Friday, October 28, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
- - by an Oregon federal jury after the takeover, occupation of and damage to a US Wildlife facility raises all sorts of issues:
* Will this embolden Trump partisans who have talked openly of insurrection should Trump lose the Presidential election?
* How can you square this with the mass arrests being visited upon Native Americans and their supporters at the site of the North Dakota pipeline?
The double-standards are blatant and disturbing and dangerous and wrong, wrong, wrong.
Posted by James Rowen at 7:44 PM
[Updated from 5:30 p.m., 10/25] Our intentionally-corrupted state with Scott Walker at the helm is leading the news today.
From The New York Times:
MADISON, Wis. — It seemed a clear victory for voting rights advocates in July when a federal court invalidated much of Wisconsin’s restrictive elections law, concluding that it discriminated against minorities by requiring voters to produce photo ID cards that blacks and Latinos too often lack. The remedy was straightforward: Henceforth, the state was to “promptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person” who applied for one.
But this month when Treasure Collins visited one of the Wisconsin motor vehicle offices that issue IDs, she found something entirely different.And today, separately from a story spreading across the Internet originating with discoveries made by One Wisconsin Institute and published in The Nation:
A City Clerk Opposed an Early-Voting Site at UW–Green Bay Because ‘Students Lean More Toward the Democrats’Walker policies and allies are throughout these stories.
Updated with past articles:
* Behind closed doors, Republicans were giddy over voter ID's partisan opportunities.
* In a separate interview, Glenn Grothman, a former Wisconsin GOP state senator promoted to the US Congress said the voter ID law would help a Republican presidential candidate win Wisconsin this November.
And Wisconsin Republicans and their allies have acknowledged using suppressionist laws and tactics for partisan benefit:
Posted by James Rowen at 5:54 PM
- - and that one of the issues raised by opponents is the review of the plan by the Scott Walker-directed 'chamber of commerce mentality' Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources without requiring the company to submit a formal permit application.
The plan even includes turning over for golf course operations at least four acres of land in the adjoining Kohler Andrae State Park - - a request likely to find a friendly reception at the DNR where, as we speak, thousands of acres of state land under DNR ownership - - public land, your land - - is being offered for sale.
While other big corporate operations like water-hogging, manure-and-pollution producing big feedlots and heavily-polluting frac sand mines are given kid-gloves' permit reviews and continuing 'oversight.
Just today, Wisconsin organizations are seeking federal intervention over health hazards posed by frac sand mining, made worse in Wisconsin by the DNR's inaction:
MADISON, WI – On behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a petition this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting formal objection by the federal agency to an air pollution permit approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.The grassroots organization Friends of the Black River Forest, one of several groups around the state which has taken on the burden of environmental preservation which Walker's DNR has intentionally forfeited, has continued to question the project and has asked DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp - - again - - for a meeting. Here is the text of the organization's request.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:12 PM
* The same federal judge who rolled back many of the more egregiously-restrictive ballot access barriers which Walker and his party wrote into the law - - and let's give major props right now to One Wisconsin Institute for winning the that federal ruling and also for uncovering shady Green Bay voting suppression which also made news nationally this week - - has also ordered Walker's DMV to track down voters wrongly turned away by officials' paperwork game-playing when seeking those onerous voter ID's Republicans unnecessarily made a voting prerequisite.
* And state Congressional Democrats, correctly worried that GOP-sown confusion over ID's and other election-day procedures will gum up the works at polling places have asked federal monitors to observe the Wisconsin election procedure to guarantee voters' rights and a fair election.
Let's hope the feds put lawyers here on November 8th so election rigging is limited only to Donald Trump's 3:00 a.m.Tweets.
(Disclosure. I am a retired One Wisconsin Institute board member and played no role in the activities mentioned above).
Posted by James Rowen at 11:12 AM
Posted by James Rowen at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The same Bobby Jindal who in 2016 himself behaved stupidly by clumsily chasing after Presidential primary traction he did not and will never have, then cemented his own stupidity into GOP lore by endorsing for President the even stupider, more deplorable and totally unqualified and unelectable Donald Trump whom Jindal had called "unstable."
But...Jindal's analytical, predictive genius shone brightly for the ages across the political environment on a single day in January, 2013, and for which historians and the rest of us will fairly give him his due.
That was January 24, 2013 - - after his party had blundered to a Presidential election loss in 2012 and incumbent Democrat Barack Obama whom the GOP had insanely vilified and obstructed had been sworn in for a second term - - and Jindal, with a measure of courage and an economy of language rarely seen in a profession of self-absorbed, talk-forever windbags had publicly urged the GOP to "stop being the stupid party."
Jindal had nailed it, but his warning went for naught, as his party - - in the very next Presidential cycle - - nominated a-beyond-merely stupid Donald Trump - - the woman-molesting, war-mongering, immigrant-trashing, tax-evading, democracy-wrecking Donald Trump also backed by a squad of repulsive media shills, surrogates and best friends like one-time Klansman Wizard Donald Duke and Newt Gingrich and Rudy Guiliani and Sean Hannity and others - - who joined together in a burst of coordinated stupidity to demean and further drive Hispanic, Muslim, African-American and female voters far, far from the Republican Party in the current election and years to come.
While many GOP elected officials like Scott Walker endorsed Trump and refused to take the endorsement back as Trump & Co. got more repellant.
So thank you, Bobby Jindal.
For a moment, you rocked.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:40 PM
And though the link to an industry publication I'd cited and quoted is no longer active, I had copied out enough of it in a 2015 posting that showed Stepp was more than a mere supporter of the idea - - she encouraged it - - so her agency should not have been surprised that the GOP-led Legislature followed through with a directive she and her staffers would need to implement.
