UPDATE : Former Scott Jensen Communications Director Steve Baas leads “Chicagoland” Free Trade project for Wisconsin

The July 25 Badger Democracy blog  revealed the Walker Administration’s participation in a regional study by the “free-trade,” “trade union reform” multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Badger Democracy has learned the Southeastern Wisconsin Coordinator for the study is Steve Baas – lobbyist for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and former Communications Director and Defense Witness for Scott Jensen, former Republican Assembly Speaker.

The alliance of the MMAC and Baas should serve as a warning and confirmation as to the agenda of this “study.” The OECD has an International record of bi-lateral, free-trade zone support, anti-union and labor policies in nations from Chile, to India, and Russia.  The MMAC, through its lobbying efforts, has supported every anti-labor, privatizing piece of legislation forwarded by the GOP – including the expansion of Charter Schools, Act 10, Corporate Tax Welfare, “Enterprise Zone” creation, and preemption of Milwaukee sick leave ordinances. In the first 6 months of this session alone, MMAC has spent nearly $20,000 on lobbying efforts.  Baas himself is on record in editorial writings  promoting Scott Walker’s agenda – citing many of the same flawed statistics that have since been debunked. Baas even appeared as a presenter at an Americans for Prosperity conference in 2008 on Health care reform with then-County Executive Scott Walker.  In 2006, Baas testified for Scott Jensen, taking the blame for Jensen’s staff conduct, and claiming Jensen knew nothing of their conduct during the Caucus Scandal investigation.

Steve Baas is coordinating the study in Southeastern Wisconsin on behalf of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the OECD – all of whom have at the heart of their agenda the expansion of bi-lateral, free trade zones and reduction of labor collective bargaining rights. The local media’s irresponsibility  in not recognizing the global nature of this struggle for middle class survival is unforgivable. This “study” receives no space on the MMAC website, no media coverage, and zero information (as usual) out of the Governor’s Office – and for good reason. If Scott Walker and his ilk continue to receive carte blanche, the Multi-National Corporatist movement will be able to continue these underground, “under-the-radar” actions that will be the end of a working middle class in Wisconsin and America. Working Wisconsinites need to tell Scott Walker and the GOP during the recalls that they are aware of his “shadow-style” governmental dealings with these organizations, where voters have zero representation, and no voice to be heard. The Global Free-Tradists are coming for you, people of Wisconsin – this is your warning.

Badger Democracy will continue to update as more information is available.

Walker email, study means more anti-Wisconsin ideas

An email obtained by Badger Democracy through Open records request from Governor Scott Walker’s staff to The Greater Milwaukee Committee, discloses Wisconsin participation in a tri-state study to promote “international competitiveness in job creation” and “labor reforms.”  The study is being conducted under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – a multi-national consortium of the world’s 30 wealthiest economies, and sanctioned by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Also involved is Argonne labs of The University of Chicago for energy research and the Friedman Foundation of Economics. The Tri-State study encompasses the “Metro Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and Southeastern Wisconsin” business corridor, and is the first regional domestic policy study conducted by the OECD.

The OECD has as its primary platforms, the liberalization of international free trade zones, and organized labor “reforms”. These reforms are pushed as policies of “flexibility” in labor negotiations as a means to make multinational corporations more competitive and profitable in a worldwide free trade zone (see pages 4 and 5 of the linked document).  In 2002, the group lobbied with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) for “full market liberalism” in Russia – resulting in a devastation of Russia’s remaining industrial workforce. This study, encompassing Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, Chicago’s Rahm Emmanuel, and Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, include three regional politicians who are fierce advocates of Privatization and Free trade policies. The Study Group recently sponsored two visits to Wisconsin – the first in March at Wingspread (S.C. Johnson) in Racine, and the second in June. The study has as its stated goals the fostering of “bi-lateral free trade and foreign direct investment,” and the use of “human capital” to “fuel long-term economic growth.”  The email also indicates the first attendees from Wisconsin will be part of a “Wisconsin Advisory Council” for the duration of the study. Badger Democracy is attempting to obtain the list of those attendees at the time of this writing.

