Saturday, May 28, 2011

Department Of Justice Files Reply Brief In Support Of Petition For Supervisory Writ In Act 10 Open Meetings Litigation

Read the DOJ website response to Judge Sumi's decision:

Circuit Court Decision on Open Meetings Law Violations Checks Abuse of Power

This press release is well written by the ACLU.

Judge to order mediator for Wis. Capitol case - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Judge to order mediator for Wis. Capitol case - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Fire code violations found at state Capitol

There is a very simple solution to the fire code violations cited by the Madison City Fire Department, OPEN THE CAPITOL DOORS!

Click here to read the entire news story, "Fire code violations found at state Capitol"

Wisconsin asks state Supreme Court to lift ban on union measure | Appleton Post Crescent |

Scott Walker and the GOP Majority failed to get their way in one court, so now they call "shame" to Judge Marryann Sumi citing her as being an extreme liberal and that she was biased in the case.

One can almost bet that if Judge Sumi had rendered a decision in their favor they would be applauding her today of being fair and impartial.

Wisconsin asks state Supreme Court to lift ban on union measure | Appleton Post Crescent |

Walker’s proposal to break off UW-Madison dead | Wausau Daily Herald |

It was a bad idea from the beginning, but Scott Walker kept pushing at it because it is what he said he wanted to happen. However, a majority of the UW Systems leadership pushed back and Walker was unable to push forward any longer.

Walker’s proposal to break off UW-Madison dead | Wausau Daily Herald |

Senators face changed voter landscape in recall election

Click here to read the entire news story "Senators face changed voter landscape in recall election"

Review of recall petitions going slowly; July 12 election in doubt - JSOnline

Madison - In an announcement destined to shake up the drive to recall senators from both parties, the Government Accountability Board said Friday that its members would not be able to consider the recall petitions of three Democrats when they meet on Tuesday.

It opens the possibility the board will have to go to court next week seeking more time to complete its work. And that could mean a delay for any recall elections, which were expected to be held July 12.

Click here to read the entire news story "Review of recall petitions going slowly; July 12 election in doubt - JSOnline"

Friday, May 27, 2011

State commission says county acted in bad faith with largest union

Milwaukee County engaged in bad-faith bargaining with its largest union over a contract that expired in 2009, according to a ruling by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission made public Thursday.

The ruling also found that some mandatory furloughs imposed as an emergency budget measure last year exceeded the county's authority. The commission said the county must repay members of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for furloughs last year that exceeded 45 hours.

Read the entire news story >>>

State budget panel reduces unemployment benefits

Madison - Unemployment benefits would drop by as much as $56 million a year under a proposal adopted Thursday by the Legislature's budget committee.

The vote came after Republicans who run the Joint Finance Committee were unable to reach an agreement on transportation and education and said they would put those issues off until Friday.
Under the plan the committee recommended 11-5, laid-off workers would have to wait a week before receiving unemployment benefits starting in January. The move would reduce benefits by $41 million to $56 million a year.

Read the entire news story >>>

Justice lawyers suggest Sumi was biased

One day before Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi struck down the collective bargaining law, state Department of Justice lawyers sent her a three-page letter.

The lawyers questioned her decision to file a brief on May 18 with the state Supreme Court in which she defended her right to act on the collective bargaining law based on a possible violation of the state's open meetings law. Sumi's lawyers submitted that brief after the state Department of Administration argued that violating the open meetings law was not a proper reason to halt the law.

Read the entire news story >>>

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walker signs photo ID measure; legal challenge possible

Madison - Ending a decade-long quest by GOP officials, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

But the law costing more than $7 million in new spending and lost revenue could still face a legal challenge as opponents consider suing to overturn it.

The law will require poll workers to start asking voters for photo IDs for the July 12 state Senate recall elections, but the voters will not be required to present them until next year's presidential primary.

Read the entire news story >>>

Walker statewide approval rating falls slightly

This is no suprise to SEPAC, but what is more of a surprise to SEPAC is why as many as 43% of Wisconsin citizens support this radical, un-friendly, dictatorial leadership of an undereducated individual that Wisconsin has to embarrassingly list in printed material as Governor.

Read the entire news story >>>

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald Continues His Lies, and He Got Caught

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online researched yet another statement made by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald. This statement, made at the GOP Convention last weekend had Sen. Fitzgerald claiming that half of Wisconsin's residents receive some form of government assistance. He uses that claim to justify the need to make huge cuts in government programs.

