The Truth About the Wisconsin Jobs Picture

At National Review, Christian Schneider has an informative piece on why Wisconsin’s job numbers have yet to reach Scott Walker’s promised 250,000 new jobs during his first term, and the truth should challenge the assumptions of Walker’s liberal haters. In particular, he notes that Wisconsin still has the fifth worst business climate in America, thanks to high personal and corporate income taxes. In other words, Walker and the legislature haven’t gone far enough in the direction that liberals blame for our woes…not that they’ll adjust either their positions or their invective accordingly.

However, that’s not to say there isn’t criticism Walker deserves. For one thing, this is why politicians should be very wary of pledging to deliver certain numbers by a particular date. It doesn’t matter if some wonk worked it all out on paper for you; there are always variables you can’t foresee and intentions that won’t pan out. Aren’t conservatives supposed to be the ones with the Hayekian appreciation that economies are too dynamic for total centralized comprehension?

For another, this is also why if Walker thinks he can gain anything by moderating, as he’s been signaling, he’s dangerously mistaken. Not only have his foes not given Walker any credit for not being as hard-right on taxes as he could be, now he also has moderation’s negative policy fallout to deal with.

Scott Walker Stands Victorious as Wisconsin Embodies the Best of Democracy

They tried fleeing the state to indefinitely halt the legislative process. It failed. They poured all the hate they could into their demonstrations and propaganda. It failed. They tried intimidating legislators. It failed. They tried pressuring businesses into supporting them. It failed. They tried persecuting a judge. It failed. They tried demonizingRepublican financial contributors. It failed. They tried smearing the governor’s professional ethics and personal morality. It failed. They tried lying to the public about budgets and benefits. It failed. They tried flouting the law by judicial fiat. It failed. They had teachers commit fraud and indoctrinate their students. It failed. They tried hiding data that undermined their case. It failed. They even managed to get Voter ID out of the way to simplify election fraud. That failed. In total, they cost taxpayers over $9 million.

The motley alliance of union thugs, partisan sycophants, education establishment snobs, left-wing fanatics, and brainwashed college kids that came together to preserve government-employee unions’ stranglehold over Wisconsin took the best shot they had against Governor Scott Walker.

Well, their best just. Wasn’t. Good. Enough.

After more than a year of liberals justifying demagoguery and mob agitation with insipid chants of “this is what democracy looks like,” the state of Wisconsin reaffirmed its trust in Walker in a glorious display of actual democracy—not the shout-down-the-Special-Olympics kind, but the cast-votes-and-count-‘em-up kind.

Though the sore losers will never, ever admit it, June 5, 2012 may go down in history as the day Wisconsin proved America’s slide into fiscal ruin isn’t inevitable, that special interest groups aren’t invincible, and that greed and misinformation don’t have absolute dominion over the public consciousness.

Above all, Wisconsin proved that courage is still viable in American politics—that principled action to serve the long-term interests of the whole over the selfish desires of the loudest or the most well-connected doesn’t have to be a political death sentence.

Granted, the Wisconsin Left has by no means been destroyed (nor has the moderate wing of the GOP). The Democrats and their supporters won’t grow morally from the experience, and the unions are still a force to be reckoned with. But their veneer of invincibility is gone, and it’s never coming back. The conventional wisdom of American politics is being rewritten as we speak.

As conservatives go forward with their economic and social agendas, we also need to take measures to make sure the Left can’t put Wisconsin through this insanity again. In particular, we need to fight to reinstate Voter ID, reform the recall process so it can’t be exploited to punish policy decisions, and do somethingabout classroom indoctrination.

Be proud, Wisconsin. You showed America what democracy looks like at its best.

