No Runny Eggs

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.

Archive for the 'Politics – Wisconsin' Category

January 4, 2017

Election bauble

Though this place may not exactly reflect the truism, the election cycle never really stops. Yesterday saw the last date candidates could file for the spring non-partisan election, headlined (at least on paper) by the state Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Annette Ziegler and the state superintendent of public instruction seat currently held by Tony Evers, as well as the release of most of the counties’ reimbursement requests for conducting the Presidential recount.

First, the shocking and surprising item. The Jill Stein campaign will almost certainly have spent significantly less than originally billed for her total net 66 vote gain (and 778 net vote loss vice winner/President-elect Donald Trump). With final reimbursement requests from 69 of 72 counties and a preliminary request from a 70th (Milwaukee), those 70 counties spent a total of $1,533,488.25 on the recount, a mere 51.6% of their estimates of $2,992,849.31. If Brown and Kenosha Counties spent a similar percentage of their original $368,757 estimates, the counties/municipalities portion of the bill will come to just a tick over $2 million.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has yet to produce its costs, but I somehow doubt that it will be anywhere close to $1.5 million. This may be a Flashing VCR Correct moment (more rare than the Stopped Clock Right moment), but you do have to love efficient, accurate government. If only the DOT would take a lesson from this and not do expensive stuff like putting in a 300-foot dedicated right-turn lane to service a half-dozen residences.

Next, the shocking-but-shouldn’t-have-surprised-anyone moment. Justice Annette Ziegler will be unopposed on the ballot. It’s shocking in that the last person to run unopposed was the late Justice Patrick Crooks in 2006, with 7 contested elections, the last 6 with sitting Justices (though the last was essentially an open seat) in the interim. It shouldn’t have been surprising because 5 of those sitting Justices won re-election, with Justice Michael Gableman’s defeat of then-Justice Louis Butler in 2008 being the only defeat of a sitting Justice since 1967.

Another item in the “shouldn’t have been surprising” bin – JR Ross notes Justice Ann Walsh Bradley was unopposed in 2005.

Meanwhile, Evers (WEAC-WEAC) drew a former Beloit superindent Lowell Holtz and Walker recall signer John Humphries to force a February 21 primary.

December 12, 2016

The recount is over, to be certified at 3 pm

That is the news from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is due to certify the recults at 3. It earlier said that the counting was complete, with only 4 counties yet to submit their official canvass.

Speaking of (unofficial) results, as of Saturday night, 90.8% of the reporting units, representing 91.3% of the votes originally cast for the 7 candidates on the ballot, were recounted. Besides the partial results from the city of Milwaukee, there had been 10 reporting units not recorded in the daily spreadsheets. There had been a total net vote change of +1480, or +0.055%. As Ed Morrissey noted earlier today, that is purer than Ivory soap.

Individually, Hillary Clinton gained 691 votes, Donald Trump gained 628 votes, and Jill Stein gained…wait for it…wait for it…68 votes. I hope the nearly $4 million Stein spent on validating Trump’s win was worth it for her.

Meanwhile, the recount efforts in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, and thus the fever dreams of the Left, were shut down by various judges.

December 6, 2016

Aggrieved? Hacked? Not exactly.

First, a bit of self/cross-promotion – I did what is effectively a weekend update over at RightWisconsin. My analysis of the Presidential recount will be split between there and here.

There was a massive data dump to the Wisconsin Elections Commission last night. With over 55% of the votes originally cast, in 58% of the reporting units, Hillary Clinton managed to gain a net 3 votes on Donald Trump (+142 to +139 vice the county canvasses), while Jill Stein gained 50 votes.

The big news is that a rather massive hole got blasted in the theory that the election was “hacked”. In St. Croix County, which completed its portion of the recount Monday, 5 voting machines in 4 municipalities fell under suspicion after the modems which remotely report results to the county clerk were serviced. However, the Wisconsin Elections Commission investigated and found nothing improper. Indeed, the Stein campaign representatives in St. Croix County, in its own contempraneous review of the recount in various reporting units, agreed with the machine tape in each case.

Meanwhile, the nightmare may be over before it really begins in Michigan. A state appeals court ruled that Stein is not an “aggrieved” candidate and thus should be denied a recount. That state’s board of canvassers, which split evenly on partisan lines on the issue last week, thus triggering the recount is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to take that under advisement. Also, Stein’s Pennsylvania federal lawsuit is scheduled for a Friday hearing, the timing of which doesn’t appear to bode well for her Clinton’s chances.

December 3, 2016

Wisconsin Presidential recount – Day 3

Just a few quick items after the Wisconsin Elections Commission posted the spreadsheet of day 2 of the won’t-change-a-thing Wisconsin recount:

Jill Stein dropped her attempt to get a court to force a recount in Pennsylvania after her campaign couldn’t come up with the $1 million bond the court required. With that, even without the results from Wisconsin and Michigan, Donald Trump has 280 electoral votes. Maybe the WEC should have got the full $3.9 million from Stein up-front instead of the $3.5 million.

– With 24% of the original number of votes recounted, representing 29.7% of the reporting units, Trump has gained 308 74 votes over the original county canvasses, Hillary Clinton has gained 187 45 votes and Stein has gained 171 41 votes. Projecting that over the remaining ballots, Trump’s lead over Clinton would grow by 121 votes, and his lead over Stein would grow by 137 votes.

– The three biggest errors of the election thus far all came from election officials, not from either “hacked” voting machines or voters not making their intent clear enough to be known on Election Day. In the town of Centerville in Manitowoc County, 24 ballots for Clinton that weren’t counted on Election Day showed up for the recount. In the town of Bashaw in Washburn County, 33 votes that should have been counted for Trump in the canvass weren’t until Thursday. Backing those three incidents (including 17 votes not counted for Stein in Menominee County, found on the first day) out, Trump’s projected leads over Clinton and Stein would grow by 83 votes and 71 votes respectively.

– While the transposition errors in yesterday’s spreadsheet were corrected (which also corrected the issue in Woodland), there were several new transposition errors in today’s spreadsheet. Also, only partial results came from St. Francis. I understand these are unofficial numbers being reported outside the normal and official process, but that can get confusing.

Revisions/extensions (6:22 pm 12/3/2016) – Speaking of transposition errors, instead of reading off the “changes-to-date” line on my spreadsheet, I read off the “projected total change” line. It doesn’t change the stated projected lead changes.

Revisions/extensions part 2 (11:31 pm 12/3/2016) – Thanks for the HotAir-lanche, Ed. I hope this place isn’t too dusty. Also, I added a poll on how many votes Jill Stein will get in this meaningless recount.

R&E part 3 (8:27 am 12/4/2016) – The Stein/Clinton campaign merely switched their Pennsylvania efforts to federal court, where the costs are a lot less.

