Cudahy Alderman Randy Hollenbeck caught lying about fake Facebook identity during 2013 election

On March 12, 2013, then-candidate Randy Hollenbeck posted a blog entry questioning why I had not answered questions posed to me by “Jon Schmidt.” In his blog entry, Hollenbeck wrote, “I have been asked by Jon Schmidt a few times why Zachary Wisniewski will not answer questions of this nature,” and while that sentence seemed innocuous at the time, recent revelations that Randy Hollenbeck created and controlled the “Jon Schmidt” Facebook profile serves as just more proof that Hollenbeck blatantly lied to his readers (and voters) during the 2013 aldermanic election.

Here’s a screenshot of the content in question.

Hollenbeck's "conversation" with JonSchmidt

It’s more than a little ironic that it’s been shown that Randy Hollenbeck lied to voters during the 2013 election, given how hard he worked to cast his opponent as being an untrustworthy liar, and to use Hollenbeck’s own words from March 12, 2013, “I think you owe it to your constituents to let them know what they [got] by electing you as our Alderman.”

To learn more about Alderman Randy Hollenbeck, be sure to check out his archive on Blogging Blue.

Endorsement: John Hermes In The Specical Election for the 82nd District!

I endorse Greendale Village President John Hermes in this Tuesday’s special election to replace Jeff Stone in the 82nd Assembly District. From JSONLINE:

Hermes, 56, running as a Democrat, has served as Greendale village president for eight years and was a village trustee for another nine years. Hermes also serves on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District commission and is vice president of Aerotropolis, a business advocacy group focused on Mitchell International Airport. Hermes is a retired air traffic controller.

He would work to restore civility to government and apply his management skills to solving state problems, Hermes said.

“People are fed up with the public divide,” he said. “We are governing from the political extremes and not getting things done.”

Hermes said local government — including school districts and municipalities — need greater flexibility to grow and excel. Property tax levy limits, which now restrict annual increases to the rate of property growth in a community, are too tight, he said.

And state shared revenue has wilted. The two trends have severely pinched local governments’ ability to function well, Hermes said.

“We need to get back to the day where we are investing in our communities,” he said.

Hermes opposes any expansion of the state’s school voucher program and said the program of taxpayer support for private schools robbed funding for public schools.

Elizabeth Coppola for State Assembly!

The special election for the 21st Assembly District can be the first look at the 2014 Legislative elections…so it is imperative that we elect a Democrat to fill the seat vacated by Mark Honadel.

So without hesitation, and I am sure no surprise to the readers of Blogging Blue, I endorse Emerge alum, Elizabeth Coppola for the 21st State Assembly district.

A funny anecdote about Jessie Rodriguez

Here’s an interesting tidbit about tea party Republican Jessie Rodriguez, who’s running to replace Mark Honadel (R-Mining Companies) as the State Representative in the 21st district.

I have it on good authority from a reliable source that the firefighters who work with Aaron Rodriguez (Jessie Rodriguez’s husband) are so supportive of Aaron and Jessie that they’ve volunteered their time and effort to help elect Democrat Elizabeth Coppola.

The most underreported political story in the country

Last week, long term incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin, considered a liberal democrat, claimed victory over Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant by a roughly 53% to 46% margin in a race for a Seattle City Council seat.  Sawant ran an unconventional and grossly underfunded campaign with a combination of old and new: a strong group of door to door volunteers and a strong social media presence, and with an uncompromising message: 15$ an hour minimum wage, rent control, and a millionaire’s tax. That she got over 46% of the vote was considered by many remarkable given that she ran as a socialist against an incumbent democrat.

But it gets much, much better.

As the tens of thousands of mailed ballots are still being counted Sawant is gaining ground. As of last Friday she trailed Conlin 50.5% to 49.5% and observers have noted that if the remaining uncounted ballots break as they have been Sawant could actually win.

What’s the lesson here? Even with the dreaded ” S ” word attached to her name, Sawant may well yet demonstrate that a determined and  committed group of energized people, holding true to their convictions, can defeat big money, incumbency, and major political party machinery.  Stay tuned.

Stephanie Mencimer: I Can’t Believe Terry McAuliffe Is Going to Be Governor of Virginia

This is scathing….

Nonetheless, the time I spent covering McAuliffe—who became head of the Democratic Party during George W. Bush’s first term—has left me dumbfounded that he (according to the polls) is poised to become the next governor of Virginia.

Allow me to explain. McAuliffe represents an unseemly slice of Washington. His primary role in politics for the past two decades or more has been raising money—most notably, for the Clintons. He cooked up the idea of essentially renting out the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration as a fundraising vehicle, and he smashed all previous presidential fundraising records in the process. When McAuliffe was the Dems’ top fundraiser, a campaign finance scandal besieged the Clinton White House. Coincidence? No. McAuliffe was all about pushing the envelope when it came to the political money chase.

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful political candidate. What’s different about McAuliffe is his brazen mixing of his campaign fundraising activity and attempts to enrich himself personally. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled history has linked him to a long list of unsavory characters.

My new favorite blog: Bob Braun’s Ledger

My favorite new blog? Bob Braun’s Ledger. Though it deals with issues of importance in New Jersey, it’s well-written and definitely worth a read, as shown in this entry about newly-reelected Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Chris Christie is a dangerous man.

