John "Sly" Sylvester

You’d think he’d focus his vitriol on the real enemy… you know… Scott Walker… Oh well, I guess not.

It’s hard to count the number of people who are only leaving behind the honest recall candidate, Kathleen Falk, for one that’s a hypocritical liar and higher-than-thou campaign expert, Tom Barrett, simply because they think he’s the only person who can win.  One things for sure is that they have a short attention span.  Time to pay attention.  Time to do a little ciphering and figure out exactly what makes a Barrett supporter tick.  Tom is orchestrating a systematic attack the worker, whether or not they’re in a bloody union.

I’m all for spirited, refined, well-informed debate on the issues.  This ain’t it.  The reality of politics is completely lost on the Falk supporters.  Compromise is not in their creed.  Like Tea Party extremists, they cannot see past their own victimization.

Listen up, kids: A Dane County Executive with no statewide campaign experience cannot win.  I’m sorry.  It sucks.  I get it.  But she just can’t win state wide in such a short campaign cycle.  If this were a normal election with several months of campaign time, she could definitely make a go of it.  She could probably even win.  But with a 1 month campaign, there’s no way she can do it.  No way.

Sly needs to come down off of Mount Dane and see how poorly Falk plays in the rest of the state.

The desperation of the Falkies is driving this short campaign into the gutter.

Well played, Sly… Well played.

38 Responses to Sly Pops a Gasket

  1. Gretchen Ede says:

    This is dead on. What people don’t want to admit about Sly is that he is every bit a screech radio shock jock as McKenna–he just has a different political philosophy. His “show” isn’t designed to give actual facts–but is meant to evoke a certain reaction just like Sykes, just like McKenna and just like FOX. I can tell you that he had an equally outrageous criticism of Mahlon Mitchell and it was then that I block his programming and his fbook page. Sly thinks this is all about him—all about getting the reaction he wants—and he has absolutely feeding the Right Wing. I say turn him off–we’ve got history to make. WE ARE WISCONSIN!

    • Phil Scarr says:

      I don’t usually object to Sly, I often agree with him. I don’t even object to his support of Falk. We’re all entitled to support who we want to support. But the vitriol and the venom of this particular bit really pisses me off.

      The worst part is, I suspect it does nothing but boost Walker’s support among independents. The listen to his words and say “what a crackpot.”

    • Zach W says:

      Gretchen, I’ve met Sly and we’ve talked on a number of occasions, and I don’t agree that he’s every bit a screech shock jock as McKenna.

      There’s no doubt Sly is passionate, but he’s an ally of ours, not an adversary, even if we don’t all agree on the best candidate to take on Scott Walker.

  2. Guest says:

    In less than a week, we have to unite behind the winner of the Dem primary — and I am prepared to do so, but this Sly guy and his tactics are not going to help us do so. He is sabotaging the unity that we need now.

    He is “dropping bombs” just like Walker did; you called it correctly, Gretchen Ede. And he did so to Mahlon Mitchell, too? That is outrageous. I finally met him just last night at the great Barrett event and got to thank Mitchell for the unforgettable moment when he led his firefighters, playing their bagpipes, into the rotunda of the Capitol.

    I told him that whenever I get discouraged, as I have so often in this last year as a state employee demonized for what I do — and as a parent of a student teacher also demonized for what she does and wants to do — I replay the video of that moment in our state Capitol, and I am energized again.

    WE are Wisconsin, yes. Radio shock jocks on any side are not part of the Wisconsin that we knew and need to win again, and any candidate that wants to win our Wisconsin — not just in May but also in June — would denounce these divisive lies on that candidate’s behalf. I’m waiting. . . .

    • Phil Scarr says:

      Sly bet early on that this whole recall was all about collective bargaining and labor. Turns out, that’s not right and I think he’s struggling to adapt to the new reality. Based on polling, this is much more about the overall economic dysfunction Walker has introduced to the state than on Act 10. Act 10 is still wrong, but trashing your opponents for insufficient fealty to labor is to miss the state-wide interest in removing Walker for other reasons.

      Sly needs to change tack because Falk ain’t gonna win and he’s now painted himself into a rhetorical corner.

  3. CJ McD says:

    Sly is a d*ck. He’d be better if he chose the other side to represent. My opnion- both Kathleen Falk and Tom Barret will do well in Madison and Milwaukee, but not the rest of the state. La Follette had name recognition, a good representative track record and none of the baggage that Falk and Barrett have.

