I lost count, but Deb Jordahl certainly deserves to have Above the Belt added, especially after whacking Brian Blanchard and the Assembly Democratic Caucus.
The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.
I lost count, but Deb Jordahl certainly deserves to have Above the Belt added, especially after whacking Brian Blanchard and the Assembly Democratic Caucus.
This time, Terry Van Akkeren (‘Rat-Sheboygan) and John Steinbrink (‘Rat-Kenosha) drank the Craps Kool Aid to uphold Jim “Craps” Doyle’s (WEAC/ADM-For Sale) veto of concealed carry. Never mind that these two Assemblymen voted twice for the very bill that Craps vetoed. Never mind that the state Supreme Court has all-but-ordered the Legislature to come up with a systematic way to implement concealed carry or face an outright voiding of the current concealed-carry ban in a future case (of course, this was before Patrick Crooks became a lieberal). Never mind that, come November when they lose their re-election bids because of their betrayal, Craps likely won’t be in a position to offer them state jobs. Never mind that, in a moment of clarity, Snarlin’ Marlin Schneider voted to override the veto.
Justice Alito has been confirmed 58-42. Dems putting principle above politics – Byrd, Conrad, Johnson, and Nebraska’s Nelson. RINO who just wrote himself out of the party – Leaping Linc Chafee Dish.
I’ll have the link to the roll once it’s available. While Russ Feingold blindly listened to the Kerry/NY Times siren call, Herb Kohl somehow didn’t hear it and voted for cloture.
Revisions/extensions (5:10 pm 1/30) – The roll call is now up. Dems voting conscience over party and moonbats – Akaka, Baucus, Bingaman, Byrd, Cantwell, Carper, Conrad, Dorgan, Inouye, Kohl, Landrieu, Lieberman, Lincoln, both Nelsons, Pryor, Rockefeller, and Salazar. The thinking half of the country thanks you.And for these 25 moonbats – Bayh, Biden, Boxer, Clinton, Dayton, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Jeffords, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Menendez, Mikulski, Murray, Obama, Reed, Reid, Sarbanes, Schumer, Stabenow and Wyden – we have something else to say to you – SUCK ON IT!
That’s the sum of the Journal Sentinel story that details the cancellation of the Adelman contract. Of course, if you only read the first six paragraphs, you would think that Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC-Potawatomi/For Sale) was a pious person. However, let’s start with paragraph #7 –
But (Jim) Doyle’s campaign will not refund $10,000 campaign gifts each from Adelman Travel founder Craig Adelman and Adelman Travel board member Mitch Fromstein – the maximum gifts allowed by law to candidates for governor. Until giving Doyle’s campaign $10,000, Adelman had never given more than $1,000 to a candidate for governor.
(Dan) Leistikow (communications director for the governor) said the donations were legal, publicly disclosed as required by state law. He said that indictment of Thompson, a $77,341-a-year civil servant, did not question or suggest anything improper with the donations by Adelman and Fromstein to the governor’s campaign.
"I looked at the charges from the U.S. attorney very closely, and there was nothing to suggest Craig Adelman or Mitchell Fromstein did anything wrong," Doyle said.
Well, then, why did Craps feel compelled to yank the contract? Why did Adelman suddenly feel compelled to increase his contribution level an order of magnitude? Can we get the “unconstitutional-games-forever-for-a-song” Indian compacts voided if we can get a prosecutor to link all the casino money to them?
Revisions/extensions (6:25 am 1/31) – either somebody at the MJS is reading this (yeah, right), or they had a slight change of heart in being Craps’ shill. The “will not refund” paragraph is now the second.
Some “oh-so-tolerant” lieberal decided that, for the “crime” of being conservative, Jenna deserved having her car vandalized and conservative stickers pulled off her car, house, and backpack. I won’t hold my breath for the Madison police to pursue these thugs or Brian Blanchard to charge the thugs if they’re caught, much less with hate-crime felonies, like 4 UW students charged with ripping a poster from a dorm wall and making nusiances of themselves.
