Green.
"I think it's clearly the casino interests trying to buy an election," growled Mark Graul, campaign manager for Green.
The Mohegans gave two $10,000 donations to the state Democratic Party's federal account, one in December and the second on Feb. 1. That was the same day executives of the Mohegan tribe or its gambling operation chipped in $6,000 directly to Doyle's account as part of an event organized by Dennis Troha, who is spearheading the Kenosha casino effort.
Even the Potawatomi tribe, which is bitterly opposed to the Kenosha project because it would cut into the profits the tribe is turning at its Milwaukee casino, is taking a cynical view of the Mohegans' donations.
"It's not unusual for the Potawatomi to be active in Wisconsin," said tribal flack Ken Walsh. "It may be a little more unusual for the Mohegans to be active in Wisconsin . . . but they have a very singular issue."
Besides, the Potawatomi tribe plays politics the old-fashioned way: It spreads money on both political parties. The tribe, based in Crandon, poured about $20,000 into the coffers of the state Democratic party in 2005-'06. Records show the Potawatomi sent 10 grand to the state GOP last year, and just this summer, Walsh said the tribe gave another $10,000 to state Republican groups.
Tribal giving is nothing new in Wisconsin. Three tribes dumped $725,000 into the coffers of the Democratic National Committee, which then sent the dough back to the state to help out Doyle. He then signed generous compacts deals - which have since been tossed out by the courts - which would have allowed tribal casinos to continue operating here for perpetuity.
Party officials brushed off questions of whether the Mohegans were using money to get on Doyle's good side. The governor has the final say on whether the Kenosha casino proposal will become a reality.
"I don't know what their intent is, except to help the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to turn out Democratic voters," said Michael Murphy, the party's top staffer. "Their intent is to turn out Democratic voters in the 2006 election."
As in the folks who will vote to keep Doyle in office.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Click on this link to see Sheriff Beth's website.
List of accomplishments by Kenosha County Sheriff Dave Beth in the last 4 years-
- Will have saved over $12 million tax dollars by housing Federal Inmates
- Increased Department Revenues by 107%
- Held Department tax levy to less than 1.3% average increases over past four years
- Channeled $3.9 million back into the General Fund the past three years
- Reduced Department Administration
- AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) placed in patrol vehicles
- Maintained and even increased patrol levels
- Implemented K-9, Snowmobile and ATV Units using Federal or State funding
- Implemented the TRACS system, leading the State in Electronic Reporting
- Worked with Country Thunder Officials to improve the safety of Kenosha's largest Music Festival
- Proposed Legislation to State Officials to electronically monitor Sexual Predators – Introduced by the Governor in fall of 2005
- Implemented A Child is Missing Alert to help locate missing children
- Implementing in 2006 Project Life Saver to locate missing Alzheimer patients
- Implemented Listening Sessions with department employees
- Increased traffic enforcement throughout the County
- Countywide crime has decreased
- Expanded Living Free Program in our jail to reduce recidivism
- Used Federal Inmate Revenue to make jail improvements
- Formed five county task-force SEADOG to help fight war on drugs
- Provide Inmate Workers to help elderly, Village of Pleasant Prairie, Somers, and many more agencies saving hundreds of thousands tax dollars
- Purchased K-9’s for Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha Police Departments through a Sheriff’s Department Grant
- Presented options for towns and villages to save money
- Aggressively pursuing Federal Grant dollars to help reduce dependency on local tax levy
Friday, August 18, 2006
I stumbled across this website called 2996, after clicking on a link in Kate's blog. It is a tribute to the victims of 9/11, all 2996 people who died on this day.
The website is an opportunity for the blog community to write a tribute honoring one of the victims of 9/11.
When you sign up, you will be given the name of a individual who died on 9/11. You will also be given as much information as possible, plus the website will help you search for more information.
When I signed up, I was exactly number 2000.
Please join me in honoring the victims of 9/11 and write a tribute on the 5 year anniversary of that horrible day.
Here is the link.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.
We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.
If you are looking for the HTML code for your sidebar(pictured below), click on the FAQ on the 2996 website, you will figure it out from there.
Thank you, Kate, for posting this on your blog.
1. Big Government Contract to be awarded
2. Marc Marotta has meeting with contractors bidding on the contract
3. Big checks given to Doyle's campaign
4. Company awarded big government contract
5. Doyle's people deny anything improper is going on
Does anyone else see a pattern here in this story?
A Republican legislative leader Thursday accused Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's former top aide of violating the law when he met with the head of a company that was bidding on a $68.7 million building project.
State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee, said then-Administration Secretary Marc Marotta violated the state's procurement law in April 2004 when he met with Weas Development Co. founder Doug Weas because Weas was trying to land a contract to refurbish the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Kenilworth Building. State law says all bidders must be treated equally.
Weas' firm was part of a team that ultimately got the project.
Thad Nation, a spokesman for Marotta, said Weas was not treated differently. Marotta gave similar information to the other bidders, he said. He noted that Marotta's calendar showed he also spoke by phone with a lobbyist for another bidder.
