Wisconsin State Senate Recalls

Dimmerswitch wrote:

a Republican majority has already shown it is willing to ignore the law to further a partisan agenda.

Sometimes God's will requires pissing on the law. While choking a bitch.

Wow, the whole scene out there is really messed up. Sad thing is I am sure the state is being use as a testing ground of a strategy that will be employed elsewhere.

I expect there will be analysis on this over the weekend, but in other breaking news the Wisconsin GOP has announced they will be moving forward with redistricting plans ahead of the recall elections. (PDF with raw data and bad maps)

I will grant them this: they are tireless in coming up with ways to undermine the state I love.

It's going to be a long process to undo the damage.

Pfft Michigan's GOP was f*cking the dog before it was cool.

Some early analysis of the WI GOP redistricting gerrymandering plan. Some highlights:

Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) would see her 8th Senate District change significantly, likely becoming far more Republican. As now, the district would include parts of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. But it wouldn't include Shorewood, where the recall movement against her was launched last winter, and which has voted Democratic in recent state and national elections. Also gone: sections of the east side of Milwaukee.
Democrats said two Democrats challenging Republican senators in recall elections - Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo and former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum - were drawn out of the districts they are seeking. That would mean if they won this summer's recall elections, they could serve briefly but would then have to move or run in a different district in November 2012.

Nancy Nusbaum would be carved out of the district she's running to represent by a couple of blocks. Man, are these guys scared.

Scott Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse said Republicans would seek to pass separate legislation allowing the legislative and congressional maps to be redrawn before local municipalities finish drawing ward lines. Currently, state law requires the ward lines to be drawn first, which would mean that lawmakers would have to wait until long after the recall elections to pass a redistricting plan.

I'd make a comment about looking forward to the State Supreme Court weighing in on such a transparent attempt to bypass the law for partisan gain, but I think we have a pretty good idea where they stand now.

This is such a depressing illustration of what it looks like when Fascism moves into your neighborhood. Good luck, Wisconsinites.

Wow. Good luck, WI folks. I have no idea how you fight the good fight here.

It's not a coup, since it doesn't involve military force, so what do you call it when a political party takes power, and then changes the rules so that it can't lose power again?

Wikipedia wrote:

Typically, a coup d'état uses the extant government's power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak says, "A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder", thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d'état.

Today the primaries are being held between the actual Democratic challengers and the fake ones sponsored by the Republican party. Lots of scattered reports of shenanigans (for example, exterior doors to a polling place being locked without the poll workers' awareness). Tough to sort out what's legit while the situation is rapidly evolving, but I found this report especially disturbing. Karen Tuerk (@ktuerk on Twitter) is a volunteer with a group that was doing citizen-run exit polling. She's reporting that the Government Accountability Board made a rule change today (as in, within the last hour or so) that keeps them even further away from polling entrances, and is making it significantly harder for them to do effective exit polls.

If that report is true, I want to see an investigative report about whose idea the rule change was, and what process was followed to rush through the change. I'd start with Senator Fitzgerald, who we already know is willing to lean on government agencies to try to force through his political agenda.

Are you referring to the same GAB that dragged their feet when reviewing ruling on recall petitions against Democrats after already setting election days for the Republicans being recalled? The same GAB that ruled against Nygren being a candidate in one of those elections? Oh yeah, they sound like they are definitely in the bag for the GOP.

Post when you have some actual facts. Something more than "scattered reports of shenanigans". Then you will at least have some basis for making accusations. This is just more of the same GOP witch hunt.

MattDaddy, given what you're seeing in Wisconsin, you can't seriously still support them, can you? Seriously?

Nygren failed to gather the 400 valid signatures to obtain a place on the ballot. The fact that Nygren only gathered 424 signatures total, giving him a razor-thin margin of error, is not the fault of anyone outside the Nygren campaign.

I'd be very interested in hearing MattDaddy's interpretation of the GAB's role in determining eligibility and timing for the recall elections - I would have had a strong preference for them all happening on the same day, and having them sooner rather than later.