You don’t want what I picked up. I have chills and diarreah, and I am completely drained.
will have had the details in the 4-o’clock hour. For those who can’t pick up the WISN-AM signal, they stream on the Net, and I hope that Patrick got the warning message to turn on the recorder in time (I do have a horrid, static-filled copy of Mark reading the letter, but no way to get it on the computer).
Here is the text of the letter by one of the jurors sent to McCan’t and copied to Belling:
Dear E. Michael McCann,
My name is (BLANK). I was one of the 12 jurors on the tire-slashing case. After just turning 18 this past summer, I was very honored to be summoned for jury duty on such a high-profile case. I feel that serving on a jury is one of my fundamental rights as a U.S. citizen. The experience has left me totally disgusted with our justice system in Milwaukee. I endured a lot of personal sacrifice to serve on this jury as the spring semester of college started in the middle of the case, so now I’m behind in my classes.
I was shocked that after only 7 1/2 hours of deliberation, the case was taken out of our hands by you and plea-bargained away. When we began deliberation, it was 7-5 favoring not guilty; but by the time we handed the judge the note stating that we were hung, the vote was 9-3 favoring guilty to being party to a crime.
What ever happened to sequestering a jury? I feel you never gave us the chance to deliberate properly. I feel the plea bargain you gave these individuals is a total travesty of justice, and I hope you have trouble sleeping at night thinking what crimes these individuals will do next.
McCan’t can’t let the hot cocoa go cold at the DA’s office fast enough.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin put out this press release (courtesy The Wheelen Report). It’s so bad that the Journal Sentinel’s DayWatch has this quote from Dane County DA Brian Blanchard (D-Madison, who knows a thing or two about partisan prosecutorial witchhunts) – “I am very disappointed in the unwarranted personal attack on U.S. Attorney Biskupic, who is an experienced prosecutor with a reputation for integrity.”
Ah heck, let’s pile on Joe Whinerke (or is it Loserke) anyway.
Led by a prosecutor with GOP ties, Republicans are doing their best to smear Governor Doyle, a man of utmost integrity and honesty who does not tolerate any ethical lapses in his Administration.
That explains why Georgia Thompson is still on the job. I guess the millions of dollars from the Indian tribes had NOTHING to do with the unconstitutional “forever” giveaway compacts they got from Craps or the follow-on unconstitutional “almost-forever” giveaway compacts they got; I guess the millions from the trial lawyers had nothing to do with the veto of tort reform bills; and I guess that the millions from WEAC had nothing to do with the attempts to kill school choice.
"From everything we have seen, there is not one single shred of evidence that any of the assertions in the indictment of Georgia Thompson are true.
Note the phrase “one single shred”. It’s technically accurate because there’s a lot more than “one single shred” of evidence to back up the indictment.
Ray Dunlap over at Speed bemoans the 2-year trend of new teams buying little more than the number of a team guaranteed to start the first few races of the new season. For those not familiar with the situation, last year, NASCAR radically changed how the field is set for its races, going from mainly the fastest cars (in Nextel Cup, it was the fastest 38 in qualifying, plus 4 “general” provisionals using arcane and nearly-incomprehensible rules I won’t go into (if you’re interested, Jayski has the 2004 provisional rules) and a “champ’s” provisional that almost always went unused and turned into a 5th provisional), to mainly the cars that run modestly-well week in and week out (in Cup, the top 35 in owners’ points plus the 7 fastest “field-fillers” in the first 42 spots, plus either the most-recent champ or the 8th-fastest “field-filler”). The other two national series, Busch and Craftsman Truck, have similar rules (top 30 among the every-week teams, next-fastest 12 plus the most-recent champ/13th-fastest “field-filler” in Busch, top 30 among the every-week teams, next-fastest 5 plus the most-recent champ/6th-fastest “field-filler” in CTS).