When asked why Governor Walker’s Administration would refuse comment or information to inquiries from Badger Democracy, a source in Chicago close to the study stated they did not know. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce had approached Wisconsin (Milwaukee, specifically) media with press releases, and they were “completely uninterested” in the story (The Chicago Tribune has already run an article on the study). In addition, the source stated the group has “very good feelings” about the “Walker Administration’s involvement” in the study, as they examine methods of achieving an “integrated regional economy,” a tri-state free-trade zone.

Scott Walker is bringing more anti-Wisconsin ideas to bear on the people he was elected to serve. Entities such as Koch Industries, ALEC, and now OECD are lining up to push for policies purchased in the last election, supported by Scott Walker and the Greater Milwaukee Committee. They continue the plunder of Wisconsin’s resources for maximum corporate profits – regardless of the human or socio-economic costs. If the Corporatists of today are allowed to succeed, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and every other state in the nation will more resemble South America post-Milton Friedman doctrine than the United Stated we used to know. Once again, the Wisconsin press has slept as Scott Walker sells away the State of Wisconsin-and his soul.

Badger Democracy will update as more information becomes available.

Hansen Landslide is reason for optimism (and reality)

With Democratic Senator Dave Hansen’s landslide defense of his State Senate seat in Green Bay Tuesday, there is cause for celebration and optimism – followed by a dose of reality. One can almost sense the momentum building as the summer recalls heat up, moving into next month’s Senatorial recall elections. In a few short months Scott Walker’s poll numbers have reached historic lows – he is the most divisive Governor in the nation. GOP incumbents are losing ground in their Senatorial seat defenses, and grassroots campaigns are highly energized and motivated by ardent volunteers and thousands of small donations to the cause. There is every indication that the Wisconsin Democratic Party will be following these Grassroots Organizations through the recall season – in essence, “join us, or get out-of-the-way.” Yes, there is reason for optimism tonight, today.

The battle has just begun, and a certain consequence of the Hansen victory will be increased focus and spending by the likes of the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, and other right-wing money machines. This victory must serve as solidifying all Progressive Democrats together, now. Senator Miller and Representative Pocan made a giant step toward that in drafting a bill which would restore Collective Bargaining rights – this must be acknowledged and embraced by the entire party and recall candidates. The Unions must in turn continue their unwavering, unified support of all Democratic recall candidates – and the recall of Scott Walker. Taking a stand together, in this grassroots – led effort will counter the enormous financial storm about to descend on Wisconsin.

Indications are beginning to point to all Walker recall groups talking, coordinating, and working together in the very near future – as it should be. This Summer, stay energized, focused, and involved in the Senatorial recalls – and we will prevail in taking back half of the People’s House. And be prepared for the recall of Scott Walker – it will happen when the time is right…so stay unified. There will be a statewide need to spread the word, educate, inform, engage, discuss, and gather petition signatures legally and ethically. As the Grassroots effort leads the way, the Democratic Party resources will play a supporting role – but make no doubt, this is a People’s movement.

Step 1 – Help our great recall challengers take back the Senate. Step 2 – Inform and engage statewide. Step 3 – Gather 700,000 legal signatures in 60  days. Step 4 –  Recall Scott Walker. Step 5 –  Work together to right the wrongs of the current administration. For now, we have reason to celebrate in the next 24 hours. Then back to work – we have a Democracy to save. Together.

New ALEC Bill in committee means drastic Prevailing Wage law changes

Assembly Bill 183 was referred to the Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business on June 16, 2011. Thanks to the Center For Media and Democracy’s “ALEC Exposed” website, the true influence of The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on this bill, and the Legislators introducing it, can now be confirmed. Prior Badger Democracy articles exposed the corporate influence of ALEC on Legislators through source links, Open Records Requests, and connecting gathered information. The current Assembly Bill in committee can now be linked to a template piece of “Model Legislation,” and many of the introducing Legislators directly linked to ALEC.

Alternative media have been following ALEC for years – Badger Democracy first wrote on the mission of the semi-secret group as being one of “Corporate Anarchy” on March 29, 2011. The “ALEC Exposed” website, through a direct source, has been able to confirm what has previously been thought as “speculation” or “conspiracy theory.” As alternative media writers, we can now confirm that ALEC operates as a corporatic interest to influence legislation, maximize profit, and control the political process through its direct action. Center for Media and Democracy sources have discovered the practice of the Corporate ALEC Board and committee members drafting, and voting on “model legislation” prior to introducing it to State Legislators. The latest of these pieces of “model legislation” introduced in Wisconsin would repeal and rewrite existing Prevailing Wage laws.

