• Democrats Challenging Ryan Roll Out Slick Videos: Two Democrats have rolled out what appear to be strong, well-funded campaigns to take on Speaker Paul Ryan for Wisconsin's first congressional district.
  • Candidates, Wisconsin Statewide and Federal Elections: Here's a list of announced candidates for statewide and federal elections in Wisconsin in 2018.
  • The Assembly’s Bizarre War with Walker, Senate Over Budget: By choosing to roll out their initiatives - which challenge Walker's hard line on raising taxes both on property and gasoline - in grandiose fashion and then embark on a virtually unprecedented traveling circus to promote it, the Assembly appears to be waging a bizarre PR war against the Governor and their colleagues in the Senate.
  • On inFocus With Jim Schneider: I joined Jim Schneider on VCY America TV's inFocus for an hour-long live interview on Monday, and took calls from around the state. It was the last installment of the season.
  • UW Finances: A Visual Guide: The Joint Finance Committee debates UW System funding today. We over at the MacIver Institute spent a lot of time breaking down the UW budget as part of our Chart Smart series - so the busy taxpayer can keep up-to-speed on what's going on. I'm reposting them here.
  • Top Five Wasteful Classes in the UW System: Check out the MacIver Institute's list of the Top Five Wasteful Classes in the UW System to see if your school made the cut! The report starts with number five and make its way to the single most wasteful class in the UW System.
  • $17,000 DNR Video Promotes High Adventure Wardens Life: From the MacIver Institute - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's "Experience the Inside of the Outside" game warden recruitment video has the look and feel of an outdoor action movie. The promotional vehicle also spotlights how heavily armed and equipped DNR agents seem to be these days.
  • Kooyenga Reform Plan: 4 Percent Flat Tax, Sales Tax On Gas: After weeks of tortured speculation, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga on Thursday unveiled an ambitious transportation/tax reform package aimed at driving down road borrowing, dramatically cutting the state income tax through a flat tax on income, and bringing integrity back to government spending.
  • Tax Freedom Day in Wisconsin…: Wisconsin is the lowest-ranked state with a Republican trifecta - where the GOP controls both houses of the legislature and the governor's mansion.
  • Democrats Import Illinois Senator as Convention Keynote: The AP report mentions Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, who would seem to be the obvious choice to serve as the keynote speaker. That, in part, is because the Democrats don't yet have a candidate for governor to put front-and-center.
  • Parisi Takes A Pass: Is it possible that no viable candidate will step up to challenge Scott Walker for the governor's mansion in 2018? Well, after what passes for the Democrat Party bench in Wisconsin ran for the hills en masse, one more high profile name declared his intent to sit this one out - Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.
  • Shilling Statement on High Cap Wells is Designed to Mislead: By Hubert Hoffman | Guest Contributor On April 5, state Senator Jennifer Shilling issued a press release pertaining to Senate Bill 76 (SB-76) claiming, in big bold lettering, “Republicans vote to privatize Wisconsin water.”  The reality is the bill relates to: “replacement, reconstruction, and transfer of an approved high capacity well,” not the privatization of Wisconsin water. […]
  • Did Republicans Almost Get Scammed?: Just as Republicans around the state were getting all excited about Nicole Schneider, it seems they may have been taken for a ride.
  • An Idea For Trump’s Salary: We don’t usually opine about national issues unless they have at least a tangential Wisconsin connection, so this post is an unusual one and a rare violation of our prime directive. This is an idea for President Trump re: his promise to forego taking a salary or to donate it to charity. By law, the president is […]
  • Cops “Nail” La Crosse Political Mini-Terrorist: King among such anecdotes is when Dan Kapanke's wife, returning home late at night from her nursing job, stepped out of her car to find roofing nails in the Town of Campbell driveway. Well, a recent court case and admission of guilt finally put the problem at large in the black and white of news print.
  • Poll: Grassroots Republicans Want Tax Overhaul…Bigly: "With great power comes great responsibility, the American people have given conservatives the power, now it’s time to accept the responsibility,” said Westrate.
  • Too Much Dough Got You Low?: This hilarious fake ad targets the proposed Border Adjustment Tax, or BAT tax
  • Tomah VA Whistleblower Has Questions for Ron Kind: M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Watchdog is keeping an eye on Ron Kind's involvement in the Tomah VA "Candyland" scandal. In this report, he investigates what Kind or his staff said to Jason Simcakoski during a phone call to Kind’s D.C. office in November 2013, about nine months before the Marine veteran died of a “toxic cocktail” of painkillers and other drugs at the medical center.
  • About That Billion-Dollar Transportation Shortfall…: A billion-dollar shortfall in the next transportation budget started the debate about raising Wisconsin's gas tax, which was so explosive, no one seemingly had the time to confirm there is a billion-dollar shortfall.
  • Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Porno Poetry: The Eighth grade just ain't what it used to be.
  • BREAKING: Kind To Hold Office Hours!: Funny how politics works.
  • Is the GOP Serious About Targeting Ron Kind?: The Republican Party could be putting plans in place to give Democratic Congressman Ron Kind the type of challenge he hasn't faced in his 20 years in the House.
  • 2018 Senate: Duffy’s Out: Rep. Sean Duffy has announced he will not challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018. His statement, published in the Journal Sentinel: “After much prayer and deliberation, Rachel and I have decided that this is not the right time for me to run for Senate. We have eight great kids and family always comes first. Baldwin […]
  • Talking Transgender Insurance Protest With Vicki: I spoke with Vicki McKenna on Madison's WIBA this afternoon about my Wednesday morning at the state's Group Insurance Board meeting.
  • On WPR With Joy Cardin: I had the pleasure of joining Joy Cardin on Wisconsin Public Radio this morning to discuss Gov. Walker’s transportation budget. Listen here.
