Government at any level should do three things:
- Protect our individual rights as listed in the U.S. and state constitutions.
- Execute the duties of government as listed in the U.S. and state constitutions.
- Spend our tax money responsibly.
That is it. My votes at every election are based on which candidates will do those things better than their opponents — my variation on William F. Buckley Jr’s admonition to vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.
I can tell you where Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans failed on those three points. We do not have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, with permanent constitutional limits on spending and taxation in the state Constitution. We still have a minimum-markup law that should not have been enacted and should not now be law. Government at every level is far too large, employs too many people and still taxes and regulates too much.
But Wisconsin Democrats consider nothing in that paragraph or those three bullet points to be important. The state Democratic Party’s interest is not in making our lives better, but making their control over our lives broader and deeper. The last fiscally conservative Democrat was state Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (D–Manitowoc), who was rewarded for his fiscal sense by being booted out of his party.
Democrats make up rights — to whatever job you like, to however much pay you like, to government-provided health care, to the most impossible definition of a clean environment — while disrespecting our rights to free expression, Second Amendment rights and other rights that, unlike their definition of “rights,” are actually in the constitution. (The latest is Tony Evers’ promise to eliminate school choice.)
And according to Democrats, anyone who votes for Republicans is not merely “deplorable,” but racist, misogynist, nativist, violent, greedy knuckle-dragger clinging to his guns and religion who should not be allowed to vote. (That is a quote from a letter to the editor written by someone who encountered a volunteer for a Democratic state Senate candidate who didn’t like being told the writer wasn’t planning to vote for the volunteer’s candidate.) The Democrats’ contempt for Republican voters grows by the minute.
James Wigderson wrote:
Now we’re to the point where I’m supposed to really, really pitch you hard on whatever it is that I’m selling. So let me sell you on an idea: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) and Gov. Scott Walker (R) can both win re-election.
When I said that last year at a politics forum hosted by our friends WisPolitics, the other panelists questioned my sanity. I admit, I didn’t have a ready explanation how that could happen in supposedly evenly-divided Wisconsin. But we’re looking at the latest Marquette University Law School Poll results and it’s entirely possible.
The latest results are Walker and Tony Evers are tied, while Baldwin has a substantial lead (54% to 43%) over state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield). The state’s right track – wrong track numbers are 55% think Wisconsin is headed in the right direction while 42% think the state is moving in the wrong direction.
Think about that for a moment. A substantial majority thinks Wisconsin is heading in the right direction, yet Evers could still win. Vukmir, one of those responsible for Wisconsin’s current direction, is in serious danger of losing her election. What’s going on?
One factor is the typical anti-incumbent party midterm election blues. The party controlling the White House tends to suffer in the midterms and, let’s face it, President Donald Trump does a good job of motivating Democrats to dislike him. Hence the voting enthusiasm gap, seen earlier this year in the Spring and special elections, and in the latest poll results (seven point difference between Democrats and Republicans). Worse, independents are breaking the Democrats’ way so far.
Another factor is the 19th Amendment. The “gender gap” we hear about in every election cycle is real, and it actually hurts Vukmir more than Walker. What Wisconsin Republicans need are more women getting married and going to church every week. Otherwise, suburban women are going to take their frustration with Trump out on Republican candidates, especially Vukmir who has not had an unkind word to say about the president since he was nominated by the GOP in 2016. Vukmir has an unfavorable rating with women of 48% to 29%. Baldwin leads Vukmir among women 61% to 36%.
Walker, on the other hand, is only losing among women 52% to 42%. It sounds like a lot, but men prefer Walker over Evers 54% to 42%.
Will voters show up to punish Trump by voting against Vukmir and still vote for Walker? Let’s consider two more factors. One, there will be a different vote total for each race. In other words, more people could vote for governor than for the Senate. Even less will vote for attorney general, so Attorney General Brad Schimel could be re-elected even if Walker and Vukmir both lose. (Schimel is also courting a Democratic cross-over vote with the bipartisan support from law enforcement, etc.)
But it’s also not unprecedented for voters in Wisconsin to choose a governor and senator from different parties. Governor Tommy Thompson (R-Elroy) won re-election in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Basketball) won re-election in 1994. Sen Russ Feingold (D), whose list of actual accomplishments was about the same as Baldwin’s list, won re-election in 1998.
It’s not what some of you want to hear, of course, and some of you will question the accuracy of any poll. And the message from Vukmir supporters is that their election modeling shows something very different. I get it.
