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Category “2011 Elections”

Lingerie Football Coach Not Enough to Save Nusbaum

I have to admit I laughed out loud when I read this yes­ter­day and how it was being pro­moted by the press and lib­eral blogs.

As Wis­con­sin vot­ers head to the polls Tues­day for the first of two crit­i­cal recall elec­tion days, the labor backed coali­tion We Are Wis­con­sin is pulling out the big guns.

The group released a robo­call cam­paign on Tues­day fea­tur­ing mam­moth for­mer Green Bay Pack­ers defen­sive line­man Gilbert Brown. The call urges vot­ers to replace six Repub­li­can state Sen­a­tors who sup­ported Gov­er­nor Scott Walker’s con­tro­ver­sial bud­get bill.

Hello this is Gilbert Brown, defen­sive line­man for the ’97 Super Bowl cham­pion Green Bay Pack­ers, call­ing on behalf of We Are Wis­con­sin. I have a mes­sage for you about Tuesday’s elec­tion, I know a lit­tle bit about play­ing defense and right now it is time to defend Wis­con­sin. We are hold­ing the line, putting our children’s edu­ca­tion before big cor­po­rate tax give­aways. It is up to vot­ers like you to make the dif­fer­ence. Please gather your friends and neigh­bors and go to the polls on Tues­day from 7 am to 8 pm and sup­port Nancy Nus­baum for Senate.”

What’s Gilbert Brown really up to these days?  (Besides 375 pounds?)

Why coach­ing foot­ball.  Lin­gerie football.

In the midst of Super Bowl fever in Green Bay, a new foot­ball team with, um, non-traditional game­day attire is prepar­ing to make its home in Titletown.

The Lin­gerie Foot­ball League — which fea­tures scant­ily clad female play­ers com­pet­ing under indoor foot­ball rules — announced Tues­day that it will place an expan­sion fran­chise in Green Bay for the 2011 season.

The coach is none other than Gilbert Brown, a defen­sive tackle on the Pack­ers’ Super Bowl XXXI cham­pi­onship team who has been involved with a num­ber of minor-league ath­letic ven­tures over the past decade.

The Green Bay team will play at least two games at the Resch Cen­ter in Ash­waubenon, in the shadow of Lam­beau Field, accord­ing to the league.

The team’s nick­name will be deter­mined by a fan vote, and an open try­out is planned for late Feb­ru­ary for women over 18 who “pos­sess ath­leti­cism, beauty and con­fi­dence,” accord­ing to a press release.

Know­ing how and who RPW may often get for its robo­calls, that the Dems have to get Gilbert is frankly sad. The state GOP has Bart Starr in its arse­nal; how cool is that?

Nus­baum went on to get crushed by 20 points.

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My Predictions Make the Washington Times

I’m friends with the Times’ edi­tor of “The Water Cooler” blog, Kerry Picket.  Kerry got a hold of me yes­ter­day and asked me to write down what to watch for for her read­ers in DC.

This is the result.

Wis­con­sin is eagerly watch­ing the recall elec­tion of six Repub­li­can state sen­a­tors. Polit­i­cal observers from all over the coun­try can agree the elec­tions today and next week can give a hint as to where the polit­i­cal land­scape is for both par­ties on a national level. Since Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Scott Walker, with the help of the Wis The unde­ni­able truth about five of these recalls is they will be decided by turnout of the Repub­li­can voter.

Five of the six state sen­a­tors are in Repub­li­can dis­tricts. The only one that isn’t — the 32nd State Sen­ate Dis­trict, held by La Crosse Repub­li­can Dan Kapanke — is likely already a Demo­c­ra­tic win.

Of the remain­ing five, the safest are Robert Cowles in the 2nd (De Pere, Shawano, Kaukauna) and She­lia Hars­dorf in the 10th (River Falls, Hud­son, St. Croix Falls). They are said to be run­ning great cam­paigns and should win com­fort­ably if the con­ven­tional wis­dom holds for tonight.