  • MacIver Summarizes Key Parts of Walker’s Budget: Over at the MacIver Institute, we've published a series of resources for Wisconsinites who just can't scrape up the time to read Governor Walker's entire 691-page budget proposal.
  • Marquette Student Responds to Campus Free Speech Phoniness: A Marquette University student responds to the hypocrisy of his campus's two-faced approach to free speech.
  • Legislative Leaders Seize Opportunity to Restore Federalism: The long-embattled concept of Federalism has new life after the November elections put Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. Judging by President Trump's cabinet nominees, his team will eagerly embrace restoring a proper balance in the state-federal relationship - and Wisconsin is ready.
  • Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…: Danou's loss is a reminder to all politicians about the value of humility and servant leadership, and about who writes their paychecks, and who can fire them at any time.
  • Previewing the State Budget: Wisconsin state agencies are requesting more than $69 billion in total funding for the 2017-2019 biennial budget, a debate that is quickly taking shape as Governor Scott Walker prepares for his State of the State address Tuesday.
  • Pundits Look Into The Crystal Ball: Right Wisconsin asked contributors from around the state to weigh in with predictions for 2017, and I couldn't resist. After all, the election is over. Things will mellow out now, right?
  • Talking Electoral College, Protests With Vicki: I talked with Vicki McKenna on her WIBA show about the Electoral College vote, which took place at the state Capitol yesterday.
  • Cieslewicz: “Communist” Madison gives Duffy all that he could ask for: It looks like Dave Cieslewicz, a columnist with Madison's Isthmus newspaper, is on the same page as Morning Martini when it comes to city leaders' reaction to Rep. Sean Duffy's "communist" comment about the city.
  • Creativity Needed to Pave Way for Transportation Solution: In today's La Crosse Tribune I argue that proposals to raise the gas tax are the easiest solution, not the best solution.
  • The Silent Minority: It appears that the leader of the Senate Democrats plans to solve her party's problem of persuading Wisconsin voters to choose their ideas by giving up on offering ideas altogether.
  • Whoa…: Obama did say he'd make the oceans recede. Well, if the shrinking pools of blue on the maps were the estuaries of the Democratic Party, he certainly did.
  • Watermelon Jill Stein Takes Advantage of Supporters: Jill Stein, the green-on-the-outside, red-on-the-inside Green Party candidate for president, is up to something with her futile recount quest in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Jill Stein announced that her campaign would file for a recount at the very last moments allowed by Wisconsin law. The “biggest loser” of the 2016 presidential campaign is demanding recounts in […]
  • A Dire Warning From MacIver: Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute, noted that certain retailers are notorious for offering deals. "Just look at the Black Friday Doorbuster deals they are offering. Those prices are crazy cheap, they must be illegal," Healy said.
  • Senator Baldwin’s Wolf Crusade: It's not political soothsaying that the trouncing Trump gave Clinton in rural counties could've changed the map for at least the next two years. Baldwin, if she's not reading Morning Martini, appears to have arrived at the same conclusion: rural Wisconsin is now an arena in which Democrats must now do combat.
  • Lisowski: New Report Card Standards Allow MPS to Escape “Failing” List, Racine Unified Added: Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction released new report cards for the state's public schools, and some of the results have the public puzzled. The big news of the release was, as most expected, that Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) fell off the list of failing school districts while five others took its place.
  • Legislature Should Focus on Opportunity: The legislature should focus on, in a word, opportunity in the next legislative session.
  • Wisconsin Jobs Could Go Up in Smoke If Congress Doesn’t Act on E-Vapor Measure: To prevent the e-vapor industry from being all but extinguished at the hands of government - and to save scores of Wisconsin jobs and enhance public health - Congress must act, and must act quickly on the Cole-Bishop Amendment.
  • The Rest of the Story: Anti-Trump Protests Packed With Profanity, Crude Signs: From the MacIver Institute: In Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park and on State Street in Madison, demonstrators gathered Thursday night to protest Tuesday’s election results and the victory of President-elect Donald Trump. The MacIver Institute documented both events, which featured mostly peaceful protesters carrying a variety of signs – some vulgar – and filling the streets […]
  • Back In The Saddle…: The last time I wrote on this blog, I was chiming in on Congressman Ron Kind being cornered at the Democratic National Convention by Bernie Sanders supporters. Before that, I was poking fun at Sen. Jennifer Shilling for demanding Republicans denounce Trump for his most recent offensive statement. My, have things changed.
  • Anti-Trade Contingent Corners Kind at DNC: Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) had a bit of a rough time at the Democratic National Convention as he was jeered by anti-trade protesters, who heckled him during an address to the Wisconsin delegation in Philadelphia. The Journal Sentinel reports: Opponents of a new trade deal interrupted a speech by Democratic Cong. Ron Kind of […]
  • Paul Ryan’s speech to the 2016 RNC: Last night was Ryan's turn to address the raucous hall. He took the opportunity to urge unity and present the conservative ideas that stand in stark contrast to the failed liberal agenda of the past decades.
  • Should Walker accept a #DumpTrump draft?: Commenters from around Wisconsin's blabbosphere weighed in on the #DumpTrump movement - and whether Gov. Scott Walker should accept a highly theoretical offer to be drafted as the alternative nominee - in a forum today at RightWisconsin. Opinions were divided - some urged that Walker is the perfect candidate to unite the fractured GOP and others said it would be career suicide.
