Presidential reading list

In case you're wondering how President Obama spent his time on Ait Force One after leaving Wisconsin, WisPolitics reports:

GOP guv hopeful Mark Neumann delivered a signed copy of his campaign book to Barrett's campaign office and asked him to give it to the president.

"Hopefully, some of those conservative ideas he can pick up and use because they're applicable across the country," Neumann said.

Talk about your futile gesture. Maybe if he'd bought a ticket he could have handed it over in person.  Or had his photo taken.  That  apparently would have been the closest Neumann is going to to get power in a long time, the way things are going.

 

 

No surprise: Sierra Club backs Larson

No surprise in this announcement:

The Sierra Club announced the endorsement of Chris Larson for election to Senate District 7. Larson has earned the Sierra Club’s endorsement by virtue of his responses to a candidate questionnaire, his environmental platforms, public service, and public statements. Sierra Club-endorsed candidates are those judged to be the best advocates for Wisconsin’s clean air, clean water, and special places.

“Chris Larson’s commitments to fight climate change, enact real renewable energy policies and standards and his support for intercity high speed rail and Regional Transit Authorities make him the Sierra Club’s choice,” said Dave Blouin, Political Committee Chair. “Voters in District 7 can count on Chris Larson’s commitment to protect Wisconsin’s environment.

Larson is challenging incumbent State Sen. Jeff Plale in the Democratic primary.  Plale almost single-handedly killed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a top priority for environmental groups,  last session.  Now he may finally have to pay the piper for his years of working on behalf of the special interests instead of his constituents. 

Feingold and Obama: BFF?

There's a small buzz among folks who attended the Obama fundraiser for Tom Barrett on Monday -- why did Obama mention Herb Kohl and Gwen Moore in his remarks at the event, and not Russ Feingold?

Did Feingold ask not to be mentioned because Obama is poison?  Is Obama angry with Feingold for voting against the recent financial reform package?

Fox News, whose parent company just gave $1-million to the Republican Governors Assn., speculated that Feingold might not show.  Wishful thinking, trying to turn everything into a negative.  If Obama were poison, why would Barrett welcome him?

But before the Obama visit, The Hill actually asked Feingold (who would have thought of that?) whether he had any hesitation about being with the President:

"Absolutely none," Feingold said when asked if he has any qualms about appearing with Obama, according to a pool report.

Ron Johnson making unauthorized calls

Robocall on our machine:

This is Ron Johnson, calling to invite you to take part in the Summer Showdown on Saturday, Aug. 21.  Momentum is behind us and we need your help to deliver our message statewide.  On August 21 we will attempt to make 100,000 voter contracts across Wisconsin.  But we need your help to connect with these voters.  Can I depend on your support?  We will be working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at dozens of victory centers across Wisconsin.  To RSVP for a shift, please visit www.wisgop.org or call 608-257-4765.  There is a lot at stake in the elections this fall, and we hope to see you on August 21.

So far, so good.  Then the disclaimer:

On Online Brainstorming, Or, "Hey, Unions...Wanna Grow?"

Sometimes stories happen because of planning; other times serendipity intervenes, which is how we got to the conversation we’ll be having today.

In an exchange of comments on the Blue Hampshire site, I proposed an idea that could be of real value to unions, workers...and surprisingly, employers.

If things worked out correctly, not only would lots of people feel a real desire to have unions represent them, but employers would potentially be coming to unions looking to forge relationships, and, just to make it better, this plan bypasses virtually all of the tools and techniques employers use to shut out union organizers.

Since I just thought this up myself, I’m really not sure exactly how practical the whole thing is, and the last part of the discussion today will be provided by you, as I ask you to sound off on whether this plan could work, and if so, how it could be made better.

It’s a new week...so let’s all put our heads together and rebuild the labor movement, shall we?

Plale-Larson profile: A firm grasp of the obvious

WisPolitics.com does a profile on the Chris Larson-Jeff Plale Dem primary in the 7th State Senate District, and reaches this shocking conclusion:

But it’s obvious Larson is running to Plale’s left.

There is no room to run anywhere but to Plale's left in a Democratic primary.  He has hogged the right lane and no one's going to pass him on the right.  That's what the race is all about -- Plale running as a Dem but operating like a moderate Repub.

Rain, Rain Go Away

“Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day,” the little Eau Claire girl sang to her mom. The rain came down in sheets.

When the rain and storms did go away, left in the wake was a trail of destruction. From Martel Township in the north to Little Fall Township in the south, our Senate District saw substantial damage.  Downed power lines, trees toppled, tin from barn roofs blown off, semi trailers and campers blown over.

Roads and bridges were washed out or damaged. Many saw blocked culverts turn into substantial road damage for town roads and private drives.

In Buffalo County homes were flooded, some perhaps damaged beyond repair. Cows were stranded. Pierce County deputies assisted a farmer who had about 80 heifers “floating down” the Rush River. Thankfully, most of the animals were recovered alive.

It’s been a tough summer.

From high winds, tornados and now, lots of rain, Western Wisconsin has seen more than its share of extreme weather events.

 

To solve the problems spawned by the storms, people turn to local government.

Walker expecting a primary blowout

The Journal Sentinel may be on to something.

First, it noted that Mark Neumann seems to be pulling his punches of late in the Republican primary for governor, after earlier going aggressively after rival Scott Walker.

Neumann insists that's not because he's giving up. But Walker, by all accounts, has a big lead, and if Neumann is to have any hope of winning a month from now he will need to be on the attack.

Sunday's JS story on a Neumann-Walker debate reinforces the idea that Walker is already looking beyond Neumann to the general election race against Tom Barrett.

It doesn't have to be that way, but Neumann -- maybe responding to criticism from some Repubs when he went negative earlier -- is now running hokey upbeat commercials that will not beat Walker. To win, he needs people now leaning Walker's way to change their minds. And his spot speaking to a group of fawning, head-nodding admirers in a very clean barn just won't get it.

No wonder Walker and his campaign have moved on to the general.

Where is Whistling Straits again?

The Sunday NY Times writes of different datelines used to file stories from Whistling Straits, where the PGA golf championship is being played this weeekend, and says:

It depends whom you ask. On all its materials, from its Web site to the I.D. cards it issues to staff members and reporters, the P.G.A. declares that Whistling Straits is in Kohler. Kohler County, which owns the place, says so, too.

There is no Kohler County, of course. It is in Sheboygan County. It is corrected in the online version. It is Kohler Company that owns the course, which looks georgeous on national TV.

There's more:

... [R]ight by the entrance to the Whistling Straits course is an unincorporated community called Haven (home to Haven Bar and Grill, the only watering hole within miles of here).

Walker still fudges on college record

Scott Walker, the degree-less candidate for governor, continues to describe his college career in ways that are terribly misleading if not outright fibs.

The latest came after Saturday's debate with Mark Neumann, and it unfortunately is a paraphrase so we don't have Walker's exact words, just the essence, from the Journal Sentinel:

Walker said he didn't graduate because he got a job and he suggested that in the current economy college students close to graduating might consider doing the same.

Here's the thing: Walker was not "close to graduating," although he has given the impression over the years that he might be just a few credits shy of a degree.

But here are the facts:

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