Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the supposed IRS Scandal, tell us something we already didn't know about right wing "crazies" and "ass**les!"

While Republicans call Democrats traitors, liars, major league assholes, commies etc...the IRS's Lois Lerner is getting flak now for being completely honest about the scam artists seeking tax exempt status. She called some conservatives crazy, and others assholes, in context. I would have applied that more broadly. What an outrage? If you just listened to Rep. Dave Camp, it sounds pretty bad:
jsonline: Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the emails Wednesday as part of his committee's investigation and said the emails show Lerner's "disgust with conservatives." In one email, Lerner called some conservatives crazies. In the other, she called them "assholes." The committee redacted the wording to "—holes" in the material that it released publicly, but a committee spokeswoman confirmed to The Associated Press that the email said "assholes."
Wow, AP confirmed the word "assholes." What a scoop.

But Lerner didn't just start ranting about right wing "crazies" and "assholes," she was responding to comments made to her. Here's the context and sound reasoning behind her honest statement about the right wing loons, which Camp thinks is perfectly normal:
Lerner tells the person that she overheard some women say America was bankrupt and "going down the tubes." 
"Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP," replied the person, whose name was blacked out by Camp's office. "The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to."

Lerner replies: "Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many assholes."

The other person replies: "And I'm talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid."

Lerner says: "So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. It's our own crazies that will take us down."
"This email shows that Ms. Lerner's mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives," Camp said in the letter to Holder.
Victims again? After all, we all know sane it is to claim, "The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to." 

Activist Conservative Supreme Court Votes to advance GOP takeover of State on Domestic Partnership, Voter ID and Act 10.

It should come as no surprise that the state’s Supreme Court has a conservative activist bent to it. 

That’s why so many constitutional challenges have been made by Republicans, they can now get away with anything. Even worse, conservative voters can now simply point to “THE SUPREME COURT” as proof they've been right all along without thinking about the consequences. And anything that makes Scott Walker look like a constitutional scholar, well that’s just icing on the cake, and a little on the surreal side:
1. VOTER ID: A divided state Supreme Court,  4-3, ruled Wisconsin's voter ID law is in keeping with the state constitution, but tweaked a provision of the measure so people could get identification cards without having to pay anything. But to put the requirement in place, they must also overcome the federal litigation. (Preventing the mythical voter fraud problem and instilling the public with confidence in the voting system swayed the conservative activist justices.)

In both cases, the court found the law passed muster with the Wisconsin Constitution.

2. DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP: The Wisconsin Supreme Court Thursday upheld a 2009 law providing limited benefits to gay and lesbian couples. (There was no opposition to upholding the law as passed.)

3. ACT 10: The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld, 5-2, Justice N. Patrick Crooks concurred but wrote separately, upheld Gov. Scott Walker's signature labor legislation Thursday in just one of the three major rulings issued by the court on union bargaining.
Despite some support by the more liberal justices, the real problem lies in the automatic conservative vote by the four activist justices. Any surprise not one bolted from the pack? 

State Senator Joe Leibham R-Sheboygan, author of Wisconsin’s voter ID law came right out and admitted to the courts conservative activism:
"I have stood strong against watering down this law and kept faith that this law can be upheld constitutional once we get it away from liberal activist judges.”
Gulp! Pushing aside reality, it's also a belief in, and a fear of fraud that made this outrageous decision possible. With all the talk about fraud, who are the ones "breeding distrust of our government?"
Bloomberg: The appeals court found “there was no evidence of ‘recent’ voter impersonation fraud in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Drake Roggensack wrote for the majority. “That finding cannot overcome the state’s interest in preventing voter fraud.”

“Voters who fear the legitimate ballots will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised,” Drake Roggensack said. “Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government,” the judge wrote.
Additionally, here's an explanation for the still confusing 4-3, 5-2 vote on Voter ID:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in two cases, upholding the voter ID law 4-3 in one case and 5-2 in the other. In one of those cases, the court found what it called a "saving construction" of the law to keep it from being unconstitutional — a construction that would require the state to guarantee voters do not have to pay any government fees to get a state-issued ID card.

In dissent in both cases, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote that the court shouldn't be interpreting regulations that aren't before it. Because the burden on voters is severe, she said, and the state has not shown a compelling interest served by requiring photo ID, the voter ID law should be struck down as unconstitutional. "Today the court follows not James Madison — for whom Wisconsin's capital city is named —but rather Jim Crow — the name typically used to refer to repressive laws used to restrict rights, including the right to vote, of African-Americans," Abrahamson wrote for the dissenters in the second case.
Bottom Line: The point is, before Voter ID, we were required to present some form of identification from a long list of proofs, like a billing address on an envelope. But any ID would work. In this case, forget all that stuff, you MUST have a photo ID. That's an additional standard, as Justice Abrahamson pointed out in her dissent:
I apply the principles of the Wisconsin voting rights cases to the instant case and conclude that the League of Women Voters and the circuit court are correct: Act 23 unconstitutionally adds a qualification to the right to vote.

¶91 If a qualified voter fails to produce an Act 23 photo ID, Act 23 bars that person from voting even though that voter meets all the qualifications enumerated in the Wisconsin Constitution and meets all the statutory voter registration requirements. Thus Act 23 deprives qualified, registered Wisconsin voters of the right to vote, based solely on their failure to meet a legislatively established precondition to voting. Such deprivation amounts to an impermissible legislative amendment of the Wisconsin Constitution to add a voter qualification.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taxpayers can't see Sheriff Clarke's Official Calender, "The Sheriff's schedule is a personal document." Amazing.

GOP politicians might want to take note of Sheriff David Clarke’s sneaky way around public accountability. It doesn't sound legal, but then, pushing the constitutional limits on what Republicans can or cannot do is standard operating procedure.  

All you have to do is keep a “personal calendar,” not an official office calendar. That pretty much takes care of that, doesn't it.

You're right to know where your tax dollars are going have its limits. So whatever wacky Sheriff Clarke wants to do, he can.
jsonline-Dan Bice: If you want to know where Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. was the week of the Sikh temple shooting in August 2012, don't try to find out from his official calendar. The liberal group One Wisconsin Now requested that document recently, but what it got in return contained little information. Eighteen of the 22 events on the calendar for that week had been redacted.