  • Four tweets that are politics in 2016: Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2016 Delete your account. https://t.co/Oa92sncRQY — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 9, 2016 .@HillaryClinton If anyone knows how to use a delete key, it's you. — Reince Priebus (@Reince) June 9, 2016 Too late […]
  • Shilling Has A Primary Challenge: Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) will face a primary challenge. Jared William Landry of La Farge filed papers on April 26 with the Government Accountability Board to run as a Democrat in the 32nd Senate district. That sets up a primary between Shilling, currently the Senate Minority Leader, and Landry on August 9th. Sources within the area’s […]
  • Union Endorses Kind’s Opponent: Myron Buchholz, Ron Kind’s opponent in the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional district, got the endorsement of a major union on Friday. Kind has struggled with unions as a result of his stances on free trade deals that unions claim lead to job losses and outsourcing. The press release is below: The Communications Workers […]
  • La Crosse County Board candidate stands athwart voters on key issue: It is clear, Ms. Larson, who has only lived in Campbell a couple years, does not represent the views of her voters on the annexation of Campbell to LaCrosse issue.
  • #NeverTrump update: How Trump can be denied any Wisconsin delegates: If Cruz nudges his support up just a hair in north and western Wisconsin, Trump could walk away with zero delegates - which would be YUGE in the quest to stop Trump.
  • Trump’s talk radio divide could change election: Over at Right Wisconsin, Charlie Sykes says Wisconsin’s “bigly” anti-Trump talk radio could change the course of the entire presidential election: Wisconsin boasts an unusually robust talk radio infrastructure – one that includes my colleague on WTMJ, Jeff Wagner, WISN’s Mark Belling, Jay Weber, and Dan O’Donnell, as well as Green Bay’s Jerry Bader. There […]
  • Shilling lambastes unpaid internships, but uses them in her office: Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling got caught off-guard in the last day of the Senate’s session last week. While she and her Democrat friends criticized Gov. Walker’s bill to fund internship coordinators, Senator Rick Gudex shut down their argument with a single question. Turns out, even though Shilling had just gone through a litany of […]
  • Lazich won’t seek re-election: Senator Mary Lazich stated today she will not seek re-election. Lazich leaves the Senate as the body’s sitting president. The current Senate’s session ended on Tuesday. Potential candidates for Lazich’s Senate seat include 82nd Assembly rep Ken Skronkowski, who has been in office since 2013; 83rd Assembly rep David Craig, won office in a 2011 special […]
  • Has politics caught up with trash culture?: Ronald Reagan spoke to his contemporaries in the tone of the eloquent, dignified film actor that he was. His appealing style was complemented by a dignified, eloquent, and inspiring leadership style that made it clear he, and America, were to be disrespected only at great cost. Imagine yourself a voter in 1980. For you, film – that is to say, the art […]
  • Buchholz hits Kind hard in new video: In case you hadn’t heard, Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) has a primary challenger. Myron Buchholz, of Eau Claire, says he’s inspired by Bernie Sanders and is displeased with Kind’s moderate stances, especially on issues like free trade. Kind is a longtime advocate of trade deals like the TPP and NAFTA, which Buchholz says sends jobs […]
  • A Tremendous Blow…: …To Temple University   The loudest mouth in Madison is mercifully leaving the state. UW-Madison professor Sara Goldbrick-Rab has announced to the consternation of no one that she’s ditching Wisconsin for Temple University. The Journal-Sentinel reports: Sara Goldrick-Rab, the outspoken University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who vowed to leave Wisconsin after state lawmakers changed tenure protections last […]
  • Rubio Surges To Dominant Lead In Latest La Crosse GOP Straw Poll: Rubio won 43 percent of the vote, while runner-up businessman Donald Trump won just 19 percent. Ted Cruz led the last La Crosse GOP straw poll with 28 percent.
  • The School Choice Skim: The school funding formula is such a mess that few understand it. Suffice to say that some experts believe the law doesn't allow districts to raise taxes at all. In fact, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's budget summary, school districts "could not levy to backfill the aid reduction." Seems like pretty plain language in what's otherwise a morass of legalese.
  • Cruz Narrowly Edges Rubio, Trump in La Crosse GOP Straw Poll: The straw poll was held at the party’s annual caucus on Saturday. This is the first La Crosse GOP straw poll to show Cruz in the lead. Rubio has been consistently near the top.
  • National Pundits Catch Up To Morning Martini: I'm sure Mr. Gershon is a smart man - indeed, I'm writing on a political blog in Wisconsin and he's...well, prominent. Nonetheless he made the same point just recently that I started hammering on more than a month ago.
  • Emails Reveal UW-L Isn’t Completely Insane: I may be a somewhat lonely voice in the conservative blogosphere to salute his response to this tricky situation, but I nonetheless do.
  • Talk Radio’s Trump Divide: Wisconsin's talk radio hosts have a wildly different opinion of Trump than the national hosts like Limbaugh.
  • Is UW-La Crosse in a Panic?: As Chancellor Joe Gow advised the Student Senate when anti-abortion protesters brought graphic images of dead babies on posterboards to campus, it's their right, and it's best to err on the side of free speech.
  • Opera Singer Quits Campaign Against Duffy: No strong challenger will rise to face Rep. Sean Duffy - the man's a bandsaw. One recent departure, a year before the election, proves why.
  • Dem Hypocrisy: Go Figure: The Democrats and their allies in the media were quick to pile on when a few Republicans misguidedly tried to drastically change the state’s open records laws earlier this year. But as the legislature considers another matter of clean government – much-needed reforms to the GAB – The Left has shown its hand. Over at […]
  • Done with politics!: Between the media's failure to pursue truth in the Candyland Scandal and attacks from the right on Paul Ryan, we've had enough with politics!
  • Wisconsin’s One-Trick Pony: Walker may yet become thought of as Wisconsin's One-Trick Pony, who only ever talks about the union thing he did back in the day.
