Kathleen Falk further divides a divided Wisconsin

I’ve mentioned before that I hear things out there. Stuff you wouldn’t expect me to hear. I’ve worked really hard over the last few years to romance some decent contacts. And while I’d never reveal them, it’s time to confess what’s going on in the Democractic gubernatorial attempt.

Let me explain I’m still labeling Kathleen Falk’s campaign as something not as sure as you’ve been led to believe. After all, Wisconsin isn’t even declared to be dealing with a recall election. That’s not the issue, here.

Falk is not every not-a-Democrat’s favorite candidate. (We have discussed how there are very few proclaimed Dems in the state, right?) She’s just the only one willing to dance with the union who brought her to the party. And baby is she dancing. This Facebook posting from the weekend was all but making out behind the bleachers.

This is why I have said that as governor, I will restore workers’ rights through the state budget and if that budget comes back to my desk without those rights, I will veto it. I will also make sure our employees pay their fair share. Gov. Walker abolished our rights in his budget repair bill and I will use the budget to get them back.

Yes, she’s WEAC’s girl. But a number of progressive bloggers in this state are anything but titillated by the public display. Zach lamented last week on Blogging Blue:

I’m finding it really hard to get enthusiastic about the possibility that I’ll be forced to choose either Kathleen Falk or Kathleen Vinehout to be the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.


Chaz Bolte from WE the Party says:

The endorsement is a major score for Falk’s candidacy, but the full process of candidate selection has not yet begun to gain steam. That may be out of caution or it may be the result of a weak field.


The LaCrosse Tribune pulls her out by her ear in this editorial:

But it was counterproductive and premature for Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk to promise Wisconsin union leaders to restore collective bargaining for public workers or veto a budget that didn’t accomplish that.


And to top it off, those union members aren’t all that excited about the early declaration. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Mary Bell, president of WEAC, said that she didn’t anticipate any change in the recommendation her group made Wednesday.

“There are people who are surprised. There are people who are concerned. There are people who are in disagreement but a recommendation is just that,” Bell said.

(Such enthusiasm!)

For those keeping count, IBEW 159 also endorsed Falk early.

But back to what I’m hearing… How about a few progressives begging for a real candidate to come forward? There’s also a little chatter to encourage Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. I suppose it’s because, you know, he was so electable last time.

That electability is at the core of the Falk concern. She always loses a statewide race. Her legacy of losing is what has part of an already divided Wisconsin more than a little concerned that she’s been courted so ardently.

That’s just how fickle we are in our love for leadership right now. I – and a couple of others on the right – are scared about the timing of Governor Scott Walker’s dumpster revelations in light of a recall election. The left is bemoaning the lack of a candidate.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I don’t tell you enough: Thanks so very much for reading. I’d be a little lonely without you. Yes, even you crabby guys. 😉


  1. What good does it do for the “union”, if a Democrat wins the recall election, but doesn’t
    implement the union wish list? I guess it depends on what one thinks the recall is all about and what the union is willing to accept. Will the union accept a partial or only a complete restoration of the gravy train. The union is the most powerful single group in the Democratic party. If the union wants and will only accept a complete restoration then Falk is their woman no matter who else might be available or more electable.

  2. I just want to be clear. You say the Kathleen Falk “always loses statewide races” and your a Mark Neuman supporter?

  3. Apples and oranges, Jeff. My guy is running for an open senate seat. Your two time loser is trying to win against a gubernatorial recall.

    Apples and orange comparisons are a big not-a-democrat specialty, aren’t they?

  4. Actually Kathleen only really lost one statewide race, the other was a primary. She won handily here in Dane County.

    I kathleen always loses (which isnt true) so its a strike on her, your guy is a professional jobber but that doesnt count.

    arent Gubernatorial and senate races both statewide races?

  5. the support of one union does not make a candidacy. the point of my article was that it is way to early for endorsements when the candidate pool has yet to be sorted out. It seemed like an overreach for WEAC. Is Falk really the best option to go against a Scott Walker type? How do we know? we don’t even know who’s in yet.

  6. “There’s also a little chatter to encourage Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. I suppose it’s because, you know, he was so electable last time.”

    Agreed, Barrett ran a very poor campaign back in 2010. But the “dumpster revelations” coupled with Falk’s making dumb pledges to the unions might make him the best candidate now.

    With WEAC endorsing Falk, Barrett could go into the campaign and claim, with some real credibility, that he is the only candidate who is independent of the two biggest special interest groups, WEAC and WMC. Especially if corruption becomes a big issue, this dynamic could be very important.

  7. Randy in Richmond says:


    Please share your “dumpster relevations” so I will be up to speed on this issue. I’m aware of what a newspaper columnist said but apparently you have some specific information I’m not privvy to at this time.

  8. Nope, no specific information. Didn’t mean to imply that I had any and sorry if I did. Just echoing the speculation by Capper, et al. Perhaps that was a poor idea.

    I guess what I should have said is IF the stuff from the dumpster turns into a smoking gun. Of course at that point it’s a brand new ballgame anyway. Then the Dems would have an actual crime to run against, even if they didn’t wait for that crime to be revealed before they filed the petitions.

    The redistricting case could also be a wild card here. Certainly the GOP is acting very very guilty, and there might have been some state laws broken there too, although maybe not. Any wrongdoing there probably wouldn’t directly reach Walker, but could feed into a storyline that he’s encouraging a culture of corruption.

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Thanks for your explanation–I agree.