Friday, October 24, 2014

11 Days: The Great White Van Hysteria Is Back

The most effective conspiracy theories, the ones that really stand the test of time, are the ones that have a tiny element of reality with which to build the most elaborate Rube Goldberg invention upon.

No matter how contrived and ridiculous.

Legendary voter fraud hunter, Ardis Cerny, is back. She's the Van Helsing of voter impropriety and her trophies are just as realistic.

Ardis is in hot pursuit of her personal Moby Dick - aka the "Great White Van."

Haven't you heard? The GWV is Cerny's proof that rampant voter exists. Why? Because the van's license plates are from out of state - meaning, everyone inside that van is also from out of state.

The van's are real. The license plates, too, are real. Her conclusion? Totally imaginary.

For years, churches and community groups in cities have rented vans to drive people to the polls on election day. Why? Well, it has to do with the years of poll taxes, intimidation and even a few lynchings of black people who fought for their right to vote. Casting a ballot has kind of been a hard fought right for a lot of people.

It's also harder to be intimidated or killed if you are in a group.

People in cities also don't have a lot of cars. Racine is no exception. A good percentage of people in Racine don't have access to a car. And the bus? Well, try taking that to a poll location efficiently.

Renting vans is a tradition, so much so, that on election day rental agencies get vans from all over the place to meet the need...even from out of state. The provenance of the van has nothing to do with who is inside at all (something Cerny is totally aware of), but it feeds into her tale of out of state voters crossing the border to cast illegal votes.

Which by the way, is totally stoopid.

Even if you had a van chock full of people - who tells them who they are supposed to impersonate?
Eventually the people they are impersonating would come to the polls only to discover they had already voted - OR the impersonator would get caught because the real person got to the poll first.

By our estimation it would take about two hours to discover what was going on - and yet, no one ever has. Cerny believes because she sees the same vans around town, these fakers are going from poll to poll pulling off the same scam - instead of the more plausible conclusion the van is taking the riders to their appropriate polling location.

Just enough reality to keep the voter fraud fantasy alive and just enough fantasy to excuse racist voter suppression laws.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 12: United Sportsmen

Remember the good ol' days when John Doe was the only corruption scandal plaguing Scott Walker? Good times.

Let us not forget the $500,000 grant awarded to the fake group run by Wisconsin GOP insiders. After the scam was exposed, Walker was forced to cancel the money.

They all nearly got away with it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

13 Days: I Haz Fixt Wisconsun

Thanks to Mark Pocan for reminding us of all the opportunities Scott Walker has squandered - most recently missing a deadline to apply for a Federal Preschool Development Expansion grant.

Wisconsin was invited to apply (with the possibility of receiving up to $60 million) along with 34 other states for preschool expansion. Walker blew it off.

Wisconsin is rated the worst state in the nation in the achievement gap of African American children - and Scott Walker didn't think it was worth his time to apply to expand one of the most effective ways to close that gap. He was too busy campaigning.

Toss it on the heap with all the other federal programs Walker took a pass on over the last four years:

Medicaid Expansion - $500 million+
Broadband Expansion - $23 million
High Speed Rail - $810 million
Food Stamp Increase - $276 million

That's a fucking lot of our money that ultimately went to other states instead of our own.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Burke: Don't Call It A #WIComeback

Ha! Gotta love a candidate who can make a LL Cool J reference on Twitter with her opponent's words ahead of a big debate...


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wrong Way Walker: Minimum Wage Serves No Purpose

Thank you Scott Walker.

It's a tough task activating younger, poorer folks who tend to make up the majority of people working for minimum wage.

They are super busy, working a couple of crappy jobs. They have kids to schlep and meals to get made. They don't have time to surf in internet to discover how you have fucked up the state's economy. They don't know every nuance of the WEDC debacle or the latest John Doe email discovery. They don't get the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to keep up with Politifact debates.

However, since you just yesterday, uttered these words on the minimum wage:
"I'm not going to repeal it," Walker said. "But I don't think it serves a purpose because we're debating then about what the lowest levels are at."
You got a whole bunch of people - who know without a doubt, the guy they work for would totally pay them LESS if he could - to just start paying attention to the race, motivating them to vote in a way Rock-the-Vote never could.

So again, thank you Scott Walker.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Scott Walker Blues

Gwen Moore isn't the only one with the "Scott Walker blues," lil' Scooter has got himself a case of it this week and the prognosis is dicey.

Walker took the reinstatement of gay marriage in Wisconsin pretty well, he played it off like it was no big deal. He took heat for his preposterous abortion ad which equally angered pro-choice and anti-choice advocates alike.

NARAL came out with a withering response this morning - calling him a total liar.


Oh, and then came SCOTUS. Elena Kagen killed Walker's slim hope to slice off a few thousand votes with a photo ID law instituted after absentee voting had already begun.

Republicans are apoplectic. Not because they think voter fraud will rule the day - if it did, how in the hell did they all get their stupid asses elected? I mean they run the entire fucking state and STILL ramble on about voter fraud.

No, they are apoplectic because this means, young people, poor people and minorities will have an easier time voting...for someone else.

There is also a debate tonight. Let's hope Mary Burke kicks Walker right in the nuts - figuratively, of course. He's had a shit week, let's go for the weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hello Doe: Shady Schimel Bringing Slimey Back

Brad Schimel picked a fight with Susan Happ over an old case in which a scumbag (who previously bought property from Happ's husband) got a pretty good deal through her office, and then made a campaign contribution to her run for Attorney General.

Happ pointed out in a county as small as Jefferson - a lot of people cross paths, but returned the money anyway.

Good for her - because, that's totally different than...say, WI supreme court justices hearing cases against people who literally donated millions of dollars to their election campaigns.

But the Siren digresses...

Well, it was just a matter of time before people started looking into Schimel's record and what they found was not flattering at all.

One Wisconsin Now looked up Schimel's campaign finance reports and discovered he used campaign contributions to cover babysitting costs for his kids. Turns out - that's illegal. C'mon, how was a guy running for state attorney general supposed to know that? Sheesh!

Then, in response to the reinstatement of marriage equality, Schimel said it is the AG's job to uphold the law - so much so that he would have totally enforced the ban on interracial marriage back in the day.


The law is the law, right? Except the attorney general actually does get to decide what they will or will not do. JB VanHollen, for example, just this week said he will not defend state officials in a new John Doe related lawsuit brought by the Club for Growth that says it has a constitutional right to coordinate with candidates - even though the law says they don't.

The law is the law...wait. What?

Schimel has gone positively vaporous that Democrats are skewering him for the remark. Perhaps he just got caught saying what he really thought.

Speaking of John Doe... It seems that Darlene Wink's lawyer, (Remember her? She was Scott Walker's former aid, the one who sang like a bird to stay out of jail?) helped her destroy evidence on her computer and got totally busted for doing it.

By busted, we mean he was scolded and then ignored because Schimel, who was the district attorney at the the time, declined to file charges against him. A month later the lawyer made a nice contribution to Schimel's campaign...which probably went to pay the babysitter.

Now they all go in on table together at the Waukesha Lincoln Day Dinner because the law is the law...unless you are a Republican.