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WPR/St. Norbert Poll Shows 15-Point Lead for Walker

Since this is the St. Norbert College Poll, I’m very prone to be cynical about this number.  It’s just too small a sample (401), done over too long (two weeks), and is usually a school project (not kidding there).

Still, since it’s Wisconsin Public Radio sponsoring the poll, a ton of liberals are going to have to eat these numbers because so many in their base get this news only from WPR.  Wish I was listening to Brian Schimming face off against Mike Tate this morning on the Joy Cardin Show as they talk about this poll.

That alone would be fun to hear.

If the election for Wisconsin’s governor was held right now, Republican Gov. Scott Walker would most likely win another term, according to the results of a new Wisconsin Public Radio-St. Norbert College survey.

Meanwhile, the survey’s results suggest Walker’s Democratic challenger needs to introduce herself to voters.

Most of the survey’s 401 respondents say that they believe Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.

The sitting governor also has a strong approval rating, the survey found. Walker is seeking a second term and is running against Democrat Mary Burke.

Wendy Scattergood, a political scientist and an associate at St. Norbert College’s Strategic Research Institute, said that 55 percent of respondents said they will vote for Walker while 40 percent said they’d back Burke.

“There’s a correlation there with how people feel the governor is doing, which is his approval rating, but also people feel the state is going in the right direction,” she said. “And 57 percent of our respondents think the state is going in the right direction, so it’s very close to the numbers with the vote choice. And then, if you look at the governor’s approval ratings right now, it’s at 59 percent.”

UPDATE — Apparently Mike Tate no-showed on Joy Cardin.  They had to sub-in former DPW chairman Joe Wineke at the half-way part of the hour.

In my honest opinion, Joe was sounding like he wants his old job back.

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Cartoon of the Day


Here’s a news article on the study.

As barbecue season approaches, researchers have discovered an unlikely ingredient that could improve the safety of your meat – letting it swill in beer.

They say that letting meat marindade in pilsner can help reduce the formation of potentially harmful cancer-causing substances in grilled meats.

They say pilsner and black beer are most effective, halving the amount of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been linked to colorectal cancer.

The researchers are reporting that the very same beer that many people enjoy at backyard barbeques could, when used as a marinade, help reduce the formation of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats.

The researchers grilled samples of pork marinated for four hours in Pilsner beer, non-alcoholic Pilsner beer or a black beer ale, to well-done on a charcoal grill.

Black beer had the strongest effect, reducing the levels of eight major PAHs by more than half compared with unmarinated pork.

“Thus, the intake of beer marinated meat can be a suitable mitigation strategy,” say the researchers.

The study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

My personal favorite is to marinade with a Leinie’s Creamy Dark.  Add that to some McCormick’s ready-made seasoning or marinade mix and it’s great.

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Quote of the Day

It took two cycles, but apparently someone is learning according to a rather interesting article about the political anal probing candidates now have to go through if they want the backing of the Club for Growth.

There’s a reason for the scarcity of Club endorsements this year. Where other conservative groups have sought to create havoc in as many primaries as possible — the Senate Conservatives Fund, for one, has endorsed plainly flawed, underdog challengers to incumbents in Kansas and Kentucky — the Club prefers to engage in fewer races and have a dramatic impact in each.

Makes you wonder what Duey Stroebel had to go through last week if the talk is he’s bowing out on a primary of Petri — you know that thing Glenn Grothmann is likely to lose in August.

The rest of the article explains why the Club has stayed out of races like the Kentucky GOP Senate primary challenge of GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, while groups like the Madison Project and Senate Conservative Fund have gone head first off the cliff with clearly-flawed candidate Matt Bevin.

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Grothman to Challenge Petri

Well…how to begin.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman says he plans to run for Congress, challenging fellow Republican Tom Petri for the seat representing east-central Wisconsin.

Grothman on Thursday called Petri a “very good human being” but says he represents a time when Republicans stood for expanding government.

