Carolina Stark edges out Walker appointee in Circuit Court race

This is great news for Milwaukee County…

After making Gov. Scott Walker the issue in a Milwaukee County Circuit Court race, state Administrative Law Judge Carolina Maria Stark led Walker’s appointee, incumbent Circuit Judge Nelson Phillips III, in Tuesday’s primary.

Gov. Walker appointed Phillips, a former state and federal prosecutor, to the Branch 17 seat in October, and Stark has made Nelson’s appointment by Gov. Walker a centerpiece of her campaign to unseat the incumbent. Last week Stark released a video making it clear she didn’t apply for the Circuit Court post because she didn’t want to be associated with Walker.

In addition to her work as an administrative law judge for the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Division, Stark has been an attorney in private practice and is an active board member of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association.

Stark and Phillips will advance to the April 3 general election, while Glendale Municipal Judge Christopher Lipscomb will watch from the sidelines, having been beaten in a Circuit Court race for the third time (give the guy credit for being persistent!).

Here’s Carolina Stark’s statement following her primary victory:

“Voters recognized my years of experience as an Administrative Law Judge making fair decisions based in the law and my years of proven dedication to public service and community engagement as important qualities for a judge,” Stark said. “My campaign is a true grassroots effort fueled by the support of volunteers from across Milwaukee County. Communities across the County responded to my promise to be a champion of fairness, and fight for the values of Wisconsin. I won’t bow to influence outside the letter of the law, and I will never accept anything less than a totally independent judiciary. I deeply appreciate all my support and our victory on Tuesday. ”

Hopefully Carolina Stark can build on the momentum of her primary victory and beat Judge Phillips in the general election, because the last thing Milwaukee County needs is a Walker appointee sitting on the Circuit Court bench.

Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) on Santorum Re: Homosexuality and more

Here’s what former GOP Representative Alan Simpson had to say about Santorum:

“He is rigid and a homophobic,” Simpson, a Mitt Romney supporter, said. “He said, ‘I want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage,’ and they said, ‘Well, what about the people who are already married?’ And he said, ‘Well, they would be nullified.’ I mean what is, what’s human, what’s kind about that? We’re all human beings, we all know or love somebody who’s gay or lesbian so what the hell is that about? To me it’s startling and borders on disgust.”

hat tip to Towleroad

Actions Waukesha County residents can take to help defeat Scott Walker

Many people here in Waukesha County have told me that they want to help defeat Scott Walker, but they are short on time, or money, or both. Others want to know what actions they can take that would be most effective. Luckily, Dwayne Block has just put together a handy list complete with four specific ways we can help reach the end goal of recalling Walker. Rock on, Dwayne!

From Dwayne Block’s list:

  • Volunteer at the Waukesha Walker Recall Office. Said Dwayne, “We have over 1 million Walker Recall signers. DPW (Democratic Party of Wisconsin) is entering their contact information into the DPW data base. The work is being done at the Waukesha Walker Recall office at: 312 W. Broadway in downtown Waukesha. Phone # is 262-631-9712. Email is:  I spent 1 hour at the office today. I learned to do the data entry in about 15 minutes – and I am no computer wiz.  Folks, this is like expanding the Democratic Party by 100 times.”
  • Volunteer at the Waukesha OFA office or for one of its events. While OFA is not working to help recall Walker, it is working to make sure everyone who wants to vote is able to vote. Dwayne explained, “After the hour at the Waukesha Recall Office, I walked a block and a half to the OFA Office on Clinton Street. OFA has been working on getting voters registered and procuring the necessary photo I.D. 98% of all Waukesha County voters are registered and have the proper I.D.  So, OFA – Waukesha Office – will be training people and going into Milwaukee to the heart of the problem,  helping register voters, and get them the proper I.D. Think about the injustice of… African American males having their right to vote taken away. Think about an organization that could get over one million Walker Recall signatures in 60 days. Think about OFA opening 50 new offices statewide in Wisconsin. Now think of the impact of harnessing that kind of machine toward registering and I.D.’ing the vast numbers of low turn-out/unregistered/un-I.D.’ed voters in Milwaukee and throughout the state… The Waukesha OFA Office number is: 262-955-2571.”
  • Contribute to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s  Defeat Scott Walker Bomb Fund. “We need to keep contributing to that fund. Think about the automobile gas you buy – $3.39 per gallon.  If you could just set aside and contribute $3.39 per day to replace Scott Walker – or every couple of days – or set some goal for yourself, and spread the word to others,” said Dwayne.   DPW’s website:
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about declared gubernatorial candidates, Kathleen Falk ( and Kathleen Vinehout (

There is a lot to be done in a short period of time, but we’ve got a real opportunity to make a tangible different in the history of our state. Dwayne’s nifty list provides options for doing so.



