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Guess what? Coming to a Ballot Near You-More Referendums! Part II-The Invasion of the Machines in Our Elections AND Fish Fry Frenzy in Dunn County :)
Just when you thought you were safe from dealing with another confusing language in a referendum - Remember mid-term 2022 General Election ballot with a lovely referendum attached to it. Well, on the upcoming Spring Election ballot which we will be casting on April 4th, 2023 we are not only blessed with one BUT with three referendums! And I am here to help break it down to put some clarity, better understanding with less confusion before heading to the polls.
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First of all, Question #1 and Question #2 are NOT proposed amendments but are amending to a current amendment. Here is the current amendment in our Wisconsin State Constitution in Article 1 Section 8 (2) as follows:
Declaration of Rights
Section 8 Prosecutions; double jeopardy; self-incrimination; bail; habeas corpus.
Wisconsin State Constitution Article I Section 8
(2) All persons, before conviction, shall be eligible for release under reasonable conditions designed to assure their appearance in court, protect members of the community from serious bodily harm or prevent the intimidation of witnesses. Monetary conditions of release may be imposed at or after the initial appearance only upon a finding that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the conditions are necessary to assure appearance in court. The legislature may authorize, by law, courts to revoke a person's release for a violation of a condition of release.
Now let’s take some time to read Question #1 referendum shall we?
State Referendum question 1: “Conditions of release before conviction. Shall section 8 (2) of Article 1 of the constitution be amended to allow a court to impose on an accused person being released before conviction conditions that are designed to protect the community from serious harm?”
Now let’s compare the current state constitutional amendment with Question #1 referendum. What words are missing in action here? In the current amendment it states, “protect members of the community from serious bodily harm.” While in Question #1 referendum it states, “to protect the community from serious harm”. Mmmm…..it appears they pulled out the words “members” and “bodily” from the amended language. Not good. By stating just “the community from serious harm” anything goes. The language here is too vague, too broad in scope and unfortunately, weakens the amendment. Just one or two words can change the entire dynamic, structure and language of an amendment.
Now let’s take the time to read Question #2 referendum as follows:
State Referendum question 2: “Cash bail before conviction. Shall section 8 (2) of article 1 of the constitution be amended to allow a court to impose cash bail on a person accused of a violent crime based on the totality of the circumstances, including the accused’s previous convictions for a violent crime, the probability that the accused will fail to appear, the need to protect the community from serious harm and prevent witness intimidation, and potential affirmative defenses?”
Ok, now let’s compare the current state constitutional amendment with Question #2 referendum. What is being added and what words again are missing in action? Mmmmmm……”Cash bail on a person accused of a violent crime”. When I read this, the first thing that pops in my head was the Waukesha Christmas Parade incident. This horrific incident occurred because of low cash bail. I do not understand why we would even want a cash bail on any person accused of a violent crime out before conviction. Makes no sense to me unless the accused is innocent. And what even becomes more confusing is the fact they once again took out the word “Bodily” from serious bodily harm clause. The term “Serious Harm” and “Violent Crime” do not compute. So they are saying serious harm is worse than serious bodily harm due to violent crime being in the language of this amended clause. Then the other addition is “potential affirmative defenses”. I did some digging on this term and found in our statute under 802.2 General Rules of Pleading (3) Affirmative Defenses as follows:
802.02 General rules of pleading.
(3) In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively any matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense including but not limited to the following: accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of a condition subsequent, failure or want of consideration, failure to mitigate damages, fraud, illegality, immunity, incompetence, injury by fellow servants, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, superseding cause, and waiver. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court, if justice so requires, shall permit amendment of the pleading to conform to a proper designation. If an affirmative defense permitted to be raised by motion under s.
802.06 (2) is so raised, it need not be set forth in a subsequent pleading.
And as you read it, a lot of different kinds of pleadings come into play with this general rules pleading clause. It is quite the list enough to make your head spin. Clear as mud? Well, I hope I helped you get through some of the muck.
At least Question #3 referendum was not as much of a so called “trick question” as #1 and #2 referendum questions we just finished dissecting. Here is referendum Question #3 as follow:
State Referendum Question 3: “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?”
It sounds similar to the tune of, in order to receive unemployment benefits you need to be actively seeking work. So this referendum is less stressful with no dissecting involved here. Whew……..we made it through the referendum plunge!
