Saturday, August 31, 2013

Walker's Message Delivered by Troopers, Police And Private Guards

You cannot miss the connections.

*  It began when Republicans running the Wisconsin Senate on Gov. Walker's behalf got state troopers dispatched to round up Democratic legislators unwilling to march in lock step to the Walker legislative timetable. The dragnet, including early morning visits to some legislators homes, was a failure.

Two Madison attorneys, including constitutional law expert Lester Pines, said the Senate had no authority to order Senators arrested and delivered to the Senate to vote.

The commander of the State Patrol at the time was Stephen Fitzgerald, a Scott Walker appointee and father of both Scott and Jeff Fitzgerald, the State Senate and Assembly leaders, respectively.

*  The Walker default to delivering a message through armed personnel has continued on the most public of grounds in Wisconsin  - - the State Capitol rotunda - -where citizens who want to gather, protest, sing, or observe are restricted, hassled, arrested and abused. Videos and images, here.

Freedom Arrested
From Occupy Riverwest, via Light Brigading
Despite professional counsel about a smarter path to ease the tension and respect everyone's rights.

Directing the Capitol arrests is a new senior commander picked by Walker right off his personal security staff and handed a hefty and questionable raise.

* In the Penokee Hills in Northwest Wisconsin, citizens guaranteed access to forest lands under current law are about to be legally-barred from the property, and surely arrested should they walk or hunt the land.

Armed private guards were sent there by a mining company before they were properly licensed - -with the knowledge of Walker's office.

All this defaulting to arms and arrests and concocted, disproportionate aggression begs the question: What is the end game here being played and implemented by Walker and his allies?

Walker should act more like a leader and less like a tin horn dictator.

From Armed Guards in Penokee Hills of Wisconsin, Photo taken by Jim Limbach
GTAC guard - - Jim Limbach photo

Blog Note, About Facebook

FYI - - your names and Facebook profile pix disappeared from the index at the Facebook icon on the left margin (at least on my screen) after I had to change the blog's password. Sorry about that.

Sat. night update: Hey, there they are! 

That Is A Police Chief, And Those Weapons Belong To The Public

No wonder he's been suspended.

It started with this.

GOP Legislators Bow To Mining Company, Again

Republican legislators and Gov. Walker continue to bow and scrape before the GTAC iron mine and its out-of-state mountain-top removing owners.

Bad enough that they all went behind closed doors and wrote a sweetheart bill that let the company dynamite away pristine hills and wetlands in the Bad River watershed and haul out low-grade ore from an open pit more initially than four miles long, 700 feet deep and a half-mile wide.

But now the same Republican politicians, exaggerating the scope of a confrontation between a handful of protesters and a test drilling crew that led to a single arrest are again gearing up the entire state legislative machinery - - this time to restrict access to thousands of acres of forest land near the mine site to which the public is guaranteed access. 

The land is leased to the mining company, but, by law is open to hunters, hikers and others because the land's owners have received tax breaks in exchange for the open access.

Another sellout of the public's interest and resources.

And an abrogation of treaties with the Ojibwe who ceded the land in exchange for access, and the state constitution's Public Trust Doctrine which guarantees unfettered access to any lake, river or stream in the forest.

DNR Records On Fawn Seizure Reveal Internal Concerns

The Wisconsin DNR is now moving to ensure the agency and state do not get another black eye over seizing and euthanizing captive wild fawns.

I'd made an open records request to the DNR for emails documents about the episode. The request included email to and from the DNR Secretary and her staff.

Though the records were delivered in an electronic format that does not allow me to copy and paste them here, I can provide some information from the record about how the DNR dealt with the episode how its fallout:

The records have all DNR employees names, email address and other identifying information blacked out. An agency attorney says that was done for security reasons, as some DNR employees received threats.

The July 13th "incident report" says the fawn was sedated, removed from the shelter in a crate and later "euthanized by wildlife staff with a bolt gun while on state lands."

"On July 15th, an internal message of praise was delivered to unnamed DNR employees was summed up with "outstanding job!!!!"

*  On August 1st, an email discussed this media guidance: "we should never again say that a fawn could b a "danger to" or threaten the safety of the public. Always followed by video of tame behavior, etc...."

* On August 2nd, DNR staffers agreed there was support for an employee's suggestion that an unused DNR phone number be set up to field and record incoming calls on the matter so no employee's actual phone number went into circulation.

* On August 15th, there was a disagreement within the DNR over whether the word "repugnant" describing current state practice on fawn euthanasia should be included in an official DNR response being drafted, "even though [redacted] likes it." The word does not appear in the DNR's followup work and response.

Mike Ellis Stars In His Own Attack Ad

Bang the Wisconsin State Senate gavel, break its base and you are rewarded.

mike ellis

The Kleefischs Are On The Hunt

Freedom is in the air.

