On Email Gay Bashing, Or, ENDA's Already Getting Ugly

It wasn’t but a couple of days ago that we had a conversation about The Fear and the emails that are used to spread it, and I figured with that out of the way we had dealt with the topic, and that we’d move on to new things.

Well, we would be moving on, Gentle Reader, if it wasn’t for the fact that an email came in today that was so ugly, so disturbing, and so indicative of what we are about to see as the battle over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) begins to heat up (ENDA being possibly the next “big contentious thing” that this Administration hopes to accomplish), that I had to interrupt my story schedule to bring it to your attention.

One degree of separation

Tommy Thompson's likelihood of running for the Senate, which has been bouncing around every time someone writes about it, is up to 75%, the Daily Standard reports.

Funny how the number's always higher when it comes from someone besides Tommy himself, who put it at 50-50 recently.

Be that as it may, the Standard reports Tommy is taking steps to "separate himself from his business interests." To wit:

Late last week, Thompson resigned from the Board of Directors of CNS Response, Inc., a health care data company. Thompson said the resignation was for personal reasons. A statement from Thompson, who has agreed to become chairman of the CNS Response advisory board, read: "I have nothing but the highest respect for the management and Board of CNS Response, and look forward to helping them advance this important medical technology."

That's some separation, huh?

Tommy has refused repeatedly to reveal his list of clients, many of whom he services through Akin, Gump a major GOP law/lobbying firm in DC.

Why Tommy can't beat Russ

1. While Tommy may have highrollers on speed dial, his Wisconsin contacts are still on a Rolladex.

As Governor, he put in long hours appearing in every corner of the State, and was very accessible. One to one, if you were having a problem with the State bureaucracy, and the request was reasonable, he'd try and help out.

His problem, now, many of those folks he helped out are now deceased, or moved to Florida.

He managed the long hours for a few weeks in Iowa for his abortive Presidential run, but it was wearing him out. I don't think he can sustain it all the way to November, and Russ doesn't give much to work with on a strictly negative ad-driven campaign. Unlike his opponents in the Governor races, they won't beable to paint Feingold as a gungrabbing nannystater. (Feingold voted against renewal of the assault weapons ban, a position that synchs well with his battle against the PATRIOT ACT.)

Feingold CONTINUES to lead Thompson?

This report may surprise you if you've been reading the reports on polling done by Rasmussen Reports, a Republican firm, or Wisconsin's Partisan Republican Institute (WPRI) which keep trying to get Tommy Thompson into the Senate race. It's from Public Policy Polling.

Like Rasmussen, it is automated and we don't know who's paying for it -- two things that are troubling no matter who does the polling.

But will it be reported in the same way the Rasmussen and WPRI polls have been, or will it be downplayed or ignored by the media because the story doesn't fit that media template some right-wing blogger used to rant about?

And will anyone mention how much people like DC lobbyists? Hide and watch.

Tommy Thompson is gaining on Russ Feingold as the likelihood of his candidacy increases, and now trails just 47-44. Feingold had a 50-41 advantage when PPP looked at a hypothetical contest back in November. Nevertheless the poll finds warning signs for Thompson on the road ahead.

Feelings toward Feingold and Thompson are highly polarized with neither having much in the way of crossover support.

Quote, delete quote

When an embarrassing fact about Scott Walker and his sidekick Fred Luber disappeared from a Journal Sentinel story, inquiring minds wondered why.

Tom Daykin, who wrote the story, explained in response to an email inquiry:

I love Scott Walker, and am actively supporting his campaign. But that’s just between us. This is off-the-record, right?

Actually, joking aside, I will forward your email to the boss who edited the story.

I am guessing, though, that it was cut because it was at the end of the story, which probably ran too long for the space allotted in the paper. I put it at the end of the story because we had already reported Walker’s criticisms, and the city’s responses, in a separate story that my colleague Larry Sandler had written the day before. And I thought the new concerns being raised by Ald. Bauman were more newsworthy (as a matter of fact, I am planning to run another blog item soon just about Bauman’s concerns, given that he is normally a very strong advocate for high-speed rail. Kind of a Nixon goes to China thing….)

OK, I guess. As a recovered newsman, I understand the inverted pyramid story and cutting from the bottom, but that's not exactly what happened here.

God punishes suburban sprawl

Patrick McIlheran, the Journal Sentinel's resident right-wing columnist, opines about Waukesha's effort to buy water from Milwaukee. He starts with a shot at Milwaukeens who don't want to encourage further sprawl:

Milwaukeeans who oppose selling Lake Michigan water - call them anti-suburbanites, for convenience - are certain they feel Waukesha is a blight upon the earth that they'd as soon see dry up utterly if they can't extort sufficient boodle out of it.

Then there's this:

Waukesha's problem is that its well water is tainted with radium, put there by God and declared unacceptable by the EPA.

Apparently, God hates suburban sprawl, too. Who knew?

Or is Paddy Mac suggesting that God thinks it's OK to drink radium-tainted water, but was overruled by the EPA?

Memo to Thompson campaign: 1% of Wisconsin people like Washington lobbyists

Public Policy Polling's blog:

We'll have our full Wisconsin Senate numbers out tomorrow, and it's a close race between Russ Feingold and Tommy Thompson. But there was one piece of information in the poll that bodes particularly ill for Thompson...and Dan Coats in Indiana as well.

1% of Wisconsin voters have a favorable opinion of Washington lobbyists. I think something polling at 1% is a new one for us. 77% view them negatively. And you better believe that if Thompson gets in the race that Washington lobbyist card will get played over and over and over again.

Tax and spend liberals, which Feingold is sure to be labeled as, are considerably more popular than Washington lobbyists. Only 53% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of them, and 18% even like them!

That 1% must be "all the right people in the room" that Tommy booster Bill McCoshen was gushing about.

Tommy backs health care for Iraqis, but not for Americans

Tommy Thompson belittles the health care bill while pandering to the tea partiers on the government "taking over the health care system":

Government-controlled health care No, this legislation is not as significant as Medicare, which enabled the elderly and disabled to receive real protection when they were less capable of obtaining coverage and had no alternatives whatsoever. But this legislation has the potential to change the current social services fabric because the health insurance transformation that will pass will be the beginning of a government-controlled health care system.-- Tommy Thompson in NY Times.

Which makes this more relevant, from Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH) on the House floor:

“I’ll remind my friends on the other side (House Republicans) who voted to send (former president George W. Bush’s secretary of health and human services) Tommy Thompson to Iraq with a billion dollar checks in hand to make sure that every man, woman and child in Iraq had universal health care coverage.”

Who's in charge here?

Gov. Jim Doyle and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton are both out of the state, which makes the AP, on a slow news day, wonder who's in charge. 

In 2010, do we think Joe Biden is acting president every time Barack Obama crosses the border?  Let's get real.

AP thinks maybe Secretary of State Doug LaFollette is in charge.  If he is, this will reassure you:

“I’m here and will be around all weekend,” La Follette said Friday afternoon. “It’s interesting, I wonder if I need to give my phone number to someone? But my home phone number is in the phone book, if anyone needs me.”

Where is Alexander Haig when we need him? Still dead, apparently.

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