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» Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice – Big Government.

Governor Scott Walker like Cristie of New Jersey is another governor to watch and hopefully learn from.  Walker is a fighter like Christie but lacks the new Jersey in your face attitude.  In fact, he is a gentleman at all times; a gentleman who stands firm for his beliefs.   He battled the teachers unions over their contracts and  so- called “right” to bargain (read that riot and strike and clutter up state buildings while calling in sick from their jobs).  With that issue working it’s way thru the courts he has now taken on the teachers unions and failing public schools over the  school choice issue.  He will win I have no doubt.

Is he perhaps the “sleeper” Republican who will come out for the Presidential run at the last minute?  Pair him up with Bachmann and I think we have a winning team.   Both are fighters who will stand firm for their beliefs but both are  professionals in their dealing with opponents regardless of what they are subjected to.  BB

Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice

by Kyle Olson

School choice is on the move in Wisconsin, at least in

Milwaukee County.

The state Assembly has approved a bill that will increase the number of voucher students in Milwaukee, and increase the number of private schools they can choose from.

But an idea recently suggested by Gov. Scott Walker, to spread voucher opportunities beyond Milwaukee to Green Bay, Racine and Beloit, received a cool reception from Senate President Mike Ellis, as well as several other Republicans.

Ellis also questioned a reform, embedded in the governor’s budget proposal, that would lift income restrictions from voucher programs so all families would be eligible to participate.

That leads me to wonder if some Republicans, once committed to the concept of public school reform, have lost their nerve in the face of obnoxious union rallies and recall efforts.

I also wonder if Walker might have received a more positive response if he had targeted the entire state for voucher eligibility, in the same manner as Indiana. Only expanding to three cities may not sit well with legislators from areas that would not benefit.

School choice is best for all families and students. Every child is unique, and parents are best equipped to choose a school that fits their needs.

The state of Wisconsin provides a certain amount of money for every K-12 student in the state. What’s wrong with letting parents spend that money at the school of their choice?

Walker sought to build momentum for school choice expansion with his keynote address to the National Policy Summit of the American Federation for Children in Washington, D.C. last week.

He focused on the idea that all students have the right to equal access to a quality education.

“Every kid, no matter where they live, no matter what their background, no matter what their parents do for a living … deserves the opportunity to have a great education because they each have limitless potential,” Walker told his audience.

“We have 100,000 kids that we serve in the city of Milwaukee. Roughly 20,000 go to choice schools but that means that 80 percent of our families are looking at some other option and the majority of which are (using) public schools … many of which fail to live up to the standard we expect for each and every child in that community and in our state.

“We fail as a country, we fail as a nation, we fail as a society if any of our kids slip through the cracks. We have to make sure every single one of them have the same opportunities we’d want for our children and grandchildren.”

Walker referred to studies that show Milwaukee children in the voucher program are 17 times more likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts in Milwaukee public schools.

“If you look at the kids who come into the Milwaukee parental choice program, they more often than not come in (with lower learning levels) than kids in the Milwaukee public school system. But in the end, one of the most important outcomes is that they’re 17 percent more likely to graduate by the time they’re done.

“One of our greatest challenges is keeping kids in the system all the way to graduation … It used to be that just graduating was enough to get a job, but these days you’ve got to have a two-year or four-year post-secondary education component just to get a job in our society. If you’re not making it through graduation you’re going to be another statistic.”

Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers’ union, is trying to recall several Republican senators from office and destroy the GOP majority in the chamber.

The union’s president, Mary Bell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that research “does not support broadening choice.”

I believe the only research that matters is the research conducted by the parents of every individual student in Wisconsin and America.

If they find a school that fits their child’s needs – be it public, public charter, private or religious – they should have a right to use their share of state money to enroll their child in that school.

Somehow our society has been blinded into thinking that government-run schools have an exclusive right to K-12 students. State constitutions mandate that governments provide an education to every student in their jurisdiction. That does not mean those students have to attend government-run schools.

By providing the means for students to finance an education, the state has met its constitutional responsibility. At that point the state should step aside and let parents decide where that education will take place.

As far as I can tell, the only reason for enforcing geographic school boundaries is to provide a guaranteed clientele, and guaranteed jobs, for unionized teachers. That’s not a very good reason to keep any kid trapped in any school that’s not meeting his or her needs.

Scott Walker seems to understand that.  The union doesn’t and it’s unrealistic for us to hope otherwise.  Will legislative Republicans?

Leaders should be going bold in their attempts to save children from failing public schools.  This is not the time to be pussyfooting around, making sure the adults aren’t offended by reforms that put the interests of children first.

A+ For School Choice

by Rebekah Rast

Upon learning that average per pupil spending in the public education system is $9,000, recent Rasmussen poll takers overwhelming stated their dissatisfaction with the return on their investment.

It’s hard to blame them.  Per pupil spending on education has tripled since the 1960s and increased 138 percent since 1985, but test scores and academic achievements remain stagnant and unchanged.

Noticing this trend, taxpayers and parents have found other options—an alternative to the status quo.  Americans are used to variety and choice and thought the education system should offer nothing less.

“In our society choice is something we’ve all been used to,” says Jeff Sands, senior manager of school development for Northeastern and Central California for the California Charter Schools Association.  “Now you can find schools that fit your needs and styles.”

The charter school movement has grown to 4,600 schools serving more than 1.4 million students nationally.

Charter schools have been a welcomed change for taxpayers, parents, students and those states and local governments who have adopted them.

What makes charter school different than public schools?

For one, it gives parents more options of where to send their child.  Also, charter schools have more freedom from the many regulations of public schools.  Charter schools allow students and teachers more authority to make decisions.  Instead of being accountable to rules and regulations like public schools are, charter schools are focused on the students and academic achievement and upholding their charter.  (One big reason for Charter Schools being free from all the rules and regulations is the lack of administration pencil pushers who make up all this nonsense in order to justify their jobs!   Every school system in the country could cut their administration staff by 50% and never miss them! BB)

“Charter schools are much more flexible in their spending and methods,” Sands says.  “They can go with longer days and weekends.  You could have a school with a strong focus on languages or arts or agriculture.  You can use methods and interactions where the main focus is not on the results, but the results happen anyways.”

If charter schools are such a welcomed change, then why are 10 states still opposed and fight against letting them in?

When parents do not have a choice of where to send their child to school, they can become stuck in a union-run, public school monopoly that has no incentive to better itself.  The only group that benefits from this design is the teachers unions.

“About 95 percent of charter schools are non-union,” says Mike Antonucci, director of the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA).  This causes a lot of opposition from teachers unions.

“Unions lose members,” says Antonucci, whenever a new charter schools opens.  “Every teacher in a charter school means one less union member and unions want more money.  This can put a dent in union’s bottom line.”

Sands agrees and adds, “Charter schools have lots of resistance from unions and school boards.

Despite the strong opposition from unions and school boards, many charters are doing very well and opening new schools each year.

Since California approved a charter school law in 1992, it has seen a steady increase of new charters opening.  Sands says last year more than 100 new charter schools opened their doors to new students and teachers.

As new charter schools open around the country providing new opportunities for students and parents, teachers also benefit from school choice.

“As testing becomes so core to school districts, teachers end up having to all teach the same thing at the same time—the whole objective is good scores,” states Sands.  “This puts undue pressure on educators and removes them from the decision-making, professionalism of teaching.  It is becoming very scripted.”

Charter schools give teachers opportunities to think outside the box, try new learning techniques and cater to children’s individual needs and wants.  It would seem that this kind of freedom would be a welcome change for an educator—especially at a time when states are forced to trim their budgets often cutting programs and pulling funds from school districts.

