Great find here by Jack Craver over the CapTimes. (Seriously, how Jack is still there is strange to me. He’s a fine enough reporter you’d think the JS or Gannett would have snatched him up by now.)
At the very least, Amardeep Kaleka is an unconventional candidate for Congress.
That is apparent from any media coverage of his candidacy, which the 35-year-old says was inspired by his father’s tragic death at the hands of a deranged white supremacist who last year opened fire on a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, killing six.
But other aspects of his candidacy are unique as well.
For starters, unlike most Congressional candidates, Kaleka’s campaign is not based in the district he hopes to one day represent. Currently the campaign address is listed in Los Angeles, where Kaleka has worked in recent years as a filmmaker, not southeastern Wisconsin, where the First District is currently represented by Republican Paul Ryan.
Kaleka says he splits his time between Wisconsin and California, where his film business has an office.
“The way our business works, we’ve been in and out of California for four years now,” he says by phone from the west coast. “We pay taxes in Wisconsin as well as here. Our home has always technically been (in Wisconsin).”
And he dismisses the suggestion that he is not sufficiently in touch with his district to provide adequate representation. He points out that he grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and argues that being a member of Congress is as much a national duty as a local one.
According to Craver’s report, Kaleka’s day job is that of “Documentary Filmmaker.”
His latest film, “Sirius” is on how the federal government has been hiding the existence of UFOs, ETs, and proof that they’ve been the Earth.
(Wow, the “he’s a wack-job” direct mail nearly writes itself. How does a picture of this guy look next to the Hale Bop Comet Cult leader?)
In all seriousness, the issue here is Kaleka’s primary residence and where he is paying taxes. That information can be easily found and is eligibility under state law determined then and there. It’s whether this guy seems to think he has to actually do constituent work which frankly seems to worry me.
“I don’t know if (where you live) corresponds to whether you’re going to do a good job in Congress,” he says. “I would rather elect somebody who has a lot of national leadership experience and international experience.”
The point of being in the House is that you are to be the closest connection — both in terms of the size of the district you represent and the term in office you have — to the people. That’s laid out fairly well in the Federalist Papers (See. #53) so I have no idea what Kaleka’s talking about by saying the job “is a national duty, not a local one.”
In reality, it’s both. Always has been.
So I wish the kid luck in his primary against Rob Zerban, who apparently still has only $12.49 in his campaign bank account.
If you were watching closely on Twitter on Sunday during the Packers game, you will have noticed two tweets on a series of PPP Polls about 24 seats in the House of Representatives.
One of those tweets from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The other was from DPW’s little brother, One Wisconsin Now. (So much for doing politics during a Packers game being an anathema in Badger State politics, huh?) Both of them highlighted PPP’s poll of WI-07, where just after the start of the shutdown, showed that Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau0) would lose to “a generic Democrat.”
Of course, we don’t live in a world where “a generic Democrat” actually exists, let alone will run for office. Hell, we’re thirteen months out to the 2014 mid-terms and no one has announced they take on Duffy, let alone Reid Ribble in the 8th.
So why all the excitement over a poll done by PPP and paid for by MoveOn.Org?
Simple. It was political excrement meant to give false hope to Democrats. Think I’m lying, take Stu Rothenberg’s word for it. He’s been handicapping races much, much, much longer than I have or ever plan to.
It’s no coincidence, then, that the PPP memo accompanying the results, written by Jim Williams, observes, “The surveys challenge the conventional wisdom that gerrymandering has put the House out of reach for Democrats.”
Not surprisingly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out multiple fundraising emails in the hours after reports of the PPP polls surfaced, and dozens of Democratic candidates and liberal groups did the same.
That’s the standard modus operandi these days on both the right and the left: have a sympathetic media organization or polling firm assert some alleged finding, and then have fellow travelers cite the initial report to try to raise cash or create momentum. It is becoming (yawn — excuse me) a little trite.
Anyway, the Huffington Post reported that of the 24 House districts polled, “Republican incumbents are behind in 17 of the districts analyzed.” Of course, the “polls” did not include head-to-head ballot tests of likely nominees (even though the surveys could have included candidate names in many contests), but instead relied on a messy question that was part “re-elect” and part “generic ballot.” The results are of little or no use because that is not the choice voters will face on Election Day.
