Big Conservative Spenders Caught-Up In Wisconsin John Doe Probe

This caught my eye tonight from Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Political committees and outside electioneering groups named in various media reports as possible targets of a second John Doe investigation into suspected political wrongdoing in Wisconsin accounted for more than half of all the campaign spending in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections and two-thirds of the spending in last year’s election for governor.

The committees and groups spent $70.5 million, or 51% of the total $137.5 million in recall spending. They accounted for $54.4 million in spending in the 2012 recall election for governor, which is 67% of the overall spending of $81 million in that race.

Prediction For 2013 Time’s Person Of The Year

Every year by this time, and usually months before the end of the year arrives, I have made a prediction concerning the person who will grace Time magazines Person Of The Year.

This year I really could not come to a conclusion about a prediction.  Many people vied for attention, but no one passed far and above others in my mind.

As such I am thinking this year it might be a ‘thing’ that makes the famed cover.  If that is the case perhaps it will be ‘privacy’, given the international angst caused by the NSA.   Still, I am not going to commit to a prediction this year as I am not feeling it in my gut.

So like everyone else I will wait–like I have done for the past decades.  I do really love this yearly edition!



Hell To Bust Open In Texas Over Republican U.S. Senate Primary


Get some popcorn and sit back for one of those perfect political events.  Crazy and of epic proportions.   Texas can be bat-crap crazy on a good day, throw lots of political cash around and some red-meat and wait to see the results.

Republican Rep. Steve Stockman has filed a primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn.  This is just going to be so much fun to watch unfold.  The move sets up what promises be an explosive battle between Stockman, a tea party
favorite, and Cornyn, who has the firm backing of the party establishment.

While sane people who care about policy and the ability of power-brokers to be able to form compromises will support Cornyn, there is no doubt that the base of the Republican Party likes to present itself as bat-crap crazy… all bets are off on this one!

Wisconsin Republicans Glum That No Democrats Seem Caught Up In John Doe Probe

One line in a news story in the Wisconsin State Journal stood out for me this morning.

Writing about the John Doe probe looking into the cozy dealings between the campaigns of Gov. Scott Walker and  obviously state senate candidates, the state Republican Party, and  a bevy of conservative political groups comes this line that made me turn reflective.

There is no indication that Democratic candidates or liberal groups are also  being investigated in the probe — which has incensed conservatives.

Look, I am well aware that politics can be a feisty exercise of power.  I recall with vivid recollections the way each political party used tax-paid employees at the statehouse for political purposes.   Good Lord. I was one of them at various times.

What amuses me, even after all these years of watching and reading about political tactics that run afoul of the law is the fact that the same mistakes keep getting made.  Younger and less-seasoned strategists now make the same blunders, perhaps in more technologically savvy ways as their predecessors, but in the end crossing that same line that is clearly drawn.

My campaigning on state time for a Democrat was no less offensive than the illegal coordination that the John Doe probe is now investigating.  Each of us that played some role, at whatever time, in the blurring of lines or the outright crossing of what was right or wrong knows at the heart of this matter we were wrong.

The political process can only work for everyone if we all play by the rules and laws that are clearly stated.  When that does not happen there are consequences, as in this latest example with the John Doe probe.

But the best way forward, and I speak from experience, is to admit what happened, and try then to make a positive difference in the future.

So instead of conservatives getting angry about getting caught, or not having enough dirt on Democratic candidates to get another investigation started, they instead might just learn from their mistakes and work for a better understanding as to why fair play is important in all aspects of life, including political campaigns.