In that posting, I was criticizing the Journal Sentinel editorial board for emphasizing the Legislature's creation of the plan, as if the DNR, with its hands tied, was only going along with a bad policy when the record showed DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp had backed and encouraged such a plan years earlier:
So I had written:
When selling DNR land was raised in 2011 before the Legislature codified it, [DNR Secretary Cathy] Stepp told a dairy industry meeting that she was all for it so long as the parcels were not environmentally sensitive:
MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said Nov. 29 she would listen to a proposal to sell DNR-owned land as a way to infuse cash into the agency's budget.
Stepp was put atop the DNR by Scott Walker to bring what he called "a chamber of commerce mentality" to the agency's management, and Stepp, a former developer, had and continues to do just that.Speaking at the Dairy Business Association's Business Conference, Stepp responded affirmatively to a proposal by Emerald dairy farmer John Vrieze, who suggested that DBA members across the state should come up with a list of properties that are not environmentally sensitive that the DNR could sell and return to the tax roll.
Posted by James Rowen at 4:22 PM
- - comes another email notice about a new round of listings, so feel free to check them out. I noticed that several include trout stream frontage, snowmobile trail crossings, timber cutting and hunting opportunities.
Fifteen of these approved properties are now being offered for sale and have been posted for bid as Auction #16825 on www.WisconsinSurplus.com [EXIT DNR]. The bidding process for these parcels will close Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 starting at 10 a.m.
Parcels available for purchase are located in Adams, Bayfield, Florence, Green Lake, Iron, Langlade, Price, Walworth, Waushara and Vilas counties, and range from 4.3 to 122.6 acres. All properties are accessible by a state, county/town road or easement.
For more information regarding the department’s land sale program under Act 20, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "land sales."Here are two examples:
|70 +/- Acre Wooded Parcel w/Snowmobile Trail Easement(s) near St. Germain WI|
- Address: Juve Rd, St Germain, WI 54558
- Property Details: The Northern Hardwood stand on the parcel provides habitat for forest interior bird and animal species and management has been done to improve the timber quality on the parcel. There are three snowmobile trails approximately 3,225 feet long intersecting the property, which are maintained by the St. Germain Snowmobile Club. This parcel is accessible from Juve and Pedycort road, with three vehicle pull off locations along snowmobile trails which the public uses to access the property.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:01 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 12:00 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Back then, reports indicated sales could pick off small, disconnected and otherwise underutilized parcels:
Most of the land in the first sale is isolated and not located in property boundaries where there is high public use...Other parcels are landlocked, with no current public access.It turned out that some of the acreage was primo waterfront property and at least one big Walker campaign donor almost got a sweetheart deal before whistles were blown.
Little wonder that the DNR is easing regulation on or soft-pedaling reviews of donor-run industrial-scale feedlots and a controversial high-end golf course along Lake Michigan which could be allowed if the DNR says OK to take a piece of an adjoining state park.
Anyway, the sales are continuing and people's attention has shifted to other things, but someone with knowledge of central Wisconsin land use and values raised an interesting question by focusing on another prime DNR parcel listed for sale in Waupaca County, where land with good hunting is in short supply and can sell for $6,000 an acre, and even $6,800, for the best hunting acreage.
The source's question: why should high-income residents get to buy such nice acreage which now belongs to the people?
Here's a link to the current sales information and the specific parcel, FL1312, describing a nearly 39-acre site with trapping and hunting opportunities, four parking stalls, additional improvements and even a trout stream running through it.
At $6,000 an acre, the possible selling price is close to a quarter-million dollars - - and who knows, perhaps more - - if my source's knowledge of property values there is accurate.
And while I have no reason to doubt the acreage value, and if it were off by say, 10% or even 25% - - the parcel's sales price is going be beyond the reach of most Wisconsin residents whose per capita annual income is about $27,900, and about $28,600 in Waupaca County, census data show.
Sound fair to you?
My source further explains how removing hunting land from DNR/public access makes other problems worse:
Sound smart to you?
Posted by James Rowen at 3:56 PM
Good suggestion, so let me put up a link to Feingold's voting record and related items, and then a link here to this comprehensive piece from Huffington Post, with this excerpt:
Posted by James Rowen at 2:01 PM
Documents cited by The Nation, unearthed by One Wisconsin Institute, show the clerk asking state election officials if she could refuse to open an early balloting site on campus:
“UWGB is a polling location for students and residents on Election Day but I feel by asking for this to be the site for early voting is encouraging the students to vote more than benefiting the city as a whole,” she wrote on August 26 in an e-mail to David Buerger, counsel at the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. “I have heard it said that students lean more toward the democrats….You see- - there's made-up voting fraud, and there's real election fraud that begins with GOP Gov. Scott Walker's pushing unneeded voter ID, then GOP legislators drafting redistricting maps in secret, then passing GOP-inspired limitations on balloting hours so restrictive that a federal judge had to remove them, then creating the blatantly partisan Green Bay ballot box blockade plan to keep certain people from unfettered voting - - and in Wisconsin, the ruling Republican Party has mastered using state power all of these mechanisms of election obstruction.
Or rigging, as Donald Trump might call it.
It's more than a little ironic that the local clerk involved in the Green Bay ballot access mess was appointed by the city's GOP Mayor who, separate from the student balloting scandal, has recently pleaded guilty to a series of campaign finance law violations.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:38 AM
Posted by James Rowen at 1:02 AM