September 30, 2010

It's Science Time again with Ron Johnson

Item: AGW unsubstantiated theory; must be "certain" and "proven"

He's not asking for much, is he.
"I'm not even sure if, if it were a fact, whether we could do anything about it anyway," Ron Johnson added later.
Either he means it's too late — the Goreaclean Catastrophes are upon us — or else it actually doesn't occur to him that reducing burning the hell out of our hydrocarbon deposits could do something about it.

If that's what's causing the trend, then of course mitigating the cause is going to have some effect on the trend. Likely a positive effect, if it's a negative and alarming trend. Wouldn't an accountant know that?
Nothing in science is 100 percent certain. Johnson said the uncertainty proves his point: "I don't need to go any further."
Now that's just the sort of penetrating brain you want in the Senate.

Something went awry with the streaming CLE

Lewd act alleged
Former Osthoff Resort reservations assistant Amanda Cain added that it was odd she was fired when a "manager who downloaded the [surveillance] tape to her computer and was watching it with other staff for fun is still employed."
This is a big bowl o' trouble. I bet that episode never would have seen the light of day if not for the delectations of DA Kenneth Kratz.

Leading economic indicators in the news

Any person who intentionally has or offers to have or requests to have nonmarital sexual intercourse for anything of value. § 944.30(1)
Columbia County prosecutors said 72-year-old Gerald Hilliker solicited sex at a truck stop west of Portage on July 13th. They said he distributed a flyer* with a list of sex acts he was apparently willing to perform.
It's getting tough out there.

* Wonder if he got them printed at Kinko's.

Sarah Palin's motor[ized] voters

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here.* The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully.
Matt Taibbi

* Yet Louisville is 23% African American.

UW law prof: Obama rally "overwhelmingly white"

Would somebody please remind Ann Althouse that she lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and that it's absurd to compare her university's student body — African American enrolment 3% — against a similarly-sized Tea Party rally that draws participants from across the country. Where the available population is only 3% black, then obviously a sample drawn from it will also be "overwhelmingly white."

But when the population is 13% black and only a handful turn up to have Sarah Palin or whomever shout at them, that's a different story.

I don't look at that blog very often — and its popularity mystifies me — but every time I do, it's some kind of Rush Limbaugh apologetic.

h/t WisOpinion.

eta: Award-winning calumnist Patrick McIlheran calls it "an unusually low level of melanin." What's so unusual about it? He doesn't say.

Just trolling: what else is new.

I bet he didn't mention it a year ago when an "overwhelmingly white" Tea Party contingent turned out in Milwaukee, which is 40% black.

September 29, 2010

@PolitiFactWisc will now eat its own

Delectable treats lie within corporate enclave
While our primary focus* at PolitiFact Wisconsin is fact-checking the promises, claims and accusations made by elected officials and candidates, we will also examine the words of other voices who shape the political discourse.
Good. That's a more valuable pursuit anyway.

P-Fact should do a "weekly McIlheran" or a "daily Sykes."

* This @PolitiFactWisc entry concerns local medium-wave yammerer and occasional Limbaugh understudy Mark Belling's plummeting like a ton of duped rubes for this hallucination:
We asked Belling for his evidence.
"I have none," he said in an e-mail to PolitiFact Wisconsin.
Actually the AM-band bawler did have "evidence," except it originated with that prestigious — seriously: they insist on its prestigiousness — right-wing Republican house organ the National Review.**

** Whose own ongoing fisking is well- and hilariously-managed here.

One very determined candidate

I am not a fan of what Rebecca Kleefisch has to say but I sure as hell hate to hear when somebody has to go through this. And enduring it all in that electoral pressure cooker, that's impressively tenacious.
Kleefisch is unlikely to need any chemotherapy or other treatments. She said her doctor pronounced her cancer-free.
Let's all of us hope so.

This is what's known as entrapment

James O'Keefe hoped to get CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session, those documents show.
And this is not:
They want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, [and] as unprofessional. — James O'Keefe
h/t Dan Cody.

eta: "O'Keefe might be confused by the Fox News model, where the correspondents don't actually do anything, but CNN's reporters actually go out and report stories. Boudreau has a pretty impressive résumé including actual, real-life versions of the pretend investigations O'Keefe does. (Here, James: This is what a legitimate investigation of a government agency looks like.)" — Alex Pareene

Speaking of the Wisconsin pee our eye ...

One of their "fellows" has a serious reading comprehension problem:
[F]or the President to flatly state that only Republicans do it is insulting.
Poor guy, he's insulted. Except the president stated no such thing. He's speaking, at an undisguisedly partisan event, solely about those attack ads which are being run against Democratic candidates.

Obviously. What do you expect at an undisguisedly partisan rally?

And those ads are disguised as the speech of nonpartisan citizens' groups, even though they are all run by Republican Party operatives. Not that much unlike the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, which laughably advertises its own self as a "nonpartisan" "think tank."

In fact it's tremendously difficult to say which is more comical when it comes to describing the WPRI: "nonpartisan," or "think tank."

It was the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, one may recall, that convinced a University of Wisconsin political science professor to jigger around with the results of a poll because it did not effectively enough demonstrate the results the WPRI desired from the outset.

So blatant was that chicanery that the University of Wisconsin published a statement disavowing any relationship with the WPRI.

And then there was the recent embarrassment before a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Those three clearly didn't have any reading comprehension problem.

At least Obama wasn't being disingenuous about his partisanship.

Earlier: WPRI helps indict Gableman

Christine O'Donnell also holds a Ph.D. from WPRI

Courting the moron vote nationwide
Christine O'Donnell's LinkedIn page claims she studied Constitutional Government at Claremont Graduate University, a school in Southern California.

In fact, O'Donnell received a fellowship in 2002 from the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank ...
Even better, Christine O'Donnell accused George Bush the First of violating the Constitution — "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States" — when he named William J. Bennett "drug czar."

(Actually Christine O'Donnell accused Barack Obama of violating the Constitution, but we all know that Republican presidents are mysteriously redacted from the historical record when they did exactly the same things. See, e.g., Ronald Reagan's first-term job approval ratings, which dipped as low as 41%, according to Gallup.)

On teh web: Get your WPRI senior fellow sunspot-resistant cap today.

Michigan's version of Ken Kratz

"I'm a Christian citizen ... "

This obsessive fruitcake is an assistant attorney general.

