For Our Fans in Wisconsin and Indiana

A while back when Illinois increased its income tax rates the neighboring (republican) politicians claimed business and people would flock to their states over this. Of course, those same states are now in turmoil and not so open for business.

In Wisconsin, the state lost $1.2 billion in federal money for high speed rail when their republican governor and republican majority legislature cancelled the project. At least this wasn’t a surprise to the citizenry as Gov. Walker ran on this idea (unlike his union-busting efforts).From Stateline on September 14 of last year:

A brick-and-glass state office building on the banks of Lake Monona, just a few blocks from the Wisconsin Capitol and the rest of downtown Madison, shows no outward sign that it has become the focal point of one of the most heated — and unexpected — debates to divide this state’s Democrats and Republicans in a crucial election year.The controversy is over what the building could become: one of the first new station stops on a high-speed rail network paid for primarily with federal dollars. Wisconsin won big in a national competition to get the high-speed rail stimulus money, and the issue historically has attracted bipartisan support here. Proponents say the new rail service will spur development and link Midwestern cities more tightly together.

But many Wisconsin Republicans this year are denouncing the new trains, using the project as a symbol to show how Democratic leaders in both state and federal government are spending money that neither can afford. “More than anything,” says Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor, “it symbolizes what people think of here when they think of runaway government spending.”

Both Walker and Mark Neumann, a former congressman who faces Walker in Tuesday’s (Sept. 14) Republican primary, want the state to stop work on the project. Walker launched his own website called NoTrain.com, calling for using the money to fill other transportation needs. Neumann doesn’t want it used for transportation at all; he wants the money for tax breaks, although it’s not clear how viable either option is.

Ah yes, the republican silver bullet of tax breaks. And more recently, Wisconsin lost a renewable energy development slated to be built near Green Bay. From CleanTechnica:

Now a 150 MW wind farm is giving up on the state and taking that clean energy infrastructure elsewhere. Chicago based Invenergy has just withdrawn its plans for a 100 turbine wind farm, originally announced in 2009, to build the second largest wind farm in the state, according to JSOnline:

The company said it was concerned about moving forward because of the state of flux in Wisconsin’s regulatory climate when it comes to wind siting. Governor Walker has proposed a bill that would sharply curtail wind development, and a legislative committee comprised of the newly elected GOP majority, with an apparent fear of wind energy, moved this month to block an alternative bill, that would be less harshly anti wind.

And also in Wisconsin we see the real threat of big government as the Wisconsin Republican Party is using laws intended to protect citizens from government over-reach to reach out and squash one of Wisconsin’s citizens: a university professor who wrote an op-ed criticizing Gov. Walker’s recent actions:.

Now, so far, nothing particularly controversial about any of this. But then it took a dark turn. Or perhaps better to say, then the story got into gear with everything else we’ve seen out of the Walker administration over the last three months.

Less than two days after Cronon published the blog post, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a state open records request to gain access to Cronon’s personal emails to get a look at what communications or discussions or sources or anything else went into writing it.

Now, ‘personal’ is up for some reasonable debate here. This is his university email. And he’s a Professor at the University of Wisconsin, the state university. So he’s a state employee. Still, he’s not an elected official or someone doing public business in the sense you’d ordinarily understand the term. Nor are they looking at anything tied to the administration of the University, which is legitimately a public matter. In the ordinary sense we tend to understand the word it’s his personal email. And the range of requested documents leave no doubt about what they’re after.

Then there is the Hoosier State. IBM in All-Out War With Mitch Daniels:

IBM responded with its own suit demanding the state pay about $100 million for equipment already provided to Indiana. Now the company is demanding Daniels and his chief of staff give sworn depositions in the case and claiming that Daniels is betraying his campaign promises about transparency in government by refusing to comply.

“It’s been hypocrisy from the beginning,” IBM spokesman Clint Roswell told TPM.

Roswell added that Daniels’ “refusal to be deposed and his attempt to hide public documents casts doubt on his credibility” and that he “expects transparency and openness from everybody but himself.”

According to Roswell, IBM is concerned that Daniels will push the legal fight into 2012 and if he’s running for President then it will be even harder to secure his testimony.

You know it’s bad when a republican cannot keep business on his side. And also from Indiana, a pair of stories about local officials trying to get in their two-cents on the situation in Wisconsin. First, this from February about a deputy Indiana Attorney General:

An Indiana Deputy Attorney General “is no longer employed” by the Attorney General’s Office, after he tweeted for “live ammunition” to be used on protesters in Wisconsin, the office announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

And then more recently this concerning a deputy prosecutor:

Remember back at the height of the union protests in Wisconsin, one deputy Attorney General from Indiana got canned for suggesting Gov. Walker use “live ammunition” on the protestors (sic).

Well now another genius, a deputy prosector (sic) in Johnson County named Carlos Lam has had to resign his office after investigative reporters in Wisconsin determined that during the height of the protests Lam sent Gov. Walker emails suggesting he stage a fake union-backed assassination attempt on Gov. Walker to turn public opinion against the state’s unions.

This is a classic case of republican morals at work. Whenever you hear a republican decrying the actions or motives of someone, you can safely assume that this is exactly the type of thing they themselves are doing. It’s called projection, and conservatives have been doing longer than I have been alive. For example, calling union members thugs. Well, who’s the thug now?

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