Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Brief Insurgency" at Republican Party of Wisconsin Convention

GOP rejects secession, nullification, launches Scott Walker on campaign. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/3/2014)

Why is it I can picture more than one delegate muttering, "Who the hell let those f*****g f*****s in here?"   There was a brief insurgency from the party's left wing. Devin Gatton, leader of the state's Log Cabin Republicans, introduced an amendment to a family values resolution. Gatton sought to have the convention state that a "household with two parents in a committed relationship" is the best environment to raise children. 

The amendment was voted down overwhelmingly and the original language remained, with a "marriage between a man and a woman" recognized as the "best environment to raise children."

Sidebar:  Why do the three other faces in this picture look SOOOOO f*****g bored?

"I just don't see that as anything that going to be addressed anytime soon." (August 2013)

It's all about the base.

I dunno, we might already be there.

GOP rejects secession, nullification, launches Scott Walker on campaign. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/3/2014).

We've gone way beyond "har har HARdy har har". Delegates rejected a measure that demanded Wisconsin pass a bill to declare the Affordable Care Act null and void in the state and forbid state and federal agents from enforcing the act. One delegate said on the floor, "If we pass this, we'll be the laughingstock of America."

Could be one reason why Scott Walker is stuck at 5.

Nearly One-Third of Voting Delegates at Wisconsin Republican Convention Support Secession

Wisconsin Republicans nix secession resolution. (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/3/2014)

Related posts:
All we need to know is that secession is a Republican talking point.  (5/2/2014)
"Understanding" secessionist to run against Robin Vos in Republican Assembly primary.  (4/18/2014)

The Number of 2000+ Acre Farms in Wisconsin Has Increased by 103% Since 1997

Number of farms in Wisconsin drops 11 percent in five years.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/2/2014)

Now appearing for the first time.  The 2012 data included new items such as Internet access and renewable energy. Seventy percent of Wisconsin farms had an Internet connection in 2012, and more than 1,500 farms had renewable energy systems, including solar panels and wind turbines. 

Lois Bogart Niederer (1925-2014) Warren High School Class of 1943

Warren Times Observer obituary

"Lois" reached her peak of popularity in the 1920s, the decade in which Lois Bogart was born.  Her best years were 1929 and 1930 at #17.

Since the 1960s, though, it's been a different story.  From the line graph, it looks as though "Lois" fell off a cliff -- and shows no sign of recovery.

A popular song during the spring of 1943.

Wisconsin Tourism Posts Growth for 4th Year in a Row

Dane County among Wisconsin's 13 counties registering a growth in direct visitor spending of 6% or more.

Map prepared by Tourism Economics

Wisconsin tourism was good for business in 2013.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/3/2014)

Rebounding.  State tourism has seen positive growth in each of the last four years, after a 7.8 percent decline in 2009 in the midst of a down economy. Tourism supported one in 13 jobs in Wisconsin in 2013 and generated $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue and $1 billion in federal tax revenue, according to the report. 

Political Terminology: "Earned Media" vs. "Paid Media"

Brett Hulsey KKK stunt goes viral. (Capital Times, 5/1/2014)

Oftentimes there is merit ascribed to the verb "earn".  Not here.  “Earned media” is the expression political professionals use to describe the media coverage a candidate receives; it is distinguished from “paid media,” such as TV ads. 

Here's another Wisconsin example of "earned media".

Rivard went on to lose his 2012 re-election contest by 615 votes, out of a total of 28,334 cast.

Related post: 
Somebody's internal warning system has completely broken down. (5/2/2014)

Friday, May 2, 2014

All We Need to Know is that Secession is a Republican Talking Point

Highlighted below are 4 of the 6 Wisconsin Assembly districts whose representatives didn't sign the letter opposing a secession vote at this weekend's state Republican convention in Milwaukee.

Vast majority of Assembly Republicans oppose secession vote. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/2/2014)(

Holdin' on to yesterday.   The Assembly Republicans who did not sign the letter were: David Craig of Town of Vernon; Chris Kapenga of Delafield; Bill Kramer of Waukesha; Kevin Petersen of Waupaca; Joe Sanfelippo of West Allis; and Chad Weininger of Allouez.

Irony alert.  The theme of this year's Republican Party of Wisconsin convention: Moving Wisconsin Forward.

