Thursday, May 31, 2018

8 Things To Look For At WisDems Convention

By Jeff Simpson

This weekend is the Wisconsin Democratic Convention, in this important election year, there are many storylines that need to be followed. 

The senior producer for WisconsinEye, came up with 6 questions that the Democrats need to answer, to see if the Democrats can have a successful election season.

The problem is there are actual real questions to be asked.   Let's take a look.

1.   Have the wounds of 2016 healed? 
We all know that there are two Democratic parties in Wisconsin, the one that supported Hillary for President and the one that supported Bernie. 
Many party insiders jumped on the HRC express early on, and many people who supported Bernie were grassroots members on the ground who do not belong to the party. 
Both sides need each other but I have not personally seen anything that says the wounds have healed.   Team HRC think they are the star bellied sneetches, and paying their $25 makes them part of a private club that automatically knows more about politics than anyone in the state.   Team Bernie, has no trust of the members of Team HRC thus no trust of the Dem party.  They can totally overblow the riff and have trouble distinguishing between full blown support for HRC and those who voted for her in Nov as the lesser of two evils.
Neither side can win alone.  So it is important that a leader steps up to bridge the gap and pull these two sides together.

2.  What is the number one priority - Being a member of an exclusive club or being part of the party in charge? 

With just over 1000 total members, and many less attending the convention this weekend will the convention be portrayed as the pulse of what is happening in WI or will it people more accurately understand that this is a nice weekend for free publicity and a way to introduce ourselves to people of WI and the unofficial kick off of election season.

Will Mike McCabe and his supporters be treated as lepers because he did not pay the $25?  Will Kelda be treated as royalty because this closed group is her people?  Will Mahlon getting endorsed by AFSCME propel him to the top or hurt him the way it did Kathleen Falk? Will Matt Flynn's role as lawyer for the Catholic church be resurrected yet again?  Will Kathleen Falk get the cold shoulder from the party faithful that she has always gotten?  Has Andy Gronik changed his position on public education from one that Scott Jensen would be proud of, to one that could get him elected as a Democrat?  Will anyone know who Dana Wachs is?   Does Paul Soglin even know or care that there is a Democratic Convention this weekend?  Will Josh Pade wear his name tag at all times and a very bright colored tie so people can see him? 

3.  With Ten Candidates for Governor Speaking, who will emerge and how? 

This is a very important question.  Everyone has their favorite(s) and every candidate appeals to different subsections of voters.  As stated earlier, a couple hundred loyal party members will have a straw poll and that will show who the hard core party members favor.  Nothing else.

It will take about 1.3 million votes, throughout the state of WI, to beat Scott Walker.   It is vitally important that every candidate, and every candidates supporters, feel that they have gotten a fair chance so they will get behind, whatever candidate comes through the August Primary. 

As we get closer to the primary, the dirty tricks(which have already started) will get more and more and more intense.  My recommendation is, before you start with some faux outrage towards a candidate, spreading a rumour or a whisper campaign against someone, ask your
self if you would like the same things said about the candidate you support.

4.  The Year of the Women.

There have been a very high number of women filing to run for office, and two running for Governor.  We have never had a female Governor before in WI and we are desperately in need of more diversity within our legislature.   I look very much forward to brand new faces being sworn in to office, January 2019. 

What are we doing to promote the diversity?  My suggestion would be to get a group picture of every single Democrat on the August 14th ballot as a Democrat up and down the state.  Show the diversity and the amount of women we are welcoming to our party.   Then I would challenge the GOP to do the same, knowing there is no real diversity on their side. 

5.   Up and Down The Ballot.

While it is imperative that we change faces in the Governor's office, it is just as imperative that we pick up enough seats to make a difference within the Senate and Assembly.   We have to treat every single race as winnable and we have to treat every single seat of the utmost importance.

That starts with Martha Laning this weekend and ends with the last voter to the polls at 8pm on November 6th.  Every vote matters in every single race.   What are the plans to reach them, and make our presence known all over WI? 

I would highly recommend that the ADCC and the SSDC, stay as far away from candidates in close elections as humanly possible.   I would also recommend showing up at events, working your free social media hard(use your social media not only to push your campaign but to be a community resource), get letters to the editor in your local paper.  When you do doors, scrap the VAN and just go talk to people.   

6.  Will the Media Continue as Stenographers for the GOP?

One of the questions that Steven Walters asks is "Will Democrats justify GOP's "angry,haters" label.  The problem with that question is that nothing justifies repeating that ridiculous claim by Scott Walker.   Yet the media repeats it over and over, while ignoring reality.   Scott Walker headlined a white power conference in Florida, his son stole a state van and there is over a billion dollar structural deficit coming and yet he has never been asked anything about any of this. 

When the GOP refuse comment, then put out a press release, and the press runs it, they are just an arm of the GOP public relations campaign.   If they continue to be at the behest of the WISGOP then what are the plans of the Dems to reach the public?

My recommendation is to have people pick different reporters and follow them on facebook and twitter, and everytime they write an article that is not fair, balanced or truthful, call them out on social media.  It is called "working the refs" the WISGOP have been doing it so long that it is second nature to them, while the WISDEMS just complain to each other. 

7.  What About Scott Walker? 
The easy thing to say is "we can not just be against Scott Walker, we have to be for something."   The reality is we have to be both.  The Burke campaign, while run as badly as the Hillary campaign in WI, was never against Scott Walker and rarely actually for anything.   

America is on the verge of a Blue Wave (tm), Wisconsin has serious Scott Walker fatigue and desperately want to move on.  Scott Walker, will have a blank check, to rewrite history and tell us all of the amazing things he thinks he has been doing. 

