The Kathleen's re-election strategy is pretty obvious. The embattled county executive is going to conjure up a carnival spook house of goblins and gremlins so that she can avoid debating the issues.
She'll use surrogates like Bill Lueders when she can. The Isthmus news editor has already wielded the sticky brush. Why, challenger Nancy Mistele is nothing more than a wind-up Stepford candidate, controlled by the malefactors at - get out the wooden stakes - WISCONSIN MANUFACTURERS AND COMMERCE!
(Cue Count Floyd on Monster Chiller Horror Theater: Ah-Whoo - woooo-ooo. That's scary stuff, kids!)
Falk and company intend to brand the letters W-M-C onto Nancy Mistele as if she were Hester Prynne's twin sister.
Bill's got proof! An early draft of Nancy Mistele's announcement speech passed through Jim Pugh's home computer. In his day job, Jim Pugh works for WMC. Ergo, propter, hoc!
Like the sticky key in Alger Hiss's Underwood typewriter. Proof! Like Bubba's love goo on Monica's blue dress. Proof! [What's Pugh ... Got to Do with it?]
We all know the evils of WMC. Twice a man was appointed to the state supreme court and twice the voters of Wisconsin elected someone else. Evil! WMC and its 4,000 Wisconsin employers, from Harley Davidson to - right here in Madison - Webcrafters - are the spawn of Satan! Snow blower manufacturers, sausage packers, horseradish bottlers, printers, banks and hospitals. Blood-sucking vampires! Ah-WHOOO!
Of course, Our Lady of the Marshlands will have no truck with the teachers union. No one from the government employees union will confer or consult with her campaign. The Sierra Club, Environmental Decade, 1,001 Friends or whatever they are called - all are persona non grata at Fortress Falk. Or if she does treat with them it's only because they want what is best for everyone, even little Susie and her puppy. Especially if they like marshes.
The mysterious Greater Wisconsin Committee, which went negative on eventual winner AG election winner J.B. Van Hollen on Falk's behalf? Nothing to see here, folks.
Falk's campaign manager and spokesman, Melissa Mulliken, has already dragged out the accursed WMC acronym. In response to Mistele's November 18 announcement, Mulliken let this fly for the benefit of WISC TV-3:
"It is shameful and shameless of Nancy to exploit the loss of life as a political talking point. This kind of reckless, WMC-style tactic is deplorable."
Shame-less! Or is it shame-full? Either way, can't talk about Brittany ... (the young woman whose name cannot be mentioned in the County Executive race). Nor the dead man at Lake Edge Park Shelter. What, they didn't have call waiting? No wonder the 911 emergency call center ignored their pleas for help. Not our fault. Not suitable subjects for a county executive's race.
Now, WMC - there are three letters to make the damned of Dante's inferno screech in horror! There's your issue!
Apparently it was not shameful nor shameless for The Kathleen to use Peg Lautenschlager's DWI arrest as a political talking point in the Democrat(ic) primary. In September, 2006, Falk put out a bunker buster of an attack: Our state's top cop, convicted of drunk driving in a state car! Using the old Gulf of Tonkin strategy, claiming to have been attacked first, she goes on like that for four pages. [Falk attacks Lautenschlager]
Interestingly, Falk in that campaign accused her opponent of "attacking Kathleen Falk so we won't focus on her (Lautenschlager's) record..." A tactic that The Kathleen is not too shameful or shameless to use against her opponent in this election.
And for the record, I hold no position in the Mistele campaign, WMC, Opus Dei, the Club of Rome, or the Priory of Sion.
The Kathleen and Melissa Mulliken, from about 1980
Separated at birth?
The Kathleen's re-election campaign manager is one Melissa Mulliken, a Falk look-alike.
Ms. Mulliken has long been a Falk supporter, enthusing in an August 31, 2002, letter to the Wisconsin State Journal that "Falk alone has been willing to take a courageous stand on corrections reform."
Of course, we see now where that courageous reform has taken us. Maybe ignoring a consultant's recommendation to staff up the 911 emergency call center is "courageous reform" to liberals like Mulliken. She continued, "Policies that support the tough-on-crime rhetoric ... are ill conceived."
Now we understand.
Two years ago, Ms. Mulliken was working on Falk's Attorney General campaign, which was notable for its paucity of support from sheriffs or district attorneys. You know, the tough-on-crime crowd.
However, even The Kathleen finds herself occasionally between campaigns - for all of her tries for other offices. So what's a gal like Melissa going to do between campaigns? Well, how about working for Dane County government? Sure, why not.
Melissa found work in 2007 as a contracted consultant for the Dane County Human Services Department. Ms. Mulliken's county contract was good for $19,500. Human Services said she was the low bidder. O.K. Funny how that works.
Dismayed, angered, and disappointed
A November 18, 2005, Isthmus article quotes the peripatetic Bill Dixon. He...
considers himself a big fan of Kathleen Falk. He supported her for county executive, even giving money to her campaign. But like many local Democrats, Dixon has not responded well to Falk's decision to challenge Democratic incumbent Peg Lautenschlager for state attorney general.
"I'm dismayed, angered and disappointed," says Dixon, an attorney and political pundit. He feels the race will keep Falk from "the job she was elected to do" as Dane County exec and consume campaign cash the Democrats can't afford to waste. Indeed, he says Falk's candidacy, by dividing the Dems, increases the chances of a Republican victory.
Pretty prescient, wouldn't you say?