If a charter does not live up to expectation or meet its requirements, then like all businesses, the charter would cease to exist.  “Offering the best products and customer interaction is at the core of any charter school,” Sands comments.  “Many of them understand that they are a nonprofit and have to do smart business.”

Charter schools face more responsibility and accountability than the public counterparts, but they also offer much greater opportunity.

In a free-market, choice fuels competition and produces quality and distinctive products.  A growing dissatisfaction with public schools does not mean all public schools are bad and that all parents and students are ready to up and leave for a charter school.  It means there is a need for choice and competition.

“Charters are not intended to replace public schools, they apply pressure and competition,” Sands concludes.  “The objective is not to privatize education but to compete to make all schools better.”

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“Anarchist” Idiocy | Cato @ Liberty.

I have been watching Europe closely the past few years as the governments try to wean their pampered people off of welfare.  A welfare the governments actually rather forced on the people in  the beginning  in the politicians avid search for power and more power.  Now the “spreading of the wealth around” (Obama) has had it’s ultimate end: the end of all wealth, or NOTHING left to spread around!  Or, as Margaret Thatcher the former Prime Minister of Great Britain once warmed : “The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”!  The citizens of these European countries of course gave up their  souls for these safety net social programs and now have little left within themselves to again take control of their own lives.  They need Nanny State to think and act for them from cradle to grave.  The irony is the citizens are now fighting against the very hand that has fed them all these decades. The people who have become dependent on “other people’s money” are now morally and emotionally lacking the will to rely upon themselves for their livelihoods.  They also find themselves lacking a  morally acceptable argument for continuing to steal from other people’s labor so they have become  mobs rioting in the streets.  It reminds me of stories my mother tells of weaning me.  It was the habit of some in the dark ages to nurse their children well into the child’s second year of life so I was not weaned until I was 18 months old.  Naturally since I had become so dependent on “mother’s milk” long past the time when  I was able to survive well on my own  I protested long and hard and very loud against having the easy food supply removed.  If my mother had stopped nursing me when I was able to  survive well on nourishment taken from the regular food supplied me then the trauma would not have been nearly as violent to me or her when she did finally stop nursing me.  So this is the  case with the “children ” of Europe today.   Will it be Americans a couple generations from now after the Democrats and Obama have sucked up our souls for power and depleted our ability to survive well on our own?   I pray not. BB

Anarchist” Idiocy

Posted by David Boaz

The Washington Post splashes a story about “anarchists” in Greece across the front page today. The print headline is “Into the arms of anarchy,” and a photo-essay online is titled “In Greece, austerity kindles the flames of anarchy.” And what do these anarchists demand? Well, reporter Anthony Faiola doesn’t find out much about what they’re for, but they seem to be against, you know, what the establishment is doing, man:

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new “amateur anarchist” groups.

Faiola does acknowledge that the term is used pretty loosely:

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde.

So that’s, let’s see, a self-styled anarchist who was anti-state and anti-private property, the father of totalitarianism, and a witty playwright jailed for his homosexuality.

Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

And what are these various disgruntled groups opposed to?

The rolling back of social safety nets in Europe began more than a year ago, as countries from Britain to France to Greece moved to cut social benefits and slash public payrolls, to address mounting public debt. At least in the short term, the cuts have held back economic growth and job creation, exacerbating the social pain.

And Greece is not the only place in which segments of society are pushing back.

So these “anarchists” object that the state might cut back on its income transfers and payrolls. That is, they object to the state reducing its size, scope, and power. Odd anarchists, as George Will told the crowd at the 2010 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty dinner:

It leads to the streets of Athens, where we had what the media described as “anti-government mobs.” Anti-government mobs composed almost entirely of government employees going berserk about threats to their entitlements!

Lots of talk in the Post article about anarchists:

“They are taking everything away from us,” [19-year-old law student Nikolas] Ganiaris said. “What will happen when I finish law school? Will I only find a job making copies in a shop? Will I then need to work until I’m 70 before I retire? Will I only get a few hundred euros as pension? What future have I got now?”  (I see this argument for keeping his dole from “other people’s” work and effort as pathetic!  I sincerely hope you do too.  BB)

A radical minority is energizing the anarchist movement, a loose network of anti-establishment groups….

Since then, experts say, the economic crisis has helped the movement thrive, with anarchists positioning themselves as society’s new avengers. Long a den of anarchists, the graffiti-blanketed Exarchia neighborhood is alive anew with dissent. Nihilist youths are patrolling the local park, preventing police from entering and blocking authorities from building a parking lot on the site. On one evening at a local cafe, an anarchist group was broadcasting anti-government messages via a clandestine radio station using a laptop and a few young recruits.

The last vignette in the story is about 20-year-old Nikos Galanos, who has joined the anarchist movement in anger over his mother’s losing her government job and his father’s being the victim of a 15 percent salary cut in his own government job.

“I don’t support violence for violence’s sake, but violence is a response to the violence the government is committing against society,” Galanos said. He later added, “It is now hard for any of us to see a future here. I feel it’s my duty to fight against the system.”  (People who are on the dole never seem to understand the simple fact:  there is NO MORE MONEY.  Have you noticed this?  In fact they don’t even allow the thought of just where the money comes from to support them.  Remember the flap over “Obama money”  where the mobs were lining up for their share?  BB)

In fact, the government has been committing violence against society for decades, by taxing people, overregulating business, and spending money it didn’t have. No wonder youth unemployment is 35 percent. And what is the actual “system” that Mr. Galanos wants to fight? Greek journalist Takis Michas described it at a Cato Forum:

In Greece, the fundamental principle that has been dictating economic and political development since the creation of the Greek state in the 19th century is political clientelism.

This is a system in which political support is provided in exchange for benefits.

In this situation, rent-seeking — the attempt by various groups and individuals to influence the location of political benefits — becomes paramount. The origins of political clientelism can be traced back to the origins of the Greek state in the 1830s. As a left-wing political historian puts it, “The fundamental structure of Greece has never been civil society. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, nothing could be done in Greece without its necessarily passing through the machinery of the state.”…

The largest part of public expenditure was directed, not to public works or infrastructure, but to the wages of public service workers and civil servants….

What makes the case of Greece interesting is that Greece can be said, in a certain sense, to provide the perfect realization of the left’s vision of putting people above markets.

Greek politicians have always placed people (their clients) above markets, with results we can all see today.

Real anarchists, of either the anarcho-capitalist or mutualist variety,  might have something useful to say to Greeks in their current predicament. But disgruntled young people, lashing out at the end of an unsustainable welfare state, are not anarchists in any serious sense. They’re just angry children not ready to deal with reality. But reality has a way of happening whether you’re ready to deal with it or not.

National Curriculum Battle Joined | Cato @ Liberty.

The Progressives are pushing hard for their take over of our schools and our children’s minds.   Education of children is rightly a  parents  duty and right.  This is why education MUST BE LOCAL!  When the Texas Text Book Selection committee outed the Progressives in determining what  content  would be in Texas text books it was a loud and clear call for the Progressives to become more aggressive (read this: underhanded!). (You may want to look this battle up because the video was a fun watch as the Progressives finally just left the meeting.)

