WTMJ-AM reports at 5:20 p.m. that traffic out of Milwaukee west towards Waukesha is moving "gruelingly slow." Waukesha and talk radio blocked light rail in the 90's…so…so it goes...or doesn't.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Madison -A review of campaign finance records by One Wisconsin Now has found that Gov. Walker's campaign and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) have raked in over $614,000 in donations from individuals associated with businesses receiving tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Walker serves as chair of the board entrusted with overseeing the operations of the quasi-private WEDC.The feds should investigate - - as they did before - - since these state development agencies now under mainstream media scrutiny pass through federal funds.
Put it another way: How many Walker friends got their historic preservation credits cancelled without warning, as opposed to Walker opponents, or non-donors?
(Disclosure: I am on the OWN C-3 Institute Board.)
Posted by James Rowen at 2:45 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 2:29 PM
Let's see: The Roberts Court has already given businesses free speech rights to make unlimited political campaign contributions, and today also said businesses have the freedom to exert religious beliefs to deny contraceptive health care coverage to employees.
If businesses are people, too, as Mitt Romney famously, and apparently presciently proclaimed during the 2012 presidential campaign, how soon before the Roberts Court gives businesses the right to vote?
The owner or CEO can be the designated voter. One corporation, one vote, under the law.
Though it also occurs to me that if corporations are people, and a business kills workers or customers through (GM, for example, or that exploded fertilizer plant in West, TX, or a salad bar with salmonella as a side dish), doesn't that make those 'people' eligible for the death penalty, too?
Posted by James Rowen at 2:18 PM
The Journal Sentinel ran a curious editorial today in support of the Natural Resources Board move last week to fix the upcoming wolf hunt kill quota at 156.
The paper is comfortable with the "reasonable" figure because it takes a middle ground between the goals and views of wolf advocates who oppose the hunt and wolf hunting supporters who wanted a higher kill.
Editorials like this are not uncommon: 'No one's happy with the decision...so it must be the right call, etc.'
So I get that.
But what is troubling is that the editorial endorses the current quota that originated with a DNR advisory committee that will also play a key continuing role drafting a broad, wolf management plan based on a 1999 recommendation of 350 as the state's wolf population goal.
The wolf advisory committee had, until recently, been made up of a broad cross-section of interests that included both hunt opponents and proponents. It was called a stakeholder's group.
Well, stick a stake in that, as proponents were handed control of the committee when most of the opponents were booted off - - a situation explained in a recent Journal Sentinel op-ed and admitted to just last week by DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp in a media interview.
One link with context, the Stepp interview and the op-ed about the remade committee is here.
I'm surprised that the newspaper, in the face of these developments, would validate the work and the mission of such an advisory committee.
Where's the fairness and a true search for facts in that kind of a process by a public agency, let alone one dedicated to management of shared resources?
In fact, how about a committee with membership, like the wolf quota praised by the newspaper, that splits the number down the middle - - half opponents, half proponents - - with a priority on scientists from both sides.
Secondly, the goal of a statewide wolf population of 350 has been challenged as politicized, superficial, and outdated even by members of the wolf committee before Stepp remade it into a defacto wolf hunt support group, who objected as recently as last fall to the lack of transparency and science in the creation of the hunt by the Legislature and its implementation by the DNR.
Here is how one independent expert put it last year:
“My opinion is the 350 number is the one people who simply don’t like wolves have seized upon,” said Timothy Van Deelen, a wildlife ecologist and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is not on the committee. “You have a lot of the stakeholders who don’t know the science or feel any obligation to the science.”That's the sort of opinion and information less likely to be heard or recommended by the remade advisory committee.
The paper should be calling for an independent, unbiased and scientific-based assessment that takes into account the last 15 years of wolf research.
If 1999 was the baseline defining sound government action and scientific focus, we'd still be planning for Y2K, no?
If we relied on 1999 standards, we'd be buying cars that met federal standards of 27.5 MPG instead of the 34.1 MPG that will be required of 2016 passenger vehicles.
We'd be following health standards that do not take into account the last 15 years of knowledge from research and science about cholesterol and sugar intake, or PTSD treatment, or weather and climate prediction.
We'd be telling veterans that the way that VA has been operating since 1999 is good enough for them, and for us, too.
Just because something was stated or believed in 1999 doesn't mean it's valid, let along set in stone; shouldn't the state's largest newspaper be calling for independent science to be used as the standard for the size of Wisconsin's wolf population - - living creatures over which the state has life and death power ostensibly for the benefit also of all the people in the state,?