December 2, 2016

Wisconsin Presidential recount – Day 2

The recount of the Presidential election in Wisconsin is in its second day, and unless one is a Clinton/Stein diehard supporter, things are going right about as expected. The Wisconsin Elections Commission posted the results given to it yesterday, and with a couple of important notes, not much has changed with over 10% of the original vote, and over 13% of the reporting units, recounted. Indeed, the biggest change remains Menominee County’s original failure to report most of the miniscule number of votes cast for the minor-party candidates in the most Democrat-heavy county in the state (17 for Jill Stein, 12 for Gary Johnson and 3 for Darrell Castle).

The WEC’s spreadsheet includes partial totals for various reporting units in the city of Milwaukee, with none of the absentee ballots counted yet, as well as what appears to be 2 partial reports from a reporting unit in Hales Corners and from the town of Woodland in Sauk County. Taking those out of the spreadsheet, 484 of Wisconsin’s 3636 reporting units (or 478 of 3,499 that actually had at least 1 vote recorded) have been recounted, representing what had been canvassed as 299,970 votes for the 7 candidates that were on the ballot. Donald Trump had a net gain of 5 votes, Hillary Clinton had a net gain of 3 votes, and Stein a net gain of 24 votes. Including the other minor candidates, the 459 total vote changes yielded a net change in the number of votes recorded of only +47.

Extending that over the remaining 90% of the vote/87% of the reporting units, Trump’s lead over Clinton would grow to 22,637 (+20 versus the original canvass), and his lead over Stein would shrink to 1,373,248 (-186 versus the original canvass). Of course, that includes the “clerical” error in Menominee County; backing that error out would net Stein only 69 additional votes instead of 235 additional votes. Either way, that would represent one of the most expensive per-vote expenditures in the history of elections for exactly zero net effect as she would still be in a distant 4th place and the Green Party would still have automatic ballot access through 2018 without the recount.

Of note, 308 reporting units, including 302 with at least 1 vote cast, had zero changes. Given the establishment of voter intent is significantly more permissive in a recount than on election day, there is no statistical evidence of mischief by the election officials.

Indeed, Wisconsin has conducted an audit of every type of electronic voting equipment used after every fall general election since 2006, and not even one piece of equipment has failed to meet the federal standard of no more than 1 error per 500,000 ballots. The municipal clerks and the WEC were in the midst of this year’s audit when the recall came about and put at least a temporary hold on that.

In other news, a federal judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by a couple of pro-Trump PACs, though he did schedule a hearing on the case for December 9. Meanwhile, the recount in the 32nd Senate district ended disappointingly, with Jennifer Schilling extending her margin of victory over Dan Kapanke from 56 votes to 61 votes.

Wisconsin is the swingingest swing state that ever swung

Dr. Eric Ostermeier analyzed the history of plurality wins by a Presidential candidate over at Smart Politics. He has a whole host of remarkable numbers, but I’ll highlight a couple of Wisconsin-specific items.

With Trump’s (pending recount) plurality win, one of 14 this cycle, Wisconsin now has the highest percentage of plurality Presidential wins in the nation at 30.2%. That includes 4 straight plurality wins between 1992 and 2004, just one cycle off the record of 5 set by Indiana between 1876 and 1892.

That also makes Wisconsin one of only 3 states to have produced 5 plurality winners between 1992 and 2016, with New Mexico and Florida the other 2. New Mexico also produced plurality winners in the same years as Wisconsin, while Florida produced a plurality winner in 2012 instead of 2004.

That alone doesn’t make Wisconsin the swingingest swing state. It is also the margins of victory that matter, and since 2000, Wisconsin stands alone in that regard. Unless Trump gains a net of some 6,000 votes in the recount (or Clinton somehow gains a net of 29,000 votes or Stein some 1.4 million, neither of which appears likely to happen even after the most-Democrat-leaning county in the state, Menominee County, finished their portion of the recount), this will be the 3rd election of the last 5 to be decided by less than a percentage point.

January 10, 2015

Assembly bumps up per-day per-diems, not necessarily total cost

by @ 11:05. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Owen)

On Thursday, via a secret ballot and with no public meeting, the Committee on Assembly Organization unanimously made several changes to the per-diem and mileage reimbursement system for the Assembly. The media reporting of this, both traditional and new, has been a bit of a hash, with no one source having the entire story, so allow me to summarize everything that is known:

  • The per-diem for Assembly members who set up a temporary residence in Madison (e.g., stay at a hotel overnight) has been raised from $88 per day, where it has been since 2001 to $137.70 (incorrectly reported in most reports as $138) per day. That raise is in accordance with state law also passed in 2001 setting the maximum per diem at 90% of the federal per diem for federal employees traveling to Madison, which the $88/night was at least close to at the time.
  • The per-diem for Assembly members who do not set up a temporary residence in Madison, including by rule all those who live in Dane County, has been raised from $44 per day to $68.85 per day (half that of those who do set up a temporary residence).
  • Instead of receiving mileage compensation for one round trip to the Capitol per week, those living at least 25 miles from the Capitol will receive mileage compensation for two round trips per week, while those living within 25 miles of the Capitol will receive none.
  • Instead of receiving a per diem for every weekday spent in Madison on official business, and every weekend day spent in Madison when either the Legislature is in session or a committee a legislator is a part of is in session, Assembly members will receive only either a maximum of two “day-trip” per diems or one “overnight” per diem per week when in Madison on official business.

I do appreciate that the hotels that offer special “legislator” rates in an attempt to allow the $88/night “overnight” per diem to be close to break-even may well be losing money in doing so, and that even with said special rates, it isn’t quite enough to cover anything more than staying at a somewhat-remote Motel 6 and eating McDonald’s food. I even applaud the slight modernization of the mileage reimbursement, especially because it is rather easy to commute from, say, Milwaukee on a normal legislative day (though the all-night sessions do put a crimp in that plan).

However, I do have a couple of issues with the new system. First, even though Speaker Robin Vos, chair of the organization committee, did eventually say that every member of the committee voted for the new rule, the fact that it was a secret ballot and not conducted as part of a public meeting of the committee is quite troubling.

Second, the “day-trip” per diem, even though it is still at the traditional half of the “overnight” per diem, is incredibly high. As Captain Ned points out in the comments at Boots and Sabers, the federal per diem for meals in Madison is only $56 per day. To be within the spirit of the law, the “day-trip” per diem should be $50.40 per day. Owen points out in said comments that many private companies have per-meal per diems, and gave an example of $10 per breakfast, $15 per lunch and $25 per dinner (which conveniently adds up to $50 for the three meals).

Still, that last item, which I only saw covered by the Wisconsin State Journal (which is why I linked to their story) and mentioned in Owen’s excerpt of same, is quite positive. In fact, that hard cap of $137.70 per representative per week should prove to be a money-saver, even with a second round trip to the Capitol per week being reimbursed.

