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Category “Wisconsin Politics”

Deal Reached to Eliminate Wisconsin’s Aggregate Donation Limit

Good.  This was always a stu­pid law in my opin­ion on the books.  Peo­ple are still lim­ited to $10,000 per can­di­date, but the idea of lim­it­ing total con­tri­bu­tions always seemed to make no sense, espe­cially in years where many statewide offices are up.

This now frees up many donors to give simul­ta­ne­ously to both guber­na­to­r­ial and attor­ney gen­eral cam­paigns; not to men­tion state leg­isla­tive as well.  Appar­ently this scares lib­er­als or some­thing even though their rich donors aren’t hand­cuffed by the law any­more either.

The state of Wis­con­sin has agreed to stop enforc­ing a limit on how much peo­ple can donate in total to can­di­dates run­ning for office, bring­ing state law in line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The state Depart­ment of Jus­tice on Thurs­day released a set­tle­ment it reached in a fed­eral law­suit brought chal­leng­ing the limits.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month struck down over­all lim­its on how much donors can give to mul­ti­ple can­di­date for Con­gress and polit­i­cal committees.

Wis­con­sin law pro­hibits donors from giv­ing more than $10,000 a year to all can­di­dates. That is what donor Fred Young chal­lenged in a fed­eral law­suit brought in Milwaukee.

The set­tle­ment was sub­mit­ted Thurs­day to U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lynn Adel­man to sign.

The case was “Young v. GAB.”   The U.S. Supreme Court case which paved the way for this deal was McClutchen vs. FEC.

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Greetings from a ‘Far Right-wing Radical’

This was ini­tially going to run at RightWiscon­sin, but what I had writ­ten was sim­i­lar to what Char­lie had writ­ten so he ran with his.

We shouldn’t be all that sur­prised in the end.

If a rant on Face­book is the best response we are going to get from for­mer Ply­mouth coun­cil­woman Jackie Jarvis why as a signer of a Walker Recall peti­tion she filed to run as a Repub­li­can in the 27th Assem­bly Dis­trict, then expos­ing this infor­ma­tion was the right deci­sion. Her answer is petty, full of holes and hon­estly reads like that of a typ­i­cal defender of the edu­ca­tional establishment.

While no one doubts the ded­i­ca­tion and hard work of Wisconsin’s teach­ers, pre-Act 10 pub­lic edu­ca­tion in the Bad­ger State was an expe­ri­ence of WEAC tram­pling indi­vid­ual ini­tia­tive, sti­fling of reform, and putting the sys­tem over the kids. Some­thing clearly needed to change.

That is what Act 10 mat­ters to many con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­cans in Wis­con­sin. It’s not just that recall sign­ers inten­tion­ally split the state in two set­ting off a mini-civil war. It wasn’t just the mil­lions munic­i­pal­i­ties had to spend to pay for these recall elec­tions. It was about cre­at­ing a freer, more inno­v­a­tive Wis­con­sin for the 21st Cen­tury, not one that con­tin­ued to feed the beast of the pub­lic sec­tor unions.

But that is only the start of where Ms. Jarvis is incor­rect. One alle­ga­tion she makes about the orig­i­nal story is that it was done as a favor to her only announced pri­mary oppo­nent, long­time Petri staffer Tyler Vor­pagel. As much as that might be an appeal­ing the­ory, here are some hard realities.

For starters, the source on this story was a sit­ting GOP state leg­is­la­tor (There are 60 of them, good luck guess­ing which one). This source relayed to RightWisconsin.com how it is com­mon prac­tice for the state party (RPW) and the Repub­li­can Assem­bly Cam­paign Com­mit­tee (RACC) staffs to peri­od­i­cally check both recall ver­i­fi­ca­tion web­sites. The point of check­ing this infor­ma­tion is pretty plain to fig­ure out: It’s to see if any­one run­ning under the Repub­li­can ban­ner is a poten­tial “Tro­jan Horse.”

Sec­ondly, the idea this story wasn’t going to be run by some­one is com­plete igno­rance of mod­ern media. If it were not RightWisconsin.com, it might have been the Wis­con­sin Reporter, Media Track­ers or some ran­dom blog­ger. Even more main­stream pub­li­ca­tions like the Ply­mouth Review, She­boy­gan Press or Jour­nal Sen­tinel would have jumped at it. “Recall Signer Runs as Repub­li­can” is too rich a scoop to sit on after the chaos of 2011.