  • EPA Dogoodery: It's a recurring theme of liberalism that companies exploit employees, shirk regulations, and protect their bottom line in the interest of stockpiling $100 bills to use as kindling when lighting their fat cigars. Obviously this isn't the case, especially with small to medium sized, homegrown businesses.
  • Walker’s Foreign Policy Speech:
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrel: Over at Right Wisconsin yesterday, I expanded on my live-blogging comments about Bobby Jindal’s performance at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus this weekend. Jindal makes some chicanerous attacks on Gov. Scott Walker’s healthcare proposal, distracting from what started as a hopeful message about Jindal’s family, who came from India with nothing and […]
  • Jindal Hits Walker:   I was going to write about Governor Bobby Jindal’s sensible, conservative, and memorable comments on our broken immigration system that he opened with at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream summit in Columbus, Ohio. He related the story of his parents, who immigrated here legally, and his upbringing as his family pursued […]
  • Jeb: Rightward and Upward: Jeb Bush articulated a positive and markedly conservative message at Americans for Prosperity’s 9th annual Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus. We are on the verge of living in the greatest age in history, Jeb’s speech could be summarized as, but the meat of the preso was that we cannot do it using the last generation’s […]
  • J. Bush: “All of this can be reversed”: Jeb Bush knows his audience. His amended stump speech to the crowd gathered in Columbus, Ohio talked about fixing what’s broken and the leadership needed to do it, starting with his. He could’ve scored more points lauding the activists here who are responsible for boots-on-the-ground activism, as I noted earlier. Bush capitalizes on the assumed mad-as-hell […]
  • Where Credit’s Due: In his kickoff of the Defending the Dream Summit, AFP boss Tim Phillips lauds the grassroots apparatus at work in Wisconsin. For example: "AFP has more activists across WI than the WI teacher's union has members. That's how you change a state." –@TimPhillipsAFP #Dream15 — Morning Martini (@Morning_Martini) August 21, 2015 While at Martini we emphasize […]
  • Doom and gloom from the Lefty Rag!: The story is accompanied by a poll asking the lefty paper's lefty readers how Scott Walker did in the debate, the non-scientificness of which is sublime, and the creation of which was certainly a way for Nichols to kill some time on a sure-fire source of anti-Walker self-gratification.
  • Dems on John Doe: Bend over and take it: Democrats willfully embrace government overreach, the police state, and obedient subservience to fiat if and only if Republicans or conservatism are on the receiving end. Most recently, the left-wing blabberazzi has exploited any opportunity to diminish the terror and overreach caused by John Doe investigations, pointing to flimsy evidence and laying back on tired, partisan […]
  • Handicapping Walker: Over at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin offers a quick, ten-point roadmap to success for the Walker campaign. It’s short and it’s part electoral strategy and part messaging strategy. Point four is compelling and encouraging: 4. Walker sets out a specific and compelling conservative agenda. Governor Walker thrives on clearly explaining his vision, the rationale behind […]
  • RW: Debate reaction: Right Wisconsin features commentary from around Wisconsin about last night’s inaugural GOP debate, in which I took part (the forum, not the debate). In short, those who needed a jolt of energy got it; those who needed to stand pat stood pat; and a few lost momentum which was already in short supply. Read about […]
  • Women on the currency…an idea: Over at Right Wisconsin, I write today about an alternative to taking Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill, an idea gaining…well, um, currency in Washington these days: Bouncing the founder of American currency from American currency doesn’t really make sense, though, so I propose an alternative: remove a virulent, racist dictator instead. Andrew Jackson is […]
  • Walker 2016, directed by Michael Bay: Is he running for president or will the next 16 months be him running away from exploding cars and canoodling with hot former Soviet bloc spooks?
  • Bradley: Walker should veto open records changes: Republican leader Julian Bradley joined a chorus of opposition on the right opposing provisions in the state budget that make drastic changes to Wisconsin's open records laws.
  • Feingold: Politics As Usual: Feingold is worse than politics as usual. He's a populist maker of loud statements, but not much of a thinker, technocrat, or leader.
  • Steve O’Malley’s Contract: A streamlined, more efficient government implies less spending and lower taxes. Taxes have not gone down in La Crosse County since O'Malley was hired, to use whatever is the opposite of hyperbole.
  • A gosh-darn good day on da ice, a-na-hey?: I grew up in a family where this phrase could really only refer to 8 hours spent in frigid temperatures on a bucket or chair (if you were lucky) where the only ‘ting’ you could do to pass the time between subtle movements of your fishing pole, was drink. This is to say I did […]
  • On EPA overreach: My column in the La Crosse Tribune this month focuses on the question of EPA overreach. This time, the agency that under Obama is a haven for tree-hugging environmentalist wackos on sabbatical from laying down in front of construction equipment in fracking country is trying to tighten regulations on ambient ozone levels because, in Western […]
  • Laning Wins!: With Martha Laning in the driver’s seat, this is what we should expect from the party ahead of the 2016 cycle. A deliberate move away from being anti-Republican and pro-whatever their cause of the day is. Based on her platform and campaign, I think they’ve figured out that running against Scott Walker and against conservative reforms […]
  • Third District Succession Shakeup: This morning Russ Feingold announced his candidacy for the State Senate. The screams you hear from Madison are from the Senate Minority Leader's staff taking cover as their boss shatters vases in a sweat-rage.
  • Rep. Duffy stands up for unborn: During House debate yesterday to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Rep. Sean Duffy delivered a brief, biting rebuttal to the argument that the legislation is anti-woman. WATCH:
  • Dailytakes Half Hour Happy Hour: Prevailing Wage: Nik stops in for the weekly rundown at the Dailytakes Half Hour Happy Hour, featuring an update from Rep. Rob Hutton on the next steps for a hopeful passage of prevailing wage repeal.
