Cheddarsphere Election Night Coverage

Time for another big Cheddarsphere experiment.  On Nov. 2 bloggers from across the Cheddarsphere will unite to cover the election returns, parties, and speeches.  I have no idea how this will all work out, but it should give everyone a chance to see the election unfold from a progressive blogger point of view.

More details will be forthcoming, but you will all have an opportunity to add your own comments, and perhaps even call in as the election goes on. If you'd like to be reminded to "tune in" you can put your email address in on the widget on the front page, and you'll get an email reminder with a link to the page.

If you are a WIsconsin blogger and would like to take part in the election night pool, please contact us.

Ron Johnson Caught in Yet Another Lie: Has Repeatedly Said "My Employees Have the Same, Exact Health Care Plan as I Do"

Ron Johnson's nose just got a lot longer. 

Johnson has repeatedly said that his employees at Pacur "have the exact same health care plan as I do," but AP and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal are reporting that this is not true by a long shot:  Many of his employees are inmates on a work release program and on the state of Wisconsin's insurance plan, which is paid-for by tax payers.

Boy, that tea party guy that said all he wants is "for government to leave us alone" and railed against "welfare" and the "culture of entitlement" in his convention speech, sure does lead a secret  life!  

I'm splitting my ticket Nov. 2

It's come to this: Things have gotten so bad that a Yellow Dog Democrat like me is going to vote for a Republican this year.

No, the Tea Party hasn't won me over. Neither has clueless Ron Johnson, although I am for "freedom," whatever that means.

It's the Milwaukee County sheriff's race, where the conservative, Tea Party-talking, Republican in all but name, David Clarke, somehow is running as a Democrat.

I wasn't even sure he had a general election opponent, after squeaking through the "Democratic" primary, but it turns out he is being challenged by a 17-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Dept., Steven Duckhorn.

The Journal Sentinel reported in a Saturday story that readers will little note nor long remember that:

Duckhorn's platform is close to that of Chris Moews, the Democratic candidate Clarke beat in the September primary.

Duckhorn faults Clarke for a top-down management style that he says is disrespectful of his deputies.

Format and Questions-Asked Made Johnson-Feingold Bout Less of a Debate and More of a Candidate Forum

Typically a two-person debate with panelists asking questions has a rotating format of each question going to Candidate A, Candidate B, Candidate A, Candidate B. Or, a shortened version is Candidate A, Candidate B, Candidate A, with each candidate getting equal numbers of double-responses. 

Last night's "debate" between Johnson and Feingold had a ridiculous format that was more like a candidate forum, where both candidates simply answered the same question.  This enabled pull-string-response Johnson to simply turn to whatever issue was at hand, pull the string, and recite one of his canned nine answers that most closely resembled the question asked.

Which brings me to my second point-- the "debate" might have been better if the questions weren't so ridiculously basic and vague.  Most of these questions allowed pull-string-Johnson to simply plug in his vague, talk radio talking points that we've all heard a thousand times.  Feingold tried to smoke him out by saying that he wasn't answering the question or he wasn't being specific, but it was simply onto the next question.

However even with a non-debate format and pretty lame questions, Feingold clearly won the debate. 

Quote, unquote

"In the end, when you're the chief executive officer, the buck stops with you."-- "Scott Walker.

Walker was talking, of course, about Tom Barrett, not himself.  Walker has made an art of never taking responsibility for any of the many problems or failures in Milwaukee County government, always finding someone else to blame.

Ron Johnson creates jobs -- for prisoners

Ron Johnson says he's a businessman, and that businesses, not government, create jobs.

Yes, sir, he's a job creator all right.

Out of work? Can't find a job? Ron Johnson doesn't care. He wants to cut off your unemployment.

Your job went overseas? Johnson says that's just how business works. He calls it creative destruction.

And when his company does create jobs? -- With a quarter million people in Wisconsin out of work, Johnson's company hires prisoners to work for cheap, with no benefits and the government paying their health insurance, the Associated Press reported today:

Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who has campaigned against government subsidies to business, employs up to nine prison inmates at his plastics factories whose health care costs are paid by the state, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

Public records show that Pacur Inc. and Dynamic Drinkware LLC, two companies run by Johnson, employ up to nine inmates at a time through a state Corrections Department jobs program.

Johnson's companies offer private health insurance to the regular employees at the Oshkosh factories.

AP: Ron "I pay fair wages" Johnson Is Using Gov-Subsized PRISON LABOR in his Plastics Factory!

Ron Johnson, who has said "I pay fair wages" apparently wasn't remembering the prisoners he has working in his plastics factory.

In this breaking story, AP is reporting that:

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson is saving money by employing prison inmates at his plastics factories.

Johnson's two companies don't have to pay for health care for the inmates. The state covers those costs. Johnson has campaigned against government subsidies to business.

Johnson is a political newcomer challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, and is running as a businessman who opposes government interference in the free market. Johnson's campaign says the companies are trying to provide work skills for inmates, but Democrats say the subsidized jobs show Johnson is guilty of hypocrisy.

Eau Claire Energy Forum

[img_assist|nid=16482|title=Energy Forum Candidates|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=300|height=225]I attended the Candidate Energy Forum in Eau Claire on Oct. 5.  This is an event that is held during election cycles by Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and other sponsoring organizations.  This is always a good opportunity to hear from the candidates about what their stance is on energy issues.  In the past these have often been carefully thought-out policy statements by the candidates.

This year, however, I seem to have learned only two new and enlightening things:

Ron Johnson's Money Firecracker

[img_assist|nid=16475|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=84]Yesterday was the day of the Ron Johnson Moneybomb.  The idea was like the moneybombs that other candidates have run, where the goal is to collect as much money as possible from grassroots donations in one day.  Russ Feingold's Cheddarbomb a short while back raised about $436,000 from over 15,000 donors all over the U.S.

Johnson's moneybomb yesterday was up to about $50,000 when I last looked (note - final number is about $68,000), and this morning the fundrasing thermometer seems to have completely disappeared.  Making it more of a money firecracker, I guess. So - tell me 'bout that enthusiasm gap again?

Johnson (Accidentally) Calls Feingold's Work to Secure Defense Contract for Oshkosh a "Managerial Marvel," Says It Saved Oshkosh

Here's what Ron Johnson said last July when asked "how is the economy in Oshkosh?":

We've had phenominal success with Oshkosh Corporation responding to a need of our U.S. Military in terms of secure trucks and they've responded to that with, what I would say, is an engineering marvel as well as a managerial marvel to get those contracts, so I would say in Oshkosh we're doing pretty well.

Now, as Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story from Oshkosh's Representative, Tom Petri, and Senators Feingold and Kohl:

In August, the U.S.

WisPolitics Lunch with Ron Johnson, Candidate for US Senate


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