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Category “Liberal Blog Pwning”

IRS When You Need Them?">Where’s the IRS When You Need Them?

Pretty sure even Chris­t­ian Schnei­der didn’t know what he had here when he raised this as his #4 point in his blog post today on the 1-year anniver­sary of the Walker Recall.

At the heart, is a May 30, 2012 report from the lib­eral news site “Talk­ing Points Memo,” in an arti­cle writ­ten by for­mer 2002 Bar­rett guber­na­to­r­ial cam­paign staffer Eric Kleefeld.

As for the com­plaints about the Mar­quette poll itself, Tate took issue with the poll’s demo­graphic sam­pling, con­tend­ing that con­ser­v­a­tive Mil­wau­kee sub­urbs were over-represented and the Madi­son media mar­ket was under-represented, and with too few young voters.

Tate and state party spokesman Scot Ross also raised sus­pi­cions about who might be pay­ing for the poll, and whether the state’s con­ser­v­a­tive think tanks were involved. They also sharply crit­i­cized pro­fes­sor Charles Franklin, who led the poll.

It’s unfor­tu­nate that Mar­quette Uni­ver­sity asso­ciates itself with pro­fes­sor Franklin,” said Tate, “and as well puts this poll out there as if it’s an accu­rate read­ing of the elec­torate when clearly it’s not.”

Are the Democ­rats say­ing that Franklin is a dis­hon­est man?

No. I’m not say­ing that,” Tate told TPM. “I also had pro­fes­sor Franklin at the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin, and he was pretty clear with my class that he was a con­ser­v­a­tive. But I don’t think he’s a dis­hon­est man.

Where to start with this trea­sure trove of insights…

1) He hasn’t been a “state party spokesman” for a num­ber of years (he’s a past Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Direc­tor), but why the hell was Scot Ross on a Demo­c­ra­tic Party of Wis­con­sin con­fer­ence call with the press?  Let alone allowed to speak on the party’s behalf?

2) While it is entirely pos­si­ble that Kleefeld meant for­mer DPW Comms Direc­tor Graeme Zielin­ski, only Ross and OWN have a well-known his­tory of tar­get­ing poll­sters they believe have ties to con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions.  In 2010, it was One Wis­con­sin Now and Ross who led the charge against UW pro­fes­sor Ken Gold­stein sim­ply because he was doing work for the Wis­con­sin Pol­icy Research Institute.

DPW tried (and failed) in early 2012 to try to smear Prof. Franklin’s polling which was show­ing the recall not going their way by once again bring­ing up Goldstein’s name.  It’s a trick they still get many of the more lib­eral colum­nists to bite on, like Bruce Mur­phy did in Octo­ber of 2012.

3)  If Franklin’s a con­ser­v­a­tive, I must be lis­ten­ing to the wrong sto­ries from all my old col­leagues who had him as a pro­fes­sor them­selves at UW-Madison.  Then again, any­one to the right of Trot­sky could be a con­ser­v­a­tive in Mike Tate’s eyes.

(Though one now won­ders if Franklin on occa­sion looks at his old grade books from UW-Madison, stare at Tate’s name and go “Punk.”)

Finally…If this arti­cle is wrong, why has OWN let it stand for over a year with­out demand­ing a correction?

So, I guess the only thing to now ask is who at the IRS — I know they’re busy, but this is a redemp­tion case if I ever saw one — do I call to ask about One Wis­con­sin Now’s 501C4.  I’ve been hear­ing they’re sup­posed to look into vio­la­tions of known coor­di­na­tion and the like.

(I’d go ask the GAB or Dan Bice to do it, but the GAB is worth­less and Dan’s so in the pocket of OWN it’s not even worth mock­ing any­more.  It’s sad.)

