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Category “2010 GOP Governor Primary”

FoxNews September 20th, 2010

Disclosure: Authored by Kurt

This aired on Foxnews this morning if anyone missed it.

Walker on Foxnews

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RPW 2010 Livestream

I’m mostly doing it via Twitter.  I find it much easier to type away there than hitting the “UPDATE” button over and over again.  Please go there, if you aren’t following me on Twitter already.

Last night’s tidbits:

1) The big “CR Leader Defection” is a total dud for the Democrats here at RPW.  Especially when you add in the fact — well known to Madison insiders for weeks — that DPW very likely gave her a job and this stunt was part of the payoff.

2) Best Hospitality Suite Theme of Night One: Roger Roth for Congress’s German-themed “Roth-toberfest!” Beyond that, the rest of them were pretty hum-drum.

2a) Best Music in Suite: Scott Walker.  Nothing beats a live band.

2b) Best Food: Neumann, mostly because he’s the only one who had food to serve.

2c) Best Drink: Superior Mayor and Lt. Governor Candidate Dave Ross.  Sprecher Root Beer Floats baby!

3) The growing CW on both sides in Madison, is the Democrats have likely already lost the Assembly.

4) Paul Ryan had to leave early.  His mother-in-law passed away last night.  My condolences to Paul, Janna, and the rest of the Ryan family.

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Quick Hits

The Band is Coming Back Together

Interesting new findings from a poll via NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Republicans have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November’s elections, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The findings suggest that public opinion has hardened in advance of the 2010 elections, making it harder for Democrats to translate their legislative successes or a tentatively improving U.S. economy into gains among voters.

Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.

“This data is what it looks like when Republicans assemble what for them is a winning coalition,” said GOP pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts the survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. He said the Republican alliance appeared to be “firmer and more substantial” than earlier in the year.

Mr. Hart noted that, to his own party’s detriment, a series of major news events and legislative achievements—including passage of a sweeping health care law, negotiating a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia and making a quick arrest in the Times Square terrorism attempt—has not measurably increased support for Democrats. “A lot has happened,” he said, “but the basic dynamic of the 2010 elections seems almost set in concrete.”

A big shift is evident among independents, who at this point in the 2006 campaign favored Democratic control of Congress rather than Republican control, 40% to 24%. Now, independents favor the GOP, 38% to 30%.

Suburban women favored Democratic control four years ago by a 24-point margin. Now, they narrowly favor Republicans winning the House. A similar turnaround has happened among voters 65 and older.

“This is the inverse of where we were four years ago, and in a way that projects to substantial Democratic losses in November,” Mr. McInturff said.

Batten down the hatches if you’re a Democrat.  There’s a storm a-comin’.

The Gard Endorsement of Neumann

I’m in that “Do Endorsements Matter Anymore?” camp (I mean, seriously, who cares that Bob Dohnal endorsed Terri McCormick today?  Dohnal hasn’t mattered in years…yes Bob, feel free to explain to me otherwise in the comments because I know you will)  so I truthfully wonder if the Gard and Zeuske endorsements matter much.

Also, anyone looking too deep into the meaning of the endorsement as some sort of ideological fight (Patrick, John Gard is a RINO only in your mind and Mark Belling’s microphone, move on already.) is kidding themselves.  There’s been bad blood between Gard and Walker all the way back to their Assembly days when Gard was rising through the ranks of leadership and Walker was a back-bencher.  It’s your classic ego-clash.

An aside, like Wigderson, I got the same email from Walker Campaign Communications Director Jill Bader he got.  It’s stuff like that which makes me say “I like Scott, but I have issues with the Walker Campaign” more than I’d like to.

Seriously, can both Neumann and Walker campaign stop acting like a bunch of cranky 3rd graders already?  That, or save us all the trouble of watching you snipe at each other for the next four months and have the fight to the death like real men?  I hear the Thunderdome’s open to the public every third Friday.

Deficit at 400% Annual Increase

One wonders how the printing presses haven’t broke down yet…

The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

Outlays during April rose to $327.96 billion from $218.75 billion in March and were up from $287.11 billion in April 2009. It was a record level of outlays for an April.
It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.

Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record.

For the first seven months of fiscal 2010, which ends September 30, the cumulative budget deficit totals $799.68 billion, down slightly from $802.3 billion in the comparable period of fiscal 2009.


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Daily Quick Hits

Ricky Martin is Gay

Yeah, didn’t see that one coming. (Enough sarcasm there?)

The Latest RNC Issue

Clearly, the issue at hand is the RNC’s Finance Department, and whoever was the person in it who thought okay to approve the $2,000 expenditure at the West Hollywood club should either be disciplined or all-out terminated.  From indications posted at the Corner, there will be a sacking of some sort coming shortly.  One thing a lot of Republican candidates out West (the man at fault seems to be a California direct-mail consultant)

I do think dragging in Chairman Steele into this aspect of the story was unprofessional of the The Daily Caller, especially since they were backtracking on the story as the day went on in regards to the West Hollywood club.   Though, can we finally have a week where the RNC finances are not a story unto themselves?