On teh web: Elie Mystal has a theory.

September 28, 2010

Feingold suckers a Sykes

Hook, line, and sinker:

Meanwhile, the "Blogfather":

Looks good on him — again.

Related: Where's RoJo?

I once browsed a leaflet upon Magdalen Bridge

Does that count?

Ron Johnson impugns the founding documents

Too many lawyers in the Senate, complains Ron Johnson.* 57%.

Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

Josiah Bartlett — Judge; William Whipple — Judge; Matthew Thornton — Judge; John Adams — Lawyer; Robert Treat Paine — Lawyer, Judge; Stephen Hopkins — Lawyer; William Ellery — Lawyer, Judge; Roger Sherman — Lawyer, Judge; Samuel Huntington — Lawyer, Judge; William Williams — Judge; Oliver Wolcott — Lawyer, Judge; Lewis Morris — Judge; Richard Stockton — Lawyer, Judge; Francis Hopkinson — Lawyer, Judge; John Hart — Judge; Abraham Clark — Lawyer; Benjamin Franklin — Honorary Doctor of Law; John Morton — Judge; James Smith — Lawyer; James Wilson — Lawyer, Judge; George Ross — Lawyer, Judge; Caesar Rodney — Judge; George Read — Lawyer, Judge; Thomas McKean — Lawyer, Judge; Samuel Chase — Lawyer, Judge; William Paca — Lawyer, Judge; Thomas Stone — Lawyer; George Wythe — Lawyer, Judge; Thomas Jefferson — Lawyer; William Hooper — Lawyer, Judge; John Penn — Lawyer; Edward Rutledge — Lawyer; Thomas Heyward, Jr. — Lawyer, Judge; Thomas Lynch, Jr. — Lawyer; Lyman Hall — Judge; George Walton — Lawyer, Judge

36/56 = 64%

Signers of the United States Constitution:

George Read — Lawyer, Judge; Gunning Bedford, Jr. — Lawyer; John Dickinson — Lawyer; Richard Bassett — Lawyer, Judge; Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer — Judge; John Blair — Lawyer, Judge (U.S. Supreme Court); John Rutledge — Lawyer, Judge (U.S. Supreme Court); Charles Cotesworth Pinckney — Lawyer; William Few — Lawyer, Judge; Abraham Baldwin — Lawyer; Nicholas Gilman — Bankruptcy Commissioner; Nathaniel Gorham — Judge; Rufus King — Lawyer; William Samuel Johnson — Lawyer; Roger Sherman — Lawyer, Judge; Alexander Hamilton — Lawyer; William Livingston — Lawyer; David Brearly — Lawyer, Judge; William Paterson — Lawyer, Judge (U.S. Supreme Court); Jonathan Dayton — Lawyer; Benjamin Franklin — Honorary J.D.; Jared Ingersoll — Lawyer, Judge; James Wilson — Lawyer; Gouverneur Morris — Lawyer

24/39 = 62%**

(Not counting "career politicians.")

So what was Ron Johnson's point again?

Oh, right. There's not enough millionaires in the Senate.

* The lone accountant, incidentally, is Republican of Wyoming Mike Enzi, who has been a "career politician" for going on 37 years.

That is, more than half of his life (Sen. Enzi is 66).

** James Madison is not among these. But he, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (a lawyer and future Chief Justice), authored the Federalist Papers, so JM knew a thing or three about the law.

Rebecca Kleefisch: The buck starts here

When we called and e-mailed the Rebecca Kleefisch for lieutenant governor campaign, we were promised a response on where the $5 billion figure came from. We tried again the next day, but again got no reply. Finally, Kleefisch campaign spokeswoman Jeanne Tarantino referred us to the campaign of Scott Walker, the Republican nominee for governor.
True Conservatism™ is all about taking responsibility, you see.

Ron Johnson: At least he's not a bigot

Seriously, that's the Madison Capital Times's idea of praise.

Tailor-made for the campaign website's vanity wall.

Ron Johnson loves him some career politicians

The hypocrisy is strong
Democratic Party officials said the fund-raiser will be hosted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The host will be U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
Funny. Jon Kyl has been in Congress longer than Russ Feingold.

Ron Johnson himself gave $10K to Scott Walker, a quintessential "career politician" who is now seeking the governorship of Wisconsin.

Atheists score highest in religion quiz

Not surprising: they've looked closely at religion; that's why they don't believe its claims. I've seen this pointed out over and over again on religion discussion boards. The response from Christians is invariably the same: 'The Devil knows the Bible backwards and forwards also.'

The implication being, of course, that non-believers are under the spell of the believers' imaginary bugaboo, Satan. It's a classy retort, considering this character is purported to be the embodiment of all evil and vileness (and worse, an avid collector of Hummel figurines).
Associate professor of sociology Lakshmi Bharadwaj and Susan Wood, chairman of the Theology Department at Marquette University, say they've seen an erosion of religious knowledge among students over the last 30 to 40 years — brought on, they say, by the growing secularism of society.
Is that so.

Then how come the "secularists" scored the best, and the adherents the lowest? The latter didn't even know about their own religions.

Surely the secularizers are not responsible for that.

Telling, too, that when Stephen Colbert turns up in Congress and quotes — in complete sincerity, it seemed to me — the words of Jesus Christ, he's condemned by so-called conservative Christians.

September 27, 2010

Ken, are you listening?

There are bad lawyers out there, tons of them, who simply are unskilled, out of date and just plain stupid. And then there are rotten, corrupt lawyers. It's time for the OLR to wake up and smell the manure. And, Ken, if the shoe fits, wear it.

What's Rand Paul up to

Being crazy:
The AAPS article notes that the Obama campaign logo "might just be the letter 'O,' but it also resembles a crystal ball, a favorite of hypnotists." And it suggests that hypnosis is the reason some Jewish people backed him.
Don't laugh, it worked for Pat Buchanan. What, you've never been hypnotized by Pat Buchanan? Sometimes I wake up early, put on Morning Joe,* Pat Buchanan shows up and I go right back to sleep.

* Why doesn't Morning Joe ever shut up and let Mika talk?

Kratz sends actual respectful message

He will resign.

In fact the DA never had a choice, since day one.

"There are apparently, I guess, classes you take in law school called, 'Meaning of Nymph 101' and 'How You Too Can Be The Prize!'"
WPRI "senior fellow" Mike Nichols in the Journal-Sentinel

And apparently, I guess, that's supposed to be funny. Well, it isn't.