UPDATE: Scot Ross says in the com­ments that he was on leave from OWN from Jan­u­ary 2012 until June 2012, first serv­ing as a spokesman for Kath­leen Falk (I knew this.) and then for DPW (I did not do this, I pre­sumed he was back at OWN.).  Per­haps I would have known the lat­ter if say…Graeme Zielin­ski didn’t have a giant hissy fit and take the Wis­con­sin Reporter off the Demo­c­ra­tic Party of Wisconsin’s press release list, threaten our cre­den­tials in the state capi­tol and treat us like a real news orga­ni­za­tion instead of try­ing to bully us into cov­er­ing news the way he demanded.

I apol­o­gize for the error.

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Illinois Cream Puffs, A Feingold Legacy

A cou­ple of the usual sus­pects on the Port side of the Ched­dar­sphere are doing there best to make this news sound like it’s all the work of Scott Walker to build a hope­less case for 2014.  It isn’t.

Illinois-based Prairie Farms is the new offi­cial cream sup­plier of the Wis­con­sin State Fair cream puffs.

The fair needed a new sup­plier after Golden Guernsey went out of busi­ness in January.

It’s Russ Feingold’s.

Just to prove I’m not going to go to some­thing like Media Track­ers or MacIver, I’ll go to the Hoard’s Dairy­man with the story.  They’ve only been in the busi­ness of Agri­cul­tural jour­nal­ist since 1885.  They’re located in Fort Akin­son, hardly an echo cham­ber of right-wing thought last time I was there.

Golden Guernsey had a long and sto­ried past. It was founded in 1930 as a farmer-owned coop­er­a­tive. By 1935, it had grown from a sin­gle ser­vice route with 85 cus­tomers to an orga­ni­za­tion with 20,000 cus­tomers. In 1955, the co-op began con­struc­tion of the cur­rent plant which was still located in Wauke­sha. At one time, the Hoard’s Dairy­man Farm’s milk was processed at the plant.

Over the years, Golden Guernsey changed hands through co-op con­sol­i­da­tion and merg­ers. The last coop­er­a­tive to own the plant was Fore­most Farms USA based out of Bara­boo, Wis. In 2008, the Fore­most Farms Con­sumer Prod­ucts Divi­sion had net sales of $233.7 mil­lion accord­ing to a Wis­con­sin Depart­ment of Jus­tice press release. In 2009, Dean Foods acquired Foremost’s Con­sumer Prod­ucts Divi­sion which included plants in Wauke­sha and DePere, Wis., for a reported $35 million.

After a very pub­lic hear­ing process in 2010 where the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) inves­ti­gated com­pe­ti­tion in agri­cul­ture, it became quite clear that the con­sol­i­da­tion of fluid or bev­er­age mar­kets within Wis­con­sin were among the areas that DOJ was hon­ing in on. One such hear­ing held in Madi­son, Wis., was headed up by then Sen­a­tor Russ Fein­gold (D-Wis.) and called into ques­tion the 2009 Dean Foods buyout.

Fol­low­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion, U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge J.P. Stadt­mueller ordered that Dean Foods divest of the Wauke­sha plant due to antitrust con­cerns that could adversely affect the price of milk for retail­ers, school dis­tricts and other pur­chasers through­out Wis­con­sin, stated Wis­con­sin Attor­ney Gen­eral J.B. Van Hollen. In the court agree­ment, Dean Foods was able to retain its DePere plant which it acquired from Fore­most Farms. The final judg­ment also required Dean Foods to notify the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice and the Wis­con­sin Attor­ney Gen­eral 30 days before Dean Foods acquires any plant within 150 miles of Wisconsin’s bor­der if it is val­ued at more than $3 million.

Thanks Rusty.

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“John Doe” Ends with a Whimper, Not Charges">John Doe” Ends with a Whimper, Not Charges

Some­one go check on “cap­per,” he might have to go on the sui­cide watch.

The nearly three-year-old John Doe inves­ti­ga­tion into aides and asso­ciates of Gov. Scott Walker is closed, the judge who is over­see­ing that probe said Friday.