The following article gives background on what is happening now and some push back.    Be sure to read carefully the Related Articles also.  these are your kids and our future.  Please don’t allow them to be lot any more than they have already been compromised and brain-washed.   It is up to ALL parents to demand the right to choose the schools their children attend and not to be herded into what the bureaucracy either national or local dictates to us.   School choice and vouchers are the answer to a free and good education.  BB

National Curriculum Battle Joined

Posted by Neal McCluskey

Remember several weeks ago, when the Albert Shanker Institute released a manifesto calling for the creation of detailed curriculum guides to go with the national standards and tests being pushed and pulled through the back doors of states across the country? Apparently, that was the last straw for a lot of education analysts and policymakers, especially folks like Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution (and Bush II Education Department); one-time Fordham Institute state-standards evaluator Sandra Stotsky; and Foundation for Education Choice senior fellow Greg Forster. Those three, along with a few others, organized a counter-manifesto being released today, a 100-plus signatory reply which, according to the group’s press release, declares that:

  • These efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority.
  • The evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students.
  • U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards.
  • There is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject.
  • There is not even consensus on whether a single “best curricular approach” for all students exists.

These points certainly sum up many of the major problems with the national standards drive, a drive that has been shrouded in half-truths about “voluntary” standards adoption; shorthand pleas for federal coercion; and what appears to be a camel’s-nose-under-the-tent strategy to ultimately impose a detailed, de facto federal curriculum. There is more to the problem than the summary points above cover — for instance, the Constitution gives the federal government no authority whatsoever to meddle in school curricula — but for a consensus-driven document, this new and desperately needed cannon blast against national standards is very welcome.

For a great explanation of why the anti-manifesto ringleaders did what they did, check out Greg Forster’s entry on the Witherspoon Institute’s blog. He hits lots of important points — especially that nationalizing curricula is a surefire way to fuel all-encompassing social strife — and I would quibble with only one thing:

My own view is that the root of the problem is the government monopoly on schools. Governmental monopolization of the education of children guarantees that all our religious and moral differences will be constantly politicized. School choice, in addition to delivering better academic performance, seems to me to be the only way to end the scorpions-in-a-bottle cultural dynamic and create space for shared citizenship across diverse religious and moral views.

But that’s an argument for another day.

Here’s where I think Greg is incorrect: Choice is not an argument for another day. It is the argument for this day.

Until all parents have real, full choice they will have no option but to demand that higher levels of government force intractable lower levels to provide good education. It won’t work thanks to concentrated benefits and diffuse costs all levels of government are dominated by teachers’ unions and administrators’ associations that will never let tough accountability and high standards rein – but it is all that parents can do absent the ability to take their children, and tax dollars, somewhere else. That means choice is essential right now, because it is the only way to take power away from special-interest dominated government and give it to the people the schools are supposed to serve. In other words, it is the only option that will actually work, obliterating the special-interest hammerlock, imposing accountability to customers, and when coupled with freedom for educators unleashing competition, specialization, innovation, and constant upward pressure on standards. In other words, it will do all those things that national standardizers emptily and illogically promise that their reform will do, and much, much more.

» A School Choice Triple Crown – Big Government.

Parents and especially our children should stand up and cheer for this because it may mean the difference for some of our children of an education or being filled up with socialist pablum.  Read on.  🙂  BB

Dr. Susan Berry

A School Choice Triple Crown

by Dr. Susan Berry Let’s understand why school choice is important. As in the free marketplace, competition creates better schools, public as well as private, better teachers, and thus reforms education- unlike pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into public schools to get nothing in return, which is what we do now. School vouchers do not carry any additional expense for a state because they primarily transfer money between schools, a fact that worries most union-loving Democrats because taxpayer money would likely be diverted from failing public schools to charter and private schools.

Advocates of school choice had three good reasons to rejoice within the past week. As reported here, on Capitol Hill, while House Democrats voted to protect public sector unions, Republicans passed the SOAR Act, which followed through with their pledge to reinstate the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, the hallmark school choice program for low income children in the nation’s capital. While it remains to be seen whether the Senate will vote to pass the SOAR Act and, if so, whether the President will sign onto it, the Republicans are sticking to their conservative agenda and using their constitutional authority to promote reform of education through an expansion of charter schools and private school vouchers.

Meanwhile, taking the lead among the states, Indiana’s Republican-led state House passed the most expansive school voucher program in the nation, pushing ahead with school choice not just for low-income families, but for those in the middle-income bracket as well. Parents earning up to $60,000 will be eligible for vouchers and, within several years, there will be no limit on the number of children who can receive them. Despite a five-week walkout to Illinois by Indiana state House Democrats, the bill is likely to pass since Republicans control both Houses and the governor’s seat.

The third portion of this triple crown lies in a positive, but painfully narrow, decision by the Supreme Court. On April 4th, the nation’s highest court decided, in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, that tax credits that pay for children to go to church-affiliated schools cannot be challenged on constitutional grounds.

The 5-4 decision upheld Arizona’s dollar for dollar tax credit, up to $1,000 per couple, for those who donate to organizations that, in turn, pay tuition for students attending private and parochial schools.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of taxpayers sued claiming violation of the First Amendment, that religion was being supported with taxpayer monies. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion, ruled that the litigants were not harmed due to the tax credits, because tax credits are not equivalent to spending programs. Justice Kennedy wrote that the litigants’ claim assumes “that income should be treated as if it were government property even if it has not come into the tax collector’s hands.”

While this decision is a victory for school choice advocates, what is disturbing about it, as the WSJ points out, is that four Supreme Court justices- President Obama’s two nominees included- do, in fact, believe that taxpayer income is the government’s property even as it is being earned! Justice Elena Kagan’s dissenting opinion states that there is no difference between appropriations and tax credits.  (And We the People are stuck with these Obama Socialist appointees for a long., long time!  BB

While the high court’s decision contributes in a big way to last week’s triple victory for school choice and, ultimately, education reform, it is also a jarring reminder that the Supreme Court is but one vote away from forbidding school choice where church-based schools are concerned, and from declaring that all money earned by taxpayers belongs, first, to the government.  ( this is the scariest part of all:  my money, my property and even my life belongs to my government according to these freaks of Obama’s.  BB)

Wisconsin Fight Goes to Court – Robert Costa – National Review Online.

The fight goes on in Wisconsin and it is important to all of us because it shows just how far the Left will go to force it’s way on We the people.  There are simply no limits on the dirt and thuggery the Left will use.  I am not against using the court system to right what one sees as a wrong so I am not speaking here of the challenge to the newly passed law in the courts, but I am very much opposed to the  behind the scene thuggery that is going on and has been going on all the way thru this Wisconsin fight for democracy.    And believe that is what is it all about:  will democracy and the democratic system of government win out or will the lawless mobs rule in America?

I am posting the  entire article here because what has happened and is happening now in Wisconsin needs to be understood  as it is sure to be repeated over and over again in every state that opposed  the lawless communist/socialist  union leadership. BB

Wisconsin Fight Goes to Court

And Walker’s big win could ride on a single judicial election.

Listen to the Audio Version

As the dust settles in Madison, Wisconsin Republicans face a troubling coda: Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill is being tripped up in the courts. Union heavies smell blood. And the unruly parade of lefty activists and hulking Teamsters that occupied the state capitol for weeks is back for a bruising final round.

On paper, at issue is whether senate Republicans violated the state’s open-meeting laws. In mid-March, after a three-week stalemate, GOP lawmakers hustled Walker’s bill to the floor. The senate clerk approved the maneuver. But 14 Democratic state senators, on the lam in Illinois, howled in absentia. So did their comrades in Dane County government, who quickly filed suit. A sympathetic county judge put the brakes on implementation.