  • Voting for service: Chris's LTE supporting men of service to country and community in the upcoming election.
  • Lede: Voter ID to Stay: The decision from Attorney General Brad Schimel’s office earlier this week to begin enforcing Voter ID laws after the April 7 cycle should encourage conservatives. Nationally, we’re facing a liberal hegemony and a wimpy legislature. But in Wisconsin, we’re doing it right, in a concerted, coordinated effort lead by national darling Governor Scott Walker. The […]
  • The Ed: Winning Right to Work: Right to work will be the law in Wisconsin. How did we get to yes, and who wins? Read, listen in this week's Martinicast editorial.
  • Julie Lassa’s Small-Ball Social Media: Since I've been blocked, I might as well earn that distinction after the fact: Julie Lassa is a small-minded, non-talent, party-line-toeing hack whose toxic brand of liberalism is responsible for the fixes that Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans have been implementing these last four years.
  • The Ed: Sad State of the Democratic Party: This week’s Martinicast editorial: Wisconsin’s Democratic Party is a mess. A series of crushing defeats – losing to Scott Walker three times in the past four years, losing the Assembly, losing the Senate – have Democrats in this state doing a lot of soul-searching. LISTEN: Try as they may, they just can’t figure it out. […]
  • Gov. Walker’s First Comments Following Trip to London: We asked three things Wisconsin could do right away based on what they learned during the trip.
  • Ross and Tate are What’s Wrong With Politics: Outgoing DPW Chairman Mike Tate and One Wisconsin Now henchman Scot Ross teamed up to complain about Governor Walker’s recent trip to London in formal declarations of their perpetual state of outrage. In observance of Valentine’s Day, the bombastic duo filed matching complaints that the Governor’s trade mission to the UK benefitted his possible presidential […]
  • The Ed: Walker’s Casino Gamble: This week's editorial from Morning Martini's Martinicast: Scott Walker may be losing control of the Kenosha casino situation.
  • Remembering the Budget Repair Bill: It was just four years ago that Scott Walker kicked off his reform agenda, beginning with the Budget Repair Bill, which debuted this week in 2011.
  • La Crosse is Laughing at Milwaukee: Milwaukee can look at La Crosse for ideas of how to do a trolley. People of Milwaukee, listen up. You must stop that trolley, or La Crosse will forever have the right to point at you and laugh at your inconceivable foolishness.
  • Nut up, shut up, or vote for Hillary: There are grumblings of discontent across with conservative grassroots in Wisconsin, for a variety of reasons. Tough.
  • Low and Slow: Walker's approach to the frontrunner status should be one of great caution. His famed discipline is an asset, as long as he doesn't allow the media to turn the primary into a circus a la 2012.
  • Honl: No Response from Kind: On Capitol City Sunday this week, Tomah VA whistleblower said he informed Ron Kind's office about the over-prescription of opiates but "didn't hear anything."
  • Education Meets Economics: There's a lot of efficiency that can be found, and private for-profit universities are finding them, from distance learning to The old ivory tower model dating back centuries to medieval France don't work anymore - it's time to get with it, UW.
  • Walker’s Populist Potential: Walker's family was never rich - and his policies demonstrate he's interested in easing the burden of government on average people. He should tout that.
  • MM Podcast: Ron Kind’s “For Sale” Sign: In this week’s podcast, Nik, Chris, and The Big ML talk about the for sale sign on Ron Kind’s office in Washington, the joyous Jennifer Shilling, the woeful Democratic bench in Wisconsin, UW budget cuts, and various other inane nonsense… Required Reading: Ron the Republican Independence Day
  • Independence Day: On the same day Gov. Scott Walker finally formed a 527 political action committee, a portion of his upcoming budget hit desks in the state capitol: another stab at UW System reforms. First: the PAC. It’s considered a milestone step in the formation of a nationwide political apparatus that will allow limitless fundraising. Now that […]
  • When the Love is Gone: Conservative talk radio in southeastern Wisconsin spent a great deal of time on Friday ripping Gov. Walker’s decision to reject a new casino-resort complex in Kenosha, which is the topic of a forum over at Right Wisconsin today. It’s amazing how quickly some of the governor’s most loyal supporters have turned into bloodthirsty critics on this […]
  • Obama Promises to Double Your Salary!: Over at Right Wisconsin, Nik wrote several days ago about new a Labor Department rule that would increase the minimum an employer can pay a salaried (overtime-exempt) employee: The Labor Department is expected to release new rules next month that require employers to pay overtime to more employees. Currently, an employee at minimum must earn […]
  • RW: Candyland Goes Beyond Baldwin: Over at Right Wisconsin, Chris wonders why Ron Kind and Jennifer Shilling aren't coming under more scrutiny over the Tomah VA Scandal
  • Jekyll and Hyde: President Obama’s State of the Union will be less than inspirational, focusing on a tax-and-spend agenda he knows won’t get through the GOP-controlled Congress. That’s the summation of our predictions about the speech over at Right Wisconsin, which posted the expectations of commentators from around the state. Ironically, I sarcastically proposed President Obama would suggest […]
  • Shoddy Leadership: Over at Right Wisconsin, I shared my perspective on Jennifer Shilling as a lifelong resident of her district and apparatchik on her opponent's 2012 campaign
  • 2015 Predictions: Over at RightWisconsin, some of the state's top conservative pundits gave soothsaying a shot, predicting what will unfold in Wisconsin in 2015.