The next two are the ones likely to be the most watched.  Those are Alberta Dar­ling the 8th (Ger­man­town, Mequon-Thiensville, Shore­wood, White­fish Bay) and Luther Olsen in the 14th (Red Gran­ite, Ripon, Portage, and Bara­boo). These are Repub­li­can districts.

In fact, most Wis­con­sin polit­i­cal watch­ers will tell you the 8th is 1/3 Lib­eral, 2/3 Con­ser­v­a­tive.  If Darling’s oppo­nent Sandy Pasch is vic­to­ri­ous tonight, it will be because of mas­sive turnout in the lib­eral sub­urbs of Shore­wood, White­fish Bay, and Glen­dale along Milwaukee’s North Shore.  Dar­ling will find her votes in Ger­man­town, Menom­i­nee Falls, Mequon, and Thiensville.

The 14th is home to Ripon, “the Birth­place of the Repub­li­can Party.” The biggest ques­tion in Ripon will be how capa­ble a cam­paigner Luther Olsen became dur­ing this recall. Mr. Olsen never faced a Demo­c­ra­tic oppo­nent since first enter­ing state pol­i­tics in 1994, and he didn’t face a Demo­c­ra­tic oppo­nent when he was elected to the State Sen­ate in 2004 or for his re-election in 2008. Much of the con­cern on the right is Olsen could be rest­ing on the lau­rels of his past wins and is lazy on the cam­paign trail. We’ll know tonight if that was true or not.

The final race to watch is Randy Hop­per in the 18th (Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Waupun). Sen. Hop­per was thought to be long left as polit­i­cally unvi­able after per­sonal details revolv­ing around a messy divorce and a young mis­tress sur­faced. Word on the cam­paign trail and recent polling from of all places, the Daily Kos, show Hop­per is mak­ing a come­back. If he some­how squeaks it out, it could be the biggest polit­i­cal come­back story in Wis­con­sin history.

This kind of come­back would also indi­cate that Jes­sica King, Hopper’s Demo­c­ra­tic oppo­nent both in his recall and in 2008, is a hor­ri­ble cam­paign closer. Hop­per won their first match-up by just 168 votes.

How does this end tonight? I’m in the camp where I see Democ­rats tak­ing only two of the recall elections–the seats cur­rently held by Dan Kapanke in La Crosse and Randy Hop­per in Fond du Lac.

Could Repub­li­cans lose only one seat? It’s pos­si­ble. Could Repub­li­cans lose three or four seats, flip­ping the State Sen­ate?  It’s pos­si­ble. It will come down to Repub­li­can lev­els of turnout.

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Politco: Even Dems Think They’ll Only Get Two

Uh oh.

You mean all the counter-spin from Repub­li­cans on the recall elec­tions might be right and what Tate, Zielin­ski, and the out-of-staters run­ning “We Are NOT Wis­con­sin” are say­ing is so full of crap you might as well head to the near­est dairy farm for a comparison?


Democ­rats on the ground here are increas­ingly con­fi­dent they will pick-up two state Sen­ate seats, but are warn­ing that win­ning the third nec­es­sary for a takeover is a ten­u­ous prospect.

Despite hype from some in the party appa­ra­tus about a “six for six” sweep Tues­day, the more real­is­tic sce­nario is win­ning two or three seats, accord­ing to those involved in the ground game.

The most stark word of cau­tion is included in a pri­vate memo obtained by POLITICO from the Democratic-leaning We Are Wis­con­sin group to its donors.

In our final days, we remain cau­tiously opti­mistic about our chances to take back the Sen­ate.  But pre­dic­tions of vic­tory at this point are beyond pre­ma­ture – they’re dan­ger­ous,” wrote We Are Wis­con­sin field direc­tor Kris­ten Crow­ell in an Aug. 3 memo obvi­ously designed to lower expectations.

