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Friday, December 12, 2014

Voter Photo ID



By Bill Kraus

You may have noticed that many state legislatures have put a lot of time and effort into crafting legislation that would require voters to identify themselves with a driver’s license, a passport or an authorized card with their picture on it.

Irrespective of the motivation behind these laws—-voter suppression, a response to polls which show a very high percentage of citizens think this is a good idea, fear of voter fraud, or something else either real or imagined—-they have spawned a long series of lawsuits, court decisions, and appeals from decisions.

In one form or another the lawsuits opposing voter photo IDs are contending these laws are really poll taxes in sheep’s clothing.

Not real taxes of course. But complying with the requirement, even if the ID is provided free, is said to cause inconvenience and expense which are annoying at best and probably unconstitutional to boot.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Now what?



By Bill Kraus

Scott Walker’s icon status is intact, and he is running for President. His obligatory denials or half denials are mild enough to indicate he knows that icon’s lose luster with age. With Walker out of the way, Robin Vos is running for governor.

These tacit ambitions can influence behavior in major ways.

The newly empowered Republicans exercised the dominance they won in 2010 vigorously. Act 10 was a surprisingly effective surprise which did a lot of things up to and including igniting the above mentioned ambitions for 2016.

The unexpectedly loud and physical backlash to Act 10 had many many side effects on the governor and on the legislative leaders.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post Mortem/Goodbye and Good Riddance



By Bill Kraus

The campaign started with an iconic incumbent, a sent from heaven opponent, and a predictable central issue about which neither of the candidates if elected could do much: jobs specifically, the economy predominantly.

The icon never wavered.

The Dems ran a traditional campaign with a non-traditional candidate; not good. What was worse was instead of featuring their candidate they chose to follow their misguided notion that everybody who knows the governor and what he has done hates him and everything about the famous Act 10 which made him an icon because they do.

After losing two referendums on the governor, they went for the third instead of running a positive campaign featuring their candidate and the interesting qualities their non mainstream candidate brought to the campaign.

A strategic misstep.

Both campaigns inevitably turned to the politics of personal destruction which demeans the perpetrators, the targets, and the trade.