Final arguments get rough(er) in Wisconsin

Its closing-arguments time in Wisconsin. Mike Guarino of the Christian Science Monitor reports on Thursday night’s debate: “Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger to Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin, took a chance in Thursday night’s televised debate, and came out swinging. It was without doubt his last big opportunity to persuade Wisconsin voters that kicking the incumbent governor out of office halfway through his term represents the best end to a bitter partisan battle that has engulfed the state for the past two years. Down in the latest polls, Mr. Barrett, whose groomed image some political observers describe as ‘bland nice guy,’ adopted a confrontational posture toward Governor Walker, accusing him of divide-and-conquer governance and repeatedly reminding voters of an investigation stemming from Walker’s tenure while Milwaukee County executive. … The recall election has drawn national — and even international — attention. Minutes before the debate began Thursday, the producer stepped in to inform the audience … that television affiliates throughout the state would broadcast the next hour live, national cable networks would periodically check in, and that the feed would be carried in real time from as far away as Japan.”

If you’d like a refresher on what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “John Doe scandal” is all about, Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon explains: “Documents made public last night show prosecutors requested the secret investigation after they found Walker’s office ‘unable or unwilling’ to provide information. ‘It may be the County Executive’s Office [Walker’s former position] is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment,’ an assistant DA wrote to a judge in May 2010. Walker has maintained that he has cooperated with prosecutors all along, so the document casts doubt on his story of the proceedings. Asked about the stonewalling last night, he essentially called the report untrue. Already, three aides who have worked for Walker have been charged, as have two of his appointees and a major donor. One aide pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts relating to work she did for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign on county taxpayer’s dime. … Walker, thus far, has maintained that he is not the target of the investigation. But under Wisconsin law, a politician can only use a legal defense fund for themselves or their staffs, and Walker said this week that none of the money from the fund would go to his staff, suggesting it would be used only to defend himself. Democrats seized on the comment as an admission from Walker that he is personally a target.

In a commentary for Politico, Walker ally Sen. Ron Johnson writes: “Starting Wednesday, most of the folks I know in Wisconsin will be looking forward to a well-earned respite from what seems like a permanent campaign. Instead of taking a break from politics between elections, Wisconsin has for months been dealing with fugitive legislators, ugly protests, legal challenges and a series of recall contests allegedly aimed at overturning Gov. Scott Walker’s legislative agenda. There’s virtually no possibility that his successful reforms will be overturned, so one has to wonder: What exactly is the point of Tuesday’s recall vote? The simple facts are the governor’s reforms have worked, and Wisconsin is open for business.” Do these guys use talking points to order coffee in the morning?

The GleanSo now the anti-gay marriage crowd is upset with Target. At MPR, Sasha Aslainian writes: “Ten t-shirts for sale on Target’s retail website, featuring slogans like ‘Harmony,’ ‘Pride’ and ‘Love is Love,’ are causing some disharmony: They’re being sold as a fundraiser supporting a marriage equality group.  And even though the company has not taken an official position on the November ballot question that seeks to define in the state constitution as only being allowed between one man and one woman, amendment backers are using the retailer’s action as a way to motivate their own supporters. ‘It’s really kind of a slap in the face to people of faith and supporters of marriage,’ said Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage. Same-sex marriage opponents ‘constitute a large majority of people of Minnesota and an overwhelming majority of Target’s customers,’ he says, and he’s upset that the company ‘would intentionally inject themselves into the marriage campaign.’ ” They could always counter-market a “No Rights for You” shirt.

At something called onenewsnow, Charlie Butts writes: “ The Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) founder [says]: ‘It’s unbelievable to me that Target would give $120,000 to the pro-homosexual marriage side, right in the middle of a ballot campaign,’ he comments. ‘This will certainly have an impact on Target’s bottom line, as pro-traditional marriage Americans find out that Target is now a pro-same-sex marriage company.’ … He goes on to argue that pro-family Americans do not want to support companies that give money to what he describes as ‘the evil cause of so-called gay marriage.’

Despite disappointing national jobs numbers, the monthly manufacturing survey out of Creighton University shows continued expansion in the Upper Midwest. Annie Baxter’s MPR story says: “Minnesota manufacturers foresee growing strength in the regional economy over the next three to six months. That’s according to a survey of supply managers from Creighton University. The Minnesota Business Conditions Index slipped slightly in May to about 60, down from 61 in April. However, May marked the 33rd straight month that the index remained above the important threshold of 50, which signals economic expansion. Creighton University economics Professor Ernie Goss says durable goods producers in Minnesota are experiencing healthy growth. They’re adding workers and giving current employees more hours.”

