Archive for October, 2009

A Madison man for governor?

October 30, 2009

Looks like the Dems might have found another candidate to match up with Scott Walker.

A relative and informal adviser confirmed that Kevin T. Conroy, president and chief executive officer of Exact Sciences Corp., is considering a run.

Doyle said Conroy, whose company is seeking to commercialize a cancer-screening technology, is a “really remarkable” guy.

“He has been a really creative and effective business person in this state and, you know, it will be up to him to make his decision on what he wants to do. But he’s a person who has really accomplished a lot at a young age,” Doyle said.

You gotta admit, he’s very studly. Almost more so than Scott Walker (but obviously no match for Mark Neumann). The cancer-screening technology and innovation card would work well with the electorate, especially if he were running against a career politician (as cliché as the charge is) like Walker. Who’s a bigger hero? The man who’s curing cancer or the guy who saved the grandma from a drunk? Now that would be a primary worth watching.

Single Occupancy Residences for homeless

October 30, 2009

I had the pleasure of stopping by Rainbow Books last Friday for a chat with Ald. Marsha Rummel. I didn’t know she was one of the founders of the co-op, however, I suspected that if I didn’t find her there I’d at least find somebody who knew where she was. The Leftist conspiracy is a tight-knit one.

Rummel, one of the most vocal supporters of Madison’s homeless population, told me that what Madison needs is more Single Occupancy Residences (SOR). SORs are better than shelters, many of which are unsanitary and unwelcoming. “Many people prefer to sleep in their cars” than to go to the church or the Porchlight public shelter.

Rummel also told me that, in order to break up settlements of vagrants (see comment below) living in cars, she pushed for an ordinance to create two hour parking on the two concerned blocks of E. Wilson.

Brunch Links

October 30, 2009

OK, OK. Series tied at 1. Taking it back to Philly. Meanwhile…in Wisconsin… A bunch of food from Parthenon Gyros. I live right across the street and have never been. High of 67 (!) today and dreary.


I don’t know what was more absurd – the letter to the editor by the president of the Dane County Tavern League or the obscenely unprofessional and biased decision of the opinion page to not edit the spelling and grammar mistakes. Although the writing would have been disappointing coming from a precocious 3rd grader – and should be an embarrassment to the League – many of the mistakes were innocuous and would have been simply edited in any other situation.

This is not the first time the Herald has had to deal with issues of minimizing rape.

“Jack Craver,you are not worth the smallest dingleberry in the Chicago 7’s butt-cheeks!” You gotta love the commenters.

Ad hoc committee to investigate improper behavior of UW Athletic Board members.

UW health care to include coverage for self-inflicted injury.

Jerry Bader, a Green Bay radio talk show host, has been suspended for alleging that Barbara Lawton dropped out of the race because of marital problems. The full text of what he said. Allegation of lesbianism is always predictable from a Limbaugh protégé.

People questioning Alcohol License Density Plan. Apparently it hasn’t been so effective at reducing crime.

Jim Sullivan working on OWI reform that would not include a liquor tax. Frankly, I’m surprised that stiffer fines weren’t the easy solution to pay for the reforms. This is the best part: There’s a pledge going around asking lawmakers to resign if they’re convicted of OWI. Bob Ziegelbauer (DINO – Manitowoc) is the only one to sign so far.

A series of mysterious grave vandalizations shakes Lodi.

The State Journal is happy that Freakfest is coming cheap. Dane101 interviews “Undead Zeppelin,” one of the bands playing tonight.

Scott Walker is laying off County workers like crazy. What would Kathleen Falk say to that Eric Schmidt?

Republicans continue to raise hell about auto insurance.


Coalition of students strategize to win ALRC vote

October 29, 2009

On Sunday a group of students, including members of the Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal editorial boards, met to discuss strategy to mobilize support for Ald. Bryon Eagon’s proposal to add a student voting member to the ALRC, as well as to win the Council vote on the measure next Tuesday.

Eagon and current ALRC non-voting rep Mark Woulf were at the meeting and gave the other group members advice on how to best influence Council members on the vote. Herald and Cardinal editors came up with a list of important student organizations to be contacted, including WISPIRG, the College Democrats and even Hoofers, an outdoor sports organization.

I was there primarily to observe the meeting, although I do support the proposal – though with not as much vigor, perhaps.

The papers decided to continue pushing the issue, evidenced by the editorials on Monday, with the hopes of motivating students to email or call their alders, but more importantly, to show up for the vote and make an impression on Council members.

Here is a very rough list of predictions on how members of the Council will vote. The projections were made for a variety of reasons, including support or opposition to the proposal in the past, general political philosophy or connections with other members on the Council (e.g. gets along well with Eagon).

In favor: Bidar-Sielaff, Verveer, Eagon, Rummel, King, Soloman, Clear, Maniaci, Rhodes-Conway

Against: Schumacher, Compton, Clausius, Skidmore, Thuy

?: Palm, Cnare, Schmidt, Sanborn, Bruer, Kerr

The Supreme Court of hacks

October 29, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I have reviewed the facts and I am no longer confident in the assertions I made in the post below. Illusory Tenant has a very comprehensive post discussing the factual inaccuracies of some of McCabe’s statements that I based my conclusion on.

There was a heated show-down today between Supreme Court Justice David Prosser and a representative of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a group which advocates campaign finance reform and has been heavily critical of the special interest-dominated State Supreme Court.

Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign told the state Supreme Court during public testimony on the proposals that public confidence in the court has dropped significantly with most now believing that campaign contributions influence decisions.