Posted by James Rowen at 1:00 PM
"The Fix" column moves Walker up a notch in the 'who's gonna run' sweepstakes,
while Paul Ryan is ranked 10th. Jeb Bush, 1st. The Walker section:
4. Scott Walker: Speaking of bad headlines, the Wisconsin governor has had to weather some of his own lately over allegations of illegal coordination between his 2012 recall campaign and outside groups aiding that effort. But, earlier this week, an attorney for the special prosecutor tasked with looking into the allegations made clear that Walker was not a target of the probe. That was a nice piece of news for Walker -- and should help him quiet the storm of coverage that had popped up over the past 10 days or so. (Previous ranking: 5)
Posted by James Rowen at 6:59 AM
[Updated, Sunday 6:20 p.m, 12:01 a.m. Monday.] While citizens spend some their spectacular summer Sunday south of Sheboygan discussing today the fate of 247 acres of pristine woods and wetlands at the Lake Michigan shoreline - - another high-end Kohler Co. golf course is the plan, a related question looms:
What will the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources do with the developer's request for an easement across adjacent public property in Kohler Andrae State Park for a road to connect the proposed golf course with nearby streets?
Four of the proposed course holes would be sited on a half-mile of Lake Michigan frontage, the course architect has said. If built, the course would be Kohler family patriarch Herbert Kohler's fifth, and is aimed at luring world championship play, according to a published report.
Among the Sunday meeting's highlights, from a person in attendance:
* Good attendance including farmers, professionals and others looking for information;
* A water scientist who spoke opined, to applause, that the proposed new golf course is too destructive to the parcel's forests, and should be scaled back.
* Repeated contacts by citizen opponents to major environmental groups statewide have gone unanswered, and though invited, no media attended;
* A public hearing by the Town of Wilson Board is set for July 16th, at 6:30 p.m.
It's one thing for the DNR to consider the environmental impacts of a project like this that include the health of the Black River that runs through the site, or potential golf course fertilizer runoff, given that Lake Michigan is just yards away across beaches that must continue to provide public access.
It's another environmental and policy matter all together for the DNR to evaluate those impacts on state park land it manages as the public trustee. And the precedent that would be set if the easement is granted.
Word on the street is that DNR officials know this is a hot potato.
The whole state will watch how it's handled.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:05 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2014
A full and documented accounting of grassroots to the expansion of Enbriges's tar sand crude oil pipeline #61 across predominantly rural Jefferson County about half way between the state's two largest cities, Milwaukee and Madison.
When company officials came in for a meeting, local people took it over:
Residents brought up many valid reasons to oppose or question the pipeline expansion, but one thing was for certain; the entire room, with one visible exception, was opposed to the pipeline’s expansion or needed more questions answered. Not surprising for a project that would expand Line 61 to carry a far bigger tar sands payload than the Keystone XL, which itself has been delayed multiple times due to fierce resistance.An earlier blog posting, with more links about the issue and the pipeline company's disastrous environmental record, is here.
Regrettably, and predictably, Scott Walker's corporatized Department of Natural Resources has approved the pipeline expansion, holding only one hearing about it Superior, WI, hundreds of miles to the North, and also did not write a full Environmental Impact Study for the pipeline's cross-state route.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:30 AM
The Journal Broadcast Group's AM station saves money late at night/early mornings on the weekends by replaying righty weekday morning and afternoon talk shows from the previous week to fill the air time with unpaid programming.
Yes, there are announcements that the programs are repeats - - I think they call them, oxymoronically, 'Best of...' - - but listeners could easily miss or misunderstand the designation.
Right now the station is re-playing a Jeff Wagner show from a few days ago, so event promos and other content is out-of-context-and-sync; For example, Wagner is excitedly reprising base running gaffes from a Colorado Rockies/Milwaukee Brewers series played in Colorado a week ago.
Current listeners would have every right to be confused because the Brewers are in the middle of yet another series with the same Rockies, at home, and many of the players Wagner is mentioning also played in the game that ended a few hours earlier on Saturday.
Bush league radio.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:36 AM
Saturday, June 28, 2014
I'd posted an item Thursday about the creation of "One DNR" - - a new Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources motto and operating blueprint.
Here is a link to a a February 17, 2014 agency town hall video and power point presentation that provides in-depth background on the creation and goals of "One DNR."