"The Sheriff's schedule is a personal document . . . prepared by him, for his convenience, or by his executive assistant," Inspector Edward Bailey wrote on July 23. "It is not a document disseminated through the Office of the Sheriff." By comparison, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has released his complete calendar to No Quarter in the past.
The smoke and mirrors answer by a Clarke representative tries to shift attention away from the public’s right to know the schedule of their elected officials:
Chris Haworth, a Clarke campaign adviser, accused One Wisconsin Now of exploiting the mass shooting for political purposes. "These are silly games that partisan political hacks engage in at election time," Haworth said.
But why wasn't Sheriff Clarke around during the Sikh Temple shooting? That question has not been answered. Any answer at this point would be insufficient, given the secrecy and intentional delaying tactic by Clarke:
In July, Clarke's staff told reporters that the sheriff was at "homeland security training" in California when Deputy Sergio Aleman was killed in a two-vehicle crash on I-43. The publicity-seeking sheriff was also not a presence during the day of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek in August. "I don’t remember seeing him, but couldn’t say for sure (Clarke was absent)," Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi told No Quarter via email. "I know Sheriff’s office had a huge presence that day, though."

President Romney...I mean President Obama brings U.S. Economy Back!!!

On the heels of one poll claiming Obama was our worst president ever, and another saying Romney would win in a landslide if the election were held today, the U.S. economy has never looked better since the Great Recession.

Funny isn't it; if Romney were president, all of the successes below would be attributed to him and the confidence businesses had in his policies. This just proves how well the GOP's concentrated attack on Obama has been. Tell me now how big money doesn't influence politics. Bloomberg News:
Economy in U.S. Grows More Than Forecast: “The economy is looking pretty darned good,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh.

Payrolls Rise: Companies added 218,000 workers to payrolls in July, exceeding the average for the year and showing improving demand is bolstering the job market, a private report showed today.

Business Investment: Corporate spending increased at a 5.9 percent annualized rate after being little changed in the first quarter, contributing 0.9 percentage point to growth … so-called final sales to domestic purchasers climbed at a 2.8 percent rate, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2011.
And the reason for the above successes? Don't point to the mythical CEO “job creators.” It was consumer DEMAND:
The increase in household consumption, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy, exceeded the 1.9 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and followed a 1.2 percent advance in the first three months of 2014.

Purchases of durable goods, including autos, furniture and appliances and recreational vehicles, jumped at a 14 percent annualized rate, the most since the third quarter of 2009, when the recovery began.

Walker's Tea Party attacks on Common Core gets Big "F" from Educators, general public.

With no alternative proposal waiting in the wings to replace Common Core, and not one suggestion about how they would make education uniquely Wisconsin, big government Republicans in Madison want to toss Common Core right out the window. It's big talk to the little minds in the tiny tea party base. 

Now even officials in a few conservative area's of the state are complaining:
AP: Officials in Janesville, Milton, Clinton and other districts say they oppose Gov. Scott Walker's recent call to abandon Common Core curriculum standards because doing so would cost them time and money. School officials in say they have invested time and money in creating curriculum based on Common Core, and abandoning it will be costly … spent an estimated $25 million on Common Core development.

Elkhorn School District administrator Jason Tadlock agreed: "By having a common set of general bench marks, such as Common Core, districts can leverage our efforts and resources by working with schools across the nation with an assurance that we are working toward similar levels of rigor." He said it was difficult to share resources and gauge progress before Common Core was adopted.

"I wish politicians would stay out of our way and let us do our job," Clinton Superintendent Randy Refsland said. "Politicians have enough of their own important issues they need to address."
The Cap Times may be liberal, but even they would have tried to create the image of balance in a recent question they asked about Common Core. Oddly, there wasn't one "man on the street" dissent.

Note: We should no longer tolerate listening to anyone claiming CC is a government takeover or that it's a curriculum, because it's neither. Even more moronic is the idea we should toss Common Core because so many people don't understand it. That's an answer? Just check out the comments section, and you'll see what I mean:

Walker admits attack on Burke's supposed outsourcing is his way of "trying to have it about anything other than his record."

From the Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice, the Washington Post's Dan Balz, and now the State Journal’s Jessie Opoien, it’s important to point out how Scott Walker is covering up his own bad four year record with his all-out attack on Mary Burke. She supposedly outsourced jobs at Trek, even though she wasn’t there when Trek made that decision. By Walker’s own admission, he is intentionally trying to distract and cover-up his record.

Walker’s recent ad states: "Mary Burke: Job creator? Not so much."

Got it. So what's the real reason for bashing outsourcing?
Walker told the WaPo that President Barack Obama's outsourcing-related attacks on Republican candidate Mitt Romney were launched as a distraction from the president's "horrible" record. "The president’s team desperately does not want to run on his record, so they are desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record. He’s got to be forceful about fighting back.”
Political Strategy Clarified: Walker's scheme to attack Burke for "outsourcing jobs" is, in his own words, Walker "desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Walker's WEDC recipient Offshores Workers, then doubles executive pay in 4 years!

Plexus Corporation is now denying they outsourced jobs just a week after receiving lots of cash from Scott Walker and his pay-to-play corporate sugar daddy the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
WKOW: WEDC awarded Plexus Corp. of Neenah with tax credits of up to $2 million in 2011 and up to $15 million in 2012. Plexus has received $4.7 million in tax credits to this point. In July of 2012, Plexus announced it was laying off 116 workers from its Neenah facility.  The U.S. Department of Labor has since ruled those employees, as well as all Plexus employees laid off since December of 2011, are eligible to receive federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. 
WKOW's  Greg Neumann has an updated response from Plexus, and it doesn't match the official record.

Not only that, as Plexus shed 116 workers, CEO Dean Foate saw his compensation go from $2.1 million in 2009, to $4.1 million in 2013. And executive pay more than doubled, from $4.3 million in 2000 to $9.9 million in 2013. I'm assuming upper management didn't miss those 116 laying off workers:

Burke to hammer Walker over breaking his major campaign promise of 250,000 jobs, what he said was his signature duty as governor.