The Walker administration, appalled, immediately urged a state appeals court to strike down the circuit court’s ruling. But the appellate panel threw up its hands last week and kicked the bill to the state supreme court. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan state legislative bureau, following protocol, published the bill on Friday, sending Democrats into a tizzy.

With fresh legal questions being raised daily, the bill’s status is as murky as a Charlie Sheen tweet. But the tedious tangle over quorum rules and publication guidelines is merely a proxy for enraged progressives. The governor has beaten them at the polls and in the legislature. To topple his signature law, they need a black-robed coup.

Pressure is mounting on the seven-member high court to weigh in. If they do, the bill risks being overturned. For the moment, judicial conservatives hold a 4–3 edge. But that could flip come April 5, when incumbent justice David Prosser, a former GOP legislator, battles JoAnne Kloppenburg, an environmental lawyer and veteran state attorney, for a ten-year term.

The Prosser–Kloppenburg bout has political implications beyond the fate of Walker’s bill. Numerous GOP state senators are facing recalls, and Walker himself could face one next year. If Prosser falls, it will be a heavy blow to Republicans, especially for the backbenchers who stood with Walker, many of whom had hoped to emerge from the fiery budget debate with their careers intact. State lawmakers will also soon redraw legislative districts based upon updated Census data. Republicans control both chambers and the governor’s office, making liberal challenges to reapportionment decisions all the more likely.

“This is for all the marbles,” says Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative talk-radio host in Milwaukee. “Scott Walker could survive losing the state senate. But it would be devastating if he were to lose in the supreme court. If Prosser loses, almost everything that Walker enacted could be overturned.” The high court, he worries, has a long history of activism, especially when liberals hold the majority.

Prosser, a gruff 68-year-old who has sat on the bench since 1998, has been blindsided by the national spotlight. In February, he coasted in a nonpartisan, multicandidate primary with 55 percent of the vote, more than double that of Kloppenburg, who finished second. Prosser saw a relatively smooth path to victory, especially against a little-known, left-leaning lawyer in a sleepy, springtime skirmish. Besides, Walker, in his second month at the reins, was popular with voters, as were conservatives, who swept the state’s November elections.

Then Madison erupted. Within hours of the primary, Walker began to unveil his budget agenda. The governor and statehouse Republicans went to the mats against the public-sector unions on collective bargaining, not yielding in their stand against unchecked labor power. Democrats, depressed after their poor 2010 showing, suddenly began to show alarming signs of life. Swarms of protesters, huddled like carolers, screamed outside of Walker’s office deep into the night; dreadlocked undergraduates gleefully papered the capitol’s marble halls with anti-Walker messages scrawled onto cardboard posters.

Amidst the melee, the supreme-court race drew scant notice during the first week of rallies, with only a few signs, mostly toted by graybeard professors, urging the throngs to “Vote Kloppenburg.” After the bill was signed by Walker, however, union brass and local Democrat friendlies, bitter and seeking a cause du jour, immediately jumped into the fray.

The buzz did not end at the Dane County border. Voices from the liberal blogosphere, at Firedoglake and the Daily Kos, sat up and started to alert their audiences. Their brethren in Wisconsin began to organize on the ground. Prosser, a tad surprised at the sudden interest, dug in and prepared for the onslaught. “At this point, I do not think that we have the choice as to whether our race is nationalized,” says Brian Nemoir, Prosser’s campaign manager.

Yet Prosser’s ability to respond to the rising interest has been hamstrung. He, along with Kloppenburg, is the recipient of public funds — $300,000 for the general election, to be exact — and both have pledged not to spend a dime more. “Looking back, that was one decision they should not have done,” says one state GOP strategist. “Their ability to respond to charges, and build up a stronger internal organization, has been severely limited.”

But it is a different story for special-interest groups. The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $3 million into anti-Prosser advertising, taking relentlessly to the airwaves. “They are the Left’s biggest political player in the state,” says Brett Healy, the president of the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank. “They run the ads that no one else wants to run.”

(Understand this People?   Prosser, the Conservative candidate who was winning and the radical Kloppenburg promised not to spend over the state allotted  funds for campaining.  So now the radical union thugs are going after Prosser with their almost unlimited union dues money!  BB)

Indeed. The GWC (The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties,) is airing ads that tie Prosser to the budget bill. “Prosser equals Walker” is the usual theme. But those political attacks are fluff compared with the group’s latest smear, a dimly-lit, creepy spot that casts Prosser as soft on pedophilia. That ad alleges that Prosser, as a local district attorney three decades ago, failed to properly prosecute a Catholic priest accused of molesting several boys. Prosser, according to those who know him, is said to be furious about the ad, angry with its inaccuracies and how it sullies his name.

At a debate late last week, Prosser, his displeasure barely concealed, urged Kloppenburg to ask the GWC to pull the ad. “It is the worst ad that has ever been run in a judicial campaign,” he asserted. Kloppenburg would not budge. “Like it or not, third parties have a right to run ads of their choosing,” she replied. Prosser fired back: “If some third party ran an ad supporting me and attacking you, and it was despicable, and it was a lie, I would stand up and ask that the ad be pulled,” he argued. “You are not willing to do that, even at the request of the victim in the ad?”

Prosser noted that Troy Merryfield, one of the abuse victims, has spoken out against the clip, and in support of Prosser’s decision to not prosecute at the time.

“I do not appreciate myself or my case being used for political advantage, especially in today’s climate of dirty politics,” Merryfield wrote in a recent statement. “In 1979, as a prosecutor, Prosser made a decision to not file charges against [Rev. John] Feeney due to his concern about the emotional toll that a jury trial would have on my brother and me due to our young age at the time.” Prosser, he added, had his full support.

Regardless, the hit left a mark. Two sources with knowledge of internal GOP polling tell us that Prosser and Kloppenburg are near even, a bad sign for the incumbent. “She has driven his negatives up,” one source says. “It will be hard to drive hers up. Her lack of judicial experience should hurt her, but it also makes her harder to pin down. The question now is: Does the Right have enough resources to counter the Greater Wisconsin Committee’s millions? And even if they do, is it too late? It is going to be touch-and-go for these last few days.”

Brian Nemoir, Prosser’s top aide, reiterates that the campaign will highlight Kloppenburg’s judicial inexperience. Keeping the focus on that, and off Walker, is a must. Her environmental-law record and her associations with leading liberal lights such as Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Prosser’s main ideological foe on the court, who once hired Kloppenburg as an intern, will be detailed in campaign material.

Prosser will also make Kloppenburg’s not-so-subtle ties to the anti-Walker movement a constant refrain. This tack, Nemoir says, is crucial in pointing out how Kloppenburg’s campaign is being used by liberal interests to manipulate Wisconsin law.

Nemoir points to a recent meeting with the Capital Times, where Kloppenburg ruminated on the state of Wisconsin politics, as a trouble spot for state attorney. “The events of the last few weeks have put into sharp relief how important the Supreme Court is as a check on overreach in the other branches of government,” Kloppenburg said in conversation with editors.

Overreaching?” Nemoir exclaims. That statement, he argues, is a “wink and nod” to the assembling anti-Walker forces aligning behind her campaign. “You would have to be a complete idiot to think that she is referencing anything else. It is a nod to those who are supporting her.”

Perhaps, but for both candidates, avoiding a dip into the budget-bill swamp is getting tricky. Neither wants to risk recusal. Prosser is also being forced to address the roiling political scene, albeit indirectly. At the Friday debate, he was asked to comment on how courts should address cases dealing with legislative procedure (hint, hint). “You have to look with clear eyes whether some procedure was violated, whether there is a real emergency, what was done,” he said. “I pledge, as I have for the last twelve and a half years, that as a justice, that I will look at these things impartially.”

