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Category “2012 Elections”

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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Citizens United: All the Worry, None of the Effect

Well, this is a lit­tle egg on the face of the likes of the super-liberals and Russ Feingold-types, so at least there is that going for free speech in the 21st Century.

Out­side money was the dog that barked but did not bite. Obama and other Democ­rats had long made dire pre­dic­tions about the poten­tial impact of Cit­i­zens United v. Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, which allowed cor­po­ra­tions and unions to spend unlim­ited funds on elec­tions and cre­ated an entirely new class of wealthy polit­i­cal groups.

The money did dra­mat­i­cally change the focus and char­ac­ter of many cam­paigns. Can­di­dates up and down the bal­lot were forced to spend more time than ever rais­ing dona­tions, while polit­i­cal adver­tis­ing funded by out­siders was even more neg­a­tive than before. Wealthy donors were so cen­tral to Romney’s cam­paign that a swarm of pri­vate lux­ury jets caused a traf­fic jam at Boston’s air­port just prior to the nominee’s Tues­day night elec­tion party.

Its last­ing impact will be that it fueled the public’s dis­gust about pol­i­tics,” said David Don­nelly of the Pub­lic Cam­paign Action Fund, which favors stricter campaign-finance regulations.

Yet super PACs and secre­tive non­profit groups — which spent up to $10 mil­lion a day on the pres­i­den­tial race alone — couldn’t move the nee­dle far enough to pre­vail in nearly any of the big races they tar­geted. Out­side money allowed Rom­ney to be com­pet­i­tive with Obama, but that meant the can­di­date had no direct con­trol over much of the spend­ing, while his own cam­paign was plagued by high per­son­nel costs and lav­ish con­sult­ing fees.

In the end, the two sides reached a kind of dreary equi­lib­rium, clog­ging the air­waves with so many attack ads that Repub­li­can groups began air­ing spots in Cal­i­for­nia and other deep-blue states where they had lit­tle chance of vic­tory. By the end of Octo­ber, more than a mil­lion com­mer­cials had been broad­cast in a pres­i­den­tial race that remained close to a dead heat for much of the year.

Lib­er­als will still be given dog-whistle phrases like “Koch Broth­ers” and “Cit­i­zens United” to encour­age out­rage at out­side spend­ing in pol­i­tics — unless it’s from unions, that’s their money, dammit! — even when all it is being proven to show at the moment is that it is just more noise to be sac­ri­ficed to the chan­nel changer or fast for­ward on the DVR.

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WI State Senate Leader">Miller Stepping Down as WI State Senate Leader

Not unsur­pris­ing news, his chief of staff bailed to work for Mil­wau­kee Co. gov­ern­ment months ago.  The writ­ing was on the wall for weeks that some­thing was going to change depend­ing on last night.

Mark Miller has decided to step down from his post as Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­tic leader.

Miller’s office issued a state­ment Wednes­day say­ing he plans to quit his post when the cur­rent leg­isla­tive ses­sion ends in December.

The Monona Demo­c­rat ran unop­posed in Tuesday’s elec­tions. The state­ment doesn’t say why he chose to quit his lead­er­ship posi­tion and his spokes­woman didn’t imme­di­ately return tele­phone messages.

Ques­tion now is who takes over.  The log­i­cal guess would be ele­vat­ing Dave Hansen, the Assis­tant Leader, to leader, but con­sid­er­ing he didn’t want the job after the 2010 elec­tions (He briefly was “Leader” when they broke for cau­cus after for­mer Wausau state Sen­a­tor Russ Decker became the decid­ing vote against pub­lic employee con­tracts in the lame duck ses­sion, remov­ing him as leader.), you won­der if he prefers to be #2 in the cau­cus more for polit­i­cal reasons.

It is a lot eas­ier to knock out a guy in a swing dis­trict if he’s also the face of the oppo­si­tion, and no doubt Hansen knows that.

Erpen­bach is another likely option, since he’s prac­ti­cally been the media face for the cau­cus since “The Flee­ing.”  Frankly, the options among the 14 other mem­bers of the cau­cus not named Mark Miller are slim pick­ings.  They’re more bomb throw­ers than lead­ers, unless some­one decides to finally get seri­ous among the lot.


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One Sign the Left if Sure to Ignore

As of this morn­ing, the tally was a 58 to 42 per­cent loss.  Given that it was in Michi­gan, you have to sug­gest that even blue col­lar labor unions are start­ing to get wise to what white col­lar pub­lic employee unions are try­ing to force upon them.

Michi­gan vot­ers rejected a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment that sup­port­ers said would strengthen collective-bargaining rights, and oppo­nents argued would drive busi­ness away by giv­ing unions too much power.

The loss for Pro­posal 2 was pro­jected by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV.

