Friday, April 11, 2014

Time To Draw The Line On Lobbyists!

By Jeff Simpson

Jack Craver wrote a story recently about how the lobbyist's in Madison do not even waste their time talking to or trying to lobby democrats anymore.

“I will see every lobbyist who asks to see me unless I have a scheduling conflict because I know they have a job to do and I can get important information,” says state Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison.

For Berceau, the problem is that lobbyists have no interest in speaking to her anymore. Their avoidance of her and other Democrats reflects the perception that Republicans will be running the show in Wisconsin for many years to come. Unlike in past years, when the balance of power in the Capitol was more delicate, lobbyists no longer see an incentive to cultivate relationships in both parties.

“There’s been a notable change this year,” Berceau says. “I have always been visited by lobbyists, even when we’re in the minority. They’re not even bothering now.”


I guess when Democratic elected reps are lamenting that lobbyists will not talk to them, we no longer have to ask ourselves why the Democratic base does not come out and vote.   That being said, this story clears some things up about the Mary Burke campaign.  

Lobbyists have no reason to talk to Democrats anymore because they have no power and the Democratic candidate for Governor's campaign is being run a by a lobbyist.  That explains why her speeches appeal more to the republican base than the Democratic base

It also explains why,  when we need to get the base out to the polls and people do not know who Mary Burke is, she spends her valuable time meeting with Kurt Bauer of all people.

If you want to continue your successful and lucrative lobbying business, you need to make sure NOT to ruffle feathers.   It is well documented, with the pettiness of the Wisconsin republicans and Scott Walker, that they will punish you if you do not tow the ALEC line

Just ask Mike Ellis!


Solutions?  Simple!  Rid your campaign of lobbyist's, and start addressing the real issues in WI.   Charles Blow writing in the NY Times addressed it perfectly

We should be in a rage over the widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters, from the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to the rise of the Voter ID movement — a near-naked attempt by conservatives to diminish the number of Democratic voters.

We should be in a rage over Republican efforts, particularly on the state level, to drag the range of women’s reproductive options back to the 1960s.

We should be in a rage over the extraordinary pressures facing ordinary families. According to The New York Times’ Economix blog, college costs have risen over 500 percent since 1985, medical and gas costs more than 300 percent. And, the Pew Research Center reported Tuesday that “in inflation-adjusted dollars, average weekly child care expenses for families with working mothers who paid for child care” rose 70 percent from 1985 to 2011.

And yet, a report last week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that “some 69 percent of the cuts in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget would come from programs that serve people of limited means.”

We should be in a rage over the fact that people in this country can work a full-time job and not earn a living wage. We should be in a rage that this country’s infrastructure is literally crumbling beneath us. The “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers, gave our infrastructure an overall grade of D+ and estimated that $3.6 trillion would be needed by 2020 to fix it. 

We should be in a rage that we are spiraling toward cataclysmic, irreversible climate change with little interest or effort in averting it, with little coverage and less than accurate coverage.
But where rage should be, there is too often a whimper
Blow also summed it up perfectly:

When will we demand the country we deserve: reflective of its people, protective of its people, simply of its people? When will the young and the poor and the aggrieved and the forsaken walk abreast to the polls and then to the public squares?
If we don’t like the government we have, we can change it. If we don’t like the path we’re on, we can alter it.

It is NOT too late to alter the path we are on.  Yesterday in Wisconsin, we lost over 1000 well paying jobs throughout the state.  It's NOT working and never has.

I am here to Beg Mary Burke to get serious about running a real campaign.  One that can actually beat Scott Walker.  One that a majority of Democrats and independents are asking and hoping for.  

Let's connect with the people of WI and not WMC.   Let's explain why Walker has been such a failure, in terms of our ideas not their failures.  Let's fire up the base, let there be no doubt or blurred lines on your support for labor, public education and the middle class.

Right now Ms. Burke, you have an army of Wisconsinites ready and willing to follow a leader to victory in November.  You signed up for the position, now prove to us you are that leader!


