Saturday, July 30, 2005

Wasting Taxpayers' Money

Peg Lautenschlager's announcement that she is holding informational hearings on eminent domain around the State shows how out of whack her priorities are.

I'm also concerned about the effect the federal Court’s ruling involving a Connecticut lawsuit will have on private property rights. But it's a waste of time for the Wisconsin Attorney General to hold informational hearings on eminent domain when the hearings will have no effect on the Court’s decision. The expenditure of any money on the hearings at a time when the State budget is so tight simply can not be justified. It’s a complete waste of money on hearings that have no purpose – other than political. The Attorney General should release the detailed cost of the hearings, including for staff time and other expenses. Citizens want the Attorney General to focus the resources and power of the Department of Justice on areas of pressing concern in Wisconsin, such as election integrity and gun violence.


The AG’s priorities should be on the issues that matter. If she wants to hold hearings, she should come to Milwaukee and hold them at the spot where our latest young person was gunned down in a senseless homicide. Of all the issues to focus on, she chooses a US Supreme Court ruling that has already been decided and that involved another State. While that ruling has an effect on Wisconsin, holding informational hearings on it is a waste of time and taxpayer money. It’s clear what she’s up to. This is a headline grab designed to get her positive press for her re-election campaign.


AG Lautenschlager on Tuesday announced the dates and locations of four hearings around the state in Janesville, Wausau, Oak Creek, and Eau Claire. Those sites are conveniently within the state’s major media markets.


~Paul

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Lautenschlager's "Bad Call"

A "Bad Call by Lautenschlager," editorializes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The newspaper says Lautenschlager should have "backed out" of a recent rally when she learned that plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State were also speaking. The lawsuit seeks to force the State to pay domestic partner benefits to state workers. The Green Bay Press Gazette also takes her to task.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Interesting Insight

The Stalwart blog has an interesting posting on Peg Lautenschlager and the domestic partner benefits case. The blog notes the following of a news article on the case:


The ACLU of Wisconsin is involved in the case on the plaintiffs' side. The Alliance Defense Fund has filed a motion for the legislature seeking to intervene in the case. The article describes these organizations thus,




... the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, which advocates for individual freedoms.


... The Alliance Defense Fund, a non-profit legal firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., that is linked to evangelical Christians ...


Paul notes:

Seems like quite a different tone...

Here is how the ADF defines itself on its Web Site: "ADF was founded for a unique purpose: to aggressively defend religious liberty by empowering our allies, recognizing that together, we can accomplish far more than we can alone."

So why was the group not identified in the paper as a group that advocates for religious freedoms?


Essentially, the reporter basically adopted the ACLU's description of itself but did not adopt the ADF's description of itself.

After all, here's how the ACLU defines itself on its Web Site: "The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States."






Impartiality?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that critics are starting to question whether Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager can be impartial in the suit the ACLU filed against the State trying to force the State to allow domestic partner benefits. Paul spoke on this same topic last week on the Charlie Sykes show. Everyone in professional life has personal opinions that must be set aside at times. But the difference here is that 1, Lautenschlager spoke at a rally right after the plaintiffs in the very same case had advocated for the benefits and her comments intimated support for their stance and 2, Lautenschlager has already demonstrated that she is not vigorously on the side of the State by agreeing with the plaintiff ACLU that the Legislature (the People's Representative) has no right to intervene in the case to make its opinion known.


Read the Journal Sentinel article here.

Read postings on Boots and Sabers and Lakeshore Laments blogs raising similar questions.

Read Paul's column on this topic from the wisopinion.com site

Friday, July 22, 2005

Radfest

Peg Lautenschlager was a featured speaker at an event called "Radfest" last month. Check out their Site and you will see what it's all about and how being an "Activist" is the goal.

Red Meat

The blog Red Meat argues that Peg Lautenschlager is one of the most Activist Attorney Generals in Wisconsin history. Read the post here.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Goofy article

Paul just sent this letter to the editor of the Waukesha Freeman responding to a goofy article they wrote:


July 18, 2005


Editor
The Freeman
810 North Barstow Street
Waukesha, WI 53186


Dear Editor:


I am contacting you relative to an editorial that your paper ran relative to my denial of a request for prosecution for an alleged violation of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law by the Waukesha School Board. Your opinion in the headlines has very little to do with the actual facts of that case. Obviously, you must not have read the material that was submitted to me by Ms. Lufter, because if you did you would realize that the information that was submitted was woefully insufficient to justify any allegation of an open meetings violation. When a complaint is filed for an open meetings or open records violation I make my decision based upon the materials supplied. The materials supplied by Ms. Lufter did not even demonstrate that any of the School Board members were talking to one another. In essence, Ms. Lufter wanted an open meetings violation complaint filed because of an e-mail that had been sent between one or two board members discussing some of the tactics that were being utilized by the Waukesha Taxpayers League relative to the referendum. In fact, at best the materials supplied by Ms. Lufter showed that Superintendent David Schmidt was discussing some of the tactics with one board member and was expressing his concern or displeasure relative to those tactics.