Finally, the Burke Campaign is highlighting Scott Walker's broken promise to create 250,000 jobs. It was a promise that was meant to be outrageously over the top. In the end, it won Walker the governorship. Walker wanted to crush challengers Mayor Tom Barrett and Mark Neumann for offering their own more modest jobs predictions. So far, a disappointing 100,300 jobs have been added to the private sector. What happened to all those CEO "job creator" promises?

Here's Mary Burke's latest ad, and one she can use up to the November election:

Mike Gousha: "Is this a campaign promise? Something you want to be held too?

Walker: "Absolutely."
92.1 the Mic's Devil's Advocates radio show used the above interview with Upfront's Mike Gousha to disprove once and for all the going right wing lie that Walker never really "promised" to create 250,000 jobs, it was just a goal. How easy was that?

I found a couple of other short clips that should remind "stand with Walker" drones how this guy shifts the blame for his own political failures, as governor and county executive. You'll notice he wasn't disputing the job loss numbers yet. And Mike Gousha didn't let Walker off the hook for his lack of job creation in Milwaukee county. Walker's answer by the way, was no answer. From NEWSMAX and Upfront:

Which brings me to the following compilation of comments at Walker's Facebook page. It's another word salad salute from the drooling "stand with Walker" trolls, who don't really care about deficits or jobs (I sadly took the time to copy and paste them here):
I don't listen to Mary Burke. Just biding my time, waiting for November. When I will vote for you again. For the third time. FORWARD. ... Good job. Now let's win this Election. An island in a sea of liberal insanity.  I stand with Walker!!! ... i stand with Scott Walker  Scott Walker has done more for, than against Wisconsin any given day and that is a fact! We are FOR Scott Walker. ... Keep up the GREAT work LOVE that you are so accessable to the people. Walker all the way!!!! ... Why can't I ever randomly run into Governor Walker?!?! He is the best thing to happen to Wisconsin!!!!! ... I personally am very grateful! you are doing a great job !! ... keep up the good work. Because Scott, people like you threatened to kill him and his entire family. Oh how you liberals forget ... Beautiful day in Wisconsin, for a Harley ride! On Wisconsin we will go" with Scott Walker!! Re-Elect Scott ... Our family loves and respects Governor Walker! The left will never stop lying because that is all they have. It will be another great day when Scott wins for the third time. ... It's governors like you that allowed those businesses to thrive by not taxing them into bankruptcy. ... How in God's Holy name can polls show a tie with Mary Burke. Are people that stupid?  ... Scott Walker's promise to create more jobs has not come to fruition, but he tried his best. Mary Burke's team outright lied! Step up to the plate and reelect Governor Walker! Lets show Mary Burke, Wisconsin has no place for her lies!!  ... I just called Mary Burke's office and was rudely hung up when I asked if she supports the Kenosha casino, and when I call back no one answers. I think we ALL need to call her office and demand answers to issues. ... So are you lefties now not bothered by companies who send jobs overseas? I love how Walker is using the same tactics the left has been using for years and now they feel all butt hurt, hilarious! ... And the Obama administration has helped the American people how? You have to have blinders on because our country under Obama is being destroyed. A little different than when President Bush was in office but I forgot "Blame Bush almost 8 years later" ... This state is moving in the right direction and our Governor is out daily (including weekends) moving us forward!

Walker Ad Math Blunder just another Major Campaign Misstep.

If you've ever wonder why Scott Walker’s chairmanship of the WEDC has been such a massive failure, rife with lost taxpayer loans and mismanagement, look no further than the math he’s using in his new negative ad against Mary Burke.

A forgivable HUD loan Burke initiated to buy land and attract Abbott Labs to Wisconsin is now getting double counted, once in taking the grant, and one more time giving it back to HUD. So if you lend somebody $10, they really owe you $20, according to Walker’s math. That’s just good “fiscal conservatism.” According to the Walker campaign, believe it or not, is:
The do-nothing governors willing dupes! 
That it was fair to count the federal spending as $12 million and then to count any state repayment to the federal government as a separate payment on top of that.
That should make your head hurt. Quoting the ad:
"As Jim Doyle’s Commerce secretary, Mary Burke wasted 12 and a half million dollars on a vacant lot, hoping to lure a company to Wisconsin to create jobs … Mary Burke’s boondoggle could cost taxpayers nearly $25 million." 
It "could" if we used Walker's bad math. I'm getting the distinct idea Walker doesn't really want to talk about his failed jobs record.

WISC's Jessica Arp poked around and found out Walker isn't just lying about the $25 million owed to HUD, but may owe less than the original $12 million- $6 million in cash back, and $6 million in cuts to future grants of $6 million. And local officials are on the hook for some of that.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Walker gets face time, credit for Burke's plan to block WEDC funding for Outsourcing Companies!!! What a Leader?

I guess it's not a good idea until "men" say it is. I'm talking about Mary Burke's call to block WEDC funds from outsourcing companies...which is now a good idea since it got Scott Walker's stamp of approval.

Watch the lazy media falls in line with Walker's ridiculous campaign to define Mary Burke as the outsourcer.

WKOW's news anchor even acknowledged Burke's promise to end WEDC funding for companies that outsource way back when. But that still didn't stop them from giving Walker the final word and camera time. Burke actually told WKOW News last week:
"As Governor, I will insist that every WEDC award protects against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs and companies that don't live up to their end of the deal give back every tax dollar they received."
Here are two examples where Mary Burke supported the change, well before Walker came on board, along with that damning statement from WEDC promising to handout more taxpayer money to make outsourcing companies happy:

The following two newscasts give Burke the media shaft on her own campaign position on outsourcing, with a short mention at the end. First WISC Channel3000:

A spokesman for Burke referred to a statement released when it was reported the WEDC was giving money to companies that outsourced, where Burke said as governor she'd insist every award protected against outsourcing.
WKOW gave massive amounts of news time to Johnny-come-lately Scott Walker, who said, "Probably should have been done a long time ago, but it makes sense now"...because it's an election year, right? Greg Neumann reported even more companies got money while outsourcing:

WISGOP outsources Billboard Picture: Russian "Wisconsin" Miner?

