January 28, 2006

Voces de la Frontera: NEW INFORMATION

In a surprising chain of events the Racine Journal Times beat me to a part of this story. (Oh well, I guess they get paid to do this)

The paper reported that the investigation is winding down. According to the DA (Michael Nieskes), they sent the case back to the Sheriff's office for clarification on a couple of questions. However, the DA said the investigation is 95% complete.

The paper did indicate they need to interview Stepp one more time and interview a "person who was at Stepp's house and that person's attorney."

However, RDW has learned the "person" identified in the story is none other than VDLF Director, Christine Newmann-Ortiz (this is the part where we re-scoop the paper). The fact she has hired a lawyer (we understand it is a defense lawyer), can not be a good sign for her.

Senator Stepp has been patient while the investigation has been progressing, but RDW has also learned her patience is running low. If no charges are forthcoming in the next week to 10 days, expect a rather strong response from her.

January 27, 2006

Racine Deomcrats Scammed by the State Democratic Party!

Apparently the Union Takeover by Kurt-Vlach of the Racine County Democratic party was against the bylaws in force. The State Party knew about it and kept quiet until it was too late to protest the election.

So what we have here is the State Democratic Party condoning election fraud against other Democrats.

Outrageous.

This is from the Racine Democrats website. The comments are interesting to read as well.

"We were scammed!" according to the State Democratic party headquarters in a recent statment regarding the November elections/takeover in the Racine County Democratic Party.

New information has been discovered regarding the November elections in the Racine County Democratic party. In October 2005, the state party approved the 1994 version of the bylaws of the RCDP which had months previously, been challenged by Earl Christianson, a member of the Unity Slate and now a current member of the new executive board. After months of controversy, Joanna Beilman-Dulin, an employee of the State Democratic party headquarters instructed the then current leadership of the RCDP they must follow the old 1982 version of the bylaws for the elections since the records for the 1994 had been mysteriously lost by the state party. A move that many people find a little too coincidental.

According to sources at the state party, Kurt Vlach and his "unity slate" were informed prior to the elections in November that the 1994 version was in fact the valid version to be used for the elections but used the old invalid version in full knowledge it was illegal for the elections.

For those that do not have any idea as to the significance of this - if in fact the 1994 version of the bylaws (which had been used since 1994 until Earl Christianson challenged their authenticity in 2005) the election would have been completely null and void. In the 1994 version of bylaws, new memberships on the day of elections are not allowed to vote, as well as multiple names on the ballet for Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are not allowed. The entire "unity slate" would not exist, instead, they would have had to go through the democratic process of turning names into the nominations committee.

The time to contest the election has come and gone. The former executive board had never been informed, the state party knew the election was illegal and the wrong version of bylaws were being followed, yet the state party allowed the election to proceed illegally. Representatives from the state attended meetings prior, during and after the election and did not reveal they knew the wrong version of bylaws were being used.We truly were scammed- we were scammed by the Wisconsin State Democratic party and we were scammed by Kurt Vlach and the "unity slate".

Email

I sent the following email to Jessica Erickson, Communications Director Wisdems.org.

Hello Jessica.

I would appreciate it if you could comment on the statement released by Mr Wineke today in regards to the investigation currently underway jointly by the Federal Prosecutors Office, The Attorney General and The Dane County District Attorney.

Seeing as two of three investigative bodies are led by elected Democrats, and the other being a non-partisan office, a non partisan office that recused itself due to working with the relative of a principal party involved. In addition, the investigation was called for by a member of each party.

How can this be, "partisan politics and a desperate attempt by Republicans to attack Governor Doyle during the campaign season."?

I would appreciate an explanation.

Kerry Speaks

Former presidential candidate Kerry announced from Switzerland that he wanted to block
President George W. Bush's conservative nominee with the stalling tactic to prevent "an ideological coup" on the high court.


"Judge Alito will take America backward, especially when it comes to civil rights and discrimination laws," Kerry said is a statement.

So John Kerry is taking issue with the fact that George W. Bush nominated a conservative judge.

