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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts Grew Poverty And Future Debt Certainty

In yet another measure of the accumulative effects the Bush Tax cuts have had on Wisconsin, household income fell and poverty rose in the state between 2008 and 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. Many economists had long felt the Bush tax cuts would spur economic development and job growth. Still in effect seven years later - where's the beef?

Census: Gap between rich and poor is at widest.

The census also found that the top-earning 20% of Americans (those making $100,000 each year) received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line.

Remember when Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill spoke out against the tax cuts for the rich? (June 14, 2006)

Link Excerpt

“Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand,” says Suskind. “He says, ‘You know, Paul (O'Neill), Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.’ … O'Neill is speechless.”

”It was not just about not wanting the tax cut. It was about how to use the nation's resources to improve the condition of our society,” says O’Neill. “And I thought the weight of working on Social Security and fundamental tax reform was a lot more important than a tax reduction.”

Did he think it was irresponsible? “Well, it's for sure not what I would have done,” says O’Neill.

He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

“He asks, ‘Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again,’” says Suskind.

“He says, ‘Didn’t we already, why are we doing it again?’ Now, his advisers, they say, ‘Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response.’ And the president kind of goes, ‘OK.’ That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. ‘Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, ‘You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?’"

But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

“Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. ‘Stick to principle. Stick to principle.’ He says it over and over again,” says Suskind. “Don’t waver.”

In the end, the president didn't. And nine days after that meeting in which O'Neill made it clear he could not publicly support another tax cut, the vice president called and asked him to resign.

With the deficit now climbing towards $400 billion, O'Neill maintains he was in the right. * * *

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Republican Plans Too Awful To Speak About

In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner suggested that now is not the time to talk about republican solutions to create jobs, reduce deficits or restore certainty to the Social Security and Medicare safety nets.

CHRIS WALLACE: But forgive me, sir. I mean, isn't the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? (Pledge To America)
JOHN  BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in Washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kinds of problems. I know. I've been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let's not get to the potential solutions. Let's make sure Americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can begin to talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

While on the campaign trail,  GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson also said he did not plan to lay out in detail what federal programs he would cut.

"There's billions of dollars . . . that from my standpoint would be available for cutting. But I'm not going to get in the game here and, you know, start naming specific things to be attacked about, quite honestly," said Johnson during an appearance at the Milwaukee Press Club.
What is it exactly that republicans plan on doing that is so terrible that they are afraid to tell us?

Congressman Ryan A Ranking Crony Capitalist

Rep. Paul Ryan ranks high among an elite group of crony capitalists in Congress who voted to bailout Wall Street in 2008 and later failed to support financial reform legislation reining in the elitist banks who drove our economy off a cliff.
AlterNet Excerpt:
Wall Street's Favorite Politicians

According to a separate analysis of campaign contributions performed by Public Citizen, lawmakers who voted with Wall Street on both the bailout and reform received nearly triple the campaign cash of those who opposed Wall Street.
Public Citizen: Pro-TARP, Anti-Reform Legislators Outpace Colleagues in Financial Services Contributions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PolitiFact's Nose: As Long As A Telephone Wire

"I've been outspent by my opponents every time I've run for U.S. Senate." -- Sen. Russ Feingold

That's a truth.

However, after the Journal Sentinel Politifact editorial wrongly gave Feingold’s statement a "Pants on Fire" rating on their Truth-o-meter, several Wisconsin blogs scoffed at PolitiFact's cherry-picking the numbers including this fact-based posting by Corey Liebmann of Eye On Wisconsin. Liebmann lays out the numbers and Feingold's opponents and adds them up to support the undeniable truth. Feingold has been outspent by all of his opponents in each election cycle and overall, Feingold's opponents have outspent him by almost $10 million. Numbers don't lie.

The objective folks at Politifact also implied that Feingold is disingenuously positioning himself as an underdog so as to gain sympathetic campaign donors, when according to some recent polls - he is the underdog! The idea that that statement was published in a so-called fact-based analysis just about destroys any little integrity Politifact might have had without it.

But on the surface, I tend to agree with Mike McCabe's view that, "the average voter would think of the opponent as the head-to-head matchup." That's what the average voter would think providing they zoned out the plural context of Feingold's statement or believe the garbage thrown out by PolitiFact. Yet, that is precisely why we need to keep hammering and shine a light on PolitiFact's opinion and any other self-described "facts" Wiki or Web-based org.

Kudos to Corey Liebmann.

But it doesn't end there. Politifact posted ideologically skewed interpretations defending republicans modern narrative on "renewing" Social Security.

"Somehow we have to establish a phase-out of the current Social Security system to a new system. And that will have to happen over time. It could happen in a single generation." -- Reid Ribble (8th District candidate)

Spoken like a true politician.

After that remark, an ad by Rep. Steve Kagen messaged that his opponent, Ribble, wants to phase out Social Security and that seniors should tell Ribble to keep his hands off. PolitiFact again came out swinging and ironically gave Kagen's statement, not Ribble's distorted Social Security bankruptcy narrative, a "Pants on fire" rating.

Blogger Folkbum took that one to task and ramped it up explaining how Rep. Paul "numbles" Ryan's Roadmap double-counts the same dollar everyone pays into Social Security would eventually double-up deficits and guarantee insolvency twice as fast than any other worst case scenario, since he promises current and near-future retirees no change in their benefits while younger participants risk their futures in "guaranteed personal accounts."

Clearly, the Ribbles and the Duffys' along with Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson have been parroting Ryan's erroneous talking-points on Social Security and need to be called to account.

With six weeks to go, the mainstream media now appears to be on a mission to soft pedal republicans on their destroy Social Security rhetoric.

Make no mistake, Republicans comparing Social Security to Bernie Madoff, a Ponzi scheme or "the money isn't there" terminology are not repeating those fear-based distortions to strengthen the program. These people hate it, they literally hate the idea that government could possibly provide some level of economic security for people when they've reached their senior years. Road mapping republicans, Ayn Rand republicans and conservatives want to destroy the current format of Social Security. That is a fact.

My other point about Politifact is I believe they are entitled to their opinion just like the rest of us. But tackling broad political statements with even more ambiguity or outright lies while running under a fact check banner should be considered downright fraudulent.

