Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Did @RepVos Go on an Interesting “Field Trip” to Scottsdale, AZ?

State legislators from all 50 states who received “scholarships” from the American Legislative Exchange Council (A.L.E.C.), traveled to the swanky Westin Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ to confer November 29 – December 3, 2011 with lobbyists from some of the nation’s largest corporations. As you know, the public is not allowed to view these meetings, which occur behind closed doors. Lots of hush-hush discussions. Top secret agendas. So much for transparency in the GOP legislative arena. We do know, that like previous meetings, our Wisconsin’s GOP legislators will most likely come back to Wisconsin with an armful of new bills that favor corporations over the working middle-class and poor families.

Of course, Rep. Vos has denied that he has delivered textbook bills to the legislative floor, claiming: “This is a made up issue.” (see Robin's denial here) Ah, but dear reader, the facts prove otherwise. The website lists a total of 13 A.L.E.C. template bills that Vos either sponsored, co-sponsored or voted for in 2011. So, it isn’t that he “might have missed one”, but, rather, that there were thirteen, count ‘em…THIRTEEN A.L.E.C. bills Vos was involved with (so far) in 2011. Kind of hard to “miss” THIRTEEN bills, Robin, unless you are incompetent or asleep at the wheel.

Which brings us to the protest today, outside the Westin Resort & Spa in sunny, warm Scottsdale, AZ. Several hundred people marched a mile from a local park to the Westin. The media showed up in force. So did police fully clothed in riot gear, helmuts, batons, shields and pepper-spray. Several protesters were pepper-sprayed and/or arrested as helicopters hovered overhead. The police response was certainly overboard from what I could see from my vantage point, considering the peacefulness of the protesters with their rag-tag band of horns and drums, water-pitchers and home-made PBJ sandwiches.

And what of our legislators? Well, certainly, no Motel 6, 7 or even 8 for these folks. Nosireebob. Nothing but the very, VERY best for these fat cats. With temps in the mid-70s, under a cloudless sky, you can’t help but wonder if the Wisconsin legislators made good use of the onsite spa facilities. Nothing like a good massage and pedi in the Agave Spa. Or, perhaps 27 holes of golf. Maybe a little shopping at the nearby Biltmore Shopping Center. Topped off with a $$$$-rated dinner at the Westin, followed by the trademarked Westin "unwind" service. After all, it’s HARD WORK to take a pledge to introduce these bills, later claiming corporatized bills are a figment of the voters imagination, or, if not a mirage in the desert, then heat-stress causing legislators to conveniently “forget” the baker’s dozen “corporate” bills they voted for.

Not all was in vain, though, #WIunion readers! Protesters were introduced to Rep. Robin Vos (despite his ignoring the crowd outside the Westin). A copy of the #democracyaddicts "SmartALEC" project bills and corporate donations associated with Vos was shared with an East Coast magazine covering the #OccupyALEC protest. And, we briefed the state AFLCIO on resources to be found in the four-part series “All About A.L.E.C.”. The word on A.L.E.C. is finally getting out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Bills...wanna feel my bills babe?
Bills...such a thrill my bills babe?
Bills...wanna touch my bills babe?'s too much my bills babe?
Check it out my bills babe, bills babe.
Don't you doubt my bills babe, bills babe.
talkin' bout my bills babe, bills babe,
check it out my bills babe, bills babe

Every man wants to be a popcorn man
to have the kind of A.L.E.C. bills, lobbyists demand
Plotting in the mornings, go man go
calling all my contacts, anyone I know
You can best believe that, I’m a popcorn man
ready to get down with, any lobbyist I can

Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
Popcorn, popcorn man
With Suder by my side, I’m an A.L.E.C. man
Popcorn, popcorn man
I've got to be an A.L.E.C. man!

Popcorn, popcorn man
Scholarships are hot, for a popcorn man
Popcorn, popcorn man
I’ve got to raise more money!