Tell me, if he had won would he of replaced Sandra Day O'Connor with someone in the mold of O'Connor or someone in the mold of Ginsberg?

Funny the AP story goes on to say, All but a few Democrats in the 100-seat Senate are united in opposition against the 55-year-old conservative, saying they fear Alito, if he joins forces with other conservatives on the US high court, will undo years of liberal court rulings.

Ok, usually when pols go across the aisle it is bi-partisan, with this it is united opposition.

How are they united when several Dems have announced support for Alito.

In addition, it sounds like the AP (A non-biased news source, laughing) seems to think it would be a bad idea to reverse liberal rulings.

I guess we know where they are coming from.

Lastly, exactly what is Kerry doing in Switzerland when he should be at work in Washington? Just curious.

Gore accuses big oil of bankrolling Tories

Renata D'Aliesio and Katherine Monk,
Calgary Herald; CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their "ultra-conservative leader" to protect its stake in Alberta's lucrative oilsands.

Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord -- an international agreement to combat climate change. "The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta," Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

I have no idea what is stranger, Gore attacking the new Canadian leader before he has assumed office, or the fact that he is attending the Sundance Film Festival?

Lookin' for some free Bling Al?

Reid Says Administration Neglecting Cities

By WILL LESTER,
Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 4 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Cities are at risk because the Bush administration is too preoccupied with its political problems to properly prepare for another natural disaster or terrorist attack, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told mayors from around the country Friday.

"Any one of your cities and towns could be the next New Orleans," Reid said at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "The federal government owes it to you and your citizens to be prepared the next time disaster strikes."

Tell me Mr. Minority Leader, why does the President have Political Preoccupation? Could it be because you and your minions question EVERYTHING he does? No matter what he does you come out aginst it, it matters not the position, if it is his, you are against it.

Nah.

January 26, 2006

Byrd on Alito, the Senate, the Media and BOTH Parties

An excellent statement from Senator Robert Byrd (D, West Virginia)

I encourage you to read this.

Judge Cashman changes sentence

For those who have not heard this, there has been a large uproar in regards to a Vermont Judge sentencing a child rapist to 60 days in jail. (the reason: treatment is more important than punsihment)

Today Judge Cashman called a do-over and changed the sentence to 3 to 10 years.

I would like to point out that former Survivor winner Richard Hatch is facing up to 13 years for tax evasion.

So, up to 13 years for not paying your taxes, up to 10 years for repeatedly raping a 7 year old child.

Is it me or is there something wrong with this?

STOP THE PRESSES

Aaron is up this week for Blog 'O 'Da Week. This should be some interesting bleg.

Belle did win last week. Congratulations!

Voces de la Frontera: Rhetoric


We have been highlighting the activities of Voces de la Frontera. As a public service, these are the links to our prior stories about Voces de la Frontera. The links are in order so if you need some background you can play catch up.

For the next issue let us speak to rhetoric. (My comments are in green)

Quote: Our immigration status is broken, It Intentionally traps an uprecedented number of working families in illegal status. I think their coming into the country on their own choice illegaly is the thing that gave them illegal status, not a broken system. Federal officials should focus on fixing the system not denying undocumented workers their rights! Rights? What rights should people who have no legal status to be here have Christina? I would argue the only right they have is to deportation. Additionally for the 4 millionth time ILLEGAL NOT UNDOCUMENTED! Our state leaders have the opportunity to ensure public safety on our roads and create an atmosphere free of discrimination. Since when does being against an illegal activity make you guilty of discrimination?!?!?!?!?!? Finally we have it, if you disagree with me you are a racist. But wait, she confirms it.

Despite the racist rhetoric, we all benefit from the labor of immigrants... And there we have it straight from Christine Newmann-Ortiz herself. If you disagree with her, you must be a racsit. Congratulations Christina you are slinging the race card with the ease of Michael McGee Jr! You have graduated to the big-time.

I learned Voces de la Frontera was going door to door in the State Senate yesterday LOBBYING against SB334.

