April 3, 2009

Big government bonuses...

Outrage... Absent.

Want to win $500?

Sure you do.

Enter the MacIver PI contest!

Hope and Change.

Did you notice that the Hope and Change crowd hopes nothing changes at DPI?

Vote Rose Fernandez on Tuesday. Lets bring about an actual chance of improvement for Wisconsin schools instead of the same old same old from the Teachers Union backed hack.

Hey, Rod Blagojevich (D), you've just been indicted on 19 counts what are you going to do?

I'm going to Disney World!

Here we go again.

I just got this release from John Leiber. Same tactics from a shadow left wing front group, different election. Still hiding the money, I guarantee you it is from WEAC.

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: John Leiber
Phone 262 639 5454
Email john.leiber@gmail.com
4825 Alcyn Drive
Racine, WI, 53402
www.johnleiber.com

Front group being used to funnel cash into the school board election again

Fake group "Racinians for Academic Progress" spends thousands in attempt to buy election for the incumbents

Racine, WI, April 2, 2009: A front group named "Racinians for Academic Progress" must have spent thousands of dollars in order to influence the school board election in the Racine Unified School District.

In a mailing received by countless citizens in the district, this shadowy group all but endorses both of the incumbents running for reelection. But who is this group and where does the money come from? The organization is little more than a P.O. Box and phone number that goes to voice mail. This is not the first time this has happened in Racine. In 2008 a group called Alliance for Educational Success did the same thing and then promptly vanished. In 2006 the group was called Partnership for Progress, while in 2004 it was called Citizens for Better Public Education.
Many of these older groups were connected to Jeff Neubauer, president of Kranz Inc, which has a contract with the Racine Unified School District.

In each case these groups send out thousands of pieces of literature before the election, and then vanish as soon as the election is over. It is time the people of Racine reject these secretive organizations. This election we must vote the incumbents out and demand accountability and transparency in school board elections.

Contact "Racinians for Academic Progress" at 262-497-7331 and ask Administrator Worth Hawes where the money is coming from. Ask him if Jeff Neubauer is involved.

For more information about these fake groups see the Journal Sentinel article at:

http://www3.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=414202

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2009/04/02/local_news/doc49d555f5d5702890051079.txt

Racine Mayoral Forum VI

Tell us an item or two in the City budget that could or should be cut.

Pete Karas.

I would replace the position of city administrator with that of a deputy mayor. I believe that this is a position with too much power and very little accountability. The deputy mayor would be appointed by the mayor, serve the same term as the mayor, and be paid less than the mayor.

I also feel that the healthcare costs (insurance) are bloated. This needs a full review so that we are not overpaying for one claim payment.

Beyond that, I would be looking for new ways to generate revenue, most notably by creating a public power utility that would generate an additional $4-6 million each year that could be used for property tax relief or additional services.

Greg Helding.

This takes the wrong approach to city spending. If a person wants to lose weight, they don’t cut off a leg. They change their lifestyle. The city must do the same. As Mayor, I will foster an entrepreneurial climate in city government. I will work hard to consolidate services within city government and cooperate with other local governments on joint ventures. This leads to efficiency and savings across the board.

One specific area that I will look at first is our consulting contracts. I will re-evaluate existing consulting contracts and get rid of those that are not making a difference for Racine. Hard-earned tax dollars must be spent wisely.

Jody Harding.

We have a “contingency fund” line item of $1.5-million, set aside “just in case” we need to make salary payments to employees we have no intention of hiring. This should certainly be cut. Other items that could be eliminated include cutting an additional $340,000 from non-departmental “contingency” expense, and cutting $103,000 for the removal of street light poles.

Are our taxes too high, too low or just right?

Greg Helding.

Our taxes are too high. As we have lost industry and development, the tax burden has shifted to our homeowners. We need new development, new business, and rising home values to realize true tax relief. That is why I am proposing innovative solutions to our crime problem. I will work hard to eliminate the gang and drug crime in Racine. This will help make our city desirable for business and development again. This will equalize our tax base and give homeowners some much-needed relief.

Jody Harding.