  • Campus Radical: Here’s a blast into the not-so-distant past. Found this after plugging in a rickety old Dell desktop from the good ol’ college days (circa 2009). I’m absolutely appalled at my own horrifying bloviousness and self-importance — at least I took it all seriously. ** Dear Dr. Enz Finken, Sometimes it’s rough to be politically conservative […]
  • RW: Is Civil Disagreement Even Possible With Today’s Left?: Over at RightWisconsin, Chris writes, Spiteful conservatives who truly hate liberals are out there, but they’re kept in check. Conservatism is inherently a pluralistic, intellectual, introspective philosophy. The GOP believes it’s made stronger by internal disagreement, dialogue, and primaries. That’s to our advantage, because hatred is inferior to good ideas and hard work as political […]
  • The Experts Are Morons: It's probably safe to just ignore everything said by the so-called, self-proclaimed health expert class with the nauseatingly haughty titles, as well as anyone else who gives advice as to what to eat.
  • A Triumph for Wisconsin: Walker's victory in Wisconsin didn't just happen, it was the culmination of two years of effort by a relentless Republican machine in Wisconsin. That machine can be replicated elsewhere.
  • Post-Election: Sweet, with Extra Bitters: A roundup of last night's election results - mostly sweet, but just a little sour with the loss of some key opportunities.
  • UPDATED: Election Day Grapevine: Three predictions and a little innuendo from around the state on this, election day. The Democrats in these races (and all most of the rest) roundly deserve to lose:
  • Miscalculating Mary Burke: Some the things I've gotten wrong about Mary Burke
  • BREAKING: Mary Burke is a Democrat: Wisconsin doesn't need someone who exists above the political fray. We need a strong Republican leader who recognizes liberal policies for the destructive forces they are and squashes them.
  • Poll shows Bradley within one point of La Follette: A new poll shows Secretary of State candidate Julian Bradley is just one point down in his campaign to defeat 36-year incumbent Doug La Follette. The Gravis Marketing/Townhall.com poll conducted Oct. 3-4 and published Oct. 5 showed La Follette leading Bradley by just one point, 44-43, with 13 percent undecided. This is great news for […]
  • Burketron 2000: User Support Forum: I'm not so incredulous that a paid consultant re-used campaign boilerplate language. It's sloppy, but not the end of the world. At issue here is the bogus narrative that Ms. Burke is a woman of the people who functions above the political fray with a message of unity and bi-partisanship to mend the partisan rifts that have widened over the last four years or so. She's just not: everything about her candidacy is a political calculation, including the jobs plan she lied about writing based on her time in business school.
  • Burke the Hopeless: The evidence is staring to show trouble for Mary Burke's campaign.
  • No, Mary Burke Didn’t Plagiarize Her Jobs Plan: Let’s get something straight: Mary Burke didn’t plagiarize portions of her jobs plan from other governors’ campaigns. She signed off on a platform for creating jobs in Wisconsin that was drafted by a well-paid consultant, reviewed by her team, and put into print to appease liberal voters and just enough moderates to get elected. And […]
  • Generic Ballot Flips: Morning Martini is officially taking credit for the flipping of the generic congressional ballot from a muddled mix of Democrat and Republican victories to a surge for Republicans.
  • Wittwer Concedes: One wonders what kind of pressure was put on Wittwer by the power brokers in the Democrat Party of Wisconsin to back off and allow Bomhack to begin his campaign against Republican Howard Marklein. Wittwer's statement expressed his exasperation
  • Future Majority: Bradley One to Watch: “The recognition by RSLC as one of the top 14 races to watch across the country is an incredible honor that reflects the momentum we’ve built, the resounding support of our vision for the office, and our plan for success in November," Bradley said.
  • Primary Night: Analysis & Reactions, Extra Dirty: The party starts around 7:30. We'll keep things fresh with the latest reactions and analysis from around the blabbersphere.
  • Recommendations for Tuesday’s Primaries: My recommendations for the August 12 GOP primaries including statewide races, key congressional races, and senate and assembly contests. Vote August 12th!
  • Congress needs new leaders like Kurtz: In the today's Tribune I write: Perhaps the only thing Kurtz lacks is incumbency. But these days, a congressman’s tenure in office seems inversely related to his ability to effectively represent the people back home. The longer they’re in office, the more disconnected they become.
  • Unclaimed property backlog: A sign of bad government: Under the Department of Revenue the state's unclaimed property program is a shadow of its past success. It's clogged up, slowed down, underperforming, and all the DOR has to offer are excuses. A typical bureaucratic boondoggle.
  • …That was an applause line: There's a reason Democrats are not excited about DLF. He's a relic of 20th Century liberalism, a shadow of the party's past glories. First elected to the SOS office in 1974 during the peak of liberalism, before left-wing programs grew to become the budgetary barnacles they are today, DLF represents a past era.
  • Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems: When someone else's cash is on the line, decisions about economic viability can be easily clouded. Perhaps if a state grant would have been leveraged to lure the business to Wisconsin, Ms. Burke would have taken more time to apply her vast and infallible knowledge of business to the deal.
  • And then there were two: Mr. Schroeder's departure leaves 3rd District GOP Vice Chair Julian Bradley and Racine County GOP Chair Bill Folk as the last two candidates in the race.
  • Grothman to challenge Petri: Mr. Grothman will surely be attacked as per usual as a far-right-of-center "Tea Party Extremist" or something like that. It should make an interesting election cycle even moreso.
  • Conservatives make gains in La Crosse County: The challengers ran against a move by the current county board to sell the administrative center and spend tens of millions to buy a bank office building to move county operations into.
  • On Local Elections and the State Treasurer’s Future: Tuesday will bring results in two topics that we've been talking about lately: local elections and a bill to do away with the Office of the State Treasurer.
  • La Crosse County Candidates are Starting at the Start: The battle lines have formed in nine districts in La Crosse County. With that number of challengers, the upswell in La Crosse against entrenched local liberal benchwarmers bests any effort to elect local conservative in the state.
