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One group in the state has started a drive for a constitutional amendment to require that transportation funding only get used to fund the state's transportation system. Constitutional amendment or no constitutional amendment, Wisconsin democrat candidate for governor Tom Barrett pledges not to raid money from the state's transportation fund for other uses. It would be a break from the traditions of the current democratic governor. In the recent past, Governor Doyle has taken hundreds of millions from the fund to help pay for schools.
Now, with Wisconsin's indoor workplace smoking ban in effect, La Crosse bars are hurriedly working on places for their smokers to go. My Second Home on the city's northside had plans for an outdoor beer garden. But a city council committee has voted against the bar's permit. Owner Mike Dwyer says that doesn't make much sense. He says, if denied a beer garden permit, that means his customers will simply spill out into the streets causing a far greater disturbance than if he's allowed to send them out into a partially enclosd patio. The full council votes on Dwyer's permit tonight.
Let freedom ring. Jackson county D-A Gerald Fox says it's past time. At least in his county. Citing this week's supreme court ruling affirming the right of individuals to arm themselves under the Constitution's second amendment, Fox says he's identified a number of state statute's regulating guns that he can no longer prosecute for. The state's statute regulating loaded guns in cars. The one about carrying a gun in a bar. Or in public buildings. Or the big whopper; the law that prohibits people in Wisconsin from carrying concealed weapons. All of those, says Fox, are now simply unconstituional.
Republican State Senator Dan Kapanke says he's finished paying the thousands in legal bills incurred by lawyers for the Democratic Party which took him to task for not being able to locate e-mails fast enough. The Democratic Party had submitted an open records request related to economic forums Kapanke had held. Democrats claimed the forums were campaign events using Kapanke's office budget. Turns out they weren't. But, because one of Kapanke's staffers was slow to come up with some e-mails and she had used a personal e-mail account, a fine of $100 was levied by the state. Meanwhile, the court battle waged by democrats racked up $38,000 in legal bills. It would have been paid by the state, but Kapanke volunteered to pay bills himself.
Another Independence Day rally for local Tea Partiers. La Crosse Tea Party organizer Jake Speed has an event planned for Sunday in Copeland park. Over eight hundred showed for last year's event, he says. This year? Hard to say, says Speed. The numbers tend to ebb and flow. Depends on what sorts of things pop up in the news. A self-taught constitutional scholar will be among the attractions at Sunday's Tea Party rally as well as the discussion about how much the nation's debt costs each American. The rally starts at 2 pm at Copeland.