The future of our state depends on it! 


  1. Kind of a hypocritical post given your Burke posts when you thought Vinehout might run. You're begging to be noticed now but not too long ago, you made perfectly clear your distaste, distrust and disrespect of Burke. You might consider framing the question much like a lobbyist would and instead of telling Ms. Burke what she should do, ask Ms. Burke what you can do for her. Call her campaign. Ask what you can do to help. But otherwise, what are you really accomplishing here besides whining?

    1. Sorry DPW hack , but this is a 2-way street. Burke is failing to tap into the outrage that most of us in this state feel, and hasn't done anything to make us want to go the extra mile for her campaign.

      Assuming she is the candidate , I'll pull the lever for her, and I'll definitely warn others about how awful the Walker Admin really is (which is more than what your type is doing). But if Burke isn't going to show she wants this job, why should I reciprocate? I'll help candidates who deserve it.

      Send that up the pipe to your superiors.

    2. Sorry Jake, but calling out whining isn't solely the purview of DPW employees. So you feel outrage and want Ms. Burke to run a campaign to suit you. Have you thought about applying to her campaign? Or are you just hoping that she listens to you from your armchair? Most of us understand that we must take actions to build our influence and credibility and even then, our desires and opinions will be one of many to be considered. Only children and extremists believe otherwise. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    3. Anon- If you are reading this, so is the Burke camp. Message gets through.

    4. I want Burke to run a campaign that suits the people of WI. We know for certain, we have the polls, that she currently is NOT doing that.

      that has nothing to do with myself, or capper or Jake or anyone else who might be disagreeable.

      let's be real, there is no way that the people running the campaign care about what we say if we disagree or are being disagreeable or any other versions of the words that you want to use. The are the smartest people in the room and no one will tell them any differently. Just ask the Romney/Ryan campaign.

      Its interesting to me that when Capper and I get quoted by white Wi we get told we want Scott Walker to win, yet it gets ignored when Mary Burke herself gets quoted by Sykes domain.

      For the record, I did ask for clarification from the Burke campaign and the party and was ignored. I guess they dont like to answer questions from people who arent kisssing their ass. Either that or she was busy meeting with Kurt Bauer at the time.

    5. Nah, you've limited your influence and no one is to blame but you. If you want to get to know the candidate and her positions, why not attend one of her events and ask her a question or two?

    6. I did - twice . very unimpressed both times.

      nice try though

    7. Why are you unimpressed? Have you been to a recent event in the last 6 weeks?

    8. The fact that we have to get up and make an effort to see what Burke stands for is exactly the problem. GET IT?

    9. Sorry, Jake. I don't get it. That's just a strategic choice to give Walker as little as possible to attack right now. Given the strength and funding of the Walker attack machine, I can respect their decision. However, the result is Burke has paid the price in attacks from the left and endured the gleeful reporting by right wing media and dutifully reporting by the MSM. It's a Kobayashi Maru. Me, I think the key to Burke getting out the vote and winning is under discussion among Progressive leaders right now as a matter of fact. I hope her team is listening because the strategy fits well with their non-specificity doctrine.

    10. Under discussion? Didn't they select Burke almost a year ago? And what's the central message and strategy?

      Stop being wimps, because it's not helping in any way, shape or form. We should be defining Walker as the corrupt scumbag who's driven the state into the ground, but you decide to stand by and let events that should kill most candidates slip by.

      And the media won't cover these things unless YOU BRING IT UP AND MAKE THEM COVER IT. And stop trying to justify this, because it's making me less likely to want to help

    11. there is plenty of ammunition out there, the republicans keep teeing the ball up and we dont swing.

      You can bring up the facts of walkers failures without "going negative"

    12. The funny thing is that I did try to reach out to. I did get to meet her on a 2:1 meeting (Zepecki was there too). I expressed my concerns, offered solutions and my assistance.