A.L.E.C., its so hot, my A.L.E.C.,
A.L.E.C., love to stop those voters,
A.L.E.C., love to please my A.L.E.C.,
A.L.E.C., don't you tease my A.L.E.C.,
A.L.E.C., you'll adore my A.L.E.C.,
A.L.E.C., come explore my lawsuits,
A.L.E.C., made by God, or the Koch boys,
A.L.E.C., it's my cash refresher.

You can tell an A.L.E.C. man, he has a corporate mind
forgets about the workers, he kicks ‘em in the ass
Thinks everyone’s on welfare, no one is his “kind”
call him Mister A.L.E.C., dig his bogus claims
You can best believe that, he's an A.L.E.C. man
likes to be the leader, he always dresses grand

Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
Popcorn, popcorn man
Dissing all the teachers, whenever he can
Popcorn, popcorn man
Padre, your teachers will be nuns!

Popcorn, popcorn man
Scholarships are hot, for a popcorn man
Popcorn, popcorn man
He’s got to raise more money!

Ugh! Popcorn baby!
Bills, bills, bills wanna feel my bills babe,
Bills, bills, bills gonna thrill my bills babe,
Bills, bills, bills don'tcha stop my bills babe,
Bills, bills, bills it's so hot my bills babe,

Every legislator ought to be an A.L.E.C. whore,
To live a life of freedom, ‘cause real working is a bore,
Have my own life style and ideals,
Overtaxing the middle-class, life's a steal,
You can best believe that he's an A.L.E.C. man
He's a “special” person, in a fascist land.

Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
Popcorn, popcorn man (watch me push this bill)
If you sign my popcorn contract, I’ll get such a thrill
Popcorn, popcorn man
I've got to be an A.L.E.C. man!

Popcorn, popcorn man
Catholic schools are hot, for a popcorn man
Popcorn, popcorn man
Got to get contraceptives banned

Popcorn, popcorn man (I listen but don’t hear)
Buying up cheap properties however I can
Popcorn, popcorn man
I've got to be THE A.L.E.C. man! (watch me roll my eyes)

Popcorn, popcorn man (dig my contacts!)
Why am I in it, if I’m just a middleman?
Popcorn, popcorn man
I create no value, but I take “my cut”

Popcorn, popcorn man
Don’t you try to stop me, it’s a great scam.
Popcorn, popcorn man
I’ve got to be THE A.L.E.C. man

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vos No Longer Even Listens to Wisconsin Voters!

In Rep. Robin Vos’s latest video to his constituents (he never seems to be available for a Town Hall meeting), he claims to want to work “together” with Democrats. Vos knows that is what Wisconsin voters want. But talk is cheap. Vos is on the record as saying working together is fine, “as long as we don’t sacrifice our principles.” Vos said he has never believed bipartisanship should be his goal, “I want to score, not be on the 50-yard line,” he said.

Rep. Vos is ONLY willing to compromise on issues that HE feels can be bipartisan. That is, on all the small, insignificant issues. On important topics such as taxes, education, social issues…it’s his way or the highway. So, yes, he is STILL partisan to the core of his very being. As he says, he’ll listen to you until the cows come home, but he admits it will go in one ear and out the other because he WILL. NOT. COMPROMISE. In a nutshell, Rep. Robin Vos is a radical, extremist Tea Party guy who wants to shove his beliefs, his agenda and his goals down your throat, no matter what you might believe. Rep. Vos, listening but discounting the beliefs and values of half of your constituents is NOT an example of working together.

