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Jeff Johnson is taking the fight to Gov. Dayton, this time in Virginia, MN:

Johnson has been a persistent critic of MNsure created under Gov. Dayton. But his opposition reached a new and higher level when PreferredOne, which had 60 percent of the MNsure market pulled out for business reasons.

Johnson even alluded to a possibility that Dayton’s Department of Commerce may have allowed PreferredOne to participate in MNsure even though it couldn’t sustain the low rates. “The Commerce Department’s role is to make sure that the rates are actuarially sound. It doesn’t appear that they were,” Johnson said more than a week ago when PreferredOne left the exchange.

PreferredOne’s decision to not participate in MNsure is a big deal because it’ll mean higher insurance premiums. PreferredOne left MNsure because it was a bureaucratic nightmare, which meant PreferredOne couldn’t make a profit. Commissioner Johnson’s statement must’ve hit a nerve with the Dayton campaign, which released this statement:

Dayton has admitted mistakes with MNsure and has shown his displeasure with its rollout. But the governor’s campaign fired back over Johnson’s allegation of possible political tinkering with the state Commerce Department.

“Commissioner Johnson’s accusations that the governor engaged in illegal activity are unfounded and untrue. We will not dignify Commissioner Johnson’s smear attempt with any response,” a statement from the campaign said.

That’s right. The Dayton administration has never broken. Except when they illegally put people on Medicaid:

We first reported Tuesday the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was investigating complaints that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid. Now, we have emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that show state officials and MNsure have known about this problem since January of this year.

Mike Franklin is one of those people. Franklin and his wife combined make more than the $65,000 limit for dependent children to qualify for Medicaid, yet Franklin says he received notice from MNsure that his children had been placed on Medicaid without his consent. Franklin says he even received notices that Medicaid had paid some medical bills for his two children, even after he asked MNsure to discontinue the coverage because he did not qualify. Franklin says it took six months and action by an Administrative Judge to discontinue the Medicaid policy.

That’s right. Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services knew that Gov. Dayton’s MNsure was illegally putting children on Medicaid even though their parents made too much for the children to qualify for Medicaid.

That’s the definition of breaking the law. It isn’t just that the Dayton administration broke the law. It’s that the administration knew that they’d broken the law and sat silent, at least publicly.

That means that the Dayton campaign’s statement that Gov. Dayton didn’t engage in illegal activity is 100% spin. Jeff Johnson accused Gov. Dayton’s administration of breaking the law. Jeff Johnson didn’t accuse Gov. Dayton of personally breaking the law.

The important point is that MNsure is a failure that’s hurting lots of Minnesota families. Insurance premiums will increase this fall. The only thing undetermined is by how much they’ll jump. It’s a fact that MNsure will be a disaster for people trying to renew their policies. It’s a fact that people who are trying to add babies to their coverage are being asked by MNsure if their newborn baby is married.

In other words, it isn’t just that the Dayton administration is utterly incompetent. It’s also verified truth that the Dayton administration has broken the law.

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Gov. Dayton’s MNsure problems just got bigger. KSTP’s investigation into MNsure has led them to “emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Health” that show state officials and MNsure have known that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid:

Internal emails obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show MNsure and other state officials were aware people who made too much money were placed on Medicaid, which is for low-income people.

We first reported Tuesday the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was investigating complaints that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid. Now, we have emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that show state officials and MNsure have known about this problem since January of this year.

Mike Franklin is one of those people. Franklin and his wife combined make more than the $65,000 limit for dependent children to qualify for Medicaid, yet Franklin says he received notice from MNsure that his children had been placed on Medicaid without his consent. Franklin says he even received notices that Medicaid had paid some medical bills for his two children, even after he asked MNsure to discontinue the coverage because he did not qualify. Franklin says it took six months and action by an Administrative Judge to discontinue the Medicaid policy.

Now that we know what happened, it’s time to find out why this happened. Why would MNsure and the Department of Human Services knowingly put the Franklin’s children into Medicaid when they should’ve been put on the Franklins’ private insurance policy?

Why wouldn’t MNsure and the Department of Human Services want people on private insurance plans? More importantly, why would MNsure and/or Minnesota’s Department of Human Services obey the law? The $65,000 limit isn’t a suggestion. It’s the law. Don’t Lucinda Jesson and Scott Leitz think that the laws pertain to them? Is it that they think that they know what’s best?

DHS declined an interview request and issued this statement: “We are closing cases (Medicaid) every day and will continue to do so.”