      It was a complete waste of time.

      It was quite apparent she had no intention to listen to what I had to say and dismissed my concerns before she heard them.

      Now we see the results. She has no name recognition and only party faithful feel any motivation regarding her.

      Then again, it's not all her fault. Party leadership is so out of touch with the base that this is the norm for them.

      The thing is that while most of us are in a near panic, people like Mary Burke and Mike Tate are doing quite well for themselves and thus have no sense of urgency.

  2. CJ, the campaign doubtless reads the blogs and prioritizes the message. Since the issue with bloggers and their commenters is that it's just an easy spouting of opinion (informed or not, practical or not), more emphasis is placed on the messaging from people taking action - organizing, fundraising, performing research, etc. I also think it's preposterous any of the blue bloggers who indulged in frequent bouts of Mary-steria last fall would suppose their word means anything to the campaign. You can disagree without being disagreeable - many chose to be disagreeable and again, only children and extremists think that shouldn't count against them.

    1. I'm sorry, do you think people like me aren't taking action, aren't showing up at party meetings, and didn't go in the streets and door-to-door in 2011-12? Who the hell do you think you're talking to?

      Listen DPW dude/tte, I have a full- time job, a house and a wife. I don't live in my Moms basement, and my blogging is a hobby, not a career. The fact that you are choosing to ignore the anger and disappointment that a whole lot of us are feeling about this milquetoast Burke campaign is the same arrogant insider attitude that LOST FOR THE DEMS IN 2010 AND 2012.

      In sick and tired of losing and having the slimeballs in WisGOP screw up this state that I care do deeply for. I don't see that same attitude from the Burke campaign or from check- cashing DPW insiders like you. And that's why you're behind in a race that Burke not only can win, but should win easily.

      I'm done with "embracing the "sick". I've got better things to do than to waste my time with a candidate that gives me no reason to be inspired. I'll find somebody or some cause that does.

      Send that message up the pipe to your bosses as well .

    2. PS- I'm done with "embracing the suck" as well (stupid iPhone)

    3. Jake, can you not read? It's a little off to assume anyone who dissents on the anti-Burke whining must be working for the DPW. But then you sound like a guy with issues to work through. Good luck. Perhaps someday you'll find your fire and brimstone candidate for Governor. Good luck with that as well.

    4. Well the only people enthusiastic for Burke and telling people like me to "sit down and shut up" when I question her campaign work for the DPW or Burke, so it's a good assumption.

      And you have the balls to put your name on your takes, nor do you have the guts to listen to people like me who give a crap. And this is why the Dems have lost state elections the last 2 years, despite holding opinions the majority of opponents agree woth

    5. Please show me where I told you to sit down and shut up. I can't think why women get the bad rep on hysteria and emotion. I think you should get involved in Burke's campaign if you wish to influence it. If you don't have time or just don't really like Burke, then don't get involved - your call. Make your decision and move on. And you're right, I do not possess any balls - unless you count a dozen sleeves of Pinnacles.

    6. how would you like us to get involved? Should we knock doors for hours at night? make phone calls?

    7. If you're serious, then you know perfectly well how to take the next step.

    8. I was hoping for suggestions.

    9. A blogger of no ideas? Kind of like a poet of no words or a pro athlete with no game.

  3. Burke is running a yawn of a campaign. Walker and his corrupt minions are easy targets, yet the Burke campaign has yet to hit the broadside of the barn. It is easy to nail Walker for the state's sluggish economic growth, yet the Burke campaign missed and looked like liars in the process.

    Where is the WEDC money? What's with the attack on women's rights? How dare Walker limit access to voting! Appeal to sportsmen about how Walker is ready to degrade our environment. Remind Wisconsin about the $500K to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin.

    Right there is heavy ammo to put Walker on the defensive, yet the Burke camp whimpers in silence.

    Burke should blast the corrupt bastard. The corruption by the Kochs. Rindfleisch. Russell. Wink. Kavanaugh. Pierick.

