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.

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Archive for the 'Politics – Wisconsin' Category

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%.

Addenda:

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.

March 27, 2012

Marquette Law School poll on WI – Romney up by 8, Walker up between 2 and 4 on major recall rivals

Last week, Rasmussen released a poll that had Mitt Romney up by 13 points on Rick Santorum, 46%-33%, a full reversal of the prior month’s polls from both Public Policy Polling and Marquette Law School. Today, the Marquette Law School followed suit with a poll taken of 707 registered voters between March 22 and March 25 having Romney up on Santorum 39%-31%. Ron Paul was third with 11% and Newt Gingrich brought up the rear with 6%.

On the ideological side, among the 385 who said they planned on voting in the Republican primary, Romney received a plurality among those who described themselves as “very conservative” (43%-31%), “conservative” (41%-34%) and “moderate” (42%-27%). While Santorum did have a lead among “liberals”, it has to be noted that it was by a 8-7 margin and thus not statistically reliable.

On the political side, I first feel compelled to note that Wisconsin is a wide-open primary state where only the voter knows in which primary he or she votes. With that said, it does not really matter that those who self-identify as Republicans or as leaning toward Republicans were only 64% of those who say they will vote in the Republican primary, while 26% self-identified as Democrats or as leaning toward Democrats. Romney led all three of the major categories: 42%-33% among Republicans, 34%-29% among Democrats, and 37%-17% among “independents”.

Despite the fact that Wisconsin is a winner-take-all state, the majority of the 42 delegates, 24 in all, are awarded 3 at a time to the winner of each of the 8 Congressional districts. Unlike Rasmussen, the Marquette Law School poll did break down the results by media market, making a rough estimation of this possible. Romney carried the city of Milwaukee (which is essentially the 4th Congressional district), the rest of the Milwaukee media market (the heart of the 1st and 5th Congressional districts, and a significant part of the 6th) and the Madison media market (which dominates the 2nd Congressional district, and also reaches into small parts of the 1st, 5th and 6th) by double-digits, strongly suggesting he would get the 3 delegates from each of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Congressional districts. However, his lead in the Green Bay/Appleton market (the heart of the 8th Congressional district, and the other significant part of the 6th) was razor-thin at 38%-37%. Santorum led in the other media markets 31%-25%, which would suggest he would get the 3 delegates from the 7th Congressional district.

The Marquette Law School also polled the Presidential general election matchups, with a partisan split of 48% D/42% R with leaners, and 36% D/27% R without. This was, once again, a rather high Democrat split, and the Presidential results reflected that. Barack Obama beat Romney 48%-43%, and got a majority against the other candidates. Worse, the limited “likely voter” approximation, a sum of those who say they were “absolutely certain” to vote in November and those who were “very likely” to vote in November, was even more friendly to the Democrats on the strength of the “with-leaners” 49%-42% advantage Dems had on those “absolutely certain” to vote in November.

The gubernatorial recall

There are currently three announced Democrat candidates in the recall against Governor Scott Walker – former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, state Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Secretary of State Doug La Follette, for the expected primary to be held on May 8 (assuming at least two of them file a sufficient number of nomination signatures between the end of this week and April 10; if not, then that day becomes the recall general election). In addition, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett has been widely rumored to be interested in trying to get revenge for his 2010 loss to Walker.

Much like the Republican Presidential primary, there is no real lock on the process by the Democrats. Only 65% of those who planned on voting in the gubernatorial primary were self-identified Democrat/Democrat leaners, while 25% were self-identified Republicans/Republican leaners. Unlike the Republican Presidential primary, however, this matters somewhat as Barrett beat Falk in a 4-way race 42%-30% among Democrats and 37%-28% among “independents”, but lost to her 27%-16% among Republicans. Overall, Barrett beat Falk 37%-29%.

If, however, Barrett doesn’t run, Falk would clean up, as she received 54% in the three-way race question.

In the general election against Walker, slated for June 5 (unless there is no primary), not even the aforementioned heavy partisan split favoring the Democrats helped them in this poll. Walker beat Barrett 47%-45%, Falk 49%-45%, La Follette 49%-42% and Vinehout 49%-41%. Of note, Walker has both a better job-approval rating than Obama (50%-47% versus 48%-47%) and a positive personal favorability rating (50%-45%, a flip from last month’s widely-touted-by-the-media 46%-48%).

