Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wisconsin Interests Shopping for Venues

Smarter people than me described the behavior of conflicting groups escalating their interests to higher authorities as “venue shopping.” News that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices allegedly had a physical altercation is more venue shopping.

Because Wisconsin Democrats are in the minority in both chambers of the Wisconsin state Legislature, liberals tried to obstruct legislative action on Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and impact on collective bargaining. Stymied by legislative creativity, losers in the legislative arena sought an injunction by a judge in Dane County. All of this was venue shopping.

Interest in the pivotal 2011 election for a new term for Justice David Prosser was expensive and narrow. Election losers demanded another venue with a hand recount in all Wisconsin counties. They still lost.

Losers in the Dane County ruling appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. They narrowly won. Aggrieved parties have looked to appeal to a friendlier court. This is now a harder strategy because police and fire unions have been peeled away by the Walker agenda from their previous tight coalition. Sometimes interests only threaten venue shopping.

Liberal activists gathered recall petitions targeting six Republican Wisconsin Senators, not for corruption in office but for casting a vote for the Walker agenda. Conservative activists targeted three Democrats for fleeing to Illinois. This is more venue shopping.

Now losers want to pour cold water on the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling by shopping around a story that Justice David Prosser choked Justice Anne Walsh Bradley before the vote. This is odd because former Assembly Speaker David Prosser is even more civil than me. The faction of Prosser had the votes. The faction with Anne Walsh Bradley did not.

Sometimes I am accused of being a smarty pants. I even discussed research methods with a server in Baton Rouge who was a doctor candidate in Economics. To quote Martin Luther: “Here I stand. I can not do otherwise.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twin Cities Trip

My second cousin, whom I have “met” only on social media, graduated from high school. This autumn, she will start at a private college. I was invited to attend her open house in Saint Paul.

I jumped at the chance to visit her house. I have not been to the Twin Cities in 30 years. I have never met the high school graduate or any of her siblings. Her father and I are among 16 first cousins. I have not seen her Mom or Dad since our Grandma’s 1996 funeral in Marshfield. Her Dad and I were among the pallbearers.

I have spent time with all of his siblings and met most of their children. Her Dad and I are not just cousins. Among all the cousins, he is closest in age to me. There are pictures of us together as babies, toddlers, children and teenagers. I remember going to his father’s funeral when we were still children..

I talked with my cousin quite a bit. He told me things about himself I never knew, such as his ability to jump high enough in high school that he could put his whole elbow above the rim. He remembered many things that I had forgotten. For example, I had forgotten I introduced him at 1977 Marshfield high school graduation open houses as my cousin from Australia. He always has slain me. His delivery is still mock seriousness.

His mother was at the open house. My aunt did not know I was going to be there. She invited me to come to her cabin on Richter Lake in Taylor County when my cousin Lynne and her daughter are there. Like my son, Eric and my cousin, Judy, Lynne teaches public school. Lynne lives in California. I have never met her daughter.

I had forgotten how much I like the Twin Cities. When I was freshly graduated from college, I pursued employment in Minneapolis. The Cities are so unlike Madison in a couple of ways that I dislike about living in Madison again. My preferences are no secret.

Madison is both the whitest and most leftist place I have ever lived. Moderates like me are shamed and lectured. When I lived in Michigan, my moderate views did not stand out. People of color were local news anchors, journalists, Republicans and lobbyists. My views would not stand out in a big place like the Twin Cities. People of color were at my cousin’s open house. So were children of Michelle Bachman.

I have a network of family and friends in the Cities. Saint Paul is a state capital. Maybe I’ll start to look there for employment again.