OPINION: If elected, Evers could be key check on future Republican redistricting efforts

By Mal­colm McIn­tyre

Look­ing for anoth­er rea­son to sup­port Tony Evers in his bat­tle to unseat incum­bent Repub­li­can Gov. Scott Walk­er. Con­sid­er this: The win­ner of the Nov. 6 gen­er­al elec­tion has veto pow­er over the redis­trict­ing that will take place in 2020. This means that if Evers wins he will serve as a check on the Repub­li­can legislature’s attempts to either keep the already gross­ly ger­ry­man­dered Con­gres­sion­al, state sen­ate and state assem­bly dis­tricts in the state or even worse, any attempts to make them even more Repub­li­can-friend­ly (is that pos­si­ble?).

Here is what Bal­lot­pe­dia wrote in a recent post: “The win­ner of the gen­er­al elec­tion will be involved in the state’s redis­trict­ing process fol­low­ing the 2020 cen­sus. Under Wis­con­sin state law, the state leg­is­la­ture is respon­si­ble for draw­ing new maps for U.S. House and state leg­isla­tive seats fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the cen­sus. The gov­er­nor has the pow­er to veto these dis­trict map pro­pos­als. Click here for more infor­ma­tion on redis­trict­ing pro­ce­dures.

Vukmir tabbed to run against US Senator Baldwin; brace yourself, this one will be nasty and ugly

This is going to be nasty. Now that the par­ti­san pri­ma­ry elec­tions are over, buck­le your belts because the already heat­ed bat­tle for the U.S. Sen­ate seat now held by Tam­my Bald­win will get hot­ter.

On Tues­day, the Repub­li­cans tabbedf State Sen­a­tor Leah Vuk­mir to run against Bald­win. Vuk­mir, from Brook­field, defeat­ed Kevin Nichol­son, 217,023 to 190,040. Vuk­mir is a for­mer state chair for ALEC, the ultra con­ser­v­a­tive group giv­en a lot of cred­it for the Repub­li­can assault on col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing (Act10) and the party’s zeal for replac­ing Oba­macare.

Like Don­ald Trump? You’ll love Vuk­mir.

Bald­win told her sup­port­ers in Berlin last month that her seat in Wash­ing­ton has been tar­get­ed by the Repub­li­cans and that more mon­ey from out­side sources is being spent against her.  Bald­win is shown in the pho­to on the left with Frank Buress, who is run­ning for the 41st Assem­bly Dis­trict. The two were at a Bald­win ral­ly last month in Berlin.

A recent arti­cle “Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal” stat­ed, “Mean­while, Bald­win, D-Madi­son, has faced a neg­a­tive ad blitz that so far dwarfs any oth­er U.S. Sen­ate incum­bent seek­ing re-elec­tion this fall. Out­side groups have spent more than four times as much on neg­a­tive ads against her than against any oth­er sen­a­tor, the Cen­ter for Respon­sive Pol­i­tics data show.” View entire arti­cle.

And this was before the real bat­tle start­ed today. Hang on, it, because based on what we have seen so far, it is going to get nas­ti­er and ugli­er. Such is the state of pol­i­tics today in Trump World.


Evers tops field in the Democratic Party partisan primary race for governor

And now there is one. Yes­ter­day, Tony Evers, who was our head­lin­er last month at the July Green Lake Co. Dems & Friends meet­ing, has emerged as the guy to take down Scott Walk­er.

Evers, who had been favored to win the eight-per­son par­ti­san pri­ma­ry elec­tion, came away with 224,544 or 41.7 per­cent of the votes. Mahlon Mitchell was sec­ond with 88,090 or 16.4 per­cent. Kel­da Roys was third with 68,965 or 12.8 per­cent.

In all, 537,840 votes were cast in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty par­ti­san pri­ma­ry on Aug. 14.

OPINION: It was a struggle to decide who to vote for; there are a lot of good candidates, but here is how I voted

By Mal­colm McIn­tyre

I vot­ed last week on Wednes­day. It was quick and pain­less. I called Mar­i­an Milde­brandt, the Town of Brook­lyn Town Clerk to con­firm that if I did not expect to be in Green Lake on Tues­day (it is still up in the air), I could vote ear­ly, and that after­noon. “Sure,” she said. “Come on down.” So I did. Worked well. Mar­i­an knows what she is doing.

