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Wisconsin Knows what?

September 29, 2009

I’ve found myself on a new mailing list of sorts which has me puzzled and curious.  The mailing list connects itself to a blog named: Wisconsin Knows. Now I’m not actually here to promote the blog entirely. Though I realize the irony of even making a post about the blog gives them some credibility and calls attention to it. Mostly I’m making this post because I’m confused as to why I’ve landed on their mailing list and partly because of the content of the website.

The content of the site centers itself around one thing: Bashing Mark Neumann. And uses one of the silliest Mark Twain quotes on politics: “Politicians and diapers should be changed often, and for the same reason.”  Let’s start with this illogical quote. This site is clearly a thinly veiled attempted to build up Scott Walker, Neumann’s primary opponent. The problem is Scott has been a political official for most of his life. Mark has been out of politics for quite awhile. If people wanted change, they’d go for the outside of the know instead of the person that has been involved for a long time. I’m not trying to make an issue out of The Insider/outsider status that either candidate has. I’m just saying the quote is goofy.

Now onto the break down the site: Whoever is writing this site must really hate Mark Neumann and Mark’s brother Ken. What confuses me most (even though there is close to a year left before the primary) is why someone has gone so far as to create a site to bash and break down the faults of a political candidate that barely has a pulse in the polls. It’s bad political strategy. Unless the creator of the blog has a boatload of insider information on things that could significantly hurt Walker, this blog sounds like a waste of energy. I’m going to hope that no one on the Walker campaign is directly connected associated with this blog because Walker should be able to easily defeat  Neumann with hard grassroots work and on the issues, not on some cut rate attack website. If the election was held in the near future, it goes without saying that Walker would win. I feel like this website is attempting to make the race unnecessarily dirty.

As for the exact content of the blog: It seems neither damning nor concrete. Most of it seems rather circumstantial. One of the posts mentions a bill amendment that was sponsored by Neumann in 1998 that had a provision about housing regulations that could have helped Neumann. But this post disregards the bigger picture, instead of assuming causality where it may not be. The rest of the posts attack Mark’s brother (Who isn’t running for office or anything like that) Ken, who happened to have run a real estate business that was harshly hit by the recent economic meltdown in the housing market. Regardless, it seems unnecessary. It feels like this blog is really just hoping that it will be mentioned on Mark Belling’s or Charlie Sykes’ radio program.

On a final note, what this blog is doing may be illegal (even if it is a hack job). If there is any connection whatsoever to the Walker Campaign that involves the campaign paying for this opposition research and allowing them to post anonymously, it’s breaking the law. Which well then the blog is doing A LOT more harm to Walker than it is to Neumann. Now I’m not going to deny that this blog could be an anti-Neumann/Pro Walker GOPer (that isn’t being paid)but to go as so far as to buy a domain name, have a mailing list and do as much research as the this blogger has? I mean look at the first post: it goes through a lot of paper transactions in two county register of deeds offices (Racine and Kenosha). That smells of  professional oppo research.

As for the Race between Walker and Neumann I am 90% decided yet remain open to listening to candidates. Both candidates have their flaws that would be enough to drive me away from voting for one of the candidates, however the decision for me is made over which flaws can be overlooked and I feel that and flaws Walker has are more easily overlooked that Neumann’s. This is why, at this moment I support Scott Walker. Though I won’t count out the ability of any political candidate to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for any number of unforeseen reasons, Walker has quite the lead in polls, he’s successfully fund raising, I respect the team he has in place and I’ve supported him in the past. I will say this as well: Regardless of the victor of the Republican primary, I will support that candidate. Wisconsin has been governed by crappy overspending over reaching Democrats for too long. If I’m allowed to have a pipe dream/wish it would be for Neumann to change his mind about running for governor and try to make a second bid at the US Senate. He nearly beat Feingold and was the last real challenger that Feingold has seen. Maybe he’d be able to do it again.

I’ll expand more on my philosophies and predictions about the upcoming elections as the time gets closer, because there are many races of note that deserve comment (including a fun Lieutenant Governors race -really).

One comment

  1. Great post. I am also on the email list.

    Few quick thoughts:

    1) I support Walker, but this just seems extraordinarily silly, if nothing else, as political strategy.

    2) Wouldn’t it be easier to try to build a relationship with an existing blogger and feed them the information? As far as I can tell, the great majority of Wisconsin conservative bloggers back Walker. I am sure at least one of them would have been sympathetic to this information campaign.

    3) The site is pretty cheesy. If a campaign (or a rogue person, I guess..) is going to do a political attack, shouldn’t it be done in a way that won’t push away other bloggers or voters? I mean, spend a little more time looking at blog templates for goodness sake.

    4) As The Bartender noted, it is kind of bizarre to see this level of political attack against a guy who is barely recognizable politically (at the moment), though I guess if it is an information campaign directed just toward bloggers it might make a little more sense.

    If I learned anything in college as a student activist, both from the successes of the organization I was in and the successes of opposing political organizations, it was that you never want to give your opponent attention that will end in a net-gain for themselves. This may have done that.

    5) This is somewhat politically far out. The primary is in just less than 12 months. I really hope — as a Walker supporter — that some elements of the Walker campaign or even a rogue supporter are not getting desperate.



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