I repeat my charge, this is a 501 (c)(3) that claimed N/A on their taxes in regards to lobbying activity, that seems to be engaged in nothing but partisan lobbying. I know Mr Biskupic has been busy lately, but could you please take 15 minutes to look at the evidence I have presented here.

In my previous post I tied this together with the current environment in regards to shady voting, and the use of the STUPID Mexican Consular ID, which could easily make an illegal person able to vote by telling one little unverified fib. This group is dangerous, their rhetoric is dangerous and their mission is dangerous.

January 25, 2006

Creative Genius


Huge H/T to Patrick for this.

Agree or not with the implied message here, it is FUNNY.

Sometimes I wish I could spend a couple of minutes in Patrick's mind, then I run shreaking in horror!

Voces de la Frontera

I have more but are you the RDW readers sick of this?

Journal Times with their head in the sand.

The Journal Times has a vibrant community based web forum.

They are also completely clueless sometimes as to what they put up for discussion.

A poster wrote the JT this: Trust but Verify wrote:Hey, where's the thread for the political scandal in the Doyle administration? Pay for play is apparently alive and well in Madison, with a Doyle aid getting a federal indictment and not a peep from the JT? There's no BIAS here, is there? 01/25 08:42:06

You got it, they had to be chided into putting something up on this for discussion.

The JT response: Thanks for the suggestion. Here's the story:

The Journal Times then went on to post the stock Associated Press version of the story.

This confused me, and I wrote them a little note:

I have a serious question I would like the Journal Times to answer.

Is not this story important enough to write your own story and not rely on the AP for a change?

Seriously, how about some community reaction. Why not interview some political wonks, business owners, regular citizens or local bloggers on the issue?

The JT had to be chided by a poster to even put anything up on this why we have serious issues like going rates for baby sitting that make the forums easily.

How about a discussion on the Federal Grand Jury process? Is it not important that a federal prosecutor can grant immunity and make someone testify?

Perhaps these sorts of issues would be of interest?

They would be to me.

I'll let you know if I get a response, but I doubt that I will.

They did reprint the Doyle response to all this with no comment.

If you would like to see the Racine reaction (including a discussion of how RealDebateWisconsin is being fair on the issue) see the open threads here and here.

UPDATE: No response yet but someone named Curious added this beautiful comment:

Following up on the last comment by Fred, I also have a question I would like the Journal Times to answer.

How is it a story about American Idol developing a "Mean streak" and a Debatable on obesity lawsuits more news worthy than a grand jury indictment against a Doyle aid, such that the corruption story ends up on page 11A while the Idol & Debatable cover the front page of your “news” paper?

Have you called your State Senator Today?

The Ethanol Mandate is being debated in the Statet Senate right now.

If you want your voice to be heard, call NOW!

I have contacted my Senator, she is voting no.

Have you contacted yours? Do you know who your Senator is? If you are not sure, click this.

Call your Senator and tell them your opinion.

Tell us who your Senator is and how they are voting.

Bigggg bill

AB-338 got a vote in the Assembly yesterday. What does AB-338 do?

AB-338 bans lawsuits that target the food industry for “causing” a person’s obesity.

Assuming this gets through the Senate, assuming this lands on the Governor's desk, knowing this does nothing to help educate children: will the Governor veto this?

Considering his cozy relationship with the trial lawyers, absolutely he will.

January 24, 2006

Taking Scott Walker to the Woodshed

Walker for Governor released the following within an hour and a half of the indictment of Georgia Thompson:

“The indictment handed down today shows how corruption can infiltrate all areas of government. Unfortunately we have a Governor and administration that condones unethical and illegal behavior. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.”

“Today’s indictment provides further confirmation that the Doyle administration is damaged and must be removed from the Capitol. Jim Doyle’s political connections to this aide are, without question, mentioned as a defining piece of the evidence used to bring forth this indictment.”

I think this statement goes too far, Jim Doyle has not been indicted of anything. I think the chances of his getting indicted are increasing daily, but to date he is not worthy of this kind of rhetoric. I expect more of Scott Walker, this is sleazy.

