A couple of tidbits I found interesting as I look through campaign financial reports

Just a few election-related tidbits I found interesting as I’ve been combing through campaign finance reports.

  • “Make It” Molly McGartland, the thrice-defeated Republican challenger to Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki, loaned her campaign $6,000 during the most recent reporting period (and over $12,000 total) and spent $5,900 on her campaign website. I may not be an IT/web design expert, but paying $5,900 for a campaign website for a State Assembly seems more than a little excessive, not to mention foolhardy. My advice to Molly McGartland? Invest some money in getting better canvassers, because the folks McGartland had doing doors for her campaign clearly didn’t know what they were doing.
  • And then there’s Jason “Red” Arnold, who according to this Facebook post believes his 29-point loss to Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson was because of a lack of voter ID laws, and not because his “campaign” raised just $1,578 and Arnold himself was a terrible candidate.

Molly McGartland’s bizarre rant about liberals and women

From the website of right-wing tea party extremist Assembly candidate Molly McGartland comes this absolutely bizarre screed accusing liberals of being “anti-women.”

Liberal politicians constantly accuse conservatives of conducting a War on Women while liberals are the ones doing all the damage. Their words about it are just propaganda. Their actions, on the other hand, do real harm.

Maybe instead of constantly accusing conservatives of being anti-women, liberals should stop being anti-women themselves. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

The biggest offense is to teach women the only path for success is acting more like a man. Liberals ignore important differences between the sexes. The real power with being a woman is in raising wonderful children, supporting and loving one man, providing and caring for your family, and spiritually guiding your family.

What I don’t understand about McGartland’s screed is why she seems to think there are “important differences between the sexes” when it comes to raising children, supporting one’s partner, providing and caring for your family, and spiritually guiding your family. After all, in my family (and no doubt countless others) my wife and I both raise our children, support and love each other, provide and care for our family, and spiritually guide our family. Then again, my wife and I both believe that our marriage is a partnership, and in that partnership it falls to both of us to do all the things McGartland mentioned, because in our partnership we’re equals.

MCGartland’s screed about the supposed liberal “war on women” continued with this gem:

Constant Daily Hassles

There are so many frustrations women face. They have to make lunch for the kids because children hate Obama meals. They have to reteach their children about sexuality, explaining what is normal and what is not. They have to teach morality and spiritual truth to offset what the students hear in school. They and their husbands need to teach basic civics like Constitutional government, American exceptionalism and responsible patriotism.

The War on Women is a cultural battle for the soul of America, and the liberals have declared it.

Having read and re-read Molly McGartland’s ideas on women and liberals, I’m more than a little disappointed Molly never knocked on my door, because I’m sure my strong, smart, independent, and amazing wife would have had more than a few things to say to set McGartland straight on liberals and women.

Tavern League of Wisconsin endorses Chris Sinicki over her tavern-owning opponent

On Wednesday Democratic State Rep. Chris Sinicki announced her reelection campaign has been endorsed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin. Rep. Sinicki’s endorsement by the Tavern League of Wisconsin is notable because her Republican opponent, Molly McGartland, is the owner of a tavern (The Country Club in Cudahy), and the fact that the Tavern League of Wisconsin endorsed Rep. Sinicki over a tavern owner doesn’t seem to bode well for Molly McGartland’s chances of knocking off Rep. Sinicki in November.

The WisconsinEye interviews: Chris Sinicki and Molly McGartland (or not)

Throughout this election season, Steve Walters of WisconsinEye has been sitting down with candidates both pre-primary and post-primary to ask them some questions about themselves, their campaigns, and the issues that matter in the 2014 election.

As part of that ongoing series of interviews, Walters recently sat down with incumbent Democrat State Rep. Chris Sinicki. Here’s the interview.

While I would have liked to have provided video of Republican candidate Molly McGartland’s interview with WisconsinEye, it appears she cancelled her interview just hours before she was scheduled to sit down with Steve Walters. I attempted to contact Molly McGartland to find out why she cancelled her scheduled interview with WisconsinEye, but she did not respond to my inquiry.

Why won’t Molly McGartland debate Chris Sinicki?

In the interest of allowing residents of the 20th State Assembly district to have an opportunity to hear from the two candidates for that office – incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Sinicki and her challenger Republican Molly McGartland – a resident of Cudahy who had previously organized/moderated candidate forums had attempted to organize a debate between Sinicki and McGartland.

While Rep. Sinicki was quick to agree to a debate without any special rules or conditions, the same can’t be said for Molly McGartland. According to the individual who was attempting to organize the debate, Molly McGartland would not agree to any debate with Rep. Sinicki unless the debate followed Molly McGartland’s rules. “It’s either by her rules, her way, or no,” was how Molly’s debate demands were described.

It’s disappointing that Molly McGartland won’t agree to a debate with Chris Sinicki, because the residents of the 20th Assembly district deserve an opportunity to hear each of the candidates articulate their beliefs and positions on the issues, so that the voters can make the most informed decision possible.

Molly McGartland forced to loan campaign $2,000 after it ends up with negative balance

On August 8, Republican State Assembly candidate Molly McGartland, who’s vying to unseat incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki, filed a pre-primary campaign finance report (shown below) in which her campaign ended with a negative cash balance of $1,526.43. According to the report, McGartland’s campaign received $425 in contributions and then spent $2,407.09, resulting in the campaign having a negative balance of $1,526.43. As a result of that negative balance, McGartland was forced to loan her campaign $2,000 on August 4 in order to get the campaign’s cash balance back to a positive number.

