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Category “Lakeshore News”

TVA Wants His Old Job Back

This is the problem you get when the only Republican in the race is now Job Hous-Eye.

Political veteran Terry Van Akkeren has announced plans to run for his old post representing the 26th Assembly District.

The 60-year-old Democrat, who held the seat from 2002 to 2010, said Wednesday that he’s been encouraged to run by supporters in Sheboygan County and Madison and ultimately felt compelled to enter the race as no other candidates came forward.

Van Akkeren served four consecutive two-year terms in the seat before losing in 2010 to Republican Mike Endsley, who has since announced that he will not seek a third term.

“We need to put aside all the partisan bickering and work together,” Van Akkeren said. “Even if we’re in the minority as Democrats, we should still be able to work together and get things done.”

Van Akkeren most recently served a one-year term as Sheboygan’s mayor after winning a 2012 recall election against former mayor Bob Ryan for the right to serve out the remainder of Ryan’s term.

Van Akkeren left City Hall the following spring after losing in the general election to current Mayor Mike Vandersteen.

Redistricting has made the 26th Assembly District GOP-leaning, but without a more top-tier candidate, then Van Akkeren will have an easy path to being elected to the seat.  Not that Job isn’t a nice guy, he’s just rather eccentric and largely seen as a perennial candidate who has run multiple times as either a Republican, or Independent or Libertarian party tickets.

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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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Sheboygan Councilman to run for 27th Assembly District

Retired blogger Josh Schroeder, now a deacon in Madison, was telling me to be on the look out for other candidates to run in the 27th after the Vorpagel announcement.  My guess is he meant folks like Mr. Carlson here.

Sheboygan Ald. Darryl D. Carlson announced Wednesday he is running as a Republican for the 27th Assembly District seat being vacated by Rep. Steve Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake.

Carlson was first elected to the Sheboygan Common Council in April 2011. He is currently the council’s vice president and serves on the council’s Finance, Public Safety and Protection, and Strategic Fiscal Planning committees.

In a press release, Carlson said his campaign “will focus on economic development, lowering the individual tax burden, and education reform. He has a proven track record of demonstrating leadership and fiscal responsibility in the private, public and military sector.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of the 27th District in the same manner I have served both my local community and our great nation,” Carlson said.

Carlson lives in Sheboygan and is employed as a senior coordinator for Kohler Company Hospitality Group. A former Marine, Carlson is a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and is married with two children.

For those curious, yes I did check to see if he signed a Walker Recall petition.

He didn’t.

(More on that later.)

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LeMahieu Changes from Assembly Run to Senate Run

All in all a good move.  Was not utterly impressed with the folks I was seeing as potential candidates for the GOP from Manitowoc.  Heard some nice things about Jill Hennessy, but Barry Nelson should opt for city council instead of state office to get some experience.

Losing primaries (lost to Paul Tittl in 2012) only makes you more like Mark Neumann, not anything close to a “citizen legislator.”

Sheboygan County Supervisor and Oostburg Republican Devin LeMahieu announced Tuesday that he’s dropping his state Assembly bid and will instead run to replace outgoing state Sen. Joe Leibham, who represents the 9th Senate District.

“We need a strong conservative candidate to represent the citizens in the 9th District,” LeMahieu said in a prepared statement. “This Senate race is vitally important in helping Gov. Walker to continue moving Wisconsin forward.”

The move marks a change in direction for LeMahieu, who in March announced his candidacy for the 26th Assembly District to replace two-term Sheboygan Rep. Mike Endsley, who’s not seeking re-election.

And now the bad news…

With LeMahieu now out of the Assembly race, that leaves perennial candidate Job Hou-Seye as the only Republican seeking Endlsely’s seat.


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Vorpagel to Seek 27th Assembly District

Good to see this.   My hometown should remain in good hands.

(Plymouth, WI) Today, Tyler Vorpagel publicly announced his campaign for Wisconsin’s 27th Assembly District on the Republican ticket. The 27th District seat covers northern Sheboygan and southern Manitowoc counties and is currently held by State Rep. Steve Kestell, who has announced his intention to retire at the end of this term.