Hunting season right around the corner

By Joel Kleefisch

....This Sunday marks the official start of hunting season with the early Canada Goose harvest. Once that's underway, it takes a Philadelphia lawyer to keep up with the barrage of opportunities for Wisconsinites to enjoy our state's fantastic outdoor heritage and even put food on the table....

My wife Becky is taking the online hunters' safety course and has her field test soon. Let me tell you the course on the web is fantastic. I have been watching it with her and it is thorough and a great refresher for the seasoned hunter.

Finally, don't forget to take advantages of reduced license fees. These are available to first-time hunters or those who recruit three first time hunters, trappers, or anglers.

So, if you're as serious as camouflage face paint and sleeping in a hermetically sealed scent free capsule before the hunt, or just want an excuse to get out and smell the freedom of gunpowder in the morning be sure to be safe and have a great hunting season.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Scott Walker Attacks Potential Opponent For Having Access To Wealth

Sorta like Wal-Mart accusing Target of unfair pricing.

Details here.

Harley Riders, Local Businesses Should Hug A Socialist Today

I hope the visiting thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts enjoying Milwaukee's wide-open Lakefront, the tree-lined boulevards connecting to it and all the area's spectacular parks this weekend know they have socialist politicians and philosophy to thank for the access.
Milwaukee's socialist leaders, in power here during the early-to-mid-20th century, wanted the best property and views to remain in the public domain.

Other cities' lakefront property is walled off from everyday folks by gates, fences and condos.
Not here.
Another reason is that Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution guarantees that people have a right to freely access all Wisconsin lakes, rivers and streams as commonly-owned resources.

This statewide water trust in the public interest means we don't have private beaches here, which is why you can sit, sun or swim at Bradford Beach, stroll through Veteran's Park or walk behind the Art Museum and the Summerfest Grounds.
No charge.
Some in this state make political hay by bashing government, but without public leaders who have used their power to guarantee the people's control of resources in Wisconsin, and in its largest city, 100,000 Harley riders and friends would not be able to spread across one of the most beautiful spots in the country to hold their celebration.
Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin.

Assessing The DNR's Choices

A recent DNR publication shows a smiling DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp in a color photograph on page three cuddling a very cute little bear cub.

Stepp is Gov. Scott Walker's selection to lead the agency.

The photo does not reproduce, though here it is with a quote from Stepp that holding the cub was one of the top five experiences of her life.

That the agency promoted that image on the eve of the Wisconsin hunting season - - a state-managed affair that includes selling cheap permits (as little as $5) to bait, spook with dogs, and shoot bears in one of the largest kills in the country (details here) - - indicates something of a public relations disconnect.

At a minimum, call the Stepp photo evidence of an empathy or consistency deficit of some kind.

The same conflicted message is on the DNR's bear hunt information webpage:

The black bear is viewed as both a symbol of Wisconsin's wildness and as choice prey. Seeing a black bear in the wild is an exciting experience for many and an equal thrill for those who prize the black bear as a big game species. 
Choice prey or exciting visual experience? What's the DNR pushing?

Since there's big licensing money and well-connected lobbying involved, I think it's pretty clear that the DNR is pumping up the hunting option, though only a small fraction of the state population participates in bear hunting.

I noticed the same dynamic when the DNR sent around a picture of a smiling Stepp with her first deer kill.

Again, this deer kill image wasn't produced by animal rights' activists or anti-Walker administration paparazzi.

This is official staff work creating an agency image, and persona for Stepp, of her choosing.
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
Why would the agency want to show Stepp in the presence of another small animal - - a bear cub in line this fall or next to be killed?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The DNR Becomes A Right-Wing Piggy Bank

This will drive a few more career DNR employees to early retirement:

A controversial $500,000 grant for promoting hunting and fishing was awarded Thursday by Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp despite tough questions from the public and a committee meeting earlier in the day.

The United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation, a group with close ties to GOP politicians and other conservative organizations but a scant track record, was the only applicant for the award....
The vote came after the group took public testimony that was entirely opposed to it. 
Another example of people wasting their time offering input. Why bother when the decision is known in advance.

Walker In 25-Year Loop Of Managed News

Delete, deny, discard.

Anyone else see a straight line from this account of why Scott Walker lost the 1988 Marquette student newspaper's endorsement for student body president - -

The column... expressed disappointment in Walker’s campaign workers reportedly throwing away issues of the Tribune after the endorsement was initially made.
- - to this week's developments:
Bad enough that Scott Walker tried to slip away from his 250,000 new jobs promise, but how about this effort by his press secretary to get a Wisconsin TV station to delete the story from its news feed?
Walker's press secretary, Tom Evenson, called Newswatch 12 on Tuesday, and asked if we could be persuaded to take Monday's story off our website.
Anyone else still believe in his commitment to living [sic] transparency?

