Some drama in the 75th Assembly District

Up in Wisconsin’s 75th Assembly District, two Democrats and four Republicans are vying for the seat currently held by State Rep. Mary Hubler, who announced earlier this year she wouldn’t stand for reelection, and now that the candidates have handed in their nomination forms, there appears to be an interesting challenge to the candidacy of Matt Bitz, one of the two Democrats vying for the seat.

According to a press release issued by the group Wisconsin Progress, Bitz isn’t eligible to be a candidate for the State Assembly, as he hasn’t lived in Wisconsin for at least a year:

Wisconsin Progress filed a complaint to Mr. Bitz’s attempt to be placed on the November 2nd ballot this fall seeking to represent the 75th District. The complaint filed by Kristen Crowell, Executive Director of Wisconsin Progress, clearly outlines the facts that Mr. Bitz does not meet the eligibility requirements clearly set forth in the Wisconsin State Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 : “no person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year within the state…”

“Wisconsin Progress takes very seriously the access of candidates to the ballot. Mr. Bitz has not been a Wisconsin resident long enough to qualify to serve in the state legislature and we have verification of his voting record in New York City. That is the sole basis of the complaint, “ says Kristen Crowell.

At issue is Bitz’s status as a registered voter in the State of New York, where he voted as recently as the 2009 general election. Bitz registered as a voter in New York in 2008, and in his response to the challenge to his ballot status, Bitz argued that while he was registered as a voter in New York, he never relinquished his Wisconsin residency.

In response to the press release issued by Wisconsin Progress, Bitz’s campaign was quick to issue a press release responding to the challenge to Bitz’s status on the ballot, but instead of responding directly to the allegation, Bitz instead chose to paint the challenge to his ballot status as part of some grand conspiracy on the part of Kristen Crowell of Wisconsin Progress and Nicholl Caruso, current head of the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee (ADCC), who once upon a time was Crowell’s boss at Progressive Majority Wisconsin.

I don’t know enough about Matt Bitz to begin to formulate a theory as to why Kristen Crowell and Wisconsin Progress would conspire with Nicholl Caruso of the ADCC to keep Bitz off the ballot, but this is certainly political theater worth watching.

Come Drink Liberally tonight!

From the esteemed Jason Haas (who’s a new father, by the way) comes news of the next meeting of Drinking Liberally:

Hi folks,

Ever have one of those days where you’re hanging around in the hospital room with your wife and newborn son, when someone says to you, “Hey, uh, you know, you should probably post something about Drinking Liberally…”

&@#$@!!! Yes! DL meets tomorrow!

And I’m excited to report to you that two exciting events are happening in DL-MKE land. First, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim John will be coming to Drinking Liberally tomorrow night! Please come out to see what Tim John has to say, and why he thinks you should vote for him.

No matter who you voted for, I will thank Tim for upholding the democratic principles that our country was founded on.

The second exciting event is Living Liberally co-founder Justin Krebs coming to Milwaukee on his book tour! Krebs has written “538 Ways to Live, Work, and Play Like a Liberal.” It’s Krebs’s personal and practical guide to embracing your progressive values everyday life — I’m looking at you, Nick — as well as the big ideas of what it means to be a “liberal” in America today.

Come meet Justin Krebs at 7:00PM on Wednesday the 28th at Sugar Maple. His book will be available for purchase there, and you can meet one of the folks that helped make Drinking Liberally possible. Here we’ve started conversations while we shared a drink and engaged with our neighbors. We’ve helped good candidates win their races, and we’re going to do even more of that this year. Thank you, Justin, for helping bring this rag-tag band of lefties and liberals together.

As always, Drinking Liberally-Milwaukee happens at Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, at 7 PM.

Oh, and that stuff I said about newborns at the top? Yeah. Ellison Henry Haas joined us this past Sunday the 18th! As I probably will be absent tomorrow, my good friend Zach “Dubya” Wisniewski will be your cordial host for the evening. Do a heckuva job, Zach!

So put your DL pins and come on out! I’ll see if you I can.

best,
Jason & the Milwaukee DL crew

As Jason mentioned, I’ll be your host for the evening, so I hope to see you there!