Related post:
"Understanding" secessionist to run against Robin Vos in Republican Assembly primary.  (4/18/2014)

Steve Wynn is Muddle-Headed

Steve Wynn: Clooney is ‘mollycoddled’. (New York Post, 5/2/2014)

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

Comparison of net worth:

Steve Wynn's net worth.

George Clooney's net worth.

Searching for Kitsch, Part 2: Beware of Dog(s)

Photo by Retiring Guy

Somewhat related:
Gloriously kitschy garden art.

Somebody's Internal Warning System Has Completely Broken Down

Maybe Brett should hire this robot as his campaign manager.

Gubernatorial candidate to hand out Klan hoods.   (SFGate, 5/1/2014)

Saving him at least $14 per hood.  Hulsey, a state representative from Madison who is white, came into the state Capitol press room on Thursday to show off a hood he says he made with his daughter's sewing machine using curtain material he purchased for $1.

Yes, folks, Brett's resourcefulness allows him to put aside money for his "Beers with Brett" gatherings.

Had he gone the ready-made route, he would have shelled out $15 for a hood, mask, and adjustable liner for $15 at this website.   (No extra charge for shipping and postage! Discounts for bulk orders!  Sorry, no overseas orders.  For novelty purposes only.)

Wonder if Brett has any plans to offer hoods in kids' sizes?

The Supremely Impudent and Cocksure Antonin Scalia Falls Flat on His Face

Antonin Scalia's Blunder Is Unprecedented, Legal Experts Say. (TPM, 5/2/2014)

Photo credit:  U.S. Supreme Court

I'm sure Clarence Thomas must have said something to his colleague about this, but Scalia just blew him off.

The ideological Bobbsey Twins lose this round.  (4/30/2014)

Columbus Wisconsin Public Library Chosen for ALA's Libraries Transforming Communities Initiative

Columbus Library chosen for ALA program. (WiscNews, 5/1/2014)

LTC Public Innovators Cohort

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Almost too hard to believe!" Can you say "photoshop"?

Cross falls on Adult World Bookstore: It's a Fake.  (WVLT, 4/29/2014)

There's a cross, but it's not big enough to reach the building if and when if falls over.

The Boys-Will-Be-Boys Coddling of a Star Athlete

Florida State’s Jameis Winston Is Cited for Shoplifting Shellfish. (The New York Times, 4/30/2014)

A consequence-free lifestyle.

All we need to know.  2013 Hesiman Trophy winner Jameis Winston led the Florida State Seminoles' football team to a national championship.

For this latest transgression, Winston has been suspended from the FSU baseball team.  Not a tough call for coach Mike Martin, I imagine.  College baseball is not much of a money sport, and Winston's talent is middling.

During the 2012-13 season, Winston started in half of FSU's 64 games.  He batted a meager .235, compared to the team average of .287.   In 119 at-bats, he hit no home runs and batted in 9 runs.

He fared better as a relief pitcher with a 3.00 earned run average in 17 appearances and 27 innings pitched.

As for his fielding percentage (.940), he's no gold-glover.

Winston is spending a lot more time on the bench this season.  Of the 44 games played so far by FSU, he has started in 5 and played in 22.  His batting average is an anemic .194 -- 5 hits in 36 at-bats.

His pitching has improved.  (The guy's got an arm, remember.)  In 16 relief appearances, he has an ERA of 1.50 in 24 innings pitched.  Not to mention 25 strikeouts.  He can bring it, as they say.

He has made no errors so far this season in just 13 fielding chances.

But back to the shellfish.

Maj. Michael Wood of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (and Seminole Booster?)  is reported as saying that Winston will probably repay the $32.72.


Another Republican Presidential Primary Poll, Another 5% Showing for Scott Walker

The question (among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents).   I’m going to read a list of possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. After you hear the list, please tell me, if the 2016 Republican presidential primary or caucus in your state were being held today, for whom would you vote? Which candidate would you lean toward?

