Friday, October 29, 2010

Walker Changes Reason for Vetoing Fairness

In an email to their subscribers, Wispolitics is reporting on Scott Walker's new reason for vetoing fairness last year. If you will recall, he vetoed the idea of conducting a study for extending benefits to county workers in domestic partnerships. According to today's Wispolitics report, he says that he vetoed that measure because of some phony concern related to the constitutional amendment passed in 2006. So is he lying now or was he lying at the time that he vetoed equality? Because at that time he claimed he was doing it purely for financial reasons. Now he is suddenly "coming out of the closet" revealing that he really did it because of the constitutional amendment (you know, the constitutional amendment whose dishonest supporters claimed wouldn't interfere with such benefits?). Typical and extreme Scott Walker, he will say anything and everything to further his political ambitions. Even if it conflicts with his own words. This supposed "values" crowd clearly doesn't value honesty.

Leah Vukmir in Her Own Words

Last month the Shepherd Express did a piece focused on the very extreme state Rep. Leah Vukmir. In it they give a quote from a Republican in the capitol who commented that "many Republican staffers believe that she is so extreme and heartless that she is dangerous.” Several of these observations are consistent with a report done by Milwaukee Magazine a year earlier when they rated her one of the worst legislators in Madison.

Based on some of the following Leah Vukmir official emails, I would certainly have to concur with some of those sentiments (of her fellow Republicans). *Note-all emphasis is mine but all inappropriately placed smilie faces belong to Vukmir.

When her fellow legislators were asking for signatures on a letter seeking to save the Chrysler Kenosha plant, Vukmir had an "interesting" response. She forwarded the emailed appeal to her apparent BFF, right wing talker Vicki McKenna. The real disturbing part was not that she forwarded the email but what she said when doing it. She said, and I quote, ":-)". Because we all know how funny it is for plants to close in Wisconsin and for working people to lose jobs. [Vukmir email, 5/5/09]

In one long email thread a few cheap shots at MMSD were taken. One of the people involved in the conversation clearly didn't get the point of the cheap shot so Leah offered an explanation, followed by the ever sensitive comment, "'s government-run water containment. Ask New Orleans how this works out. :-)" Oh my, I can barely stop laughing! [Vukmir email, 8/14/08]

Apparently Leah Vukmir isn't concerned about the oft-mentioned "brain drain" in Wisconsin. Her office received an email from a progressive organization asking for help in sending progressive youth to Washington DC for a conference. She forwards the email to one of her staffers commenting, "Yes. Lets send them to Washington - but they have to promise that they will never come back." [Vukmir email, 4/16/09]

A person (name was redacted by Vukmir staff) sent an email to Vukmir and right wing loudmouth Mark Belling. The subject of the email read, (annoying caps are not mine) "HOW ABOUT OUR REP LEAH VUKMIR V RUSS (I AM ARROGANT) FEINGOLD-SMARTASS???" Vukmir responds saying, "We can only slay one senator at a time (redacted name). I thought about it, before running for state senate." Not only does the over-the-top rhetoric speak for itself, but I wonder how close Vukmir came to the line here? Should she be talking about her political plans and state senate campaign on her official state email account? [Vukmir email, 1/21/10]

Then there is Vukmir's exchange with epic gay-hater Julaine Appling regarding the bullying legislation that she dutifully voted against. Why? The best that I can tell from the email is because a gay org might have had some input in trying to protect our kids from bullying at school. Oh my god, better vote against it! [Vukmir email, 1/13/10]

Then there is the intelligent email from (name redacted) with the following subject line, "Thanks Cong Pence et al for fighting against fascists under our national dome that used to stand for liberty and the pursuit of the American Dream-All of that has been replaced by numb nuts who want solutions via the Tire Pressure Gauge-Led by Captain Planet Gore and Mrs Save The World From Meanie America-Our Lib Marxist Queen-Pelosi//Tear Down The Medias Iron Curtain and learn from Reagan, Friedmann, Alexander Sol.." Vukmir responds to the nut by apparently trying to reaffirm their thinking saying, "They are fighting the good fight...and I am glad they are!!" [Vukmir email, 8/5/08]

Finally, Vukmir takes a moment to let us know what she really thinks of Social Security. In an email to (name redacted) she comments, " you know who the geniuses were that developed the benefit structure for the auto industry? They were the same wiz kids who gave us social security." [Vukmir email, 6/6/09]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Kind of Hypocrisy is Almost "Criminal"