Neal Nettesheim, a retired state appeals court judge, said he entered an order Feb. 21 con­clud­ing the probe. The deci­sion was made pub­lic after Mil­wau­kee County Dis­trict Attor­ney John Chisholm con­cluded paper­work in the case.

No new charges will come from the John Doe inves­ti­ga­tion, Nettesheim said.

Chisholm con­firmed the end of the inves­ti­ga­tion in a state­ment. “After a review of the John Doe evi­dence, I am sat­is­fied that all charges that are sup­ported by proof beyond a rea­son­able doubt have now been brought and con­cluded. As a con­se­quence, last week my office peti­tioned for, and Judge Nettesheim has granted, the clo­sure of the John Doe investigation.”

Mil­wau­kee pros­e­cu­tors launched a secret John Doe inves­ti­ga­tion into aides and asso­ciates of Walker nearly three years ago. Walker’s chief of staff con­tacted pros­e­cu­tors over sus­pi­cions that more than the $11,000 was miss­ing from Oper­a­tion Free­dom, a fund used to pay for an annual event to honor vet­er­ans and their families.

The inves­ti­ga­tion later was broad­ened into other areas, includ­ing another embez­zle­ment case involv­ing Oper­a­tion Free­dom money and two county employ­ees in Walker’s office doing cam­paign work while at their taxpayer-paid county jobs.

Long­time Walker aide Tim­o­thy D. Rus­sell pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to steal­ing more than $21,000 in Oper­a­tion Free­dom money. He was sen­tenced to two years in prison in Jan­u­ary. Kelly Rind­fleisch, who worked for Walker in the county executive’s office in 2010, was sen­tenced Nov. 19 to six months in jail for cam­paign fundrais­ing at the cour­t­house using a secret email sys­tem installed there.

Dar­lene Wink, Walker’s con­stituent ser­vices coor­di­na­tor at the county, pleaded guilty to two mis­de­meanors for doing cam­paign work while on the county clock.

Nettesheim noted that no new tes­ti­mony had been taken in the inves­ti­ga­tion in months. The case had been kept open as a way to release doc­u­ments tied to the crim­i­nal charges that already had been filed.

No new tes­ti­mony had been taken in the inves­ti­ga­tion in months…”  Hey, remem­ber when our side was say­ing this thing was pretty much over around Labor Day last year and the Left went nuts about it?

Guess who was right?

Oh, I full expect “Walk­er­Gate” updates to con­tinue.  Why?  Because the Left in this state has noth­ing else.

They are obsessed about this, so they have to hang onto it.  They also have NOTHING BUT LOSERS when it comes to poten­tial can­di­dates for 2014 that they have to keep pro­ject­ing that Russ Fein­gold can come to their res­cue as some sort of white knight.

My advice to them regard­ing Fein­gold — Move on, and buy his book.  He’ll be sell­ing it more than him­self for the next few months, if not years.

My other advice to those who have noth­ing bet­ter to do but con­tinue to make an ass out of them­selves over the John Doe, may best be shown visually.



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This One’s for Jeff Simpson

From Matt Ygle­sias, who like Simp­son, jumped on some unknown piece from Vir­ginia claim­ing Paul Ryan is guilty of insider trading.

Let me apol­o­gize. I orig­i­nally had a too-credulous item here link­ing to a piece at The Rich­mon­der alleg­ing that Paul Ryan has sold bank shares after a closed door meet­ing with Henry Paul­son and Ben Bernanke on the finan­cial cri­sis in 2008. As Eric Platt explains he cer­tainly seems to have sold the shares on the same day as the meet­ing, but the meet­ing hap­pened in the evening by which time the mar­kets would have been closed. One can per­haps con­struct a sce­nario by which the Richmonder’s the­ory of the case holds up, but they don’t have the goods and I shouldn’t have passed their analy­sis on with no qual­i­fi­ca­tion and so lit­tle scrutiny of my own.

