Surely Wisconsin Employment Commissioners Are Able To Understand Judge Colas This Time

Another court ruling has been generated due to the partisan need to cripple union rights in the state during the first year of Governor Scott Walker’s term in office.

Following Monday’s ruling by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colás one thing is very clear.  The Wisconsin Employment Commission over-stepped their bounds.

As a result of the judge’s decision teachers and local  government workers will have the ability to immediately enter labor negotiations with their bosses.  It is also most likely that there will be a cancellation of union recertification  elections that were slated for November.

This all stems from the commission pretending that Colas’ ruling from 2012 stating some portions of ACT 10 were not constitutional somehow had never happened.  As such scheduling union recertification elections continued.   While the commission stopped acting against those who brought the suit other unions were not so fortunate.  It was some of those unions that then followed up in court which then allowed for today’s ruling.

The words today from the judge were to the point, and most direct.

“I think that is contempt — that’s an intentional disregard of the court’s  order.”

“I think this conduct was nothing more than an attempt to elude the  application of a judgment of the court the commissioners knew full well  applied.”

I suspect this time the Wisconsin Employment Commissioners will clearly understand the message that the court handed down.  If not for some calling to duty perhaps the threat of penalties of $2,000 a day if they resist his orders in the  future will help them follow the law.

While there is reason for many to feel good about this ruling, no one can be pleased that there continues to be a series of court cases that continues to tear and undermine the morale of public employees and strain the political fabric of our state.  To think that in January of 2011 none of this was on the radar, and if cooler and less partisan heads had prevailed Wisconsin would be less battered and bruised tonight.

The divide in this state is real, and deep.  No one likes it, but it exists.

A First For Me

I have been notified that a direct deposit from the publisher of my book Walking Up The Ramp will be generated within the next few days.  Mom and Dad would say ‘you are getting royalty payments for what’?  Writing this book has been a great experience for me, and I want to express my thanks for all those who have read my work.


Governor Walker May Have More John Doe Probe Questions To Answer

Recall the words of Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in. …..

Wisconsin politics has become so troubling since Governor Walker was sworn into office.

Read more here.


Images Aimed At Protesting Russian President Putin’s Homophobia

These made smile.

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Which State Legislative Leader Is Subject Of New John Doe Probe?

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Just when it looked like the dust was settling comes news that there is a continuing probe into political chicanery.

A former top-level assistant U.S. attorney has been appointed a special  prosecutor in a burgeoning, secret investigation into a wide variety of state  issues, including possible campaign violations during the recent recall  elections, multiple sources said.

Francis Schmitz — who spent nearly 30 years as a federal prosecutor  and was once a finalist for U.S. attorney in Milwaukee — is leading  the widespread John Doe probe, according to sources.

Overseeing the case is Kenosha County Circuit Judge Barbara A.  Kluka, who has been used by Milwaukee County judicial officials in past John  Doe cases.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, whose  office initiated the probe, declined to answer questions about the John Doe on  Friday. Insiders said the investigation covers several jurisdictions, including  Dane County. Police and prosecutors in these other counties have been lending a  helping hand.

“It’s now spread to at least five counties,” said a source familiar with the  probe, adding that Landgraf has been investigating “all over the place.”

It appears the state-related case opened in February 2012, meaning it was  active at the same time as the one focusing on Walker’s county aides.

However, several sources said they became aware of the newer probe only in  the past month and that much of the recent activity has taken place in  Madison.

Sources familiar with the probe told the Journal Sentinel that it was  scrutinizing a wide variety of state-related issues, including the recall races.  Sources suggested the probe is looking at a current legislative leader and the  governor’s contest.

“This is activity that occurred since the 2010 election,” said a source.

The legislative leader did not return calls on Sunday.

Gov. Chris Christie Drops Legal Challenge To Gay Marriage

This weekend I noted that Gov. Chris Christie objects to gay marriage for political purposes.  He has Potomac Fever and that makes him say things about certain issues that he otherwise would not be inclined to do.

This morning we were all greeted with good news that Christie is dropping a legal challenge to a court ruling abolishing New Jersey’s ban on same-sex marriages.  In a statement he makes clear that the weight of the court is supreme with their ruling, and he will abide by it.

No one should be shocked when legislative bodies or the electorate make laws or decisions that turn out not to be constitutional and then the courts make a ruling to set things right. That is, after all, the function of a court.    Yet Christie made a production for several days for political show, knowing full well that he was on the losing end of the argument.  On Friday the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to temporarily block a lower court ruling knocking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The state’s highest court had been scheduled to hear further arguments in January. With that case dropped, same-sex weddings in New Jersey became legal starting at 12:01 a.m. today.

It is never pretty to see someone flaunt the courts based on some political spin that is solely intended to gain some favor from a faction of the electorate.  Showing respect for the court and the process would have better served a potential presidential candidate.

Christie is still leaning.