Planning Potholes At Pabst Farm, On The Road To Sprawlville, Chapter 55

Wherein we renew our long-running series "The Road To Sprawlville" and revisit frequent stop Pabst Farms - - the planned 'community' on Western Waukesha County cornfields where stalled development and dead dreams of a Bayshore-style mall have lapsed into litigation with the city that lavished millions of dollars in subsidies on the site.

Pabst Farms and other Waukesha sites date to the early days (2007) of The Road to Sprawlville:

For the record, earlier posts in my occasional series about Sprawlville, are here, (on the road to Ft. Atkinson), here (in Dousman), and here (somewhat of a detour - - on the $25 million "diamond-design" I-94 interchange planned to service the planned upscale shopping mall at Pabst Farms, Sprawlville's Capital City).

More Good Information On Wisconsin/Walker Rail Fail

Urban Milwaukee blogger Bruce Murphy weighs in with a timely, documented posting.

More context, here.

And a posting devoted to the state's self-destructive relationship with passenger rail, here.

Advice From Former Madison Police Chief On State Capitol Policing

I offer this timely blog posting by former City of Madison police chief David Couper about the on-going police response to protest singers at the State of Wisconsin Capitol.

Full disclosure: I knew then-Madison chief Couper when I worked in Mayor Paul Soglin's office in the 70's. Couper had been hired during the administration of Soglin's predecessor, William Dyke, in 1972. I played no role in Couper's selection.

He served as Madison police chief for more than 20 years, has two Master's degrees and has written three books.

After leaving the Madison policing position, Couper was ordained as an Episcopal Minister.

All in all, a bright, unusual person and I learned a lot from him.

Here's a highlight from his blog:

For over 20 years, we in Madison responded to anti-war rallies, civil rights demonstrations, student block parties, and other mass gatherings without substantial incident. How did that happen? We developed what today is being called the “soft approach” (see the recent work of Dr. Clifford Stott at the University of Liverpool.
What Stott and others found is that dialogue and liaison are effective police strategies in crowd situations because they allowed for an on-going risk assessment that improved command-level decision-making. Using this strategy, there was a better outcome because it also encouraged ‘self-regulation’ in the crowd and thus forestalled the use of unnecessary force by police during moments of tension. (For more, also READ THIS.]
As I found out during my career, physical force is not always the best first response. Thinking people know that. So should police and their leaders.

Three Years Late In Delivery, Waukesha To Urge Quick Water Plan OK

Remember Waukesha's Great Lakes diversion plan sent prematurely to the DNR to meet local political needs there?

Word is that a heavily rewritten version is about to be sent to the DNR as the final, final, final draft  - - on the eve of an early September regional water conference in Milwaukee  - - and Waukesha will no doubt continue to tell everyone else to hurry up, deadlines are evaporating, costs are rising, etc.

Walker Office Tries To Manage News About 250,000 Jobs FUBAR

Call it a 25-year pattern.

Bad enough that Scott Walker tried to slip away from his 250,000 new jobs promise, but how about this effort by his news secretary to get a TV station to delete the story from its news feed?

Walker's press secretary, Tom Evenson, called Newswatch 12 on Tuesday, and asked if we could be persuaded to take Monday's story off our website.

Our original story is linked below.

Related Weblinks:
YouTube: Governor Walker's February 28, 2010, Interview on Up Front With Mike Gousha
PolitiFact Wisconsin: Some progress in July, but has the promise become a 'goal'?
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Promise of 250,000 jobs hasn't changed, Scott Walker says
WJFW: Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop
Begging the age-old question: what's worst - - the offending action or the coverup?


Discard, Delete, Deny - - Walker Has Practiced The Politics Of Deletion Since MU, 1988

That's when his run for student body president was derailed because his supporters threw away copies of the Marquette Tribune over an endorsement that didn't go his way.

Fast-forward to deletions from his gubernatorial campaign website - - examples of now-dead links to his campaign website postings about his business growth plans keyed to a promise of 250,000 new jobs are listed here and here.

But resurrected here.

Little wonder that he would try and trick us into thinking he'd not made the promise.

Or have PR staff in the Governor's office that tries to get a media outlet to delete an embarrassing story:

Bad enough that Scott Walker tried to slip away from his 250,000 new jobs promise, but how aboutthis effort by his news secretary to get a TV station to delete the story from its news feed?
Walker's press secretary, Tom Evenson, called Newswatch 12 on Tuesday, and asked if we could be persuaded to take Monday's story off our website.
Still defaulting to cover-up mode after 25 years. 