Bumbling WISGOP president Joe Fadness stepped in it again, as only a “stand with Walker” supporter could. This is almost too laughable to believe. jsonline-Jason Silverstein:  
The Wisconsin Republican Party outsourced part of an advertisement against outsourcing jobs: The party bought space on several billboards throughout Wisconsin criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke for outsourcing jobs to China … But BuzzFeed reports that this miner is neither Wisconsinite nor Chinese immigrant — the photo is a stock image from Russian photographer Andrey Bortnikov, whose personal page identifies the miner as a current Russian citizen.
Admit it, with incompetence like this, there has to be illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and WISGOP:
A party representative said that the billboard ran for one day, Wednesday, and was removed.
With just the right measure of sarcastic aplomb:
Joe Zepecki, communications director for Burke's campaign, wrote in an email: "If Scott Walker had the same level of concern for Wisconsin workers than he has for Russian coal miners, maybe we wouldn't be dead last in the Midwest, tenth out of ten, in private sector job creation on his watch."
At Uppity Wisconsin, this bit of incredibly bad Walker outsourcing information reared its ugly head:

Doh! Scott Walker now adopts Mary Burke's position to stop WEDC funding to companies that Outsource Overseas.

It was way back on July 9th that Mary Burke made this statement about WEDC funding companies that outsourced jobs overseas: 
Burke calls that practice "appalling". "As Governor, I will insist that every WEDC award protects against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs and companies that don't live up to their end of the deal give back every tax dollar they received," said Burke in a statement released to 27 News.
Walker pledges to support Burke's Idea (that never occurred to him as WEDC Chairman): Fast forward to now, July 28, after Scott Walker tried to pin the outsourcing problem on Mary Burke. Walker suddenly behind Mary Burke’s pledge to stop WEDC funding to any company planning to outsource overseas:
Says it Scott, Burke was right!
WKOW; Gov. Scott Walker said he would support a proposal to prevent the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) from making financial awards to companies that outsource Wisconsin jobs. Gov. Walker said he thinks the change makes sense and probably should have been done long ago.
You think? And it took his Democratic challenger Mary Burke to draw the line. Democrats warned Walker that WEDC lacked the rules and regulations to make it function normally and responsibly? Guess who didn't listen? 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wisconsin Energy Industry wants to kill Solar and Wind power generated by Homeowners.

The Bottom Line: Our current regional energy monopolies need to change their business model from supplying energy via coal, gas and nuclear, to mostly providing the infrastructure to deliver energy.

Like the horse and buggy, technology is about to turn We Energy and MG&E out to pasture, and they don’t like it one bit. Big energy is fighting this in other states as well. In Arizona for example, companies actually wanted to charge customers who installed solar panels $100 more a month. That not only kills the green energy market, but penalizes people for trying to save money.

That brings us to Wisconsin:
jsonline: We Energies has dropped its protest of a move by a solar energy coalition and environmental group to get involved in the upcoming fight over its plan to slash payments to customers who generate their own power. The decision means the hearings will become a showdown on questions that could decide how the market for clean energy unfolds in the years ahead.
That already sounds like an outrageous move from a desperate energy company trying to hold onto the past.
We Energies is proposing big changes … say(ing) the move will be more fair for all of its customers. Like We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric Co. wants to pay less to solar power generating customers, as well as add a significant increase in the fixed charge on all customers' bills.

Those in the solar business disagree. They say the utility wants to limit customers' ability to take advantage of falling prices of equipment to generate solar power.

Earlier this month, We Energies … chastised them for … missing a PSC deadline for getting involved in the case. The groups countered that their tardiness should be excused. They claimed that We Energies didn't float its solar proposal and 75% increase in the monthly fixed charge on customers' bills until after that PSC deadline had passed … a customer generating solar power could see the amount paid by the utility drop by more than 34% in 2016.
Scott Walker and the Republican legislature have made it incredibly difficult for green energy to get started in Wisconsin, since big energy contributors call the shots here. That’s not a partisan statement either. Energy monopolies are killing jobs here:
Companies in the solar business, like SunVest Solar in Pewaukee, say the impact will be to spur more clean-energy development — and job creation — outside the state. SunVest develops solar projects in Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. "Unfortunately, 90% or more of that work is being done in other states," said SunVest owner Matt Neumann. "We're creating these jobs in other states and our tax credits are getting invested in other states."
One final note. The following comment is a lie, because rate payers have always paid for utility upgrades and improvements alongside their actual energy costs. The idea that a utility didn't get full compensation from a customer for the power grid is insulting.  
We Energies stresses that customers who don't produce their own power are gaining benefits from the power grid that they aren't fully compensating the utility for. 

So far during this session of Congress, the House has passed permanent tax cuts that would add some $721 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

Enuff said!!!

What's next for GOP? Right to shoot the poor who pose Wealthy Elite?

Republicans couldn't be more obvious this time:
The House of Representatives voted to change a tax credit in a way that would add $115 billion to the deficit and hurt poorer parents while aiding the well-to-do.
Not surprising is it? The GOP desensitizing scheme continues. Huffington Post:
The House decided to make permanent the child tax credit and expand it to families earning up to $205,000 a year. The credit, which is worth up to $1,000 for each child in a family, would also be indexed to rise with inflation, as would the eligibility thresholds.
The same week Paul Ryan took another shot at cutting aid to the poor with the Orwellian "Opportunity Act," his fellow pirates introduced the jaw dropping "Child Tax Credit Improvement Act" that does away with the tax credit for poor children and their families:
But the new measure fails to extend the part of the credit that was passed in 2009 to help impoverished families and that currently allows parents with annual earnings as low as $3,000 to claim some of the break. That element expires in 2017. Without it, a family would have to earn at least $15,000 to qualify for the credit.
An example worth noting:
According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that means a mom working full time at a minimum wage job would receive no help from the credit -- because she would be earning only $14,500. Indeed, that mom would lose $1,725 under the new bill, while a family of four earning $150,000 would gain $2,200, according to the center's analysis. About 12 million people, including 6 million children, would be pushed further into poverty if the measure became law.
I don't even know how to describe the following. Here’s the down-the-rabbit-hole argument put forth by the GOP:
Republicans argued that Democrats were raising a phony issue in pointing to the failure to extend the lower-income part of the credit. They said there was plenty of time to consider that later.
Plenty of time? How about right now?
The bill also includes a provision that would bar … immigrants … somewhere around 80 percent of the children of undocumented immigrants are believed to be U.S. citizens … some 5 million children, about 4 million of whom are citizens, would be cut off from the credit's aid.
 And why not take a few war veterans down with them?
"Its net effect is to push 12 million people, including 6 million children, right into poverty or deeper into it," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). "That includes 400,000 veterans and armed forces families who would lose all or part of their child tax credit."

