April 20, 2006

Breaking News.

And it ain't here for a change.

Denis Navratil at Free Racine has an interesting piece of original reporting up concerning the Racine City Council and their willingness to give away excess tax revenues.

Denis is also showing an aptitude for math.

This guy is going to be good.

The Racine Journal on CARE

Check out the official Racine Journal Fishwrap line on the Eric Marcus release about CARE.

These are the first two paragraphs as put out by Racine Unified Cheermeister Brent Killackey.

A defeated School Board candidate has set his sights on defeating the Racine Unified School District’s June 6 referendum.

Eric Marcus, who finished fifth out of six candidates in the April 4 general election, announced Thursday the formation of the Coalition to Actively Reform Education, or CARE, a non-partisan advocacy group to improve the education of children in the school district.

My isn't that a cheery introduction? Brent tries to paint Marcus as a loser not once, but twice before he gets to anything substantive.

Brent fails to mention of course the $40,000 invested by a shadow 527 PAC Partners for Progress and their influence into this election. You might think the local paper's education reporter might want to look into something like that. Somehow I doubt RUSD spokesperson Linda Flashinski would give him permission to publish something like that.

I issued a note to Brent Killackey on the Journal Times forums to contact me if he would like to do some real reporting on this issue. As usual I do not expect to hear from the paper, and after we break news here again they will come to the party a week or two later.

I have been doing research into Partners for Progress and am getting close to publishing some very interesting findings on that group, who they are, where they get their money and the dirty little secret they do not want to get out.

Stay tuned folks.

It is going to get noisy around here again soon.

New Citizen Group Opposes RUSD Referendum.

Recent Racine School Board candidate Eric Marcus is not going quietly into the night. Marcus could not overcome the $40,000 in shadow funds from Partners for Progress (investigation into this continues more to come) but he has formed Care, the Coalition to Actively Reform Education.

This is the release sent out about CARE.

Educational Reform Group Opposes Referendum
Racine, Wisconsin – April 20, 2006
Contact: Eric Marcus, Coalition to Actively Reform Education (CARE) - 847.668.3915

The Racine Unified School District is asking the community to exceed spending limits and give them another $6.45 million. The Coalition to Actively Reform Education (CARE) thinks it’s just good money after bad and urges a “no” vote.

Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Racine Unified School District students remained the same while overall school spending in Racine rose from $178 million to $256 million - an increase of 43.8%. At the same time, student achievement on statewide exams and graduation rates continue to be far below state averages.

While asking again for a tax increase, the Racine Unified School District has failed to present a vision for the education of our children, 1-year and 5-year goals or an action plan to improve student performance. CARE has developed a vision, goals and actions for the Racine Unified School District. We want to work with parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders to quickly finalize and begin implementation of this plan.

At its April 3, 2006 Board meeting, the Racine Unified School District acknowledged that it could reduce expenses by over $2 million with no impact on students or teachers. There does not appear to be any reason these cuts could not have been made in prior years. This is not the kind of tax revenue stewardship we deserve.

CARE calls for the Racine Unified School District to present an acceptable plan for our children’s education - including specific and measurable actions for achieving them – before asking the voters for more money. Continuing to ask voters to simply make up deficits is irresponsible. We need to ensure that our spending is focused on providing the best education for our children. We invite the Racine Unified School Board to meet with CARE to discuss cost reductions that would have little, if any, impact on our childrens’ education and would not require a referendum in 2006.

Despite unacceptable student achievement, the top 21 Racine Unified School District administrators were paid $2,497,308 in salaries and fringe benefits in 2004 (the most current state published figures). That’s an average of over $118,919 a year. Racine Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Hicks, is paid a salary of $140,100 plus fringe benefits of another $53,028 for a total of just over $193,000.

While Racine Unified School District teachers will receive copies of their proposed new contract as part of the ratification process, though legally permitted to do so, the School Board insists on keeping those terms a secret from the community which must pay for it.

The June 2006 referendum gives our community the opportunity to tell the Racine Unified School District that we will not give them more tax dollars without effective stewardship for public money and an acceptable plan to improve the education of our children.

CARE, a non-partisan advocacy group formed to improve the education of children in the Racine Unified School District, offers membership at no cost. CARE advocates setting measurable objectives to improve student achievement and graduation rates; establish District accountability with proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars; offer neighborhood schools to all students, decrease average busing times; and provide educational leadership that earns the respect of the community. CARE invites inquiries and membership.

