Chris Rockwood: my kind of Congressional candidate!

This is just amazing.

Chris Moews: Sheriff David Clarke is a “sideshow” (VIDEO)

During a recent appearance on UpFront, Democratic Milwaukee County Sheriff candidate Chris Moews explained why he believes Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is a sideshow who lack competency when it comes to law enforcement in Milwaukee County.

Watch for yourselves.

Walker administration to pay $1.7 million to outside companies to identify state buildings to sell

As reported by Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has committed to paying nearly $1.7 million to four private companies for their assistance in determining whether the state should sell heating and cooling plants and other state-owned properties.

Studying the issue is expected to cost even more. The state is working with four other firms on the matter, but has not finalized contracts with them.

State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, said he was surprised by the costs and thought Department of Administration employees would have been able to do such work.

“Don’t we have anybody on staff that can do that kind of thing?” he said.

Department of Administration spokesman Cullen Werwie said in an email the agency “doesn’t have the expertise to provide the type of analysis that is needed to fully evaluate these assets. We decided to move forward and have independent, outside evaluators come in to provide an unbiased, accurate analysis (of) the assets that we could potentially sell or lease.”

The Walker administration has pushed the idea of selling off state-owned properties as a way to help pay down the state’s $8 billion in debt – debt that has actually grown larger thanks to Gov. Walker’s budgets.

If these efforts by Gov. Walker’s administration to sell state-owned properties are successful, I have no doubt they will be viewed as having been a short-sighted “band aid” on a problem made worse by Gov. Walker’s borrow and spend budget decisions.

Report: WEDC awarded taxpayer funds to four more companies that outsourced WI jobs

Just a few weeks ago news broke that the WEDC, Gov. Scott Walker’s “job creation” agency, had awarded millions of taxpayer dollars to companies that outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries. In response to that bad news, Gov. Walker’s reelection campaign went on the offensive to attack Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Mary Burke for supposedly profiting off outsourcing done by Trek Bicycles, but the news just got worse for Gov. Walker, as a report by Greg Neumann of WKOW has revealed that four more companies that outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries have received over ten million dollars from WEDC.

Kohl’s Corporation has received $10.8 million of a possible $62.5 million enterprise zone tax credit originally awarded in July 2012 for a project in Waukesha. U.S. Department of Labor records show Kohl’s employees in Milwaukee received Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits on two separate occasions. TAA benefits are only awarded to employees who have lost their jobs because the work was outsourced overseas. In the case of Kohl’s, some of the Wisconsin jobs were sent to India.

Serigraph, a custom graphics company based in West Bend, has received $832,036 in WEDC tax credits for a January 2013 award. TAA records indicate Serigraph shipped production jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico in 2011

Polaris, an Osceola manufacturer and dealer of snowmobiles, ATV’s and motorcycles, has received $940,000 in tax credits from a March 2012 award. TAA records show Polaris shipped production jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico in 2010.

Laserwords, a Madison internet and television sales call-center, has received $47,232 in tax credits and is eligible for up to $375,000 from a December 2013 award. Earlier that year, former Laserwords employees in Wisconsin received TAA benefits after their jobs were shipped overseas.

It’s important to remember that Gov. Walker serves as the Chairman of the WEDC Board of Directors, so it’s not as if he’s only tangentially involved in what goes on at WEDC. As Chairman of the WEDC Board of Directors, Gov. Walker should bear some responsibility for the decisions being made by the very organization he created in order to dissolve the state’s Department of Commerce, but I’m guessing that instead of accepting responsibility, Gov. Walker will just run another attack ad against Mary Burke.

Emerge Wisconsin celebrates 21 future candidates

From my email inbox comes news of the latest group of women to complete the Emerge Wisconsin training program.

MADISON, WI: This past Sunday, twenty-one women completed the Emerge Wisconsin training program and stepped out armed for success as future candidates. The graduation ceremony, held at a private residence in Madison, featured a keynote address from Emerge Advisor Peg Lautenschlager, the first women elected as Wisconsin Attorney General.

The Emerge Wisconsin Class of 2014 are:
Adrienne Oliver (Milwaukee)
Ann DeGarmo (Madison)
Anne Molineu (West Bend)
Anne Arndt (Wisconsin Rapids)
Arvina Martin (Madison)
Cecilia Anguiano (Racine)
Emily Palmer (Wauwatosa)
Jacki Gackstatter (Janesville)
Jackie Moore (Ashland)
Julia McNally (Grafton)
Katherine Svitavsky (La Crosse)
Kira Stewart (Madison)
Leanne Wied (Brookfield)
Luz Sosa (Milwaukee)
Peggy Jerome (La Crosse)
Rebecca Ruechel (St. Francis)
Rellen Hardtke (River Falls)
Sharon Hampson (La Crosse)
Shelia Stubbs (Madison)
Wendellyn Stallings (Sussex)
Zonia Lopez Chrostowski (Milwaukee)

“The Class of 2014 is truly a hallmark of the diversity we strive for. I am enthusiastic about the range of offices they plan to pursue and the statewide impact they will have one day.” Wendy Strout, Executive Director.

Emerge Wisconsin Board Chair, Paula Zellner, added, “I commend all the graduates; not only are they leaders and contributors to the democratic process, but they set an example for women across the state. I am proud of the leadership of the Emerge WI Board of Directors and we congratulate all our program participants for their commitment and dedication to representative government at all levels.”