Extensive political electronic meanderings

Scott Walker aides in the news (being a near-daily occurrence):
[Then-Walker aide Darlene] Wink was not paid to do campaign work on county time, [her] lawyer said, and she regularly took county work home so she could get it done there.
Read: Wink was not paid extra. If she was doing campaign work on county time and getting paid for that county time, then obviously she was getting paid for doing campaign work on county time.
A spokesman for Walker's campaign said he was unaware of the criminal probe.
Which one was that, "Rich" in "retail"?

If the district attorney seizes any more computers over there, Scott Walker's going to have to tally up his county budget on an abacus.

Earlier: Extensive political blogging.

When is somebody finally going to put the lid on that bogus thing?

I was so impressed, I bought the farm

Segway, owner recovered after 30-foot plunge

September 26, 2010

Ron Johnson's political mentor again

He literally had no shame
Political consultant and Fox News commentator Dick Morris is the featured scoundrel in Politico [yesterday] morning, having morphed from his Igor-like role of lugubrious éminence grise to "headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates."
Continued ...

Dick Morris is why Ron Johnson is running for the Senate.

Isn't that enough to make you queasy?

The genius of Fox News candidate Ron Johnson

Item: Ron Johnson pledges to reinstate preexisting condition clauses

Yes, it's true. Canadians with health insurance are flocking across the border to the United States, where they have no health insurance.

To whence Ron Johnson's Americans who become Canadianized are going to flock is less than clear. To Communist China, perhaps.

What does Johnson know about Canada? Very little, is my suspicion.

Probably about as much as he's heard from the podiatrist Dick Morris.

Wisconsin AG debate shaping up to be a doozy

One thing that might be said for Democrat Scott Hassett, who is challenging the incumbent Republican Wisconsin attorney general J.B. Van Hollen in the November election, is that he is not timid:

Van Hollen Launches Statewide "Blame Victims First" Tour (.pdf)

Hassett's campaign also called controversial Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz an "admitted sexual predator" — which I'm not certain is an entirely supportable characterization at this point — and that Van Hollen let the said admitted sexual predator "walk free."

Then there are the guns and the gays and the Commerce Clause.

Scott Hassett and J.B. Van Hollen meet for un petit dejeuner du midi on Thursday, October 7 at the new Marquette University law school, an encounter moderated by the eminently capable Mike Gousha.

September 25, 2010

Austin Peay Governors: Karma is a beeyotch

Governor Austin Peay signed the Butler Act into law:

AN ACT prohibiting the teaching of the Evolution Theory in all the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of Tennessee, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, and to provide penalties for the violations thereof . . . the public welfare requiring it.

Serves 'em right.

On teh web: Bucky in ICU after 3,000 push-ups

Not even conservatives know who Ron Johnson is

Tim Dake, organizer of the Milwaukee-area group the GrandSons of Liberty and others in the Tea Party movement say they don't know enough about Ron Johnson . . . "We feel we don't really know him at this point," Dake said. "We would kind of like to see some substance." — CS Monitor
I was under the impression the Tea Party folks follow politics pretty closely. But they still don't know anything about Ron Johnson and have yet to see any "substance." Takes the edge off the recent polls, when not even attentive conservatives know who Ron Johnson is.

And even if they turned on their teevee sets, all they would see is a bunch of 30-second advertisements of some guy in safety goggles wandering around inside an Oshkosh factory pointing at things.*

'Ron Johnson, isn't he that wacky Communist China sunspot guy?'

* Like his federally-funded rail siding and his subsidized buildings.

Why isn't Daniel Foster evolving into a non-moron?

Because he writes for the National Review Online.

h/t Zach Dubbya.

[Avoid inflammatory terms like "moron." Rather, strive for moderation and gentility like Ed Whelan and John Derbyshire — ed.]

Why aren't morons evolving into non-morons?

For the same reason as is provided here.

"O'Donnell is seeming more and more like a walking indictment of the American public education system instead of a political candidate."

Former Viagra spokesmodel endorses ZPG abstinence crusader

Bean counting RoJo ignorant of federal beans

So let's get this straight: According to city of Oshkosh records, the project was being completed and paid for when Ron Johnson was Pacur's accountant. But he tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he "knew nothing of the federal grant."

September 24, 2010

The DA's letter to the Office of Lawyer Regulation

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has obtained a copy of Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz's "self-reporting" letter to the Office of Lawyer Regulation.* It contains what I think could fairly be characterized as an amount of responsibility-shifting onto the victim.

For example:
We had two uneventful professional meetings in October, 2009, and S.V. [the victim in the felony domestic violence case the district attorney was then prosecuting] took the opportunity to "confer" with me on October 20th. During that meeting, I perceived some flirtation by S.V., and believed this single woman to be quite interesting.
Hard to say how that makes it any better. The "perceived flirtation" was in the DA's own mind and in any event, it should have been ignored and not acted upon. If it was overt — which I highly doubt — then it should have been immediately and unequivocally discouraged.

The reason she was single in the first place is because she was beaten and strangled by her ex-boyfriend, as Mr. Kratz was aware.

Considerably more remarkable from a strictly legal perspective is the manner in which Mr. Kratz portrays and construes the rule of professional conduct he (correctly, imho) identifies as implicated:
Although sexual harassment is usually a product of an employment relationship, this rule extends the prohibition to an attorney and other person (party, victim, witness) involved in the case.
Whether sexual harassment is usually a product of an employment relationship, even if that claim is empirically true, is irrelevant.

And the rule doesn't "extend" any prohibition to "an attorney and other person."** It's for attorneys solely and isn't extended from anyplace, although one might look elsewhere — to the Wisconsin criminal statutes, for example — for a definition of harassment.

Furthermore there's no suggestion in that particular rule that the victim of harassment needs to be involved in any case whatsoever. Professional activities are not limited to working on specific cases.

That a lawyer may be a "representative of clients" is but one of three roles described for lawyers in the rules of professional conduct. The others are as "an officer of the legal system and a public citizen."

What the rule in question reads is as follows:
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to ... harass a person on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual preference or marital status in connection with the lawyer's professional activities.
"Legitimate advocacy respecting the foregoing factors" is exempted. But the so-called "sexting" was pretty clearly not legitimate advocacy.