Strange­ly, tech­ni­cal­ly, I was “absen­tee” vot­ing although I was there. Hmm

But I strug­gled with the choic­es. Isn’t that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty way? Eight peo­ple were seek­ing toi lead the Par­ty into the Nov. 6 gen­er­al elec­tion and most were sol­id can­di­dates. I fil­tered out a cou­ple imme­di­ate­ly. Josh Pade? Who? Paul Sloglin? Is he real­ly run­ning? Seems like he entered the race and then went home. So it came down to an issue that Dems have strug­gled (there is that word again) with for years. Do we sup­port the can­di­date we real­ly like or the one with the best chance of win­ning?

Over the years I’ve tend­ed to go with the can­di­date I liked. Most of the time, after the elec­tion results were announced I was left dis­ap­point­ed (See Michael Dukakis–hey, I lived in Boston for 14 years). At least I know I am not alone is this strug­gle. At our reg­u­lar month­ly meet­ing on Aug. 4, we did a non-sci­en­tif­ic poll of the atten­dees and we were all over the place with our sup­port of the can­di­dates.

The same thing hap­pened with the two can­di­dates for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor. Both made strong impres­sions on us and accord­ing­ly, they split our infor­mal votes.

The good thing is there are a lot of qual­i­fied Dems run­ning for the gov­er­nor­ship and each would bring to the post cre­den­tials and expe­ri­ence that would help move our agen­da for­ward. Mahlon Mitchell? He’s a proven leader. Matt Fly­nn? His agen­da is sol­id and his polit­i­cal expe­ri­ence is stel­lar. Kel­da Roys? Maybe the future of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in Wis­con­sin. Tony Evers? Statewide name recog­ni­tion and nobody knows more about edu­ca­tion.Kath­leen Vine­hout? Leg­isla­tive expe­ri­ence and an out-state can­di­date. Mike McCabe? Maybe the most pro­gres­sive can­di­date, plus he’s a farmer.

So who did I vote for? I’ll be hon­est. I real­ly, real­ly strug­gled with this one. I think Tony Evers has the best chance of defeat­ing Scott Walk­er in Novem­ber and there are sev­er­al polls that sup­port this. He may be the most prag­mat­ic of the can­di­dates and I would be shocked if he runs a neg­a­tive, attack cam­paign; he is not that type of guy (which may hurt him with some Dems).  But I also want to see more women in pol­i­tics and Kel­da Roys is bold and very pro­gres­sive, espe­cial­ly on issues that res­onate with women (and some enlight­ened men). We need her voice in Madi­son.

Same with the lieu­tenant gov­er­nor can­di­dates. Kurt Kober has a sol­id busi­ness back­ground, and comes from a union fam­i­ly. No sil­ver spoon here. He is artic­u­late, poised, and an aggres­sive, smart cam­paign­er. Man­dela Barnes is sim­i­lar, but he has leg­isla­tive expe­ri­ence; he knows how the leg­is­la­ture works (or doesn’t work). Tough choic­es.

So who did I vote for. Well, here we go. I vot­ed for .…

Oh shoot, my com­put­er is act­ing fun­ny, It just froze. The Rus­sians? Hey, could be. Guess I’ll have to wait until after the elec­tion to tell you.



View video of Dem candidate forum featuring seven of the eight seeking to replace Walker

If you missed the can­di­date forum last week that fea­tured sev­en of the eight Dems seek­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty nod to  oppose incum­bent Gov. Scott Walk­er in the bal­lot in Novem­ber, we have a link to the forum here. The forum, on Wednes­day night, was spon­sored by WORT (89.9-FM) (Madison’s com­mu­ni­ty radio sta­tion), The Pro­gres­sive Mag­a­zine, and Isth­mus . Please note that the video is not well edit­ed and the first 15 min­utes of it can be skipped. The can­di­date intro­duc­tions start at the 15 minute mark.

Looking for factual, unbiased information to help inform your votes in the future?

One of the great frus­tra­tions we face when deal­ing with the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment is find­ing infor­ma­tion that can inform our vot­ing. While there are numer­ous resources, includ­ing media plat­forms, that we can access, often the infor­ma­tion is incom­plete, biased, or just wrong.