Moreover, at least five of the 17 Republicans who are “losing” either have no serious opposition or have less-than-top-tier opponents at this point: Steve King (Iowa’s 4th District), Andy Barr (Kentucky’s 6th), Kerry Bentivolio (Michigan’s 11th), Patrick Meehan (Pennsylvania’s 7th) and Sean P. Duffy (Wisconsin’s 7th). Bentivolio may not survive a GOP primary.
Is the House in play now? Of course not. My newsletter’s most recent race-by-race assessment, completed just days before the shutdown began, found that the most likely overall outcome next year is a small gain for one of the parties. At this point in the cycle, there is no compelling evidence that a Democratic wave is developing, which is what the party would need to net the necessary 17 House seats to win the majority.
That’s not to say it can’t happen, of course. If the shutdown (and, possibly, inaction on raising the debt ceiling) creates a severe economic downturn for which Republicans get most of the blame, anything could happen. But there are a lot of assumptions in that scenario.
If the 1995–96 shutdown is any guide, the political fallout from the current legislative stalemate is likely to be limited.
So…what exactly are DPW and OWN going to do with all that money they got this weekend? Something tells me it won’t be “Finding a Candidate” anytime soon.
1) Anything that gets me what I’ve ordered from Amazon.com, be it a book, game, tech gadget or Christmas nick-nack for my mom, it will now arrive about two days faster.
2) This will drive liberals nuts with Walker on the jobs front. Especially since Amazon wants to open it in the Fall of 2014, right in the middle of the gubernatorial campaign.
3) Amazon is notoriously anti-union. (Read here.) So it will drive the #WIUnion folks nuts. Makes you wonder if there’s an effort going on right now behind the scenes in Kenosha to try to kill the project until Amazon puts in a union shop. (Just a hint here, it ain’t gonna happen. Amazon will not let unions in.)
One of the world’s best known companies wants to bring lots of jobs to Kenosha. City leaders have confirmed internet giant Amazon is seeking to build a massive distribution center East of I-94 and 38th Street.
“It’s a project we haven’t seen in Kenosha in a long time with the economic downturn,” said Alderman Dan Prozanski.
Prozanski said the company plans on creating more than 1,000 full-time jobs. He said the average starting pay will be around $13 per hour.
Amazon will invest around $250 million dollars. The sprawling facility will be around 1.5 million square feet. That’s slightly larger than the footprint of Miller Park.
This is going to be a huge facility, probably replacing either its facility in Kentucky or Indiana as a way to better service the upper Midwest. Keep in mind this is part of a massive nearly $14 Billion project where the company is building warehouses and distribution centers across the globe.
I’ve talked about this before, but when CNN talks about it, it has to be bad.
There’s another budget crisis in Washington, and it’s unfolding inside the Democratic party. The Democratic National Committee remains so deeply in the hole from spending in the last election that it is struggling to pay its own vendors.
It is a highly unusual state of affairs for a national party — especially one that can deploy the President as its fundraiser-in-chief – and it speaks to the quiet but serious organizational problems the party has yet to address since the last election, obscured in part by the much messier spectacle of GOP infighting.
The Democrats’ numbers speak for themselves: Through August, 10 months after helping President Obama secure a second term, the DNC owed its various creditors a total of $18.1 million, compared to the $12.5 million cash cushion the Republican National Committee is holding.
Several executives at firms that contract to provide services to the party – speaking anonymously to avoid antagonizing what remains an important if troubled client — describe an organization playing for time as they raise alarms about past-due bills falling further behind. And senior strategists close to the DNC say they worry the organization appears to have no road map back to solvency. “They really thought they could get this money raised by the summer,” one said, “but the fact is, from talking to people over there, they have no real plan for how to solve this.”
DNC national press secretary Michael Czin says the committee is working with vendors on a case-by-case basis to pay down their tabs. And filings show the organization over the last five months has made $4.5 million in payments to the Amalgamated Bank and appears to be hewing to a $1 million-per-month installment schedule now. “While we work to retire our debt, we’re not taking our foot off the pedal and are making the investments that will help ensure that Democrats are successful in 2014, 2016, and beyond,” Czin said. He pointed to ongoing work by the DNC’s National Finance Committee, which met over the weekend in Colorado to discuss fundraising strategy.
Last week August fund raising numbers were released, in them they showed the RNC had pulled down $6.8 million to the DNC’s $4.3 million.
DNC debt increased from $18.1 million to $18.2 million.
Why is this news?
Well, for a party with an occupant in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, any sort of fund raising problem — especially this bad — is going to be noticed. Typically, having the White House means more money, not less. Oh, sure money is flowing to the committees (The DSCC is scorching the NRSC this cycle, which should worry those hoping for a GOP Senate takeover.) for 2014, but this is not exactly something a major party wants to see.
