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10/22/2007
Contributors, legislators, go both ways

First, the legislators. When Representatives Kaufert (R-Neenah) and Montgomery (R-Green Bay) visited Speaker Huebsch last Thursday, constituents’ eyebrows went up and a bit of panic set in. Are these guys throwing in the budget towel? Well, yeah, that’s exactly what it looks like from this quarter. The Journal Sentinel writes they felt “the pressure to stop December property tax bills from going up unnecessarily.” Kaufert is quoted as saying “People will be mad as hell and I told them, I’m not taking that shot.”

Give me a break. As I shared Friday, property taxpayers would be asked to take a $25 hit. And for that Kaufert apparently supports a $1 cigarette tax raising hundreds of millions of dollars and $200 million illegally pulled from the Patients Compensation Fund. Doesn’t want to “take the shot.” Hmmm. Courageous? That just doesn’t sit too well with me.

And contributors go both ways
Friday, Stephen Moore did a piece for the Wall Street Journal Opinion page that pointed out how corporate campaign giving has visibly shifted from the GOP to the Democrats – a shift that “helps explain the Democrats’ commanding fund-raising lead.”

Well, we’ve got our own shift right here in Wisconsin. Tonight, a gaggle of Democrat state legislators are hosting “Road to Majority 2008” in Green Bay to raise bucks to “help support the Assembly Democrats statewide as well as our Democratic Assembly representatives in NE Wisconsin.”

Ok, that’s important. Pay attention. Yeah, GOP powers-that-be surely get the message. Everything these guys do continues to be aimed directly at taking three Republican seats in the Assembly.

Here’s what’s interesting to me – the list of Hosts ($500) and Sponsors ($250) includes your typical Democrat donors – unions and the trial lawyers, as well as current and former office holders Jay Johnson, Lee Meyerhofer and Steve Kagen.

But then a few interesting entries.

George French, Orde Advertising, Green Bay, was an alternate delegate to the GOP 2004 National Convention in New York – and contributed $10,000 to the state party in May, 2004. French and his wife, Beverly, really do go both ways – many Republicans receiving support, as well as prominent democrats including Russ Feingold, Harry Reid and Barbara Mikulski.

Daniel “Chuck” Van Zeeland, a $250 sponsor to tonight’s gig, has given in the past to Toby Roth and David Prosser (going way back) and Bob Welch, Mark Neumann, Mark Green and John Gard. No dem history in the lists of www.opensecrets.org.

John Bykowski, Secura, gave $2,000 to Terri McCormick in 2005 and $250 to John Gard in 2006. Heretofore, not a democrat in his reported contributions.

Jon Stellmacher, Thrivent, contributes primarily via the Thrivent PAC it seems. Two contributions show up in the federal data base, $250 to the state GOP party in 2000 and $200 to Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) in 2002. Not much of a list, but still, heretofore not a dem in the bunch.

And then there’s the Wisconsin Builders Association and the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Overwhelmingly, supporters of the pro-growth fiscal conservative in most any race. Wow. They want to see a Democratic party majority elected to the Assembly in 2008? That just blows me away.




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