OPINION: Democratic Party presidential candidate Cory Booker is the real deal

By Malcolm McIntyre

U. S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is the real deal.

I’ve always known this. It started with his moving into a low-income tenement building in a high crime area of Newark in 1998.

Who does that when his law and Stanford degrees would have afforded him positions in law firms and corporate boardrooms across the county. 

Heck, he still lives in that neighborhood in Newark. Lived there while he served as mayor of the New Jersey city.

I had a chance to speak with him (“You sure you know how this cell phone camera works”, I asked). He did, and you and see the result here. 

Boy, he’s big. I would love to see Donald Trump try to physically intimidate him like he did Hillary.

Maybe we’ll get that chance. I hope so.

I know the odds are against this. I also know that the so-called debates, while well intended, simply aren’t the proper platform for experiencing most of the candidates.

When you get a chance to see and listen to Booker in person, you are exposed to his charisma, character, and strong passion for his beliefs.

I heard Booker speak for about 45 minutes. It was 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon in Hartland, an upper-scale community in Waukesha County, one of the state’s reddest counties. Frankly, when I heard through a friend that he was going to be in Hartland, I was surprised. I know too well how deeply Republican the county is and I knew how weak the Democratic party was in that part of the county.

But I was pleasantly surprised. There were about 75 people at the gathering of various ages, color, and gender. Yes, it was a mostly white group, but not completely. 

Clearly the Democratic Party is not dead in Waukesha County. 

Back to Booker. He is also a great story teller and I won’t repeat them here because I am trying hard to get the video that was shot while he was speaking. I want to share with our members here, and if I can with the other county Dems. Not sure if I will be successful. I am sure that Corey’s people have plans for the video and allowing us to see it may short-circuit those plans. Don’t want to do that.

Bottom line: if you can see and hear Corey in an environment like the one in Hartland, grab it. It will provide you with insights into the man that will help you decide who should represent our party in 2020. 


Health Care and the Environment finish as the top issues of concern


The final results are in and as expected, Health Care and the Environment, the early leaders in the Green Lake County Dems & Friends poll of attendees at the just concluded Green Lake County Fair, were the final two top issues of concern.

The poll, admittedly unscientific and definitely unofficial, but lots of fun, closed Sunday at the end of the 4-day fair run.

So, who participated in our poll? Well, young and old, male and female, Democrat and Republican (including 6th District Congressman Glen Grothman, a Republican and a good sport), and a group of young 4-Hers who, while too young to vote in real elections, cared enough about the issues to register their votes with us.

As indicated, Health Care, with 168 votes, was the top issue of concern, with the Environment close behind at 160. The Environment, as the table below shows, was the leader after the first day, but Health Care rallied and led the rest of the way.

Education finished third with 129 votes.

Agriculture was third with 65 votes, followed closely by Voting Rights with 60.

Everyone who voted was encouraged to make two choices with the provided smiley faces; most did.



Copy of Green Lake County Dems & Friends Issues Poll

HEALTH CARE30635223168
A table showing how some attendees at the August, 2019, Green Lake County Fair ranked the issues that may be keeping them up at night. This is an unofficial and admittedly unscientific poll.

Health care is Friday leader in Green Lake County Dems’ poll of fairgoers

Fairgoers participating in the Green Lake County Dems & Friends poll on Friday said that Health Care was their top issue or concern. Second was the Environment.

This is a reversal of Thursday’s results, where the Environment was the first day leader with 44 votes

Health Care earned 63 votes Friday, the largest one-day total so far.  A close second on Friday, was the Environment with 59 votes.

This means that after two days, the Environment is still the overall leader with 103 votes. Health Care’s two-day total is 93.

See the table below for more information on the vote totals. Our poll, which is new this year, is an admittedly unscientific and unofficial undertaking. So, what. We and the fairgoers participating in the poll are having fun, while also gaining some insights into the opinions of those attending the fair.


Green Lake County Dems & Friends Issues Poll

A table showing how some attendees at the August, 2019, Green Lake County Fair ranked the issues that may be keeping them up at night. This is an unofficial and admittedly unscientific poll. If you are attending the fair and have not participated in the poll, you can do so on Saturday or Sunday. All are welcome.

The environment and health care are the early top issues of concern after day one of the Green Lake County Fair poll

The early results are in and attendees at the Green Lake County Fair have spoken. 

Their top issues of concern heading into the 2020 elections are (drum roll please) the Environment and Health Care. 

Next up: Voting rights and education. 

Although it was expected to be one of the leaders, the Environment, with 44 votes, had a 14-point lead over Health Care’s 30 after the first day of the fair in this unscientific, unofficial, but extremely fun poll.

Although the big lead for the Environment and Health Care was a bit of a surprise (some observers felt it would be closer), these vote totals are only for day one of the four-day annual event. 

Today’s results could end up making the race closer. Today could also see voting rights (and its allied issues, such as redistricting) and education close the gap.

Trailing the leaders, after the first day, was Agriculture with 12, Infrastructure with 8 and Other with 5.

In total, 140 votes were cast on Thursday, the fair’s opening day.

Voting (such as it is) continues today, Saturday, and Sunday. Look for the final results Sunday night.



Fairgoers urged to sign petitions asking Green Lake County Board to pass resolution supporting nonpartisan redistricting

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

There are 72 counties in Wisconsin. Forty-seven of the counties, well more than half, have passed resolutions in favor of nonpartisan redistricting or gerrymandering. 

Green Lake County is one of the holdouts. 

At the Green Lake County Fair, now underway in Green Lake, the Green Lake County Dems & Friends are asking fairgoers to sign petitions urging fair maps that will be presented to the County Board. 