So let me make one last “call to action,” as my social media guru describes it. If you haven’t already voted, make sure you vote on Tuesday. You won’t believe the satisfaction you’ll get voting for someone like Vukmir instead of Baldwin. And if enough of you decide you’re going to do your best to prove me and the pollsters wrong, than you will.
Wigderson’s statement is not much of a stretch. The incumbent in the governor’s race has not lost since, depending on how you define “incumbent,” Scott McCallum (who got the job after Gov. Tommy Thompson left) in 2002 or Gov. Anthony Earl in 1986. The last incumbent U.S. senator to lose was the phony maverick, Russ Feingold, in 2010, and before that Sen. Robert Kasten in 1992. The last time Wisconsinites voted for the loser of the presidential race was 2004. Maybe Wisconsinites are less ticket-splitters than voters for incumbents.
Speaking of which, there is the worst incumbent in the state, Secretary of State “Phony Fighting” Douglas LaFollette, of whom his opponent, Jay Schroeder, writes:
As I have traveled the beautiful state of Wisconsin (accumulating more than 22,000 miles) voters have told me many things about my race for secretary of state.
From the beginning of collecting nomination papers, Independents, Democrats and Republicans all requested that I run on the platform of term limits for this office. Forty years in office (LaFollette claimed in an interview he has only been in office for 25 years) with no tangible results other than losing 95% of the duties. It is a textbook case for term limits. I will push for a limit of two terms for a total of eight years of service via statewide referendum.
Next, I have educated the public with the arrogance of office LaFollette has displayed during this campaign. From the beginning when he was asked about having a Democratic opponent he called her a “nuisance” for running against him. I challenged him to four debates around Wisconsin — Eagle River, Eau Claire, Green Bay and Waukesha. His response: he deleted the request off of his Facebook page and blocked me from his Twitter account (which is illegal).
In my recent talk at the University of Wisconsin–Madison while speaking about election fraud he interrupted my speech loudly blurting out “there is no voter fraud in Wisconsin” I and his Democratic primary opponent called for the creation of an “Election Watchdog” His response: I don’t get involved in elections.
His far-out views actually hurt the environment that we all value. In his book Wisconsin Survival Handbook he has stated: Don’t use detergents, stop using your garbage disposal, don’t use dishwashers, do not buy or use electric gadgets — can openers, carving knives, frying pans — and even toothpicks.
In his world, I never would have been born (having been the fifth child of my parents). “After having two (children), BE sterilized. It is simple, painless and inexpensive,” LaFollette writes. How absurd.
His 40-year tricks he has pulled off:
• Blaming Republican governors for cutting his duties 95% but never mentioning Jim Doyle and his own Democratic Party never giving him one duty back!
• Willfully accepting a paycheck all these years and not having anything to do.
• Accumulating a $280,000-per-year pension with an account balance of more than $2 million and calling it “his money” when the overwhelming majority of those funds were funded by the taxpayers of Wisconsin. He has refused to stop accepting taxpayers’ contributions to this even when I requested it be stopped in a press release.
• In 2014, he never even showed up for the inauguration because he was using the children’s book fund meant for K–12 libraries to travel the country on a junket.
Finally, I call upon Doug LaFollette to WITHDRAW from the race for secretary of state because he has had the arrogance to request his neighbor in Door County take down their American flag because it makes “too much noise” when it is windy.
Fighting Bob La Follette stood for good government, but Doug LaFollette has done everything in these last 40 years to do the opposite of what Fighting Bob stood for.
We know Democrats are trying to undo the last two years in this country and the last eight years in this state. Evers has billions of dollars in tax increases planned, though he (lies and) denies he’s going to increase taxes. (When asked, Evers’ spokesperson replied that nothing had changed.) Evers wants to kill the Milwaukee choice program because he believes children must be taught in public schools, even disastrously bad public schools.
I have been receiving Baldwin’s emails for years. (Unfortunately.) in the last year or so suddenly the word “bipartisan” has crept into them, which is laughable. I’d ask how in the world the darling of Madison’s radical left can be bipartisan, except that I cannot find an actual accomplishment actually belonging to her, other than covering her, uh, career, during the Tomah VA scandal. She is as bipartisan as the toad named Randy Bryce, running in the First Congressional District, is a respectable human being.
Republicans are far, far from perfect. But Democrats, fueled by hate of those who don’t agree with them, would take this state in absolutely the wrong direction while working hard to crash the economy. Until Democrats purge themselves of hate and introduce some sense into their leadership, Democrats do not deserve your vote.