The Bucks get the short straw.

So the Milwaukee Bucks draw the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

In terms of full disclosure, I really do not follow the NBA. However I know that Detroit is just really really good. The Bucks website says "Mow down MoTown"

Does anyone give the Bucks a chance to win more than one game?

It is the law, so get over it.

The Game has a very interesting piece up on Democratic Party & ACLU objections to Indiana's new voter ID bill.

April 19, 2006

Yet another new blog, Free Racine

My goodness we have new blogs popping up all over the place.

Last time we were in Kenosha, now we come back to Racine for Denis Navratil's Free Racine.

If you have spent any time looking through the web logs at the Journal Times you have likely come across Denis before. He is not shy with his opinion and should make an excellent addition to the ever growing Kringlesphere.

Good luck Denis and welcome to the RDW blogroll.

103" High Def Plasma TV


I wonder how many of these local School Boards will be buying to replace their puny 42" plasmas.

McLellan Resigns.

Scottie McLellan last message to the press, you will not have me to kick around any more.

I would like to offer a suggestion as to his replacement.

Ann Coulter.

Would she be the best choice? Absolutely not.

Would the drama between Ann Coulter and the rabid White House Press Corps be the best reality show on TV? Absolutely!

Reacting to the Reaction from the Jude Jury.

I've been giving some thought to the Jude decision. I have avoided commenting on this for a couple of days while I thought this through. Actually, I have avoided as much opinion on this as possible as I did not want my analysis clouded.

First of all, I was surprised the jury acquitted. However, I can see why they did so. The DA really did not put on a strong case and if reasonable doubt is the standard I respect their decision.

The acquittal was the best thing that could of happened for those who really wanted a shake-up in the Milwaukee Police Department. If the jury had come back with guilty verdicts across the board it is likely that Steve Biskupic would of passed on this case entirely. Now we have a real no nonsense hard-nosed prosecutor with the power of the Grand Jury and the ability to compel testimony looking into the matter.

Those who had a couple days of celebration on acquittal had an abrupt change of attitude when this was made a Federal case. If getting to the bottom of the "code of silence" and getting rid of bad cops is the agenda of the protestors then the Federal case should be their best friend. I hope they give the process enough time to work itself out.

That being said, something is bugging me. A bunch of white cops acting together beat up a black guy and got acquitted. That is a federal case claiming Mr Jude's civil rights were violated.

A bunch of political operatives get acquitted for attempting to suppress the votes of an opposing political party. Three of the operatives are black two of those being sons of well placed political operatives. One of those children's mother is running for Congress on the same day in the same district as the crime.

Is not attempting to infringe upon the right of persons to vote a civil rights violation? The no time community service plea bargain of three of the perpetrators and the acquittal of the other tire-slasher was a complete joke.

How is there not a federal investigation into this issue?

Are not the civil rights of the voters as important as the civil rights of Frank Jude Jr?

Apparently not.

April 17, 2006

Point Counter Point: We The Jury.

Belle is off this week. Graciously Kay Collins-Shulz (Racine County Democrat of the Year) has agreed to fill in for her.

I sent Kay 3 words, "We the jury" and asked her to write on that.

Our Honored Guest First:

They jury system as it now stands is an outdated form of justice. Many a juror show up with preconceived notions of what is non-debatable evidence such as eyewitness accounts. We have learned that eyewitness accounts are often wrong, just plain wrong. Forensic evidence is often up to interpretation and science has added so many new theories that most of us are still not sure how to accept them. Some jurors show up with nothing more than a bad attitude because they feel that they have been victimized by being forced to participate and take that attitude into deliberations. Then there's the whole group dynamic issue where the group is led by one or two personalities who may or may not be the best in evaluating evidence but have the strongest will in driving the group.My solution would be to set up a volunteer system where people go in to have some classes on general court proceedings, evidence examination and how to participate in a jury so that no manipulation can occur. Draw from that pool the potential jurors. When people gripe about the cost of this or the loss of income from participating they should be reminded that they could end up in court, in front of a jury, themselves someday. It can happen to you.

My Take:

Everytime I think I have a jury figured out, I don't.

I was sure OJ was guilty. Not.
I was sure Robert Blake was guilty. Not.
I was sure Martha Stewart was innocent. Not.
I was sure Michael Jackson was guilty. Not
I was sure Jeffrey Dahmer was nuts. Not.
I was sure Mark Chmura was guilty. Just wet.
I was sure the tire slashers were guilty. Not.
I was sure the Frank Jude cops were guilty. Not

What is it with these people who serve? Disclosure time. I did not see every minute of testimony in any of those cases. However, there was enough press coverage of all of those cases as to make an educated guess upon their outcome.