TRANSLATION: We’ll obey the law the minute we’re caught.

The Dayton era of mismanagement and corruption keeps rumbling along.

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After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:

DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.

Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.

The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.

I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.

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Jeff Johnson’s campaign is highlighting what’s been happening with the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. This time, the Johnson campaign highlights Gov. Dayton’s past statements about the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis:

Johnson has proposed performance and fiscal audits of all state programs, beginning with human services programs, to determine which ones work and which ones are a waste of taxpayers dollars. In a September 14 Star Tribune story on Johnson’s audit proposal, Mark Dayton said: “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Actually, Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Johnson’s statement is accurate. Since Gov. Dayton made that ill-advised statement, he’s changed his perspective:

“It’s incredibly ironic that, after criticizing my plan to audit all state programs—beginning with human services programs—this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars has surfaced,” Johnson added. “My audit plan is clearly needed, and Mark Dayton is clearly out-of-touch.”

Actually, Dayton’s statements aren’t as much out-of-touch as they are a predictable defense of liberalism. The most important principle behind liberalism and budgeting is that every penny ever appropriated is forever justified. In fact, in 2007, the DFL legislature fought to have inflation calculated into the budget:

That’s bad enough but Democrats pushing to install “an automatic inflator put into the calculation of the state budget forecast” ain’t gonna fly. This is something that should be rejected before it’s ever proposed. There should be a public outcry against this type of reckless spending. We should recognize this scheme for what it is: an attempt to codify into law liberalism’s dream of ever-increasing taxing and spending.

The thought that government was spending money foolishly was the farthest thing from the DFL’s mind. I had multiple arguments with liberal commenters about that at the time. Gov. Dayton certainly would’ve agreed with the principles behind baseline budgeting, which is based on the thought that budgets must increase each year.

That’s the principle behind not spotting the mismanagement seen in the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. The DFL thinks that budgets should increase each year. Therefore, in the DFL’s thinking, auditing special interest organizations that get government grant money isn’t needed.

“I’m very troubled by and tired of Mark Dayton’s continuous pattern of creating or contributing to problems and then trying to claim credit for fixing them after the damage is done,” Johnson said. “Today, for the second time this week, Dayton’s DHS has employed its ‘arsonist with a fire hose’ strategy. Dayton’s ties to the leaders of Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis are numerous, and if he and his DHS commissioner were competent and aware of what’s happening, they would have discovered these issues long ago, without a tip from a whistleblower.”

It’s one thing for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to propose spending more money. It’s quite different, though, for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to initially pretend that money is being spent wisely, then expressing outrage once it’s proven that the money is getting spent foolishly.

It’s unacceptable that the all-DFL government didn’t care about Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis until it became a political liability. It’s better to be proactive in preventing these fiascos than to clean up the mess after the fact.

Jeff Johnson’s audit plan will identify organizations and agencies that are spending money foolishly. There’s no question that Jeff Johnson will implement proactive policies to prevent these things from happening. There’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton has operated government with a clean-up-the-mess-after-the-fact attitude.

It’s time Minnesota took a proactive approach to protecting the taxpayers. Only Jeff Johnson will bring that approach to governing. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t.

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The DFL has tried convincing Minnesotans that MNsure is performing spectacularly for almost a year. The DFL’s job is getting more difficult each week. Stories like Jay Kolls’ article just highlight how dysfunctional MNsure is:

Jean Hendricks doesn’t understand why MNsure wants to put her son on Medicaid at taxpayers’ expense when he doesn’t qualify. She says MNsure even gave her a plan on how to do it. “They said, ‘Well, if you don’t claim him on your taxes, he can qualify for Medical Assistance (Medicaid),'” she said.

Her son is 19 years old and lives with Hendricks and her husband. The law says someone her son’s age, who is dependent and lives in a household that makes as much money as the Hendricks do, does not qualify for Medicaid.

Here’s why that doesn’t sound right:

Because he is financially dependent on his parents, her son could be on his parents’ insurance if they have coverage, and the Hendricks do.

“I was very surprised they would do that, put him on Medicaid,” Hendricks said.

It’s important to understand what’s happening here. There’s no question that MNsure employees know that people under the age of 26 can be covered by their parents’ insurance policy. That’s literally been known for years. Whenever a Democrat is asked about Obamacare, the Democrat reflexively reminds people that a) people under the age of 26 can be covered by their parents’ health insurance policy and b) insurance companies can’t reject people of any age if they have a pre-existing condition.