Green Lake County Dems & Friends chair Linda Wilkens says she and the local Democratic Party organization are hoping that the county board will add Green Lake County to the list of counties that are responding to citizen demands.

She points to a Marquette University Law School poll taken earlier this year that suggested that 72 percent of Wisconsin’s voters support gerrymandering and nonpartisan redistricting. In addition, those 72 percent said they support a nonpartisan redistricting process such as the one now used in Iowa. Finally, 62 percent of all Republicans in Wisconsin are in favor of this approach.

For more on the issue of fair maps and nonpartisan redistricting, check out these articles:










We’re there: Green Lake County Fair

A visitor to the Greeen Lake Dems & Friends booth at the 2019 Green Lake County Fair votes for an issue that concerns him the most during the morning sesssion on Thursday, Aug 1.

If you are attending the Green Lake County Fair, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 4, make sure you stop by the Green Lake Dems & Friends booth. This is the second year we’re out front and visible at the fair. We’re (our volunteers) are there from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Additionally, make sure you participate in our first annual unscientific, unofficial, but very fun issues poll. We’ll post the results for each day on our Facebook page, and then tabulate all the votes and publish a summary on Sunday night (or maybe Monday morning).

Former MoveOn.Org director and Madison native Ben Wikler selected to head Wisconsin Dems

New Wisconsin Dem Party leaders: From Left, Felesia Martin, 1st Vice Chair; Meg Andrietsch, Secretary; Ben Wikler, Chair; Lee Snodgrass, 2nd Vice Chair; and Randy Udell, Treasurer.


Ben Wikler, a Madison native and former MoveOn.Org director in Washington, D.C., was elected to lead the Democratic Party of Wisconsin at the organization’s state convention in Milwaukee earlier this month. Wikler, who ran an aggressive campaign for the post being vacated by Martha Laning, received 1,006 votes from the delegates, while his opponent, state Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, received 233 votes. Bowen has been the organization’s first vice chair.

Also elected at the conference were Felesia Martin as the new first vice chair and Lee Snodgrass as the new second vice chair. Both defeated others seeking the posts.

Unopposed were Treasurer Randy Udell and Secretary Meg Andrietsch.

View more information on the new officers.

Here is additional background information on Wikler from the MoveOn.Org website:

“Ben Wikler is a former senior advisor, and was previously Washington Director, at MoveOn, where he helped ensure that the views and voices of MoveOn’s millions of members were impossible to ignore in the nation’s capitol. At MoveOn, he played a pivotal role in successful national campaigns to defend the Affordable Care Act and the Iran nuclear deal, among others. Wikler previously held senior leadership roles at Avaaz.org and Change.org, the world’s two largest online organizing networks; hosted the podcast The Good Fight, which reached #1 on iTunes; and worked as Al Franken’s writing partner on two #1-bestselling books and as a producer of his national radio show. Wikler has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal; has written pieces in the Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Hill; and serves on the board of Vote.org. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, where he became a contributor to The Onion while in high school, Wikler holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard.”




Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone seeks Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat now held by Judge Dan Kelly

Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone is making his second bid for a seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. In late March of this year, Fallone announced his intention to run for the seat now held by conservative judge Dan Kelly, a Scott Walker appointee. Kelly was named to the bench in 2016. Kelly has announced that he will seek the post again in the 2020 election.

An article in the Journal-Sentinel earlier this year stated, “In 2013, Fallone’s campaign was dogged by the criticism that he had never been a judge. As he [Fallone] notes, Kelly was never a judge before former Gov. Scott Walker appointed him to the high court in 2016.

“Fallone said nothing in Kelly’s experience or education made him a likely appointee, and that his work on the redistricting case for the Republican party won him the seat. And since he’s been on the court, he’s demonstrated those leanings in his rulings,”

Fallone and Jill Karofsky will face off in a primary election on Feb. 18. The winner will then enter the general election is April 7, 2020.

Fallone’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/falloneforjustice/  

His website is https://www.falloneforjustice.com/



Judge Jill Karofsky enters Wisconsin State Supreme Court race

Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky has announced that she is running for a seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court now held by conservative state Supreme Court Judge Dan Kelly, who has announced that he will seek reelection in 2020.

As referenced in a Wisconsin State Journal article on May 2, “Karofsky’s announcement comes just weeks after conservative-backed Judge Brian Hagedorn beat liberal-backed Judge Lisa Neubauer for a seat on the court, ensuring it will retain a conservative majority at least through 2023.”

The article goes on to state that “The Supreme Court race next year is already taking shape. Liberal-backed Marquette Law School professor Ed Fallone, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for the high court in 2013, announced his 2020 run in March.”

Kelly was appointed to the court in 2016 by former Gov. Scott Walker.

In a email to possible supporters of her mom, Karofsky’s daughter, included the following information on Judge Karofsky: “A former state and local prosecutor, served as executive director for the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services, and worked as general counsel for the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Born and raised in south-central Wisconsin, she attended public schools where she was a state tennis champion. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at Duke University, where she was a Division I athlete, she earned two degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Karofsky received the WI Coalition for Sexual Assault’s “Voices of Courage Award,” was named the WI Victim/Witness Professional Association’s “Professional of the Year,” and earned a “Significant Impact” Award from a local organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. She currently serves on the Wisconsin Judicial Education Committee and chairs the Violence Against Women STOP Grant committee. She previously co-chaired the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Response Team, and served on the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, the WI Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council, and the Dane County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors.

Karofsky has two children, a daughter in college and a son in high school.

Her campaign can be found at JillForJustice.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jillforjustice/, and on Twitter at @judgekarofsky.

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?