That is my opinion.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ryan's Hometown Newspaper Says "Yes" To Stimulus Spending

In my last posting, I challenged (as usual) local republicans, conservatives and local deep-pocketed tax-shifting business groups along with their media enabler, the Janesville Gazette, to start publicizing their positions on federal and state deficit spending for the local interstate and Obama's "stimulus" American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and to reconcile their fiscal differences with their economically incorrigible political hero, Rep. Paul Ryan, at the ballot box in November.

So far, and perhaps more coincidence than responding to my direct challenge, the Janesville Gazette issued an editorial on Saturday about their position on the city picking up a $1.2 million Obama-stimulus grant earmarked for a business incubator. Titled "Incubator building could buoy city's redevelopment," it begins...
JG Editorial Excerpt:
Sometimes, you must spend money to make money. That's true of would-be entrepreneurs and established businesses, and it can even be true for government.
The newspaper even went so far as "it deserves applause." Of course, they did not reconcile their applause with Ryan's vocal opposition or mention the congressman by name or his role anywhere in the stimulus-built business project editorial.

But is this just the beginning of a major rift between Paul Ryan and his hometown supporters?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where Are Rock County Area Officials Standing With Paul Ryan?

As reported in the Janesville Gazette this week, Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown was awarded a $1.2 million federal construction grant to build a small-business incubator. The city had to agree to a 25-percent match of $400,000 which was extracted from a TIF district surplus.

The federal money is coming from the Community Trade Adjustment Assistance Program which is part of President Obama's "stimulus" American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It should be noted that Ryan has repeatedly said that by any objective measure and account, the stimulus has failed and should be repealed - so we know he had nothing to do with it. Apparently however, there are plenty of Janesville locals that welcome the business incubator.

I bring this up because there is a huge disconnect, or shall I say an absence of local media coverage given to Rep. Paul Ryan's efforts to save local jobs and promote economic development within his own district. More accurately though is the reason why this information disconnect seems to exist in the first place: that the media in all honesty has regarding Ryan's efforts, absolutely nothing to report on.

In a recent interview with the Gazette editorial staff, they had nothing to report on other than his perspective on the Tea Party movement's effect on getting elected to another term. It's not like there are any other priorities to discuss. Truly pathetic all around.

So, lets forget about Ryan's representative efforts for a moment. We already know he does nothing economically stimulating and is hostile to any federal help coming into our district. If I'm wrong, feel free to challenge that statement.

But Ryan places plenty of importance on the upcoming election. So the only fair questions to ask the local media are: where are the stories reporting on the interactions of the area's public officials with Paul Ryan? Why aren't we having stories on the Janesville city manager's interactions with the congressman? Has Ryan been receptive to sponsoring earmarks in Congress? What about interactions with the city's new economic development director and so forth and so on? If we won't get Ryan's position, then at least why aren't we getting their positions on Ryan? Are they standing with us or are they standing with him? Explain. Where are the local business group's views on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? If they are supporters of Paul Ryan, shouldn't they demand the money not be accepted? We just don't know.

The country is facing a projected $1.4 trillion dollar federal deficit this year and the state of Wisconsin faces a structural $2.7 billion deficit, where does Ryan stand on deficit spending up to $1.5 billion for an interstate expansion through his district?

Ryan's base of supporters, mostly wealthy "free marketers" of Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 group are eagerly pushing for the massive government spending. Does their position mesh with the congressman's so-called fiscal conservatism? If it doesn't, will they support electing a new representative for the district? If not, why not? How can they reconcile their support for Ryan if he opposes their massive deficit spending agenda? Conversely, if Ryan doesn't oppose Forward Janesville's legislative agenda, where's the explanation from Ryan justifying the deficit spending? Remember, this is a guy who is against all government spending stimulus and doesn't blink cutting off your Social Security if it means he gets a tax cut in the near future.

Equally offensive, in the Gazette article about the business incubator, the newspaper mixed in a plug for a business "contest" sponsored by the Rock County 5.0, a Ryan-base support group that gets plenty of Gazette ink and credit for spurring area economic development when in reality - other than lobbying government, they have done very, very little.

After claiming they've raised over a million dollars for their economic development initiative, whatever that is, their only development so far is nothing more than a publicity stunt masquerading as a contest offering $25,000 worth of members goods and services to help the "winning" business entry accelerate their business plan. In the meantime, a real economic development business incubator has to be funded by the government? Where is the free market? Yet, if they don't object, does that mean they now support Barack Obama?

So far in less than a year, President Obama's stimulus program has saved more jobs in the short term and seeded more opportunities for the locals than Ryan has done over his entire career. Still, that's not saying too much - for Barack Obama that is.

So, where is the reporting on Ryan's efforts for economic development in his district? Oh, I'm sorry, I've already explained that part.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Republican Candidate Issues "For Sale" Sign To Lobbyist Group

This may be a new tactic.

In what appears to be a complete role reversal of unashamed political pandering, Evan Wynn, Republican candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly’s 43rd district (Hixson) has endorsed the legislative agenda of the politically active special interest lobbyist group Forward Janesville, a local privileged group oftentimes masquerading as a "community" organization despite top officials admitting they are working specifically for the interests of their paid and private membership, has challenged incumbent Rep. Kim Hixson to do the same.

In years past, Forward Janesville was more openly honest about their near-Randian brand of right-wing establishment partisanship when they regularly posted editorials in favor of corpo-crony Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Debi Towns in the Janesville Messenger. Since the advent of your favorite blog however, it appears they have purged most of the information regarding party connections from their website and reframed their appearance and ideology statements. However, all the same people with all the same connections and motives remain firmly in place.

Forward Janesville, whose membership is loaded with local business conservatives, also happens to be the primary lobbyist hypocritically pushing state legislators to liberally deficit spend over a billion dollars for the I39/90 interstate expansion. Their entire legislative agenda revolves around a tax-jacking wealth redistributive scheme by charging up and tax shifting a billion dollar road construction tab for their membership's pockets on the taxpayer's credit card while they enjoy additional tax credits and other targeted cash incentives. Who will wind up paying off the debt? Let's just say it won't be Santa Claus.

In a Forward Janesville editorial from May of this year, the group's VP wrote to say he was outraged by what appears to be a new development he noticed while on a junket in Madison.
Forward Janesville Editorial Excerpt:
Speaking of obstacles, some of our groups reported that an unfortunate trend is gaining steam at the Capitol. A number of offices have posted "no soliciting " signs on their doors with messages to the effect of, "If you aren't from our district, we don't want to receive your information."
Forward Janesville believes those legislators should be called out and scolded for standing up against solicitation. Say what?

