Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General is fighting to get vote-suppressing laws in place for the November election, asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reinstate the voter ID law that has been found unconstitutional by two separate state judges, despite that Court rejecting a similar request in recent months.
Wisconsin will be a hotly contested swing state in the November 2012 elections and the elevation of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to the national ticket may have added a new urgency to the efforts to reinstate a new "voter ID" law that makes it harder for Wisconsin residents to vote.
As the Center for Media and Democracy has reported, Wisconsin courts have stood strong against the nationwide push to suppress voting by students, people of color, and the elderly through new restrictions on the right to vote. Wisconsin's voter ID law passed in 2011 and, like many of the dozens of voter ID bills introduced in state legislatures in 2011 and 2012, Wisconsin's law contains elements of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model Voter ID Act.
Two Wisconsin judges in recent months have found the state's voter ID law imposes an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. Despite both judges finding that "voter fraud" is extremely rare but the law's potential for disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters is very likely, AG Van Hollen is still hoping to reinstate the law, perhaps to help his party in the November elections.
In July, Wisconsin Judge Richard Niess found the state's voter ID law unconstitutional, writing that the law "tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card." He also found that obtaining the ID "can easily be a frustrating, complex and time-consuming process" that "can require the expenditure of an amount of money that is significant for an eligible voter who is indigent."
In March, Judge David Flanagan struck down the state's voter ID law as imposing burdens on the right to vote not permitted by the state constitution. "A government that undermines the very foundation of its existence -- the people's inherent, pre-constitutional right to vote -- imperils its legitimacy as a government by the people, for the people, and especially of the people. It sows the seeds for its own demise as a democratic institution," he wrote.
AG Van Hollen is apparently looking to sow those seeds.
On Tuesday, Van Hollen announced that he would be asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reinstate the voter ID law before the November elections.
With Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan on the GOP presidential ticket and polls showing President Obama with a lead in the state, many have speculated that the move is an effort to help Republicans' electoral chances, as the populations whose voting rights are most restricted by voter ID laws tend to vote Democrat.
Van Hollen also may be interested in giving a boost to Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Van Hollen is the honorary co-chair of the Thompson campaign.
Earlier this year, after Judge Flanagan had found the law unconstitutional but while Judge Niess' ruling was pending, AG Van Hollen appealed the cases and urged the intermediate appellate judges to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the cases immediately. The state's highest court declined the request.
With Tuesday's announcement Van Hollen is repeating his request. That move is puzzling to Lester Pines, an attorney who represents the League of Women Voters, which challenged the voter ID law.
"The Supreme Court is well aware that the Attorney General in May had urged the Court of Appeals to certify the cases to the Supreme Court. Had the Supreme Court wanted the case, it would have taken at the request of its fellow appellate judges. To think that it would now take it because the Attorney General has asked directly instead of indirectly as it did in May, would require a serious leap of faith, unless one believes that the 'fix is in' which I most certainly do not believe."
But Pines is not puzzled by Van Hollen's motivations.
"Just as he did in 2008 when Attorney General Van Hollen sued the Government Accountability Board in an attempt to get the voter rolls purged, the Attorney General is trying to suppress the vote in 2012," Pines said.
Link to original article from PR Watch
Manure is a potent fertilizer that does wonders for the crops that feed the cows that give the milk that makes Wisconsin America's Dairyland.
It's also making a mess of its waters.
While Green Bay holds a mere 1.4% of Lake Michigan's water, it receives one-third of the lake's nutrient load — due largely to the farm fields that drip phosphorus-rich manure into the streams, creeks and rivers that flow toward the bay.
Samples taken in many of those waterways over the past decade show average summer phosphorus levels twice as high —...
Dan Egan | Journal Sentinel 14 Sep 2014 Hits:165 Wisconsin
Trying to make sense of all the different court rulings in Wisconsin on their partisan Photo ID voting laws? We'll try to unpack that for you.
The short version: Two different state trial courts found the GOP's Photo ID restriction on voting to be a violation of the state constitution's right to vote. A federal trial court (aka U.S. District Court) similarly found the law to be a violation of various parts of the U.S. Constitution.
The partisan WI state Supreme Court recently overturned the decisions in the two state cases ---...
Ernest A. Canning | The Brad Blog 28 Aug 2014 Hits:225 Wisconsin
Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73% more than previously estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows.