Wisconsin Schools Are Doing Great. GOP Messaging? Not So Much

Today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released the following graph, based on data that the kind souls at the Wisconsin Education Association Council tried to hide from the public, on the condition of our state’s public schools:
Reforms Working.png
In all four categories – teacher layoffs, class size, retention of extracurricular activities, and retention of fine arts and vocational programs – the teachers union’s own data shows that a higher percentage of school districts are doing well (in two cases, a drastically higher percentage) under Walker’s much-demonized collective bargaining reforms than not only the average for the previous decade, but for that category’s best year in the previous decade.
Add that to what we’ve known for over a year about the benefits teachers will still enjoy under Act 10, not to mention the recent revelation that Wisconsin taxpayers still pay them more than do taxpayers of the surrounding states, and the whole point of the recall collapses. But a narrow majority of voters still say they’d vote Walker out of office.
How can that be? Simple: because the Republicans are doing a lousy job of informing the people. The Left is relentlessly pushing Big Union’s lies through the schools, through the press, and through thuggery, and what advertising the Walker Campaign and the GOP have done in response barely even begins to compensate for the dishonesty.
Why isn’t the above chart in full-page newspaper ads across the state? Why aren’t the success stories from around the state on television every night? Why aren’t graphic comparisons of public and private-sector benefits on billboards throughout Wisconsin? I fear our party leaders are putting far too much faith in talk radio and social media to do the educational heavy lifting for them, content that they can get away with simply fundraising, rallying the faithful, and preaching to the choir.
That’s a recipe for disaster. The people we need to reach, the people who will make the difference come Election Day, aren’t listening to Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling. They don’t have Twitter feeds for conservative reports to show up in. They aren’t glued to the blogosphere. The only way Republicans can get the truth to them is by taking it to where they’re going to be: the commercial breaks of American Idol, the pages of their local paper, the airwaves of their favorite music stations, the billboards along the highways they take to work.
Comforting though it might be for conservatives to think otherwise, talk radio is not equal time. The blogosphere hasn’t created a fundamentally more informed populace. And Scott Walker’s personal goodness will not be enough to save his job in independent voters’ eyes. If we lose this thing, Wisconsin’s Republican elite will have nobody to blame but themselves.

Good Job News for Wisconsin

Well, what do you know:

Using seasonally adjusted data, the 12,900 private-sector jobs created in June marks the largest one-month gain in Wisconsin since September 2003. The state’s net new job gain for June is 9,500 jobs, more than half of the nation’s net gain of 18,000 jobs for the same month.

Somehow, I don’t think we can expect any gratitude – or apologies – to Scott Walker or state Republicans from those who’ve been heralding Wisconsin’s complete capitulation to the rich. 

New on RedState – Hate-Filled Former 9/11 Hero Becomes a Pawn of the Wisconsin Left. How Will Republicans Respond?

My latest RedState post:

As Ann Coulter extensively discussed in her hit books Godless and Guilty, one of liberals’ favorite tricks is to have their lies parroted by spokesmen who their opponents will be too scared to hit back against properly (if at all), for fear of being seen as “mean” toward a victim or national hero. Now, the forces allied against Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair efforts in Wisconsin have just such an infallible shill of their own.

Patrick Bahnken is a New York City union leader and one of the firefighters who was in the World Trade Center on September 11, and he’s lending his support to leftist PAC We Are Wisconsin (which actually isn’t Wisconsin, by the way) in rather bombastic fashion:

The folks from Wisconsin, when New York was attacked, came and helped us out. We believe that now that the people of Wisconsin are being attacked, it’s important for us to help them out […] I’m a Republican. But what’s happening here is not a political issue, it’s not a Republican vs. Dem, it’s not a union non-union thing. This is an attack on middle-class families across this country […] People have to pick a side. You’re either going to stand up for working families and middle class families, or you’re going to kneel before the rich.

Wisconsinites have been “attacked” just like the Twin Towers were? It’s “kneeling before the rich” to fix our budget with reforms that still leave government workers with a better benefits deal than the private sector, and that are saving the states’ public schools millions of dollars without layoffs, class size changes, or curriculum cuts? And all this according to an alleged Republican?

Read the rest on RedState.