As Co-Chair of the Joint Finance Committee, Vos had a duty…an OBLIGATION…to listen to all the voters in Wisconsin. In the following video, he refuses to listen to a voter who requested a meeting. We think that three weeks is plenty of time to return a phone call, have your staff respond with a letter to your question, and, to schedule a meeting in his busy BUSY schedule (remembering that the legislature is ONLY meeting ONE time this September.) But, NO. Vos can’t be bothered to even listen. It’s beneath him. Watch Vos avoid eye contact. Watch Vos walk away. Watch Vos tune out. And, so you get the full effect of Vos’s scorn for half the voters in Wisconsin, watch his buddy Republican Scott Suder of Abbotsford SMIRK. (Suder, BTW, ought to be a bit more conciliatory – he’s from a blue area of the state and his seat is in jeopardy – this video is NOT flattering for either man:)

Let’s hear from voters actually residing in Vos’s district. Tell us your unsuccessful efforts to get Rep. Vos to listen to you…and your unsuccessful efforts to get Vos to act in a bi-partisan manner.  We'll even post your videos!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Does Rep. Vos Want to Regulate Your Womb?

Catholic Rep. Robin Vos has an “agenda”. As co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, he voted against funding for Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that 97% of the services provided have nothing at all to do with abortion. VoteSmart  gave Vos a rating of “0” (on a scale of 100 points) on supporting issues of importance to Planned Parenthood and the women they serve. In contrast, VoteSmart gave Vos a perfect rating for his strong support of the Wisconsin Right to Life organization.

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Rep. Vos’s agenda is to control healthcare decisions between women and their doctors. He wants to impose his religious beliefs on all women. He’d like to ban all abortions, but since that is a protected constitutional right, Vos has demonstrated that he will act to remove access to healthcare services for women.

So, what will Vos do next? He’s hinted at it. Vos has introduced SJR 28 – AJR 28, the so-called “Healthcare Freedom Amendment”, which is just a renamed version of the corporate American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act”. We know that Vos is Wisconsin’s A.L.E.C. front man. Vos’s action seeks to undermine “Affordable Health Care” for all, passed by Congress into law in 2010.

Women, beware of Rep. Robin Vos. His actions to restrict healthcare and his devotion to the religious right-wing Wisconsin Right to Life group are examples of his continued work to deny Wisconsin women the right to choose and make their own healthcare decisions. Rep. Vos is one of those old, white guys who -- to feel powerful and ‘manly’ -- must control the lives of other people. Tell Rep. Vos to stay out of your healthcare decisions, to stay out of your bedroom, to stay out of private conversations between you and your doctor. Tell him to keep HIS religious beliefs to himself. And, when the election rolls around, vote for a PRO-CHOICE candidate. Do NOT vote for Robin Vos, or he may express an unnatural interest in your ovulation and try to “regulate your womb”.

From the film "Animal Crackers" (1936)
(Bert Kalmar / Harry Ruby)
Apologizes to: Groucho Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont & Chorus

At last we are to meet him,
The famous Captain Vossy.
From climates hot and mossy,
The Captain has arrived.

Most heartily we'll greet him,
With plain and fancy cheering.
Until he's hard of hearing.
Or, has a “Town Hall” meeting.
The Captain has arrived.
At last - The Captain has arrived.

Kit K. Beyer, Field Secretary to Captain Spaulding.

I represent the Captain who insists on my informing you of these conditions under
which he camps here.
In one thing he is very strict, he wants his women young and picked* and as for men,
he won't have any tramps here.

As for men he won't have any tramps here,
There must be no tramps.

The men must all be very old and white,
The women warm, the champagne bright.
It's under these conditions that he camps here.

(Voice off Screen)
I'm announcing Captain Robin Vossy.

He's announcing Captain Robin Vossy,
Oh dear, he is coming,
At last he's here.

Hello, I must be going,
I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going.
I'm glad I came, but just the same I must be going.
La La.

(Mrs. Rittenhouse)
For my sake you must stay.
If you should go away,
You'd spoil this party I am throwing.

I'll stay a week or two,
I'll stay the summer thru,
But I am telling you,
I must be going.
Off to my A.L.E.C. meetings
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!

Before you go,
Will you oblige us,
And tell us of your deeds so glowing?

I'll do anything you say,
In fact I'll even stay!
Tell tales of popcorn lordship.
Dreams of re-spect-a-bil-i-ty!!!


But I must be going.
Off to my A.L.E.C. meetings
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!