March 17, 2012

Star Chamber doing what the Dane County Sheriff’s Office would not

(H/T – Ann Althouse)

In case you missed the screaming headline in today’s paint catcher, the Left’s attempt to nullify the April 2011 re-election of Justice David Prosser is proceeding apace with a “recommendation” from the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, specifcally special prosecutor Franklyn Gimbel, to refer the matter stemming from Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s charge of Prosser to a three-judge panei for possible removal of Prosser.

A lot is going to be made of Gimbel’s signature on a recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker. More should be made of Gimbel’s donation to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in 2008 in light of her lead role in this affair.

February 22, 2012

Marquette Law School Poll – Santorum leads the WI Primary, Obama leads significantly in the general

Marquette University’s Law School released its second poll of Wisconsin registered voters this morning, the first dealing with the April 6 Presidential primary, and the first to match up each of the 4 remaining Republican Presidential candidates against Barack Obama (January’s poll matched Mitt Romney against Obama). The primary topline is that Rick Santorum had the support of 34% of those considering voting in the Republican primary, with Romney at 18%, Ron Paul at 17%, and Newt Gingrich at 12%. The general topline is Obama would get a double-digit majority win over each candidate, with Santorum coming closest at 51%-40%. Romney saw his deficit to Obama increase from 40%-48% in January to 38%-53% this month, due in part to a rather significant shift in the partisan split from 43% independent/28% Democrat/26% Republican (46% D/44% R with leaners) last month to 35% independent/34% Democrat/26% Republican (47% D/39% R with leaners).

Beyond the toplines – primary edition

Those who lean Republican make up a mere 66.6% of those who said they support one of the four candidates, which probably reflects the ease and anonymity of the partisan primary process in Wisconsin (only the voter knows in which party’s primary he or she voted). However, the facts that they’re the largest constituency and that 81.6% of those who lean Republican did support one of the four candidates illustrate the relative strength of the four candidates.

Among that core constuency (including the 7.5% who don’t plan on voting in the Presidential primary), Santorum trounced Romney 40.6%-18.5%, with Gingrich a distant third at 11.7%. Santorum, the only candidate to improve his favorability ratio from last month, had a favorable/unfavorable split of 56.1%-10.1%, a rather significant improvement from January’s 48.6%/9.8%. Romney slipped from a 48.9%-29.2% split in January to a 45.9%-32.4% split in February, Paul slipped from a 42.4%-28.0% split in January to a 38.4%-31.2% split in February, and Gingrich went underwater, collapsing from a 45.1%-41.5% split in January to a 35.2%-48.8% split in February.

Surprisingly, Santorum even placed second among those leaning Democrat, 23.7% of whom said they would support one of the four candidates in the primary. Among that group of 80, Paul took 43.5%, Santorum 26.2%, Romney 16.0% and Gingrich 14.3%. Notably, Paul’s Democrat-lean total of 35 was greater than his Republican-lean total of 31.

While the Marquette Law School Poll does not directly measure the “likely voter” metric (a discussion from director Charles Franklin on the subject here), the school did release a “likelyhood” crosstab based on a question of how likely each respondent was to vote in November. As Wisconsin is within a month and a half of the primary, looking at the likelyhood of a respondent voting is undeniably worth exploring. Among those “absolutely certain” to vote in November and who did not say they would not participate in the Republican primary, Santorum led with 39.2%, Romney was second with 19.7%, Paul was third with 13.7%, and Gingrich was last with 10.0%. Adding those “very likely” to vote in November and not ruling out voting in April changes the percentages to 35.4% Santorum, 19.0% Romney, 17.1% Paul and 11.4% Gingrich, virtually indistinguishable from the larger “registered voter” number.

On the ideology front, of those who did not rule out voting in the primary, 12.3% described themselves as “very conservative”, 41.2% as “conservative”, 31.5% as “moderate”, 6.1% as “liberal” and 1.5% as “very liberal”. Santorum took 57.5% of the very-conservative potential vote, with Gingrich a distant second at 24.3% and Romney an even more distant third at 11.2%. Among those who were “merely” “conservative”, Santorum took 34.7%, with Romney second at 21.4% and Gingrich third at 14.6%. Paul’s strength begins with the “moderates”, with a 28.1% plurality among moderates (barely ahead of Santorum’s 28.0% and well ahead of Romney’s 16.5%), and near-majorities of 43.7% of “liberals” (with Romney second at 26.1%) and 49.4% of “very liberals” (with the remaining 50.6% undecided).