As Brad DeLong writes, for one rea­son or another Ryan did quite a lot of trad­ing of indi­vid­ual bank stocks in 2008 so the tim­ing of this par­tic­u­larly trans­ac­tion isn’t par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy when put in that context.

Ygle­sias then goes on to strikethrough (like this) the rest of his blog post.

To the blog­ging com­mu­nity, that’s about akin to a retrac­tion as you’re going to get.

Jeff on the other hand, still has it up, hasn’t retracted it, and goes on to crit­i­cize me in the com­ments over at “good ole’ Cog Dis” when I tried to point out with a link at Busi­ness Insider which quotes the orig­i­nal “Rich­lander” story acknowl­edg­ing the story is false.

Some peo­ple will go to what­ever deranged lengths they need to make a story fit their world view.

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NYT Magazine Piece on Wisconsin Recall">Walter Russell Mead Destroys NYT Magazine Piece on Wisconsin Recall

Just so we have a refresher on some of the play­ers on this.  The NYT mag­a­zine piece — done by a part-time writer for The Nation mag­a­zine — was called by a par­ti­san hack attor­ney with a sus­pended law license as being done by “an actual reporter.”

Wal­ter Rus­sell Mead is a Demo­c­rat, who sup­ported the Iraq War in 2003, voted for Barack Obama in 2008, says the Tea Party is bad for Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy, serves on the edi­to­r­ial board of the Amer­i­can Inter­est mag­a­zine and is a book reviewer for For­eign Pol­icy magazine.

(Both of which, are nowhere close to being card-carrying mem­bers of the vast right-wing con­spir­acy.)  Here’s the meat of Mead’s take-down of the piece:

So far, so good. Let us stip­u­late that in the view of the Times, Scott Walker is a skunk and a cad. And let us stip­u­late that every­thing bad in Wis­con­sin, all the ill feel­ing and all the tur­moil is entirely because this sin­is­ter enemy of all that is noble and good has been rid­ing roughshod over every decent prin­ci­ple in pub­lic life.

But what Times read­ers will not learn from this piece is that the skunk is win­ning.  Walker is over­whelm­ingly favored to win on June 5, with polls con­sis­tently giv­ing him a sig­nif­i­cant lead over his oppo­nent. In seven pages of focused, detailed cov­er­age of the pol­i­tics of the Wis­con­sin race, the piece has no room for this sim­ple yet some­how telling detail.

The Times knows very well that Walker is kick­ing butt in Wis­con­sin. Blog­ger Nate Sil­ver tells read­ers exactly this at his NYT blog 538.  (Gib­bon buried the more sala­cious details about the scan­dalous lives of the Roman emper­ors in untrans­lated Latin foot­notes; the Times puts unpalat­able facts in blogs where the more sen­si­tive read­ers sel­dom look.)

It isn’t just that recent Times arti­cles about Wis­con­sin have stu­diously tip­toed around the opin­ion polls that point to a solid Walker lead. Dan Kaufman’s weeper doesn’t give read­ers any idea why any­body in Wis­con­sin sup­ports Walker or why even the Democ­rats now accept that the pub­lic sup­ports Walker’s union leg­is­la­tion and aren’t mak­ing an issue of it in the campaign.

The bruised feel­ings, the sad­ness and the anger of Walker’s oppo­nents are given plenty of air time, and we learn much from Mr. Kauf­man about why the governor’s oppo­nents think he deserves to be recalled. But we don’t learn any­thing at all, really, about why peo­ple sup­port him — or why so many of them are furi­ous with the unions and their sup­port­ers. In an arti­cle about the bit­ter polit­i­cal divi­sive­ness con­sum­ing Wis­con­sin, we learn noth­ing about the actual nature of the divide.

Again, the Times doesn’t need to treat the two sides as equal. It can sneer at what it con­sid­ers to be the fal­lac­ies and incon­sis­ten­cies of Walker’s oppo­nents all it wants. But if it wants to tell read­ers why Wis­con­sin is divided, it needs to at least refer to the ideas and the per­cep­tions, fool­ish and mis­taken though they may be, of those who pas­sion­ately sup­port the governor.

