That $700,000 from Gogebic

Jim Rowan writing at The Political Environment doesn’t normally gripe about the state’s newspapers. Not the way we do. But he does today.

He’s waiting for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to use its editorial page to say something about that secret $700,000 donation from Gogebic mining. Thus far, on the editorial page, the Milwaukee paper has said not a word.

And Rowan correctly criticizes the Wisconsin State Journal for delivering a weak ‘they’re-all-doing it’ editorial opposing secret money in politics, in general.

Boo to the State Journal for insulting readers and voters with false conflation that helps give Walker – – whom the paper endorsed in 2010 – – a pass

Does Rowan know the Wisconsin State Journal the way we do? (actually? of course) But nothing else could be expected. Wisconsin Republicans can do anything they want. It doesn’t need to make sense. It doesn’t need to match any previous or current stance. It doesn’t need to pass any “smell test”. No matter how odious their actions, the worst that Wisconsin Republicans can expect from the State Journal is a general sermon blaming everyone (and thus no one) and urging everyone to be better.

drinking gameYes, it’s boring. And predictable. And completely worthless. Although it does form the basis for our famous Wisconsin State Journal editorial drinkin’ game

 “…the drinking game requires no actual facts or actual journalism. It simply requires the WSJ editorial board to do what it obsessively does. They apparently cannot help themselves.” 

Remember to always read responsibly


“taxpayers should know: Walker has cost them millions of dollars”

Reince PriebusThe Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a fine editorial describing Scott Walker’s “good-for-himself but bad-for-Wisconsin” decision-making:

…taxpayers should know: Walker has cost them millions of dollars by refusing to fully expand the state’s primary health care program for the poor under the Affordable Care Act.

Wisconsin would have saved $206 million over two years 

Exactly so. And continuing they say

It was another example of this governor’s penchant for sacrificing good policy on the altar of expedient politics.

Well, OK. “…the altar of expedient politics” is one way to put it. It’s a quick reference, but only for those who already know full well what’s going on in Walker’s self-interested calculus. The Journal Sentinel might better have said “on the alter of Walker’s own Presidential ambitions,” and even that’s not enough. Tell us. WHY exactly is he wasting millions of Wisconsin taxpayers’ dollars?

“Some” — OK, it was us — have called turning down millions of federal dollars — in a Wisconsin that badly needs more dollars circulating — a bow to “the insane wing” of the Republican Party by a governor who spends an awful lot of time imagining himself as the most powerful man in the world. The Journal Sentinel’s style guide doubtless doesn’t permit such language, no matter how true it might be. But the editors could’ve done better than “sacrificing good policy on the altar of expedient politics”. Too much left unsaidToo bloodless.

But rarely is anything entirely perfect.

Here’s the point. This was a fine editorial emanating from Milwaukee news headquarters.

Will the Wisconsin State Journal ever do the same for Madison? We have a precious gold star waiting to be awarded………………….


Revisiting our last comment

OK. We’re gonna take another swing at Voter ID and the comments we made earlier today.  Those earlier comments were inadequate.

Look at this other Wisconsin newspaper editorial — the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Judge Flanagan’s voter ID ruling.  It is fascinating to compare the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial and the Wisconsin State Journal editorial.

The State Journal focuses entirely on the idea that Flanagan had blundered by earlier signing a Walker recall petition. The Journal Sentinel makes the same point in a single sentence, and then goes on to discuss the real issue of importance — voting rights in Wisconsin:

Government should never move to restrict the right to vote; indeed, it should always seek to ensure the widest possible participation.

Furthermore, as Flanagan pointed out in his decision, there has been very little real evidence of voter fraud in Wisconsin and almost none of the kind that would be prevented by bringing a photo ID to the polls. This long has been a solution in search of a problem.

And it goes on. They actually repeat the business about Flanagan not doing well to sign recall petitions, but they fundamentally focus on voter ID and the right of citizens to VOTE

Final Score: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 1, Wisconsin State Journal: 0

Walker campaign “cooperating with investigation” — what it really means

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist and blogger Daniel Bice hosted an online chat yesterday, answering questions about the John Doe investigation.  Here’s a snippet (emphasis ours):

  • Q: Elizabeth, Milwaukee – First, thank you for covering this from the very beginning! Second, can you help me understand Walker’s comments today about cooperating with the investigation for over a year and his certainty that he isn’t involved? It was just a week or so ago when he said he hadn’t spoken to any investigators. And, if he really was cooperating with the investigation, he wouldn’t be allowed to talk about, right?
  • A: Daniel Bice – I can help you with some of that. When he says he’s been cooperating for more than a year, he is referring to the fact that prosecutors subpoenaed his campaign emails on Nov. 1, 2010, prompting the Walker campaign to hire former U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic to handle the request. That’s what he means by cooperation. As for knowing that he’s not the target, I’m not sure how he can be so certain. Prosecutors generally don’t tell you when you aren’t a target. But maybe he knows something we don’t.