Archive for February, 2012
Funny what a difference a year makes. A year ago you could find links to some anti Walker protest on every anti-Walker page on Facebook. The lefty drums were banging and thousands of Walker haters would be dancing to their incessant beat. Madison was overflowing with both in state and out-of-state haters occupying our rotunda and turning our beautiful Capitol into their personal cesspool. Everywhere Governor Walker went he was met with a mob of angry protesters. These days you have to really to search to find current protest video and when you do find and watch it is usually a handful of people still chanting the good old “hey hey ho ho” chant. The other day there was a anti Walker teacher event at Mayfair Mall so I stopped by to see how big the crowd was. I counted 2 people attending it and I was there for over an hour. These examples prove that the Walker Recall movement is losing steam. The question is why.
There are several factors that can contribute to the obvious lack of enthusiasm and all of them are good news for Governor Walker. The first reason for the drop of enthusiasm is simply because a movement cannot possibly keep the same energy for over a year. There is a natural calming effect as people go back to their everyday lives. In fact many of my personal friends who were up in arms over ACT 10 are now telling me if the Democrats cannot offer them a better alternative than Kathleen Falk, they will consider either voting for Governor Walker or sitting the election out completely. Some people who have told me this actually signed a recall petition.
This brings me to the 2nd reason the recall movement is losing its excitement level. It is hard for them to get re-energized when it is obvious that they are being cut out of the process by the unions and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. They can claim they are unified all they want but I remember quite clearly how Facebook blew up when Ms. Falk was announced as the unions choice to run against Gov. Walker. The Wisconsin liberals were screaming from the rooftops that she was not their candidate but the unions ignored the plea of their members (imagine that) and proceeded to anoint her as their champion even though she has lost multiple statewide elections and was behind Gov Walker in every respected poll out there. It has to be hard to be motivated to vote for a candidate you really do not want and that has very little chance to win. Actually this is exactly the way most of us felt about McCain in 2008.
The third and final reason that the recall enthusiasm has died is because the movement was based on lies and hate. While hate is a great short-term motivator, it will only go so far and lies, while effective, eventually get exposed. The recall crowd was told that the sky would fall once ACT 10 became law but it hasn’t. They were told that Gov. Walker’s budget would be disastrous for Wisconsin, but so far the opposite have been proven to be true. The unions tried so hard to beat into our heads that collective bargaining is a right, but as the people of Wisconsin began to research the topic, they realized it was not a right but rather a privilege so that argument began to fall on deaf ears. It is hard to stay inspired once you realize most of what inspired you turned out not to be true.
While this development is encouraging, it is not a reason to rest on our laurels, in fact, their lack of enthusiasm should only increase ours. They had the last year to motivate themselves and now it is our turn. It is time for us to attend the events, to knock on the doors and to man the phones for our Governor and our brave recalled GOP Senators. The Left in Wisconsin thought they won they won the debate when they turned in the signatures to the GAB. Let us prove to them that was only the beginning. Stand up and be counted and volunteer to help the cause today!!!
It is time for Walker supporters to face facts, we are going to have a recall election in 2012. We can talk about the fundamental unfairness of the situation all we want, it will not change the fact that we must once again go out and defend our vote we took in 2010 against the forces of public sector unions and their cronies. With all that being said it is certainly time to analyze our adversaries in this recall fiasco in an honest way. Of course honesty and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin do not go hand in hand but I digress. Let’s examine the motley crew of leftists who have thrown their hat in the ring as of today.
Let us start with State Senator Kathleen Vinehout. She believed in Wisconsin so much that she decided to leave the state instead of taking a vote to defend the financial future of it. Yes she was one of Renegade Senators who fled to Illinois. I am not sure but based on recent developments in Illinois could it be that she went down there to learn how to both raise taxes and cut services at the same time? She sells herself as a pro life Democrat and her voting record suggests that she is which should make that NARAL endorsement almost impossible to get and if she actually wins the nomination many of the extreme leftists will find it very difficult to vote for her on election day. Taking a shower might be the only thing a Madison leftist will find harder to do than to vote for Senator Vinehout. She also has another mark against her, she barely held on to her Senate seat in 2010. When you squeak out senate district by a measly 400 votes in your last election, I think your focus should be on working for your district and not on stealing the Governorship of Wisconsin.
