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takingsidesWisconsin Working Families Party Could Face Legal Challenge for Late Filing

The political season brings with it many opportunities and many challenges.  So when groups show up in the African-American and Latino communities in Milwaukee to announce they’re going to be organizing to run candidates under a “fusion voting” model and seeking political alliances with communities to get candidates they endorse elected, these groups should be vetted, and they should be familiar with state laws regulating their political activities—especially laws that relate to finances being obtained or spent.

Wisconsin State Legislature Chapter 11 Campaign Financing

11.05 Registration of political committees, groups and individuals

Committees and groups. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every committee other than a personal campaign committee which makes or accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, and every political group subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). In the case of any committee other than a personal campaign committee, the statement shall be filed by the treasurer. A personal campaign committee shall register under sub. (2g) or (2r).

On July 15, 2015, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced that the Working Families Party was going to start a chapter here in Wisconsin. On July 31st, the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WWFP) announced that Sup. Marina Dimitrijevic was stepping down as Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board to become State Director of WiWFP. On October 20, 2015, the WWFP officially opened their headquarters in Milwaukee by throwing a “big party,” which asked party goers to purchase tickets at $50 and $25 or to become a “sustainer” by making donations on a monthly basis to Wisconsin Working Families Party and then they would receive a ticket for “free.”  Donations have been available on the WWFP website in denominations ranging from $3 to unlimited since the website was active.

With all of the WWFP activity that we know of, it is impossible to believe that during the period from which it was announced that the WWFP, which launched on July 15, 2015, and stayed active through December 31, 2015, did not accept contributions, incur obligations, or make disbursements in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, which requires the WWFP to submit their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and file a campaign finance report by January 15, 2016.

The law allows for WWFP to not have to report who their contributors and donors are as an independent expenditure committee, which they did not file until January 20, 2016; however, the law is very clear that WWFP should have reported their expenditures once they received, spent, or incurred obligations of $300 or more.

By not filing their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and subsequently their campaign finance report, in particular the 2016 January Continuing Report, they appear to have violated Wisconsin State Election Law, unless they did not “receive, spend, or obligate” $300 or more.

Even if everything the WWFP had received or given away was donated, those donations would be considered as “In-kind” donations and would require WWFP to file their Campaign Registration Statement after the $300 threshold in 2015, thus triggering submissions for a campaign finance report.

WWFP is not being transparent

WWFP made transparency one of their main objectives, especially as they contrasted themselves to Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. However, to date, WWFP has proven to be less transparent than Walker and Abele. At least the Governor and the Milwaukee County Executive filed their campaign finance reports.

At the very least, WWFP appears to be intentionally delaying reporting where their funds have been spent until after this upcoming election cycle, as reports do allow for amendments to correct “mistakes.”

Once again, does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

takingsidesIs Wisconsin Working Families Party Gaming Milwaukee Elections?

Recently revealed documents have shed light on the lack of transparency practiced by the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WiWFP).

In particular, the recent Campaign Registration Statement filed with the Milwaukee County Election Commission exposed that the WiWFP is not a political party as the public believed, but are in fact an Independent Expenditure Committee, similar to that of a Political Action Committee (PAC).

This form also reveals that this initial filing was submitted on January 20, 2016; several months after the announcement of the “party” being formed in Wisconsin and the hiring of its state director, Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrejevic. It was further revealed that the required Campaign Finance Report filing deadline for expenditures from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 was not met by WiWFP either.

Though it is understood that registering as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” means WiWFP does not have to disclose their donors and contributors, similar to right wing Political Action Committees like Americans for Prosperity or Club for Growth when they receive money from the Koch Brothers or other right wing funders; those groups and WiWFP are still responsible for reporting their expenditures or costs.

The fact that the Campaign Registration Form was filed late and no Campaign Finance Report was filed by WiWFP, an eyebrow of concern has been raised and questions about why WiWFP registered so latemust be asked.

State Director of WiWFP and Milwaukee County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrejevic is an experienced politician who has submitted dozens of financial reports in the past. Surely she didn’t forget to register the “party” or file financial reports. In fact, she filed her own campaign finance report on time and in accordance with election law this month.

Benefits of registering late

Campaign finance reporting deadline was January 15, 2016. WiWFP submitting their registration late (January 20, 2016) and not submitting financial reports appears to have been done intentionally to avoid reporting all expenditures incurred between July 1 and December 31, 2015.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline is not until July of 2016, well after the up-coming April 16th City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County spring election. WiWFP has endorsed candidates for Milwaukee County Executive and Supervisors along with Milwaukee Common Council.

So in essence, the voting public will not know who is funding or partnering with the WiWFP because of how they filed the organization as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” and we will not know who WiWFP spent funds with or entered into contracts with until after the next election because their failure to submit financial reports.

Lack of transparency illustrates hypocrisy

The bottom line is that WiWFP lacks transparency no matter which way you cut it. Their failure to be transparent flies in the face of accusations charging Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele for not being transparent.

WiWFP has not been transparent with voters about them being a “party”, they are an independent expenditure committee; they have not been transparent with donors and contributors about who their financial backers are and how they have spent those funds, they have submitted no campaign finance reports; they have not been transparent with election governing bodies about filing registration and campaign finance reports in a timely fashion or submitting forms at all.

The next question that must be asked is whether or not WiWFP has violated some election law? Does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

Further, has the WiWFP been transparent with their own endorsed candidates as to who their funding and strategic partners are? Those candidates include Rep. Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive; Sequanna Taylor, Marcelia Nicholson, and Martha De La Rosa for Milwaukee County Supervisor; and Chevy Johnson and County Sup. Khalif Rainey for Milwaukee Common Council.

Most surprisingly, WiWFP has not been transparent with their own supporters and members, not mentioning once that the Working Families Party endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. WiWFP opted instead to announce on social media the endorsement of candidates WiWFP selected for Milwaukee County Executive, Milwaukee County Supervisor and Milwaukee Common Council.

Brenda Bell-White, co-chair of the Milwaukee Coalition for Justice stated, “This matters because we deserve transparency and truth about organizations…I for one appreciate having this information, this helps to explain why we haven’t heard an endorsement for Bernie Sanders from the Wisconsin Working Families Party

takingsidesWisconsin’s Economy Damaged Because of Governor Scott Walker

This past year Governor Scott Walker used the power of the governor’s office to enact policies negatively impacting Wisconsin’s working families. His actions not only have caused hardship on families, they have hurt Wisconsin’s ability to produce a competitive workforce and lead the nation in innovation.