  • NR on Democrat Snobbery: As a member of the Democrat High-Brow, Mr. Stewart doesn't adopt the Democrat label, but he certainly is one, notwithstanding his selectively groomed and fence-straddling opinions.
  • Mary Burke’s Counterslap: It's the subtlety of the media's coverage that indicts its systematic hatred for conservatism, the exact subtleties enlightened Democrats liken themselves to understand fully while rejecting conservatives as stupid.
  • Bradley builds steam; endorsed by former opponent: Julian Bradley's increased momentum is evidence not only that he's the front-runner for the GOP nomination for Secretary of State, but also that the Elimination movement in Wisconsin has lost all its steam.
  • News to be made in Secretary of State race today: News will be made in the Secretary of State race tomorrow. It will involve Rohn Bishop and Julian Bradley, both strong contenders for the GOP nomination. We will leave you hanging until the official announcement.
  • GOP Acts!: Obviously it requires someone Wisconsin chutzpah to start kicking ass and taking names.
  • GOP Lambasts SOTU: This is an interesting move from the Party's Top Brass, and plays into the strategy of actually reaching people outside of the mainstream.
  • PREVIEW: State of the State 2014: Pour a martini and hang our here tonight for scintillating insights during my State of the State Liveblog! Watch the action at prosperity.wi.gov.
  • TROUPIS: “The Chilling Effect and the Silencing of Political Dissent”: Over at Wisconsin Free, Attorney Jim Troupis carries the theme of the left obliterating its opposition with a different take. He writes, Those groups began to use the fear we all have of what might happen to us, to our families and to our businesses to their benefit. And that fear is real. Ask anyone […]
  • Feldt announces run for State Treasurer: Deputy treasurer Scott Feldt officially got into the race for Wisconsin State Treasurer earlier today. According to his website, www.feldtfortreasurer.com: Scott’s running because he believes the State Treasurer has an important job that no bureaucrat can do: watch the peoples’ money. As Treasurer Scott will fight to ensure accountability, transparency, and opportunity for the people […]
  • Weekend Martini: Walker, PACs, and Ray Cross – 1/11/14: The Left is all about the First Amendment, except for when conservatives try to use it. This puts a serious damper on efforts to discredit Gov. Scott Walker: http://wisconsinfree.com/index.php/articles/476 Little-Super-PACs are coming to Wisconsin, but so far they haven’t made much of a splash: http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/jack_craver/wisconsin-s-not-so-super-super-pacs/article_3a35c40a-7a35-11e3-9217-0019bb2963f4.html We opined about the selection process of the new UW […]
  • Christie scandal echoes Wisconsin's manufactured controversies: It's rarely the Republican politician at fault for screwing something up.
  • The Kook Imbalace: When Republicans speak ill of other Republicans, Democrats are the first to point it out and organize a parade across town to commemorate the blessed event. If Democrats ever spoke ill of other Democrats, Republicans wouldn't know what to do. They're terrible at playing politics.
  • Republicans: Go Into the Crevasse: Rep. Rodriguez would have been in a unique position to have a voice in the identity politics debate, and easily swat away any ludicrous character attacks.
  • Is WSJ in the bag for Walker?: The editorial board opines, Union leaders and some public workers may prefer the old days when state government handed out the same raise to pretty much everybody, regardless of how well individuals were doing on the job. But we suspect a lot of public employees will appreciate the opportunity to earn more if their work […]
  • New Year’s Eve Martini: 12.31.13: TWS commentary on the extensive NYT feature on the Benghazi debate. Found these, after getting excited for HOC Season 2. BUZZFEED: Relationship red flags you’re probably ignoring (truth) Some of us aren’t so bright.
  • Bradley Wins Right Wisconsin Award for Activism: La Crosse County GOP chairman Julian Bradley took one of three honors RightWisconsin gives out each year for the state's top conservative activists.
  • Power Lunch: No really, Mary Burke Loves Wisconsin: We found out on Christmas Day that Mary Burke loves Wisconsin. She’s not letting anyone forget it. In an email today, she reminds us again: I got into this race because I love Wisconsin. This state has been really good to me and to my family, and as governor I’ll fight every day to make […]
  • BOTTUM: "Omniverous Christmas": Earlier this week, I dropped a line to CDR about my intent to write a series of posts extolling the wonders of the Christmas season. Then, some sugar cookies, a house full of people, and my White Elephant gift — a Jim Beam Red Stag Party Pack! — got in the way. Fortunately, at The […]
  • Christmas Martini: 12.25.2013: One of the most prolific and unknown filmmakers The Sykes Stylebook On bigotry How to kill a great idea Now quit reading blogs and go drink egg nog with your Aunt Ethel.
  • January 24 and February 14: Clear the schedule: Yesterday we glimpsed the new Netflix documentary offering a behind-the-scenes treatment of Mitt Romney’s career – a must see. It’s showing on January 24. Now cast your eyes on Season Two of House of Cards, the phenom from last year and the West Wing’s evil twin. It hits Netflix February 24.
  • Weekend Martini: MITT: Provided I can get through this without jumping up and down and shouting Told You So at the TV, I’m looking forward to watching this.
  • Principled Pants-Wetting: Now that it's almost Christmas, the fringe whiners are making their mainstream affiliates look bad again. Their principled indignation, divorced from reality and fueled by single-issue righteousness, makes trusting the vox populi a dubious task.
  • A Government Big Enough…: But it's a cautionary tale for anyone, including the millions of people who work for government at any level or rely on payments from the government. A government big enough to give you all you need to live on is also big enough to pull the rug out from under you
  • The Mary Burke Non-Centrist Democrat/Moderate Kinda Political No-Promises Unity-Tour Campaign of 2014: We might not know Mary Burke’s jobs plan for the state of Wisconsin, but we do know how Gov. Scott Walker plans on beating her. He’ll beat her up with her own credentials — a history of job creation juxtaposed with Trek’s out-of-state job outsourcing, a no-promises campaign against his own bold campaign promises, a […]
  • La Crosse Republicans: Captains of Community: La Crosse County Republicans are wearing their heart on their sleeves, volunteering for a variety of charitable causes.
