While researching 33rd district Wisconsin Senator Ted Kanavas’ plan to forgo his pay increase, I stumbled across his yet-to-be-announced plan to run for governor of this great state in 2010.
There are a lot of layers to this event. Ready?
A quick Google search for “Ted Kanavas” lands the site – www.tedkanavas.com – on the list right after his state Senate site. The home page, when you finally reach it, is labeled in the upper left corner “Ted Kanavas for Wisconsin Governor.”
(Update about 6:00 pm – the original has been scrubbed, so I’m putting in this screenshot. Click on it to see the whole page.)
But first you’ll find a series of four rather cheeky questions you must answer individually:
Are you happy with our leadership, or could they be doing a better job?
A) Happy B) Not satisfied
Does the DNR make things better, or worse, in Wisconsin?
A) Better B) Worse
How’s the business climate in Wisconsin?
A) Great B) Horrible
Are children in Milwaukee getting a proper education?
A) Yes B) No
You must answer all four separate questions correctly before you are allowed to enter the TedKanavas.com Web site. A wrong answer provides this response:
Obviously you’ve already been brainwashed.
In that case here’s your homepage.
Quick as a wink, you’re redirected to Governor Jim Doyle’s Office of the Governor Web site.
Answer the questions correctly, which happens to be all in the negative or B) response category, and you find Mr. Kanavas. (This link will allow you to bypass the scripted questions.)
But wait, there’s more…
Yes, the site’s obviously a draft. “What’s up?” elicits a “Coming Soon” response. So does the “Support” page. But there are several others, Agenda, Bio, Press, Links, Initiatives, and Contact, that give you quite an eyeful.
Go on. Take a look. See if you notice anything…
That’s right. There’s no campaign finance disclosure on this site. If you look closer still you’ll find the fax number listed for Contact is his state legislative office.
Kanavas is wrong in so many ways, but I need to start somewhere. The most obvious is using state resources to campaign and the lack of a campaign disclosure statement. It will be disingenuous indeed if he chooses the argue the site was a template or marker. The domain has been active for a long time. It’s the second site Google returns for his name. He’s in the IT business, for goodness sake. He knows better. But obviously, that didn’t stop him.
Next consider the scripting that runs to enter the site. Anyone in the industry knows that scripting like this gets in the way of your message. Next, if he insists on these rather cheeky questions, causing the negative answer to be affirmed sets a negative tone to your message.
According to Kanavas’ campaign finance statements he’s paying thousands a month on his campaign. $3,750 a month goes to Cathy Stepp, and another chunk of change has been going to Laura Gralton for a while to do his fundraising. Timothy S. Lundie, a former Sensenbrenner staffer, shows up recently, too. (This cast is begging for a post of their very own someday!)
While we’re talking money, Kanavas July 2008 report showed a balance of $91,373.88. For comparison, Scott Walker showed $50,867.18 with about $14,500 in loans at the time and Jim Doyle was at $1,097,900.69. For kicks and giggles I looked up J. B. VanHollen’s July 2008 report. He had a balance of $107,819.03 with a loan of $700,000. Ouch.
Yes, I’m tough on the guy. I live in his district. There’s not much he’s done to make me think he’s leadership material. (We can start with the fact that he looks away whenever he sees me!) When I wrote after the election that we need to discern top candidates as Republicans, guys like Kanavas were not what I had in mind.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see what the rest of Wisconsin thinks.
I should also mention that I’ve done a couple of screen shot saves and downloaded a capture so that I can mirror the site if it disappears quickly. It’s there. He’s elected. This is fair discussion. I sure hope it stays.
Update – 5:00 p.m. – the fax number shown above has magically disappeared from the Kanavas campaign site. Disclaimer anyone?