That raises the question of why MNsure would recommend that the Hendricks put their son on Medical Assistance, which is Minnesota’s version of Medicaid, when their son is eligible for coverage under their health insurance policy.

That’s more than a little suspicious. It’s certainly justification for extending the audit being done by Minnesota’s Office of Legislative Auditor, which is what Jeff Johnson called for last week.

Sources tell us, and the Minnesota Legislative Auditor’s Office has confirmed, they are now investigating many cases similar to the Hendricks and the number could be “significant.” Sources say those cases could be illegal Medicaid placements at taxpayers’ expense.

If the OLA finds lots of instances similar to the Hendricks’ situation, taxpayers could be needlessly paying for people’s health insurance. Why would MNsure tell the Hendricks family to put their son on Medicaid? What’s the use of that provision in the ACA if MNsure is telling people to avoid using that provision?

This sounds totally corrupt, not to mention the fact that it’s more expensive than it needs to be. That’s unacceptable. What Kolls’ article tells me is that the entire MNsure leadership, if it can be called that, should be fired ASAP because they’re incompetent and possibly corrupt.

Certainly, they don’t act like they care how much of the taxpayers’ money is unnecessarily spent.

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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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The Strib’s article about a nonprofit’s reckless spending is worthy of multiple posts because this isn’t the first time the NPO has gotten caught:

This is not the first time that an audit has found issues with Community Action’s spending. A 2012 audit by the state’s legislative auditor singled out $1.35 million given to households that were not eligible for emergency benefits. Community Action paid a $100,000 fine to the federal government.

You’d think that the Dayton administration would pay additional attention to this NPO after they were fined for misappropriation of funds. It’s pretty apparent that the Dayton administration didn’t pay the requisite attention to this NPO. Unfortunately, that isn’t surprising. This administration is the Asleep-at-the-Switch administration when it comes to tracking the details.

Gov. Dayton has a substantial history of not knowing important things. He didn’t know that the tax bill he personally negotiated included a sales tax on farm equipment repairs. He didn’t find that out until right before talking at FarmFest. He didn’t know that the Vikings stadium bill that he personally negotiated included a provision that allows the Vikings to sell personal seat licenses, aka PSLs, to season ticket holders.

Gov. Dayton is taking credit for lots of things that aren’t accomplishments, starting with the low unemployment rate. It isn’t that high unemployment is a positive thing. It’s that far too many people in those jobs reports have part-time jobs or are working in jobs that they’re overqualified for. The headline is nice but families need sustained economic growth that produces full-time jobs with good pay, not headlines.

No matter how much concern the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, express about Community Action’s mismanagement and the betrayal of the public’s trust, the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, can’t hide the fact that they aren’t interested in being watchdogs of the taxpayers’ money.

The inescapable truth is that government has tons of slop in it that the DFL hasn’t paid attention to. The inescapable truth is that Minnesota’s unemployment rate is the only positive in an otherwise mediocre economy.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t grown the economy. Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t paid enough attention to whether the taxpayers’ money is spent wisely or foolishly. Finally, they’ve supported a fatally flawed health insurance system.

In 2012, the board also approved a $17,624 bonus to Davis, three times the amount allowed by state guidelines, according to the audit. Davis made $273,060 in salary, bonuses and deferred compensation in 2011, according to the most recent tax records.

It’s time we hired a governor with a lengthy history of highlighting, then eliminating, foolish and disrespectful spending. That’s Jeff Johnson’s history, not Gov. Dayton’s.

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This Star Tribune article isn’t stunning from the perspective that people generally don’t worry how they spend other people’s money. It’s startling from the perspective that Gov. Dayton didn’t have a clue about this. First, here’s what the Star Tribune is reporting:

Leaders of a Minneapolis nonprofit that serves low-income residents used taxpayer money to pay for a celebrity cruise and trips to Palm Beach and the Bahamas, according to a recently completed state audit.

Along with the trips, the audit by the state Department of Human Services found that the nonprofit’s leaders spent public money on bonuses, golf, spa treatments, furniture, alcohol and even a personal car loan.

The audit concluded that the organization’s longtime chief executive, Bill Davis, misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars from 2011 to 2013.

I’m not a prosecutor but I’ve got to think that it’s illegal to use taxpayer money to make payments on a personal car loan. It isn’t that I think that the other things listed are good governance. It’s just that I think there might be a semi-plausible explanation for some of the things listed. This part jumps off the page at me:

Davis said his group, Community Action of Minneapolis, sent the state 112 pages of information in early September challenging some of the audit’s findings. He said in an interview that information has been “totally ignored” in the final report.

