Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Posts tagged "2014 Gubernatorial Elections"

h/t: Patrick Caldwell at Mother Jones

Serial Liar Bruce Rauner = unfit to lead Illinois, so vote for Quinn or ABBR this fall! 

h/t: Rick Pearson at Chicago Tribune's Clout Street

H/T: Steve Benen at’s Maddow Blog


Tweet Of The Day – Equality Illinois

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Via Huffington Post:

Though Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is not planning to attend Sunday’s massive Gay Pride Parade in Chicago, his presence will still very much be felt — thanks to a giant banner erected by LGBT advocates. Equality Illinois and a number of associated community members and elected officials on Thursday unveiled a two-story banner featuring a photograph of Rauner along with his statement, made last year at a Tea Party event, that he would have vetoed Illinois’ new marriage equality bill had it come to his desk as governor of the state.

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"A Texas Story" – Wendy Davis for Governor

Exactly one year ago today, Wendy Davis began her historic filibuster of Texas Senate Bill 5, the most draconian anti-choice law in the country. And in the 12 months since, all of Wendy’s most dire warnings have come true.

Nearly half of Texas’ 44 abortion providers have been shut down. Abortion clinics in rural areas have been eliminated completely. And at least 14 more clinics are slated for shutdown by September unless they can somehow meet the irrational and arbitrary requirements of the bill.

But that’s not the worst part. The scariest thing is that Texas-style clinic shutdown bills are now spreading like wildfire. Louisiana just passed a bill that will shut down every clinic within five hours of New Orleans. Oklahoma passed a similar bill in May. And copycat bills are moving forward in other states across the country.

Huge sections of the country are on the verge of becoming a zero-access zone—exactly as Wendy Davis warned. Can you make a donation to help stop the spread of Texas-style clinic shutdown laws and to protect choice wherever it’s under attack?

Yes, I’ll make a donation to help defend the right to choose, including stopping the spread of Texas-style clinic shutdown laws.

The way these clinic shutdown laws work is that they require abortion providers to follow bizarre and often contradictory regulations that often are literally impossible to follow.

Take Louisiana’s clinic shutdown law. The bill requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital—even though there’s no medical justification for that whatsoever. But here’s the kicker: None of the hospitals in New Orleans will give admitting privileges to abortion providers! It’s the perfect catch-22.

Because of federal courts packed with right-wing judges, we can’t rely on the courts to protect our rights. Too many of these laws are going into effect, so it’s up to us to beat them back one state at a time.

A year ago today, Wendy Davis stood up and fought for women. Now it’s our turn.

Yes, I’ll make a donation to help defend the right to choose, including stopping the spread of Texas-style clinic shutdown laws.

Thank you for helping to make choice real for all women,

Ilyse G. Hogue
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

(via socialistexan)

A secret criminal investigation made national news with the disclosure that prosecutors had alleged Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and others.

But the next day, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate said the John Doe probe had been resolved and that two judges had said it was “over.”

Here is part of the June 20, 2014 interview of Walker by Steve Doocy, host of the network TV talk show “Fox & Friends”:

Doocy: ”So, over the last couple of years, there’s been some legal action out in Wisconsin. And some of the documents were unsealed yesterday. We’ve got to point out, you were never charged with anything. But at one point, they allege that you had a central role in a criminal fund-raising scheme. OK, tell us what you did.”

Walker: ”Well, don’t just take my word for it. Look at the facts. The facts are pretty clear.

"You’ve had not one but two judges — a state judge and a federal judge; a state judge (who is) a well-respected court of appeals judge, and a federal judge more recently — have both looked at this argument. And in the past, not just recently — remember this is not new news, it’s just newly released yesterday because documents were opened — but no charges, case over.

"Both judges said they didn’t buy the argument. They didn’t think that anything was done that was illegal, and so they’ve gone forward and not only said, we don’t buy it, they actually shut the case down, both at the state and at the federal level.

"So, many in the national media and even some here in Wisconsin are looking at this (case) backwards. This is a case that’s been resolved, that not one but two judges have said is over. And we’re just learning about it because it became open in a document yesterday. But there is no argument there."