November 13, 2014

The Milwaukee/Madison stranglehold on the Democrat Party

by @ 18:30. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Mark Belling pointed out something astonishing earlier this afternoon – every Demcorat nominee for governor since 1964 has run from either the city of Milwaukee or Dane County. It turns out the Milwaukee/Madison wings have had an even stronger stranglehold on the Democrat US Senator nominee. Since Francis Ryan Duffy (D-Fond du Lac) lost his re-election bid in 1938, every candidate has called Milwaukee, Madison or Madison’s suburbs home during their campaigns and, for the successful, their tenures:

1944 – Howard McMurray (D-Milwaukee), lost
1946 – McMurray, lost
1950 – Thomas Fairchild (D-Verona), lost
1952 – Fairchild, lost (and returned to his regular home of Milwaukee after the 1952 election)
1956 – Henry Maier (D-Milwaukee), lost
1957 – William Proxmire (D-Madison), won a special election
1962 – Gaylord Nelson (D-Madison), won (yes, he was originally from Clear Lake, but he called Madison his Wisconsin home throughout his tenure as Senator)
1964 – Proxmire, won
1968 – Nelson, won
1970 – Proxmire, won
1974 – Nelson, won
1976 – Proxmire, won
1980 – Nelson, lost
1982 – Proxmire, won
1986 – Ed Garvey (D-Madison), lost
1988 – Herb Kohl (D-Milwaukee), won
1992 – Russ Feingold (D-Middleton), won (yes, he was originally from Janesville, but he called Middleton his Wisconsin home throughout his tenure as Senator)
1994 – Kohl, won
1998 – Feingold, won
2000 – Kohl, won
2004 – Feingold, won
2006 – Kohl, won
2010 – Feingold, lost
2012 – Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison), won

What are the odds that the only person left on the DPW bench, state senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), or the one-time hope of the “moderate” Democrats, Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), will be either the next Democrat gubernatorial candidate or the next Democrat US Senate candidate? Even though Shilling IS the DPW bench, would fit nicely in Round 3 of Teh War On Wymynz!!1!!!EleVeNTy!~!@ scheduled for 2016, and was deftly maneuvered to the Senate Dem leader position to give her “experience” by Chris “Puppet Master” Larson (D-Milwaukee), I’d bet against her if doing so wouldn’t disqualify me from voting. For similar reasons, plus the fact that he has turned down the chance at a “promotion” from the House of Representatives multiple times, I’d bet against Kind as well if doing so didn’t disqualify me from voting.

November 5, 2014

The 2014 election – instant reactions

It’s been far too long since I posted here, but it’s high time to do so once again. As it’s 3 am, it will be stream-of-(semi)consciousness.

– The big winner is Republicans in general, and Scott Walker in particular. With nearly every precinct counted, but with some late-arriving absentee ballots still out, Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch won re-election (again), they beat the Democrat ticket of Mary Burke and John Lehman by a 52.3%-46.6% margin.

– The Republicans extended their majorities in the Legislature to 19-14 in the Senate and at least 61-38 in the Assembly, with 2 races with Republicans in the lead likely going to a recount. If the Republicans hold onto both of those leads, the 63-36 margin would be the largest Republican margin since Dwight Eisenhower was President.

– That 19-14 Senate margin, while equal to that coming out of the 2010 election, is a more-conservative margin with the departures of Dale Schultz and Mike Ellis. Current Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald might want to take note of what happened to each of his 4 immediate full-session predecessors in the majority office (including Democrat Russ Decker). The bad news – Fleebagging is still an option for the Dems.

– One would be tempted to call Mary Burke The Big Loser in Wisconsin, but that “honor” goes to Democrat Party of Wisconsin chair Mike “Ahab” Tate. After 4 years of raging, and after some false hope in 2012 with the recall “rental” of a couple of Senate seats, Barack Obama’s win, and Rob Zerban getting within 10 percentage points of Paul Ryan, all he and his fellow Dems have to show for it is a smaller minority in the Assembly and a 28-point pasting of Zerban by Tate’s White Whale. The question now is not whether he’s re-elected to his chair next June, but whether he’s pushed out before then.

– I guess running a soft-on-crime DA for attorney general is about as successful as running a career politician for attorney general. The hardest hit – Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (D-Milwaukee), who is likely drowning his sorrows in John Doe III papers.

– Even with the Republican wave, there was one Democrat statewide survivor, Secretary of State Doug La Follette. Given his reluctance to do the one duty of SecState left to him, his 2018 SecState win will likely be a hollow one as his office is eliminated in that same election.

– The minor parties won’t like the pending elimination of the state treasurer’s and secretary of state’s office. While the Libertarian Party candidate also got 3% in the attorney general’s race, both the Green Party and Constitution Party had to dip into the tertiary statewide races to get the 1.0% of the vote in a statewide election necessary to have a state-run primary and automatic ballot access for the next 4 years.

– Nationally, it was a disaster for the Democrats. Once Mark Begich (D-Alaska) realizes the votes simply aren’t there, it will be an 8-seat pickup in the Senate, and it is likely that the Republicans will win the runoff in Louisiana. Once that happens, Angus King (I-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) may well bolt the Democrat caucus to make it a 12-seat Republican margin.

– The news isn’t any better in the House – the Republicans picked up at least 12 seats to extend their majority to at least 241 seats.

– The news isn’t much better for Democrat governors. While Sarah Palin successfully backstabbed her successor over his cutting of oil-financed welfare (negotiated by her), Republican pick-ups in places like Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts made up for it. I guess the Fleebaggers will have to run to Minnesota.

November 19, 2013

No NRE Decision Desk tonight

by @ 17:57. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

I had hoped to bring you the results from the 21st Assembly special general election and the 82nd Assembly special primary election as they come in, but I will be otherwise occupied tonight. For those of you who want the results long before the rest of the media gets around to mentioning them, WisPolitics will have those results, as well as the results for the 69th Assembly special general election, on their election blog.

Election day in southern Milwaukee County – TODAY

by @ 6:51. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

There are two special elections for the State Assembly today:

– The 21st Assembly District, in Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and the strip of Franklin between 27th and 35th, and between Drexel and Central. I wholeheartedly endorse Jessie Rodriguez, who is going up against carpetbagging Democrat Elizabeth Coppola.

– The 82nd Assembly District, in the rest of Franklin (except the northwest corner bounded by Woods, North Cape, Forest Home, and the city limits), Greendale, and the eastern part of Greenfield. That is a primary election, with 4 Republicans looking to advance to take on the sole Democrat in 4 weeks’ time. I didn’t follow that primary because I don’t live in that district, but Kevin Fischer has endorsed Shari Hanneman.

October 31, 2013

RightWisconsin column – Taking a Deeper Dig at Latest MU Law School Poll Data

by @ 6:55. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I did say when I came back that I would be writing in more places. One of those is RightWisconsin, a venture started up early this year by Charlie Sykes. I sent my analysis of the latest Marquette Law School’s poll over there, and it hit the digital press early this morning.

One item I did not include was an analysis of the shocking reversal of opinion on gay “marriage”. Less than 7 years after Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment reserving marriage to one-man/one-woman couples in an electorate the exit polls said had a built-in 4-point advantage for Democrats, a majority now say that gay couples should be recognized as “married” by the state.

