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Oct 10, 201309:49 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Mary Burke comes to us professionally produced and shrink-wrapped

(page 1 of 2)

Did anything strike you as odd about Mary Burke’s announcement of her candidacy for governor Monday morning?

Yeah, she released a three-minute video. (It’s at her website.) No press conference with Democratic nabobs and a multihued, intergenerational backdrop of gleeful supporters. No fly-around to news media markets in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Eau Claire. No sit-downs with editorial boards. No interviews with Katie Couric.

Our Miss Burke is simply not ready for prime time, but she had to get out in front before Kathleen Vinehout and other potential candidates. And there will be others, however marginal.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir nails it for RightWisconsin (pay wall). “The only reason to announce your candidacy via a prepared web video is to avoid the embarrassment of a low turn out at a public event. Mary Burke has yet to connect with the Democratic base and this will doom her candidacy just as it doomed Tom Barrett.” Pretty much my take at “Is Mary Burke liberal enough?

The last moderate Democrat is leaving the building

I wrote about Senate party leader Chris Larson’s purge of Democrat(ic) moderates in that piece. Sure enough, Bob Jauch became the second Democratic state senator in a month to announce his retirement, after Tim Cullen of Janesville. Both were moderates. Both made it clear that the partisan fever — if such it is — affects their side of the aisle as well. I do get tired of the mainstream news media narrative that Republicans are extreme and Democrats not.

Jauch has the gravitas of a senator. I do believe his assertion that he is bone tired after 30 years in the Legislature. The travel alone has got to be a killer. It’s 272 miles, one way, from his home base in Poplar, just south of Superior, to the Capitol. It’s no fun being in the minority party. And these last three years have worn heavy with history.

But Jauch survived his 2010 election with only 51% of the vote. He voted against iron mining in Iron County. People up there, other than the tribes, want the mine. Here’s his announcement.

It’s not Chief Thunderthud

The foofarow over Indian mascots is a cause looking for an issue. The state Legislature is reforming the Doyle dictum that a single local sensitivity scold can bring up an entire school district on charges. Good for the Mukwonago (an Indian word) School District to resist changing the name of its Indians. Perhaps it should be the Mukwonago First Peoples. What is the name of that Waukesha community’s weekly newspaper? You got it: The Chief.

Will someone in Stoughton object to “Vikings”? The most humorous name is Milwaukee Pius XI high school girls’ sports teams: the Lady Popes.

Think of it this way: do parents name their kids’ school sports teams after that which they despise? The Major League Baseball team is the Braves, not the Yellow-Bellied Cowards. The Capital Times narrates the legislative argument.

Chris Taylor is ‘savvy’ and should be attorney general

So says Comrade John Nichols of the Madison Democrat who managed to become the only state legislator to get on the Capitol Police watch list for her unprofessional behavior.

The Capital Times associate editor gushes that “Chris Taylor is right to consider a run for attorney general” because she is “the Legislature’s most ardent defender of the First Amendment rights to speak, to assemble and to petition for the redress of grievances.”

Right to speak and assemble? Sure, as long as those speakers are reliably pro-abortion choice (but anti-school choice).


Old to new | New to old
Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Oct 10, 2013 12:19 pm
 Posted by  John

No worries, Mary, I've written your campaign slogan free of charge:

"Mary Burke: because nothing says "voice of the people" like a rich-girl, Ivy educated, Madison liberal spending her Chinese-made bike fortune on a whim to be governor!"

Oct 10, 2013 01:36 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Let me do one better,

" Scott walker: because nothing says "voice of the people" like a Baptist raised, college dropout, Delavan conservative spending his Koch made fortune to retain the Governor's seat."

Oct 10, 2013 03:07 pm
 Posted by  coolkevs

Wow - seems like the roles have reversed. Now the Repubs are complaining about the rich people and the Dems are complaining about the "uneducated". hmmm.... but the "uneducated" governor is speaking a language everyone can understand today - $100 million cut - too bad it's just a drop in the bucket of what really needs to happen re: taxes

Oct 10, 2013 05:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Nope, John wins this one. Sorry Anon, but as the folks at say "keep trying".


Oct 10, 2013 07:48 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I so enjoy your columns. This one is wrong, as usual, and here's why:
Mary Burke. For starters, if I were you or any other self respecting anything, I wouldn't be quoting ALEC Treasurer, Senator Leah "Open Records Law is Only for the Little People" Vukmir. Do you both seriously think Mike Tate could not assemble the requisite backdrop of multihued blah, blah, blah supporters had he chosen to? Not too tough to do here or in Milwaukee. People I know who have conferred with Burke describe her as very analytical. She wouldn't be entering the race if she didn't think she would win. She seems to be striking her own path that has you and the hard right and the hard left all discombobulated. I for one am encouraged and look forward to seeing how this all unfolds. We do have over a year before the election and your Boy Governor has definate vulnerabilities. Obviously. Witness the current clumsy WMC ads to prop him up. If I were you I'd be grasping at straws, too.
Indian mascots. Really Dave, retro-racism? Let me ask, Blaska sounds like a shortened version of a Polish name, are you of that descent? Say you are, would you be honored to find some non-European group "honoring" you as the Fighting Pollocks? Then hearing their opponents coming up with cute cheers against Pollocks? I think you'd find a few Blaska brothers poking someone in the chest with a hard finger and growling, "We ain't nobody's damn mascot." Redskins is not, and never has been, a compliment. They're not even Indians, those folk are from India. Columbus was wrong. So our Native American brothers and sisters are offended to be some stupid (and I do mean stupid) high school team's mascot. It's not your call to say they should be "honored" by that racism.
Chris Taylor. I don't have much to say, here. You disdain her because you're anti-abortion. Pro-choice women love her. She's also smart, I'd underestimate her at your peril.
And to John, all I can say is FDR had some of the same liabilities.

Oct 11, 2013 06:54 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

I thought a pollock was a fish.

Oct 11, 2013 07:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

How about the "Fighting Irish"? I've never heard any complaints about that name. Fighting Pollocks doesn't sound too bad to me either. But, isn't Blaska more of a Czech name? Kind of like the Festrunk brothers. I think Dave is more of a wild and crazy guy than a Pollock.

Oct 11, 2013 07:35 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

You are so right, it's Polack. My apologies; I guess when it comes to ethnic slurs, my spelling needs some Polish.

Oct 11, 2013 07:46 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Blaska is German Bohemian, so it's the Fighting Bohunks.

Oct 11, 2013 09:11 am
 Posted by  uwbiz96

Wonder why the author of this blog isn't writing about the issue of the day and, instead, simply repeating old arguments? Because he can't address business people on the policies of Republicans and the tea party this week with a straight face. Allow me to help him:

It's the same for the Assembly Republicans who are avoiding the defense of policies that are neither invigorating the local economy nor getting people back to work. Instead, they are making mascots their priority. And their boosters in the blog business are apparently happy to follow along.

Wake up, In Business. Your readers are demanding business content that helps us do our jobs. Instead, this is what you're putting out there. It doesn't take a free market ideologue to see that your readership will look for it elsewhere.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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