Speaking of stealing our next candidate Secretary of State Douglas Lafollette has been stealing taxpayers hard-earned money since he was re-elected in 1982. He is an extremist environmental lefty who will be turning 72 right around the time of the election. He has lost several times running for office and most people in Madison, including the liberals, view him as an eccentric old man who loves trees and organic lettuce. I will not waste a tone of space on Secretary Lafollette because quite frankly the majority of the people reading this blog would have a better chance of securing the nomination than this over the hill tree hugger has.
In keeping with how these type of pieces are written I have saved the best for last. The union’s hand-picked candidate, Kathleen Falk, is the gift that just keeps giving if you support Governor Walker. The former Dane County Executive never met a tax increase she didn’t like as she increased taxes in Dane County in EVERY budget she ever proposed. Hey Kathleen anybody can balance their budget on the backs of the taxpayers, perhaps you need to think outside the Madison bubble. For some reason, even though she has not always been union friendly, she has become their chosen one. In fact she was the only candidate to pass their litmus test which was basically will you do everything the almighty union asks you to do even if it negatively affects the majority of your constituents. Not only did she say yes to their demands, she actually signed a document and has been running around Wisconsin taking pictures with it. This folks is what you call a bought and payed for politician. No wonder she received WEAC’s endorse about 8 seconds after she announced she was running. It is surprising to me that the labor movement in Wisconsin has hitched their wagon to a person who has already lost 3 times in statewide election, but then again nobody said these union hacks were smart.
So as of today this is the Democratic primary field. Of course there is still time for a Barrett or an Obey to jump in the race but as of right now these three amusing candidates is what the Left is offering Wisconsin voters. I say send in the clowns as they would be an upgrade.
The most recent Marquette poll came out and showed a small decline in Gov. Walker’s approval rating. While it is a cause for concern, it is not a reason to panic. Poll numbers can fluctuate but the truth does not. Some interesting news came out of Illinois today that should help Wisconsinites truly understand why Governor Walker did what he did. Today Governor Pat Quinn announced that despite raising their taxes to insanely high levels, so high in fact that many companies are threatening to leave the state, Illinois is still broke and needs to cut even more spending to balance its budget. Here is where this story gets compelling, as now we can directly see two Governors from 2 different political philosophies, attack a very similar issue.
To be sure the budget of Illinois is a larger one to balance and Governor Quinn faces some obstacles that Governor Walker does not, but today’s announcement by Governor Quinn certainly strengthens Gov. Walker’s position. What Gov. Walker did was find a way to balance the budget, without raising taxes or cutting services. He did not mandate the layoffs of any public workers, instead he created tools to help local governments get control of rising costs in order to keep public employees on the job, which benefits all of Wisconsin. In order to achieve this he had to take on the powerful public sector unions who were hell-bent on keeping the status quo in Wisconsin. The unions kicked and screamed and demonized Governor Walker, but he stayed the course and now all of Wisconsin is benefiting from his vision and courage. Our friends on the other side of this debate can frown all they want about how we got there, but there is very little doubt that we are better off today then we were a year ago.
Now lets examine Gov. Quinn’s method to fix his budget. First he started by raising taxes by a whopping 66% which scared the pants off of several businesses who threatened to leave unless the Gov. Quinn gave them a sweetheart deal. When that didn’t work the Gov. Quinn then went the route of public sector layoffs. Layoffs that were avoided in Wisconsin (unless your union passed a last second deal before ACT 10 became law). Now comes today’s speech (video to follow) where he talked about slashing Medicaid and public employee pension benefits. He also talked about the need to close down prisons which not only lays off 1,000’s of people, it puts society at risk. He also talks about the closing of mental facilities, and other important services to the people of Illinois. Remember he is telling the people Illinois this just a year after sticking them with a huge tax increase. All this from a Governor who year ago bragged that he will do it “different from Wisconsin”. Well yes it is different and it is much worse for his state and for the public employees that work within it.
So there is our Tale of Two States in black and white. Two governors taking their state in different directions. One Governor took the road less traveled by taking on the special interest, while the other even with its budget a complete mess, refuses to. Can there even be a debate on which Governor is doing it the right way as it pertains to its budget?
Unlike the majority of my opinion pieces that talk about how wonderful Governor Walker and our brave Wisconsin GOP Legislators are, this one is a lot harder to write. It is much easier for me to defend and laud the accomplishments of others than it is to pat myself and my merry band of friends on the back, but given the enormity of our accomplishments, I felt it necessary to write about it. This is not intended to be self promotion. It is intended to inspire others to dream big and then surround yourself with the right people to get the job done right.
