Daily Archives: April 1, 2011

Think Progress: Ohio Voters Have 90 Days To Stop Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Worker Bill

April 1, 2011- After weeks of flouting the state’s legislative rules to ram through an anti-union bill, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed the bill last night. Yet, while Kasich started this war on Ohio workers, the state’s increasingly disguntled voters have the power to end it:

Ohioans opposed to the union-neutering legislation vow to keep it from becoming law through the state’s referendum process.

Under Ohio law, opponents have 90 days from the time the governor signs the legislation to collect 231,149 signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot.

If they collect enough valid signatures from 44 Ohio counties within that time frame, the law wouldn’t go into effect until voters approved as much, assuming it won a majority of the vote in November, which now seems like a pretty big assumption.

Wisconsin State Journal: Ex-Gov. Lucey resigns as Prosser’s honorary campaign co-chair, endorses Kloppenburg

April 1, 2011- Less than a week before Tuesday's election for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, former Democratic Gov. Patrick Lucey on Thursday resigned as honorary co-chair of Justice David Prosser's re-election campaign and endorsed his opponent, state Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Lucey said in a statement that he has followed Prosser's campaign "with increasing dismay and now alarm," adding that "Prosser has lost that most crucial of characteristics for a Supreme Court Justice — as for any judge — even-handed impartiality."

Lucey also cited Prosser's "disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court in the face of demands that are sure to be placed on it in these times of great political and legal volatility."

He said Kloppenburg "has adhered throughout the campaign to even-handedness and non-partisanship and has exhibited both promising judicial temperament and good grace even in the heat of a fierce campaign."

Talking Points Memo: Wis. Justice Prosser Loses Endorsement Of Former Dem Gov, Gains Sarah Palin

April 1, 2011- In the latest development in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election fight — which has quickly gone from a sleepy, nominally non-partisan race to a proxy political battle over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union bill — incumbent Justice David Prosser has now lost the endorsement of former Democratic Gov. Patrick Lucey, who had been serving as an honorary campaign co-chair but has now switched to the challenger, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

And in a further sign of this election becoming a partisan, nationally-watched race, Sarah Palin has posted a tweet endorsing Prosser. The election will be held this Tuesday, April 5.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

Lucey said in a statement that he has followed Prosser's campaign "with increasing dismay and now alarm," adding that "Prosser has lost that most crucial of characteristics for a Supreme Court Justice — as for any judge — even-handed impartiality."

Talking Points Memo: Maine Gov. LePage Admits ‘Timing Was Bad’ For Removing Labor Mural

April 1, 2011- In an interview with The Portland Press Herald, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) admitted that his decision to take down a mural from the Maine Department of Labor building was poorly timed, saying it should have been done "later on."

"The timing was bad," he told the Press Herald in his first interview since the mural came down. "It should have been done later on, not when we are trying to get a budget passed."

The paper said LePage wants the public to focus on "his political agenda, such as streamlining regulations and providing tax relief for Mainers."

LePage had previously defended his decision, and his office has released a complaint it received in which the mural was compared to North Korea. The mural, an 11-panel installation, depicted figures like Rosie the Riveter and FDR-era Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, plus scenes from several strikes.

The Press Herald reports that a protest scheduled for today at Maine's State House Hall of Flags has been postponed to Monday due to weather.

First Wis. Recall Petition Will Be Filed Today

-Blogged by James Parks on AFL-CIO Blog

April 1, 2011- The first recall petition will be filed today against a Wisconsin Senate Republican who joined the rigged vote to take away public employees freedom to bargain. Organizers say volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed to trigger a recall election of Sen. Dan Kapanke, who represents the La Crosse area. Recall supporters say they plan to take the petitions to Madison after a rally today at La Crosse City Hall.

This is the first of 19 active recall efforts registered between Feb. 24 and March 2 against 16 senators. The filing comes just before the halfway point in the 60-day window the recall committee has to gather signatures in the district.

The state Democratic Party provided infrastructure support but “not a single paid canvasser was needed to trigger the recall versus Dan Kapanke,” said party spokesman Graeme Zielinski, who credited volunteers for collecting more than 20,000 signatures in less than 30 days.

Talking Points Memo: Wis. Dems To File First Recall Petitions Against GOP State Sen. Dan Kapanke

April 1, 2011- Wisconsin Democrats now say they have more than enough signatures to launch a recall of Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke, in the battle over Gov. Scott Walker's (R) new law curtailing public employee unions. They are filing the petitions today — less than halfway through the 60-day window for gathering the signatures.

The La Crosse Tribune reports:

Recall organizer Pat Scheller said volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed and that they plan to take them to Madison after a noon rally today at La Crosse City Hall.

It is expected to be the first completed of 19 active recall efforts registered between Feb. 24 and March 2 against 16 senators.

LaCrosse Tribune: Update: Kapanke recall petition filed

April 1, 2011- La Crosse area Democrats have filed a petition with more than 21,700 signatures calling for a recall electoin of Sen. Dan Kapanke, one of eight Republicans targeted for his support of a controversial bill to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers.

If 15,588 signatures are validated, Kapanke will be just the fifth Wisconsin lawmaker to face a recall election. Only two have been unseated.

Kapanke said Friday he believes the bill – now entangled in a court battle over the way it was passed – was necessary to balance an estimated $3.6 billion budget deficit and that he would cast the same vote again even knowing it could cost him his seat.

“This certainly trumps any one person’s ambitions or political career,” he said. “We are elected to put our fiscal house in order… You’ve got to do what’s best in your heart – what you feel is best for the future of the state.”

Orlando Sentinel: Gov. Rick Scott orders immediate cuts to programs for disabled

March 31, 2011- Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.

Though a range of state services face cuts from this year's Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients' safety.

"lt's not like, 'Gee, does this mean I have to skip a vacation this year?'" said Amy Van Bergen, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. "Potentially, these cuts have life and death implications for these people."

An estimated 30,000 Floridians with severe developmental disabilities receive services that help them live outside of nursing homes — typically with family or in small group homes. Aides help them eat, bathe, take medication and otherwise care for themselves.

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