During the last budget, draft legislation was circulated that would give companies tax credits for hiring ex felons. Seizing on a perceived politically opportune moment, the right-wing Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) feigned all kinds of outrage over the idea. WPRI's blogger dutifully wrote an attack piece entitled "Is the Recession Hitting Felons Too Hard?" In that blog entry he commented that "...using the financial crisis to socially engineer changes that benefit those who have harmed others isn't the 'stimulus' we need." It didn't take long for right-wing talker Charlie Sykes to jump on the always opportunistic bandwagon. What I do find interesting, however, is that I haven't heard a peep from WPRI or Sykes about Ron Johnson's use of employment programs involving convicted criminals.

State records show that Ron Johnson has been using prison labor at the family company since 1998. He has been doing this even as the unemployment rate in Oshkosh has nearly doubled. So maybe WPRI and Sykes should ask Ron Johnson why he is still employing felons, some with violent histories, instead of working families in Oshkosh?

They have not and will not ask Johnson that question but I have a few ideas about the real answer. I suspect that it just might be because Johnson is able to offload health care costs to the state while still having people do the work for him. Again, it seems like this is yet another example of Johnson's double-talk on "small government". It apparently should be small unless it is helping his own bottom line. The AP has reported that the prison labor is saving Ron Johnson about $10,000 per employee per year. Rather than call out the hypocrisy WPRI and Sykes prefer instead to join in with a bit of their own, by remaining suddenly silent.

WPRI, Sykes and the rest of the right-wing brigade continually attack Governor Doyle for the "earned release" program. Usually they go about chronicling the name and criminal record of dozens of people who have (and have not) qualified for the program. So why aren't they raising even a whisper about the inmates — who are still serving time —who are allowed to get out to work in Ron Johnson's factory? While on work release, these people are monitored by the company, but not always by corrections employees. And some of them have serious charges for which they have been found guilty. Consider this listing of offenses by those that work for Johnson:

  • 1st Degree reckless homicide (14 year sentence)
  • 2 counts of bail jumping, 2 counts of fleeing and eluding, homicide by negligent use of a vehicle
  • Homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle
  • 2 counts of battery, 2nd degree reckless endangering safety

  • 2 counts of burglary, OWI, bail jumping
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • 2 counts burglary
  • Burglary, theft

  • Where is the right-wing fear mongering about these individuals? Where is their feigned outrage over the program itself? Apparently WPRI and Sykes have no problem with the situation because them being consistent would hurt Ron Johnson. Not only would it hurt his campaign but it would hurt his pocket book. That kind of right-wing hypocrisy is breathtaking, in fact you might even say that it is almost "criminal".

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    It's the policy stupid! (Times Two)

    After the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called for the firing of Scott Walker's hand picked administrator of the Behavioral Health Division (BHD), I pointed out that the firing alone would not solve the problem. At that time I commented that the actual problem with Milwaukee County's BHD and its Mental Health Complex (MHC) was one of flawed Walker administration policy. Today we have the release of two Milwaukee County audits, one on the continual crises at the MHC and the other regarding the dangerous conditions of Milwaukee County buildings and structures. In both cases, I point back to my august observations in again saying "It's the Policy Stupid!"

    Regarding the MHC the audit shows that violence has rapidly increased over the last five years. It's not really a surprise when you consider that Scott Walker has had a longtime policy of cutting staff. In 2001 there were 1,053.1 funded position equivalents. In 2008 that number went down to 890.9 and in his 2010 proposed budget he wanted to put it all the way down to 746.7. In addition, in 2008 there were 113 positions at BHD that were fully funded but not filled. Considering all of the tragedies happening on his watch, no wonder Scott Walker is stonewalling nearly everyone that wants to get to the bottom of the problem.

    Regarding the widespread problems with building maintenance/inspections, the audit found that "Milwaukee County has taken a haphazard approach to building inspection, with no formal policy and inconsistent follow-up." Again, it is the policy stupid! Consider the following:

  • In the 2002 budget the Architectural, Engineering Environmental Services division had 70.4 full-time equivalent positions. In the 2010 budget there were only 36.4 such positions remaining.
  • Investments in that division have gone down from $7,339,513 in 2002 to $6,703,375 in 2010.