It is important to point out what a failure he has been, and how we will do things differently.  With a billion dollar structural deficit, each budget larger than the last, and record setting borrowing any idea/policy the Democrats have will be spending less money than the GOP have. 

My suggestion, do not secede ANY issue to Scott Walker.  He has not been successful in any area or any issue since he has been Governor. 
* He added more money to education, yet it is still not even close to what he cut and we are sharing the smaller pie with voucher schools. 
*  Unemployment is low, yet wages are down, and he still has not accomplished his 250,000 job promise.  We have a serious brain drain, with our young college graduates leaving town after graduation and to counter that he is spending millions advertising on high speed rail in Chicago to get people to move back here. 
You get the idea. 

Another thing is we need to stop caring who and where voted for Trump.  Trump came to WI and really played up his outsider status.  The actual economy is not doing very well for people all over WI.    There is no way that the career politician who has presided over WI for so long should receive their votes! 

8. Money Changes Everything. 

Breaking news:  Scott Walker and the WISGOP are going to be much more well funded than the Democrats.   Hell, America's Pac has probably already spent more on ads for Kevin Nicholson than the Dem candidate for Governor will raise. 

That being said stop obsessing over money.  We start out losing the money game, so when we look at the worth of a candidate strictly by dollar signs, we are setting ourselves up for failure. 

Work hard, be aggressive, kick ass, be personable, talk to everyone.....the money will come.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week In Walker - American Flag Edition

By Jeff Simpson

This week in Walker, Scott tried to let us know how much he loves the flag!  As is typical of Scott Walker, what he says and what he actually does, are always two completely different things. 

The Blue Wave can not get here soon enough!   

*  The NFL implemented a new policy that said if any players kneel during the National Anthem, their respective clubs will be fined.

Scott Walker ran to his taxpayer funded cell phone to let the world know how much he "supports the troops" and despises black athletes. 

The protests were never about the flag or disrespecting it, but Scott Walker has never been the brandy on the top shelf. 

Yet, the exact thing that the players were protesting, the inequality in America, was happening under Scott Walker's nose.   Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown, had a quick stop at a local Walgreen's this winter that did not go very well. 

Not much disrespects the flag more than treating fellow American citizens like this. 

Well maybe this:

But I digress. 

The disgusting display that happened to Mr. Brown, upset Scott Walker so much he took to twitter....ok no he didn't.    He did tweet this a couple days later though:

 @GovWalker The involvement of Milwaukee Police officers and Sterling Brown is an example of exactly why body cameras are so important to our legal system. They are good for both the public and law enforcement.
3:57 PM - 24 May 2018 from Wisconsin, USA 
That is what everyone took out of the Sterling Brown tapes, thank goodness for Body Cams.   Not sure that dense is a strong enough word. 

While Scott Walker could not tweet fast enough to let everyone know he was more patriotic than the NFL players, one tweet that he never sent in supporting the troops was this one.

@GovWalker  It's about time!  Glad to see the Justice System finally put Tim Russell, in jail who has spent years stealing from the veterans in WI.   The thug will not be able to do that anymore.   

Of course, Russell was Scott Walker's right hand man, and used the money to help get Scott Walker elected, which in Scott Walker's mind is the most patriotic thing anyone can do.   

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Howie Klein On Democratic Primary in WI-CD 1

Ever since Randy "IronStache" Bryce came out with his introductory video, the nation has been abuzz about the race to win Wisconsin's First Congressional District.  Would Bryce be able to actually "repeal and replace" the long time seat holder, Paul Ryan?  Given the way Bryce's campaign skyrocketed, it seemed to become more real every day.

Then Ryan turned tail and ran like the coward he is.  Rather than work hard and face possible defeat, Ryan chose to retire.  The buzz became deafening.

Unable to gain a fraction of the attention or money that Bryce has earned, one of his opponents, Cathy Myers, chose to run one of the most vile, negative campaigns seen in a primary.  This could be explained in a great part by her choice of campaign manager. Instead of picking a seasoned manager with a winning history, Myers chose to pick someone with no experience and a losing record.  Her campaign manager is so bereft of knowledge and skill that many days he chooses to troll Bryce and his supporters on social media rather than bolster support for his candidate.

And it hasn't escaped national attention either.

Howie Klein is known for his keen insight into progressive politics and is an experienced campaigner.  He is the head of Blue America and blogs at Down With Tyranny.

To say that Klein knows his stuff would be a gross understatement.

And he has been paying attention to the race in Southeast Wisconsin and how the media is treating it.  Here is his spot on analysis summed up in a few paragraphs:
See that word, "bankrupted?" A lot of people know what that is from first-hand experience. Media elites tend not to... though they've heard of it as something that happens to other people. Randy has the most valuable brand-- @IronStache-- of any candidate running for Congress. He had 271,000 followers on Twitter. He has 200,000 Facebook likes. His first video had 4 million social media views. Members of Congress have asked him to come to their districts to campaign for them. I've never heard of that before. It's usually the other way-- members of Congress campaign for candidates. The first member of Congress who came to Randy's district, aside from his immediate neighbors Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore, was Bernie Sanders to announce that he had endorsed Randy.

A lot of people are jealous. And a lot of media folks would like to enhance their own reputations by knocking Randy down a peg or two. Some journalist who can dig up some dirt can make a name for himself.

Randy has a couple of primary opponents and one lies about him all the time. A Hillary supporter when Randy was stumping with Bernie in 2016 she's persuaded her followers that she was the Berniecrat instead. Every time she's throwing her bullshit I want to write about it. Randy has asked me not to. He doesn't believe in negative campaigning against other Democrats ever and he asked me to try changing my behavior as well. "Let's save the negativity for Ryan or Nehlen or for whoever the GOP nominates he told me one time."