    • Phil Scarr says:

      Sly is passionate. He’s wrong, but he’s passionate. I’ll never criticize him for his desire to oust Walker. But I will hold him accountable for his methods.

  4. Lori says:

    Oh boy, do I agree with you on this!! I had to shut him off today..and have had to shut him off a number of times when he starts bashing Barrett & anyone that has endorsed Barrett. Plus bashing Vinehout for winning her Senate race only because Ed Thompson was dying of cancer! What side are you on, Sly??? The May 9th show is going to be interesting if Kathleen loses, which I suspect she will. Will he then turn around and say we all need to support whoever the winner is. Remember why we are here, Sly!!

  5. I worry that this kind of over-the-top rhetoric could backfire on the larger effort…which is to get rid of Walker. If Barrett wins the primary will all of these wild accusations suppress some of our own voters? How would that impact what is shaping up to be a razor thin general election?

    I just can’t understand the need to support your chosen Dem candidate by unfairly tearing another one down. We are all in this together people.

  6. Steven Reynolds says:

    As to Sly, he’s not doing the Dems any favors, and that includes Falk. As to the election, either of those candidates can beat Walker, and Barrett has yet to show he’s a strong campaigner. He’s got six days to convince me that he is in order to get my vote in the primary. Still, if he beats Falk he has my support and vote against Walker.

    Again, the attack on Barrett by Sly is wrong, but so is any suggestion that only Barrett can win. Again, I think either one of those two will make a fine Governor, I’m just not sure whether Barrett can make a fine campaigner.

  7. Cat Kin says:

    People listening to Barrett attacks ought to read Peter Barca’s endorsement of Barrett in the KOS. Get information from one whose been there on the front lines and knows the man:

  8. Steven Reynolds says:

    Cat, Peter Barca’s endorsement means a whole lot, but I’m convinced already that Barrett will be a fine Governor. Still, Barca doesn’t address Barrett’s dismal campaign in 2010, where he just didn’t have any fire in the belly. That fire still hasn’t sparked. Great guy, and he’ll be a fine administrator. But we need more to win.

    • Phil Scarr says:

      I’m only convinced that Barrett will be an adequate governor. I don’t think he’s the next “Fighting Bob” by any stretch of the imagination. He lacks… substance.

  9. Guest says:

    Reynolds, 2010 was so two years ago. This time, we have WEAC members (not leaders) already saying that they will endorse the Dem candidate for governor. That’s a big difference from the tepid teachers’ union refusal to endorse Barrett two years ago.

    And you ought to go hear Barrett now, at an event or on youtube. I went to an event last night, and he is fired up, and so are his supporters. They wouldn’t leave when the event was over!

    Or you can go to a video on his website, that I found today, from his speech months ago at a state Democratic party event, and you will see some of that fire — and his promise to do what would need to be done to win the recall. He is doing it; check his schedule, too, for events around the state. And he said last night that he is ready to fill his schedule in the month after the primary, working every day and night to win. (Fortunately, he has a good staff to keep running Milwaukee for that month.:-)

  10. Guest says:

    Cory, I agree. I was energized to go for any Dem who wins next week, and I’ve been a fan of Falk for a lot of years.

    And I still will back the winning Dem, but with this sort of stuff against other Dems that Falk has not denounced, the joy is gone from the recall effort that carried me through this horrible past year. If she’s the candidate in June, I will vote for her, but I will have to hold my nose to do so.

    I did not work so hard to get signatures only to see Walkerite tactics on the Dem side. Gretchen has got it: Shock jocks are awful and destructive to our state, whether they are screeching for Repubs or for Dems — and certainly when they claim to be Dems but are screeching against a Dem, just like the conservative shock jocks do. How is what this Sly says about Barrett any different from what Sykes and Belling say about Barrett? The answer says it all.

  11. Geez says:

    Cory, I agree. I was energized to go for any Dem who wins next week, and I’ve been a fan of Falk for a lot of years.

    And I still will back the winning Dem, but with this sort of stuff against other Dems that Falk has not denounced, the joy is gone from the recall effort that carried me through this horrible past year. If she’s the candidate in June, I will vote for her, but I will have to hold my nose to do so.