As many of you know I was a co creator and co organizers of the Celebrate Walker Rally in Wauwatosa. The genesis of this now famous event really was a previous much smaller event I helped organize in Madison way back in November where a merry band of about 120 Walker supporters marched through thousands of union hacks who spit at us, threw coffee at us, and called us every name under the sun. That in itself was not the motivation, the fact that about 90% of us went back at to the Capital Rotunda to do it again was. We knew that day that there was a thirst for a conservative event and we figured hey why not us so we went to right to work on it.
So Lisa Weed (she deserves one shameless plug) and I started batting around ideas on dates and location and ended up with the idea of Hart Park in Tosa on the Saturday after the recall signatures were due. We contacted Senator Leah Vukmir who represents that area and she agreed to speak at our little grassroots rally. We thought maybe 200 to 300 people in the park. We could find someone with a little PA system so Senator Vukmir could share a few words and then we would do a march of some sort. Well this is where this story gets real interesting. We started to expand our base of organizers and soon realized our little event could blossom into something much bigger. We brought in some wonderful people, too many to fairly mention each one, but trust me when I tell you they were the true heroes of the event.
Do not get me wrong, this event had a ton of potential pitfalls. What if we couldn’t attract too many good speakers? What if the local media tried to make us look bad? What if the GOP establishment in Wisconsin did not trust us and wanted to take the event over? These were just a few of the questions we had and trust me they were keeping us up at night. Something amazing happened though, the people we found to join us started answering the questions for us. Meg, our person in charge of booking speakers began to call or private message me great news. One by one speaker commitments came rolling in. It was as if all the GOP heavyweights called each other and said hey lets give these guys a chance. It also didn’t hurt that Meg refused to take no for an answer. While this was going on our media liaison Noelle was busy making us and the event look great in local media. Interviews were set up and our promotion machine was up and running. Suddenly our event of 300 was looking a lot more like 1,000 and our venue went from a park shelter to a state of the art outdoor amphitheater, which leads me to another incredible part of this story.
With each passing speaker confirmation our event was getting bigger and bigger. Soon we realized we were way in over our heads financially and we turned to you, the Walker Backers, for help and help you did. I personally had nothing to do with the PAC Onward Wisconsin but Paris the president of it was reporting everyday how generous you all were. Then Mary one of event coordinators began to set up a bake sale to help defray costs of the event. All of a sudden there was a bake sale Facebook page with a ton of volunteers from across Wisconsin baking goods to sell at our event. We were in deep but thanks to your generosity and to a hugely successful bake sale, we were able to meet our financial obligations.
This is in short, an actual documentation of one of the biggest grassroots events pulled off in Wisconsin state history. We could not of done it without a lot of help from our friends. If you are one that helped you have our undying thanks. If you are one looking to help us with our next one stayed tuned. Special thanks to Grassroots Bakers for Walker, Matt Lepperd for volunteering to do sound, Wauwatosa Police, donators to the event, our event speakers, and last but not least the estimated 4,000 people who attended.
Wisconsin’s largest public teachers union WEAC have made the decision to endorse Kathleen Falk as the Democratic nominee to take on Governor Walker in a general election. While this premature decision has made Walker backers like myself absolutely giddy, it has not resonated so well with members and supporters of WEAC. It seems as if they actually thought this recall was about them, which we know it never had anything to do with the school teacher or the sanitation worker. This recall is all about the public unions holding onto power at any cost, including the cost of their members wishes being ignored.
C’mon Wisconsin teachers you didn’t actually believe the Democratic party stood with you did you? If they honestly stood with you they would have done more negotiating and less political posturing when they ran away to Illinois. That was an opportune time to negotiate on your behalf, but instead of negotiating they decided to conduct MSNBC interviews from “undisclosed” locations in Illinois. The Democratic Party has offered a lot in terms of rhetoric but what have they actually done to improve your situation as a school teacher?
Then there is your union. The same union who forced school districts to use WEA Trust as their healthcare provider even though their were cheaper providers. This practice took thousands out of your classroom and put into their big fat cat pockets. When it became obvious that MPS would have to lay off teachers if they didn’t re open up their contract, several members of the teacher union actually stood up and said lets re open to save some jobs. Too bad their union leaders refused to do it and now hundreds of school teachers are out of work because of it. WEAC would much rather tell 2,000 of it members that they are no longer employed, then to tell all their members they need to contribute a bit to their retirement. It is all about their power and their power lies in not negotiating but in keeping what is theirs regardless of how it affects its members.