Prosser’s independent cred increasingly is the backbone of his message, especially as portions of the electorate sour on Walker’s bill and the GOP in general. To bolster his cause, he has enlisted strong bipartisan backing from the political establishment. Two former Badger State governors, Tommy Thompson, a Republican, and Patrick Lucey, a Democrat, serve as his campaign chairmen. Four former Supreme Court justices are in his camp, as are a bevy of district attorneys, sheriffs, and lawmakers. Prosser’s kitchen cabinet has been an asset, says Sheriff David Clarke, Milwaukee’s top law-enforcement official and self-described “Kennedy Democrat.” He says that Prosser may find support from more Democrats — and cops — than most liberal politicos realize. “I have been in law enforcement for 33 years in this county,” he says. “I don’t like activist judges who tend to legislate from the bench.”

Kloppenburg, he sighs, “has tipped her hand that she will be an activist judge by her associations and some of her coded language in the debates.” He wants none of that.

Nevertheless, despite cross-party support, Prosser’s reputation has a few nicks. He is known, friends say, for both his sharp mind and his quick temper. In any other year, Prosser’s prickly nature would be shrugged off, but Kloppenburg’s allies are doing everything they can to make an issue out of Prosser’s past outbursts. Last week, leaked e-mails of Prosser’s calling Chief Justice Abrahamson an expletive and threatening to “destroy” her were published. Prosser attributed the harsh words to heated internal court communications and apologized. He added, in interviews, that though he was wrong to have used salty language, he was participating in the give-and-take of a court known for its activism and dysfunction. State GOP operatives say they are confident that Prosser can overcome any slams against his character. As a former assembly speaker and justice for more than a decade, he will be able to dodge the small punches. “He had so much support before this all started,” chimes Rep. Michelle Litjens, a Republican in the state assembly. “He is seen as a very fair, levelheaded, and balanced individual. People supported him before, and I know they will stick with him.”

Republicans are taking nothing for granted. Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the state GOP, acknowledges that the race has become high-stakes drama. Party leaders, he tells me, will be reaching out to voters via social-media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to campaign for Prosser, since they cannot give directly to his campaign per campaign-finance rules.

With the state Republican apparatus mostly sitting on its hands and wallets, the Wisconsin Club for Growth is planning to step in with more than $300,000 to boost Prosser. They did the same for him during the primary, playing a major role in generating early momentum. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a chamber of commerce–type group, will also be instrumental in helping Prosser compete financially with the GWC and its progressive offshoots.

James Buchen, vice president of WMC, says that his organization is prepared to spend millions to lift Prosser’s campaign. “We can’t quite match the $3 million from [the GWC], but we will come very close,” he says. “There is quite of bit of energy on the right — the silent majority, if you will. So this could go either way.”

As the campaign hurtles toward the finish line, “turnout could carry the day,” observes Gary Marx, the executive director of the Judicial Crisis Network. “The Left is making this a blood feud; they are making this about vengeance.”

Any enthusiasm gap, he says, will only be widened, since the April ballot is sparse. “This resembles a special election; it stands alone. Republicans will need to remember the basic blocking and tackling of grassroots politics — mail, phone, and radio.”

According to state-election figures, nonpartisan spring elections usually draw less than 20 percent of the electorate: 18 percent in 2009, 19 percent in 2008, 19 percent in 2007, and 12 percent in 2006. To win, GOP officials say Prosser will need to draw strong numbers from emerging conservative pockets in Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, and Racine counties. If voters from these areas don’t show, but liberals pile into voting booths in Dane County and Madison proper, Kloppenburg could cruise to victory.

“Look, this race is not a referendum on the governor or a specific piece of legislation,” Brian Nemoir says. “It has a much broader scope. supreme-court judges are elected to ten-year terms on purpose. Their elections are not intended to be snapshot responses to the current political environment.”

For Team Prosser, and nervous conservatives, that is the hope.

Listen carefully to these videos.    Put this together with the thugs in Wisconsin and now in Indiana. It is a discussion of how to bring down the United States with their own words.  These people have direct contact with the White House.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan To Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth In America.

Reveals Secret Plan To Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth In America

Henry Blodget | Mar. 22, 2011, 9:44 AM | 152,301 | comment 447
Steven Lerner

Stephen Lerner, formerly of SEIU.

A former official of one of the country’s most-powerful unions, SEIU, has a secret plan to “destabilize” the country. The plan is designed to destroy JP Morgan, nuke the stock market, and weaken Wall Street’s grip on power, thus creating the conditions necessary for a redistribution of wealth and a change in government.

The former SEIU official, Stephen Lerner, spoke in a closed session at a Pace University forum last weekend.

The Blaze procured what appears to be a tape of Lerner’s remarks. Many Americans will undoubtely sympathize with and support them. Still, the “destabilization” plan is startling in its specificity, especially coming so close on the heels of the financial crisis.

Lerner said that unions and community organizations are, for all intents and purposes, dead. The only way to achieve their goals, therefore–the redistribution of wealth and the return of “$17 trillion” stolen from the middle class by Wall Street–is to “destabilize the country.”

Lerner’s plan is to organize a mass, coordinated “strike” on mortgage, student loan, and local government debt payments–thus bringing the banks to the edge of insolvency and forcing them to renegotiate the terms of the loans.  This destabilization and turmoil, Lerner hopes, will also crash the stock market, isolating the banking class and allowing for a transfer of power. (We have to ask ourselves to whom does this so-called power revert .  BB)

Lerner’s plan starts by attacking JP Morgan Chase in early May, with demonstrations on Wall Street, protests at the annual shareholder meeting, and then calls for a coordinated mortgage strike.

Lerner also says explicitly that, although the attack will benefit labor unions, it cannot be seen as being organized by them. It must therefore be run by community organizations.

Lerner was ousted from SEIU last November, reportedly for spending millions of the union’s dollars trying to pursue a plan like the one he details here.  It is not clear what, if any, power and influence he currently wields. His main message–that Wall Street won the financial crisis, that inequality in this country is hitting record levels, and that there appears to be no other way to stop the trend–will almost certainly resonate. (Granted a lot of people are hurting but it was not Wall Street that started the problem they merely took advantage of it and did what Washington in the form of Democrats and Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd was pushing them to do: Give mortgage loans to people who could not afford them!!  The same goes for Student Loans!Then after forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the largest mortgage holders in the country to buy up these bad loans these Congressmen made sure the government took over Fannie and Freddie! thus putting you the tax payer on the hook.  Taking down our financial industry will not bring the economy back, it will only insure chaos and more misery for everyone.

The Obama Administration by holding the oil companies down from drilling for oil is causing a great deal of hardship and unemployment in this country.  If Obama would allow drilling you would immediately see a decrease in oil prices even tho  we will not see oil from new wells for years because the
Arab countries OPEC will do anything to keep the United States under its control.   The need is especially urgent now that Japan will have to have even more oil for it’s power now that they will most probably be shutting down as many of their nuclear plants as possible do to public outcry after the earthquake disaster.BB)

FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM THE BLAZESPEAKER: Stephen Lerner. Speaker at the Left Forum 2011 “Towards a Politics of Solidarity” Pace University March 19, 2011

Speaker Bio: Stephen Lerner is the architect of the SEIU’s groundbreaking Justice for Janitors campaign.  He led the union’s banking and finance campaign and has partnered with unions and groups in Europe, South American and elsewhere in campaigns to hold financial institutions accountable. As director of the union’s private equity project, he launched a long campaign to expose the over-leveraged feeding frenzy of private equity firms during the boom years that led to the ensuing economic disaster.