The ALEC “Model Legislation”  addresses five key areas found in ALEC ideology, and consistent with its “Friedman/Chicago School” economic philosophy. These policies were well documented in “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein, and served as the basis for ALEC’s economic policies. In fact, Friedman himself addressed an ALEC conference on June 21, 2006. ALEC policies fully reflect Friedman’s philosophy of unregulated, unfettered capitalism – with no accounting for human costs. The consequences of these economic policies has consistently been high unemployment, destruction of public education, destruction of a well-trained workforce, and the dissolution of the middle class. The legislation “talking points” for conservatives are all myths based on Friedman’s failed economic philosophy, which always benefits the wealthy, corporatic interests – and disenfranchises the middle class:

Myth #1. Prevailing wage law raises government  costs, lowers “private sector” jobs due to government intervention in the “free market.”

Myth #2. Prevailing wage law increases wages, benefits at taxpayer expense.

Myth #3. Prevailing wage law adds 30% to the cost of Public Instruction.

Myth #4. Prevailing wage law keeps young, new workers from entering the workforce.

Myth #5. Repealing Prevailing wage law will increase efficiency due to the lack of Government interference in the free market.

Wisconsin’s AB 183 directly addresses all five of these talking points. The bill would repeal virtually all State oversight of public project worker wages, and drastically change the current law. According to the Fiscal Bureau report:

1. Publicly funded, private construction projects would now be exempt from the Prevailing wage law. In addition, turnkey (government acquired previously private property) or dedicated (most road, sewer) projects would be exempt from prevailing wage law.

2. The single project threshold adjusted to $50,000, multiple trade projects to $250,000 (previous law set the threshold at $25,000).

3. The bill eliminates the requirement for employers to submit payroll records from a public project to the DWD.

4. Repeals the DWD authority to levy fines for violations. Such fines could only be awarded by the courts, and only to a worker on a municipal project – not a state project.

5. Prohibits any superseding local prevailing wage laws.

6. Changes the calculation of applicable “prevailing wages,” which will lower any calculated rate of pay.

7. Municipalities under 10,000 population are exempt from prevailing wage law.

8. Allows for inclusion of “subjourneyman” employees under prevailing wage (which would lower the rate pool), and allows for employing individuals OUTSIDE of their usual field of expertise.

The effect and language of this bill follows the ALEC model perfectly. It removes virtually all state oversight of public works contracted labor. The law will allow private companies to hire sub-standard, underqualified laborers at a fraction of the cost, reaping record profits with no state reporting in labor wage practices. The Private Sector will profit at the expense of taxpayers, and the displaced, qualified workers who USED to perform those jobs. These policies always cost the State money as projects run over cost, accidents increase, and lack of accountability leads to corruption.

The players introducing the bill have a confirmed, direct link to ALEC – Robin Vos, ALEC State Chair (accepted an undisclosed amount of money from ALEC for re-election), Pat Strachota (received $1404 in ALEC campaign funds), and Dan Knodl ($2000 in ALEC campaign funds). In addition, the following State Senators are co-sponsors (who have all used taxpayer money to pay their ALEC dues) – Lazich, Moulton, Galloway, Grothman, Lassee, and Kedzie.

The influence of ALEC continues in the Wisconsin Legislature. The “lawmakers” cited here have sold out their state, and their ethics to follow this course. Remember their names and their actions when elections occur – as they have always had a choice in their actions, and they chose a corporatic ideology that will damage the middle class in Wisconsin. Vote in the recalls, vote in the elections, and spread the word to take back our Democracy around the state, nation, and around the world.

 

Update: Wisconsin Democrats – are you listening?

