Saturday, September 9, 2017

Barca is OUT. And it was overdue

Look, it's my birthday week, so I haven't had the time to go into all of the events of the week up here in Fitwalkerstan. But I do have to give a few quick thoughts on Peter Barca being booted out as the leader of the Assembly Democrats.
Barca’s resignation — effective Sept. 30 — came after the meeting in a conference room at the U.S. Bank building on the Capitol Square during which some Assembly Democrats were planning to raise the question of whether Barca should be replaced.

Some members of the caucus have privately expressed skepticism over Barca’s leadership as minority leader.

Last month, Barca was one of three Democrats to join majority Republicans to vote in favor of a nearly $3 billion tax incentive package to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to southeastern Wisconsin, a project that could bring jobs and research money to his district.
And that mentality right there is why Barca had to go. You can't have your party leader acting selfishly and stepping on the party's message that the Fox-con is an expensive giveaway and sellout of our state's environmental laws. Sure enough, Gov Walker and the Wisconsin GOP used Barca's vote to claim the Fox-con was "bipartisan", making it seem like a reasonable deal (it is not reasonable in any way).

The past is over

Peter is a good guy and often had his head in the right place. But he still operated under a mentality from a previous time where the minority party could work with the majority to come up with a good deal. That is NOT how today's "divide and conquer" GOP plays, and Peter's inability to understand that is why he had to go. I said as much back in November, when I called for Barca to be replaced after the disastrous 2016 elections.
Peter, you did some great things during the Act 10 struggle 5 ½ years ago, but this “let’s work together on solutions” crap needs to be left in the 20th Century where it belongs. The WisGOPs do not care about solutions to real problems facing Wisconsinites, they care about grabbing as much political power and money that they can for themselves and their donors. THE END. And being seen as a contributor to that system doesn’t make you the nice guys in the eyes of a voting public who have a lot of bigger things to worry about than day-to-day politics, and it doesn’t get rewarded at the polls in less-educated, rural parts of the state that Dems need to win back.
Published reports also indicated that a lot of the newer and younger Dems in the Assembly had enough of getting rolled and losing elections, and the Fox-con was the last straw. And it looks like the new leader will be in that "younger" subset of the Assembly caucus.
Oshkosh Democrat Gordon Hintz is emerging as a top pick to lead the Assembly Democrats.

Hintz, a member of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee who had been considering a run for governor, told the Wisconsin State Journal on Friday he is running to lead Democrats in the Assembly — a caucus that has seen its ranks diminish to levels not seen in 60 years....

Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, who served on the Legislature’s finance committee with Hintz until this year, said she would not run and was “excited” to support Hintz. Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee, also said he is backing Hintz.

“I think Rep. Hintz is a really bright guy and someone who’s really good at building leaders and engaging talent and I think his ability to identify and grow talent is something that is fantastic,” said Brostoff, who added that he believed Barca was “someone who worked incredibly hard” and was “very committed” as leader of the Assembly Democrats.
Chris Taylor and Jonathan Brostoff are two opinions I take very seriously at the Capitol (in fact, Taylor would have been my first choice for Dem leader, and Hintz a close second). There isn't anyone that has ripped the Fox-con and much of the rest of the regressive GOP agenda with the accuracy and eloquence that Hintz has done in the last 6 weeks.

Those of who you read this blog shouldn't be surprised that I am completely behind the idea of Gordon leading the Assembly Dems. Hintz won't take any shit from Robbin' Vos and the rest of those cyncial, crooked thugs, and he'll be able to relate the Dem position to the public in a more effective (and often humorous) way than Barca ever could.

Let's go kick some WisGOP ass

In the 2010s, you have to have fire and appeal to the voters' guts, in addition to having some charisma and a policy position. Too many Wisconsin Dems think that this is still a debating society, and that "appearing reasonable" and "grabbing consensus" is what enourages rational voters too choose them. This decade has proven that this is not the case, and Dems need to have people who say in public "The crooked Republicans are screwing you and hurting this state."