The results:

Related posts:
I hope Scott Walker had a good Easter cuz Donald Trump is outpolling him in New Hampshire. (4/20/2014)
Fox News: Scott Walker polling neck-and-neck with Rick Santorum.  (4/17/2014)
Iowa Republican caucus voters not singing Scott Walker's song.  (4/10/2014)
Scott Walker still "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again".    (4/4/2014)
While Mary Burke campaigns for Governor, Scott Walker continues to run for President.  (3/28/2014)
The Washington Examiner offers a boost to Scott Walker Presidential campaign without a hint of irony.  (3/26/2014)
Let's do an ID update on this Townhall straw poll.  (3/25/2014)
Scott Walker for President 2016: Pundits like the idea but the public sez "meh".  (3/16/2014)
Scott Walker is in a bind.  (3/15/2014)
Christie/Walker meme, part 3.  (3/8/2014)
Christie/Walker meme, part 2.  (3/7/2014)
Christie/Walker meme, part 1.  (3/7/2014)
The chattering class falls hard for Scott Walker, but the voters are still scratching their heads.  (3/6/2014)
So he, too, can embarrass himself.  (12/30/2013)

Top and Bottom 10 States: Public Library Square Footage Per 1000 Population

Wisconsin = 1,071 square feet.

Source:  Institute of Museum and Library Services.  "Public Libraries in the United States Survey, Fiscal Year 2011".

Other public library statistics posts:
Percentage of other materials expenditures of total collection expenditures in U.S. public libraries (2011).  (4/27/2014)
Collection expenditures as a percentage of the total in U.S. public libraries (2011).  (4/26/2014)
Top and bottom 10 states: Total per capita operating revenue of public libraries.  (4/25/2014)
State Revenue as a Percentage of Total Public Library Revenue (2011).  (4/24/20140
Percentage of total FTE librarians with "ALA-MLS".  (4/23/2014)
Average number of ebooks in public libraries by state.  (4/22/2014)
Video materials per 1000 population in Dane County and larger Wisconsin public libraries.  (4/21/2014)
Video materials in U.S. public libraries per 1000 population.  (4/20/2014)
Audio materials in U.S. public libraries per 1000 population.  (4/19/2014)
Periodicals per 1000 population in U.S. public libraries.  (4/18/2014)
Print materials per capita in U.S. public libraries.  (4/17/2014)
Number of public-use Internet computers: Selected Dane County public libraries vs. national average.   (4/16/2014)
Two column graphs on public-use Internet computers in public libraries by population of legal service area (2011).  (4/16/2014)
A statistical look at public-use Internet computers in public libraries, 2011.  (4/15/2014)
Total, children's, and young adult public library program attendance per 1000 population, By population of legal service area (2011).  (4/14/2014)
U.S. public library children's and young adult program attendance per 1000 population (top and bottom 10 States).  (4/12/2014)
U.S. public library program attendance per 1000 population (top and bottom 10 states).  (4/12/2014) 
Wisconsin the unquestioned leader in interlibrary loans provided and received per 1000 population.  (4/11/2014)
Wisconsin and Ohio share the public library interlibrary loan spotlight.  (4/10/2014)
Public library visits and circulation per capita by population of legal service area (2011) .  (4/8/2014)
Decline in Number of Bookmobiles Continues to Accelerate in 2011.  (4/7/2014) 
Library circulation per capita: Top 10 and bottom 10+ states.  (4/5/2014)
Library visits per capita: Top 10 and bottom 10 states.  (4/5/2014)
The biggest and the smallest U.S. public libraries: Hours of operation (2011).  (4/3/2014)
Hours of operation.  (4/3/2014)
Public Libraries: Larger and Smaller Units of Governance, Iowa and South Carolina.  (4/1/2014) 
Number of public libraries in the ten most populous states. (4/1/2014)
Percentage distribution of public libraries by legal service area population.  (3/30/2014)
Public libraries by type of legal basis.  (3/30/2014)
Public library revenue.  (3/24/2014)
Number of libraries, 2011 (administrative units).  (3/19/2014)
Library staffing, 2001-2011.  (3/19/2014)

Here is What's Really Going On, Glenn Grothman

From World Health Day op-ed piece by Scott H. DeLisi, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda

Now let's hear from Glenn himself, as quoted in "Glenn Grothman blasts U.S. moves against draconian Ugandan homosexuality," Capital Times, 4/30/2014.   (The caption is mine.)

It's been clear for a long time that Glenn Grothman is inclined to flap his jaws without any knowledge of the facts.

USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty.

