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Archive for June, 2011

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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Possible Cosmetic Changes Coming

I’m looking at changing the look of the blog simply because it has been the look since I turned it back on in 2009 and frankly, I’m getting tired of it.

Mind you, I’m not the technical type when it comes to website programming.  Version 1.0 of the blog was on Blogger/Blogspot.  Version 2.0 had my brother (who got an insane amount of IT training from the Marine Corps) as the blog techie, and Version 3.0 has Hackbarth as its IT editor.

Sean’s a bit busy these days with his new gig; so I may say I have a new look for the blog (Let’s just call it 3.1 until further notice) picked out, but there’s no guarantee it will get changed in any kind of timely fashion.

– The Management.

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Two Versions Emerge on “Supreme Court Melee”

And I’ve been getting crap in my comments for criticizing the MSM’s use of anonymous sources.  Gee, maybe my bosses are on to something at the Wisconsin Reporter.

They tend to burn you as the rumors and versions get more and more blurred.

An argument between state Supreme Court Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley became physical earlier this month, according to sources that told the Journal Sentinel two very different stories Saturday about what occurred.

According to some sources, Prosser wrapped his hands around Bradley’s neck. According to another, Bradley charged Prosser.

A joint investigation by Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported Saturday that Prosser “grabbed” Bradley around the neck.

A source who spoke to several justices present during the incident told the Journal Sentinel that the confrontation occurred after 5:30 p.m. June 13, the day before high court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

At least five justices, including Prosser and Bradley, had gathered in Bradley’s office and were informally discussing the decision. The conversation grew heated, the source said, and Bradley asked Prosser to leave. Bradley was bothered by disparaging remarks Prosser had made about Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Bradley felt Prosser “was attacking the chief justice,” the source said.

Before leaving, Prosser “put his hands around her neck in what (Bradley) described as a chokehold,” the source said.

“He did not exert any pressure, but his hands were around her neck,” the source said.

The source said the act “was in no way playful.”

But another source told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley attacked Prosser.

“She charged him with fists raised,” the source said.

Prosser “put his hands in a defensive posture,” the source said. “He blocked her.”

In doing so, the source said, he made contact with Bradley’s neck.

Prosser, contacted Friday afternoon by the Center, declined to comment: “I have nothing to say about it.”

Bradley also declined to comment, telling WPR, “I have nothing to say.”

No word yet if Think Progress is working on a post calling for Ann Walsh Bradley’s resignation if Version 2.0 ends up being the truth.

Something also tells me Jim Rowen and Tom Foley won’t make a peep about the new findings.

UPDATE: Prosser has released the following statement to the media.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser responded to reports Saturday that he had placed his hands around the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument in her office earlier this month:

“Once there’s a proper review of the matter and the facts surrounding it are made clear, the anonymous claims made to the media will be proven false,” he said.

“Until then, I will refrain from further public comment.”

The appearance of “Rush to Judgement” seems more and more prevalent.

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The New York State Gay Marriage Vote

I’ve largely grown indifferent to the gay marriage debate with two main exceptions:

1) Not a fan of judges imposing it on states.  That’s how we got abortion as a “right” and frankly, all it’s given us was a bunch of screaming matches since 1973, hypocrites who call themselves “feminists” and liberals denying innovations in medical science like the 3D ultrasound.  If states want to legislate it in, by all means, that’s what democracy looks like — elected officials, voting on measures they were asked to by those they represent.

(Unless it’s for a collective bargaining bill.  Then it’s fleeing to a neighboring state to avoid a quorum, laying siege to the state capitol for damn near a month, and acting like a complete mob.  So many definitions…)

2)  Religious organizations should have an out.  If a church or organized religion doesn’t want to perform them, then they shouldn’t be forced to, or sued when they don’t.

One thing I’ve long wondered in the sudden rise of the gay marriage movement (Seriously, I was in college a decade ago.  Most LGBT groups never even brought the right to marry up back then.), is how much of the hardcore supporters have an intent of sticking it to organized religions and conservative Christians.  That it’s not just enough that gays be allowed to marry, they must be allowed to do so it in a church, by a priest, as a big, giant “FU” to God.

