Monday, August 13, 2012

The 11th Assembly District Needs an Upgrade

Over the last few weeks I've repeatedly written about the fact that I am voting for Mandela Barnes in the August 14th primary for the 11th Assembly District seat.  He is an outstanding candidate that shares many of my views and I believe that he is much more in touch with the district.  I am also voting for Barnes because I am not happy with my current Rep. Jason Fields' performance on a number of levels. Below I am providing one last listing of those various issues.

  • Fields is far too cozy with the right wing group American Federation for Children and he has not said one word about the fact that they are essentially running his entire direct mail campaign for this primary.  We recently learned that they also are making lame attempts at digging up last minute dirt on Fields primary opponent. They have been extremely deceptive in their mailings and have thus shown their low view of Mr. Fields' constituents. Yet as far as I can tell he has accepted their help and not said a word.
  • Jason Fields has accepted a direct contribution from disgraced former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.  Jensen is busy scheming behind the scenes these days and on most issues he is busy scheming against the best interests of the average person in the 11th Assembly District. 
  • At a round table discussion about education in Milwaukee Fields admitted that he thought that breaking up MPS was "probably the best idea". That might be a popular view among conservatives and their interests but it is not a popular view amount Fields' 11th Assembly District constituents.  [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/30/07]
  • I'm not sure if Scott Walker could be any less popular in this district than he already is right now.  Yet when in came time to join with the vast majority of his constituents, Jason Fields couldn't even be bothered to sign a Walker recall petition.  His stated reasons for not doing so have been embarrassingly lame.  
  • Maybe Fields didn't sign the recall petition because he has an unusually close relationship with Walker.  During Walker's State of the State speech earlier this year the only Democrat that he specifically and individually commended was Jason Fields.  
  • A September 2011 analysis found that of the 376 amendments that had been offered by Democrats that year Republicans only allowed one to proceed.  That one amendment was authored by Jason Fields and it was an amendment totally in keeping with the radical agenda promoted at the American Federation of Children. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/11/11]
  • While Fields was more than willing to offer an American Federation for Children-approved amendment he couldn't be bothered to offer a single amendment during the battle for workers' rights in early 2011.
  • When Scott Walker announced his 3rd Grade Reading Taskforce, he publicly announced only one Democratic member.  Guess who it was? Jason Fields. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/31/11]
  • Fields refused to take a strong stand against the Payday Loan industry that preys on people in his district every single day. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/3/09]
I am not comfortable with any of these things and that discomfort level is the reason that I will vote tomorrow to replace Jason Fields with Mandela Barnes.  I believe that Barnes will better represent the interests of his district instead of catering to right wing special interests.  Rather than angling for new ways to to curry favor with abusive Republicans, Mandela Barnes will fight for the interests of the people actually living in his district.

Friday, August 10, 2012

AFC Doing More Dirty Work for Jason Fields?

I have written several times about how the right wing group American Federation for Children is essentially running Rep. Jason Fields lit campaign for him right now.  In a little over a week I've received at least three deceptive pieces of literature from the group on his behalf.  They've been deceptive because they make declarations about things like "our community" and "Democratic values" when the organization is run by a hardcore group of right wing zealots.   Not to mention the longtime involvement of former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.

Given the fact that they are churning out so much shamelessly deceptive lit, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they are apparently finding other ways to do Jason Fields dirty work for him.  Thursday evening I noticed a new item from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Bice about Fields' opponent, Mandela Barnes.  It appears that someone requested Barnes' net tax information from the Department of Revenue and then forwarded it to Bice.

Apparently the actual requester of the net tax information was a person from an address used by Soar Communication Strategies.  Among other things it appears that this outfit does direct mail. Can you guess who might be on their client list right now? American Federation for Children. This right wing group reported some of the following expenses paid to Soar in support of Jason Fields.

  • July 11, 2012 - $8,361.50 to Soar for Mailing Service
  • July 27, 2012 - $704.04 to Soar for Mailing Service
  • August 7, 2012 - $13,603.31 to Soar for Mailing Service
  • August 7, 2012 - $2,500 to Soar for Printing Brochures
So once again we see just how deeply indebted Jason Fields is to the right wing radicals that bankroll and run American Federation for Children.  They are essentially running his entire direct mail operation and now apparently they are using their consultants to make very lame attempts to dig up dirt on his opponent.  It is a lame attack in this case because Barnes is a relatively young man and he was completing his education and/or working out-of-state for most if not all of the cited years.

If the American Federation for Children wants to make this argument legitimately, perhaps they should start with one of their many wealthy Republican friends that actually demonstrate extensive patterns of true hypocrisy on the issue.

As an actual resident of the 11th Assembly District I can tell you that this net tax thing is a phony issue in this race. Personally, I'm much more concerned about why Rep. Jason Fields is letting this right wing organization deceive his constituents and act so shamelessly on his behalf.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Flood of New Lit in the 11th Assembly District

Today I checked my mail and found 4 lit pieces all of which were focused on the 11th Assembly District race between incumbent Jason Fields and Mandela Barnes.  As I've said before, I support and plan to vote for Barnes in this race.

As we already know the right wing org American Federation for Children is apparently running Jason Field's entire direct mail campaign.  They have sent out repeatedly dishonest  pieces pretending to speak for "Democratic values" and such.  Even though nearly the entire apparatus of this organization exists to prop up Republicans, they pretend in their lit to chide the very same Republican policies that they support.  The entire thing is so sleazy and deceptive.

The last AFC piece that I highlighted had a giant picture of Rev. Jesse Jackson shaking hands with Jason Fields.  As I said before, I don't believe for a second that Rev. Jackson has endorsed anyone in this primary and I am certain that he doesn't support this right wing organization or its goals to undermine public education. When I wrote about the Jackson lit piece I asked whose picture they would inappropriately use next.  Today I got my answer.

Jesse Jackson again...and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This new lit piece goes on with the same kind of dishonest and disingenuous messaging.  "Past generations fought and sacrificed for our civil rights. Today we must fight again."  It then goes on to attack Republicans in Madison for installing voter ID.  Yeah, I'm sure the DeVos Family really hate the idea of Voter ID.  Give me a break, these people are shameless and dishonest. While many of these people are pious posers in the end its all relative and the ends justify their scandalous means.

Aside: Then there was this lit piece from a group critical of Jason Fields.  I'm supporting his opponent but there is something about this one that bothers me.   I don't know if I feel like it is demeaning or just doesn't feel right and I'm concerned that this kind of thing could backfire. The other two lit pieces that I got today were fairly standard.