While we have solid research sug­gest­ing there are races where we might secure a sec­ond and third poten­tial pick-up, none of these of these races except 32 should be con­sid­ered safe pick-ups (and even there we face chal­lenges to get the ball over the goal line), and we are deal­ing with an unprece­dented elec­torate that is very dif­fi­cult to fore­cast,” she continues.

After out­lin­ing the odds Democ­rats face in going up against the “unlim­ited resources” of “cor­po­rate inter­ests, she warns the the pre­dic­tions of three wins in bank are overblown.

Trans­la­tion: The only one we know for sure we’re going to win is the Dan Kapanke’s seat in the 32nd because of the population’s Democratic-leanings.  Any­thing else, even that of Randy Hopper’s seat (which hon­estly sur­prises me), could be count­ing our chick­ens before they hatch.  Polling is tricky and it all comes down to turnout.

Could be a long night for Ed Schultz in Madi­son (where no one is vot­ing) who’s been over-hyping the “six for six sweep” if it’s just two seats.

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Liberal Post Crescent Endorses Cowles, Olsen in Recalls

Since “The Chief” and cap are point­ing out the one true given on most endorse­ments — The Oshkosh North­west­ern will always endorse a Demo­c­rat — I see they missed one.

The reli­ably lib­eral edi­to­r­ial board at the Apple­ton Post-Crescent, at least since the takeover around the turn of the cen­tury, endorsed both Repub­li­cans in their read­ing area this morn­ing: Robert Cowles and Luther Olsen.

It reads like crap of course, like most endorse­ments the Post-Crescent’s had to do when they real­ize they have to endorse Repub­li­cans over the board’s pre­ferred lib­eral leanings.

For many peo­ple, Tuesday’s state Sen­ate recall elec­tions are about one issue — the vote on a bill to elim­i­nate most col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing pow­ers for most pub­lic employees.

In our area, two Repub­li­can sen­a­tors face a recall Tues­day — Rob Cowles of Allouez in the 2nd Dis­trict and Luther Olsen of Ripon in the 14th Dis­trict. Both voted for the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing bill, which passed and has become law.

The bill led to weeks of protests at the state Capi­tol and almost-immediate recall peti­tion dri­ves to force elec­tions for the Repub­li­can sen­a­tors who voted for it, and were eli­gi­ble to be recalled now, and for the Demo­c­ra­tic sen­a­tors who left the state to try to pre­vent a vote.

Cowles faces Nancy Nus­baum, a for­mer De Pere mayor and Brown County exec­u­tive. Olsen faces Fred Clark, a second-term Assem­bly rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Baraboo.

So if you’re opposed to the law and will vote against Cowles or Olsen strictly because of that deci­sion — or sup­port the law and will vote for Cowles or Olsen strictly because of it — it’s per­fectly understandable.

In our endorse­ment deci­sions in the races, how­ever, we chose to view the vote as just that — one vote, although a major one — and weighed the pros and cons of each can­di­date in their entirety.

As a result, we rec­om­mend that vot­ers keep Cowles and Olsen in their jobs.

For the record, I think all of the recalls — both Repub­li­can and Demo­c­ra­tic — are stu­pid.  Who­ever wins on the next two Tues­day will be a State Sen­a­tor for less than fif­teen months before they’re before the vot­ers again next November.

And oh, in dis­tricts ben­e­fi­cial to Republicans.

Who else besides me wants to admit Jes­sica King’s back in Oshkosh full-time by Jan­u­ary 2013, or if she didn’t col­lapse in the stretch like she did in 2008 that she wouldn’t be fac­ing a recall next Tues­day (and prob­a­bly lose it too)?

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Citizen Action on Wisconsin Jobs Now! — “Pay No Attention to the Cubicle in the Back!”

Yeah, this didn’t work for the old guy behind the cur­rent at the end of “The Wiz­ard of Oz” either.

