Category “Republicans”

WI-06">Initial Ratings in from WI-06

With the retire­ment of Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), nat­u­rally comes the horse race aspects of the new real­ity.  Long has the race been marked either “Safe Repub­li­can” or “Solid Repub­li­can” when Petri was there.  That is no longer the case, but it hardly the “great oppor­tu­nity” many out-of-state lib­er­als believe it to be.

Here’s Cook:

Mov­ing the race from “Solid Repub­li­can” to “Likely Repub­li­can.”  All-in-all, a drop of one level, but about a 75 per­cent chance the GOP is hang­ing on to the seat.

Here’s Sabato:

As men­tioned, Rep. Petri’s (R, WI-6) retire­ment opens up his mar­gin­ally com­pet­i­tive dis­trict, but this is prob­a­bly not the right year for Democ­rats to flip it. Obama won about 46% in this dis­trict in 2012 (after very nar­rowly win­ning it in 2008), and there are only five cur­rently Demo­c­ra­tic House dis­tricts where Obama did worse. So this doesn’t really fit the pro­file of a dis­trict the Democ­rats could win in 2014. Petri’s dis­trict is very sim­i­lar to that of another retir­ing Repub­li­can, the afore­men­tioned Rep. Camp (R, MI-4). In fact, Obama’s 2012 per­for­mance in the dis­tricts was almost iden­ti­cal: He got 45.5% in Camp’s dis­trict and 45.8% in Petri’s. So it’s rea­son­able to make the same rat­ings change we did when Camp retired: WI-6 goes from Safe Repub­li­can to LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

And finally, Rothen­berg:

After explain­ing who the likely can­di­dates are on both sides of the aisle, they come to this conclusion.

For now, we’re main­tain­ing our Rothen­berg Polit­i­cal Report/Roll Call rat­ing of the race as Cur­rently Safe for Repub­li­cans.

Nat­u­rally, this could all change.  Lib­er­als seem to be hop­ing and pray­ing that Glenn Groth­man wins the GOP Pri­mary, see­ing his ten­dency to make gaffes their only chance of get­ting a win here.  As I’ve said before, I don’t believe Glenn will win this primary.

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Quote of the Day

It took two cycles, but appar­ently some­one is learn­ing accord­ing to a rather inter­est­ing arti­cle about the polit­i­cal anal prob­ing can­di­dates now have to go through if they want the back­ing of the Club for Growth.

There’s a rea­son for the scarcity of Club endorse­ments this year. Where other con­ser­v­a­tive groups have sought to cre­ate havoc in as many pri­maries as pos­si­ble — the Sen­ate Con­ser­v­a­tives Fund, for one, has endorsed plainly flawed, under­dog chal­lengers to incum­bents in Kansas and Ken­tucky — the Club prefers to engage in fewer races and have a dra­matic impact in each.

Makes you won­der what Duey Stroebel had to go through last week if the talk is he’s bow­ing out on a pri­mary of Petri — you know that thing Glenn Groth­mann is likely to lose in August.

The rest of the arti­cle explains why the Club has stayed out of races like the Ken­tucky GOP Sen­ate pri­mary chal­lenge of GOP Sen­ate Minor­ity Leader Mitch McConnell, while groups like the Madi­son Project and Sen­ate Con­ser­v­a­tive Fund have gone head first off the cliff with clearly-flawed can­di­date Matt Bevin.

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Grothman to Challenge Petri

Well…how to begin.

State Sen. Glenn Groth­man says he plans to run for Con­gress, chal­leng­ing fel­low Repub­li­can Tom Petri for the seat rep­re­sent­ing east-central Wisconsin.

Groth­man on Thurs­day called Petri a “very good human being” but says he rep­re­sents a time when Repub­li­cans stood for expand­ing government.

Petri is a 73-year-old mod­er­ate who’s held his seat for 35 years. He won most of his elec­tions hand­ily, fac­ing lit­tle or no com­pe­ti­tion from fel­low Republicans.

But Groth­man says Repub­li­cans in Con­gress have been lack­ing. He says he’s con­cerned about a cul­ture of depen­dency in the U.S., and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is over­reach­ing into every­thing from health care to education.

At least two other Repub­li­cans are con­sid­er­ing chal­leng­ing Petri, includ­ing state Rep. Duey Stroebel and John Hiller, a close con­fi­dante of Gov. Scott Walker.