If SEPAC were to accept his statement as true, we would think the action would not to be cutting the assistance just because there are so many using it, the action should be to identify why and where can the legislature help in boosting the financial standing of half of Wisconsin's population so fewer residents would need the help.

Well anyway, no need to work on that angle because the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found the claim to be absoluteley FALSE. No surprise here that again Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is off telling lies and trying to drum up fear to support his and Scott Walker's wacky agenda for Wisconsin.

Read the entire finding here >>>

Wisconsin judge strikes down collective bargaining restrictions

(CNN) -- A Wisconsin judge struck down that state's controversial new collective bargaining law Thursday, ruling that GOP legislators failed to provide sufficient public notice before passing the measure this year.

Read the entire news story >>>

GOP Leadership Jobs Agenda "Out of Touch with Reality"

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Contact: Gregory King, 202-429-1145

AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee issued the following statement regarding the House Republican leadership’s release of a jobs agenda:

“Just like the GOP plan to end the guarantee of Medicare for retirees, this so-called jobs agenda is out-of-touch with reality. With millions of Americans out of work or under-employed, the corporate-backed leadership in the Republican Party responds with a push for more reckless tax cuts, deregulation and greater incentives for corporations to ship American jobs overseas. These are the same failed policies that produced the economic disaster we have been living with since the Bush administration. Lax regulations and one-sided trade agreements drove our economy off the cliff. Instead of putting people back to work, investing in our schools and the vital services communities rely upon during difficult economic times, the Republican leadership promises more handouts for Wall Street and the oil industry. This isn’t a jobs agenda. It’s a recipe for prolonged unemployment while transferring more of the tax burden onto middle class families.”

# # #

AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, childcare providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.

Judge Maryann Sumi Orders Restraining Order Permanent


Statement of Marty Beil

We live to fight another day! This morning Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi issued a permanent order that the legislature violated the open meetings law when they debated and passed the collective bargaining changes contained in the Budget Repair Bill. This decision reaffirms the Temporary Restraining Order that she issued earlier.

This is a continuing victory for us, the citizens, and the media of this State. She basically orders legislators to obey their own laws, rules and regulations. Make no mistake, however, this decision deals with the PROCESS of the legislation, NOT the content. Don’t think for a minute that the decision permanently sets aside the changes to collective bargaining in the Budget Repair Bill. As Judge Sumi has said all along, if they wanted to fix this, they could simply go back and revote, following the rules, regulations, and laws under Open Meetings. For whatever reason, they have chosen not to do so. While many are pretty “up” about this ruling, and we are too, the battle will continue.

Read the Statement of Marty Beil >>>

Read the Finding of Facts Issued by Judge Maryann Sumi >>>

Very Important Message from AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director

Contact: Marty Beil, executive director
(608) 836-0024

Walker and Republicans Dismantling of Wisconsin and Its Values Continues

This week the onslaught continued on workers rights and benefits, voting, and Medicare for those less fortunate. As you will see in the following Legislative Report, Joint Finance continues their juggernaut through the budget. On Tuesday they passed significant changes in the pension system, changing vesting for new employees after 2012, and taking away pension benefits from part time workers prospectively in 2012.

They also established a study committee to report out in 2012 to change from the current defined benefit to just a 401K contribution program. All of our efforts at providing information, discussion, and/or compromise have fallen on deaf ears. The attitude of Scott Walker and the Republicans is that “it’s our way or no way”. Joint Finance plans on having a final vote on the budget bill sometime around the last week of June. All working men and women in Wisconsin need to be prepared to respond to this misguided, dangerous and unnecessary proposal. Senior labor leadership is currently developing a reaction plan.

It is absolutely clear that this onslaught against workers rights, the middle class and Wisconsin’s values is not a temporary, passing thing. A day does not go by without some sort of new, controversial legislation or republican initiative to benefit campaign contributors and supporters of the right wing ideology. Working men and women in Wisconsin have been cut out of the discussion. They have been shown incredible disregard. We need to stand firm. We need to fight back and recommit to our union.

Please take the opportunity to recommit by signing a voluntary membership application online (; or or by filling out the paper form that you received in the mail. Contact your field rep or Council 24 with questions.

It’s about you, it’s about your state, and it’s about your future.