Even though the half of the sample that was asked this, as well as abortion on demand, citizenship for illegal aliens and pot, was skewed even more-heavily Democrat than the half that was asked their opinion of Sen. Ron Johnson (with a D/R/I of 35.0% D/23.0% R/37.5% I), that radical undersampling of Republicans, one not seen even in 2008, did not matter – the liberal position on all of those issues would have carried the day even with the “natural” D+2.4 advantage.

October 22, 2013

The NRE Decision Desk calls the 21st Assembly District Republican nomination for Jessie Rodriguez

by @ 21:00. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

Based on the unofficial results from Oak Creek’s Facebook site, The No Runny Eggs Decision Desk has called the 21st Assembly District Republican nomination for Jessie Rodriguez. Yes, South Milwaukee and Franklin have not posted results online yet, and the local media hasn’t reported anything, but Oak Creek does comprise more than half of the district, and a larger majority of those who are likely to participate on the Republican side of the primary even with an uncontested primary on the Democrat side.

The results in Oak Creek are:

Jessie Rodriguez 939
Ken Gehl 415
Chris Kujawa 350
Larry Gamble 89
Red Arnold 22

Revisions/extensions (9:09 pm 10/22/2013) – Franklin’s results are in, and push the totals to:

Jessie Rodriguez 996
Ken Gehl 425
Chris Jukawa 372
Larry Gamble 111
Red Arnold 22

R&E parts 2 and 3 (9:16 pm and 9:19 pm 10/22/2013 for more info) – Now South Milwaukee has reported, and it’s all over but the certification later this week. Jessie Rodriguez is the Republican nominee for the 21st Assembly District, and she will face Democrat Elizabeth Coppola on November 19.

The residents in the rest of Franklin and the other parts of Assembly District 82 will have a Repubilcan primary to begin the process of filling that seat on November 19 as well.

The unofficial final vote totals:

Jessie Rodriguez 1,512
Chris Kujawa 864
Ken Gehl 535
Larry Gamble 170
Red Arnold 73

21st Assembly Republican primary – TODAY

by @ 8:08. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I really should have done this sooner, but you have, as of this writing, a bit less than 12 hours to vote if you are in South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, or the half-mile wide strip of Franklin between Central and Drexel. Because former Assemblyman Mark Honadel resigned to return to the private sector, there are 5 people running for the Republican nomination for his seat – Jason Red Arnold, Larry Gamble, Ken Gehl, Chris Kujawa, and Jessie Rodriguez. Each of them would be better than the singular Democrat candidate put out there, Elizabeth Coppola, but as always, the primaries are the time of choosing the direction of the Not-Democrat candidate.

I honestly know nothing, other than the videos he put out there and his campaign website, about Arnold. Worse, for the most part, he’s running an issue-free campaign, which in the absense of prior knowledge of his stands on the issues is a red flag. What little there is out there does mitigate against the red flag.

Gamble’s reputation with the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty precedes him. In many ways, he’s a more-fleshed-out version of Arnold, with an emphasis on shrinking government.

Gehl’s greatest strength is that he is a good at “retail politics”. He was the only person who actually caught me at home, though a couple others left flyers on my door. Unfortunately, the politics part of that is his greatest weakness – his major differentiation from the other 4 candidates is that he promises to bring more state money into the district. Though state general finances are pretty close to healthy, half of all state spending is financed by a federal government that is anything but healthy.

Kujawa is the closest thing to Honadel in this race. Indeed, his relationship with Gov. Scott Walker goes back to Walker’s days as county executive.

Rodriguez is starting to grow from being just a school-choice advocate. That growth is in a small-government direction.

So, who did I vote for? I’ll need a couple beers for you to find out.

October 21, 2013

The most-“bought” Wisconsin Supreme Court justice is…

by @ 17:24. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

In the proverbial case of a flashing VCR being right exactly once a year, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (via the Captial Times) looked through the electronic versions of campaign finance records for the 6 current Justices who raised enough money to be required to file their campaign contribution records electonically to try to determine who was most-influenced by donations from lawyers with immediate business before the Court. That look excludes Justice Patrick Crooks as he did not raise enough money in his 2006 unopposed election bid. Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson was easily the biggest recipient of the current Court members of campaign contributions from “donor attorneys” appearing to seek influence on cases they had before the Court at the time of donation, pulling in $188,650 from “donor lawyers” between July 2002 and June 2013. That was well ahead of second-place Justice Annette Ziegler’s $8,300.

Notably, Abrahamson was more likely to side with “donor attorneys” when they gave her campaign more money – while she sided with donors 58% of the time overall, “big-money” donors who gave her at least $1,500 just before or just after their cases were heard won her support 71% of the time.

Meanwhile, the Left’s favorite whipping boy, Justice Michael Gabelman, who took in $2,350 from “donor attorneys”, sided with them twice in four cases. That amount is just over half of what just one attorney who appeared to rent-seek from Abrahamson donated to his opponent, then-Justice Louis Butler.

The only current Justice, other than the unchecked Crooks, who took in less than Gabelman was Justice David Prosser, who received $225 from “donor attorneys”. While the WCIJ didn’t note this, his campaign was the only one hamstrung by the since-eliminated limits on fundraising and spending on judicial campaigns imposed right after Abrahamson won re-election.

October 3, 2013

Walker defies Team SCOAMT

This Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on how Scott Walker defied federal diktats to close several state parks that receive a modicum of federal funds, and use a 1961 agreement to reopen a Mississippi River boat launch in a state park but on federal land, has gone viral. I could direct you to, say, the guest bloggers tending to The Gateway Pundit’s place or Hot Air for the macro shutdown take, but instead I’ll tie it to the Medicaid expansion that was part of PlaceboCare.

Over the course of the creation of the current state budget, the Rats and their allies-of-convenience in the health care industry tried to push Walker to accept a temporary federal funding of an expansion of Medicaid, saying it was “free money”. Walker refused, saying that the state would be left holding the bag when that money inevitably dried up.

Well, the federal money for the expansion of some state parks has dried up. Because Walker and the Republicans managed to cobble together a bit of a surplus, rather than be the heartless bastards the Rats and their presstitute organs say he is (and that Team Shutdown Clusterf*ck Of A Malignant Tyrant is), he and DNR secretary Cathy Stepp are able to keep those parks wide open.

Of course, $701,000 in parks revenue is a far cry from the hundreds of millions of dollars that Medicaid expansion is, and the shutdown is temporary.

September 5, 2012

Wisconsin GPR tax revenue estimates increase (again)

by @ 20:25. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

The Department of Revenue stated today that General Purpose Revenue tax collections for FY2012 increased to $13.515 billion in their next-to-last report on said revenues. The MacIver News Service noted this was $127 million higher than the DOR’s May 2012 estimate and $320 million higher than the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s February 2012 estimate.