Update – Over the weekend of 7/15, Rep. Mark Pocan and Sen. Mark Miller announced the drafting of a bill which would restore Colective Bargaining Rights for Wisconsin Public Employees. This is a great first step, and should be embraced by every Democratic Candidate invololved in recall elections, and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

This week, social media networks lit up with pushback in response to a signal from Wisconsin Democrats – that there is growing interest in planning the Scott Walker recall to coincide with the November 2012 General Election. Scott Walker’s poll numbers continue to plummet into historic lows, and interest in the recalls is intensifying. The people of Wisconsin are becoming more engaged in the process – mostly due to grassroots, volunteer efforts. That passion and energy is supporting the poll numbers, speaking to an early recall.  There has also been a tremendous amount of feedback from a very “Democrat-style” tactic – distancing themselves from the Unions when it really matters. This at a time when unity, organization, and mobilization of large numbers of people are required – something the unions proved more than capable of in February and March. The Democratic Party distancing themselves from unions has made easy fodder for Conservative talk shows like Vicky McKenna, who ranted about that very topic – stating that the Democrats’ behavior validates what Republicans have been saying about Unions all along, that “they are thugs.” In essence, these issues reflect on a blog written by Badger Democracy on May 22, 2011, calling for leadership and unity in this unprecedented time. On June 23, a senior member of Mike Tate’s office contacted Badger Democracy and asked to discuss recall communication moving forward. I replied the same day, followed up with a phone call one week later, and have yet to speak with anyone from the State Democratic Party. Other local Democrat officials and activists share the same experiences. As progressives, we must move forward – here is how (are you listening, Democrats?):

Listen to the people on the ground, throughout the state. Listen to people on the ground, in the state, and give the people a coherent, transparent, simple message that is factual. Embrace the recalls as the Constitutional means to right that which is wrong. This Administration has walked a legal tightrope, as has the Legislature in a blatant power grab. The budget is a lie. Regular, working people will be harmed by this administration’s actions. Keep it simple and get the message and resources to your local leaders to spread it – NOW. There are opportunities to utilize social media, grassroots canvassing, and direct communication of a coherent message that is being missed. The people are still looking for a consistent, actionable message from someone…months into the process.

Unite with the people who got you here. Over 100,000 people rallied at the Capitol in support of Worker’s Rights. In spite of the twisted message from the neo-cons, Collective Bargaining is a globally recognized human right. The United Nations recognizes it as such, as do most other developed nations. Stand with the worker’s who have stood for you. If you don’t have the facts to counter the propaganda of the GOP, here they are. There are facts to counter fiscal propaganda here, as well – including the myth that public workers are robbing taxpayers with their exorbitant salaries and benefits. If you need a reminder, here are 4 basic reasons to stand with the Unions:

1. Unions represent real working people, who vote on their leadership, and have a vested interest in well-trained, well-educated, well paid jobs that create more jobs and keep local businesses thriving – not moving overseas.

2. Unions offer another balance against the “Robber Baron” mentality of profit at any cost, above all else – even human cost, and quality of life.

3. In the era of “Citizens United” and Corporate takeover of the political system – Unions are the last, organized resistance and opposition to endless monies flowing into GOP coffers – to buy elections, influence, power, and legislation (ALEC/Koch).

4. Unions organize hundreds of thousands of people who are real Wisconsinites – not thugs. Remember the people who rallied (and continue to fight) at the Capitol? They started this movement, and continue to this day, in spite of losing their rights on a daily basis.

The Wisconsin Progressive tradition demonstrates the need for us all to stand together against the “Robber Barons” of this new age. The GOP has been expert in dividing us – demonizing teachers, public employees, pitting worker against worker in their effort to consolidate power, money, and influence. The time has come for a leader to stand with Unions, workers, families, and people of Wisconsin holding to the Progressive principle that we truly work together for the people. The obligation of Government is to the betterment of the majority of the people – not the privileged few in power. Standing with the Unions and workers of this state is not only symbolic, it is required in principle as supporting the right of assembly, association, and free speech (see UN resolution in above link).

The means exist to accomplish these ideas – social media, activists, local leadership, networking, grassroots organizations, Unions. The leadership, vision and will is required to execute and support these principles. It is past time for fence-sitting as Scott Walker diminishes our Democracy on a daily basis. If the Democratic Party is unable to lead and unify in this time – Badger Democracy raises the prospect in this public forum (as heard in other forums) of a “Progressive,” or “Labor,” or “Progressive  Labor” Party. Perhaps it is time to leave the Democrats from the fold of Barack Obama, who left Wisconsin Workers wondering where he is, who is preparing to sell the middle class down the road of compromise for billionaires…leave those Democrats and Republicans to the Corporatics, and rally a party truly for the people. I leave it to the reader to ponder – and to the Democrats to act.