Posted by James Rowen at 11:39 PM
Scott Walker's last 18 postings on his Twitter account are sandwiched between items with photos about his serving up eggs and/or "cheesy eggs" at farm campaigning events.
What's cheesy about those 18 posts is that ten of them take shots, by name, at not-on-the-ballot Gov. Jim Doyle.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:09 PM
Just a reminder that we had a blog discussion months ago - - mocked by Charlie Sykes ('that's what I do') - - about the interactions of a warming climate, melting sea ice, upper air shifts and repeated release into North America of the frigid Polar Vortex.
So the calendar has rolled past spring into early summer, yet Vortex effects remain: Lake Michigan remains unusually cold, producing last week a long stretch of lingering lakefront fog, the cancellation of a two-day air show and a fireworks display already twice postponed - - events that routinely bring people and commerce to the area.
Underscoring, I'd suggest, that when talking about climate change, it's advisable to use presence tense verbs in a broader conversation, no?
Posted by James Rowen at 11:43 AM
[Updated, 12:40 p.m.] I'm passing along some information below provided by concerned citizens about a hign-end golf course proposed by Herbert Kohler on Kohler Co. forest and wetlands acreage adjacent to (and with a proposed access road across) Kohler-Andrae State Park property south of Sheboygan (information, and more context with photos).
It's something of a David v. Goliath contest, given the power in the area of Kohler interests.
Final thought: does anyone think the Scott Walker-led/'chamber-of-commerce'-run DNR will decline the requested road access across the state park land, setting a precedent for the private and use of public green space?
From Friends of the Black River Forest:
Community Information Meeting on Proposed Golf Course in Black River, Town of Wilson
South High School Commons Area Sunday, June 29 from Noon-3 p.m.
[Further information: - The next Town of Wilson meeting is a Public Hearing, Wed., July 16, 6:30 pm, Wilson Town Hall - and Why this golf course doesn't fit with the Town of Wilson 20 Year Comprehensive Plan ]
Please join us on June 29 to learn about the options The Town of Wilson has in dealing with Kohler's request for a Conditional Use Permit (C.U.P.) to build a golf course on wetlands and forest on the shore of Lake Michigan.
We will correct these misconceptions and offer the facts concerning them:
“A person can do whatever he wants with his property.”
“Our town must approve a project if the DNR says there are no violations of State environmental statutes.”
“Our Town Board's hands are tied in the regulation of private property use. Residents must appeal to the State or Federal government to take action against the project.”
“There will be no impact on the residents of Town Wilson.”
What are the roles of the Plan Commission and Town Board?
What is a Conditional Use Permit and what are the considerations the PlanCommission must follow in reviewing and approving one?
Does this golf course fit into The Town of Wilson's 20 Year Comprehensive Plan and why should it?
Black River Area Surface and Groundwater. Guest Speaker: Roger Miller, P.E. Miller Engineers and Scientists.
Become an informed participant for the Public Hearing July 15th
This meeting date may change. Location to be determined by Town of Wilson Board.
Check our website for updates.
Visit www.friendsblackriverforest.org for further information.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:00 AM
Friday, June 27, 2014
Let The Wisconsin State Journal explain:
State Sen. Glenn Grothman snagged a high-profile endorsement this week when he won the backing of previous GOP presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, from Pennsylvania, and his Patriot Voices PAC.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Grothman and Santorum praised each other for their devotion to conservative principles. Grothman talked about how Santorum won him over when they first met during Santorum’s unsuccessful bid to become the 2012 presidential nominee.
“When I met him, I felt we were almost soulmates,” Grothman said. “It’s kind of an odd thing.”Though Grothman may consider paring off with this fellow Wisconsin GOP Congressional candidate:
A Wisconsin Republican congressional hopeful warned Tuesday that a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of marriage between siblings.
Karen Mueller, an Eau Claire attorney whose practice has focused on opposing abortion and defending those “discriminated against and harassed in the workplace, the school, college and/or the public square because of their faith,” is one of three Republican candidates seeking to challenge Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). At a Republican Party of Monroe County candidate forum, she denounced the ruling and warned that it would create a slippery slope.
According to the Tomah Journal, Mueller said that the ruling might set a precedent that any two people can marry: “We’ve got, for instance, two sisters, and these two sisters want to get married. They love each other. They are committed to each other. They want to spend the rest of their life together.”