Kaufman’s agit­prop misses much of the rest of the “divi­sive­ness” in Wis­con­sin. There’s noth­ing about the alle­ga­tions of vio­lence, intim­i­da­tion and law­less­ness that Walker sup­port­ers have made against his oppo­nents. There’s noth­ing about the con­tro­ver­sies over state work­ers get­ting phony doc­tors’ notes to take ‘sick’ days rather than per­sonal or vaca­tion days to protest against the Walker law. Again, he is free to excuse this con­duct as jus­ti­fied or raise doubts that it hap­pened — but you can’t write about divi­sive­ness while ignor­ing the con­tro­ver­sies that have made peo­ple so angry.

Read the piece and see for your­self.  It is long, exhaus­tive and deeply mis­lead­ing. This goes beyond bias; it is the most fool­ish and self-defeating pro­pa­ganda. If you want to know why lib­er­als are so fre­quently sur­prised by events that other peo­ple saw com­ing, why so many well edu­cated and well mean­ing peo­ple are so pathet­i­cally clue­less about Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and Amer­i­can cul­ture — read this piece.

If there were an anti-Pulitzer Prize for the worst jour­nal­ism of the year — this would be a contender.

In a word: OUCH.

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Hey, Another Post “Capper” Got Wrong

That retrac­tion must be com­ing any minute now…

(Oh, who the hell am I kidding?)

COLUMBIA – The Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice deter­mined last fall that an inves­ti­ga­tion of the Sikh Reli­gious Soci­ety where Gov. Nikki Haley’s par­ents are lead­ers was not war­ranted, accord­ing to a let­ter the IRS pro­vided the Governor’s Office Friday.

After fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion of your orga­ni­za­tion, we have deter­mined that an inves­ti­ga­tion is not war­ranted at this time for the above tax period,” the let­ter states.

We did not con­duct an exam­i­na­tion for the above period.”

The tax year the let­ter refers to is 2009.

It’s incred­i­bly frus­trat­ing when unac­count­able blog­gers will take money to smear trash about some­body and the main­stream media will pick it up and run with it,” Haley said Fri­day, allud­ing to the cov­er­age that fol­lowed an ini­tial post by a South Car­olina polit­i­cal blog­ger this week claim­ing the IRS had been inves­ti­gat­ing the tem­ple since March 2011.

A spokesman for the gov­er­nor said Friday’s let­ter rep­re­sented the clo­sure of the case that the blog­ger posted ini­tial doc­u­ments about.

So, to recap, Gov. Nikki Haley is not going to be indicted any­time soon, and the mea culpa from the left-wing blog — which has lost any and all cred­itabil­ity — can be read here.

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Since its Being Politicized…

My take on the “pop­u­lar” the­ory on lib­eral blogs run by unions (Cog Dis, DPW…) that “Col­lec­tive Bar­gain­ing” saved Ryan Braun:

Actu­ally, it is Braun’s and the MLBPA’s own col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment which pretty much states he was “Guilty until proven inno­cent” accord­ing to the drug-testing policy.

Depend­ing on what you read, the man was saved by a courier who couldn’t find a Fed Ex, not his union or col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing.  The only thing the MLBPA should be com­mended for is stand­ing by their man.

Not all unions do that.

If you want to read the entire “Joint Drug Agree­ment” between Major League Base­ball and the Major League Base­ball Play­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion, you can go here.

Or maybe “cap­per” missed those Steroid Hear­ings in Con­gress a few years back where the MLBPA was pretty much brow-beaten into accept­ing the drug test­ing pol­icy as it is today?

Here’s two hours of the Mitchell Report hear­ing in 2008 where the com­mit­tee as whole brow beats for­mer MLBPA chief Don­ald Fehr like a drum.

 One can have their own opin­ions, but not their own facts.  Espe­cially since it’s read­ily acces­si­ble via C-SPAN or YouTube.