Your editorial and your article gives the “impression” to your readers that members of the School Board were exchanging a variety of e-mails discussing school district business and coming to conclusions or making decisions amongst themselves in the e-mails that were being sent back and forth. You know that is not the case. If you, at least, would have read the materials submitted to me by Ms. Lufter you would have realized that was not the case. This was not even a close call. This office has been more aggressive than the Attorney General’s office has ever been as it relates to open meetings and open records violations. I spend more time carefully reviewing and reading open meetings and open records requests than any District Attorney in the entire state. In fact, I have launched one of the few prosecutions for open meetings and open records violations of any District Attorney. In addition, this office, in conjunction with a local law firm, holds an Open Meetings/Open Records Forum every year to make sure our local officials are up to speed on the laws as it relates to open meetings and open records.


Your editorial is disappointing because it is not reflective of the truth. We are very aggressive on open meeting violations and will continue to do so. Before you launch into an editorial tirade you should take the time to review the material that was submitted to me before you criticize my decision. I can’t imagine any individual coming to any other conclusion after reviewing the material submitted to me by Ms. Lufter. Perhaps, if the materials submitted were more in-depth and more complete I might have come to a different conclusion. When you come to the conclusion that it appears that the law has been broken, I challenge you to justify that to your readers. At best, you can find in this case that the Superintendent and, perhaps, one School Board member were discussing tactics utilized by the Waukesha Taxpayers League. I am also offended by Ms. Lufter’s statement that I have a tendency to align myself with the School District. That is absolutely false. In fact, based on some e-mails I have read in another investigation from the School District, the School District apparently feels I align myself with entities outside the School District and have “no soft spot” in my heart for the School District.


If you or Ms. Lufter feels strongly on this issue, you have the ability to bring a lawsuit on your own behalf in the name of the State of Wisconsin. If you feel so strongly about this (and your paper is such an advocate for open government) why don’t you utilize that in this particular case and bring this matter to the attention of the Circuit Court? The reason you can’t do that is you know, as well as I do, that the evidence will not sustain the violation. Nonetheless, I spend a great deal of my valuable time investigating these matters. I will continue to do so. I would hope in the future you might take a few moments to review the facts and report them fairly and accurately. You owe that much to the public. I certainly think you owe that much to local officials, such as myself. In addition, your comment giving credit to Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager is laughable. The Office of the Attorney General has done nothing to enforce the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. In fact, I have taken cases back from the Attorney General’s Office because of the inaction that has occurred in that particular office. I defy you to point to one prosecution that the Attorney General’s office has filed for an open meetings violation during the tenure of our current Attorney General. Our current Attorney General has done little to enhance open government. While one can talk tough, when it comes to actually acting and following through, my record speaks for itself.


Very truly yours,

_________________
Paul E. Bucher
District Attorney
Waukesha County

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Democrats Eat Their Own

Spivak and Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are reporting that Democrats are so unhappy with incumbent AG Peg Lautenschlager that they have stabbed her in the back by commissioning a poll to test her support - which is dismal. On top of it, none of the Dems will own up to who comissioned it. With friends like those, who needs enemies?


Our chief strategist, RJ Johnson, is quoted.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sykes Interviews Bucher Tuesday on Our Activist AG and Activist Supreme Court

Milwaukee radio talkshow host Charlie Sykes interviewed Paul today about an outrageous decision by Peg Lautenschlager, who filed a legal brief arguing that the Legislature should not be allowed to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit that is seeking to force the state to pay domestic partner benefits to state employees. Amazingly, Lautenschlager is supposed to be DEFENDING the state in the case, but her brief sided with the plaintiffs - the ACLU. Read Paul's news release at the Wispolitics news site.


Here's what Paul had to say:


Charlie commented that this lawsuit could in theory establish a major precedent in having the courts order local governments to extend the benefits to domestic partners.


Paul responded: No doubt about it, whose side is she (Lautenschlager) really on? And why is she doing everything she can in concert with the ACLU to try to keep our elected representatives out of a lawsuit that could cost the state millions of dollars? This isn’t the first time. She did this previously in a lawsuit (side with the plaintiff when she's supposed to be representing the State). You don’t have to look far to see that this is a major issue that could really cost taxpayers and set policy and Legislators should be allowed to intervene.