Walker’s massive $250 million budget cut from the University of Wisconsin and the decimation of K-12 public schools funding is another factor, in part, contributing to the exodus of corporations from Wisconsin.

Walker’s actions seem to show a blatant disregard for Wisconsin’s economic future. Walker dismissed State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers’ public call to Walker to veto more than 20 education measures he supported that would undermine the state’s public schools.

Going along with his own plans he laid out for Wisconsin, Walker saw to it that the majority of public school districts in Wisconsin received less funding, and he left school districts at the mercy of inflation by not providing state cost of living support to school districts.

After signing off on his destructive budget for Wisconsin, Walker then proceeded to run for President of the United States, only to fail and return to Wisconsin in debt to administer over a crumbling Wisconsin economy and infrastructure.

Walker’s actions against public education have hurt Wisconsin’s future ability to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.

His actions have further hurt the notion of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization that would significantly raise Wisconsin’s employment and economic standing.

Because Walker took money out of the University of Wisconsin, small-scale industrial and other enterprises will look at Wisconsin and come to the conclusion that our state’s ability to produce innovation has been hampered. Because of this, our state’s infrastructure and our ability to retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes will lag behind other states.

Walker’s actions impact negatively our state’s efforts to enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of Wisconsin industries that encourage innovation and substantially increase research and development in public and private sectors.

Indeed, Walker’s lack of support for domestic technology development, research and innovation is greatly impacting whether companies move out, stay or move into Wisconsin.

Walker has failed to advance equal opportunity and economic empowerment for Wisconsin’s communities. His policies have hurt our economy and restricted growth. Divesting the public education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research that create innovation and more good jobs and new wealth for us all has derailed Wisconsin’s economic growth for years to come.

takingsidesWalker’s Workforce Epiphany

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is making it clear that he will move to get the nomination of his party to seek a third term when reelection time comes around.

During a recent interview, the governor seemed to have experienced an epiphany in which he realized that workforce development goes hand in hand with economic development and are equally key to Wisconsin’s economy. Why is Walker all of a sudden trying to reverse course?

http://m.channel3000.com/news/Walker-considers-run-for-3rd-term-as-governor/37317632

If he truly understands how important it is for workforce and economic development to go hand in hand, why did Walker allow dirty politics and corruption to fester within Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) when Paul Jadin was WEDC director and Manny Perez was DWD secretary? The scuttlebutt is that both individuals had sound plans in place and Wisconsin was moving in the right direction under their leadership.

Now that the governor’s failed economic policies were thoroughly vetted by his own party during his failed presidential effort, the time to repair some of the scorched Wisconsin economy policies he put in place comes at a time he is realizing he has no other place to go. So his workforce epiphany is not something he wants to do because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the prudent thing to do to attract much needed funding to pay off his presidential debts as he campaigns to seek his third term as governor.

But Walker’s scorched Wisconsin actions have cost Wisconsin dearly. Our state is hemorrhaging jobs, and in the last two years, Wisconsin has lost over 16,000 jobs, 10,000 after passing Right to Work, according to the NH Labor News. This is indeed a far cry from creating 250,000 jobs. http://nhlabornews.com/2016/01/50635/

Indeed, out of desperation for money to pay debts, Walker is trying to make it look like he sees the light.

Sources at DWD and WEDC state that tens of thousands of jobs could have been created in Walker’s first term and that, during this jobs spurt, innovation and economic development would have been stimulated.

But rather than focus on a vibrant Wisconsin, our governor decided unilaterally to change his promise to the electorate and aimed his entire administration at attacking public employees and the unions.

His shift in policy and campaign pledge caused a shock in all of Wisconsin’s industries (not to mention the overall economic environment i.e. consumption, etc.); no one was prepared for the fallout. Without consideration to the potential economic negative impact on Wisconsin, Walker’s decision hampered WEDC and DWD’s ability to bring workers to work and work to workers.

Delusional ambition & Koch brothers

Walker’s delusional ambition to become a puppet president of the Koch brothers in the White House wasted years of recovery in workforce and economic development for Wisconsin. In doing so, Walker has lost credibility with Republicans outside of Waukesha.

Now Walker says he will seek to be governor for a third term and that Wisconsin should believe anything he says. How can Wisconsin families and businesses trust him or anyone working for him in this administration?

If Gov. Walker sincerely cared to fulfill his promise of generating 250,000 jobs, he would have never implemented ACT 10 and allowed Wisconsin to become a Right to Work state. If the governor truly cared for the people of Wisconsin, he would have never allowed dirty politics and corruption at WEDC and DWD.

Finally, if Walker is serious about workforce development, he should implement at least half the proposals advanced by State Representative Peter Barca, and consult with the people who have actually been successful in workforce development.

He should move to restructure the DWD, replace the Secretary with someone who refuses to just be a figurehead with someone experienced and knowlegable, and clear out the Department of Workforce Development of all the yes people currently appointed there.

Republicans in Wisconsin created this mess. Republicans in Wisconsin need to replicate what Republicans across the nation did so clearly: see Walker for what he is and reject him!

takingsidesWalker seeking third term is no joke: to Walker, that is

Walker’s hinting at campaigning for a third term as Wisconsin governor apparently is no joke to him.

However, there are Republicans who seem to be aghast at the idea that this governor, who has led Wisconsin for two terms, is looking to continue leading our state into the basement.

But one has to wonder if what motivates Walker to run for for a third term is more about hustling for the money he still needs to pay his huge failed presidential campaign bid, instead of looking to repair the destructive policies he’s enacted that have taken Wisconsin from being an enlightened state to one flirting with mimicking the Dark Ages. 

Walker’s policies have ruined Wisconsin’s economy, and the corruption exposed at his corporate welfare department, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), that has caused Wisconsinites to seek remedies to save their jobs by moving to make their regions attractive for business on their own.

http://m.jsonline.com/business/someplace-better-sheboygan-employers-unite-to-market-region-to-attract-workers-46529z1-364298431.html

There are many pundits on both sides of the political spectrum who believe that Walker could not possibly get the Republican nomination to run again, but those pundits would be wrong.

McCarthyite networks of Waukesha

If Walker decides to run for a third term why does he feel he can? It’s simple. The McCarthyite networks of Waukesha continue to be the strongest influence in the Wisconsin Republican Party.  These Walker-zealots in Waukesha will seal Walker’s third run by moving the GOP towards nominating him.

Walker’s chances getting the Republican nomination to run for a third term could happen with the help of his Waukesha-based

power vote, which could in turn enable him to pay off his debts in the next gubernatorial campaign season.

