14 December 2011

Your Scott Walker News of the Day

First, in an exercise of profound wankitude, Scott Walker is attempting to charge people a lot of money to protest against him:
Gov. Scott Walker's administration could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests, under a new policy unveiled Thursday.

The rules, which several legal experts said raised serious free speech concerns, seemed likely to add to the controversy that has simmered all year over demonstrations in the state's seat of government.

The policy, which also requires permits for events at the statehouse and other state buildings, took effect Thursday and will be phased in by Dec. 16. Walker administration officials contend the policy simply clarifies existing rules.

State law already says public officials may issue permits for the use of state facilities, and applicants "shall be liable to the state . . . for any expense arising out of any such use and for such sum as the managing authority may charge for such use."

But Edward Fallone, an associate professor at Marquette University Law School, said the possibility of charging demonstrators for police costs might be problematic because some groups might not be able to afford to pay.

"I'm a little skeptical about charging people to express their First Amendment opinion," he said. "You can't really put a price tag on the First Amendment."
Well, it seems like Scott Walker does think that you can put a price tag on the First Amendment.

In somewhat less depressing news, there has been the first arrest made in the so called "John Doe" investigation,  a realtor who refused to testify, because his grant of immunity would not be secret, even though the court proceedings were.

So it appears that he was more concerned about someone getting to him, and his family, than he was of the prosecutor.

The weird thing is that this is supposed to be an investigation of some of Scott's staffers … wait for it … making politically motivated blog comments while on the state clock.

I don't know what is going on here, but I do know that you don't haul witnesses before a grand jury with a gag order, and you don't arrest them for lack of cooperation, over a case of some staffers politicking on the job.

Here's hoping that we start seeing indictments in the middle of the recall campaign.

Also, in the "there are a few good guys out there, but here is one, department," the ACLU is suing Scotty over his voter suppression efforts:
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the State of Wisconsin on Tuesday over a new law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification, charging that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit says that the state is infringing on some citizens' right to vote and to be treated equally under the law and amounts to a kind of poll tax on voters who lack the documents needed to get an approved ID.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker, who is named in the lawsuit along with a long list of other state officials, have said they believe the measure will withstand a court challenge.

The action came Tuesday ahead of a scheduled speech by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in which he vowed to enforce civil rights protections amid a flurry of voter ID laws recently passed around the country. The Wisconsin lawsuit was filed in federal court in Milwaukee by the national ACLU and its Wisconsin affiliate and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty on behalf of a group of senior citizens, minorities and homeless residents.

"This lawsuit is the opening act in what will be a long struggle to undo the damage done to the right to vote by strict photo ID laws and other voter suppression measures," said Jon Sherman, an attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project.
With a 5-4 advantage of conservatives in the Supreme court, and the fact that all 5 are political hacks, I don't think that the Supreme court will end up doing the non-corrupt thing, but at least we should see an injunction for the next election cycle or two.


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