I only ask that, because that seems to be the vibe I get from the Hollywood Left on the subject and some gay conservatives I’ve talked to at CPAC or RightOnline concur with me that their liberal gay friends tend to have that type of attitude on the matter.

(Hell, I know a few atheist libertarians I could throw in there as well…)

A fine, local example of this was this past week in Kaukauna with the lesbian, Methodist minister who was convicted in a church trial of violating the church’s laws on gay marriage.  Clearly in her interviews with Green Bay media, much of her intent seemed to be focused about “the big, giant FU.”

It’s been a while since I felt the need to quote him, but Andrew Sullivan nails a lot about what should a standard understanding within the “marriage equality” crowd — Religious Rights and Freedoms. (H/T Ann Althouse)

It’s a BFD because it also insists on maximal religious liberty for those who conscientiously oppose marriage equality. A gay rights movement that seeks to restrict any religious freedom is not worthy of the name. And it makes me glad that we largely avoided anything that looks like that strategy, and that last-minute negotiations were flexible enough to strengthen the protections for religious groups, churches, mosques, synagogues and the like. The gay rights movement is about expanding the boundaries of human freedom – and that must include religious freedom if it is to mean anything….

I was born and raised Roman Catholic, so the term “Marriage” has one distinct meaning to the church and to me — a sacramental, holy meaning.  The last thing I want is to see a movement said to be “expanding liberty and freedom” come in and tell my religion how it’s supposed to do things.

That would be rather prejudiced and bigoted of said movement, wouldn’t it?

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Weekend Quick Hits

Sorry for the silence over here, been busy with work.

James Franco’s Invisible Artwork

Art buyers are idiots.

(That is all.)

Obey’s Redistricting Rage

There’s something poetic about watching a guy who made redistricting in Wisconsin something of a personal art form for the past 30 or so years suddenly wail and mash his teeth. “Bipartisan cooperation” in Obey’s mind traditionally consisted with walking into Jim Sensenbrenner’s office and going something like this:

Obey – Redistricting?  Next Tuesday work for you?

Sensenbrenner – Can’t.  Got a hearing.  Wednesday?

Obey – That will work.  And don’t forget, when you bring in your ideas, “I get to shore up Tammy, and you get to save that Ryan kid.”

That was the rumored 2001 version of the conversation.

So to watch Obey go ballistic because it’s suddenly his district (Kingdom? Fiefdom? Domain?), of which he is no longer the Congressman, get carved up to protect “That punk kid Duffy” is personally amusing to me.

One wonders if there’s lots of screaming from his DC Lobbying office.

“Capper” Has Interesting Neighbors


(But seriously Chris, can you not even write one post without turning it into a Walker rant?  Armchair psychologists everywhere say you have a problem)

Blame the Tele-Prompter


President Obama today apologized to the family of a Medal of Honor recipient whom he erroneously said was still alive.

On Thursday at Fort Drum, the president told troops from the 10th Mountain Division that he previously “had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”

Wrong. Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was actually killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006. In September 2009, President Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously.

No wonder I don’targue with Kurt when he tells me most of the guys in his unit can’t stand their Commander-in-Chief.

Winnipeggy and the Jets

Winnipeg has its hockey team, and they went with an old name for it; the Jets.

The new NHL team in Winnipeg will go with what the city’s original team was named — the Winnipeg Jets.

The Atlanta Thrashers are no more, having moved north across the border earlier this month. The name change was announced Friday night by team chairman Mark Chipman at the NHL draft in Minnesota, just before the Jets took center Mark Scheifele with the seventh pick in the first round.

“We are thrilled to be using a name that has so much history in our city and means so much to our fans,” Chipman said in a statement released by the team. “Our fans clearly indicated to us the passion they hold for the name since we acquired the franchise.”

The original Jets joined the NHL in 1979 after the World Hockey Association folded. They played in Manitoba until 1996, when the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes.

Now…if there was just a way to get Hartford back the Whale.

Prosser and Walsh Bradley

Let me get this straight.

There’s no police report.  Not a single one of the State Supreme Court Justices is talking.  And it’s based on anonymous sources.

Can someone explain to me how this even hit the presses if Bill Lueders wasn’t the byline on this?

If it’s real, then Prosser should resign.  (Of course, if it were real, you’d suspect Walsh Bradley to file assault charges.  The lack of those kind of raises an eyebrow given the escalation of the games she and Chief Justice Abrahamson have been playing over the past decade.)