Speaking Of Boosting Wisconsin Speed Limits...

When did they up the speed limit to 50 mph from 40 mph on the Lake South Parkway, turning it into more of a freeway?

All that does is induce even faster speeds: On the return leg of my trip today, traffic was flowing above 60 mph without a Sheriff's squad in sight.

Seems we love our speed here, but disregard some of the dangerous behaviors that go with it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Here Is The Walker HUGE-Type Jobs Plan His Campaign Team Deleted

Deleted because its type font was ridiculously oversized to boost the posting's length, so looked even stupider because the Barrett people had a plan with the nearly the same number of pages but much more substance because it was posted in traditional, small font size.

A sample of what the Walker people took down, as it appeared, taking up about two 'pages'.

I will develop strategies




new jobs and

10,000 new


by 2015

File Under Talk Radio Hypocrisy, Chapter MMMX

Talk radio endlessly ripped former Milwaukee School Board member Leon Todd a few years ago for proposing that every student be given a laptop computer.

Todd was lampooned as "Laptop Leon."

But when an upscale private school announces a variation for its students this fall, Jeff Wagner on AM 620 WTMJ radio today ( 1:55 p.m.) praised the school and the plan for being "on the cutting edge."

Draw your own conclusions.

Mellen, Mine Moot Meeting

I thought the "chamber-of-commerce mentality" DNR team was headed in the wrong direction when Cathy Stepp turned the agency's Madison headquarters into a Halloween treat buffet and costume show.

Her partisan cheerleading for the open-pit/mountain-top removal iron mining bill, her smiley-face young deer shooting and embarrassingly insufficient air-quality messaging while the agency's climate change pages sit scrubbed and dormant were more evidence that the agency is clueless and rudderless.

But this one sets an even higher bar for tone-deaf self-parody:

With her thumb firmly on the scales in favor of an iron mine that will cut, dynamite and scour miles of forests, the DNR under Stepp's 'guidance' is holding this meeting Thursday in Mellen, at the edge of the proposed mine's footprint:

MADISON -- Representatives from nearly every sector of Wisconsin’s job-supporting forest industry will meet in Mellen August 29 to discuss how best to use the latest in science and real life experiences to ensure forests sustain their economic and environmental vitality.
Here's a suggested item #1:  

Don't @*$%! destroy them.

Remember When Walker's Team Deleted Their Big-Font Business Growth Plan?

Wed. p.m. Update: It's resurrected - - thanks to a reader who found it! It's here.

Gone from his website now.

Nothing nuanced about that.

When it comes to Walker, and his tendency to speak falsely - - documented by PolitiFact - - the operative word is "inveterate."

Tough Working Conditions For Republicans Today

It being the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream Speech," Republicans have to tone down their voter suppression work, rodeo clowning and routine race-baiting for a full 24 hours.

Note that top GOP congressional leaders declined to join President Obama at MLK Jr ceremonies today.

And Republican spinmeisters will be tapping and editing long into the night to come up with just the Right words to attack whatever the President chooses to do about Syria without sounding overtly seditious.

Employee-of-the-Month award to whomever successfully works "ObamaCare" or "birth certificate" into the talking points.

More context, here.

A 'Nuanced' Walker Can't Evade The Record, His Jobs' Promise

To explain Gov. Walker's failed pivot away from his 250,000 new jobs promise, The Journal Sentinel says Walker's new rhetoric was 'nuanced,'

Setting aside the wound delivered in a Frenchified label - - you can bet the Right thinks this is more liberal media bias - -  this may be the only time in his political career that our most authoritarian Governor will be associated with nuance/

Remember - -  he got the rep he wanted by dividing-and-conquering busted unions with a baseball bat by his side.

And is ghost-writing a political bio called "Unintimidated."

"Nuanced: The Walker Story" would kill sales.

Here is the Journal Sentinel's language:

Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that nothing has changed in terms of his promise that the state would add 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.... 
Walker offered a more nuanced approach about the promise, which became the centerpiece of his campaign and continues to generate comment and controversy.
Here is the context:

*  His shameless effort to spin away from the promise by saying he never made it:

*  His multiple excuses for failing to deliver on it - - from ObamaCare to the fiscal cliff and now Syria. (What, no mention of Miley Cyrus?)

Bottom line: He got caught playing games with words because his earlier words are on the record.

His promise to create 250,000 new jobs (and 10,000 new businesses, to boot), was a politically-stupid boast to gain attention, endorsements and votes:a  short-term win, long-term anchor.

Walker Walks Away From Jobs Pledge; Endorsing Media Should Walk From Him

I said a few days ago that newspapers endorsing Walker already had all the evidence they needed to walk away from Walker, particularly over his failure to stay on track to meet his central campaign promise of 250,000 new jobs.