Beyond the toplines – general edition

The biggest boost to Obama’s chances was his boost in favorability, from 50% favorable/44% unfavorable last month to 52%/43%. In an interesting twist, that is higher than his job approval split of 50% approval/43% disapproval (also up from January’s 47%/47% split), a mirror opposite of Scott Walker’s 47% approval/47% disapproval and 46% favorable/48% unfavorable splits.

Among the Republican challengers, only Santorum had a positive favorability in the Dem-heavy overall poll at 30% favorable/27% unfavorable (versus 27%/21% last month). Paul, who was at an even 31%/31% split last month, fell to 27%/37% this month. Romney slipped from 30%/42% to 27%/50%, while Gingrich slipped from 25%/53% to 21%/61%.

While last month, among those “certain” to vote, Obama and Romney were tied at 45.1%, Obama increased his percentage among this group to between 49.4% (against Santorum) to 53.8% (against Gingrich). Much like last month, the less committed one is to vote, the more likely one would vote for Obama against any of the Republicans.

Specifically to Romney, while a significant portion of his softening of support versus Obama was due to the increased number of Democrats, that does not explain the entirety of the collapse. Even after “normalizing” the February poll numbers to the January partisan percentages, Romney would lose 51%-40%. That was due to a 8-point drop in support among Republicans down to 80.8% (with a 7-point gain by Obama among the same). By comparison, Santorum held 87.1% of Republicans, Paul 82.4% and Gingrich a mere 78.9%.

The news is not all “good” (relatively-speaking) for Santorum. While he would lose the “independent” vote to Obama 53.1%-35.7%, Romney would “only” lose by 50.5%-38.9%.

Regarding ideology, the larger poll sample had 8% “very conservative” (compared to 9% last month), 30% “conservative” (versus 32%), 38% “moderate” (versus 32%), 16% “liberal” (versus 14%), and 4% “very liberal” (unchanged). Santorum would carry the “very conservative” vote by a 86.4%-13.6% margin and the “conservative” vote 67.7%-23.0%, and lose the “moderates” 62.3%-27.1%, while Romney would carry the “very conservative” vote 72.7%-23.1% (note; while that doesn’t seem right, it does add up), and the “conservative” vote 68.0%-22.2%, and lose the “moderate” vote 65.7%-24.4%.

Revisions/extensions (1:13 pm 2/22/2012) - Somehow mentioned Romney twice in the “conservative” portion of the primary writeup. Fixed.

R&E part 2 (8:19 pm 2/22/2012) - Many thanks to Stacy McCain for linking in his liveblog of the debate tonight.

November 17, 2011

Thursday Hot Read – Tim Nerenz’ “Bring It”

by @ 1:15. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Chris)

Dr. Tim Nerenz puts the Democrats’ attempt to re-create the Kingdom of Dane through Recall Madness on its hindquarters:

They are at it again in Wisconsin. The perpetual hissy fit that is the Union Democrat Party in this state has launched its campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker. The rallying cry of Walker’s Republican supporters is “I stand with Scott Walker”.

Well, not me. I don’t stand with Scott Walker.

Nope. I stand for the right to work. I stand against compulsory unionization. I stand for the right of every employee to join a union, and for the equal right of every employee to work free of union impairment. I stand for the right of every union to collect its own dues directly from its members. I stand for the right of every business owner to deal directly with his/her employees or to work through an intermediary as he or she sees fit. I stand for the right of any business to refrain from political activity altogether without being targeted for boycotts by extortionists.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me….

The Democrat Party in the state of Wisconsin believes they have a Divine right to rule; perhaps it explains why so many are hostile to real Divinity. It is inconceivable to them that the citizens of this state would have decided to give the Republicans an opportunity to fix what the Democrats could not or would not. It is humiliating to them that their coarse and unrefined rivals achieved in just a few months what they could not do in a decade. Their panic is understandable, but that does not make it actionable for the rest of us.

I can’t say whether or not I would vote to re-elect Scott Walker. If he is to win over libertarians, he has a lot of ground to cover between now and the next election for Governor, which is not until 2014. This recall process is not an election; it is a subversion of an election, and I will not vote to subvert elections. The reasons for or against this recall are irrelevant; every assassin has reasons. This is a contract hit; the motivation is money, and it is the taxpayer who will pay the contract.