Yet Mr. Kratz portrays — nay, cites — the rule thusly:
If a lawyer harasses another on the basis of sex in connection with the lawyer's professional activities, a violation could be present.
No — not "could be present." A violation is present. The rule doesn't say "may be" or "could be" or "might be." It says "is." Plainly.

I certainly hope the Office of Lawyer Regulation investigator did not take Mr. Kratz's self-serving — and textually incorrect — reiteration of the rule as Gospel. On a human level, I suppose it might be understandable that Mr. Kratz would seek to mitigate the circumstances of what he ill-advisedly got himself involved in.

But he, of all people, can't do that by misstating the rule of professional conduct that even he admits could be implicated.

He screwed up, and he knew it. As a prosecutor for 25 years there is arguably nobody better positioned in the entire State of Wisconsin to understand it than he, because that's what prosecutors try to do every day of their lives: get transgressors to admit they screwed up, according to some fit between their actions and some legal text.

One could not disagree more with the counselor interviewed in the WISN-12 teevee report aired last night. This is not a manifestation of a "lynch mob mentality." Nor is it an example of a victim of domestic violence simply being "uncomfortable with that lawyer."

The reported circumstances led the Wisconsin District Attorney's Association to condemn Mr. Kratz's behavior as "improper, disturbing, and repugnant" and to assert that he had "cast aspersions on our entire profession." And those are his colleagues, not enemies.

They said if Mr. Kratz did not voluntarily step aside, they would petition the governor to have him removed for cause. Which is what is happening now, and those hearings get underway on Monday.

By all reported accounts Mr. Kratz is determined to fight back, and has retained his own lawyer who is out there accusing at least two of Mr. Kratz's complainants as being "driven by financial opportunity."

That's his prerogative, of course. But it's not looking good. And now, with the release of Mr. Kratz's letter to the OLR, it's looking worse.

* Five pages; .pdf.
** The rules don't prohibit a person from harassing a lawyer.

September 23, 2010

Beware this Milwaukee WISN-12 teevee report

Red herring alert
Reporter: In Kratz's case, [Kenosha defense lawyer Terry] Rose says remember, the domestic violence victim was a witness to the original crime. The client was the State of Wisconsin.
It doesn't matter.

The Wisconsin rules of professional conduct provision SCR 20:08.4(i), which even Kratz acknowledged to the OLR may be in play, refers to harassment "in connection with the lawyer's professional activities."

It is not limited to lawyer/client relations. Indeed, it would be absurd if it was so limited, and could never find application to district attorneys, DoJ lawyers, or any others whose clients were the State.

Why didn't Colleen Henry get this assignment? She's a lawyer.

Scott Walker aide in tragic MCTS mishap

Under the Milwaukee County bus* went Rich in retail
[Tom Barrett said] he would fire a campaign staffer who secretly recorded anyone and lied about his identity.
* Made in Canada by not-Talgo.

Earlier: Beware the Scott Walker Brady Street moles**

** Routes 15 or 30.

Good news, bad news for the Butterburger® Five

Obstruction charges dropped, disorderly conduct ones instated

But could they have been brandishing?

Earlier: To appropriate the "pro-life" argument

Ron Johnson: Run into town on a gummint rail

His own job was created by a government grant

"We conservatives, we simply want to be left alone."

The Randian Ron Johnson: More subsidies please Another IRB for Johnson's company?
Said Fox News/Republican candidate Ron Johnson's campaign spokesperson Sara Sendek, "I haven't seen anyone asking Senator Feingold to produce all his cases and billings from his time in the law firms and scrutinizing all that."
Probably because unlike Ron Johnson and Sara Sendek, they've heard of a little thing called attorney-client privilege. But it is nice to see Johnson acknowledge he baldly lied about Senator Feingold's career.

Maybe a sunspot made him do it.

And yet another state-facilitated subsidy:
The Oshkosh plastics factory owned by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson was built, in part, with the assistance of a $1 million government-issued industrial development revenue bond.
What are we up to now, $7 million? I'm losing count.

"We conservatives, we simply want to be left alone."

September 22, 2010

Rebecca Kleefisch likens gay couples to dogs

Don't Google 'santorum'

Republican candidate for Wisconsin lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch discusses the State's domestic partnership registry with Jim Schneider of WVCY, Milwaukee's fundamentalist radio station:
At what point are we going to okay marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table? Or this, y'know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous. And biblically, again, I'm gonna go right back to my fundamental Christian beliefs . . .
Yes, and please stay there.

h/t Cory Liebmann.

On teh web: Kleefisch's dog whistle homophobia

On appearing to involve a possible misconduct

This is from a letter the Office of Lawyer Regulation sent on March 5, 2010, to Stephanie Van Groll. Ms. Van Groll was the victim of felony domestic violence which — I think it's fairly safe to say — was used to the advantage of the prosecutor in the case when he sent her 30 text messages over three days of a strongly sexual and harassing nature.

It was released yesterday by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.*
Although District Attorney Kratz's communication with you was inappropriate, it did not appear to involve possible professional misconduct.
First of all that would be communications, plural. One reason that is important is because, despite the press's concentration on certain of the more "racy" — that's a reporter's term — messages, there are two clearly distinguishable types of messages contained among the lot.

One is of the "racy" type. But at least equally as disturbing are the ones demonstrating the prosecutor's impatience with the victim's failure to respond immediately to the prosecutor's sexual overtures. Those of themselves are a compelling showing of harassment, which the Supreme Court rules of professional conduct expressly addresses.

Secondly, this: "[I]t did not appear to involve possible professional misconduct." Now, I understand the certain species of legalese whose author seeks to couch language in studied vagueness and generality and I try to be mindful of the occasions upon which it's warranted.

But this cannot be one of them.

Peeling away at these several layers of attenuation from a substantive misconduct violation reveals that we have (1) behavior that is misconduct; (2) behavior that is possible misconduct; (3) behavior that involves possible misconduct; (4) behavior that appears to involve possible misconduct; and ultimately (5) behavior that does not even appear to involve possible misconduct.

And we are expected to accept that Mr. Kratz's behavior falls within the latter sphere. With respect, that is an indefensible adjudication.

If it isn't, then I would sure like to see the defense. Perhaps we will.

At the risk of sounding glib, may I say that I don't know whether there are specific standards of conduct that govern the activities of the Office of Lawyer Regulation but if there were, this investigator's statement just might appear to possibly involve contravening them.