Debt, what debt?
The measure would add $115 billion to the deficit over 10 years because the House did not find any way to offset the lost revenue. So far during this session of Congress, the House has passed permanent tax cuts that would add some $721 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

Walker's troublesome WEDC goes Dark, until after the Election!!!

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's chairman Scott Walker has an abysmal record for mismanagement and lost taxpayer money. Recently, we discovered two companies offshored jobs and laid 279 workers off after Walker gave them public funding.

It’s campaign magic for Mary Burke, who’s been reminding voters just how bad WEDC has been mismanaged by pretend “small businessman” Governor Walker. Not anymore.

After laughably “weighing the public’s right to government information against any potential harm to the public’s interest,” WEDC is about to dark. It's a media blackout.

In fact, Walker isn't even trying to hide his blatantly obvious intentions from Wisconsin voters, who I hope will be outraged. Note to the WSJ, this is not a page 5 story:
Walker’s office is no longer disclosing the names and phone numbers of companies that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is working with on economic incentive packages. The … legal counsel determined releasing the information could “wreak havoc” with WEDC’s mission of retaining and creating quality jobs in the state.
Below is every reason the public DOES have a right to know where their tax dollars are going, and more importantly, who’s buying influence:
“Harmful information could include, for example, that a business is considering relocating to or from Wisconsin, expanding or downsizing, moving its headquarters, shifting its focus to a new industry, developing a new technology, or experiencing a hardship,” the statement said. “If businesses hesitate or simply refuse to deal with WEDC because they fear disclosure of this information, the people of this state suffer the consequences.”
Why shouldn't businesses take the heat for accepting corporate welfare and government favors if what they’re doing would piss taxpayers off?

We’ll tell you After the Election: No, really, that's what Walker is saying. Walker is trying to eliminate any possible bad press from WEDC, at least until after the election:
“Because there may come a time when it will no longer harm these discussions if the businesses names are revealed, it may be possible that we will be able to release the names of these businesses at a later date,” the statement concluded.
You can't make this stuff up. And conservative voters, you're okay with Walker's calculated scheme? 

Summing it...
Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, disagreed with both arguments for withholding the information. “There is a public interest in knowing who the state is meeting with over subsidies. If you want money from us, you should be willing to accept that the public has a right to know it. There should be no question that at some point, the public has a right to this information. Already, we know if and when a corporation does get state support. There is also a public interest in knowing who the state says ‘no’ to.”

Friday, July 25, 2014

WISGOP caught in outrageous lie about Mary Burke. Walker Campaign must be Desperate.

Imagine how Scott Walker would campaign for president, if this is the best he and his party can do.

Yes, it's another phony Walker/WISGOP ad campaign lie by WISGOP!! Doesn't there have to be some tie to reality? Guess not.

And it appears WISGOP’s Joe fadness got caught in another lie. Like a side show circus act, Fadness bends facts into lies, awing the crowd of "stand with Walker" voters. Fearless Fadness has no moral or ethical boundaries:
WSJ: The Wisconsin Republican Party's latest attack ad against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke uses misleading video to suggest Burke didn't attend Wednesday's School Board meeting. In fact, Burke participated in the closed meeting by telephone, Madison School District spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson said.
But technically she physically wasn't there. Modern use of telephones doesn't count in this backward Bizarro World of GOP politics. Was Fadness embarrassed? Are you kidding:
In an emailed response, Wisconsin GOP executive director Joe Fadness stood behind the ad. "Give me a break. The video and accompanying press release accurately depict that Burke chose to attend a campaign event over attending the official meeting in person. To suggest otherwise is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract from Burke's abysmal record …
…blah, blah, blah. And why would conservative voters allow the use of deceptive comments and ridiculous lies to win elections?

Even the video's interviewer had his agenda figured out:

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said, "Scott Walker and his Republican Party make up an awful lot of stupid things to say about Mary Burke, but this one is right up there for among the stupidest."
The on screen statements are even wrong:
Burke was physically absent, she did participate in the meeting by conference call, board member Dean Loumos said. Board member Ed Hughes said the members' name placards shown in the video were not used at Wednesday's meeting, nor did did board president Arlene Silveira sit in the spot the photo shows her in. Loumos said an unidentified man attempted to take pictures of the Wednesday meeting before being told to leave. "And he came back, trying to sneak taking pictures from outside the window," said Loumos. "This is really low-level type of stuff."

Republican repeal of Affordable Care Act would only increase premiums and the uninsured, while providing no coverage for the sick.

I was fascinated by the headline sent to me by my conservative friend in Milwaukee:
"This Newest Obamacare Blanket Exemption May Have You Considering a Move to Guam or Puerto Rico"
My friend would love to see the Affordable Care Act crash and burn, despite his recent difficulties he had getting health care. He’s now on Medicaid’s BadgerCare Plus due to his income level. Go figure.
The Department of Health and Human Services website announced that a vast number of Obamacare regulations will no longer apply to all U.S. territories. Two of the main components of the plan, the individual mandate and the premium subsidies, have never applied to the territories, however.
Every item U.S. territories are now exempt from, and wildly supported by my friend, are the very protections any normal human being would want to have.