I simply do not think there is anything you can not get away with in this country if you have enough money, fame or a slick enough lawyer. Having a racial component does not hurt either.

There is not a doubt in my mind that several of the Jude jurors found for the cops because they were cops, or white or both. By the same token I know there were jurors in the tire slashing trial who acquitted in that case due to politics, or race or both.

We do have equal opportunity stupid jurors.

The rule would seem to be, We the jury find in favor of our preconceived bias.

Lady justice must be crying.

Well, there is one good reporter in Racine.

And that reporter does not work for the Racine Journal Fishwrap. That reporter works for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Jennie Tunkieicz wrote an excellent piece about last Monday's raucus Racine County Democrats meeting.

Some very interesting things there, I'll comment on them later.

In the interim read her story and feel free to comment.

Ignoring the Tough Questions: Your Racine Journal Fishwrap

In yet the next in a long history of puff reporting on various liberal icons in our area the Racine Journal Fishwrap just gave us the following headline, Area Latinas become leaders.

This glowing embrace of Maria Morales, Diana Garcia, Rosa Salinas-Hultman and Racine Horlick High School teacher Al Levie does not ask one hard question.

We have written about Maria Morales, Diana Garcia and Rosa Salinas-Hultman before so we shall start ith Al Levie. Mr Levie started a student chapter for our old buddies at Voces de la Frontera. He has set up voter registration drives and goes right along with the whole illegal people with rights crowd. Embracing illegal activity is a bit of an outrageous activity for a high school teacher, is it not?

Maria Morales is of course Christine Neumann-Ortiz' right-hand gal at Voces and in charge of firing up the illegal population in Racine at Christine's whim. And of course we have Diana Garcia, who just ran for school board, being attached at the hip to Voces as well. (A fact we covered and the paper ignored)

Absent from any of Scott Anderson's big marshmallow fluff reporting to these two are any tough questions about Voces and their activity. For example, the storm the Senator's house night, the allegations of voter registration fraud or the oft ignored abusing the ole' 501 (c)(3) status in regards to lobbying and organizing protests (seemingly all Voces does anymore).

Then we have Rosa Salinas-Hultman. Reporter Anderson mentions twice Rosa is the new head of the Democratic Party in Racine County. Never did the reporter mention how Rosa came to power, or ask her about the ethics of how she came to her office. She was part of the Kurt Vlach "Unity Slate" which means she was complicit in a stealth takeover of power (Question worthy? Perish the thought) . In fact Rosa Salinas-Hultman did not even want the job as Chairman, she was forced into it from bylaws when Vlach resigned. Now that is an interesting story (not covered)

There are issues here among all of these people. How can the Racine Journal Fishwrap ignore all of them? I can tell you they were not at all kind to me when I recently became the story. For all the people in this area that complain about the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel being liberal I'll clue you in on something, they have nothing on the unltra liberal viewpoint out of the Racine Journal Fishwrap.

They grill conservatives and paint them in a bad light whenever possible, yet they write puff piece after puff piece about liberal activists without asking one difficult question. How can they continue to proclaim their objective status?

A Public Service Link.

While traveling over the weekend the subject of the sex offender map came up. Mrs. RealDebate was somewhat surprised by the number of offenders in our neighborhood as she had never seen the map before.

If you want a map of your area click this link.

Point Counter Point: We The Jury

Point Counter Point will be up later featuring a special guest from the left.

Our topic: "We The Jury"

April 16, 2006

Top 10 things to do with leftover Peeps

From Fox News' Brian Wilson.

10. Effective plug for White House leaks
9. Gooey insides make a fine bathroom tile adhesive
8. Send sugary yellow coating to CBS so they can sweeten the Couric deal even more
7. Form stale, hardened Peeps into anti-McKinney body armor for Capitol Police
6. Marshmallow cushion for falling presidential poll numbers
5. Drop them by the dozen in coordinated strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities
4. Hannity and Colmes Peeps fight
3. Glue to walls to make padded room for children who consumed too many Peeps
2. Peeps pot pie
And (big drum roll) the No. 1 thing to do with left over Peeps...
1. Give them to Wilson. He'll eat anything.