Useful Information When Attending a Senate Legislative Committee Hearing

The Senate Clerk has cautioned senate committee clerks and chairs to use descretion regarding people who attend public senate committee hearings carrying and displaying a protest sign.

Here is the text of that memo:

From: Renk, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:11 AM
Subject: FW: Distribution to committee clerks
Importance: High

Committee Clerks….please read this important message from Rob Marchant regarding committee meetings….

It has come to my attention that some committee chairs may be concerned about individuals displaying signs during committee meetings. Please note that there is no Senate rule prohibiting the display of signs during committee meetings. However, as the committee’s presiding officer, the committee chair has the responsibility to maintain order and decorum during the committee meeting. It is my recommendation that chairs limit the use of this authority, though, to situations where an actual disruption or interference with committee proceedings takes place. Thus, if an individual is sitting quietly with a sign on his or her lap and is not interfering with the ability of the committee to conduct its business or with the ability of other members of the public to observe the committee, it is my recommendation that the committee simply continue with its work and allow the individual to continue observing the committee. Removing such an individual in these circumstances or ordering them to set down their sign would raise issues of freedom of speech. I understand that the area reserved for public attendance at committee meetings is not intended as a forum for speech but the safer course of action at this time would be to permit these individuals to remain with their sign, provided there is no actual disruption or interference as described above. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Senate Chief Clerk Rob Marchant

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Uplifting Song Sung by the Future of Labor

Wisconsin Voter ID - A Solution in Search of a Problem

Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign into the law the recently passed legislative bill requiring photo ID. Union's across Wisconsin have opposed this GOP supported measure.

One of labor's coalition partners, One Wisconsin NOW, Executive Director Scot Ross has written an explanation of why Voter ID is not in the best interest of ALL voters.


I've included below an email I've sent in the past that explains why the voter ID bill is so damaging to our democracy and why we absolutely will not quit on this fight... thanks for all you do.

One Wisconsin Now


Dear Friend:

Many of you have written to me in response to my email yesterday about the voter ID bill. Some of you were very enthusiastic in your support of our efforts to fight back against this assault on our voting rights. But others of you had questions about the bill, and wondered why we oppose requiring qualified voters to show an ID at the polls. "You have to show an ID to rent a video, why not to vote?" someone asked. "With all the voter fraud out there, I think voter ID is a good idea," another person wrote.

I want to address these questions and fully explain why this bill is wrong for Wisconsin.

First of all, the right to vote is guaranteed to citizens of Wisconsin in our state constitution. The right to rent a movie, open a checking account, go to the bar, get on an airplane or any other similar activity is not, and requiring an ID for these types of activities is not a barrier to exercising a constitutionally-protect right. Voter ID is fundamentally different.

There is absolutely no evidence of a widespread conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen has made prosecuting so-called voter fraud one of his top priorities. However, after a two year investigation into the 2008 election, Van Hollen has found a scant 11 potentially improper ballots out of nearly 3 million total votes cast. Of those, eight involved felons who voted while out in the community on probation or parole, a situation that voter ID would not remedy. That leaves 3 potentially bad votes out of 3,000,000 votes, or about 0.000001% of all votes cast. Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem.

The bill's authors, Republican Rep. Jeff Stone and Sen. Joe Leibham, have modeled their bill after Indiana's Voter ID law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s Voter ID bill, the lower court found “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.”

Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:

* 23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
* 17 percent of white men and women
* 55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
* 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
* 78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24
[Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]

Yes, the bill as written does have a provision to provide free identification for some Wisconsinites. Each and every one of these people would have to take the time off (in many cases unpaid) from work or family obligations to flock to Wisconsin DMVs. However, access to the DMV is a problem in Wisconsin; Indiana provides its residents exponentially more access to its Department of Motor Vehicles offices to obtain identification.

Wisconsin and Indiana have similar voting age populations (4.35 million vs. 4,8 million), but Wisconsin is 50 percent larger geographically than Indiana (54,314 sq. miles vs. 35,870 sq. miles). Indiana not only provides its residents 50 percent more DMV offices than Wisconsin (140 to 91), but also nearly three times the total hours these facilities are open.

Also consider:

- Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana’s are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.

- Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.

- Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.

- Over half of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county. [Wisconsin DMV service centers and hours, by county; Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, locations and hours]

- The need to expand the numbers and operational hours of Wisconsin DMVs to provide appropriate access could increase the $70 million biennial Wisconsin DMV budget by as much as 50 percent on top of the current $5 million price tag to provide free identifications.