Charlie said that activist courts in issues like this are trying to do an end run around elected officials and basically order an expenditure of tax money.


Paul agreed. He said: You saw in the last budget cycle that the governor thinks this is a good idea. It's a slippery slope the state shouldn’t go down (domestic partner benefits). Right now we have an activist State Supreme Court, and everyone needs to realize where the current court is going. Also, the AG is supposed to be the lawyer for the State. We don’t have a lawyer on this issue. She is basically siding with the ACLU in agreement that the State of Wisconsin Legislature should not be able to come in. We don’t have any representation. The Legislature should be able to voice its concern.


Charlie said that the Legislature is hiring an outside lawyer and trying to intervene because Legislators don't believe that Lautenschlager is really on the State's side.


Paul responded that intervening in law suits like this, such as the Legislature is trying to do, is very common. Look at State Supreme Court decisions, you will see all the individuals who file briefs as friends of the court. The Legislature is saying to Peg, I don’t trust you, and we need other individuals giving information before this Court makes a policy decision that affects all taxpayers. Unfortunately we don’t have anyone representing us.


Charlie turned the conversation over to the new activist state Supreme Court and asked Paul his opinion about how far the Court has gone in recent decisions on malpractice and police matters especially.


Paul said, It's amazing how important one vote is. This current Supreme Court adopted what's called New Federalism. Shirley Abrahamson has been chomping at the bit to institute it but she didn’t have the votes. She does now with Louis Butler. The Court said we don’t care what the US Supreme Court says, we're going to use the Wisconsin Constitution.


Charlie asked Paul how he would define New Federalism, saying it's an important issue a lot of people don't understand.

Paul said, It basically states that this state is using its own Constitution rather than the US Constitution. The wording is almost the same (in both Constitutions). But the Court has in recent decisions used the State Constitution to give criminals more rights than the US Supreme Court says is required. For example, if an individual is arrested in a bank robbery both federal and state, the individual would have greater rights if you prosecuted them in State Court than if Biskupic prosecutes them in Federal Court.


Charlie said, Educate the public. When courts begin to impose their ideas on the Legislature, where do you draw the line?


Paul said, The physicians and doctors are aware of that, they have woken up to the power of the Supreme Court (in the medical malpractice case) and we will hopefully have a race soon - people are saying that one Justice will retire. That would be a huge, huge race to pull power from the current chief justice and rather than an activist court to return back to a court that will interpret the law. We have seen the activist court in the malpractice case and the police showup decision. The result of that is that an individual who didn’t do a crime may be retained for a show up. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is snubbing its nose at the US Supreme Court.


As Attorney General, I will do everything I can to reverse that trend quickly.


CHARLIE then wrapped up the segment saying the situation is strange because everyone knows the governor and AG both want to extend benefits to same sex couples. And however people feel about that, he argues it's a decision that elected officials should make. It's a benefit that should be negotiated and approved by the Legislature. The problem is they have their lawyers but our lawyer is Peg Lautenschlager, who's not on our side on this issue. So the Legislature is going to hire outside lawyers to make sure it's heard. But now Lautenschlager has joined with the ACLU to say, tell the Legislature to shut up on this case. It's outrageous. He said Paul made the point well that, given the legal climate, the next time we have a 4-vote majority on the state Supreme Court, local goverments may no longer have any choice and state government will no longer have the choice on this issue because judges just order this. This is legislating from the bench. This is what we mean when we talk about activist judges.



Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lakeland Times

Read a front-page story that ran on Paul recently in the Lakeland Times newspaper of Minocqua.


Excerpts of Paul's remarks:


Handgun violence in the City of Milwaukee is absolutely out of control,” he said. “The wholesale slaughter that’s going on in the City of Milwaukee needs to be dealt with in an effective fashion. It’s not that the Department of Justice has to go in and take over the enforcement efforts in the city. That’s not their role. Their role is to have a presence in the city and to partner with current enforcement authorities.”


“It’s as if there was an intentional decision to allocate that enforcement effort to other agencies, most notably the United States Attorney in the eastern District, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department and the city’s police chief,” he said. “But they can’t do it on their own.”


Among other things, Bucher said, too many felons who should not be voting are voting and it has become too easy to commit voter fraud.


“It impacts all of us, because if you vote once and somebody else votes twice, your vote has been canceled,” he said. “Restoring that integrity, whether it is real – and in some cases it is – or whether it is perception needs to be dealt with, but the only time the current attorney general had any presence was this last election cycle when she sent out about a half dozen assistants to monitor polling places.”


