Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

Talking Points Memo: Poll: As Michigan’s GOP Gov. Loses Support, Dem Senator Rises

March 23, 2011- In December, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) looked shaky heading into her 2012 reelection bid. One poll found her barely leading a slate of potential Republican challengers. But now, Stabenow's poll numbers have rebounded: a new PPP poll shows her leading her potential rivals by double-digits.

That turnaround comes at the same time that Michigan's new Republican Governor, Rick Snyder, has seen his approval rating slide, after his push for a controversial proposal that would give him the authority to appoint emergency managers in struggling cities, a proposal one supporter likened to "financial martial law."

Three months ago, PPP found Stabenow leading Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) by just one point. She now leads that match up 50% to 38%. Stabenow has also increased her lead over Secretary of State Terri Land, from four to 10 points, and PPP found her leading in that hypothetical contest 48% to 38%.

AlterNet: Buyer’s Remorse: GOP House Majority in Jeopardy Already

March 23, 2011- Buyer's remorse is setting in quickly, according to Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

GQR polled 50 House districts currently held by Republicans which are expected to be major Democratic targets in 2012. The results indicate that the Republican House majority is already endangered, less than three months into Speaker John Boehner's regime.

From GQR's polling memo:

The Republican incumbents in these districts, 35 of them freshmen, remain largely unknown and appear very vulnerable in 2012 (depending on redistricting). In fact, these incumbents are in a weaker position than Democratic incumbents were even in late 2009, or Republican incumbents were in 2007 in comparable surveys conducted by Democracy Corps.

Think Progress: Conservatives On Wisconsin Supreme Court Let Corporate Lobbyists Write Judicial Ethics Rules

March 23, 2011- Wisconsin elects its Supreme Court justices, but the court’s four conservative justices –including Gov. Scott Walker’s embattled ally Justice David Prosser — all voted to reject an ethics rule that would have prevented them from hearing cases involving their major campaign donors. Instead, the conservative justices enacted a rule written by powerful corporate lobbyists:

Those justices, including Justice David Prosser, who is running for re-election April 5, voted 4-3 against proposed rules that would have required them and other state judges to recuse themselves from cases in which one of the litigants had contributed more than $1,000 to their election campaign.

Wisconsin’s League of Women Voters and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign had suggested the rules, which were vigorously opposed by the big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and the state’s Realtors Association, both of which are heavy contributors to court races. When they spend a lot of money to elect a justice, of course, they want to make sure the justice gets to vote.

Talking Points Memo: Maine Governor Orders Mural Depicting Labor History Removed From Labor Department

March 23, 2011- It's Diego Rivera Redux in Maine, as Governor Paul LePage is taking down a mural in the state Department of Labor building depicting the history of the labor movement and changing the names of conference rooms that he deems too pro-labor.

The 11-panel installation depicted such figures as Rosie the Riveter and FDR-era Labor Secretary Frances Perkins as well as events like a 1937 shoe mill strike and 1986 paper mill workers' strike. Several rooms are named after historic labor figures including Perkins and Cesar Chavez.

A spokesman for LePage told the Lewiston Sun Journal that business had complained about the piece and "The message from state agencies needs to be balanced." He added that the rooms could instead be named "after mountains, counties or something."

Progressive and labor groups are upset about the change and the artist who painted it, Judy Taylor, told the paper that the mural's message was already fair.

"There was never any intention to be pro-labor or anti-labor," she said. "It was a pure depiction of the facts."

River Falls Journal: Come back with those petition signatures!

March 22, 2011- River Falls police were asked to track down and find a suspect who had made off with a batch of Sen. Sheila Harsdorf recall petition signatures late Sunday afternoon. The alleged theft occurred on the sidewalk near EconoFoods. The male suspect pretended he wanted to sign the petition to recall Harsdorf but instead swiped the forms with signatures and drove off.

The man drove back in five minutes and tossed the petition toward the group of volunteers. Either it was a poor throw or they couldn’t catch. The paperwork landed on wet pavement.

With a vehicular and suspect description, an officer traced the man to his home near the River Falls Area Hospital.

The man seemed indignant that a police officer was at his door and denied being near EconoFoods. Then he said he couldn’t be accused of stealing the petition signatures because he returned them.

When informed of his arrest, he allegedly resisted being handcuffed and began yelling about police brutality. His wife, also home, told her husband to calm down.

Talking Points Memo: Wis. Justice Prosser On Court’s Civility Problems: ‘I Am Castigated All The Time’

March 23, 2011- Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who is seeking re-election in this swing state's now highly-polarized environment, is continuing to explain the poor relationships on the court, which resulted in the public recently learning that he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "a total bitch" last year. As Prosser tells it, the liberal members have ganged up on him and created a "foul atmosphere" — which, he said, will be solved once he is re-elected.

Prosser's campaign has hit a serious bump in the road, due to the recent stories about internal squabbles on the court. "I probably overreacted," Prosser recently told reporters. "But I think it was entirely warranted…They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."

Truthout: Rich Get Richer With New Congress

March 23, 2011- Change is not the same thing as progress. In fact, change can be the exact opposite. It can be regressive, as we're now learning from — where else? — Congress.

A flock of tea party-infused Republicans has certainly changed the political dynamic there, and exultant GOP leaders are claiming that they are now the voice of "The People." But most people won't find themselves represented by this change, much less see it as progress.

That's because the newcomers in Congress, whether Republican or Democrat, tend to live high up the economic ladder, way out of touch with the people they're representing. Indeed, 40 percent of newly elected house members are millionaires, as are 60 percent of new senators.

Talking Points Memo: Poll: Percent Of Ohio Voters Who Disapprove Of New Gov. Doubles

March 23, 2011- Ohio Gov. John Kasich's first term in office is off to a rocky start. A new Quinnipiac poll shows that less than one third of registered voters approve of his job performance.

In the poll, just 30% of Ohio voters said they approved of Kasich's job performance, compared to 46% who said they disapproved. When Quinnipiac polled the state back in January, Kasich also posted a 30% approval rating. But at that time, just 22% of voters disapproved of his job performance, a number that has now more than doubled.

Since taking office this year, Kasich has proposed making deep cuts to the state budget, cuts which critics argue would have the most impact on the state's poorest families. He has also pushed to strip the state's public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights with a bill that, unlike one in Wisconsin, would not exempt public safety and fire unions.

Kasich defeated incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by in a tight race last year, 49% to 47%. But by mid-March, a PPP poll showed him losing a hypothetical do-over election by a 15-point margin.

Talking Points Memo: Union Busters Say Gov. Mitch Daniels Doesn’t Know How To Bust

March 23, 2011- As he struggles to get his legislative year back on track after state House Democrats shut it down five weeks ago, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) is facing a harsh assault from the anti-union right, which is accusing him of "running scared" from organized labor advocates.

It's a strange position for the virulently anti-union Daniels to be in.

"Big Labor Democrats may have fled to Illinois," a newspaper ad from the National Right To Work Committee that ran yesterday in Indiana reads. "But it's you who have been selling out."

NRTW says the newspaper ad is just the first salvo in an ad campaign aimed at Daniels and Indiana state House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) that will also reach TV and radio. Meanwhile, Republican state leaders are already under attack from a week-long ad campaign run by national Democrats.

Copyright Kochwatch 2014. All rights reserved.