In addition to the group of 21 women who recently finished Emerge Wisconsin’s latest training program, Emerge Wisconsin hit a bit of milestone this year, as Congressional candidate Kelly Westlund, who’s challenging “Struggling” Sean Duffy in the 7th Congressional district, is the first Emerge Wisconsin graduate to run for federal office.

I can attest to what a great program Emerge Wisconsin is, and if you’re a woman interested in a future run for office – or if you know a woman who’d be a great candidate – please consider applying for Emerge Wisconsin’s training program.

Some thoughts on Justin Moralez’s most recent campaign finance report

Last week I wrote about the fundraising efforts of the three Republicans vying for the honor of losing to incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki. As I noted in my report, not only did Cudahy Alderman Justin Moralez end the reporting period with a cash balance of just $635.29, but he also had two expenditures that caught my eye.

The first of the two expenditures by Moralez’s campaign was a $575 contribution to the Fisher House, a contribution that came about as a result of Moralez having accepting contributions in excess of the legal limits for his aldermanic campaign. Curiously, Moralez seemed unaware of the $575 in contributions in excess of the legal limits until May 30, 2014 despite the fact that the last of the excess contributions had been made nearly a year prior.

The second expenditure that caught my eye was the $500 Moralez paid in to Lukas Baker for wages related to Baker’s work as a campaign staffer for Moralez. While paying campaign staff isn’t unusual, what struck me is the fact that Justin Moralez spent $500 of his campaign’s funds to pay for a staffer, especially considering Moralez’s campaign has just $635.29 left on hand. That seems like a foolish expenditure, especially in a race that doesn’t really require the services of a paid staffer.

Democratic establishment-preferred candidate in 17th Senate district lags in fundraising

It looks like 17th State Senate district candidate Pat Bomhack, the hand-picked choice of State Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson and the Democratic establishment, is having some problems raising money.

In April, after being urged by Senate Democratic leadership to abandon his second bid for state Assembly, Pat Bomhack declared his candidacy for the 17th Senate District. Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson and other leading Democrats had decided to back Bomhack ostensibly out of concerns that Ernie Wittwer, then the only Democrat in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, was not able to do the work and raise the money necessary to triumph in the general election against state Rep. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green.

The most recent campaign finance reports strongly suggest that Larson’s calculation was flawed or perhaps that his controversial advocacy for Bomhack, who only recently moved to the district, may have backfired.

Bomhack raised just $9,045 in the first six months of 2014. Wittwer raised three times that amount, $30,636, from individual donors and groups and loaned his campaign another $25,000 of his own money. As of June 30, Wittwer’s campaign had $54,236 on hand, while Bomhack’s had only $23,070.

It certainly seems like Chris Larson’s public statements that Pat Bomhack is the better candidate in the Democratic primary in the 17th State Senate may have actually backfired against Bomhack, and perhaps it’s a sign that the grassroots activists in the 17th Senate district don’t take too kindly to the Democratic establishment trying to hand-pick candidates, as if the establishment know better than voters as to what constitutes a “better candidate.”

Sealed Air to cut 300 jobs in Wisconsin

Another day….another report of a company fleeing Wisconsin and taking its jobs with it.

About 300 jobs in Sturtevant will be gone in the next three years as a New Jersey company consolidates its operations and moves the work to North Carolina.

Obama campaign vets to charge aspiring politicos $5,000 for some training and campaign volunteering>Yeah, there’s absolutely nothing fishy about this…

Two top veterans of President Obama’s campaigns are asking political campaigners to pay $5,000 per person for the chance to learn their secrets and then work for five weeks in an unpaid campaign job somewhere in America.

Democratic operatives and progressive activists are questioning this training program launched by Obama campaign architects Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird. The $5,000 program promises access to the wizardry of Obama’s presidential bids — and a five-week, unpaid gig on an “important Democratic campaign.”

Run by Bird and Stewart’s consulting company, 270 Strategies, the new program’s emphasis on placing paying customers in essentially volunteer roles on Democratic campaigns is atypical in the campaign training industry, and some Democrats say it sets a dangerous precedent. The firm’s first-ever “270/360 Training Intensive” program is scheduled to begin in September.

Chris Abele cuts some checks to his favorite Republican

As first reported by Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a year after he gave the maximum contribution of $500 to Republican State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has made another maximum contribution to Sanfelippo’s campaign.

For years, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele was a deep-pocketed liberal who used his moneybags to underwrite the campaigns of prominent Wisconsin Democrats.

Abele donated nearly $200,000 exclusively to Democratic candidates and parties — plus more to other liberal political groupssince 2000, according to state and federal records.

But that has changed.

The longtime lefty has discovered the Republican Party.

Late last year, he gave the maximum donation of $500 each to Republican Reps. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield and Joe Sanfelippo of West Allis. Sanfelippo is running against liberal Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan.

Last month, Abele coughed up another $500 to Sanfelippo, new filings show. That puts Abele in company with Bradley Foundation CEO Michael Grebe, the ex-Republican National Committee general counsel and Gov. Scott Walker campaign chairman who gave Sanfelippo the same sum five days after Abele.

While I’m not surprised by Abele’s second maximum contribution to Joe Sanfelippo, I am disappointed, because I had hoped (perhaps naively) that as a Democrat Abele wouldn’t continue to directly assist Republican efforts to keep their hold on the majority in the State Assembly, despite the work done by Republicans to help Chris Abele cut the County Board down to part-time status.

Blogging Blue’s “14 in ’14″

Goal Thermometer