Vote for the corporatist, it’s important

Democratic State Assemblyman Brett Hulsey announced earlier today that he is mounting a primary challenge to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

There are very few people who would cause me to support Mary Burke in a Democratic primary, but Brett Hulsey is one of them.

To put it mildly, Hulsey is unfit for public office. Hulsey is perhaps best-known for threatening a female legislative aide with box cutters and engaging in other acts of bizarre behavior. To put it another way, Hulsey is basically a Wisconsin version of Scott Lee Cohen, who, after winning the 2010 Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, dropped out of the race after he was found to have used steroids and had been arrested several years earlier for domestic abuse. Unlike here in Illinois, Wisconsin Democrats cannot replace Hulsey on the ticket if he were to somehow win the primary because state election laws in Wisconsin prohibit political parties from replacing candidates after the primaries.

I’m not a big fan of Mary Burke by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, I’ve probably been her most vocal critic on the left, but I’m asking Wisconsin Democrats to please vote for Mary Burke in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 12. Vote for the corporatist, it’s important.

If the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hasn’t jumped the shark already, it certainly has now.

In case you missed it, the MJS’s PolitiFact Wisconsin service gave Burke a “false” rating for claiming that Wisconsin is one of only five states without an equal pay law on the books. Guess where Burke got the information about Wisconsin being one of only five states without an equal pay law on the books? The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel!

Burke cited this article, published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which stated that “Wisconsin is one of five states that have no equal-pay laws on the books” and that “the other states (without equal-pay laws) are Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah”.

I’ll make three important points here:

1) The truth of the matter is that Scott Walker, who the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel endorsed for both of his gubernatorial elections, signed into law legislation repealing Wisconsin’s equal pay enforcement law, leaving Wisconsin women without any way of seeking legal recourse if they’ve been paid less than men because of being discriminated against by their employer.

2) Mary Burke supports reinstating Wisconsin’s equal pay enforcement law for the same reason I do: it’s highly unfair and unjust to allow employers to pay female workers less than male workers for the same exact work.

3) The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel giving Burke a “false” rating for quoting one of their own articles really set me off. They would have not done anything like that had Scott Walker or some other Republican had quoted an MJS article to promote their far-right agenda, and that’s because the MJS, like most other mainstream media outlets in Wisconsin, exist primarily to serve one purpose: get far-right Republicans elected. One of the big reasons why Republicans like Scott Walker are able to get elected in Wisconsin is because the mainstream media effectively campaigns for them.

Bryn Biemeck: WAY too conservative for the 63rd Assembly District of Wisconsin

Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has implemented Scott Walker’s far-right agenda in Wisconsin, which includes stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights, repealing Wisconsin’s equal pay law, cutting pay for public employees, making it harder for Wisconsinites to vote, gerrymandering congressional and state legislative districts to benefit Republicans, and forcing women who want to have an abortion to undergo ultrasounds against their will. Despite Vos’s track record of implementing a far-right agenda that has hurt Wisconsin’s economy and reputation, one resident of Vos’s assembly district thinks that Vos isn’t conservative enough.

Bryn Biemeck, who supports allowing Wisconsin to secede from the union, is running against Vos in the Republican primary in the 63rd Assembly District of Wisconsin. When asked by the Racine Journal-Times about her pro-secession views, Biemeck said this:

“Ideally, Wisconsin should govern itself and should make its own decisions about its people,” Biemeck said.

As someone who is a lifelong resident of Abraham Lincoln’s home state, I strongly oppose the idea of any state seceding from the Union. From an economic standpoint, no one state could secede from this country without going bankrupt and experiencing a economic decline worse than the Great Depression. The federal government provides a ton of services, such as a common currency for the entire country, a common Armed Forces for the entire country, many social safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Pell Grants, and funding for major highways. If Wisconsin were to secede from the union, Wisconsin would lose all of that and would have to provide for its own defense, its own social safety net, its own currency, and do everything else the federal government does without any federal funding whatsoever. That’s practically impossible.

Bryn Biemeck’s views are so extreme, if she were to win the Republican primary, a Democrat could win the 63rd Assembly District if one were to run. Kelley Albrecht, are you interested in running for state assembly again?

Four years after being elected governor, Scott Walker is still wrong for Wisconsin

Yesterday, Scott Walker kicked off his re-election campaign for Governor of Wisconsin in typical Scott Walker style: at a campaign donor’s private-sector business, with a hand-picked audience of his supporters, and with only those who write favorably about him in the mainstream media given access to report about his campaign launch.

Four years after being elected governor in 2010, Scott Walker is still wrong for Wisconsin.