The GOP charge that Cit­i­zen Action of Wis­con­sin and the Pasch cam­paign are coor­di­nat­ing is com­pletely false. The charge is based on the fact that Sandy Pasch is a mem­ber of the Cit­i­zen Action board. This is not proof of coor­di­na­tion. Elec­tion experts agree it is entirely legal for Pasch to serve on the Cit­i­zen Action board as long as there is no shar­ing of infor­ma­tion on elec­toral work. Cit­i­zen Action is well aware of the law, and has made it a firm pol­icy never to share elec­tion infor­ma­tion with can­di­dates for pub­lic office. Cit­i­zen Action has not shared any infor­ma­tion with Pasch or any other can­di­date about our recall elec­tion pro­grams, and the GOP has offered no proof of such coordination.

The GOP also makes false charges about the rela­tion­ship between Cit­i­zen Action of Wis­con­sin and another orga­ni­za­tion, Wis­con­sin Jobs Now! The GOP claims erro­neously that Cit­i­zen Action of Wis­con­sin and Wis­con­sin Jobs Now are the same orga­ni­za­tion, and there­fore its pro­gram is coor­di­nated with Sandy Pasch’s Sen­ate Cam­paign. This charge is com­pletely with­out merit. First, Cit­i­zen of Wis­con­sin has not coor­di­nated any elec­toral activ­ity with Pasch. Sec­ond, Wis­con­sin Jobs Now! is a legally sep­a­rate orga­ni­za­tion which is run­ning its own elec­tion cam­paign in which Cit­i­zen Action of Wis­con­sin is not involved and had no role in plan­ning. There are there­fore at least two walls of sep­a­ra­tion between the Pasch cam­paign and Wis­con­sin Jobs Now, as nei­ther is coor­di­nated with Cit­i­zen Action of Wisconsin’s elec­tion program.

So says Robert Kraig, a long-time Demo­c­ra­tic leg­isla­tive aide and cam­paign staffer.

I love how he doesn’t explain the staff co-mingling, the fact they share the same office space, AND they have the same con­tact phone num­ber.  Facts which makes up the bulk of the charges against the group.

One won­ders what kind of press release the White Star Line would have issued in today’s PR envi­ron­ment moments after the ice­berg hit the Titanic.

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“We Are Wisconsin” Loses La Crosse Offices in Fire">We Are Wisconsin” Loses La Crosse Offices in Fire

And I give it 12 hours before the con­spir­acy the­o­rists get to work on this news.

It just won’t stop burning.

A fire in the 400 block of Jay Street that has already claimed one build­ing stub­bornly refuses to go out, due partly, said Assis­tant Fire Chief War­ren Thomas, to its rub­ber roof.

Crews cut holes in the rub­ber, but the water gets trapped and can’t do it’s job prop­erly, he said.

With the burn­ing build­ing behind it knocked down, all the efforts of the La Crosse and Onalaska Fire Depart­ments is now on the front build­ing at 423 Jay St., par­tic­u­larly the south­east cor­ner. If the fire in that cor­ner gets out of con­trol, Thomas said, it could jump to the build­ing on the cor­ner at Fifth Avenue and Jay Street.

We don’t want it spreading.”

Begin­ning at about 9:30 a.m., crews attacked the fire from lad­der trucks high above the roof tops as the blaze spread south.

By late after­noon crews brought in an exca­va­tor to demol­ish one struc­ture after its roof col­lapsed ear­lier in the day.

The build­ings are home to six apart­ments, whose res­i­dents all escaped safely. Fire­fight­ers have been treated for heat exhaus­tion through­out the day, but no one was seri­ously injured.

The struc­ture also houses the local head­quar­ters for We Are Wis­con­sin, a Demo­c­ra­tic orga­niz­ing group. It is a total loss, said group spokesman Kelly Steele.

Staff was inside when the fire broke out and escaped safely, he said.

It is unclear how the fire started.

At one point in the after­noon, it appeared the fire was under con­trol, but new clouds of black smoke began bil­low­ing from store­front and apart­ment windows.