New on RedState – An Open Letter to the Dane County Board of Supervisors Regarding the Smearing of David Prosser

My latest RedState post:

Dear Dane County Board of Supervisors,

I have several questions regarding the letter twelve of you wrote to Justice David Prosser, in which you ask him to take a leave of absence from the Wisconsin Supreme Court until investigators determine whether or not he strangled Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.

First, the Board of Supervisors is not a law enforcement body, nor does it have any role in the oversight of state government. By what principle or standard does pontificating on the incident fall under the purview of Dane County politicians?

Second, I am sure you are aware that multiple sources report that Justice Bradley was the aggressor, and that Justice Prosser merely raised his hands to defend himself. Have you written a similar letter to Justice Bradley, lecturing her on the serious of workplace violence and asking her to step aside until an investigation reveals whether or not the people of Wisconsin can trust her?

Read the rest on RedState.

Around the Web

Ann Coulter’s latest column gives a taste of her new book’s subject matter – the relationship between liberalism and mob/herd mentality. Sounds like a persuasive, insightful take on an urgent topic.
Speaking of irrational, hateful mobs, young punks in Madison, this time ticked off about voter ID, have reached a new low: protesting Gov. Scott Walker as he speaks to a Special Olympics group, blocking the kids’ view. I don’t know what’s more sickening – the behavior of these protestors, or the knowledge that so few of the “fine, upstanding citizens” our public schools have been churning out who agree with them will have the basic human decency to stand up and say, “not in my name.” But hey, the ends justify the means no matter what, right?
Outrage in Fond du Lac: Another slap on the wrist for a predatory teacher, thanks to DA Dan Kaminsky. This case also includes the added bonus of Judge Gary Sharpe, who should have recused himself, and then blocked pertinent evidence, thereby demonstrating why he should have been recused.

Perfect quote form the Other McCain: “[T]he fundmental falsehood of all sex-education efforts [is] the belief that most sexual problems are caused by a lack of knowledge, rather than a lack of virtue.” Too bad there’s always some scumbag around the corner to demonize truth-speaking.
Newt’s campaign is falling apart as we speak. Surprise!

On Gay Unions, Walker Restores Will of the People & Respect for the Constitution

In 2006, Wisconsin joined the many states who protect marriage in their constitutions after an ugly battle in which the misleadingly-named gay smear group Fair Wisconsin set a new standard for leftist deception. Voters decisively stood for marriage anyway, in doing so forbidding the creation of any new unions “identical or substantially similar to” marriage under another name.
In 2009, state Democrats said “screw you” to the law and the democratic process by adding to the budget a same-sex domestic partner registry. Now, Republican Governor Scott Walker has nixed the state’s legal defense of the unconstitutional registry. Pat McIlheran talks sense on why Walker made the right call:
The question now is whether a governor ought to defend a law that defies the constitution. “If the governor determines that defending a law would be contrary to the state’s constitution, he cannot order the defense of the law because of his oath to support the Wisconsin Constitution,” Walker’s attorney told the court.

It’s no different than if a past legislature installed a law to set up a state church, for instance, or segregate schools. A governor ought not and cannot defend such stuff. This is no different, since voters specifically, constitutionally banned what Doyle launched.

The only route left for defenders of redefining marriage is the sympathy play. One line, for instance, has it that Doyle’s law was all about letting gay couples visit each other in hospitals. Nonsense, of course: A medical power of attorney gives whomever you designate – offspring, friend or, yes, gay life-partner – not only the ability to visit you in the hospital but to make decisions on your behalf. It’s a normal part of making a will, which any couple of any sexual preference ought to have anyhow.

Doyle wasn’t aiming to let couples visit each other in hospitals. Who visits whom is a private matter, and there’s little evidence any Wisconsin hospital made it anything but. As with the drive for gay “marriage,” Doyle’s registry was all about public status – granting a special public recognition to a particular kind of unmarried couple so that everyone else in society would have to treat them in every important way as if they were married.