Welcome to the new paradigm. Instead of candidates earning an endorsement from a voting bloc on their own principles and integrity, if it's really that important to earn an endorsement, the bold new world of misguided change agents like Evan Wynn running for public office actually challenge their competition to do as they do - and capitulate to the special interests.

This can't be a good thing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Newspaper Wants To Kill Wisconsin's Primaries!

After reading today's 2nd page article in the Janesville Gazette about republican candidates challenging the results of the primary in the 32nd Assembly District in Wisconsin, I thought for sure the newspaper or their political scientist "We The People" blogger would be editorializing about why can't we just select a panel of our professional buddies to appoint the state legislators to avoid all of the political infighting and mud slinging. I was close.

However, the story from the 32nd district revolves mostly around a difference of just 4 votes, a valid challenge to be sure, and around one of candidates not making himself available to the sheriff's office to sign the petition allowing for the recount to go forward. It was later discovered by authorities that the absentee signer was cited for speeding that day. You just can't make this stuff up.

Which brings me to Wednesday's farcical editorial, which by the way had nothing to do with the candidate's behavior in the 32rd assembly race. Instead, the Gazette wrote that it's time to change Wisconsin's primary system. Their editorial ends with this...
JG Editorial Excerpt:
Wisconsin could and should likewise carefully craft such a referendum and remove the confusion and disappointment that voters here endured last week.
Yeah, our endorsed candidate lost. We're confused. It wasn't supposed to end this way. Oh, ... sniffle ... boo-hoo.

But do you know what Rock County voters really endured? Besides the attack campaign and smear-mongering from the monopole Gazette - we endured democracy. We the people made our selection and chose Jenifer Keach, apparently to the contempt of the newspaper, in an open and healthy primary - not by a difference of a mere 4 votes or 40 votes - she won with 61 percent of the vote with a difference of nearly 1,400 ballots.

Because of that, the newspaper says change is needed. But it gets even more sadly comical.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably won't forget how the Gazette's wingnut "We the People" blogger went off fabricating an anger-baiting accusation against Rock County coroner Jenifer Keach by falsely claiming she is attempting to kill Wisconsin's open direct primary simply because she merely challenged the ballot petition of her challenger. His posting was titled in all caps, "KILL a WI DIRECT OPEN PRIMARY? NO! NO! NO!" and asked readers to help protect and preserve the high quality process of our direct open primaries in Wisconsin. Stand against the coroner was his message - she's evil. PERIOD! What will his response be now? Who really cares except that it might have some entertainment value.

Yet, the bloggers posting under the umbrella of the Janesville Gazette have been part of the ongoing authoritarian campaign to eventually steal county offices away from the ballot box.

Previously, the newspaper said that it's time to take the partisanship out of county offices - no wait! It's time to change to a medical examiner, no wait! It's time to select a panel of political operatives to appoint officials for county offices - no wait! Now it's for real - now we want to change the entire Wisconsin open primary system ... sniffle ... because ... sniffle ... our endorsed candidate for coroner ... sniffle ... lost. We're sooo confused.

The newspaper's Wednesday editorial was more than just a self-portrait of a sore-loser, it is a portrait of a bully authoritarian newspaper that is now becoming a blowhard of itself - which I didn't even think was possible - but it sounds right.

The bottom line is, is that the people in Rock County better stay tuned in to the political shenanigans of the professional Janesville Gazette, the tax-shifting power-usurping establishment and certain members of the Rock County Board. I know that might sound condescending and self-ingratiating on my part, I don't mean it that way. But without this blog and its in-real-time perspectives posted in the archives, there is no other independent record of their repeated abuses and propaganda management. The dots are all here and I've connected a few - you only need to connect the rest and draw your own conclusions.

Bill Clinton: Tea Party a Corporate Front

Big Willie is finally talking...
Salon Excerpt:
Clinton lamented that "a distinguished former governor of Delaware was beaten tonight by the so-called tea party candidate" because enough primary voters had accepted a "new narrative" promoted by the extreme right. "They’re saying that Barack Obama represents the spearhead of this vast socialist conspiracy to have government swallow up the fabric of American life and he’s going to crush our individualism, and our freedom, and the vitality of small business ... "They tell us that they represent America the way it used to be, self-reliant, virtuous individuals and small businesses. And the truth is, what they want to do is dismantle government so corporations, big corporations will control our destiny."
Speaking about the certifiably crazy Christine O'Donnell, conservative Wisconsin blogger dad29 writes, Paul Ryan is Wisconsin's O'Donnell

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One Down Five To Go - Johnson Snubs Eau Claire

I’d really like to say Johnson snubbed Feingold, but that was not the case Sunday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, when Feingold showed up to the first of six debates at the command of the people of Wisconsin. Feingold wasn't alone however, the people showed up too.

Maybe it's just me and I'm too demanding with unreasonably high expectations of politicians seeking my vote, that's possible. Mind you, I’m not bragging about Feingold here because I expect our senator, any senator and any primary winner by any name from any party to be respectful enough to attend these important election issue functions when asked.

Feingold showed up - Johnson was absent. His campaign said it was too soon after the primary win.
Chippewa Excerpt:
Feingold’s campaign has accepted invitations from organizers of six debates in the next seven weeks, starting with an event Sunday in Eau Claire. Johnson told reporters in Mequon on Wednesday his campaign is coordinating with Feingold’s campaign, but says Sunday is very soon after his primary win Tuesday.
That's about it in a nutshell folks. Right from the horse's mouth. Johnson's campaign claims to be coordinating the debates around Feingold, it's not like the people of Wisconsin have anything to do with it.

Lets face it. Kids running one of their rich daddy’s captured supply houses are not used to the working folks calling the shots – Johnson certainly isn’t going to let them start now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Massive Voter Roadblock Alleged In Wisconsin

According to the watchdog group One Wisconsin Now, Tea Party groups, Americans for Prosperity and the Republican Party of Wisconsin are allegedly plotting a massive scheme to disenfranchise minority and student voters in Wisconsin this November. Read more>>>

Documents detailing voter suppression plan

Transcript of Tea party Meeting

City's Budget Scorecard Results Appear Useless

Sunday, the Janesville Gazette posted their "news" report on the results from the city of Janesville's "You Cut" city services survey the city instituted online a few months ago.