    I did not work so hard to get signatures only to see Walkerite tactics on the Dem side. Gretchen has got it: Shock jocks are awful and destructive to our state, whether they are screeching for Repubs or for Dems — and certainly when they claim to be Dems but are screeching against a Dem, just like the conservative shock jocks do. How is what this Sly says about Barrett any different from what Sykes and Belling say about Barrett? The answer says it all.

  12. Linda says:

    I don’t listen to Sly and I doubt he’s typical of Falk supporters. I know that there has only been 1 governor from Milwaukee since 1890 and it’s Walker. There have been several from Dane County including Doyle, Lucey etc. And Feingold won a statewide race. But an interesting comparison is the 2006 AG’s race between Falk and VAn Hollen, and the 2010 Walker/Barrett race. In 2010 Barrett won 13 counties. In 2006 Falk won 31 counties. Yes 31 vs. Barrett’s 13. In 2010 Barrett got 1,004,303 votes; in 2006 Falk got 1,056,594. Barret won 47% of the vote; Falk 49.2%. These facts don’t support a conclusion she would do worse than Barrett statewide. I think Barrett and some Republicans have been effective in repeating the mantra that Kathleen can’t win outstate even though the facts would indicate otherwise.

    • Zach W says:

      Linda, let’s keep in mind that 2006 was a Democratic wave year, while 2010 was a Republican tsunami.

      Comparing the two really doesn’t prove the point about Falk’s electability over Barrett, simply because the electorate was much more favorable to Democrats in general in 2006.

  13. Geez says:

    Linda, you need to go back to your Wisconsin history books. There have been half a dozen governors from Milwaukee since 1890, some in my lifetime (and I’m not THAT old). Are you looking only at where they were born or something? Still, some were born in the city. And several were mayors of the city.

    Walker, however, is not from Milwaukee, not by birth — he is from Colorado and then Delavan — nor did he ever live in my city. But if you mean governors from Milwaukee County, then he counts, and then there have been even more governors “from Milwaukee.”

    Now, go look up how many Dane County executives have been elected governor, if you’re going to try this argument.

    I prefer other arguments, but I also prefer that people using the past use it correctly.

  14. Sly says:

    I’m over the the top eh?Maybe if “Blogging Blue” had printed what I was reacting to they would not seem so outrageous.Since Tom Barrett has entered this race his supporters have done more bashing of labor unions than in any other Wisconsin Democratic primary I can remember, this while the Mayor keeps his hands clean.I was the only talk show host in the state that gave Barrett literally hours of positive air time in 2010 and I thought he was a great congressman but you can’t tell me he has been anything but hostile to labor since Walker dropped the bomb.

    • Phil Scarr says:

      I don’t agree with you there, Sly. What I’ve seen is people pointing out that this recall isn’t only about Act 10. It’s about a lot of things that citizens object to in the current administration. And you’ve trashed them for it. Not cool.

      Like all of us, you are entitled to your opinion, but don’t assume that your’s is the only one out there.

      • Dan H says:

        There would not have been a recall if union labor wasn’t up at the capitol for a month. And I am appalled and frankly frieghtened that, aparently for most of the people responding here, Union workers losing bargaining rights would not have been enough of an injustice to warrant a recall.

        • Zach W says:

          Walker’s attack on collective bargaining rights for public employees was the spark….there’s no denying that.

          What Phil is saying is that the recall effort isn’t just about collective bargaining; it’s about all the other awful things that Walker and his Republican allies have done to our state.

        • Phil Scarr says:

          Please… for the love of all you hold dear… please read what I wrote instead of reacting to what you think I wrote…

          …this recall isn’t only about Act 10. It’s about a lot of things that citizens object to in the current administration.

          See that? I’m not saying that the recall is not about Act 10… I’m saying that the recall is not only about Act 10. It’s also about jobs…

          Nowhere in anything I’ve written did I say that it isn’t about unions, union workers or collective bargaining.

          • Dan H says:

            but you agree that losing collective bargaining rights in and of itself would not have been enough for a recall

  15. Caramel says:

    They also said the recall wouldn’t work. I don’t listen to Sly, but I think everyone is entitled to vote for the person they think will best represent them, if it is Falk, fine. I don’t agree that Falk can’t win.

  16. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Let’s just say Sly tends to be a bit wedded to ideology over practicality and reality sometimes. Especially when it comes to AFSCME and unions. AFSCME throws a lot of ads on Sly’s show and Marty Beil is a regular guest, so there might be a bit of a connection.

