Saturday, June 30, 2012

Positive Signs of Our Times!

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, speaks during a stop on the first day of a nine-state Nuns on the Bus tour June 18, 2012, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo)
 Go Nuns Go!

Heartened to see the "Nuns on a Bus" Tour is in high gear and has crowds greeting them like they are rock stars. They are drawing attention to the immorality of the Paul Ryan GOP budget that would:
     *Raise taxes on 18 million hardworking low-income families while cutting taxes for 
        millionaires and big corporations.         
     *Push the families of 2 million children into poverty.
     *Kick 8 million people off food stamps and 30 million off health care.

Sister Simone Campbell, in true nun fashion has this to say about those who would take from the poor to give more to the rich.

“We have to open our hearts, even to John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell,” she said, grinning, “all the people I want to think are God’s mistakes.”

The crowd laughed.

“The God in me resides in the God in them," she added.

The Vatican has criticized American nuns for spending too much time helping the poor and sick and for not being sufficiently anti-gay and anti-abortion. They have accused one group that claims 57,000 nuns as members as being "radical feminists". In the court of public opinion- the nuns are winning.

The Pentagon's LGBT Pride Month Event!

 Did you ever think you'd live to see the day?!
About time!

Our Green Future
Read about how one "little northern city is going carbon neutral, right in the heart of oil and gas country."

Vagina Power!
Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journ
More than 2,500 went to the steps of the capitol in Michigan for a protest reading of the Vagina Monologues, after two women legislators were banned from talking after one of them said "vagina".

No kidding. These male legislators want to regulate women's vaginas- they are trying to close down abortion providers- but they cannot speak the word.

And last, but not least,
Supreme Court Rules Health Care Act Constitutional!
The US joins with all industrialized nations of the world to say you should not go bankrupt just because you get sick.

This is an immense relief to the millions who have been, or would have been denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, who got sick and got dropped by their insurance, or who are under 26 and can stay on their parent's plans. We are going in the right direction!

I almost felt bad about the photo I posted below showing the Supreme Court Five with "SHAME" written on them after Roberts joined the liberals of the court. But, no- he should stay there- because of his push for Citizens United- which could unravel everything.

This really should not have come as a big surprise- as the insurance companies wanted Obamacare and Roberts has never met a corporate argument he didn't like. By the way, can we call it Obamney Care from now on? Pawlenty described it that way during the primaries and Bobby Jindall just did too, but in his case it was a Freudian slip! I just think Romney should get the credit he deserves!

Jonathon Gruber, one of the architects of the Romney health care law said, "He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he's just lying."

We are going in the right direction- but the states will show us the truly only way to go forward. Vermont just signed Single Payer Health Care into law. Medicare for All!

Keep Faith!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Blow to Democracy by the Supreme Court Five

Portrait of Aggressive Judicial Activism                                                                                    B Upton
On Monday, the five right-wingers on the Supreme Court (l to r- Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas) ruled that states cannot pass laws to limit corruption and the buying of state and local elections by the wealthy. However; the Supreme Court Five did feel it was prudent to impose new limits on political contributions from unions- which shows the true colors of  the Citizens United ruling in Jan 2010. It is not about free speech, but rather is a slow motion coup d'etat to replace democracy with a plutocracy where the 1% rule and the voice of the people is silenced.

As John Nichols of The Nation put it, "If Exxon Mobil* wants to spend $10 million to support a favored candidate in a state legislative or city council race that might decide whether the corporation is regulated, or whether it gets new drilling rights, it can. But why stop at $10 million? If it costs $100 million to shout down the opposition, the court says that is fine. If if costs $1 billion, that's fine, too."

In another example, Nichols points out a company like Walmart may decide they do not want to pay local taxes. Now thanks to the far reaching tentacles of Citizens United, Walmart can buy local politicians who will agree with them- local schools and public services be damned.

In Montana, there has been a ban on corporate electioneering for over a century. This was based on the state's corrupt history in which copper barons (one was called one of the wealthiest men in the world) owned the newspapers and "ran the state government like their own subsidiary". In 2011, Montana upheld the ban which had worked so well for a century.

Some were holding out hope that in reviewing the Montana ban, that some aspects of Citizens United could be reheard, especially as the decision's claim that super PACS would be independent of the candidates is patently false. One only has to look at the 2012 presidential race to see billionaires like Sheldon "The Palestinians are an Invented People" Adelson and Foster "Put an Aspirin between Your Knees" Fiesss being highly involved in their candidates' races. Does anyone believe they do not expect anything from donating hundreds of millions of dollars?

