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According to the latest Marquette Law School Poll, Scott Walker’s surge is continuing:

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll in the Wisconsin governor’s race finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker receiving the support of 50 percent of likely voters and Democratic challenger Mary Burke receiving 45 percent support. Another 3 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say they are certain to vote in the November election.

Among registered voters, Walker receives 46 percent and Burke 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided and 1 percent saying they will vote for someone else. This is the first time since March a candidate has held a lead outside the margin of error among likely voters. The results for registered voters remain inside the margin of error. (See clarification above.)

In the previous Marquette poll, conducted Sept. 11-14, Walker held a 49-46 edge over Burke among likely voters and registered voters tied at 46 percent support for each candidate.

I wrote this post less than a week ago. Here’s what I said then:

At a time when people are satisfied with how things are going, it isn’t helping that Ms. Burke is seen as a marketing specialist. Wisconsinites are looking for a policy wonk, a solutions-oriented person with Wisconsin’s best interests at heart. Throughout this fiasco, Burke hasn’t fit that part. That’s why the wheels keep falling off the bus.

This poll is verifiable proof that I was right about Scott Walker’s surge. If Mary Burke doesn’t do something to stem this pro-Walker tide, she’ll lose. Here’s why:

A large gender gap is present in voting for both governor and attorney general. Among likely voters, Walker leads among men with 62 percent to 34 percent for Burke. Among women, Burke leads with 54 percent to Walker’s 40 percent. With registered voters, Walker leads among men 54-39 percent while Burke leads among women 50-40 percent.

It isn’t surprising that men favor Republicans or that women prefer Democrats. That’s been happening for years, if not decades. What’s news is that Walker is favored by men by a 2:1 margin. That’s stunning and unprecedented.

If Burke doesn’t narrow that gap by at least 10 points, she’ll get beaten like a drum.

If Gov. Walker’s surge continues another week, the RGA could then focus more attention on other competitive gubernatorial race, like the one in Minnesota. If that happens, things will get real interesting real quick.

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Apparently, Mary Burke will continue stumbling towards the finish line a little longer:

Asked by reporters to define plagiarism, Burke said: “This, this probably, using words, exact words, from a source that doesn’t, that isn’t cited and isn’t attributable.”

As tortured as those words look on paper, they look infinitely worse in this video:

Burke’s biggest problem isn’t that her campaign plagiarized other people’s ideas. It’s that she’s playing into the narrative that she just isn’t that interested in policies. That’s sapping her momentum at the worst time. She started her campaign talking about her jobs plan and how she’d talked with some of Wisconsin’s brightest people in putting her plan together. Now that the campaign is in the stretch drive, the wheels appear to be coming off Burke’s campaign bus. In the video, it’s torture listening to her try and answer the question about plagiarism.

Burke’s other problem is that people are questioning whether she’s honest or whether she’s just another slick politician. Christian Schneider’s article didn’t portray her in the most flattering light:

But for Burke, this solidifies the impression that she is the pyrite candidate; her flashy bank account gives her credibility, but she lacks even a modicum of substance. Her campaign is being buttressed by a cadre of consultants and media professionals who evidently hand her a jobs plan and say, “Here, now go sell it.”

Christian Schneider is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a newspaper not prone to treating Scott Walker with kid gloves. If the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is saying these types of things about Ms. Burke, rest assured that more conservative papers serving places like Green Bay and rural Wisconsin aren’t casting Burke in a flattering light.

At a time when people are satisfied with how things are going, it isn’t helping that Ms. Burke is seen as a marketing specialist. Wisconsinites are looking for a policy wonk, a solutions-oriented person with Wisconsin’s best interests at heart.

Throughout this fiasco, Burke hasn’t fit that part. That’s why the wheels keep falling off the bus.

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The Republican Party of Wisconsin is hitting Mary Burke with this radio ad:

Joe Zepecki, Burke’s campaign spokesman, is doing his best to rewrite history:

Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki said this case wasn’t one of plagiarism because the consultant had recycled his own words. “These allegations are false. A respected professor of journalism has made clear that these allegations do not fit the definition,” Zepecki said.

Actually, that isn’t all that he did:

In the examples dug up by Walker’s campaign staff, Burke has this to say in her rural community report: “While manufacturing employment in general has been declining for years, the production of wind equipment is one of the few potentially large sources of new manufacturing jobs.”

A 2003 report by the Council of State Governments made a similar statement: “At a time when U.S. manufacturing employment is generally on the decline, the production of wind equipment is one of the few potentially large sources of new manufacturing jobs on the horizon.”