So far, so good. The trick, however, is what happens at the beginning of the season. You just don’t have enough points (or any points before the Daytona 500) to do this properly, so NASCAR uses the previous season’s owners’ points for the first 5 races (4 races in CTS). While the old provisional system also penalized new teams (they didn’t get provisionals until after the 4th race they attempted), it didn’t put them in so deep a hole that almost nobody dug themselves out because slow-qualifying teams only got so many provisionals to use. That nearly-insurmoutable hole was the effect of the new rules. Taking a look at the Cup standings, there was only one team (the Gibbs Racing #11) that was outside the top 35 at the end of 2004 that wound up in the top 35 at the end of 2005, and only one team that was outside the top 35 after the 5th race and the switchover to the 2005 owners’ points (the Wood Brothers #21; the #11 was in the top 35 after the 5th race) that raced their way back into the top 35 by the end of the year.
So, what’s a new team to do? The smart ones buy a team that went out of business the previous year. The really-smart ones (like the aforementioned #11 when it slipped back under the top 35 mid-season and the Hall-of-Fame Racing #96 this year) go and hire a past champ for a few races (in both cases, Terry Labonte, 1996 Winston Cup champ). Dunlap outlines and bemoans several examples, from the more-or-less benign (like Ray Evernham actually buying a bunch of assets along with the 12th-place 2005 CTS finish from the folded James Smith Ultra #2 team), to the completely outrageous (Mighty Motorsports buying nothing more than the 8th-place 2004 CTS finish from the defunct BANG Racing and stinking up the joint), to the item that really set him off, Michael Waltrip Racing becoming Doug Bawel’s partner in the newly-formed Michael Waltrip-Jasper team (running the #55 “Dodge” provided by Bill Davis this year, and Toyotas starting next year) after Roger Penske pulled the plug on the Penske-Jasper #77 Cup team. I won’t defend the Mighty Motorsports deal, but I’ll defend the other 3 (including the MWR-FitzBradshaw Busch deal).
In the Evernham/Ultra deal, Evernham did buy a heap of assets from Smith to go along with the points. Further, Evernham has demonstrated a measure of success in the other two national series, and the driver he’s putting in the ride (Erin Crocker) has already shown some promise in the Busch Series.
Michael Waltrip’s Busch deal was more of him providing a driver (himself) and a sponsor (Aaron’s) to an existing team that would otherwise had been shuttered (the FitzBradshaw #40). In fact, MWR’s Busch operations moved into the FitzBradshaw building. Even though MWR had a big problem with qualifying in the latter part of 2005, I can’t knock a team that actually moves into the “old” team’s shop and uses their equipment.
The Cup deal is a special case. Waltrip was originally signed to run a second car for Bill Davis Racing, only that second car (#23) was nowhere near 35th place. Meanwhile, Roger Penske folded the 34th-place #77 Penske-Jasper team he jointly owned with Doug Bawel since 2004 (before then, the team was Bawel’s and known as Jasper Racing). I guess Bawel didn’t take things lying down, and entered into a 3-way deal with Waltrip and Davis. The team is a joint venture between Waltrip (which already had a part-time Cup operation) and Bawel (who will handle business management and relations with NASCAR), with Bill Davis providing the “Dodges” this year and Toyotas starting next year (no factory support from Dodge because Davis was instrumental in bringing Toyota into CTS; that one’s in the courts).
To be fair to Dunlap’s point, I’ll toss out another outrageous example from the 2005 CTS season he didn’t bring up; the Bobby Hamilton Racing deal. Bobby Hamilton Sr. was the CTS champ in 2004 driving the #4 BHR truck (which also finished 1st in the owners’ points). Hamilton wanted to expand the operation to 3 full-time teams, but only 2 of them would have been eligible for the guaranteed spot. He put himself in the #04 team (which had 1 start in 2004), knowing that he would start every race no matter what because, as defending CTS champ, he would always be first in line for the champion’s provisional. Then, he put a rotating series of drivers in his old #4 ride (guaranteed to start the first 4 races because it finished in the top 30 in owners’ points and attempted every race in 2004). That worked out pretty well, even though he had to take the champ’s provisional once (officially, 2 times, but one of those was in a race with only 36 entries); his new truck finished 7th and his old truck finished 24th in the 2005 owners’ points.