This highlights the irrational outright hatred of the president’s program, him personally, the ideological mindlessness of smaller government, no desire to slow rising costs, and a willingness to waste lots of hard earned income on junk insurance policies that don’t cover even essential benefits.
They will be exempted from guaranteed coverage, community rating, single risk pools, rate review, the medical loss ratio, and “essential” benefits.
The article ends with a comment that proves how voting against your self-interest is considered a win, and any consequences suffered by the sick are their own damn fault.

How about allowing additional flexibility to actual U.S. citizens in recognition of our unique situations, hmm?
Of course, the suggested flexibility only increases premiums for those who do buy insurance, and segregates the sick into publically paid for risk pools. The insurers? They get to make a profit, without any risk. Nice.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Walker Donors Exposed for Offshoring.

Ed Schultz and The Progressives Ruth Conniff get into the offshoring details of some of Scott Walker's donors. The nation is getting a taste of this guys politics.

Walker told reporters Mitt Romney did not run for president based on his business experience.

Before I forget; During WPR's morning show, reporter Shawn Johnson played a clip of Scott Walker answering a question about the Wall Street Journal's criticism that he's using the same argument against Burke that Obama used against Romney-outsourcing to overseas countries.

Walker answered by saying Romney didn't run on his business experience.
Walker: "Mitt Romney did not run his campaign on the basis of his arguing his experience in the business world as a reason to vote for him. If he did, than I think it would be fair game to look at all the experience." 
I know, I nearly spit out my coffee. Even funnier still, the reporter played a Romney audio clip of him declaring how his business experience would make him a better president.

Walker's ridiculous lie, made in front of reporters who I'm sure still remember the presidential campaign, should be front page news. Why isn't it?

Here's WPR's Shawn Johnson:

The following shorter audio clip starts with Walker's comment and ends with Romney and then Johnson summing up Walker's big mistake. For those who can't resist playing it over and over:

WPR: Obama often blasted his Republican opponent for the time he spent running the private equity Bain Capital. At one point, he called Romney the “outsourcer in chief.”

In his autobiography, “Unintimidated,” Walker wrote: “I deplore the kind of character assassination the Obama camp used against Mitt Romney.”

Ryan’s “Opportunity Grant:” Put everyone using Social Safety nets under Contract, penalize them for failure.

You really can't make this stuff up.

With the promise of streamlining all of the different safety net programs and cutting red tape, Paul Ryan has devised an amazingly convoluted solution to his imagine "social hammock" problem.

Ryan can't hide from this one...
Imagine those families struggling to make ends meet, on assistance, and under contract by a “local provider.” Call them a neighborhood "jobs boss." Someone who watches over their every move, wagging a finger and doling out consequences for missing job training benchmarks, income and wage expectations... 

Big government enough for you yet? Working but not making enough and collecting food stamps? Now you have two bosses. And the one that helps you feed your family with food share is hanging a contract over your head…with penalties.

Here's a sample from Ryan's transcript:
Take an example. Let’s call her Andrea. She’s 24. She has two kids … Her husband left … her only work experience was a two-year stint in retail. She and her kids now live with her parents in a two-bedroom mobile home. She’s been trying to find work … She doesn't have a car. She can’t afford child care. And her dream is to become a teacher.

Under this plan, Andrea would go to a local service provider. She would sit down with a case manager and develop an “opportunity plan.” That plan would pinpoint her strengths; her opportunities for growth; her short-, medium-, and long-term goals. The two of them would sign a contract. Andrea would agree to meet specific benchmarks of success, a timeline for meeting them, consequences for missing them, and rewards for exceeding them.
Ryan Spreads Big Government in the form of oversight, more red tape and reporting…
A neutral third party would keep tabs on each provider and their success rate. It would look at key metrics agreed to by the state and federal government: How many people are finding jobs? How many people are getting off assistance? How many people are moving out of poverty? And so on. Any provider who came up short could no longer participate. And at the end of the program, we would pool the results and go from there. 
Here's 7 minutes of absolute lunacy, if you've got the time (edited for time and sanity):

Join Ryan's "War for America's Poor."

I also found this analysis over the problem with any form of block grant system:
The block-grant approach has fundamental flaws. A 2014 analysis by the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, summarized the problems: “Block grants do not respond well to economic downturns like the recent Great Recession, thus leaving families, communities, and states without resources just when they need them most. They are ill-suited to supporting core national goals – such as ensuring that every American starts life healthy and well-nourished – but instead contribute to disparate life chances based on where a child is born. And, since there is no direct link between spending and need, Congressional appropriations for block grants tend to shrink over time.”

Revealed: Wisconsin AG’s Shocking GOP “Logic” behind Gay Marriage and Abortion.

In what could have been a small throwaway news story, I found this most amazing explanation yet for the GOP’s opposition to same sex marriage and abortion. It’ll blow your mind. Post Crescent:
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen made his arguments in a brief filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court appealing a federal judge's June decision declaring Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
 Van Hollen said the due process clause in the U.S. Constitution doesn't require states to grant rights but only bars them from depriving citizens of fundamental rights.
Let’s break that down.

J.B. said: “The U.S. Constitution doesn't require states to grant rights:” But that's not what the Constitution is doing in this case. It's simply repealing a gay marriage ban, restoring a right taken away by the states.

J.B. said: (The Constitution) “only bars (states) from depriving citizens of fundamental rights.”
Exactly, marriage equality was a right all the time, so states were wrong to take that right away by banning gay marriage. It looks like J.B. inadvertently made the case against himself. Doh! 

J.B. Van Hollen offered up this scary way of thinking about duty of government when it comes to not defending individual rights:
Van Hollen compared gay marriage to abortion. "Although the constitutional right of privacy protects a woman's right to obtain an abortion and precludes government from prohibiting or punishing her exercise of that right, there is no corresponding obligation on government to affirmatively endorse or support her exercise of the abortion right," he wrote.
It’s a constitutional right our government won’t protect? Talk about a slippery slope. What other rights won't Republicans want to defend?

Walker's Wisconsin still moving Forward? "...childhood poverty increase...parents lack of secure employment...teens not working."