Our taxes are much too high. As described above, there is a significant amount of waste in the city budget which desperately needs to be cut. Business and individuals are moving away – sometimes to just outside our borders – to escape our tax burden, which is one of the highest in the state. New business and potential new residents see our tax rates as one more reason – along with high crime and poor education – to decide to pass Racine by.

Pete Karas.

Our regressive property taxes are too high--especially for older citizens who are struggling to remain in homes that they have long since paid off. The shifting of the tax burden is something that has to happen primarily in Madison and I will lobby for effective changes in State law.

I am the only candidate with a plan for property tax relief. By forming a municipally-owned electric utility (public power,) the City will receive around $5 million in “payments in lieu of taxes.” A portion of this new revenue will be allocated to lowering the property tax burden.

April 2, 2009

The Presiprompter of the United States


The Presiprompter of the United States


So what's going on at home?

So what should Obama give away next?


Not bad, but here is the obvious choice.



Heck, it even looks a little bit like Hillary.
Your suggestions?

Sorry Pete...

Racine Mayoral Candidate Pete Karas just called me to discuss a couple of things.

I promptly dropped the phone.

Sorry Pete, it wasn't personal, I'm just a klutz.

Introducing the Government-Backed DMV Automotive Repair Center!

Racine Mayoral Forum V

Despite falling home prices, levies in Racine have gone up in each of the last two years. Ignoring actual market conditions creates a distrust in the city assessment process. Will you make a concerted effort to tie assessed values to actual market conditions?

Jody Harding.

Politicians don’t like to lower assessed values because it means they must raise tax rates in order to collect the same amount of tax dollars. Raised rates make the city administration look inefficient, which it in fact is. Although very few people in Racine place much credence in the “assessed value” of their property, it is not good for the city to ignore the fact that their published fair market values are so far removed from reality.

The process of reducing the values is a complicated one. In fact, the amount of value assessed to a particular community is dictated by the state. That amount must then be distributed – as fairly as possible – among all of the properties located within the community. If the state assigns an overstated value to the community, all properties within the community will be overvalued. I am not completely sure what power the city has to reduce the state dictated value of the community, but I would certainly take all possible steps to make sure that our assessed values were in line with actual fair market value.

Greg Helding.

The assessment process must be fair, public, and transparent. As Mayor, I will work to improve Racine’s process or outsource the service to remove it from the possibility of political influence. I posed tough questions to our assessor’s office during the previous two budget cycles and I stressed the need to accurately reflect market conditions so we can fairly apportion the property tax burden. As Mayor, my appointments to the Board of Review would support fair and accurate assessments.

Pete Karas.

Yes. I believe that the City's decision to go to assessmants every two years was an unfair one. We need to return to one year assessments so that home values more accurately reflected in assessments.

April 1, 2009

Republicans: Democrats Budget Spends Too Much, Taxes Too Much, Borrows Too Much

Not an April Fools joke.

Your state budget would LIFT a requirement for welfare recipients to keep their kids in school full time.

This is Bizarro world folks.

Nope, no media bias.

Move along, nothing to see.

Guess the number game

95

UPDATE:

PETA Killed 95 Percent of Adoptable Pets in its Care During 2008

Hypocritical Animal Rights Group’s 2008 Disclosures Bring Pet Death Toll To 21,339

WASHINGTON DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the animal rights group kills an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, VA headquarters.

According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 2,124 pets last year and placed only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of PETA workers.

Racine Mayoral Forum IV

Justified or not, the reputation of RUSD hurts the ability to attract jobs and new residents to Racine . What do you see as the problem and as Mayor will you work with the school district to turn around that situation?

Pete Karas.

I would make working with Racine Unified School District a priority. Besides working on the obvious local issues and enhancing communication, my administration will work with the State Legislature and lobby on behalf Racine young people.

I believe, when compared to other “richer” districts in Wisconsin that the school funding formula falls short for urban areas like Racine . We need the State to step up to the plate and fairly allocate their dollars. Then we will have the resources we need to fund the education for our children.

Greg Helding.