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Marvel Releases Second “Captain America” Trailer

This is looking to be the best comic book movie of the year.


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Congratulations, You Might Soon Be on Medicaid

Another gift from ObamaCare, the legislation so poorly thought up and rushed through, it didn’t just need a second bill to correct the mistakes (Called the Reconciliation process), it may need a total overhaul before it’s even enacted.

If this most recent discovery is true, ObamaCare alone will literally bankrupt state budgets from its changes to Medicaid alone.

President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday it would look for a fix.

Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster says the situation keeps him up at night.

“I don’t generally comment on the pros or cons of policy, but that just doesn’t make sense,” Foster said during a question-and-answer session at a recent professional society meeting.

“This is a situation that got no attention at all,” added Foster. “And even now, as I raise the issue with various policymakers, people are not rushing to say … we need to do something about this.”

Administration officials said Tuesday they now see the problem. “We are concerned that, as a matter of law, some middle-income Americans may be receiving coverage through Medicaid, which is meant to serve only the neediest Americans,” said Health and Human Services spokesman Richard Sorian. “We are exploring options to address this issue.”

Medicaid is meant to be a health care program for the poor.  It is not intended to be something that the middle class are to be eligible for.  If they were, it would pretty much defeat the purpose of the program.

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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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Not Running for President Pays

For Donald Trump at least.

(Funny, usually you get your payday once you’re out of the White House…)

Playing the presidential card has paid off for Donald Trump.

The real-estate mogul and reality-TV host — who kept viewers and the NBC network guessing until the last minute whether he would make a serious run at the Oval Office — got a sizeable pay raise to renew his contract to host “The Celebrity Apprentice” for another two years.

NBC Universal, which was acquired by cable-TV giant Comcast this year, agreed to pay Trump and co-producer Mark Burnett an estimated $160 million over two years, according to sources familiar with the contract.

Trump, who was in Scotland yesterday touting his plan to build a new golf course, couldn’t be reached for comment. But sources said he will personally pocket $65 million a year, a substantial increase on his previous deal with the Peacock Network.

“They stepped up,” said one source close to the show. “It was an increase over last season.”

With this new deal, Trump becomes the highest-paid reality-TV star, eclipsing the “American Idol” judges and the Kardashian clan.

Trump co-owns “The Apprentice” franchise with Burnett but receives a big fee for serving as the star of the show.

According to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 List, Trump pockets $60 million annually on his entertainment ventures, while Burnett earns $45 million from a variety of shows he produces, such as NBC’s “The Voice,” ABC’s “Shark Tank” and CBS’s “Survivor.”

By comparison, Simon Cowell was paid an estimated $45 million for his turn on Fox’s “American Idol.”

Didn’t Cowell get a huge pay check for hosting “The X Factor?”

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Florida Congressman Facing Sexual Harassment Probe

First Weiner, now this guy.

Way to clean the swamp Nancy!

A congressional ethics panel is investigating allegations that Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings sexually harassed a member of his staff, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation of Mr. Hastings is being conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics, the House’s independent ethics investigative arm, and it is at a preliminary stage.

It began at least a month ago after Judicial Watch, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit as the legal counsel for Winsome Packer, a staffer on a commission Mr. Hastings headed. She alleged that she had been sexually harassed by the congressman and that he retaliated when she tried to report it.

At the time, Mr. Hastings was chairman of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, a group set up in the 1970s to monitor a Cold-War era pact. Ms. Packer, a Republican, also worked for the commission.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said his organization has been contacted by House investigators. “We can confirm that Ms. Packer is cooperating with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” he said.

Mr. Hastings didn’t directly address the allegations in a recent interview.

“Quite frankly your source has as much or more information than I do and I would suggest you rely upon them,” he said. “It would be impossible for me in a paragraph or a page or two or a tome or volumes one and two to help you understand the dynamics of these events. I’ll leave it at that.”

According to reports, the incidents occurred between 2008 and 2010 and the charges were first placed on Hastings in March of this year.

Hastings also has the distinction of being one of the last judges to be impeached from the federal bench by the U.S. Senate; which occurred in 1989.

He was elected to Congress 1992.

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