Is that it?

Is Walker right that the Doe case has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over”?

Experts say no. After all, one of the key court rulings that has stalled the investigation is a “preliminary injunction.” And that is on appeal.

What’s the case about?

Under Wisconsin law, a John Doe is “intended as an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and, if so, by whom.”

Unlike standard criminal investigations, law enforcement officials in a John Doe have special powers, including the power to compel the testimony of reluctant witnesses under oath and to issue subpoenas requiring witnesses to turn over documents.

Another key difference is that the judge overseeing a Doe can — and typically does — order that the proceedings be done in secret, unlike the vast majority of court proceedings.

Walker has been connected to two John Doe investigations.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, conducted a wide-ranging probe of aides and associates to Walker going back to Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive. That investigation, sometimes known as John Doe I, led to six convictions, ranging from misconduct in office for campaigning on county time to stealing from a veterans fund.Walker was not charged, and that investigation was shut down in March 2013.

Before closing that probe, however, Chisholm launched a separate investigation in the summer of 2012 based on information learned in the first one. To get what has been termed John Doe II off the ground, Chisholm worked with district attorneys from four counties — members of both parties — and the state Government Accountability Board, which administers the state’s elections and ethics laws. Francis Schmitz, a former assistant U.S. attorney and self-described Republican, was named special prosecutor in the case.

Walker’s evidence

Alleigh Marre, spokeswoman for Walker’s campaign, cited two court documents to back Walker’s claim. It’s not clear what she was referring to in the first document, a December 2013 court filing by Schmitz, and she didn’t respond to our request to elaborate.

The second document was a court order that John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson issued on Jan. 10, 2014. It quashed subpoenas that had been issued to Walker’s campaign and several conservative groups. And it ordered the return of any property seized with those subpoenas or with search warrants served on two officials of the groups.

But the order did not resolve the case.

Indeed, in his order, Peterson made reference to the possibility of his ruling be appealed. And the order has been challenged and is awaiting a ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

Other legal action

Another key ruling was made in federal court, by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa.

In February 2014, the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth and one of its directors, Eric O’Keefe sued in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in an attempt to stop the Doe investigation, saying it violated their rights to free speech, free association and equal protection under the law.

Three months later, Randa issued a preliminary injunction halting the probe while he considered the lawsuit. He said it appeared prosecutors were violating the First Amendment rights of Club for Growth and O’Keefe. And he ordered prosecutors to return any material they had gathered in the investigation and destroy whatever copies of it they had made.

But as the term “preliminary injunction” would indicate, that did not mean the case had been resolved or was over.

Indeed, Randa’s ruling has been appealed and the parties are awaiting a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Experts weigh in

We consulted five attorneys who have represented multiple clients in criminal John Doe investigations — Madison defense attorneys Marcus Berghahn and Stephen Morgan (Morgan is a former state and federal prosecutor); Milwaukee defense attorneys Jeremy Levinson, who also handles campaign finance cases for Democrats, and Raymond Dall’Osto; and Marquette University Law School professor and former state prosecutor Daniel Blinka.

Bottom line: The John Doe investigation case has been stopped for the time being, but it has not been resolved. The rulings by judges Peterson and Randa are not final and are being appealed. The appellate rulings could also be appealed.

And if the Chicago appeals panel overrules Randa, the investigation can resume.

"Once the Court of Appeals decides the merits of the case and if no party appeals the Court of Appeals’ decision, then it may be possible to say that the cases are over — unless the case is returned to the trial court or John Doe Judge for further litigation," said Berghahn.

Said Blinka: “The governor’s remark overlooks the role of the appellate courts. The final resolution is up to the appellate courts, and only when the appellate process has run its course will we have a final resolution.”

It’s notable that at times during his governorship, Walker has been in the position of supporting appeals when a lower-court ruling has gone against him.

In 2012, when judges struck down parts of Walker’s Act 10 — the law ending most collective bargaining for most public employees — the state appealed, and higher courts so far have upheld the law.