  • Both a Milwaukee County audit in December and a Public Policy Forum analysis last October offered some brief but important commentary on the divisions' staffing issues and its negative impact on proper inspections and monitoring of structures and buildings.

  • You can see this same failed Walker formula in his ($200 million) deferred maintenance approach to parks, and his overtime (218% increase) approach to the House of Corrections. How much mismanagement and short-term policy do we have to see before we collectively come to terms with reality? Here is that reality check: Scott Walker will do and say anything to promote his own political career, even if that means a much higher long-term cost for the rest of us.

    Milwaukee County Dems Turn Camera on Fox News

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Journal Communications Endorsement Criteria

    In Journal Communications' inevitable endorsement of Scott Walker, they have really come full circle. They are largely responsible for him being Milwaukee County Executive and they clearly have a vested interest in continuing to promote him regardless of his lack of performance. We've seen this coming through their nonstop cheer leading and millions of dollars of free advertising on their radio station and through their newspaper's kid glove treatment of him no matter what disasters happen on his watch. So this endorsement should really be no surprise, what do they have to lose that they have not already lost (like credibility)?

    In their endorsement they say that Walker's "experience in running Milwaukee County has given him the right skill set". Who knew that the following qualified as "running" and who knew that it involved any level of "skill" at all? As a public service to future candidates for public office, we would like to provide the apparent criteria necessary to get the endorsement and endless promotion of Journal Communications:

    • Bring it to Bankruptcy
    • Constant mental health crisis, (deaths, escapes, threatened funding, shotty conditions)
    • No economic development/jobs effort (other than for political cronies)
    • Transit crisis: less service but ever increasing prices, cutting off more people from jobs
    • Buildings literally crumbling
    • Hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred parks maintenance
    • Being fined/successfully sued for poor performance and then losing control of welfare programs altogether
    • Losing control of the House of Correction after a damning federal audit, short staffing, 218% increase in overtime, an escape and a overdose death
    • Raiding sales tax revenue which was supposed to be for things like roads, while owning "the worst road in the state of Wisconsin".
    • Building phantom budgets based on assumed revenue that has no basis in reality
    • Complain about government spending and debt when you actually lead the way in both categories (35% and 85% increases)
    • Constant sniping on the sidelines and having a generally nasty attitude toward the constructive efforts of everyone else
    • Never actually reforming the thing that got you elected in the first place - pension system, (still massive backdrop payments, workers still don't contribute eight years later)
    • Multiple long-time staffers investigated by the District Attorney's office
    • Awarding multiple no-bid contracts to politically connected companies that have given to your campaign
    • Privatize everything, even if it costs more for less
    • Short-term politically motivated approach to everything, no matter the long-term costs to taxpayers
    • Break most of your original promises but continuously parrot that you've kept them.
    • Whenever possible flip-flop on key issues, and then flip-flop again (be on all side of nearly every issue)

    It seems that what Journal Communications really meant to say is that Scott Walker's "experience in ruining Milwaukee County has given him the right skill set to receive our inevitable endorsement".

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Get Real: Walker's Record on Public Safety

    Here we go again, Scott Walker's photo-op approach to public safety. He will say anything to get elected even if it doesn't comport with his own record on public safety. Now he is running an attack ad on the subject when he really should be running from his own dismal record instead.

    We all know about Walker's long standing mismanagement of Milwaukee County's Mental Health Complex (MHC), but recent reports show us that this social services crisis is quickly turning into a public safety problem. WISN News did two stories recently on two different families that are unfortunately being forced to deal with this mismanagement directly.

    One family consists of the father and aunt of the women that was repeatedly sexually assaulted at the MHC. Twice this year that same victim was allowed to simply walk away from the long-term facility. The first time she was found walking amongst dangerous traffic. Less than a month ago, after again walking away from the facility, she was found forcing her way into a local family's home and getting into a physical altercation with the unsuspecting mother of the house. Now, as WISN reported earlier this week, that mother and her husband are calling on Scott Walker to release a security report on the facility that he has so far tried to hide from the public.

    This is only the most recent example of Scott Walker's public safety failures. This past summer I highlighted some of the others including the following:

    •Walker's disastrous policies at the Mental Health Complex have also generated problems for local municipalities and their police departments.