Other Grothman posts:
Glenn Grothman, affirmative action, and the demographics of Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District.  (4/28/2014)
Glenn Grothman wants to go to Washington.  (4/3/2014)
Two-Term State Assembly rep considers run against career U.S. House rep.  (3/30/2014)
West Bend, SB440, and e-cigarettes.  (3/6/2014)
Yet another lesson in Republican hypocrisy.  (2/13/2014) Do you, like Sen. Grothman, suffer from convenient memory loss?   (12/9/2013)
Glenn Grothman shouldn't expect a job offer from The Onion.  (8/27/2013)
Pigs fly: Glenn Grothman expresses concern for Wisconsin's most vulnerable citizens.  (4/27/2013)
This  just in from Glenn Grothman.  (4/4/2013)
"My Ozaukee County residents" get Sen. Grothman's attention.  (2/26/2013)
Walker can't come to Grothman's defense (when forced to comment).  (1/6/2013)
Glenn Grothman wants to slap down Kwanzaa once and for all.  (12/31/2012)
Glenn Grothman has a new way to put your tax dollars to work.  (1/12/2012)
Glenn Grothman doesn't want you to follow the money.  (1/12/2012)

There Are Now Women as Well as Men Working for the Middleton Police Department

Article headline from Middleton Life, May 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Please, Toronto, Give Us Leave, Eternally, From Rob Ford

Separated at birth. Rush Limbaugh had a big drug problem, too.

Shit, folks, they even look procinely alike.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Will Take Leave, Seek Help For Substance Abuse. (NPR, 4/30/2014)

In the Mission Revival Style: Not Quite Twinners

 Mission Revival Style.  In Madison, Wisconsin, of all places.

Mirror Image Triple Decker

Photo by Retiring Guy

For further reading:
History of the Triple Decker.  (
Hard Times for New England's 3-Deckers.  (The New York Times, 6/15/2009)
The Three-Deckers of Dorchester.

Likely Responses are "The Bible" and "Gone With the Wind"

What is the request?

‘The Bible’ & ‘Gone With the Wind’ Lead Americans’ Top 10 Favorite Books: Harris Interactive.  (GalleyCat, 4/29/2014)

Exercises like this remind me of Gallup's most admired man and woman poll, for which the request might as well be phrased as "Name someone you hear about in the news every day."

Searching for Kitsch: Bowling Balls as Yard Art

See also:
Bowling ball art on Pinterest.
Garden art:  Bowling ball garden spheres.  (Instructables)
100 things to do with an old bowling ball.  (Facebook)

The Ideological Bobbsey Twins Lose This Round

Photo credits:  U. S. Supreme Court

Justices Back Ruling Limiting Coal Pollution.  (The New York Times, 4/29/2014)

No word, or quote, from Thomas. In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the regulation was unwieldy and suggested it was Marxist.

Related reading:
Re-Activist Judges.  (ACS Blog, 8/14/2004)

Late First-Time Fatherhood or Second Time Around?

Whatever the case, it's another sad story about the sorry state of affordable housing in the U.S.

Up in Years and All But Priced Out of New York.  (The New York Times, 4/29/2014)

Yeah, I don't always stay on task.   Jennifer Stock, 33, has been looking for a place for her ailing 89-year-old father after his assisted living residence in Park Slope, Brooklyn, announced it would shut down by this summer.

Related post:
Report on 'America's Rental Housing' from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.  (4/30/2011) 

2011-13 Circulation Statistics: Wisconsin Public Library Consortium and Wisconsin Public Library Service Data

About the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium.

Total = ebooks + video + music + OverDrive READ + audiobooks.

Note:  2013 WPLSD total is an estimate based on recent small declines in total circulation in Wisconsin public libraries, as reported in the Wisconsin Public Library Service Data.  

What is and isn't included in the Wisconsin Public Library Service Data numbers.  (From the 2013 instructions for the Wisconsin public library annual report.)

Circulation: A circulation transaction is the act of loaning materials at a library or bookmobile in all formats for use outside the library. This activity includes checking out materials to users, either manually or through a self-checkout system, and also renewing, each of which is reported as a circulation transaction. Include items circulated from all library units (e.g., main library, branches, bookmobiles, and book-by-mail programs) administered by the library board. Do not include Overdrive or NetLibrary use (uses of these non-physical materials are reported in 7, below). Interlibrary loan items provided to the library and checked out by the library should be reported here as a circulation. Do not include interlibrary loan items sent, or checked out to, another library.

More Puffery from the Wisconsin Builders Association

In reality........