And because he is a frequent false speaker, according to PolitiFact - - which has also taken note of his inability to speak truthfully about his job creating record:

Says that in his first two years, "Wisconsin has seen its best two-year job growth in a decade."


Scott Walker on Monday, July 29th, 2013 in a campaign press statement

So what will these papers do with this preposterous, almost incoherent 'diagram-that-sentence' Walker uttered in Merrill yesterday, and where he redefined the promise into a goal?
Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop
On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.

"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" Walker said.
Major media, especially those that endorsed him, simply cannot let him spin, parse and mutter his way way away from his earlier words.

Square that Merrill comment with his words, reprinted here that have flowed across the Internet since 2010 when he made it the centerpiece of his campaign for Governor:

"If you elect me as your next governor, I'll get government out of the way and lower the tax burden so Wisconsin business owners and factories can create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 businesses in our state by 2015,” Walker said in a February 2010 speech. 
On June 19, 2011, PolitiFact repeatedly said Walker's job-creation figure was a "promise," and quoted Walker saying the figure was just a floor, not the ceiling: 
Walk-O-Meter will track Walker's job promise  
Gov. Scott Walker's legacy will, in many respects, be measured by one number: 250,000. 
That's the number of private-sector jobs Walker promised will be created during his four-year term, which began in January.  
It was the central promise of his 2010 campaign, and Walker has mentioned it routinely since taking office.... 
At a recent appearance before the Waupaca Chamber of Commerce, Walker called the 250,000 figure "a minimum, not a maximum."
Here is how the AP put it in a story I quoted in October, 2011:
An economic forecast by Gov. Scott Walker's own administration predicts that Wisconsin will fall far short of adding the 250,000 new private-sector jobs by 2015 that the governor promised as a key part of his successful election campaign. 
The Department of Revenue report released Friday predicts that by 2014, the state will have added only 136,000 jobs in the private sector compared with 2010. The job growth estimate was down 43,000 from the department's previous report released in June. 
Walker promised while he was campaigning that the state would add 250,000 jobs during his four years in office... But like the national economy, growth has been sluggish in Wisconsin this year and job growth is not track to meet Walker's pledge.
Does Walker think no one remembers that history, and that he has repeated it often, and included it in his 2013 State of the State speech in January? Here's how the Business Journal reported it:
State of the State: Walker sticks to 250,000 jobs pledge 
In Gov. Scott Walker’s third “State of the State” address, he restated his pledge to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin by the end of his first term two years from now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Knew Walker Would Weasel Away From The 250,000 Jobs Pledge, And...

Here it is:

As media reported yesterday:

Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop
On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.

"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" Walker said.
Here's Walker telling Mike Gousha the number is for real, that its the base number, not the ceiling.

The weaseling began a while ago, too, as I noted earlier:
One mention of the promises is now blocked on his campaign website.

I'd posted that link in an earlier posting:
Also, he said the state during the same period would see the creation of 10,000 new businesses.

That was on his 2010 campaign website (now deleted; word echo "to to" in the original)

Scott’s Plan to to Help the People of Wisconsin Create 250,000 Jobs

Download Scott's Plan
Scott Walker Brown BagOne of the keys to the future of our state’s economy is setting and meeting goals. For too long, politicians and bureaucrats have taken the state’s economy for granted and delayed action until a business was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy or moving to a new state. Instead of reacting to each crisis as it comes, I will develop strategies for creating 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses by 2015.

Hello, PolitiFact: The people are calling.

Walker Says Jobs Record, Weak Economy Are Someone Else's Fault

[Originally posted 2/8/13, updated 8/28/13]

Well, you knew this was coming, as media reported yesterday:

Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop
And he had a new excuse for his failing jobs' pledge:
(WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker is calling on President Obama to put more pressure on Syrian officials. 
"The President, working with other leaders on a global basis, can try and put some pressure on to get things under control in the Middle East and provide stability there, because that will help our economy and if they don't it has an impact," Gov. Walker said. "We can do all the good possible, we can get the state back on the right track, but if there's instability around the world it will inevitably have an impact."
The weaseling began a while ago, too.

Scott Walker has found plenty of other people and circumstances to point the finger at for Wisconsin's poor jobs' performance and lack of progress towards his twin campaign promises: 250,000 new private sector jobs and 10,000 new businesses by January, 2015. 


