There is something very crazy about a Dane County circuit judge passing on state legislation only because the Capitol happens to lie within its geographic jurisdiction -- and doing so before that legislation even becomes law!
The Democrats have started some very troubling precedents: running away to thwart the will of the majority and inserting the courts into the legislative process -- litigating instead of legislating.
All of which furthers my crusade to declare the Capitol and its environs the equivalent of its own, self-governing jurisdiction.
Yes, Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi was originally appointed by Tommy Thompson. And Earl Warren was appointed by Dwight Eisenhower. Maryann Sumi is a liberal judge in a liberal family in a liberal community.
Let's start with Maryann Sumi's son. He is a campaign consultant/field strategist for "Left Field Strategies" where, we are told:
Jake Sinderbrand has developed his professional political experience serving as a lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and as data manager for the SEIU State Council through the 2008 election cycle.
Lest the afore-mentioned be too subtle, young Jake's Facebook page is anchored by a disparaging image of Governor Walker. The judge's husband is Carl Sinderbrand, a partner at Axley Brynelson, who donated $500 to Barrett for Governor on March 18, 2010, and another $250 on July 22, according to on-line G.A.B. records I found. Judge Sumi should have recused.
Furthermore, the judge's ruling is bad law, suitably demolished by Rick Eisenberg, Marquette law professor. Quite simply, the open meetings statute cannot supersede the legislature's own rules since the statute itself is a creation of the legislature.
Here is a thought: Minority Leader Peter Barca alleges not enough notice was given for the Conference Committee yet, somehow, there was enough notice for him to attend. The other members were already in contempt of the Senate for skipping.
How 'gut wrenching' can it be?
The Wisconsin State Journal ran a sob story about all of the public sector employees claiming they are being forced into retirement by the Budget Repair Bill. (Mass exodus from classrooms is possible as teachers consider retirement) These teachers will have you believe that paying into their own pension and a small fraction towards their own health care will financially cripple them.
Patrick Dorwin, the Badger Blogger, got me started on this trail and I took it from there.
Thomas Bindl, a fourth-grade teacher at Royal Oaks Elementary, called his last-minute decision to retire this year "gut-wrenching."
Bindl, like many other teachers around Dane County and the state, are choosing to retire this summer - years earlier than they planned - due to uncertainty about what Gov. Scott Walker's budget will mean for their health care and retirement benefits.
"I felt like it was almost like a gun to our heads," said Bindl, who is 57 and has been teaching for 34 years. His tentative post-retirement plan is to teach in Europe or China.
The Badger Blogger received this report through an open records request:
As you can see, Mr. Bindl makes $112,554 in pay and benefits. Not bad for nine months' work. How could this poor guy possibly be asked to make a sacrifice?
Here is where the Squire of the Stately Manor adds value:
I went to the Wisconsin Retirement System on-line benefits calculator to get a rough idea of what kind of retirement pension Mr. Bindl gets. I assumed his three highest years of salary at $79,000, $78,000, and $76,000.
The calculator figures that retired teacher Bindl will receive $5,224 a month. That translates to $62,688 annually. As long as he shall live. Not bad for a man who, at age 57, still has a lot of life to enjoy. Not bad at all.
In the private sector one would have to accumulate about $1.2 million in savings in order to (as the experts advise) live off 5 percent, annually, of your savings.
This does not count anything Mr. Bindl may have put aside on his own. Nor does it include the unused sick leave, a portion of which is doubled, that he can multiply times his highest salary in order to purchase health insurance.
I would not feel too sorry for Mr. Bindl. He's free to pursue his muse in China or wherever he wishes to go. As gut wrenching as a full body massage.
City backs itself into corner
The Wisconsin State Journal took Mayor Dave and The Kathleen to task for rushing through their government employees' contracts, as I said it would. But calling it "politically smart to quickly give their powerful labor unions most of what they want before the spring elections" is an overly polite way to say our elected officials, in the midst of their re-election campaigns, sold out the taxpayers for a quick fix of union campaign contributions, phone banks, lit drops, and street muscle.
Mayor Dave led his complaisant Common Council, minus Ald. Thuy (our write-in candidate for mayor), arm-in-arm with the union activists, past the Capitol siege on February 17 to ram through sweetheart deals that actually call for pay increases and few, if any, givebacks.
Now that the full biennial budget bill is out and the city is facing an $11 million reduction in state aids and a $20- to $30 million hole, the mayor wants a do-over that would scale back the giveaway -- but only slightly. (Details here.) Guess what, three of the 12 unions are playing hardball.
The attorney's union has turned down the offer and the police and fire unions aren't saying.To which I say, good for them! If the city wants to be foolish let them be foolish. You got us taxpayers pinned down to the mat, unions, and we were asking for it.
Now the common council is scheduling a special, super-emergency meeting for Tuesday. Why? Because the city backed itself into this corner. It gave away the upper hand and now is a supplicant. Truly disgusting.
Takes real courage to tax "sugary sodas"
If only Scott Walker would "tax the rich." That's the Michael Moore/Comrade Nichols/Ms. Emily program. But if one of the proudest names in the Democrat(ic) pantheon won't raise taxes, why would our Republican governor?
The New York Times is sore at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not raising taxes, as you can tell from the headline on Sunday's lead editorial, "Gov. Cuomo's All-Cuts Budget."
What does it tell you that one of the most honored names in Democrat(ic) politics attacks spending? How Grover Norquist is that? After all, New York has increased spending by an average of 5.7% per year for the last decade. Just because the state is rated the second-highest taxer should not be cause for alarm, the grey lady insists. New Jersey and Connecticut are almost as bad. So the liberal newspaper proposes a tax on "sugary sodas."
And that would not inflict "a disproportionate amount of pain" on the very people for whom the Times professes concern: schoolchildren, the elderly, the poor?
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What! Governor Walker was telling the truth?! Even if you count only in-state e-mails, 55% favor his bill and 42% oppose? Don't tell me that his opponents were not motivated to flame him.
>Headline of the week: Jets over Libya as H. Clinton assumes presidency.
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