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Archive for June, 2010

Another Wrong Jay Bullock Prediction

Remem­ber when Jay Bul­lock said in his 2010 Pre­dic­tions that ‘another right-wing blog­ger would be hired by the MacIver Institute?’

Yeah, still hasn’t hap­pened Jay, but you’ve got six months to go.

Well on that same vine, I have been hired by a polit­i­cal cam­paign and start today as a Researcher (I’ll let the FEC fil­ings in future weeks tell you which one), so because of that, I will be once again shut­ter­ing Lakeshore Laments until after Elec­tion Day.

If I do post any­thing it might be an occa­sion car­toon of the day or a photo of flow­ers.  I think that should be okay given other prece­dents out there in cam­paign­ers who blog.

See ya around folks.

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But The Seat’s Not “Red”…Yet

From this morning’s “Morn­ing Score” email from Politico, which I called last night.

PICKING FAVORITES: The DCCC is announc­ing 11 new addi­tions to its “Red to Blue” list of tar­geted races Mon­day, with two par­tic­u­larly telling names on the list: Hawaii state Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Colleen Hanabusa, the non-DCCC-favored can­di­date in last month’s spe­cial elec­tion for her state’s 1st Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, and West Vir­ginia state Sen. Mike Oliv­e­rio, who ousted Demo­c­ra­tic Rep. Alan Mol­lo­han in a May pri­mary. Nei­ther of those con­tenders was their party’s top choice; both of them are now the standard-bearers Democ­rats have set­tled on for Novem­ber. Also on the list: Tar­ryl Clark (in MN-06); Chad Causey (in AR-01); Joyce Elliott (in AR-02); Denny Heck (in WA-03); Julie Lassa (in WI-07); Gary McDow­ell (in MI-01); Tommy Sow­ers (in MO-08); Manan Trivedi (in PA-06) and Trent Van Haaften (in IN-08).

NOTABLE: Seven of those seats are actu­ally not tar­geted for flip­ping from “red to blue” — they’re open seats being tar­geted for retention.

(The “Pick­ing Favorites” open­ing at the start of that para­graph is the actual word­ing used in the email.  It’s irony apply­ing to what the DCCC, DPW, and David Obey did is just deli­cious to no end.)

As I posted last night in my com­pi­la­tion post, the DCCC doesn’t have a catch-all pro­gram for its seats like the NRCC’s “Young Guns,” so they’re pig­gy­back­ing the name “Red to Blue” for many of the Democratic-held open seats this cycle.  The con­fu­sion (and irony) is that many of these seats were never “Red” in the first place.

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Weekend Quick Hits

Wow, I For­got My Own Blog-Versary

It was on Thur­day.  It’s been 7 years, it’s been one wild, crazy ride.

Not sure that ride is ever going to end when I think about it.

FIFA Look­ing to Ban Vuvuze­las Dur­ing Rest of World Cup

There is a God.

Well, It’s Bet­ter than “The Depart­ment of Armed Boats and Macho Dudes”

The Hill reports that 80 Sen­a­tors are on-board with a bill to rename “The Depart­ment of Navy,” to “The Depart­ment of Navy and Marine Corps.”  The bill is the brain-child of Kansas Sen­a­tor Pat Roberts ®, who is an ex-Marine him­self.  For years — and I saw this as the brother of two Marines, one still active duty — those who have been hon­ored to have earned the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor of the United States Marine Corps have stub­bornly admit­ted that the Marines are part of the Navy.

It’s a Marine ego thing, and frankly, I think it’s sort of stu­pid and the Sen­ate should focus on other things to do with its time than this.  Besides, it’s fun to hear Marines tell you the real­ity of this sit­u­a­tion in fun and inter­est­ing way.

My all-time favorite was while attend­ing the Marines’ “Evening Parade” by the President’s Own Marine Band which held at the DC Bar­racks dur­ing Fri­days dur­ing the Spring and Sum­mer months.  There one of the young Marine musi­cians said, “Yes, as some of you may know, the Marine Corps is a depart­ment of the United States Depart­ment of the Navy…THE MEN’S DEPARTMENT.”