One last thought; because of the major abuse of the past-champ’s provisional in the Busch Series by 1993 champ Steve Grissom (who used the provisional 16 times, sending a faster car home more than half the time according to Dunlap), and because of a large number of ex-Busch-champ “Buschwhackers” (Cup drivers who use a companion Busch series race for additional seat time on the track; a side result of the abortive “impound” setup and likely to continue with rigidly-scheduled testing), BGNRacing.com has a hot rumor that the past champ’s provisional in the Busch Series will only be available once every 8 races.
Mark Belling pointed out that there is a slim possibility that Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale) will either be convicted of a felony before November 7 (and thus ineligible to appear on the ballot) or be so tainted from Wisconsin’s own Travelgate and daughter scandals that the DPW dumps him. He mentioned Ron Kind and Tom Barrett as possible replacements. Kind has the benefit of being a complete blank slate and having a nice-sounding name, while Barrett came closest to beating Doyle in the 2002 ‘Rat primary.
Of course, neither of them are Madistan ‘Rats, and that’s the group controlling the DPW. If that eventuality happens, they’ll likely advance Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton (another blank slate, and conveniently a Madistan ‘Rat).
Unfortunately, the wheels of justice won’t act that fast (indeed, the Milwaukee aldermen convicted by Steve Biskupic hung onto their seats after conviction until the US Marshalls physically hauled them off to prison), and Doyle’s ego won’t allow him to accept the inevitability of his defeat. Well, maybe, it’s not so unfortunate; I have this sinking feeling that Lawton would be even worse.
CNN is reporting that Sen. John F. Kerry* has answered the siren call of an Alito filibuster from the New York Times idiotorial board. The funny thing is, Mr. Theresa Heinz-Kerry** did so from Switzerland.
Hey, Ketchup Boy. Don’t sing it, bring it. We’ll just nuke your ass back to the pre-filibuster days.
* The haughty, French-looking Massachusetts ‘Rat who seems to have forgotten he LOST the 2004 Presidential election.
** Aren’t you glad this gin-soaked woman isn’t First Lady?
Revisions/extensions – I forgot to mention the specific siren call from the Slimes.
Please welcome Rick’s Shark and Shepherd to the blogroll. Yeah, Rick’s an attorney and an adjunct professor over at Marquette, but don’t hold that against him. He’s the 1% of both groups defiled by the other 99%.
From the Blogger status page -
We’ll be taking Blogger down on Wednesday the 25th at 4pm PST to fix a bit of a switch that’s gone wonky on us. The outage should last about 15 minutes. Blogger.com and Blog*Spot blogs will be inaccessible during this time.
This repair will fix the problem that caused the brief outage last Friday night. We’re also using this down time as an opportunity to tune our databases for more efficient spam catching and deletion.
So, don’t be surprised when your favorite BlogSpot blog is out of commission for a while right around the end of Mark Belling’s show. Hopefully it will be just the 15 minutes they predict (any bets on that? :-)
(H/T – Patrick)
WISN-AM afternoon host Mark Belling decided that, because nobody else had asked the Republican candidates for governor how they would vote on AB15, the bad-gas bill, he would. Before revealing exactly how Mark Green and Scott Walker answered the question, he ran a little quiz with 10 callers. He told the callers that one candidate opposed AB15 because he opposes mandates and the other candidate opposes AB15 in its current form but would support it if an amendment calling for a study that would determine whether Wisconsin would be subject to stricter environmental laws because of the mandate were included, then asked the callers who said what. All 10 callers correctly identified Scott Walker with the first position and Mark Green with the second.
Patrick has a good start to the English Translation to Green’s position, but it does need to be added to – Mark Green would vote to force everyone in Wisconsin to use an inferior fuel that will decrease the MPG, increase pollution and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in added fuel cost…and waste millions of tax dollars to come up with a bogus study to ‘justify’ the mandate (never mind that there are studies out there that say just the opposite).