But there are options for the GOP to avoid having to nominate Walker. One option is for a moderate GOP candidate to rise and muster the support of all other GOP parties outside of Waukesha. A second option would be to do as columnist Bill Kaplan, writing on WisOpinion.com points out, creating a “fusion” candidacy for the 2018 Wisconsin gubernatorial election. Wisconsin is not a “fusion” voting state but the concept is worth looking into. Kaplan suggested that former Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz and Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Shilling join forces as the gubernatorial ticket in 2018.

http://m.host.madison.com/news/local/roundup/article_6e725fec-b3ec-11e5-8e71-fbc18b3c4f31.html

Walker’s chances of winning a third term as governor could also be hampered however if the corporate neoliberal Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele were to run against Walker.

Abele’s victory in the coming election for Milwaukee County Executive is just a formality to prove to the northern red regions of the state that he’s no liberal Milwaukee establishment insider.

Still, there are those who say that Walker on the other hand isn’t really looking to win another term as governor, although I’m sure he would like to if nominated. Walker is primarily interested in collecting money in order to get rid of his presidential campaign debt. Money that would surely come from the national level that will be paying a premium to keep a Republican governor in Wisconsin.

Welcome to the times of Trump and Cruz. In these times,reason is but an excuse and logic is but a joke.

takingsidesZamarripa Stands Against “Sanctuary Cities” Bill

Republican legislator Rep. John Spiros authored a bill that would ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Wisconsin. The bill was supposed to be discussed at a public hearing, but was removed from the agenda after last-minute opposition.

Rep. Spiros authored the legislation in reaction to the death of Kathryn Steinle, a 32 year-old woman who was shot and killed in July on a pier in San Francisco. She was killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant with a felony record. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez has since been charged with her murder.

Following the killing, a national debate ensued after it was revealed that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department had released Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez despite a federal request to detain him for deportation.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department states that the city’s sanctuary laws prevent the Sheriff’s department from cooperating with federal immigration officials seeking to interview and detain jailed inmates suspected of being in the country illegally. Because San Francisco is a sanctuary city, the San Francisco Sheriff’s office refused to hold Lopez-Sanchez on a marijuana possession charge that was 20 years old and let him go, without federal review of his status in the country. A few months after being released. Lopez-Sanchez killed Kathryn Steinle.

Rep. Spiros says he authored his legislation because he did not want to see the same mishap in Wisconsin. 

“I think basically you need to follow federal law. And federal law says, look – if someone’s arrested you need to ask their immigration status,” said Rep. Spiros.

Initially, only one person signed up in opposition to the bill when it was Introduced in October.

Rep. Spiros stated that that changed after a press release was issued by state representative JoCasta Zamarripa and that that’s when the phone calls started coming in seeking to block Rep. Spiros bill.

Because so many people wanted to testify, the Assembly Committee on Urban and Local Affairs cancelled the hearing due to a lack of time and space to accommodate public input.

Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, who put out that release seeking to block Rep. Spiros bill said, “It was a small victory to be honest, when the (committee) chairman today, to his credit, made the decision to pull this anti-immigrant bill off of the agenda.”

Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa argues that Rep. Spiros’ bill would further discourage immigrants from cooperating with police officers who are conducting criminal investigations.

“What we’re gonna have now is folks who are already undocumented, living in the shadows that are gonna go further underground,” said Zamarripa.

I personally do not follow what Zamarripa is getting at. It seems to me that people living in the shadows are already not cooperating with law enforcement and that this notion that they’ll go further underground if this bill is passed is poppycock. 

Undocumented immigrants want safe streets as well. To imply that passing laws, which would root out undesirables from the community, is putting undocumented immigrants at great risk from those thugs who prey on this population that lives in the shadows.

Clearly there is a need to keep more people safe from people who are career criminals. But to simply stop any effort at making that happen and not offer alternative ideas of making this happen is putting undocumented immigrants and everyone else at risk.

What has Rep. Zamarripa introduced to counter the arguments of safety presented by Rep. Spiros?

In 2010the City of Madison passed an ordinance in which it urged Madison law enforcement officers not to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents when booking undocumented immigrants, unless they were arrested for a felony charge.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval told local news reporters that his officers “contact ICE agents for undocumented immigrants being arrested for a felony or if they have faced three or more significant misdemeanor arrests.”

Some examples of significant misdemeanors include offenses such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, unlawful possession of a firearm or drug distribution.

So if Rep. Spiros’ actions are out-of-line, what then is the alternative?

What does Rep. Zamarripa offer that would help keep our streets safe for undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, and those of us who are citizens of the United States?

Christmas titakingsidesme: Jesus is the reason

Over the past few decades there has been an alarming trend that has been taking place across our country. One that quite frankly, leaves me baffled, confused and scratching my head. 

In fact, it makes me question exactly what country do we live in? It makes me wonder just what has our democracy evolved into? The tragedy that seems to becoming all too common is that many in our nation are trying to change the Christmas season into a commercial holiday season.

That’s right. Corporate America is trying to take Christ out of Christmas.

The federal holiday of Christmas is once again under siege by corporate forces that want to wipe out any public display of America’s Christmas traditions. 

So, it makes me wonder: What is the driving force behind this conflict? Why is someone or some group trying to keep us from celebrating Christmas? Has society as a whole embraced this movement, and am I simply out of touch?

I don’t think so. But obviously it has become the thing to do.

In America, we have seen our democracy turned against us in a manner that allows the will of a few to outweigh the desire of the majority. 

Our nation was founded on Christian principles. Our democracy allows freedom of religion. But it seems that each year, more and more of the Christmas holiday is being transformed into a holiday season for shopping instead of worshipping.

Conflict over the Christmas holiday seems to have become embedded across the country —  from what is the appropriate greeting for politicians to use with the public, to how businesses greet their customers. It’s even a controversy as to what to label the shopping season — Is it Christmas or simply the holidays?

Many national chain stores have instructed their employees across the country to say, “Happy Holidays” when they’re serving customers rather than “Merry Christmas.”  Obviously, major retailers don’t want to offend anybody, so they opt for the generic greeting.

Perhaps they’ve forgotten that the tradition of gift-giving dates back to the wise men and kings who followed the North star so they could honor the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ with gifts of silver, gold, frankincense and myrrh.

So, I must ask, “Would there even be a holiday season without Jesus?” 

Make no mistake about it.  Christ is the reason for the season. If the corporate culture wants to celebrate a holiday of its own, let it pick another date. 

Heck, we’ll even give them Santa Claus and all of the misdirected “Christmas images” that go with him.  Just don’t try to keep the Christian community from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the gang. Just as long we don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas.