    •In the 2002 Budget there were 1,125.3 funded position equivalents for the Sheriff. In the 2009 budget that number was down to 952.9 (Walker’s recommended budget would have brought it down to 946.0)

    •In the 2002 Budget there were 638.1 funded position equivalents at the House of Correction. In the 2009 budget that number was down to 486.0 (Walker’s recommended budget would have brought it down to 482.0). It should be no surprise that while Walker was in charge the overtime surged to record levels and there were even escapes from the facility.

    •Even Walker's political ally Sheriff David Clarke described Walker's budget as a "patchwork" and promised that he would have to release 120 inmates and reduce freeway patrols.

    •Then there was Walker's privatization scheme which brought this guy to supervise security at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

    Whistling Past the Train Wreck

    From the Cartoonist Group via Center for American Progress.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Walker Continues Down Shameless Road

    Last November I posted a blog about Scott Walker's shamelessness regarding a very specific transportation issue. Now we find ourselves with yet another installment of Scott Walker saying and doing anything to advance his own political career. Again it comes during a discussion about transportation.

    On the stump Walker has attacked the idea of raiding the state's transportation fund to fill budgetary holes. Earlier this week he made the same kinds of comments at the annual meeting of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin. As usual with Scott Walker, there is another side (consisting of his actual record) to this story.

    Scott Walker's history as Milwaukee County Executive shows that he is most definitely willing to raid transportation funds to fill the endless holes in his budgets. Milwaukee County's sales tax revenue was supposed to only be used to pay debt or to fund capital projects such as road repair and construction. Almost immediately after taking office in 2002, Walker sought to change those county statutes, so he could raid the fund. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/5/02, 5/23/03, 5/7/06]

    Scott Walker was successful in raiding it and proceeded to raid it every year since to fill the ever gaping holes in his budgets. Milwaukee County numbers show that his total raiding of those transportation funds totals over $109 million!

    So we are supposed to believe Scott Walker's rhetoric about raiding transportation funds even though his record as county executive shows him doing the exact opposite? This Walker hypocrisy is shameless enough but what makes it worse is that it is coming from the guy that owns the "worst road in the State of Wisconsin".

    Johnson Shrugged (off homeless vets)

    Now this is a heck of a quote to take national! Apparently for Ron Johnson this election isn't about details, whether it concerns creating jobs for the middle class or for helping homeless veterans.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Johnson Shrugged (off the Middle Class)

    We all know that Ron Johnson is a policy lightweight. Just witness his tendency to hide from the media and his refusal to engage in any environment that he doesn't totally control. We also know that he is a fortunate elitist that thinks very little about the daily struggles that the rest of us face. Both of these Ron Johnson realities were perfectly crystallized in his meeting with the editorial board of the Green Bay Press Gazette.

    During that interview Johnson was rattling off one of his substance-free talking points, but was quickly rattled by what should have been an easy question. They simply asked him to describe his jobs plan for the middle class. He had no answer, and he has no plan. Involuntarily imitating the title of his favorite book, "Johnson Shrugged" off the middle class.

    The Green Bay Press Gazette endorsed Russ Feingold saying in part that "Johnson seemed unable to further articulate his plan for job creation — especially for the middle class..." Even with all of his sound-bytes, bumper stickers, and expensive ad buys, that statement should really tell us all that we need to know. Everyday Wisconsinites are not the major priority for an out-of-touch elitist like Ron Johnson. UPDATE: Johnson Shrugged (off homeless vets)

    New WTMJ Role in GOP Fundraisers?

    We already know that the right wing talkers in Southeastern Wisconsin give their favorite candidates millions of free dollars in wall-to-wall air time. But last week WTMJ host Charlie Sykes seemed to take it a step further. He spent a significant amount of time yammering about a fundraiser for Extreme Leah Vukmir. He encouraged his listeners to help Vukmir by going to her fundraiser. He challenged them to "put up or shut up". Just for a little extra motivation, he told his obedient fans that he would be making an appearance there himself. I am certainly not a daily listener to Sykes' brand of right wing propaganda, but I don't recall ever hearing a radio host so directly and doggedly promote a fundraiser for a specific candidate for partisan office.

    As far as I know right wing stations around here may be misusing public airwaves all the time to directly raise money for specific Republican candidates. God knows they have been misusing the public airwaves for purely partisan ends for many years. This just seemed to cross a new line in my opinion. So was all of that expensive air time with Sykes specifically promoting a fundraiser for a partisan candidate an in-kind contribution? Should it be? Are there any lines here at all?