While the city does not have a direct role in education, the city’s Mayor must be an active participant in the efforts to improve educational opportunities for all of our children. Our schools are a reflection of our community - they depend on each other. As Mayor, I will work with representatives of the public, private, and religious schools in the city. Our city government and the schools will meet regularly and cooperate in the mission to educate our children. Cooperation works. For example, RUSD recently achieved a massive drop in truancy in a collaborative effort with our police department.

In today's world, education is the key to long-term success. We can no longer look at education as something that stops after the 12th grade. The high school diploma of today is the 8th grade education of yesteryear. Inspired by other communities, I, and a small group of leaders, have been working on a positive vision for Racine's future - The Racine Promise. The Racine Promise is an effort to create a private endowment to ensure that everyone in Racine has the opportunity to go to college. This idea has the power to change our expectations, our people, and our community. Kids who are poor or homeless now would know that the dream of college is possible. We could break the cycle of poverty in Racine.

Jody Harding.

The RUSD’s bad reputation is not entirely deserved, since we have good teachers, adequate school buildings and resources, and the same curriculum as other schools across the state. The real fault lies with the community and the students. As a community we have allowed the growth of an “urban myth” that claims that persons of certain ethnic and/or economic backgrounds cannot succeed in this country. This cruel lie causes our young people and their families to devalue education as wasted effort.

The best prospects we have for turning around this negative attitude and getting our children not only back into the classroom, but actually learning, is with community organizations that are working closely with families. Teaching parenting skills and offering the benefit of their real-world experience, these groups are making progress convincing young people that life isn’t hopeless, that they have unlimited potential, and that the power to realize their grandest dreams lies within themselves.

It is the duty of the mayor to put the power of the city behind these grassroots organizations. Working with the school district, the city needs to support, coordinate and provide resources to these groups which can make a huge difference in the lives of our children, and the future of our city.

Big News on the state budget!

Recognizing that tax increases to fund an almost 10% increase in state spending during a recession, is not the solution voters want, Governor Doyle announced today that he will introduce a new budget that makes actual spending cuts. Doyle surprised Madison insiders when he said, "Going forward my mind will be open to every solution except one. We should not, we must not, and I will not raise taxes.” more

March 31, 2009

The Presiprompter goes to Europe.


Editoonial


For the record.

I'll never buy a GM or Chrysler product again.

Kaption This.


H/T Joey

The Best Moment at the JFC Meeting.

In the half an hour or so I spent at the Joint Finance Hearing yesterday one moment stood out.

Parking was a precious commodity at Case High School due to the packed auditorium.

Shortly after a parade of Gateway Technical College people begging for money the Chairman, Senator John Lehman, read a list of license plate numbers of cars that were parked illegally that the fire department had asked to be moved.

Senator Lehman then asked for the next speaker.

Representative Tamara Grigsby clearly wasn't ready to move on. She stopped the proceedings asking for further clarification on the parking issues. She told the Chair that one of the cars that was asked to be moved was hers, and the Police had told her to park there. She wanted to know exactly where she should park.

Someone came up from the back and whispered in Senator Lehman's ear, he then suggested that Grigsby could park on Oakes Road where there was legal parking. (Not a short walk)

By her body language it was obvious to everyone in the room that Grigsby was not amused, especially when the entire audience laughed at her outrage over something so trivial.

If only Tamara Grigsby was as concerned with the massive increases on taxes and fees to Wisconsin taxpayers as she was with the parking situation at Case High School...

Attempt to shut down protest thwarted.

Yesterday at Case High School a hearing was held by the State Joint Finance Committee to solicit feedback from the public on the state budget.


The folks from CRG were there with a protest and trying to raise support for their recall effort against Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

There were complaints from the leftists teachers and Case and the silent polite protesters were told they would have to leave. CRG, knowing their rights informed them that they were on public property and had every right to be there.

Fortunately Racine County DA Mike Nieskes stepped in and stopped the attempted suppression of free speech.

Racine Mayoral Forum IV

The KRM rail line is always a hot button issue. It is my belief that this proposal which will require a 90% + subsidy is far too expensive for the benefits provided. Agree of disagree and why?