Allow me to bring back from the memory hole a couple of other, earlier estimates. First is the LFB’s estimate immediately after the FY2012/FY2013 budget was adopted, as part of a longer memo showing that budget would produce a structural surplus in the succeeding biennium. In that memo, once the effects of the budget and the (prior-period) budget repair bill are added (subtracted, really) together, FY2012 GPR tax collections were expected to be $13.297 billion.

I’m sure my friends on the Left will say that, if we had just continued former governor Jim Doyle’s policies, things would be a lot better. That administration didn’t exactly see it that way. A LRB memo from late-January 2011 references the December 2010 DOR estimates, and despite economic assumptions that, on a national level, were a bit rosier than reality, the Doyle-era DOR foresaw only $13.304 billion in GPR tax collections for FY2012.

The Laffer Curve lives.

May 31, 2012

Last call – Walker/Barrett Debate liveblog

by @ 20:23. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be using CoverItLive as they’re transitioning to an almost-mandatory monthly fee starting in July, but as long as they’re still available, let’s roll. Besides, I need the practice again.

The debate will be at 9 pm, hosted by WISN-TV, so tune in to that, find it on your TV dial if you’re not in southeast Wisconsin, or mash here for a livestream from WISN-TV. Come on and chime in in the CiL iframe below:

May 29, 2012

Rally for Rebecca Kleefisch

by @ 11:21. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

While it appears that Governor Scott Walker will walk away with a relatively-easy victory come Tuesday, June 5 in his recall, things are quite a bit tighter, both in polls and in money, in the recall election between Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell. I have focused on this “undercard” before, but allow me to reiterate the point now as part of the day-long fundraising drive launched by Dana Loesch, Michelle Malkin, and Teri Christoph. Donate here.

In a normal election cycle, once the separate primaries for governor and lieutenant governor are held, the winners of the same party run on a unified ticket, complete with shared campaign finances. However, due to the unique nature of the recall elections, the governor’s recall and lieutenant governor’s recall are entirely different elections. One of the consequences is Kleefisch’s campaign doesn’t have access to the millions of dollars raised by Walker.

Kleefisch has done yeoman’s (or should that be yeowoman’s) work being what she promised during the 2010 lieutenant governor’s primary campaign – be an saleswoman of Wisconsin to businesses. In addition to the well-publicized “cold calls” to out-of-state businesses to try to get them to relocate to Wisconsin, she launched the Small Business Roundtable to get input from small businesses across Wisconsin on how to improve the business climate.

What are the consequences of a split decision on June 5? Let’s first start out with the “minor” detail pointed out by WDJT-TV. Whenever Walker departs Wisconsin, the lieutenant governor constitutionally assumes the duties of the office, including the power to issue executive orders.

Considering that Mitchell, in his capacity as president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, signed letters demanding public opposition to what became Act 10 upon threat of public boycott to M&I Bank (then the largest Wisconsin-based bank) and Kwik Trip (the largest Wisconsin-based convenience store chain), one can only guess what kind of executive orders he would issue if given a chance.

That split decision would also put Mitchell a heartbeat, or a felony criminal conviction on a trumped-up charge, away from the governor’s office. If you are doubting that the Left using the criminal court system as their last stab from Hell’s heart is possible, I present today’s column from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, who has served as the press organ of a very-leaky 2-year-long “John Doe” fishing expediti…er, investigation by Democrat Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s office headed by an investigator who has a Recall Walker sign in his yard (blamed on his wife) and a history of donating to pro-union Democrats. Bice’s sources are insinuating that a potential relocation of the offices of Milwaukee County’s Department on Aging to a location a longtime Walker political adviser was representing while Walker was Milwaukee County Executive could be “bid-rigging”.

A Mitchell win, even if the other 5 recalls fall short, would be an unequivocal win for the unionistas. Don’t let that happen. Donate to Kleefisch’s campaign, and if you are a Wisconsin resident, remember to vote for her (and Walker) in the recall election on June 5.

May 14, 2012

DOR chief economist explains the difference between CES, CPS/LAUS employment

by @ 16:22. Filed under Economy, Politics - Wisconsin.

Some people, like Tim Nerenz, noticed a rather disturbing disparity between the two main measures of employment earlier this month. One measure, the Local Area Unemployment Statistics, based on the Current Population Survey, said that 21,570 (rounded up to 21,600) more Wisconsinites were working in March 2012 than in March 2011. The other measure, the Current Establishment Survey, said that there were 30,000 fewer jobs in March 2012 than in March 2011.

Department of Revenue chief economist John Koskinen addressed that disparity last Thursday at a meeting of the Association of Government Accountants….

To wit, Koskinen noted that the CES slide in employment was not supported by the all-establishment Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (for the first quarter of disparity, the third quarter of 2011), tax revenues received by Wisconsin, per-capita income growth in 2011, or initial unemployment claims. For those of you interested in the PowerPoint portion of the presentation, Christian Schneider posted the slides that are included, in somewhat-pixelated form, on the video.

Before I continue, however, I do have to quote for the benefit of the lefties who might think Koskinen is a Walker stooge his short biography included in the DOR press release:

Prior to joining the Wisconsin Department of Revenue agency in 2007 as Chief Economist, John Koskinen served as a Staff Economist for the Wisconsin Department of Administration from 1979 to 2007. He started his professional career at the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Koskinen has his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Marquette University, as well as additional graduate studies in Economics at Northwestern University.

That’s right – Koskinen became DOR’s chief economist in the middle of Democrat Jim Doyle’s administration.

QCEW begins to break the tie

A quick explanation of what is covered by the three measures of employment is in order. The CPS/LAUS survey, covering 60,000 people on a national level and roughly 4% of Wisconsinites of working age, is the smallest of the three, though it covers every conceivable form of legal employment. The CES, covering 440,000 worksites on a national level and approximately 10% of Wisconsinites of working age, misses those who are self-employed and thus not covered by a form of unemployment insurance. The QCEW, covering every one of the approximately 9.7 million employers who pays unemployment taxes (thus missing the self-employed, railroad employees and religious institution employees), is a trailing indicator as it is released 6 months after the quarter that it covers.

For the first 6 months of 2011, the year-over-year changes in all three measures were on essentially the same slope. Starting in July, the year-over-year change in the CES started to separate from the year-over-year changes in the CPS/LAUS and QCEW. As Koskinen somehow used seasonally-adjusted data for the CPS/LAUS data while using unadjusted CES data and actual QCEW data, I redrew the chart to use the same measure for all three sets of data:

Click for the full-sized chart

The CES really diverged from both the climbing CPS/LAUS and QCEW in August. Against the QCEW, the disparity grew from an average of the QCEW year-over-year change being 5,000 higher than that of the CES for the first half of the year (and 5,700 higher in June) to the QCEW year-over-year change being 32,500 higher in September, the last month QCEW data is available. Against the CPS/LAUS, the disparity went from an average of the CES year-over-year change being 16,600 higher than that of the CPS/LAUS (and 21,200 in June) to the CPS/LAUS year-over-year change being larger than the CES year-over-year change starting in September, growing to a 49,400 disparity in December, and reaching a 51,570 disparity in March.