Now we’ll see what happens … Mary Divine at the PiPress reports: “Officials in Washington County expect a charging decision to be made soon in a case involving Dave Eckberg, the organizer of Lumberjack Days in Stillwater. The Washington County sheriff’s office has wrapped up its investigation into Stillwater’s popular summer festival and is forwarding the case file to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput for possible charges, Sheriff Bill Hutton said. … The Lumberjack Days Festival Association was accused last fall of issuing worthless checks for more than $35,000 to three vendors and the Stillwater Area High School boys hockey booster club. Eckberg, reached by phone Thursday, declined to comment.”

When your opponents step in it so badly, you kind of owe it to yourself to make ’em squirm — in public. The AP says: “The top Democrat in the Minnesota Senate is insisting on a public hearing before he’ll sign off on a $46,000 legal bill stemming from the firing of a high-ranking staff member. [Aka Michael Brodkorb.] Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk said he requested that Republicans convene the Senate Rules and Administration Committee to discuss the process for handling legal expenses.”

Our former top jobs creator has nothing kind to say about President Obama’s economic record. The AP says: “Minnesota’s former Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, is criticizing President Barack Obama’s economic record as he arrives in Minnesota to talk about jobs for veterans. Obama is speaking at noon Friday at Honeywell’s International Campus in Golden Valley. Pawlenty pointed to the news that U.S. employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, the smallest number in a year, as evidence that Obama’s economic policies are stifling job creation.”

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Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 06/01/2012 - 02:09 pm.

    I support marriage

    for every adult who wants one. Or two. Or three.

  2. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 06/01/2012 - 02:20 pm.

    Deconstructing Brian Lambert

    Some “journalist” wrote:

    “They could always counter-market a “No Rights for You” shirt.”

    Marriage between members of the same sex was never a right.

    Always remember that, Mr. Lambert.

    • Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 06/01/2012 - 04:06 pm.


      Denying gay couples to right to marry is a slap in the face of the Constitution. Always remember that Mr. Krasnoff.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 06/01/2012 - 07:17 pm.

        re: rights

        There was never any right in the Minnesota or United States Constitutions for same sex couples to get married. It is completely made up, a fraud, an attempt by the left and deconstructionists to abrogate, condemn and destroy the foundation of society and objective biological and cultural truths.

        Always remember *that*, Miss Weisman. 🙂

        • Submitted by Ginny Martin on 06/02/2012 - 09:23 am.


          Can you cite chapter and verse of the Constitution where it says marriage is between a man and a woman. Can you do the same for the state constitution?
          I don’t believe there is one.
          If it’s just your beliefs, say so.

        • Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 06/02/2012 - 02:08 pm.

          Gay marriage is a conservative idea that was gradually and in many cases grudgingly accepted by people on the political left.

  3. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 06/01/2012 - 03:19 pm.

    Marriage is not a right

    Period. The gov’t should just get out of the religious “marriage business”, and issue civil union licenses like it does for drivers licenses.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/01/2012 - 03:36 pm.

    Pawlenty doesn’t get it

    In no uncertain terms, during his pseudo presidential run, Pawlenty was told there is no reason to run for president with a record like his. He was willing to do damage to Minnesota with his George W. Bush type policies just so he could look presidential. It didn’t take the public long to figure out he had nothing they wanted, which is still the case. See yah Tim!

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 06/01/2012 - 04:04 pm.

    “Straight Marriage,” Itself, Has Never Been A Right

    Except as covered under the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ideal spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and the “equal protection under the law” guaranteed by the constitution.

    Always remember THAT.

    Meanwhile, Target has nothing to worry about regarding their T-shirts. The vast majority of those who oppose gay marriage are likely to be Walmart shoppers.

  6. Submitted by r batnes on 06/02/2012 - 08:44 pm.

    “It is completely made up, a fraud, an attempt by the left and deconstructionists to abrogate, condemn and destroy the foundation of society and objective biological and cultural truths.”……..I think Jersey Shore and the Kardashians took care of that awhile back…well known heterosexuals, I believe.

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