There's something that I'd like to say,
That he's too modest to relay.
The Captain is a moral man.
Sometimes he finds it trying.

This fact I emphasize with stress,
I never take a drink unless - Somebody's buying.

The Captain is a very moral man.

If he hears anything obscene,
He'll naturally go Twitter.
Some inane useless tidbit.
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray

I hate a dirty joke I do,
Unless it's told by someone who -
Knows how to tell it.

The Captain is a very moral man.
Hooray for Captain Vossy, Koch Industries Promoter.

Did someone call me Whorer?

Hooray, Hooray, Hooray.
He put all his reliance, In courage and defiance,
And risked his life for science.

Hey, hey.

(Mrs. Rittenhouse)
You are the only white man to cover every acre.

I think I'll try and make her.

Hooray, Hooray, Hooray.
He put all his reliance, In courage and defiance,
And risked his life for science.

Hey, hey.

Hooray for Captain Vossy
He wants deregulation.
But if you are a woman,
He’d regulate your womb.

(Vossy attempts to speak)
My friends, I am highly gratified at this magnificent display of effusion and I want
you to know.........

Hooray for Captain Vossy
He’s “into” ovulation.
And, if he gets his way, dear,
He’d regulate your womb.

My friends, I am highly gratified at this magnificent display of effusion and I want
you to know.........

Hooray for Captain Vossy, the unsung popcorn hero.....

Well, somebody's got to do it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vos Wrong on UC Benefits

“A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg that looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity.”  Mark Twain said it.  Had Twain been alive today, he might very well have been referring to  Rep. Robin Vos, who “thinks” unemployment benefits keep people from applying from low wage jobs. 

On June 20, 2011, Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee, told the Milwaukee Journal he ‘thinks the federally funded extended benefits give laid-off workers an incentive to avoid jobs that pay less than their old jobs and to keep looking for better work. That could have an indirect effect on the health of the state's jobless fund, which is already deeply in debt to the federal government.”

"I believe there's an indirect impact," Vos said. "... People might not take a $12-an-hour job because they want one that makes $20."

Vos seems to think HE is the only hard-working person in Wisconsin.  This example shows how off base Vos is in his thinking.  And, may we remind Vos that he’s no self-made Horatio Alger rags-to-riches story.  Vos, though hard-working, had life handed to him.  His portfolio of rental properties?  He bought his first house with the help of three people.  His popcorn factory?  He bought it in 1996. Vos didn’t start the business and build it from the ground up. The former owners did that when they founded the company in 1982.

As we’ve seen before with sanctimonious people who feign piety or righteousness (“I believe”…”I think”…note the narcissistic tendencies), Vos’s “opinions” are dead wrong.  Take it from economist Peter Diamond at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(M.I.T.) who won a Nobel Prize for showing how unemployment compensation benefits both workers and businesses by giving workers the necessary time to find the best job fit.  Doing so actually improves market efficiencies.  

 Not that Vos is interested in facts and statistics.  As is the case with sanctimonious people, Vos’s personal opinion carries far more weight.  The prejudices which Vos carries seething beneath the surface of his day-to-day life seem to pop up every time he wants us to accept his personal beliefs as fact.   Which is probably why Vos is waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity before he gives notice to the State Legislature.  Let’s help him along.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Trouble with Vos

The trouble with Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is that he does not listen to middle-class Wisconsin families. Oh, he say he does. But what he says and what he does are truly two different things. For example, as co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, Vos voted FOR the emergency budget “fiscal” repair bill and AGAINST every single one of 30 budget amendments proposed by Democrats. Time and time again, Vos would roll his eyes, call for a vote, and, table each and every amendment. Check out if you don’t believe me. See for yourself Rep. Vos’s pompous pronouncements and arrogant behavior.

First, as we now know, there was no fiscal emergency that necessitated the destruction of collective bargaining rights for middle-class working families. Remember Gov. Walker’s admission before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C. that NO savings would be associated with elimination of collective bargaining rights for workers? We do. It’s hard to forget. How much money have we saved in the state budget on these “provisions”, Rep. Vos? None. That’s right. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkus.