Posted by James Rowen at 10:45 PM
[Updated, 3:03 p.m.] This is serious: Cathy Stepp, Walker's DNR Secretary and hand-picked, "chamber-of commerce" anti-conservation tool, has unapologetically confirmed to news media that the agency kicked wolf advocates off a broadly-based citizen advisory committee; the reconstituted group now stacked with wolf-hunt proponents will play a key role in the development of a long-term wolf
management killing plan now under development.
No wonder that dispirited career DNR employees with science backgrounds are leaving the agency, and those remaining are being kept in line with your classic bureaucratic iron fist in the velvet glove: patronizing, top-down/follow-your-orders directives dressed up in team-building mumbo-jumbo and cheer-leading slogans.
Stepp is admitting what the wolf hunt opponents had charged - - publicly in the Journal Sentinel and in a first-person guest posting on this blog:
Turning state policy-making over to special-interest, pro-hunter-and-gun-lobby politicking that literally will spill blood.
And further narrow and damage an outdoors experience for Wisconsinites who prefer taking a camera or their children into the woods for a peaceful hike without a rifle, leg traps or GPS-driven baying hunting hounds.
In a state where hunters have recently been given the right to shoot and trap in state parks.
Where cruelty to wildlife, and in some cases to hunting dogs, is sanctioned by various permissible 'training' practices.
And where big business interests will be permitted to remove unsustainable quantities of groundwater, pollute the air and water near big dairies with airborne and piped manure, fill wetlands with debris at a proposed and gargantuan open-pit iron mine site up North, and fill the air near dozens of new sand mines near the Mississippi River with dust.
Stepp is admitting to an intentional and politicized manipulation and giveaway of wildlife and land rights that are under state trust management for all the people of Wisconsin.
She is capitulating to powerful hunting and gun lobbies often aligned with conservative politicians - - about which the public got a peek a few months ago when Walker, DNR Secretary Stepp and their partisan cronies were all caught trying to funnel public money and program management to a so-called sportsman's group that had helped Walker win his recall election.
Posted by James Rowen at 3:08 PM
[updated, 3:19 p.m.] WE Energies is taking over the holding company that owns another state power supplier - - but the long-time occupant of an historic office complex integral to downtown Milwaukee will not confirm that the newly-combined corporate headquarters will remain there.
WE Energies made its intentions pretty clear:
In statements released Monday, Wisconsin Energy pointedly said the headquarters for the expanded company, to be called WEC Energy Group, will be "in the metro Milwaukee area."
"Operating headquarters will be in Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay," the firm said.
Asked about the language, spokesman Brian Manthey said the corporate headquarters location is "an open question."With Walker and his anti-urban agenda in full swing, Milwaukee hardly needs another naysayer.
Though it sells electricity to the City of Milwaukee, WE Energies has joined forces with ideological anti-urban interests resisting the city's proposed downtown electric trolley system, and while underground utility relocation costs are said to be the issue, it appears as if WE Energies interest in downtown Milwaukee - - its traditional location - - is further waning.
And the editorial board of the Journal Sentinel, though also located in a historic building in downtown Milwaukee just a couple of blocks from We Energies headquarters, refused today to lift a keyboarding finger in favor of the continued operation of WE Energies' downtown site:
The combined company would have its headquarters "in the Milwaukee area," but [company chief executive Gene] Klappa would not promise that the office would be downtown, where We Energies is now based.
He did say that the downtown office would remain busy. "This will become a very important Fortune 500 company headquartered in the state of Wisconsin," he said. That's a plus for the state.With passive-aggressive friends like that just across the river at 4th and State, City Hall doesn't need any enemies.
Posted by James Rowen at 2:26 PM
[Updated, 12:02 p.m.] Citing potential damage to the Bad River watershed, Ojibwe bands are asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to review the proposed mountain-top removal/open-pit iron ore mine in NW Wisconsin before other federal reviews are undertaken.
Text of the Bands' letter to the EPA, here.
The EPA has already granted Bad River water quality control to the Bad River Band because the river runs through its reservation downriver to Lake Superior from the mine site. (More, here).
EPA intervention could delay or shut down subsequent reviews by the US Army Corps of Engineers, much as an EPA intervention recently killed a proposed gold mine in Alaska that threatened clean waters there.
The iron ore mine could harm the Bad River Band's drinking water and wild-rice growing beds; mining waste could release toxic acids and some wetlands would be used as waste dumps for up to 35 years.
All these potential procedural and legal delays were well-known to mine proponents and so-called free market lobbies who rigged state law and tax policies through GOP/Walkerite initiatives to force the mine onto local residents and the environment.
