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Ben Manski Audio States Tom Barrett Is “Lesser Evil In This Race”

October 18, 2010

On Sunday night I posted on this blog  the words Ben Manski has used in the past to discuss Democrats.  Manski is running on the Green Party ticket for a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly, and is being challenged by Democratic nominee Brett Hulsey.  One of the quotes used in my post at that time was not able to be sourced.  The comment had to do with Tom Barrett. 

The line in the post was this one.

Speaking at the South Central Federation of Labor meeting, September 20, 2010 Manski uttered “Tom Barrett is the lesser evil in this race.”

Ben Manski then commented on my blog and stated this.

Re: Your statement that “Tom Barrett is the lesser evil in this race.”

Print a correction or prove — with documentary evidence — that I said that. I don’t believe for a moment that I ever said that, and many witnesses to the SCFL forum have confirmed that they don’t recall me saying that.

Tonight I have the audio source for my comment.  I have turned the audio statement by Ben Manski into a You Tube presentation to better allow the comment to be understood.

I trust this makes it clear that I aim in all ways to be accurate and complete on this blog.  While I am very opinionated,  I also respect my readers.  I do not post things that I do not know to be true, or  have on sound authority to be true, as was the case with this quote.

  1. Gene permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:49 AM

    The nutcases of the Tea Party have all understood that in a two-party system such as ours that they have to work within the system to get their half-baked ideas in to practice. How is it that the Progressives aren’t trying to take over the Democratic party from within, so that they might actually be effective when they get in to office? While I am all for having more ideas in the system, I do think it important to play the game with the rules that are given, not create new rules. If Manske were to get elected, which other Rep. from his party will be there to support him and his ideas?

  2. Kelly permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:28 AM

    Manski is precisely the sort of progressive who will be needed in the Legislature over the next two years. This is why unions representing Madison teachers and firefighters have endorsed him, along with the current and former presidents of the Middleton and Madison school boards, county supervisors and Madison alders. This is why leading progressive Democrats — including former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and 1998 gubernatorial nominee Ed Garvey — have endorsed him.

  3. Justin True permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:08 AM

    The first shot fired in the whole residence/roots in the 77th non-debate was the Hulsey crowd, way back in July. The Manski campaign only drew attention to the fact that Mr. Hulsey did not grow up in the district (which Ben essentially did) or even the state because the Hulsey surrogates insisted on this being a talking point from the very beginning of Mr. Manski’s candidacy.

    The Hulsey campaign has not spent one nanosecond addressing the real issues in this campaign since at least the primary. It smacks of hypocrisy that Mr. Hulsey’s surrogates cry foul when the Manski campaign is merely responding to their candidate’s distortion of Ben’s background.

  4. Andy Olsen permalink
    October 20, 2010 9:01 AM

    Hey, Kyle:

    Yeah, I don’t think there is much disagreement over criticizing the most conservative Dems who undermine a lot of good policies. No problem from me, if that is what was actually happening. Is now the time to air that stuff, though?

    But they are outliers and the party is not monolithic. And, Tom Barrett is certainly not one of those ConservaDems and Walker would be a disaster. We are in a dangerous spot here and need to try to generate some enthusiasm, not run down the candidates.

    Not sure what you’re talking about the nativist stuff. Ben’s campaign has made and issue over “Oklahoma values” when Ben has “Pittsburgh values.”

  5. October 19, 2010 10:23 PM


    Attacking Democrats?

    Hmmm…let’s consider this notion. Why kind of real progressive would not be critical of Ben Nelson for selling out to the insurance industries or Joe Lieberman for his extreme foreign policy views? What is so sacred about not “attacking Democrats?”

    There is a word for those who blindly genuflect to a party’s candidates regardless of their principles. It’s called a hack.

    For principled folk, the real issue should be not attacking progressives, as you both insist on doing here. Ben is concerned with advancing the progressive agenda – not the Democratic Party or Green Party agenda.

    P.S. You should really cut out the nativist nonsense. Ben may have lived in a super-scary foreign country for part of his childhood, but he was raised, educated and lived in this city since he was 8. Either way, it’s his ideas – not country of residence 30 years ago – that should be the measure.

  6. October 19, 2010 7:38 PM

    Ben, I feel that you’re making this up as you go along. Here’s why.

    When you appeared on Sly in the Morning, he asked you whether you said Barrett was the lesser evil. You strongly replied, “I never said that.” You didn’t give Sly any explanation. When Sly interviewed Brett, Sly said that he supported Brett and thought you were untruthful.

    This sort of untruthfulnes permeates your campaign, and here’s another example. You claim to be a “native” of the 77th, but you were born in Pittsburgh and raised in Israel until you were eight-years-old. Calling yourself a native is simply untruthful.

    Ed Blume
    Hulsey campaign volunteer

  7. James permalink
    October 19, 2010 6:47 PM

    I agree that this rebuttal to the challenge sent to you as a comment is well done and well timed. Bravo for sticking up for integrity and dignity. Honor is not something we as a nation talk about much more, but perhaps we should.

  8. October 19, 2010 6:43 PM

    Do people like Manski go to some special place to learn how to issue non-denial denials? Rove Academy? Ari Fleischer U? Coulter College?

    Of course it’s clear that you’re supporting Barrett, you cretin. It’s that in that extremely half-hearted support, you take a swipe at someone else, and then deny it.

    It’s not transcribed because it’s not intelligible. You could just as easily have said, “He’s that impotent.” So, because these people have some integrity, they simply marked it “Unintelligible” and left it for us to listen to ourselves.

    Funny how you use the term “unabashed liberal” to mean “He’ll spend all your money”, rather than, “He’ll protect your civil rights while making sure that money is spent appropriately.”

  9. October 19, 2010 5:33 PM

    I appreciate your posting this and correcting me on this. If my recollection was wrong– and it was– it was only because the meaning of what I was saying was very different from the implication given. If you listen to the entire post, it is clear that I am supporting Barrett, and that, as I say at the end (though for some reason, it’s not transcribed), “it’s that important” that Walker be stopped.

    Furthermore, I do think, as I wrote, and also said at the SCFL meeting, that Barrett had a good record in Congress and that he should run as an unabashed liberal, not as a “put Madison on a diet” guy. There is a reason why Feingold is climbing in the polls right now.

  10. Andy Olsen permalink
    October 19, 2010 12:17 PM

    Well, Ben Manski challenged you to prove he said that after he denied ever saying so. And you have done just that. Well done.

    We keep hearing how wonderful and glorious Ben is. It will be interesting to see if he comes clean on this, or goes on the attack, instead.

    And, the bottom line is that Ben attacks Democrats. It’s what he does. It’s what he would do if he were elected, which is not going to happen.

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