Johnson: I didn't say Great Lakes, I said ANWR; Well, no I didn't, actually, but I meant what I didn't say

Senate candidate Ron Johnson steps through the looking glass in Hudson and finds what's up is down:

... [Johnson] has also been criticized for allegedly supporting drilling for oil in the Great Lakes.

“There is no way I would support drilling in the Great Lakes,” said Johnson, who still wonders what that accusation is based on. “I never said Great Lakes, and I never said drill in the Great Lakes.”

He says he did say the nation should look at drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

“I think we need to realize we’re an oil-based economy,” said Johnson. He said the country has to look at the most environmentally friendly ways of producing oil.

At the risk of getting repetitive, this is what Johnson was asked, and what he replied:

Asked, "Do you want to open up more of the United States - the continental United States - to drilling. I mean, would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes for example, if there was oil found there, or using more exploration in Alaska, in ANWR, those kinds of things?" Johnson said:

"Yeah. You know, the bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy.

Johnson doesn't disagree as Obama is called a lying, Marxist criminal

An exchange from a Republican meeting last month in Outagamie County, courtesy of Forward Lookout, which also has the video.  (The photo will make sense when you get to the end.)

Audience Member: Today I am very, very worried about this country, where it is going. As I study history and look at the historical thing I see right now a liar, a cheat, a criminal, a dishonest person who lied his way into the White House; and we are sitting with a Marxist anti-American, American-hater sitting in the White House, who seems bound and determined to destroy this nation.

Moderator: Rich, is that your question? (Laughter)

Audience Member: Yes. Do you agree? Let me finish. My point, I guess what I’m saying it is so important for people like Mr. Johnson who understands this [inaudible] to be elected. It’s important for the people who are out there who don’t understand what this whole thing was about, that they begin to understand so that a Reagocrat[?] like Feingold, ah…Dumocrats like Kagen and others out there are removed from office so that this country gets back on a…gets back on its path.

JS gives Johnson a total pass on Great Lakes oil

You may be surprised to hear this, but Senate candidate Ron Johnson is a big environmentalist who's totally opposed to drilling for oil under the Great Lakes. Always has been.

At least that's the line the Journal Sentinel editorial board swallowed and is now peddling to the public.

To help Johnson make his case that he opposes drillling and Russ Feingold is lying about him, the newspaper even cleans up Johnson's quote for him, rewriting the history that began the dispute over the issue.

You may recall this:

 Asked, "Do you want to open up more of the United States - the continental United States - to drilling. I mean, would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes for example, if there was oil found there, or using more exploration in Alaska, in ANWR, those kinds of things?"  Johnson said:

"Yeah. You know, the bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy. There’s nothing we’re going to do to get off of that for many, many years, so I think we have to just be realistic and recognize that fact.

Conservation voters aim to have big impact

The League of Conservation Voters, the state's largest conservation organization, is aiming to have a real impact on elections this fall.  LCV seems determined to make its endorsements mean something, to its members and to voters.

As a member, I received an email today (below) about the group's endorsement in my State Senate district.  If it's an indication of things to come, LCV could be a real player and make a big difference.  As a statewide organization with offices in four places, it is in a position to put some people on the ground to help candidates, too.

The group is not satisfied, as many are, to simply endorse incumbents with good records on their issues as a thank you.  The first batch of candidates featured on the websit doesn't include a single incumbent, and in my district, actually backs a challenger who's taking on a Democratic incumbent in a primary.

Steele-ing a page from the Walker book

The Washington Times:

The Republican National Committee failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the Federal Election Commission in recent months -- a move that made its bottom line appear healthier than it is heading into the midterm elections.

In Milwaukee County, the Public Policy Forum says the county is walking into an estimated $20 million to $45 million budget hole—and that doesn’t include deferred maintenance (estimated to be $200 million in the parks alone), the still-unresolved employee concessions written into the 2010 budget, and challenges at the Mental Health Complex and at the Milwaukee County Transit System (estimated transit shortfall next year: about $10 million, the Shepherd Express reports.

And then there's the $400-million Walker borrowed to shore up the shortfall in the pension fund, which still needs to be repaid.

But Walker has merrily announced a budget surplus of $8.9-million for 2009.

See any similarities?

'Walker: Just like Doyle and Barrett, only worse'

The latest Republican Governors Association spot says Tom Barrett has raised Milwaukee’s taxes “every single year,” increased spending by $300 million and seen the city lose dozens of businesses during his time as mayor.

“Tom Barrett more taxes, less jobs. Just like Jim Doyle, only worse,” the RGA spots say.

Here's the thing: Barrett's city budgets may have gone up $300-million, but Scott Walker's county budgets have gone up $396-million.

The city may have lost dozens of businesses, but the county (which includes the city) has no doubt lost even more. And even more jobs.

Scott Walker, more taxes fewer* jobs. Just like Jim Doyle and Tom Barrett, only worse.

Pretty catchy message, huh?

(*Can we fix the grammar, RGA, while we're at it? Fewer, not less.)

Nuclear accidents only in the movies, right?

Milwaukee Magazine's News Buzz:

Filmmakers will use a building on [Milwaukee's] Tower Automotive site to stage a scene that is supposed to take place at the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine — where a 1986 meltdown remains the world’s worst nuclear power accident.

Why not just use Point Beach,(pictured), a real nuclear plant, not too far up the road?

Point Beach hasn't had a major accident yet, although it is one of the oldest opeating reactors in the nation.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which inspects the nation's 102 operating reactors, has only issued five "red findings," the most serious safety warning, since it began using that system. Three of the five red warnings have gone to Point Beach.

In bureaucratic terms, the NRC says a red finding has a "high safety significance." How high? Well, there is no color higher than red on the scale.

But not to worry. The reactors have been relicensed to operate until 2030 and 2033, when they will be 60 years old.

New Health Insurance Options Available

Do you know someone who has been without health insurance because they have pre-existing conditions? A new health insurance option may be able to help.

Enrollment for the new “HIRSP Federal Plan” opened last week. This plan is open to Wisconsin citizens who have a pre-existing condition and have been without health insurance for six months. 

Wisconsin received $73 million dollars from the federal government to provide a health insurance option to help those facing the worst situation – serious health conditions with no health insurance.  The HIRSP Federal Plan offers very reasonable rates for comprehensive health insurance. For example, a person age 60 and over who chooses the highest deductible - $3,500 – will pay $398 a month. A person under 25 who chooses the lowest deductible - $500 – will pay $214 a month.

The plan’s benefits are similar to many health insurance plans and exclude such things as eye glasses, routine dental care and hearing aids. But the plan does offer a prescription drug benefit that includes generic and brand name drugs.

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