Got a great laugh from the sec­tion of the audi­ence I was in.

The “Bar­rett Diet” Meets the GLBT Agenda

Daniel Suhr at GOP3 pointed this out ear­lier, but it’s always inter­est­ing to see when it gets picked up by a national news­pa­per.  Good thing DPW Chair­man Mike Tate is likely using what­ever con­nec­tions he had with Fair Wis­con­sin from his days there in 2006 to keep them quiet about the point that what Bar­rett wants to do on the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions and Inmate Sex-Changes was just last month declared unconstitutional.

Makes call­ing them all a bunch of hyp­ocrites that much eas­ier to do.

Great Goal for a Kicker

Pack­ers Kicker Mason Crosby has a new mantra for the 2010 sea­son; “Just Make Kicks.”

Works for me.

DCCC Out­sourc­ing Fund Rais­ing to Lobbyists

Awe­some, can’t wait to see who they gave Steve Kagen and Julie Lassa.

Lob­by­ists may be per­sona non grata on the cam­paign trail, but that hasn’t stopped the Demo­c­ra­tic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee from tap­ping K Street’s brain trust to try to retain the majority.

Fac­ing a tough polit­i­cal cycle, the DCCC is redou­bling its efforts to enlist K Streeters to help its most vul­ner­a­ble “Front­line” pro­gram Mem­bers with fundrais­ing, mes­sag­ing and cam­paign strategy.

The ask was for­mal­ized Wednes­day evening at a din­ner at Acqua Al 2, an Ital­ian restau­rant on Capi­tol Hill, orga­nized by Jen­nifer Crider, polit­i­cal direc­tor for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and deputy exec­u­tive direc­tor at the DCCC.

Offi­cially, Kagen is in the “Front­line” pro­gram.  The DCCC hasn’t des­ig­nated WI-07 in any DCCC pro­gram yet.  In the past, they did have a habit of nam­ing Democratic-held open seats in their “Red to Blue” program.

The “Red to Blue” pro­gram is sup­posed to be one about cap­tur­ing seats, not retain­ing seats the party already holds.

One-Liners on DPW

  • Saw that some media dur­ing this weekend’s DPW Con­ven­tion made a point at remind­ing view­ers that DPW doesn’t endorse can­di­dates like the Wis­con­sin GOP does at its con­ven­tion.  No doubt, that is a Graeme Zielinski-fed line.  Of course, as this cycle has shown, they have no need to for DPW to endorse their can­di­dates, they’ll just play king-maker and arrange for who they want to run for cer­tain offices, run for cer­tain offices unop­posed. (See: Tom Bar­rett, Julie Lassa, Lt. Gov­er­nor rumors)
  • Mike Tate made a point of say­ing he’s ‘stay­ing around’ until he can retire Paul Ryan.  Hope he has the patience for it, and DPW donors and activists can tol­er­ate years of con­tin­ual loses in WI-01.
  • It’s hard not to feel pity for the young Democ­rats who are igno­rant to believe that Todd Kolosso has any chance in hell against Jim Sensen­bren­ner.  But they look so cute in their dis­be­lief of reality.
  • Jef Hall failed to find a can­di­date against Tom Petri; and doesn’t have the stones to take him on…again.  (Remem­ber, Mike Tate and Mark Pocan keep try­ing to con­vince us all WI-06 is a ‘stealth’ Demo­c­ra­tic District.)
  • Russ Fein­gold says he feels lonely as one of 5 non-millionaires in the U.S. Senate…tell Herb Kohl to retire then.
  • Mark Neu­mann crashed…yeah, that cam­paign is almost near­ing the “Bring out the laugh-track” stage.