But... her campaign operative-- a consultant who she pays $6,000 a month-- has been going to members of the media bad-mouthing Randy and trying to get made up stories going about him from when he was struggling in poverty. The working people Randy appeals to don't pay any of the bullshit much heed. The same stories could be told about them or their families or their friends. But not about the media elites who gobble it up....

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cathy Myers - Tax Cheat

Early in her campaign, Cathy Myers had to float a loan of $30,000 to herself to keep her campaign's finances above water.  When this was revealed in her campaign finance report, I, among many others, thought it must be nice to have that much money laying around to squander it like that.

But now we have learned how she could afford to do it.

She is a tax cheat.

Myers is constantly pointing out that she is a teacher, something that she should be proud of.  But what she doesn't tell people is that she is a teacher in Illinois, where she used to live and still owned a house for a few years after moving to Wisconsin.

And it is that house in Illinois that has people raising their eyebrows in alarm.  Even though she no longer lived there - or in the state - she was taking a $6,000 a year tax deduction on it, apparently illegally (emphasis mine):
Myers, a Janesville School Board member, moved to Wisconsin by 2009 and began voting here in the spring election that year. She contributed to the state Democratic Party two years later, listing Janesville as her home.

An owner-occupied exemption, also known as a general homestead exemption, is meant for someone who owns and occupies a property as a primary residence as of Jan. 1 of the tax year in question, according to the website for the Rockford Township Illinois Office of the Assessor.

Property taxes are a major source of funding for schools, municipal and county governments, technical colleges and sewerage districts.

Thomas J. Walsh, supervisor of assessments for Winnebago County, Ill., said his review of the records confirmed that Myers took the tax break from 2009 to 2012.

Property owners can receive the exemption if they submit a valid lease agreement with a renter at the beginning of each tax year. He said Myers did not do this in 2011 or 2012. Records for previous years, he said, have been disposed of.
Myers is saying she filed her taxes based on the advice of an unnamed tax attorney. Somehow, I sincerely doubt that said attorney, if there was indeed one, had told her that she did not need to file the required forms in order to take this generous tax break.

One of the things that really stands out is the fact that these taxes she cheated on would have gone to pay for the things she holds near and dear to her heart, like schools and teachers' salaries.

But what makes this whole affair especially appalling is that Myers had the audacity to constantly attack Randy "IronStache" Bryce by poor-shaming him due to money troubles he had when his medical bills pushed him into bankruptcy.  The thing is, even though he did have money problems, like so many of us have had at one time or another, he kept his word and made good on his debts.

That's more than Myers can say.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Wi Politics - Recycle, Rinse, Repeat

By Jeff Simpson

Time to clear out my open tabs and catch up on sme news stories that might be flying under the radar a bit. 

* Politifact Jumped The Shark

Randy Bryce, candidate for the 1st CD, recently said:

McKinnon: So you're not a politician?
Bryce: No, and I think that's what people like. But I mean, people voted for Trump because he was seen as a non-establishment type guy.
One thing our WImedia does not like, is anyone talking bad about the Golden Boy - Paul Ryan,   Bryce has done that,  so Politifact decided to "test" Bryce's statement that he is not a politician. 

Their findings - because he has run for previous elected positions, that saying he was not a politician was mostly false! 

Bryce, a single father who has lost every election he has ran in, is considered a politician?  I researched politifact and Tom Kertscher, and find them to be a right wing leaning political tool. 

This is the same outfit that said it was false that Scott Walker cut a billion dollars from education and "fact checked" his claim that he paid $1 for a shirt from Kohl's and gave it a "True" rating without any evidence of seeing a receipt or the actual price tag of the sweater.    Perpetually protecting the right wing in Wisconsin. 

Recycle, Rinse, Repeat! 

*  Hariah Hutkowski, proud Walker supporter, former alderman from Sun Prairie and long time political staffer(for Jeremy Thiesfeldt), was recently fired - for being creep

"A Republican legislative staffer was fired amid harassment concerns this month — the same day an open records request was filed asking for information about complaints against the aide. Hariah Hutkowski, a staffer for state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), was dismissed May 3, Assembly Chief Clerk Patrick Fuller said. That was the day the Journal Sentinel filed an open records request for employee complaints against Hutkowski as well as documents from investigations prompted by any complaints.   
Another long time Republican and predator, was kept on until his actions became public then was thrown under the bus.   
Recycle, Rinse, Repeat! 

Who is this long time "conservative" player in WISGOP politics?  Exactly who you would expect him to be.

 council member Hariah Hutkowski stands out for his far-right agenda. He has a degree in political management from the Pat Robertson School of Government at Regent University in Virginia and works as a legislative aide to Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), who led the charge to repeal the state's comprehensive sex education law. Hutkowski worked previously for Wisconsin Family Action, the socially conservative group that championed Wisconsin's constitutional gay marriage ban and is currently fighting to overturn the state's domestic partner registry.
*  An almost daily headline that does not make anyone even blink anymore:
White supremacist on probation for assaulting a woman at a Trump rally headed to jail for attacking his wife 
I would say that headline is all you need to see, but as we say:
There is more, there's always more! 