About Kathleen Falk’s Union Endorsements

There are still many people who are upset that Kathleen Falk has received the endorsements of WEAC / Emily's List and AFSCME / John "Sly "Sylvester , the full membership of IBEW and (most importantly) Yours truly!

Lets look at a few objections:

Q. I want Russ Feingold to run.
A. So do I, but he is not running!

Q. I want Peter Barca/Jon Erpenbach/Tom Barrett/David Obey to run for Governor….
A. Tell them that. There is no reason that if someone was interested in running, they would not be in the race already. Let’s not forget that the union leaders talked to ALL possible candidates and felt that the strongest one was Kathleen Falk. Do not blame Kathleen Falk for jumping into the race early and taking advantage of her opportunities.

Q. The party is picking the candidate, we have no choice.

A. How is that even possible? Kathleen Vinehout is also getting in the race. There will be a primary. There should be a primary. Someone will emerge as the candidate. I hope (and think) that it will be Kathleen Falk. That does not diminish the respect I have for the other candidates.

Q. I hope the party stays out of it.
A. The party never endorses a primary candidate and they shouldn’t. The above mentioned people are NOT the democratic party hierarchy.

Q. Kathleen Falk is a Madison liberal.

A. They will use that line on anyone that runs. Just ask President Obama, as he was so “timely” labeled to be the “most liberal Senator.”

Q. She should not have pledged to restore Collective Bargaining Rights.
A. In a recall race about collective bargaining, I want a candidate who will make that pledge.

Q. Kathleen Falk was not at the Capitol everyday fighting for us the way Kathleen Vinehout was.
A. It is Kathleen Vinehout’s job to be at the Capitol everyday. This recall was not done by the handful of protestors who spend everyday at the Capitol, it was done as a group effort of thousands of people throughout the state who did what they could to bring us to this point of taking back our government. We would not be at this point without the collective efforts of everyone.

Q. WEAC or AFSCME members were not consulted.
A. These endorsements were made by the elected leaders of the respective unions. Being elected means two things. One, that they leaders represent the membership. Two if you really do not think that the leadership would have done complete due diligence before making such an important endorsement/recommendation, vote them out in the next election.

Q. I still want Russ Feingold to run.
A. I still do also, but he isn’t.

Q. The unions should have waited until after the primary to make an endorsement.
A. Why should they wait. The unions have a stake in this election as much as anyone so they have every right to endorse early and throw support behind a candidate they like. I think we all know who they would endorse AFTER the primary.

Q. No one knows Kathleen Falk outside of Madison.
A. Really? As politically charged as Wisconsin has become in this past year and you think people do not know who Kathleen Falk is? even for the few who do not, they better get to know her(or whoever the candidate is) quickly.

Q. Kathleen Falk has lost too many statewide elections.
A. She has technically only lost one. She lost a primary(which we will have) where she ran against the Doyle political machine. She did lose a statewide race for Attorney General against JB Van Hollen but, for those who do not remember, she only lost by 9,071 votes.

Q. The unions are telling us who to vote for.
A. Finally, and most importantly, the unions endorsement is just that, an endorsement by the unions. Unions members are not forced to vote for anyone or anything. They are still free to vote for whoever they choose to. We are fighting for the collective bargaining rights of public employees. You want public employees to be treated fairly and have a seat at the table, yet do not think they are smart enough to vote for a different candidate than the union endorses if they think that person is a better candidate?

Everyone take a breath, support your candidate, then lets unite after the primary and fire Scott Walker.

Politicos behaving badly

Here’s a word to the wise to candidates and elected officials:

If you’ve asked to be a last-second addition to come speak at an event simply because you find out your opponent is going to be there, don’t sit in the back of the room making snide comments about the length of a guest speaker’s presentation and dialogue with attendees. Better yet, try not to make it so obvious that you’ve got better places to be by looking at your watch every few minutes.

Heck, while you’re at it, when called out for your comments, at least own them instead of saying you were simply trying to “add levity” to the situation.