James Wigderson is a writer living in Waukesha, WI. He can be reached at (262) 422-7763 after 5:00 PM, or by e-mail.
Prior to living in Waukesha, Wigderson lived and worked in Milwaukee County, growing up on Milwaukee’s northwest side.
Wigderson graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from UW-Milwaukee in August 1991. While in college, Wigderson served as editorial editor of the UWM Times and various positions in student government. Shortly before graduation he asked the Dean of Students if he would be missed when he was gone. Her reply, “Do you really want me to answer that question?” Wigderson continued his education in 1992 at a National Republican Campaign Committee campaign management college.
On Easter 1992, Wigderson became a member of the Catholic Church at the Newman Center at UW-Milwaukee.
In 1992, Wigderson managed the congressional campaign for Donalda Hammersmith, a Republican who won a five-way primary only to be defeated by State Senator Tom Barrett in November. In 1994, Wigderson was partly responsible for an uncoordinated expenditure get-out-the-vote mailing in the Neumann-Barca congressional race. In 1995, Wigderson served in a voluntary capacity for the George Petak campaign when he was recalled for his vote in favor of the building of Miller Park. In 1997, Wigderson was president of the Wisconsin Coalition for Voter Participation, an organization that contacted voters across the state to encourage their turnout in the April 1st supreme court election. It had the virtue of never having been tried before. In 1998, Wigderson was a paid consultant for State Representative Mary Lazich in the Republican primary against State Representative Scott Gunderson in the special election to replace Lynn Adelmann after he was appointed a federal judge.
In June, 2004, Wigderson launched the Wigderson Library & Pub as a Blogspot blog. He was inspired by the urgings of one long-time friend and the example of another who told him how easy it was. In 2006, Wigderson began writing a weekly column for the Waukesha Freeman, a column that continues to run every Thursday.
Among the highlights of Wigderson’s writing career: the reduction in size of the Waukesha County Board, the 33rd Assembly District race to replace Dan Vrakas, the rejection of Joseph Sobran as a speaker for a local conservative organization, the mayoral race between Larry Nelson and Ann Nischke, the proposed stadium at Frame park, virtual public charter schools, and Waukesha school district finances.
Wigderson made an appearance on WTMJ-TV to discuss the amendment to ban gay marriage on election night 2006. He also appeared as a guest debate analyst on Up Front with Mike Gousha on WISN-TV for the first McCain-Obama debate.
Wigderson has been a radio guest on Midday with Charlie Sykes on 620 WTMJ-AM, a guest on Eric Von’s show on WMCS-AM, and on Jessica McBride’s show on 620 WTMJ-AM.
In November 1997, he met the Lovely Doreen, then from Milwaukee’s south side. In August 1999 they were married in Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Milwaukee. In April 2000, Wigderson moved to the city of Waukesha where they have been residents ever since. He lives with his wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, two children, two dogs, two car payments, and a mortgage.
From Daily Takes, a blog written by Brian Fraley, currently with the MacIver Institute, December 3rd, 2007. Most of it is still relevant.
December 3rd, 2007
James, his wife and two children live in the City of Waukesha. He’s lived in Southeastern Wisconsin his entire life but somehow is not a Packers’ fan. He grew up on the northwest side of Milwaukee and has ventured as far as the east side, Wauwatosa, Brown Deer, and Franklin.
He coyly states that he works for a large corporation and proudly notes he writes a small column for the Waukesha Freeman. A film buff, his favorite movie is Casablanca. A lover of classic rock, if not a classic lover, Wiggy tries his best to be classy. He’s been a season ticket holder of the Florentine Opera and the Milwaukee Ballet, as well as the Milwaukee Brewers.
He’ll be the first to admit his wife is the classy one. She’s a former member of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, after all. She’s clearly destined for some holy recognition for putting up with his love of the Dallas Cowboys (she’s normal, she’s a Packers fan). The Wigdersons watch very little television, but when they do it’s mostly Sopranos reruns, Project Runway, Ghost Hunters and Seinfeld reruns.
They, however, freely admit they watch a lot of movies and documentaries. James reads a lot of non-fiction, some science fiction (Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Frank Herbert) and the occasional classic. “I have a rather well-thumbed and marked-up Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” sayeth Wiggy.
How long have you been blogging? Since June 2004.
How often do you post new entries, on average? Almost every day, often two or three.
What is the purpose of your blog? To vent? To influence? To report? To write. To entertain myself, mostly. If I wasn’t writing about politics, it would be something else.
How many other blogs do you read in a typical day, either via rss or browsing? Twenty-thirty. I’ve cut back.
Do you allow comments, and why or why not? Yes, I like comments, although sometimes they’re the most frustrating part of blogging. I often can learn something from the comments, or my readers can. The downside of comments is policing them. I really have a liberal comments policy, but sometimes it gets pushed.
What topics have most interested you? Local politics, mostly. My natural bent is international relations but it’s hard to write about while still being entertaining and interesting. Foreign policy tends towards very specialized knowledge and vocabulary. But otherwise I’m interested in writing on any topic I find interesting at the moment.
Do you feel your blog has an impact on public policy or the public’s awareness of certain issues? Certainly on school funding, campaign finance reform, ethanol, gay marriage, shrinking the county board. I like to think I’ve had a role in the some of the party’s discomfort with their attorney general. Better to be disillusioned now than disappointed later. We’ll se if any students ever take my advice and abolish student government.
Blogging has led you to….Drink. No, seriously. Blogging has led to my column in the Waukesha Freeman, which is great. It’s also led me to some interesting media appearances on WTMJ-AM, WMCS-AM, and Channel 4 in Milwaukee. It’s also led me to meet some very interesting people. Not just the local politicians. How often do you get to have a few drinks with a Kennedy assassination conspiracy expert like John McAdams? Or for that matter talk with people involved in local talk radio? Or listen to Asian Badger discuss charter flying? Or take a shooting lesson from Dad29? Or talk pro-life issues with Rick Esenberg?
On the other hand, it’s led to some strange situations. One election night I spent at the County Courthouse waiting on results Judge Michael Bohren asked me who I was. He was thrilled to discover he was talking with a blogger!
Three blogs you’d recommend:If you’ve never read a blog other than Brian Fraley’s, I’d suggest the following as good starts:
Shark and Shepherd by Rick Esenberg I think Rick is almost as smart as I am, and always has something interesting to say.
Badger Blogger, the essential news read in Milwaukee. His counterpart in Waukesha would be the Spring City Chronicle. In Racine it’s Real Debate Wisconsin. I’ll probably offend someone, but I’m shocked I can’t find a blog like that in Madison.
McBride’s Media Matters. Jessica McBride is one of the more controversial bloggers with her ear to the political wall. She turns out interesting content despite being a constant target of attacks. She’s also a good friend.
Of the liberal blogs, I could recommend the following: Pundit Nation, the Other Side of My Mouth, Waxing America, the Political Environment.
Just like Wiggy. I ask for three recommendations, he gives me seven. I guess it’s that “I’ll do it my way” attitude that makes Wigderson’s Library and Pubsuch a popular destination on the cheddarsphere.