In case you didn't read the linked article, there is unrefuted testimony by the staff of the Legislative Reference Bureau that Senator Fitzgerald did lean on their office to release 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 on their website, laying the foundation for GOP claims that the act was published and should already be in effect. I don't think it's unreasonable (or a witch hunt) to want to know the details of an election-day rule change by the GAB (if that report turns out to be true, a caveat I noted in the original post).

I don't get all the whining by Democrats about the redistricting plans. No one is taking away anyone's right to vote. Why not make districts that are cohesive rather than bitterly divided? Most of the new areas make more sense looking at the maps and understanding who makes up those areas.

The Racine/Kenosha area will get broken down into a mainly Republican district and a mainly Democratic district instead of two mixed ones. What is wrong with that? Isn't it better to have a district represented by someone who is liked by the majority instead of one that may be liked by half and hated by the other half?

The only reason for the uproar that makes sense is that it's the GOP majority making the decisions, therefore the Democrat minority automatically must cry foul about it. You'd think they were planning on creating 20 new GOP districts while gathering all the Democrats in a single district of their own based on some of the ranting going on in opposition to it.

Also some folks are now reporting robocalls from a northern Virginia number telling them to use absentee ballots (except, of course, the deadline for absentee ballots has already expired and anyone following these directions will not have their vote counted).

As noted before, it's too early to know the details about these allegations. MattDaddy, can we agree that (if true), attempting to trick people into not having their votes counted is a bad thing?

Dimmerswitch wrote:

In case you didn't read the linked article, there is unrefuted testimony by the staff of the Legislative Reference Bureau that Senator Fitzgerald did lean on their office to release 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 on their website, laying the foundation for GOP claims that the act was published and should already be in effect. I don't think it's unreasonable (or a witch hunt) to want to know the details of an election-day rule change by the GAB (if that report turns out to be true, a caveat I noted in the original post).

Which has absolutely nothing to do with your unsound accusation. An investigation is fine (if the report even turns out to be true), but for you to say they need to start with Fitzgerald is a witch hunt. You admit that you don;t even know if the report is true and yet you're ready to "start with Fitzgerald".

I'm also up for a discussion on redistricting.

Attempting to bypass the normal redistricting process and rush through the changes before the recall elections, as well as cute touches like Nancy Nussbaum being edited out of the district she's fighting to represent, would seem to me to be an indicator that this is not being done in the interests of better aligning legislators with the people who elect them.

I should be clear that this isn't a problem unique to the GOP - I believe the Democrats in Illinois are currently pursuing a similarly aggressive path of gerrymandering. That is also wrong.

MattDaddy wrote:

Which has absolutely nothing to do with your unsound accusation. An investigation is fine (if the report even turns out to be true), but for you to say they need to start with Fitzgerald is a witch hunt. You admit that you don;t even know if the report is true and yet you're ready to "start with Fitzgerald".

This is what I'd actually said:

Dimmerswitch wrote:

If that report is true, I want to see an investigative report about whose idea the rule change was, and what process was followed to rush through the change. I'd start with Senator Fitzgerald, who we already know is willing to lean on government agencies to try to force through his political agenda.

I said I would start with Senator Fitzgerald because there is testimony that he exerted inappropriate political pressure on other governmental agencies to further his political agenda. It's a bit of a stretch to characterize that as a witch hunt. There's not even an accusation there, unfounded or otherwise.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Nygren failed to gather the 400 valid signatures to obtain a place on the ballot. The fact that Nygren only gathered 424 signatures total, giving him a razor-thin margin of error, is not the fault of anyone outside the Nygren campaign.

I never said it was. The fact they ruled against him shows they aren't in the tank for the GOP as you inferred in your prior post.

Edit: To clarify: I never said Nygren's campaign was not at fault. What matters in my argument is that the GAB ruled against him.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Also some folks are now reporting robocalls from a northern Virginia number telling them to use absentee ballots (except, of course, the deadline for absentee ballots has already expired and anyone following these directions will not have their vote counted).

