No, they really don't want to know what the people think. The liberals on the County Board, I mean.
A resolution was promulgated by several County Board members to place a straightforward referendum on the Nov. 2 general election ballot to ask the people of Dane County whether they want to be taxed for a commuter train from Middleton to Madison to (almost) Sun Prairie. The liberal majority wants no part of that plebiscite. Better for the RTA Board to develop a comprehensive plan first than to ask the people whether they want the RTA Board to develop a comprehensive plan first.
Liberal foot soldier Matt Veldran put the referendum resolution on the original agenda for the Public Works Committee before getting his marching orders from the two-headed hydra: The Kathleen/Scott McDonell. Last week, a revised agenda was released and -- (as Gomer Pyle used to say) "Surprise, surprise!" -- the resolution weren't there no more. Done disappeared! Goll-LEE!
County Board chairman McDonell told some supes he's going to drown the referendum in committee. Throw in a rock, tie the burlap bag shut and throw it in the creek.
The County Board could pull it out of committee by a majority vote but must wait 60 days after its introduction. County Board rules dictate that the motion to pull from committee could not come until the September 16 meeting and the actual vote to pull not until October 7. That misses the September deadline to get on the November 2 ballot. Got that?
It's this kind of parliamentary sleight of hand that gave rise to tea party disgust with government as usual.
Here's the website for the Stop the Train Tax movement. Get a petition going in your neighborhood.
It's a good time to Start Now
A new blog is on the block, something called "Start Now," which looks to be a tax and spending watchdog. It's the work of C. Damian Michaelis, who "like many of you, will not be able to live here much longer if our property taxes do not stop being increased. Again, I find myself involved and angry about the lack of accountability to local taxpayers from our elected 'representatives.'" Bookmark Start Now now. (Well, what are you waiting for?)
The big tent has a hole in it
Dear Liza, dear Liza. An always reliable but trite liberal trope is the hand wringing by our "friends" over the Republican party's headlong crusade to "purify" its ranks of moderates. No RINOs tolerated. Bill Kraus has been singing that tired tune for a couple of decades: how the party has been taken hostage by the "right wing" with no room for pro-abortion tax raisers like himself. They have only our best interests at heart, of course. (There's a reason Bill blogs on Ed Garvey's site.)
What then, to make of the Democrats' efforts to purge State Sen. Jeff Plale in Milwaukee County? Milwaukee Magazine editor Bruce Murphy writes that Plale is being challenged in the Democrat(ic) primary by Milwaukee County Sup. Chris Larson in "a brash effort by certain liberal Democrats to expel a party member they feel is too conservative."
"Clearly, Larson is aggressively attacking me as not liberal enough," Plale says.
Plale is pro-life, snorts derisively at the climate change bill, and supports concealed carry.
Plale blames the whole primary challenge on State Rep. Fred Kessler. "I knew that Fred was working overtime to find me an opponent," Plale grouses. "Fred is going through a party purification process."
The Capital Times plays the purge the moderate game as well as anyone. It comes right out with "Is Ron Kind a DINO?"
Remember that the next time the partisan press praises Lindsay Graham of South Carolina for being a "moderate" in supporting anti-ROTC Elena Kagan for the Supremes.
Phair or pfoul?
Is Matt Phair running for alder in the 20th district? If so, it would be at least the second office-seeker in this part of town whose spouse works for City of Madison politicians. The other is Matt Veldran, whose wife Lisa runs the Common Council office and the Meadowood neighborhood assn. Phair's wife Connie works in the offices Mayor Dave, who may well be behind the challenge to independent thorn-in-his-side Thuy Pham-Remmele.
Remember the "Baby Mama" drama?
The drama began in August of 2007 at the sentencing of one Landray Harris, an unemployed, admitted drug dealer with a 1-year-old daughter. The little girl's mother, it came out during a conversation between Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Wall and Harris, was both working and going to college, in the meantime a scenario the veteran judge had seen before.
He decided to put Harris on the spot.
"Where do you guys find these women, really seriously. I'd say about every fourth man who comes in here unemployed, no education, is with a woman who is working full-time, going to school. Where do you find these women?"
In any event, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found no evidence of racism. Damned good question, tho.
The New York Times gets into its usual liberal snit by finding that the U.S. Supreme Court in the five years under Chief Justice Roberts issues conservative positions 58 percent of the time. But under Chief Justice Earl Warren, from 1953 to 1969, the court issued conservative decisions 34 percent of the time. Put another way, it issued liberal decisions 66 percent of the time. Turnabout is fair play, given where the nation is today -- the court matches the temper of the times.
BTW: the Roberts Court cannot be defined as particularly "activist" in that it has reversed precedent no more than previous courts.
And the envelope, please
There might be some self-selection here but for what it's worth.
The Republican Party of Dane County conducted an informal survey at its booth at the Dane County Fair held in Madison from July 14-18. The survey attracted over 150 participants. Here are the results:
1. Do you support rail from Downtown Madison to Milwaukee?
No - 67%; Yes 33%
2. Do you support raising the sales tax 0.5% to help fund commuter rail in Madison?
No 81%; Yes 19%
3. What is the biggest concern for Wisconsin Residents?
High Taxes 37%; Jobs 44%; Good roads and bridges 9%; Other 10%
4. Are you in favor of President Obama's Health Care Plan?
No 78%; Yes 22%
5. Do you agree with Arizona's new Immigration law?
No 21%; Yes 79%
Today's chuckle (thanks Chollie)
The doctor gave his 85-year-old patient a sealed jar and instructed him to bring back a semen sample the next day.
A day later, the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor's office and gave him the jar but it was clean as a whistle.
The patient explained, "Well, doc, it's like this -- first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing.
"We even called up Arleen, the lady next door, and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezing it between her knees, but still nothing."
The doctor was shocked. "You asked your neighbor?"
The old man replied, "Yep, none of us could get the jar open."