The Romneys Are Everyday America

As Mitt Romney heads towards the republican nomination with with incredible momentum, he keeps showing us that he is a man of the people. The problem with Mitt Romney though is that he and his wife keep speaking in public!

Here is Ann Romney speaking on Fox News(where else?)

“So, you know, we can be poor in spirit. I don’t look — I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing” …Ann Romney. Besides they are not really rich, whats $250 million dollars to most Americans anyway? Heck she is so poor "she only drives a couple of Cadillacs!"This was all so exciting that Newt Gingrich wanted to offer up his opinion:

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Let’s talk about Alderman Bob Donovan’s dirty laundry…

…and no, I’m not talking about his dirty socks; I’m talking about campaign finance shenanigans.

Image courtesy Facebook
To say Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan (pictured, right) fascinates me would be an understatement. He’s a relic of a bygone era when aldermen ruled their districts like their own personal fiefdoms, and I’m amazed at how he’s been able to stay in his current office despite producing negligible improvements to the quality of life for many of his constituents.

Having said that, let’s talk about Bob Donovan’s campaign finance shenanigans (I really love that word, by the way. It’s almost as great as hijinks). A review of campaign finance documents filed by Donovan’s aldermanic campaign shows a number of…..

  • Violations?
  • Irregularities?
  • Oddities?
  • All of the above?
  • None of the above?

So let’s start with contributions Bob Donovan’s aldermanic campaign received that exceeded legal campaign contribution limits.

Contributions to Bob Donovan’s Campaign That Exceeded Legal Limits (Starting with most recent and working backwards):

  1. Bernard Bondar – Owner of Wolski’s – $400 YTD 2011 (10/16/2011)
  2. John Finerty – Attorney at Friebert, Finerty, and St. John – $625 YTD 2011 (10/13/2011)
  3. Mohinder Khahra – “Self-Employed” – $625 YTD 2011 (10/18/2011)
  4. Joseph Sanfelippo – MKE County Supervisor – $400 YTD 2011 (10/13/2011)
  5. Raeid Assad – Owner ABC Store – $550 YTD 2011 (2/22/2011)
  6. Firefighters Local 225 – $307 on 4/8/8

According to Wisconsin State Statutes governing campaign contribution limits, specifically 11.26(1)(d), candidates for local office may not take campaign contributions exceeding an amount equal to the greater of the following:

“1. Two hundred fifty dollars,
2. One cent times the number of inhabitants of the jurisdiction or district, according to the latest federal census”

In Bob Donovan’s case, that means his campaign can accept campaign contributions up to a maximum of $381 for individuals and $286 for committees, meaning that based on the list of contributions above, Donovan’s campaign has accepted over $700 in campaign contributions that exceed legal limits. Interestingly enough, these campaign contributions that exceed legal limits aren’t isolated to 2011; a review of campaign finance records from previous years shows Donovan’s campaign has a tendency to accept excess contributions and then refund those excess contributions after the election cycle is over. From 2004 to 2008 Donovan’s campaign gave back over $4,000 in contributions that exceeded legal limits.

In addition to Bob Donovan’s campaign accepting contributions in excess of legal limits, his campaign has disbursed thousands of dollars to the law firm of Friebert, Finerty, and St. John, ostensibly to fight redistricting efforts affecting Bob Donovan’s district.

Possible Unallowable Expenditures:

  • 12/09/11 – $4,978.04 to the law firm of Friebert, Finerty, and St. John

As I noted above, John Finerty of Friebert, Finerty, and St. John contributed $625 to Bob Donovan’s campaign in 2011, which would be $244 more than Donovan’s campaign could accept from Finerty for the cycle (see above). I’ve not been able to get a solid answer as to whether or not Bob Donovan’s campaign could legally use campaign funds to fight redistricting efforts that would impact the district he represents, but if the use of campaign funds for that purpose isn’t outright illegal, it certainly seems suspect, to say the least.

Republican mining bill dealt setback, Sen. Tim Carpenter stands with fellow Democrats

By a vote of 17-16, the state Senate voted today to reject mining legislation proposed by Republican lawmakers that would ease the regulatory path for a large open pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin.

Among those Democratic State Senators voting against the mining legislation was Sen. Tim Carpenter, who yesterday was reportedly considering voting along with Republicans in favor of the legislation. Despite reports he was wavering, Sen. Carpenter made the right choice and stood with his fellow Democrats against open pit mining that would sully the beauty of Wisconsin’s northwoods while polluting waterways with toxic runoff.

Yesterday I encouraged you all to give Sen. Carpenter a call to urge him to stand in solidarity with his fellow Democrats, but today you should call Sen. Carpenter and thank him.

Telephone
(608) 266-8535
(800) 249-8173
(414) 383-7223

Email
Sen.Carpenter@legis.wisconsin.gov

Republican Thugs: Batman Edition (Video)

From the middle of November last year until the middle of January this year, Recall Walker supporters in Hayward, Wisconsin, gathered signatures on the corner of Hwy’s 27 and 63 in the center of town. My wife Shelley and I were present on the corner many of those weekends

Not long thereafter, local republicans drove a semi-trailer into the parking lot where the signatures were gathered, with a large sign on the side of the trailer in support of Walker.

Last Saturday Recall Walker activists erected a temporary tarp in front of the sign, intended for only a few hours of visual obstruction, and this is what ensued.

Not content to be threatening in person, a commenter on the video is now threatening to ” beat the F**K ” out of whoever posted it on Youtube.

Memo to the Walker crowd: your anger doesn’t make you right. It makes you stupid.

Why Lori Compas belongs in the Wisconsin State Senate

Lori Compas, grassroots candidate running against Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald in the expected recall election in Senate District 13, was a guest this morning on WOJB community radio in northern Wisconsin. She was interviewed by WOJB public affairs director Eric Schubring.

During the course of the interview Schubring asked Compas about her thoughts on the controversial mining bill up for a vote today in the senate. Like the wise woman she seems to be, Compas responded that legislation of this magnitude shouldn’t be rushed, and she’s absolutely right.

It’s worth noting that no one else in the legislature has made that suggestion. It’s worth noting also that had any democrat suggested slowing the process down he/she would immediately have been painted as an obstructionist by the GOP, but Compas’ caution stems from just plain common sense. She’s not a veteran politico with a sophisticated knowledge of the inside baseball nuances of partisan politics. She’s an average person, like you and me, who thinks that major legislative changes should be thought through carefully.

Which is exactly why she belongs in the Wisconsin State Senate.

BREAKING: Injunction Issued Against Wisconsin Voter ID Law

BREAKING NEWS!

A Dane County Judge on Tuesday granted a temporary injunction that bars the enforcement of the state photo ID law at polling places during the general election on April 3.

Circuit Judge David Flanagan said that the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera had demonstrated that their lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker and the state Government Accountability Board would probably succeed on its merits and had demonstrated the likelihood of irreparable harm if the photo ID law is allowed to stand.

Fantastic!