If you were a true believer that the recall was a grassroots movement about you, I truly feel bad that you had to learn the hard way that this recall had nothing to do with you at all. You were a pawn for WEAC and the Democratic party to use to bang the drums, chain yourself to the Capitol, and collect the signatures. It has to be hard to come to the realization that you have been duped by your people for over a year, but the facts bear out the truth that you were. May I suggest you come over to the side of the Wisconsin taxpayer. We would gladly accept you with open arms.
Throughout the entire Governor Walker saga the GAB (Government Accountability Board) has shown its true colors as a partisan, left leaning group of retired judges. Almost every ruling to come out of this body has been against Governor Walker or one of our brave GOP legislators. Well this week the GAB has taken this tired act over the top and has not just attacked our Governor, they attacked all Wisconsinites everywhere.
This weeks ruling by the GAB that only the official campaign of a particular candidate can challenge recall signatures flies directly in the face of our rights. Why does one have to be part of a particular group of people in order to be sure their rights and their vote are protected? What about independents, Libertarians, and common sense Democrats who support Governor Walker or one of our brave GOP State Senators? Are these people not allowed a voice in this recall attempt? Why does the GAB feel the need to strip them of their ability to participate in the political process. Make no mistake here, our liberties are under attack by a rogue unaccountable entity that puts its ideology ahead of its responsibility to the citizens of Wisconsin.
The Left scoffs at the notion that Pro Walker people are attempting to verify the recall. They call it a waste of time. They have come up with a ton of crazy excuses not to allow people access to public records. Hey if you are willing to negate the votes of 1.1 million voters who voted for Governor Walker in November of 2010, you should also be willing to proudly display your name and address. This is not a game lefties so stop treating it like one. The anti Walker crowd laughs at our attempt to validate signatures, they say there is no way we can throw that many out. Honestly I agree with them that we will not be able to find enough fraud to stop the recall election of Governor Walker, but that does not mean we do not have the right to try. This is not about throwing out enough signatures to negate a recall, it is about Wisconsinites being allowed to be part of the process. It is about making people feel that the process has been fair which in turn will make people feel better about the outcome, regardless of what the outcome is. I was there in Madison and I saw all the out of state semi’s around the Capitol the day the recall started. Why do out of state unions have more of a voice in Wisconsin then its own citizens? GAB if you want Wisconsin to truly heal when this is all over, you must allow Wisconsinites to be part of it or else neither side will accept the outcome and we will be divided forever.
As for our friends on the left who are celebrating the GAB ruling. Know you are celebrating the erosion of your rights as a citizen of the state of Wisconsin. Know that rulings create precedent so do not be surprised when these issues work against you and your movement one day. At the end of the day you all are having a hissy fit over losing some collective bargaining privileges. Trust me when I tell you if this ruling from the GAB stands, you will lose a lot more than access to free healthcare, you lose your voice. Think about it, is this truly what you signed the recall petition for?
Today is President Ronald Reagan’s 101st birthday and though he is no longer with us, his legacy lives forever in the hearts and minds of conservatives across the country. He was without a doubt, the biggest influence on my politic beliefs and I owe my conservative principles and core to him.
President Reagan was indeed the Great Communicator. he was able to make people feel at ease regardless of the situation. I can still remember being a young boy and listening to President Reagan talk about the shuttle disaster. I still get chills when I think of his infamous line “and touched the face of God”. There was never a situation he didn’t seem prepared for. During a grilling press conference Sam Donaldson asked President Reagan if he was partly to blame for the struggling US economy. Without missing a beat President Reagan retorted “Yes because for many years I was a Democrat.”
President Reagan was everything you wanted out of a President. He was the eternal optimist and he never took no for an answer. It is said that the times make the man, but in President Reagan’s case the man made the times. He put in motion the forces to tear down that wall in Berlin. He made people feel better about America again which helped get us out of economic funk in the early 80’s. He created the conditions that allowed businesses to reinvest in themselves that allowed for great inventions like the internet etc…America owes President Reagan a serious debt of gratitude.
Conservatives like me have been waiting many years for our next Ronnie. Taking a look at the political landscape today you can find a few conservatives as smart or as witty or as charming, but you cannot find anyone who has the total package President Reagan did. Many people believed it took a President Carter to bring us a Ronald Reagan. If that is indeed the case where is our Ronald Reagan to take on the one President Obama? I can tell you he or she is not among those currently in the race. That is the one sad part of the Reagan legacy, the lack of someone to pick up where he left off.