Greg Helding.



I support commuter rail linking Racine to Chicago and Milwaukee. The connection to our nearest economic centers is critical to Racine’s future. In exchange for removing funding of the BUS system from our property taxes, a small sales tax would be an appropriate funding mechanism for a Region Transit Authority.



Pete Karas.



I disagree. The benefits to a successful KRM commuter rail line are manifold: we will experience greater and easier access to the economic and cultural opportunities in our region, there will be less congestion on our roads and highways, and there will be less overall pollution to our air supply. It will absolutely be worth the investment.
That said, I do think that the proposed sales tax increase to help fund the rail line should also apply to the entire counties of Racine , Kenosha , and Milwaukee . I also have concerns about the structure of the RTA and it having a less-than-democratic board appointment process.



Jody Harding.



The KRM is a very bad idea for Racine at this time. Its enormous expense can only be realistically funded by an increased sales tax, something Racine taxpayers cannot afford. Although the proponents of the sales tax claim that we would see a corresponding reduction in property tax bills, I find that argument to be both disingenuous and unrealistic. While property tax might dip slightly and temporarily, we would see no real long-term decreases.

KRM proponents are quick to claim that the rail line will bring business and prosperity to Racine. I ask people to remember the old “North Shore Line” which made the same golden promises thirty years ago. That line, which ran during Racine’s heyday, went out of business due to lack of ridership. What hope do we have that things would be different in today’s harsher economic climate?

The final argument against taking on the expense of the KRM is the simple fact that its promised transportation already exists. The only real difference between the proposed rail line and the existing bus line is that the bus has rubber wheels. The bus is privately operated, requiring only a small taxpayer subsidy. It currently stops at precisely the same downtown location the rail is expected to stop. It is a clean coach bus with all of the amenities the rail car is expected to supply, and has the additional advantage of being able to change its route as needs change. And finally, the bus has one more thing in common with KRM: virtually no one rides it. Will rail fare any better?

Caledonia Schools Rally

Tonight at Gifford Elementary RUSD will be hosting a Listening and Linking Session for Caledonia residents. Prior to the session at 5:30 the Caledonia schools steering committee will be hosting a rally to show the RUSD board that we are serious with our desires.

If you are able to show up for the rally please do so and wear blue. Hopefully we will get the attention of the school board and they will begin to listen.

March 30, 2009

Things Change.

The saying used to be...

As GM goes, so goes the country.

The saying now appears to be...










As the country goes, so goes GM.

I like the old way better.
Seriously, the President dictating corporate leadership? We are on exceedingly dangerous ground here.

Hey Shirley.


"The best thing a judge can do is help people" is what Justice Shirley Abrahamson is telling us.

No, the best thing a judge can do is not be an activist and just interpret the law as written.

Judge Koschnick, is that kind of Judge, he has my vote.

MRQ if you give a Fred a cookie...

like bulls through a drunk in Pamplona. Lance.

that leaves the 70 mile stretch of road with just 53 porn stores. Deibert

Spendzilla, The Budget That Ate Wisconsin. Fred.

a millionty-billionty years ago, Harvey.

Zombie bait Chris.

liberties with the rendering. Troglo Pundit.

That's why I don't ride a bike Chuckie.

Get down on it! Orbs

injured by toilets SER

blogging is all about ego. My ego. Troglo Pundit.

don't touch me on my binky. Black Sphere

I'm hungry. Jimi

the sexy ones pictured above Jones.

stealing from the middle class of America and giving it to the rich. Kathy.

Screwed again. Silent E.

If those people run the Government like they run radio stations ain't none of us ever gonna make any money ever again. YoSAMite

Only government can be allowed to not have a plan. Steve.

TRQ

pouring water up your nose causes drowning. Patrick.

Is this one of those "his arms are tired" moments? Kate.

Nothing ever works like it does on SuperNanny Solessence

How do you reduce a deficit by turning it into 13 zeroes? Kate

I popped a vicodin and a viagra. I'm ready for anything. Jimi.

Fred's usually fishing by now. Jimi.

If you give a Fred a cookie . . . Jimi. (Jimi is stalking me)

Money sucking useless skankified whore monkeys. Linc. (How do you really feel?)

If anybody could spare a testicle. Scoff.

the Story of uh...er...ummm.... Jones.

drunk bride behaving embarrassingly. Wigdy.

blow early. Chad.

There's no such thing as too much caffeine. Michael (Preach it Brother-Man!!!)

caca....Estoy aqui in el Otto. (What he said.)

give away a Colonoscopy... Nick.

See that shark over there? Jump it. Deibert

Isn't that what I like? Chris.

The Presiprompter of the United States




Racine Mayoral Forum III

What is your position on the issue of having a city administrator?

Jody Harding

I am opposed to having the position of city administrator, first because it effectively eliminates the Executive Branch of city government. While the mayor takes an oath and owes a fiduciary duty to the citizens, a city administrator has no such duty.

Secondly, turning over the day to day affairs of city government to an administrator removes the mayor from the problems and needs of the city. He becomes little more than a disconnected figurehead.

Finally, some say that the mayor should be spending his time in Madison, fighting for state funds for Racine. In fact, a professional grant writer (one of whom is already on the city payroll) is usually much more adept at securing our “share” of funds than an untrained mayor could hope to be.

The Racine mayor’s job was written to include certain responsibilities and duties. It is not in the best interest of the citizens, either financially or ethically, to turn those responsibilities over to someone else.

Greg Helding.

I support the position. A City Administrator assists the Mayor in implementing the vision and provides continuity between administrations. However, we must guard against over generous contracts and be sure it does not supplant the authority of the Mayor and Council, who are chosen by the voters.

Pete Karas.

I believe the mayor is the city administrator, and it should be the mayor who is responsible for running city departments. If that job, when coupled with other responsibilities, is too much for one person, then the mayor needs staff to assist with the executive duties of city government. The real threat with a city administrator is that this position could be held for 20 or 30 years—well beyond what most mayors would serve, and the person in that position may end up being more influential over city staff than the mayor who was democratically elected. The city administrator is an unaccountable position with too much responsibility.
I would replace the city administrator with a deputy mayor position who serves the same term as the mayor, is paid less than the mayor, and whose actions are directly accountable to the mayor and the people of Racine.




Tomorrow: KRM.

March 29, 2009

I'm curious...

Why didn't Obama ask for the head of the UAW to resign?

Oh yeah, da' union can do no wrong.

Eco-ridiculous-consequences.

Spokane residents smuggle suds over green brands

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.
But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.

Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and doesn't care who knows it.

"Yes, I am a smuggler," she said. "I'm taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with."

(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent - not its use or possession - so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)

Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said.
Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular.

"I'm not hearing a lot of positive feedback," conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. "I think people are driving to Idaho."

Steve Marcy, manager of the Costco in Coeur d'Alene, about 10 miles east of the Washington state line, estimated that sales of dishwasher detergent in his store have increased 10 percent. He knows where the customers are coming from.

"I'll joke with them and ask if they are from Spokane," Marcy said. "They say, `Oh yeah.'"
Shoppers can still buy phosphate detergents in Washington state by venturing outside Spokane County, but Idaho is more convenient to many Spokane residents.

Never waste a crisis...

Record cold creates ice dams.

Ice dams cause flooding.

Idiotic President blames it on global warming.

By the way did you see how some of Al Gore's house lights were on during the mandated eco lights out event.

Caption This


覆面ねこ2。

Racism is alive and well.

And it is living at MATC.

Another Stunning Example of Mistreatment of Union Workers....

Yes, 75 union workers were laid off even though they were under contract by their employer, that evil money grubbing Service Employees International Union.



There you go Mike Rabzich, I stood up for union members.

Stimulus that makes sense.

Patriotic retirement:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force; pay them $1 million a piece severance with stipulations:

1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage- Housing Crisis fixed.

All this and it's still cheaper than the "bailout".

H/T JTI

No big shock.

All the questioners at the E-Town Hall.... Plants

Set up questions you can believe in...