Voters already told the government not to make such demands on society. Doyle ignored them.

Walker, to his credit, is listening.

New on NewsReal – Miraculous GOP Turnaround Causes Michael Moore to Drop the Act and Ask Obama to Disenfranchise Wisconsin

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

In a stunning development, a clerical error in Wisconsin has transformed what many expected to be a long, ugly legal battle favoring the Left into an almost certain victory for the Right, outraging leftists like Michael Moore, to the point where the radical “documentarian” has stopped bothering to hide his disdain for the democratic process.

The intense Wisconsin Supreme Court race between the incumbent Republican, Justice David Prosser, and his Democrat challenger, state DNR enforcer JoAnn Kloppenburg, ended Wednesday with the latter declaring victory based on the Associated Press’s calculation of a 204-vote lead. Prosser didn’t budge, and most predicted an onslaught of recounts and vote fraud litigation to ensue.

But on Thursday evening we learned that Waukesha county clerk Kathy Nickolaus had erroneously passed on the county’s data to the AP without the numbers from the city of Brookfield, which shifted the lead to Prosser by more than 7,000 votes. Leftists are predictably outraged that hijacking the judiciary to thwart Governor Scott Walker’s public-sector union reforms won’t work after all, though none have topped the overreaction of Moore, who tweeted last night:

Republicans created the rule: “Whoever declares victory first, wins!” When will Obama Justice Dept impound ballots and stop the shenanigans?

Much has been said about the totalitarian impulse and anti-constitutionalism behind modern leftism, but rarely is it expressed so overtly by one of their own. Moore wants the federal government to forcibly prevent the certification of a state election and give the office to someone based strictly on her own, premature and entirely unofficial, declaration of victory?

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Did Kloppenburg Steal the Election? Signs of Vote Fraud in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

In the 2004 election, around 5,000 more votes were counted in Milwaukee alone than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots, so it’s entirely plausible that JoAnne Kloppenburg’s 204-vote lead in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race is fraudulent.
The following is a collection of election irregularities and signs of potential fraud in this week’s election that have been reported thus far. To be clear, many of these are unverified allegations, and while they may not all be true, they are all worth investigating. This post may be updated periodically as new facts and allegations come to light.
First, an anecdote of my own: as I’m currently at college in Michigan, I (along with my mother) voted absentee while I was home for spring break two weeks ago. When my father went in to vote on Election Day, he noticed that neither my nor my mother’s name had been checked off on the voter rolls as having already voted.
Blogger Thomas Ferdousi has been closely following signs of fraud. Among the highlights:
[W]e now have this from the Dane County election numbers.

Total votes for the Supreme Court Election: 182,382
For County Executive: 171,718

So we’re dealing with about 10,600 more votes being cast for the Supreme Court election than in the County Executive race. Now, of course the Supreme Court race was very contested, so many may have seen it as more important– but over 10,000 in the city?

Not to mention the fact that last night there were 10,000 (exactly) votes given extra to Kloppenburg by Dane County before the number was retracted.