Burke’s veterans plan, “Investing for Jobs and Opportunity: A Plan for Wisconsin’s Veterans,” has this to say about litigation: “This places additional burdens on those who were injured and in some cases plaintiffs could die before their cases make it through the lengthened court process.”

A 2013 column by Darrin Witucki in the Dunn County News carries some of the same language: “The opposition argued that the bill would impose additional burdens on those that were injured — and in some cases plaintiffs could die before their cases made it through the lengthened court process.”

Mr. Zepecki’s statement doesn’t hold up. Clearly, things written by a columnist isn’t recycling the consultant’s words. Neither is lifting words from a Council of State Governments’ document.

One expert on plagiarism said Tuesday that the issue isn’t so clear cut.

Burke’s jobs plan was presented as hers and the consultant was not named at all in it. Burke has written that, to draw up the report, she consulted with “some of the best minds in Wisconsin.”

The consultant in question for Burke, Eric Schnurer of the Pennsylvania firm Public Works, was never paid directly by Burke’s campaign. Schnurer and Burke’s media firm, GMMB, didn’t immediately respond to questions Tuesday about whether Schnurer had worked as a subcontractor for GMMB, as Burke’s campaign says he did.

Burke’s statement isn’t honest. Whether it’s plagiarism is virtually irrelevant at this point. Saying that she talked with “some of the best minds in Wisconsin” is BS. The truth is that her consultant lifted words from his previous campaigns and from other people’s statements.

The truth is that her jobs plan is a rehash of past campaigns.

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When a politician gets caught lifting other politicians’ ideas, things can go south quickly. That’s what appears to be happening with Mary Burke, the Democrat who’s running to unseat Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. Christian Schneider’s article highlights why this charge might doom her campaign:

And this is why this latest charge hurts Burke. A scandal really only hurts a candidate if it reinforces an existing impression of that politician. If someone were to charge, for instance, that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was slow-witted or that U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) spent her nights at underground dogfights, it would be laughed off, as those run counter to what the public knows about them.

But for Burke, this solidifies the impression that she is the pyrite candidate; her flashy bank account gives her credibility, but she lacks even a modicum of substance. Her campaign is being buttressed by a cadre of consultants and media professionals who evidently hand her a jobs plan and say, “Here, now go sell it.”

While I agree with much of what Mr. Schneider wrote, I’d just add that the thing that hurts candidates the most is the appearance that the politician isn’t a man or woman of gravitas. Apolitical people generally solutions-oriented people. If they get the whiff of Ms. Burke just being another politician who’ll say anything to get elected, she’s history.

It is a similar avatar of inauthenticity that could sink Burke’s campaign. She is, after all, someone who derides the offshoring of jobs yet made her millions working for a company that makes 99% of its bicycles in other countries. Evidently she didn’t find any ways to help working people while on her two-year snowboarding sabbatical in Argentina and Colorado in the mid-1990s. Her persona and policies simply don’t ring true.

Some candidates have a gift of fitting right in with the regular Joe. Bill Clinton had that gift. George W. Bush had that gift, too, though to a lesser extent than Bill Clinton had it. Ms. Burke doesn’t have that gift.

The biggest thing going against Ms. Burke is how much rank-and-file union members like Gov. Walker’s reforms have worked. After Gov. Walker’s union reforms went into effect, school districts saved tons of money because they didn’t have to buy their health insurance from WEAC Trust, the teachers union’s health insurance company. WEAC Trust still exists. It’s just that they have to compete for their business. Prior to the Walker reforms, they could negotiate that into their collective bargaining agreement. At that point, they could charge outrageous prices.

After getting rid of that expensive health insurance, school districts freed up enough money to hire additional teachers while reducing class sizes and/or giving teachers raises. Lots of teachers like the fact that they’re getting raises or that their class sizes got smaller or that their health insurance just got cheaper.

It’s pretty telling that Ms. Burke hasn’t really made those reforms a campaign issue.

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Conn Carroll’s article highlights how the Mary Burke plagiarism scandal have hurt her:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has surged ahead of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, as Burke has been forced to fire campaign staff responsible for copying her campaign’s job plan from other failed candidates.

The most recent Marquette Law School Poll, conducted September 11-14, found Walker enjoying a 3-point, 49-46 percent lead over Burke. This was a marked improvement for Walker who trailed Burke in Marquette’s earlier poll, conducted August 21-23, by 49-47 percent.

That’s a 6-point swing in less than a month. I’d call that significant. The Burke campaign’s worries are legitimate, to say the least. The plagiarism is just the least of her worries, though:

Burke’s week only got worse after BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported that portions of Burke’s jobs plan had been copied from four other Democratic candidates, three of whom went on to lose their elections.