Requiring eligible voters to produce ID at the polls is an unnecessary hurdle to exercising our right to vote which will prevent many people from voting. The "widespread voter fraud" that this bill is aimed at "fixing" does not exist, and the microscopic number of double votes will be FAR outpaced by the number of people who will be prevented from voting by the voter ID requirement. In a time when Wisconsin faces a $3 billion budget deficit, we simply cannot afford to double the DMV budget. Voter ID is a big-government, budget-busting solution in search of a problem; a solution that will make it more difficult to practice our most fundamental right.

That is why we oppose voter ID. I hope this email helps to answer your questions about this bill. If you're ready to join this fight, please sign up for our Voter Protection Task Force to push back against this assault on our democratic rights.

Sorry for the long email, but thank you, as always, for everything you do.


One Wisconsin Now

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Video Message to the Koch Bros...

From the "REAL PEOPLE"

Request from Peter Drummond, AFSCME TBA Organizer

If you are interested and can help, Peter Drummond is looking for assistance in the Recall Election to PROTECT State Senator Bob Wirch from the Racine area.

Here are the details:

Saturday, May 28th – 9am-Noon, 1pm-4pm

"We Are Wisconsin" Canvass to Support Bob Wirch
UAW Local 72, 3612 Washington Rd, Kenosha
Go door to door and stand up for Bob Wirch just as he stood up for us!

Sunday, May 29th – Noon-3pm

"We Are Wisconsin" Canvass to Support Bob Wirch
UAW Local 72, 3612 Washington Rd, Kenosha
Go door to door and stand up for Bob Wirch just as he stood up for us!

Peter Drummond
Take Back America Project Organizer
414-344-6868 office
414-333-1606 cell
414-344-1274 fax

Request from Milwaukee Area Labor Council

If you are interested in providing assistance in the Recall Election in Senate District 8 in an near Milwaukee, please read on...


Milwaukee Area Labor Council
633 S. Hawley Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53214

June 4th through July 12th
Monday - Thursday from 3pm-8pm
Saturday and Sunday from 9am-8pm

This special recall election for Wisconsin State Senator for the 8th District will provide a stark contrast between candidates who will stand up for working families and support policies that create jobs, and candidates who will support an anti-worker agenda by Governor Walker.

Please join us as we go door-to-door and phone to talk with working families about our endorsed candidate for Wisconsin State Senate, 8th District Sandy Pasch.

For more information, or to sign up, please contact WI AFL-CIO Service Area Organizer Jenissee Volpintesta at 262/364-6751 or email

Candidate enters recall race with plenty of baggage

Brown County GOP official has faced disorderly conduct, property issues

It's a little surprising that David VanderLeest has decided to run for a legislative seat.

Because the 34-year-old businessman has much more experience with the judicial branch.

VanderLeest, who headed the recall effort against state Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), announced Monday that he is a candidate for Hansen's Senate seat. Two other Republicans have already announced their bids in the recall contest.

Read the entire news story >>>

Walker gets power to block administrative rules

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker gained the power to block rules written by state agencies and other elected state officials, under legislation he signed Monday.

Read the entire news story >>>

Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Creates a Rendition of "On Wisconsin"

Wisconsin is still fresh in the minds of union workers all across this country. Western Kentucky AFL-CIO recently created its own rendition "On Wisconsin" and publicized it via You Tube.

Thank you Western Kentucky AFL-CIO!



Your friend, AFSCME Council 24 SEPAC, has sent you an article from entitled "Walkerloo?."

Here are AFSCME Council 24 SEPAC’s comments:

A news story posted at the Kentucky AL-CIO website.


AFT Local 1360
   Back when I was a newspaper reporter, I covered a press conference where Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford announced his support for some controversial bill.
   I can’t remember the bill. But I recall his analogy: “I’m like the man who jumped off the 20-story building. I’m committed.” 
   Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s union-busting Republican governor, look likes he's out on a ledge ready to jump.

Read the complete story:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Recall Elections

This past weekend at the Wisconsin GOP Convention Governor Scott Walker called on republicans to take the recall elections seriously. He stated his agenda would be halted if they (Republicans) lose the state senate.

Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, believes the Republican Senate will pick up one additional to its majority.

Keep up the great work and help show that Scott Walker was right and Scott Fitzgerald needs professional help.

Sent from Steven Williams BlackBerry smartphone