Part II of The Invasion of Machines in Our Elections
In my last blog I discussed how electronic equipment such as Badger Books is being relied upon to do the bulk of the work in our election process. Last month Menomonie City Council approved of acquiring Badger Books in the city’s polling places adding to the Dominion Imagecast Tabulators currently in place in our election process. Just what we need, more electronic equipment to run our elections. We also need to remember in order to run the hardware you need software to run the hardware. The hardware alone is stupid and can only become intelligent through the software programmer and the programmer’s code of creation. So with that in mind, let’s talk about software applications for a moment. WEC (Wisconsin Election Commission) happened to develop myvote.wi. It’s a great tool to register to vote or see who will be on the ballot come election day BUT when it comes to requesting an absentee ballot it has a major loophole. Anybody in Dunn County can request an absentee ballot on the behalf of someone else - a family member, a friend, neighbor or a stranger and be mailed right to YOU! And you do not need any form of identification to complete the process!! The loophole has been exposed in Racine County last year. https://www.fox6now.com/news/absentee-ballot-loophole-wisconsin-man-investigated-for-fraud. And even with the exposure of the loophole WEC has not fixed the issue and loophole in the absentee ballot request on myvote.wi which is still rift for fraud. So with that being said, WEC is also in charge of developing and maintaining the software for Badger Books. Surprise, Surprise. That truly does not comfort me knowing they have full control of Badger Books software, not to mention, “they will help you in how to use Badger Books to run an election which includes pre and post election data transfer process” according to https://elections.wi.gov/resources/quick-reference-topics/badger-book-purchasing-considerations under Badger Book Purchasing Considerations.pdf. Hers’s a section from the pdf file from W.E.C. as follows:
• Wisconsin Elections Commission & Paragon Development Services - There will be parts of this process where you will be working with staff at the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and other parts where you will be working strictly with employees of the hardware supplier, Paragon Development Services (PDS).
WEC staff develops and maintains the software.
Staff will help train on how to use the Badger Books and how to run an election using the Badger Books, including the pre and post-election data transfer processes.
PDS will sell and deliver the actual Badger Book devices.
I don’t know about you, but with the loophole in myvote.wi that W.E.C. oversees and has not taken action to solve the loophole that effects our election process gives me an uneasy feeling with W.E.C. having control over the development of the software of Badger Books. If they are having a hard time maintaining myvote.wi with integrity, how are they going to maintain Badger Books software with a high level of integrity. We all want honest and transparent elections. But with W.E.C at the helm of our election ship, that will be difficult to achieve.
Fish Fry Frenzy in Dunn County
Who loves a good ole Friday night Fish Fry? Me…Me…Me…Me…Me!!!! I happen to love seafood, so of course, I love eating fish! Especially the all you can eat fish fry’s. Well, last Friday night the hubby and I were craving fish so I was doing a lovely search on my phone for fish fry’s in Dunn County. And I must say, there is quite the selection of places to go for a yummy fish fry. There is Log Jam Restaurant, Waterfront Restaurant, Wilson Creek Inn, Menomonie Family Restaurant, Stout Ale House, Silver Dollar Restaurant, Great Escape Bar and Grill and even St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on 910 Wilson Ave in which all listed are in Menomonie have wonderful fish fry’s to enjoy. Than by Lake Tainter there is Jake’s Supper Club and Pioneer Grill and Saloon. But the one that caught my attention was a place out in Colfax called Whitetail Golf Course. It happened to be last Friday night was there FIRST night opening back up their kitchen to their famous Friday Night Fish Fry, Shrimp and Chicken buffet. Never knew they had a fish fry at the golf course in Colfax after living in the area for almost ten years. So we took a nice leisurely drive to Whitetail Golf Course which is on 760th Ave. What an awesome pick for a true all you can eat fish fry! Besides the all you can eat fish (baked or deep-fried), popcorn shrimp and baked chicken there is a wonderful array of homemade salads and desserts to choose from. We knew it was going to be licking smack good with a packed house! It was truly worth the wait. For us, it was only a ten minutes wait. The Friday Night Fish Fry at Whitetail Golf Course opens up for service at 5 pm and ends at 9 pm. We were so impressed with the food, being very accommodating with friendly service along with keeping the place nice and tidy, we will be returning back again really soon! So, to my Dunn County neighbors, if you are looking for a true all you can eat fish fry, Whitetail Golf Course is THE PLACE!!
Bulletin Board Moments:
☝️This is the last weekend to catch this production from the Menomonie Theater Guild!
From One Dunn County Neighbor to Another - Happy Shamrock Day! 🍀
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