Kohl-Riggs to Primary Walker

Arthur Kohl-Riggs, a local Madison filmmaker and journalist, has submitted 2,300 nomination signatures to run for governor in the upcoming recall election. Kohl-Riggs is against Scott Walker’s policies but he has decided to fight back by running as a Lincoln Republican since he feels Walker, Paul Ryan, and others have brought a Joseph McCarthy-like “stain” on the traditions of the political party that was shaped by Lincoln.

The nominating signatures were submitted to the Government Accountability Board today (April 10) and if approved Kohl-Riggs will ensure that Walker will have a challenger from his party. Whether Walker even acknowledges Arthur’s candidacy will lay bare the extent of his Hubris. Republicans have doubled-down on their arrogance and hypocrisy by once again running “fake” candidates in the democratic primary, the legality of which may be questionable.  Continue reading

Subgate: Sandwiches For Votes

By now you have probably heard of “Subgate”, where a sandwich threatens to put an ugly mayonnaise stain on the tie of the Romney campaign. Yesterday, as the Wisconsin GOP Primary got underway the Romney campaign held what it called an “Election Day Lunch” at a Waukesha, Wisconsin Cousin’s Subs restaurant to encourage people to vote. In attendance was Romney and his new political lover, pretty boy U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) handing out sandwiches.  Continue reading

Making Sex Ed Like They Used To

A sex education worksheet I completed in the 8th grade. (1987) The straight forward common sense options presented here would cause media sensations today. (Click on image to view in full)

The Wisconsin Assembly this week is taking up a bill passed by the state Senate last year that will repeal the Healthy Youth Act, (Sec. 118.01) a law that according to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health “sets a minimum standard for sex education in Wisconsin – requiring that sex education taught in Wisconsin public schools to be medically accurate, age-appropriate and comprehensive”. The repeal attempt seems like another desperate attempt by conservatives to impose a failed monolithic approach to sex education.

It didn’t used to be that way; my own experience with sex education in schools seemed normal and non-controversial. During a recent move, I did a massive sort through some old papers and discovered a couple of sex ed worksheets from eighth grade (1987) that would likely cause Rick Santorum to throw up a lung and Rush Limbaugh to heat up and float away.  Continue reading

Scotty, We’re Coming For You!

Solidarity Sing-a-long Celebrates a Year of Serenades

The Kissers sing "Scotty We're Coming For You" during the anniversary celebration of the Solidarity Sing-a-long at the High Noon Saloon in Madison. The song was written by band member Ken Fitzsimmons in order to express not only the anger of the times but of the solidarity shown by "such a hugely diverse group of people".

One way to defeat the enemy is to kill them with kindness. That’s what the Solidarity Sing-a-long has been doing for over a year, singing to Scott Walker and friends, reminding them that the spirit of the people of Wisconsin will not be broken. To celebrate a year of “peaceably assembling”, Solidarity Sing-a-long participants, past and present, gathered with a stellar line-up of musicians at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, March 12, which lies at the foot of Madison’s “Capitol hill”.

Walker and his allies have tried many different ways to break the spirit of the opposition against his policies including casting the protesters and activists as outsiders fomenting unrest amongst the good citizenry of Wisconsin. When that didn’t work, they limited access to the capitol through security checks under the dubious guise of protecting the legislative process. Yet the people of Wisconsin continued to sing in that refrain from The Kissers…Scotty, We’re Coming For You! Continue reading

The Day Suffrage Suffers No More

Honorable Judge Richard Niess

Today was an eventful day in the fight against voter ID laws. In Wisconsin, ACT 23 was permanently struck down by a Dane County Circuit Court judge in a ruling released this afternoon (March 12). In Texas, a Federal court blocked a similar law that opponents claimed unfairly disenfranchised Hispanic voters. This on the heels of a law enacted in South Carolina, that was recently blocked by the U.S. Justice department, that holds veto power over certain civil rights laws in several southern states.

Voter ID has long been a favorite cause of Republicans in Congress and state houses to “combat voter fraud”. The claim of voter fraud has been a dubious one since there still remains little evidence that organized and widespread fraud exists. It surely does not exist on a scale that requires additional laws such as voter ID. While voter fraud does exist, annecdotal evidence does not a threat to democracy make. What is a threat to our democracy are laws like ACT 23 which harm whole groups of citizenry by throwing up barriers to voting in the spirit of, if not the actual method of poll taxes which were outlawed by 1966. Continue reading

Hiding in Plain Sight

The MacIver Institute seems to claim through the posting of the picture on the right that no one showed to the March 10, 2012 rally commemorating the death of collective bargaining in Wisconsin. However the MacIver camera was not pointed at the crowd, and a photo by Jenna Pope tells a different story. Photos courtesy Jenna Pope (left) MacIver Institute (right)

Thursday night Jon Stewart cheesed Sean Hannity for trying to prove Barack Obama is a radical through ancient footage of him speaking in support of a controversial professor while Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review. (See video below, be sure to look for sandwich guy) It was so ancient Stewart spent the first two minutes of the introduction waving around an actual VHS tape.


Stewart’s point was that Hannity was trying to bring down the president three years after a plurality of voters were quite comfortable with turning over the reigns to him. So Hannity is a little late to the party with this one as are the folks at the right-leaning (some would say falling over) MacIver Institute. Late Saturday (March 10) they posted a picture of the capitol square in Madison which suggested no one showed for the rally.

Another series of photos was taken by activist Jenna Pope which proves its hard to hide tens of thousands of people. The Beast’s Ian Murphy (and at least one-time David Koch impersonator) adeptly deconstructs MacIver’s closing of the barn door after the horses have left, pointing out that its all about the angles.

Read Ian Murphy’s post at The Beast

Sustained Fire

Organizers estimate that 65,000 people gathered for a rally to mark the one year anniversary of the passage of Act 10, the legislation that eliminated collective bargaining for public unions in Wisconsin. Photo by: Nice Nice

It was a year ago that Act 10 was passed by the Wisconsin legislature over howls of protest from an obvious majority of Wisconsin citizens. On this brilliantly sunny and warm Saturday (March 10) an estimated 63,000 gathered for a rally on the State Street steps of the capitol to mark the occasion. In a scene that could easily be taken for a year ago, rally attendees filled the approach to the capitol as well as the adjoining streets and into the 100 block of State street.

The weather today was identical to a year ago (except 30 degrees warmer) when we gathered at the capitol for the last of the big rallies and somewhat mourned the loss of the initial fight to “kill the bill” that had passed the night before. I remember the final speaker that day, actor and Green Bay native Tony Shalhoub, urged us to continue the fight and turn our focus to recalls.  We promised we would, but many of us wondered if we could sustain the anger and fire that brought all of us in Wisconsin together.

Continue reading