Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ernie Wittwer for State Senate District 17


By Jeff Simpson

With the unfortunate retirement of the Dale Schultz,  that left a wide open seat in the 17th Senate District.   On the republican side, far right extremist (he who voted on the side of cancer and against cancer victims) Howard Marklein declared the first time Senator schultz showed any independence.  Immediately the far right donors started throwing money at him.

Then local resident and farmer and retired Department of Transportation administrator Ernie Wittwer decided to throw his hat into the ring on the Democratic side.  Ernie has a strong grassroots following and an excellent resume.  

However, as we have pointed out on this blog on numerous occasions, if you are not inside you are outside and there is no room in Madison for outsiders.  Once again, the elected democrats circled their wagons and attacked.   Two time loser and former Jim Doyle aide, Pat Bomhack. took time off to go to college and now desperately wants back in!

Bomhack wants back in so badly, that he and the fellow members of the old boys club are more than willing to lose control of the Senate to make it happen.   Bomhack was running against Dick Cates in the primary for the Assembly seat, but was doing poorly and thought he would have a better chance of beating Ernie Wittwer.

Of course after saying he wouldn't.

 “A lot of local people have been encouraging me to go for the Senate but I’m totally focused on my Assembly race right now,” he said.
 Typical of people who chose politics as a career, he was not that focused because shortly thereafter, he switched to running for Senate.

The party leaders in Madison talked him into switching, then endorsed him.

Although Ernie Wittwer, a retired Department of Transportation administrator, declared his candidacy for the seat last year, his bid was evidently not taken seriously by party leaders in Madison. They began urging Pat Bomhack, a recent UW Law School grad and aide to former Gov. Jim Doyle, to drop his bid for the 51st Assembly District, in which he was considered an underdog, and run against Wittwer for Senate. Bomhack had run for the same Assembly seat in 2012, losing in a primary.
In April, Bomhack announced he was making the switch, and a week later Larson announced his support for the young candidate. Soon afterwards, Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona and a former minority leader, also endorsed Bomhack.

  The local party leaders and grassroots support were none too happy.

Maureen Grimm, a school board member in Mineral Point who beat Bomhack in the Assembly primary in 2012, said she is puzzled by the support Capitol leaders are extending to Bomhack, who only moved to the area three years ago.
“The vast majority of involved Democrats in the 17th favor Ernie,” she said. “Perhaps there’s a little bit of a disconnect on what this district values. A difference between urban and rural.”
In what some local activists saw as a direct snub, Larson, delivering a speech about Senate races at the state Democratic convention last month, highlighted Bomhack’s candidacy and didn’t even mention Wittwer.
“I was disappointed at the convention that Chris said that,” said Phil Fransen, chair of the Green County Democratic Party, who said he is “leaning towards” supporting Wittwer but believes he should remain neutral in his capacity as a party official.
Mike Gallagher, chair of the Democratic Party of Lafayette Party, is actively supporting Wittwer and he said he gave Larson a piece of his mind after hearing the speech.
“I told him that that was very wrong,” he recalled saying. “You can support who you want but you don’t ignore that there’s a primary in the 17th Senate District.”

 Local grassroots overwhelmingly support Mr. Wittwer, but because the DPW does not think he will tow the line 100% they would rather lose the seat, than let the local people decide by pushing a cookie cutter carpet bagging insider.  

Do you really have to ask why the dems have had such a hard time finding candidates to run for office?  

For the sake of Wisconsin, our public schools, jobs and all
 other issues, it is imperative that we send a message to the right and the left and elect Ernie Wittwer!    

I fully endorse Ernie Wittwer in the 17th Senate district of Wisconsin this morning! 

Help Ernie Win!!!!

Ernie Wittwer's website is here!

Ernie Wittwer's facebook page is here!

Ernie Wittwer's twitter account is@wittwer4senate

Ernie Wittwer's email is here!

 DONATE to Ernie Wittwer here


  1. Let's be honest, Jeff. You support Wittwer because it pokes DPW insiders who are looking more at slide rules and money numbers.

    I'm not saying you're wrong (Larson saying Bomhack's name at the convention did not go over well with many), but even if Bomhack agreed with everything you believed in and was the better candidate, you'd still endorse Wittwer.

    I will be very interested to see the result in this one on August 12

    1. OK Jake since you mentioned it. That is part of it for sure. However look at the two candidates. Im certain if we sat down i would probably agree with both of them a vast majority of the time on principle alone.

      However we have a candidate who has set roots down there, has been involved there and farms and sent his kids through schools there. He knows the area well and he has been a contributing member of the community there.

      We have another candidate whose only real life "experience" is as an aide to elected officials, then went to CA to get his law degree now moved back here to a place where he thought he could get to be part of the club.

      I will pick candidate A 99.99% of the time, if it pokes at the DPW or not. That's just an added bonus.

