The Weekly Cheddar

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This is my 4th weekly round-up of the Wisconsin political news and opinion I think you gotta read like yer life depends on it should see.

Robin Vos Got Served A Subpenis Subpoena
“Correction: Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker was served with a “subpoena” not a “subpenis.” We regret any confusion this error may have caused.” Wish I had the photoshop skillz of Root River Siren.

Walkergate Updates
Walker transfers $40,000 to legal fund – from Daniel Bice at M.J. Sentinel
and
Walkergate: The Question Still Remains – What Is Walker Still Cooperating With? from Cognitive Dissidence

State dems offer jobs bill
If the Wisconsin GOP is truly moderating its politics, you’d think they’d work with Dems on this. Odds of it happening? Slim.
“Democratic state lawmakers have unveiled a package of bills that they say would quickly create jobs.” by Shawn Johnson of WPR – appears in Superior Telegram

Senators debate the mine on hour-long WPR show “Route 51″
Senator Tom Tiffany and Bob Jauch had a spirited debate on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that aired out of Park Falls and Wausau – – so I know you didn’t hear it coming out of any South Wisconsin radio. Glen Moberg hosts and, if I may say, he does a fine job of it. At one point Moberg asks Senator Tiffany if he will join Senator Jauch at an Ashland listening session on the mine February 9th and Tiffany replies that he needs to be at his daughter’s swim meet. Moberg: “You’re going to a swim meet, sir?” Here’s a link to the hour-long podcast. An hour may seem pretty long, but you’ll want to hear this. Let it rip.

Ben Merens to say good-bye to Wisconsin Public Radio
Duane Dudek has a bit more on this, but can’t answer all your questions: “Ben Merens, the host of “At Issue” on Wisconsin Public Radio, is leaving the show effective Friday, but no one is discussing why.” Whatever the reason, it’s good news.

Correctional staff at risk in prisons post union-busting? I’d assume so
Marty Beil of AFSCME says guards in WI prisons are getting hurt as a result of losing union rights. The Corrections Secretary Ed Wall sees things differently. They both aired their views in a Wednesdsay hearing in front of the Assembly Committee on Corrections. Here’s a link to the full 3 hour and 37 minute event.
Prison, union heads clash over conditions – La Crosse Tribune

Here’s the perspective of AFSCME, the union which covers most of WI’s front-line prison staff.

And as I type this up, I see the news that Ed Wall just threatened every correctional employee:
“Wisconsin Corrections Secretary Ed Wall is warning employees of his department they could lose their job if they spread what he calls “false or malicious information” about the agency.
An email provided to The Associated Press by a Corrections employee and confirmed as authentic by the department shows Wall sent the message on Monday.”

Interesting. At least one of these “false rumors” isn’t false.
Look at this – from a report by WPR’s Gilman Halsted:
“The Secretary’s memo says the rumors have falsely claimed that the Corrections Corporation of America has offices in Madison and is lobbying for privatizing state prisons. But the state lobbying database shows that the CCA does have a lobbyist in Madison and spent $60,000 dollars in the last two years. The corporation also contributed almost $8,000 to Governor Scott Walker’s campaign fund in 2012.” A bit more text here + the archived podcast.

I haven’t located a copy of the email yet.

So this is happening: School Choice Week
I was all set to write a soul-wrenching post about how mad I was that Tom Barrett was going to meet with Scott Walker and other suspected/convicted white collar criminals *cough* Scott Jensen *cough* to cheer school for choice Wednesday.
And then AnnieJo wrote a great piece on the stealthy event called “Wisconsin School Choice Week — The Proclamation That Wasn’t (Updated)” And then I ran into a friend (Genie) who said that Tom Barrett said he didn’t want anymore charter/vouchers in Milwaukee. But then I see this in The Ministry of Truth the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Milwaukee’s different school sectors as well as state and local elected officials presented a seemingly united front Wednesday”. More research is needed on this matter.

In the meantime, I hope enough of We The People of Wisconsin know that routing our public tax dollars to private school vouchers isn’t right on so many levels. Jake has more on that here.

Voces de la Frontera marches on
Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz traveled to Las Vegas to hear President Obama announce his plans for immigration reform. In response she released an announcement which includes this:

— The president cannot propose legislation to create new citizens while simultaneously deporting at a record rate those he claims to want to legalize. Each day that passes,1,000 families are separated from their loved ones and face economic hardship and emotional trauma — especially the children.

