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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

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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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 RPW.  The 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

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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