Where to begin? Outgoing Milwaukee County DA E. Michael “McCan’t” McCann blasted the Legislature for its cash-for-action system yesterday, a month after blasting Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC-Potawatomi-For Sale) for the same thing. Of course, this is the same McCan’t that endorsed cutting a deal in the Milwaukee 5 trial after the first hint of trouble, cut a deal in his prosecution of former State Senate Democratic leader Chuck Chvala that dropped ALL the pay-to-play charges, plea-bargained almost all the election fraud charges against the African-American Coalition for Empowerment (which committed fraud on behalf of Milwaukee County Chair Lee Holloway), and is taking every last penny of the discredited pension enhancements with him when he lets the hot cocoa go cold in retirement at the end of the year (the only elected official to so so).
At the invitation of the Departments of Defense and State, Jim Doyle joined a few other governors in a trip to Iraq to visit National Guard units from their states. Unlike some of my blogging brethern, I will not criticize Doyle for doing this; rather, I cautiously congratulate him. He is, after all, the commander-in-chief of the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Air National Guard. Quoting Doyle, “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to visit with our troops and see the work they are doing firsthand. I want them to know how incredibly proud we are of them in Wisconsin, and we look forward to welcoming them home as soon as possible.”
Georgia Thompson, a Department of Administration official, has been charged with 2 federal felonies in connection with a contract awarded to Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale) contributor Adelman Travel: causing misapplication of funds, and participating in a scheme to defraud the state of Wisconsin of the right to honest services. As part of the indictment (starts on page 3 of the link to WisPolitics.com; H/T – Fred), there’s an interesting section titled “Misuse of Position”:
13. During the time period described herein, Thompson misused her position by using “political considerations” to:
(a) intentionally inflate her scores for Adelman during the oral presentation portion of the Partner contract selection;
(b) state to other evaluators that she had intentionally inflated her scores for another travel agency during the oral presentation portion of the Athletics contract and to do so in order to use that score as a negotiating tool in favor of Adelman in dealings with other members of the committee on the Partner contract;
(c) prevent the otherwise unanimous determination of the other committee members that the Partner contract be awarded to a recipient other than Adelman; and
(d) suggest committee members change the scores evaluating the Partner contract.
Also, the following are listed as part of the second charge (the deprivation of honest services):
3. Thompson intended her actions to cause political advantage for her supervisors.
4. The actions of Thompson also helped and were intended to help her job security.
I don’t think that Doyle’s out of the woods. He’s the only person above Thompson that could have a “political advantage” from her actions; and her belief that the actions were necessary for job security shows just how corrupt his entire administration is.
One side note from Mark Belling; this case is headed to the Western District of Wisconsin because Adelman Travel president and CEO Craig Adelman is the brother of Eastern District of Wisconsin Judge Lynn Adelman.
Homer nod – I erred in asserting the point when Georgia Thompson joined the Department of Administration. My apologies.
Revisions/extensions (6:32 pm 1/24) – reaction (as opposed to simple notation) from others in the Cheddarsphere: Fred (previously linked above), Patrick, and Kevin so far (guess everybody else got caught at dinner :-)
Part 2 (6:37 pm 1/24) – Add Elliot to the react list.
Continuing the reacts (6:45 pm 1/24), the Capo di tutti capi wonders, among other things, how Xoff’s going to spin this. My money’s on the ‘Rat playbook (delay, deny, and obfuscate).
Revenge of the reacts (8:32 pm 1/24) – the RPW, Mark Green and Scott Walker all take candy-jarring whacks at the Adelgate pinata (H/Ts – Charlie, Kevin and Patrick). Also, Ragnar diagnoses the Craps Cancer. Meanwhile, Doylie (nice name for them, Charlie) hack Xoff still is silent; guess his fax machine ran out of paper :-).
And the reacts keep rolling in (9:20 pm 1/24) – Owen weighs in on the indictment.