1. The recall election:
Governor Scott Walker says Wisconsin's contentious recall elections are to blame for Wisconsin ranking 42nd in the nation in job growth. 
2. And, specifically, protesters:
In March, April and May, people can remember what was happening, thank goodness it’s passed now, you can remember what was happening last Spring in our state’s Capitol. There was a lot of uncertainty, particularly for small businesses, I know having held listening sessions all around this state, small business owners more than anything want certainty, they didn’t see that around the Capitol last year so that was one of the biggest challenges out there. 
3. Jim Doyle - - though a look behind the numbers tells a more complete story:
Claim: "In the three years before I was elected, Wisconsin lost 150,000 jobs."
This is accurate based on official figures at the time of the ad. There are a couple important notes, though.
One: the trend was not three straight years of losses. 
In 2008 and 2009, amid and immediately after the Great Recession, net job losses totalled 164,000, a drop of 5.7 percent. But in 2010, the year before Walker took office, the state’s economy slowly began adding jobs (+12,000 jobs, up 0.4 percent) under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. 
By comparison, in 2011, Walker’s first year, 3,200 overall jobs were added (+ 0.1 percent). 
That’s all according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures at the time Walker released his ad. 
Revised employment figures for 2010 and 2011 came out on March 8, after the ad was up.
They change a lot of the relevant math. They show Wisconsin actually lost 21,000 public and private jobs in Walker’s first year. 
For the comparison in his ad, Walker uses figures that include government jobs as well as private-sector employment. By contrast, for his promise to create 250,000 jobs in four years, Walker uses only private sector tallies.
Looking at private sector only, and the figures available when Walker did his ad, Wisconsin added 13,500 jobs in Walker’s first year, with gains the first six months and losses the last six.
But the revised figures show a different trend: the loss of 9,700 private sector jobs in 2011.
4. Data he didn't like (but once did):
Disappointed that official government data showed his state was the worst in the nation for job creation over the last 12 months, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) decided to release his own numbers today. But even if Walker’s new calculations have merit, he’s nowhere close to the pace necessary to create the 250,000 new jobs he promised in his first four years in office. 
Walker had no problem touting the official Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job report last year when it showed that Wisconsin was adding jobs. Now, he has decided to cite a different report that still shows relatively weak job growth, the Wausau Daily Herald reports:
5. Federal fiscal cliff issues:
"When I look at tax increases . . . taking more money out of the economy and putting it in the hands of the government, to me just does not seem like a productive way of fueling more economic growth, it seems like a way of slowing it down."
6. Obamacare:
"When job creators and Wisconsin families are facing difficult times it doesn’t make sense to commit to a federal health care mandate that will result in hidden taxes for Wisconsin’s families, increased health care costs and insurance premiums, and more uncertainty in the private sector." 
7. Government: 
We understand, it’s not the government that creates jobs; it’s the people who create jobs. The best thing we can do is get government out of the way,” Walker told the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield last week.
8. Which gets us back to Walker, his austerity policies and budget, some say.

Nope: Not Sorry I Killed That - - The WI DNR Said It Will Be OK Now

Your corporate-friendly DNR now proposes that business and commercial activities can, with a permit, kill some endangered or threatened wildlife and plants incldentally:

Go ahead and call this the 'we've got plenty of those stupid animals and plants' permit - - so no harm, no foul, says the DNR if what you "take...[kill] does not put the overall population of the species at risk."

Broad incidental take permit and authorization proposed for activities with no or low impact to endangered resources in Wisconsin
MADISON -- A number of activities that have no or low impact on endangered or threatened plants and animals would be covered by a broad incidental take permit and authorization the Department of Natural Resources is proposing to issue for the activities.Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.
Activities that are covered under the permit and authorization include things like land acquisitions, wetland delineations, sign installations and utility maintenance activities.
The Department has concluded that the take allowed for under this permit and authorization is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of the species or the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part; and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action. The Department has also concluded that the take allowed for under this permit and authorization is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part or the habitat that is critical to their existence.
The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered and threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit and Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the species are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040 or Melissa Tumbleson at 608-267-0862. Public comments will be taken through September 26, 2013 and should be sent to Rori Paloski, WI DNR Conservation Biologist, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040 or Melissa Tumbleson at 608-267-0862

Betting Against Human-Caused Climate Change: Invite RoJo To Your Poker Game

Senator Sunspots won't be happy reading that genuine scientists - - not talk show hosts or rodeo clowns - - ascribe a 95% certainty to human activity warming the globe:

The scientists are set to claim that the increasing amount of greenhouse gases that humans have emitted into the atmosphere has almost certainly been the chief driver of the warming of the planet over the past half-century, a finding to which they ascribe 95 percent confidence. That’s the level of likelihood researchers typically consider robust enough to justify drawing very strong conclusions.
A guy liking 1 in 20 odds is definitely whom you want to invite to your poker game.

Six WI Officials Signed The Koch Brothers 'No Climate Change Action' Pledge

As defined by Americans for Prosperity - - the pledge signers from Wisconsin include Republicans Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, Sen. Johnson, and US Cong. Ribble, Sensenbrenner and Duffy.