The professional associations of attorneys are continuously concerned with improving the perception among the public of the members of that profession and this sort of thing really does nothing to help.

eta: Neither does this, but for entirely separate reasons:
The attorney for prosecutor Ken Kratz says two of the four women who accuse him of being sexually suggestive are "driven by financial opportunity."
Mr. Kratz is certainly entitled to the most vigorous defense against any and all actions taken against him. In terms of the public perception, however, that one is likely to elicit very little sympathy.

* Pages four and five of five; .pdf.

Madison Capital Times stirs the sexting DA pot

Did Van Hollen cover for sexting DA?

[Wisconsin] Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen should welcome and cooperate fully with an independent investigation of charges that he attempted to protect a political ally who stands accused of gross misconduct.

To do otherwise would invite suspicion that Van Hollen engaged in activities that would merit his removal as attorney general and sanctions that would almost certainly include the suspension of his license to practice law in Wisconsin. That suspicion would destroy the credibility of the attorney general.

There is no question that Van Hollen has the right to be presumed innocent* until an investigation is completed.
Holy moley. And it goes on like that. I guess they are not big fans.

Yet today's Capital Times editorial admonishes voters to ignore negative campaign ads — "flying mud" — in the governor's race!

Seems they're pretty good at flinging it themselves.

This should be an interesting encounter on Oct. 7.

* That's generous of them, at least.

September 21, 2010

Reince Priebus and all his Minions

Item: WISGOP complains "lobbyist" not actually lobbyist
[Plaintiff] alleges that Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall. . . .

We note that the plaintiff has failed to include with his complaint the required form of instructions for the United States Marshal for directions as to service of process.
Mayo v. Satan And His Staff

Earlier: Rich is the name, retail sales is the game*

* I hear Rich's joke was so stupid, not even Keith Olbermann got it.

eta: More Michael "Rich" Brickman, "retail" salesman:
[Tom Barrett said] he would fire a campaign staffer who secretly recorded anyone and lied about his identity.
I guess so. Most people would have fired him weeks ago.

Good for Walker, however. Keep that reckless liability on board.

Daily Kos now is the greatest poll of all times

When's the last time a wing-nut linked to the Daily Kos? Ever?

Dystopian Wisconsin: Who is Ron Johnson?

A very well-stated round-up by one Abe Sauer at The Awl.

Sexting DA: Enough already

According to the AP reporter who first broke the story:
A law student seeking an expungement says the district attorney sent her text messages that soon turned harassing, including one that asked how she would please him in bed.
Harassment, as I suggested from day one.* And my friend Prof. Gregory O'Meara has it exactly right as well: boundary violation.

* With as much understatement as I could muster.

Sexting DA on the table* at AG debate?

I would assume so, given the emerging politicization.**

* Sorry.
** See, e.g., "Van Hollen's Ken Kratz Coverup Continues."

eta: Assumption confirmed.

Governor Doyle overplays his hand

I have to say, Governor Jim Doyle's release to the press of an uncorroborated letter alleging a dinner and an autopsy date was unnecessary and unnecessarily sensationalistic. The existing evidence is serious enough without turning this thing into a circus.
During a news conference Monday, Doyle questioned how the Office of Lawyer Regulation came to its conclusion ...
Now that is a legitimate inquiry.

O'Donnell dabbled into Transubstantiation

How come we'll never see that headline?*

There's been quite a lot of mockery leveled at Christine O'Donnell, the ditzy Delaware Republican together with whom top strategist Sarah Palin has sunk the GOP's chances of retaking the U.S. Senate.

"I dabbled into witchcraft," O'Donnell told Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect, before Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer had the ABC show taken off the air for being overly critical of U.S. foreign policy.

"I was a witch. I dabbled into witchcraft, I hung around people who were doing these things," candidate O'Donnell continued. "One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar and I didn't know it, and I mean there was a little blood there and stuff like that."

Yet she says she still does that every Sunday now. What's the diff?

* Except maybe in a Bob Jones University newsletter.

On teh web: "Christine O'Donnell is clearly a criminal."

September 20, 2010

@PolitiFactWisc is getting a little embarrassing

Our friend Cory Liebmann with the details.

So lemme get this straight.

Three Republicans spent nearly $12M trashing Russ Feingold in the 2004 election while Feingold spent $9M defending himself, but according to the Journal-Sentinel, Feingold is a "pants on fire" liar to say he was outspent in 2004, all because Mike McCabe* said so.

* We leave the Mike McCabe fact-check to Justice David Prosser.

Earlier: A Milwaukee paper's Bizarro World PolitiFact®

So much for John-david Morgan

Looks like his 15 minutes of infamy are about to be displaced:
[Tea Party movement leader Tim] Dake lays out the plans, detailing contact between himself and Reince Priebus, the Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair, and Mark Block, State director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin.

Summon the election law experts.

To appropriate the "pro-life" argument

"Just because you have a right to an abortion doesn't mean you have to have one." Cf., "Just because you have a right to defend yourself against Butterburger®-enjoying families doesn't mean you have to stride into the local Culver's strapped with a loaded handgun."

Apparently you do.

Beware the Scott Walker Brady Street moles

Rich is the name, retail sales is the game

Here's an amusing tale from Daniel Bice in the Journal-Sentinel revealing the deceitful shenanigans of one of Scott Walker's political aides who hangs around at bars in downtown Milwaukee, eavesdrops on total strangers' telephone calls, and then strikes up fraudulent conversations of his own, which he surreptitiously records with an i-Thingie.

During which Scott Walker's aide, the notorious Michael Brickman, lies about his name ("Rich"), lies about his occupation ("retail"), and lies that he knows next to nothing of the political campaign with which he's intimately involved (throughout — behold the transcript).

The honest party to the surreptitiously recorded conversation is John-david Morgan, a union activist. Morgan runs an anti-Walker website called Scott Walker Truth Squad dot org. Which is shocking, because everybody loves Scott Walker, especially county employees.

Apart from the Scott Walker aide's underhanded tactics, there's little to Bice's story except for an implied whiff of illegality, which the report concocts by relating Morgan's account of chatting with Phil Walzak at Milwaukee Laborfest. Morgan describes Walzak as "the guy that runs Barrett's campaign." Barrett is Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee and the Democratic nominee for Wisconsin governor.