Koskinen blamed the fact that the second quarter was used as the yearly “benchmark” of the CES rather than the third quarter. I cannot properly evaluate that claim, but the DOR produced a chart supporting this allegation:

Click for the full-sized chart

Wages and tax collections support the CPS/LAUS numbers

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that per-capita personal income in Wisconsin grew by 4.8% in between 2010 and 2011. That is not only significantly higher than the national average of 4.3% growth, but was the 11th-highest in the country.

In part because of that, and in part because the Republicans repealed the “millionaires’ tax” and combined reporting instituted by the Democrats when they had total control of state government in 2009, general-purpose revenue increased by an adjusted 4.3% for the first 10 months of FY2012 from FY2011 (that adjustment is downward from 6.0% due to more pay periods this time around). That includes an adjusted 4.5% increase (7.8% unadjusted) in individual income taxes, a 4.8% increase in sales taxes, and 5.4% in corporate taxes. Of note, FY2012 started in July 2011, when the CES measure of employment began to wildly diverge from the other two measures.

Initial unemployment claims for 2011 well below that of 2010, with the last 7 months at pre-recession levels

Perhaps the data that is most damning of the CES “job loss” is initial unemployment claims. The DOR produced a chart showing that those claims are the lowest in 5 years. Once again, I created my own chart, partly to remove the “clutter” of 2009 and 2010 from the DOR chart, partly to align the weeks to the week being reported instead of the week the report was issued, and partly to further demonstrate the point by choosing 2006 instead of 2007 (after all, the Great Recession supposedly started in December 2007).

Click for the full-sized chart

Throughout 2011, initial unemployment claims were below 2010 levels. Indeed, by the 40th week, it was virtually indistinguishable from 2006 levels, and that trend continued through this year.

That is a measure more of a 1-month change than a 12-month change. So, how do the years compare? Allow me to give you one more chart, this time directly from the BLS:

Something just doesn’t add up, and it’s rather clear it’s the CES numbers everybody has been taking as the last word on jobs.

May 9, 2012

Recall Post-Primary Thoughts

by @ 16:20. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

In case you missed the toplines from yesterday, I’ll restate them quickly:

  • Governor Scott Walker crushed “protest ‘Republican'” candidate (and semi-pro protestor) Arthur Kohl-Riggs 626,538-19,920 in the Republican gubernatorial recall primary.
  • In the Democrat gubernatorial recall primary, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett easily outpaced former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, state Senator Kathleen Vinehout, secretary of state Doug La Follette, and “protest ‘Democrat'” candidate Gladys Huber 390,109-228,940-26,926-19,461-4,842.
  • Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell won the Democrat lieutenant governor primary, beating “protest ‘Democrat'” Issac Weix and private investigator Ira Robbins 384,208-192,207-159,762. There was only a Democrat recall primary for lieutenant governor.
  • “Real” Democrats Lori Compas, former state Senator John Lehman, Kristen Dexter, and state Representative Donna Seidel easily bested the “protest ‘Democrats'” to earn the right to take on (respectively) Republican state Senators Scott Fitzgerald, Van Wanggaard and Terry Moulton and state Representative Jerry Petrowski (who was the only Republican to file to replace retired state Senator Pam Galloway). Much like the lieutenant governor race, there were only Democrat recall primaries, all triggered by the presence of “protest ‘Democrats'”.

Let’s dig a bit beyond the raw numbers:

Governor’s race:

As noted by Allahpundit last night and Ed Morrissey this morning, Walker got more votes than the two major Democrat candidates, and came close to equaling all five of the Democrats (including Kohl-Riggs). How odd is this? Let Christian Schneider explain:

A bit of context: Traditionally, vote totals in contested primaries vastly exceed vote totals in corresponding primaries that are essentially uncontested. Take, for instance, the 2010 gubernatorial election, when Walker faced off against former congressman Mark Neumann, and Barrett ran for his party’s nomination essentially unopposed. Over 618,000 people voted in the GOP primary, while only 236,000 voters cast ballots in the Dem primary, where there was nothing at stake. That same year, Ron Johnson ran in a U.S. Senate GOP primary against several other candidates, while incumbent Russ Feingold was unopposed. The GOP primary drew 596,000 voters, while Feingold garnered only 224,000 votes. The Republican gubernatorial and Senate primaries drew 263 percent and 266 percent more voters, respectively, than the Democrats.

The same effect traditionally occurs for Democratic primaries. In 2002, a Democratic gubernatorial primary featuring, coincidentally, Tom Barrett, Kathleen Falk, and eventual winner Jim Doyle, drew 554,000 votes. Incumbent Republican governor Scott McCallum, running virtually unopposed, saw 230,000 votes in his primary — giving Democrats a 241 percent vote advantage.

This came despite the only effort to get the Walker vote out coming from talk radio, and at least some efforts at something resembling what Rush Limbaugh once termed Operation Chaos. Unlike the typical partisan primary, the only prohibition against participating in multiple partyies’ primaries was against participating in multiple parties’ primaries for the same office. Indeed, there were two mentions that one could only vote for one candidate per office for each of the offices on the ballot instead of the usual one.

On the Democrat side, Barrett’s win was essentially inevitable once Public Policy Polling and Daily Kos released polls taken in mid-April that had him well ahead of the early union favorite, Falk. Even with that said, there was a giant surprise – Barrett carried Falk’s home county, Dane, where she was county executive for 14 years before retiring in 2011, by 31 percentage points. In addition to the fact that Falk was the only Democrat in the country to lose a contested “major” statewide or Congressional office held by Democrats in the 2006 election (Wisconsin attorney general), the folks at the Republican Party of Dane County offered up another reason – she barely survived a debacle in the Dane County 911 Center that was a key miss that led to the murder of a UW student.

Given that almost 901,000 recall signatures were certified by the Government Accountability Board against Walker, the weak total rung up by the Democrats has to be disappointing. The total 1.32 million turnout, on the other hand, was significantly over the 1.08 million who turned out for the Presidential primaries in April (785,167 on the Republican side) and nearly 61% of the 2.16 million who voted for governor in 2010.

Senate races:

We haven’t had a poll with a fresher sample than the Public Policy Polling/Daily Kos poll in mid-April that had all the Republicans except Wanggaard with double-digit leads over the “real” Democrats and Wanggaard up by 2 points, though there was a Myers Research/Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee poll taken in late March/early April (2 weeks prior to the PPP/DKos) poll released afterward that had Wanggaard losing and Moulton and Petrowski with single-digit leads. Compas and Lehman (who will be going against Fitzgerald and Wanggaard respectively) received more votes than recall signatures against their opponents, while Dexter and Seidel received fewer votes than recall signatures against their opponents. That metric suggests Wanggaard and Fitzgerald, the latter with a Libertarian challenger as well as a Democrat, could be in for a long night on June 5.

Lieutenant Governor’s race:

The thing that just struck me was that the 758,070 people who voted in the statewide “undercard”, with only minimal advertising by Mitchell, was roughly 90,000 more than those who voted in the Democrat gubernatorial primary, where millions were spent by both Barrett’s and Falk’s camps, and roughly 70,000 more than everybody who voted for somebody other than Walker in the gubernatorial primaries. That. Just. Does. Not. Happen. (until now, that is).

Even so, only 561,018 voted for the two “real Democrat” candidates, over 104,000 fewer than those who voted for the “real Democrats” in the Democrat gubernatorial primary, and over 124,000 fewer than those who voted for said “real Democrats” and the “protest ‘Republican'”. Again, that was significantly fewer than the nearly 809,000 who signed recall petitions against lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who like the Republican Senators (and Petrowski), was not in a primary as she was the only Republican who qualified.

The crossover factor:

That brings me to what factor, if any, the potential for crossover had on the Democrat gubernatorial primary. As most of those who did so likely would have voted for Falk as the “weaker” candidate, it obviously was not successful in keeping Barrett from winning. However, that is not to say that it was not significant, even though there were no exit polls to check this against.

James Wigderson used one way to calculate the maximum potential crossover, using heavily-Republican Waukesha and Washington Counties. Allow me to use a second method. The four “real” Democrat gubernatorial candidates garnered 665,436 votes, 104,418 votes more than the two “real” Democrat lieutenant governor candidates garnered.

The last Marquette Law School poll said that roughly 17% of the potential voters in the Democrat gubernatorial primary would actually be Republicans. The 0.7% of the Democrat primary vote Huber received is almost entirely “crossover”. If all 104,418 who voted for a “real” Democrat in the gubernatorial primary but didn’t vote for one in the lieutenant governor primary were Republican crossovers, that would be another 15.6%. Add the two together and the 16.3% crossover would be right in the ballpark.

However, there is a complication. On my paper “complete the line” ballot here in southern suburban Milwaukee County, and on the sample paper ballots in the parts of Racine County where there was a Senate primary, both the Republican and Democrat gubernatorial primaries were in one column, while the Democrat lieutanant governor primary (and in the 4 Senate districts where there was a recall, the Democrat Senate primaries) were on a second column. It is reasonable to believe that at least some people didn’t realize this.

With that said, I strongly doubt that much more than 50,000 people who voted for a “real” Democrat in the gubernatorial primary would either “forget” there was also a Democrat lieutenant governor primary or somehow vote for the one “protest ‘Democrat'”. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll estimate that only 50,000 Republicans decided to meddle by voting for a “real” Democrat in the gubernatorial primary, and will return “home” to vote for Walker come June 5.

That sort of destroys the meme that the Democrats got more votes than Walker. Add that 50,000, and the 4,842 that Huber got, to Walker’s total, and subtract that 50,000 from the Democrats’ (including Kohl-Riggs’) total to wipe out the effects of crossover, and the Republicans likely outvoted the Democrats roughly 681,000-635,000, or 51.7%-48.3%.


To complete Ed’s thought on how bad a night it was for the unions, the Democrats and the public unions had planned on having all the candidates get together with them in Madison today. However, Barrett nixed that idea on Monday, and while the unions are rallying in Madison, the candidates are meeting at his home in Milwaukee.

There is one more recall potentially coming down the pike. Some of the residents of Democrat state Senator Bob Jauch’s far-northwest district got mad enough over his vote to kill a mining bill that would have brought a rather signnificant number of lead mining jobs to the district to launch a recall effort against him on March 19. They have until May 18 to turn in 15,270 signatures. A story posted today by the Barron News-Shield quoted recall organizer Shirl LaBarre, “All I can say is that I’ve put my heart and soul into (the effort).”

April 21, 2012

GAB to directly receive election-night results from some Waukesha County municipalities

by @ 10:42. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the roughly-half of Waukesha County’s municipalities that can send their eleciton results directly to the Government Accountability Board will do so on future election nights. The reason, quoting from the MJS, is:

The move is being made so results get reported online more quickly and people have more immediate access to the vote totals through the GAB website, said Shawn Lundie, a spokesman for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Wait a minute. Neither the GAB nor the former State Elections Board has ever reported election-night numbers. The closest they have come is tracking the Prosser-Kloppenburg recount at the end of each business day.

I do have an inquiry into GAB spokesman Reid Magney to clear up a few questions. I will update this post when he gets back to me.

Revisions/extensions (4:40 pm 4/24/2012) – The GAB released a statement earlier today that provides some background procedural information. To wit, all of the Waukesha County municipal clerks (a change from the previously-reported half) will use the optional municipal-level features in the state-built Canvass Reporting System to enter the municipal-level results and electronically transmit them to the Waukesha County Clerk’s office, versus hand-delivering the results as was the case in prior elections. The county clerk’s staff, headed by Deputy Clerk Kelly Yaeger, will then use the CRS to publish the results in multiple formats.

It does not appear that the GAB will be independently reporting election-night results from Waukesha County. Indeed, the various methods used by county clerks to collect election-night results tends to prevent the GAB from collating that information in real-time.

April 16, 2012

GAB staff recommends all protest candidates appear on the ballot, Walker up 5-12 points in PPP/DKos poll

by @ 17:45. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Government Accountability Board will meet at 9 am tomorrow to set the ballot for all six recall elections (for governor, lieutenant governor and four state Senate seats). The staff has recommended that the Board reject the Democrat Party of Wisconsin’s attempt to toss the 6 “protest candidates” the Republican Party of Wisconsin recruited to run as “Democrats” to ensure all 6 recall elections have a May 8 primary and a June 5 general election. From the GAB staff’s analysis (notably completed before the GAB received the RPW response):

Based upon the public statements of the RPW and the protest candidates, as well as literature they have distributed, there is no material dispute regarding the facts related to the challenges, or that the intent of the RPW and the protest candidates is to require all recall elections to take place on June 5, 2012, presumably to benefit the campaigns of the Republican incumbents. The legal dispute is whether Wisconsin Statutes prohibit or penalize such tactics by disqualifying those candidates from having their names included on the election ballot.

In general, Wisconsin election laws do not require an individual to be a member of a political party to seek that party’s nomination in a primary election. The law also does not permit the Board to inquire into the motivations for an individual’s candidacy for office, an exercise which would inevitably lead to the Board, as a government agency, making subjective judements regarding the legitimacy of political candidacies, which would implicate the most protected forms of First Amendments rights of freedom of speech and association. Depending upon one’s political perspective, the statements and actions of the protest candidates may be viewed as justified, clever, micshievous, or misleading. But Board staff cannot determine that they are illegal. They are products of political calculation and decision-making, and as such they can be rewarded or rejected during the course of the campaigns and elections. The purpose of elections is for voters to pass judgement on the ideas and positions of the candidates as they are debated in the crucible of the campaign.

As further outlined below, Board staff concludes that Wisconsin law does not permit the Board to deny ballot access to the protest candidates.

The Board staff went on to explain that neither the existence of an entry line for a political party on the Campaign Registration Statement form nor the existence of same on the Declaration of Candidacy form is required by state statute. Indeed, the staff concluded that portion of the memo thusly:

As stated above, nominees who claim to represent a political party are determined by the candidates and their supporters, not by party officials or government filing officers. Candidates seeking to participate in a primary of one of the parties are not required to prove that they are members of that party or that they have the support of party members or leadership. A candidate may certainly, without interference from the government, be nominated and campaign as a candidate of a party while disavowing any of hte official or stated positions of the party, or may change their stated positions between the time of circulating nomination papers and the election, or even after their election. For these reasons, Board staff believes that the protest candidates have substantially complied with the requirement to complete and file a declaration of candidacy, and the Board does not have the authority to look beyond the document to judge the political motivation or strategy of a candidacy.

Further, the staff held that the nomination papers do not include any requirement that the candidate claim to “have or demonstrate any formal tie to or membership in the political party” listed on the paper, that neither the circulators nor the signers are required to agree with the positions or principles of the named political party, and that no evidence was presented of any individual signer of the nomination papers were “misled” into signing the nomination papers of the protest candidates, much less a sufficient number to knock any of them off the ballot.

Related to that, semi-pro union protestor Arthur Kohl-Riggs will (likely) appear on the Republican governor primary ballot against Scott Walker as he gathered enough nomination signatures. In a normal partisan primary election, participating in the Republican governor primary would prohibit one from voting for Democrats elsewhere on the primary ballot. While that is still true in the governor recall primary cycle (e.g., one cannot vote for both Scott Walker and Kathleen Falk), GAB spokesman Reid Magney has confirmed that since these recall elections are separate entities, one can vote in the Republican governor recall primary and in the Democratic lieutenant governor recall primary and (if in one of the 4 Senate districts where there is a recall), that Democratic recall primary.

One more item of note – a Public Policy Polling poll for DailyKos has Walker up by between 5 percentage points (against Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett), 7 points (against former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk) and 12 points (against state Senator Kathleen Vinehout) among likely voters, reaching at least 50% against all 4 Democrats. In the same poll, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is up 46%-40% on Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell. The partisan split of that poll was 37% independent, 32% Republican and 31% Democrat, which roughly mirrors recent Rasmussen Reports likely-voter partisan splits in Wisconsin.

April 6, 2012

Wisconsin Tax Day Rally – April 14

by @ 11:18. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

The Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity is hosting the 2012 Tax Day Rally at the King Street entrance of the Capitol on April 14th at 11:30 am. To help amplify the voices for smaller government, lower taxes and increased economic freedom, they’re bringing in James T. Harris, who moved out to Arizona to live the daily talk show dream, PJTV’s Stephen Kruiser, Dana Loesch and Jim Hoft to join Vicki McKenna and us.

AFP will be providing bus transportation from all over the state, but I recommend signing up very quickly as the bus from Waukesha has already been filled.

March 28, 2012

Defending the Dream interview with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch

by @ 16:09. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I had not expected the opportunity to interview Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch at Saturday’s Defending the American Dream summit held by Americans for Prosperity, so I went into the interview completely cold. Fortunately, Kleefisch is an ex-TV reporter, so I don’t think it turned out too badly, at least in content.

Before I get to the highlights (full, if a bit scratchy, audio here), I do have to point you to today’s column from Michelle Malkin, who was also at the summit. She hit on one of the themes she did on Saturday – how the War on (Conservative) Women and the War on Wisconsin converged:

The outlook for the unhinged Left’s secondary targets, however, is not so bright. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a tea party candidate who is not part of the GOP establishment, is being treated as collateral damage by the party. Outside of Wisconsin, most conservative activists are not even aware that she may be booted from office for simply doing her job. Kleefisch told me that on a recent fundraising swing in D.C., national GOP leaders were shocked to learn of her plight.

While Democratic femme-a-gogues continue their plaintive wailing about a “war on women,” Kleefisch has battled vile misogyny from liberal detractors. When lefty Wisconsin radio host John “Sly” Sylvester accused Kleefisch of performing “fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee” and sneered that she had “pulled a train” (a crude phrase for gang sex), feminists remained silent. A former television anchor, small businesswoman and mother of two, Kleefisch’s quiet work on economic development has reaped untold dividends for the state. But if conservatives who preach the gospel of fiscal conservatism do not act, the profligate progressives’ vendetta against Wisconsin may result in the first-ever recall of a lieutenant governor in American history.

My own interview did not touch on the misogynic aspect of the unionistas’ hate of Kleefisch, but we discussed the economy, as she has been an integral part of the effort to get business to locate and expand in Wisconsin, and the recall.

On the economy, which after a good start and a mid-year stall, is moving forward again with the best projected growth in 9 years – “The governor said, from the very beginning, that I was going to be the jobs ambassador, travel the state, having small-business round-tables, talk to our small-business owners, find out what’s working, what’s not, and how we can get government out of their way. We have made great strides towards making sure that we’re correcting the things that aren’t working, enhancing the things that are working, and reviewing great ways to get out of their way.

“Now, Moody’s rated our budget credit-positive. That is a signal to job creators everywhere that we’re headed in the right direction, that we’re putting certainty and stability back on the Wisconsin commerce map…. You compare that to Illinois, where Moody’s has them now scraping the bottom of the bucket. I mean, they’re worse than California, which is tough to do, and you have Governor Pat Quinn actually saying he is encouraged that one of the big three downgraded that badly. That is like saying you’re encouraged your kid is failing all of his classes but got kicked out of only one….

“For those folks who were expecting us to reach 250,000 new jobs in a year and a couple of months, that’s not exactly what we said. We said that we had hoped to reach 250,000 new jobs in our private sector in 4 years. That’s still what we hope for. Just because a goal is ambitious, that doesn’t mean you stop striving for it. We knew those numbers would be back-loaded. We’re starting to feel the hope and we’re starting to feel a genuine recovery. 94% of our job creators in this state say they believe Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, but a majority of job creators also concerned by this recall situation.”

On the recall situation – “I think that this recall is something that people are frustrated with because we have seen a non-stop electoral churn in the last year and a half. We were elected in 2010 by the vast majority of Wisconsinites, who expected they had just elected us to a 4-year term…. People are irritated with the non-stop political ads, and they’re frustrated that we don’t have two sides working together on the most-important thing, the biggest challenge facing Wisconsin – jobs. We just saw in the last couple of weeks the biggest jobs bill that Wisconsin has seen in decades go down because of politics. That type of stuff irritates people, and you know what, it should….”

Malkin asked, “What message would it send to young tea party moms across the country if Walker survived but Kleefisch was hung out to dry? Will Beltway Republican strategists and donors who constantly harp about the need to diversify the party step up to the plate? [Donate to Kleefisch’s defense here.]” We cannot forget the “undercards” of this recall.

Revisions/extensions (4:27 pm 3/28/2012) – Charlie Sykes talked with Rebecca Kleefisch about the recall and the War on (Conservative) Women on today’s show.

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