Walker does go on to add the following in regards to some immediate reforms:

“Governor Doyle needs to purge his administration of individuals who place politics and special interests ahead of the people of Wisconsin. I am also calling on the Governor to adopt the reforms I proposed earlier this month that would prohibit anyone bidding on a state contract fromcontributing to his campaign for Governor. I am calling on Governor Doyle’s campaign to return any contributions from individuals made while bidding on a state contract.”

“Additionally, I am calling on the Governor to prohibit his appointees from both giving to his campaign and/or hosting fundraisers on his behalf. Also, he should return any and all contributions from administration officials immediately.”

I agree 100% with Walker on these reforms. While Governor Doyle can not be personally held responsible for the actions of Georgia Thompson based ont he information we know now, his administration is weakened through this indictment. He should try and remove any conflicts, and he should do it yesterday.

Interesting.

Somewhere between 200 and 400 people a day make their way here. You know it fascinates me how people find this website sometimes.

Here are some of the most recent search terms
  • tire slashing (Netscape)
  • homicides in racine wisconsin (Google)
  • voces de la frontera ab69 (Google)
  • indictment and Doyle (Google)
  • eugene kane is terrible blogs (MSN)
  • discrimination in mexico (Yahoo)
  • phone listing racine unified schools (Yahoo)
  • judge alioto (Google)
  • What democrats are involved in Abramhoff scandal (Google)
  • Alioto Responses in Hearings (Google)
  • pelosi is horrid (Yahoo)
  • Brian Dey (Yahoo)

The top five search terms in order

  • Real Debate Wisconsin (Yahoo)
  • tire slashing (Netscape)
  • "Voces de la Frontera" (Google)
  • voces de la frontera (Yahoo)
  • Judge Alioto (Google)

It was a proud day for me when RDW became the top search term

Most of you who read this blog are bloggers as well.

What are some of the interesting search terms that people have found your blogs with?

Doyle Aid Indicted on Travel Contract

Developing. You can read the indictment here.

For my lefties who immediately convicted Scooter Libby & Tom Delay, and have jumped to conclusions on Geroge W Bush before we know everything, how do we feel about this?

Does Georgia Thomspon deserve a trial or should we just convict her as well?

Memo to the left

You might want to pay attention to what is going on to the north.

Canada, long a liberal utopia, said yesterday we have had enough.

This election was turned into a referendum on American policy. The ruling liberal party put out horrible advertisements linking the conservative party to being friendly with George Bush and America in general (as if that would be a bad thing), the result.

Conservative Stephen Harper won and promised to cut taxes, get tough on crime and repair strained ties with Washington.

Clue: sliming does not work.

January 23, 2006

Point Counter Point: Concealed Carry

Welcome to the first RealDebateWisconsin Point Counter Point.

Our Issue of the day, Concealed Carry.

The Point will be presented by Belle of Leaning Blue, the Counter Point by myself..

We admire Belle, and are honored to have her join us in this endeavor.

Ladies First.

Point.

First, I'd like to thank Fred for asking me to engage in a debate with him. I think that if the Cheddarsphere were to engage in more civilized debates -- such as this -- we could get some great discussions going.

As you may know, vetoed by Governor Doyle. I support Doyle's decision to do so.

Here is one portion of this bill I find most troubling "The bill authorizes a licensee to carry a handgun in a school zone if: 1) the licensee is in a motor vehicle or on a snowmobile or bicycle; 2) the licensee has exited from a motor vehicle and is encasing the handgun or storing it in the motor vehicle; or 3) the licensee is traveling directly between any two of the following places: any person's private property, the licensee's place of employment or business, or a place outside of the school zone. These changes, however, relate only to the carrying of a concealed firearm at or within 1,000 feet of a private school and within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a public school. The bill does not affect the provisions of the gun-free school zone law that prohibit a person from possessing a firearm in a public school itself or on the grounds of a public school." Why do I find this so troubling? It permits the legal possession of firearms near schools.

