Monday, February 28, 2011

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Nearly one in five dollars raised by AWOL senators came from gov't workers and public-sector unions

Money talks and Democrats walk. That's the way it is in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered that nearly one in five dollars raised by the "fleebagging" Wisconsin state senators came from public-sector unions and government employees.

These 14 AWOL state senators are bought and paid for--look for the union label.

Related post:

The pay-to-play score in Illinois since '95: SEIU $22 million--AFSCME $12 million

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Rockford IL tourism video with Rick Nielsen: "Are you a state Senator from Wisconsin?"

After gaining some infamy a couple of weeks ago when 14 Democratic members of the Wisconsin state Senate encamped there, the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is having fun with it--by producing a video in which passerbys are asked, "Are you a state Senator from Wisconsin?"

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, a Rockford native,appears in it.

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Dem crack on offshore drilling?

The Democrats' are the anti-drilling party. There are exceptions--Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska comes to mind--but when you see a "D" after a congressman's name--it almost never stands for drilling.

But a crack in the Dem curtain could be developing. My brother's represesntative in Congress, Jim Himes (D-CT), may be open to more drilling in the United States, but with some reservations--no drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for instance.

But hey, it's a start. Ending Obama's "permatorium"in the Gulf of Mexicon would be an even better start.

In addition to enduring high gasoline prices, many New Englanders warm their homes with heating oil.

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Bad news for Dems: Voters prefer gov't shutdown if spending cuts aren't agreed upon

Sometime in March the House GOP and the Democrats in the Senate and of course President Obama are going to have to find a way to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. And in a poll released today, Rasmussen Reports finds that 58 percent of likely voters favor a government shutdown unless spending cuts are agreed upon.

That's bad news for the spendthrift Democrats.

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Just what is the Alliance for Justice?

In her latest Washington Post column, Jennifer Rubin takes a look at yet another liberal astroturf group, the Alliance for Justice.

On Friday, I delved into the left's "Koch derangement syndrome," the effort to run the 2012 campaign against the two mega-wealthy brothers who donate to conservative causes, rather than the individuals who will be on the ballot. As I explained, a left-wing outfit, Alliance for Justice (AFJ), has been one of the cheerleaders for the part of the Koch vendetta that is focused on attacking Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who ruled in favor of the primacy of the First Amendment in the Citizens United case.

Who is involved in AFJ, and what does it do? It is actually a coalition of 74 member groups including some prominent left-wing groups such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Lawyers Guild. Its most visible role is in judicial nomination fights. It has -- long before the Citizens United case -- gone after Supreme Court justices nominated by Republican presidents. AJF's executive director, Nan Aron, is invariably among the shrillest voices in these Supreme Court battles. As The Post reported in 2005:

Aron, Ralph Neas of People for theAmerican Way and Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights have been a close-knit and consistent team of opposition to conservative judicial nominees. They led the movement that sank Robert Bork in 1987, and they've never looked back.
Where is the money coming from?

But, as with many of these left-wing groups, it's hard to find an accurate accounting of about AFJ's donors. There is no list on its Web site. I asked AFJ a series of questions. Where I can find a complete list of AFJ's donors? Did any organization that funds AFJ participate in the Citizens United case? Did any group that received funds from AFJ participate in Citizens United? No responses were forthcoming.
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Gorbachev denies asking for cash in exchange for Lithuanian independence

The Baltic Times reported last week that recently declassified Swedish diplomatic reports contain allegations that Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev asked that Lithuania pay the USSR $21 billion rubles to regain the independence it lost in fifty years earlier. Part of the deal, which Gorbachev flatly denies, would attach the Lithuanian port city of KlaipÄ—da to the Russian Kaliningrad enclave.

Gorbachev told the Russian news agency Interfax, "This is not serious. This is an extremely free interpretation of the events that took place when Lithuania decided to secede from the USSR. There was no bargaining."

Lithuania, along with Latvia and Estonia, became independendent in 1991, a year after the alleged payoff request. Four months later the Soviet Union collapsed.

Related post:

Twenty years ago: Latvia's Barricade Days

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