Thursday, May 14, 2015

RPW Convention

The Republican Party of Wisconsin is hosting their convention this weekend in LaCrosse.  I won't be able to attend but I do have a bit of advice for the leadership and elected legislators.

Consider the beginnings of the Republican Party, go back to the basics and be a party built from the bottom up.  Allow for discourse and discussion, in fact embrace it. Look at the potential to be a truly big tent political party.

Words without action mean nothing. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Fail for Justice Abrahamson

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had one of the most unique editorials by Ernst-Ulrich Franzen. It's concerning the election of the Supreme Court Chief Justice in Wisconsin.

The first thing one notices is that he quasi acknowledges that Justice Patience Roggensack is the Chief Justice. He also states that as I have in the past, that Justice Abrahamson is embarrassing the Supreme Court and diminishing her status as a prudent jurist.

He strays from the truth when he questions how the court elected a new chief, using an email ballot.

Here's a question I would have of Mr. Franzen, "Do you think that a Chief Justice Abrahamson would have called a meeting to discuss the process of the election of a successor?"  And if so, why didn't she do it right after the election knowing that 3 weeks later the change in the Wisconsin Constitution would become law.

As I understand it, one of the duties of the Chief Justice is administrative and I would again toss out the idea that Chief Justice Abrahamson again showed her disdain for the citizens of Wisconsin  not acknowledging the change was coming and addressing the issue and  instead of filed a lawsuit to protect and extend her lack of leadership.

Now there's an opening for Chief Justice Roggensack to do what Mr. Franzen suggests and that is to call an open meeting that will set what the future process is for electing a Chief Justice every two years from here on out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Milwaukee Foreclosure's - The Gift That Keeps on Taking

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a watchdog report on another "fine mess" the City of Milwaukee has gotten us into. Well actually it's a mess that's been going on in front of the administration and common council and was well hidden.

In reality it is lack of communication between city agencies with the help of the county.

To see how this chess game is played to the disadvantage of Milwaukee take a peek at the article.  Basically a foreclosed house is sold at sheriff's sale, the city is notified for tax purposes without the new owner having to claim ownership in the form of a deed which is not required by law. So it seems the Department of Neighborhood Services can have the correct information, but it often doesn't share the updated information with Treasurer's and City Assessor's offices. As a consequence a tax bill is sent in the name of the person who lost a home to foreclosure, often without them knowing it.

Sound confusing? It is.

What's even more discouraging are some of the quotes in the newspaper article.
"It's not uncommon that the tax bill goes to the wrong person," said Kerry Urban, special assistant to the city treasurer. "It's kind of sad because it happens so frequently."
 Asked why the departments were not already sharing the records, (Aaron) Szopinski said: "We assumed the system was functioning normally and properly."
Watching the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee was even more infuriating. Szopinski and a representative from the Department of Neighborhood Services tried to smooth over this quandary by saying the relevant departments are talking with each other.

Hey Mayor Barrett's administration how about doing something and doing it quickly. Action is required here, not more meetings by suits.

A sad commentary for the city is that State Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) is trying to fix this issue with a change in state law. A few aldermen commented that with a Republican controlled legislature they weren't sure that Goyke's efforts would be considered.

Another sign of the insignificance of Milwaukee area Democrats.

No matter how you look at, this needs to be addressed right away. Lives already set back by financial difficulties are being hurt, some vulture land purchasers are playing the system and making some easy cash and Milwaukee government - you need to look at home first before laying blame anywhere else.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wis. Supreme Court - One Too Many Chiefs?

The folly that is the liberal branch of the Wisconsin Supreme Court continues it's recklessness as Shirley Abrahamson insists she is the Chief Justice of the hallowed institution. She's back by her Tonto, Justice Bradley.

A little known fact is that when the justices enter the court, the newest member who is currently Justice Gableman holds the door for the other justices to enter the chamber and take their seats. The Chief Justice is the first to enter.

The next session will be interesting. Will we see Justices Abrahamson and Roggensack elbowing and pushing each other to see who can rush to the Chief Justice's chair? I'm picturing a Black Friday event like we see at Walmart at worst.

I'm also seeing the following situation.

You see the people have spoken. The law is set, the Constitution says that the Chief Justice is chosen by a vote of the current Justices.  A majority has spoken and they've chosen Patience Roggensack to lead the court. This isn't a debate, it's a done deal until a federal judge rules to the contrary and so far that hasn't happened.

It's time for Justice Abrahamson to take her rightful place on the court and it isn't as the Chief.

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.