As any­one who’s read this blog since 2003 knows, I’m no great fan or cheer­leader of Tom Petri.  That being said, I respect him nonethe­less hav­ing known him since high school and the years since.

I also feel that we who grew up in the 6th Dis­trict have more than earned the right to replace him with a can­di­date of our already exist­ing bench.  This entire stunt feels like a grand scheme from south­east Wis­con­sin to push its weight around with those of us here have been more than patient over the years.  That redis­trict­ing and a desire by Ozau­kee Co. to spread its wings since it is no longer under the thumb of the Wauke­sha Co. GOP machine have more to do with it.  That this might be Grothman’s only oppor­tu­nity to push for­ward his career since he clearly is not loved by the 5th Dis­trict estab­lish­ment (i.e. Sensenbrenner).

Let’s be clear here.  There are going to be many peo­ple out in the tra­di­tional 6th who feel the way I do about this.  They don’t “love” Petri, but they also feel this isn’t needed.  That’s going to be in She­boy­gan Co., that’s going to be in Man­i­towoc Co., and that’s cer­tainly going to be in Fond du Lac and Win­nebago Cos.

Trust me, it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to fig­ure out who I would pre­fer as my next Con­gress­man.  That being said, it sure as hell isn’t Glenn Grothman.

For starter’s Grothman’s too depen­dent on south­east Wis­con­sin media.  That might be great for the Ozau­kee Co. crew, but I’m fairly cer­tain no one in the Green Bay mar­ket has heard much about him. (Hell, the part of the dis­trict that’s in the Madi­son mar­ket sure has heard a lot about him…)

Sec­ondly, Glenn’s a gaffe machine.  That might work for some, but it tends to make me cringe when a head­line is “Groth­man Says Money Mat­ters More to Men than Women.” (It’s actu­ally on his Wikipedia page.)  Trust me, I get, under­stand and sup­port the ideas behind the pol­icy he’s push­ing for, he just seems to find the most asi­nine way to say it.

Hell, I can’t count the num­ber of times I’ve been asked to com­ment on the Joy Cardin Show about a law Glenn’s only proposed.

Amanda Terkel at the Huff­in­g­ton Post just got her dream ful­filled with this announcement.

I’ve already said my peace more at RightWiscon­sin on the entire idea of a pri­mary.  Now I’m just going to cringe as I watch Glenn cam­paign for it, because you know who else is hop­ing for a “Fun Race?”  The press, just to see Glenn crash and burn since he’s a pub­lic rela­tions hand grenade primed to go off.

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Guy Zima Recaptures His Old Green Bay Council Seat

He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaack!

Well, I will give Zima’s folks up in Green Bay credit for this.  You can’t keep a fire­brand and cur­mud­geon down.

Among the win­ners in Tuesday’s local elec­tions was for­mer Alder­man Guy Zima, who reclaimed his Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat by defeat­ing Angela Warner in a closely watched contest.

Zima defeated Warner by nearly a 2-to-1 mar­gin. Healso beat her hus­band, Jim Warner, who gave up the Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat to try unseat­ing Zima in a County Board race decided Tuesday.

Zima said vot­ers sent a strong mes­sage that they were dis­sat­is­fied with the rep­re­sen­ta­tion they received after he was dis­placed from city gov­ern­ment two years ago.

The peo­ple spoke very loudly and clearly,” he said. “They want some­body who will speak up and have some debate, rather than just a rub­ber stamp.”

Of the husband-and-wife team that he van­quished on two fronts Tues­day, Zima said: “They kind of ran as a team, and that team lost. I think these folks beat themselves.”

Angela Warner, who was mak­ing her first bid for elected office, said she was shocked and dis­heart­ened that vot­ers had rejected she and her husband.

Warner, how­ever, defended the strat­egy of chal­leng­ing Zima in two races, say­ing that she thought vot­ers were ready to “get rid of him completely.”

What is wrong with our city?” she added. “They want it run by a bunch of crazy people.”

Zima isn’t crazy.  He’s just highly entertaining.