I lost track on which revision/extension this one is (10:06 pm 1/24) – Xoff finally got his fax, and I forgot the “attack” chapters in the ‘Rat playbook. Meanwhile, the consigliere checks in with the media react (or lack thereof), and points out that people only flip up (paging Xoff, there isn’t a lot of “up” between Thompson and Craps)
If you took my advice, your kneecaps would still be healthy. 2-0 against the line, 1-1 against the over/under, and you’d be able to afford that high-def bigscreen for the Big Game over on ABC in less than 2 weeks. Let’s review:
Pittsburgh 34 (+3/over 41) @ Denver 17 – “Denver doesn’t have a pass defense” – Ben Roethlisberger went 21 for 29, 275 yards and 2 TDs. “Jake Plummer isn’t a winner” – Plummer’s line – 18/30, 223 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 2 lost fumbles.
Carolina 14 @ Seattle 34 (-3.5/under 44) – The Seattle defense did their job in stopping Steve Smith (5 catches, 33 yards, long of 12, and a lost fumble), and Goings was gone early, but Smith found a way to score anyway on special teams (with some help from a non-call for a block to the back) to screw the under.
We got one last blowout for the team of Al Michaels and John Madden before they split up and ABC gets out of the football business. Super Bowl XL, with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Seattle Seahawks. Believe it or not, the smart money’s on the first 6-seed to ever make it to the Super Bowl, with the Steelers anywhere between 3.5 and 4-point favorites. My advice; let the line settle, then snap up Blitzburgh.
Wal-Mart, which is pilloried for the “crime” of making its employees pay for health insurance, or Journal Communications, parent company of Journal Sentinel Inc., publishers of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which sanctimoniously pointed out that less than half of Wal-Mart employees have health insurance through Wal-Mart in the most-widely-circulated edition while ignoring that JSI (and sister company Journal Broadcast Group, and likely the rest of Journal Communications) doesn’t even offer health insurance to a large number of its employees and independent contractors.
If you were stupid enough to put action on college basketball before March Madness, listen up. Here’s your chance to redeem the weekend. Let the Egg Roll work his magic on your Man, and get your money back with interest. Oh, sure, you’ll have to hit the pawn shop to come up with enough cash to make the plays work, but you’re going to be trading up Monday anyway. Hear me now, believe me at 9:50 or whenever they finally get the NFC championship game done because if you had listened to me last week, you would have crushed your man to the tune of 5-2-1. Here we go!!!
Pittsburgh (+3/over 41) @ Denver – I know what you’re saying. It probably sounds something like this; “You said it’s the altitude, not the attitude. Pittsburgh stinks it up against Denver in the championship. Heck; Pittsburgh under Cowler can’t win the big one.” Folks, that’s what makes this play so good. They’re essentially the same team, except in two crucial areas; Denver doesn’t have a pass defense, and Jake Plummer isn’t a winner. Take the Steelers, take the points, and for some extra sauce, take the short over.
Carolina @ Seattle (-3.5/under 44) – I know Steve Smith is all-but-unstoppable. But, has he played on a field where it’s rained the last 3 weeks? No. It’s going to be a muddy track, and we’re talking 3rd-string running back for the Panthers. Toss in the Holmgren Secret Sauce, and sleep through this game, knowing that the Seahags will have won their last game of the year. Take the Hags, lay the short lumber, and bet on General Mud being the 12th defender.
As noted below, a federal grand jury is now looking into whether donations to the Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/ADM-Potawatomi) got Adelman Travel a $750,000 contract. There are a couple of noteworthy things here:
Both issues read like they’re straight from the Craps’ pay-to-play playbook used by groups such as Indian tribes seeking to expand gaming, and teachers’ unions seeking mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money – make massive donations to the campaign, and get a deal worth a lot more back from the governor.