Certainly there can be a multitude of ways to interpret the results, but several elements of the article, for whatever reason, did not match up with the budget scorecard table posted along with the story. Nevermind that the survey's awkwardly composed questions and mixed parameters were vague enough to keep even the most educated participants guessing.

Also, the direction of the opening remarks and first impressions from the assistant city manager about the survey indicate the city (or the newspaper) appears to be erroneously scoring the library high for cuts. In my view, the survey table showed that the library received a fairly neutral public response for budget changes compared to other facilities and services while recreational facilities and programming combined to score the highest percentile for a reduction in taxes and services, received less attention in the "report."

Whatever one can conclude from the article and the confusing survey results, two questions deserve to be asked: Are city officials and the newspaper driving the results in some predetermined direction? And, can the results from such a confusingly posed if not dysfunctional survey be trusted at all?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bush Tax Cut Era Culminates In Explosive Poverty Growth

Yahoo Excerpt:
The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.
In the video below, Chuck Todd asks Sen. Evan Bayh (D-INO), in light of the census report showing one in seven Americans living below the poverty line, if there is a disconnect in Washington debating tax rates for the wealthy.

Instead of showing outrage about the spread of poverty in the richest nation on Earth, Bayh explains his disconnect. He says fairness can wait, now is not the time to burden the wealthy.

Watch for it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Johnson Lies To Fabricate Negative Campaign Against Himself

Where have I heard that before? There's a pattern developing here, that's for sure.

If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know I rarely if ever refer to anybody as a liar. That’s a pretty strong word. I mean, everybody is entitled to their opinion and stand by it, even when their opinion is based on false statements and half-truths.

But when a person claims another person “is gonna” tell you something which they never did say and then proceed to use the fabricated statement in an argument against that person – I’d say that person is a liar. In this case, I’d say he’s a hallucinating double-talking backbiting liar. Such is the scenario around Ron Johnson’s latest campaign ad to create a negative ad against himself, and then claiming Sen. Russ Feingold did it.

Johnson begins his ad ...

"Guess what’s coming in Russ Feingold’s negative campaign. He’s gonna tell you that I said Washington treats Social Security like a Ponzi scheme.

You know what? I did say that...because it's true."

But you know what? Johnson lied. Johnson never said “Washington treats it like a Ponzi Scheme” until today - and he lied again by saying that Feingold's "gonna" say Johnson said “Washington treats it like a Ponzi Scheme.” Got that?

This is Johnson’s actual quote on Social Security…
Wispolitics Excerpt:
"Is it too strong a statement to say that we’ve been lied to? How is Social Security different from a giant Ponzi scheme? Our money has been spent, and the lockbox is nothing more than a future claim against our children’s income." [Johnson’s speech at the Winnebago County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner, March 21, 2010]
In my world, there is a difference between treating a person like a dog and stating that a person IS a dog. I'm not splitting hairs here, the difference is like night and day. It's basic comprehension.

So the reality is, if elected, Ron Johnson will go to Washington and treat Social Security like a Ponzi Scheme - because he, not Russ Feingold, believes it to be no different than one.

The other truth is, Feingold doesn’t need to run negative ads against Johnson. This fella Ron Johnson is doing it all for him.

Additional Note: So far, most of Johnson's campaign ads are meant to reconstruct his extremist views into a more moderate populist message. That’s why his latest ads and his campaign staff are constantly contradicting or marginalizing what he said previously. When they can’t pull it off cleanly, they’ll put words in Feingold’s mouth. I think Johnson’s campaign is in permanent damage-control mode. Most of Johnson’s campaign staff's repositioning statements actually coincide more closely with Feingold’s position. They have nothing left to offer but name-calling.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

City Officials Update Privileged Ice Arena Group

Headlines here!…read all about it! City Council extends $2 million to privileged leisure group!!… read all about it!!… Food pantry use on the rise while donations are down!!.. Get your news now and read all about it... read all about it!! School board member says worst economy since Hoover, community can’t afford teachers!! Headlines here!…read all about it! City Council extends $2 million to privileged….

Ahh, life is good …iddin it?

Don't look now folks, but Janesville city officials at Monday's city council meeting appeared to be testing the winds when they openly discussed the idea of giving away city facility naming rights so a privileged group of city hall insiders can sell it in order to help meet their $2 million commitment to build a private-partnered ice rink - instead of the city leasing the intellectual property as a means of paying down the taxpayer's burden and subsidy for the current arena. Apparently, the fund-raising group ran out of their own cookies and donuts to sell - they now want ours.

The city manager favors the idea because he considers the private group an extension of the city's efforts to raise capital for a new arena. Council member Russ Steeber agreed.

Other tidbits from the Monday's Janesville city council meeting:

* The city manager said the location of the current ice rink is a sufficient, but not an ideal location for a new fire station.

* Council member Yuri Rashkin noted that no representative from the fund-raising group bothered to attend the council meeting. Instead, the city's ice arena advisory Committee Chairman, Steve Walker, who also happens to be a VP of the Janesville Hockey Club apparently spoke on their behalf. The city's ice arena advisory committee by the way, is weighted down with pro-hockey arena expansion advocates - and not by chance. City officials want it tilted that way.

Despite mentioning at least four solid reasons why the new arena project should not move forward, among them location problems, unknown costs, the city budget, the fund-raisers shortfall and the declining local economy - Rashkin tossed those concerns to the wind and voted to re-commit $2 million and extend the group's deadline to Dec. 31, 2010.

* Overheard through the chatter that 10 acres of vacant land in the city should cost $350,000 despite earlier fear-promoting remarks from the city administration and council that vacant land for a new fire station would cost $1 million or more. This lower figure brings the cost of land acquisition for a new fire station more in line with reality. In addition, why the city would need 10 acres of land for a new fire station is anybody's guess.

* That the cost of an additional sheet of ice for an arena expansion in Eau Claire is pegged at $5.5 million, which is more than double the costs projected for Janesville's second sheet. Eau Claire's expansion figure calls into question all of the cost projections for Janesville's new ice arena boondoggle.

* GOP operative and businessman Bill McCoshen made a request to clarify and change portions of a sugar-coated lease that allows his business, the Janesville Jets junior hockey team, to skip out on paying the office rental fee at the city facility if the average attendance falls below 600. He wants the contract to read only paid attendance will be counted with the trade-off lowered to 500.

* The council approved McCoshen's request without having an accurate record of paid and unpaid attendance figures or establishing a set of rules to follow for promotional and free give-away tickets. As it now stands, the Jets could free ticket-give-away their way out of paying monthly rent.

One thing I have to add is the commentary and vote by council member Tom McDonald. He was the only member to get it right and vote against the $2 million/deadline extension boondoggle (I think this is the third deadline). Bravo!
Janesville Gazette Editorial Excerpt:
(Titled - Ice Arena Plan Makes Sense)
Besides, by pledging $2 million in tax money in hopes of getting a new rink, the city could save up to $1 million in repairs to the current rink and another $1 million by not having to buy land for a new central fire station.
The Conservatives new fiscal conservatism - you have to demolish a $1 million facility and SPEND another $2 million in order to eventually save $1 million? The Gazette's been regurgitating and pawning off those distortions from ice arena advocates since the beginning to help sell the new facility.

First of all, renovating the current community ice rink facility is said to cost about one million which means the city won't spend the entire $2 million they set aside. This means the city saves one million. That's not too complicated to understand. The city can then look for a new fire station location equally not as ideal as the Beloit/Tyler location for probably $250,000 or less. Remember, they don't need ten acres. Plus, the city won't pave over the southside green field they originally earmarked for the new ice arena. We end up saving about $750,000 that we can actually hold and count. The city (without a middle-man) can then bid away the naming rights lease for an annual paydown subsidy fee. Start the bidding at $100,000 annual. Win-win-win.

The ice arena fund-raising group, God bless their hearts, claim they have raised $700,000 of which they could give $350,000 to pay for the latest sound and lighting system, jumbotron, etc. for the newly renovated community ice rink. We could post a plaque in their honor in the ice arena main lobby. The other $350,000 could be divided among ECHO, Salvation Army, community food pantries and homeless shelters. This way they will have partnered their good will efforts for the entire community - just like they've always intended.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can Sheridan's Challenger Bring GM Back To Janesville?

Joe Knilans easily outdistanced three other hopefuls and won the GOP primary to face off against Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan to represent the 44th Assembly District. Knilans defeated Janesville City Council member William Truman and former city assessor Charles Knipp. Paul Ryan protege, Kenneth Brotheridge, finished last.
JG Excerpt:
“My message will continue to be the same: We need to bring jobs back to this district,” Knilans said. “Our current representative has failed us in that regard. “He promised to get a new GM plant here, and he failed miserably in that. The plant closed, and a lot of people resent that.”
Is he promising to bring GM jobs back, or is he just playing off resentments?

Keach Wins! Keach Wins! Keach Wins!

Possibly the most watched local race in Rock County, county coroner incumbent Jenifer Keach soundly defeated her primary challenger, Terry Holder, in Tuesday's election.

Holder, who some have felt carpetbagged the race as a democrat to take advantage of a low turn-out state primary and also collected signatures for her ballot petition while remaining employed with the federal government - a Hatch Act violation - was endorsed by Keach's powerful opponent, the local media monopoly Janesville Gazette.

Despite the onslaught from her political adversaries and the Gazette, Rock County voters felt differently and endorsed Jenifer Keach with 61 percent of the vote.

Keach however, will likely remain a regular target of the newspaper and a pathetic band of disgruntled employees and county insiders looking to destabilize the elective office into non-existence. They don't like her or some of her management decisions - seems to be the most serious and latest complaint filed and conveniently leaked less than a week before primary Tuesday.

Congratulations to Coroner Keach on a long and well fought and deserved victory over a battery of opponents. The people have spoken.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Primary Numbers Coming In Rock County

With only 2 precincts reporting out of 88, it appears that the race for Rock County coroner has attracted more interest than the governor's race. The coroner's race has counted 147 votes so far compared to the governor's 143.

With 6 of 88 precincts reporting, the incumbent Jenifer Keach is holding off her challenger, Terry Holder, 250 to 187.

With 11 of 88 precincts reporting, it's Keach 609 to Holder's 459.

The trend continues to hold steady in the coroner's race, with 13 of 88 precincts reporting, it's Keach 761 to Holders 568. At this stage, it appears that Terry Holder has attracted at least 200 republican voters.

With 20 of 88 precincts reporting, the incumbent Jenifer Keach is ahead of her challenger, Terry Holder, 971 to 716.

With 55 of 88 precincts reporting, the incumbent Jenifer Keach pulls further ahead of her challenger, Terry Holder, 2551 to 1645. I'll go out on the limb here and call Jenifer Keach the winner. Congratulations!!

With only 2 precincts reporting out of 88, Mark Neumann is ahead of Scott Walker, 154 to 148.

With 11 precincts reporting out of 88, Mark Neumann is barely hanging on ahead of Scott Walker, 1014 to 1001.

With 55 precincts reporting out of 88, Neumann has expanded his lead over Walker, Neumann with 3663 to Walker's 3326.

With only 2 of 23 precincts reporting in the Republican's race to challenge Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan in the 44th assembly district, Joe Knilans is leading the pack with 125 votes. Charles Knipp is second with 55.

With 14 of 23 precincts reporting, Knilans is still holding off the rest of his challengers with 796 votes. Bill Truman has edged Knipp for second with 347. Paul Ryan protege, Ken Brotheridge, is last with 241 votes.

By party preference, Rock County republican voters are outnumbering democrats by nearly 30%.

Please Vote Today

Remember, in Wisconsin primaries you cannot split your vote among different party candidates. Once you vote for your favorite Democrat, you cannot vote for a different party's candidate running for a different office - not that you ever would.
County Clerk Excerpt:

1. The winning candidate in each party where more than one candidate is running moves forward to the November ballot for General Election.

2. If you select a Party Preference and then vote for candidates in another party, those votes in another party will not be counted.

3. If you do not select a Party Preference and vote for candidates in more than one party, NO votes will be counted.
It's pretty simple really.

But I can understand some folks not wanting to carry the party-line label on their conscience. However, selecting a party preference will guarantee your party intentions will be counted. In other words, your outside-party mistakes won't be counted, but the rest of your ballot will be good. If you don't check party preference and you make even one mistake crossing into a different party, all selections will be ignored and your entire ballot will be discarded. Poof! It's like you were never there.