    No money from me until I see a campaign that shows competency.

    1. This is exactly what I've been trying to say, but not as well. Thank you

    2. I agree that the campaign is too low key and they've made a few silly errors. I disagree that she should go negative - leave that to the groups preparing issue ads and don't risk the backlash. Two huge problems for Burke - the mainstream state media is pro-Walker (or at least pro-status quo) and huge numbers of Wisconsinites see Walker standing firm between them and evil union thugs. It helps that Walker's demeanor is always calm, he looks like a boy scout, he possesses a stable family life, he seems to like simple things like ham and rolls after church and riding down the super slide at State Fair with his nieces. This is all incredibly difficult to overcome with voters who intend to show up on election day.

    3. Walker's Act 10 caused a lot of divisiveness that manifested itself with the recent round of school referendums across the state. Those were bitter community battles made necessary by Walker slashing state aid to schools so he could give tax breaks to the lucky few. Most of those referendums passed. The people can see how Walker has made things tougher for working families. Exploit that weakness!!!!

    4. Anonymous at 6:27 wrote:
      "huge numbers of Wisconsinites see Walker standing firm between them and evil union thugs."

      Those Wisconsinites will NEVER vote for Burke, so ferget 'em.

      Burke should hammer Walker and Republicans for calling the good people who teach our children and provide public sevices "evil union thugs." How evil is that for Republicans to call good people "thugs?" The entire way Republicans govern is "going negative."


  4. My concern with this post is that many progressive causes I am associated with need representation with the lawmakers. Without them, HitlerWalker gets his way. I think we need to think about this some more.

  5. Lobbyists work for all sorts of clients. As long as Walker & Co. is in charge, those of us who use lobbyists to reach law makers are forced to the right as well.

  6. Interesting up-thread exchange!

    No one wants Walker's Democratic challenger to win more than I do. However, observing the actions/non-actions of the Burke campaign causes a reoccurring question for me. Given the absolute absence of ethical standards and a propensity for playing hardball, what are the chances that the Koch Bros political machine has successfully imbedded a mole or moles in WI Democratic Party leadership and/or the Burke campaign? Burke seems nice she being made a Koch Bros tool without her knowledge?

    Off to research "Kurt Bauer"! Big, big Sigh!

    1. That crossed my mind as well. Burke is runninng the most incompetent campaign I have seen in ages. It is hard to believe that all those political professionals around her are that inept.

      The first Burke TV ad is what made me think there is a mole in the Burke camp. The unemployment rates she cited were clearly wrong, and thus opened her up to the "Pants On Fire" rating from Politifact. She could have cited job growth while she was Commerce Secretary versus the stagnancy of job growth under Walker. She could cite the strong job growth in other Midwestern states compared with Wisconsin. But that has not happened.

      Mary Burke needs to get her campaign in order right away. There is time to do what is necessary to win the election. However the anonymous posts from sources obviously from the campaign indicate that the campaign is lying to itself and believing those lies. Therefore it is reasonable to think that one of the political professionals is a mole steering the campaign off-track. Otherwise these political professionals are grossly incompetent and should be promptly replaced.

    2. No - the Anon posts up-thread are neither posted by a DPW employee nor a Burke campaign worker. Highly unlikely there's a mole. Much more likely that the good strategists are involved in races at the national level or in high-profile states. When better known Wisconsin Democrats refused to step up for their state (again), the national party likely gave us up for lost. Since we have to live with the consequences of right wing policies, it might be wiser to focus more positively and substantively on how Burke might win.

    3. You go ahead and worry about how Burke might win. I prefer and deal with the crap storm that's coming regardless of who wins.

    4. I did if you read the post. Here is step 1....immediately purge Tanya Bjork And Joe Zepecki from the Campaign. Immediately!

    5. Who replaces Bjork and Zepecki - who steps up in Wisconsin? And as for the "crap storm coming" - why not detail it?