Tom Barrett Wins Second Debate With Scott Walker, Mike Gousha True Professional Broadcaster

What a difference a few days can make when it comes to debating your political opponent.  While I was not impressed with the first performance from  Tom Barrett last week, I was thrilled with his demeanor and framing of the questions that were asked  Thursday night.

With conviction and well-crafted responses Tom Barrett projected strength and a no-nonsense manner that appeared to set Scott Walker back during the hour-long debate.  One of my complaints from the first debate was that Walker never appeared to be knocked from his narrative.  That was not the case Thursday.

Time after time Barrett made sharp comparisons with Walker, and used his time most effectively to underscore the reason this state is facing a recall election, and how he would work to fix the problems we face.  Walker was forced to respond to the charges that were leveled against him.

While Walker was all sunshine and able to dance around the questions in last week’s debate, he had to adjust to a much more professional moderator who peppered the candidates with questions aimed at drawing out more thoughtful and comprehensive answers.  Mike Gousha knows Wisconsin politics, and also is not one to allow for a non-answer to continue taking up valuable air time.  

It was apparent that Walker had been coached on how to try to achieve this political skill of eating up time in a debate, but Gousha has dealt with the ‘Walkers’ of politics before, and pressed forward.  It was one of the best debates I have watched in some time, in large measure due to how Gousha framed the questions, used time for the advantage of the audience, and focused on issues that mattered.

The punch line of the night concerned the John Doe probe.  With almost an actors sense of timing Barrett delivered the line that will reverberate around the lunch counters and offices Friday.  He stated ““I have a police department that arrests felons. He has a practice of hiring them.”

I also had to clap when Barrett noted he has been in public life for 28 years and no one from his staff has ever been charged with a crime, and he’s never had a criminal defense fund.  (Walker is the only sitting governor in the nation with a criminal defense fund.)

The most telling response about the intentions of Walker was when pressed to answer if he would sign or veto a bill creating a right-to-work state, the only thing the governor could offer was that the legislation “would not get” to his desk, and as such would not specifically answer the question.  Duck and run  works best when no one is watching.  In front of a live statewide audience it was a most revealing moment about Walker who has proved to be dishonest, and prone to radical lurches to the far-right.

The most emotional part of the debate concerned the attack ad from the Walker campaign showing a dead baby.  It was clear Barrett was angry, and took time to call the governor out on it.  Looking at Walker and pressing his point the mayor said “that is Willie Horton stuff,” and “you should be ashamed of that commercial, Scott Walker.”

Will the debate move people to change their minds?  No.  At this stage no one not in a coma (as noted in a funny way in a recent edition of the Isthmus) is truly undecided.  For at least 15 months Wisconsin voters have known what they would do if a recall election took place.

What I think the debate might have achieved is building on the abundant energy to get Democrats to the polls in record numbers.  Barrett delivered a dynamic debate performance that we can be proud of as the campaign enters the final weekend with a sharp contrast with Walker, whose only objective is  “divide and conquer.”

Tom Barrett showed during the debate Wisconsin has another path it can take come Tuesday.

This Is The Question I Want Scott Walker To Answer In Last Debate

I would love to see this question asked during tonight’s last recall debate, and then to have Walker try to force an answer that does not look like a convoluted pretzel.

Throughout the current campaign, you have been harshly critical of the use of the recall process to hold you to account. Yet in 2010 your campaign produced a video in which you hailed the recall campaign that cleared the way for you to become Milwaukee county executive as a hopeful expression of direct democracy. Did you lie in that video about your attitude toward recall elections? Or are you lying now that it is you who are being held to account by the people?

The Sad Facts About Scott Walker, And Why He Must Be Recalled From Office

No one can dispute the following, unless they are willing to lie.

  • The whole Walker regime is orchestrated and financed from out of state. Walker has raised 60% to 70% of his $31 million outside Wisconsin, in large part from the same billionaires who supported Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
  • The sheer corruption of the Walker administration is hard to overstate. Ron Seely did an incredible investigation for the Wisconsin State Journal on how our Department of Natural Resources allowed a corporation with ties to regulators to get away with dumping three times the allowable limit of human sewage near a residential area, exposing neighbors to the risk of serious illness. Alongside the article, the State Journal ran a startling graph showing how enforcement has plummeted to near nonexistence at Walker’s DNR.
  • The John Doe criminal probe shows a pattern of contempt for Wisconsin’s clean government laws: fundraising and campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime, shaking down Milwaukee businesses for donations and swag for Walker’s campaigns, not firing an aide long after it emerged that he was stealing money intended for the widows and orphans of Wisconsin’s war dead and using it to pay for his vacations. Who are these people?
  • Walker’s policies as governor reflect the same contempt for ordinary Wisconsinites: massive cuts to our schools, university and technical college system, and huge tax cuts for corporations.