Part of the problem is that the Obama White House has little to no trust in DNC Chairwoman (and Florida Congresswoman) Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Another is that Organizing for America, the post-Obama presidential campaign apparatus has urged giving to it instead of the DNC. The White House has essentially cut the knees out of its own party apparatus all for the sake of promoting its own agenda.
That’s great and all…if the American people want said agenda. (Clearly if you have to campaign for it after winning re-election, they probably don’t.)
The other factor, and I’ve said this before, is that a DNC in serious financial straights puts all state Democratic parties in financial straights. How much cash on hand does DPW have?
Are the lack of DNC monies — or the concern that Tate won’t be able to deliver them in 2014 — one of the reasons why Democrats appear ready to hand their gubernatorial nomination to a woman who’s sole electoral service is a local school board? Because she can afford a campaign they can’t?
Probably. There’s very little reason not to think otherwise at this moment.
I’m not a copyright lawyer (it is an interest of mine though…), but if you’re on the verge of a cease and desist order, or lawsuit for violating the wholly-owned copyright of video distribution rights, the last thing you ever say is “watch the whole video.”
Not only does it prove WisconsinEye’s point that Planned Parenthood is violating their copyright, it is explicitly saying it has changed video to put their own context on the events that occurred in the state Senate chamber that morning.
WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network on Tuesday accused Planned Parenthood of violating its user agreement by using the footage of Ellis in a political ad. The footage used showed Ellis, of Neenah, banging his gavel and shouting at lawmakers during debate of a bill requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. The ad has been airing on television stations in Green Bay.
Planned Parenthood attorney Nicole Safar responded Wednesday, urging the public to watch the entire debate to “make their own decision about Sen. Mike Ellis.”
My decision after watching it: Senate Democrats were acting like children, Ellis was trying to maintain order. Five seconds of video tells a completely different take than thirty minutes of video.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin knows this; and if they aren’t smart, all the money they hoped to use to finance their operations in the Badger State will end up in escrow to help finance about five years of WisconsinEye’s production costs.
By the way, for every liberal in Wisconsin who’s bitching about what WisconsinEye is doing, consider this: C-SPAN does the exact same thing and always has when it comes to copyright of their video.
What would a take to have a Daley — one with known connections to a sitting Democratic President nonetheless — to bail on a run for Governor of Illinois?
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley dropped his Democratic primary challenge to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday night, clearing the field for an incumbent long seen as vulnerable.
The surprise announcement, just seven weeks after he filed the paperwork to run, follows a stream of attacks from Quinn over his tenure as a banking executive.
In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Daley took a parting shot and warned that Quinn will lose to a Republican if he survives until the 2014 general election.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Pat Quinn will not be the next governor of Illinois,” he told his hometown paper. “This governor is not that strong that somebody should fear running against him.”
Four candidates are seeking the GOP nomination: state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, businessman Bruce Rauner and state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard.
The primary is in March, so there is technically still time for another Democrat to step up before a December filing deadline. Attorney General Lisa Madigan looked very seriously at getting in, and she also surprised many when she said she in July that she would run for reelection instead because her father is the speaker of the state House.
Quinn, 64, became governor when Rod Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009 and won a full term the next year. The incumbent had come out swinging against Daley, with broadsides against his tenure as Midwest chairman for JP Morgan Chase.
Daley’s decision pretty much leaves Quinn the only choice for Illinois Democrats. His approval rating is in the toilet, last measured at 22 percent in a poll released for a likely Illinois congressional fight next year.
So why would Daley bail? Well, the theories are out there, some sound, some not so. Jim Geraghty in his “Morning Jolt” email suggested that Daley got a chance to look at the state of Illinois’ financial books and saw the state was beyond saying on its current path and didn’t want or need the trouble ahead at 65 — which he’d be if elected next November. Another theory is that Quinn has solidified the Cook County Democratic machine before Daley could and he doesn’t want to cause a bloody civil war in Illinois politics.
Me? I think there is truth in both theories. “The Land of Lincoln” is a mess, on its way to utter bankruptcy thanks to decades of compliance to public employee unions. That bed’s been made, now its burning down the entire fiscal house.
Not at all shocked. I was hearing in 2010–2011 (Pre-Flight to Illinois) that Cullen was going to be there only for a term. His hope was to try to get Janesville out of its post-GM closure funk and get the area back economically.