WISN’s Mark Belling has received word of voter intimidation:
Village of Grafton Police were called to the Grafton Town Hall because election officials were concerned that protesters were too close to the polling place and were not following the rules established by Wisconsin’s Election Authority or Government Accountability Board (GAB).  Two witnesses confirmed that a Police Officer who reported to address the incident apparently refused to deal with the protesters initially.  Jessica Schmidt, Grafton Town Clerk, and another witness heard the officer say, “I used to be a conservative but I’m not anymore.”  Apparently, this behavior was a result of the recent debate over union rights that has consumed Wisconsin.  The officer then walked outside and without addressing the issues presented by the protesters and refused to do his job, allowing the intimidation to continue.  The officer’s behavior was apparently upsetting enough that an elderly poll worker was shaking immediately following the incident and needed to be calmed down by a nurse that was present at the polling place.   
Belling is also sounding the alarm [PDF link] on allegations of fraud in Mequon:
I have filed a Wisconsin Open records request with the City of Mequon demanding any ballot submitted but not cast in yesterday’s election, including any remnant of a shredded ballot. We have received reports Mequon poll workers destroyed submitted ballots before poll closing time, demanding a driver’s license number from the absentee voter. This request is unusual and the destruction of ballots is of grave concern, given the closeness of the state Supreme Court election. I will consider seeking an injuction to back up my request if Mequon officials are not copperative.
WISN’s Vicki McKenna has asked her audience members to share their stories here. Among the highlights:
One caller, McKenna said, talked about a “missing box of ballots,” a voter overheard poll workers talking about. On air, McKenna said the ballot box could have contained blank ballots or it could have been filled with Wisconsin voters’ completed ballot. Either possibility presents a dilemma, though, as blank ballots in the hands of the wrong people could be used to illegally influence counts after the election.
“There are reports of 17-year-olds voting because they didn’t need to show proof of their age or anything like that,” McKenna told TheDC. “There were folks allegedly using their husbands’ or relatives’ utility bills in voter registration, ballots weren’t being counted because they were using the wrong kind of pens.
– Here is what I don’t get. 222,761 votes were tallied in the Milwaukee County Exec race. [CF: Yep – see here.]  227,577 votes were tallied in the Supreme Court race. [CF: Yep – see here.] That is a difference of a touch over 4,800 votes. Shouldn’t they be almost identical? And by almost I mean with a few hundred votes? I didn’t take the time to do that math associated with cross checking numbers but wouldn’t one assume they should be closer? Does this mean that Milwaukee County didn’t count over 4,800 votes for the supreme court race? It was on the ballot so why the difference?
– I guess my mother and I were given the wrong ballot to fill out. I know that doesn’t make a lot of difference in the Prosser/Kloppenburg race, but we were given the River Hills-Glendale School District ballot when we should have been given the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District ballot.
– (Waukesha) My son moved over a year ago and filled out all the proper forms for change of registration of his new address and ward. However his name is still listed on our old ward’s registration listing, I saw it just below mine! He easily could have voted twice, not that he would, but it exposes a problem. There should be no outstanding registration changes before an election occurs. he moved over a year a ago! This is also a disturbing loophole as even showing ID won’t fix this. Maybe it would be caught some other way, but let’s catch up on registration change paperwork people – scary.
– In my voting location, the machine was not accepting ballots first thing in the morning, so the guy was throwing them some place behind the machine. What number did my district turn in? The count on the machine that did not include my vote or did they remember to add those ballots later on when the machine was working?
– Secondly, in a Milwaukee neighborhood of a relative, two people came to the door asking who lived there. The woman lived alone, but mentioned the name of her deceased husband. The person on the porch put his name into his palm pilot, thanked her, and left. It dawned on her later what must be going on – getting potential names of voters (whether dead or alive), but too late. The people involved in this activity had gone. No one knows how many names they got to use for voting.
– There are people on the voter rolls in my community that haven’t lived there for years. I bet there are some people who move frequently who are registered to vote in many different places. Such a shoddy system, and the democrats like it that way.
– As a student at a state university, I sat in a class where they encouraged students to vote Tuesday. “Just bring your campus ID to prove you’re a student and you can vote.” What about proving residence? What about students like me who vote in their home district becuase they live off campus? Could I have voted twice? There was a large push all over campus to get students to “vote against Walker by voting for Kloppenburg.” Her non-experience as a judge shouldn’t matter, I guess. I think re-counts should focus on college campuses…
– I was at Greenfield City Hall from 8:00PM – 10:15PM and watched as the ballots, machine tallies, and other materials were returned and added. I noticed 2 problems. The first was that several ward officials were returning bags of ballots that had not been sealed. The second was that people were leaving their bags of ballots unattended (on benches, on the ground, etc.) as they walked away to chat with other election officials returning their ballots.