    Then again, Sly thinks the recall’s all about collective bargaining, when today’s Marquette poll shows that issue to be a distant 4th on the average voter’s mind.

    I don’t get his constant bashing of Barrett or support for Kathy Falk when I think he knows better. Then again, when he starts going on the baseless rants about how Barrett is anti-union (apparently because Tom believes in balancing union wants with other wants?), I just flip the channel to somewhere else for my 20 minute drive to work.

    That being said, Sly’s an important voice, mostly because those of us in the progressive world don’t really have a local voice in Wisconsin. And he’d better be on board with finishing the job this time next week. He can hammer Barrett and keep him in line after he’s in the Governor’s chair (and frankly, I wouldn’t mind if Sly did just that).

    • Phil Scarr says:

      Excellent points, Jake. I think Sly get’s too wrapped up in the whole Act 10 thing and misses the point that Act 10 is but one of the things ‘Sconies are pissed about.

  17. Zach W says:

    Jake, I couldn’t agree more with your point about Sly being an important voice, and I agree that he should be on board with supporting the Democratic nominee and in holding Gov. Barrett accountable (if Barrett wins the primary and the election).

  18. Jay Allen says:

    I haven’t visited this blog before…but I guess it is typical of most blogs. People can simply state anything they want, with or without substantiation, like the original post.

    The statement that “A Dane County Executive with no statewide campaign experience cannot win” is certainly a dramatic statement, but it is nothing more than drama.

    Here’s a better bottom line…No true progressive can vote for Tom Barrett. I’m sorry. It sucks. And a blog that claims to be a progressive voice should recognize that. Tom Barrett is just another corporate Democrat, and I’m sorry, but this progressive just can’t stomach another one of those. <3

    • Phil Scarr says:

      No true progressive can vote for Tom Barrett.

      Who died and made you Lenin? That kind of ideological purity test is generally reserved for the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party these days. I guess I’m not “severely progressive” enough for you.

      My main focus is nominating someone who will kick Scott Walker out of office and act in a more reasonable, sane manner. Now any of the Democratic candidates running would fit that bill, but the only one who has a chance of winning is Tom Barrett.

      I’m not willing to sacrifice the future of Wisconsin for ideological purity. Are you?

      So there’s the door, don’t let it hit you on the ass on the way out.

  19. Dan H says:

    Ok, who did Walker “Dropped the bomb” on? Did he drop it on Dems? well lets look…did all Dems take a pay cut after. I believe the answer is no. Did he take money only from democratic union labor? No again, the majority of dems work in the private sector. SO who did he “drop the bomb” on? Unionized Labor, the state county and municpal workers. Who went up to the capitol to protest? Lots of people. The majority were unionized workers.

    This anti Walker movement started because some TAs from Msdison and then teachers from across the state went to the capitol to protest. As Dems we were all dismayed by his tactics but now that we have a chance to oust him suddenly we don’t care about who we get in. We lose track of the casualties of his “bomb”.

    Barrett’s record with labor is not very good and he did take advantage of the tools. I will vote for Barrett if I must in the general election but for myself, a teacher , it will be a puric victory at best if he wins.

    Sly may not be right all the time, who is, but no one is more politcally adept, more plugged into the interworkings of state government. He is a leader when it comes to labor rights and thankfully has a few thousand watts to spread the word.

    To those who compare him with the McKenna’s and the other right wing talk/propaganda shows I say call in to those shows. The first thing you’re asked is to tell them what you want to say. If they don’t like it then you don’t get on. I know this first hand. Sly’s show asks you your name and thats it.

    SO when we oust Walker thank a teacher, thank a state worker, thank a county employee, thank your city employees, thank those who didn’t vote for Walker, but save a special thank you for Sly, he was talking labor rights before all of this and will be after.

  20. Rico says:

    In reference to “Sly” The same “Sly” that has the most political knowledge of any talk show host here locally and for that matter maybe all of Wisconsin? The same “Sly” that has expounded furiously for workers’ rights? The same “Sly” that would rather hit you with facts about the political landscape of Wisconsin? The same “Sly” that will call anyone and everyone out no matter what the cost? The same “Sly” that has tirelessly fought Scott Walker? We are all fallible and to attempt to discredit “Sly” as merely a shock jock obviously does not recognize the knowledge of Wisconsin political history and audacity “Sly” truly has and the asset he is to defending Wisconsin and workers. I STAND with “SLY”

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