(RightWiscon­sin actu­ally had this story last week Thurs­day, April 24, but spent the week­end in worry oth­ers might break it before us.)

As much as Ms. Jarvis wishes to por­tray this as “a per­sonal deci­sion,” it has long been estab­lished that by sign­ing the recall peti­tion you cre­ated a pub­lic doc­u­ment. Even­tu­ally, she was going to have to explain why she signed that peti­tion to Repub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers in the 27th Assem­bly District.

Besides, when you run for pub­lic office, every­thing you did, said, voted for, or signed is going to go under the micro­scope. Sign­ing a recall peti­tion is just the tip of the ice­berg of any num­ber of things which could be dug up about you.

If you don’t like that, why have you decided to run for office in the first place? It is com­pletely and utterly hyp­o­crit­i­cal for Ms. Jarvis to say “Leave me alone!” when she was the one who ini­tially drew atten­tion to herself.

No jour­nal­ist, no mat­ter what side of the polit­i­cal spec­trum they’re on is going to let any can­di­date for office get away with that kind of response.

If Ms. Jarvis wants to reserve her rage at con­ser­v­a­tive media, so be it. But she even­tu­ally would have had to answer ques­tions about the peti­tion. In all like­li­hood the county par­ties in the 27th Dis­trict would have asked her about it and cer­tainly RACC would have asked her about it.

If they do, could they make sure a tape recorder is on hand to record her answer? It might give us a good idea what a “non-fanatical con­ser­v­a­tive” sounds like.

I’m a big boy, so I can han­dle what Ms. Jarvis wants to throw at me.  Iron­i­cally, after her men­tion of me on Face­book and the sub­se­quent read­ing of her mis­sive on both Char­lie Sykes and Jerry Bader’s shows I had a num­ber of friends, fam­ily and for­mer class­mates reach out to me and say some­thing along the lines of “If you’re a “far right-wing rad­i­cal,” then I guess I am too.”

Any­one who knows me knows I have conservative-leaning pol­i­tics, but know that when the rub­ber hits the road, I’m open to prag­ma­tism, call­ing peo­ple out, and hav­ing it out with folks on the right when I think they’re wrong  (Would you like to see my email exchanges from 2012 with Erick Erick­son?).  What irks me most was that she went after my fam­ily as well.

If that’s how it’s going to be, that’s how it’s going to be.  But I do advice her this.  The large bulk of my extended fam­ily lives in the 27th Assem­bly Dis­trict.  They can do far more dam­age to her elec­toral chances that I ever can…and chances are they will if she does go through with her candidacy.

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TIME’s “100 Most Influencial”">Walker Named One of TIME’s “100 Most Influencial”

And lib­eral heads all across Wis­con­sin just exploded.

Lead­er­ship takes many forms in pub­lic office. One of the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges is stand­ing up for what you believe in when faced with relent­less pub­lic attacks. Scott Walker faced that test and passed it with fly­ing colors.

His bat­tle to bring fair­ness to the tax­pay­ers through com­mon­sense reform of the public-sector collective-bargaining laws brought him scorn from the spe­cial inter­ests and a recall elec­tion. Despite these threats, he stood tall. His reforms have brought tax reduc­tions to his cit­i­zens and eco­nomic growth to his state. They have allowed pub­lic work­ers the free­dom to choose whether to belong to a union. They have made Wis­con­sin a bet­ter place to live and work.

His reward? A resound­ing “re-election” in 2012 after the failed recall, pros­per­ity for his state and the sat­is­fac­tion of know­ing that the pub­lic does rec­og­nize and appre­ci­ate an office­holder with the courage of his con­vic­tions. Gov­er­nor Scott Walker is one of those leaders.

That was writ­ten by New Jer­sey Gov­er­nor Christ Christie, who is also head of the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors Association.

(Sorry for the lack of post­ing. Lately, been deal­ing with a bunch of other things at the moment. Most of them involve a nasty head cold, the oth­ers are posted at RightWisconsin.)

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There Will be a Democratic Gubernatorial Primary After All

Peo­ple, I give you Madi­son Rep. Brett Hulsey…Can­di­date for Governor.

Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) cleared up months of spec­u­la­tion about his polit­i­cal future in emphatic fash­ion Mon­day morn­ing, announc­ing he will chal­lenge Mary Burke for the Demo­c­ra­tic nom­i­na­tion for Governor.

I am get­ting a great recep­tion for my Get Wis­con­sin Work­ing Again Plan as I travel the state,” Rep. Hulsey noted. “Peo­ple want a real plan to get back to work, not more divi­sive politics.”

Rep. Hulsey says that plan allo­cates $2.1 bil­lion to cre­ate clean energy jobs, increase job train­ing, pro­vide invest­ments for pub­lic schools, the UW sys­tem and tech­ni­cal col­lege investments.

Gov. Walker’s Reign of Error has made Wis­con­sin 2nd in the nation in los­ing jobs. We have to turn the state around to cre­ate a bet­ter future for our chil­dren and neigh­bors,” said Rep. Hulsey.

The announce­ment comes after a tumul­tuous cou­ple of years for Rep. Hulsey, which saw him plea “no con­test” to dis­or­derly con­duct for flip­ping a 9-year-old boy, whom he did not know, off his inner tube while both were swim­ming on July 4, 2012 at Spring Har­bor Beach.

In early 2013, Hulsey aide Terri Zim­mer­man filed a com­plaint with Capi­tol Police after he brought a box cut­ter to work to allegedly teach her how to defend her­self.  Zim­mer­man told police Hulsey also con­sid­ered bring­ing a gun to the Capi­tol, even though he didn’t have a con­cealed weapons permit.

After that sec­ond inci­dent, Madi­son Alders Mark Clear and Lisa Subeck both announced they would chal­lenge Rep. Hulsey for his 78th Assem­bly Dis­trict seat.

Rep. Hulsey was first elected to the State Assem­bly in 2010, after serv­ing 14 years on the Dane County Board.

Empha­sis of the crazy is mine.

Oh, this his chances of win­ning are an utter joke, but to Hulsey, this is no doubt a real thing.


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Leibham to Announce Decision on Tuesday

Just in my inbox:

State Sen. Joe Leib­ham will make a cam­paign announce­ment Tues­day regard­ing his poten­tial bid for Con­gress in Wisconsin’s 6th District.

I am thank­ful for and hum­bled by the great amount of input I have received from con­stituents and friends over the last few days about the pos­si­bil­ity of run­ning for Con­gress,” Leib­ham said. “I look for­ward to gath­er­ing with friends and fam­ily on Tues­day to for­mally announce my decision.”

Leib­ham, a res­i­dent and tax­payer of the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, lives in She­boy­gan with his wife, Heather, and their three young children.

Leib­ham has rep­re­sented por­tions of She­boy­gan, Man­i­towoc, Calumet and Fond du Lac coun­ties in the state Sen­ate and the greater She­boy­gan area in the state Assem­bly. Prior to his years of pub­lic ser­vice, Leib­ham worked in the pri­vate sec­tor for Sar­gento Foods in Ply­mouth and the She­boy­gan County Cham­ber of Commerce.

I also got another email detail­ing the where, when, and what, but I won’t be divulging that at this time.  Mostly because, traf­fic is going to be hell­ish enough in She­boy­gan due to media trucks and the like, so why screw it up even more?

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Uphold Act 10

So unions, you want to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Deal­ing unions their lat­est loss in court, a fed­eral appeals court Fri­day upheld Gov. Scott Walker’s tight lim­its on col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing for most pub­lic employees.

The rul­ing by the three-judge panel upheld a Sep­tem­ber deci­sion by U.S. Dis­trict Judge William Con­ley in Madi­son that the law known as Act 10 does not infringe on the rights of gov­ern­ment workers.

Act 10 does not vio­late the First or Four­teenth Amend­ments to the United States Con­sti­tu­tion. We there­fore affirm the dis­trict court’s judg­ment in favor of the state,” the rul­ing reads.

The law stip­u­lates that gov­ern­ment employee unions can nego­ti­ate over wages but noth­ing else, and that any pay increases can be no higher than the rate of infla­tion, except where vot­ers approve them by ref­er­en­dum. The law also dic­tates that unions can­not be rec­og­nized by the state or local gov­ern­ments unless 51% of all poten­tial mem­bers — not just those vot­ing — sup­port the union in annual elections.

