Jessie Read for Waukesha County Clerk

One year ago today, I interviewed Jessie Read, Democratic candidate for Waukesha County Clerk (click here to read the interview). I remember feeling downright giddy at the possibility of trading in Kathy Nickolaus for a county clerk who was competent and trustworthy. And I’m not the only one; Waukesha County residents, both Democrat and Republican, have waited for what feels like an eternity for a chance to restore integrity to the office of the Waukesha County Clerk.

The wait is finally over.

Jessie Read:

Go, Jessie Read, go!

Romney Assails His Own Tax Plan as Garbage In!

Any number of times over the three Presidential debates, President Obama and Mr. Romney faced off over the potential effects of the Romney tax plan on the American economy and the Federal Deficit. The President has been quoting data saying that the Romney tax plan would increase the federal deficit by $5 trillion. Of course Mr. Romney denies this and suggests that the President doesn’t understand the tax plan. May I suggest that no one including Mr. Romney and Rep. Ryan understand the tax plan and they have even less understanding of it’s ramifications.

But in fact there is a study of the tax plan or of as much of a plan as there seems to exist on paper. And it was conducted by a nonpartisan think tank, the Tax Policy Center and it was released this past August. The basics of the report simply state that Mr. Romney’s tax plan can not possibly provide the benefits he purports…and in fact, the math just does’t work!

From a recent article in the New York Times:

Mr. Romney criticized the center as performing a “garbage-in, garbage-out” analysis and his campaign accused it of partisan bias. The Obama campaign used the center’s numbers to argue that Mr. Romney had proposed a $5 trillion tax cut. Economists jumped on the bandwagon too, flinging analyses back and forth and picking apart the projections and assumptions in the report.

As a programmer the GIGO adage is second nature to me…and I assume that Mr. Romney understands what he is saying…that HIS tax plan is GARBAGE!

And of course the Romney campaign suggested that the Tax Policy Center is biased…but from the same artcle:

The center’s claim to provide reliable, nonpartisan information comes in part from its staff makeup. It has about four dozen affiliated staff members and scholars — most are economists, several are considered top experts in their fields, and a number have experience in either Republican or Democratic administrations.

It also is derived by virtue of its ownership of a highly sophisticated tax modeling system, one that took about two years to build and has a small coterie of specialists to tend it. The model resembles those used by government offices to forecast the effect of changes to the tax code, and it relies on about 150,000 anonymous tax returns and a wealth of data on pensions, education, consumer expenditures and economic growth.

Doesn’t sound much like a lynch mob of economists to me. Particularly given that the center’s director is Donald Marron, a former Bush administration economist.

And right up until November 6th the argument will continue…but for now Mr. Romney and I agree on one thing…that his tax plan is Garbage In!

Tommy Thompson’s C.R. Bard connection

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson’s post-public service history as a fat-cat Washington, D.C. lobbyist is well-documented. After leaving public service, Thompson made millions upon millions of dollars as a lobbyist for an assortment of companies of questionable repute, and during his U.S. Senate campaign some rather “interesting” investments Thompson has made have come to light, such as his investments in Iran.

However, one association that hasn’t been talked about much is Tommy Thompson’s connection to C.R. Bard, a medical supplies company that is the subject of a number of lawsuits relating to transvaginal mesh patches produced by CR Bard that have been linked to many serious and even irreversible complications. Many of the plaintiffs in those lawsuits against C.R. Bard claim the company was negligent in the Avaulta products’ design and in failing to warn patients of the devices’ risks.

What’s more, C.R. Bard recently agreed to pay $184 million to resolve 2,600 lawsuits filed by patients who said a Bard mesh hernia patch – a device surgically implanted – caused a variety of serious problems, including bowel perforations and abdominal abscesses.

Tommy Thompson’s connections to C.R. Bard are extensive, with Thompson having acquired direct ownership of 1,200 shares of common stock in C.R. Bard on October 1, 2012 at a price of $0.00, bringing his total holdings in C.R. Bard to 7363 shares. At the closing of the New York Stock Exchange on October 1, 2012, the price of C.R. Bard common stock was $104.98, making Thompson’s newly acquired shares worth $125,976.

Shortly after Tommy Thompson acquired his additional 1,200 shares of C.R. Bard stock, the company announced it has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share on Bard’s common stock, making Tommy Thompson’s stock holdings in C.R. Bard worth a dividend of just over $1,472.

But Tommy Thompson’s investments in C.R. Bard paid dividends in more ways than one, as the C.R. Bard political action committee made a $5,000 contribution to Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign on September 21, 2012.

Now here’s where things get even more interesting. According to federal elections laws, campaigns are required to report contributions within 10 days of receipt.

