Wisconsin’s Liberal Bloggers Write Open Letter To National Conservative Groups

To: Chris Chocola, Club for Growth
The Honorable Jim DeMint, junior Senator from the Great State of South Carolina

It is with great disappointment that we have learned of the efforts of some conservatives on the national level to try to dictate to Wisconsin conservatives their choice for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Herb Kohl. This is a tremendous opportunity for Wisconsinites to elect a second conservative senator worthy of being able to self-fund a campaign (at least until the unseemly outside contributions can be tallied and repaid) and one that Wisconsin conservatives will take very, very, very, very seriously. This is not only a choice of ideology and of who looks best in a tri-corn hat while eating a cream puff, but one of character, charisma and compassion, and it is our responsibility to bring Mark Neumann’s lack of those attributes to your attention.

We do not question Neumann’s past contributions to conservatism while he was a Congressman. He has been a reliable voice for intemperance, profligacy and sabre-rattling and understands that any notions of good policy making should be flexible depending on the occupancy of the White House. Still his actions during last year’s campaign are completely unbecoming of a conservative candidate. He had the temerity to tell the Badger State the actual truth about his opponent, to expose Scott Walker for a hollow fraud, a charlatan and a corporate shill, the very characteristics that endear him to us all.

We respectfully request the national conservative groups and individuals to take a second look at their endorsement of Neumann and at Tom Coburn’s choice in suits. We ask that, since many of them were so busy at clean-coal seminars, tanning sessions in the Seychelles, Climate Change is Good for Business golf outings and buy-policy-now ALEC fundraisers that, they missed the opportunity to come to Wisconsin during the recent battles over collective bargaining for state employees, the gutting of civil service protections, kowtowing to roadbuilders, polluters and Gadsden Flag sewers and the recall elections, that they buy a freakin’ map and come to Wisconsin now to talk to true Wisconsin conservatives to find out what they think of Neumann before attempting to foist their choice upon Wisconsin. Let our 2012 motto be heard throughout the land, “No foisting without confabulation!”

We do not write this under direction or duress from any candidate, potential candidate, or candidate’s campaign. We write this as a bald-faced attempt to remain relevant in an age of corporate-funded proto-news organizations and under the knowledge that, as the primary for United State Senate commences in earnest, we will likely go our separate ways and support any number of candidates according to fashion, whim, or cosmic message in the entrails of a broken dream. That is our right as Americans, to make sure that the voice of the truly deluded rings free in the hallowed halls of think tanks across the land.

If the past election in Wisconsin has shown national conservatives anything, it is to trust in the faith of Badger State conservative activists. We had the foresight to supply the movement with current leaders and rock stars like Robert Welch, Joe McCarthy, Gordon Roseleip, Jeff Wood, Tom Reynolds, Randy Hopper, David Vanderleest, Hair Model Paul Ryan, Former Reality Star Sean Duffy, Recall Target Scott Walker, U.S. Senate Placeholder Ron Johnson, and even Republican National Committee Chairman Reince “Marginally Better than Michael Steele” Priebus. We assure you, there are plenty more where they came from. There is no shortage of candidates of this quality in Wisconsin. By allowing us to commit character assassination for you prior to the primary, there is no limit to the depth of the field of conservatives we might dredge up.

Don’t limit the choice of candidates too early in the game just based on past successes with Neumann. A Fred Thompson might yet emerge for us to find fault with.

Thank you,
(The Undersigned)

Cory Liebmann
Eye on Wisconsin since 2004
Milwaukee, WI

Jim Brooks
Blogger, The Happy Circumstance, since 1776
Evansville, WI, USA

Jay Bullock
folkbum’s rambles and rants
Union Thug since 1997

Bill Christofferson
Uppity Wisconsin
Blogging as Xoff since 2005

Steve Hanson
Uppity Wisconsin
Making Wisconsin safe for moonbats since 2006

Keith Schmitz
On Jay’s Team with Folkbum, Five Years
People’s Republic of Shorewood

Zach Wisniewski
Blogger, Blogging Blue, since 2007
Cudahy, WI

Chris ‘capper’ Liebenthal
Cognitive Dissidence
4 years

Michael Leon
5767 Monticello Way
Fitchburg, WI 53719

Gregory Humphrey
Caffeinated Politics

Lukas Diaz
Forward Lookout

Jeff Simpson
Blogger, Blogging Blue since 2010
Cottage Grove, WI

blue cheddar
Since 2010
Madison, Wisconsin

Lisa Mux
Waukesha Wonk
6 months in the trenches of Waukesha

Sham Firing Of Chris Larsen Underscores Stench In Governor Walker’s Administration

There are scenarios one could never make up to match the real world that plays out everyday in Madison.

That is more and more the case when looking at the antics that is taking place in Governor Walker’s version of state government that seems to be running amok.

The latest example is what has happened to Chris Larsen.

A low-level state employee was fired Thursday after he sent an email to his fellow employees telling them about the state Department of Transportation’s policy on giving out free photo identification cards for voting.

Chris Larsen, who had worked in the mail room at the state Department of Safety and Professional Services, sent an email Thursday morning to all employees at the agency’s headquarters explaining that the DOT would provide photo IDs to people only if they specifically asked to have the fee waived.

A couple of hours later, Larsen was fired.