Their goal - - further enhanced by Walker's creation DNR top management with a "chamber of commerce mentality" - - his words and follow-through - - is make the proposed mine a profit center for the privately-owned coal-mining company that wants to make its first run at open-pit iron mining on the Bad River watershed.
I'd noted the Alaska mine opposition, here.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:20 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2014
[Updated 10:10 p.m.] While we await the outcome of all the Doe proceedings and appeals - - and we remember that these particular documents released recently were aired at the request of plaintiffs who are Walker's allies - - let's also remember this moral and legal truism about Wisconsin politics:
Every candidate knows she or he is ultimately responsible for the actions of her or his campaign. A practice Walker evaded as far back as his 1988 campus election loss.
From Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 11:
11.27 False reports and statements.
(1) No person may prepare or submit a false report or statement to a filing officer under this chapter.
(2) In civil actions under this chapter, the acts of every member of a personal campaign committee are presumed to be with the knowledge and approval of the candidate, until it has been clearly proved that the candidate did not have knowledge of and approve the same. History: 1973 c. 334; 1979 c. 328.Walker has a pattern of excuse-making. Enough said:
Posted by James Rowen at 8:19 PM
This one is pretty outrageous, and the record shows that in nearly 100 statements vetted, PolitiFact has given Wisconsin Governor/fallen Eagle Scout Scott ("One-Tenth Truthful") Walker ratings of "True," without qualifications only ten times, "False," without qualifications 29 times and "Pants on Fire" seven:
"When Jim Doyle was governor and Mary Burke was commerce secretary," Wisconsin saw "billions in middle-class tax hikes on nursing home beds, gas, phones and garbage."
Scott Walker on Friday, June 20th, 2014 in a campaign TV ad
Posted by James Rowen at 2:53 PM
[updated 1:20 p.m.] Where up is actually down:
Gov. Walker's office issued a release Tuesday touting a CNBC business survey because it showed a small yearly net gain for Wisconsin when compared to other states, but the survey details actually indicate declines for Wisconsin in four of ten measures studied, including these key indicators:
* Quality of LifeIn the survey, bordering state Minnesota ranks 6th - - seems we're constantly in Minnesota's dust - - while Iowa ranks 12th to our 17th.
* Technology & Innovation
* Business Friendliness
* Access to Capital
Makes you wonder if the Governor's staff vets what it references in promotional materials?
Posted by James Rowen at 12:17 PM
Apparently, Cathy Stepp's management-by-Halloween costume contests and treats on every floor needed to be taken to another level.
And you catch in the materials a whiff of internal dissent from top management's decisions, as employees were told that working in One DNR "means supporting and promoting a final decision even if a program may have preferred a different outcome."
Colorful, glossy materials are being sent around under the "One DNR" banner with motivational thoughts attached to head shots of senior staffers, like Assistant Deputy Secretary Scott Gunderson, whose team-building One DNR maxim is "an assist is as important as a goal."
Promising better outreach through buzzwords like "Improve customer service metrics," One DNR materials come with mind-bending, top-down patronization (you get the impression that Stepp got into editing mode at this point) and even delivered a truly weird double-begative, verbatim below:
Working in partnership as One DNR supports our vision for excellence in customer service. When one of our many employees interacts with a member of the public, the person outside the agency generally does not draw a distinction about which program the employee works for.
If, for example, the citizen has a question about deer (doesn’t everyone?), it likely does not matter that the employee works for the water program.
Turning questions from citizens, stakeholders and policymakers into positive interactions reflects well on the entire agency. Of course, One DNR does NOT mean that you should not take pride in the great work that you and your program are doing.Embrace of One DNR should produce and promote success stories through team work, and help avoid public relations mistakes" due to "the simple fact" the left hand doesn't see what the right hand is doing," says a One DNR emailed attachment.
Something I'd noted recently.
Sad decline at the state's once-proud, science-driven conservation agency now led by former home- builder/DNR critic and current Bad River iron mine booster Stepp, and a management team of conservative, private-sector, Scott Walker-approved partisan ideologues.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:49 AM
WISCONSIN LEADS THE NATION IN CUTTING SCHOOL FUNDINGWhich helps economic growth, how, exactly, Gov. Walker? And wouldn't it be a lot better to be second to, say, Minnesota, the economic star of the Great Lakes region?
Wisconsin barely beating out Alabama for worst cuts to education reminded me of a couple of earlier blog posts about Alabama, our new sister state, including:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013
Scott Walker praised for 'Alabama Values.'