  2. I agree that Larson and the Senate Democrats should have stayed out. It's a primary. I also think primaries are good. It makes whoever wins stronger and forces them to get out and campaign. It gets their name out there.

    I question the Senate Democrats' candidate recruitment in the 17th and elsewhere. It's hard to argue either Bohmack or Wittwer are top-tier candidates in the seat with the best opportunity for a "takeaway."

  3. Seems to be a nice proof of concept test case. Wittwer can run the campaign this blog dreams of - little money, activist support, and not the DPW preferred candidate. If voters really do support and respond to this type of candidate and campaign, they'll vote him in.

  4. It's hard to believe what's written on this blog when the purported facts are all over the place.

    I can't tell if the multiple misspellings of Bomhack's name are intentional or not. But the greater than that are the inadequacies about who he is. Mr. Simpson in the comments suggests that Bomhack went to CA to get his law degree. Not correct, he studied at the UW law school and during almost the entire course of his studies has lived in the 51st district. He became tremendously involved in local community life (coaching, serving the community and other activities) and is hardly the carpetbagger you try to make him out to be.

    Second, I think it was almost always Bomhack's intention of running for senate. He initially filed almost two years ago to run for Senate and got sidetracked by the allure of the open Assembly seat when Marklein announced his intentions to run for higher office, but Pat has always had great interest in the Senate which certainly made him an easy recruit.

    Third, why do you call him a two-time loser? He ran in one primary, his only run for public office before this year. He hasn't lost any more times than Mo Grimm, quote in opposition to him, has lost.

    I don't think Larson is concerned about Wittwer not towing the party line. I think both candidates will have very similar views on the issues and be good members of the democratic caucus. I think the concern goes to Wittwer's chances of actually beating the Republican. Only time will tell I guess.

    Lastly, I am surprised that Wittwer's connection to the caucus scandal and Chuck Chvala hasn't been brought up yet. Wittwer's son figured prominently in that scandal being a caucus employee and also being married to former caucus/chvala employee and current Greater Wisconsin Committee operative Michelle McGrorty. For a reminder of their scandal involvement....

  5. There I fixed the name. That was a time crunch oversite.

    I would have liked to have learned more about him from his bio, but I could not find his campaign website. He did attend Stanford and it is hard to live in the 51st district and commute to Stanford.

    As for the two time loser, you know as well as I do, that if he thought he was going to win the Assembly seat no way would he have switched.

    Why would the concern be if long time resident Wittwer can beat Marklein and not a concern about young Bohmack beating Marklein?

    Yes only time will tell and thats why we have a primary. I am comfortable as stated above in my choice here, no matter how many little league teams you tell me Bomhack coached.

    Finally, Why would I be upset at what his son did and who he married? thank you for the link however, it showed me how horrible Joel Gratz is and why he really really needs to go!

    1. Jeff, I agree that Wittwer's son is irrelavent, but why the gratuitous swipe at Joel Gratz? He was a lowly caucus staffer at the time, just doing the job he was hired to do, like all the staffers on those lists. The leggies that hired and directed them are the ones that should've been, and mostly were, punished (with the egregious exception of Jensen). As the director of the Assembly Dem's campaign organization, he has the grinding and thankless job getting them elected. He's contributing a lot more than you.

    2. AnonyBob i respect your opinion BUT I get sick of hearing they were just following orders. Who the hell just follows orders that are illegal? I would also disagree that they were punished. No one was punished as much as they should have been which is why we are back here again in JD1 and 2>

      Gratzs job is to win the assembly, period. I will tell you in November if he has done his job. No excuses about gerrymandering., money etc.... He is however starting out 26 seats short of being successful.

    3. Why is it that liberal activists (like the writers of this page) are the first to argue that redistricting reform/non-partisan redistricting is needed because of how gerrymandered the maps are disadvantaging democrats, yet are also the loudest criers that democrats shouldn't use gerrymandering as an excuse for not having a majority? Which is it?

    4. I would call us progressive activists but thats fine, I can still answer your question. I do love when righties come in because you are welcome to join the convo anytime. You give yourself away by asking for clarifcation of such a simple process.

      Our state was gerrymandered badly and incredibly unethically. It was gerrymandered so the republicans could pick their voters and have job security. It is an incredibly hard thing to overcome.

      Then something happened. They actually had to govern.

      The same people the picked their voters then also ran up the biggest debt in our states history, have systematically attacked public education openly campaign on increasing the more expensive, less results unaccountable voucher scam, have failed miserably at creating jobs and even voted to defend cancer and against Cancer victims of WI.

      While they have a huge advantage by their unethical gerrymandering they have proven that they really dont represent anyone but the loons like Scott Jensen so that means they are beatable.

      its that simple. If our lines were not gerrymandered there is no way someone like steve nASS could ever win a seat much less think he is deserving of a promotion.

      its really quite simple.