Great tran­script I found at the New York Times from the Mitchell Report hearings.

2:10 | What Took So Long? Con­gress­man Eli­jah E. Cum­mings, Demo­c­rat of Mary­land, was quite direct in putting to Fehr and Selig the ques­tion that no doubt is on many fans’ minds: Why was base­ball so slow to develop an effec­tive drug-testing pro­gram to com­bat this prob­lem? The responses were notable in their con­trast, between Fehr’s clear­ness and brevity and Selig’s greater equivocation.

Fehr’s answer:

“Did we or did I appre­ci­ate the depth of the prob­lem prior to the time that we began to work on it hard? The answer is no. If the ques­tion is, “Should we have?” — per­haps we should have. It’s a fail­ure that we didn’t, and it’s a fail­ure that I didn’t.

Then, Selig’s answer:

“As I said in my state­ment, I’ve thought about this thou­sands of times. I’ve been in this sport all my adult life. I ago­nize over that, because I con­sider myself, at the end, a base­ball man. In the ’90s — you know, hind­sight is always very ben­e­fi­cial. I watched things. I re-read all the arti­cles that Sen­a­tor Mitchell had. I take respon­si­bi­il­ity for every­thing, let’s under­stand that. I take it –- for all the good things that have hap­pened to make the sport as pop­u­lar as it is today, and when we talk about some­thing neg­a­tive, there’s no ques­tion about that. I’ve agonized.

“But I would also remind you, and who knows how long this has gone on –- the Sen­a­tor said over 20 years –- we have come a long way in a dif­fi­cult envi­ron­ment. My minor league pro­gram is going into its eighth year. So all of the great play­ers in this sport have been tested eight years.

Do I wish we had reacted quicker? Should we have? Yes, one can make a com­pelling case. And I do a lot of intro­spec­tive think­ing, and I’ll second-guess myself. As far as respon­si­bil­ity, all of us have to take responsibility.”

Who sounds like who’s got the pub­lic rela­tions issue when it came to drug test­ing?  Sure isn’t Selig in my opinion.

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UW Prof’s as Good as the Next!">To Liberal Bloggers, One UW Prof’s as Good as the Next!

I’m not vis­it­ing Mar­quette Law School Pro­fes­sor Charles Franklin’s press guy, so it’s not my job to defend the guy full, or even part-time.  But I just wanted to point out a major league fal­lacy being pushed by a num­ber of big-name lib­eral blog­gers out there in the state try­ing to dis­credit his recent poll on poten­tial recall match-ups against Gov. Scott Walker.

First, there’s for­mer Fein­gold press flack Jud Louns­bury over at “Uppity Wisconsin.”

Charles Franklin, who was widely crit­i­cized in 2010 for tweek­ing his poll results to fit the wishes of the rightwing group WPRI, has released another stinker.

Then there’s “The Chief,” who is actu­ally defend­ing Franklin’s polling and method­ol­ogy in his post.

Per­haps the sil­li­est attack is that Franklin is him­self a con­ser­v­a­tive, and thus has a motive to skew his polls as such, based solely on two pieces of evi­dence: he con­ducted the poll for Mar­quette Law School (an insti­tu­tion so con­ser­v­a­tive that it employs noted reac­tionary Russ Fein­gold) and that he once con­ducted a poll for WPRI. If this were true, then Franklin would also be a flam­ing lib­eral because he sold Pollster.com, of which he was a co-founder, to the Huff­in­g­ton Post. He can’t be both.

But per­haps the piece de resis­tance comes from failed Demo­c­ra­tic U.S. Sen­ate can­di­date, failed Demo­c­ra­tic guber­na­to­r­ial can­di­date, and the man who gave us the 1982 NFL Play­ers Strike, Ed Gar­vey over at “Fight­ing Bob.com.”