Prosser fired back with a series of comments he pulled from the WDC blog and Web site, include a June post in which McCabe wrote there “is no way in hell either Prosser or Crooks should be anywhere in the room when the Supreme Court” hears a new appeal from former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen on his retrial on felony corruption charges, which an appeals court overturned.

Prosser, a former Assembly GOP leader, served as a character witness during Jensen’s trial.

McCabe was absolutely right to criticize Prosser, and the case he lays out on the blog is rather convincing.

No word yet on whether Justice Prosser plans to once again serve as a character witness for Jensen. Pertinent to this issue is the Supreme Court’s own rule, SCR 60.03(2), which states: “A judge may not allow family, social, political or other relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment. A judge may not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or of others or convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge may not testify voluntarily as a character witness(emphasis added).”

You couldn’t make this stuff up! How could Prosser possibly have the gall to go on the offense with that kind of obvious wrong-doing on his part? I know how. Because Prosser is a politician, not a jurist. As former Assembly Republican leader, he knows better than anyone that there’s no better defense than a good offense, especially when dealing with wonky “good government” types.

But even if Prosser did have enough tact to avoid handing out judicial favors, he and his colleagues would still continue to reward their political friends on the bench – today they made sure of it by ruling that justices do not have to recuse themselves from cases in which a party has contributed a significant amount of money to a judge’s campaign.

What a pathetic disgrace this court is.

Apology — Phillies win!

October 29, 2009

I apologize to my dear readers for delaying Brunch Links today. The delay is due to an alarm clock that did not go off and my need to get to class.

Rat trapping out of recession

October 28, 2009

Mike Ivey has come up with an original proposal for getting Wisconsin back on track: extermination. Of rodents that is.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims it has won a fight with a Madison company over assertions that its glue traps don’t cause ensnared rodents to suffer.

Motomco Ltd., a division of Bell Laboratories, disputes PETA’s version of events and says the animal rights group is way off base.

But if nothing else, thank PETA for introducing me to Bell Laboratories, which employs some 300 people at its three east side facilities near the Dane County Regional Airport – a lot more than the number of workers at five new Madison biotech firms Gov. Jim Doyle touted last week at a news conference.

Not too many politicians highlight pestilence control as a source of economic stimulus, maybe because it might highlight other failures of local governments to preserve certain sanitation standards etc. However, I must say, I am in much greater need of an exterminator than a biotech firm right now. Not only did I find a dead mouse in my room the other week, but every night when I go to sleep to the sound of something scratching behind the walls. Constantly scratching, scratching, scratching…There’s also a rancid smell of death that comes and goes, seemingly without reason or pattern.
Pestilence control is a great business venture. Let’s just hope the politicians don’t start scheming of ways to subsidize it. Next thing you know we’ll have department of interior officials releasing thousands of rats into the streets.

Brunch Links

October 28, 2009

Should be pleasant today but not as nice as tomorrow, when it’s supposed to get up in the 60’s. World Series starts tonight. Eating in Madison A to Z described today’s brunch from Northside Family Restaurant as lacking nuance.



Badger Herald ed board piece, almost definitely written by Sean Kittridge (outside chance written by Joey Labuz), supports lifting state ban on nuclear power. But somebody – Eric Schmidt I assume – dissents, as does the Democratic Party of Milwaukee.

Come on. Let’s get this student loan thing resolved. And do I smell a Badger Herald feature story? This time its on student health care.

Zach Schuster says environmentalists should look to microbreweries for inspiration.

ASM is now getting in on the ALRC politics.

Many computers hacked in the Chemistry building and thousands of social security numbers exposed. C’mon guys. I’d expect that carelessness from the Comp-Lit department – not the lab dorks.

Tommy Thompson’s brother going to run for State Senate in Tomah.

Roof gardens and libraries. You can’t say no to that.

MATC re-branding itself as Madison College.

“That means that one in 20 self-identified Republicans do not have confidence in the party’s leaders to do right by the country.” That is the least impressive stat you could have cited John Nichols. The rest of the article is OK.

Two Supreme Court justices actually believe in reforming the system that funds their campaigns.

Why do you think Doyle flip-flopped on the DNR board issue? Just follow the money, says Zach Wisniewski.

Blaming Lawton for having in-laws who pollute? Sheesh. If I have to answer for my in-laws I suspect I better not get into politics.

And you knew it was coming…the Tom Barrett for gov website is up. Unofficial.

Barbara Lawton: “Get a life”

October 27, 2009

Considering reports that the White House was openly pressuring Mayor Tom Barrett to run for governor, it is somewhat fair to assume that it, as well as other state Democrats, were leaning on Barbara Lawton to not run. WisPolitics:

Lt. Gov. Barb Lawton said today no one pressured her to drop out of the guv’s race, repeating that it was a deeply personal family decision to get out.

Lawton told WisPolitics in a phone interview that she had nothing more to say on the reasons behind her decision other than she and her husband Cal are in good health. She laughed off the suggestion that Gov. Jim Doyle or the White House pressured her to get out of the campaign and said her personal family issues behind the decision weren’t anyone’s business.

“I think people will lose interest and get a life, and well they should,” Lawton said.

The news items highlighting Gov. Doyle’s reluctance to commend Lawton’s record were not contrived. When politicians support eachother, they make it clear. Doyle’s lack of comment for Lawton makes it clear that he wanted to support another candidate. Even though Doyle was unpopular, his unpopularity was not such that he would be discouraged from complimenting fellow Democrats. Even George W. Bush, whose legacy was a toxin for Republicans in 2008, endorsed and rallied support for McCain.

Prez Obama coming to Madison

October 27, 2009

What? I guess the secret service is doing its job well.

President Barack Obama will be coming to Madison Nov. 4 for the first time since taking the presidency to speak about education, according to a White House announcement today.