Tag: political stunt

Wisconsin Republicans are delivering a kill shot to democracy

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post contains a link to an article that includes an error. Specifically, Wisconsin State Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D) lives in Milton, Wisconsin, not Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, although Jorgensen did live in Fort Atkinson prior to the post-2010 Census gerrymandering of Wisconsin’s state legislative districts.


Republicans that control Wisconsin state government are delivering a kill shot to democracy by enacting a series of laws designed to effectively destroy democracy in Wisconsin.

The Progressive magazine columnist and Madison Common Council member Rebecca Kemble wrote a must-read article about Republican efforts to destroy democracy in Wisconsin, which you can read here.

The Republican efforts to destroy democracy in Wisconsin consists of the following three pieces of legislation:

  • 2015 Wisconsin Act 64 – While bribery and many forms of political corruption are still illegal in Wisconsin, this law effectively decriminalizes bribery and corruption in Wisconsin by removing the only effective tool in Wisconsin state law to prosecute bribery and corruption: the John Doe investigation. Republican Governor Scott Walker, himself the target of two John Doe investigations that led to a total of six of his associates either being convicted or pleading guilty to various crimes, has already signed this bill into law.
  • Wisconsin Assembly Bill 387 – This legislation, among other things, allows coordination between non-federal candidates for public office in Wisconsin and outside groups like SuperPACs, ends the legal requirement that candidates disclose their campaign donor’s employers, and eliminates campaign contribution limits in Wisconsin. When this bill was voted on in the Wisconsin Assembly, not a single member of the Assembly voted against the legislation. That’s because, in one of the most ridiculous political stunts that I’ve ever seen, Democratic members of the Wisconsin Assembly recused themselves from voting on the legislation citing a conflict of interest, but the conflict of interest statute they cited specifically exempts state legislative votes on legislation to change state laws and regulations.
  • Wisconsin Assembly Bill 388 – This legislation would abolish the officially non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), which is composed of six retired judges and is responsible for both state-level election administration and enforcing state ethics laws in Wisconsin, with separate state elections and ethics commissions composed of political appointees of major-party state legislative leaders and the governor. If this bill were to become law, major-party state legislative leaders could legally appoint themselves or other elected officials to the state elections commission in Wisconsin and remain in elected office, which would be a brazen conflict of interest.

The Wisconsin GOP’s effort to destroy democracy in Wisconsin reminds me a lot of the right-wing Fidesz party in Hungary entrenching itself into power by gerrymandering electoral districts to benefit Fidesz and other right-wing politicians, as well as amending the Hungarian Constitution to undermine civil liberties and entrench Fidesz into power in Hungary. The kind of partisan takeovers normally seen in places like Eastern Europe is taking place right here in the United States, specifically, in Wisconsin.

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FOX News defends President Obama and slams Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Netanyahu using Congress as a campaign prop

Two weeks before the Israeli Knesset (Israel’s unicameral national legislature) elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives after being invited to do so by House Speaker John Boehner.

Netanyahu using the U.S. House as a prop for his party (Likud) in its re-election efforts is viewed so unfavorably here in the United States, even FOX News, a right-wing propaganda cable channel that masquerades as a cable news channel, is defending President Barack Obama, who is usually hated by on-air and off-air figures at FOX News, and slamming Netanyahu, who is usually well-liked by on-air and off-air figures at FOX News. Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, who both host shows that are either aired on FOX News or produced by FOX News for the over-the-air FOX Network, blasted Netanyahu for using our country’s Congress as a political prop, with Smith quoting former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk:

You can read more about the growing backlash against the scheduled Netanyahu congressional speech from unexpected places here and here.

Over his long political career, Benjamin Netanyahu has shown zero respect for American sovereignty and institutions. We are not going to be a puppet state for Netanyahu’s Israel, we are not going to let Netanyahu run roughshod over the American people, and, most importantly, I am calling for Democratic U.S. House members to turn their backs to Netanyahu if and when he speaks before the House, even if it means getting expelled from the House.