  • Mary Burke: DPW Sugar Mama: Ms. Burke is the only candidate the party could find with access to substantial personal cash. The governor's mansion is just another step in her varied career. It's the perfect pairing for a frustrated, and losing, state Democrat party.
  • How Sean Duffy Already Short-Circuited His Opponent's Campaign: The GOP took the lead in stopping Washington’s lurch from crisis to crisis. Now 2014 hopefuls like Sean Duffy's opponent are suddenly paddling on a hill of sand.
  • Weekend Martini: 12.14.13: In defense of affluence This is what Darth Vader’s moms would be like Victory for Media Matters? James Bond is basically a high-functioning alcoholic If lawyers wrote ads
  • Duffy Challenger Claims Populist Mantle: Kelly Westlund might be inclined to oppose the influence of big corporations, but when is that opposition at the price of jobs? She's certainly inclined to support the expansion of big government and big taxes, which rarely poll well with the little guy. She might claim to detest the kind of money it takes to run a congressional campaign, but her allies are already running ads.
  • Whose Kool-Aid Did Mary Burke Drink?: All signs point to Ms. Burke's candidacy as one of being the next step in a privileged career rooted in nepotism.
  • Burning a Bridge: The Town of Campbell has fined protesters for their signs, even a cross, thanks to an ill-advised new ordinance that capriciously targets one group whose activities were getting under the skin of local elected officials. But the Overpassers aren't letting their First Amendment rights disappear quietly into the small town's ledgers.
  • Kathleen Vinehout Is Too Good of a Democrat to Beat Mary Burke: Kathleen Vinehout has to establish some political prowess to become a contender in statewide politics.
  • In Brief – 12.9.2013: Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, a possible challenger to Mary Burke for the Dem nomination for WI governor, was injured in a snowy car accident This is a thing. The far right has some federalist overhauls and has an untested means of implementing it. It’s little more than a vanity exercise. Obama flack lets slip on Sunday: […]
  • Weekend Martini: 12.8.13: The psychotic overreaction to an innocuous Spaghetti-O’s tweet showcases the arrogant moral superiority of the digital universe Garbage Violins If POTUS and FLOTUS called it quits… Your closet will never be the same.
  • Weekend Martini: Obamacare wreckage in two andecdotes: Plan cancellations and sky-high individual insurance rates are only the first shoes to drop. Recent epiphanies by two friends are good cases-in-point...Next year and beyond we'll start seeing employers drop insurance for their employees on a massive scale.
  • Happy Hour: GOP's Julian Bradley, Democrat team up for kids: Last year, according to Mr. Bradley, the "Together for Tots" bin was the most successful bin in La Crosse County.
  • Hangover Links: 12.6.2013: Why it’s unlikely you’ll be able to unbundle HBO and other premium channels from your cable package. A breathless and slobbering love affair with the president’s reading habits Apparently, you can expense a hot tub to the company A professional athlete with money management? How to become wonderful
  • The Stench of Hypocrisy: The hypocrisy wafting around Wisconsin right now has many levels, like a seven layer bean salad - and smells the same after a while, combining Tacky-Fundraising-Tweetergate with equally bad turns by those on the left throwing the stones.
  • Burke Unleashed: Ms. Burke urges to get Wisconsin going again, but by no means of practicality. Her platform is one pulled from a long line and heritage of Democrat talking points. And it will do nothing to impel progress in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Passing the Buck: The proposed mandate targets coal power, which the Obama Administration hasn't really hidden as a chief target of its policies. Most of our power is generated by coal, and though natural gas plants are burgeoning, the war on coal is a war on current energy rates.
  • Erin Gloria Ryan Is Mean: Ms. Ryan's statements were not offensive. They were stupid and tasteless, and she owned up to them. The intellectual level of discourse in politics would improve if the Offended Elite spent more time marking their targets for meaningful discussion, not crying every time someone says something nasty.
  • Sunday Shots 12.1.13: Gov. Walker on why conservatives can stay conservative…and win George Will on “Wisconsin’s crusading governor” This doesn’t look like a hoax – F&F star reportedly killed in car crash Brit says it best Old rivals come together
  • Weekend Martini: 11.30.2013: Gore Vidal - The O'Bamas - Cicada 3301 - and more!
  • Black Friday Links: 11.29.2013: Turkeygate - Bad Santa - But are you really saving? - Wal-Mart doesn't like nosey videographers - and more!
  • Giving Thanks 2013: We’re thankful 30 Rock ended while it was still funny in 2013, without belaboring an eighth season. We’re thankful that Mary Burke is being held accountable for previous statements and business actions; perhaps after an election and a recall, the media have grown tired of trying to flog Gov. Scott Walker to death. We’re thankful for Aaron […]
  • High-Minded Hysteria (Or, In Defense of Black Friday): It’s the most simple and unintellectual level of moral superiority to declare something insulting when it’s anything but.
  • The Walker Who Unites: But the average voter does want to right the ship, a task that seems to be underway in Wisconsin. They'll eye Scott Walker as a steady leader who seems to have a solid record of doing what should be done in D.C.
  • Packerphernalia: An ode to Wisconsin sports fans: It was easy for Tammy Baldwin to beat someone like Tommy Thompson, who was effortlessly painted as a Washington insider who's been playing politics for too long. It's the same reason you'll see almost every candidate in some photos slugging down a beer.