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I'm still digesting our results here in Wisconsin.

We celebrate the national successes we had in coming in for the President and in defeating TeaBag Tommy Thompson to send a real Progressive Democrat, Tammy Baldwin, to the US Senate.  We worked our butts off and I thank Daily Kos for putting the Baldwin campaign on their list of priorities.  

Other results weren't so good.  Due to money money money money and more money as well as newly and secretly gerrmandered districts, we weren't able to defeat Republicans Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble who were first elected in 2010 in 2 of the closest Congressional races in the country.  Add to that our atrocious state and local media that allowed them to parade themselves as moderates by not informing the public of their active participation in the Republican extremism, hostage taking and obstructionism that has been the hallmark of this Congressional session.  Just like Paul Ryan, until his national outing, the media is complicit in their masquerade.

And, sadly, Paul Ryan hung onto his Congressional Seat by winning the auction yesterday with the highest bid.  He's never had to campaign for his seat before and Rob Zerban gave him a run for his money.  So Ryan bought ads - lots and lots of ads.  About $4-6 million of them.  He didn't campaign and refused to debate.  Our media didn't press him about either or even report his megabucks ads only campaign.

Scott Walker is pretty happy.

Citing his own decisive recall victory last June, Walker said voters decided that his reforms were working "and we are providing good results.

"And they want more of that," he said.

Walker said that, since the recall, "things have calmed down in state government. ...My hope is that now that the elections are done, things can calm down in the state of Wisconsin and let's get back to work."

Making Walker and the state GOP even happier is that they held onto their control of the State Assembly and took control of the State Senate.
One thing that Walker can smile about is the fact his party controls both the state Senate and Assembly. This week Walker will meet with his staff to work out the details of a new state budget. The governor said he wanted to find new ways to match the needs of manufacturers, health-care companies and information technology firms with workers.

Walker also said he would work next year to lower taxes on small businesses and help the heads of such companies get more access to capital.

It looks like he and his GOP allies are prepared to make FitzWalkerstan even more Fitzy next year.

We had hoped to keep the State Senate in Democratic hands, but money, media, and gerrymanderingtook their toll.  

Republicans recaptured the state Senate on Tuesday, once again giving them the complete control of state government that they used to enact sweeping changes in the last legislative session.

But their margin and sway in the upper house remained unclear because of a tight race in east central Wisconsin. Whether Republicans have a one- or two-seat majority in the Senate is pivotal because GOP Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center has bucked his party on some key issues. Among the issues Republicans hope to take up in the next two-year session is loosening mining regulations - a proposal Schultz has resisted.

The fight over the Senate comes down to the race between Sen. Jessica King (D-Oshkosh) and Fond du Lac Common Council President Rick Gudex.

With 100% of the vote in, the race still hasn't been called.  King leads in the reported vote, but a recount is likely necessary.
Rick Gudex, GOP                       43,039  50%

Jessica King, Dem (incumbant)  42,449  50%

One bright note, however, is that Scott Walker is now going to have to scramble to cobble together compliance with the Affordable Care Act.  He arrogantly assumed that all that GOP money and attack ads would buy the Presidency for Mitt Romney and ensure the repeal of "ObamaCare", so he decided to stop any activity required for state compliance with the ACA.  
Now the state is scrambling to decide by a Nov. 16 federal deadline whether Wisconsin wants to take charge of a virtual marketplace, or exchange, required by the law to allow consumers and small businesses to purchase health coverage. In just over a week, the state will have to say whether it can get that exchange running by January 2014 or will leave that task to the federal government.

In Milwaukee Wednesday at an event focused on veterans, Walker said the state still had enough time to decide among three options: accept a federal run exchange; set up a statewide exchange; or a partnership combining the two.

They (the federal government) won't review that until as late as January," Walker said of the proposal. "Even after notifying them, we have until next fall to make modifications as we see fit."

Wishing and hoping doesn't beat deadlines and all the rhetoric in the universe won't make his excuse that the dog ate his homework more palatable to federal health officials.
So far Republicans, who regained control of the state Legislature Tuesday, have argued that officials should hold up Obamacare, not help to make it a reality. But critics like Bobby Peterson, head of the Madison nonprofit ABC for Health, say the state is squandering an opportunity to adapt its exchange to the needs of Wisconsin residents and businesses - a task at which Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration had taken a leading national role.

"If they (have to) put something in, it'll be rushed," Peterson said of the Walker administration. "They admit it doesn't have stakeholder input and it'd be a halfhearted effort and that's too bad."

This is another story I'm keeping my eyes on.

While I celebrate our victories, our mixed bag of results means that we'll need to work even harder, if that's even possible, to defeat money, media, and gerrymandering in the future to retake our state government.  That said, extremist Republicans tend to be their own worst enemies and put their own rakes in front of themselves to step on.  

And then there's the John Doe that's still ongoing after 2 years ....