So is the state moving in right direction, as Scott Walker claims? WPR
(A) report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Wisconsin 13th in the country for childhood well-being. Iowa and Minnesota respectively ranked third and fifth in the rankings.
Wisconsin's ranking is a holdover, still based on policies that have since been replaced. Here's the supposed forward movement Walker is so proud of:
Wisconsin showed gains in education and health, but “Within the economic well-being category, we saw childhood poverty increase, we saw children whose parents lack secure employment get worse, and we saw teens not in school and not working also get worse,” said Ken Taylor, the executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, which helped produce the report.

Taylor also pointed out that a report earlier this year found that Wisconsin was the worst state in the country for well-being of African-American children.

Taylor said he's concerned … “Our state has made some choices not to expand the use of the Affordable Care Act, for example,” he said. “The long-term implications of that, we're going to be watching those closely and we're concerned about those.”

Walker Ideologically blocked from preventing "Brain Drain," as young seek out public transportation.

When state policy doesn’t quite match up to prevent “brain drain,” retaining our best and brightest young people, Scott Walker still won’t make any adjustments.
WPR: As people age out of the workforce, state job growth will depend in part on young educated professionals staying in Wisconsin. However, many young graduates are leaving. Earlier this year, the Governor's Conference on Economic Development discussed the brain drain. Featured speaker UW-Madison's Morris Davis with the Wisconsin School of Business (said), “Job growth is on everyone's mind,” said Davis … between 2008 and 2012, on average Wisconsin lost 14,000 college graduates per year, with most of those leaving between the ages of 21 and 29. “If you were to rank the (Midwestern) states we're second-best relative to Minnesota.”
But the difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin is still pretty dramatic, as shown in the graphic here (click to enlarge).
Jeff Sachse, a labor economist with the Department Workforce Development (said) What's different now, is that quality of life issues are increasingly important for young professionals and new college graduates. Groups like the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group and the Rockefeller Foundation say access to public transportation is one factor that helps millennials decide where to live. 
And we know the collectivist socialist idea of “public transportation,” which is typically used by poor people to go to rich suburban neighborhoods, is completely out of the question. Heck, Walker won an election turning away the biggest regional public transportation plan yet. Think about it; high speed rail would  have linked Illinois and Minnesota, with Wisconsin as the benefactor and common state between them, making us ripe for massive regional development. Wisconsin should be trying to work off, and benefit from, the successes of both Illinois and Minnesota instead of trashing them. 

Walker ignores State Contraception Law! Who made him King?

It’s a funny hypocritical thing to watch Republicans accuse "King" Obama of not enforcing the “laws on the books,” while at the same time pick and choose the laws they think should enforced.

Such is the case with Scott Walker’s decision not to “enforce the state’s contraception coverage law for employers with religious objections.” That’s a blanket assumption isn't it? 

Just a note, Republicans have in other state's said they would not enforce tighter guns laws despite state law. The same goes for laws that prevent political coordination between campaigns and outside groups.
Walker seems to think his opinion alone is reason enough to pre-empt law:
WSJ: A spokesman for the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said that the high court’s Hobby Lobby ruling … means the state can no longer enforce its law … Wisconsin is “pre-empted” from enforcing the state law because the Affordable Care Act allows some employers exemptions from providing contraceptive coverage.

But Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (said) the state law “is a separate legal requirement on insurance plans in the state that is not directly affected by the Hobby Lobby decision.”

“Gov. Walker’s latest effort to unilaterally end the enforcement of Wisconsin’s birth control law without legislative action shows just how far he is willing to go to restrict women’s access to essential health care,” Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said in a statement. According to a National Women’s Law Center memo, “Closely-held for-profit corporations doing business in Wisconsin that do not self-insure must abide by the state law, and continue to provide birth control coverage to the same extent they provide preventive care and prescription drugs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walker won't prevent 130,000 Wisconsinites from losing tax credits on the exchanges!!!

It’s interesting to see Scott Walker work under pressure, to see how he handles potentially difficult problems heading his way. What we're learning is troubling to say the least.

The recent conflicting court decisions over the governments health exchange subsidies is a really big deal to those getting the tax credit. For many it's a matter of life and death.

The big picture is even scarier, knowing tens of thousands of citizens may lose their ability to buy insurance in an instant.

But Walker is an ideologue, a strict party guy, who has no desire to support anything that deviates from the platform. Sociopathic behavior? See for yourself below:
WSAU-Wheeler News: Governor Scott Walker's office says it will not rush to create Wisconsin's own health care marketplace to preserve tax subsides that were placed in doubt yesterday. Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster would not say if Wisconsin would create its own exchange if it meant preserving subsidies for users. 

She said the 130-thousand Wisconsinites under Obama-care are not affected at this point -- and the Republican Walker won't deal in "hypotheticals." 
While the courts are also supposed to seriously consider the intent of congress, and not just the faulty or ambiguous language, two activist conservative judges decided to simply misinterpret the entire reason for the Affordable Care Act. Picking up on that, as ridiculous as it sounds, Walker expects us to think Obama and congress supposedly never intended the tax credits for the the government exchanges?
Walker's office put the blame on what Webster called the government's "inept interpretation of their own flawed law." 
The definitive piece on this can be found here, at Vox.  

7th Circuit Court skeptical, wants good reason for John Doe 2 Conservative groups to remain Anonymous.

Slowly but surely the wheels of justice turn....
Twin Cities: A federal appeals court is asking two unnamed parties related to an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and other conservative groups to explain why they are entitled to remain anonymous.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday asked the unnamed parties (Wisconsin Club for Growth) to address that in briefs due in September.

Marquette Poll shows Burke Pulling away ever so slightly.

Here are the numbers, from jsonline:
Gov. Scott Walker leads 46%-45% among registered voters, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

Among likely voters, Burke led Walker, 47%-46%.

Walker's job approval slipped from 49% in May to 47% in July … Walker slipping among coveted independent voters, from 49% to 45%, and Burke from 40% to 44%.

Walker's likability, 45% favorable view, compared to 47% unfavorable views. Burke, 26% favorable and 24% unfavorable.

