Ron Johnson - Oil Fan, Even in the Great Lakes

[img_assist|nid=12955|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=253|height=300]I guess it's consistent that someone who has recently said he's in favor of global warming would also be in favor of oil drilling wherever it might be possible -- but somehow the idea that someone running for senator from a Great Lakes state would be in favor of oil drilling in the Great Lakes seems a bit much -- Ron Johnson interviewed by Wispolitics -

Would you support drilling, like in the Great Lakes for example?


“You know, the bottom line is we are an oil-based economy.  There's nothing we're going to do to get off of that for many years.  I think we have to be realistic and recognize that fact and, you know, I, I think we have to, get the oil where it is, but we have to do it where it is.”

Block, Nixon are not convicted crooks

There, that headline should satisfy the lawyers representing Mark Block, state director of Americans for Prosperity, a Republican front group that does issue advocacy.

The Democratic Party has been calling him a criminal fundraiser, and Block's friends have filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board, as Dan Bice reported.

So Mark Block and Richard Nixon are not crooks. But there doesn't seem to be any question that both were guilty of serious election law violations.

The campaign Block managed for former State Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox still holds the record for paying the most severe election law penalties in Wisconsin history.

Block himself settled a case brought against him by the former State Elections Board for illegal activity in the Wilcox campaign, agreeing to pay a $15,000 fine and stay out of Wisconsin political campaigns for three years.

That's serious stuff -- but not a crime.

What he did do was illegally coordinate $200,000 worth of campaign activity with a group pretending to be operating indepently, which is forbidden for a lot of reasons, including campaign contribution limits.

On Setting Things Straight, Or, An Open Letter To The United Kingdom

Dear The United Kingdom,

I just wanted to take a minute to say hello and to see how things have been for you lately, and to maybe bring you up to date on a bit of news from here.

Well, right off the bat, we hear you have a new Conservative Prime Minister and that his Party and Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are in partnership, which I’m sure will be interesting; you probably heard that us Colonials are again having Tea Parties, which has also been very interesting.

I have a Godson who’s getting married this September, so we’re all talking about that, and I hear Graham Norton was even better than last year at hosting Eurovision, despite the fact that it’s...frankly, it’s Eurovision.

Oh, yeah...we also had a bit of an oil spill recently that you may have heard about—and hoo, boy; you should see how the Company that spilled the oil has been acting.

Who won the straw poll? Who cares?

This is being written before any straw poll results from the state Democratic convention are announced. We don't know yet who won, and I don't care.

But before any of the winners begin trumpeting the results -- or thinking they mean anything at all -- a little walk down memory lane might be in order.

The first straw poll most Wisconsin Democrats remember was done in 1983 at the state convention, to test support for presidential candidates for the 1984 race.

The winner: Callifornia Sen. Alan Cranston, who beat Walter Mondale and Gary Hart, was elected president in 1984 and served two terms, until turning over the White House to Bill Clinton in 1993.

OK, you're right. Cranston didn't win the nomination, and Mondale, who did, lost the election to some other guy from California.

For years afterward, the party not only didn't take straw polls but actively discouraged them.

Asking Johnson the wrong question, in a report to subscribers about an interview with Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson:

 Johnson said his daughter’s medical difficulties as a young girl are a particular motivator for him on the issue. She was born with a heart defect that required surgery right after she was born and again when she was 8 months old. Johnson said he sought out the best care available for his daughter and complained the health care law pushed through by Dems will restrict that freedom for Americans.

Some critics in the blogosphere have seized on that story to question whether others would actually have that freedom under the old system or only the well off.

But Johnson said he had the same insurance available to other employees at his company, Pacur. His daughter is now 27 and working as a nurse in a neonatal care unit.

“I had nothing special,” Johnson said of his insurance coverage.

The real question is what evidence does Johnson have that the new health care system would prevent anyone from doing the exact same thing he did, with the same coverage?

Athletic conferences don't add up

According to the Omaha World Herald, Nebraska officials have accepted an invitation to apply for membership to the Big Ten Conference.  The Nebraska Board of Regents is meeting Friday and school officials have scheduled a news conference for 4:45 p.m., presumably to announce the school's decision to leave the Big 12 and join the Big Ten.

At the risk of being a nitpicker, won't there be 12 teams in the Big Ten (already misnamed) and 10 teams in the Big Twelve? 

I demand a recount.


Let the Walker-Neumann debates begin

One thing missing from the Republican primaries so far -- a demand for debates by one of the candidates, which the other tries to duck. Maybe that's about to change.

Apprently, Mark Neumann, the target of scorn from Charlie Sykes because of Charlie's long-standing man crush on Scott Walker, has offered to debate Charlie's pal on the show, Brew City Brawler reports.

Why limit it to the Sykes show? How about a series of debates, with independent moderators, all across the state?

Media outlets are missing a good bet for some real pie-in-the-face entertainment, or maybe a cage match.

While we're at it, how about a double bill with Ron Johnson v. Dave Westlake as the undercard?

All kidding aside, it would be a public service to let the voters see these guys, unscripted, side by side, up close and personal.

Let the games begin!

Good news, bad news in Plale district

The good news: State Sen. Jeff Plale is being challenged in the Democratic primary by County Supervisor Chris Larson, left, a much more progressive Democrat.

The bad news: Two liberal Democratic state reps from the district, Chris Sinicki and Jon Richards, back Plale.

Incumbency is thicker than ideology, apparently, and that's disappointing.

Larson's bid is an uphill one in the distict, which includes Milwaukee's East Side and Bay View and the suburbs of St, Francis, Cudahy, South Milwaukee and Oak Creek.

In previous liberal-conservative Dem primary matchups when the seat was open (Rosemary Potter v. Dick Grobschmitt and Joel Brennan v. Plale), the liberals won the city of Milwaukee portion of the district, but the conservatives (Grobschmidt and Plale) won by big enough margins in the suburbs, which also had a higher turnout, to win the elections.

The dynamic could change this year, with a hot Republican primary for governor that could mean only hard core Democrats vote in the Dem primary.

Selfish, self-centered Sensenbrenner still surprises


Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner, who always puts himself first, has outdone himself on the BP disaster in the Gulf.

AP reports:

WASHINGTON — A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has avoided directly criticizing BP for the spill itself. At the same time, he has watched his BP stock tank in value.

Worth more than $251,000 just a few years ago, Sensenbrenner’s 3,604 shares of BP PLC stock had plunged in value to just $118,000 by the end of trading Thursday. That’s roughly half their value the day before the April 20 oil spill. Sensenbrenner has said his net worth is about $10 million.

The No. 2 Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a former chairman, Sensenbrenner has kept a low profile on the issue, but now he’s coming out swinging: He has written a letter to President Barack Obama questioning BP’s actions and the adequacy of the White House response — but refrains from directly criticizing BP for the spill.

Sensenbrenner, you may recall, is one of the few members of Congress who voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Heartless is the word to describe him.

Sensenbrenner's complaints about Obama hurting his stock value provided some fodder for the Cheddarsphhere:

Quote, unquote

We live in Wisconsin,  I'm glad there's global warming.  We'd be standing on top of a 200-foot thick glacier ...  Senate candidate Ron Johnson on WTAQ Radio.

Now if we could only get rid of those glaciers at the North and South Poles.  Well, we're working on it.  Johnson says it's "absolutely not proven" that humans have caused the problem.


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