It was a nice gesture, he said, but too little, too late.


The Waukesha prosecutor did point to one area in which he said Lautenschlager had made her presence felt and that was in pursuing an anti-business agenda.

“In business, for whatever reason, the attorney general’s office has taken the power and the resources, which are diminished because of significant fiscal issues, and it was designed to intentionally (pit) them against the business community,” he said.





Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Steve King



We're thrilled to have such a respected and prominent Conservative as Steve King chair Paul's campaign (announced by the campaign Monday). This is a man of enormous character and experience. He doesn't need much introduction. But nonetheless, here's his very impressive bio:


Steve King was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 4, 1941 and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated in 1963 from Western Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in social science, then earned a masters degree in political science in 1966 from the same institution.


During 1963-67, King served three years as a social science teacher in Rushville, Illinois followed by a year as Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools in the same school district.


In 1967, he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After training, he was assigned to Jackson, Mississippi to investigate civil rights violations. He investigated Ku Klux Klan activity and other racially motivated crimes, including homicide, arson, bombing and bank robbery.


He received three special commendations from then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for excellent performance.


King was transferred to Washington, D.C. in 1969. He resigned the FBI in 1970 to take a position as Legislative Assistant to Republican Senator Edward J. Gurney of Florida. As Gurney's representative on the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, King became an investigator for the U. S. Senate.


He participated in the investigation of General Dynamics for cost overruns on the F-111 fighter/bomber. This resulted in resignations by top management at the company, as well as recommendations from the committee for improved military procurement procedures.


He also investigated black market corruption in Army-Air Force Exchanges in Vietnam. This results in the dishonorable discharge of a Sergeant Major who was, at the time, the highest ranking non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. Other investigations covered organized crime infiltration of labor unions in New York and loan shark operations in Boston.


In 1972 King was named Special Assistant to Earl Butz, the Secretary of Agriculture. For four years he traveled with the Secretary and served as liaison between USDA and the agriculture committees of both the House and Senate, assisting in legislation to help American farmers. The early to mid-70's proved to be one of the most prosperous times in U.S. farm history.


In 1976, King left Washington to become Director of Development at his alma mater Western Illinois University. But a year later, he decided to fulfill a lifelong dream to go into his own business.


He moved to Whitewater, Wisconsin as general manager of Carlson's Miniatures, a woodworking firm in Delavan, Wisconsin. Then in 1979, he became a part owner and manager of Tomah Products, a small chemical manufacturing company in Milton, Wisconsin. The company was sold to Exxon Chemical Company in 1984. In June, 1994, King led a management buy out of Tomah and since that time has served as owner, President and CEO of Tomah³ Products, Inc.


In 1980, King was elected to the Walworth County Board of Supervisors. He was re-elected in 1982 for two 2-year terms. Always active in Scouting, he received the District Award of Merit in 1982 from the Boy Scouts of America, the Silver Beaver in 1991 and the highest volunteer award given by the BSA, the Silver Antelope, in 2001. He remains active as an adult volunteer leader.


In 1985, after several years of work as a political volunteer, he was elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. His tenure as Chairman of the State GOP was marked by financial development, organization and membership growth, and political success. In 1986, U.S. Senator Robert W. Kasten, Jr. was re-elected. Governor Tommy Thompson, Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum and Attorney General Don Hanaway also won their first statewide offices in 1986. Then a year later, the Republicans won seven out of eight special elections.


On February 6, 1988 King resigned as Party Chairman to campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.


Being elected State Chairman was the culmination of a lifetime of Republican volunteer work, which started with membership in the College Young Republicans and as a precinct worker for the 1964 Goldwater campaign. Awarded highest Volunteer Awards (Bashford and Bovay) in 1996.


As a Wisconsin resident, King was a Reagan delegate to both the 1980 and 1984 Republican National Conventions, was a member of the 1984 National GOP Rules Committee and was one of 11 Wisconsin Presidential Electors in 1984. King has been a delegate to every Wisconsin State GOP convention since 1978. He was also a Bush delegate to the 2000 AND 2004RNC convention.


King lives in Janesville, WI with his wife, Karen. They celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on June 1, 2004. They have three children. Kristen Robinson, nee King, is a mother and physical therapist, residing in Janesville, WI; Stephen, Jr., is employed at Tomah Products. Russell is also employed at Tomah Products in Milton, WI. The Kings worship at the Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church in Janesville, WI.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Busy Weekend


Paul had a busy week and weekend the past couple days. Highlights:



  • He attended a Walworth County Republican Party training session for Republican volunteers for the upcoming election. It was very successful. His daughter, Breanne, accompanied him. She is a pre-law student at Arizona State who is home for the summer. He picked up several volunteers.

