Government and Political News: DA saying judges are limiting his right to carry concealed weaponsWisconsin News
-- The district attorney in Oshkosh says judges are illegally limiting his right to carry a concealed weapon in his courthouse – and he’s filing a petition today with the State Supreme Court to get that changed.
The district attorney in Oshkosh says judges are illegally limiting his right to carry a concealed weapon in his courthouse – and he’s filing a petition today with the State Supreme Court to get that changed. Christian Gossett and his chief deputy Scott Ceman both have state permits – and as prosecutors, they say Wisconsin’s new concealed weapons law allows them to carry their weapons on the job. But Gossett says Winnebago County’s judges will not let him to have a concealed weapon in court, unless he gets written permission from the judge or court commissioner who handles each case. Gossett says the order goes beyond the limits of the courts’ authority. And because the law is so new, they had no legal precedent on which to base their order. Gossett says he and Ceman have their offices in a different building from the courtrooms – and they must carry concealed weapons to stay safe as they pass through unsecured areas. The head of Gossett’s judicial district, Fond du Lac Judge Robert Wirtz, issued an order in January that affirmed the D-A’s gun restrictions. He’s a defendant in Gossett’s complaint, along with all six Winnebago County judges.
Pro-life groups made some big gains in the last state legislative session – and they plan to keep the petal-to-the-metal if Republicans win both houses again in November. The G-O-P is expected to keep running the Assembly. But Democrats have taken control of the Senate, pending a recount in a June fifth recall contest. And if the G-O-P does not regain the upper house this fall, Barbara Lyons of Wisconsin Right-to-Life tells the Madison Capital Times quote, “We won’t be able to get our issues through the Senate.” Still, her group and others promise an aggressive agenda if they get the same Republican majorities that brought back an emphasis on abstinence in sex education – cut state funds for Planned Parenthood – and made abortion candidates prove they’re not coerced into getting their operations. Among the new bills that Wisconsin Right-to-Life wants to promote is a ban on birth control coverage in state health insurance plans for public employees. It also wants to require abortion candidates to have ultra-sounds, and then be given the right to see what they’re created. And Right-to-Life also wants to find a sponsor for a bill being promoted nationally, to ban abortions after the woman’s sixth month of pregnancy except when the mother’s life is in danger. National Right-to-Life says five states have made it law. Planned Parenthood says there are problems with all the proposals, and Nicole Safar told the Cap Times quote, “These groups aren’t pushing anti-abortion agendas – they’re pushing anti-woman agendas.”
The state D-N-R plans to eliminate 11 obsolete rules, as part of Governor Scott Walker’s order to have bureaucrats identify measures that hurt businesses. Natural resource officials started their review in April. They found 11 rules they say are obsolete – including air permit fees, hunting restrictions in the Horicon Marsh, and limits on mercury discharges. They say the rules duplicate other ones – or they regulate programs that no longer exist. The D-N-R says it will keep looking for other obsolete measures, and they’ll finish their review by next spring. The Natural Resources Board would have to approve all changes. In February, Governor Walker ordered all state departments to review their administrative rules, and drop language that puts too much of a burden on small businesses.
Mitt Romney’s bus tour rolls into Wisconsin this morning. The Republican presidential candidate will speak from a loading dock at Monterrey Mills in Janesville, which makes fabric for paint rollers. Romney will appear in the hometown of House Budget chairman Paul Ryan, who will appear at the event along with Governor Scott Walker. After that, Romney will ride through southwest Wisconsin before stopping next in Dubuque Iowa, where he’ll take a boat ride and speak at a park. Romney started his bus tour on Friday in New Hampshire, campaigning in small-to-medium-sized cities in battleground states that supported Democrat Barack Obama in 2008. National media say Democratic protestors have been following the bus caravan. And in Newark Ohio yesterday, Romney’s wife Ann responded to about 30 shouting protestors by saying quote, “We can be just as loud about how much we love this country.” Obama adviser David Alexrod said he condemns the heckling. Axelrod said on Twitter quote, “Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours – Let voters hear both candidates and decide.” Romney has been touting his economic plans on his trip. Wisconsin Democrats took aim at those plans yesterday at rally in Madison at the Labor Temple. Mahlon Mitchell, who lost for lieutenant governor two weeks ago, was among those criticizing Romney.