Third-party efforts — depending on the nature of the third-party and depending further on the nature of that third-party's efforts — on behalf of a political campaign may be treated as contributions to the campaign, if those efforts are coordinated with the campaign.

But Walzak doesn't run Tom Barrett's campaign; he's one of Barrett's own spokespersons and moreover, flatly denies Mr. Morgan's grandiose perorations. Yet the implied bar-time suggestion was apparently compelling enough for Bice that the reporter contacted two "election law experts," one of whom is quoted as warning,
"If SEIU or any other union spent money based on discussions they had with the Barrett campaign — whatever campaign — yeah, you've got a coordinated expenditure issue," said [George] Dunst, who is now retired from State government.
"The union may, in short, be handcuffed," notes Mr. Bice gravely.

By the same reasoning if SEIU shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, then yeah, you've got a homicide issue. In any event, it would appear the coordination isn't going so well when the putative coordinator doesn't even know who's who with the Barrett campaign.

And while surreptitious bar-time recordings aren't per se unlawful here, I understand they're a bugger to get admitted as evidence in civil cases and this one contains about eleventeen layers of hearsay.

The other election expert cited is Marquette University professor of law Rick Esenberg, who the Journal-Sentinel frequently presents as a disinterested academic. Not exactly. In fact when the O'Donnell parking garage fatality occurred in June, Prof. Esenberg hurried to his computer to announce that any observer that so much as linked to a website whose proprietor simply wondered aloud how the tragedy might affect the ongoing political campaign for governor was a "ghoul." So much for the election law expert's academic disinterest.

In summary, be careful who you're talking to out there, and be vigilant of who's eavesdropping on your private conversations. It could very well be a Scott Walker communications aide (named "Rich" who works in "retail") with a vibrating electronic device in his pants.

September 18, 2010

Tomorrow on Fox News Sunday

Last minute replacement.

* Impeachment explained

Scott Walker's zany, madcap Republican humor

Walker's "68-page economic plan" visible from 36,000 feet

And it's brought to you by the same sophomoric communications wizard, Michael Brickman, who "mistakenly" conjured up Republican Scott Walker's notorious Don Cornelius moment.

Earlier: Scott Walker aides "at least stupid and insensitive"

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

A Milwaukee paper's Bizarro World PolitiFact®

So the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's PolitiFact® team has today stepped into the fray over Russ Feingold's teevee ad, "His Own Words."

The ad contrasts Fox News/Republican candidate Ron Johnson's alleged freewheeling Randian marketeer persona with whether Johnson's Oshkosh plastics company, Pacur, ever got a leg up by dint of federal/State/municipal intervention in the economy.

The "His [Ron Johnson's] Own Words" bit is this:
"I have never lobbied for some special treatment or for a government, government payment."
— said Ron Johnson, emphasis his.
The J-S first complains that Johnson was taken out of context:
For instance, the ad creates the false impression Johnson is responding directly to revelations that his business got government help. The question he was answering was whether a Milwaukee-area company deserved tax credits touted by President Obama.
And ... so what of it? When a speaker speaks, "I have never [X]," what difference does the context make? It is the negation of an existential quantifier, as they say in predicate logic: "It is not the case that there was lobbying for special treatment."

All the context in the world can't rescue the statement. It's unequivocal, no matter what inquiry it was in response to.

The J-S is rather bold in its evaluation of the ad's presentation:
There is no question the ad is misleading in its presentation.
But obviously there are plenty of questions, otherwise the J-S wouldn't be performing its review. There are always questions.

Isn't every ad "misleading" to some extent in its presentation? Of course every ad is, because there is necessarily always some missing context. There has to be. Thirty-second advertisements can't possibly deliver the entire universe of potentially relevant information.

The pertinent question is whether the ad is deliberately misleading in its presentation. One may be of that opinion, but there are always a variety of defenses available. WKOW-27 in Madison, which was the source for some of the film clips in the ad, similarly complained.

But that was more WKOW's problem than anyone else's. The Feingold ad is merely presenting the press accounts. All candidates do this, based on the premise that press reports are credibly accurate.

Look at any political candidate's website for myriad examples.

Sure, that may be a dubious premise, but the press is supposedly the professionally trained reporter of facts (notwithstanding the existence of, for example, the Journal-Sentinel's own Patrick McIlheran, who could do with his own PolitiFact® inspection, although in that case the team would be unlikely to get any other work done).

WKOW asked Feingold to "take down the ad," but even WKOW's own counsel acknowledged that the Feingold campaign was within federal copyright law's fair use doctrine. So that was a bit self-defeating.

WKOW never admitted that perhaps it was its own reporting that might have been misleading. Maybe that is the problem here.

As to the gist of the ad, however, it's the J-S that's misleading:
When it comes to describing Johnson's company as getting "government aid," the Feingold ad is correct. Independent experts and the federal government itself label the industrial revenue bonds a government subsidy. So the message about Pacur getting government help is on target.
We've been through this weeks ago,* so it's nice to see the paper finally catching up to a blog. Okay. Now, how about the rail spur?
The $75,000 grant is clearly government aid. And the rail line it helped create clearly has helped Pacur from its earliest days.
Those are the two main items under consideration: The $4M worth of government-facilitated and government-administered industrial revenue bonds which saved Johnson's company hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments and the $75,000 grant. And what is the Journal-Sentinel's PolitiFact® conclusion about Feingold's ad?
We rate the statement about government aid Half True.
So the industrial revenue bonds, which Johnson's company got, are government aid. Check: True. And the $75,000 grant is "clearly" government aid. Check: True. Thus, that makes Feingold's statement about Johnson's company getting government aid "Half True"?

Say wha? There are only the two propositions to substantiate. And the PolitiFact® team just got done substantiating both of them.

Which half of them is not true? Even if one accepts that the ad is "misleading" in some way — as any ad is bound to be — how does that detract from the veracity of its core assertions, that Johnson's company benefited from government aid in spite of his "principles"?

If the PolitiFact® mandate is to clear away confusion, it's failed here.

* See, e.g., Ron Johnson: It's not a subsidy; Ron Johnson challenges professor of economics; Dick Leinenkugel's guide to industrial bonds; Feingold has a built-in attorney at WKOW; et peter cetera.

September 17, 2010

Somebody finds the "sexting DA" story funny

I certainly don't, but a Journal-Sentinel reporter does:
Take special note of the curtained, cozy-corner "champagne parlor" in the basement. Can you identify the apparatus in front of the leather sectional sofa?
Why didn't sexting DA mention cozy champagne parlor?