What Are the Odds?

In a story about approval rating on Speaker Pelosi, the Washington Post called 1000 people at random for their input.  One of them was a “John Murtha of Orlando, Florida, who was quoted in the story.

Obviously the name rang some bells in political circles.  It was weirder than that, it was the son of the very late Congressman.

The Zoo SNAFU (Trademark Pending)

Watching the spin from a far on what has to have been the most avoidable transportation problem in Wisconsin history is a blast.  The Barrett guys look like they’re whining, the Walker guys can’t seem to have enough fun, and liberal bloggers are to the point of depravity.

My favorite is former Norquist aide James Rowen, who seems to think conservatives are happy the Zoo is a mess (Sorry Jim, were not happy, we’re simply pointing out it could have been avoidable.).  Admittedly, the irony isn’t lost on me hearing a former Norquist aide talk about the Zoo collapsing; since Barrett pretty much picked up the torch Norquist had carried when it came to highways and the Metro Milwaukee area.

The Neumann Rumor Mill

Having worked on campaigns before, let’s be clear with ourselves; it wasn’t a cool or smart move.  It’s also not the end of the world for the Neumann campaign or this young kid’s career.  It’s about a 1.75 out of 10 on the “Worst Things Campaigns can do to Each Other” Scale.  It’s amateur no doubt, but the lasting damage is negligible at least.  It’s an act which will be forgotten by next month.

The only comparable thing in primary campaigns past I’ve seen (and frankly she’ll be pissed I mention this again, but screw it we already hate each other) is when Katie Harbath was caught starting a whisper campaign of sorts June 2007 within the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Campaign against the Mitt Romney campaign with sending an email to bloggers about a story in a Salt Lake City newspaper about “The White Horse Prophesy,” a discredited legend about a Mormon in the White House.  At the end, it caused a personal phone call of apology from Rudy to Mitt for the email.

What both Walker and Neumann campaigns (and bloggers siding with either side) should do is just let the story go.  The damage is done — mostly self-inflicted to Neumann — and there’s not much else to gain by bringing it up again. If there’s been a behind-the-scenes apology between both men, the better.

As for the staffer, buck up.  You screwed up.  It happens.  Now just keep you head down and do your job to the best of your ability.

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Neumann Launches First Ad in Governor’s Race

All-in-all, it’s not a bad ad, but it also shows how far behind (or in need of Name ID) Mark Neumann’s campaign could be against Scott Walker in the GOP primary if this is already making the airwaves in Wisconsin.

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The More They Push Barrett, The Less This Makes Sense to Me

Ok, let’s be honest with ourselves.  Doyle and Barrett want the Mayor of Milwaukee to take the reins of the failing Milwaukee Public Schools System.  It is well-known that Doyle is not shy about praising Barrett about being “his guy” to succeed him as the next Democratic Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

Pardon me for asking, but if Barrett’s out running for Governor for most of next year, who the hell is supposed to be overseeing MPS?

Milwaukee’s mayor would have the power to not only appoint the city school system’s superintendent but also set its annual tax levy under a legislative proposal Gov. Jim Doyle detailed Tuesday.

Flanked by five Milwaukee-area legislators, Doyle released more components of what he said would be within a bill introduced in the Legislature giving the mayor a strong hand in governance of Milwaukee Public Schools.

With little time left in the legislative session and the bill still in the drafting stage, Doyle said he may call a special session this year to consider mayoral takeover of MPS.

“I think we all feel this incredible sense of urgency that this has to be done,” Doyle said.

The plan would not just give the mayor the ability to fire and hire the MPS superintendent, according to a handout drafted by the governor and legislators. It also would move authority over budget and fiscal issues, curriculum, facility decisions and collective bargaining from the School Board to the superintendent.

The mayor would set the annual tax levy.

School Board members would provide oversight and perform duties related to community relations and student discipline. A referendum to reauthorize mayoral control would be held after seven years.

Even though a bill that would give the mayor a hand in the schools has not yet been introduced, Mayor Tom Barrett said in an interview Tuesday that he has been talking with others about what characteristics he wants in the next schools superintendent. He called on the School Board to postpone its Nov. 19 deadline for applications for the MPS superintendent position, which the board is looking to fill before Superintendent William Andrekopoulos’ departure in June.

Those who have talked to me in private about this issue pretty much know where I stand.  The idea isn’t totally baseless and without merit.  MPS is in horrible shape by a combination of managerial waste and fraud, inattentive parents who gave up on not just bettering their kids, but their neighborhoods years ago, and a school board which is well…words fail to describe it sometimes.