The Cen­ter for Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism, a Wis­con­sin-based non­par­ti­san non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion, has cre­at­ed a web page that may help you clear away some of the con­fu­sion.

On the page (view link), you’ll find links to infor­ma­tion that will help you bet­ter answer these ques­tions:

Campaign Finance and Lobbying

How can I dig into state cam­paign finance data?

How can I find who is lob­by­ing whom over what?

How do I find sim­i­lar infor­ma­tion on cam­paign finance and lob­by­ing in oth­er states?

How do I track cam­paign dona­tions and spend­ing for fed­er­al can­di­dates, like U.S. sen­a­tors and con­gress­peo­ple?

How can I cor­re­late con­tri­bu­tions to votes?

The Wisconsin Legislature: Bills and Spending

How can I find a par­tic­u­lar bill?

To under­stand what is being pro­posed:

To keep tabs on pend­ing leg­is­la­tion: 

What else can I learn about past and pend­ing leg­is­la­tion?

How can I track state agency spend­ing?

How can I check up on a non­prof­it group?

What infor­ma­tion is avail­able on cor­po­ra­tions, includ­ing non­prof­its, that are oper­at­ing in my state?

What can I learn about indi­vid­ual labor unions?

What can I learn about an employer’s record on work­place safe­ty?


Only two Dems running in Aug. 14 primary for Lt. Gov. but the choice still hard to make

This one was also not easy for those attend­ing the reg­u­lar month­ly meet­ing of the Green Lake Co. Dems & Friends. With only two can­di­dates in the run­ning for the party’s nod for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor in the par­ti­san pri­ma­ry on Aug. 14–Mandela Barnes and Kurt Kober–the “favored sta­tus” des­ig­na­tion should not have been dif­fi­cult.

But it was, and as it was for the atten­dees who debat­ed the pros and cons of the can­di­dates seek­ing the governor’s seat, there was no con­sen­sus on Barnes and Kober. Ah, such is the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in  2018.

To help you decide which can­di­date to sup­port we’re pro­vid­ing links below to their Face­book Pages and web­site.

Click on the images above and to the right to vis­it Kurt Kober’s cam­paign Face­book Page and web­site.

Click on the images above and to the right to vis­it the Man­dela Barnes cam­paign Face­book Page and web­site.

OPINION: Which candidate has our support in the battle to unseat Scott Walker

By Mal­colm McIn­tyre

We all agree: we can’t agree on who should be our party’s choice to stand for elec­tion this Nov.6 against incum­bent Gov. Scott Walk­er.

At our reg­u­lar month­ly Aug. 4 meet­ing at the Caesteck­er Pub­lic Library, we decid­ed to ask the 25 or so peo­ple in atten­dance who they planned to vote for in the upcom­ing Aug. 14 par­ti­san pri­ma­ry elec­tion. We agreed that if some­one was not com­fort­able con­tribut­ing to the process they did not have to par­tic­i­pate, but most did in a spir­it­ed and pas­sion­ate dia­log.

And the results were all over the place. No one can­di­date seemed to have a pre­pon­der­ance of sup­port. In fact, mul­ti­ple mem­bers spoke in favor of Tony Evers, Mahlon Mitchell, Matt Fly­nn, Kel­da Roys, Kath­leen Vine­hout, and Mike McCabe. Only Paul Soglin and Josh Pade failed to gain some ver­bal sup­port.

In every case, mem­bers had heard, in per­son, from all of these can­di­dates. Either at one of the 4-Co Can­di­date Forums that have been held over the course of the last year, or in some oth­er venue. Most of the mem­bers in atten­dance know who Soglin is, but he has not ven­tured out to our area, which may have hin­dered his effort to gain sup­port. No one expressed sup­port for Pade who has prob­a­bly had the least expo­sure of any of the can­di­dates.

There was also con­sid­er­able dis­cus­sion about whether mem­bers should vote on Aug. 14 for the can­di­date they liked best or the one they felt had the best chance to top­ple Walk­er. Here too there was no con­sen­sus, but con­sid­er­able dis­cus­sion on both options.

There was a con­sen­sus, how­ev­er, that the Green Lake Co. Dems & Friends will sup­port com­plete­ly whomev­er is the win­ner.

Note: Orga­ni­za­tion poli­cies pro­hib­it us from endors­ing any can­di­date run­ning in a par­ti­san pri­ma­ry.