The amend­ment would have blocked so-called right-to-work laws in which union mem­ber­ship can­not be a con­di­tion of employ­ment. Oppo­nents, led by busi­ness groups, said the mea­sure would have increased tax­payer costs by over­rid­ing dozens of laws, such as a 2011 statute requir­ing pub­lic employ­ees to pay 20 per­cent of health-insurance premiums.

The vote was a “stag­ger­ing defeat” for union lead­ers, said Jared Rodriguez, a spokesman for Pro­tect­ing Michi­gan Tax­pay­ers, the business-led coali­tion oppos­ing Pro­posal 2. “Vot­ers and union mem­bers sent a crystal-clear mes­sage to the union bosses today that union busi­ness has no place in Michigan’s con­sti­tu­tion,” Rodriguez said in an e-mailed statement.

The bal­lot issue was the result of a peti­tion drive by a union-led coali­tion after Wis­con­sin in 2011 stripped some collective-bargaining rights from pub­lic employ­ees and Indi­ana’s pas­sage this year of a right-to-work law. The Wis­con­sin move led to an unsuc­cess­ful recall drive against Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Scott Walker.

Pro­posal 2 sup­port­ers said the state went too far with laws that made it eas­ier for schools to fire teach­ers, ban union-dues col­lec­tions by gov­ern­ment enti­ties and allow state-appointed emer­gency man­agers to can­cel union con­tracts in finan­cially dis­tressed cities and school districts.

Yeah, fir­ing bad teach­ers and ask­ing mem­bers to cut a check instead of just steal­ing from their pay­checks.  Those bastards.


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Thoughts on Last Night

I’m much calmer than you’d think I’d be.  Frankly, I have sib­lings who are more “What the hell?” than I am today.

It’s not that the nation or Wis­con­sin flipped back to “Lib­eral” after 2010 to give us four more years of Barack Obama or six years of Sen. Tammy Bald­win, it was a com­bi­na­tion of things, many of which you could see light-years away if you didn’t wish to blind your­self in the par­ti­san glow and actu­ally give hon­est analy­sis about them.

1)  I called the GOP los­ing and Obama re-elected in 2011, while in a job inter­view in Wash­ing­ton, DC (I got the job too. It was con­tract PR work I did before my cur­rent gig.). 

To put it mildly, after 2010, the GOP had an entire crew of second-stringers run­ning for Pres­i­dent in an envi­ron­ment which looked hor­ri­ble against an incum­bent about to spend $1B, with near uni­ver­sal media love and where frankly most friendly pun­dits and activists were beg­ging oth­ers to get in the race.  That doesn’t exude con­fi­dence, it’s a recipe for pend­ing disaster.

2)  Mitt’s August and Sep­tem­ber didn’t help.

The RNC Con­ven­tion was a bust, fol­lowed by a month of inac­tion, inac­tiv­ity, and lit­tle pub­lic events.  When your best moment is in Octo­ber, in the debates, you have to won­der if it was too late to turn the ship right towards vic­tory by then.

3)  Tammy just ran the bet­ter campaign.

When I’m hav­ing to talk my own father against a vote for a Madi­son lib­eral, you know there’s trou­ble brew­ing.  She dom­i­nated the air­waves — espe­cially the Green Bay mar­ket (more on that later) — after the pri­mary and never let it go.  I think I still can’t tell you what the woman is going to actu­ally do as a sen­a­tor from her ad cam­paign.  All you can tell was “Tommy did this, Tommy did that.”  “Tommy served in the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, remem­ber how much you hate him?”

A lot of folks are going to have a “What the ****?” moment in a cou­ple of years when they real­ize what they just sent to Wash­ing­ton as their junior Senator.

4)  Name is not enough anymore.

I love Tommy Thomp­son, I respect Tommy Thomp­son, but how the hell his cam­paign made lit­tle to no effort in out­reach with young peo­ple is going to haunt me for a while.  18 year old col­lege fresh­men were 4 when he was last on the bal­lot.  The first time I could vote in 1998, was the last time he ran statewide.

His team did lit­tle to intro­duce him to a demo­graphic he prac­ti­cally helped edu­cate while also hop­ing “I’m Tommy Thomp­son, remem­ber me?” could carry the day.  Clearly, it didn’t.

5)  The graphic which will haunt the NRSC.

Thanks Mis­souri Repub­li­cans and Tea Party Pin-head purists.

The largest shock for me in appar­ent GOP sen­ate losses is North Dakota, mostly because the rest of the statewide races went so heav­ily for the rest of the ticket there.

6)  For the big races, ticket-splitting in Wis­con­sin is dead.

The trend started in 2010, it appears to con­tinue in 2012.

Obama vic­tory in Wis­con­sin — 201,827.  Bald­win vic­tory in Wis­con­sin — 164,947.

7)  The state was lost for the GOP in Brown County, the Fox Val­ley and the Lakeshore.