By the Alabama GOP.
Hat tip, Steven Elbow at the Cap Times.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2013
Posted by James Rowen at 9:28 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Like the Milwaukee-Madison Amtrak line whose construction had begun, or the now-shuttered Milwaukee-based Talgo train factory, the blocked/proposed Milwaukee streetcar system or the wipeout of municipal employee-residency requirements, Walker is again saying 'if it helps cities, no' by shutting down a state tax credit program that helps preserve historic buildings.
The projects before WEDC so far include 10 potential developments in Milwaukee, including a John Pritzlaff Hardware Co. building just south of downtown; the Milwaukee Paper Box Building at 1560 W. Pierce St.; and 700 Lofts on W. Michigan St. Other projects are being proposed for cities around the state such as Madison and Racine and smaller communities like Ashland and Rice Lake in Barron County.Thus strengthening neighborhoods, commerce, employment in urban areas - - where, yes, Democratic voters tend to live, work and congregate.
And did you catch that reference to the John Pritzlaff Hardware Co. in Milwaukee. Did Walker miss the rave review of that project written by our city's historian, John Gurda?
Walker was Milwaukee County Executive for eight years or so, and had an
And don't think the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks won't get the 'Dis-Milwaukee/Cities' message.
He won't lift a finger to use a new, or even rehabbed Arena as a downtown business catalyst.
After all, he's the one who said in front of an exurban, Oconomowoc Lake partisan Waukesha County crowd during the 2012 recall campaign that he didn't want Wisconsin to become another Milwaukee.
And, by the way, if the Walkerites are really concerned about the tax credit financing, why did they flush millions down the toilet on an airplane manufacturer that hasn't done anything except still its employees and state taxpayers?
Posted by James Rowen at 9:55 PM
Meeting in Milwaukee today, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board set this year's wolf kill quota at 156.
As an advisory committee recommended, leading to calls for a lesser number from wolf advocates and demands for higher numbers by hunting interests.
The Legislature, under the control of powerful gun and hunting lobbies, rushed the wolf hunt into law in 2012 without a focus on biology or broad citizen input, and, unlike all other states, encouraged an unnecessary level of animal cruelty by allowing dogs to be used to chase wolves.
156 is a reduction from last year's quota of 251, though the final count was allowed to hit an outrageous and extirpating slaughter of 257, not counting illegal kills.
Other wolves died after being hit by vehicles.
More information later.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:32 PM
While they are appealing a US District Court rejection of Wisconsin's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a Federal appeals court has upheld the rejection of a similar ban in the Utah state constitution.
Note to Ron Johnson: In America, with equal justice for all, just because voters approve something illegal doesn't make it legal.
Give it up, haters.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:34 AM
From the Wisconsin AFL-CIO:
Posted by James Rowen at 10:55 AM
There are already five legal challenges that will kick into gear now that the pipeline is approved. Three of the challenge were filed by First Nations groups in British Columbia — the Haisla, the Gitga’at, and the Gitxaala. Emissaries of those groups have made it clear that, even if the pipeline was approved, Enbridge can expect some trouble. “I really discourage civil disobedience and violence, but I don’t know how long my members will honor my request to be civil,” Ellis Ross, chief councillor of the Haisla, told the Globe and Mail.
Meanwhile, Enbridge has been trying to win over British Columbia, donating $225,000 to the shop departments of high schools along the pipeline, and training kids to be deckhands and water taxi pilots, thus preparing them for the 3,000 construction jobs and 560 long-term jobs that Enbridge says the pipeline will bring. Whatever the effects, the job training is not winning a majority. Recently Kitimat, city that has the most to gain from Northern Gateway with regard to long-term jobs, held a plebiscite; 58 percent of residents voted against the project. According to Enbridge, 60 percent of the First Nations along the pipeline route have signed agreements with the company, but they’ve also — according to Enbridge — asked the company to keep their names a secret.
British Columbians are also organizing a referendum that would allow the province itself to weigh in on the pipeline, a tool that the province has used, successfully, to block other unpopular national policies. Earlier this month, a Bloomberg-Nanos poll found that only 29 percent of British Columbia’s residents were in favor of Harper approving the pipeline; 33 percent of respondents wanted the project delayed, and 34 percent wanted it rejected entirely. Overall, respondents said that they were more worried about oil spills (36 percent) than they were excited about the prospect of jobs (25 percent).
Posted by James Rowen at 9:30 AM