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CNN – Mysterious Noises baffle residents in Clintonville – Wisconsin !!
CLINTONVILLE – Update as of 6:30 a.m. from Angela Kelly:
The Clintonville City Administrator, Lisa Kuss just talked to Angela. She says booms were felt and heard throughout the night in parts of the city. The problem is broadening to areas south and west of the northeast part of the city.
Madison – A Dane County judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation repealing most collective bargaining for public employees.
In a 33-page decision issued Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said she would freeze the legislation because GOP lawmakers on a committee broke the state’s open meetings law in passing it March 9.
The legislation limits collective bargaining to wages for all public employees in Wisconsin except for police and firefighters.
“It’s what we were looking for,” said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat.
Ozanne sued to block the law after Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) filed a complaint saying that GOP legislative leaders had not given proper notice in convening a conference committee of lawmakers from both houses to approve Walker’s budget-repair bill.
A spokesman for state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state Department of Justice could not be reached immediately for comment on the decision. A spokesman for Walker also could not be immediately reached.
In the decision, Sumi appeared to be bracing for an outcry from Republicans and supporters of the law, noting that judges are supposed to apply the law even if their decisions will be “controversial or unpopular.” Sumi writes that Ozanne showed by “clear and convincing evidence” that the open meetings law had been violated.
“This decision explains why it is necessary to void the legislative actions flowing from those violations,” wrote Sumi, who was appointed to the bench by former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.
But the issue is far from settled. The state Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 on whether to take over the case.
“It’s not over yet. I’m positive of that,” Ozanne said. “The supremes are the supremes. They can do what they want.”
GOP lawmakers also have said they would consider passing the law a second time as part of the 2011-’13 state budget if it was necessary to ensure that it takes effect.
Republicans voted 18-1 Wednesday night to pass nonfiscal provisions of the budget-repair bill — including those that would eliminate or severely limit collective-bargaining rights for most public employees.
Republicans control the Senate but had been blocked from voting on the issue after Democrats left the state Feb. 17 to prevent a quorum. Instead, Republicans used a procedural maneuver to force the collective-bargaining measure through: They removed elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that technically were related to appropriating funds, thus removing a requirement that 20 senators be present for a vote.
In the end, the Senate’s 19 Republicans approved the measure without any debate on the floor or a single Democrat in the room.
Walker issued a statement praising the action: “The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused.”
The fight over the legislation has drawn national attention, with unions calling it an attack on all organized labor and some GOP lawmakers and governors calling it a necessary step to control state spending.
“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters had grown to thousands outside the state Capitol in Madison.
“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as Read more…
Update (3:15 pm ET): Indiana deputy attorney general loses job
The Indiana Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday that the deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use deadly force on protesters is no longer employed by the agency, according to WISH.
Update (2:30 pm ET): Indiana official delete personal blog
An Indiana deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use “live ammunition” on protesters has deleted his personal blog.
Jeff Cox had claimed that Mother Jones would try to “silence” him.
Original report continues below… Read more…
The spirit in Wisconsin is best captured by two teachers from Janesville sitting on the stairs inside the Capitol. They’re holding the sign that’s everywhere at these protests—“Care about Educators Like They Care for Your Child.”
The two answered their union’s call and headed to Madison. They arrived with Read more…