    A few things seem pretty clear to me after hearing the very specific fundraising efforts on WTMJ last week, 1. The right-wing must be a bit concerned about the race in the 5th state senate district. and 2. It appears that WTMJ is not only the major communications arm for the GOP (we already knew that)but now they seem willing to serve as a direct fundraising arm as well.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    But This Time I Really Mean It!

    Scott Walker is again trying to advance his political career and as usual he is making all kinds of fanciful promises. However, to accept these election year promises, one must totally ignore his actual record. Consider the following:

  • Walker says that he will put the state's financial house in order, but after eight years as Milwaukee County Executive, he has produced a state of total financial crisis.
  • Walker says that he will save the state money by making public employees contribute toward their own pensions, but even after eight long years he has failed to bring that kind of change to Milwaukee County.
  • Walker says that he will save the state money by reducing overtime costs. Is he serious? As he has drastically reduced staff levels during his time in Milwaukee County, overtime costs have repeatedly hit new heights. Overtime costs at the county's neglected Mental Health Complex has risen 42% in the last four years. Prior to Walker losing control of the House of Correction, an internal audit found that overtime hours there had skyrocketed over 218% (from 2003-2007).

  • Walker says that part of his plan is to strengthen our state's infrastructure. He says this while sporting at least a $200 million deferred maintenance backlog for the county parks? Not to mention falling limestone from buildings and the overall deteriorated condition of county structures.

  • Walker says that he will create so many jobs in the state that he will essentially eliminate all unemployment. As county executive Walker is unable to show even one solid example of a job that he has created (not including the taxpayer funded ones created for his political cronies). In fact he mismanaged and then shut down the county's economic development division in the middle of the Great Recession.

  • He says that he is going to create a jobs "hotline" for the state, but the last "hotline" that he created was Milwaukee County's economic assistance call center and only 5% of those calls got through. His failure there actually led to a lawsuit and a state takeover which forced taxpayers all over the state to flip the bill for Walker's busy signals.

    Let's face it, I could go on like this forever. Sadly Scott Walker has given us an endless flow of material. The bottom line is that, based on his actual record in Milwaukee County, Wisconsinites simply cannot trust Scott Walker to follow through on his fanciful campaign promises. Basing campaign promises on "but this time I really mean it" kind of reasoning is hardly convincing.
  • Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Friday, October 08, 2010

    You Know What They Say About Assuming...

    Today's Journal Sentinel Headlines say it all about Scott Walker's sham budget. "$30 million hole..." and "Walker plan is built on assumed revenue". Here is a partial listing of the many assumptions that Scott Walker made in this year's budget:

  • As he did last year, Scott Walker assumes worker concessions that he has not even negotiated much less won.($17 million)

  • Scott Walker assumes an unrealistic amount of revenue from possible land sales. ($7 million)

  • Scott Walker assumes that Milwaukee County suddenly wont have to pay money to the state that is due. ($7 million)

  • Scott Walker assumes an unsupported amount of revenue from TV screen advertising on buses. ($2 million)

  • Scott Walker assumes that voters wont notice his budgetary game playing.

  • As I commented on Twitter, I would like to try doing my own budget like Scott Walker does it for Milwaukee County. The only thing that I need to know is exactly where do I list my assumed revenue from a big lottery win? On second thought, maybe I shouldn't do know what they say about assuming.

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Feeding Log Cabin Delusions

    The new issue of the Wisconsin Gazette includes the feature story, "Scott Walker's Gay Dilemma". For me it clearly points to a typical theme: Scott Walker saying and doing anything to get elected. On one hand he has his a small handful of LGBT staffers that seem convinced that he accepts them but then on the other hand we have all of the gay-hating groups that are convinced that he will act against the LGBT community every time. Given both Walker's campaign rhetoric and his actual record, you would have to be delusional to think that he is actually supportive of LGBT families in any real or substantive way.

    Here is a perfect example of this delusion from the story:

    "...other gay Walker supporters believe his personal openness signals that, if elected, he would not pursue the conservative social positions he’s adopted on the stump."

    Newsflash: Scott Walker actually has a track record as an elected official right now, and it shows that he will not hesitate to make LGBT families first class taxpayers but second class citizens. Just last year Walker successfully vetoed a measure that sought to simply study the idea of treating the families of all Milwaukee County workers equally. The study would have focused on the actual costs of allowing LGBT families to take advantage of the same benefits as every other family of a county employee (including Walker's). We don't even know what the costs for fairness would have been and Walker clearly didn't want to know. Likewise, Walker also has repeatedly sought to cut funding for things like important programs at the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin. Those are only two examples of him actually pursuing "the conservative social positions he's adopted on the stump."