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Patrick Marley | Journal Sentinel 17 Aug 2014 Hits:302 Wisconsin
Wisconsin's cuts to state aid for K-12 education since the start of the recession is the 7th largest in the country, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The report from the center, which calls itself "fiscally conservative but socially liberal," calculates that Wisconsin cut its state aid to K-12 public schools by 15.3% since 2008, a reduction that out-paced the cuts made by all but six other states during that time.
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Erin Richards | JS Online 14 Sep 2013 Hits:561 Wisconsin
“The Fight for Voting Rights, 50 Years Later” (editorial, Aug. 28) correctly states that the voter suppression measures taken in states across the country make clear “the need for comprehensive and lasting protection of voting rights.”
While it is important to reform the Voting Rights Act, the best way to ensure full protection of our voting rights is to include a guaranteed right to vote in our Constitution.
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Mark Pocan | The New York Times 12 Sep 2013 Hits:529 Wisconsin
There's one way to unite conservative Republican Sean Duffy and liberal Democrat Mark Pocan.
In separate interviews Wednesday, the two congressmen from Wisconsin both expressed intense skepticism about granting President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against the Syria government.
"I am leaning strongly no," Duffy said when asked how he might vote. "But I am going to a security briefing on Monday when I get in (to Washington, D.C.), so I'll keep an open mind. But from where my constituents are at, I'm strongly no."
Pocan said he hasn't been...
Bill Glauber | JSOnline 05 Sep 2013 Hits:486 Wisconsin
The ongoing protests in Wisconsin's Capitol turned violent Monday when police tackled and forcefully restrained a demonstrator while carrying out what has become a daily round of arrests in the rotunda.
A video of the incident shows several Capitol Police officers talking very briefly to protester Damon Terrell before they aggressively take him down. Terrell is a regular protester at the so-called "Solidarity Singalong." Police have engaged in a crackdown on progressive protesters in the building since last month, when they began to enforce a requirement for large groups to receive permits for...
Ryan Rainy | Huffington Post 26 Aug 2013 Hits:668 Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI - A coalition of anti-war groups held a rally against U.S. intervention in Syria June 21. Over a dozen activists chanted, "Money for jobs, not for war!" at the corner of Humboldt and Locust Street in Riverwest. They received support in the form of honks and peace signs from drivers of passing cars.
The rally was followed by a teach-in on the Syrian conflict, relating it to the recent U.S. intervention in Libya and other U.S. wars and occupations. A homeless veteran joined the teach-in in the park and...
Fight Back! News.org 15 Aug 2013 Hits:510 Wisconsin
If you support Wisconsin’s outstanding public schools, Milwaukee might be the place to be on Saturday, Sept. 21, for the second “Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally.” Or just maybe, your community might want to plan its own event.
Either way, now is the time to stand up for the public schools and public school children in every corner of Wisconsin.
Organizers of the Milwaukee event are looking for support, but they are also more than willing to lend a hand to event to others around the state. Contacts...
Tom Beebee | Institue for Wisconsin's Future 10 Aug 2013 Hits:668 Wisconsin
MADISON – Concerned Wisconsinites packed halls in Milwaukee and Madison this week to testify against Governor Walker’s regressive 2013-15 biennial budget proposal. Over the course of three hours, residents spoke out during public hearings hosted by Democratic members of the state Joint Finance Committee in opposition to key elements of Walker’s budget proposal, including the proposed expansion of school vouchers, the politically motivated rejection of federal Medicaid dollars, and Walker’s anti-middle class tax plan.
At the hearing held Tuesday in Madison, Edgewood College Student and United Wisconsin member Zach Madden testified...
United Wisconsin | Press Release 27 Apr 2013 Hits:1767 Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Lawmakers from the Joint Finance Committee are holding a public hearing in Greendale Thursday, April 4th to discuss Gov. Walker’s proposed budget and to get feedback on a wide range of issues from taxes, residency rules, BadgerCare, education and mass transit.
Before the hearing began, nearly 50 people held a rally outside the Greendale High School auditorium. Those individuals are asking the state Legislature to change the budget to accept federal funding to expand the state’s healthcare program for the poor and disabled.
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Angelica Duria | Fox6Now 09 Apr 2013 Hits:726 Wisconsin
Television spending in this year’s race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court topped $1.1 million, with nearly 70 percent of spending coming from conservative interest groups, according to estimates released by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake. Incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack, who is part of the Court’s conservative wing, defeated Marquette law professor Ed Fallone in the April 2 election, maintaining the Court’s 4-3 conservative majority.
Television spending for this year’s Supreme Court race was lower than in recent years, where contentious races put Wisconsin fifth...