"Two Supreme Court justices, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, issued a short statement when the Court took the Montana case, saying they hoped their colleagues would use the case to revisit these aspects of Citizens United. A variety of legal briefs were filed arguing the same thing. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said wealthy interests were using the threat of outsized donations to super PACs to threaten elected officials—giving another real-life example of Citizen United’s anti-democratic impact." (Steven Rosenfeld, Alternet)

But the Partisan Five were not swayed. They seem to be doubling down on what Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority (by one person) opinion in Citizens United regarding unlimited spending by mega-wealthy corporations - he said such expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

We, the people wholeheartedly disagree. About 85% of Americans (democrat, republican and independentt) want Citizens United overturned. About 100 resolutions on local and state levels (3 states so far) have been passed to overturn the disastrous ruling. The US Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a resolution this month stating that corporations should not receive the same legal rights as natural citizens and that money is not speech. They called for the most urgent action to reverse Citizens United.

Get involved- Go to and There is also a weekly Move to Amend meeting in Saugerties, NY-

The Shame photo also refers to the fact that the high court just gave the thumbs up to racial profiling by upholding  "your papers please" aspect of AZ's immigration law.

“In his famous speech at Gettysburg during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln talked about America as a country ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Today, as a result of the Supreme Court’s refusal to reconsider its decision in Citizens United, we are rapidly moving toward a nation of the super-rich, by the super-rich and for the super-rich. That is not what America is supposed to be about. This Supreme Court decision must be overturned.” Senator Bernie Sanders

*If Exxon Mobil had spent just 2 percent of its 2008 profits in the last presidential election, it would have outspent McCain and Obama combined. The danger to democracy is very real.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Walker Win Could Soon Turn into a Big Lose

Creative Commons NMBTCW
It was hard to come back from my two week vacation (in media free AZ) to find that Scott Walker did not lose his seat in the WI recall (thank goodness Dems won the majority in the State Senate!) Seventy percent of Walker's campaign contributions came from out of state from billionaires like Sheldon Adelson (Gingrich's sugar daddy). Over $31 million flowed into his campaign and he plastered WI airwaves with misleading ads for months, including a disgusting ad linking his opponent to a picture of a dead baby. But the story isn't quite over.

Three of Walker's aides from his time as Milwaukee County Executive have been indicted for stealing from veterans and widows and orphans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars for personal and campaign spending.  Many feel Walker may be next. Indeed he is the only governor in America to have a criminal defense fund and he has moved $160,000 in campaign donations to that fund.

Below is from Walker Watch- Could Walker as County Executive really not known that any of this was going on? And if he didn't have a clue, what does that say about him?
Walker Player Link to Walker Status/Charges
Tim Russell Scott Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, former Housing Administrator, former Economic Development Director, and former Operator of He was fired from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority after it was discovered in 1993 that he improperly billed hotel stays. He set up the secret email network that allowed government staffers to illegally campaign for Walker who was Milwaukee County executive. Mr. Russell also allegedly stole thousands of dollars from Operation Freedom and used the money to pay for Caribbean and Hawaiian vacations and a political trip to Atlanta to meet with Herman Cain’s presidential campaign. One felony count of theft (value exceeding $10,000), a Class G felony punishable by fines of up to $25,000 and/or 10 years in prison. One felony count of theft (value $2,500-5,000), a Class I felony punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and/or 3.5 years in prison. One misdemeanor count of theft (value not exceeding $2,500), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fines not more than $10,000 and/or up to 9 months in prison.
Criminal Complaint UPDATE: A final pre-trial hearing was set for June 4, with a trial scheduled for June 18.
Brian Pierick Pierick and and partner Tim Russell operated Scott Walker’s campaign website, A criminal complaint alleges Pierick tried to entice a 17-year-old boy into his van to have sex and exchanged illicit text messages with a 17-year-old Waukesha boy. He could face up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine on the most serious charge he faces. Pierick had worked as an office operations assistant at the state Department of Public Instruction dealing with education for homeless children and youth. Charged with one felony count of child enticement (exposing sex organ), a Class D felony punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 25 years. One felony count of exposing genitals or pubic area, a Class I Felony, punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3.5 years.
Criminal Complaint
Kevin Kavanaugh Walker’s political appointee to the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission was involved in “Operation Freedom” and is alleged to have stolen money allocated for children of Wisconsin military service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under investigation for several serious felony and misdemeanor for embezzling at least $42,232 from the Military Order of the Purple Heart between 2006 and 2009.
Criminal Complaint
Kelly Rindfleisch Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff to Scott Walker, personal 2012 campaign fundraiser and former policy analyst for Scott Walker. Her office, which was 25 feet from Walker’s County Executive office, used illegal secret email network set up by Tim Russell and illegally sent more than 1,000 campaign emails and also running fundraising operation for Brett Davis illegally. Four felony counts of misconduct in public office. Each charge is a Class I felony punishable by fines of not more than $10,000 and/or up to 3.5 years in jail for each count.
Criminal Complaint
Darlene Wink Wink, who also served as first vice chair of the Milwaukee County GOP and raised money for Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker while Walker’s constituent services manager, is alleged to have drafted and sent press releases for the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, done phone banking for Walker’s campaign and other matters relating to the county GOP at Walker’s County Executive office. All of these efforts were done using the illegal secret email network set up by Tim Russell. Wink faces two misdemeanor counts each carry penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Wink’s work computer was confiscated by the FBI. She (as well as Kelly Rindfleisch) used laptop computers that they brought into the office and used the illegal wireless email network to transmit illegal activities.
UPDATE: Darlene Wink pleaded guilty February 7 to two misdemeanor charges of fundraising in the courthouse for then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s campaign for governor. Wink agreed to provide information to prosecutors as part of a plea deal.
Criminal Complaint
Andrew Jensen, Jr. Jensen is a commercial real estate broker with Boerke Co. and a past president of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin. Campaign finance records show Jensen made more than $800 in donations to the Walker campaign. Records show Jensen and other Boerke personnel have made more than $12,000 in campaign contributions to Walker. Jensen has big connections with Walker’s personal law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich, which employs the attorney for Walker’s campaign and Reince Priebus, a key Walker backer who is now on leave from the firm to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was was arrested for failing to cooperate with the John Doe investigation in December, 2011.
Reince Priebus Darlene Wink emailed Priebus to see if the Walker campaign could get former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to attend the fundraiser. Priebus is also part of the Koch Brothers operation “Americans for Prosperity”, which has been very involved in Walker’s extremist agenda that is leading to recall elections as well as “voter caging” during the 2010 election cycle. Priebus could be linked to the secret email network set up in Walker’s County Executive office. Investigations continue on that front. Priebus is the current chairman of the National Republican Party. This could change quickly.
William Gardner Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. and a major donor to Walker. Mr. Gardner was convicted of the largest campaign finance violation in Wisconsin history where he illegally allocated $43,000 to the Friends of Scott Walker by asking his employees to contribute tens of thousands of dollars. Charged with two felony counts of excessive/unlawful political contributions. Each count is a Class I felony and carries a find of up to $10,000 and/or up to 3.5 years in prison. Sentenced to two years’ probation in July after pleading guilty to two felonies for exceeding campaign contribution limits to Walker’s campaign and laundering additional campaign contributions through employees and associates.
Keith Gilkes Gilkes, Walker’s Chief of Staff, resigned on October 8, which paid him $112,000-per-year. He previously served as campaign manager during the Governor’s race in 2009-10. He worked for the Wisconsin State Legislature as a policy advisor in the State Senate. He had exchanged over 1,000 emails using the secret email system in Walker’s County Executve office. While Chief of Staff, Gilkes had recommended a job for Sen. Randy Hopper’s girlfriend, Valerie Cass, who was hired Feb. 7 as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing. Additionally, he recommended Brian Deschane, a college dropout who was the son of a Walker political contributor.
Cullen Werwie Werwie worked for the campaign of former Republican State Rep. Brett Davis, who was defeated in the September 2010 Republican Lt. Governor primary. Werwie then worked deputy communications director for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. Werwie is the governor’s current Communications Director.. Werwie has been granted prosecutorial immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation on April 14. He was doing communications with the Walker for Governor campaign with staffers using the secret email network.
Joe Fadness Fadness is the operations manager for Friends of Scott Walker. He and Darlene Wink exchanged emails, Internet chat sessions and phone calls during county time, which is illegal at Walker’s Milwaukee County administrative offices. There are calls for Fadness to resign due to his knowledge of illegal campaign activity related to the John Doe investigation.
Brett Davis Kelly Rindfleisch did fundraising for Davis, who Walker supported for lieutenant governor until he lost in the September 2010 GOP primary, from her office while working for Scott Walker. Kelly Rindfleisch sent Davis over 300 emails using the secret email network.
Rose Ann Dieck Dieck is a retired teacher and Milwaukee County Republican party activist who has raised money for Walker’s campaigns since 2005. Dieck was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation.
Kenneth Lucht Lucht is a lobbyist and spokesperson for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. He works for William Gardner, who at the time was the president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, who charged with two felony counts of excessive/unlawful political contributions. Lucht was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation on January 14, 2011.
Fran McLaughlin McLaughlin was Director of Communications for Scott Walker when he was County Executive and had her office next door to where the secret email network was set up. McLaughlin’s office contained scant documents after Walker’s Milwaukee County office was vacated and many records were shredded or missing.
Steven Kreklow Kreklow was Fiscal & Budget Administrator working with Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive. He also was the author of the 2010 and 2011 budget. When crunching the numbers for Walker for the Wisconsin budget, Kreklow admitted that the deficit was only one third the number of what Walker has been reporting.
Cynthia Archer Archer served as the head of the Milwaukee County Department of Administration when Walker was County Executive and served on Walker’s Waste Fraud and Abuse Commission and legislative liaison at the Department of Children and Families. Archer’s work computer was confiscated by the FBI. A FBI spokesman Leonard Peace declined to comment, referring calls to Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern, who also declined to comment.
Tom Nardelli Nardelli was Walker’s chief of staff when Walker was Milwaukee County executive. Nardelli told prosecutors that about $11,000 seemed to be missing from the annual Operation Freedom event at the Milwaukee County Zoo designed to honor military families. Nardelli abruptly quit as his $90,000 a year job as administrator for the state Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services on July 21. He said all Walker’s Milwaukee County office records were saved or disposed of properly, although there were many records that had been shredded and office drawers were empty.
Jim Hiller Hiller, in real estate for 21 years, was Walker’s campaign treasurer for 18 years and on Walker’s transition team as he became governor. Hiller suddenly quit his position as Walker’s treasurer and was replaced by Kate Lind on May 13.
Bob Nenno Nenno was Deputy Director of Communications when Walker was Milwaukee County executive. Nenno also worked as a reporter for WTMJ-TV. When asked about how many other Walker aides were getting their computers confiscated by authorities, Nenno cryptically said “I have been told to refer you to the DA’s office.”
Jim Villa Villa was Walker’s Chief of Staff when he was in the state legislature. He returned to the Chief of Staff position when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and was gearing up for his first attempt at running for governor. Kelly Rindfleisch, in order to be a public employee in Milwaukee County with the required residence within the county, used Villa’s address to satisfy the requirement.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Current Republican Attorney General and Walker ally who had participated in other John Doe investigations chose not to assist with the investigation of Walker’s former county staffers. Van Hollen continues to not want to get involved in the expanding John Doe investigation, probably due to being more interested in the Republican Party than doing his job.
Many of the sources are combined from the Wisconsin State Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news sources. It’s just a matter of time when the “smoking gun” leads to Scott Walker knwoing what was going on. It’s just a matter of justice.
This evidence, seen on several blogs looking at the FBI investigation, may indeed be the beginning of showing actual proof that Walker did know “about the laptops” that were being used for illegal campaign fundraising and other crimes at the Milwaukee County office.
(oops- tried to fix the list and cannot make this part go away!)

Many of the sources are combined from the Wisconsin State Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news sources. It’s just a matter of time when the “smoking gun” leads to Scott Walker knwoing what was going on. It’s just a matter of justice.

This evidence, seen on several blogs looking at the FBI investigation, may indeed be the beginning of showing actual proof that Walker did know “about the laptops” that were being used for illegal campaign fundraising and other crimes at the Milwaukee County office.

Thank you to the folks at Walker Watch! Stay tuned.


 Sorry I have not posted in awhile- if you click here you 'll see why! Glad to be back and will get into regular posting now. Hmm, don't know why it links to the end of the post- just scroll up a little.