Petri is a 73-year-old moderate who’s held his seat for 35 years. He won most of his elections handily, facing little or no competition from fellow Republicans.

But Grothman says Republicans in Congress have been lacking. He says he’s concerned about a culture of dependency in the U.S., and the federal government is overreaching into everything from health care to education.

At least two other Republicans are considering challenging Petri, including state Rep. Duey Stroebel and John Hiller, a close confidante of Gov. Scott Walker.

As anyone who’s read this blog since 2003 knows, I’m no great fan or cheerleader of Tom Petri.  That being said, I respect him nonetheless having known him since high school and the years since.

I also feel that we who grew up in the 6th District have more than earned the right to replace him with a candidate of our already existing bench.  This entire stunt feels like a grand scheme from southeast Wisconsin to push its weight around with those of us here have been more than patient over the years.  That redistricting and a desire by Ozaukee Co. to spread its wings since it is no longer under the thumb of the Waukesha Co. GOP machine have more to do with it.  That this might be Grothman’s only opportunity to push forward his career since he clearly is not loved by the 5th District establishment (i.e. Sensenbrenner).

Let’s be clear here.  There are going to be many people out in the traditional 6th who feel the way I do about this.  They don’t “love” Petri, but they also feel this isn’t needed.  That’s going to be in Sheboygan Co., that’s going to be in Manitowoc Co., and that’s certainly going to be in Fond du Lac and Winnebago Cos.

Trust me, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who I would prefer as my next Congressman.  That being said, it sure as hell isn’t Glenn Grothman.

For starter’s Grothman’s too dependent on southeast Wisconsin media.  That might be great for the Ozaukee Co. crew, but I’m fairly certain no one in the Green Bay market has heard much about him. (Hell, the part of the district that’s in the Madison market sure has heard a lot about him…)

Secondly, Glenn’s a gaffe machine.  That might work for some, but it tends to make me cringe when a headline is “Grothman Says Money Matters More to Men than Women.” (It’s actually on his Wikipedia page.)  Trust me, I get, understand and support the ideas behind the policy he’s pushing for, he just seems to find the most asinine way to say it.

Hell, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked to comment on the Joy Cardin Show about a law Glenn’s only proposed.

Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post just got her dream fulfilled with this announcement.

I’ve already said my peace more at RightWisconsin on the entire idea of a primary.  Now I’m just going to cringe as I watch Glenn campaign for it, because you know who else is hoping for a “Fun Race?”  The press, just to see Glenn crash and burn since he’s a public relations hand grenade primed to go off.

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Guy Zima Recaptures His Old Green Bay Council Seat

He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaack!

Well, I will give Zima’s folks up in Green Bay credit for this.  You can’t keep a firebrand and curmudgeon down.

Among the winners in Tuesday’s local elections was former Alderman Guy Zima, who reclaimed his District 9 council seat by defeating Angela Warner in a closely watched contest.

Zima defeated Warner by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Healso beat her husband, Jim Warner, who gave up the District 9 council seat to try unseating Zima in a County Board race decided Tuesday.

Zima said voters sent a strong message that they were dissatisfied with the representation they received after he was displaced from city government two years ago.

“The people spoke very loudly and clearly,” he said. “They want somebody who will speak up and have some debate, rather than just a rubber stamp.”

Of the husband-and-wife team that he vanquished on two fronts Tuesday, Zima said: “They kind of ran as a team, and that team lost. I think these folks beat themselves.”

Angela Warner, who was making her first bid for elected office, said she was shocked and disheartened that voters had rejected she and her husband.

Warner, however, defended the strategy of challenging Zima in two races, saying that she thought voters were ready to “get rid of him completely.”

“What is wrong with our city?” she added. “They want it run by a bunch of crazy people.”

Zima isn’t crazy.  He’s just highly entertaining.