    The desperate delusions about Walker then transfer into equally delusional attacks against Democrats who have repeatedly stood up for LGBT families. It was the Democratic minority in the legislature that did every single thing that they could to keep the Republican majority from putting the discriminatory constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2006. It was our Democratic governor and a Democratic majority in the legislature that gave LGBT domestic partners basic rights and protections through the creation of the state registry (rights that Scott Walker has specifically promised to take away). It was Democrats that sought to protect LGBT and other youth by including bullying language in a school security bill earlier this year. Republicans like Leah Vukmir followed the lead of the most rabid anti-gay voices and voted against it. I could go on and on to list the endless efforts of Wisconsin Democrats that have been outstanding partners with the LGBT community.

    I hate to break it to Log Cabin Republicans, but what you are seeing is Scott Walker being Scott Walker. He is saying what you want to hear while talking to you and saying (not to mention actually doing) the exact opposite while talking to those that rabidly fight equality. Again, with this issue as with so many others, Scott Walker will say and do anything to get elected. In this specific case that appears to include the feeding of "log cabin" delusions that he will at some point change his pattern of anti-LGBT policies.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    The Year of the "Missing" Candidate

    Ron Johnson is not only content in making himself "missing" from multiple debates but as Politico reports, he has also made himself purposefully "missing" from the media in general. It seems to be a common strategy for many of the GOP's more extreme right wing candidates all over the country. Politico is calling it, The Year of the Missing Candidate.
    Update: Like I said, "missing".

    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Striking that "more conservative than thou pose"

    This week the Shepherd Express published a piece entitled, "Why Republicans Dislike Leah Vukmir". In it they discuss her wildly extreme positions on the issues. They also quote one Republican Capitol staffer who said, “Many Republican staffers believe that she is so extreme and heartless that she is dangerous.” Very strong words, especially coming from one of her fellow Republicans.

    These nasty Republican reviews of Vukmir reminded me of a few similar quotes that were presented by Milwaukee Magazine last year. In that piece they named Leah Vukmir as "one of the worst" legislators in Madison. A key reason for this ranking appears to be because of the bad perception of her by fellow Republicans. Here are some of the choice quotes that were offered in the Milwaukee Magazine piece:

    Vukmir should be a star but is an absolute dud,” says another Republican. By withholding her vote and claiming the “more conservative than thou” pose, Vukmir forced her caucus to cut deals with the Democrats and give up more ground. “She just has no strategic sense,” he despairs, adding that Vukmir is despised by most fellow Republicans.

    “It’s all about Leah,” grumbles a current Republican staffer. “Given the choice of reaching a compromise or having an issue to campaign on, she will choose the latter.”

    If these statements are any indication, it seems that Vukmir carries quite an auroa of right-wing condescension toward those that don't share her extreme views. This sense was verified for me through a couple of emails that Vukmir wrote in 2008. They were about referendums that were being promoted by a large coalition of groups. Those referendums called for legislators to act on health care reform in 2009 and to guarantee that every Wisconsinite received the same quality health care that legislators receive.

    Responding to the issue on August 13, 2008, Vukmir emailed Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's RJ Pirlot. In that email she commented:

    "It seems that the flowery language of this referenda question can capture even the stalwarts of community taxpayer groups. You may need to do some outreach work."

    The very next day she sent an email to right-wing talker (and apparent BFF) Vicki McKenna. In that email she suggested the following plan of action:

    "You may want to talk about this issue. Please don't single out Jean or the Tosa Taxpayers Alliance. She is pretty sharp and means well, and that is what concerns me."

    I don't know exactly what she means by this comment but it sounds like this normal ally may have expressed some level of support for the referendum. What I do know is that Leah Vukmir's email about her absolutly drips with right-wing condescension.

    Vukmir also suggests that McKenna "could blast SBT for not being better journalists..." I assume that she is referring to the (Small?) Business Times who reported on the referendum issue the day before. In the end it doesn't really matter exactly who she was referring to there. What does matter is that it didn't meet Leah Vukmir's extreme standards...but then again who actually does?

    A Small Taste of Walker's Broken Promises

    Let's hold him accountable, he asked us to do it.