31 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: cutting taxes for the rich is an attack on the middle class.

Hi everyone,

Yeah, Glenn put out another press release last week about the way the university poses a threat to the middle class which is odd, considering he's one of the people at fault for the need for increased tuition at Madison.

Sam Clegg's reflections in the Badger Herald.

Herald Blogs: Muckrakers - Thoughts on Martin’s Initiative?

Simply put, financially rich does not - nor has it ever - implied intellectually superior. But how does one articulate to concerned students that differential tuition does not signal a Marxist war on wealth? Certainly, the opposition will always have its class acts, such as State Senator Glenn Grothman, who argued in a press release that the tuition hike was largely “an assault on two-parent families with traditional values.” Against such lamentable cases of deliberate absurdity, little effort can or should be invested.

I used to think the absurdities were deliberate. Now I think they're simply innate -- plus that's what the evidence suggests.


Glenn Grothman: Freedom requires more gun ownership.

Hi folks,

Glenn doesn't want to allow micro-stamping of ammo in order to identify the product later. He believes it's as useless as serial numbers on guns.... but that we need more guns -- apparently.

First shots fired over handgun microstamping in Wisconsin

"The real motive of this proposal is clear - to prevent people from owning guns," Grothman said. "But because that would not be politically viable at this time, the hard left will try to start by keeping guns out of the hands of the poor and the most vulnerable citizens. Founding father George Mason said the best way to enslave people is to disarm them, and that is the way our country is going."

I guess it would be responsible for me to note that a much easier way to enslave people is to make them stupider by continually attempting to cut funding for education. This makes Mr. Grothman infinitely more dangerous that the weapons dealers for whom he's now shilling.

I am a little weirded out by his assertion here that our most vulnerable citizens are the poorest ones -- if that's the case, then why does he insist on policies that create so many of 'em? Unless maybe that's the real idea.


27 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: Dazed and Confused, Nothing New.

Hi everyone,

The more often Glenn speaks, the easier it is to see him.

Paul Soglin: Waxing America:
Grothman Beaned In Spring Training: Dazed and Confused, Nothing New.

What continues to astonish me is that Glenn votes, repeatedly, against the interests of his own constituents here in Washington County -- home to one of the UW Campuses (actually operating in the black) that offers the lowest tuition of any of our sister institutions.

The university is the pathway, these days especially, to more secure employment opportunities -- but Glenn keeps slicing away at us, and then blames the university for "punishing" the middle class. Nice technique.

Glenn forgets that he hasn't been "middle class" in any meaningful sense since he passed the bar exam.


26 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: wrong for opposing law enforcement improvements.

Hi everyone,

Since his budget vote is a piece of cake this year (no to everything), Glenn is finding time to comment on everything else.

The Badger Herald: News: Proposed gun bill stirs controversy

Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, and Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, ... [argue that] the bill will increase the cost of guns by $200 and infringe on individuals’ constitutional rights.

I can't afford to buy time on television or talk radio either but, according to Glenn, that's NOT an infringement of my constitutional rights.

Wow, if this kept up, only rich people would have guns. Maybe then they'd start robbing banks the old fashioned way, instead of using their Republican operatives in Congress.


25 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: money first, safety second.

Hi everyone,

On the 10th anniversary of a crash of a van outside Janesville that killed seven people, Glenn is gearing up for his fight over the budget by going to bat against the safety of young people.

State Senate passes new rules for traveling sales crews

The sales crew bill would require anyone who employs door-to-door teams of two or more who travel together and who stay overnight away from their homes to register with the state Department of Workforce Development, pay a fee and comply with new rules. Those who hire door-to-door crews must also clear criminal background checks.

It cleared the Senate on a 27-6 vote and passed the Assembly 68-30.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) had pushed the bill for years but found it blocked by Republican leaders in the past. Democrats now control both houses of the Legislature.

"There are crews who prey on our kids - especially troubled kids," who end up forced into "cult-like situations," Erpenbach said.

But Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman of West Bend said the Legislature was "overreacting to a horrible tragedy." He said some college students have earned up to $15,000 in a summer working long hours on door-to-door sales crews.

Phil Ellenbecker, 60, of Verona was on hand for the votes. His 18-year-old daughter, Malinda Turvey, had worked on a magazine sales crew for two days when she was killed in the March 25, 1999, van crash on I-90. The accident occurred as Milton police tried to stop the vehicle.

"I'm overjoyed with this," Ellenbecker said.

It's a good thing university was so much cheaper when Senator Grothman went to school.


24 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: recognized for his contribution to global warming.