Ed Morrissey’s commentary highlights another potential difficulty for Burke’s campaign:

And now Burke will certainly claim not to know that her other policy positions in her own campaign turn out to be cut-and-paste jobs, too. That will lead Wisconsin voters to ask just what about Burke’s campaign is her own thoughts and words, as well as question her ability as an executive. So far, Burke hasn’t exactly impressed as an executive with the running of her political campaign, and one has to wonder what voters can expect if she becomes the CEO of state government. With the majority of Wisconsin voters liking the direction of the state under Walker, these revelations will make them less and less likely to opt for new leadership, especially when the alternative is amateurish incompetence.

Burke’s campaign is in danger of hitting a tipping point. If she isn’t careful, she could get questioned for why she didn’t scrutinize her jobs plan. After all, that’s the cornerstone of her campaign. It isn’t a positive reflection on her abilities that she didn’t pay attention to the cornerstone of her candidacy.

Walker is no stranger to come from behind victories. In 2012, the same Marquette poll found Walker trailing his then-opponent Tom Barrett 46-47 percent. But Walker soon surged ahead of Barrett in Marquette’s final poll before the election 50-44 percent, before beating Barrett easily 53-46 percent.

Burke’s campaign is in a precarious position. If she doesn’t do something to change Walker’s momentum quickly, things could get real late real fast.

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There’s no question that Scott Walker is in the fight for his political life this cycle. That doesn’t mean his campaign’s discovery of Mary Burke’s policies containing other people’s ideas won’t hurt Ms. Burke.

In the examples dug up by Walker’s campaign staff, Burke has this to say in her rural community report: “While manufacturing employment in general has been declining for years, the production of wind equipment is one of the few potentially large sources of new manufacturing jobs.”

A 2003 report by the Council of State Governments made a similar statement: “At a time when U.S. manufacturing employment is generally on the decline, the production of wind equipment is one of the few potentially large sources of new manufacturing jobs on the horizon.”

Predictably, Burke’s campaign is attempting to spin this:

Her campaign spokesman, Joe Zepecki, rejected the Republican criticism after reviewing the disputed material. “These baseless allegations reek of desperation,” he said by email. “Given more bad jobs numbers… that were released last week, it’s no surprise they’re desperate; what’s surprising is how transparent they’re being about it.”

First, they aren’t allegations. They’re verified facts. The comparisons are exceptionally straightforward. Next, saying that this smacks of desperation speaks more to Burke’s campaign mindset than it does to Gov. Walker’s campaign. I wouldn’t be desperate if I’d just found something that shows my opponent is a plagiarist. I’d be quite happy with the discovery. I’d still work hard but I’d be reinvigorated.

Third, there’s nothing transparent about the Walker campaign’s desperation because it likely doesn’t exist. This is the Burke campaign’s attempt to downplay the fact that she’s looking like a typical liberal without an original thought. Why would people vote for someone who’s plans aren’t her own?

Burke’s veterans plan, “Investing for Jobs and Opportunity: A Plan for Wisconsin’s Veterans,” has this to say about litigation: “This places additional burdens on those who were injured and in some cases plaintiffs could die before their cases make it through the lengthened court process.”

A 2013 column by Darrin Witucki in the Dunn County News carries some of the same language: “The opposition argued that the bill would impose additional burdens on those that were injured — and in some cases plaintiffs could die before their cases made it through the lengthened court process.”

Again, where’s Mary Burke’s thinking? Isn’t she capable of putting her plans together? Is she just another cookie cutter progressive who takes orders from her special interest puppeteers?

At this point, it’s legitimate to question whether Ms. Burke is just another pleasant-sounding woman who isn’t ready for primetime. It’s legitimate to ask whether she’d be a leader or whether she’s just the public face to the Democrats’ special interests. At this point, it isn’t wrong to think she’s just the face behind the Democrats’ push to defeat Gov. Walker.

Based on this video, Ms. Burke apparently has farmed out her policies to staffers:

Ms. Burke’s actions are shameful. While it might be ok to assign some policy-making responsibilities to a senior staffer, it doesn’t make sense to turn substantial parts of her jobs plan to a contractor.

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Few apolitical people know that the Democratic Party has put in place a system that chills political involvement and that buys elections. I have proof that both statements are true. Starting with buying elections, this story proves that the DFL broke Minnesota’s campaign lawss and bought 11 Senate seats:

The Republican Party of Minnesota began filing complaints in October 2012, charging that DFL campaign materials were wrongfully listed as independent expenditures, but the materials were not because the candidates were actively engaged in photo shoots in producing the print ads, thereby breaching the legal wall between candidates and independent expenditures.

