Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Wisconsin GOP is the Ryan Party


Waukesha Freeman Thursday, 08/11/2016 Page A06 Opinion

Wisconsin GOP is the Ryan Party

Bad night for Chris Larson

Any discussion of Tuesday night’s election results has to begin with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s victory over recent transplant and alt-Right favorite Paul Nehlen.

In the closing days of Nehlen’s campaign he even said there should be a discussion about deporting all Muslims from the United States. His fellow bigot Ann Coulter campaigned for him. Breitbart News pumped his candidacy. Even odd talk show hosts from around the country started to believe the hype.

Ryan’s win was bigger than Congressman Ron Kind’s over his primary opponent, and about the same margin of victory as Congresssman Gwen Moore’s victory over the crook Gary George. When the alt-Right’s bigots took aim at the intellectual leader of the conservative movement in Congress, they failed miserably.

Wisconsin’s conservatives were tested in the fires of the Recall Elections and the Republican Party is now more united than ever. The party base has very high expectations for their elected officials, and are often not shown in expressing frustration. However, they’re not going to hand over the Republican Party to Donald Trump clones.breitbart

Time for Nehlen to crawl back under the rock from where he came. He can take the scam PAC professional campaigners, Breitbart, Coulter, and his out-of-state supporters with him. The Republican Party of Wisconsin is the party of Paul Ryan, and thank God for that.

****** For those of you keeping score at home, Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson did not have a good night. The would-be kingmaker’s use of state Rep. Mandela Barnes in his continuing war with state Sen. Lena Taylor ended badly with Taylor winning in a landslide, 61 percent to 39 percent. Not only did Taylor easily win, Larson loses an ally in the state Assembly.

Say goodbye Barnes and hello again to Jason Fields in the 11th Assembly District. Larson backed Barnes in his successful run against Fields in the Democratic primary in 2012. This time Larson backed Darrol Gibson who lost with 41 percent of the vote to Fields’ 59 percent. Gibson was also backed by Congressman Gwen Moore, the Wisconsin Working Families Party and the AFL-CIO.

This continues a rough streak for Larson who earlier this year lost the race for Milwaukee County executive. Democrats should take note, Larson is not the leader he thinks he is. But then, the fact that he lost his job as majority leader by one vote gives an indication of how talent-poor Madison Democrats have become since 2010.

****** For many of us, the only item on the ballot was the Waukesha County clerk race. The incumbent Kathleen Novack was certainly vulnerable. She continued a long line of Waukesha County election snafus by shorting some communities’ ballots during one primary election. She got into a needless spat with the Town of Waukesha over removing inactive voters from the rolls, forcing that clerk to go to the state of Wisconsin to fix the problem. It would be fair to say that Novack lacked the support of almost every municipal clerk in the county.

Fortunately for Novack, her opponent Gina Gresch ran a terrible campaign. She ignored good campaign advice and refused to attack Novack’s record. Indicative of her campaign, she spent the day before the election at State Fair. It’s okay to be an amateur politician, but it’s not okay to run like an amateur, and even an endorsement from WISN’s Mark Belling couldn’t help her.

Hopefully Novack heard the voices of frustrated constituents and has learned from the last four years. “Crucial Waukesha County” needs to pass the image of not being able to run an election onto some other deserving county.

****** Finally, a non-election related note. The first time I met Jeff Barta, the co-owner of Nice Ash in downtown Waukesha, I liked him immediately. I suspect that is hardly a unique experience. Jeff had a very sharp intuition about people which is probably why he enjoyed playing poker so much. He was also a sharp businessman, passionate about his own business and the downtown. He also really cared about the community, and was a wealth of knowledge in that regard.

The Wigderson family offers our condolences and our prayers to his wife Joette and the Barta family. To them, the loss must be terrible, and Jeff’s passing is a loss to Waukesha as well.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)



Copyright © 2016 Conley Group. All rights reserved 8/11/2016

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