Where Will Homebuilding ETFs and Stocks Move in the Week Ahead?  (Bidness Etc, 3/12/2014)

Not so fast there, Wisconsin Builders Association. Even homebuilder stocks, which had gained strength following the announcement of better-than-expected new home sales for January 2014, are now reversing course. Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc (HOV) hurt investor confidence by reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Its poor performance created uncertainty as regards where the economy was headed and what lay ahead for the US housing industry.

Millennials Still Want Homes in 2014, but Can’t Afford Them Due to Prohibitive Student Debt.  (Wise Lit, 3/1/2014)

Maybe you should talk to your Republican buddies, guys.   As demographer Cheryl Russell writes for MSN, “Debt, coupled with double-digit unemployment, has hobbled millions of young adults who would have bought homes, married, had children and feathered their nests with all the middle-class goodies that keep our economy humming.” In other words, this generation’s on the outside looking in, fogging up the windows of the American Dream.

Keynote Session - New Map to Homebuilding: How New Builders are Remaking Themselves & Retaking the Market.  (NAHB International Builders' Show, January 23, 2014, Las Vegas)

From the program description.   Everything has changed. The economy is in a slow but uneven recovery. Housing demand fundamentals are improving but supply is still restricted.

Related posts:
Dear Wisconsin Builders Association (R), All houses were not created equal.  (4/24/2014)
No thanks, Wisconsin Builders Association, I'll stick with my 28-year-old Weber grill.  (4/21/2014)

How Rich is Donald Sterling?

Forbes provides the answer.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life, fined $2.5 million. (Chicago Tribune, 4/29/2014)

As Ralphie Boy would say, "A mere bag of shells."


NBA to Milwaukee Bucks: You need more red seats....and pizzazz

The premium seats.  One of the shortcomings of the current arena is the relatively small number of seats in the lower bowl. There are approximately 7,000 seats in the lower bowl, far less than most NBA arenas. 

The Bleacher Report ranks the Bradley Center 30th (our of 30) among NBA arenas.   (...generic....serves its purpose....least awe-inspiring....)

In the lower half as far as seating capacity goes.  (The Information Diet)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Actually, Maureen, singles hitters tend not to whiff so much

Is Barry whiffing?  (The New York Times, 4/29/2014)

The use of the word "chatterers".  Well, at least she got one thing right.  A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.

Meet Joe Sewell.

And Pete Rose hit more than 3,000 singles and struck out an average of 52 times per season.

Don't come cryin' to me next spring

Poll: Young Voters Uninterested In November 2014 Elections. (NPR News, r4/29/2014)

So much more damage to undo by the time it's 2016.  This is the kind of polling result guaranteed to raise Republican hopes and give Democrats sleepless nights. Younger voters tend to vote Democratic. If they are significantly less inclined to vote this year than they were in 2010 — when Democrats lost the House — Election Day 2014 could be very gloomy indeed for Democrats.

Dateline Detroit: Abandoned Library as Dump

Tone-deaf Walker and the Wheelchair Ramp

Photo credit:  State of Wisconsin

Board rejects plan to remove wheelchair ramp from governor's mansion. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/29/2014)

Dale, the damage is already done. Schultz said the board may have done the Walkers a favor by rejecting the idea, noting it could have been used against the Republican governor in an election year by his political opponents. Walker faces Democrat and former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke in the Nov. 4 election. 

"It would be a first-class opportunity to kick the governor for being insensitive to people with disabilities," Schultz said of the political ramifications.

The fact that the First Lady, with what you assume is the tacit approval of her husband, brought the request to the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board is all we need to know here.  It's a snapshot of her worldview.

We're still awaiting a statement from Governor Walker

Federal judge strikes down Voter ID law. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/29/2014)

Two sentences from U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman's 70-page ruling.  "There is no way to determine exactly how many people Act 23 will prevent or deter from voting without considering the individual circumstances of each of the 300,000 plus citizens who lack an ID,. But no matter how imprecise my estimate may be, it is absolutely clear that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes." 