And on same-sex marriage, which Walker opposes, he didn’t concede that a ban on gay marriages was dead when a federal judge found Wisconsin’s ban unconstitutional. Indeed, he’s backing the state’s appeal of the judge’s ruling.

Similarly, the status of the Doe case is being hammered out in the appeals process.

Our rating

Walker said the secret John Doe criminal investigation of his campaign has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over.”

His characterization is misleading at best. The investigation has been stopped, for now, under one judge’s ruling.

But the second ruling, while a serious blow, did not end the probe, and in any event prosecutors have appealed the two rulings Walker mentioned.

We rate Walker’s statement False.

h/t: PolitiFact Wisconsin


And he wants to be president!

He’s getting coal from Santa this Christmas. 

Hopefully he gets his ass voted out of office in November. Vote for Mary Burke (D)!!! 
h/t: :Philip Bump at WaPo’s The Fix

Rauner/Sanguinetti ticket = Illinois’ version of Walker/Kleefisch. 
h/t: Mark W. Anderson at NBC Chicago’s Ward Room


Tea Partier Sam McCann considering independent or third-party run for governor

The conservative blog Illinois Review is reporting that Republican State Senator Sam McCann of Carlinville, who is considered to be an ultra-conservative Republican, especially on social issues, is considering a run for governor as either an independent candidate or as a member of a minor political party:

Although no official statement has come from State Senator Sam McCann, rumors persist that the Carlinville Republican is seriously considering a third-party run for governor of Illinois.

While still possible to get on the ballot, McCann would need to gather at least 25,000 petition signatures by June 23rd – the last day independents or new party candidates can turn in petitions to the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE).

On top of that, anyone that circulated petitions for primary gubernatorial candidates of either party cannot circulate for an independent party candidate.

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h/t: Joan McCarter at Daily Kos

Rauner/Sanguinetti ticket = bad for Illinois. 

h/t: Joseph Erbentraut at Huffington Post Gay Voices


Scott Walker Angers Conservative Activists By Wanting To Settle John Doe Case

As Digby notes in Salon, Scott Walker is the latest Midwest governor to be anointed a hero by conservatives when he beat the teacher’s union and he’s seen as a formidable presidential candidate for 2016, but that was before the John Doe case came along.

After some early success with the case, Activists like Club For Growth and the WSJ are now freaking out that he may want to settle the case. They can’t have that.

Scott Walker is falling apart: The little corruption problem he just can’t shake

And then they broke into a rousing rendition of “We shall overcome.” The affiliated big money right-wing groups like Club for Growth and American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity were undoubtedly very pleased at that outcome. And they were also undoubtedly very pleased with one Scott Walker who was standing up nicely to the pressure and getting their backs when they had so generously padded his campaign coffers. That’s how it’s supposed to work. And then the bottom fell out

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h/t: It isn’t likely, but New Dem vice chair and EMILY’s List fave, Allyson Schwartz, could still win the May 20, Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary— and equally conservative corporate shill Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky could win her congressional primary the same day. But that’s also unlikely. Both women from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party were dubbed prohibitive frontrunners by the brain-dead Beltway punditry from the outset. The 3 most recent polls show progressive Tom Wolf beating Schwartz by an average of just over 27 points. And Internal PA-13 polling I’ve looked over shows Margolies’ steady collapse from a 44 point lead to something in the mid-20s— and dropping.

Monday, David Freedlander marveled at how progressives were able to expose the fatal flaws— similar fall flaws— in both conservative Democrats. “Schwartz,” he wrote, “was up by 25 points in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for governor. Then came accusations of centrism— now a dirty word in a party with an energized left flank.”

Even though Schwartz severed her ties with Third Way after the group came out publicly against progressive values and progressive leaders like Elizabeth Warren and NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio, she didn’t sever her connection to the corporately-owned right-wing New Dems and she couldn’t severe her connection to her crappy voting record. ProgressivePunch gives her a 71.33 crucial vote score for 2013-‘14, pretty miserable, especially for a Democrat in a D+13 district, the one she’s leaving and the even more conservative Margolies is trying to win back. Freedlander quotes a local political operative looking at how the district has changed since the ’90s, “I think at the time when income inequality is such a central issue and we have gone through the financial collapse and it seems like Wall Street was responsible for it, the country just isn’t there anymore. Groups that have been pushing Democrats to be more corporate-friendly at the expense of spending on social issues are living 20 years past their expiration date.” 