75% heard something about the John Doe investigation, while 24% had not. Among those who knew, 54% said the John Doe probe was just more politics, while 42% said it was serious.

45% of the voters said the state budget was in a better shape, 28% the same and 22% said it was in worse shape.

On jobs, 9% said the state was creating jobs faster than other states, 42% the same as others, 43% said the state was lagging others.

Only 37% would now vote to retain, and 56% would vote to repeal, the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. 

Radio's Word Salad Simpleton Vicki McKenna serves up student data fears over Common Core.

The great right wing geniuses would like you to think they're the undaunted protectors of our freedoms, liberties and personal data. For example; Common Core student data.

From the babbling mindlessness of conservative radio talker Vicki McKenna, we're led to believe Common Core student data will be used at some later date to destroy the lives of conservative grownups everywhere. And that liberals and backers of Common Core don't give a damn about it.

Thank god we have tea party leader and mouthpiece Mckenna watching over us. In what I would call a breathless word salad of fear mongering, McKenna throws ridiculously old talking points about "teachers unions supporting leftists..." (remember Act 10 Vicki?) and juvenile comments like "are you creeped out yet? You should be." Here's one of my favorites:
"There is nothing the government needs to know about you that it would ever use to make your life better. Ever! When has the government ever used information gathered about individuals citizens to make their life better?"
When? How about gathered information to improve education, food safety, traffic signs, product safety, drug safety, health, invaluable census data used for policy and business needs centered around demographics, income, marketing, housing needs, zoning...etc. Is she an idiot? Yes.

Having been a radio veteran for 26 years and liberal talk host (Vicki and I were a team for one year), I truly believe she's just making this stuff up to fill the hour. A bottomless word salad of unrelated terms meant to dazzle the low information listener. Here's a tip, stop talking Vicki, and take a call. Breath:

Securing student data Important: But the coverage I've seen in my EdWeek email updates, nothing could be more important than privacy. From local districts, superintendents and school boards, student data is a concern they've already dealt with in their contracts and policies...locked away, or so says my own local superintendent. But beyond local governments, Common Core backer Bill Gates is at the forefront of keeping that data secure. I'm not a big fan of billionaire involvement, but Gates knows his stuff when it comes to security issues, which is an ongoing and never ending process:
As some of its competitors have been battered over their policies for protecting student data, Microsoft Corp. has sought to make sure that the issue—and what it regards as its strong record on privacy—remain firmly in the public eye. During the past year, Microsoft has supported academic research on privacy and guides for school officials on the subject. Its executives have also kept a steady presence at public forums urging school districts and policymakers, as well as parents and families, to pay attention to the issue. "Students are not products," Cameron Evans, Microsoft's chief technology officer for U.S. education, said

But as the company moves aggressively to position itself as a protector of student-data privacy, some say it also runs the risk of a backlash if it doesn't back up its talk with the kind of vigilance the technology giant promises to deliver.While it makes sense for Microsoft to market its privacy brand, "having a business reason for doing that doesn't mean they don't believe what they do," said John M. Simpson, the privacy-project director for Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based organization.

Mark Schneiderman, the senior director of education policy for the Software & Information Industry Association, a Washington-based trade association, said in a statement that K-12 companies are competing on many fronts, and promising strong "data security and related tools" is just one of them. "[T]here is a lack of understanding among parents, the media, and policymakers about what is, and is not happening in the sector," Mr. Schneiderman told Education Week. Mr. Mutkoski, the Microsoft public-sector-services official, said in an interview.

Major organizations, he added, typically expect data-privacy guarantees to be "baked into our contracts," and, he argued, school districts should expect the same.

With No Warning, Shocked Parents told Private School is Bankrupt in De Pere. $19,000 to $29,000 in prepaid tuition lost.

The Republican attempts to commodify our kids by privatizing our public schools introduces a number of other major downsides to their movement.

Private Schools can do anything they want: I want to highlight the last line in the story below:
"Parents were angered by the closing, saying no one ever warned them the school was struggling financially."
Private schools don't have to tell parents anything. And private school closings don't get nearly enough media coverage as it should. Just consider the devastating effects on students and families left scrambling to find another school-usually a public one. Search my blog with the key words "charter" and "voucher," and you'll see what I mean. It's not a pretty picture. 

Here's another reason why having a reliable, accountable public school system is so important:
AP: A private school in De Pere has closed and filed for bankruptcy, leaving some parents out nearly $30,000 in tuition payments.

A Press-Gazette Media report says the Wisconsin International School filed for bankruptcy this month. The school has estimated assets of $50,000, but liabilities of about $550,000.

Under the terms of the bankruptcy, parents who prepaid their tuition likely won't get it back. The bankruptcy filing says two families each paid more than $29,000, and several others paid about $19,000.

School officials offered little explanation when they shut down the school last month. It sent notices to parents saying it couldn't balance its books due to declining enrollment and fundraising shortfalls.

Parents were angered by the closing, saying no one ever warned them the school was struggling financially.
The dirty little secret Republicans don't want to tell parents about private schools? Important information about declining enrollment for some charter and vouchers schools never needs to be disclosed.

Republican Rep. Bill Kramer using campaign money to defend against Sexual Assault Charges.

Why am I not surprised? One of the most arrogant Republican bullies in the legislature, outgoing Rep. Bill Kramer, appears to be breaking the law again. Kramer is using campaign money to defend himself against sexual assault chargers, a personal matter and a legal no-no.

WKOW's  Tony  Galli has the story:
A campaign finance report shows republican lawmaker Bill Kramer used donor funds to pay an attorney $10,000 to defend him against felony, sex assault accusations.

"There is no way on earth that campaign funds should be able to be used by an official to defend that official against sexual assault charges," Executive Director Mike McCabe of the watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tells 27 News. McCabe says Kramer's use of campaign funds for this purpose appears to be illegal. "This is totally inconsistent with the plain meaning of state law," McCabe says.

"State law says you can only use campaign funds if you are being investigated for, or being charged with violations of campaign finance and election laws," McCabe says.