We certainly recognize each individual’s freedom of religion. As Americans, we recognize numerous religious holidays throughout the year that are not Christian-based.

On the other hand, I also believe that we need to do a better job of also understanding and respecting other religious holidays such as Ramadan, Kwanzaa and others. I must admit that I need to learn more about other religious holidays, customs and beliefs.  Freedom of religion should not be limited only to my personal beliefs.

So, let’s all be respectful of one another’s beliefs.  But that doesn’t mean that we should attempt to make all holidays “politically correct.”    

But, if democracy means that the majority of Americans who celebrate Christmas as it was meant to be aren’t allowed to do so because a small minority wishes to celebrate the holidays in a secular fashion, then it’s time that we re-examine what it means to believe in Jesus.

So please, don’t be offended if I wish you Merry Christmas. Just know that I am acknowledging the birth of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the Christmas message is faith, love and hope. 

May there be peace on earth and good will among us all. 

takingsides“Bathroom Bill” Criticized As Big Government Intrusion

Many people in our community are not aware of a debate taking place in Madison regarding an individual’s right to use a public restroom based on how the individual identifies rather than biology.

The debate was stirred up by a legislative bill known as the “bathroom bill” introduced by state Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum.

The bill, if it were to pass become law, proposes that schools designate bathrooms for each sex, meaning at a public school, students would have to use bathrooms according to their biological sex, the way they are physically, not the gender by which an individual identifies with, meaning the sex they believe they are.

Why this bill has yet to become a topic of discussion in our community by community leaders is beyond me.

State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D) is opposed to the Kremer legislative bill and has issued a statement that reads: 

“Although the bill’s author claims to be concerned about privacy, this proposal is the ultimate invasion of privacy. We don’t need big government to check kids’ anatomy before they’re allowed to use the bathroom. Transgender people already face enough barriers, harassment, and discrimination at work, home, school, and in public accommodations. A staggering 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide. We do not need to put humiliating and onerous restrictions in place that could add to that.”

While I am sympathetic to the issues of transgender people, and I do support gender neutral options for transgender people, I would like to know why this matter is not being discussed in the community?

Zamarripa’s district, I would wager heavily, does not identify as majority transgender.  To deny her constituents a voice regarding their views on this matter serves not her district, but special interest groups advocating to block the Republicans in support of a bill authored by Democrats.

Parents of students attending Milwaukee Public Schools have the right to know that such a law is being opposed by their elected state representative. Parents and the voters of the 8th Assembly District have every right to know why Zamarripa opposes this law. She has the responsibility to inform her constituents of this law’s impact.

In recent weeks, President Obama’s administration released a statement via the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice in which he agrees that schools can’t prevent transgender students from using the bathrooms based on their gender identity. It would be a violation of federal law if they do. 

This statement was made in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Virginia teenager who is suing over the ability to use the boys’ restrooms at the high school the student is attending, according to the Associated Press:

http://nypost.com/2015/06/11/transgender-student-sues-school-citing-restroom-policy/

To counter the Republican-led bill in Wisconsin, State Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, and State Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, D-Milwaukee, propose that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction create a bathroom for transgender students.

That bill requires that each school board create its own policy and would use language provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality. 

In other words, transgender advocate groups that support unisex style bathrooms argue that, when a child is born, the sex the child is assigned because of biological features does not fit neatly into one of the two sex choices once the child has grown and identifies as a different gender. 

That being said, the debate is only getting started. The community should be able to give its opinion as to what it wants for the children in our public schools.

Contact State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa and give her your thoughts on the matter. Maybe instead of hiding in the shadows, a public debate regarding this matter could be held so that parents and voters are properly informed.

takingsidesMayor Tom Barrett Hires Hines

In early 2014, Mayor Tom Barrett hired former President of the Common Council and Alderman Willie Hines Jr. after an audit revealed that, under then Housing Authority for the City of Milwaukee (HACM) Chairman of the Board Ald. Willie Hines, failed to hire one person from the Westlawn community or the surrounding area during the $82 million Westlawn development; this failure was in direct violation of the hiring requirements set by the Section 3 economic opportunities provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD provided the majority of the funds for the Westlawn renovation.

That audit detailed that false reports were submitted regarding hiring in that community and that there was a blatant disregard for hiring in the Black community by the HACM administration and their contractors, which included Randy Crump of Prism Technical Management and Marketing Services LLC and Earl Buford of then WRTP/Big Step (who Barrett rewarded by hiring him as president and CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board).

This would ultimately lead to the unexpected and abrupt resignation of Ald. Hines.

What did Mayor Barrett do for to Ald. Hines for violating Federal provisions and denying economic opportunities to the Black community? Barrett rewarded Hines by giving him a job at HACM, which in itself was a violation of law. Ald. Hines was ultimately removed from that position under pressure from HUD.

Fast forward to this year, and Barrett is still rewarding Hines for his betrayal of the Black community by denying economic opportunities to the Westlawn community. Barrett quietly turned off the lights and slipped Hines in the back door; HE HIRED HIM AGAIN!

That’s right: Willie Hines is now the Assistant Secretary of HACM, second in charge. There was no response to several attempts to contact HACM Secretary-Executive Director Tony Pérez to confirm Willie Hines hiring.

Barrett rewards people that deny economic opportunities to the Black community

The hiring of Hines illustrates clearly the contempt the Mayor has for the Black community, its leadership and the Black elected officials currently serving him.

This is yet another slap in the face of the Black community by Mayor Tom Barrett. So much more to come.

takingsidesHispanic LIBRE Initiative Is More Backdoor Bail Out

As election season gets closer, the pandering for Hispanic votes begins. The electoral process in the Hispanic community is about to be inundated with Koch Brothers, Scott Walker and Republican Party talk of small government leads to prosperity rhetoric. The target for this message is the Hispanic community of Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee.

The organization to lead this campaign in the Latino community is called LIBRE.

LIBRE was founded in 2011 by Daniel Garza, a former aide to George W. Bush. Almost all of LIBRE funding comes from Koch Brothers and their political affiliates.

The LIBRE Initiative will be organizing to provide direct social services, such as health checkups, in the Latino community, and to press support for various Republican political campaigns, such as immigration reform. Surprisingly, not much has been said about this initiative by Hispanic organizations politically opposed to the Republican agenda.

LIBRE will attempt to sway Hispanic voters away from the Democratic Party, but this attempt will be money wasted on the bank accounts of the few Hispanic supporters willing to step forward to amplify the spin and puff soundbites of a now obsolete and bankrupt Republican message.

Indeed, what the Koch Brothers probably do not know, and I’m sure weren’t told by those pressing for the money to come to Wisconsin, is that this time the Hispanic community has heard enough of the beguilement by Scott Walker and his Koch Brother money-hungry Hispanic partners.

The people behind the LIBRE initiative are nothing more than the Koch Brothers, the Republican Party, and Scott Walker marketing a false message about the Republican principles that clearly Walker does not believe in.

Money Ill Spent

The Koch Brothers are pouring $9 million nationally into the LIBRE effort and now they have turned their attention to Wisconsin by seeking to hire a “Field Director” to organize a GOP message many Hispanics have come realize is as worthless as Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke taking a trip to the Middle East.

Still, the Koch Brothers are dolling out the money so someone has to pocket it. And while LIBRE’s future Wisconsin field director attempts to turn out the Hispanic vote for the Republicans, what is the trade-off for the Latino community?

What has the Wisconsin Republican Party, Scott Walker, the Koch Brothers, or the RNC done for Latinos?

Scott Walker was supposed to create 250,000 jobs of which presumably many would have directly or indirectly benefited the Latino community. Instead, Scott Walker let Wisconsin fall from 20th place in 2010 to 34th in job creation, according to the latest job creation rankings.

Have the Republican legislators in Congress advanced a fair, comprehensive immigration reform? The answer is NO. The GOP knows that Wisconsin’s corporations, whose owners are mostly Republican, rely heavily on hiring undocumented workers, especially for our state’s agricultural industry.

How many Hispanics hold high level, key positions in Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan, or Scott Walker administrations? I’m not talking about people who they parade out in front of cameras and crowds, I’m talking about key positions? The answer is Zero.

With this kind of track record, the Hispanic support for the Wisconsin GOP LIBRE initiative, and the RNC is limited to just a few insiders benefiting for themselves, hardly a reason to vote for Republicans. No immigration comprehensive reform! No jobs! No high-ranking Hispanics within the party, failing public schools – how is it that LIBRE can come to the Latino community with a straight face and say the Republican Party is for the Latinos?

How many Hispanic Republicans have attempted to help Walker’s Republican Party in Wisconsin?

Has the Republican Party nurtured them as leaders? No.

Here are some examples of Hispanics chewed up by the GOP and then thrown under the bus after Walker and his party got what they wanted from them: Perfecto Rivera, Reynaldo Martinez, Ivan Gamboa, Jose Flores, Manny Perez. What key position of leadership do any of these loyal Hispanic Republicans hold in the Wisconsin Republican Party?

Zeus Rodriquez is touted around the nation as leading and successfully running one of this country’s largest voucher schools system, and is a member of the Jeb Bush for President National Campaign Committee, yet his biggest splash in the Republican Party is to take pictures with Jeb, Scott and Rand Paul.

In addition, Scott Walker had in Manny Perez a top Hispanic labor economist who in a few months achieved the highest labor growth rate in the first few months of the Walker administration. But that work was rewarded with, as DWD sources say, manipulations, innuendos, and false statements designed to ruin him as Secretary of Workforce Development.

At this time, the current “Chair” of Republican Hispanics is Joe Medina. He did not even have the strength of character to publicly call out out Scott Walker when Walker wanted to build a wall along the boarder of Mexico. Fortunately, savvy moderate and independent Republicans nationwide did see what Joe Medina refuses to open his eyes to regarding Walker, which is the reason why Walker failed in his presidential bid and now owes $1 million dollars for debt incurred from that effort.

So will the LIBRE initiative bring about internal changes regarding the way the GOP has treated its Hispanic members? Will the LIBRE initiative be manipulated into a back door money shifting operation to bail out Walker’s presidential campaign debt? My hunch is the latter.

takingsidesDemocratic Socialist Challenges Corporate Democrats

The relentless expansion of corporate control over our economy, both mainstream political parties and our society in general, has netted America uncontrolled corporate crime, fraud and abuse, and an unprecedented control of our government.

Yet it seems that, while Democrats and Republicans talk of what the undermining corporate rule has done to our democracy, no one seems able to want to do anything about it.

No one that is, except democratic socialist candidate Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is not afraid to take on the power of corporate boards of directors, corporate accounting and law firms, corporate funded lobbies, and bankers and brokers who have been mowing down state and federal regulatory agencies weakened by federal and state legislatures, which have become inert or complicit to the ever growing influence of the money interest groups working to further enhance corporate dominance of our political system in an effort to subjugate government at all levels.

Since the birth of the Industrial Revolution to the present, the robber barons of Wall Street have been successful in silencing corporate watchdog agencies and government bureaucrats who have profited or have been compensated directly or indirectly from the companies they are supposed to be watching.

With the growing power of the extreme corporate-friendly Republican Tea Party, corruption has increased and conflicts of interest grow among major CEOs and their partners in government.

Year after year, government institutions have become unwilling to stand against the misdeeds and recklessness corporate puppets have subjected the larger citizenry to. In so doing, mega corporations are on the verge of destroying the very capitalism that has provided America with the wealth and power it has to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

But there is an opportunity to begin reversing this destructive path, and it can be done if Americans understand that Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy, nor do they want big corporate bureaucracies to control our government and society either.

Profit or People?

Sanders believes that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect. This is the stark contrast between him and Hillary Clinton, the leading corporate Democrat, and corporate Republicans, who see nothing wrong with corporate executives, who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders, making economic decisions affecting millions of Americans.

Electing Clinton, or any of the Republican candidates, means a continuation of shifting our resources to make money for billionaires like the Koch Brothers rather than distributing that money to meet human needs.

Electing Clinton, or any of the Republican candidates, also means that workers and consumers will continue to feel the negative results of corporate greed and deregulation laws that negatively impact our national resources and political and economic system.

As a Democratic socialist, Sanders favors decentralization of corporate control of our resources and wealth. Large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy may necessitate some form of state ownership.

Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned by an extremely wealthy and well connected few. Imagine the revolutionary notion of democratic planning designed to shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, and what that could mean for the market, and how that would benefit our economy and country.

Stopping income inequality and preventing the billionaire class from seizing control of our government is truly moving towards a democracy in which people, not wealth rule and where intellect not money creates meaningful stability.

takingsidesThe time is now!

As the stream of bad news for Scott Walker continues, during his post failed Presidential candidacy, Wisconsin continues to witness the failing policies of his administration with the reporting of corporate exodus from Wisconsin and jobs being lost because of it.

Why are jobs and corporations leaving Wisconsin?

Recent reports state that Walker’s WEDC may have awarded tax credits illegally. The Department of Justice has been asked by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to investigate WEDC. This kind of news does not bode well in many corporate board rooms.

Walker’s Administration Bad for Wisconsin People & Brand

Wisconsin has lost its once powerful reputation of being a transparent government, which was a model for the rest of the nation. Walker’s administration and WEDC corruption has turned Wisconsin into an example of bad government closing its books by changing campaign finance laws to avoid public oversight

The recent news that Wisconsin did well with jobs growth in October is overshadowed by the fact that only 30,000 jobs were added year to date in 2015. Walker should have focused on jobs growth from day one on after taking office in 2011.

Loss of jobs. Corrupt WEDC. Failed communication with businesses. Changing laws to prevent transparency in government. Failed presidential candidacy by the governor. Is it any wonder why Tyson, Oscar Mayer and other companies are leaving. Even key Republicans such as Michael S. Murphy are leaving the Republican Party. The GOP brand is sinking.

Walker’s first gubernatorial campaign was centered around his promise of creating 250,000 jobs. He never even came close. And now that more and more companies are leaving the state, taking their jobs with them, achieving 250,000 jobs is nothing but a pipe dream.

Add to that an embarrassing and horrifically expensive run at the presidential nomination and you have a monumental loser in Walker.

Walker is the Republican Party bad news storm. When it rains it pours on the GOP with Walker leading the helm. The Marquette Law School poll not only shows thatWalker’s job approval is among the lowest in the country,but also that the Republican Legislators are feeling the heat from the public.

Moderate Republicans, the ones who decide elections, are dissatisfied with Walker and the Republican Legislators.

Given the growing corruption at the Capitol, lack of consistent job creation and plant closures, Walker and Republican Legislators are destroying the Republican brand. If the Wisconsin Republican moderate and independent base continues to refuse to exert authority on Walker and the Republican Legislators, the GOP will lose Wisconsin.

What is DPW waiting for? The time to strike is now. The time to bring out this massive corruption Walker has been supporting into the public arena has arrived. Now is not the time to sit back and allow Walker and his network of political thugs to hide their dirty work!

The time is now to expose that dirty laundry and show Wisconsin what Walker has done to our state. To show what Walker has done with our money. To show what Walker has done to Wisconsin’s working families. To show what Walker has done to our system of education and to our state’s reputation. The future of our state is at stake.

The time is now for Wisconsin Republicans to stand against Walker for the sake of Wisconsin.

takingsidesDemocratic Milwaukee Losing Ground to Growing GOP Influence

In the last 30 years, the Democratic Party stronghold in Milwaukee has been weakening since the rise of private voucher schools. Before former Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent Howard Fuller started the direct assault against public education in the early 1990s, and after Black leaders grew frustrated, expressing concerns that MPS was not reflecting the cultural and racial make-up of Milwaukee in the ranks of MPS.

Much of the early festering can be read in the book, “Seeds of Crisis : Public Schooling in Milwaukee Since 1920″.

On the heels of the Civil Rights movement, Black leaders began to aggressively complain in the late 1970s that Black children were not receiving an education comparable to the rest of the public schools around Wisconsin. The target of their complaint was the teacher’s union, which did not respond to demands that MPS hire more Black teachers to deal with the growing number of Black children enrolling in MPS. 

The lack of responses by MPS leaders throughout the 1980s to address the concerns of Black community leaders, who mostly were Democrats, forced leaders of the Black community to seek alternative relief, which would strengthen their resolve against teacher union indifference.

Then Governor Tommy Thompson and his GOP were eager to provide an ear for Black leaders to voice their contempt and, more importantly, gain entry into Milwaukee’s growing Black electoral voting base.

GOP Privatizes Public Dollars

In the early 1990s, Fuller was joined by then Democratic Wisconsin state Assemblyperson Annette “Polly” Williams and the push to advance private voucher schools began.

The GOP was more than happy to support their effort because they saw this as an opportunity to begin the drive to create a GOP stronghold in Milwaukee.

Establishing a GOP base in the Black community by using private voucher schools gave the GOP the opening to begin organizing in Milwaukee in order to weaken the Democratic base in the city the Democratic Party counted on for years.

Since Fuller’s departure as superintendent of MPS in 1997, the private voucher school movement has grown in Milwaukee and in doing so, the Democratic Party has slowly grown weak in the Black community. Witness the recent vote of MPS Director Wendell Harris, a long time advocate for public education, but who voted against the union opposition to a charter school being established at Pulaski High School.

Now, it seems that the GOP has found a new base in which to establish another GOP front in Milwaukee.

After more than 30 years of police brutality and unarmed Black citizens losing their lives at the hands of a majority White police department, frustrated Black leaders have once again taken to reaching out to the GOP in search of resolve.

The recent action by Black activists to charge Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm with malfeasance, neglect of duty and official misconduct, by asking Gov. Scott Walker to begin the process of removing the DA from office, is yet another GOP strategic effort to increase its presence in the city and serve revenge to Walker, who believes that Chisholm overreached in the D.A.’s John Doe investigation on Walker; in essence, killing two birds with one stone.

The Democratic Party has no one to blame but themselves for not acting and doing what needs to be done to ensure its Democratic base stays strong.

Black lives may not matter, but Black votes do.

takingsidesWalker’s Cup Overflows with Failure

On November 6, Walker started asking for donations to pay his debt for his failed presidential campaign. Will the Republican base and Wisconsinites dish out money from their pockets to help Walker get out of debt?

But before the GOP base starts to dig in their pockets to fill Walker’s panhandling efforts, consider the other failures Walker has cost Wisconsin. The Republican base and all Wisconsinites should consider the following facts before considering bailing out Walker.

If you bailout Walker:

You support the corruption that Walker has allowed to occur at the Wisconsin Economic Development Agency (WEDC) which has, since 2011, granted $140,000 million dollars to Walker donors in fraudulent loans and tax credits. No jobs were created;Wisconsin’s job ranking fell to 40th in the first fours year of Walker administration. You can only imagine what corruption we may not know about that Walker is seeking by continuously trying to block open records laws to prevent the public from knowing.

If you bailout Walker:

You support the attack on open records law that Walker, Fitzgerald, and Voss spearheaded and which – thanks partly to our collective outcry- was curtailed. However, Walker has continued to weaken open records law to shield himself from having to explain to the public what is being done with taxpayer money.

If you bailout Walker:

You support Wisconsin job ranking creation falling from 20th in December 2010 to 40th in December 2014. When using the unemployment rate as good news, Walker conveniently fails to mention the definition of Unemployment Rate, which does not count people who have dropped from the labor market, etc.

Walker Recently Fails Wisconsin Again

The reality about the Oscar Mayer plant closing is that Walker should have called Kraft and Heinz leadership the moment the merger was executed several months ago. Right now, it is too little too late.

What was Walker doing? Well, he was debating building a wall on the border between US and Canada or changing positions on issues so many times he did not know whether he was coming or going. Clearly, he was attempting to be the Koch Brothers and Mike Grebe’s servant in the oval office.

Walker’s failure to fulfill the promise of 250,000 jobs to the Republican base as well as all Wisconsinites, and his failure to protect the public’s money from waste and abuse is cause and reason enough to demand that he resign.

takingsidesReince Priebus, Scott Walker and WEDC Scandal

Reince Priebus is currently Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). In recent days, he has faced pressure from within his party. Most of his critics come from supporters of the GOP presidential candidates, who recently revolted against Priebus for not negotiating properly the questions that were asked at the recent CNBC GOP presidential debate.

But that’s just part of the dilemma Priebus faces. It seems that, within GOP networks, the base is demanding answers to questions regarding questionable practices and highly suspect loans between Wisconsin Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and company CEOs who donated to Scott Walker’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.

Indeed, Priebus does have a lot of explaining to do regarding Scott Walker and the corruption scandal at WEDC, where it has been demonstrated that donors to Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial  campaign received loans under highly suspect conditions and tax credits that netted no jobs being created, all this as Wisconsin’s position is plummeting in national job rankings, and economic growth failing.

Current RNC Chair in Cahoots with Walker, Grebe & WEDC?

In 2010, Reince Priebus was the Chair of the Wisconsin GOP Party, as well as an attorney at the Michael Best Friederich law firm in Madison, Wisconsin. During this time, Priebus was instrumental in helping Walker and the GOP drum up piles of cash in what some say were the “Niagara Cash” days, pointing out that there was so much money coming to Walker and the Party for simply just having an audience with him.

To be sure, one of the main duties of the state chair is fundraising for the Party, for Republican candidates and – of course — for the current failed presidential candidate, Gov. Walker. Priebus is also a protégé of Michael Grebe, CEO of the Bradley foundation, who has announced his retirement after the public failure and humiliation at the national level of the Scott Walker attempt to become President of the United States.

It should be no surprise that in mid-2011, there was a frenetic push for granting loans and tax credits to Walker donors. Hmmm…how did this come about? Well, It appears that Priebus should be questioned and go on the record as to whether or not he facilitated agreements or meetings with Michael Grebe and Scott Walker for donors to get WEDC loans and tax credits. In particular, Reince Priebus should show records that demonstrate:

1. Level of contact between him as Chair of the WI GOP and the donors who received WEDC loans and tax breaks and the context of those contacts.

2. Did he or Michael Best Friedrich sell access to Scott Walker under the pretense of legal services or lobbying? What were the services rendered?

3. After January 1, 2011, what level of contact did Reince Priebus and the donors have?

It would be nice if those logs listing who visited the governor’s mansion were found. But I’m sure Reince Priebus isn’t all too thrilled in seeing them returned from wherever they are.

takingsidesGodfather of WEDC Retires

On the eve of Governor Scott Walker signing into law changes that prevent prosecutors from using the John Doe law to review matters that could lead to misconduct in office or to bribing public officials charges, Michael Grebe, the CEO of the Bradley Foundation and Godfather of the Scott Walker political regime, announced his retirement as CEO of the Bradley Foundation. This foundation is the epicenter of conservative political funding for the Republican Party and America’s conservative movement.

The Bradley Foundation is also a conservative Milwaukee philanthropic organization that sits atop an endowment of more than $800 million. The foundation was led by Michael Grebe, who was Walker’s campaign chairman for three different elections and whose board members have personally contributed more than $700,000 to Walker’s gubernatorial campaigns. But Grebe’s “retirement” is bittersweet, coming a couple of months after he co-chaired the disastrous Scott Walker presidential campaign.

The manner in which Walker got smacked around on the national stage is a major setback for Grebe, who is reported to have first met Walker while the future governor attended Marquette University and Grebe was Wisconsin’s Republican national committeeman.

When Walker ran for governor in 2010, he asked Grebe to be chairman of Walker’s campaign. Grebe agreed.

His announced “retirement” also comes on the heels of rising interest around the state regarding his insights and involvement with, not only fundraising for Walker’s presidential campaign, but also his connections with business executives who received Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) loans after contributing to the presidential and gubernatorial campaigns of Scott Walker.

With one corporation that received WEDC loans under criminal investigation for defrauding the government, and questions lingering regarding loans to others under highly suspect reasons, Grebe exits stage right to not only get himself out of the political crosshairs, but also to avoid putting the Bradley Foundation in a pickle of a situation because of the close association that Walker and the Bradley Foundation head steward have established over the past few years.

Walker’s WEDC Could be Grebe’s Achilles Heel

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article in which Mike Grebe is reported to be retiring, this statement appears: “Walker’s close ties to the organization were made clear when just days after he was first elected governor, he met privately with Bradley’s board and senior staff at Bacchus, a swanky Milwaukee restaurant.”

Still, the Bradley CEO made it clear in various media reports that he is careful to separate campaign politics from Bradley Foundation business.

Such close ties deserve close scrutiny of personal and foundation emails and other communications between Wisconsin’s CEO and Bradley Foundation’s CEO — who was also chairman of Walker’s presidential and gubernatorial campaigns.

Could there be any connection between corporate owners of companies that received WEDC loans after providing hefty contributions to Walker’s presidential campaign?

Could such communication between Grebe and these corporations that defaulted and mismanaged WEDC loans have taken place? What was discussed if they did?

Is it that Grebe needs to step down to avoid the coming shit-storm regarding WEDC, the $1 million presidential campaign debt, and the current GOP fast-track actions to change laws, such as open records and John Doe, so that the GOP does not end up having to send some of their own to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections “housing” units?

The emails and other communications between WEDC and the corporations receiving loans that currently are defaulting or are under scrutiny should be released to prosecutors: private and company correspondence.  Bradley Foundation emails and Grebe’s emails need to be reviewed.

WEDC CEOs who got loans and are under investigation or defaulting on them need to have their emails reviewed to see if Grebe had anything to do with their WEDC loans if they donated to the Walker presidential campaign.

What Did Scott Walker Do?