Two Places You Will Not Find These EPA Videos On Climate Change

The EPA has released a set of videos on climate change. Here is a website where you can find them, and two websites I am betting will not carry the links:

The official Ron Johnson US Senator website

*  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, which includes the Wisconsin DNR webpage on climate change, not updated since June, 2012, or the DNR webpage on climate change and the Great Lakes, not updated since February, 2012.

Fox Talker Provides More Proof Of Right's Obama-Induced Breakdown

Disgusting behavior by Laura Ingraham:

Conservative radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham attacked the speakers at the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, at one point using the sound of a gunshot to cut off a sound bite of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) -- a man whose skull was infamously fractured by a state trooper on "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, AL, in 1965.
It updates this post from Saturday:
The Great Breakdown On The Right began when the African-American US Senator Barack Obama - - middle name Hussein - - won the Iowa caucuses just after New Year's, 2008, and frightened white voters who overran gun-and-ammo stores and signed up for gated compounds in Idaho.

Walker Chooses Intimidation

Make no mistake about it: Scott Walker has unleashed excessive force and mass arrests by state police officers under the control of his agencies and top appointees against peaceful citizens on public property in the State Capitol exercising their constitutionally-protected rights of free speech and assembly.

Among those arrested: Observers, singers, a teenager, elderly people, a firefighter, a minister, a magazine editor at work and others of every age, gender and race. A cross-section of Wisconsin.

Make no mistake about it: Walker is an authoritarian using his position to intimidate, not to lead.

And not to sift, winnow, negotiate, discuss with or even meet opponents half way - - like those citizens who are against the northern Wisconsin iron mine and for environmentalism, or who are in unions, or who are organizing for broader health care, better public education and against Voter ID - -   while ingratiating himself with far-right voters who might buy his failing job-creation record and whom Walker wants to buy his upcoming book, laughably titled Unintimidated.

No doubt that book will be illustrated with images of transvaginal ultrasound probes.

Or GTAC G-4 assault rifles and Capitol police handcuffing elderly singers or sitting on arrested observers.

Is $500,000 The Magic Insiders' Financing Number In Walker's Wisconsin?

Before GOP State Senate leader Scott Suder got his appointment by Scott Walker to a high-paying Wisconsin Public Service Commission position, the legislator had helped insert into the state budget a low-profile $500,000 grant that a well-connected, GOP-friendly sportsman's organization is now in line to 'win.'

$500,000 seems to be a popular bottom-line figure the Walkerites tuck into politicized projects these days. 

Half-a-million state taxpayers dollars here, half-a-million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

So take a look at the email traffic below between a senior DNR official and the Governor's office as Walker's office was preparing the release of details about "aquaculture" and a walleye production program.

Note that there's another $500,000 headed for unspecified "organizations." In related DNR material, that becomes "private fish farms."

Will there be, with this particular $500,000 at stake, a wide-open request for proposal (RFP) process?

And doesn't it violate fundamental Free Market Principles/GOP-talk radio talking points to a) pay private organizations (businesses?) b) with public dollars c) to hatch walleye fingerlings that d) will then be sold back to the state)?

Below is the email:

Separately, I appended below the dotted line ----------- what a related DNR email to other staffers called "speaking points" about the program being rolled out:

From: Evenson, Tom - GOV
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 3:41 PM
To: Moroney, Matt S - DNR
Cc: Schoenfeldt, Eileen - GOV; Webster, Jocelyn - GOV
Subject: Draft: Governor Scott Walker Announces Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
Hi Matt –
Here is our Wisconsin Walleye Initiative release.  Eileen mentioned you wanted to check for accuracy.  Thanks!
May 22, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303
Governor Scott Walker Announces Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative today.  The initiative, developed by the Department of Natural Resources, will dramatically increase the number of walleyes in Wisconsin by expanding production at state, private, and tribal fish hatcheries. 
“Fishing is such an important part of Wisconsin’s sporting heritage, and the demand for walleyes continues to exceed what our lakes can produce,” Governor Walker said. “With this historic investment, we are making long-term improvements to Wisconsin’s lakes and our state’s fishing and tourism industries.”
The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative includes the following:

·         $8.2 million in existing unencumbered bonding authority to expand hatchery capacities.
·         $1.8 million for operating costs over the biennium.
·         $2 million over the biennium for a competitive grant program for private organizations to expand walleye production and to cover operational costs. 
·         $160,000 in one-time funds for the UW Extension to continue aquaculture through the end of Fiscal Year 2014.
·         $500,000 annually beginning in Fiscal Year 2015 to contract with organizations to acquire additional walleye fingerlings.
·         $250,000 annually to expand the summer Tribal Youth Program.  The program is a state-tribal partnership giving high school-aged tribal youth the opportunity to work on natural resource-related projects. 