Walker email reveals purpose of meeting with Tom Ridge

An email from a lobbyist to Governor Scott Walker links a meeting with Tom Ridge to a multi-national “professional services organization” with a history of government privatization worldwide. Badger Democracy received the email as part of an Open Records Request. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge  is currently a board member or senior consultant with over a half-dozen private corporations, including his own “Ridge Global” International Security Consulting firm. Others include Exelon (Nuclear Energy), Hydraulic Fracturing (Natural Gas extrusion), even PURE Bioscience (patented antimicrobial – with Tommy Thompson), and others. There are many potential connections to Wisconsin in those interests; the lobbyist arranging the meeting, however, works for one of Ridge’s primary employers – Delloitte.

Ray Carey (also a Foley & Lardner attorney working for Smart Government Inc. and the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Municipal Government legislation – and privatization agenda) is employed by Deloitte as a lobbyist, along with his Foley and Lardner colleagues Kathleen Walby and Jason Childress. Carey, Walby, and Childress are also the attorney lobbyists registered with Smart Government, Inc - the lobby for the Greater Milwaukee Committee. As previously reported and confirmed by Walker staff communication, the agenda at the heart of the GMC activity is privatization of public services and resources. 

Deloitte has a worldwide record of government services privatization, many highly controversial and costly. The following are a few of the documented privatization boondoggles which have made Deloitte and Tom Ridge wealthy and powerful, at public taxpayer expense:

  • Adelphia Communications Corporation – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on April 26, 2005 that Deloitte had agreed to pay $50 million to settle charges relating to Adelphia’s 2000 financial statements.
  •  Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holdings Company Limited – Investors have claimed that there was a failure to alert them to the company’s poor financial position.
  • Haringey Council Refresh Project – A local government IT project in the UK, in which costs rose from 9 m to £24.6 m. Deloitte were consultants on the project, despite being employed at the same time as the council’s auditors.
  • Irish Health Service Executive – Poor consulting support of health accounts system software in 2005 led to major cost overruns and the Irish Health Service Executive pulling the plug on the computer system entirely after substantial cash outlays.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – The firm implemented the SAP HR system for LAUSD for $95 m and because of faults in the system, some teachers were underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.  As of December 31, 2007 LAUSD had incurred a total of $140 m in payments to Deloitte to get the system working properly. In 2008 there was some evidence that the payroll issues had started to stabilize with errors below 1% according to LAUSD’s chief operating officer.
  • State of California Courts System – The firm has been working on a statewide case management system which originally had a budget of around $260 million. Almost $500 million has already been spent and costs are expected to run as high as $2 billion. No single court is yet fully operational.
  • In July 2011 Deloitte faced criticism from public health officials in Australia - Deloitte were commissioned by the tobacco industry to compile a report on illicit tobacco. Government officials called the report “potentially misleading” and raised concerns about the “reliability and accuracy” of the data. The report was seen as an attempt by the tobacco industry to undermine the Government’s plain cigarette packaging legislation.

Special access has been granted to Tom Ridge and Deloitte in the form of Ray Carey and the Greater Milwaukee Committee in his dual representation as lobbyist. Under the current administration rule, Walker could implement privatization in many public service areas without Legislative oversight and consent. Deloitte has a history in Healthcare Services and Municipal Government Finances, both of which are high on Walker’s agenda for privatization. These areas also align with the Greater Milwaukee Committee agenda  of consolidation and privatization. This information should serve as a notice to Citizens and Legislators – Scott Walker is intent upon the selling of Wisconsin services and resources for private profit, and public loss. There will be no public accountability or oversight – only huge profit for people like Tom Ridge and the Executives of Deloitte. The only remedy is the recall of Scott Walker and balancing his power in the Senate. Spread the word, share the facts of where the Walker-Fitzgerald is taking Wisconsin.

As of the updating of this post, the Walker Administration has refused comment to Badger Democracy.