Nation said Fitzgerald's comments amounted to a political attack lodged as the Nov. 7 race heats up between Doyle and his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Mark Green of Green Bay.
When the project first went out to bid in 2003, UWM favored Prism, a three-member partnership that once included state Rep. Curt Gielow (R-Mequon). But competitor J.P. Cullen & Sons of Janesville alleged Prism was improperly allowed to change its proposal and threatened a lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, the state Building Commission - which is led by Doyle and includes several Republican legislators - unanimously voted to restart the bidding process, Journal Sentinel columnists Cary Spivak and Dan Bice reported this June.
The work then went to a team made up of Weas, KBS Construction and Hammel, Green & Abrahamson. Employees of those firms have given Doyle $51,000 since late 2003, records show.
Prism is now suing the state in Ozaukee County Circuit Court alleging Marotta improperly intervened in the contract. The state Department of Justice said last month that it was reviewing how the contract was handled.
Marotta stepped down as administration secretary last year. He now is chairman of Doyle's re-election campaign.
Fitzgerald said the meeting with Weas violated a state statute that requires all bidders to be treated equally. He said investigators should look into that meeting.
"I think there is one piece of overwhelming evidence, circumstantial as it might be, but it's still an appointment calendar that verifies there was an illegal meeting between the secretary and a person involved in the bidding process," Fitzgerald said. "It happened. That's a fact. It's been confirmed. It's clear to me that is a violation of the (bidding) process."
Fitzgerald leveled the charge a day after Madison's WKOW-TV reported on the meeting.
Weas and David Cullen of J.P. Cullen & Son did not return calls Thursday. Weas told WKOW he sought out Marotta because he wanted to find out whether it was worth it to go up against much bigger competitors.
Marotta did not return a phone call, but Nation said Marotta directed bidders to procurement officials if they raised questions about how the bids would be evaluated, but that Marotta told them what the state hoped to achieve.
"That's his job as secretary of DOA, is to talk about things like that," Nation said.
Fitzgerald said the disclosure of the meeting raised questions about Marotta's June testimony before the Joint Finance Committee about how he handled the procurement process. Marotta said then that once the bidding process started, he referred calls from people vying for business to procurement staff.
Marotta was called before the committee after state procurement supervisor Georgia Thompson was convicted of steering business to Adelman Travel, whose employees gave $20,000 to Doyle.From the Aug. 18, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
That being said, Bucher is within stricking distance of both Falk or Lautenschlager. JB Van Hollen is not even close. JB may be able to change some of these numbers, but it will be difficult.
Lautenschlager vs Bucher
Falk vs Bucher
Lautenschlager vs Van Hollen
Van Hollen 22%
Falk vs Van Hollen
Van Hollen 21%
We are three weeks away from the primary and Bucher clearly has an advantage. However, neither of these men will help their cause, if we have another week like we had last week in the debate debacle.
Link to the poll results
H/T Boots and Sabers
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Yes, we are very lucky to have a ringside seat for the Republican AG race. Living in southeast
James Wigderson from Wigderson's Library & Pub gives us a blow by blow of this year's political race between candidates Paul Bucher and JB Van Hollen. Wigderson's article is in GM Today.
Even the bloggers got a mention in Wigderson's article and it is not exactly a pretty display of conservative political blogs in Wisconsin.
Seriously, was it necessary to call the wife of Paul Bucher a "Jezebel" just because a person may support her husband's opponent?
Let’s act like grown ups here folks! Comments like these are just nasty politics.
Let us leave the cat fighting to Peg and Kathleen. These two women can claw away at each other for all I care.
No, there is not a halt to the war on terror, YET. If the ACLU and the Democrats had their way, it sure looks there would be a halt to the war on terror.
Just about everyone has heard that one of Jimmy Carter's appointed judges ordered a halt to the NSA wiretapping. Of course, the order to halt has now been suspended and will be reviewed by a higher court. None of this was unexpected.
However, what I do find surprising is how easily and fully the liberals exposed their views on today’s ruling. Clearly, these liberals are interested in doing two things. First, they want to stop Bush. Second, now they want to stop the war on terror.
Why else would the head of the ACLU exclaim with joy:
Clearly hurting the Bush administrations strategy in the war on terror, is exactly what the liberals want to do.
Well, not quite- check out Josh's blog for details
Josh Schroeder: Baghdad Burmeister
Here is a snip-
Two stories of note, but there is ABSOLUTELY no cause and relationship here whatsoever!
Story One: The Federal Department of Education released a report on Wisconsin's standing with the No Child Left Behind Act. According to this press release, 9 states satisfied the department's six criteria, 39 states partially satisfied the six criteria, and Wisconsin was one of four states to satisfy none of the requirements. The other states were Hawaii, Missouri, and Utah. (For those of you counting at home, Puerto Rico and D.C. count as states under NCLB.) If you want to see Wisconsin's report card, follow this link and check out the Reviewer Comments. Fox News carried this more detailed AP Story here, and Kevin gives it some good analysis here.