Second, Vos led the charge to take $1.3 billion from Wisconsin public schools, claiming a fiscal emergency. We have no money, Vos would intone again and again. Yet, when it came time to find funding for privatization of schooling in Racine, Vos reached into the pocket of Wisconsin taxpayers without any formal survey of constituents. Instead, Vos tried to justify his little “pork” project by stating undocumented statistics that Racine County’s teen pregnancy rate was 8.6% compared to Racine County’s 9.4% rate. Even if Vos can come up with documentation to back his claim, the difference is a mere 0.8% -- which makes Rep. Vos’s justification statistically invalid. Proving he is deceitful with facts and statistics. He thought he could put one over on Wisconsin citizens. He thought we wouldn’t notice. We did. We will uncover and expose to Wisconsin voters Rep. Vos's “agenda” and his big business backers. We are going to peel away the smelly onion that is known as Rep. Robin Vos (apologies to onion enthusiasts).

Now, Rep. Vos wants to “recall the recalls”. We know why. Angry Wisconsin voters successfully recalled two incumbent Republican senators and replaced them with Democrats who actually, get this – listen to working middle-class families. Republicans know Wisconsinites are angry. So what do they do? They stack the deck with voter suppression legislation and redistricting to protect Republicans from the growing mass of dissatisfied voters. In truth, Vos has only to look at a statistically valid survey to learn that "78% of Wisconsinites overwhelmingly think the recall option in the state constitution is a good thing." The survey was performed by the University of Wisconsin’s UW Badger PollTM #32 released July 13, 2011.

Facts are facts. Rep. Vos continues to ignore facts and the will of Wisconsin voters. That, my friends, is a FACT.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

WisGOP Attempts “Redistricting” to Protect Rep. Vos

Although Rep. Robin Vos won District 63 with 99.84% of the vote in November, 2010, his seat is vulnerable.   Why?  First, he ran unopposed.  Second, it took only 8,155 votes, or only 11% of the estimated 73,000 votes in the district to re-elect him.  He’s vulnerable.  Oh yes, he’s definitely vulnerable.

The WisGOP realizes this too, and, in a move to “protect” Vos, co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee, the Republicans are attempting to “shrink” Vos’s territory.  How do we know this?  A bit of background on redistricting is in order…

When Gov. Scott Walker signed new redistricting legislation into law on August 8th, on the eve of recall elections, he stacked the deck to favor Republicans in the 2012. 

Statewide, Gov. Walker in effect created 59 strongly Republican districts and just 40 Democrat areas.  The constitutionality of the GOP proposed map, which has cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than $350,000 awarded to Walker’s legal cronies, is being contested in Federal Court by Democrats.  The redistricting serves to “protect” U. S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s seat by making the 7th District in NorthCentral Wisconsin more Republican, and, to “unseat” newly-elected State Sen. Bob Wirch by placing Pleasant Prairie within the more heavily Republican-leaning district of Racine.   

But the GOP’s effort to protect incumbents doesn’t end there, folks.  Analysis of Rep. Robin Vos’s district shows that Norway, Raymond and Caledonia have been carved away from his district, while Burlington has been appended to District 63, effectively removing about 12,000 voters from this area.   Remaining in Rep. Vos’s district are approximately 59,000 voters.  Of course, Rep. Vos could hope that he runs again unopposed and again captures 99.84% of the vote (11% or 6,490 of the total estimated 59,000 voters in the new area comprising District 63).

But, we have news for Rep. Vos.  He may have A.L.E.C., Tea Party & Koch resources to draw upon (and be beholding to).  We, on the other hand, have the PEOPLE needed to carry the majority of votes in this district.  We are organized.  And, we are angry at Rep. Vos.  We intend to remove him from office when his current term expires.
Proposed District 63 (lawsuit pending in Federal Court):