Louisville, Kentucky’s WDRB reported Tuesday that white nationalist Matthew Heimbach will serve 38 days in jail after he attacked his wife in front of their two small children over a bizarre love triangle with the TWP’s other co-founder.
The TWP dissolved after a March incident in which Heimbach attacked his own wife after Matt Parrott, the group’s co-founder (who was also his son-in-law), found out he’d been having an affair with his wife. Parrot’s wife is the mother of Heimbach’s wife, and when their affair was discovered, the soon-to-be-jailed white nationalist attacked his co-founder.
#MAGA  #itsafamilyaffair  #recyclerinserepeat #wonderiftheyarerelatedtothepalins

*   Another school shooting, this time in Texas where a junior, killed 10 people and injured another 10.   The tone deafness of the media in our country is on full display here. 

From the story: 
The teen had no previous criminal history and there were no warning signs of the attack, he said.

Also from the same story 
  -  There also is a search warrant out for Pagourtzis' vehicle. He had written in journals and on his computer that he wanted to commit the shooting and commit suicide afterward, Abbott said.     -  Pagourtzis, a junior, shared photographs on a now-defunct Facebook page of a T-shirt that said "born to kill" and clothes adorned with German nationalist iconography.
I know we have gotten to the point where we think, white nationalists are "very fine people" and that they have a right to speak in any platform they want without repercussions, heck we even legislated that in WI(thanks Robin Vos).   
It would seem simple enough to me that if someone is worshipping German Nationalist, you would know what their intentions are.
However, since 1/3 of Americans do not believe 6 million Jews were slaughtered during the Holocaust, we see that the Republican attacks on education are having a real effect on our country and it is not a positive one. 

Recycle, Rines, Repeat!

*  As I have stated numerous times, hate talk radio and far right TV Stations, and even the Donald, squawking 24/7 about how the Democrats are the enemy and coming to take our freedoms and guns away is having deadly consequences. 

As the Las Vegas Shooter was reported to have said:

Less than a month before he killed 58 people and injured hundreds more at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock ranted to a new friend about a supposed government plot to confiscate guns from the American public. The man, whose statement is among many released by investigators this week, told authorities that he met Paddock just weeks before the massacre after the 58-year-old answered an online ad for “schematics to convert semi-automatic guns to fire automatically,” the AP reports.
The man, whose identity is redacted, spoke to authorities in a jailhouse interview after getting arrested on a “possession charge.” He told police during the interview that he was an unemployed chef who’d become desperate for cash after his trust fund ran dry.
The man said in their conversations Paddock ranted about a popular right-wing conspiracy theory that claims FEMA’s actions after Hurricane Katrina were “a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and … confiscating guns.”
“Somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves,” Paddock said, according to the man. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”

The only thing that has been sacrificed, with the takeover of public airwaves by Republican Hate Talk, is the truth and logic. 

Recycle, Rinse Repeat!   

* Everytime that you skip a rock on the water, you are speeding up our demise

"What about erosion?" Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), offered during the exchange. He added: "Every time you have that soil or rock, whatever it is, that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise because now you've got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up.
It has nothing at all to do with Global Climate Chang but everything to do with the waves crashing into the shore and rocks being brought back into the water. 

It is incredible that the country that was first to the moon.  The Country that stepped up when our President challenged us:
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

We met the challenge to be the first one on the moon, now we elect people who ridicule NASA and send the least smartest people in the state to Congress and have them decide the career paths of our most brilliant.   

Recycle, Rinse, Repeat! 

To be fair though, in case 97% of the Scientists are all wrong and this guy is right, I will be starting a letter writing campaign to make peeing in waterways illegal.   #dontpeeinthewater

* Finally, just to show that this is bipartisan(even if heavily weighted to the right), the Democrats are working hard to snatch defeats from the jaws of victory. 

Running against Sean Duffy, is Margaret Engebretson. Engebretson is a solid progressive, great on the issues and everything that is good about the Democratic Party. 

Then she announces that she has hired Kristen Hansen:

Margaret Engebretson for Congress is with Joel Sipress.
May 14 at 7:35am ·
We are pleased to announce that Kristin Hansen has joined Margaret's campaign in the role of Campaign Director. Kristin is a veteran of Wisconsin politics who has served in a multitude of campaigns for congressional, senate, and presidential candidates. She will be developing strategies for voter engagement, fundraising, and volunteer action for Margaret's campaign. Please join us in welcoming Kristin on board!

Whis Kristen Hansen, this pillar of Democratic politics in WI?  She used to be the WISDEMS chair of the 5th CD and took to twitter, when Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin Primary:

 - Can we get hair and makeup into this Sanders event? Thanks.
-  There's only 1 Democrat running for POTUS -  @HillaryClinton. I'm done pretending this is a primary. It's a hostile takeover. #fightback
-  Things I am no longer doing: pretending the Dem race isn't over, being nice to Bernie Bros, nod and smile at misogynists. #emancipation
- You know why we have superdelegates? Because people who are NOT Democrats and don't give a shit about the party can run AS Dems and fuck us.
 - Dear Sen Sanders: I will not let you destroy our party. You were never with us: 'It will be a contested convention'  Ok

Nothing like hiring someone to develop strategies to reach out to voters with that kind of record.   "Hello, I know i told you to FOFF after the primary and liked to ridicule you but would love to sit down and have a conversation about how we can work together to fix the state". 

Not sure that is the best pitch.   At least there is always Bon Iver:

If you want to win elections as a progressive, stop recycling the same people that have been largely responsible for the Democrats demise. 

Recycle, Rinse Repeat! 



Sunday, May 13, 2018

WISGOP Sends Mixed Messages About Trump

The Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) held their statewide convention this weekend - yeah, because nothing says like respecting the women in your life like leaving them at home while you go off to plot how to attack women's rights next.

They tried to present an upbeat message and show defiance to the Blue Wave that is sweeping the nation but lost the message by pissing themselves every time a new story or poll about their hand-picked president comes out.

The convention started with RPW chair Brad Courtney advising the loyal establishment voters to vote for the candidate, like Scott Walker, and their abysmal records and not based on Trump and his even more abysmal record:
Dems also see the Trump’s poll numbers as one reason to believe a blue wave is headed to Wisconsin this fall.

Courtney, though, argued Walker’s record, not Trump’s, will be on the ballot in November for Republicans to run on.

Still, he said the president needs to do a better job of selling the benefits of the GOP tax overhaul. Courtney, the president of Courtney Industrial Battery, said he signs 31 individual paychecks and with the overtime many hourly employees make, they aren’t necessarily noticing the impact of the tax cut.

“There is obviously frustration in Washington,” Courtney said. “But we’ve done a lot of good things in Wisconsin over the last eight years, and we’ve delivered on really everything that Gov. Walker has ran on.”
Not all Republican leaders must have got that memo, since many of the electeds spent their time singing Trump's praises. Most notable was when Lyin' Paul Ryan broke out his kneepads:
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called President Trump an asset in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, saying he has resonated with voters in key states.

"The president is strong in these states," Ryan said on Saturday at the Wisconsin Republican convention, according to The Associated Press.

"He's an asset...Whether I'm running around southern Wisconsin or America, nobody is talking about Stormy Daniels. Nobody is talking about Russia. They're talking about their lives and their problems. They're talking about their communities, they're talking about jobs, they're talking about the economy, they're talking about national security," he continued.
In other words, who cares about Trump's womanizing, adultery, overt racism, ties to Russia or scandal plagued administration - as long as the rich get their massive tax breaks and we get to kick millions off of Medicare, life is good!

What I really don't understand is that they've seen for the past year dozens of Trump-loving Republicans get swept away, yet they're still clinging to him. It's like tying yourself to the railing on the Titanic as its going under. It just makes no damn sense.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Gales Of November Are Coming

By Jeff Simpson

Milwaukee County Sheriff:
Earnell Lucas (Democrat) 

Wisconsin State Assembly:
* Marisabel Cabrera (D) Assembly District 9 (Josh Zepnick Incumbent) @votemarisabel
* Representative David Bowen (D) - Assembly District 10 @davidfbowen
* Chris Rockwood (D) -Assembly District 14 (open seat) @RockwoodforWI
Robyn Vining (D) - Assembly District 14 (open seat) @RobynforWI
* Lillian Cheeseman (D) - Assembly District 15 (Joe Sanfelippo - Incumbent) @WIlikescheese
* Representative David Crowley - Incumbent - 17th Assembly District.  @RepDavidCrowley
* Representative Evan Goyke - Incumbent - 18th
* Representative Jonathon Brostoff - Assembly District 19 @RepBrostoff

* Emily Siegrist (D) - Assembly District 24 (Dan Knodl- Incumbent) @Siegrist4WI
* Brittany Keyes (D) - Assembly District 31 (Amy Loudenbeck - incumbent
* Dr. Katherine Gaulke (D) -Assembly District 32 (Tyler August - Incumbent) @Gaulke4assembly
* Brandon White (D) - Assembly District 33 (Cody Horlacher - Incumbent)
Charisse Daniels (D) - Assembly District 37 (John Jagler - Incumbent)   @voteforcharisse
Elisha Barudin (D) - Assembly District 39 (Mark Born - Incumbent@ElishaforWi 
* Tyler Raley (D) - Assembly District 42 (open seat) @raley4WIAssembly
* Representative Mark Spreitzer - Assembly District 45  @markforassembly
* Gary Hebl - Incumbent - 46th Assembly District
* Representative Jimmy Anderson - 47th Assembly District @jimmyforassembly
* Melissa Sargent - Incumbent - Assembly District 48 @Repsargent
* Mike Mooney (D) - 49th Assembly District (Travis Tranel - Incumbent
* Jeffrey Wright (D) -51st Assembly District (Todd Novak - Incumbent) @wrightforassembly
* Representative Gordon Hintz - 54th Assembly District @GordonHintz
* Representative Amanda Stuck - 57th Assembly District @RepStuckWI
* Dennis Degenhardt (D) - 58th Assembly District (Rick Gundrum - incumbent) @Degenhardtforassembly
* Chris Rahlf (D) - Assembly District 60 (Rob Brooks - Incumbent) @ChrisforWI
* Gina Walkington (D) - Assembly District 61 (Samantha Kerkman - Incumbent) @ginawalkington
* Representative Chris Taylor (D) Assembly District 76 @Christaylorwi
* Sheila Stubbs (D) - Assembly District 77 (Open seat) @sheilastubbsforassembly
* Representative Dianne Hesselbein - Assembly District 79 @rephesselbein
*Representative Dave Considine - Assembly District 81
* Erica Case (D) -Assembly District 84 (Mike Kuglitsch - incumbent) @Flynn4WI
*  Alyson Leahy (D) - Assembly District 85 (Patrick Snyder - Incumbent@alysonforwisco
Elizabeth Riley (D) - Assembly District 87 (Jimmy Boy Edming - Incumbent) @Hellingaround

Wisconsin State Senate:  

* Kyle Whelton (D) Senate District 9 (Devin LaMahieu -incumbent) @Kylewhelton Kriss Marion (D) - Senate District 17 (Howard Marklein - Incumbent) @Krissforwisconsinstatesenate
Lee Snodgrass (D) Senate District 19 ( Roger Roth - Incumbent
* Lori Hawkins (D) Senate District 21 (Van Wannggard - incumbent@hawkinsforwi
* Jeff Smith (D) Senate District 31(open seat

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Primary: 

Michael Crute @Cruteforwi
Tony Evers   @tony4wi
Matt Flynn @ForwardWFlynn
* Mahlon Mitchell @MahlonMitchell 
Jeff Rumbaugh  @JeffRumbaugh 
* Kathleen Vinehout  @VinehoutK
Mike McCabe @BlueJensGov
* Andy Gronik @AndyGronik

US Senate:

Tammy Baldwin @TammyBaldwin

The primary in Wisconsin is August 14th, and election day is November 6th.   

Here is a partial list of people running to save the great State of WI.  If you are not on here and are an incumbent or running against someone from the Fitzwalkerstan party, it means I was unable to find your name and information in a quick search (hint hint), so please either email me your info( or leave it in the comments, and I will continue to update this post. 

For everyone else, I have tried to include links to the candidates facebook page, website and their twitter handle.  Please add them/like them on social media, tell all your friends in their districts about them and possibly, pick one or two and send them a couple bucks. 

We need a heavy dose of change in WI! 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Flynn Finagle

By Jeff Simpson

Democratic candidate for Governor Matt Flynn, has been the subject of a firestorm lately.    By now, everyone knows about the Catholic Priest abuse scandal.   As one would think, Wisconsin was not spared this nightmare.  While I am not going to re-litigate that tragedy, I would like to address Matt Flynn's role in it. 

There have been stories, and videos, expressing outrage at Matt Flynn and his role in this far reaching scandal. 

While an attorney for Quarles and Brady — the tony law firm that counts the Archdiocese of Milwaukee among its most important clients — Flynn became lead defender in the sex-abuse case with the nation’s fourth-largest number of alleged victims
Flynn issued a press release to answer these accusations:

 I have been a Catholic all my life. When I learned of the abuses, I knew that to be in alignment with my
conscience, I had to do something, not merely voice disapproval. In my work almost twenty years ago, I
worked with others to put into place procedures to identify and remove abusive priests, notify the
authorities, and prevent their transfer. It was imperative that we work to create a system that would
ensure that crimes such as these could never be committed and allowed to persist.
In an era of battling over the 1st and 2nd amendments, the 6th amendment is equally important.   
Sixth Amendment
The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to a lawyer,  the right to an impartial jury, and the right to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against you.  It has been most visibly tested in a series of cases involving terrorism, but much more often figures in cases that involve (for example) jury selection or the protection of witnesses, including victims of sex crimes as well as witnesses in need of protection from retaliation.
Everyone in our society, from Jeffrey Dahmer, to Henry Kissinger, to John Wayne Gacy, to Joe sixpack to the Catholic church deserves legal representation and the ethics of legal representation are as follows:

 represent their clients with undivided loyalty
*  keep their clients' confidences
*  represent their clients competently
*  represent their clients within the bounds of the law, *  put their clients' interests ahead of their own
While the priests who were the actual pedophiles are too blame, there are many many people who took part in the coverup.    From Bishops, other Priests, law enforcement, church members, etc...  There is much blame to go around but I personally believe that Matt Flynn does not belong in that circle.  No matter how hard he worked for his clients.   

Another thing I want to address, is this from the discussion

If Flynn were to win the nomination, GOP attacks on this front would be a daily occurrence.
 A quick look and we see that Republican Senator Ron Johnson testified in favor of protecting the Catholic Church from lawsuits.  RoJo was not their lawyer, or even a player at all in the game, but decided to pick up this cause as his major cause that he wanted to make his first major public appearance.   

The Sixth Amendment is just as important as every other amendment and it is imperative that everyone has legal representation.    I personally do not like that Scott Walker was never charged in the John Doe investigation, but I do not hold the lawyers he paid a million dollars to keep him out of prison responsible.   

Let us also not forget that the whole of the Republican Party rallied around a known child predator in Judge Roy Moore for Senate recently

They would attack Matt Flynn for sure if he is the candidate but they would have no legs to stand on.

I feel it is imperative that Democrats never make a decision based on what the Republicans might do. 

That all being said, I do not feel that Matt Flynn has handled the fall out of this very well

 Democrat Matt Flynn says anyone who wants him to drop out of the governor's race because of his past work defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese can "jump in a lake."
NOT the best way to handle that.  

I am not endorsing Matt Flynn, nor have I ever.  Everyone has to look at the field and come up with who they support based on their ideals and policies and personality. 

If Flynn is not your favorite candidate, that is perfectly fine and acceptable, but please do not dismiss him for doing his job to the best of his ability or what ads the GOP might run.    

I personally am supporting Michael Crute, so if Matt Flynn does not win the nomination, I am fine with that.   

However, let us talk about the issues that matter.   We win on those issues.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Meet Lyin' Bryan, Lyin' Ryan's Heir Apparent

With the retirement announcement of Lyin' Paul Ryan, who would rather slink away than face defeat by Randy "IronStache" Bryce, the Wisconsin GOP was thrown in disarray. All of a sudden, their front runner was Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist who was too far out for most of the alt-right, including Steve Bannon.

They had to scramble to get someone in there that won't embarrass them as has happened so often in other states.

Thus they came out with Bryan Steil. Steil is a well-connected Republican from a long line of well-connected Republicans. To make it better for them, he's an unquestioning establishment Republican that will mindlessly promote the same agenda that Ryan was pushing.

Unfortunately for Steil, despite his carefully laid plans, he has not had a stellar start. Just like Ryan, he keeps getting caught up in his own lies while doing the Trump Two-Step.