Brennan Center for Justice 04 Apr 2013 Hits:920 Wisconsin
As parents of children with special needs, it is critical to explain the facts behind Senate Bill 486 and Assembly Bill 110, which would allow students with disabilities to attend a public school outside their district or a private school with a taxpayer subsidy. These bills will erode the rights and protections for children with special needs that have been fought for by the people in Wisconsin. There are countless reasons that there is not one group that advocates for individuals with disabilities...
Jenny Stonemeier, Jenni Hofschulte, Adam Stonemeier, Jasmine Alinder, Anna Moffit and Terri Hart-Ell | JS Online 16 Jan 2013 Hits:721 Wisconsin
One Percent Rubs Affluence in Face of Wisconsin's Middle Class and Working Poor
This Monday, November 5th the doors will open at 7:30 for the Milwaukee Victory Rally with “Paul and the GOP” at Sterling Aviation on South Howell at Mitchell Field. The event will begin at 9:30. These are the folks who are the “job creators”, the ones whose “Pathway to Prosperity” for the 1% requires the “pathway to Austerity” for the 99%. It is unbelievable that they can say that they understand the middle...
Keith Roberts | Uppity Wisconsin 06 Nov 2012 Hits:1145 Wisconsin
On Oct. 25, Oshkosh Corp. announced that 450 employees will find themselves without jobs in January. While the national debate rages over economic recovery and job production, hundreds of Wisconsin families are left in uncertainty, with unemployment and hardship waiting to greet them in the new year.
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Mike Helbick | JS Online 02 Nov 2012 Hits:977 Wisconsin
Update: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said Friday that protesters have the right to march on State Street and refuse to pay for police services the Police Department recommends, though they could encounter inconveniences, such as traffic from buses.
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Robert Hansen | MilwaukeeDems.org 01 Oct 2012 Hits:691 Wisconsin
WASHINGTON -- The Democrat hoping to defeat Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in his other race is alarmed by a matter close to the congressman's heart: his obsession with Ayn Rand.
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Jennifer Bendery | Huffington Post 27 Sep 2012 Hits:1275 Wisconsin
Madison - Two Wisconsin state agencies have failed to follow federal law and their own policies in issuing economic development grants, the U.S. government said in a strongly worded letter sent to Gov. Scott Walker's administration.
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AP/JSOnline 27 Sep 2012 Hits:830 Wisconsin
A Wisconsin judge has struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers, ruling the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The action comes after a lawsuit brought by unions for Madison teachers Milwaukee city employees. A Walker spokesman said they will appeal. Stay tuned.
Common Dreams Staff 14 Sep 2012 Hits:577 Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is declaring September 17 as “Read the Constitution Day.”
But he should read it himself, both the U.S. Constitution (with special emphasis on the First Amendment) and the Wisconsin State Constitution, since he has been violating the spirit of the first and the letter of the second.
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Matthew Rothschild | The Progressive 14 Sep 2012 Hits:1169 Wisconsin
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Representative Paul D. Ryan at a campaign event on Wednesday in De Pere, Wis., where he emphasized his local roots. Both parties see the state’s 10 electoral votes…
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November is coming up quickly. And with that come the political ads, yard signs, and phone banks.
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this election cycle will be missing…
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Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.
From the Capital Times (2011):
“These days, a lot of it is health-related. ALEC, a strong believer in state's rights, federalism, and the free-market, is fighting federal health care reform tooth and nail. (It also opposes various state efforts to crack down on the health insurance industry and expand coverage.) Since 2005, 38 states have passed legislation crafted by its Health and Human Services Task Force, according to the ALEC guide. Wisconsin promises to soon be one of the star performers. 'There have been boilerplate bills that have similar characteristics to what has been passed here in Wisconsin,' Fitzgerald says. In December, he says, he and 20 to 30 other Wisconsin GOP lawmakers attended ALEC's national meeting Washington D.C. (emphasis added), where a key topic of study and conversation was federal health care reform. The 'State Legislators' Guide to Repealing Obamacare' was handed out at this meeting, and its model legislation discussed. 'A good example of that is a bill Joe Leibham is working on right now,' Fitzgerald says. "Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, and Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, introduced the bill Fitzgerald is talking about on Thursday. The 'Health Care Freedom Amendment' would change the Wisconsin constitution to prohibit the government from forcing anyone to participate in any public or private health care or insurance program. The amendment is meant to block the implementation of federal health
Information from Sourcewatch: