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Monday, November 01, 2010

Janesville Gazette Endorsements Explain Why America Headed Downhill

Somebody noticed that the hometown newspapers of Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson did not endorse their respective hometown candidates.
TMJ4 Excerpt:
In both cases, the papers faulted their local candidates for not being responsive enough to the communities' needs.
That is not an entirely true statement. The OshKosh Northwestern wrote that the Oshkosh community can point to Ron Johnson with pride. It's Johnson's hollow campaign rhetoric and unwillingness to be open and truthful with voters that they have a problem with. As far as the Janesville newspaper's endorsement is concerned, it's the newspaper that is unwilling to be open and truthful with voters. They've been running politically charged negative campaigns against a handful of local officials for several years now and Feingold was one of them.

One of the main differences between the Janesville Gazette endorsement for Ron Johnson and the endorsement editorial from the OshKosh Northwestern for Sen. Russ Feingold is that the Janesville newspaper's endorsement lacked as much substance as their senate candidate does, and whatever minute substance they do have to chop away at Sen. Russ Feingold on - they cannot reconcile with their other endorsement positions, particularly their endorsement for Rep. Paul Ryan.

Among the first reasons the Gazette rejected Feingold was because they claim he lacked visibility when General Motors was rolling out of Janesville. However, just a few days earlier the Gazette endorsed homeboy Paul Ryan who not only is the district's in-absentia congressman, but whose legislative positions and votes have directly dealt the final blows to the once robust automotive manufacturing sector of our district. The Gazette makes no mention of Ryan's lack of visibility during or after the demise of the GM plant. Does the newspaper hold a partisan bias or double-standard of expectations against certain local public officials? You decide. Still, it's grossly unfair to claim Feingold's positions have had no positive impact on the GM plant's future. In fact - it's an outright lie.

In 2007, the Gazette and Ryan double-teamed against Feingold on his position with CAFE legislation, claiming the legislation would hurt the Janesville SUV plant. Back then, the blind Gazette, disabled by Ryan's broken politics and ideological hang-ups shamelessly wrote, "Feingold turned his back on Janesville."

Again, it was only a little more than a year ago when I described how CAFE legislation offered Janesville one more opportunity to land the small car production GM needed to keep in the states to help balance fleet mileage.

Of course we now know that tighter US fleet average standards did not bring about the demise of Janesville's SUV plant, as the inept Ryan had previously grandstanded. In fact, it was Feingold's CAFE that offered Janesville a one in three chance to acquire new production. Had Ryan and the Gazette succeeded in fooling everyone back then, Janesville would have had zero in zero chances.

At the same time, I'm not trying to pretend that the mere chance to land auto production brought jobs to Janesville. But it should be obvious Feingold's position was the right one to take.

Another distinction between the Janesville Gazette and the Oshkosh Northwestern "hometown" editorials is this: the Janesville Gazette editors arrogantly expected something in return for being the senator's hometown, while the Oshkosh editorial makes no such claim to leverage against their homeboy. The Northwestern offers a reasonably neutral and detailed analysis of Johnson's hollow campaign rhetoric and disqualifications while making no "what's in it for us" qualifier on either candidate. The Northwestern concludes that Sen. Russ Feingold is, "effective and well regarded" and "the most qualified candidate and should be re-elected."

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not bashing the Janesville Gazette for not endorsing Feingold, they're entitled to their political activism and opinions like everyone else.

With their sycophantic adulation supporting power-tripping politicians, the Janesville Gazette endorsement editorials come across as pure propaganda and exactly what's wrong with our political environment. This should be evident. So, this posting is primarily about their editorial inauthenticity, corpo-crony politics and general hypocrisies they use for the basis to most of their endorsements. They are steering their readers down the path to oligarchy and hope nobody notices.

Excluding county offices, this is one reason why I found the Gazette's endorsement for Rep. Tammy Baldwin intellectually obnoxious. She does not belong on the list of corpo-crony and slush fund candidates and incumbents endorsed by the newspaper. Her selection appears to be more of a marketing ploy to help neutralize their GOP-inspired profits-over-people image and to buy some political capital. In their endorsement for Baldwin, the editors stopped short of almost apologizing for endorsing her. Of all the candidates endorsed by the Janesville Gazette, she should publicly reject their disingenuous support.