“After the successful reforms of the past four years that have put our state’s fiscal house in order, I hope to be part of the next generation of conservative leadership needed in Madison,” said Vorpagel, who expressed thanks to Rep. Kestell for his years of service.

“I have truly been blessed to grow up in such a wonderful part of our state, and I will take our values of hard work, fiscal responsibility, and common sense,” Vorpagel said. “I want to make sure that the citizens of the 27th have someone working hard for them in Madison.”

“I’m heartened by the support and positive response my campaign has received from many local, county, and state elected officials, as well as voters across the 27th district,” Vorpagel said.

Plymouth Mayor Don Pohlman said, “I have known Tyler for many years and we have worked on many issues for the betterment of our community and I am proud to support his campaign because I know he will continue to be there not only for Plymouth, but for everyone in the 27th Assembly District.”

State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) endorsed Vorpagel, noting, “Over the past decade, I have enjoyed working side by side with Tyler Vorpagel, both in electing fiscal and social conservatives to office at all levels of government and in achieving results for our shared constituents in the 6th Congressional District. I am proud to call Tyler a friend and know that he will be a dedicated advocate for his constituents and commonsense conservative solutions that aid job creators and empower people, not government.”

I’ve known Ty Vorpagel for about six or seven years now (maybe longer, I’ve lost track), and he’s one of the truly good guys working in politics today.  For the past three years, he’s been Tom Petri’s District Director — elevated when Dave Anderson left to help Sean Duffy set up his district office — and started as a lowly staffer there in 2007.  During the 2010 campaign, I’d occasionally used Ty as a source for material on highway funding and other issues Petri’s office specialized in as I prepared Ron Johnson’s briefing papers.

The 27th District contains the cities of Plymouth and Kiel as well as the Villages of Kohler, Elkhart Lake, Cleveland, and Howards Grove.  All-in-all, it’s about a 57% Republican-leaning district.

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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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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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Gilly’s to Close in Sheboygan

Admittedly, I’m both shocked and not too surprised this is happening.  Only went there myself once since they opened and you honestly had no idea if or when they were open with the style of restaurant they had going.

“Drive-In-Only, barhop service” was great in the 50s and 60s, but the world has passed them buy.  If Sheboygan couldn’t get a Sonic to survive — and they didn’t, it’s now a BP station — how was Gilly’s going to cope without the love and loyalty it has in its Fond du Lac location?

Gilly’s Frozen Custard has closed its 1950s-style drive-in restaurant on Sheboygan’s south side, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

The family-owned restaurant had been a fixture in Fond du Lac for more than six decades when it expanded into Sheboygan in 2010.

However, restaurant officials said the seasonal, drive-in-only concept, with carhops taking orders and delivering food to customers’ vehicles, and no indoor seating, proved to be a tough sell in Sheboygan’s cooler summer climate.

“Sheboygan is just too close to the lake, and we didn’t have enough business,” spokeswoman Amy Deering said. “We’re very sad. We love the community.”

Deering said the restaurant at 2720 S. Business Drive would normally reopen for the season later this month, though the owners decided to close for good late last year. The location employed two full-time workers and about a dozen seasonal employees.

The property has since been put up for sale, and Deering said they’re hopeful a buyer will emerge soon.

That being said, I’m saddened to see it go.  My nieces and nephew who live on Sheboygan’s south side just lost their favorite custard place.

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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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Gas Main Leak Causes Evacuation of Half of New Holstein

This is never good, immediately scary news.

New Holstein police report a major gas main break, affecting half the city.

Some residents and businesses have been evacuated. A shelter is set up at City Hall, 2110 Washington Street.

According to police, a road construction crew struck one of the city’s primary gas mains while working at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Mason Street Wednesday afternoon.

Wisconsin Public Service is on the scene, as well as Calumet County and New Holstein emergency management and first responders.

Local news reports out of Green Bay are expected to be updated throughout the night.

UPDATE I — Apparently the gas line was ruptured around 3:30 PM CT.

UPDATE II — Media reports put the evacuation at around 30 homes and effecting nearly 600 residents.

FINAL UPDDATE — WLUK in Green Bay reports the leak was finally fixed around 2:45 AM.

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