Cops “Nail” La Crosse Political Mini-Terrorist

Going back to the recall of state Senator Dan Kapanke, La Crosse area Republicans have become quite familiar with reports of property damage and even attempted acts of violence against supporters in the community.

Of course, damage to and theft of yard signs is pervasive and doubtlessly both sides are guilty of their share of this. However, during the Kapanke recall, swastikas were spray painted on several Kapanke yard signs. Numerous people – many times, the same ones – dropped by the GOP field office for new signs after theirs were repeatedly stolen. Clearly, the work of certain anti-Republican individuals.

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.

The La Crosse Tribune reports:

A La Crosse man admitted throwing roofing nails into driveways of residents who supported Republican candidates after someone stole his lawn sign supporting a Democratic candidate, according to La Crosse police reports.

Martin Sellers, 59, of 2126 Hoeschler Drive, told police he “has done some stupid things” during his arrest Sunday for criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct, reports stated.

Five homeowners on Lincoln Avenue, Ward Avenue, Elm Street and Springbrook Way for three years reported nails in driveways. One homeowner reported eight incidents.

Sellers said he periodically targeted driveways of homes that displayed signs supported Republicans “out of anger for the political system,” reports stated. One homeowner stated the vandalism resumed after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

A homeowner who installed a surveillance system caught Sellers’ vehicle on camera. One victim reported having to replace four tires on his car.

“Both sides do it…it’s just one person” someone ostensibly trying to defend the behavior might claim while simultaneously claiming to not be defending the behavior. No, both sides don’t spend their time throwing nails in their neighbors’ driveway, and no, it’s clearly not the behavior of just one guy. I can assure you that having worked in or spent considerable time in five different local GOP offices over the years.

This one just happened to have gotten caught.

La Crosse Republicans: Captains of Community

[Julian Bradley] led La Crosse County Republicans on a yearlong mission of volunteerism. We rang bells for the Salvation Army, plunged into frigid waters at the Polar Plunge, worked at the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner and cleaned up neighborhoods on Neighbors Day.

-From my La Crosse Tribune column published today

Republicans in La Crosse County, especially under the leadership of Chairman Julian Bradley, are inventing a whole new dimension for grassroots activism, which I explain in my Tribune column this month.

Mr. Bradley’s activist ideal arose from his less-than-privileged upbringing and a commitment that political parties should be forces for good in their communities rather than just electioneers – a sentiment passed down to him by his mom, a Democrat. When Mr. Bradley approached then- and current chair Vicki Burke, she turned down his offer to do a joint event for the community.

But “Bradley found a willing partner in former La Crosse Democratic chairman Andrew Londre, who responded to one of Bradley’s tweets proposing the idea,” I write. The two sponsored a Toys for Tots toy collection site, which in 2012 was among the most successful sites in La Crosse County.

This year, the “Together for Tots” toy drive is back and the news is even more encouraging:

This year the pair revisited Together for Tots. The site collected toys at a respectable rate…then just the other day, a truck arrived. It was a semi truck, loaded down with $6,000 in toys, a donation by Blain’s Farm and Fleet.

But a bipartisan toy drive, even if the other party isn’t officially onboard, is just the start. La Crosse Republicans also rang bells for the Salvation Army this past weekend. The bell ringing drive is organized by activist Pam Johnson, who underwent breast cancer surgery just last week. WXOW took notice. Ms. Johnson was a top volunteer statewide during the recall of Gov. Walker.

GOPers in God’s Country rang bells in 2012 also, becoming the top getters for the weekend they participated. In 2013 they dove into icy water for the Polar Plunge to support the Special Olympics (while bezombied lefties instead protested Gov. Walker at one of the organization’s events). They helped clean up neighborhoods for disabled and elderly homeowners for Neighbors Day. They volunteered at the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which provides free dinners to all comers and delivers meals to those who can’t venture out (this year the Dinner delivered 1,600 meals).

Yours truly will be joining the Dinner’s planning committee as a result of my experience this year and a decade of experience in commercial kitchens.

Mr. Bradley and Mr. Londre are both using their influence in their respective roles as political leaders to encourage others to follow La Crosse’s lead. The former, the 3rd District GOP vice chair and member of the state party’s executive committee, is spreading the word. The latter, part of the Young Elected Officials Network and a La Crosse County supervisor, is doing the same.

Politics as usual can wait until the first of the year. During the holiday season, helping out those in need is a win-win.

I should note that I’m the secretary of the La Crosse County Republican Party and a frequent participant in these charitable efforts.

The Price of Imperfection: Small Business Gets Slammed for Ginseng

Wiebke’s attorney, James Koby, said his clients unintentionally violated the Lacey Act, which will cost them nearly $500,000 after the federal penalties, settling with Chinese buyers, Chap Hing Cheng Ltd., loss of two years of business and hiring a corporate compliance officer.

“That’s quite a financial punishment for a firm … that is the livelihood for seven families,” he said.

La Crosse Tribune

It’s commonly said, or at least it once was, that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.

But in an age of 2,000 page laws and a vigorous regulatory structure at the local, state, and federal level that often produces tens of thousands of pages of regulations for each major piece of legislation, is that really true anymore? It’s practically impossible for a well-meaning company to keep up.

In the case of Wiebke Fur of La Crosse, a family-owned small business headquartered in a modest one-level shop on the city’s north side, the massive financial penalty for dealing in illegal ginseng – just their second violation of any kind in the company’s 80 year history – is simply staggering.

The case is the rare moment when the crest of an overactive regulatory government is so high that it pokes through the surface and even newspapers, typically disinterested in the toll big government takes on employers, take notice.

The Lacey Act prohibits acquisition, transportation or sales of certain plants and wildlife taken in violation of state law. Most people probably don’t even know that ginseng is so heavily regulated, practically comparable to selling Crocodil to kids.

The magistrate was unwilling to offer any leniency for a company that’s well respected with a very clean record despite an eight decade history. Further, a state conservation warden said the case was very unique as rarely is a trading firm raked over the coals for such a violation; Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim O’Shea couldn’t even recall prosecuting a ginseng buyer.

Yet our judicial-regulatory complex keeps getting more and more arbitrary. While Magistrate Steven Crocker threw the book at this small business, local judge Ramona Gonzalez let the perp of a brutal beating off the hook. In Tomah a judge basically gave a pass to two brothers who molested a little girl countless times.

I know civil and criminal courts are separate, and even further away are executive branch agencies and their own judicial systems. But it seems amazing that trading ginseng that you didn’t even know was illegally harvested is punished more harshly than sexually molesting a child or beating a man into a coma.

But to the massive backlash of a lumbering, arbitrary, and punishing federal government, at least there’s a growing market for “corporate compliance officers,” much like the one Wiebke will now have to hire.

Perhaps there’s a retired-at-55 conservation warden or federal official who needs a consulting gig. Tidy arrangement, eh?

Quote of the Day

“In order to bear false witness, a person has to know explicitly that what he or she is saying is not true. The false statement has to benefit the speaker…President Obama has a lot to lose if he did indeed tell outright lies to the American people.”

Bill O’Reilly

Social Networking

See the difference in how these two portray the story:

And oh yeah, it’s Halloween?

Uff Da

Onalaska teacher has her kids sit down, surrounded by chanting protesters at state capitol


…Imagine being married to the same person…forever. This is a show that I’ll be DVRing for sure.