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.

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.

Sor­ry.

 

OPINION: Baldwin rally Saturday night in Berlin attracted fans and one guy who needs to get a life

By Mal­colm McIn­tyre

It is a dirty job but some­one has to do it, I guess.

Some­one has to show up at appear­ances by polit­i­cal can­di­dates in the hope that he or she will some­how slip up, both lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly.

Sat­ur­day night, at the ral­ly for Tam­my Bald­win in Berlin, at River­side Park, the guy on he left in the pho­to above was there to record every­thing Tam­my said or did.

He’s a track­er and sad to say, in the polit­i­cal world he is not an abnor­mal­i­ty.

Both sides (Dems and Repub­li­cans) do this, but only selec­tive­ly.

In kind of per­verse way, is a sign the oth­er side fears you.

Sat­ur­day night, once sev­er­al of the Dems attend­ing the ral­ly noticed him and his video cam­era, they con­front­ed him.

He was polite, but also res­olute. He had the right, he told them, to be there and to record the event. He was right. Legal­ly the ral­ly was a pub­lic event. He could not, how­ev­er, invade the pavil­lion that was reserved by the rally’s hosts: the Adams, Green Lake, Mar­quette, and Waushara Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ties.

Still, his pres­ence upset some of those there to meet and greet Bald­win so they strate­gi­cal­ly placed them­selves between his cam­era and Bald­win.

It was a way of fight­ing back.

It worked, to a degree. Any­one view­ing the video won’t see much of the U.S. Sen­a­tor.

But, like a good track­er, this guy hung in there, even film­ing Tam­my as she walked to her car at the end of the ral­ly.

Why would he do that? He hoped to see her slip or stum­ble or in some way do some­thing that if pulled out of con­text could be used to embar­rass her.

Like I wrote ear­li­er; being a track­er is a dirty job. It is also dis­gust­ing, sleazy, and revolt­ing. Giv­en that, what does it say about peo­ple who do this?

Note, we know who the guy is, but unlike him, we aren’t in the busi­ness of try­ing to belit­tle or embar­rass peo­ple so we aren’t pub­lish­ing his name.

Note: Mahlon Mitchell, who is seek­ing the Dem nod to run against Scott Walk­er, recent­ly con­front­ed a track­er con­nect­ed to Repub­li­can Gov. Scott Walk­er. View arti­cle on how Mitchell turned the table on his track­er.

OPINION: Tony Evers is a breath of fresh air at a time when we need it

Please note: This is a per­son­al opin­ion of the author. It is not an endorse­ment by the Green Lake Co. Dems & Friends, which can­not make polit­i­cal endorse­ments of can­di­dates in con­test­ed races until after the par­ti­san pri­ma­ry on Aug. 14. If you wish to sub­mit an opin­ion piece for pub­li­ca­tion on this web­site, please send it to us at this email address.

By Mal­colm McIn­tyre

Tony Evers, a Demo­c­rat, is a breath of fresh air.  

He also may be the next gov­er­nor of Wis­con­sin.

Not a phys­i­cal­ly impos­ing fig­ure, and not loaded with charis­ma (nei­ther am I), Evers is nonethe­less a formab­it­able chal­lenger to the reign of Scott Walk­er (which I am not).

Evers, of course, must first get past sev­en oth­er Dems in the Aug. 14, par­ti­san pri­ma­ry. But most polls, for good rea­son, show Evers com­fort­ably lead­ing in the race to take on Walk­er.

So why is Evers a breath of fresh air and why is this impor­tant?

Well, Evers is the antithe­sis of most pols today.

He doesn’t rant and rave. He doesn’t attack, belit­tle, malign, or dis­par­age his polit­i­cal oppo­nents. He does not  lie or dis­tort the facts. He is not a racist in dis­guise, a nar­cis­sist, a misog­y­nist, or a bul­ly. He also doesn’t’ dodge or deflect. 

When giv­en an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­par­age his fel­low dems in the par­ti­san pri­ma­ry, he instead prais­es them while point­ing out that their pol­i­cy dif­fer­ences are minor and that they are good peo­ple. (Guess he missed all the tele­vised “debates” held by the Repub­li­can can­di­dates for pres­i­dent in 2016)

Instead, Evers sug­gests that the dif­fer­ences lie with their expe­ri­ence and their name recog­ni­tion. He fur­ther sug­gests that these are sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages, all in his favor.

Tony Evers

Again, he is right. None of the oth­er dems, despite their strengths and accom­plish­ments, have Evers’ statewide recog­ni­tion. He has been elect­ed three times in statewide elec­tions to run the state Depart­ment of Pub­lic Instruc­tion. And he has car­ried 70 of the state’s 72 coun­ties in those elec­tion. That is impres­sive.

He even refus­es to attack the gov­er­nor. He will attack the governor’s poli­cies and his actions. But name-call­ing is not Evers’ style.

So, are the vot­ers in Wis­con­sin ready for Evers? Are they sick and tired of the ran­dor and lack of civil­i­ty that has per­me­at­ed our polit­i­cal sys­tem, both here in Wis­con­sin and nation­wide?

Are they ready for an Ich­a­bod Crane look-alike who just might allow all of us, regard­less of our polit­i­cal affil­i­a­tions, to breath fresh air again.

We will know on Nov. 6.

 

OPINION: Knight cities article, urges support for Josh Kaul and separation of powers, constraints on each branch of government

Josh Kaul is run­ning for Attor­ney Gen­er­al against Repub­li­can incum­bent Brad Schimel.

