Browsing the archives for the Wisconsin category.


But Can He See Russia From His House?

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Wingnuts Being Wingnuts, Wisconsin

It’s CPAC time, boys and girls!

And the fun has begun! Scott Walker actually said this:

“I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message not only that we will protect American soil but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world,” he responded. “We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on a 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

Because a crowd of unarmed and peacefully if loudly protesting teachers and farmers is just like ISIS. That was so stupid even the National Review called him on it.

[Apparently Walker has made noises in the past tying unions to Communism (see Steve M). This actually echoes some very old history involving Wisconsin. Way back when Wisconsin’s infamous Senator Joe McCarthy first won a seat in the Senate, but before his infamous “I have in my hand” speech that gained him national attention for his witch hunt seeking Communists in the State Department, his signature issue was unions. He was the anti-union senator, ceaselessly arguing that labor unions were Communist fronts. (This is documented in a book by historian David Oshinsky titled Senator Joe McCarthy and the American Labor Movement [University of Missouri Press, 197-something].) As with his later fruitless witch hunts none of the people he targeted were ever found guilty of anything, but wingnuts insist up and down that McCarthy  was “right” about Communism and that the Venona papers  prove it. However, none of the people McCarthy targeted are mentioned in the Venona papers. So he remains zero-for-whatever in uncovering actual Communists.]

[Also, too, today a New York Times editorial complains that “Republicans’ support for anti-union legislation is at odds with their professed commitments to helping the middle class.” Ya think?]

By all accounts Walker wowed the crowd at CPAC, who gave him a standing ovation. But Walker never struck me as someone who could get traction in a national campaign, unless perhaps he put himself in the hands of a Lee Atwater/Karl Rove sort of handler who could craft the impression that Walker has a personality. Rove himself seems to have passed his sell-by date, however, and I don’t see anyone else on the Right ready to step into the void. As we saw in 2012, it’s not that hard to become the Darling of the Right for 15 minutes or so with a masterful tossing of anti-Obama red meat, but that act doesn’t play so well outside of the Rightie Bubble.

Jeb Bush is supposed to speak at CPAC today, and there’s a move afoot among the more rabid teabaggers to walk out of the speech. Pass the popcorn.

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Prosecutors Closing in on Scott Walker and the VRWC

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Republican Party, Wisconsin

See Wisconsin Governor at Center of a Vast Fund-Raising Case and John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of ‘criminal scheme’. No indictments yet.

Prosecutors in Wisconsin assert that Gov. Scott Walker was part of an elaborate effort to illegally coordinate fund-raising and spending between his campaign and conservative groups during efforts to recall him and several state senators two years ago, according to court filings unsealed Thursday.

The allegations by five county district attorneys, released as part of a federal lawsuit over the investigation into Mr. Walker, suggest that some of the governor’s top campaign aides directed the political spending of the outside groups, most of them nonprofits, and in effect controlled some of them.

The documents made public on Thursday threatened to cloud the political prospects of Mr. Walker, who is seeking election to a second term this fall and is mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. They provided a rare view of the inner workings of a far-flung network of conservative nonprofit groups that have come to play a decisive role in national and state elections, secretly moving hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns by avoiding traditional political action committees, which typically face tougher disclosure requirements.

This is bigger than Scott Walker. Very briefly, it is alleged Walker, his aides, and political operatives connected to Club for Growth were coordinating the spending of various outside interest group, such as Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Bro’s outfit. By law, such groups cannot directly be in contact with political campaigns. Karl Rove’s name comes up, but it’s not clear he was in on anything.

Right-wing bloggers (Althouse, Instapundit et al.) still insist the investigation is nothing but a witch hunt directed by Democratic political operatives to stop Scott Walker from becoming president. Evidence? what evidence? Althouse is so upset by the “prosecutorial aggression and overreach” that she is tempted to renounce “the liberal values I believe in.” I’m not linking to this, as I’m afraid the bullshit could leach into my laptop and cause a system crash.

Other right-wing bloggers are calling the charges false, because. They’ve taken the position that the investigation itself is an outrage.

Angry Bear recalls,

Mind you, this did not happen in the last day or so. This has been an ongoing John Doe investigation in 2014 which Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Club for Growth have been attempting to quash. Wisconsin District Judge Randa agreed with Walker’s group and ordered all documentation destroyed. The case was appealed to the 7th District COA where Judge Easterbrook and two other judges over ruled Randa. “Federal Judge Rudolf Randa is a member of the Federalist Society and his wife donated often to Walkers campaign. Judge Randa’s Judicial Assistant is the wife of Scott Walkers lawyer.” Hey, its all in the family.

“Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook unsealed the court documents Thursday as he reviews a lawsuit attempting to end the John Doe probe. Two unnamed individuals this week tried to intervene in the case to prevent the release of the records, but Easterbrook rebuffed their request.” I wonder who that could be?

One alleged Scott Walker email with Karl Rove was released by Easterbrook in the ~250 pages.

“The documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also Walker’s longtime campaign strategist and the chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.’

‘Bottom line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin,” Walker wrote to Rove. “We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like running 9 Congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities.)’” No crime there yet; but, it is a smoking gun.

Walker and the Wisconsin Club for Growth are accusing the state prosecutors of violating their rights to freedom of speech due to the gathering of this information which reveals the names of donators to pro-Republican/Conservative funds. They accuse the prosecutors of violating elections laws.

The 7th District COA with Judge Easterbrook as the chief judge of a panel of three is reviewing the case. Like Posner, Easterbrook is not so easily swayed by politics. It should get interesting.

Update: See Simon Maloy, “GOP Is Falling to Pieces.”

The funny thing is that as Republicans team up with pundits to chisel out Obama’s epitaph, the Republican Party itself is falling to pieces right before our eyes. . . .

. . . Now Christie and Walker are implicated in criminal investigations. Prosecutors in Wisconsin placed Walker at the center of a “criminal scheme” to coordinate campaign spending with outside groups. In New Jersey, the investigation stemming from the George Washington Bridge scandal is reportedly closing in on Christie himself. For both men, once considered potential saviors of the GOP, the political future looks considerably dimmer.

Losing two top-tier presidential candidates (and potentially two governorships) would be bad enough, but the party also has to deal with the Tea Party/establishment fight that flared anew with Eric Cantor’s downfall earlier this month. The House leadership elections yesterday were quick and uneventful: Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy replaced Cantor as majority leader, and Rep. Steve Scalise replaced McCarthy as whip. Hardcore conservatives felt that Cantor’s defeat at the hands of a Tea Partyer would send a message to the leadership that RINOs (it’s still amazing they consider Eric Cantor a RINO) would not be tolerated at any level of government. The leadership heard that message, ignored it and installed McCarthy, whom the hard right considers even more of a squish than Cantor.

The media are conditioned to spew out the “Democrats in Disarray” narrative, whether the Dems are disarrayed or not. But as Maloy points out, right now about the only thing holding the Republican Party together is pathological hatred of Barack Obama.

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Recall 2

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Wisconsin

I see that NBC is calling the recall race for Wisconsin. This was expected, if disappointing.

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Wisconsin Recall

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Wisconsin

The polls say Scott Walker will keep his governor’s seat, but that it will be close. Josh Eidelson writes at Salon that robo-calls are telling Wisconsin voters they don’t have to vote if they signed the petition. What are you hearing?

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More War on Women News

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Wisconsin, Women's Issues

I don’t know how I missed this — Katha Pollitt describes a bill currently in the Wisconsin legislature:

Co-sponsored by two GOP state legislators, Senator Glenn Grothman and Representative Don Pridemore, it directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect and “emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of same. Don’t be fooled by that gender-neutral abstraction “parenthood.” This bill is clearly aimed at shaming and blaming single mothers. “Fathers” after all prevent harm to children, so logically the only parents left to cause it are… yes, those unmentionable women who have the babies without a wedding ring to show for it. You might think that even in Wisconsin it takes two to tango down the aisle, but not according to Senator Grothman, who says, “There’s been a huge change over the last 30 years, and a lot of that change has been the choice of the women.”

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The Campaign We’d Like to See

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Mittens, Republican Party, Wisconsin

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Rick Perry is out, and Huntsman dropped out a couple of days ago. So we’re down to four — Newt, Santorum, Ron Paul, and Mittens. There’s another debate tonight; I suggest following it on the Richard Adams blog.

Elsewhere — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has turned down $37 million from the federal government intended to set up the health insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

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One Million Signatures to Recall Walker

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Wisconsin

One million recall petitions were filed today in Wisconsin, almost twice as many as needed to trigger a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker. The petitions have yet to be reviewed, of course, but a summer recall election seems pretty certain at this point.

A substantial number of recall petitions also were filed against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four GOP state senators including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

Go, Wisconsin!

Gov. Walker was in New York City today for a fundraiser. Um, New York City?

Walker was scheduled to hold a New York City fundraiser Tuesday afternoon hosted by Maurice Greenberg, the founder of financial services corporation American International Group, according to a copy of the fundraising solicitation posted on the website of the New York Daily News.

Did you catch that, Wisconsin? Walker may be the best governor American International Group can buy, and the heck with Wisconsin’s residents.

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