Of course you don't have to check party preference, but I highly recommend it.

Also, believe it or not, I've heard of folks checking only party preference and ignore the rest of ballot thinking it's a one-stop convenience party option without realizing that primaries are multiple candidate races! Another wasted ballot, D'OH!

Quote Of the Week

Anonymous said...
"Tea Baggers pushing contradictions like Paul Ryan remind (me) of chickens helping the Colonel open a restaurant, then wondering… what's for dinner?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gazette Smear On Coroner Unprecedented


By Richard L. Costerisan

At 5:00 a.m. today I received a call from my son-in-law Jamie Keach that both pierced my heart and made me extremely proud of my daughter Jenifer. As Jamie read to me the Gazette's endorsement for Rock County Coroner, I heard the most pathetic journalistic attack on a Democrat in my lifetime. Their vindictive assault assured me that Jenifer has threatened to expose the very core of the Republican machine that seeks to regain control of the county. She is knocking on the door of the conspiracy and corruption seething beneath the surface of the prairie farmlands and concrete industry that I called home for over sixty years. In an unheard of assault, the Gazette made a preemptive strike in fear at what they perceive is the greatest political threat to the Republican agenda for Rock County - Jenifer Keach.

Over the years we have all watched as Democrats have turned Rock County away from the Republican backroom politics that we grew up with and into a progressive community that welcomed people from all walks of life. Janesville, and Rock County became a place that we were all proud to call our home. During that time, the Gazette and Republicans became less influential and more brazenly conservative, trying to preserve their power base. Now, with the resurgence of the conservative movement sweeping our national political scene, local Republicans and their cronies at the Gazette are seizing the moment to attack the most competent Democrat to serve our citizens in recent memory. As the Republican Party puppet, the Gazette has spent whatever credibility they have left to smear Jenifer Keach with the worst piece of yellow-dog journalism to be inked on their pages in over a century. Who would have imagined that a coroner would garner so much attention from the Republican political machine? Jenifer has struck fear in deep places and touched buttons that have brought the Gazette to print the most blatant personal attacks imaginable.

For the past several years we have watched the Gazette attack the coroner and the office at every opportunity to discredit it while supporting the Republican call on the county board to switch to a Medical Examiner. Why? They are still reeling from the embarrassment the former Republican coroner left on the office. Republicans are insanely jealous that a home-grown Democrat could raise the bar of an obscure office to such heights. They are extremely disappointed that every effort to assign the former coroners illegal behavior to Jenifer did not stick. They have done their best to encourage dissention in her office and have failed to support her when blatant political accusations were leveled at the coroner. Instead, unfounded allegations were funneled to the Gazette by county administrators under the direction of certain Republican board members. The Gazette dutifully printed these baseless claims every chance they had. Eventually, the charges were revealed to be unwarranted and the Gazette was forced to recognize the state of excellence that Jenifer Keach brought to the county coroner's office. In several recent articles they have publicly recognized her success in building a team of professionals to serve the voters of Rock County at the highest level.

Now, just four days before the election, the Gazette editorial staff suddenly meets and decides to make an unprecedented recommendation in a Democratic primary for a coroner. Just two days before the election they smear Jenifer Keach and apologize for a pathetic endorsement of an unqualified and totally planted carpetbagger who worked with a financially motivated and egotistical forensic pathologist in Madison. What caused this change of events? Why this sudden interest in an endorsement for such a low-level elected office? Why has the Gazette withheld the latest politically charged allegations from two more employees that they have been sitting on for a week? The answer is simple - an independent investigation. The crony Gazette and their puppet masters are no longer in control of the investigation and for the first time a report will be generated that reveals the political ties that have been lurking below the county political scene for decades. And guess who is exposing it? Jenifer Keach. That is what has taken the Gazette to their lowest level of conduct in the history of the paper. The stakes are that high.

As Democrats we must not let the Gazette meddle in our election for coroner. They would love to dissuade you from voting at all or better yet, get you to vote for an unqualified candidate that will support their efforts to switch the office to a Medical Examiner. Don't let them steal your vote. Don't let them smear the best candidate. None of their charges are true and they know it. Keep the faith and vote Democrat and vote for Jenifer Keach for Rock County Coroner.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ryan Wants "Adult Conversation"

"The Roadmap is a dead end," says Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee...

...Ryan calls such attacks "juvenile."

"They're just trying to scare the heck out of Grandpa and Grandma," says Ryan...

"Many of his proposals are pretty extreme, or certainly more extreme than anything Congress under Democratic or Republican control has considered before," says Collender, a well-known and widely quoted budget expert.

Ryan says he is happy to have that debate, but simply wants it to be an "adult conversation" in which his proposals aren't caricatured or demonized.
Read more>>>.

While our district needs are a mere afterthought to Ryan, I can't believe he continues to be re-elected here in Wisconsin. It is beyond comprehension.

Walker Loses 1st Round TKO Against Shadow

Scott Walker must have a secret bet going with GOP senate candidate Ronald Johnson to see whose campaign can devolve first into a state of permanent back-fire to bury their candidacy before primary Tuesday. So far it looks like Walker's got a slight lead in that contest.

After windbag Walker issued his pork spending campaign attack against Mark Neumann, the internets opened up with evidence that Walker actually supported enough of the bill to hope it would pass. It did, but now Walker says the portion of the bill he supported was different because "this is money that was already there," but suggests the bill should have been voted down anyways because it spent too much. Is that some new kind of fiscal conservatism? Does any of that make sense?

As it turns out, Tom Barrett, who was in Congress at the time with Neumann, voted against the bill. At a press conference, Walker was asked what he thought about Barrett's vote. With a shit-eating grin he responded…
WKOW Excerpt:
"He probably voted against it because it didn't have enough pork for his district," Walker said.
Just couldn't give credit when credit was due. With that cheapshot answer, you'd have to wonder how Scott Walker would have voted on the bill had he the chance. Most likely he would have voted "absent," just like his thinking is right now, or ask one of his republican colleagues for advice on how to vote.

Another Wisconsin blog, Illusory Tenant, noted that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, like Tom Barrett, also voted against the pork barrel spending bill. Scott Walker of course was not a member of Congress.
Illusory Tenant Excerpt:
See how ridiculous these sorts of ads are? They practically depend on voter ignorance. And there could only be but one rational explanation for this one: Mark-Neumann-breathing-down-your-neck desperation.
Any way we look at this episode, in a one-on-one match-up with either republican on that old spending bill issue, Tom Barrett comes out the winner - as he should.