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Cartoon of the Day

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French Fishing Vessel Reaches Stranded Teen Sailor

We can debate the mer­its of par­ents will­ingly let­ting their 16 yo daugh­ter sail around the world by her­self another time.  Until that time, let’s just thank the Lord they still have a daugh­ter who will be com­ing home to them.

A French fish­ing ves­sel made con­tact with 16-year-old Cal­i­for­nia sailor Abby Sun­der­land about 6 a.m. ET Sat­ur­day, said her brother, Zac. The fam­ily will hold a news con­fer­ence at 9 a.m. ET.

Res­cue teams were head­ing for a remote area in the Indian Ocean to fetch the stranded sailor, who lost con­tact as she tried to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the globe in her 40-foot boat.

Sun­der­land, who is try­ing to be the world’s youngest to sail around the world solo, lost satel­lite con­tact on Thurs­day and issued a dis­tress call after what appeared to be a rogue wave hit the boat, dam­ag­ing its com­mu­ni­ca­tions equipment.

The first boat expected to ren­dezvous with Sunderland’s yacht, Wild Eyes, is a French fish­ing ves­sel, said her father, Lau­rence Sun­der­land, in an inter­view with Julie Eller­ton of Thou­sand Oaks, California.

We don’t know where she is going to be taken,” Sun­der­land said, adding that it could be Aus­tralia or the Reunion Islands, a French ter­ri­tory. “Once the author­i­ties have informed us, we will make our nec­es­sary plans to ren­dezvous with her.”

CNN goes on to report that it will likely be Ms. Sunderland’s older brother — who also cir­cum­nav­i­gated the globe by sail­ing him­self last year — or one of her sail­ing team­mates who will ren­dezvous with her when she hits dry land.  Her mother is expect­ing the family’s newest child any day now and because of that pend­ing arrival, both par­ents will be stay­ing in California.

Bless­ings to the Sun­der­land fam­ily on both the new baby and Abby’s safe return.


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Cartoon of the Day

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Let’s Not Mince Words Here

From the Wis­Pol­i­tics blog cov­er­ing the 2010 DPW Convention:

U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen told del­e­gates he ran for Con­gress to oppose a pair of wars being waged “a pres­i­dent who couldn’t think things through.”

He said he wants to stay to ful­fill the promise of health care reform and help rebuild the nation’s econ­omy. He stressed that he has voted “no to bailouts; yes to jobs,” and said he was proud to deliver on a promise of leav­ing no patients behind with the pas­sage of health care reform.

But he also said that his con­stituents are “con­fused,” and he needs Democ­rats to help him in the 8th CD.

“They actu­ally believe what they see on TV and think it’s real­ity,” Kagen said. “We have to work hard to get our mes­sage through.”

(Empha­sis mine)

Trans­la­tion: My own polling says I’m losing.

Never really wanted to say this, but I’ve been privy to a few polls — NRCC, that crazy McCormick poll, a poll from another politi­cian run­ning for another office in the Green Bay area — and they all pretty much say the same thing: Kagen’s re-elect num­bers are bad.  Never really wanted to believe any of them because 1) the GOP Pri­mary is still going on in WI-08 and generic num­bers, even in the his­tor­i­cally GOP-leaning 8th CD, are mean­ing­less until the match-up is set;  2) Kagen’s been more than coy about his even run­ning for his own re-election; and  3) While Kagen’s fund-raising isn’t great, he’s going to have an advan­tage in money in the bank and free media by Sep­tem­ber 15th, the day after the pri­mary.  It’s just one of the pluses of being the incumbent.

That being said, I really won­der if Kagen’s ready to run a cam­paign with­out John Gard to vil­ify and a Demo­c­ra­tic wave to his back.

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Why on Earth Does She Need This, Right Now Exactly?

You have seven months in a lame-duck admin­is­tra­tion, the Leg­is­la­ture closed up shop a month and a half ago, and you’re actual duties under the Wis­con­sin State Con­sti­tu­tion are almost as lim­ited as Doug LaFollette’s…so what do you do?