In fact, he's so much like Ryan, he even looks strikingly familiar to Ryan, leading people to quip that no one has ever seen Ryan and Steil in the same room at the same time:

But the similarities doesn't end there. Steil is a natural born liar as well.

Steil prefers to call himself a former legislative aide to Ryan, but in reality, he was Ryan's personal driver.

Steil had been bragging about raising $250,000 in just the first few days after announcing but in reality, he's been courting the big time Republican donors for a while. One check from the Bradley Foundation, the Koch Brothers or any of the other ultrawealthy could easily explain that amount of money.

Perhaps his biggest blunder has been his boast of having "worked in manufacturing" for the past nine years:
Bryan Steil has spent the last nine years working in manufacturing in southeastern Wisconsin and has seen firsthand how Washington limits economic growth.
In reality, Steil has been a corporate attorney and not actually a manufacturer:
Asked to respond to that comment, Steil pointed to his manufacturing experience. Gousha pointed out that he’s a corporate attorney, and not a “manufacturer per se.”

“But my employer is a manufacturing company,” Steil said. “So every day I come into the office and it’s focused on how do you bring in raw material, manufacture it and get it out of the door.”

His focus is on business development, he said, where he asks the questions, “How do you grow the company and how do you grow jobs for those companies?”
That's when reality raises its ugly head again.

One of the companies that Steil worked so hard with to create jobs was Regal Beloit Corporation, who moved good paying jobs out of the Midwest and into Mexico.

But there's more. There's always more.

Steil still has to answer for being a regent for the University of Wisconsin which has seen a massive decline in their budget and subsequently the quality of the school system and his support for Trump's agenda, among other things.

Perhaps Bryce should make the same offer to Steil that he did to Ryan - send Steil to work the iron and learn what it's really like for a blue collar worker while Bryce goes to Washington to do the really hard work of fixing all the damage done by Ryan.

Meanwhile, don't forget to give something, anything, to help Bryce keep up his momentum in fighting the big special interest money that Steil is already raking in.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Living Without

By Jeff Simpson

My friend and fellow blogger, Steve Carlson, wrote a song and put out a video to honor May being mental health awareness month.
Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings. We welcome other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.
Take a few minutes to listen, I think it is his best work!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Evangelical Christians Honor With Their Lips & Not Their Hearts

By Jeff Simpson 

 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. - Galatians 6:3

We pointed out recently that Paul Ryan is a Catholic Extremist who really does not follow the teachings of Catholic Doctrine at all.   No matter what he says! 

(Edit Note: a quick follow up on that story, Father Conroy rescinded his resignation, showing that Ryan is also toothless).

Paul Ryan is not unique on the right.  As we take a look at one of the Donalds biggest supporters - Franklin Graham.   Graham, the son of the infamous Rev. Billy Graham, and idol of millions of Evangelical Christians in America. 

Here is Franklin Graham in during the Bill Clinton years:

“Few people have lived a more public life over the past 50 years than has my father, Billy Graham. I can assure you that the Billy Graham you see in public is the same one we children have seen at home. He has spent a lifetime making sure that his public ministry is confirmed in his private behavior.
The topic of private vs. public behavior has emerged as perhaps the central moral issue raised by Bill Clinton’s “improper relationship” with Monica Lewinsky. Much of America seems to have succumbed to the notion that what a person does in private has little bearing on his public actions or job performance, even if he is the president of the United States.
Last week Mr. Clinton told 70 million Americans that his adulterous actions with Ms. Lewinsky were a “private” matter “between me, the two people I love the most–my wife and our daughter–and our God.”
But the God of the Bible says that what one does in private does matter. Mr. Clinton’s months-long extramarital sexual behavior in the Oval Office now concerns him and the rest of the world, not just his immediate family. If he will lie to or mislead his wife and daughter, those with whom he is most intimate, what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?
Private conduct does have public consequences. Some of Mr. Clinton’s defenders present King David of the Bible, one of history’s great leaders, as an example as they call on us to forgive and forget the president’s moral failings. Since God pardoned David’s adulterous act with Bathsheba, the reasoning goes, we should similarly forgive Mr. Clinton.
But forgiveness is not the end of David’s story. Huge consequences followed immediately. The prophet Nathan confronted David with the news that while his life would be spared, the life of his child would be extinguished after just seven days on earth. Bathsheba’s husband and others were killed in an attempt to cover up the illicit affair. David, who confessed his sin when confronted by Nathan (perhaps God’s special prosecutor), also witnessed a bloody coup attempt by his own son, Absalom. He was never the same king.
The private acts of any person are never done in secret. God sees and judges all sin, and while He seeks to restore the offender with love and grace, He does not necessarily remove all the consequences of our sin. As a boy I remember my mother telling me of the consequences of sin. Like a boat, whose wake can capsize other boats, sin leaves a wake. Just look at how many have already been pulled under by the wake of the president’s sin: Mr. Clinton’s wife and daughter, Ms. Lewinsky, her parents, White House staff members, friends and supporters, public officials and an unwitting American public.
Mr. Clinton’s sin can be forgiven, but he must start by admitting to it and refraining from legalistic doublespeak. According to the Scripture, the president did not have an “inappropriate relationship” with Monica Lewinsky–he committed adultery. He didn’t “mislead” his wife and us–he lied.
Acknowledgment must be coupled with genuine remorse. A repentant spirit that says, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I won’t do it again. I ask for your forgiveness,” would go a long way toward personal and national healing.\
The scandal of Mr. Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky has forced us to examine the morality of public and private behavior with new intellectual and spiritual vigor. There needs to be no clash between personal conduct and public appearance. Throughout my life, I have seen consistency of the two in the Graham house. I pray this will also be true in the White House.”