I assume the levity is intentional. (Albeit allowedly, pretty grim.)

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that the DA has gone from this morning's paranoid "smear campaign" allegations to "sincere and heartfelt" remorse to revealing he's been in psychotherapy for six months to conducting a sexual assault of a child trial next week, the concurrent combination of which doesn't reflect especially well.

Every few minutes another luminary is calling for his resignation. As far as I can tell, the condemnation is damned near universal. That will likely only continue to intensify. This is a shame, for everybody.

And because what lies at its heart is domestic violence, it's no joke.

The fat lady is singing for Ron Johnson

Der fliegende Hypöcrite

eta: "No money to catch child molesters, but cash for an opera house in Oshkosh. How’s that going to look on a bumper sticker next year?"

Bwahaha. Cue the clown music.

Score: Guillaume Xoff

District Attorney subject to "smear campaign"

'Sexting' DA rejects calls to resignAssociated Press

It's really not cool at all to play the victim under the circumstances.

Yesterday, Mr. Kratz stated he would refrain from making further comment on the situation. I submit that that was the far wiser counsel. Today, it's becoming even more difficult to envision this elected State executive branch official surviving the controversy.

eta: This ought to seal the deal.

And: Presser at four.

Wisconsin Supreme Court quote of the day

Justice N. Patrick Crooks, 08/05/10:
I don't think that the Gableman decision provided a final resolution of the charges that were brought by the [Wisconsin Judicial Commission] and that are pending against Justice Gableman. Why do I say that? Well, I say that because, if you look closely — and I'm sure you have — at what the Judicial Commission did, they did not dismiss the charges against Justice Gableman. They did not do what several of us suggested was appropriate and request a jury trial in regard to those issues. Rather, what they did was suspend the prosecution. And I think that that provides an opportunity for the legislature to act in regard to the appropriate procedure. I certainly think that the allegations against Justice Ziegler led to a final resolution. But I don't see a final resolution with regard to the situation with Justice Gableman. And I think I have to bring that to the committee and that's where Justice Roggensack and I disagree.

What happened is that in front of the panel, the three-judge panel, Justice Gableman through his attorney brought a motion for summary judgment, basically asking that the charges against Justice Gableman be dismissed. The three-judge panel held oral arguments in regard to that motion for summary judgment. And their recommendation to the court was that we should grant that motion for summary judgment. So what comes to us, in my view and the view of the colleagues that have sided with me was pure and simply, we're looking again now at that recommendation for a grant of summary judgment. Summary judgment was not granted. As you know, we split 3-3. The division, in my opinion, caused a deadlock. Summary judgment was not granted. It certainly therefore failed, in terms of the request that summary judgment be granted.

Now, what normally happens — and bear with me for a minute — normally what happens if you're in a civil court situation — and by the way as you know the Judicial Commission, the rules and the statutes in regard to the Judicial Commission talk about operating under the civil rules. But what happens in a normal situation where someone brings a motion for summary judgment and the summary judgment motion is not granted, or [is] denied, or fails, is there's a trial. And three of us, looking at the statutes, looking at the interplay of the statutes, felt that it was appropriate for the Judicial Commission to go back to the point where they'd made a determination of probable cause, which I think they made probably about a year-and-a-half ago, and at that point, take the other route.

The route that they took at the time was the three-judge panel. The three-judge panel approach didn't resolve this issue. And so the other approach that's available, in our opinion, under the statutes, was the jury trial. And we suggested strongly to the Judicial Commission that they take that route. Now, the Judicial Commission, in the statement that they issued saying that they were suspending prosecution of the matter, indicated they felt there was a need for clarification in regard to the statutes. In other words, they didn't think that the procedure was as clear-cut as they would have liked it to have been.

And I will just tell you, speaking not only for myself but I think clearly for the Chief Justice and for Justice Bradley, we certainly would have no objection if this committee, and ultimately the legislature, were to attempt to clarify to the extent desired by the Judicial Commission. I don't think that's necessary, but I certainly don't object to it.
Sounds familiar.

I wonder if our friend professor of law Richard Esenberg took the opportunity to also instruct Justice Crooks, who has been a trial and appellate judge for 34 years, that his and the two other Justices' view of the case's procedural posture is informed merely by "a reference to horn book Civil Procedure" which "does not cut it here." I doubt it.

September 16, 2010

Ratzi previews Edinburgh Fringe comedy routine

Since he was a member of the Nazi Youth, how does he fit into this equation? — Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John DiMotto
Excellent question.

Fox's Chris Wallace: Such a delicate little flower

Tort reform is on the march:
The suit, which says that Fox News's Chris Wallace won every major broadcast news award, claims the Robin Carnahan ad "intruded upon Wallace's private self-esteem and dignity; and caused him emotional or mental distress and suffering."

Patrick McIlheran confirms Louis Butler

How's yer "PolitiFact" workin' out for ya
The president just tried and tried again until this past week, it took. Now Butler is wearing robes ...
No, he is not, but Patrick McIlheran is still wearing his own asshat.

Mutual masturbation still okay in eyes of Lord

Notwithstanding admonitions of Christine O'Donnell
McIlheran, Sykes erotic tension downright volcanic

Fasten your coffee spit-screen before clicking

Enthuses the Oshkosh Northwestern's managing editor:
[Ron Johnson is a] candidate who's awkward, near nerdy on camera, yet earnest and authoritative at the same time.
Authoritative? Authoritative on what subject exactly?

Solar physics or the Second Amendment?

eta: Xoff found some reader reactions.

How not to play the Wisconsin lawyer card

Update: If this photo posted at depicts the injuries suffered by the victim in the felony strangulation and suffocation case Mr. Kratz was prosecuting, then he probably needs to step down.

[eta: It does indeed.]

That he was aware of the extent of those injuries — and he would have been: it's evidence — makes the DA's overtures all the more reprehensible. Victims of violent crime should not be given second thoughts about presenting themselves to the lawyer for the State.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to ... harass a person on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual preference or marital status in connection with the lawyer's professional activities.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
[Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth R.] Kratz said in a statement Wednesday that he was "embarrassed at this lapse of judgment" but that the State Office of Lawyer Regulation determined that no professional misconduct had occurred.
Perhaps not, because the above rule of professional conduct's list of bases is intended to describe a victim of harassment rather than the alleged harasser (insert "that person's" between "of" and "sex").