How much has the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania moved to the left? Consider this: When Schwartz won her seat in the suburbs in 2004, it was carved out to elect a Republican. She beat one and held the seat for 10 years, and now a front-runner to replace her is Daylin Leach, a state lawmaker who proudly calls himself “The Liberal Lion of Pennsylvania.” Leach received the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders and is threatening to hold a sit-in in Gov. Corbett’s office to bring attention to the issue of medical marijuana.

“She’s a centrist. She wanted to run as a progressive, but her voting record and her associations disproved it,” said John Hangar, a one-time candidate who before dropping out jumped on Schwartz’s Third Way connections. “Economic unfairness is moving public opinion. Two years ago, proposing a $10.10 minimum wage would have made you a radical. Now it’s like, ‘We already got that.’ There is something going on in the political world of the average worker that is causing them to favor strong, liberal actions, and I think Allyson probably missed that.”

For her part, Schwartz backs a $10.10 minimum wage. She supported the bailout of the banks but wanted stricter oversight, too, supporting the creation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

But she also thought the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone making less than $500,000, double what many liberals called for and more than what President Obama favored. “In my district, there are families that make $200,000 that don’t feel enormously wealthy, so I was open to that discussion,” she says. The government, she adds, “has to create the environment for private-sector growth. Now, some progressives are critical of that. On the federal level, I have been clear: The country needs to balance its budget and deal with its debt.”

Still, she says she feels as if progressive groups wanted to make “an example of her.”

“I don’t think it was personal,” she sighs. “But there it was.”

“There are right-wing organizations, [and] there are progressive organizations that just care about an issue and that do use the opportunity of campaigns to push candidates further where they want to go,” she says. “It is less about me than it is about pushing all the candidates further.”

So her crappy corporate voting record doesn’t mean anything? It may not among corrupted Beltway elites. It does among progressives. And both their problem is that there are plenty of progressives in Pennsylvania— people looking for leaders with a coherent vision that goes beyond DC talking points. And neither of these relics from the past has one. Margolies has a base— primarily older women who remember better times in their lives 2 decades ago when Margolies was politically relevant. Maybe they were healthier. Or wealthier. Maybe they were getting laid. Younger women are gravitating towards Val Arkoosh, who plays a nice lady on TV, and state Senator Daylin Leach, the proven progressive in the race. The one Democrat women aren’t gravitating to is Brendan Boyle a vehemently anti-Choice/anti-public education Big City Machine Democrat. As Margolies’ support falls apart, he’s the one candidate who isn’t benefiting. If you want to help make sure Daylin Leach beats this whole motley crew, please consider making a contribution to his campaign through ActBlue. Here’s Margolies-Mezvinsky’s last desperate ploy, which was released this morning— weak tea.

The REAL Progressive Liberal to support for #PA13 is Daylin Leach. 



Scott Walker Investigation Killed By Federal Judge Echoing Scalia's 'Money Is Speech' Ruling

This is terrible news for the people of Wisconsin and also for the rest of us. Wisconsin laws are strict on the question of coordination between outside groups and a candidate’s campaign, with good reason. However, to Judge Randa, there is no possible good reason to suppress “speech.”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

A federal judge ordered a halt Tuesday to the John Doe investigation into campaign spending and fundraising by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups, saying the effort appeared to violate one of the group’s free speech rights.

In his 26-page decision, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee told prosecutors to immediately stop the long-running, five-county probe into possible illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and a host of others during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.

The (Wisconsin Club for Growth and its treasurer) have found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws, and that circumvention should not and cannot be condemned or restricted. Instead, it should be recognized as promoting political speech, an activity that is ‘ingrained in our culture,’” Randa wrote, quoting from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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