Franklin Graham
After the news broke of The Donald's one night affair with Porn Star Stormy Daniels, while his third wife was home with his newborn baby, this is the current Franklin Graham:

I don’t have concern, in a sense, because these things happened many years ago — and there’s such bigger problems in front of us as a nation that we need to be dealing with than other things in his life a long time ago. I think some of these things — that’s for him and his wife to deal with. I think when the country went after President Clinton, the Republicans, that was a great mistake that should never have happened. And I think this thing with Stormy Daniels and so forth is nobody’s business. And we’ve got other business at hand that we need to deal with.
… On this thing with Stormy Daniels and so forth: This stuff happened 12 years ago. This isn’t behavior that has taken place since he’s been president. These things happened long before he became president. That doesn’t make it right. And I don’t defend those kinds of relationships he had. But the country knew the kind of person he was back then, and they still made the decision to make him the president of the United States. - Franklin Graham

Extra credit:  More 1998 Franklin Graham on Bill Clinton:

If he will lie to or mislead his wife and daughter, those with whom he is most intimate, what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Paul Ryan - Head of the Morlino Sect

By Jeff Simpson

  “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics.” Paul Ryan to Father Patrick Conroy

Capper told us about Paul Ryan recently firing a priest, the House Chaplain - Father Patrick Conroy.   However, his extremist views, while pretending  to be mainstream Catholic has been a problem of Paul Ryan's for as long as he has been in the public spotlight.   

The local Catholic Bishop that covers Janesville, WI area is Bishop Morlino.   Bishop Morlino extreme right wing views, has not been very popular with the public.   As a matter of fact, Bishop Morlino is a big reason that I personally left the Catholic Church.    

With leadership like Morlino, it is no surprise that a follower like Paul Ryan would act the way that he does.  Let's take a little deeper dive into the Sedevacantism, of Paul Ryan

In March of 2013, the current Pope, Francis was named Pope and shook up the Catholic Church.   Pope Francis has spoke up about the danger of Global Climate Change and how it is our responsibility to take care of the poor and address poverty.    Pope Francis has spoken out about treating our LGBTQ friends with respect, allowing divorced Catholics back into the church and even has started the discussion of allowing women a larger role in the Church(gasp). 

Then came this gem: 

In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. 
When anyone talks of the ridiculousness of trickle-down economics, Paul Ryan takes it personally.   Personally enough to let the Pope know that he is a fool.   It takes a lot of guts to tell someone they do not know economics after you just oversaw raising our deficit to over 20 trillion dollars that you are the expert on the economy.  However Mr. Ryan has a cause and he believes deeply in it.   Cutting the social safety net.  

The signs have always been there, but for some reason the media has always treated Paul Ryan as if he is a serious Congressman and even pretend he is a policy wonk.  

Paul Ryan, who used his social security survivor benefits to pay for college, now wants to cut those very benefits for everyone else.  No need for anyone else to use the ladder to climb up after him.  Yet that is never a question he has to answer.  

Another huge clue, is Ryan's love for Ayn Rand.  While they both have in common, that they had no problem collecting social security benefits while trying to make sure no one else gets the same.   The reality is anyone watching could see that the hardcore Catholic act that Ryan likes to play, is in direct opposite philosophy as the objectivism and individualism of the Randian cult.   

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Ok so his whole career has been a scam, and every reporter in Wisconsin has swallowed it hook, line and sinker. 

As we say, there is more, there is always more, so let us keep digging. 

In 2012, a bus full of Nuns, decided they had enough of no one speaking up or helping the poor, so they jumped on a bus and went to lobby Mr. Ryan.  

For Instance just a few months ago, long after same sex marriage was settled law, Bishop Morlino issued guidance to Priests in his Diocese to think long and hard before performing the funeral rights of a gay human being. 

Paul Ryan, while voting for any Anti Gay legislation he possibly could, has made it clear that, like the poor, our LGBTQ's friends rights are of no interest to him.   It is just an annoyance by the Evangelicals that keep getting in the way of his tax cuts.   

This is also in direct conflict with Pope Francis:

The Catholic church and other Christian communities must apologize to gay people and to many groups they have let down or offended throughout history, Pope Francis has said.
In a press conference Sunday on the flight back to Rome after his weekend trip to Armenia, the pontiff said bluntly: "The church must say it's sorry for not having comported itself well many times, many times."
"I believe that the church not only must say it's sorry ... to this person that is gay that it has offended," said the pope. "But it must say it's sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work."
"When I say the church: Christians," Francis clarified. "The church is holy. We are the sinners."

Being the GOP wonderboy, means never having to say you're sorry:

“I suppose that there are some Catholics who for a long time thought they had a monopoly of sorts ... on the social teaching of our church,” Ryan said during a speech that attracted a full audience and a number of of protesters. “Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this. The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it.”
While many in the Catholic church had major problems with Paul Ryans career, and his former Priest in Janesville(He left that church because the Father was talking too much about helping the poor) has been worried about him. 7,000 Catholic Sisters even got together to condemn him.

Paul Ryan will now be free to do what he does best, fundraise.  While he said he would be home every weekend as speaker to be a dad, the reality is he spent most weekends fundraising

As Jesus taught us about the pursuit of money:

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6:24
That is a lesson that Mr. Ryan must have missed, but when you are part of the Bishop Morlino Sect, you do not get most of the teachings of Jesus. 

Yet like most Relogious Radical Zealots, not understanding and misinterpreting the Bible does not deter you from forcing your extremist views on everyone around you.

Good bye Paul Ryan..... You will not be missed!