Do read it all.

October 29, 2011

Occupy Madison permit non-renewed due to whack jobs

No, the pun is not intended; The Daily Cardinal reports one of the main reasons the Occupy Madison street-use permit was not renewed was because a number of them were whacking off in public. Indeed, the behavior was so bad that a hotel next to the former occupied site felt the need to escort its employees to and from bus stops.

Another item that Madison officials had an issue with was the lack of restroom facilities. They reportedly are refusing to issue another permit until and unless the Occupiers secure some.

So, what did the Occupiers do? They marched down the street to Olin Terrace, on the shore of Lake Monona. Note the lack of restroom facilities or all-night hours in the city park.

The Isthmus notes that the expired/non-renewed permit wasn’t sought with the entire group’s up twinkles, so I doubt that the move to Olin Terrace has legal blessing.

The other reason for the move can’t exactly be discounted either. Madison’s Freakfest has been known to get quite violent.

Eggs on Da Radio

by @ 8:01. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Pete Da Tech Guy decided to have me on his radio show on WCRN True Talk 830AM this morning. The show starts at 9 am Central, and I’m slated to follow Jimmie Bise at about the bottom of the first hour. Gabriel Malor will also be on. The big thing Pete and I will talk about is the recall fatigue felt by just about everybody without a D behind their name.

Tune in.

Revisions/extensions (4:44 pm 10/31/2011) - The podcast is up.

October 26, 2011

PPP – Wisconsin tiring of Recall Madness

by @ 17:13. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Public Policy Polling, notably not in its role as the official pollster of DailyKos, just released a poll lamenting that the chance for Democrats to seize control of Wisconsin politics via the recall process is diminishing rather badly. Before I get to the analysis, especially of the crosstabs, however, I do have to discuss the partisan split in the poll, specifically the 37% Democrat/32% independent/31% Republican split. It is the biggest D-to-R split over the series of polls dealing with a possible Walker recall, with Democrats holding a 37%-34% advantage in the mid-August poll taken immediately after the Democrats failed to seize control of the state Senate, a 37%-32% advantage in May, and a 33%-32% advantage in February. Most other pollsters not only have a far closer D-to-R split (with some recent polls having a slight R advantage), but as a nod to Wisconsin’s lack of party registration, they have the independent portion a bit higher than either party. Given the trend of the recalls against the Republican state Senators ultimately falling short, a more-reasonable split would be 36% I/32% D/32% R.

The first hurdle is finding 540,000 so so signatures on petitions to force a recall election. While the top-line 49% oppose recall/48% support recall is a bit closer than the 50% oppose/47% support in August, it is due to both the hardening of resolve among Democrats (up from 86% support-11% oppose in August to 90% support-6% oppose now) and the 3 percentage point reduction in the Republican participation in the poll. Among independents, the opposition to a Walker recall, which had already flipped from support by August to the tune of 50% oppose/46% support, jumped to 57% oppose/40% support.

Similarly, while Walker is still underwater in the approval question at an overall 47% approve/51% disapprove, it is entirely due to an overweight of Democrats in the poll as he is above water among independents for the first time this year at 52% approve/44% disapprove. The over-90% on the partisan sides (approval on Republicans, disapproval on Democrats) essentially wipe each other out when realistic weighting is used.

The other hurdle for the Democrats to a successful recall is finding a candidate who can take on Walker. The only person who, at least in the PPP weighting, can beat Walker is former Senator Russ Feingold, who holds an overall 49%-46% advantage. There’s just 2 problems – Feingold has ruled out running for anything in 2012, and the theoretical Feingold lead is due entirely to weighting. The Republican and Democrat splits are exactly opposite (89% for the party to 7% for the opposition), while independents favor Walker by a narrow 47%-45% margin.

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker 52%-46% in last year’s gubernatorial election, would lose by a 48%-46% margin with PPP’s weighting. However, not only does Barrett not get as many Democrats (86%) as Walker gets Republicans (90%), but independents break for Walker 52%-39%.

Other Democras, including House Representative Ron Kind, former Representatives Dave Obey and Steve Kagen, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (last seen on the statewide stage being the only Democrat in the country to lose a “frontline” statewide or Congressional office held by Democrats in the 2006 election), Assembly minority leader Peter Barca and state Senator Jon Erpenbach, all trail Walker more significantly. Worse for them, much of the state doesn’t know enough about them to have an opinion on them. This is despite Obey being in DC longer than I’ve been alive and ending up as the House Ways and Means Committee chair (and thus responsible for the failed Stimulus and most of the appropriations bills between 2007 and 2010), and Falk running 2 statewide campaigns in the last 10 years, the second successful enough to knock off the sitting attorney general in the Democrat primary.

Even the supposed bright spot for Democrats, a 46%-43% advantage in who should control the state Senate, is illusionary upon further examination. Independents favor Republican control of the state’s upper legislative chamber 41%-35%, reflecting a growing Republican trend first noted in the wake of the August recall elections.

October 14, 2011

Recall Madness – 2012 Edition promises to be even zanier

by @ 14:32. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

If the Democrats’ pending attempt to recall governor Scott Walker isn’t crazy enough, Democrat Party of Wisconsin chair Mike Tate promised to use the recall process to make a second attempt to seize control of the state Senate between the regularly-scheduled 2010 and 2012 elections. For his part, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he hasn’t ruled out recalling Democrats, including those who had efforts against them last year fizzle out due to lack of sufficient signatures.

There is an interesting tidbit at the end of the linked Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that puts into question which version of the legislative districts would be used to conduct the recall process; the districts put into place by a federal judge after the 2000 census or the districts that were redrawn last month. That stems from the last section of 2011 Act 43, which redrew the districts following the 2010 census. Specifically, it reads:

Section 10. Initial applicability.
(1) This act first applies, with respect to regular elections, to offices filled at the 2012 general election.
(2) This act first applies, with respect to special or recall elections, to offices filled or contested concurrently with the 2012 general election.

The Government Accountability Board did not have an immediate answer to the question of which set of maps would be used. That leaves the door open for me to explore the possibilities.

Before I do, however, I need to outline (once again) the statutory timeline of the recall process as it relates to the Legislature:

  • Once a recall committee registers with the GAB, it has up to 60 days to collect and submit for filing a petition for recall with a number of signatures equal to at least 1/4th of those who voted in the most-recent gubernatorial election in that district.
  • The GAB has up to 31 days after that submission to determine the petition is sufficient. If the GAB determines it is not sufficient, the recall committee has up to an additional 5 days to correct the identified deficiencies, with the GAB taking up to an additional 2 days after correction to determine sufficiency.
  • If the recall petition is deemed to be sufficient, a recall election is scheduled for the 6th Tuesday after the day the recall petition is deemed sufficient, and candidates may begin circulating nomination papers in a rather truncated timeframe.
  • If there is only one candidate per “recognized” party (i.e. a party with a candidate who received 1% of the vote in a statewide election in the most-recent election cycle with a gubernatorial election), that scheduled date is recall general election. If there is more than one candidate in a “recognized” party, that party has a recall primary on that date and the recall general election is 4 Tuesdays after that point.

Do note that this is the second (and only second) time the Legislature addressed the recall process when they conducted redistricting; the exact same initial applicability section (with the exception of the date, 2002 was substituted for 2012, and a different section number) appeared in 2001 Act 46, which redrew the Congressional districts after the 2000 census. The other legislative redistricting acts, both before and after a 1982 opinion from Democrat Attorney General Bronson La Follette addressing potential recalls, did not mention recall elections. That opinion, interpreting a court-ordered redistricting that was later superceded by Democrats when they seized complete control of the lawmaking process, said that the court ruling, issued in the middle of the 1982 ballot-access process, immediately applied to any potential recall process, including those Senators who were not up for re-election in 1982.

The normal partisan election ballot-access process, at least under current law, begins on June 1 of the election year when candidates can start collecting signatures, which must be back to the GAB (or, for county partisan offices other than district attorney, the county clerk) by the end of business on the second Tuesday in July (this time around, July 10, 2012). While the 2012 primary date is still in flux as the current second-Tuesday-in-September date, with respect to federal elections, is not in compliance with federal law, the 2012 general election will be November 6.

There were no recalls launched in 2002, but the former State Elections Board used the redrawn Congressional districts to conduct the entire 2002 election process, beginning with the circulation and submission of nomination papers on June 1, 2002, extending through the September partisan primary, and culminating with the 2002 partisan general election.

With all that background out of the way, we can explore the meaning of “concurrently with the 2012 general election”. There are 5 major possible definitions; I’ll present them in reverse chronological order and assume in all cases the full 60 days are used to collect signatures, the full 38 days (including the 7 days allowed to correct any deficiencies) are used to determine sufficiency of the petitions, and the minimum of 36 days between the finding of sufficiency and the scheduling of the recall election occur:

“Concurrently” means the date of the regularly-scheduled general election and the scheduled recall election are the same: If this definition is operative, that would put the latest date this time around a recall could start using the old distrcts at 6/18/2012. That is clearly in conflict with both the 1982 AG opinion and subsequent precedent set by the former State Elections Board establishing the start of the election season as June 1.

It also would, if the last-Tuesday-in-October date set for the recall turns out to be a primary, push the recall general election past the regularly-scheduled 2012 election. Just as an example, if Van Wanggaard (Republican Senator in the 21st District) were to face a recall (the Democrats have said they will be targeting him), a resident of Racine would be voting for Senator in the freshly-redrawn 22nd District in the beginning of November and voting on Waangard’s recall in the 21st at the end of November.

“Concurrently” means the date of the regularly-scheduled general election and a possible recall general election after a recall primary are the same: The latest a recall could start using the old districts under this definition is, this time around, 5/21/2012. It would still put the scheduled recall election date (this time around, 10/2/2012) later than the regularly-scheduled September primary (not to mention later than any potential August date). Also, it would put the start of the circulation of nomination papers for the recall election well after those for the succeeding general election are due and likely past any regularly-scheduled August primary (specifically this time around, 8/27/2012).

“Concurrently” means the date of the beginning of nomination papers for the regularly-scheduled election and the recall election are the same: Using this definition, the latest a recall could be initiated using the old districts is, this time around 2/23/2012. While, in most cases, any potential recall general election following a recall primary would happen prior to any potential regularly-scheduled August primary (this time 8/7/2012 versus the earliest-talked-about date of 8/14/2012 as the second Tuesday in August), the circulators of the two sets of nomination papers would be out and about at the same time. Given one can only sign one canidate’s nomination papers per election, this could prove confusing.

“Concurrently” means the time periods of the circulation of nomination papers overlap: Using this definition, the latest a recall could be initiated using the old districts is, this time around, 2/7/2012. As nomination papers are always due on a Tuesday, that means the papers for the recall election would have to be in by the last Tuesday in May (5/29/2012) to avoid conflict.

“Concurrently” means any part of the recall process and any part of the regularly-scheduled election process overlap: Under the earliest of the definitions, the latest a recall could be initiated using the old districts is, this time around, 12/19/2011. Recall elections are held on Tuesdays (excepting holidays), so the same 5/29/2012 final date holds.

Revisions/extensions (3:19 pm 10/14/2011) - I somehow misspelled Van Wanggaard’s name. Sorry about that.

October 11, 2011

The obligatory “Rats to start Walker recall 11/15″ post

by @ 14:54. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The DemocRAT Party of Wisconsin seems to think it has the timing, the GAB, and the “pre-planned signatures” all in its back pocket; last night, they announced that they’re going to attempt to cause a minimum of 5 elections in Wisconsin in 2012 and kick off the recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker on November 15. Of course, it got off to a rocky start as the announcement went up against the Brewers. I guess Mike Tate is a Cubs fan.

November 15 is not an “accidental” date. On November 9, the GAB is expected to take up several proposed changes in the circulation of recall petitions, from “single-signature” petitions (not witnessed by anybody) to online petitions as part of the process to “pre-populated” petitions, where all that’s needed is the signature. This comes after the GAB tried to force all three via unchallengable opinions but temporarily backed off after the Legislature threatened to force the GAB to adopt rules which could be reviewed and reversed by the Legislature. Given that former Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle appointed 5 of the 6 members of the board, the original 6 Doyle appointees hired the staff that attempted to “nudge” the board to do just this, and if Walker serves a full term, another 3 of the 5 Doyle appointees will come off the board to reduce the Doyle-appointee contingent to minority status come June 2014, I wouldn’t put it past the board to do what they originally intended on doing and to dare the Legislature to try to stop them in the less-than-a-week before the Rats start a “stacked-deck” recall effort.

Revisions/extensions (3:06 pm 10/11/2011) - Corrected the GAB meeting date.

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