Well, if you’re Lt. Gov­er­nor Bar­bara Law­ton, you think fine time to hire a new Pol­icy Director.

Lt. Gov­er­nor Bar­bara Law­ton today announced the appoint­ment of Kris Adams Wendt as her Pol­icy and Com­mu­nity Rela­tions Direc­tor, effec­tive June 7, 2010.

Kris brings a life­time com­mit­ment to the pub­lic sec­tor and broad-ranging exper­tise to bear on her work as pol­icy direc­tor,” Law­ton said. “I am hon­ored to have her help, and look for­ward to our col­lab­o­ra­tion in ser­vice to the peo­ple of Wisconsin.”

Wendt most recently led the Rhinelander Dis­trict Library as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor from 2003 to 2008, where she focused her work on strength­en­ing com­mu­nity out­reach pro­gram­ming. Dur­ing her tenure as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, the Wis­con­sin Library Asso­ci­a­tion named the Rhinelander Dis­trict Library as its “Library of the Year” for exem­plary out­reach to com­mu­nity mem­bers of all ages.

Prior to her term as exec­u­tive direc­tor she served as Asso­ciate Direc­tor and Adult Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Coor­di­na­tor from 2001 to 2003 and Asso­ciate Direc­tor and Children’s Librar­ian from 1974 to 2001. She co-chaired the Wis­con­sin Library Association’s Leg­isla­tive Day from 2007 to 2010.

Wendt serves on the Wis­con­sin Human­i­ties Coun­cil, the Coun­cil on Library and Net­work Devel­op­ment, and the State Superintendent’s Advi­sory Coun­cil on RuralSchools, Libraries and Communities.

In 2003, Lt. Gov­er­nor Law­ton tapped Wendt to serve as a core con­vener of the North­woods Regional Solu­tions Net­work of Wis­con­sin Women Equal Pros­per­ity, her ground­break­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment ini­tia­tive to improve the sta­tus of women in Wisconsin.

Wendt earned a B.A. from Car­roll Col­lege and a M.A. from the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin – Madison.

These no doubt are fine cre­den­tials, but let’s review what the Lt. Gov­er­nor of Wis­con­sin does again, shall we?

Yeah, I can’t think of any­thing either, sorry.

In all seri­ous­ness, what “Pol­icy” is this new state employee going to do?  The Lt. Gov­er­nor of the Wis­con­sin is pri­mar­ily a power-drained suit and a pay­check wait­ing for the Gov­er­nor to die.  In the case of Law­ton, Doyle’s so striped her of respon­si­bil­ity that her biggest high­light in the news recently was telling Mar­quette Uni­ver­sity they couldn’t get a $13,585 grant to their museum.

(No, national read­er­ship, I didn’t make that up.)

In terms of imple­ment­ing prac­ti­cal pol­icy for the state, Ms. Wendt will not be doing that, since with the Leg­is­la­ture adjourned for the bien­nial, noth­ing this woman comes up with will even be con­sid­ered.  All Ms. Wendt is, with­out need­ing to go any fur­ther, is a waste of money to the tax­pay­ers of Wisconsin.

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Cartoon of the Day

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“Duffy Recipient of Underage Slave Labor”">Duffy Recipient of Underage Slave Labor”

Oh, I’m sorry.  Some­how I had got­ten a look at what was on the desk of Mike Tate and Graeme Zielin­ski over at the Demo­c­ra­tic Party of Wis­con­sin when they got a view of this video on YouTube.

I mean, they have to spin it bad for Duffy some­how, right?  We can’t have 14 year old boys — out of the sheer good­ness of their heart and in the name of being neigh­borly — cut­ting the Duffy fam­ily lawn for free so Sean can get extra time on the cam­paign, can we?

That’s just not right!

…and why isn’t some kid in Stevens Point doing that for Lassa on YouTube…right now?!?

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