Few people — including Cullen himself — seemed to think he was going to be spending four years trying to undermine the sitting governor with recalls and other hijinks of which came from the mind of Mark Miller, Jon Erpenbach and Chris Larson.
You get that feeling just from reading his press release.
“I came back to Madison in 2011 to try to make a difference in the lives of the people of the 15th Senate District and across Wisconsin,” Cullen said. “I readily acknowledge that serving in the minority significantly limited my ability to help Wisconsin in ways that I believe would benefit the state.”
Cullen said he intends to focus his efforts on two foundations he started before he made his return to the State Senate. He also plans on getting involved with several non-profit organizations in Rock County, including HealthNet, a free health clinic in Janesville.
Cullen is also planning to establish another foundation that will assist public educators. He said he would provide more information on the foundation in the next several months.
“I believe we are on this earth to give and not to receive,” Cullen said. “This belief will keep me engaged in several worthy causes that I believe could benefit from my experience.”
“I am hopeful that during these last sixteen months in the State Senate, when I speak on an issue, people will listen to me as someone who is not trying to attract votes in the next election,” Cullen said.
“I am not proud of or pleased by the fundamental conclusion I have reached: that I can make a bigger difference in my community as a private citizen than I can in the ugly political environment we see now in Wisconsin government,” Cullen said.
At this time, given the history of the district, union history from Janesville and that the last time a Republican served the 15th State Senate District was in the 1990s, I’d label this seat as “Likely to Lean Democrat” for 2014. Republicans may make a play at it if Democrats get to nutty in their primary, but I don’t see any sort of 2010 repeat happening here as it did against then-Speaker Sheridan.
DNC Like the Federal Government…in the Red">Democrats Running the DNC Like the Federal Government…in the Red
(No wonder Mike Tate is pushing for a self-financing candidate to run against Gov. Scott Walker. There’s not going to be a ton of help from D.C. if these numbers hold up.)
The Republican National Committee raised $2 million more than the Democratic National Committee during July and sits on $12 million in cash, while the DNC has a net balance of $14 million in debt.
The Republican National Committee reported receipts of $5,859,144 and disbursements of $6,330,364 in July, leaving $12,267,525 cash on hand as of July 31, and no debts.
The committee raised $3.1 million from contributors giving $200 or less and itemized $2.5 million from donors giving more than $200. PACs gave $36,000.
The DNC Services Corp./Democratic National Committee reported receipts of $3,858,625 and disbursements of $5,386,438 in July, leaving $4,143,852 cash on hand as of July 31, with debts of $18,466,369.
The committee raised $2.1 million from contributors giving $200 or less, and $1,458,577 from those giving more than $200. PACs and other committee gave $190,909.
In the DNC’s defense, they did send over $1M to a number of state parties, none of which were identified. Also to the saving grace of Democrats, idiotic temper tantrums led by Tea Party groups have given the DCCC and DSCC a fund raising lead for 2014 against their GOP counterparts, the NRCC and NRSC.
The committees should be announcing new fund raising numbers during the rest of the week.
UPDATE: Already in for July, the DSCC outraised the NRSC by a margin of $3.4M to the NRSC’s $2.7M. So far for the cycle, the DSCC has raised over $30M while the NRSC has raised around $20M.
Cash on Hand totals for the committee have not yet been released.
One of those — who still hasn’t announced his plans — is State Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, winner of a contentious and potentially ill-gotten victory in a recall against Van Wanggard, in state Senate District 21.
Here’s Lehman’s recent campaign finance filing, which was turned in on July 11th according to the GAB. Yes, redistricting is playing a role in what’s happening here, but as you can see, you have to begin to wonder when the retirement press conference is.
(That’s no where near Rob Zerban pathetic, but it’s close.)
Van Wanggard, who has been seeking the seat since his recall loss raised over $25,000 in the six-month fund raising time period; a more than healthy amount for a challenger in a Wisconsin State Senate race. As for ending cash on hand, he’s got a tad under $26,000.
ASIDE: When comparing these COH numbers to other “to watch” seats in 2014, here are their numbers according to the GAB.
- 1st Senate District (Lasee) — Raised $46,589; COH — $46,411.
- 5th Senate District (Vukmir) — Raised $23,760; COH — $27,475.
- 19th Senate District (Ellis) — Raised $3,257; COH — $142,295.
- 23rd Senate District (Moulton) — Raised $8,180; COH — $29,050
- 29th Senate District (Petrowski) — Raised $8,804; COH — $21,600.