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

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.

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

  1. Andy Olsen

    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.

    1. James

      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.

      1. Yes. Bravo too for maintaining a public space for conversation that can contain passionate differences without often crumbling into incivility and incoherence.

        For me it’s a given that Barrett is the lesser of two evils. Hell, Feingold is the lesser of two evils. Tammy, well Tammy doesn’t have any competition. I’m proud to be strongly supporting all three, and wish I lived in the 77th so I could vote for Ben. Instead I get to vote for Joe Parisi. After Ben is elected I’ll do my best to influence Joe to work closely with him to move the Assembly in a progressive lefterly direction where it belongs.

        If I were hiring corporate management, I would probably choose Hulsey over Manski. But GOVERNMENT IS NOT A BUSINESS. I think Ben Manski will do a better job as an Assemblyman than Brett Hulsey can do.

  2. 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.

    1. 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

  3. 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.”

  4. Andy/Ed,

    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.

    1. Andy Olsen

      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. Justin True

    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.

    1. My concern is that Ben’s claim that he’s a “native” of the 77th.

      I don’t care where he was born. I only care that he’s honest about where.

      Calling himself a native of the 77th isn’t honest.

      Ed Blume

      1. Justin True

        You want to talk honesty, Ed? What say you regarding Hulsey’s blatant lying about who has endorsed him?

        The Baldwin campaign has refuted Mr. Hulsey’s claim of having secured the congresswoman’s endorsement. Ditto State Senator Fred Risser. And I hope for your guy’s sake that allegations of him erroneously claiming Rep. Mark Pocan’s endorsement at a recent TAA event ain’t true. Given the whoppers Mr. Hulsey has already uncorked, I’m inclined to believe that story as well.

    2. I just watched a video of the candidates’ debate in front of PROFS on the UW campus. Ben introduced himself as a UW alum who as “raised” in the 77th — no reference to being a native of the 77th. Now claiming to have been raised in the 77th is an honest statement.

      Ed Blume
      Hulsey campaign volunteer

  6. Kelly

    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.

  7. Gene

    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?

      1. Gene

        I think perhaps you have missed my point entirely.

        I would point out that Lincoln became a Republican like all the others when the other group, the Whigs, had disbanded, not before.

        As for your other point, it is very valid, and more groups should be able to get in to the system, but the system is stacked against that idea with lots of regulations (unfair ballot provisions) to prevent it. Does it seem likely that without the Dem/Rep support for changing those things that they will just because a candidate sneaks past in one district? (and I wouldn’t exactly say that 141 seats–which is less than three per state–across the country makes for a very strong party either).

        I think the other part of this that you are overlooking is the fact that the American electorate has dramatically changed since Bob Lafollette was alive (1855 to 1925). The people voting at that time were looking for change (the Civil War had not so long before ended; women’s suffrage; passing and repeal of the Prohibition, and more). They were also ginned up and ready to be political. Moreover, they were willing to create new parties just like they were ready to form unions and other groups to defend their rights. Statistically even today, the children of this generation (parent’s of the Baby Boomers) are still far more politically involved, if not just even more aware, than the Boomers or their children such as those in my age group. It would have been easier, and make more sense, to have multiple political parties in the 1920’s and even more so at the close of WWI and the end of the Depression. People cared. So much so that at the time all but one of WI congressmen was of Lafollette’s party. (Though I also point out that Lafollette’s son returned to the Republican party after his 1946 defeat against McCarthy).

        Today, with voting rates as they are, would you say that people are more or less like the people who supported Lafollette? There are unions out there for worker’s rights, but young people look upon them less and less favorably all the time which why they are weakening and becoming less and less effective.

        Trying to start a third party by getting top officials elected has been proven to be foolish time and time again. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura being the three most famous (infamous). The Tea Partiers, despite being mental midgets, have at least learned from the mistakes of those on the left in recent years–take over an existing party and force change that way rather than forcing yourself into a minority and a marginalized situation where the chance of you effecting change is slim to none.

    1. I’ve always been puzzled about why groups claiming to be left of the Democratic Party attack Democrats.

      Wouldn’t it be better to attack conservatives to weaken them and perhaps bring them closer to the middle (even a wee bit), which could shift the entire political debate to the left?

      By weakening Democrats, left-leaning groups only make the conservatives stronger.