  • Paul attended a Waukesha County SE Branch Club Republican Party picnic. He signed up some more volunteers and supporters.

    Paul's primary opponent publicly conceded at the event that Paul has more support in this part of the state than he does.

    That's a big concession, although it's something we've long known, because 43% of the GOP primary vote comes from the 4 county Milwaukee metro area. That means Paul is strategically positioned to win and to deliver the AG's office back to Republicans.

  • Paul gave out awards to special athletes, continuing his longstanding support of Special Olympics, at a Special Olympics softball tournament in New Berlin.

Oh, and he found time to work on his deck!!

Dean returns


So, Howard Dean is returning to Wisconsin. Reminder: The current AG said he represents the soul of the Democratic Party. We think he doesn't represent the soul of this country or state, so we welcome his return to hob-nob again with top Dems, thus underscoring how extreme they are. Dean is extreme. Lautenschlager is extreme. They are political bedfellows who are both out of touch with mainstream Wisconsin sensibilities.

Listen to Howard Dean scream remixes.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

TV appearance

Paul's wife Jessica will be on the Charlie Sykes' Sunday Insight TV show Sunday morning.

Friday, July 08, 2005

New Leadership Needed On Meth

It is with a great deal of irony that both of Paul's opponents - the current AG and his Republican opponent in the primary - have run around the state touting their records on meth and promising to combat the methamphetamine epidemic if elected AG in 2006.

Why is it ironic? Because both held the US Attorney's position that oversaw the western and northwestern part of the state as the methamphetamine epidemic took root and grew in that portion of the state, where it is concentrated.

That's right. They already had their chance to prove their leadership on this issue, but meth has continued to spiral out of control under both of their watches. Hardly something to be proud about. Six years ago, the current AG acknowledged meth was an "epidemic" in the press. It's a growing one today, unfortunately.

Paul will take real action to halt meth. He won't just hold summits. He will divert real resources to combat the problem, rather than wasting money on informational meetings.

The facts:

"According to state figures, meth cases reported in Wisconsin nearly quadrupled from 83 in 1999 to 314 in 2003, and involuntary placements for treatment for methamphetamine use reached 347 in 2003, up from 194 in 2001." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

"Meth samples sent for testing to the State Crime Laboratory grew from 101 in 2000 to 545 last year (2004)." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Meth is still largely a problem in the northwest and western sections of the state over which both of Paul's opponents had jurisdiction as US Attorneys. "St. Croix County, bounding the Twin Cities, has over recent years led the state in all things meth. According to Justice Department figures, the county, with a population of some 71,000, submitted 300 cases to the State Crime Laboratory between 1998 and 2004. In Milwaukee County, with 933,000, that number was 39." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Numbers tell the story. For a graphic, see: http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/mar05/307310.asp

In March 2005, Paul's Republican primary opponent told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he would make fighting the spread of methamphetamine a priority as AG.

One wonders why it took a campaign for AG to make meth a priority.

Waste of Money

Peg Lautenschlager has a habit of holding hearings rather than showing leadership or taking action. First, tasers. Then, meth. Now, eminent domain.

Paul is very concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on eminent domain. But he thinks the AG's recent announcement to hold hearings around the state to "explain" the ruling is a colossal waste of cash and a blatant headline grab.

He also thinks the money could be far better spent on such pressing issues as actually fighting the meth epidemic in NW Wisconsin or fighting gun violence in Milwaukee or on preserving election integrity.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Waukesha County Repub Party Chairman Praises Paul as County Party Endorses Him

Paul was honored to receive in June the unanimous endorsement from the Republican Party of Waukesha County Executive Committee for his AG campaign. Paul is the Republican candidate whom Republicans should rally around, according to the state's largest County branch of the Republican Party.

Here's the quote from longtime, highly respected County Party Chairman Don Taylor:

“We who know him best have seen first hand Paul's outstanding leadership as a prosecutor and community leader. That’s why the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Waukesha County unanimously endorsed Paul at its June Meeting for state Attorney General,” Taylor said. “Coming from the state's population base, and with exceptionally high name recognition in the state's most expensive media market, Paul Bucher is our Party's best chance to take back the Attorney General's office. He's earned the respect of law enforcement both here and around the state as an aggressive prosecutor with an extremely high conviction rate, and as an innovator, and hands-on DA who gets the job done.”