Originally posted to Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thanks Puddytat. (19+ / 0-)

    I've been feeling much they way you have: excellent news on the national front, and an electorate that leans Dem when it isn't gerrymandered into silence.

    Lord, I despise Scott Walker.

  •  I'm disappointed too (8+ / 0-)

    that Ryan was able to keep his seat, but I think his realm of influence is gone.  After his disastrous photo-op at the soup kitchen, he pretty much completely disappeared from the campaign.  He's been outed to the entire country as to what kind of person he is, and I think he's now over the peak of his political career and will see a quick downhill slide into complete irrelevance.

    Undecided voters are the biggest idiots on the planet. - Brian Griffin

    by Philpm on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:19:35 PM PST

    •  I had high hopes that his national (9+ / 0-)

      outing after his Path to the Poorhouse budget would have been enough to wake up his district.  His initial town halls went so badly for him that the remainder of his events were held in private facilities so his office could pre-screen attendees who were required to have tickets and pay an admission fee.

      He also faced a great progressive opponent who had fundraising success (many thanks to the donating Kossacks).  

      However, our lousy corporate media didn't even mention that he wasn't campaigning for his Congressional seat and refused to debate even after he was presented with a petition from the citizens demanding a debate.

      He won, but not by that much, and he has to run again in 2 years.  

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:26:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, a national outing (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, Lily O Lady, Lujane, ER Doc, Creosote

        will sometimes just harden the folks at home.  Yeah, his district is going to suffer for 2 more years, but I really have a feeling that 2 years from now, even his most hardened supporters will realize how useless he really is and be rid of him.

        Undecided voters are the biggest idiots on the planet. - Brian Griffin

        by Philpm on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:39:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Memo for future (12+ / 0-)

    Downticket races are essential.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:20:51 PM PST

  •  I'm sad, too, but... (16+ / 0-)

    ... I'm encouraged by the fact that Scott Walker has some serious problems facing him, over and above the ongoing John Doe investigation.

    There's the growing scandal concerning his new "public-private" "Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation" and its inappropriate dispersal of federal funds and the $8 million that has gone missing...

    There's the lawsuit filed by Spanish railroad company Talgo in the wake of Walker killing Wisconsin's light-rail project...

    He's got a lot of shit hitting the fan right now. It's not going to be pretty for him.

    •  It's Walkers history (9+ / 0-)

      He always leaves a pile of crap when he leaves office for his next and higher elected position.  And that devastation is left for the Democrat who gets elected to replace him.

      It seems to be the Republican Way nationally, too.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:34:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And now we'll see how effective our state GOP (6+ / 0-)

      run government is at 'owning' all these problems, and with that state ACA obligation to provide a state exchange, as well as managing a state budget that's been 'balanced' by Walker's crazy schemes which have been extending debt into the future, which will start coming due, hundreds of millions at a time.  

      And we in WI land still don't have the sort of recovery going that states around us have enjoyed--without the sort of 'austerity' Walker's regime imposed on us, schools, civil service, state infrastructure, and health care.  'Mr. 250,000 New Jobs Walker, with my great reforms' is still well behind on most of that promise of laying golden eggs for all of us.  Although the Koch and other big money interests will be more than eager for their share of the golden eggs, grabbing them first, before we see anything, if at all.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:35:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought the same about Bush (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philpm, AnnieJo, antirove, Creosote

        and the GOP in 2004 - now they'll have to "own" and clean up the mess they created.  What happened?  They made it even worse and our national media was complicit in failing to report on it.

        Not a peep out of them about the national debt or deficits until, of course, the Dems came into power.  Then all of a sudden, they pretend to be shocked, just shocked at deficits and debts.  And mostly, they got away with it.

        At some point in time, the Teflon coats the Republicans continually wear will have to be scrubbed off of them.  But that scrubbing won't come at the hands of the corporate media.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

        by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:45:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Stephen Smith beat Roger Rivard (4+ / 0-)

    Roger "some girls, they rape so easy" Rivard of AD75.

    Guess we'll see how much of a difference absentees make to the SD18 balance on Friday - 590 would be almost insurmountable in recount terms: the SD21 recount gave Wanggaard a net of 15.  The SC recount last year netted Kloppenburg 312 statewide.

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 01:18:38 PM PST

    •  We can only hope (0+ / 0-)

      and keep on going.

      It's not how many times we get knocked down that counts.  What counts is how many times we get back up and fight some more.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 01:33:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They didn't count the absentee ballots yet? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is that what you mean, GeoffT? Do you know how many absentee ballots there are? Do you mean they are waiting for some to come in the mail?

      •  It's the last thing they do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rosarugosa, GeoffT

        And the ballots can be delivered anytime.  They just need to be postmarked before the due date.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

        by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:10:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The last one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rosarugosa, Puddytat

        Absentee ballots are counted if they: (a) are postmarked no later than election day; and (b) arrive no later than this Friday.  Those that are in hand before the election will have been counted at the polling place; those that aren't should be added in at the canvassing on Friday.