“I’ve been here for 24 years,” Davis said. “I’m well aware of my responsibilities. I wouldn’t be elected to national boards if I was doing things I shouldn’t be doing.”

Let’s look at that last statement about being “elected to national boards” if he was doing things he shouldn’t have been doing. Of course he would. That wouldn’t matter to people swimming in the same cesspool. They’re cronies who think that they’re entitled to the perks. In this instance, Mr. Davis went too far.

This part is jaw-dropping stunning:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

Spending $13,100 isn’t a “small gesture on our part.” That’s spending lavishly and/or extravagantly. Other than identifying that fact, I’d like to know what Community Action of Minneapolis’s employees did to justify this lavish spending.

Our taxes are paying for a significant portion of Community Action’s budget:

Community Action had an $11 million budget in fiscal year 2011, with over half of its revenue coming from government grants. The audit’s findings put Community Action at risk of losing at least $2.8 million in aid.

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.” Now that the facts are out, Gov. Dayton is singing a different tune:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Now that it’s been proven that Community Action of Minneapolis spent taxpayers’ money foolishly, Gov. Dayton is backtracking. Fast. We don’t need a governor who takes things seriously after the fact. What’s needed is someone who takes steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal should frighten civic-minded people of all political persuasions. It paints the picture of what hardline progressives specialize in:

Last year Wisconsin prosecutors—at the behest of Milwaukee’s Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm —launched a secret criminal investigation involving almost every conservative advocacy group in the state. Armed law-enforcement personnel executed pre-dawn searches of the homes of consultants for the Wisconsin Club for Growth. The organization had engaged in “issue advocacy”—running ads that do not call for the election or defeat of a candidate—both before and during the extended cycle of recall elections for state officials following Gov. Scott Walker’s collective-bargaining reforms in 2011. At the same time, subpoenas were directed to approximately 30 other conservative advocacy organizations and their bankers and accountants.

In other words, hardline leftists like John Chisholm perverted the criminal justice system for political purposes. Chisholm and his thugs had a goal to silence conservatives’ political speech. It looks like they accomplished that mission while chilling political speech.

That’s as un-American as it gets.

The investigation has been stopped by a preliminary injunction in O’Keefe v. Chisholm, and it is the subject of legal wrangling in state and federal courts, but if Mr. Chisholm’s efforts were politically motivated, then he can already claim victory. As midterm elections near, Wisconsin conservative groups have been sufficiently intimidated amid the uncertain legal climate, or their money has been so depleted by courtroom fights, that they are not the force in the state that they were in 2012.

Chisholm has won this part of the fight but he hasn’t won the war. What’s needed is an army of thoughtful people who put the Bill of Rights ahead of short-term political gains. If that army doesn’t exist, then Chisholm’s won the war, not just this fight.

When short-term political gains are more important than fighting for the Bill of Rights, we’ve passed the tipping point as a nation. It’s time to fight for the Bill of Rights. It’s time to momentarily put partisanship aside and focus on doing what’s right. Chilling political speech through the courts is abhorrent. Utilizing unconstitutional laws to chill political speech is disgusting.

It’s been said that people shouldn’t subscribe to conspiracy theories the things that can be explained by incompetence. This isn’t about incompetence. It’s a plan that Democrats utilize because they don’t like taking criticism. They’ve used the IRS to stifle conservatives’ political speech. Senate Democrats just attempted to gut the First Amendment. There’s nothing accidental about the Democrats’ campaign against the Bill of Rights.

Campaign-finance lawyers often say that the process is the punishment, and that has certainly been the case in Wisconsin. I have witnessed it first-hand as my organization, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, consults with many conservative advocacy groups across Wisconsin.

After the raids became public knowledge, the prosecutors claimed that they were investigating allegations that the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other groups had illegally “coordinated” their speech on political issues with Gov. Walker’s campaign in violation of the state’s baroque and often inscrutable campaign finance laws. The investigators seized sensitive and highly confidential records of a good part of the state’s conservative infrastructure.

When Chisholm is laughed out of his final court, which will happen, he’ll still have won because he will have silenced conservatives. Winning in court wasn’t part of his fascist agenda. Chisholm’s goal was to intimidate people into silence. That’s called censorship.

I don’t trust people being the arbiters of what’s acceptable political speech and what isn’t. That’s why I cheered when the Senate’s bill, predictably, went up in flames.

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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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