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.