As noted before, it's too early to know the details about these allegations. MattDaddy, can we agree that (if true), attempting to trick people into not having their votes counted is a bad thing?

You need to be very careful with this story, and make sure you check sources and get verification. Everything I've seen reported on this so far sources the same blog post from a single blog.

My mom, who was a political operative for years, says that she's heard this exact same story before, more than once.

I'm disgusted at what the Republican party is doing in Wisconsin, but be careful to check your facts.

I think I'm being pretty clear with my caveats, but I agree that it's important to acknowledge that preliminary reports of given activities are not the same as well-sourced, verified reports of same.

That said, Wisconsin Right to Life has acknowledged they are making robocalls, but claim they're for the August recall elections.

Local reporter Mary Spicuzza[/url]]"Wisconsin Right to Life has not ever & is not now making phone calls to suppress votes," says exec director. Calls said to be for August.

For the record, this is what the Blue Cheddar blog originally said the call script was:

Hello, this is Barbara Lyons from Wisconsin Right to Life. I’m calling today to let you know that you will be receiving an absentee ballot application for the upcoming recall elections in the mail in the next few days. These recall elections are very important and voting absentee will ensure that your vote is counted and that we can maintain a pro-family, pro-life state senate. We hope that we can count on you to complete that application and send it back to us within 7 days.

No confirmation yet on whether that is an accurate transcript, but I expect reporters like Mary Spicuzza to have that cleared up later today.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

This is what I'd actually said:

Dimmerswitch wrote:

If that report is true, I want to see an investigative report about whose idea the rule change was, and what process was followed to rush through the change. I'd start with Senator Fitzgerald, who we already know is willing to lean on government agencies to try to force through his political agenda.

I said I would start with Senator Fitzgerald because there is testimony that he exerted inappropriate political pressure on other governmental agencies to further his political agenda. It's a bit of a stretch to characterize that as a witch hunt. There's not even an accusation there, unfounded or otherwise.

Nowhere in that article are the words "inappropriate" or "pressure" mentioned. It also wasn't his political agenda, but a bill passed by the senate he was pushing to get published. One the secretary of state should have published himself. Instead, he chose to make his position political by holding off publication for no reason other than to give the Democrats time to find Sumi and have her hold things up (temporarily, as it was passed later in the budget).

To say "start with Fitzgerald" without any reason to do so other than some unrelated issue you have with him is what I would classify a witch hunt.

MattDaddy wrote:

Nowhere in that article are the words "inappropriate" or "pressure" mentioned. It also wasn't his political agenda, but a bill passed by the senate he was pushing to get published. One the secretary of state should have published himself. Instead, he chose to make his position political by holding off publication for no reason other than to give the Democrats time to find Sumi and have her hold things up (temporarily, as it was passed later in the budget).

To say "start with Fitzgerald" without any reason to do so other than some unrelated issue you have with him is what I would classify a witch hunt.

The testimony is that Senator Fitzgerald called a meeting with staff from the LRB, who didn't know ahead of time what the meeting was about. In that meeting, Senator Fitzgerald leaned on the LRB to place the bill on their agency's website. He had Stephen Miller, director of the LRB, call the Attorney General's office with questions, where he was told that the LRB could face civil action if they didn't put the bill on the site. Prior to these conversations, the LRB had planned on complying with Judge Sumi's order. Afterwards, they placed the bill on the LRB site with the following footnote next to "Publication Date":

† Pursuant to section 35.095 (3) (b), Wis. Stats., the secretary of state designated March 25, 2011, as the date of publication for this act. On March 18, 2011, the Dane County Circuit Court enjoined the secretary of state from publishing 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 until further order of the court.
Section 35.095 (3) (a), Wis. Stats., requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 working days after its date of enactment.

