Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wall Street to Main St. - All Politics is Local

As the Bush economy comes to a head, with Wall Street crumbling after eight years of de-regulation and corporate corruption, we are reminded of the old saying – all politics is local. While it’s easy to say that this is a federal problem, what our state legislators have done to either reign in corporations, or give them more “freedom” should be a major topic on the campaign trail. Wisconsin voters need to stop and think about where their local legislators stand on corporate accountability when they cast their votes.

Let’s take two Republican incumbent legislators, Senator Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse and Rep. Terry Moulton of Eau Claire. When a bill came up to force corporations to pay their fair share of property taxes and another one to hold Wisconsin corporations accountable for hiring illegal workers, both of these two supposedly pro-small business, pro-family legislators said no. Kapanke voted against each bill, and Moulton refused to even allow either bill to come to the Assembly for an up or done vote.

What does that say about their priorities? And what does it say about what they’ll do if voters send them back to Madison?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alberta Darling, Lipstick, and Pigs

The national sensation of "Lipstick on a Pig" has reached Wisconsin, where embattled State Senator Alberta Darling (R-Country Club) decided to make one of the more ridiculous statements of the campaign so far. In an event attacking Obama yesterday, she stated:

“Right now we think that Sarah owns the name of lipstick because of what she said at the convention,” said Darling.

I love so much about this statement - first off she calls her Sarah, like they go moose-hunting together. Second, she claims someone can have ownership of a word, not a phrase, a word - lipstick. How great is that - we can all own words now! I pick juxtaposition.

Of course, under Alberta Darling logic, Barack Obama owns the word "Change" - just saying.

Either way, Darling may want to skip the partisan press conferences and get back on those doors if she expects to hold Sheldon Wasserman off - or at least get her staff back on those doors.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

GOP - Standing up for their Friends

While a lot of attention was paid - and deservedly so - to outgoing UW Chancellor John Wiley's scathing commentary on the current state of the UW-System in Madison Magazine, the reaction to the story was just as interesting. While it was understandable that WMC felt the need to offer one of their usually angry and dismissive responses to Wiley's contention that they have played a major role in the tearing down of the UW-System, the fact that the Republican Party of Wisconsin decided to weigh in, defending their pals at WMC, is hilarious.

From the tone of the release, it's obvious to see just how personal this is for the Republicans. You get the idea that RPW Executive Director Mark Jefferson wants to challenge Wiley to fight after school for attacking his girlfriend's good name. Of course, when Jefferson and RPW attacked WEAC earlier this week for committing $1.5 million to tv ads for this fall, you didn't see the Dems kick out a release whining "Take it back you big meanie!". Maybe DPW was busy, you know, campaigning or something.

Of course, it's hard to blame the GOP for thier whining. They are losing the Assembly, losing the White House, losing a Senate seat in OSHKOSH for crying out loud, and now this. And we all thought $4 a gallon gas was tough.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Don't Think "Panic" Is Quite the Right Word

Of course, CERS has put out a response to the "flawed" poll I talked about yesterday that puts Jessica King ahead in the Senate race for the 18th. See it here:

No mention of why this poll is flawed, and I'm curious where they are drawing this conclusion from.

Yes, polls are flawed. ALL polls are flawed and anyone who follows politics even a little knows that. Still think permanent incumbent Dave Zien is going to beat Pat Kreitlow by 10 points? That's what CERS said its own internal poll indicated in 06.

If saying Dems are "panicking" because of Randy Hopper and that Dem polling is "flawed" is their angle on this one, I hate to think what kind of uber-panic is setting in over at CERS.

It's going to be a tough race for Randy Hopper, even if he wins. It's about opportunity, and no one can deny that opportunity exists for Jessica King in this seat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sleeper Race

Somewhere between the hype of the Wasserman-Darling race, the hot race for the open seat in Sen. Breske's former district, and the buzz about Tara Johnson ousting Kapanke in LaCrosse, is a little gem of a race for Democrats in Oshkosh.

Jessica King, originally from Fond du Lac and now an at-large alderperson for the City of Oshkosh, is running an intense race in the 18th Senate District that she kicked off in October of last year -- months before Roessler even announced her retirement. I was hopeful someone could give Roessler a run for her money, and even more hopeful once I heard it was going to be an open seat in what promises to be a strong dem year.

I've been following because I happen to follow this stuff more than the average person, but I was very interested to not only see that WisPolitics had picked up on it, but that the numbers they posted gave her such a great shot in a traditionally Republican corner of the state.

Take a look here at the polling toplines posted by WisPolitics:

Ok, so 37% to 35% isn't a blowout by any means. But it seems that the more people learn about both King and her opponent, Illinois native Randy Hopper, her numbers go up.

I can't lie; I was surprised to see the actual opportunity in this seat. With Dem Gordon Hintz taking hold of the 54th in 2006 after Underheim retired from the Assembly there were new dem roots in the region, but it's still a tough district. Looks like we've actually got a chance to really play in the 18th.

Optimistic? Maybe. But I never thought the Senate Dems could have picked up all four targeted seats in 2006 either.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BadgerCare Plus

What better way to kick off this blog than a nice reminder of why we all should care about who controls the state legislature. Madison area families that can't afford health insurance are being encouraged to sign up for BadgerCare Plus onThursday during school registration. According to this article, nearly 500 children in the Madison Area Public Schools were without health insurance last year.

You'll remember that most Republican legislators were strongly opposed to Governor Doyle's ambitious plan to expand Medicaid coverage through BadgerCare Plus. It took a lot of pushing from our Democratic legislators to get this plan passed as part of last year's painful budget process. Think this would have happened under Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who said that when it comes to health care that "access isn't the problem.."?

So the next time somebody says there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans, they should talk the to families of the 500 children in Madison, and thousands of others statewide, who will now have access to health care because of the efforts of Democratic legislators and a Democratic Governor.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Welcome to Our Blue Wisconsin, where we'll be keeping an eye on the 2008 races that will shape our state legislature for the next couple of years. It's just too important for those of us who actually want a state government to, you know, govern.

That's why we'll be here, keeping the GOP honest and keeping Wisconsin in Democratic Blue.