Milwaukee’s Public Schools are in need of a fix, and something indeed needs to happen to make that change a reality. Under the right kind of leadership from a mayor who has a record of tackling education reform head on, Milwaukee could start under many of the same reforms DC has seen under Mayors Williams and Fenty.


What we are very likely about to see if what Democrats (and seriously folks, you are kidding yourself if ever believed otherwise since the NEA started calling the shots in that party) always do:  Use kids as a smokescreen for the realpolitik going on behind the scenes.  I mean, seriously, after months of this idea being out there and complaints from Milwaukee officials, suddenly they find legislative authors.

Where were these folks weeks ago?  Did they just materialize over-night?

And then next week, what do you know, the Big Guy’s coming to Madison.  And what is he talking about?  You guessed it, education.  Does anyone honestly think there won’t be some ‘alone time’ with Mayor Barrett or that Michelle Obama won’t give the “shared sacrifice speech” to his wife Kris?  That guilt trips about ‘grand Democratic loses from Milwaukee to Superior and parts in-between’ won’t be laid upon them every chance they get?

Now that’s all fine and good.  It’s how some party politics go down behind-the-scenes, but they’re using the guise of reforming Wisconsin’s largest, most bloated, most in need of repair school system as the puppet theater to move the political chess pieces on the board.

That’s low.  That’s not going to help any one’s kids or any kid’s future with the sort of half-hearted effort I fear we’re about to receive from Doyle and friends.

That’s not reform; and frankly, if that’s how it’s likely to go down, then don’t bother doing it.

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Liberal Bloggers Completely Misread Walker Poll

Not sure who to laugh at more.  Zach W at Blogging Blue who started it, or capper who did what capper always does — assume any news about Scott Walker must be viewed through the “THIS MAN IS INCOMPETENT AND EVIL INCARNATE!!!” lens.

The two of them are going over a press report on an internal Walker Campaign poll in Saturday’s Journal Sentinel.  This portion in general:

The statewide poll found 44% of likely primary voters saying they favored Walker vs. 43% for Barrett, with 13% undecided, according to the poll. Walker is an announced Republican candidate for governor. Barrett, a Democrat, has not said whether he’s interested in running for governor.

The poll was done this week for Walker’s campaign by the Tarrance Group, a national polling firm for Republican candidates. The firm interviewed 800 likely primary election voters Tuesday and Wednesday. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The mayor’s numbers were likely inflated by the massive publicity this week about his intervention in a domestic dispute, according to pollster Brian Tringali. Barrett was beaten by a man with a tire iron after the mayor heard cries for help and tried to call 911.

This caused Zach to exclaim that “Walker must start worrying about Barrett; who’s not even in the race!”  (Echoed by Liebenthal with waaaaay too much enthusiasm if you ask me)  Which I guess would be true…if this was actually meant to be a poll to measure the General Election match-ups.

What these bloggers both seem to have missed is the Friday night version of this story, which included a lot more internals of the poll.  In it, you can tell this was clearly meant to be a GOP Primary poll, not a general election poll.

Other findings from the poll:

— Walker had the highest name identification among three Republicans, but all had a substantial gap to close. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they had never heard of Walker, 40% hadn’t heard of Neumann and 73% said they’d never heard of businessman Tim Michels, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

— On the Democratic side, Barrett and Lawton were both unknown by 35% of those polled, while 50% hadn’t heard of Kind. Barrett had a higher favorable rating (50%) than Lawton (26%) or Kind (23%).

— Jobs and the economy were mentioned as the top issue by 28% of those polled, higher than any other issue. Holding the line on taxes was listed as the top issue by 18%.

— Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that things in Wisconsin “have gotten off on the wrong track” vs. 31% who said thing were going in the right direction.

I’ll admit, the Michels name identification numbers shock me.  Then again, I often forget the average Wisconsinite isn’t as immersed in politics and news as I am.

This poll is about two things: Show Walker is the “Big Dog” on the GOP side of the equation and to raise money off of it.  Former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin — who has run campaigns and won them in the past — seemed to see the poll’s general election numbers for what they are: Pointless.

For a poll to be meaningful, it must not only survey likely voters, but it must also have the proper demographics reflective of the voters who turn out on election day.

A poll of Waukesha County would produce different results from a poll of Milwaukee or Dane County. A poll that was of 98% white voters and excluded college students or Hispanics or Blacks, is of little value except to promote the candidacy of the beneficiary of such deceptive practices.

This was a poll designed to measure the primary electorate — it even said so itself when the Tarrance Group (former pollster of Tommy Thompson and national candidates like Rudy Guiliani) said the sample was 800 likely primary voters.

Read — It’s a primary poll, to see anything else into it is reaching.

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