But, gee whiz, guys and gals, wouldn’t it just be totally and awesomely cool to have a real Jersey guy become president? Think of all “hits” the dying, increasingly digitized newspapers in the state would receive writing about him? Might rival the Kardashians as a trender.

If Chris Christie, someone who couldn’t be re-elected freeholder, whose brother bought him the US Attorney’s office, who used the machinery of federal prosecutions to eliminate his rivals, who incited hatred against teachers and other public employees, who presided over unemployment and property tax increases, who made the poor poorer and the rich richer, who made publicly abusing women a new professional sport in New Jersey—becomes president of the United States, we have one group to blame:

The leadership of New Jersey’s Democrats.

And Christie’s bosom Sandy pal, Barack Obama.

Lessons from the Old Dominion’s Gubernatorial Election

The big news out of Virginia today is Virginia is experiencing “blue shift.”  A state that was once reliably red has become increasingly competitive for the Democratic Party.  Part of it is because the northern part (closest to D.C.) is becoming very blue, but part of it is because the GOP still rewards candidates who trip over each other in the contest to become the most bat-shit-crazy Tea Partier ever seen.

This race should have been in the bag for the GOP, but many factors beyond the control of the candidates made this a much closer race—the government shut down, the Affordable Care Act, and other national issues muddied the waters, but the biggest injuries were self inflicted.

Virginia Republicans still uses a system of Nominating Convention to select their candidates.  They gather in a small convention center, pony up $25 per person (including children), and whoever shows up votes to determine the candidate.  This system virtually assures the most extreme candidates will get the nod.  People have to travel to the convention, pay for transportation, accommodations, and admission.  This doesn’t make it too accessible to small business owners (who can’t afford to miss work), the poor or elderly (especially since conventions can go late into the night), or just about anyone else who isn’t a political fanatic.  In the end, they chose a candidate for governor that chose to campaign with Senator Ted Cruz during the government shutdown.  Since 1 in 3 Virginia families were directly affected by the shutdown that was brought on by Senator Cruz, nobody but a fool (or Tea Party Extremist) would even think to associate themselves with Cruz.

Here in Wisconsin, we have a primary system.  It allows anybody in the state to participate without cost.  It usually takes about 5 minutes to vote, and there are polling stations all over the state.  Primaries generally produce fairly moderate candidates because they have to appeal to a larger swath of people, and they give candidates at least some experience on the campaign trail—including vetting their personal lives, debate skills, and ability to relate to voters.

It begs the questions—why would Wisconsin want to move away from this system of candidate selection.  In Virginia, by the last ballot of their nominating convention, a little over 5,000 people cast ballots to determine their standard bearer. What we’re looking at in Wisconsin is a system where a handful of people want to pressure, cajole, and sabotage any candidate who would think of running for Governor, unless her name is Mary Burke.  They wrap up their arguments in dollar bills—but my question is:  If someone other than Mary Burke were to win the primary, would the leaders in the Democratic Party NOT support them?  Would they not contribute money, and leave them out to dry?  Is Scott Walker that much more preferable than not getting their way?

We need to get it into our thick little skulls that this election isn’t about “anyone but Walker.”  I can’t imagine a worse scenario than electing a lack-luster Democrat that nobody likes to be our standard bearer, because then the only way to do better is the election AFTER a Republican ousts them.  Most Democrats, liberals, and progressives are going to vote for whoever runs against Walker anyways—so how about finding the candidate we feel passionate about instead of the candidate we can stomach?

I’m not pretending to say I know who that candidate is (yet), but after a vigorous and positive primary, I have a feeling I will know who can best lead Wisconsin forward.

Jessie Rodriguez – Scott Walker foot soldier

As a result of last night’s Republican primary in the 21st Assembly District, Democrat Elizabeth Coppola will face off against far-right conservative Republican Jessie Rodriguez, and I felt it was worth noting just how much of a Scott Walker foot soldier Rodriguez will be if elected.

Putting aside the fact that Rodriguez has raised a significant amount of money from establishment Republicans (and Walker loyalists) like John Hiller and Mark Block, a quick glance at Rodriguez’s website shows a set of bullet points straight out of the Scott Walker playbook.

  • Fight to Eliminate Government Regulations That Kill Job Creation
  • Work to Lower the Tax Burden for Small Business Owners
  • Foster Job Creation by Simplifying the Tax Code
  • Offer Families the Best Educational Opportunities to Develop a Competitive Wisconsin Workforce

Expanding on the bullet points, Rodriguez notes she wants to expand the parental choice program that has sucked money out of our state’s public school systems while showing no conclusive achievement difference from those public schools.

As proof of how woefully unable to do anything but spew talking points Rodriguez is, listen to an interview Rodriguez gave to WisPolitics. Listen at the 4:40 mark as Rodriguez is asked about Act 10. Her response is absolutely painful, and it shows how stunningly unable she is to do anything but parrot Republican talking points that we’ve all heard time and time again.

The fact is, if Jessie Rodriguez is elected to the State Assembly, she’ll take her marching orders straight from Robin Vos and Scott Walker, as opposed to actually representing her constituents. The residents of the 21st Assembly District deserve much more than that from their elected Representative, and that’s why Elizabeth Coppola would be the best choice in that district.