Boss Vos Readies Stealth Mode

There are a number of measures making their way through the Wisconsin GOP-controlled State Legislature intended to give advantages to big-money donors by increasing campaign contribution limits, legalizing dark money coordination, concealing information from the public. Among these items include a massive amendment that was tacked on to a campaign finance deformity yesterday by Assembly Speaker Robbin’ Vos that seeks to protect corporations and their CEOs from public accountability.

Via Hiding the employment of donors = hiding corruption @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

WISGOP Rep. Kremer’s Bill

Most alarming about Rep. Kremer’s original bill is that he didn’t even ask members of the transgender community for input when he wrote it. His response to his bill possibly being perceived as “mean-spirited” also resulted in a “blame the victim” rant.

If [transgender students] really are concerned about this and they do identify as someone else, I don’t see why they’d like to make a big stink about it. If you’re making a big deal about it …you obviously are inviting harassment and bullying already. Why would you not want to avoid that and go quietly to the district and make other arrangements?

Emphasis in bold added.

Via A better way forward for transgender students @ Political Heat.

Partisan Majority?

“Having read the relevant part of this Republican-backed legislative proposal that, if enacted, would create two new partisan commissions to replace the non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), I can state definitively, that, based on my interpretation of the language of the proposed statute, that Republicans would be effectively guaranteed a 4-2 majority on each of…

They’ll Make it Good Legal

The far-right Wisconsin Supreme Court already handed Governor Scott Walker a “get out of jail free card” when it called a halt to the John Doe criminal probe into campaign finance violations by Walker and his team of advisors during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

Now, the Wisconsin legislature is going the extra mile with three separate bills to retroactively decriminalize the behavior at the heart of the investigation and to defang the nonpartisan elections agency that aided it….

Via WI GOP Begins Retroactive Decriminalization of Scott Walker Fundraising @ PR Watch.

WISGOP Rep. Kremer’s Bill on Transgender Students

Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) seems to believe that accommodations to transgender students represents a considerable threat to their peers. His fears are greatly misplaced.

Kremer is proposing a bill that would limit the rights of local school districts to grant transgender students the dignity to use restrooms that correspond to the gender they identify with. The lawmaker apparently disregards gender identity and is more preoccupied with anatomy to care about what’s best for students overall….

His words towards those students are especially alarming. (Emphasis in bold added)

I don’t see why they’d [transgender students] like to make a big stink about it. If you’re making a big deal about it … you obviously are inviting harassment and bullying already.

Bullying and mistreatment of transgender students, it seems to Kremer, is the fault of those students themselves.

Via School restrooms bill is derived from ignorance and misinformation @ Political Heat.

‘A necessary check on political corruption’

With Tuesday’s public hearing on the civil service eradication “reform” bill looming, and with Friday’s passing of AFSCME president Marty Beil, let me take you back to something I wrote less than one month after the failure to remove Scott Walker in the recall election of 2012. In that post, I criticized Beil and then-WEAC president Mary Bell for falling into the GOP trap of making the debate on public sector unions one that revolved around money and power, instead of reiterating the fact that unionism is a necessary check on political corruption, which allows public workers to be servants of the people, and not partisan hacks.

Via Destruction of civil service allows for destruction of public interest @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

Civil Service Changes

The headline proposals to remove civil service exams as part of the application for many state jobs and making it much easier to fire employees are concerning enough, and an obvious invitation to arbitrary hackery in the one area where we shouldn’t have any. But let me point at a couple of other measures that underlie what Gov Walker and the WisGOP Legislature are really up to. The first of which is a provision in the proposed bill that centralizes HR functions throughout state government…

Via Civil service “reform” = another WisGOP power grab @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

GAB to be gutted

The changes will put the independent board firmly under the control of partisans. These changes include: getting rid of Kevin Kennedy, the director and general counsel, and Jonathan Becker, who runs the ethics and lobbying division; splitting the GAB into two agencies; getting rid of the all the retired judges on the board and replacing them with an even number of partisan appointees, a recipe for partisan gridlock; changing the rules so that the GAB cannot investigate on its own and must come back for approval from the legislature; and creating bright lines for referrals to District Attorneys. Plus the GAB would no longer have a sum-sufficient budget for investigations. GAB would have to go hat in hand to the very people it might be investigating in the legislature.

Via Walker’s Partisans Poised to Raze Nonpartisan Government Accountability Board @ PR Watch

Assembly says yes

Next up for the team is working out a land sale with Milwaukee County and getting approval for the arena from the Milwaukee Common Council. Speaking at the Capitol after the Assembly vote, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and team president Peter Feigin praised the deal and said the remaining pieces could be assembled in time for construction to start in the fall.

Via Assembly passes arena deal, sends it to Scott Walker @ JSOnline.