The LRB clearly thought that releasing the bill to their site was not equivalent to publishing it, and did so only at the urging of Senator Fitzgerald, who afterwards went forward with the claim that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 was in effect - in spite of the fact that the Secretary of State had not published the bill, as required by state law (for anyone interested, here's a good overview of why Fitzgerald was wrong that I'd linked to in the old "Wisconsin Governor does not like unions" thread).

If you don't believe that to be inappropriate pressure, I don't expect that any behavior by our state's GOP will ever meet your criteria.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

If you don't believe that to be inappropriate pressure, I don't expect that any behavior by our state's GOP will ever meet your criteria.

I didn't state what I believed about it one way or the other.

MattDaddy wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:

If you don't believe that to be inappropriate pressure, I don't expect that any behavior by our state's GOP will ever meet your criteria.

I didn't state what I believed about it one way or the other.

Fair enough - I'll bite. MattDaddy, do you believe the scenario I outlined above describes an example of inappropriate pressure?

It doesn't matter what I believe about that scenario. Using that as the sole reason to start with him as part of some (at this point non-existent) investigation into the GAB decision would be unfair.

If the reports of election-day changes by the GAB turn out to be true (which I feel is still a pretty big if), I think that Senator Fitzgerald would be a reasonable starting point, given what I feel is a clear example of Senator Fitzgerald's willingness to use inappropriate pressure to further his political agenda.

This may be the moment where I reveal, to the astonishment of all (or perhaps one), that I do not work for the GAB, nor for any other governmental agency which would have oversight into any investigation. I don't think my opinion is unfair, but more to the point - it has effectively zero influence on an investigation whose existence is entirely speculative, and is furthermore predicated on whether those allegations turn out to have any basis in fact.

It's great to know that Senator Fitzgerald has such a stalwart defender on his side, but I think it's pretty laughable to take "He's used inappropriate pressure before, and if an investigation happens I'd want to make sure these changes weren't also made at his behest" and characterize that as a witch hunt.

Now, to re-rail the thread, I haven't been able to find any numbers on voter turnout today, which seems odd. Is my google-fu failing, or are they just not posted anywhere yet?

So because I don't agree with using a rumored story as an opportunity to bash Fitzgerald that it makes me a stalwart defender of him?

Dimmerswitch wrote:

I think it's pretty laughable to take "He's used inappropriate pressure before, and if an investigation happens I'd want to make sure these changes weren't also made at his behest" and characterize that as a witch hunt. :)

But you didn't word it that way. You used an unverified report and said they should "start" with him, as if he should be the #1 suspect in any investigation. That, plus the other posts by you that use rumors you find on the internet as a way trying to insinuate that the GOP is up to evil things is what led to the witch hunt tag, laughable as that may be to you.

At this time, the Milwaukee Journal is calling four of the six primaries for the real Democrats running with the other two leading by comfortable margins. Here are the numbers as of 7:45 PM PDT:

State Senate - District 2 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 83 of 90 Precincts Reporting - 92%
Nusbaum , Nancy 13,360 65%
Junkermann , Otto 7,142 35%

State Senate - District 8 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 55 of 77 Precincts Reporting - 71%
Pasch , Sandra 16,174 67%
Huber , Gladys 8,128 33%

State Senate - District 10 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 92 of 110 Precincts Reporting - 84%
Moore , Shelly 14,626 54%
Weix , Isaac 12,426 46%

State Senate - District 14 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 124 of 128 Precincts Reporting - 97%
Clark , Fred 14,879 67%
Church , Rol 7,203 33%

State Senate - District 18 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 94 of 110 Precincts Reporting - 85%
King , Jessica 17,410 68%
Buckstaff , John 8,138 32%

State Senate - District 32 - Dem Primary
Wisconsin - 99 of 119 Precincts Reporting - 83%
Shilling , Jennifer 14,171 70%
Smith , James 5,979 30%

Milwaukee Journal now calling all races for the real Democrats running in the primaries.

The updating numbers can be found here: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepo...