Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Day of Events

Educators Asked to Leave Walker

Press Conference on Education?!

Former Gov. Lucey Leaves Prosser's Campaign,

Endorses Kloppenburg

Sincerely, Scott Fitzgerald

"The old tactics of fear, smear, and intimidation are alive and well." ....
"But if we lose our majority now, all hope for meaningful change will be lost."

Dear Dan Conry

Dear Dan,

I love you. I really do. But, if you think you can sling adjectives better than yours truly, think again!

You want adjectives? I’ll show you adjectives, descriptors, and maybe even an adverb or two. In fact, I’ll see you 11 adjectives (you repeated yourself a lot) and raise you 11 adjectives--maybe more!

Your coverage of the Forward Janesville Annual Dinner was not just irksome, it was beastly and loathsome. It was like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard, like chewing Tums, like walking on a squeaky floor, like sitting down on a wet toilet seat, like…oh, you get the picture.

I wasn’t just piqued; I was offended, repulsed, scandalized, shocked, and horrified—for you and your family. You must all be horribly embarrassed! I am so sorry; are your children grown? They aren’t still in school are they? I do hope not—how humiliating for them. Are you married? How many times? Just being nosy.

The vomitus that you spewed revealed so much about you that I blushed just listening to the podcast. Have you ever taken a psychology class? You aren’t short are you? Oh, I checked. You are. And, you know what that say about men who speed by with their radios playing too loudly? “Small P@#$% Syndrome?” Oh, dear…

And, my goodness, you have led a sheltered life! I thought you were an NYPD Detective? What, they don't use a little language in NY? Well, I don’t know what playgrounds you were hanging around, but I didn’t hear a single word Tuesday night that wasn’t said somewhere today on some playground in Wisconsin today.

Oh, my! Someone called you a "piece of s@#$." Buck up! What is wrong with you? Quit being a cowardly, hypersensitive, whining, crybaby. Grow up.

You need to get out more! Let’s go out for drinks. I can show you language.

And, my dear, didn’t your mother teach you about being a “wanna-be.” Here in Janesville, it is the worst thing you can be! It is worse than being a school teacher, or a Ph.D., or a business owner, or a Teamster, or a military veteran, or a Senator—those were some of the “free loaders” that I was standing beside outside at the protest Tuesday night.

Your portrayal of the protesters as "free-loaders" and "people waiting for the check" was not only a lie, it was just despicable, abhorrent, atrocious, and contemptible.

You made horribly cloying, dreadful, execrable, foul, sleazy, remarks about every Janesville VIP you could think of on your little, un-important, measly, nasty, vile, wretched, insignificant excuse for a radio show.

Listen up, you moronic pin-head: The vast majority of people at the dinner are middle class people who work for a living--as were the people protesting.

We can see right through you. We know who you are and what you are. You aren't powerful and you aren't wealthy. You aren't a great intellect. You aren't even entertaining.

You are no gentleman. You are a suck-up.

I mean that in the best possible way.

Your friend,

Why I Walked Out on Governor Walker - update

This morning Councilman Perrotto appeared on WCLO.  The interview podcast also includes interview with State Senator Tim Cullen (D) which is always a good thing.

Following Councilman Perrotto's phone call to Dan Conry, I stopped in and shared with Dan and the listeners my thoughts on what has transpired over the last couple of days.

Janesville Gazette also wrote a story about the Forward Janesville dinner featuring Governor Walker and what followed it.  It will be posted later today (probably around 4 pm) online, at which point I will post a link as an update to this blog entry.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the many many people who thanked me for doing what I consider to be my duty and responsibility - represent the many people of Janesville who could not do what I did - Walk Out on Governor Walker.  Your support has reaffirmed what I already knew, which is that  Janesville is full of great people, many of whom do not support the Governor though some still do.  

Going Forward.  

Even before I was elected to the Council in 2008, I knew that being in public office, one can never please everyone, and this time is certainly no different, but I want to assure you that I will continue to take my measured, open-minded approach to issues that affect our community and evaluate each issue that comes before me one at a time in a non-partisan manner.  Throughout my time on the council I have at various times agreed and disagreed with every Councilmember which to me is the true measure of non-partisanship.  I will continue to solicit your feedback and communicate with you to the best of my abilities  through phone calls, emails, Facebook and good old personal contact.  I very much appreciate all the emails of support I have received, and the few emails from those who disagree with my decision.  

I look forward to receiving the next Council agenda packet and continuing to address the important issues facing our community just like I always have - one issue at a time.

Please let me know if I can be of service.  

Yuri Rashkin 

UPDATE:  Here's the link to the Gazette story.  The comments are coming in fast and furious.

Letter from the president of WMC, James Haney

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Donation Plea: "Donations are Unlimited and Undisclosed."

".....It should come as no surprise that they are seeking donations to smear Joanne Kloppenburg, candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Their plea for dollars is a perfect example of the need for campaign finance reform. They boast in the letter that donations to WMC are "unlimited and undisclosed."

George Carlin: As current today as yesterday

Rated "R"

FINALLY...abiding by court orders!

Huebsch suspends Implementation of
changes called for in the collective bargaining bill!

To Bliss Communications: We Deserve the Truth

Dear Rock County and Bliss Communications:

I love Rock County.

Rock County residents deserve unbiased factual coverage of political events from our local news media--not just yellow journalism.

We deserve to hear news and informational commentary and not just the personal views of the owners of our local radio and newspaper.

We deserve professionalism on the radio and in print. Rock County residents are intelligent people who deserve the respect of the media.

This week a WCLO entertainer/talk show host engaged in an on-air verbal tirade directed toward the protesters at the Forward Janesville event on the evening of March 29. To subject a large number and broad spectrum of Rock County residents to a stream of verbal abuse from a bully with a micro-phone was beneath contempt.

The protesters are the customers of Bliss Communication and the clients who keep their advertisers in business. To insult the intelligence of the protesters was bizarre: I was standing beside a school teacher, 2 Ph.d's, a former senator, a business owner, some military veterans, and some teamsters!

We deserve to know real estimates of the numbers of people who attend political events. We should not have to be doing mental math when we read or hear reports: dividing in half if the event is a conservative or Republican event because the media exaggerated the attendance and multiplying by two if the event is a liberal or Democratic event because the local media under-represented the numbers attending the event.

We deserve objectivity and unbiased factual information. Empathy and sympathy are not necessary, but the ability to portray the atmosphere of a rally or a protest objectively and factually is. The ability to report on issues one disagrees with objectively is necessary.

Joseph Pulitzer had a sign hanging in the newsroom of the New York World which read, “The World has no friends.”

To be honest, one must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—without distortion and without using those little tell-tale words that convey an oh-so-different view from what really happened. I read somewhere that a senator at the Capitol was “backed into a corner by protesters who heckled him loudly while he tried to give an interview.” This sounded dangerous. I looked at the video. Here is my report: “Senator X was standing out on a sunny day at the Capitol with protesters standing around him at a respectful distance. They occasionally shouted so loudly it was disturbing but, he gave his interview.”

I love Rock County and we deserve the truth. All of it. No additives. No distortions. No sneaky little words & phrases to denote a different story. No propaganda. With all of the implications. No verbal abuse.

Your friend,

Food & Clothes Drive...

Thursday early morning news round up (3.31.11)

WCLO 1230 AM Talk Show host Dan Conry speaking on the protests the previous night surrounding Forward Janesville featured speaker Governor Walker.  Additionally, Dan interviews Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Photographs from the Forward Janesville Governor Walker protests - Facebook

Photographs from the Forward Janesville Governor Walker protests by Sam Loizzo

Janesville's Walker Protests - Facebook

Mind Stain: Backward Walker in Forward Janesville

Channel 3000: walker's Speech At Forward Janesville Dinner Draws Protests

Governor Walker speaking at Forward Janesville Annual Dinner

State of Wisconsin Voter Public Access
Government Accountability Board - Elections Division

TPM: GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet - video

Politicususa: CREW Wants Wisconsin GOP Senator Punished For Misuse of Troopers

State's outsourcing cost-benefit law targeted

Mind Stain: Open Letter to Janesville Councilman Frank Perrotto

Mind Stain: Response Letter from Councilman Perrotto and My Response to Him

Wisconsin judge's stern rebuke:  collective-bargaining bill is not law

The Progressive:  Walker and Cronies Are Lawless Bastards!

The Progressive:  Wisconsin Leads the War on Public Schools

Forward/Foreword: Rev. Jesse Jackson's Beloit College Speech

State will continue implementing collective bargaining law despite judge's order

Sam Stein: Scott Walker Rejected $12 Million Of The Specific $150 Million In High-Speed Rail Funds He Now Wants

Vital Signs:  Influential republicans break with Walker on SeniorCare; vow to save it from budget cuts

Rachel Maddow March 29th, Really Really Really Big Government

Appropriate Political Behavior: Comments regarding the email sent by Janesville Councilman Perrotto to Janesville Councilman Rashkin

Stand with Wisconsin: webstore

Food and Clothing Drive for "Poor" Sean Duffy

Daily Kos: Polling tight in Wisconsin Supreme Court campaign

Vital Signs:  County GOP press release mocks "leftish" Judge Sumi and "lefty" Dane County

GOP proposes rollback of mandatory disinfection for drinking water

Government Accountability Board: Circulating Recall Petitions at a Polling Place

Brook Beam:  Addressing the fundamental facets of the WI Budget arguments - Facebook

Appleton Post Crescent: GOP lawmakers break ranks on Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal

State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D):  Support Our Seniors - video

Get to know the other side: MacIver Institute: Wisconsin School Officials Back Walker Budgets - video webstore

Rachel Maddow: Wisconsin governor goes rogue to force anti-union bill

Up Close with Jesse Jackson at Beloit College - video

Isthmus: New round of Wisconsin Capitol protests target sign and location rules

Wisconsin Union Law Battle Has Republicans Facing New Hurdle

The Daily Reporter: Lawmakers question Walker's local cuts

Judge bars further implementation of collective bargaining law, threatens sanctions

J.B. Van Hollen chooses party over principle, the constitution and the rule of law

Grass Roots:  Protest sing brings crowds to Capitol in grand tradition

The Nation John Nichols: Wisconsin Judge Checks and Balances a Lawless King, er, Governor

Writers Needed to post Right-wing Comments (National) - Craig's List

Campus Connection:  Frayed ties could hurt UW-Madison and UW System

Kloppenburg Fail - Prosser for the win!  - video

The Pelican Post:  New Nonpartisan Toolkit for Budget Reform

Russ Feingold in support of JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supreme Court

Secretary of State Doug LaFollette - video

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Email from Councilman Frank Perrotto

For anyone curious, Councilman Perrotto is up for re-election on April 5.
Upon receiving this email, I gave Councilman Perrotto 5 minutes to apologize before I post his email on the internet. Since he did not, here it is.

"Councilman Yuri, 

I went to your web site and I was appalled.

How dare you conduct yourself, as representative of this Council, by continuing to flaunt your partisan ideologies.

You walk out before the Governor gave his speech as a form of protest. You are disgrace to this council.
You claim you are representing the people. That is nonsense! What about all the people of Janesville who support the Governor.  How are you representing them with this despicable behavior?

You should publicly apologize to the citizens of Janesville for your behavior!
Moreover you should repay the city for the cost of the taxpayers dollars that were use to send you to this dinner.

I heard you even joined the protestors after you left....Not even you would be that stupid!

Your actions on the steps of the Courthouse were outrageous. You used your position as a City Councilman to speak against the republicans actions concerning the budget.  All under the guise that you represent and speak for the people of Janesville...NONSENSE. You jeopardized the city , its citizens and this council. We need to work with both sides of the legisative body in Madison . Not just your Democrat brothers and sisters.  What were you thinking?

Maybe it's time for you to reassess why you are on the City Council"

UPDATE:  Video of Councilman Perrotto speaking about the letter Janesville City Council sent to our State Representatives opposing Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill:

UPDATE #2: I went ahead and paid Forward Janesville $55 for my ticket.  I believe strongly that Councilmember Perrotto should do the same.  

UPDATE #3: blog writing about the incident

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I Walked Out on Governor Walker

1.  I could.

I did what many people felt they could not do.  Many people at the dinner could not get up and leave without potentially endangering many business and professional relationships, or at least they felt that's what they would be doing.  Others wanted to stay out of curiosity to see what the Governor will do and say. I totally respect these points of view.

Throughout the dinner I saw people express their disapproval of Governor Walker by not clapping when his name was mentioned and when his name was announced and I left, I saw that some people did not stand up to welcome the Governor.  It was a very tense evening and I hold Governor responsible for dividing the community I so deeply care for and am honored to represent.  Tonight was meant as a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit of Janesville and everyone tried the best they could to be the Ambassadors of Optimism, to quote Mary Willmer Sheedy, but because of the extra significance that was brought on by the Governor and the protesters, you could cut the tension with a knife.

I am very fortunate to be in a position of working with people who are supportive of my values and appreciate my skills and talents to let me have the freedom to express myself.  Also, being an elected official, I have a different responsibility to the community I represent than most people.  I understand this responsibility and I take it very seriously.

2.  It was the right thing to do.

After the events of last month, staying and listening to the Governor speak, applaud his self-serving platitudes would have been worse than fake.  I knew I couldn't do that.  Walking out seemed like a difficult thing to do before I did it, but it felt good and it felt like the right thing to do.  After all, have you never walked out of a presentation by someone you did not want to listen to?

3.  To show the protesters that protesting matters.

Many many people gathered outside and stood with signs, cheering, for hours.  And not just hours, this is merely the latest of the protests which have been happening since the middle of February and I often wonder what difference all of this makes.  I felt that by walking out and joining the protesters, I could myself help these great people who care about Janesville just as much as the people at the dinner, to feel at least a little bit validated for all of their efforts.  I did not have illusions that crowds will follow me and I did not want to make a big deal, throwing a chair and storming out while the Governor was speaking.  I have a lot of respect for our local business community, and I'm not sure what making a scene would've accomplished.  But I suspected that very very few people, if any, would walk out, and that gave me an extra certainty that joining the protesters in solidarity and showing that protests matter, was the right thing to do.

4.  To continue to represent all of Janesville

In Janesville, there are no wards and every council member represents all of Janesville.  At this significant for our community moment, joining the protesters outside, to me, was about representing all of Janesville.  Let's recap: I came in to the dinner, I spoke and shook hands with a lot of great people, had a wonderful meal and expressed my strong support for the business community.  And when the Governor was coming on stage, I joined the rest of my community outside where, at some point during this protest, there were more people than there were on the inside.

5.  To stand up for what I believe in.

This is America.  We have unbelievable opportunities and no politician has been able to take those away from us.  Cherish it.  Walk out, join associations - be it Chamber of Commerce or a Union - and do what you need to do to sleep well at night.  I understand that many of the people at the dinner sincerely feel that Governor Walker is taking our state in the right direction.  I don't but that's why we have elections, recalls, more elections and we vote, vote and vote again.  Nothing is permanent, politicians come and go, and if you don't believe it, read a history book.  I know that our future is bright because of the people who were at the dinner tonight and because of the people who were outside with protest signs.  And I am proud to represent both.

Yuri Rashkin
Janesville City Councilman

Tuesday afternoon news round up (3.29.11)

Tonight Governor Walker will be the featured speaker at Forward Janesville annual dinner at Holiday Inn Express. Will you be there?

Rev. Jesse Jackson speaking in La Crosse, Beloit and Whitewater today, 3/29

We Will Win (Song for Wisconsin) - video

Dane County Circuit Court:  Ismael R. Ozanne v. Jeff Fitzgerald et al (Part 1) - video

Walker setback: Judge wants La Follette to have own attorney, appeals court denies Van Hollen request

Chief of peace:  During protests at Capitol, charles Tubbs emerged as force for calm

Conservative think tank seeks Michigan professors' emails about Wisconsin union battle... and Maddow

Fitzgerald insisted that bureau publish law, witness testifies

Scott fitzgerald:  We've broken the power of unions

Tom Tolan: First recall campaign appears to have enough signatures

Collective bargaining measure back in court

Create an account, log in and start making calls for JoAnne Kloppenburg.

La Crosse Tribune editorial: Fitzgerald shows why openness matters

Tom Tolan: Finance reports filed in recalls of two Democrats

Gov. Walker editorial New York Times refused to publish

MSNBC: Liberals in Wisconsin gaining hope

Day 24 of Mark Schaunburg hunger strike

John Eyster: Wisconsin Government of MEN and NOT of LAWS?!

Dear Scaredy Cat Scotty

Dear Scaredy Cat Scotty:

I love you, I really, really do. But, you need to buck up and go straight. We don’t want to see you turn into a “Binky Boehner, do we? Hope I didn’t hurt your feelings.

May I give you some advice: Get a GPS. That is a Global Positional Something. Use it. And, take the most direct route wherever you go in life. That is just excellent advice in general. Stop sneaking in the back door! It looks like you have something to hide.

Now, about the “buck up” part: I would call you a “sissy” but I grew up in Appalachia where the girls could kick you’re a@# behind the outhouse in a New York minute. And, I don’t want to offend any women by calling you a sissy—so, “scaredy cat” will have to do it.

Can you explain to the citizens of Rock County why you require more security than there are protesters at your events? You are wasting my tax dollars by the millions because you are too cowardly to drive by 10 to 20 peaceful protesters!

I am speaking of your visit to the Edgerton site of Stoughton Trailers where you arrived in a black SUV with an unmarked police car, 2 police cars guarding the entrance to the parking lot, another police car in a parking lot ¼ to ½ mile away and a police detail assigned to the protesters. These protesters were about as dangerous as kittens—one was in a wheelchair.

I heard that the extra security cost $7 million dollars. I heard it so it must be true.

I cannot help comparing you to a certain president. We have a president who walks through crowds—even though he receives more death threats than any other public official in history. We have a president who attends events and walks with little protection through crowds where people are openly wearing guns and carrying guns slung over their shoulders. We have a president who walked unprotected with his wife in his inauguration parade.

Then we have you, Scaredy Cat Scotty. Afraid to drive by protesters. Sneaking in by the back door. You are not afraid to destroy Wisconsin, just afraid to look people in the eye after doing it.

Hope I didn’t hurt your feelings.

Your friend,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday night news round up (3.28.11)

Walker administration announces implementation of anti-union law, despite Judge's order against publication

Area GOP Legislators - Knilans, Loudenbeck & Wynn - defend Governor Walker's bill

The Elections Board finds that the solicitation of signatures, on a petition that is not related to the election at hand, without any attempt to influence that day’s vote of the voter solicited, is not, per se, “electioneering” within the meaning of §12.03, Stats., and, therefore, not a violation of that statute.

Unionbusting at "The Office"

TPM: Mother of all negative ads dropped on Wisconsin Judicial race

Glenn Greenwald:  Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers

Daily Kos:  Wisconsin - How to get petitions signed by the cart-full.  Hint, do it on election day.

Justice Prosser loses endorsement of his hometown paper

10,000 motorcycle rally in protest of Governor Walker - Facebook event

Daily Kos: Economics as Cultural Warfare

Bangladeshi trade unionists stand in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere

Rick Ungar:  Walker ignores court order!  Begins enforcement of anti-collective bargaining law

Too many good posters to post just one

Where's Walker:  Where he goes, we go - Facebook event

Whitewater faculty members trek 44 miles (I thought it was 42) from campus to Capitol

Edward A. Fallone:  Publish or Perish:  The Budget Bill is not Law

After paying zero income taxes, GE plans to ask its union workers to make wage and benefits concessions

WEAC President Mary Bell speaks at rally in Wautoma, March 27, 2011 - video

Walker nets over $25,000 in campaign funds for deal that netted his friends $300,000 in tax dollars

Walker spent $42,000 in taxpayer cash on plane trips

The Moral Underground:  How ordinary Americans subvert an unfair economy

City of Madison office of the City Attorney:  There is no effective law

Wisconsin Week in Review:  Budget Adjustment takes a surprising turn

David Prosser - Wikipedia

Daily Kos:  Victory in Indiana:  Democrats on way home after winning key concessions

Excellent performance by Adelina Feldman-Schultz Senior Cabaret featuring the Western Michigan University Music Theatre class of 2011 of "With a Little Help From My Friends".  Great performance and  very fitting.  

And oh, by the way, DOJ won't charge sexting former prosecutor

Jason Stein: Spending would increase under Walker budget

David McKay: Further thoughts on the rule of law in Teabagistan

Bill Wineke:  By going after professor, GOP takes aim at Wisconsin tradition

Paul Krugman on William Cronon:  American Thought Police

Walker budget defunds elections

Cognitive Dissidence: Madison's No Free Speech Zone

State stops collecting union dues, starts charging more for health care

Wisconsin contract talks stall amid union law fight

State Senator Alberta Darling (R) reception with United States Representative Paul Ryan (R) - Facebook protest event

Bill Berry:  Wisconsin farmers union raising more hell than corn

Provocateurs, shills and disinfo agents - video

Day of Action for Workers Rights - Facebook event

Tricia McKinney:  Poor little rich boys

Kristen Erickson: Citizens still free to spend as they like

We Ask America:  Wisconsinites on Walker: 44% approve 55% disapporve

David Prosser's "abusive" conduct is "troubling"

National Day of Student Walkouts and Strikes to Defend Public Education - Facebook event

409 people joined Union Members for Scott Walker

Milwaukee republicans want to open UW professor's e-mails

Ladysmith: Walker budget would be costly to school district

Common Cause in Wisconsin:  Guest Speaker Sen. Tim Cullen (D) - video

Vital Signs: State GOP health bills mirror model ALEC legislation

Laura Conaway:  Reasonable professor the new scariest guy in Wisconsin politics