TRANSCRIPT:

It feels to me after a long time of being on defense that something is starting to turn in the world and we just have to decide if we are on defense or offense

Maybe there is a different way to look at some of theses questions  it’s hard for me to think about any part of organizing without thinking what just happened with this economic crisis and what it means

I don’t know how to have a discussion about labor and community if we don’t first say what do we need to do at this time in history what is the strategy that gives us some chance of winning because I spent my life time as a union organizer justice for janitors a lot of things

It seems we are at a moment where the world is going to get much much worse or much much better

Unions are almost dead we cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also and if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge – the big banks and everything – what they want is stability

Every time there is a crisis in the world they say, well, the markets are stable.

What’s changed in America is the economy doing well has nothing to do with the rest of us

They figured out that they don’t need us to be rich they can do very well in a global market without us so what does this have to do with community and labor organizing more.

We need to figure out in a much more through direct action more concrete way how we are really trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital for how corporations operate

The thing about a boom and bust economy is it is actually incredibly fragile.

There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.

For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that’s totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up

If you could double that number you would  you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.

Students have a trillion dollar debt

We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agree  it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite well  we wouldn’t be paying anything.

Government is being strangled by debt

The four things we could do that could really upset wall street

One is if city and state and other  government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt
and you might say why would the banks ever do it  – because city and counties could say we won’t do business with you in the future if you won’t renegotiate the debt now

So we could leverage the power we have of government and say two things  we won’t do business with you JP Morgan Chase anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interest  and second you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the communities

We could make them do that

The second thing is there is a whole question in Europe about students’ rates in debt structure. What would happen if students said we are not going to pay.  It’s a trillion dollars. Think about republicans screaming about debt a trillion dollars in student debt

There is a third thing we can think about what if public employee unions instead of just being on the defensive  put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they say we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate – it’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddies the bankers it’s a strike issue  – we will strike unless you force the banks to renegotiate/

Then if you add on top of that if we really thought about moving the kind of disruption in Madison but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country

We basically said you stole seventeen trillion dollars – you’ve improvised us and we are going to make it impossible for you to operate

Labor can’t lead this right now so if labor can’t lead but we are a critical part of it  we do have money we have millions of members who are furious

But I don’t think this kind of movement can happen unless community groups and other activists take the lead.

If we really believe that we are in a transformative stage of  what’s happening in capitalism

Then we need to confront this in a serious way and develop really ability to put a boot in the wheel  then we have to think not about labor and community alliances  we have to think about how together we are building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates

We need to think about a whole new way of thinking about this not as a partnership but building something new.

We have to think much more creatively. The key thing… What does the other side fear the most – they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down

The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:

  • How do we bring down the stock market
  • How do we bring down their bonuses
  • How do we interfere with there ability to be rich

And that means we have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them  and disrupt them

It’s not all theory i’ll do a pitch.

So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan Chase  and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.

And so what we are looking at  is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don’t want to give any details because I don’t know if there are any police agents in the room.

The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas

  • that we are not broke there is plenty of money
  • they have the money  – we need to get it back
  • and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and  destroy us

And so we need to take on those folks at the same time

and that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience – direct action all over the city
then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.

There is going to be a ten state mobilization it try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country  and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense

Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough  and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.

Listen to the tape here >

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/seiu-union-plan-to-destroy-jpmorgan#ixzz1HRtIbL49

Thumbnail7:12Added to queue The Left’s Economic Terrorism Playbook: Coaliti…by NakedEmperorNews1137,333 views

Thumbnail12:14Added to queue UNCUT TAPE: Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret…by NakedEmperorNews135,341 views

Transcript:

PRESENTATION

W: We’re going to hear from Steve Lerner next, of SEIU, the Architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Currently, he’s working on partnering with unions and groups in Europe and South America, it’s building campaigns to hold financial institutions accountable.

S. Lerner: It seems to me that we’re in a moment where we need to figure out in a much more, through direct action, much more concrete way how we really are trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital, for how corporations operate. And it may sound like that’s a crazy thing that in a moment of weakness we could deal with it, but the thing about a boom and bust economy, it is actually incredibly fragile, because it’s not based on real way, well, it’s based on gambling and all of that. And so there are actually extraordinary things that we could do right now that would start to de, destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement. And for example, 10% of homeowners, going back to where you started, who are under, a quarter of all people who own a home are under water. Right? Their home is under water, they’re paying more for it than it’s worth. Ten percent of those people are now in strategic default, meaning they’re refusing to pay but they’re staying in their homes. That’s totally spontaneous. Right? They figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because the mort, the foreclosure’s backed up. I’m going to say I won’t pay. It’s just what business does, it’s a good, a good business decision. If you could double that number, you would make banks, put banks on the edge of insolvency again.

And so the question would be, what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike. Just say if we get, and, and, if we get half a million people to agree, we’ll all not, we’ll agree we won’t pay our mortgages, it would literally cause a new financial crisis.

There are four things we can do that could really upset Wall Street. One is if city and state and other government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt because they’re paying too much interest. And you might say, well why would the banks ever do it? Because they, the cities and counties could say we won’t do this and this in the future with you if you don’t renegotiate the debt now. Meaning, about a third of bank profits generate from dealing with cities and states. So we could leverage the power we have of government to say we won’t do business with you, JP Morgan Chase, anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interest, since your interest rate is down; and second, you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the community so they can stay in their homes. We, we could make them do that.

The second thing is there’s a whole question in New York now about austerity and student’s rates and the question of the debt structure. What would happen if students said we’re not going to pay? It’s a trillion dollars. Think about your …sweeping that debt, a trillion dollars from students debt?

There’s a third thing that we could think about, what about if public employee unions, instead of them being on the defensive, put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they said we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate, we want, we believe in good financial management. It’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddy the bankers. It’s a strike issue for us. We will strike unless you force the banks to relieve the debt of the city. I’m not going to go through all the detail except to say there’s extraordinary things we could do and if you add on top of that, if we really thought about moving to the kind of disruption in Madison, but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country where we basically said you stole $17 trillion, you’ve impoverished us and we’re going to make it impossible for, for you to operate.

Labor can’t lead it, but we can be a critical part of it. We do have money, we have millions of members who are furious, but I don’t think this kind of movement can happen unless actually the community groups and other activists take the lead. And that’s a big reversal of how a lot of these coalitions have even thought about it, so unions helping community groups, or communities who cover this narrowly. And if you’re se, if we really believe that we’re in a transformative stage and what’s happening in capitalism, and we need to confront this in a serious way and develop a real ability to put a boot in the wheel, then I think we have to think not about labor community alliances. We have to think about how together we’re building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates.

And so I just, I guess raise that we need a whole new way of thinking about things, which is not a partnership, but building something new. Because the bottom line is, as soon as the union gets sued, it’s going to be terrifying. When we get an injunction that says, you know, you, un, the union backs down. So we need to build a movement based on we know the oppression we’re going to face. And I think the only way we can do that is to think much more creatively, and the key thing I …is we have to say what does the other side fear most? They fear disruption, they fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says a riot in Greece, the markets went down. The folks that control this country care about one thing: how the stock market does; how the bond market does; and what their bonus is. So I think we weed out a very simple strategy: how do we bring down the stock market, how do we bring down their bonuses, how do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich. And if we don’t do, and that means you have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them. So, it’s not all theory, I’ll do a pitch.

