Daily Archives: April 11, 2011

Statement & Account of Ramona Kitzinger, Waukesha Board of Canvassers member since 2004:

Posted on Waukesha Co Democratic Party website, April 11, 2011-

(Waukesha County Democratic Party)On Tuesday night, I received a voice message from someone in the office of Clerk Kathy Nickolaus informing me of a Wednesday canvass meeting, which I returned the next morning and said I would be able to report into the canvass by noon � which I did. Normally the canvass would begin at 9am on Thursday, as has been the general practice for many years. No one explained why they were beginning the canvass on Wednesday, just to please report immediately.

Before this telephone call, I had not been contacted as the designated Democratic observer, and I saw no public notice of the abnormal canvass time. The phone call simply instructed me to report by noon to begin the canvass, which I did. The canvass then proceeded as normal, with no glaring irregularities or mention of a possible 15,000 vote error in Brookfield City.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Railroad CEO charged with campaign law violations

Donor accused of funneling illegal contributions to Scott Walker through employees

April 11, 2011- A major donor to Gov. Scott Walker was charged Monday with funneling more than $60,000 in illegal campaign contributions through his railroad employees during the last election.

William Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co., has agreed to plead guilty to two felony counts – one for exceeding the campaign contribution limits and a second for giving company and personal funds to others so they could make political donations. Individuals can give no more than $10,000 to gubernatorial candidates.

Under the deal, prosecutors are asking that Gardner be sentenced to two years' probation.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Parties already sparring before local hearing starts

April 10, 2011- This is how you pour gasoline on what is already expected to be an explosive hearing at State Fair Park on Monday over Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget:

You do what state Rep. Tamara Grigsby did this weekend.

The Milwaukee Democrat accused the leaders of the Joint Finance Committee of taking steps, in advance, to shut down debate early on the budget bill – and then claimed they are doing this because they don't want to be near Milwaukee too late.

"They're scared to death of Milwaukee," Grigsby said. "They don't want to be here after dark."

Without naming names, she said some of her fellow lawmakers share a "real fear about being in Milwaukee." Asked if she felt the committee leaders were acting on racist concerns, she said, "If it looks like a duck."

Grigsby quickly added, "I didn't use those words," referring to the notions of race or racism.

Joint Finance co-chairman Robin Vos said he was stunned by her remarks, saying Grigsby was leveling a baseless accusation.

CNN: 4 ways we’re still fighting the Civil War

April 11, 2011- He stood 5-foot-8 and weighed 145 pounds. His face was gaunt and sunburned. Ticks, fleas and lice covered his body.

Before battle, his lips would quiver and his body went numb. When the shooting started, some of his comrades burst into maniacal laughter. Others bit the throat and ears of their enemy. And some were shattered by shells so powerful that tufts of their hair stuck to rocks and trees.

Take a tour of a Civil War battlefield today, and it's difficult to connect the terrifying experience of an average Civil War soldier — described above from various historical accounts — with the tranquil historic sites where we now snap pictures today.

But you don't have to tour a battlefield to understand the Civil War. Look at today's headlines. As the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of its deadliest war this week, some historians say we're still fighting over some of the same issues that fueled the Civil War.

Chicago Sun-Times: The One-Percenters

Roger Ebert's Journal-

April 8, 2011- "The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation's income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent.

"Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent."

So I discover in a piece by Joseph E. Stiglitz in the new issue of Vanity Fair. These facts confirm my impression that greed is now seen as a virtue in America. I'm not surprised by the greed of the One-Percenters. I'm mystified by the lack of indignation from so many of the rest of us.

Day after day I read stories that make me angry. Wanton consumption is glorified. Corruption is rewarded. Ordinary people see their real income dropping, their houses sold out from under them, their pensions plundered, their unions legislated against, their health care still under attack. Yes, people in Wisconsin and Ohio have risen up to protest these realities, but why has there not been more outrage?

The Exiled: The Koch Brothers: Dark Lords of Derivatives

April 9, 2011- People don’t seem that interested in talking about Wall Street’s unpunished and ongoing rape of America anymore these days. And that’s too bad. Because Koch Industries has a lot more in common with Wall Street than most people realize.

Here’s a hint to how deeply the Kochs are involved in the same shady financial machinations we usually associate with Wall Street scammers: an investigation just released by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that the Kochs were major players in the fight against financial regulation in 2009 and 2010, bankrolling an army of lobbyists who swarmed Congress and shredded the fin-reg bill.

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