Police have blocked off Fifth Avenue from Main Street to Jay Street. Offi­cials ask that you avoid dri­ving down­town near the fire.

Given past reports from the gang at MacIver, I will admit, I’m a bit shocked to see the Shilling cam­paign offices weren’t effected either.

In mul­ti­ple cities across the state, recall cam­paign offices for Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­dates and “We Are Wis­con­sin” offices share the same building.

No coor­di­nat­ing there, right?  (Where’s a BS com­plaint fil­ing from Mike McCabe to the GAB when you need it?)

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SUV?">Wait a Minute, Fred Clark Hit a Guy With His SUV?

Yeah, while clearly run­ning a red light too.

It’s at the 40 sec­ond mark of this video.

And to read “Poli­ti­FACT” try to spin it to the even­tual “TRUE” rat­ing they have to give out is pretty nuts.

(Dis­claimer — I actu­ally had to track all this down in Jan­u­ary 2010 when I was doing oppo­si­tion research for state leg­isla­tive races for RPWThe police report is really some­thing when you go through it.

Clark would barely win his 2010 Assem­bly re-election by just 288 votes.

That’s why I laugh at all those who think Clark has a chance beyond Luther Olsen being com­pletely lazy on the cam­paign trail.  Sadly, that is pos­si­ble for those who know Luther.)

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We Are Wisconsin’s “Ricca Moment”

Con­grat­u­la­tions guys.  You join an elite company.

The lat­est smear launched by We Are Wis­con­sin, a union backed front group, appears to star the daugh­ter of WEAC’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Dan Burkhal­ter. Burkhal­ter, who has a $242,000 a year com­pen­sa­tion plan, lives with his fam­ily in Mid­dle­ton, roughly 90 miles away from Alberta Darling’s Sen­ate District.

Union bosses have been dis­tort­ing the facts for years. Now it appears that WEAC is drum­ming up fake con­stituents to mis­lead vot­ers in the 8th Sen­ate Dis­trict,” said Darling’s cam­paign man­ager Andrew Davis. “Dan Burkhal­ter and his $242,000 a year com­pen­sa­tion pack­age would like you to believe that Repub­li­cans are tak­ing money out of the class­room. Yet it’s union bosses like him who have made a for­tune off of forced union dues and have fought against mod­est com­pen­sa­tion reforms.”

(Read here, or here for the “Ricca” reference.)

For their next trick, I hear “We are Wis­con­sin” will be com­ing out with an ad where they’ll be using old Pack­ers game footage with­out get­ting the NFL’s express writ­ten consent.


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GAB Kicks Nygren Off Ballot in Hansen Recall">GAB Kicks Nygren Off Ballot in Hansen Recall

And this is why I heard he was chang­ing cam­paign man­agers…com­pe­tent ones don’t let this sort of crap happen.

The Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­ity Board today ruled GOP state Rep. John Nygren didn’t have enough valid sig­na­tures on his nom­i­na­tion papers to qual­ify for the bal­lot in the 30th SD recall election.

The board found Nygren, R-Marinette, had 398 valid sig­na­tures, two short of what he needed. Ear­lier in the after­noon, the board rejected a chal­lenge to Repub­li­can David Vanderleest’s nom­i­na­tion papers, leav­ing him the only Repub­li­can on the bal­lot to chal­lenge Dem Sen. Dave Hansen.

That sets up a July 19 elec­tion between Van­der­leest and Hansen, D-Green Bay.

Nygren could still be able to chal­lenge the GAB’s find­ings.  Iron­i­cally, the best exam­ple we have was last year when AFSCME ran Andrew Wies­nicki in the 25th Assem­bly Dis­trict, GAB ini­tially tossed him off the bal­lot, but later changed its mind when AFSCME’s Jason Sid­ner “found” 11 more sig­na­tures to put Wies­nicki over the 200 sig­na­ture threshold.

He was at 196 until then.

If Nygren is unable to chal­lenge, it  is a blow to GOP chances in the 30th State Sen­ate Dis­trict, since he is far and away the bet­ter can­di­date of the two GOP entries.