While the $2,000 loan McGartland made to her campaign was not reported on the finance report below, it was noted as an additional comment on the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System website.

Here’s a copy of the Fall Pre-Primary report filed by Molly McGartland’s campaign.

Molly McGartland's fall pre-primary finance report

As you can see from the report, McGartland’s campaign owes $10,155 in outstanding loans, with those loans having come from McGartland herself. Considering McGartland still owes $11,534.43 to Marquette University – which has resulted in Marquette University receiving a judgment in court against McGartland – I can’t help but wonder how fiscally responsible it is for Molly McGartland to continue to loan her political campaign thousands of dollars instead of taking care of her outstanding personal financial obligations.

A few brief thoughts from the 20th Assembly district’s Republican candidate forum

Earlier tonight the south branch of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County (which according to Chairman Michael S. Murphy has just two dues-paying members) held a candidate forum for the three Republicans (Mike Pierce, Molly McGartland, and Justin Moralez) vying to unseat incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki in the 20th Assembly district.

While I’ll have a more extensive recap of the candidate forum tomorrow, I wanted to share some initial thoughts.

  • Of the three candidates, Molly McGartland threw the most red meat to the conservatives in the (small) crowd, decrying political correctness while noting that she supports a woman’s right to choose….whether or not to have sex.
  • Something I noticed – and I wasn’t alone – was that Mike Pierce continually used the statement, “what we have representing our district right now…” instead of saying “who we have…” Perhaps it’s just a tic, but it struck me as odd.
  • Another answer that struck me was McGartland’s answer when asked what professional experience prepared her to serve in Madison. McGartland cited her ownership of a tavern in Cudahy,saying that it allowed her to listen to people talk about their problems. While the ability to listen is certainly a good thing, McGartland made no mention of how owning a business taught her about making payroll, running a business, etc., all of which are talking points Republican candidates seem so fond of using to their advantage.
  • While I’m obviously not a Republican/conservative, I did come away from the candidate forum with newfound respect for Cudahy Alderman Justin Moralez. When asked to share his views on same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community, Moralez made it clear he supported same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community. To be sure, that’s an answer that likely didn’t win him much support with the crowd in attendance, but he absolutely deserves credit for being honest instead of telling the crowd what they wanted to hear. What’s more, Moralez was equally as honest when asked if he’d pledge not to raise taxes. Moralez rightly noted that the state faces a shortfall in the transportation fund in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and that shortfall would need to be addressed somehow. If Moralez’s answer on same-sex marriage and support for LGBTQ families lost him half the room, his answer on taxes no doubt lost him the other half of the room.

When will Molly McGartland finally pay off her $11,000 judgment to Marquette University?

Back in 2010, I wrote about the 11,534.43 judgment against Molly McGartland, who at the time was the lone Republican challenger to Democratic State Rep. Chris Sinicki. At the time, I pointed out the hypocrisy of McGartland claiming in a literature piece and on her website to be a “fiscal conservative” when she couldn’t take care of a long outstanding debt owed to Marquette University.

Fast-forward to 2014, and McGartland is once again vying to unseat Rep. Sinicki, and nearly a decade after Marquette University first attempted to get their $11,534.43 from Molly McGartland, she still has not satisfied the judgment against her. This time around, Molly McGartland isn’t talking about being a “fiscal conservative” – in part because the issues page on her campaign website is completely empty – but I’m still left to wonder if Molly McGartland actually be trusted to spend my (tax) money wisely and keep the state’s financial house in order if she can’t keep her own financial house in order.

Inside the numbers: the money race in the 20th Assembly district

As I mentioned in another post, Monday night was the deadline for campaigns across Wisconsin to file their campaign finance reports for the period spanning from January to July, and so I’ve been like a kid on Christmas morning.

Given my interest in the race in the 20th Assembly district, where three Republicans are vying to be their party’s candidate against incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Sinicki, I figured I’d take a look at how much money each of the candidates raised and spent over the past six months.

Rep. Sinicki, the Democratic incumbent, raised just $375 in individual contributions during the reporting period, but she ended the reporting period with a cash balance of $11,094.

Among Sinicki’s Republican challengers, Mike Pierce raised the most in individual contributions, netting $17,975.69 in individual contributions. However, that total is deceiving, as $15,100 of that total came from Pierce’s own pocket in the form of loans and a contribution Pierce made to his own campaign. Pierce raised just $2,875 from individuals not named Mike Pierce, and he ended the reporting period with 9,048.91 cash on hand.

Factoring out Mike Pierce’s loans to his campaign, Cudahy Alderman Justin Moralez, seen by some as the best candidate to oust Rep. Sinicki due to the perception that he’s more moderate than his Republican opponents, actually raised slightly less money from individual contributions than Pierce. Moralez raised $3,407.75 in individual contributions, but $1,050 of that total came in the form of personal loans Moralez made to his own campaign. Moralez ended the reporting period with a cash balance of $635.29.

Molly McGartland, the perennial candidate who ran against Rep. Sinicki in 2010 and 2012, raised just $950 and ended the reporting period with a cash balance of just $455.66.

While there’s certainly more to winning a political campaign than raising money, the fact that the Republicans vying to unseat Rep. Sinicki have had such difficulty raising funds for their campaigns tells me that their chances of defeating her aren’t as good as some conservatives would think.