So, a bunch of us around the country are thinking about who would be a really good company to hate? We decided that would be JP Morgan Chase. …. And so we’re going to roll out over the next couple of months what will hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street. And so what we’re looking at is in the first week of May, we get enough people together – we’re starting now – to really have a week of action in New York with the goal of … I don’t want to go into any details because I don’t know which police agents are in the room, but the goal would be that we would roll out in New York the first week in May—

M: (Can’t hear speaker)

S. Lerner: Yes. …connect three ideas – that we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money; they have the money, we need to get it back; and that they’re using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try to destroy us. And so that we need to take on those folks at the same time and that will start here. We’re going to look at a week of civil disobedience, direct action all over the city, then we’ll roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting, which they moved out of New York because they were afraid, I guess, of Columbus, where there’s going to be a ten state mobilization to try to shut down that meeting. And then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try to create some moments like Madison, except where we’re on offense instead of defense. Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations, and we hope to sort of inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country.

W: You were talking about why unions are so invested because of their pension plans and why ungovernability, as Frances Fox Piven and Cloward taught us, you know, poor peoples’ movements are successful when they create conditions of ungovernability. And then you win victories.

Transcription: TTE Transcripts Worldwide, Ltd.

Government Blaze Exclusive: Congressman Presses Holder to Investigate ‘Terrorist Plans’ in Bank Plot

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

    The Blaze has obtained an exclusive letter sent from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding shocking video uncovered by The Blaze on Tuesday.

    (Watch the original video.)

    In the letter, Chaffetz references video, posted yesterday on this site, showing a one-time SEIU official, Stephen Lerner, outlining a plan to collapse the American economy — including crashing the stock market — so that unions can become more powerful. The sinister plan is set to take place in May and includes mass homeowner mortgage strikes.

    (Read our report on Stephen Lerner.)

    Chaffetz tells Holder “the escalation of Mr. Lerner’s threats would clearly constitute domestic terrorism and pose substantial harm to the American people and the economy.“ He goes on to request Holder investigate ”Mr. Lerner’s terrorist plans and notify me how the Department of Justice plans to respond to these threats.”

    The letter, sent Wednesday, was also distributed to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking minority member.

    You can read the letter below:

    March 23, 2011

    The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

    Attorney General

    U.S. Department of Justice

    950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

    Washington, DC 20530-0001

    Dear Attorney General Holder:

    Recent media reports suggest that the former director of the Service Employees International Union’s (“SEIU”) banking and finance campaign has threatened to seriously endanger the welfare of the United States.  In a forum at Pace University earlier this month, Stephen Lerner, the former SEIU official, revealed a “secret plan” to “cause a new financial crisis . . . destroy J.P. Morgan . . . and weaken Wall Street’s grip on power” by using “civil disobedience” to create “the conditions necessary for a redistribution of wealth and a change in government.”[1]

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”[2] The escalation of Mr. Lerner’s threats would clearly constitute domestic terrorism and pose substantial harm to the American people and the economy.  I am therefore requesting that you investigate Mr. Lerner’s terrorist plans and notify me how the Department of Justice plans to respond to these threats.

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and may at “any time” investigate “any matter” as set forth in House Rule X. An attachment to this letter provides additional information about responding to the Committee’s request.

    If you have any questions regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact [redacted].  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,
    _______________________
    Jason Chaffetz

    cc:  The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman

    cc:  The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Minority Member


    [1] Henry Blodget, Caught on Tape: Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan to Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth in America, Bus. Insider, (Mar. 22, 2011), available at http://www.businessinsider.com/seiu-union-plan-to-destroy-jpmorgan (last visited Mar. 22, 2011).[2] Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, (Oct. 26, 2007), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/terrorism/ (last visited Mar. 22, 2011).

     

    Looming Soros Conference Will Focus on Rearranging Global ‘Financial Order’

    On April 8, dozens of “academic, business and government policy thought leaders” are scheduled to gather for a forum reminiscent of the 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped launch the World Bank and International Monetary Fund fThumbnail10:15Added to queue An Introduction to INETby INETeconomics2,748 views ollowing World War II.

     

    The George Soros-founded Institute for New Economic Thinking will hold its annual conference April 8-11, 2011 at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, N.H.  According to the group’s website, the event will bring together economic figures such as Soros, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker to discuss a new, globalized vision of economics in the post-war world.

    “This conference reflects INET’s dedication to inspiring and provoking new economic thinking,” the website says.

    “Crisis and trauma offer us a rare opportunity to work together to create real lasting change.  This is one of those times,” INET says.  Promoting “real” justice and equity requires “reinventing” the prevailing economic model — capitalism:

    The organization’s social media advertises a very progressive view of economics:

    The Institute recognizes problems and inadequacies within our current economic system and the modes of thought used to comprehend recent and past catastrophic developments in the world economy. The Institute embraces the professional responsibility to think beyond these inadequate methods and models and will support the emergence of new paradigms in the understanding of economic processes.

    The Institute firmly believes in empowering the next generation, providing the proper guidance as we challenge outdated approaches with innovative and ethical economic strategy. The Institute’s objective is to expand the conversation to create an open discussion for a wider range of people. Some would say that present day dialogue is closed and polarizing. We recognize the need for an environment that is nourished and supported by discourse, a discussion that spans a much wider spectrum of thinking and incorporates the insights of other intellectual disciplines in both the natural and social sciences.

    “In the years since the 1944 conference, the globalization of production, trade, and especially finance, has transformed our economy, but has not yet transformed our system of regulation or our tools of policy intervention,” the group’s website says. “Indeed, our very habits of thought and speech lag behind the realities that we desperately need to think and speak about.”

    More than two-thirds of the scheduled event speakers have direct ties to Soros, notes Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor.

    While INET claims more than 200 will attend, only 79 speakers are listed on its site – and it already looks like a Soros convention. Twenty-two are on Soros-funded INET’s board and three more are INET grantees. Nineteen are listed as contributors for another Soros operation – Project Syndicate, which calls itself “the world’s pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries“ reaching ”456 leading newspapers in 150 countries.” It‘s financed by Soros’s Open Society Institute.

    “We need a global sheriff,” Soros has explained in the past, and the upcoming conference, “Crisis and Renewal: International Political Economy at the Crossroads” may provide a forum for discussion of a new global financial order.

    In the 2000 version of his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism,“ Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions ”failed spectacularly” during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to “reconstitute the International Monetary Fund,” and while he’s at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.

    “Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,’ he wrote. ‘That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals.”

    Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. “The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters.”

    And that’s exactly the kind of event INET is delivering, with the event website emphasizing “today’s reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” China figures prominently, including a senior economist for the World Bank in Beijing, the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the chief adviser for the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

    This all may be easy to do with the power, influence and reach of George Soros who funds more than 1,200 different organizations around the globe, Gainor adds.

    So how might the United States fit into this idea of a new international cooperative between the developed and developing world?

    It doesn’t, Gainor concludes. The INET conference is about “changing the global economy and the United States to make them ‘acceptable’ to George Soros.”

    Sponsored Link: I don’t want to scare you… But right now, the U.S. government is doing something incredibly stupid, which could potentially cause a huge crisis in America, in the next few months. Watch the full investigative video here

    » The Assault on the Law in Wisconsin – Big Government.