— Any future flow system needs to ensure strong worker rights protections regardless of immigration status, so some abusive employers cannot use immigrant labor as cheap labor or retaliation, undermining wages and conditions for all workers in the US.

Learn more about Voces at the piece Voces de la Frontera marches on by Lisa Neff at Wisconsin Gazette

There is now an app for that: Corporate accountability
The folks that brought you the film “As Goes Janesville” are bringing you an app, too. An iPhone app, to be specific. It’s in beta testing now but will be full strength come February 4th. Check it out here.

Milwaukee County Cowboy Sheriff David Clarke
Sheriff Clarke got national press for his “Got Gun Training?” radio ad. Soledad O’Brien was then much too kind to him on her show, but Piers Morgan gave him some tougher questions. More here. Side-note: Soledad may be getting let go from CNN. The network is experiencing a big shake-up.

Get to Know Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm
Many non-Milwaukee residents know him as the DA in charge of the John Doe investigation which threatens to ensnare Governor Walker. Get the bigger picture from this in-depth profile of the man from MilwaukeeMag.com

Scandal-ridden agency gets new Tea Party leader (hand-picked by Walker)
This comes from The Green Bay Progressive: “Reed Hall, who was a donor to both Walker’s 2010 campaign and his recall campaign, as well as to Republicans like J.B. Van Hollen and Scott Jensen, appears to be politically aligned with Walker. Hall has railed publicly against healthcare reform, and last year spoke at a Central Wisconsin Tea Party rally alongside extremists Kim Simac and Pat Snyder.”

U.S. Dept. of Justice to review fatal shooting of Paul Heenan by Madison police officer
“When we asked our good friend Paulie Heenan to move in with us and our little daughter, we never expected that he would be killed by a Madison police officer. Paulie was your go-to guy for lending a helping hand or repairing broken stuff: your car, your computer, your heart. That’s why we asked him to stay with us when he moved back to Madison after spending 8 years in New York….” Continued at change.org

Information on the U.S. DOJ’s involvement.


Information is Free ‘n’ Public if You Can Pay (?)

“A state Republican wants to allow government entities to charge members of the public for the cost of redacting records obtained under the state’s open records law.” – More at dane101

Donald Driver announces retirement from football
OK, it’s not political news, but I’m a Packers fan and this is Wisconsin and…. Donald – Thank you for everything for being a wonderful Packer and a wonderful man. You will be missed.

People stood in a -22 wind chill Friday morning in Green Bay to get one of these tickets for next Wednesday’s retirement ceremony. One of my facebook friends drove for hours, stood for hours, and did not get a ticket. They began handing them out and they were all gone in 14 minutes. This was the line:

An interview with Donald Driver about growing up in poverty and vowing he would escape.

And here are a few posts I wrote this week, in case you missed ‘em:
The mining bill has been on my mind.
I noted some good news: Bayfield County Board says NO to “responsible mining” resolution in 11 to 1 vote

Some strange news: video of Shirl LaBarre speaking to an animated tree,

And some downright insulting news:
I dissected a horrible Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the proposed mine bill,
as well as a much less horrid article on the mine bill from Wisconsin State Journal.

I also noted a Tee Party defeat in Lacrosse where they tried to recall the council president

Click THIS to see a chronological list of all blue cheddar posts.

In keeping with my tradition of finishing on a positive note…

OLB and MPS Educators Use Collective Power to Benefit Kids
About 500 people and the Overpass Light Brigade crowded a meeting in Milwaukee to push for restoration of art, music, and phy ed classes and other improvements. Link to a lovely video chronicling the event.

See more photos like this over at Occupy Riverwest’s blog.

Sly’s Back on the Radio in Monroe, Wisconsin [and on the net] Monday
“A reminder: Sly will take to the air from 3:00-6:30 p.m. weekdays on 93.7 WEKZ, starting this Monday.

I will be Sly’s 4 pm guest on Monday. ..” says John Peterson of Democurmudgeon

The National Shift Looks Good To Me
Obama’s approval rating is up, a majority of Texans want an assault weapons ban, a majority of Americans favor a path to legal citizenship for illegal immigrants and more. “…this doesn’t feel like a honeymoon; it seems to me that the size and composition of the electorate last November has shifted the mood and direction of the country – durably.” – Andrew Sullivan

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