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brthompson



Post: How Involved is too Involved?
5/1/2012
In past presidential elections, Slate published an article listing who their staff and contributors planned to vote for. I don't think that had any negative effect on their credibility. The bigger question for me is whether the person or publication is willing to give both sides or only the evidence that supports their position. I can name a number of publication, writers, and radio talkers I would put in the latter category, so I don't waste my time with them. I would agree that publishing the recall petitions was bad policy. Anything that discourages political involvement should itself be discouraged.
Post: The Recall Stall
1/17/2012
This would seem to be a classic case of judicial overreach. While the law says that in the case of duplicate signatures, only the earliest will be counted, it places the burden of challenging such signatures on the office holder being recalled. So rather than interpret the law as written, the judge interpreted as it should, in his opinion, have been written. This a more than simply transferring private costs to the public sector. It is likely the costs will be much higher. In my experience with scrutinizing one's opponent's nomination papers, one only goes to the trouble of searching out duplicates if the signature count is very close to the minimum. But it appears that the GAB intends to undertake this effort regardless of the count. Then what happens when the GAB's database turns up similar names at the same address. Whose responsibility will it be to verify whether this represents one person signing twice or two people (think father-son, mother-daughter, or just coincidence)? Given their record so far, my guess is the Walker campaign will insist that the taxpayers pay for this.
Post: Gableman’s Favorite Free Lawyer
12/20/2011
It certainly doesn't look like Gableman will feel compelled to recuse himself from cases brought by Michael Best, judging from the latest filings by the Walker campaign. In their suit against the Government Accountability Board, Walker's campaign uses three Michael Best lawyers including Steven Biskupic. If they had any inkling that Gableman was likely to recuse himself, simple prudence would dictate the choice of other lawyers. The brief itself strikes me as very odd. First it is largely based on a novel constitutional theory: that the possibility of duplicate signatures on recall petitions violates the constitutional rights of those choosing not signing the petitions. Second it seems to demand a large increase of government activity: that the GAB pay to scour the petitions for duplicate signatures. Traditionally this was a responsibility of opposing political campaigns. It is striking to see conservatives demanding the socialization of private activities.
Post: The Many Opinions of Supervisor Eyon Biddle
11/29/2011
Having ridden the Hoan as part of this summer's Ride for the Arts, I am surprised to see it described as "severely up and down pitched." In truth, the grade is mild and is likely to be taken in stride by anyone in reasonable physical condition. There are any number of popular bike routes that present a more challenging climb, including the rise at the north end of Lincoln Memorial Drive.
Post: Oh, Those Nasty Readers
7/13/2011
I think the real problem is not that too many comments are offensive, but the pure volume of mindless drivel that follows most articles in the Journal Sentinel or (especially) the Times. Thus it is usually too much trouble to dig through them to find the occasional insight or, best of all, intelligent exchange between a commenter and the original author.