Whose poll is it if it is not Marquette’s? Did JS ask or are they part of the deal? Recall we have been flash­ing the yel­low cau­tion light about UW-Madison’s Pol Sci prof Charles Franklin. He was part of the UW-Madison part­ner­ship with extreme right-wing Bradley Foundation’s WPRI. Bradley would pay Franklin and his fel­low poli sci profs and Franklin would lend the UW’s good name to polls. WPRI would give final approval to the word­ing, tim­ing, sub­ject mat­ter and they agreed to spin results with MJS! In fact, MJS would get the infor­ma­tion ahead of all other media. Tsk, tsk, and whoa Nelly. Who con­ducted this “new Mar­quette poll”? Why none other than Dr. Franklin: this is the first of a series being con­ducted by Charles Franklin, co-founder of pollster.com and a vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor at Mar­quette on leave from UW-Madison. Because he is on leave, he will argue that nei­ther he nor Mar­quette are cov­ered by the Open Records law that tripped him when the WPRI deal was exposed by FightingBob.com.

Ed, do your­self a favor and don’t trust your mem­ory.  Trust your archives.

It wasn’t Charles Franklin who was on retainer with WPRI for “the failed polling” as they put it.  It was his col­league Prof. Ken Gold­stein.

Here’s how Pollster.com’s co-founder and for­mer Demo­c­ra­tic poll­ster Mark Blu­men­thal explained it in a post­ing on March 9, 2010:

The AP story — which is well worth read­ing in full — includes com­plete details plus a reac­tion from [UW Polit­i­cal Sci­ence Pro­fes­sor] Gold­stein who says he is “stunned, flab­ber­gasted, amazed — every sin­gle adjec­tive you can come up with” as the crit­i­cism he has received.

Our own inter­ests in this story are as fol­lows: Pollster.com co-creator and con­trib­u­tor Charles Franklin is a mem­ber of the UW-Madison polit­i­cal sci­ence depart­ment and a friend and col­league of Gold­stein but, he tells me, was not per­son­ally involved in the WPRI polling. Also, well before the WPRI polling project, my assis­tant Emily Swan­son worked for Gold­stein as an under­grad­u­ate at UW-Madison.

If noth­ing else, this episode demon­strates the increas­ing dif­fi­culty con­sumers of polling data have in iden­ti­fy­ing poten­tial con­flicts in the spon­sor­ship and fund­ing of pub­lic polling. Sim­ply iden­ti­fy­ing polls spon­sored by a polit­i­cal cam­paign or polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee or con­ducted by a cam­paign poll­ster — some­thing we try to do on Pollster.com — is obvi­ously not enough. In this case, a Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin news release billed WPRI as a “non-partisan, non-profit think tank [that] has been con­duct­ing inde­pen­dent, annual polls on pol­i­tics and issues for more than 20 years.” Yet the Insti­tute acknowl­edged to AP what their report char­ac­ter­ized as a “free-market, lim­ited gov­ern­ment slant and receives fund­ing from the Bradley Foun­da­tion, a Mil­wau­kee group that sup­ports numer­ous con­ser­v­a­tive causes.”

Not sure what I’m proud of in this blog post.  That I con­tin­ued to prove Ed Garvey’s lost most of his mar­bles, or that there are at least two other lib­eral blog­gers in Wis­con­sin still will­ing to take what he writes, run with it sight unseen and fail to fact-check it for themselves?

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Just What Americans Wanted on Their Plates: Horse Meat!


Pres­i­dent Obama last month qui­etly signed into law a spend­ing bill that restores the Amer­i­can horse-slaughter indus­try, just a few months after a gov­ern­ment inves­ti­ga­tion said the ban on slaugh­ter­ing was backfiring.

The domes­tic ban didn’t end horse slaugh­ter but instead shifted the site of butch­ery to Mex­ico and Canada — which meant increased abuse or neglect as the horses were shipped out of the coun­try and beyond the reach of U.S. law.

The ban had been imposed in 2006 when Con­gress defunded the government’s abil­ity to inspect plants that butchered horses for con­sump­tion. With­out inspec­tions, the meat couldn’t be sold, and the indus­try withered.