Related posts:
Voter suppression: Rep. Tom Larson uses the City of Milwaukee as the bogeyman.  (3/31/2014)
Sen. Mary Lazich shows her true colors.  (3/18/2014)
Wisconsin headline? No, the Ohio legislature also approved model voter suppression legislation from ALEC.  (3/14/2014) 
And the hypocrisy just keeps on coming: Republicans can't even give lip service to their "principles".  (2/14/2014)
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sez "no" to 40 of his Assembly colleagues.  (12/30/2013)
Your Wisconsin Republican Assembly hard at work promoting Governor Walker's jobs agenda (and GOP principles).  (11/15/2013)
Mary Lazich: Caught in the act of undermining confidence in the voting process.  (11/4/2013) 
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement asks a question about voter ID laws.  (11/28/2012)
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) still drinking the Kool-Aid.  (11/12/2012)
Tennessee Supreme Court gives Memphis Public Library cards a thumbs up for voter ID.  (11/4/2012)
Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling pisses off Republicans.  (10/27/2012)
Early voting begins today (Monday, October 22) in Wisconsin.  (10/22/2012)
Judge finds at least one aspect of Tennessee voter ID law "nonsensical".  (8/1/2012)
Judge to weigh in on library cards in Memphis voter ID skirmish.  (7/30/2012)
Library card/voter ID fray in Memphis.  (7/10/2012)
I'd be careful making any long-term Voter ID assessments based on the February 21 primary election turnout.  (2/26/2012)
Hope you signed at least one recall petition, Ruthelle.  (12/5/2011)
True, but why not share a couple of examples with us, Deborah.  (11/11/2011)
Hoping that other state newspapers have similar local news to share.  (10/29/2011)
Walker sez "We're broke" but GAB could spend $600,000 on voter ID public education plan.  (10/12/2011)
ACLU of Wisconsin denounces photo ID policy reversal.  (10/7/2011)
Voter ID:  "A solution without a problem".  (9/25/2011)
Wisconsin State Bar's Civil Rights Section requests AG Holder to monitor Voter ID Bill.  (9/1/2011)
What's the matter with Wisconsin?  (7/27/2011)
Wisconsin Legislative Council information memorandum.  (7/15/2011)
Appleton Alderman Wants Pushback on State Voter ID Bill.  (2/7/2011)

Related reading:
New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States. (The New York Times, 3/29/2014)
ALEC Exposed:  Democracy, Voter Rights, and Federal Power.  (Center for Media and Democracy, 9/28/2012)
Right-Wing Operatives Take Up ALEC's Voter Suppression Agenda.  (Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, 4/19/2012)
Voter Suppression 101.  (Center for American Progress. 4/4/2012)

Will the Real Mark Gala Please Stand Up?

In the News: Scott Walker's Refusal to Issue Pardons

Dozens, including veterans and Republicans, urge Scott Walker to issue pardon. (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/29/2014)

RG comment.  Four years later, Scott Walker is still running against Jim Doyle, so don't expect our current Governor, full of stubbornness and lacking compassion, to change his policy not to grant pardons.  The weenie wants to look like a tough guy.  He's compensating, in other words.

Jim Doyle issued 63 pardons during his first four years of office but had picked up the pace by the time he left, as the table below clearly indicates.  In 2 years, though, from 2008 to 2010, the number of clemency requests he had to consider more than tripled.

These pardons were not issued willy-nilly.

Here's how Donald Leo Bach, Gov. Tommy Thompson's first legal counsel, describes the process in a 2005 Wisconsin Lawyer article, "To forgive, divine:  The Governor's pardoning power",

To prevent the governor from being inundated with applications, to insulate the governor during the application process, and to provide a system that carefully evaluates the merits of each application, recent governors have established a screening panel or board by executive order.  Typically, the governor's legal counsel (or other designee) chairs the board. 

Along with establishing a Pardon Advisory Board, the governor can promulgate a set of rules or procedures for applying for a pardon to supplement those established by the legislature.

Walker, of course, has not established such an advisory group.  He has no insulation, in other words. For this reason, the odds are not good that Eric Pizer, a decorated Iraq war veteran, will achieve his dream of a career in law enforcement.

Here's the tally for Jim Doyle's predecessors in the Governor's office going back to 1979.

For more information, see Wisconsin State Law Library: Pardons.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Website Design: All Walker, All the Time

Where is the Job Recovery? In Lower-Wage Industries

From a report, 'The Low-Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years into the Recovery."

Bottom line:   Today, there are nearly two million fewer jobs in mid- and higher-wage industries than there were before the recession took hold, while there are 1.85 million more jobs in lower-wage industries.

Related reading:
Gap Between Executive Pay and Worker Wages Continues to Grow.  (Aljazeera America, 4/15/2014)