Under this initiative, production is estimated to increase from 60,000–120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016.
  • Walleye are Wisconsin’s most sought after gamefish.  Demand for walleyes continues to grow and now exceeds what our lakes can naturally produce – particularly in northern Wisconsin where state anglers and tribal subsistence harvesters exercising federal protected treaty fishing rights share the fish.
  • Governor Walker has challenged the Department to develop a plan to dramatically increase the number of walleye in Wisconsin to benefit all users.  The fastest way to “move the needle” is to stock more and larger walleyes those lakes across the state that can support additional walleye populations.
  • While not all lakes would benefit from enhanced walleye stocking, there are up to 500 lakes across the state whose walleye fisheries may be improved by enhanced stocking.
  • The Legislature has responded to Governor’s Walkers request and made available significant additional funding for use by state, tribal and private fish hatcheries to produce additional walleyes.  Funding of $8.2 million for infrastructure improvements and $1.3 million each year for annual operating costs will be provided to expand production at DNR state fish hatcheries.  Production should increase from 60,000-120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016.
  • One time funding of $2 million over the biennium is also being provided for a competitive grant program for municipal, tribal and private aquaculture facilities to improve their infrastructure and enhance the capabilities to stock additional large fingerling walleye in Wisconsin’s waters.
  • Also, $500,000 is being provided annually to purchase large fingerling walleye for stocking in Wisconsin’s waters from private fish farms.  Several states including Indiana and Minnesota have had success improving their walleye fisheries with purchases of walleye fingerlings from private sources.
  • The initiative will increase the stocking of large fingerling walleye by an estimated 500,000 to 850,000 fish, depending on grant proposals and contract bids that come forward.
  • This historic investment in Wisconsin’s walleye fishery will benefit all anglers, and Wisconsin’s economy due to increased tourism.
  • The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative will initially focus on increasing stocking of large walleye fingerlings.  These 6-8” fish are much more expensive to produce but survive to catchable size at a much higher rate than the fry or small fingerlings that have been traditionally been stocked because they are too large for predators to eat.
    • Fry which are newly hatched fish 1/4-1/2” in length are very inexpensive to produce and can be stocked in large numbers, but research shows they consistently work only in certain situations such as stocking winterkill or chemically treated lakes which have few predators.
    • Small fingerlings are raised for 4-6 weeks to a size of 1-2” before stocking.  They are inexpensive to produce because they feed on natural plankton and insects in ponds, and are commonly stocked by hatcheries across the country.  Research shows that these stockings produce inconsistent results in lakes with many predators with an average survival of only 1%.
    • Large fingerlings are raised to a size of 6-8” and stocked in fall.  They are expensive to produce because forage minnows or artificial feed must be purchased.  Because these fish are much larger they survive better in almost all stocked waters. Research shows they average 20% survival.
  • To better define the role that private aquaculture can play in future stockings of Wisconsin’s waters, DNR will partner with DATCP and the UW Extension to study barriers to private fish farm growth in Wisconsin and to characterize private aquaculture’s capacity to play a significant role in stocking greater numbers of large fingerling walleyes.
  • One time funding of $160,000 is being provided to University of Wisconsin Extension to continue support of the aquaculture extension specialists who will assist with the private aquaculture regulation and capacity studies and provide technical assistance to the industry.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Note To WI Capitol Police: The Whole World Is Watching

Walker's cops in action as a group, against a bystander. This is a civil liberties emergency, and it is escalating. Where is the US Justice Department?

And the message is being sent up north, too:

I've been rereading John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience - - his spot-on book about the right's growing authoritarianism - - and almost on cue, GTAC mining today adds a hostile letter about site access for a water expert to a public face already distorted by images of assault-rifle toting guards. (Video here).

Hard to know if GTAC is inspired by the arrests at the State Capitol, or if the Walker administration is emboldened by GTAC.

From Armed Guards in Penokee Hills of Wisconsin, Photo taken by Jim Limbach
Jim Limbach photo

Part-Time WI Governor Appearing In SC

Governing is much less fun than jetting off to hang with the New York Jets owner and a few of his friends.

At Purple WI, The Right's Breakdown Continues

You can count on right-wing anonymous comments on Journal Sentinel sites to quickly move to wacky tangents when the words Scott and Walker, or Scott and Suder appear in the same sentences.

Case study in comment psychology, here: The headline - -  Small government/austerity/reform/transparency in name only at GOP-run WI Capitol

Sometimes I engage the commenters, but as you can see in this example, it's a fool's errand. 

And the breakdown continues...