In reality Zima — who leans conservative and once upon a time was in the state Assembly I believe — has long been a lightning rod for his actions, stances (and outbursts) on the city council.  But, he also is known to be very responsive to his district even if that flies in the face of actions that Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt wants to accomplish for the city.

It was a strange, silent two-year reprieve.  That is over now.

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Kestell Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election

Well, heads up to Wisconsin Election Watch, they had this rumor over a month ago. (Disclaimer: I occasionally write for them, but did nothing on this subject)

This now makes the third Republican retirement from the Assembly for Sheboygan Co.  The 27th (where my parents live) includes the lower third of Manitowoc Co. and the northern part of Sheboygan Co.  It should be a Republican hold, but I’m unsure who the bench is at the moment.

The last one who considered challenging Kestell in a primary was Sheboygan Falls Mayor Randy Meyer, and he’s facing re-election today.

Just over a month ago, Rep. Steve Kestell said he hadn’t yet decided whether to seek re-election to his 27th Assembly District seat.

Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake, has now decided, and the answer is no.

In a release sent to media Tuesday afternoon, Kestell, 58, said his decision has the blessing of his family.

“During my years in the state Legislature, I’ve worked every day to uphold the belief that elected officials should strive to do the right thing, for the right reason, and in the right way,” he said. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and I look forward to new challenges as the future unfolds.”

Kestell, who serves as chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, was on the forefront of the push this winter against a Republican bill that would have created sanctions for poorly performing public schools and private schools that accept taxpayer-subsidized students.

Republicans ultimately dropped the plan and instead adopted a bill that would require all schools that accept public dollars to include performance data on report cards the public can view.

Kestell was first elected to his seat in 1998.

That being said, if Jack Lechler is the best RACC can come up with on short notice, I’m going to bang my head against the wall.

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Burke: I Won’t Self-Finance My Campaign

Except for that $400,000 starter loan naturally…

This has got to be a blow to the Democratic state establishment.  Part of what they were said to be pushing about Burke as a candidate was she was a “business-minded woman who was rich.”  All code words for “She can cut checks to overcome Walker’s fundraising.

Now, it appears that avenue is being closed.

Democrat Mary Burke says she won’t be able to self-fund her campaign for governor, saying she does not have that kind of wealth.

When Burke first floated the idea of running for governor, her personal wealth made her an appealing candidate to some Democrats and made others think twice about entering the race. The former Trek executive, whose father founded the company, has not disclosed her net worth, though she did donate more than $400,000 to her campaign in just its first few months.

But Burke says people should not expect her to spend as much as some of Wisconsin’s most famous self-funded candidates.

“I will put into this race what I can, but I can’t self-fund it,” said Burke. “I’m not a Ron Johnson or a Herb Kohl. I don’t have that type of wealth.”

Johnson contributed nearly $9 million to his successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2010. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl gave his campaigns more than $19 million over the course of his political career.

Burke says she’ll be relying on traditional fundraising to get her message out.

Her “traditional fundraising” hasn’t been going so well.  While she raised $1.3 million $1.79 million for the second half of 2013, remove the $400,000 loan and it was only around $900,000 $1.4 million in just six month.  Not the kind of numbers that tend to help you in a political fight these days.

(Corrected from earlier comment.)

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Walker Partially Vetoes Early Voting Reform Bill

Honestly, these are changes I can live with.

Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed into law a bill that limits in-person absentee voting to no later than 7 p.m. during the week and no weekend hours.

Walker vetoed a portion of the bill Thursday that limited the hours of early voting to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks prior to an election. He kept the prohibition on weekend voting.

Democrats strongly opposed the measure, saying it was targeted at tamping down turnout in the heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee and Madison which held extended hours during the 2012 presidential election.

Walker also vetoed a portion of the bill that would have reimbursed local governments for costs associated with early voting.

The bill was one of more than two dozen that Walker acted on Thursday.