In real­ity Zima — who leans con­ser­v­a­tive and once upon a time was in the state Assem­bly I believe — has long been a light­ning rod for his actions, stances (and out­bursts) on the city coun­cil.  But, he also is known to be very respon­sive to his dis­trict even if that flies in the face of actions that Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt wants to accom­plish for the city.

It was a strange, silent two-year reprieve.  That is over now.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Cartoon of the Day

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Quote of the Day

Char­lie Cook on the grow­ing futil­ity of the annual CPAC Straw Poll.

As for the annual CPAC straw poll, it has become less of a test of the depth of voter sup­port and the orga­ni­za­tional skill of each poten­tial can­di­date to moti­vate back­ers, and more a test of their abil­ity to buy up blocks of tick­ets (hun­dreds at a time) to pack the room with warm bod­ies. The poll, in my eyes, has lost its value, in much the same way that the Iowa Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial straw poll has (I’ve sworn never to attend either again). Jour­nal­ists who cover and treat such events as if they were accu­rate cross-sections of Repub­li­cans and con­ser­v­a­tives become enablers and even cocon­spir­a­tors, car­ry­ing on the cha­rade that these events are rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­plings of any­thing more than a spe­cific sub­species of (mostly young) conservatives.

Ditto.  Ditto.  Ditto; to all of the above.

I’ve seen it hap­pen, and I’ve seen it unfold live.  It’s one of those moments where you ask your­self “Seri­ously?” espe­cially since 2009 as it became an all-out turf war between the Ron / Rand Paul peo­ple and Mitt Rom­ney folks — espe­cially in 2010.

That was a farce and a half to see from the Blog­gers’ Lounge.

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Tea Party Challenger in Kansas Put X-Rays of Dead People on Facebook

To quote Erick Erick­son — known ego­ma­niac — from a past “Cof­fee and Mar­kets” pod­cast,  “Tea Party can­di­date vet­ting sucks.”

(Ya think Erick?  Yet you still push these clowns for three cycles straight, don’t ya?)

Some­how this got missed dur­ing the ques­tion­ing process after he answered “I will do what­ever Jim DeMint tells me to…”

U.S. Sen­ate can­di­date Mil­ton Wolf posted a col­lec­tion of grue­some X-ray images of gun­shot fatal­i­ties and med­ical injuries to his Face­book page and par­tic­i­pated in online com­men­tary lay­ered with macabre jokes and descrip­tions of  carnage.

Wolf, a John­son County radi­ol­o­gist anchor­ing a cam­paign for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion with calls for fed­eral heath care reform, said in an inter­view the med­ical images were legally uploaded to pub­lic social media sites and other online venues for edu­ca­tional pur­poses. They also served, he said, to demon­strate evil lurk­ing in the world.

How­ever, Wolf and oth­ers view­ing these Face­book post­ings relent­lessly poked fun at the dead or wounded. The gun­shot vic­tim, Wolf joked online, wasn’t going to com­plain about the awk­ward posi­tion­ing of his head for an X-ray. In a sep­a­rate Face­book com­ment, Wolf wrote that an X-ray of a man decap­i­tated by gun­fire resem­bled a wounded alien in a “Ter­mi­na­tor” film and that the image offered evi­dence peo­ple “find beauty in dif­fer­ent things.”

Wolf declined in an inter­view with The Topeka Capital-Journal to clearly answer ques­tions about whether he con­tin­ued to place images of deceased peo­ple on the Inter­net. He asked to keep copies of the Face­book posts shown to him, but when denied, he walked away.

I’m not going to play these kinds of gotcha games,” he said.

An array of pro­fes­sion­als involved in med­ical ethics who viewed the images or were pro­vided a descrip­tion of the mate­ri­als made pub­lic by Wolf con­demned his air­ing of the infor­ma­tion out­side con­fines of a doctor-to-doctor con­sul­ta­tion or for the pur­pose of for­mal med­ical research or text­book instruction.

The dig­nity and pri­vacy of the indi­vid­ual should be pro­tected,” said John Car­ney, pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Prac­ti­cal Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. “It doesn’t sound like they’re being pro­tected if they’re, obvi­ously, on Facebook.”

So let me get this right, the Tea Party groups (many of which are noth­ing more than mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar front groups when you really break them down) thinks some­one like this would be a bet­ter option than Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Roberts, by the way, is just shy of 80.  If these groups had a brain, they’d just wait for Roberts to either retire in six years or die in office (Last Demo­c­rat to win statewide in Kansas was Kath­leen Sebe­lius, who’s a polit­i­cal legacy there…) than embar­rass them­selves, their groups, or the GOP in general.