For those that want to argue that this is just Republican sour grapes, I’d ask them to explain this:

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Tuesday, Dec. 17, fined the Minnesota DFL Senate Caucus $100,000 for wrongfully working with 13 of its candidates in the 2012 election.

The $100,000 civil penalty is among the biggest in state history.

These sitting senators should be kicked out of the Senate for their actions. Further, they should be fined for their actions, as should the DFL Senate Caucus for their actions. Finally, there should be a special election to replace Democrats that broke the law.

If it’s a financial hardship for these Democrats, good. I’m not interested in making their lives comfortable. I’m interested in making examples of them. They’ve lost the right to be called public servants. They’ve earned the right to be called lawbreakers. These Democrats have earned the right to be considered unethical politicians.

While buying elections is a serious thing, it’s trivial compared with the political witch hunt that’s happening in Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

While there’s no doubt Democrats will deny a connection between the IRS-TEA Party scandal and this witch hunt, they’re too similar in intent to ignore. Here’s what John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor leading this witch hunt, obtained through his pre-dawn paramilitary raids:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrat prosecutors wanted to intimidate people they didn’t agree with. They used tactics third world dictators use to intimidate the citizenry:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

This isn’t just a fishing expedition. It’s a message from Democrats to Republicans that they’ll use their offices to intimidate their political enemies. It’s a message from Democrats that they’re weaponizing government agencies.

This isn’t just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happened in Texas, too, where a Democrat with a penchant for getting highly intoxicated abused her office to indict Gov. Rick Perry for doing what other governors have done since the founding of their respective states. She indicted him because he vetoed a bill cutting off funding for her office.

It isn’t coincidence that Scott Walker and Rick Perry are considered potential presidential candidates. In fact, I’d argue that Chisholm launched his fishing expedition into Gov. Walker to defeat him so he can’t run for president.

Check back later today for Part II of this series.

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Thanks to this article by the Wisconsin Reporter, conservatives can learn about the Democratic Party’s witch hunt machine. Anyone that thinks Democrats are nice people that conservatives simply disagree with is badly mistaken. Read the article, then tell me that:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

That the John Doe prosecutors tried to get records from “at least eight phone companies” is frightening enough. Who needs the NSA when Wisconsin has these John Doe prosecutors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there:

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Anyone that thinks this is just a case of some rogue prosecutors gone bad apparently hasn’t paid attention to Rosemary Lehmberg’s indictment of Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX). These naive people should read this, too:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

If you thought that weaponized government was just a term used by paranoid conservatives, you’d better rethink things. This is proof that some Democratic prosecutors will use their office for blatantly political purposes. Again and unfortunately, that isn’t all these Democratic thugs with law degrees did. Here’s more:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrats wanted confidential information. That’s why the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Eric O’Keefe filed their civil rights lawsuit.

There’s little doubt that these Democrats would’ve used the information they gathered through their witch hunt to chill these conservatives’ desire to participate in the political process. The only retaliation against these Democrats is to a)prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when possible, b) end their political careers by removing them from their positions of political power and c) pressure Democrat politicians into passing sweeping reforms to prevent these fishing expeditions from today going forward.

If Democrats aren’t willing to limit rogue prosecutors’ ability to conduct political fishing expeditions, then we’ll know that they approve of these Democrats’ behavior.

Thanks to M.D. Kittle and the Wisconsin Reporter, we now know that these Democrats were attempting to chill conservatives from exercising their right to participate in the political process. This needs to be stopped ASAP and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

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It’s political light years away from the next presidential election season but it isn’t too early to start drafting potential GOP presidential candidates. Atop my list is Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor. Marc Thiessen’s article sums up Gov. Walkers qualifications perfectly:

During the 2012 recall fight in Wisconsin, a group of protesters dressed as zombies disrupted Gov. Scott Walker’s speech at a ceremony for kids participating in the Special Olympics. Walker just ignored the protesters. Afterwards, talk radio host Charlie Sykes told Walker he should have “gone Chris Christie on them.” But Walker wanted to keep the focus on the Special Olympics athletes, saying “it was their day.”

The incident is revealing. Walker and Christie, the New Jersey governor, are friends, and they have both found a way to win in purple states that have not voted for a Republican president in a quarter-century. But they each did it in very different ways.

Christie is moderate in policy, but immoderate in temperament.

Walker is moderate in temperament, but immoderate in policy.