On a slightly different subject

In all due respect to some of my progressive friends, I don't agree with some of the reasons blogs are offering for democratic party voters to consider voting republican in the primary in an attempt to run a "weaker" candidate against the opposing democrat. Regarding Walker, Neumann, Johnson or Westlake, they all are running on failed GOP platform ideas and carry their own personal broken records. One might be more radical than the other, the other might be more tea-bagger or just plain stupid - but they are all equally weak one-on-one against Feingold or Barrett. Bottom line: Don't waste your vote on a republican.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Media Circus Monopolizes Politics Around Coroner's Office

How many articles from the Janesville Gazette can you count over the past two years about the Rock County coroner's office that did not contain some reference to the unfounded allegations thrown against the coroner by former employees or political adversaries? One maybe?

But such was the case when the Gazette posted their election issues story on the coroner and her challenger. Strangely absent from the story were those old and unfounded allegations against the coroner. Why? Well, because in order to repeat those ridiculously trumped-up allegations, they would have had to regurgitate the report on the challenger's recent violation of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits individuals from gathering signatures and running for partisan office while remaining employed in the federal government. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the fact remains, the challenger violated Hatch Act provisions and eventually had to resign from her job as restitution to avoid more severe penalties. That's it in a nutshell.

Side-by-side, the challenger's Hatch Act violation poses a relatively serious lapse of ethics compared to the range of personal and administrative attacks and opinions levied against the coroner. There is no comparison. The Gazette simply reports the challengers' job status as "unemployed" without providing any historical perspective. And what does the county have to say about a candidate collecting signatures while being employed in the federal government? You can hear crickets chirping.

Lucky for us, the Gazette or the county for that matter claimed they don't have a political agenda. This stuff just happens naturally.

No matter what you might think of Jenifer Keach or her management style, two things are abundantly clear, one; she is well qualified to be the county's coroner and two; she has handled personal complaints and media attacks against the office with common sense, dignity and sound remedy without resorting to party politics or partisan hyperbole. What more can we ask for? Yet, try as they have, the newspaper, along with a few county board supervisors and their political allies continue to twist the facts without offering any substantive proof in order to deliberately over-politicize Keach and the county office. Here is just one example from the Gazette's outrageously dysfunctional political blogger...
Gazette Blog Excerpt:
There is tooooooo much smoke to avoid the sense that there is a fire. I wish more of the accusations against Kearch (sic) would have been made public earlier this year to allow for appropriate and needed investigations. I know too well the situation with our former coroner and do NOT think Rock County needs a repeat! The use of public office POLITICALLY to keep one's elective position is ILLEGAL! WE THE PEOPLE deserve to know the truth and I KNOW we will not get that TRUTH without investigations since Keach is not known to be a person who tells THE TRUTH. I am voting for Holder next Tuesday. Remember: The vote next Tuesday is the FINAL VOTE - the real election of the Rock County Coroner. Forewarned is forearmed! -- John W. Eyster
Eyster also happens to be the Gazette blogger that accused the coroner of trying to shut down an open primary for challenging her opponent's petition papers. When unbeknown to everyone at the time, it was the challenger herself who should have owned up to wrongdoing and in the interest of moral and ethical fair play, should have withdrawn from the ballot for violating Hatch Act provisions. She did not.

But, history tells me that the bad apples out to get Jenifer Keach will never stop their political revenge, hate and smear campaign against her until they use every trick in the book to steal the office away from the people of Rock County. They'll just watch the coroner's office like no other in the history of the state and file complaint after complaint after complaint in hopes that some day - one might stick. They'll politicize the office until you're sick of it. These nasty folks have the power.

Note: This posting is the sole opinion of its author and was not authorized by any party, candidate or campaign.

Janesville's Labor Day Parade Not Party-Time for GOP

I watched the parade stationed near the Hedberg Library with a couple of friends and as usual, we had great time snapping photos and mixing it up with some of the entertainers and glad handing with the folks seeking political office. Nearly all the local democrats I could think of participated in the parade. Popular local democrats like Russ Feingold, Tammy Baldwin, Kim Hixson, Tim Cullen and Mike Sheridan were there including county office holders Sheriff Bob Spoden and Coroner Jenifer Keach. Feingold and Baldwin in particular were jousting from one side of the street to the other shaking hands, smiling and reaching out to anyone who bothered. Afterwards, Baldwin and Sheridan took to the sidewalks as they mingled in on their walk back to their vehicles. The noise and general atmospherics from most of the spectating crowd with the democrats was one of camaraderie, good time and good wishes. It was a pleasant experience.

And, just like in 2008 when I last attended Janesville's Labor Day parade, the most noticeable change in mood took place when republican candidates and incumbents came marching down the street with their legions of supporters. Maybe it's just me and my built in GOP-claustrophobia, but it was like a death pall came over the street. That includes the pin-dropping ambiance when hometown hero Paul Ryan passed down the street earlier in the parade. Sure, a couple of the younger republicans added a slight sense of energy to the scene, but south Main street for the most part, was dead silent. It was no longer fun. And if it were not for the riotously entertaining Yankee Dutchman Band to finally break up the seemingly endless string of republicans seeking a government paycheck, the GOPers might as well have had a hearse escort for their float.

The party was over.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hometown Newspaper Runs Away From Ryan's Roadmap?

Last week, the Janesville Gazette republished an editorial from the Miami Herald about saving Social Security under its original intentions and format for future generations. The Herald's editorial, inserted into the area normally reserved for the newspaper's endorsing editorials, contained some of the obviously moderate "tweaks" most bandied about through the msm and cable news talking heads.

But, what was surprisingly absent in this editorial was any allusion or allegiance to Congressman Paul Ryan's extreme roadmap plot to kill Social Security. Considering low-wage conservatives have hated Social Security and Medicare since their inception and combined with the Gazette's favored-son publishing contributions to Ryan's campaign over the years, this appears to be a very unusual development, at least on the surface.