Some this case from Racine last week? Mr. Adrial White, while not possessing the said the following: "Basically, if you wanted to get down to the nuts and bolts for citizens, you can shoot someone when it's in defense of their life or in defense of yours," he said. "That's the bottom line." My fear is that if the concealed carry bill does become law, we may have more cases like this. But, here's my point -- it's not eye for an eye, tooth for tooth...

Let me direct your attention to Matthew 5:38: "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. I support a person's right to defend themselves and their property -- but I think that can be accomplished without using deadly force.

I support the rights of Wisconsinites to bear arms -- responsibly. I do not view concealed carry as a step towards safety. How can I know that the person in the next car hasn't had a rough day, is rather crabby and is on the verge of a breakdown? How can I know that this person isn't going to pop me one if I cut him off or happen to follow more closely than he'd like? How do I know that if I piss someone off and they don't like it, they won't shoot at me? This is what I fear. How can we know these things won't happen? Even if proponents of concealed carry affirm these things won't happen -- because it's the law-abiding citizens who would be possessing concealed weapons -- how can we know for sure?

People still go AWOL.

What we need is not a bill that permits law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons -- because then, we're just stooping to the level of the criminals. What we need is more anti-violence programs/participants. We need to nip these violent behaviors in the butt -- otherwise, we're no better than the criminals we say we're trying to stop. How 'bout we stop it before it gets to that point?



COUNTER POINT

In terms of full disclosure, I have never owned a gun. If this law passes, I likely will never apply to carry a gun.

The only real reason that is ever argued in opposition to concealed carry legislation is emotional. What we hear is, it is too violent out there and I oppose more guns out there. On its face this seems logical, but that opinion is turning a blind eye of the reality that is concealed carry in other states. The pro side will speak right to bear arms all day, I do think the constitution is cloudy on that. Gun rights in the Constitution deal mostly with raising militia. (If of course you consider original intent). This may clear that up.

Let us look at some statistics. In the 12 years following Florida adding concealed carry .0001% of permit holders had their licenses revoked due to fire arm related issues. In Texas in the first two years of their concealed carry some 163,096 permits were handed out, seven people were charged with discharging their firearms. All seven were cleared and it was determined they fired their guns in self defense. Minnesota’s law is four years old, in that time one permit has been revoked for someone doing a gun crime. In North Carolina, not one permit holder has ever had their license revoked for a gun crime.

Many law enforcement types come out in opposition to concealed carry, I would submit the following comments by Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, :"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert."

In fact concealed carry reduces murder, on average, by 8.5%, rape by 5%, and severe assault by 7%. I think we could all agree that would be a good thing.

Fact of the matter in his Wisconsin is the bad guys already have guns. What opponents are saying is they have a problem with law abiding people carrying. Does it not occur to the opponents that if this legislation is passed that it might give the bad guys pause if they thought the victims of their crimes might just have means to protect themselves?

Governor, my veto pen only works on Friday, Doyle’s veto will NOT be overturned on this issue. The precedent of upheld vetoes is more important to the Governor than the actual legislation. The Democrats in the State Assembly will not allow their members to come out of caucus on this until they are sure they can kill the bill. Someone will turn, I have no prediction on who that will be. However, being so close to actually passing this will only encourage concealed carry proponents to try again.

Mrs RealDebate had an interesting thing to say on this subject last night. If this goes down again, all of the hunting gun proponents should start doing their hunting in Minnesota.

January 22, 2006

New Reality TV Idea.

Crime and law dramas are all the rage, as is reality TV.

Why not a reality-based TV show that shows guilty people getting off scott free because of idiotic biased jurors? Of course to protect the identities of all persons involved these stories would have to be re-enactments.

All we need is a snappy title and some production capital.

Plenty of plot ideas out there don't you think?

Jill Carroll's writing.

We have all heard about the freelance reporter Jill Carroll being held hostage.

How many of us have read her writings?

If you are curious, here are several of her articles.

One. Two. Three.

NEW FEATURE! Thought of the week.

When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty...