Sunday, April 26, 2015

John Chisholm - Shaken Not Stirred?

The person under the most political fire in Milwaukee has to be District Attorney John Chisholm. Yet talk is cheap in the political arena.

The Black community is upset with him because of what they perceive as a lack of Justice concerning the deaths of black males by Milwaukee police with no charges filed in those deaths.

Conservative and Republicans are enraged by Chisholm's action and what they consider over reach in the John Doe and John Doe 2 investigations. The National Review article by David French has brought national attention to the tactics used in the Doe's.

Chisholm, a Democrat, will be up for re-election in the fall of 2016. As a partisan election this will give the discontents two opportunities to replace him. The first being a Democratic primary and the second a general election Republican opponent.

It will be interesting to see who will put themselves in the hot seat on the Dem side and if any Republican will step up to the challenge. I would imagine that any solid challenger won't have much difficulty in raising campaign funds and I'm sure the "dark money" groups are licking their chops at the opportunity to run attack ads against DA Chisholm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Milwaukee Assembly Dems hiding in a cocoon of silence.

The Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly tried to play identity politics on April 14th introducing Resolution 7 which is based on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that's already covered by the Wisconsin Constitution.

What I found interesting watching the Assembly floor session concerning this item was who spoke during the debate. Though the Resolution was Introduced by the following Representatives: Jorgensen, Zamarripa, Spreitzer, Barca, Shankland, Hebl, Goyke, Hintz, Hesselbein, Genrich, Berceau, Subeck, Meyers, Wachs, Mason, Milroy, Sinicki, Johnson, Young, Ohnstad, Bowen, Considine, Billings, Barnes, Stuck, Sargent, Riemer, Pope, Kahl, Kolste, C. Taylor, Brostoff and Danou, only Zamarripa, Sinicki, Reimer and Brostoff from the Milwaukee area participated in the floor debate.

Conspicuously absent from sharing their wisdom were Reps. Evan Goyke, LaTonya Johnson, Leon Young, David Bowen, Mandela Barnes and Fred Kessler who is not even listed as a sponsor.

What separates the two groups?

The silent ones represent areas which are black minority majority districts.

Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-1) chose this time to make his maiden floor speech admonishing the Democrats that they aren't the only ones who care about discrimination and that he takes offense by the stance that the Dems are more concerned with the rights of homosexuals than the Republicans. He further stated that he will vote against the Resolution because he will not be part of the political game the Democrats are playing.  The fun part of his speech was that it being his first time speaking on the floor he received an ovation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Long Live the New Chief

I've made it known that I'm not a fan of soon to be ex-Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and her current attempt to over ride the wishes of the citizens of doesn't do anything to endear herself to me. I will state again what I believe - she is the main problem for the dysfunction of the current Court.

On Tuesday by about 50,000 votes Wisconsin voters decided to make the Chief Justice position in Wisconsin elected by his or hers piers. Previously the Chief Justice was the person who had the longest tenure on the court.

The argument against the change was twofold. One was that people voted for Shirley Abrahamson in her last election knowing she would be the Chief Justice upon election. I find this an interesting point of view. The question I have is that would have people not voted for her if she was not the senior Justice on the court? Of course not, so this argument seems mute. Plus if you walked up to 10 people at the grocery store and asked them who the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court was, I'd hazard a guess you might find one who knows.

The other point was that this constitutional change was a pointed attack at Abrahamson and her leadership of the Court, or her lack thereof.

I'll be one of the few conservatives who will admit this was probably one of the motives. But then I wonder if she would have been more cooperative with the other Justices and ran the Court more even handed then this would not have been an issue to begin with.

One of the advantages of the new law is that the Chief Justice will be voted on by the members of the Supreme Court every two years. For one to continue on as Chief Justice they will have to be more open to working with the other Justices on the Court or they will be replaced. This is a wise move.

Now she shows her contempt toward the citizens by filing a law suit to keep her gig as Chief for another four years. There is no doubt that she is anticipating a demotion when the law is enacted adding evidence that her leadership has been less than inspiring.

She has every right to fight for her current position, but when she loses this lawsuit her standing as serious jurist will take a hit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Keep Calm and Watch the Coalition

I've been in a study mode, mostly listening to others and reading.  It's been good.

In an biography of President Calvin Coolidge by Amity Shales I came across this quote that is often attributed to Coolidge, but is not really his:
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
I'll be starting an coalition building project that I'm very excited about.  I expect to take heat from those on the right and especially those on the left. I expect some will try to hijack this coalition and many will try to destroy it.

I believe I'm ready to facilitate this organization and the payoff will be a benefit for the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Union Saving Prevailing Wage Boom

Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) will be introducing a bill to eliminate prevailing wage laws in Wisconsin. We would join 18 other states with no prevailing wage laws.

The biggest antagonists of the this bill will be the Unions. Why would unions care about jobs and prevailing wage?  It's easy, they are the group which benefits most from prevailing wage laws. In fact they are behind the whole concept of prevailing wage laws, with their backing of the Davis-Bacon Act.

Davis-Bacon was specifically designed to stop black and immigrant construction groups from the South coming North and underbidding white union shops during the Depression.
The Davis-Bacon Act, passed by Congress in 1931, re-quires private contractors to pay "prevailing wages" to employees on all federally funded construction projects over $2000. Most often, the "prevailing wage" corresponds directly to the union wage. This is especially true in urban areas, where union membership tends to be higher.
This inconvenient truth is hidden from the public they claim to care about. Union front group Wisconsin Jobs Now and their legislative front man former County Supervisor and current State Representative David Bowen are more than willing to sell out the majority in order to keep their own gravy train rolling.

It's time that the truth comes out and the lies of the unions and their front groups are confronted. Hopefully as Rep. Hutton's bill gets hearings, more of the truth will make the rounds, especially in Milwaukee where the sheep in union garb continue to lead people astray

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Expungement - A Second Chance to Succeed

As I've mentioned before I'm very persuaded by the arguments of the Right on Crime movement. It's a conservative answer to:

The Criminal Justice Challenge

Conservatives believe in limited government, but also in the rule of law. Contrary to some popular caricatures, conservatives recognize spheres in which government is necessary, and chief among them is public safety. Conservatives, however, also recognize that government is uniquely prone to abuse personal liberty and spend resources wastefully.  A challenge is therefore presented: how can we ensure public safety while still checking the power of government and keeping costs low?
There is no question that there's a delicate balance involved here. Liberals are no more prone to second chances as are conservatives, but there is a difference on how the opportunity and process presents itself.

As a Christian I'm all in for second changes and I'm a total proponent of erroring on the side of Grace (especially for myself). From a political standpoint I lean "tough on crime" in other words there are consequences to actions. The question is what are those consequences.

It seems that the tough on crime concept of locking up all the criminals hasn't reduced the amount on crime. Good ideological idea, bad practical results.

I watched today's Milwaukee Common Council Public Works Committee which is in charge of issuing Taxi Drivers Licenses.  Two of those trying to acquire their license made a compelling argument for the state to look into making expungements easier to acquire.

Both men were looking to change their lives and with their backgrounds found it difficult to find jobs and driving taxi was one of their few alternatives. Now, it must be recognized that both paid their debt to society in that they fulfilled their sentences. The problem both faced is that an additional consequence or their action is that the record follows them. One of the men even pleaded with the committee to do what it could to encourage the expungement law.

Ald. Bob Bauman snarkily answered that the chances of this legislature exploring the epungement law are less than zero. I wonder if and how the alderman has reached out to any Republican legislators other than from the his golden perch.

Odds - less than zero.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Between a Hard Rock and the Pots

So the Governor of Wisconsin announced that he cannot support  the building  of the  Kenosha casino - entertainment complex.

In the  state of Wisconsin this  was a lose/lose decision for Gov. Walker. No matter what he decided the political left was going to attack him. I've seen ardent anti gambling types go after him as someone who is not interested in job creation. These are the same ones who attack the Governor for the type of jobs created, low paying non family  supporting gigs.

Then there are those who wanted the casino and the accompanying jobs no matter what. Unfortunately for Walker many in this category are/where his supporters. These people are mad and from social media comments they are trending as unforgiving. I'm talking Pontius Pilot washing their hands of him angry.

Supporters who claim to have worked hard for the reelection of the Gov. are now saying they will work just as feverishly against his desire to become President. The wild card here is not knowing who they supported before the decision.

The recent announcement by an ultra conservative group in Iowa that they would be hard pressed to support Gov. Walker if he ageed to expand gambling in Wisconsin muddied the waters. What they did was made it look like Walker sold out residents and jobs in Wisconsin for Iowan support in his pursuit of the Republican Presidential nomination.

It was a smooth move by Bob Vander Plaats, the president and chief executive officer of The Family Leader. Whether it had anything to do in the decision making process the impression is hard to ignore.

The blame is rightly placed on the shoulders of former Governor Jim Doyle. His short sighted and campaign influenced negotiations with the Potawatomi has come back to bite Badger state residents in the backside.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To Pander or Not To Pander - that is the Rainey

In a wise choice, pandering politician Milwaukee County Supervisor Khalif Rainey has chosen to drop his ill advised proposal to rename Red Arrow Park after Dontre Hamiltion.

According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Rainey changed his mind after "After military veterans and their families from all over the state contacted him to voice their opposition to such a change." 

One would have thought that Rainey would have looked into and considered the history of the Park before pandering to a very sad situation.  I guess when you are setting sights on a new office (alderman) there isn't much that will stand in your way - like common sense.