Even so, this fellow has been around the block enough times to understand that a person so recently emerged from an abusive relationship is in an especially vulnerable position and yet the content of his text messages appears to be completely oblivious to that fact.

Or worse, fully comprehending of it.

More: WISDoJ's Kevin Potter would seem to have it right.

F#*@ing social security, how does it work?

Don't ask Ron Johnson.

"I was trained as an accountant."Ron Johnson

September 15, 2010

Ron Johnson's truth in advertising

And this guy is complaining about misleading teevee ads? That label appears beside the candidate throughout his own latest effort.

I don't believe he's ever set foot in the U.S. Senate.

Ron Johnson dodges 13th debate in a row

The sunspot goggles, they do nothing
When asked whether he would attend a scheduled debate in Eau Claire on Sunday night, Ron Johnson said, "I don't believe so. That's pretty quick."
Come on, give the poor guy a break. Ron Johnson is unprepared to debate, having never expected to win 85% of the vote last night.

Dining room suite loses to Milwaukee incumbent

On kitchen table issues, J-S columnist endorsed the kitchen table
But I suspect any number of inanimate objects — a chair, a table, a stool, etc. — would probably provide better political representation than [Rep. Leon] Young. — Eugene Kane
Wisconsin Assembly District 16 Democrat: 100% reporting

I had thought a Cheddarbomb

Was a slapshot up into the top corner of the net.

But evidently not → Cheddarbomb for Russ

Feingold has a built-in attorney at WKOW

Nor is any advance permission required:
"The fair use doctrine of copyright law allows anyone to use excerpts from copyrighted work for purposes of comment," said Bob Dreps, WKOW legal counsel.
Then why is WKOW complaining?

WKOW's story (which isn't much of a real story and is entirely self-serving) is headlined, "Feingold's campaign ad causes confusion," except there's no evidence of any confusion presented in the story.

Rather, it's more likely that WKOW was caught flat-footed by the language its own reporter used. The Associated Press said, "One newscaster in the ad refers to the money as a government loan," and then characterized the reference as "misleading." Which it isn't anyway: there's nothing wrong with calling the industrial revenue bonds Ron Johnson's company, Pacur, received "government loans."

They are loans and they are facilitated by the government.*

Nor is there anything misleading about characterizing as a subsidy the obvious financial benefits of securing capital improvements financing at up to 2-1/2 percent below the prime interest rate.

Despite Ron Johnson's marshaling a small cadre of career politicians** for a news conference yesterday, the bonds were loans coordinated and administered by a cooperative undertaking of federal, State, and municipal authorities. In fact the latter entity actually held title to the building on Johnson's corporate property that the loans financed.

And the party with whom Ron Johnson was signatory to one of the loans was the Oshkosh, WI city manager. That's the government.

The only person who's being misleading is Ron Johnson, as he runs around the State telling everybody what a principled free and unfettered marketeer he is, when his own company benefited to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars worth of loan interest payments saved thanks to the federal, State, and local governments.

Apparently it's A-okay for Ron Johnson, if not for you. I doubt whether anyone begrudges Johnson for being an astute and successful businessman. But obviously his prior sweepingly Randian pronouncements preclude him from acknowledging the leg up he got from these government programs. That's what is at issue here.

* The libertarian Cato Institute has been sharply critical of the use of industrial revenue bonds. See The Political Economy of Corporate Welfare (.pdf; 11 pgs.): "In sum, industrial revenue bonds tend to distort, rather than facilitate, the market process. ... [T]he increasing use of IRB finance alters relative prices, which makes it more costly for consumers and producers to make accurate decisions regarding resource uses. The entrepreneurial process whereby resources are put to their most highly valued uses is disrupted."

** Including the redoubtable James A. Buchen of WMC notoriety.

September 14, 2010

In Wisconsin, J.B. Van Hollen sets the tone

Van Hollen took a stab at his Democratic opponent, Scott Hassett, calling him a "horribly unqualified, liberal candidate for attorney general" and also dug into Tom Barrett, calling him a "horribly liberal, unqualified candidate for governor."
Well, I guess it's on, isn't it.

Wisconsin vote: By the numbers

Governor — Democrat, 40% reporting: 88,196 votes cast
Governor — Republican, 40% reporting: 262,939 votes cast

If those are the same 40% of precincts reporting, you got some seriously highly motivated Republican voters out there.

Wisconsin Democrats best start pounding the pavement and beating down them doors first thing tomorrow morning.

30% off "isn't significant," says Ron Johnson

Maybe not if you're wealthy like Ron Johnson — with $15 million of your own cash just to burn on running a political campaign — but I reckon 30% off is mighty significant to most people.

Reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Ron Johnson and Bill McCoshen said there wasn't any taxpayer money or taxpayer risk involved in the transactions. . . .

"Each IRB requires the secretary of commerce to sign it," said deputy commerce secretary Zach Brandon. "The reason is that the federal government is giving up tax revenue."
Huh. But Ron Johnson and Bill McCoshen just got done saying that there wasn't any taxpayer money involved. It's Truth-O-Meter™ time!

Gov't owned Ron Johnson facility, say experts

Like they do in Communist China

See, e.g.,

"The city technically owns title to the facility built with IRBs and leases it to the company for up to 20 years."

"The political subdivision issuing the IRB retains ownership of the bond-financed facility and leases it back to the company at a rate sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the bonds as they mature."

"The property tax exemption results from legal title to the project property being held, while the bonds are outstanding, by the municipal or county issuer."

"We conservatives, we simply want to be left alone."

Ron Johnson to lobby for more special treatment

Career politicians to the rescue
Ron Johnson, Dick Leinenkugel and Bill McCoshen to hold press conference this morn to respond to Feingold ad on industrial revenue bonds.
Via Twitter.

This should be good.

September 13, 2010

Lt. Gov. Bat Guano, if that is your real name

Nocturnal tenants left precious bodily fluids in kitchen drawer

Via Der Sconzen.

What's Ron Johnson going to deny next?

I'm Ron Johnson and I approved this falsehood
Zach Brandon, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that "if a company derives a benefit from the taxpayer, it's a government program. The company derived the benefit at the expense of the taxpayer."
Dick Leinenkugel's guide to industrial bonds
Ron Johnson challenges professor of economics