Two unions rep­re­sent­ing local employ­ees through­out Dane County sued in July 2011 in fed­eral court in Madi­son con­tend­ing the law vio­lates their rights to free­dom of asso­ci­a­tion and equal pro­tec­tion under the law.

This dif­fer­ence is likely of no com­fort to plain­tiffs, but the First Amend­ment does not require an affir­ma­tive response from gov­ern­men­tal enti­ties; it sim­ply requires the absence of a neg­a­tive restric­tion,” Con­ley wrote in his own deci­sion last year. “Under Act 10, gen­eral employ­ees remain free to asso­ciate and rep­re­sent employ­ees and their unions remain free to speak; munic­i­pal employ­ers are sim­ply not allowed to listen.”

Act 10 is still before the Wis­con­sin State Supreme Court, with a rul­ing expected in the next cou­ple of months.

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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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Leibham Considering Run for Congress

Would have had this up sooner, but I’ve been hav­ing server issues for the past week.  It’s made updat­ing a real “joy.”

She­boy­gan, Wis. — State Sen. Joe Leib­ham (pro­nounced: LĪ–päm) announced Fri­day that he will take the next few days to con­sider run­ning for Con­gress in Wisconsin’s 6th Dis­trict after hear­ing that U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., will not be seek­ing re-election.

Con­gress­man Petri con­tacted me this morn­ing to inform me of his deci­sion to retire,” Leib­ham said. “I expressed my appre­ci­a­tion for his years of ser­vice to our area and nation, and I wished him well as he com­pletes his term.

Out of love and respect for my fam­ily and coun­try, I will take time over the next cou­ple of days to con­sider, dis­cuss and pray about how and where I can best use my time and tal­ent to improve the qual­ity of life for our state and nation.”

Leib­ham, a res­i­dent and tax­payer of the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, lives in She­boy­gan with his wife, Heather, and their three young children.

Leib­ham has rep­re­sented por­tions of She­boy­gan, Man­i­towoc and Calumet coun­ties in the State Sen­ate and the greater She­boy­gan area in the State Assem­bly. Prior to his years of pub­lic ser­vice, Leib­ham worked in the pri­vate sec­tor for Sar­gento Foods in Ply­mouth and the She­boy­gan County Cham­ber of Commerce.

Some­thing to con­sider come sum­mer parade season…Joe is one of 13 kids.  Even if he isn’t there, one of his sib­lings def­i­nitely will be.  Hav­ing won his first elec­tion to the state sen­ate by a mere 46 votes (after recount) in 2002, he is more than capa­ble of fight­ing a cam­paign on any level.

Yes, he might be labeled as “The Estab­lish­ment Pick,” but he may also be the only Repub­li­can in this race who can say with cer­tainty that four years ago he lived in the dis­trict and wasn’t redis­tricted in.

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Petri to Announce Retirement on Monday

Con­grats to Amer­i­can Majority-Wisconsin and Media Track­ers.  Now go find us can­di­dates who can hang onto the state Senate.

Joe Leibham’s going to win this.  Count on it.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. –U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tom Petri (R-WI) will make a state­ment on Mon­day, April 14, at his town hall meet­ing in Neenah, Wis­con­sin, announc­ing that he will not be a can­di­date for reelec­tion to Congress.

The town meet­ing will be held from 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. at the Neenah City Hall (211 Wal­nut St.), in the City Coun­cil Chambers.


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UW Slush Fund Grew to $1.7 Billion">UW Slush Fund Grew to $1.7 Billion

The Regents are do do things, right?

New fig­ures from the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin Sys­tem show the system’s reserves stood at $1.7 bil­lion at the end of March.

The sys­tem released data Thurs­day that shows cam­puses had a com­bined $1.61 bil­lion in uncom­mit­ted reserves. About $121 mil­lion was committed.

The fig­ures also project the sys­tem will have $1.1 bil­lion in uncom­mit­ted reserves and $205 mil­lion in com­mit­ted reserves on June 30, the end of the state’s fis­cal year.

Sys­tem offi­cials have taken intense crit­i­cism over the last year for build­ing mas­sive reserves while rais­ing tuition year after year.

The most recent bud­get called for a tuition freeze on stu­dents attend­ing the UW System.

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