    The  Judge who put a hold on the Wisconsin law that was passed while the Democrats were out of state is also the mother of a  fanatic labor thug.    And if this isn’t enough the Wisconsin thugs are moving next door to  carry on their fight against the tax payers of Indiana. (I had made a mistake and typed “Illinois”  yesterday.  What is actually happening is the Indiana Democrats have now been hiding out in Illinois for the past month.  Indiana Republican legislators can not move forward because their constitution requires  2/3  of elected officials be present before a vote can be taken.  Now the mobs are rioting in the Indiana capital.  )

     

    These Republican governors and state legislatures were elected in 2010 because they said they would take care of getting the state budgets under control.   They were also outspoken about public sector unions and  breaking their death hold on the tax payers with promises made by past legislator in order to get the union dollars.  THE PEOPLE ELECTED THESE PEOPLE because the people want  things to change and the unions put under some control.  Thugs know no decency or honor and always refuse to adhere to the law when it is not to their liking.  Judges can be thugs too!  BB

    *************************

    Wisconsin Judge Maryann Sumi and Her (SEIU, AFL-CIO) Political Operative Son

    by LaborUnionReport On Friday, unions scored a temporary victory to maintain their ability to collect union dues from Wisconsin public employees when Judge Maryann Sumi (the same judge who refused to order striking teachers back to work in February) issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the implementation of Wisconsin’s new law governing public-sector unions.

    Via the Wall Street Journal:

    Judge Maryann Sumi said a lawsuit filed by the Dane County district attorney had enough merit for her to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the bill while she reviews the case.

    This is a problem. Judge Maryann Sumi should have recused herself entirely from the Wisconsin battle due to her inability to be neutral in this case. You see, Maryann Sumi has a clear conflict of interest. Her son is a political operative who also happens to be a former lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council. Both the SEIU and the AFL-CIO have members who are public-sector employees in Wisconsin. In fact, as a federation, the AFL-CIO can boast of several member-unions that represent public-sector employees. Maryann Sumi is hardly an unbiased judge in the matter.

    Jacob “Jake” Sinderbrand, Sumi’s son [see page nine here], runs a company called Left Field Strategies, a firm that works on political campaigns.

    We are a firm dedicated to maximizing efficient and effective voter contact in a modern campaign atmosphere. Specializing in doorknocking and phone bank strategies, we use state-of-the-art campaign resources to ensure that no doorknock or phone call is wasted as you campaign for office. We bring extensive experience as professional canvassers and callers, who have knocked on tens of thousands of doors, and have cut hundreds of thousands of doors and phone numbers for various issue and electoral campaigns.

    As a “lifelong political actvist,” it appears Sumi’s apple didn’t fall far from the tree. According to Sinderland’s bio on his website:

    A lifelong political activist, Jake Sinderbrand got his start as a volunteer doorknocker, and has years of experience training both volunteers and canvassing staff. Jake graduated from Macalester College cum laude with a degree in political science, specializing in American political structures. He 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. Jake’s expertise in canvass planning and turf strategy helped these organizations to have among the most successful field operations in Minnesota.

    While FreedomEden has screenshots of Sinderbrand’s facebook page, one ironic twist to this whole sordid affair is that Maryann Sumi apparently gave a speech in 2007 entitled “Judicial Decision Making: Activism or Accountability?

    Clearly, both Sumi and her son are activists, which is why Sumi should be removed from the entire Wisconsin matter.

    The Assault on the Law in Wisconsin

    by Charlie Sykes

    The ruling on Friday by a liberal Dane County judge to block Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill was “an assault on the judiciary and the legislature.” The legal argument challenge was, in fact, so weak that it bordered on frivolous… and local MSM coverage has been absurdly uninformed. What happened is that an activist judge ignored the clear language of the state statutes, the state constitution, legislative rules, and Supreme Court precedencts to hand the unions a victory. It’s all breath-taking stuff.

    Judge MaryAnn Sumi 

    Don’t take my word for it. This is an analysis written by Ellen Nowak, the former legal counsel and chief of staff to the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker:

    Try again?

    The fallacies in the ruling by Dane County Judge MaryAnn Sumi to issue a temporary restraining order against the publication of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, referred to as the Budget Repair Bill, are perpetuated by the misrepresentations of facts and the law in the editorial in the Journal Sentinel on Saturday, March 19 (“To GOP: Try again”).

    Both Judge Sumi and the Journal Sentinel ignored the law when rendering opinions on whether the Budget Repair Bill was properly noticed before a conference committee vote.

    This wasteful exercise of legal maneuvering by the Democrats reminds me of a saying in politics: when you can’t win on the merits, argue procedure.

    A disagreement with the underlying bill does not authorize one to ignore the law. Unfortunately, that was done here. The Democrats argue that the conference committee violated the open meetings law by not allowing enough time from the notice of the meeting until the vote. Judge Sumi and the Journal Sentinel bought that argument hook, line and sinker.

    The failure of the judge to properly research the Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law and its exceptions, and the failure of the newspaper to do the same, is a disservice to the residents of Wisconsin who are entitled to expect accuracy and openness when applying the law and reporting on matters.

    Setting aside the multiple jurisdictional issues that should have led the court to conclude that it did not have authority to hear the case at all, let’s focus on the heart of the defendants’ (and the unions) dispute: whether the conference committee meeting was properly noticed. It was.

    The Budget Repair Bill was introduced in a “special” session of the Legislature. At the beginning of each legislative session, the leaders of the senate and assembly establish a calendar of floor days and committee work days. Once that calendar is established, the senate and assembly are only permitted to conduct floor sessions on the designated days unless a “special” or “extraordinary” session is called by the Governor or Legislature. The Budget Repair Bill was introduced in a special Session.

    The rules governing procedure of the legislative houses are also set at the beginning of each session. Those rules include certain procedures when a special or extraordinary is called. Here, the relevant rules are Senate Rule 93(3) and its counterpart, Assembly Rule 93(3). They state: “no notice of hearing before a committee shall be required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board.”

    In most cases, Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law requires 24-hour notice of meetings of public bodies and only two hours in emergencies. However, as noted, that statute does not apply to every meeting. Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law contains several exceptions to the 24-hour rule. Wisconsin Statute §19.87(2) states “No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule.” In other words, if there is a conflict between the Open Meetings Law and legislative rules, the legislative rules prevail. Moreover, the Wisconsin Constitution grants the legislature broad authority in carrying out its business in Article IV, §8 where it states, in part, that “[e]ach house may determine the rules of its own proceedings.”

    As noted above, the Senate and Assembly have such rules that conflict with the Open Meetings Law in this instance. For special sessions, the Senate and Assembly rules only require posting of a meeting notice on the bulletin board. That was done. There is no dispute about that. The notice was also sent out via email prior to the meeting. Therefore, the conference committee was properly noticed.

    The whining of the Democrats and the unions about the abuse of the Open Records Law is absurd. The rules of special and extraordinary sessions are not obscure. They are not hidden. Yet the Democrats act like they’ve never heard of these or used them before. As a former legal counsel to the Assembly Speaker, I’ve used the rules on posting notices in special and extraordinary sessions. The laws passed in those sessions have not been invalidated. The Democrats didn’t object then. People didn’t protest at the Capitol. These very rules have also been utilized under Democrat leadership as well. It is disingenuous for Democrats to now claim the procedure is improper.

    Coincidentally, these rules were authored by Democratic State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville), two of the 14 Democratic Senators who saw fit to flee the state rather than uphold their duty to report to work and vote on the Budget Repair Bill. Judge Sumi did not hear any testimony from witnesses during her hearing on the matter. Perhaps she should have heard from Senators Risser and Cullen. They might have instructed her on the rules.

    The role of the judge is to apply the law to the facts of the case, not apply what he or she wishes was the law to the facts of the case. Unfortunately, Judge Sumi chose the latter. That is an assault on the judiciary and the legislature.


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