Larsen, 38, sent his email to fellow employees at his workplace after learning of the policy. He said he sent it so others would know they could get free IDs if they needed them to vote.

Larsen said a supervisor told him his use of email was inappropriate. He said he’d held the job since December as a limited-term employee.

As I wrote late last night the voter ID bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature was nothing more than an effort to disenfranchise voters.    When one looks at the text of the email that Larsen sent it becomes clear that the noose it tightening around those who are attempting to use election laws to undermine voter turnout.  Larsen was merely underscoring the letter of the law that passed, and alerting all to how the  measure was designed to function.   There should no problem promoting a Republican idea, is there?

Unless the real intent of the law in the first place was to undermine voters having full and unfettered access to the ballot box by placing hoops in the way.

Republicans would never do that, would they?

Here’s the full text of Larsen’s email:

“Do you know someone who votes that does not have a State ID that meets requirements to vote? Tell them they can go to the DMV/DOT and get a free ID card. However they must ask for the free ID. a memo was sent out by the 3rd in command [Steve Kreiser] of the DMV/DOT. The memo specifically told the employees at the DMV/DOT not to inform individuals that the ID’s are free. So if the individuals seeking to get the free ID does not ask for a free ID, they will have to pay for it!!


Glorious Rose Blooms

This year we planted a variety of roses to see how they fared, or perhaps more to the point, how we should be graded on growing them.   As summer slips along I am reminded of George Jones singing “it’s been a good year for the roses.”

A most glorious rose bloomed today on my mom’s trellis bench which James and I bought and assembled for Mother’s Day about 9 years ago in Hancock, and which now sits at our Madison home.  The colors on the rose are amazing.  In the sun it truly glows.  The picture does not do it justice.

Next season, given how we have done this year with our plantings, we intend to create a rose garden of about 7 varieties. It will be situated for perfect sun conditions, and in direct line of where the neighbors sit to drink coffee.  Everyone will be able to enjoy the roses!

But for today I am blown away by the beauty of the one that bloomed on the trellis.

In addition there were other rose  blooms this morning that made for smiles as soon as I went outdoors.


Drinking Game While Watching Republican Presidential Debate

No one said “Bob” (Newhart).

A Smart Politics content analysis of the 2012 GOP presidential debates finds that not only was Mitt Romney the only candidate who did not name drop Reagan at the MSNBC / POLITICO debate, but he has also refrained from invoking the legendary Republican figure at all three major debates held so far this year.

Romney’s silence on Reagan – particularly in the library that bears his name – was in stark contrast to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who mentioned Reagan’s name nine times – more than twice the number of any other candidate.

In total, Reagan was name-dropped 24 times by the candidates Wednesday evening.

Merit Selection On Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s Radar

This is what I like to see.

One of the drum beats heard over and over on CP is the one demanding merit selection be used for placing justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Today the Wisconsin State Journal editorialized on the idea, and used the latest memo from Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to underscore the need for this reform.

Wisconsin’s high court should absolutely have an honest and open debate over the bipartisan push in the Legislature to end state Supreme Court elections. These ugly judicial elections, driven by shadowy special interest groups with lots at stake in future court decisions, are a huge contributor to our high court’s embarrassing dysfunction.

It was bad enough that the quality and experience of court candidates has been slipping over the last decade as judicial campaigns have become more vicious and money-soaked. It was bad enough that public distrust in court decisions has fallen just as partisan squabbles and 4-3 votes have increased.

As the paper noted Abrahamson was a supporter of merit selection decades ago, and one can only hope that she will lend her strong voice for this needed change to our judiciary in these troubled times.

The reasons rational and level-headed debate on this matter should take place is based on the recent history of the court.  I am not just referring to the shameful choking incident, but something even more depressing.

On this blog I have railed against the actions of Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler due to her ethical lapses as a circuit judge in Washington County. I have grave concerns about the message her presence on the bench sends not only to the Badger State, but also around the nation.

Meanwhile I had strong words of opposition over Michael Gableman, as I view him as an empty vessel without the intellectual heft that is required for the very important work on the court. In both cases, but for different reasons, these individuals are seriously flawed, and as a result the state judiciary suffers.

The fact that each of these individuals had the right to place their name on the ballot, raise huge amounts of money from special interest sources, and manipulate the voters with never-ending TV commercials in no way means that once elected they have the necessary skills or ethics to well serve the public, or the letter of the law. The manner in which they ran for the bench does not enhance the image of the court, or benefit our judicial system.

The current electoral flaws that allow a Ziegler or a Gableman to become a justice sends the wrong message about how importantly we should view our judicial system.

At a time when public approval of our government and public institutions are shrinking there should be ideas advanced that would reverse that sad downward trend. Merit selection is one idea that should be considered to make our State Supreme Court better, and also to assure the citizenry that qualified jurists are at work.

Sickest Moment At Republican Presidential Debate At Reagan Library

Near the end of the debate on Wednesday night from the Reagan Library there was a moment that spelled out in sharp terms the tone of conservatives, and the inner feelings of the Republican Party.

Brian Williams from NBC News mentioned “death penalty” and there was applause from the audience.  This must have come from the ‘pro-life’  members of the crowd.

A sickening display.

It was yet another confirmation of what I know to be the truth about conservatives.