UPDATE: Made a few calls.  Yeah, it’s over.   No chal­lenge is possible.

UPDATE II: Nygren issued the fol­low­ing state­ment. Looks like he’s file some form of legal recourse.

Green Bay, WI – State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Nygren (R-Marinette) released the fol­low­ing state­ment fol­low­ing a meet­ing of the state’s Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­ity Board:

I’m dis­heart­ened the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­ity Board did not approve the over 400 nom­i­na­tion sig­na­tures sub­mit­ted by my campaign.

I have told vot­ers all over this dis­trict that it wasn’t the fact that Dave Hansen left Wis­con­sin this year that moti­vated me to run, it’s that Dave Hansen left the peo­ple of north­east­ern Wis­con­sin years ago when he voted for bil­lions of dol­lars of job-killing taxes sup­ported by his lib­eral friends in Madison.

The sim­ple fact that over 15,000 indi­vid­u­als in north­east­ern Wis­con­sin signed papers to recall Dave Hansen shows the dis­trust and frus­tra­tion the tax­pay­ers of this dis­trict have in their Senator.

Since Dave Hansen has cho­sen legal maneu­vers to silence the vot­ers of north­east­ern Wis­con­sin, I feel oblig­ated to my sup­port­ers to fight this deci­sion and pur­sue fur­ther legal options.”

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This is How Campaigns Die

Yeah, this is just terminal.

State Repub­li­can Party lead­ers are ask­ing elec­tion offi­cials to inves­ti­gate whether Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­date Shelly Moore inten­tion­ally used her pub­lic school email account to orga­nize and work on her recall campaign.

In sup­port of its claim, the Repub­li­can Party released a num­ber of Moore emails it received via an open records request from the Ellsworth School District.

We are not sup­posed to use school email, but since all of our rights are being taken away, I don’t frankly care,” Moore wrote in a March 10 email to dis­cuss an emer­gency teach­ers union meet­ing and the dis­tri­b­u­tion of her recall papers.

In another email, an uniden­ti­fied indi­vid­ual offers Moore con­grat­u­la­tions on April 2 for hav­ing been “cho­sen as either The Can­did­date (sic) or WEAC’s can­di­date of choice.” That is a ref­er­ence to the Wis­con­sin Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion Coun­cil, the state’s largest teach­ers union.

After hours of silence, even­tu­ally some­one from the Demo­c­ra­tic Party of Wis­con­sin came out of the Dam­age Con­trol Room and came out with the dumb­est excuse humanly pos­si­ble for what would be a vio­la­tion of the Hatch Act if this were the fed­eral gov­ern­ment — ‘Hey, there was no cam­paign yet.”

(It should be noted that none of the Democ­rats run­ning in the GOP recalls have an actual staff set for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and oper­a­tions.  Every­thing appears to be com­ing out of Madi­son for these cam­paigns — even the ones for the three incum­bent Democ­rats fac­ing recalls.  It’s an obvi­ous coor­di­nat­ing and cost-savings move.)

Gillian Mor­ris, press sec­re­tary for the Demo­c­ra­tic Party’s recall drive, said Moore didn’t declare as a can­di­date until early May, some time after the emails in dispute.

Shelly was absolutely not using tax­payer dol­lars for cam­paign pur­poses — no cam­paign even existed when these emails were sent,” Mor­ris said.

Wow, fas­ci­nat­ing take on ethics there?  Did you fall asleep dur­ing that lec­ture at UW-Madison there Gil?  (Can I call you Gil?)  The state GOP clearly has doc­u­men­ta­tion show­ing Moore signed an ethics agree­ment not to use her school email for polit­i­cal activ­ity and this was not a sin­gu­lar inci­dent, but a con­stant trend on Moore’s part.

So yes, play the “Dis­trac­tion” Card Dems, it will look nicely as the ethics probe kicks in on both the local and state level.


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