Hi everyone,

This one slipped by the Google alerts for a while, so I missed it, but it turns out that Glenn, too, has been acknowledged for his belief in the Flat Earth theory.

From: Americans for Prosperity Applauds Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman

Americans for Prosperity Applauds Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman

Contact: Mark Block (414) 475-2975 or Phil Kerpen (202) 349-5880

Americans for Prosperity Applauds Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman

-Signs No Climate Tax Pledge-

MILWAUKEE-The Wisconsin chapter of the free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity (AFP-WI) today applauded Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman (20th Senate District) for signing the group’s “No Climate Tax Pledge.” By doing so, Grothman pledges to “oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in state or local government revenue.”

“The one thing elected officials should be able to agree on is that global warming shouldn’t be used as an excuse to hike taxes on citizens and businesses,” said AFP-WI State Director Mark Block. “We encourage all of Wisconsin’s elected officials and candidates for elected office to sign the pledge.”

State Sen. Grothman joins other Wisconsin officials State Reps. Leah Vukmir (14th), Jim Ott (23rd), Bill Kramer (97th), and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker as signers of the pledge.

Grass roots? Yeah, like JP Morgan's croquet set used grass roots for his tea parties. That's how they've been using us.

What's staggering to me is that after nearly 30 years of free market ideologues like Glenn and this wrecking crew of pirates pillaging our national and state treasuries by privatizing public services, and trying to stay afloat in the Krakatoa tsunami their greed has created, these crack-addict socialism-for-corporations-capitalism-for-everyone-else grifters are still selling the con.

Does this mean that Glenn too is asleep? Or simply that he's good at rocking our cradle?

First garter snakes, now global warming.


17 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: please sign on to return independence to the DNR.

Wow, this is where this blog really took off: Glenn and the DNR.

Herpetologists from all over the US started emailing me to ask who this lunatic was.

However, it looks like Governor Doyle is balking at returning the appointment of the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources to the Natural Resources Board.

Why he would hesitate, I cannot imagine. He shouldn't.

It was a bad move when Gov. Thompson took control of that appointment -- although it got hurrahs from the Republicans who were tired of DNR interference in their patrons profit margins. None of them liked being told that preserving Wisconsin's ecosystem had to be taken into account when there was money to be made.

Anyway, the President of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation asked Glenn to sign on to the task of taking the politics out of appointing the DNR secretary.

Community Conversations: Let citizens' board name DNR head

For what it's worth, Lil Piping is right on the money here.


Glenn Grothman: violating the open meetings law?

Glenn is quiet for a while, and then a flurry of news, like late spring snow squalls.

My Google alerts found this in the Lakeland Times: Slamming shut the doors of government

According to Richard Mial of the La Crosse Tribune, several years ago Republican Sens. Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Alberta Darling of River Hills held invitation-only public hearings on a proposed constitutional amendment to limit spending by school districts and local governments.

That's right, invitation-only public hearings.

The abuse of manipulation of the public hearings process, both by state agencies and lawmakers, is well known by Madison insiders; in fact, for more controversial items, or bills lawmakers want to fly under the radar, public notice is often made at the last minute, and sometimes held at odd times - like a Friday afternoon - to minimize public participation.

If we have a meeting on campus to discuss styrofoam cup purchases, we follow the open meeting guidelines to the letter. What's going on in Madison?

Here's the earlier piece:
Wisconsin State Journal
Thursday, April 6, 2006

Wisconsin's open meetings law is based on the idea that "a representative government of the American type is dependent upon an informed electorate."

But don't tell that to two prominent Republican state senators. They seem to think that it's better when the public isn't involved.

Republican Sens. Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Alberta Darling of River Hills held two invitation-only public hearings on a proposed constitutional amendment to limit spending by school districts and local governments.

Normally, such meetings are designed to get input from all citizens, but Grothman and Darling limited a March 29 meeting at the Germantown Village Hall to local government leaders only. An earlier session March 13 in Brown Deer was limited to only school officials. And Darling met privately last Friday with members of a parent-teacher group and the Milwaukee Jewish Council. Both meetings were held in the Milwaukee area.

While Darling said that it was not the organizers' intent to exclude anyone, the fact that members of the public were not informed about the earlier hearings shows there was, in fact, an attempt to exclude ordinary people.

Grothman even said the March 29 hearing was better than one to which the public would have been invited.

"To be honest," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "we learned a lot more from the invitation-only meeting."

Constituents are such a nuisance.


Glenn Grothman: was better at constituent outreach when still an Assemblyman.

Hi everyone,

Oh, just have a look.

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Last of those letters he sends out.


14 March 2009

Glenn Grothman: is not a racist, honest.

