Johnson's "Citizen Legislator" Meme is Actually Exact Opposite of What Founders Wanted

Ah-Ha!  Ron Johnson has found a loophole from none other than "our Founders" that the people serving in the U.S. Senate should be "citizen legislators" (such as Johnson) and that the Founders especially disliked the idea of "career politicians" (such as Feingold).  Here's how he explained it to the NYT:

I would be going to Washington as a citizen legislator.  I think that’s really what our founders had envisioned: somebody who’s lived a full life and you take that lifetime of experience and try to apply it to the problems of the nation. Then you go home.

The problem with this Tea Party-inspired argument is that it is not only not true, but the exact opposite is true:  The founders wanted well-qualified, experienced, long-serving people in the U.S.

What's a little minor domestic abuse?

Both have had minor run-ins with the law, but we don't view this as disqualifying for either. -- Journal Sentinel editorial, endorsing Jeff Plale over Chris Larson.

In case anyone hasn't heard about it, Larson's was a shoplifting charge when he was a teenager and took some food from a grocery store.

Plale's, reported this week by, involved domestic violence. Here's the report.

It's a pretty safe bet that a woman didn't write the editorial.

Other than that, the Journal Sentinel likes the fact that Plale's for school choice and plays well (and votes) with Republicans -- some of the same reasons he has a serious challenge in the Democratic primary.


Will Dem dirty tricksters vote GOP? Nope

Will Democrats cross over and vote in Tuesday's Republican primary?

Is there a widespread plot by Dems to cross over and vote to nominate the weakest Republican candidate for governor?   (That would be Scott Paterick, (pictured), in case you're hatching a plot.)

Despite a few alarms being sounded here and there, and despite some Dems thinking it would be a good idea, it's not going to happen.  Nor should it.

Wisconsin's open primary means a voter doesn't have to say which party's primary he/she is voting in.  No one has to register as a D or R.  When you're in the voting booth you pick a party and no one ever knows.  Next time, if the other party's races are more interesting, you can switch.

It's a legacy of Fighting Bob LaFollette, the progressive reformer, and it is unlikely ever to change in Wisconsin.  Even when the national Democratic Party threatened, back in the 1970s, to refuse to seat Wisconsin delegates if they were elected by an open primary, the law wasn't changed.  Instead Wisconsin went to the US Supreme Court and won.  (We did have one year of presidential caucuses in 1984, in addition to the primary, but that's a differe

A Debunking of Ron Johnson's "Job Creator for 30 years" Myth

Ron Johnson's main campaign theme is that for the last thirty years, while he has devoted his life to being a "job creator," Russ Feingold has been nefariously spending his time being a "career politician" and working tirelessly to destroy to the country.  

In truth, like the "career politicians" on Mount Rushmore, Feingold has spent most of his adult life devoted to public service.  And, if Johnson's really wants to juxtapose the two men's accomplishments over the last thirty years, I'll gladly oblige.

By Johnson's own account, he did not start or create, the job creator, PACUR.  His brother-in-law, Pat Curler, through heavy backing from his father, billionaire plastics titan Howard Curler, started the company in 1977 and named it after himself:  PAt CURler.   Pat Curler was the President of the company when it started and, as Johnson charactorized the early days: "It was an opportunity for Pat to get into business for himself, and I just kind of came along for the ride as the accountant."

"Just came along for the ride as the accountant," doesn't really sound like a "job creator" to me.  It sounds like someone that...

Pay to Plale cash keeps piling up

The special interests can't seem to get enough of Jeff Plale, and he can't seem to get enough of their money.

Just a cursory look at the pre-primary campaign finance reports from Plale's committee shows that a huge chunk of the money his campaign has raised is from the special interests he's served so well in the State Senate.

Utilities, thankful for his "leadership" in playing a key role in killing a renewable energy bill in April, keep coughing up the dough.

Since July 1, Plale raised about $35,000 total and it looks like at least $10,000 of that came from people in the utility business -- $3,785 through the We Energies conduit, another $1,400 from people at Xcel Energy, $500 from three admirers at Alliant Energy, and $3,000 from three fine folks at Foresight Energy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which, among other things, is in the coal mining business.

Then there's the outpouring of money from school choicers -- locals Susan and George Mitchell, but also members of the Walton family (of Wal-Mart, not the mountain) at $1000 a clip, another grand from a San Francisco couple.

Johnson Campaign Nothing More Than Unfunny Version of Monty Python's "Argument" Sketch

In Monty Python's hilarious "Argument Clinic" sketch, a "patient" goes to the clinic to have an argument, but feels cheated when his clinician is giving him nothing more than contridiction:

Oh look, this isn't an argument.
Yes it is.
No it isn't. It's just contradiction.
No it isn't.
It is!
It is not.

Look, you just contradicted me.
I did not.
Oh you did!!
No, no, no.
You did just then.
Oh, this is futile!
No it isn't.
I came here for a good argument.
No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
An argument isn't just contradiction.
It can be.

No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
No it isn't.
Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
Yes it is!
No it isn't!

Yes it is!
Argument is an intellectual process.

Who cares who the Lt. Gov. is?

Who cares who the next lieutenant governor of Wisconsin will be?

The person who will care the most is the next governor of Wisconsin. 

Having a lieutenant governor who is really a partner, a trustworthy team player who will help push a policy and political agenda, and who will faithfully carry out duties delegated to him/her by the governor, could be invaluable to the next chief executive.

That's something Jim Doyle has had to do without for eight years.  Barbara Lawton made it clear from the day she won the nomination in 2002 that she was on her own team, not Doyle's.  It was her choice, but one that meant she was never a central player but sat on the sidelines and tried in vain to find something meaningful to do.  She has a coterie of liberal fans, the Capital Times chief among them.  But her eight-year contribution to the administration has been miniscule. 

Now we get to start over, and the job has attracted a flock of candidates in both parties, with Tueday's primary deciding who will be on the D and R tickets in November. 

The candidates for governor no doubt have their favorites, but they're being coy about it.  Tom Barrett, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have been pretty hands-off

Fact check missing in action

Doing a fact check after a political campaign commercial is already off the air is not much of a public service, no matter how loudly the Journal Sentinel brags on its new PolitiFact feature.

Looking at a spot when it begins to run makes much more sense and actually gives people some information that might be useful when they see the commercial again and again and again.

Case in point: The latest Ron Johnson ad, in which one person after another trashes Russ Feingold as a career politician.

The Associated Press reports:

Johnson's ad falsely claims that Feingold never worked outside politics. Feingold was a private practice attorney from 1979 to 1985.

By contrast, here is the entire Journal Sentinel online post about it:

Ron Johnson, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, unveiled a new ad today in which he attacks U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold for being a career politician.

People in the ad said Feingold "never created a job or has ever met a payroll." Later, another person in the ad says Feingold is "right in the Redi-Pelosi-Obama camp." That is a reference to Sen.

Scott Walker, scofflaw

One Wisconsin Now:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has violated the state of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws more than 650 times since 2009 by failing to disclose information about contributors who donated more than $100, according to a formal complaint filed Tuesday with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

One Wisconsin Now’s research, compiled from the Walker for Governor campaign finance reports, shows 659 separate donations in excess of $100 without the required employment information for the donors. The total contributions in violation of Wisconsin statute 11.60(1) total $234,920.

That's no oversight. That's a conscious campaign decision to ignore state law. And this is a guy who wants to be governor.


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