Ryan’s “roadmap” you might recall, is a budget scheme to get out from debt by privatizing Social Security and Medicare at the same time repealing the estate and corporate taxes. Ryan has actually gone on record hoping to strip Social Security "certainty" away from workers and seniors because "it ends up draining them of their incentive and will to make the most of their lives." Fiscal-wise, his roadmap would lose $2 trillion over a decade, while requiring 90 percent of taxpayers to pay more, according to an analysis by the Citizens for Tax Justice.
So, over the course of several months, more and more voters have gotten wise to Ryan's marketing scheme to destroy Social Security, nudging republicans to quietly withdraw, at least publicly, their support for his roadmap.
Daily Caller Excerpt:
They’re talking to their pollsters and their pollsters are saying, ‘Stay away from this. We’re going to win an election,’ Ryan said, speaking at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution.
The pollster's advice offers a whole new dimension as to why Ryan's hometown newspaper would publish a Social Security editorial containing no reference to the most heavily publicized dismantlement plan out there on the wildly popular federal program. They're taking that advice and doing their part to desensitize Ryan's relationship with their readership on the Social Security issue.

There's an election coming up.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Chicago: Homeless Advocates Seek TIF Funds

Chicago Tribune Excerpt:
The group has spent several months trying to get the City Council to approve an ordinance requiring the city to use 20 percent of the money generated each year in the zones — known as tax increment financing districts — to create affordable housing.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Johnson Campaign At Odds Over Red Ron's Remarks

Red Ron

There they go again. Red-leaning GOPer candidate Ron Johnson says exactly what he means and his campaign comes out to reject the meaning of what he said. Who can we believe?
Open Left Excerpt:
I never thought we'd see a Republican Communist - and certainly not one who is the nominee for U.S. Senate in a major swing-state. But as the Wisconsin State Journal shows, in these strange times, even that seeming oxymoron now exists:

U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson was on the Wisconsin Radio Network Monday, chatting about jobs and the economy. But after the host asked him about his free market philosophy, Johnson ended up kind-of praising the current business climate China instead...Johnson veered onto the topic of China, and how casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn has already started building businesses in Macau.

"He's also creating resorts in Macau in China, communist China. And his point is, the level of uncertainty, the climate for business investment is far more certain in communist China then it is in the U.S. here," Johnson said.
This is pretty explicit: Johnson is praising a communist Chinese government and its state central planning for (allegedly) creating laudable certainty in that nation's economy - all while criticizing America's economy for not being equally communist, state-planned and stable. Read more>>>

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Great $12 Trillion Bank Robbery

I would imagine most regularly posting blog authors have a closet filled of never finished rants and other drafts that eventually fall to the wayside or become time issue irrelevant and deleted. This is one of several dozen unpublished drafts that I have. Started in the summer of 2008, I haven't been able to fill in the gaps and close it the way I'd like, but thought it might be interesting to post as is, given today's economic condition.

Speaking about crony capitalism, it was Congressman Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican-led majority of recent who pushed economic policies that deleveraged workers and eventually the U.S. economy into an imbalanced market.

Capital is like water. No matter the volume or the speed or size of expansion – it seeks its own level - always. The biggest untruth preached by GOPer's like Ryan and Club for Growthers is the false assumption that perpetual and rapid growth must be created to deny a zero sum environment. Ryan helped pull the stopper off capital drains like China, India, Mexico, tax shelters, tax cuts to the wealthy, Greenspan Fed policies, outsource incentives and deregulation just to name a few. They were opened up under the guise of free market expansion and investment but actually had the opposite effect – they quickly brought domestic growth to a standstill which eventually led to our suddenly new found level in our once stable and secure expanding zero-sum economic environment. But the major problem is that the level has dropped dramatically enough that many boats no longer float.

Enter the Bush Depression.

Heckenlively Running a People's Campaign

John Heckenlively, the presumed Democratic candidate for the 1st CD of Wisconsin, has announced he will be running a people's funded campaign limiting individual contributions to a maximum of $100.
Journal Times Excerpt:
"We want to make sure people understand this is a campaign from the bottom up, not from the top down," he said. "Campaigns like Paul Ryan's are run by corporate dollars - our campaign is going to be funded on the backs of people."
The Give Congress Heck campaign is not accepting any corporate contributions, campaign manager Mitch Surell said. They expect to see significant contributions in the next few weeks.

As noted in the previous post, the heavily corporate sponsored Paul Ryan has attracted $2,613,651 in this election cycle, according to Opensecrets.

Ryan's campaign issued this response to their challenger's grassroots campaign.
Journal Times Excerpt:
The Ryan for Congress campaign has 7,667 donors who have given $100 or less just this election cycle. Each month, we average 349 donations of $100 or less. The small donor, grassroots support for the campaign has been overwhelming," said Susan Jacobson, Ryan's campaign coordinator and finance director, in response. "The campaign will continue to respectfully receive contributions from supporters who wish to donate within their legal limits."
We "respectfully" receive contributions implies they won't "disrespect" corporate donations by refusing them. How's that for a slick play on words from the Ryan campaign?

But lets look at the numbers. Assuming that statement is accurate, Ryan picked up a maximum of $766,700 from $100-or-less donors, a significant amount of money. But that means 71% of Ryan's campaign support come from big-moneyed sponsors and the last time I checked on the $100 donors, most of even those modest contributors came from outside the district.

97% of Ryan's $100 Contributors Don't Live In District
Rock Netroots Excerpt: (From July 21, 2009)
After flipping through the report and checking a map, it turns out approximately $4,625 or 2.7% of the $167,975 were $100 donations from within his district - and that figure included $100 donors from the city of Milwaukee. 97.3% were donations of either more than $100 OR from outside his district.
Now, those percentages might have changed a few points since last year, but considering Ryan has been running a national fund-raising campaign, chances are even greater that most of his $100 contributors don't even live in the district.

We know what Ryan's corporate donors have bought, but what is it that these folks are buying since most don't live in the district?

You can contribute to Heckenlively's campaign here

Related: If district constituents refuse to fund Ryan's campaign - outsiders will.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Elitist "Young Guns" Book Promotion Mocked

Huff Post Excerpt:
The ad for the new tome, unfortunately titled "Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders," was labeled by Scarborough as "the worst idea ever" and led to him mocking the "Young Guns" part of the title in an old-time Western voice. The panel is so incredulous by the end of the segment that they start wondering if the ad is some kind of joke.
Watch the segment:

I had trouble trying to convey this without coasting into an endless vein-popping rage, so I fo-shopped it.
Find out who they work for