      Ed Blume
      Speaking for myself

  8. CJ

    I think Bernie Sanders serves effectively with no other reps in Congress from his party.

    Not that long ago, in Wisconsin, we had the Progressive and Republican parties and the almost non-existent Democratic party. That damn Bob LaFollette had the gall to leave his Republican Party and not work from within the system!

  9. Ben Manski acknowledged that his recollection had been wrong. Hulsey goes against Spence Black’s expressed request and uses a fake quote (not once, but twice). When confronted with the evidence, nothing but silence from Hulsey and his shills. In the character quotient, Husley has been found lacking, again, and again.

    1. From Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal:

      “Black said h is comments should not be taken as a vote for, or e4ndorsement of Green Party candidate Ben Manski.”

      TJ, what do you have to say about the illegal corporate contributions taken by Ben, and the illegal contributions he took in excess of contribution limits?

      Ed Blume
      Hulsey campaign volunteer

      1. Ed

        I see your boy takes “full responsibility,” whatever that means. I think the voters are owed an explanation of why he betrayed Spencer Black’s trust, twice. This isn’t about who Spencer Black does or does not support, it is about Hulsey’s utter lack of ethics.

        As to the campaign contributions, I have no idea what you are talking about, has a complaint been filed? Care to enlighten us?

      2. Holy cow, Ed! Doesn’t it embarrass you to pull a quote out of context like that? After Black delivers a slap on the wrist to Hulsey for being an untrustworthy liar, you redact the article to extract a single sentence that makes it sound like a renunciation of Ben Manski? Here’s some context…

        Retiring Democratic legislator Spencer Black said Saturday he is “rethinking” his support for Brett Hulsey after the Democratic nominee for the 77th Assembly District sent out campaign fliers and e-mails with a made-up statement from Black that Black did not approve.

        “Trust is very important,” Black said. “It’s a key to being effective in the Legislature.”

        But Black said his comments should not be taken as a vote for, or endorsement of, Green Party candidate Ben Manski, who is in a competitive race with Hulsey on Madison’s West Side for the solidly Democratic seat Black has held for 26 years.

    2. TJ,

      You seem to know everything there is to know. Go to the Government Accountability Board web site, and pull up Ben’s most recent campaign finance report. Let’s see whether you’re smart enough to find the illegal contributions. You know, the kind of illegal contributions that Ben says he’d never take. Ben says one thing, and does another.

      How about this misleading little quote from one of Ben’s brochures, “If you just vote ‘straight party’ you’ll miss voting for Assembly?” That’s simply a lie! Ben’s lying on how to vote, because a ‘straight party’ vote includes a vote for the Assembly.

      Using “boy” is an insensitive word. Do you know the history of the term in the American south?

      Ed Blume

      1. Ed

        I’m going to ignore your ridiculous implications that I am ignorant of history and that the history of racism is any way relevant here . Nice try at distractions and changing the topic, but it won’t work. The topic is Brett Hulsey’s repeated breaking of Spencer Black’s trust and his lack of explanation for this behavior.

        I should just ignore you entirely, but curiosity is getting the best of me.

        I looked at the GAB reports earlier this week and noticed nothing untoward in Ben Manski’s, so please enlighten me as to what you saw. If you continue to be evasive, I’ll assume you saw and are just randomly slinging mud. If there are some over-the limit donations, I’m sure it was inadvertent and they will be returned.

        Will all of Brett Hulsey’s mailers be corrected, will the campaign call those people or knock on their doors and explain why Husley choose to twice use a quote he ahd not been asked to use? Did Hulsey somehow miss Spencer Black’s clear requests, twice?

        You can fix campaign finance reports and return donations. Once trust is broken, it is hard to mend.

        I also looked at Brett Hulsey’s reports and noticed that the year-to-date column was all zeros, which makes it hard to know if any donors had gone over the limits. Has this been fixed?

    3. It’s worse than lying about Spencer Black’s endorsement. Hulsey has also lied about U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s and state Rep. Kelda Roy’s endorsements. This pattern of prevarication in the area of his credentials leads me to infer that there are other areas where he would be as likely to dissemble, such as constituent promises, and collegial agreements in the assembly.

      When Ben Manski emerged as a progressive alternative to whatever politics as usual might emerge from the Democrat competition for Spencer Black’s seat, I had no idea that he would face a nominee from that party with so little regard for the truth, or such a poor grasp of reality.

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