GOP Redistricting maneuvers Wisconsin into Constitutional Crisis

The GOP redistricting strategy has one goal, and it is not to accurately represent shifts in voting populations since the last census. It is a power grab, plain and simple. Any objective analysis of the entities involved, outlined districts, and rushed timetable confirm that accusation. The greatest impact the GOP desire to retain power will have, however, will be to plunge Wisconsin into a Constitutional Crisis that will last for decades – if they are successful. The acts of the Legislature this session, Governor Walker’s power consolidation, and the judicial bias in the Supreme Court; combined with the privatized and unconstitutional redistricting process have left the State’s Charter document in shreds. The people’s right to democratic representation has been abridged, with redistricting being the final straw. As with all things in Fitzwalkerstan recently, it’s all about money and power – not Democracy.

Money and Lawyers – The Wisconsin Constitution gives the Legislature the responsibility of redistricting post-census. The Walker-Fitzgerald triumvirate hired Michael, Best, and Friedrich, and their attorney Jim Troupis in continued privatization of State legal services. Enough said. Troupis, et al., have a grand history with the GOP. Besides serving as redistricting attorney for Scott Jensen in 2002, Troupis has contributed heavily to Jensen’s legal defense fund. He has been helping Mike Gableman in his legal defense in an ethics investigation by the Office of Lawyer Regulation – an investigation for which Gableman could be disbarred. In the past 10 years, Troupis alone has donated nearly $20,000 to GOP candidates. Michael, Best, and Friedrich - in the hundreds of thousands to the GOP. As attorneys, they checked their ethics at the door in exchange for money and power. They are assisting willingly with supplanting the right to free and fair elections, and are receiving a healthy paycheck at taxpayer expense. The very same taxpayers they are shutting out of the Democratic Process.

Infringement upon Municipalities’ role in redistricting – Under Wisconsin law, local governments are required to draw new wards prior to statewide districts being drawn. The Legislature is required to abide by local ward requirements, and include municipal level wards in the Assembly and Senate Districts. In 2010, there were conferences for municipalities and government agencies to outline redistricting procedures in Wisconsin. Also in 2010, the Legislative Reference Bureau released a “Timetable for Redistricting”. The adopted timetable clearly shows Municipal wards being completed in June, 2011. Many are still not complete – the Legislature does not have the full information it needs to draw fair and accurate districts. The Timetable schedules the Legislature beginning work in November, 2011; completing work in January 2012. This Fitzgerald-controlled Legislature is so desperate to retain power, it is ignoring the accepted timetable, and infringing upon the Municipalities right to draw their local districts. In addition, the new redistricting law will pre-empt municipalities right do adopt wards in the future – giving the state the right to impose boundaries upon local jurisdictions. The new statute also forces municipalities to create local wards six months earlier than in previous sessions,with the state having the power to alter those local ward boundaries. The process is being created artificially, illegally, and unethically to serve the GOP desire for power preservation in the face of recall elections. The new law has another draconian effect, straight out of the ALEC playbook.

Legislating out Federal Intervention- In a statutory change in the new redistricting law, GOP legislators are taking a play right out of ALEC – state’s rights, or state sovereignty. The bill claims redistricting as a state right – not to be infringed upon by the Federal Government. ALEC has long presented “model legislation” and “model resolution” language based upon this argument (it is the basis for their assault on Obamacare). In this case, such language would prevent a Federal Court from intervening in the redistricting process – this has happened in recent history when Legislative bodies fail to reach agreement on future boundaries. Instead, the State Supreme Court would nominate a three judge panel, selected from Circuit Court Judges. Those “non-partisan” (if you believe that) judges would have the final say on new districts statewide. With this one law, GOP Legislators aim to take local involvement out of redistricting, and Federal oversight away – the ultimate power grab. The majority party no longer has a balance of power or check against its total control of the system.

Scott Walker has been given complete control of the Legislative process with Act 21. Corporate “Robber Barons” and law firms control state taxation policy and legislation. The Supreme Court is stacked with conservative ideologues who rule for partisan gain. The final nail in our Constitutional coffin is the disenfranchising of thousands of voters statewide – through voter ID (read “suppression”) and the illegal and immoral redistricting about to take place. Our elegant Founding Document is about to be found shredded at the feet of every legislator who has voted with Scott Walker, Scott Fitzgerald, and Jeff Fitzgerald. They have had a choice. They chose this path. If you haven’t been angry yet, you should be now. Spread the word, mobilize, communicate – the people must prevail in this struggle. It will be our time again soon, and we will show them the door – and what Democracy looks like.