To be sure, Republicans drank Walker’s Kool-Aid and Grebe fed loyal Republican base gallons of it. In doing so, the GOP lost its principles and allowed greed to corrupt the party. By allowing millions of dollars of taxpayer money to be lost forever because of their need to cover up and protect this failed administration, the GOP base has to now be wondering, what did Scott Walker do?

He promised 250,000 jobs, knowing full well that he would attack the unions in 2011 without any care about the effect of changing the entire political and economic agenda for Wisconsin. He allowed corruption, deceit and corporate welfare at WEDC to benefit his donors, some of whom used the money for luxury cars, paying off debts, and golfing!

Did Mike Grebe or the Koch brothers or Brad Courtney, chairman of the Republican party of Wisconsin, tell Scott Walker to focus on hitting the promised employment target number of 250,000 jobs? Did they tell Walker to eliminate corruption at WEDC?

The answer is No. We know this because, if the masters had told him to hit the job targets or prevent corruption at WEDC, he would have obeyed; Scott Walker is a proven faithful servant of these people.

Change the John Doe law the GOP hardliners did, but that really does not affect prosecutors’ ability to look into emails and other communiqués of those corporations being investigated because of WEDC.

Grebe jumps the sinking ship at the right time.

takingsidesThe Governor Hoodwinked His Republican Base

How is it that Republicans around the nation see the governor for what he is, and yet Republicans in Wisconsin are unable to grasp the fact that they are supporting a lying charlatan who took advantage of the good will of the Wisconsin Republican base with the help of warlocks like Brad Courtney and master donors Mike B. Grebe and the Koch brothers.

Republicans drank Walker’s Kool-Aid and in doing so lost their principles and have allowed greed to corrupt their party, allowing millions of dollars of taxpayer money to be lost forever because of their need to cover up and protect this failed administration. What did Scott Walker do?

He promised 250,000 jobs knowing full well he would attack the unions in 2011 without any care as to the effect of changing the entire political and economic agenda for Wisconsin.

He allowed corruption, deceit and corporate welfare at WIsconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to benefit his donors, some of whom used the money for luxury cars, paying off debts, and golfing!

Did Mike Grebe or the Koch brothers or Brad Courtney tell Scott Walker to focus on hitting the promised employment target number of 250,000 jobs? Did they tell Walker to eliminate corruption at WEDC?

The answer is No. We know this because, if the masters had told him to hit the job targets or prevent corruption at WEDC, he would have obeyed, as Scott Walker is a faithful servant of these people.

He failed the Republican base and intimidated the Republican base into submission–the evidence? Not questioning Walker activities proves this point.

The people who put Walker into office by making calls on his behalf, who went door to door in each community, repeating his promise of 250,000 jobs, should look into the mirror and ask themselves: What have I done to Wisconsin?

Black Leaders Continue Letting Mayor off the Hook

Century City: Yes! That great effort to create jobs in the Black community is one year behind schedule and guess what? There are STILL no prospective tenants and there is STILL no movement on the thousands of new good-paying jobs those tenants would bring to our city’s unemployed and impoverished residents.   But don’t hold your breath waiting for our Black elected officials to remind you of this project.  And don’t rely on our Black media networks to inform our community of the truth about the industrial development on the city’s north side.

The proposed 50,000 square foot building is to be located just south of W. Capitol and west of N. 31st Street, in the heart of the 7th aldermanic district which is represented by Ald. Willie Wade.

Just last year, the Journal Sentinel reported that construction at Century City would be completed by the end of 2014.  Wrong! It did not happen.

In that same report, the Journal Sentinel reported that Rocky Marcoux, city Development Commissioner, said he had tenants ready to occupy space starting the summer of 2014.  Wrong! Nothing happened.

The current Journal Sentinel report says nothing about the shortfalls of Century City in its latest report.

Once again Black elected officials and Black media have failed our community and continue to allow this mayor off the hook of accountability.

takingsidesThe Silence is Deafening

St. Anthony’s is the largest private voucher school program in the country. The school is located on Milwaukee’s near south side where the majority of the city’s Hispanic population lives.

The Alderman of the district the school is in (12th Aldermanic district) is Jose G. Perez. The school is in the 8th Assembly district of JoCasta Zamarripa.

The school is majority Latino students with half to most coming from families with questionable citizenship status.

Recently, the school has come under fire for canceling a contract it had with Liga Juvenile a soccer league with more than 900 children, mostly Hispanics taking part in the league’s sponsored games. The organizer of the league, Pablo García, told the Hispanic News Network (HNN-USA) that he “paid a total of $56,000 for using the St. Anthony H.S. indoor facility for six months and that three other leagues paid the same amount, totaling at least $224,000.” (http://ow.ly/T63xX)

Garcia says his league was left out in the cold by St. Anthony’s administration.

Now we are learning that in recent weeks, St. Anthony’s has fired dozens of workers because of their legal status, according to HNN-USA.

The report goes on to say that many of these workers were long time employees loyal to St. Anthony’s.

No comment from any of the Latino elected representatives has been made on the matter yet. In addition, the Spanish Journal has learned that the key leader of the immigrant rights group, Voces de la Frontera, has children attending the school, which could explain the reason why there are no protests or comments from the group regarding what is happening to the workers at St. Anthony’s.

In fact, several former St. Anthony’s workers, who requested to stay anonymous, stated that they approached Voces de la Frontera leaders and were dismissed by the group’s leaders after they complained about the actions by St. Anthony’s.

As usual, Voces de la Frontera did not return a request for comment on whether or not key leaders of the group have their children attending St. Anthony’s. Not that it matters in most cases, but if you’re leading a group that says publicly it is opposed to Walker’s private voucher school expansion, then it just looks a bit odd that your kids are attending a private voucher school.

It can also explain why there is silence and a lack of outrage coming from this group towards St. Anthony’s.

Apartheid grows with each new private voucher school

Private voucher schools are intended to be an alternative to public schools. The Republican cohort pushing for private voucher schools believes that competition and breaking up public school monopoly in Wisconsin’s system of education, is worth the hundreds of millions of public dollars being shifted from public schools to fund private voucher schools.

Aside from the fact that private voucher school teachers do not have to meet high standards in teaching like their public school counterparts, and the fact that private voucher schools more often than not, fail to meet the highest standards of excellence that public schools provide, the biggest and most insidious thing private voucher schools has and now continues to achieve, is the segregation of children based on race.

The scourge of apartheid is growing under the umbrella of privatization. The legacy of the civil rights movement is being swallowed up by greed and racism. Private voucher schools growing in democratically controlled districts is shameful and an abomination. The corporate democrats of Milwaukee have betrayed the legacy of the civil rights movement.