I wonder what happens if Doyle’s convicted of a felony stemming from this between the primaries in September and the general election in November. Remember, we’re not talking about E. Michael McCan’t, or even the Western Wisconsin US Attorney’s office, which seems to have been MIA (bad news for JB Van Hollen; he was that attorney until a few months ago when he decided to run for Wisconsin attorney general). The state constitution prohibits felons from either holding office or seeking office. Of course, Craps doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the constitution; just take a look at the games being offered by the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and other tribes (say, are the Ho-Chunk making their payments yet?).
Sorry about the lack of blogging the last 2 days. I was pretty much out of it. There were a heap of things blog-worthy, so let’s start reviewing:
Let’s reverse the parties. First, the case would have been taken away from E. Michael McCan’t and company by Keg Goldschlager because neither the DPW nor the Journtinel would have stood for the standard operating procedure out of the DA’s office on election fraud cases. Next, this would have been pursued all the way back to DC, with everybody under the sun charged on the fast track. A change of venue to (conveniently) Dane County would have been sought and granted. Convictions would have been won all around, and the news Friday would not have been that Operation Elephant Takeover resulted in next to no consequences, but that the state Supreme Court denied the last appeals.
Jim Doyle’s favorite hack, Bill Christofferson (Xoff in the Cheddarsphere), seems to think that an issue “ad” on school choice produced by Charlie Sykes and run solely on his own WTMJ show, is illegal. He conveniently doesn’t assert the state statute that this purportedly violates, so I can’t speak to whether he is off-base vis-a-vis state statute. However, I did come up with the state Constitution section (Article I, Section 3, annotated) that deals with speech – “Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.”
One of the annotations (which are contradictory on the issue of “electioneering”) does state, “It may be appropriate to consider context in determining whether a communication "expressly advocates" the election, defeat, recall, or retention of a clearly identified candidate or a particular vote at a referendum, within the meaning of s. 11.01 (16) (a) 1. Elections Board v. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, 227 Wis. 2d 650, 597 N.W.2d 721 (1999), 98âˆ’0596.” However; not only is there a “MAY” in that exemption from this provision crafted out by Wisconsin’s Supreme Court; and not only is there no express advocacy regarding the election, defeat, recall, or retention of Doyle contained in the item; but there is no noted exemption from this provision for legislative items. Therefore, even if Xoff is right about this being an “unpaid commercial”, it would seem to fall under the Constitutional protection of free speech.
However, he is wrong on this being an “ad”. It is true that it sounds a lot like an ad, and it is true that Sykes at one point said that he was seeking sponsorship for wider airplay of the item (at which point, it would become an ad), but its current on-air play, as far as I can determine (I don’t listen 3.5 hours/day) is limited to Charlie’s own show outside the normal commercial rotation. Also, every time this item has aired and I managed to hear its airing, Sykes introduced the item as his.
As for restricting advocacy, I’m sure the Legislature and the governor would love to not hear from their constituents. That way, bad ideas like AB15 (the bad-gas bill) would sail through, while good ideas like the repeal of the automatic gas-tax increase would have died on the vine. Sorry, Xoff; sorry, Doyle; and sorry, Legislature, but this is a participatory Republic.
Revisions/extensions (2:37 pm 1/19/2006) – Charlie, Patrick, Peter, taxh8r and Dad29 all have reactions to Xoff’s attempted hit. Who is going to ask Xoff, “Was this trip really necessary?”
Revisions/extensions part deux (4:00 pm 1/19/2006) – Xoff isn’t safe even on his own blog. A couple of non-bloggers take him to task back on his original post.
Even more revisions/extensions (4:15 pm 1/19/2006) – Brian weighs in. He points out that frivolous campaign charges is straight from the Xoff playbook and invites Xoff to “go for it.”
“Please, continue. Oh, you were finished. Well, allow the Revisions and Extensions to retort” (5:12 pm 1/19/2006) – Add Casper to the list of bloggers turning this day into one of Xoff’s worse days, and add Ask Me Later to the NRE blogroll. Also, Xoff tries to resurrect the “Fairness” Doctrine. Only one small problem; it’s been gone for 20 years.
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