One only needs to look at jobs numbers to see how much of a negative impact Walker’s agenda of stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees, repealing equal pay laws, cutting public employee pay, and handing out tax cuts and credits to wealthy people and businesses has had on Wisconsin’s economy: Walker isn’t even going to come close to reaching his “250,000 Wisconsin Jobs by January 2015″ promise, additionally, from April 2012 to April 2013, Wisconsin suffered the largest job loss (by raw number of jobs) of any state, with only two other states (Wyoming, which had the largest loss of jobs by percentage, and Maine) suffering a net loss of jobs.

I’ll ask the same question to the people of the State of Wisconsin that Scott Walker’s political idol Ronald Reagan asked the American people in 1980: Are you better off than you were four years ago? For most Wisconsinites, especially women, the poor, the working class, the middle class, and minorities, the answer to that question is…HELL NO!!!

Republican state assembly candidate Justin Moralez violates Wisconsin campaign laws by not including disclaimer in web ad

Republican state assembly candidate Justin Moralez, who is running against progressive patriot Christine Sinicki in the 20th Assembly District of Wisconsin, forgot to include a very important thing on his latest YouTube web ad: a “paid for by (name of campaign committee), (name of campaign treasurer), treasurer” legal disclaimer, which is legally required by Wisconsin state campaign laws.

You can view the web ad in question here. As of 8 A.M. on April 16, 2014, no disclaimer is included anywhere in the video itself, and the description of the video includes an invalid disclaimer which says “Paid for by the Justin Moralez Organization” without mentioning Moralez’s campaign treasurer at all.

Somebody should file an official complaint against Moralez’s campaign, and you can download the GAB complaint form here.

PRE-ENDORSEMENT: Mark Harris for 6th Congressional District of Wisconsin

Even though Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris has not yet decided whether or not he’ll run for the open U.S. House seat in the 6th Congressional District of Wisconsin, I declare my intention to endorse Harris for the 6th District race if he were to run for Congress.

You may remember Harris from last year, when he seriously considered running for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Wisconsin, but declined to run for that office. Here’s an interview that Harris gave at the 2013 DPW State Convention in Oconomowoc, back when he was considering running for governor. Harris has extensive experience in both the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the private sector. Additionally, from what I’ve seen of him, he seems to be well-versed on important political issues.

Despite the fact that the 6th District of Wisconsin is a heavily-Republican district, there is a small Democratic bench in the district, and a second high-profile Democrat is considering running for Congress: Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. I know virtually nothing about Nickels, and, although this is from a right-wing website, Nickels is reportedly taking with Democratic Party officials about a possible run. That’s probably a reference to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), an organization run by corrupt Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York that supports mostly corporatist, and even outright conservative, Democratic candidates for U.S. House seats across the country. The DCCC has refused to support strong, progressive candidates like Wisconsin’s very own Kelly Westlund and has backed corporatist, and, in some cases, outright conservative, candidates like Pete Aguilar in California, Jennifer Garrison in Ohio, and Cheri Bustos here in my home state of Illinois. My initial perception of Nickels is that he’s not as bad as other possible candidates that the DCCC may try to recruit, such as right-wing Democrat Jim Brey and NRA hack Ryan Flejter, both of whom were so despised by progressives, they lost to far-right Republicans in Wisconsin Assembly races in 2012 (in Brey’s case, he drastically underperformed more liberal candidates upballot, such as Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin).

The Republican field in the 6th Congressional District of Wisconsin Race contains two far-right Republicans (Glenn Grothman, a carpetbagger is notorious for highly offensive comments, and Duey Stroebel), with a third one likely to join the field (Joe Liebham). Despite the heavy Republican lean of the 6th District, any one of those three could lose the general election, especially Grothman. The chances of a Democratic victory would be even bigger if Mark Harris is the Democratic nominee.

Why I’m pulling my endorsement of Mary Jo Walters and endorsing John Lehman for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin

After multiple individuals pointed out to me that Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Mary Jo Walters is, in their view, unfit for public office, I have decided to pull my endorsement of Walters’s campaign.

This is a decision that I do not take lightly. Remember that, in 2010, Democrats here in Illinois nominated Scott Lee Cohen to be Governor Pat Quinn’s running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, however, not long after the primary, Cohen was pressured out of the race after it was revealed that, among other things, he used anabolic steroids and had been arrested for domestic abuse in 2005, which was quickly picked up by the local media here in Illinois. In Wisconsin, political parties cannot replace candidates on the ballot after the primary, so, if someone like Walters were to win the primary, that would easily become a fiasco in which Wisconsin Democrats would have no recourse whatsoever.

As a result of this, I am endorsing John Lehman for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. While Lehman is one of the most boring people to hold public office in this country, Lehman has a progressive track record as a state legislator in Wisconsin. More importantly, Lehman is certainly capable of carrying out what few duties the office of lieutenant governor has in Wisconsin.

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