Some­thing tells me Dr. Wolf was a per­sonal project of the Ryun Broth­ers, since it’s right in their back­yard.  He’s not Matt Bevins in Ken­tucky, but he’s listed sec­ond on the Madi­son Project’s list of endorsements.

I real­ize I’m not mak­ing many friends in state Tea Party groups by going after Erick­son, Sen­ate Con­ser­v­a­tive Fund, and the Madi­son Project for the actions of the idiots they find to run for high office.  Frankly, I don’t care and if they want to have that debate with me in pri­vate, they have my email address.

But if some­one doesn’t speak up and call them out for this crap, they’re going to con­tinue to find these peo­ple and con­tinue to cost the GOP chances at U.S. Sen­ate seats. What many of these guys are doing doesn’t help con­ser­vatism, doesn’t help get Oba­maCare repealed any faster, and sure as hell doesn’t end big gov­ern­ment in Washington.

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Cartoon of the Day

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H-1B Visa Reform Would Have At Least Made Sense

Let me pref­ace this post by say­ing: “I’m not for amnesty, just san­ity.”

While largely dead for the rest of the 2013–14 con­gres­sional cal­en­dar, there were some things I per­son­ally would have liked to have seen touched in an immi­gra­tion pack­age or sep­a­rate bill.  (You know, that piece­meal approach talked about, but appar­ently not going to be tried.)

At the top of that list is “H-1B Visa Reform.”

H-1B” is, like most visas issued by the State Depart­ment, one of a vari­ety of work visas granted to immi­grants who are tem­po­rary work­ers inside the United States.  H-1B’s are a spe­cialty type of visa which only are avail­able to the fol­low­ing qualifications:

  1. You must be a for­eign national.
  2. You must have already earned a col­lege degree.
  3. Said degree must be in a career related to what are called “STEM” (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, Engi­neer­ing & Math) fields.

The visas last for three years and can be renewed for another three for a total of six years; and with their employ­ers spon­sor­ship, they can gain cit­ize That stay can be up to ten years, only if you are work­ing for a defense con­trac­tor.  They are highly-coveted by tech­nol­ogy firms in Sil­i­con Val­ley such as Google, IBM, Face­book and Oracle.

Annu­ally, 65,000 new H-1Bs are issued, with an addi­tional 20,000 to eli­gi­ble immi­grants already in the coun­try who get­ting their col­lege degrees. Esti­ma­tions are that since the pro­gram began around 2,000, over 850,000 H-1Bs have been issued.

So why reform them and what to do?  The com­mon answer — accepted on both sides — has been to lift the annual quota.  Why? Because the world is a com­pet­i­tive work­place, and despite con­stant inter­est in com­puter sci­ences and IT, Amer­ica isn’t gen­er­at­ing enough of them fast enough.  Also, other nations also have sub­stan­tial tech­nol­ogy sec­tors them­selves and will grab up these wouldbe employees.

In the most recent pod­cast episode for the center-right web­site Ric­o­chet, renowned polit­i­cal ana­lyst Michael Barone told a story of how a Cana­dian diplo­mat prayed that Amer­ica didn’t change its immi­gra­tion pol­icy towards high-skilled work­ers (the ones sought through the H-1B pro­gram) because then all these folks could come to Van­cou­ver, Cal­gary and Toronto.  British Colum­bia is well-known to be the high-tech hub match­ing its neigh­bors south of the bor­der in Wash­ing­ton State and Sil­i­con Valley.

It is this exact thing which makes the immi­gra­tion debate as a whole so frus­trat­ing.  While we’re fight­ing over what is clearly a hor­rific Sen­ate bill, both sides need to take a moment, fig­ure out where there is actual con­sen­sus on immi­gra­tion — like visa reform, which has noth­ing to do with amnesty much if at all — and craft a bill.

Any­one who still demands a full, “com­pre­hen­sive approach” (Chuck Schumer, I’m look­ing at you.) should be barred from the room.  Ham­mer out some­thing that works, not just for those get­ting the H-1Bs’, but for the U.S. econ­omy as well.

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