“All receipts by a political committee shall be deposited in account(s) established pursuant to 11 CFR 103.2, except that any contribution may be, within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt, returned to the contributor without being deposited. The treasurer of the committee shall be responsible for making such deposits. All deposits shall be made within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt.”

While Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $5,000 contribution from C.R. Bard’s political action committee, that contribution wasn’t reported by Thompson’s campaign until October 30, 2012, more than a month after his campaign received the contribution.

Thompson 48 Hr Report – CR Bard

So here’s where we’re at: we’ve got Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson cashing in on connections he made during his time as Secretary of Health & Human Services and as a high-priced Washington, D.C. lobbyist, and then benefiting from those connections by not only lining his own personal pockets, but by padding his campaign coffers as well.

While Tommy Thompson’s certainly entitled make a few bucks to put in his pocket, the way in which he’s chosen to do so says a lot about the kind of U.S. Senator he’d be, and Wisconsin would be far better off without a profiteer like Tommy Thompson in the United States Senate. Wisconsin deserves better – Wisconsin deserves Tammy Baldwin.

Mitt Romney’s Other Secret Bestest Plan!

I ‘like’ Mitt Romney on Facebook so I can keep up with what he’s feeding the troops…and today on my newsfeed came this plum quotation:

On day one, I will announce deficit-reduction measures that end the era of big government ushered in by President Obama.

OK…so why not tell us TODAY what your super duper incredible deficit reduction measures are BEFORE the election, so we can decide on whether to support them or not…or are you pretty confident we won’t like them and that they won’t work?

This just in…the attached graphic from the Romney campaign:

Mitt Romney’s Tax Form Hypocrisy

I know this was a hot topic quite a while ago…but I don’t know why it eventually fell off the radar…or why the media is giving Mr. Romney a pass on releasing so few tax returns.

But he essentially released two carefully considered and carefully massaged returns that were certainly prepared with his campaign in mind. The real tell in how much he earns and how it is accounted for would be in most any other return from the 21st Century. Did he always pay his ‘fair share’ of 15 % or so? How much foreign tax credits did he earn and carry forward and did they reduce that fair share percentage. The fact that he didn’t release them just seems to say he doesn’t think they will reflect positively on a candidate for President of the United States. And he’s probably right.

But here’s where the hipocrisy comes in. Mr. Romney has release two years of federal income taxes…yet the reports say he required Rep. Paul Ryan to provide ‘several years’ of returns to the Romney campaign while being vetted for the VP slot. I haven’t been able to find current reports that define that several years but in common parlance that is usually three or more. At one time I thought there was a published report that Rep. Ryan was required to provide 6 years of tax documents. A more recent article says ten!

Three to two, six to two, or ten to two, either way it seems like a double standard is in affect.

BTW: Mr. Romney was required to turn over 23 years of tax information to the McCain campaign and then Sen. McCain chose Sarah Palin instead. Just how damaging is the information in Mr. Romney’s tax documents?

Voting Down the Ballot on November 6th

Our friend, State Representative Christine Sinicki would like us to remind you that under the current voting laws in the State of Wisconsin…voting straight party ticket is no longer in effect.

You CAN NOT vote straight party ticket. So please read down the ballot and vote in every contested race in your ward. That is the only way to truly have your voice heard at every level of government.

And please VOTE on November 6th if you haven’t already taken the opportunity to do so!

Reprise: Voting Law Changes for November 6th.

If you didn’t avail yourself of the Wisconsin early voting period and intend to vote this Tuesday November 6th like I am…you might want to review a few items that have changed since 2008…assuming you only vote in Presidential elections! (btw: if you want to see my original post on this, click here!)

First and Foremost: IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED VOTER YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SHOW A PHOTO ID IN ORDER TO VOTE. NO PHOTO IDS! If someone asks you to show photo IDs kindly refuse to do so.

Anyone voting will however be required to sign the poll log just like in the primaries and the recall elections.

If you are not registered, you may still register on Tuesday at the polls. However you will need to provide proof of your legal residence as of OCTOBER 9, 2012 (For a full list of valid ID: If you have moved since that date you cannot register at your new address. You can not have another registered voter vouch for you as was past practice. HOWEVER, if you moved after October 9th, you may vote at your old address.

Don’t vote twice. If you early voted in person or submitted an absentee ballot you cannot vote in person on Tuesday November 6th. It is against the law!

AND, I will also post this separately, Blogging Blue’s friend, State Representative Christine Sinicki would like us to remind you that there is NO straight ticket voting. You will need to go down the ballot and vote in every race in your ward in order to make your selections!

Best of RwP: Election Coverage

If you have never watched an episode of “Rants Without Pants”, this post may be a good way to get your feet wet. This video is a compilation of some of the special moments of Rants Without Pants’ election coverage up to the most recent date. The videos go back as far as June.

For more videos, please see