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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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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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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

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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