BREAKING NEWS: Scott Walker’s Office Tried To Stonewall DA Inquiry

Shades of Watergate are being cast over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tonight.  It is looking more and more obvious everyday that it not Katharine Graham who had a tit in the wringer, but rather Walker who has his nuts in a vise.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that when Walker was county executive there was an unwillingness to participate with the DA investigation.  You might take note while reading this article that Walker has repeatedly brushed aside questions about the John Doe by claiming credit for launching it.

If manure could fly the East Wing of the State Capitol would be in orbit.

There must be a reckoning come Tuesday, June 5th.  The people of this state must rise up with a righteous fury and banish Walker from the governor’s office.  Lets clean out his office, and move this state in a direction that again meshes with the ideals that we have long been known for.

Walker, after all, is an aberration.

Milwaukee County prosecutors opened the secret John Doe criminal investigation more than two years ago after being stonewalled by Gov. Scott Walker’s office when he was county executive, according to a newly released record.

The document appears to cast doubt on some of Walker’s claims about his role in launching and cooperating with the probe.

On May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans.

By making it a secret John Doe investigation, Landgraf wrote that prosecutors might get better cooperation from Walker’s office, which had been “unwilling or unable” to turn over records and information needed in the investigation. He said he would need to subpoena county records and officials.

“It may be the County Executive’s Office is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment,” Landgraf wrote, noting that Walker was then running for governor.

John Edwards Political Cartoons

So much potential.  So little integrity.

13th Person Granted Immunity In Scott Walker John Doe Probe

Do I hear 14?  There is a reason they grant people immunity.  They want answers about the top dog.  And I do mean dog.

A 13th person has been granted immunity in a secret Milwaukee County investigation that has already led to criminal charges against six people close to Gov. Scott Walker.

Online court records say a judge on Thursday granted Fran McLaughlin’s request for immunity.

McLaughlin served as Walker’s county spokeswoman from 2007 to 2010, when Walker was the Milwaukee County executive. She’s now the spokeswoman for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

When reached for comment, defense attorney Michael A.I. Whitcomb cited court rules preventing him from discussing the case.

The John Doe investigation centers on several aides and associates to Walker before he was elected governor in 2010. The allegations range from campaigning on county time to embezzling money from a veterans program

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Has Entered “The End Stage” With Cancer

Dan Rather reports.

This reporter has been told that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that has “entered the end stage”. The information and the quote come from a highly respected source close to Chavez and who is in a position to know his medical condition and history. This source says the prognosis is dire and that Chavez is now not expected to live “more than a couple of months at most.” Chavez is running for re-elec tion in Venezuela but several sources–including the one who revealed the exact kind of cancer– have told me that they believe it is doubtful the dictator will live to see the results.

Voting is scheduled for October 7th.

Wisconsin Recall Election: Why RNC Chair Reince Priebus Is Like Joe McCarthy

Without any evidence to show as proof, without any court records, without any news reports of arrests, without any top judicial officials providing documentation, and without any poll workers backing up the claims, the GOP continue to claim massive voter fraud.

Wisconsin citizens have had it with these lies from the GOP.  We know that conservatives from the Badger State have a long history of not being able to tell the truth.

The latest out right lie was told by Reince Priebus,  the chairman of the Republican National Committee.  He claims–without any proof–that voter fraud in Wisconsin is far more pervasive than official reports have shown.  He stated that GOP candidates need to perform 1 or 2 percentage points better than they otherwise would in order to overcome it.

If one were to put actual numbers to the out-right flatulence from the mouth of Priebus,  that would mean up to 42,000 voters cast fraudulent ballots in 2010.  That is horse rot!  And the Republicans know it.

Here is how the numbers break down for the 2010 governor’s race.

About 2.1 million votes were cast in the 2010 race for governor, and 1% to 2% would equate to 21,000 to 42,000 votes – or from six to 12 fraudulent votes in each of the 3,630 precincts in the state.

There are no court actions, news accounts, arrests, documents, records, or anything to support these asinine statements.  If there were so many fraudulent votes cast surely there would be a list of names, when arrested, the court dates, which judge presided, what the fine was, and news reports with a follow-up in some cases as to how these felons were treated in their neighborhoods.

But there is nothing to show from the likes of Priebus, and those like him. 

Scott Walker made the same claim as Priebus, and also had nothing to support his lies.

Wisconsinites are aware of the way conservatives handle the truth.

Republican Senator Joe  McCarthy is still someone who Wisconsin regrets allowing onto the national stage.  McCarthy had to be verbally taken down on national television for his lies about Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President  Truman, Voice of America, and the United States Army.  The U.S. Senate correctly rebuked the conservative alcoholic senator with a censure vote. 

In a strongly worded summation of the dangers and damage posed by the senator the Tydings Report labeled McCarthy’s charges a “fraud and a hoax”, and said that the result of McCarthy’s actions was to “confuse and divide the American people…”

The very same statement can be made about the actions and lies of Reince Priebus concerning voter fraud in this state.

Without foundation, and clearly without moral guidance, the wild claims fall under the label ‘desperate politics’.

The voters of Wisconsin are tired of being lied to by the Republicans.