How best to describe this…

Ah, let’s just go w/ the numbers…

Dane County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Tom Bar­rett got 69.1 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Barack Obama got around 71 per­cent of the vote, while Tammy Bald­win got around 69 per­cent of the vote.

Brown County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Scott Walker got 59.7 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Mitt Rom­ney got around 50 per­cent of the vote, while Tommy Thomp­son got around 49 per­cent of the vote.

Out­agamie County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Scott Walker got 61.3 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Mitt Rom­ney got around 50 per­cent of the vote, while Tommy Thomp­son also received around 50 per­cent of the vote.

Door County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Scott Walker got 56.8 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Barack Obama got around 53 per­cent of the vote, while Tammy Bald­win got around 51 per­cent of the vote.

Man­i­towoc County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Scott Walker got 64.1 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Mitt Rom­ney got around 51 per­cent of the vote, while Tommy Thomp­son got around 49 per­cent of the vote.

She­boy­gan County

Dur­ing the Walker Recall in June, Scott Walker got 64.3 per­cent of the vote.  Last night, Mitt Rom­ney got around 54 per­cent of the vote, while Tommy Thomp­son also received around 54 per­cent of the vote.

Yeah, I think I’ve proved my point…

8]  Dale Schultz is about to find out who his real friends are.

A king at 17, a jester at 18.  Oh, what a life.

Ques­tion going into 2014: Will the 17th State Sen­ate Dis­trict now be a top pri­or­ity for Democ­rats (Both Obama and Bald­win car­ried it with around 55 per­cent by a crude look-over this morn­ing) since most of the “usual” swing dis­tricts (5,9,21,23, 29) look to have been locked up either through strong incum­bents or redis­trict­ing?  The think­ing being “Do they opt for a col­league who will vote with them 100 per­cent of the time, or one who only votes with them when he wants media attention?”

Short Hits:

9)  Expect recounts in Assem­bly Dis­tricts 70 (Vruwink only leads by 170 votes) and pos­si­bly in 93 (Petryk leads by 500).

10)  The Min­ing Bill is now going to hap­pen.  Expect the envi­ron­men­tal groups to sue while the ink dries on Walker’s signature.

11)  Jess King goes back to Oshkosh, prob­a­bly as the only can­di­date Democ­rats think they have for when Petri retires in the CD-06 since Gor­don Hintz is dam­aged goods and stuck in the state Assem­bly, rep­re­sent­ing Oshkosh until he gets bored.

12)  The biggest stat nation­ally appears to still be about who do vot­ers blame for the econ­omy.  Democ­rats have prob­a­bly just won their last elec­tion run­ning against George W. Bush.

13)  Can’t wait to see who gets blamed for “Los­ing the Recovery.”

14) Some­one needs to get the Club for Growth and the NRSC together and get peace talks going.  The crap over these past two cycles needs to stop.

15)  Can you name the can­di­date Democ­rats will run against Scott Walker in two years?  Yeah, didn’t think so.

16)  Would Hovde have won?  Maybe, he would have had the money to sur­vive the August bom­bard­ment Tommy had to go through, but I think you would have seen Baldwin’s cam­paign come out with a ton of anti-Wall Street ads.

17)  Would Neu­mann have won?  Yeah…only in Erick Erickson’s dreams.  They would have called him the loser of Wis­con­sin faster than they called Mitt last night.

18)  It’s hard to call this a man­date.  I’m see­ing folks com­ment that Obama got not only less votes than in 2008, but enough votes were dif­fer­ent, Obama lost a num­ber of votes equal to the entire vote of Cal­i­for­nia and Kansas combined.

19)  Does Barack even have the abil­ity to reach across the aisle?  He hasn’t shown it in over the past two years, what makes any­one believe he will do it in the next four?

20)  Time for the GOP to grow up on out­reach to the His­panic votes.  We have Rubio and Cruz, time to actu­ally use them!

Finally…I’m expect­ing 2014 to be big for the GOP.  We’re on the verge of an eco­nomic tank­ing which only the blind are too igno­rant to see.  Not to men­tion, second-term mid-term elec­tions for any incum­bent Pres­i­dent his­tor­i­cally have been blood­baths for his party.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Programming Note

I’ll be join­ing John Mer­cure for 620WTMJ’s Elec­tion Night cov­er­age tonight.  It will be the same set of pan­elists that were on the air in June for the recall, myself, Mikel Holt of the Mil­wau­kee Com­mu­nity Jour­nal, and Jeff May­ers of WisPolitics.com.

We go on the air at 8 PM, just as the polls close and will be there until Lord knows when. I for one am expect­ing a long night.  Why?  It’s Elec­tion Night in Wis­con­sin, it is always a long night.

(Note to self: Buy some 5-hour Energy, you’ve been up since 6:30 AM.)

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