Hi everyone,

Yeah, doubling up from Motley Cow, but this week's column was Glenn specific. Glenn wrote a letter to the Regents this past week describing how much he disapproves of the UW's Diversity plan.

What's most interesting about his letter, apart from obliquely urging the protection of Caucasian access to higher education, is how disingenuous it was. The UW diversity plan follows the Supreme Court rulings to the letter.

To. The. Letter.

If they didn't, they'd get whacked with lawsuits so fast that even the UW Madison Marching Band would feel dizzy. And, since Glenn can't raise constitutional issues, all he can do is make insinuations about how diversity keeps nice white kids from getting into UW Madison. What I didn't include in the column was the fairly common observation that "Um, Glenn hates the Univesrity -- he's done everything he can to gut it -- why would he be interested in making access "fair"??

Yeah, I can't figure it out either... I've stopped trying to make sense of the Senator's votes or public statements. My best guess is that this blather simply masks some long term resentment or, more simply, a kind of innocent, nascient racism. I'm guessing, of course.

This week's column.

Diversity, UW system and American casserole

First of all, I am not now, nor have I ever been, authorized to speak on behalf of the University of Wisconsin System. They don’t even like it when I ask questions at meetings. My comments reflect only my own views. Having said that:

Last week the UW Regents discussed the current plan for diversity in UW System. As he has in the past, Sen. Glenn Grothman protested what he called the university’s “obsession” with diversity and dared the Regents to answer a few questions. Sen. Grothman doesn’t like diversity, but his letter raises more questions than it asks.

Most of his questions are built around his first one, which asks “even if diversity is good for its own sake ... doesn’t this imply a climate promoting excessive focus on one’s ancestry as opposed to one’s individual accomplishments?”

First of all, nobody said diversity is good for its own sake. There are great reasons to want a big buffet of different cultures and students or faculty with different experiences on a university campus. Diversity for diversity’s sake is not one of them.

The senator forgets that America is already a diverse country – shoot, we invented diversity. Remember, E Pluribus Unum? Moreover, being diverse has never created a climate that promotes excessive focus on ancestry as opposed to individual accomplishment.

Good grief, my ancestry is Norwegian and German Lutherans: imagine if America forced me to focus on lutefisk and herring rather than on my individual accomplishments. Or, more frightening for you non-Norwegians out there, imagine if America forced the rest of you to eat lutefisk and herring. I love ‘em but, c’mon – I can’t reasonably expect anyone else to.

The American casserole (hot dish, paella, hot pot, jambalaya) – doesn't excessively focus on carrots, peas, or (if you’re a Norwegian Lutheran) the cream of mushroom soup. In fact, the main reason any university promotes diversity is that no education is complete until a student becomes familiar with other parts of the American – and now, global – casserole.

So why would the senator worry about the university giving students a taste of the whole world? I suspect his real worry is that some of the carrots are being admitted simply because they’re carrots – something a lawyer should know is explicitly prohibited by a number of Supreme Court decisions.

OKy, I'm being metaphorical. The Supreme Court decisions don’t mention carrots, but they do mention race.

The court has ruled specifically on how universities may use admissions procedures to insure an adequate amount of cultural and ethnic diversity, most famously in the Bakke case. Justice Powell’s opinion was crystal clear: preferring members of any one group for no reason other than race was itself racial discrimination. But there is a constitutionally approved justification universities can use to make sure the Pluribus gets to participate in the Unum. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor echoed it when she wrote the majority opinion in a case called Grutter v. Bollinger, the current model for constitutionally acceptable practice in university admissions.

She wrote: “Today we endorse Justice Powell's view that student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions.”

A compelling state interest – so long as racial quotas are not used, so long as there is a common admission standard used to evaluate all students and so long as race or ethnicity is only considered one factor among many, there’s no problem. At least, not for the Supreme Court.

The UW System’s diversity plan, and the Regent’s resolution (No. 8970) that approved it, follow these requirements to the letter.

So why is Sen. Grothman writing letters asking the Regents whether the university is “obsessed” with diversity, hates white men or if diversity programs at the UW might keep “minority” kids becoming “normal?”

If he thought the plan violated somebody’s rights then, surely, as a UW-Madison trained lawyer, he would have cited case law and said so. But he didn’t. Or perhaps he objects to the Supreme Court ruling itself ? If so, is he suggesting the university should daringly ignore the Supreme Court? Would a politician, in office as long as Sen. Grothman, advise the state to violate a Supreme Court ruling? Hard to imagine.

It’s much easier to imagine he simply doesn’t like casseroles.

Frankly, it seems more likely that Glenn doesn't like carrots in his casseroles.