Haven’t seen the exact partial veto, but my take on this is that Walker has added 1o hours to the operational week of early voting in Wisconsin.  The original wording was that clerks offices could allow early voting hours between 8 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, but not surpassing 45 hours. In essence it gave clerks the liberty to determine which hours between 8 AM and 7 PM they would conduct early voting — averaging nine hours a day for five working days.

(9 times 5 is 45 last time I checked…)

So, by eliminating the 45-Hour cap, this pretty much gives you 11 hours (8 AM to 7 PM) where you can early vote, Monday through Friday, two more hours each day, for a total of 55 hours a week.

You’d think the Left would applaud getting 10 more hours, of course, they’re going to sue to kill this law nonetheless.


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90 Percent of Lake Michigan Covered with Ice

I’m sorry, you were saying something about “Global Warming?”  Too busy laughing at you while I point to this!

After having a meltdown early last week, Lake Michigan is now just over 90 percent covered in ice, which equals the highest levels ever recorded.

The lake was also just over 90 percent frozen in 1976, 1979 and 1994, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The unyielding cold weather has caused the ice on Lake Michigan to continue to expand the last several days.

The below high-resolution visible satellite image from March 2 shows widespread ice cover over central Lake Michigan.

A small area of open water remained on the eastern side of the lake, well away from the Michigan shore.

Here’s a satellite photo of the ice:

ice_cover_lake_michigan(Photo via NOAA)

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Prominent Liberal Donor Accused of Beating his Wife

A little harsh?

So was this.

According to a Dane County criminal complaint:

Police in Maple Bluff were dispatched to Rottier’s lakefront home on the evening of Feb. 7 for a report of a disturbance between a man and a woman.

Rottier’s wife, Frankie, told police her husband was supposed to take their children to the movies but came home about 7:30 p.m. and had been drinking. She admitted being angry that he was no longer going to take the children to the movies and confronted him about being drunk.

Rottier then drew back his cane. His wife said she turned away, and was struck across her back. Officers observed a red welt, about an inch wide and seven inches long, from her shoulder blade to her spine. Emergency medical staff arrived and treated Frankie Rottier, but she declined transport to a hospital.

Rottier, 62, was arrested and taken to the Dane County Jail, where a preliminary breath test indicated a blood alcohol level  of 0.13.

Rottier is charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse, use of a dangerous weapon. Neither he nor his attorney, Stephen Meyer, returned calls seeking comment. The case is scheduled for a plea hearing Friday.

“Officers observed a red welt, about an inch wide and seven inches long, from her shoulder blade to her spine…”

Wow, that’s old school.  Like “Rule of Thumb” old school.

Commonly used term originating in the early 1900s, when it was legal for men to beat their wives, as long as they used a stick no wider than their thumb.

No word yet if Rottier will be trying to use that as a legal defense.

As for being a “prominent liberal donor,” according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Rottier has given over $107,000 in donations to Democratic and liberal candidates since at least 1992.

That’s as far back as WDC’s database goes.  The last donations listed are for Marquette law professor Ed Fallone, who unsuccessfully ran for state supreme court last year.   Nothing reported to likely Democratic candidate Mary Burke (yet), but any wise campaign or activist group now knows to make a headline when it does.

Rottier is worth millions, and if he’s got a lakefront home in Maple Bluff that’s likely worth millions too.  You know what else is in Maple Bluff?  The Governor’s Mansion.

You know, quite the real “salt of the earth” neighborhood that is.

UPDATE: Remove the “Yet.”  Records from the Government Accountability Board show that Rottier gave $4,500 to the Burke campaign on December 20, 2013.  Let’s hold our breath collectively as to when a liberal women’s rights group demands they return the donations — or better yet — donate the money themselves to a battered women’s shelter.

UPDATE II: Dan Bice reports the Burke campaign is indeed donating the $4,500 it has received from Rottier and giving it to a battered women’s shelter in Madison.

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