Activists are drawn to Christie’s gruff exterior because they want a fighter. There’s no questioning whether Gov. Christie is a fighter. Still, for all his combativeness, many of his policies are what I’d expect of a New England Republican. That makes Gov. Christie significantly less appealing than Gov. Walker:

Walker is a tea party hero thanks to his courageous stand against the public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Cruz may have “faux filibustered” Obamacare, but Walker faced down 100,000 protesters outside the Capitol in Madison and won. He not only passed his reforms despite unbelievable odds, he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. He’s both a fighter and a winner, a compelling combination for the conservative base.

Moreover, Walker’s appeal to the right goes beyond collective bargaining. As governor, he passed a raft of other conservative reforms that went virtually unnoticed because of the collective-bargaining fight. He signed legislation enacting voter identification requirements, permitting the concealed carry of firearms, defunding Planned Parenthood, prohibiting any health exchange operating in Wisconsin from covering abortion, reducing taxes, expanding school choice and reforming entitlements. Walker is an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative.

But Walker also has a proven ability to win the votes of moderates and reform-minded independents. While Walker is often portrayed as a “divisive” figure, exit polls in the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election showed that about one in six Walker voters also planned to vote for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “those confounding Obama-Walker voters of 2012…[are] still with us.” Two separate 2013 polls of Wisconsin voters, the paper reported, show that “11% approve of both politicians.”

Put differently, Christie is the bully who supports many liberal policies like gun control and global warming. Gov. Walker has a mental toughness that can’t be questioned. He stared down the thugs in Wisconsin and won the fight for important reforms. Everyone knows about the collective bargaining rights fight. Few noticed that he got other reforms passed, too.

Most importantly, I won’t have to worry whether Gov. Walker will abandon conservatism’s core principles. He won’t. He’ll pick great judges. He’ll feature a positive pro-growth agenda. He’ll be an unapologetic conservative with a lengthy history of conservative accomplishments.

George Will noted another appealing part of Gov. Walker’s in this column:

To fight the recall, during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit, Walker raised more than $30?million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is reelected next year.

It’s great that Gov. Walker is a proven fundraiser. He’d need it if he runs against Hillary in 2016. More importantly, though, he understands the value of a strong organization.

In other words, Gov. Walker a) is an unapologetic conservative, b) has a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, c) can rally the conservative base while still appealing to independents and d) is a prolific fundraiser. That’s quite the trifecta heading into 2016.

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Ralph Benko’s op-ed is the perfect counterargument to Michael Tomasky’s silly column, which I wrote about here. Benko didn’t waste time in highlighting the flaw in Tomasky’s logic:

Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.

This post isn’t about trashing Karl Rove or the Bush family. Frankly, that’s a waste of time when there’s important things to be done. Instead, it’s about identifying underlying principles undergirded President Reagan’s policies. Mr. Benko is spot on with this analysis:

Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles, especially low tax rates and good money, brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.

Several things worked together to make America infinitely more prosperous during Reagan’s time than during President Obama’s time in office. First, the dollar was much stronger than during President Obama’s time in office. That’s partially because President Reagan’s domestic energy policy was infinitely more robust than President Obama’s. The less money we needlessly ship money overseas for oil, the stronger the dollar is. Our trade deficit shrunk, too.

The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.

It isn’t a stretch to think that conservatives like John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio will re-ignite the Reagan Revolution. Each of these men have spotless conservative credentials, which is why they fire up the base in ways Mitt Romney and John McCain couldn’t.

When President Bush won in 2004, he got 62,000,000 votes. McCain got fewer votes than President Bush. Mitt got fewer votes than Sen. McCain. Had Paul Ryan been at the top of the ticket, however, it isn’t a stretch to think he would’ve topped President Bush’s vote total.

That’s because he’s the spitting image of Reagan. The Reagan Revolution was fueled by a glut of great ideas. A Ryan Revolution would be powered by the same thing. Most importantly, he’d talk conservatism like his native language. This isn’t an attempt to trash Mitt. It’s simply stating the obvious. He just didn’t prosecute the case against President Obama the way Ryan would have.

President Bush’s spending turned conservatives off because he had a Republican House and Senate much of the time. President Reagan’s spending was done, in part, because he had to rebuild the military after President Carter gutted it, partly because Tip O’Neill controlled the House.

Everything President Reagan fought for was targeted towards creating prosperity. He didn’t back away from a fight, either. When PATCO went on strike, he fired them because they broke federal law. When Tip O’Neill accused him of not caring about the average working Joe, Reagan responded mightily. His temper flaring, he marched back to the podium, then said, essentially, that he’d made his money because he’d worked hard, then adding that it wasn’t given to him.

It’s a fight Mitt Romney backed away from too often in his attempt to win over women voters or independents. It’s a fight the next generation of conservatives will fight with vigor.

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