But the Agri­cul­ture spend­ing bill Mr. Obama signed the week before Thanks­giv­ing dropped the pro­hi­bi­tion on inspec­tions, and the admin­is­tra­tion said it now stands ready to con­duct them should any­one open a horse-slaughter plant.

Appar­ently the rea­son for the change is with the US clos­ing its horse slaugh­ter­houses, thou­sands of horses were being shipped to Mex­ico and Canada; then their meat shipped over­seas where it’s a del­i­cacy in Europe.

Elim­i­nat­ing the ban, will stop the export­ing of horses, not their meat.  Stranger still, it got the approval of PETA.

The move got a tepid stamp of approval from Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of Ani­mals, which said it had always been wor­ried about the way Con­gress went about its ini­tial ban. PETA said it pre­dicted that horses would be shipped to for­eign slaughterhouses.

A law doesn’t change what’s in people’s hearts, and if busi­ness peo­ple view horses as com­modi­ties, ignor­ing their sen­si­tive natures in favor of the few dol­lars that their flesh might bring, the horses were sunk from the start,” said David Perle, a spokesman for the group. “To reduce suf­fer­ing, there should be a ban on the export of live horses, even if that means open­ing slaugh­ter­houses in the U.S. again. But the bet­ter option is to ban slaugh­ter in the U.S. and ban the export of live horses so that no one is slaugh­ter­ing America’s horses.”

Most states have already banned horse slaugh­ter­ing on their own.  Wis­con­sin is not one of them which pro­hibits horses from being slaugh­tered for meat for human con­sump­tion.  Cur­rent law only for­bids horses from being processed at a typ­i­cal slaugh­ter house.  Horse-only slaugh­ter houses are A-OK.

An attempt to ban the prac­tice was intro­duced in 2007 by for­mer State Sen­a­tor Jeff Plale; who last I checked isn’t there any­more and one of the most hated men by lib­er­als in greater Milwaukee.

UPDATE The more I think about this issue, but more I’m see­ing dif­fer­ent angles to it beyond “Killing Black Beauty Bad!!!”  Work­ing on some­thing which will prob­a­bly go up later explain­ing why.

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Obama Golfs With Man Charged with Prostitution

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gan­der, right Zach?

And mine’s much more recent with­out hav­ing to waste time snoop­ing around on CCAP.

Thanks ABC News!

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Pres­i­dent Obama is golf­ing at Mamala Bay Golf Course at Hickam Air Force Base in a group that includes White House travel direc­tor Mar­vin Nichol­son and Hawai­ian pal Robert “Bobby” Tit­comb, who was arrested in April on sus­pi­cion of solic­it­ing a prostitute.

In April, Tit­comb was one of four men arrested in an under­cover pros­ti­tu­tion sting oper­a­tion, accord­ing to Hon­olulu police.

Tit­comb, an air­line employee and com­mer­cial fish­er­man, has been friends with the pres­i­dent since they attended Honolulu’s elite Puna­hou School together in the 1970s. He vis­ited the White House in August 2010 for Obama’s birth­day, when he was included in a round of golf with Obama’s clos­est friends at the links of Andrews Air Force Base. After­wards Tit­comb, among other friends, joined the pres­i­dent for a bar­beque at the White House.

When the Obama fam­ily vaca­tions in Hawaii over the Christ­mas hol­i­day each year, they tra­di­tion­ally spend a full day at Titcomb’s North Shore home, jet-skiing, grilling, and play­ing vol­ley­ball. In Decem­ber the Obama fam­ily spent nearly the whole day at his home. Tit­comb is also included in the golf and bas­ket­ball out­ings of Pres­i­dent Obama while in Hawaii.

 UPDATE:  And for another sign of selec­tive amne­sia of the Port Side of the Ched­dar­sphere, I let you recall Exhibit A — The “Heav­enly Touch” of Gor­don Hintz.

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