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Federal court throws out parts of collective bargaining law

Posted by richardmoore on March 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Ruled a violation of First Amenddent rights because the state denies sweeping union privileges to most union workers but let police and fire unions keep them. In other words, discrimination. I haven't read the decison, so I'm getting this up from early news reports. Will report back with more detail. Stay tuned.

Busy political morning

Posted by richardmoore on March 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM

First, as expected, GAB officially confirms recalls against Walker, Kleefisch, and the four GOP senators (now three, but a fourth election will be held anyway). Mark May 8 and especially June 5 on your calendars as must days to vote.

Second, Paul Ryan has endorsed Romney. Yikes! I guess that's the fat lady singing.

NBC/Marist poll shows governor's recall split, with 46 percent supporting Walker and 48 percent saying they'll vote for the Democrat. Walker's approval rating stands at 48 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. Can't get more divided than that.

Tiffany to run for Senate

Posted by richardmoore on March 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM

State Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) will announce his candidacy for the state Senate tomorrow, sources say. Tiffany will unveil his campaign at scheduled press conferences tomorrow morning in Rhinelander and Merrill.

Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) recently announced he would not seek re-election to the Northwoods seat, the 12th district.

Now they're protesting against themselves

Posted by richardmoore on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Journal Sentinel: Union members protest at Barrett fundraiser

More bad economic news this morning

Posted by richardmoore on March 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

But mainstream press says, "What? Me worry?"



A new S&P/Case-Shiller report this morning shows that home prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January, sinking to their lowest point since 2002. The average home sold in January lost .8 percent of its value, compared with a month earlier, and prices were down 3.8 percent from a year ago. Home prices have fallen 34.4 percent from their July 2006 peak.


And that's not all the bad news. There are still millions of delinquent homes on the market, CNN reports, and the recent government settlement with banks will actually enable them to speed up the processing of those delinquencies, so expect a tidal wave of foreclosures in the months ahead.


Of course, while they report this as just the latest car to ramble off the rails in the nation's economic train wreck, the mainstream press is cheery nonetheless, always adding this addendum – despite this latest bad news, the economy is improving.


Of course it is. It has to be. People have to believe that. Because that's the way they re-elect Obama.

What would Jesus do?

Posted by richardmoore on March 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM

It’s a question the Democrats should probably be asking themselves when it comes to the 12th Senate District, after Jim Holperin dropped his retirement bombshell last week. That they will have big problems keeping this seat is an understatement.

For one thing, no big Democratic names come immediately to mind, but one Republican does: Rep. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst. Tiffany has already run that race twice, both times respectably, so he has the infrastructure and the name. Even if he doesn’t get in, there are well known names out there (Joe Handrick is just one, and he issued a statement Friday saying he is keeping his options open).

Whomever the Democrats pick, he or she had better be pro-gun rights. That’s been the Democrats’ bread and butter for years in this district. Former Sen. Roger Breske and Holperin used the old Dave Obey model – just be good on guns and you can pretty much be liberal on everything else. That’s why, in the old days, you could drive around Rhinelander and see a house with three yard signs – one for George W. Bush (when he was running for re-election), one for Republican Rep. Dan Meyer, and the third for Breske.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, that model is getting old and increasingly unworkable. The district has grown more conservative through the year, so it became harder and harder to get away with liberalism just by being pro-gun rights. That’s why Tiffany almost beat Holperin in the Obama/Democratic landslide year, despite Holperin’s NRA endorsement. Plus this year the new district lines tilt the district in an even more conservative fashion.

So what should the Democrats do?

Pray, likely.

Breaking news: Sen. Pam Galloway resigns from Senate

Posted by richardmoore on March 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Citing sudden medical problems in her family, state Sen. Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) stunned the state's political community today, announcing her resignation from the Senate. She had been facing a summer recall election.


For the short term, her departure leaves the Senate with 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans. That will change shortly depending on the outcome of this summer's recall races.


As for the recall in Galloway's district, that can't be undone, according to the Government Accountability Board. As of today, primary elections are scheduled for May 8, with general elections to be held June 5. Under that schedule, candidates in the recall election will have from March 30 until 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 to circulate and file nomination petitions and declaration of candidacy papers with the G.A.B.


State Senate candidates need a minimum of 400 signatures. A primary election will be held only for any political party and offices for which more than one candidate qualifies for the ballot.


Democratic Rep. Donna Seidel of Wausau is seeking the seat. Republican Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald says he will seek a Republican to replace Galloway on the ballot. Names mentioned include Reps. Jerry Petrowski of Marathon and Mary Williams of Medford.

From her statement: “Today I am announcing my retirement from the Wisconsin State Senate. After a great deal of thought and consideration, I’ve decided to put the needs of my family first. My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as State Senator or running for re-election at this time."

Wolf hunt bill passes Assembly

Posted by richardmoore on March 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM

A measure authorizing an annual wolf hunt has passed the Assembly. It had already passed the Senate and so goes now to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. Here's partial analysis from the Legislative Reference Bureau. The actual legislation can be found here.

"This bill requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to issue wolf harvesting licenses if the wolf is removed from the U.S. and Wisconsin lists of endangered and threatened species. Under the bill, both state residents and nonresidents may be issued a license. The license authorizes both the hunting and trapping of wolves. The bill requires that there be a single annual season for wolf hunting and trapping from October 15 through the end of February. Under the bill, DNR may limit the number of licenses issued and the number of wolves to be harvested. The bill requires DNR to divide the state into up to four wolf harvesting zones. A wolf harvesting license authorizes the license holder to hunt or trap or both only in the zone that is specified on the license."

Why we can still win: Independents just don't like Obama

Posted by richardmoore on March 15, 2012 at 1:25 AM

From Bloomberg:


Obama-Romney Race Toss-Up in Poll Showing Independents Critical


Julianna Goldman, ©2012 Bloomberg News


A strengthening economy and a contentious Republican primary have not translated into a wave of support for President Barack Obama, who runs even in a matchup against his likely challenger, Mitt Romney.


Obama and Romney are backed by 47 percent of likely general election voters, while the president outruns the other Republican candidates, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted March 8-11 shows. While Obama's job approval has improved among independents, whose votes will swing the election in November, 49 percent support Romney and 41 percent Obama in the survey.

I'm just guessing . . .

Posted by richardmoore on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM

But I don't think this guy is going to get out anytime soon.

CNN: 6,060 years in prison for former Guatemalan soldier