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Monday, January 01, 2007

The end...for now

The Christmas cookies have been eaten and the champagne bottle has been emptied so that means it's time for me to end my blog. As I mentioned earlier, I have taken a job in the Capitol and I will not be blogging while I work there.

I had a good time doing this blog right up until the end. In fact, one of my favorite items was one of the most recent ones - the website of Supreme Court Candidate Annette Ziegler. I enjoyed that one so much because of all the fun it generated.

And what good is politics if you can't have a little fun with it? I of course wish more people would join in on the fun. Start a blog, volunteer, write a letter to your representatives or anything else you want to do, but join the conversation. Politicians are going to make decisions whether you get involved or not so you might as well get your two cents in.

It can often make a difference. The Wisconsin State Journal had an article over the weekend trying to encourage people to voice their opinions to elected officials by saying that it doesn't take very many letters to get an issue on the radar screen of elected officials. Sometimes it takes even less. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a politicians get a staff member going on an issue simply because someone mentioned it to them at the grocery store. Even Members of Congress do this.

The article did say one thing about politicians that is just not true. It said average citizens cannot get a meeting with elected officials as easily as lobbyists or special interest groups can get them. That is absolute garbage. Any constituent can get a meeting with their elected officials. Newspapers just love to feed the idea that politicians are three steps down from used car salesmen.

Some politicians do suck. But the majority of them, on both sides of the aisle, are really good people that work very hard.

And they will listen to you so speak up.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to read my blog this year and thanks to Wispolitics for giving me the chance to do it. I really had fun doing it and I suspect I'll be back.

Friday, December 22, 2006

To the moon Ziegler!

Ok, so admit it. You are not really getting anything done today at your office. So why not take part in the Photoshop contest featuring Supreme Court Justice Candidate Annette Ziegler. She's already been to the moon and to Baghdad. Where will she go next?

Ziegler flubs response to questions about webpage

Tony Galli at WKOW-TV recently asked Supreme Court Justice Candidate Annette Ziegler about the doctored photos on her website and gave one of the worst candidate responses I've seen in a long time. When asked whether or not the doctored photos were meant to mislead voters, she referred them to a consultant.

The single word "no" probably would have been a better answer.

Ziegler's consultant tries to pass the whole thing off as a mistake.
"Problem here is they clearly deliberately changed the names of the don't do that by accident, that was planned", UW Political Science Professor Charles Franklin told 27 News Thursday.
You can find the rest of the story here.

New year, new job

Next week will be my last week of blogging for a while. I've decided to take a job in the Capitol and I will not be posting to my blog while I'm working there.

I've had a lot of fun doing this so I suspect I will be back at some point.

My family celebrates Christmas so I won't be posting until I'm done putting on the mandatory five Christmas pounds and finished all the extra shopping President Bush says I have to do for the sake of our country. I don't want to risk getting put on a list that won't let me fly in an airplane.

But I will put some posts up next week to wrap up my blogging if anyone is around and cares to read them.

So enjoy the 40 degree weather this weekend! And if you need to see a white Christmas, there is a guy who lives in Madison using a machine to keep snow on his lawn for the holidays. Global warming doesn't scare him. He tackled it the American way - he bought something. What a patriot!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where in the world is Annette Ziegler really?

Here's some free campaign advice for State Supreme Court Candidate Annette Ziegler - just give up the map on your website. It is going to be an endless source of entertainment for people like me because you don't seem to know much about our state.

Today on "Where In The World Is Annette Ziegler Really?" we head to Portage County. If you go to her website and roll the mouse over Portage County you see a picture of her standing in front of the Portage Cafe. Problem is, the city of Portage is not in Portage County. It's in Columnbia County and so is the Portage Cafe.

Religious freedom? Never heard of it.

"[I]f American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran," the letter reads.
Who is Virgil Goode? Unfortunately, this idiot is a U.S. Congressman elected by the state of Virginia. The quote is from a letter he sent to a constituent.

Before Goode takes the oath of office, he may want to review the U.S. Constitution he is going to be swearing to uphold. It says a little something about religious freedom. And it doesn't say people are free to practice only Goode's religion.

You can find the rest here at TPM Muckraker.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

-By Tom Toles of the Washington Post

Lasee's fresh idea

A while back State Senator Alan Lasee (R-De Pere) announced he is running for Brown County Executive. He had two statements that caught my eye.

One was this:
Lasee says he was tired of making the commute to Madison...

You know, I think the voters of the 1st Senate District might have been interested in that statement about two months ago. But perhaps he only became sick of the drive once he learned he was going to have to move to smaller office because his party lost control of the senate.

The other statement was this one:
Lasee believes he brings a fresh, outside prospective and that may be why people will vote for him.
Let's be honest here Mr. Lasee. There is nothing fresh about a politician that has held office since the year I was born. (I turned thirty-five this year in case you don't want to look up his political history.)

But elections are about selling yourself so perhaps Senator Lasee can convince voters that he is a fresh face on the political scene. Justin Timberlake recently convinced Jessica McBride that he is a true artist instead of just being a pop star, so I guess people can sell anything.

Monday, December 18, 2006

2008 U.S. Senate races, something for everyone

Feeling down because your party lost just about everything in the last election? Feeling optimistic that your party can continue build momentum and take even more seats in Congress? Then start sizing up the 2008 U.S. Senate races here from The Fix at the Washington Post.

The author, Chris Cillizza, even delves into how the presidential ticket might change the outcome of certain races...
And for those of you who insist Mississippi won't be competitive in 2008 no matter the circumstances, ponder this scenario: Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is on the national Democratic ticket as either president or vice president, the first black politician to be so distinguished. Is it implausible that Democrats could expect historically high turnout from the 36 percent of African-American voters in the state?
Ah, the fun never stops does it?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stupid Supreme Court campaign tricks

Campaigns are a lot of work. Especially statewide campaigns. You have to go all over the state, meet lots of people and take pictures to use on your campaign website and literature.

Unless you are Annette Ziegler, a woman running for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court against Linda Clifford. Annette Ziegler doesn't appear to have the time to actually go to courthouses in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington Counties for photos. Why do that when you can just Photoshop the different county names into one picture and use it over and over again from slightly different angles?

Go here to Ziegler's event's section and scroll over those four counties and watch the picture change slightly each time. Isn't it amazing that all four counties have their courthouse located at 432 E. Washington Street? What are the odds of that?

If you can't even trust this woman to tell the truth about what courthouse she is standing in front of, you shouldn't trust a whole lot that comes out of her mouth on the campaign trail. And is she going to cut and paste different names on court decisions and hand those in as her finished product if she gets to the bench?

If this is the kind of effort Ziegler is going to put into her campaign, donors should be wary of writing her checks. It seems unlikely the donations will be spent well.

UPDATE: The Ziegler campaign seems to have taken down the doctored photos. If you missed the fun, you can check them out here at Folkbum's blog. Thanks to Jay for saving them for us!