        Not many counties publish the number of outstanding ballots - Washburn do for instance, and seems to be about a third to a half a percent of those cast.  I'm sure there's wide variation in this, so King might be figuring that there are enough out there to make waiting for Friday worthwhile, and perhaps have a recount if absentees help sufficiently.

        Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

        by GeoffT on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:42:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama/AssGOP districts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, AnnieJo, WisJohn, Creosote

    To borrow a word from Playground Politics, noted Wisconsin libertarian blogger, I did notice some districts where Obama looks to have done well (won or came close), yet the AssGOP incumbent ran way ahead of Obama.  

    They are:

    District 29:  John Murtha over Jim Swanson.
    District 42:  Keith Ripp over Paul Cooper
    District 49:  Travis Tranel over Carol Beals
    District 50:  Ed Brooks over Sarah Ann Shanahan
    District 51:  Howard Marklein over Maureen May-Grimm
    District 67:  Tom Larson over Deb Bieging
    District 68:  Kathy Bernier over Judy Smriga
    District 72:  Scott Krug over Justin Pleuss
    District 93:  Warren Petryk over Jeff Smith
    District 96:  Lee Nerison over Tom Johnson

    What do all, or almost all of those districts have in common?  Depending on how you want to define the region, most or all of them are in rural Western Wisconsin.  Somehow Obama's message got through, but it didn't help the downticket.  Could it be the backlash against the public employee unions?  I think we have to take a serious look at that.  Not saying that we should just abandon the unions, but we have to figure out a better way to make the message resonate in Western Wisconsin.  

    Conversely, I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the Fox Valley/Sheboygan races, where Veeser almost beat Bies in District 1, Helmke almost beat Endsley in District 26, and Bacon came close to Klenke in District 88.  Same with Weatherston and Lemke in Racine, District 62.  I thought those would all be much bigger GOP wins.  And in the Senate you might have expected Gudex to win bigger than he ultimately did, even though that's small consolation at this point.  

    If the GOP is dumb enough to primary Dale Schultz, the tea-bagger probably wins and then we take that seat back.  Mike Ellis should have a challenger for the first time in forever.  Terry Moulton could lose.  Frank Lasee and Joe Leibham also deserve strong challengers, especially considering that maybe Democrats aren't as dead in east-central Wisconsin as we might have thought.  

    •  I'm a public employee myself, FWIW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, AnnieJo

      But ultimately I'm more concerned about strong K-12 schools and universities, Badger Care, and mass transit.  If there's a way to come to some sort of compromise on bargaining rights that will make Western Wisconsin not feel like the public employee unions are screwing them over, I'm all for that.  

    •  Much of the problem came from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the national ticket - less attention was paid to down ticket races and those got influenced by a flood of money and ads.  Obama should have really gone out of his way to see to it that downticket Dems were featured and promoted in his many Wisconsin events.

      My takeaway:  You can win national office, but if you don't bring enough folks with you from down ticket races, the win isn't quite what it should be.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 02:26:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since they are all incumbents couldn't it be that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the others who ran just weren't very well known?

      It seems like it takes awhile to get your name out there and for people to vote for you. Kloppenburg, Compas, and some others have had the same problem.

      I am just guessing though, I think someone else might be able to explain things better.

  •  I think the AD-72 could go to recount (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It seems fairly close.

    Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.75, -3.18, "Everyone's better when everyone's better"- Paul Wellstone

    by WisJohn on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 02:55:20 PM PST

  •  I can deal with Ryan winning that would have been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Creosote

    icing on the cake..... losing the assembly really pisses me off. Any chance of Walker going to jail soon?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:04:00 PM PST

    •  We lost the State Senate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, CTMET

      The Assembly has enormous numbers of Repoublicans.

      As to the John Doe, the next trial starts Dec. 3.  No new news except an insider report that there's virtually no activity on the Milwaukee aspect.  There is, though, on the Madison (governors office) aspect and a federal aspect as well.  We're all waiting with breathless anticipation as to whether Walker will get away with it.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 09:25:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It might be that the calm rationality of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Creosote

    the people of Wisconsin was used against them. I followed the recall effort pretty closely and realized that the factor that many people cited for voting for Scott Walker was that he hadn't violated any laws and was just unpopular, was planted in their minds by a flood of propaganda. The John Doe investigation had little publicity and people weren't aware of the shadow looming over Walker.

    While billionaire money nationwide wasn't able to buy the presidential election, I think that it's had more of an impact on Wisconsin. Good people have a hard time understanding the lengths to which bad people will go.

    Exult in your triumphs and work on your losses tomorrow. Love you badgers, Puddytat!

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:23:50 PM PST

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