Of much more significance were the newspaper endorsements for Sen. Russ Feingold from the typically far-right Wisconsin State Journal Feingold Still Wisconsin's Best Bet and the Green Bay Gazette Feingold is better choice for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

This posting was not authorized by any candidate, political party or organization. It is the sole opinion of its author.


Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that Janesville Gazette publisher Sidney Bliss has the final say when it comes to political endorsements. It doesn't matter if the entire editorial board supports Candidate A, if Bliss supports Candidate B then Candidate B gets the Gazette's blessing.

Anonymous said...

The one endorsement that really surprised me from the Gazette was their endorsement for Mike Sheridan after they nearly ruined his career for dating the payday lobbyist. What say you?

Lou Kaye said...

I wasn't surprised at all. In April I noted how the Gazette was backing away from their smear campaign against him and started taking a defensive posture. After Sheridan ended his GM connections during the auto plant's last gasps, the Gazette mediacorpse had no further reason to support Sheridan so they embarked on sensationalizing his dates with the payday lobbyist. But something happened, the newspaper's personal and political hatred for the democrat was overruled by the newspaper's thirst to foist the I39/90 expansion cashcow onto taxpayers. They knew if they smear him out of office, the publicity and the delay could cost the newspaper millions of dollars in trickle-down ads, subscriptions and profits from the massive capital injection.

If there was any truth to what the newspaper perpetuated about Sheridan, what honest citizen would support him? Afterall, they were accusing of him of being a corrupt politician. Their endorsement for him is a laugher and a solid indictment, not of Sheridan, but of the newspaper's moral bearings and political agenda.

Knowing that the Gazette is corrupted, it was not a surprise to me that they endorsed Sheridan. Hope that answered your question.

Anonymous said...

I too was shocked by the Sheridan endorsement but then they explained it toward the bottom. They only did it just incase the Dems regain control and keep him as speaker. They were hedging their bets. Anclam shocked me too as did Baldwins. The Gazette's endorsements this year were really odd for them. What are they getting at? Even that blowhard Eyster was beating them up. They need to get rid of him, he's unstable and reflects poorly on the paper itself IMO. Incoherent babble that is very difficult to read. I usually stop after the first few sentences and this guy is a teacher!? Their medical examiner reasons are a joke. Let's give the power or ruling on deaths to very partisan board that likes to influence anything and everything it can. Depends on who is in charge at the moment. No thanks. Podzilni needs to go, as do the last few appointments. He's stacking the board and votes with yes-men and women. The guy doesn't even pay taxes! He lives in an apartment! And the other referendum... again, why is this a constitutional question?

Lou Kaye said...

You have to consider one important aspect here - that some (not all) of these democrats are capitulating heavily to special interests of which the Gazette is a major part of.

The Gazette was always republicorps, they haven't changed ... it's some of our local democrats that are doing the changing, they're changing into democorps. Again, I believe the Bliss powered Gazette will endorse the corps-crony politician over the party 99 out 100 times.

After tomorrow, Rock County democrats, progressives and liberals should take a closer look at some these Dems. They are not who they claim to be. Right now though, voting for the alternative is far worse.

My own feeling about Eyster is I think he reflects on the newspaper perfectly.

But your question about the other referendum is sort of it's own answer. The "budget raids" referendum is not really a constitutional question on existing constitutional law. But, its "yes" promoters want an enforceable law, an amendment, to guarantee that certain tax collections are used for only certain special interest needs - it would guarantee their own government corpo-slush funds. This in my view is the ultimate corruption.

In my view, the ways and means for the state to pay its bills should not be a constitutional question simply because ever-changing economic realities and the tax funds to pay the bills should never be hindered by constitutional restrictions. But special interests are pushing for it - and special interests have all the power.

I also feel that say 20 or 30 years ago, that referendum would have either been laughed off the stage or it's promoters would have scorned and mocked as gold-digging deficit spenders looking for an easy hand-out. But not in these Orwellian times.

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