Sub­mit­ted by Ken Knight

The linked arti­cle below regard­ing cur­rent issues at the fed­er­al lev­el explains my sup­port for Josh Kaul, can­di­date for Wis­con­sin Attor­ney Gen­er­al. The arti­cle address­es con­cepts that are direct­ly applic­a­ble to state gov­ern­ment as sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers and con­straints on each branch of gov­ern­ment are built into each sys­tem. The vot­ers need to insure that the sys­tem works as designed by exer­cis­ing their right to vote which in effect gives them the ulti­mate pow­er to safe­guard soci­ety / our sys­tem of gov­ern­ment.
Pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al dis­cre­tion is the author­i­ty of an agency or offi­cer to decide what charges to bring and how to pur­sue each case. A law-enforce­ment offi­cer who declines to pur­sue a case against a per­son has favor­ably exer­cised pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al dis­cre­tion.
If the linked arti­cle from the New York Times is too long, please take time to read the last three para­graphs.

OPINION: We’re off the hook; Rep. Kooyenga says he, not taxpapers, will pay $30,000 settlement

You and I were about to be on the hook for a $30,000 pay­ment to set­tle a law­suit brought by a man who had the audac­i­ty to be car­ry­ing a sign that was crit­i­cal of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The sign so angered Repub­li­can Rep Dale Kooyen­ga he took it from the man who was inside a pub­lic area of the State Capi­tol in Madi­son when Kooyen­ga went rogue. The man, Don­ald John­son of Madi­son had a per­mit to car­ry the sign and the per­mit was taped to the back of the sign. So what, said Kooyen­ga, who claimed he did what he did because the sign was a safe­ty haz­ardous and might have hid­den some­thing dan­ger­ous. He also said at one time that he did it as a joke. 

This was anoth­er exam­ple of how Free Speech is OK for some, but not oth­ers if the oth­ers dis­agree with you. Prob­a­bly a good thing Dale was not turned loose on those who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the var­i­ous statewide March For Our Lives events. He would have bank­rupt­ed the state.

Com­pound­ing the prob­lem was his posi­tion that the set­tle­ment should be paid for by you and I, as tax­pay­ers, not Kooyen­ga. Thank­ful­ly, Kooyen­ga recent­ly real­ized that ask­ing us to foot the $30,000 bill would not be well received by vot­ers is his dis­trict or any­where in the state for that mat­ter.

His burst of under­stand­ing may have been helped by the release of a video show­ing him remov­ing the sign. The tape sur­faced after sev­er­al news­pa­pers forced its release after fil­ing a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion request with the state. That request was ignored by Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Scott Walker’s admin­is­tra­tion ini­tial­ly, but a sec­ond request, filed after the set­tle­ment was announced, forced the administration’s hand.

Kooyen­ga, who is run­ning for a state sen­ate seat this fall, announced last week that he, his fam­i­ly, and friends who make the set­tle­ment pay­ment.

Read the Jour­nal Sen­tinel arti­cle.

 

OPINION: While the voters said no; the GOP move to consolidate power by eliminating the treasurer’s office will return, so be prepared

Repub­li­can Gov. Scott Walk­er and his Repub­li­can cronies in the leg­is­la­ture (and allied spe­cial inter­est groups seek­ing to extend Repub­li­can con­trol over our polit­i­cal sys­tem) may have suf­fered a defeat Tues­day, April 3, when the vot­ers of Wis­con­sin decid­ed­ly said no to a pro­posed state con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment that would have elim­i­nat­ed the state treasurer’s office. Slight­ly more than 582,000 or 62% of the vot­ers reject­ed Walker’s bla­tant move to con­sol­i­date his pow­er, with 365,000 (39%) sup­port­ing the move.

So what real­ly was behind the move? Read this expla­na­tion from Bal­lot­pe­dia. Why is this impor­tant? Because there is a good chance the mea­sure will come back to the vot­ers in the future. Be pre­pared and to again say no to this bla­tant pow­er grab.

No Votes

%

Percent Voting No

Yes Votes

%

Percent Voting Yes

OPINION: Did you know that only the legislature can authorize a constitutional amendment vote; you can’t initiate such action?

As of 2017, Wis­con­sin did not did not pro­vide for cit­i­zen ini­tia­tives or ref­er­en­dums; there­fore, all statewide bal­lot mea­sures are referred by the Wis­con­sin State Leg­is­la­ture. The state Leg­is­la­ture may send a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to the bal­lot for vot­er con­sid­er­a­tion if it received a major­i­ty vote of state leg­is­la­tors in each cham­ber over two suc­ces­sive leg­isla­tive ses­sions.

As refer­ring a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment requires a sim­ple major­i­ty vote over two suc­ces­sive ses­sions of the Wis­con­sin State Leg­is­la­ture, a polit­i­cal par­ty in con­trol of both cham­bers over two suc­ces­sive ses­sions can refer an amend­ment with­out any votes of the minor­i­ty par­ty. Repub­li­cans have con­trolled both cham­bers of the state leg­is­la­ture since 2011. Thanks to Bal­lot­pe­dia for this infor­ma­tion.

This Repub­li­can-passed leg­is­la­tion effec­tive­ly denies Wis­con­sin vot­ers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to exer­cise a right guar­an­teed by the Constitution’s First Amend­ment in the Bill of Rights, which specif­i­cal­ly pro­hibits Con­gress from abridg­ing ” … the right of the peo­ple … to peti­tion the Gov­ern­ment for a redress of griev­ances.”  What this means is that the Repub­li­can Par­ty of Joan Ball­weg, Glenn Groth­man, and Ron John­son wants to con­trol and deny you a fun­da­men­tal right. It also means that the Repub­li­cans are selec­tive when they cham­pi­on ele­ments of the Bill of Rights; if it sup­ports their posi­tions, they are all in, when it doesn’t they refuse to acknowl­edge it. Hypocric­i­ty at is finest for sure.

Learn more

Sub­mit­ted by Mal­colm McIn­tyre.