Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for July 13th, 2011

Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republicans/Legislature, fare poorly in June 2011 Poll

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As the recalls against the Wisconsin Republicans continue to gain steam, it’s time to take a look at the most recent poll, put out by the UW Badger Poll (TM) conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, link available here.   It states:

. . . a majority of Wisconsinites are not happy with current state of affairs in the Badger state.

  • 55% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state today, a new high for the UW Badger Poll.
  • 81% said Wisconsin is in bad times economically and 50% expect it will be in about the same economic condition in the next 12 months, while 20% said things will get worse.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites feel that state government is run for the benefit of a few big interests over that of all the people and can only be trusted to do the right thing some of the time.
  • 59% disapprove of the way Scott Walker is handling his job as Governor.
  • 60% disapprove of the way the State Legislature is handling its job.
  • 56% disapprove of the job Republicans in the State Legislature are doing.
  • 48% disapprove of the job Democrats in the State Legislature are doing.
  • Wisconsinites overwhelming think the recall option in the state constitution is a good thing (78%), and 50% said the current recalls of state senators made them feel better about Wisconsin politics.

In fact, the only thing the Wisconsin Republicans can take any heart in is the following statistic, also from the recent poll:

  • 59% of residents statewide preferred that the Democratic state senators remain in office rather than be recalled and 49% said the same of the Republican state senators.

Now, I went over this poll in depth, and what the folks said about the Wisconsin Rs is a little more nuanced; 46% want them out, while 49% believe they should be retained.  (The poll did not ask people specifically about their own sitting Senator or representatives in the Assembly; they asked about the person’s overall feeling.)  The margin of error for this poll was 4.9%, which means this particular thing is within the margin of error — still, that one last bit of data is probably the only thing that would hearten me if I were a Wisconsin R.

At any rate, this poll looks really bad for Scott Walker.  And looks really good for his recall effort, which will start in November of this year.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Update: Wisconsin state Senate Recalls, part 1.

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Now, as for the recalls — first up was the primary election on 7/12/11  for the Democrats running against the six Republicans across the state.   We had to have a primary because the Wisconsin Republican Party put up “fake Democrats” (what the Rs called “protest candidates”) to stall the Dems and give their own R Senators more time to raise money and fight the recall effort. 

I’m pleased to report that the real Democratic candidates all won; most won easily, with Shelly Moore of River Falls having a relatively tough race against Isaac Weix of Menomonie due to the efforts of the St. Croix County Republican Party, which actively worked to get Republicans to vote in the open primary  in an attempt to force Moore out.  Moore won by the percentage of 54-46, with 17496 voting for Moore and 14990 voting for Weix with 97% of the vote counted in Senate district 10.

Here’s an overall look at the recall races from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, with the insightful title of, “6 fake Democrats fall, setting stage for GOP recalls.”  A relevant quote from the article:

Six fake Democratic candidates put up by the Republican Party to buy time for Republican state senators subject to recalls accomplished that job Tuesday, but none of them did the unexpected and knocked off a real Democrat.

Candidates backed by the Democratic Party won all six Senate primary elections, all but one of them by substantial amounts. They’ll all go on to face the Republican incumbents on Aug. 9, in an attempt by Democrats to regain control of the state Senate and put the brakes on Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda.

That the primaries were held at all is a function of the twists and turns of political strategy played out in recent months as the state broke into warring camps over Walker’s attempt to restrict collective bargaining for public employees.

The Republican Party forced the primaries to give its six senators facing recall another four weeks before facing a Democratic challenger, in order to allow them to take their case to the voters and argue that their work on the budget was good for the state.

Take a look at that last sentence again.  Do you all remember the mantra, “Wisconsin is broke, that’s why we have to do X, Y, and Z.”  (With X being the elimination of collective bargaining rights for public employee unions, Y being cutting $800 out of the public education budget, and Z giving tax breaks to corporations?) 

Well, isn’t it hypocritical for the Rs, who claim that Wisconsin is “broke,” to force these recall elections into primaries using “fake Dems” to extend the process?  

I mean, here the GOP forced these recalls because of these “fake Dems,” which has caused the state of WI to have spent at least $450,000 more money than needed to be spent on recall elections.  Which makes this the next relevant question: how broke can be Wisconsin be if the Wisconsin Republican Party is willing to play games like this?

At any rate, the six real Dems now will face the six sitting Rs on August 9, 2011, to see who will take control of the state Senate.  There will be one election already in the books by that point — state Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) will run next week, July 19, 2011, to attempt to hold his seat, and it’s strongly believed he will win easily — with two more to come on August 16, 2011, for the remaining two Democratic state Senators, Jim Holperin (D-Conover) and Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie — Pleasant Prairie is a suburb of Kenosha), to attempt to hold their seats.   Providing all three Dems hold their seats, the six Democratic challengers will need to knock out at least three Senate Rs to take control of the state Senate.

Tonight was only the first step toward restoring a check on our currently all-Republican state government; we have more steps to come.  Keep watching my blog for further updates, as I promise to “keep ’em coming” as long as there’s something to say on this topic.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 13, 2011 at 1:30 am

Updates: Vinny Rottino on AAA All-Star Team

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Tonight, after watching the major league baseball game’s All-Star team (where Brewers 1B Prince Fielder hit a 3-run home run, leading the National League to a 5-1 victory with Fielder taking MVP honors), I looked up how Vinny Rottino’s doing in AAA.  To my surprise — and great pleasure — Rottino’s made his fourth AAA All-Star game and will represent the New Orleans Zephyrs in Salt Lake City, UT, on 7/13/11 (later tonight).

Here’s a link for you all:

I’m very pleased at this article because it gives more information about how Rottino’s doing as a defender.  Rottino is catching part-time while mostly playing in the OF, and has thrown out 10 of 25 baserunners attempting to steal.  (This is an acceptable percentage, which shows Rottino’s improved as a defensive catcher.)   Rottino’s also hitting .300 right now (is in a bit of a slump, but that’s all right; he’ll come back out of it), has stolen 9 bases (tied for the team lead, as this article says), has 5 HR, 34 RBI, and 18 doubles with a good OBP of .367.

I keep saying this, but the Marlins could do a whole lot worse than to promote Rottino to the major leagues.  Rottino works hard, is a good defender now at every position, has an excellent arm, hits well for contact and can steal bases for you.  He also won’t run you out of an inning because he’s a smart ballplayer who uses his brain and high baseball IQ to help you win ballgames.

Enjoy your 4th AAA All-Star game, Mr. Rottino — and congratulations!

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 13, 2011 at 1:25 am

Posted in baseball, Vinny Rottino