Gordon Hintz is a great guy to do that, and I welcome the overdue move to change leadership in the Assembly.


  1. Of course Hintz is right up your alley, Jake, he's a misogynist creep. From his attitudes about prostitution to threatening a female legislator with death, sounds like he's just your type. Congrats! He'll do well for you and your gang of misfit toys.

    1. You mean that adulterous Fox News wanna-be Litjens? Spare me the false equivalence Faux-trace.

      Especially when its coming from the party with the twice-divorced and adulterous "devout Catholic" Robbin' Vos as ITS Assembly leader, and when the GOP just snuck in a budget measure to give the Inquisition to Planned Parenthood for daring to cover medical services to poor women.

      Bradley Boy, you are SCARED that Dems finally have a leader won't play along with your cynical crap, and who will call out and expose your crooked BS.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is exaclty what Hintz will do - kick some ass. He gets to the point and does not mince words.

  3. I was livid with Barca's Foxconn vote. Dems need to find a way to get all their oars in the water at the same time and in the same direction. Agree with you, reason and logic don't work with our Republican friends. Dems need to learn how to fight "dirty".

  4. I think your analysis of Barca's vote on Foxconn is right on. In the old days when bipartisanship was something to be proud of, we would have understood his and Cory Mason's votes. As it is, 3 Dems sided with people who would do anything for their party and nothing for the people of WI. We don't trust Walker to negotiate a deal. We don't trust the GOP to vote in the best interests of constituents and we can't trust Dems who work with them.

    1. This is completely true. Dems cannot play footsie with the MMAC and other corporate slime that keep funneling money to the GOP. Plus, that corporate corruption is failing 99% of the people in the state, and Dems shouldn't offer any cover for GOPs who want to deflect from the damage the ALEC crew has caused

  5. Agree 100% about Barca... but Hintz is a bad fit here. Hintz gives a great floor speech, but after the massage parlor thing he should just be happy to still be an elected rep. If he becomes leader, it means every single Dem candidate for Assembly is gonna have to fend off questions about prostitution, etc. It's stupid and unfair, but GOP knows how to make that crap work and we just don't have that margin for error.
    Chris Taylor would be my #1 choice. Disappointed she's not interested. But any of Shankland, Subek, Sargent, or Stuck would be a better choice than Hintz.

    1. I get the concern, but the GOP can't really go there as the party of Trump, Vos, Wild Bill Kramer, and several other GOPs who have an "interesting/disgusting" history with women.

      I go the other direction. Playing conventional and worrying about the GOP lie machine has landed Assembly Dems in this awful spot. Go big and go strong.

    2. The last Presidential election would certainly seems to support your viewpoint, Jake. Hintz and the rest of the Dems will need to be completely dismissive about any traffic they get over it. Take the position that any flak over Hintz's run in is less than nothing and stick with it. Advance your agenda, tear theirs apart, attack and make no apologies for the small messes that show up along the way.

      I'm not looking for Democrats to be squeaky clean - frankly I'm suspicious of people who lack apparent vices - but they damn well better have a plan, the ability to advance that plan and the wherewithal to tear down the RP's bullshit.

      The all or nothing politics we have now are awful. We can be, and should be, more bipartisan and respectful of the contributions of the minority party.

      When it's not us.

    3. "When it's not us." Maybe, but let's clean up the mess that WisGOP has made first. And make the GOP clean up their act and stop being crooked, regressive fools.

      Then, AND ONLY THEN, do we consider playing nice and respectful with those thugs.

  6. Wirch voted for Foxconn. Surprising since Kenosha is out.

    1. Saw that. Wirch was just re-elected and won't have to face the voters until 2020, so where's the downside of doing the right thing and voting "No."

      Very stupid, and while I appreciate Wirch's blue-collar mentality and "Wis 14" credentials, this was a very bad move. Hope this is his last term (he's in his 70s).