Wondering how political hacks spend their time in mid-July? Look no further than the hundreds of tiny objections levied at 11 candidates for various state and federal offices in Wisconsin.
The targets include four Congressional candidates, two state senate candidates, four assembly candidates and one candidate for state treasurer.
Let's start with Madison's own Tammy Baldwin. T-Ball, as everyone cool calls her, apparently didn't list, "nor did she substantially" list, her voting address on her nomination papers. The Dane County Young Republicans were conveniently upset. They allege that should disqualify her from the ballot. Baldwin's attorney responds, citing security concerns that prevent a member of Congress from listing her address, as well as condescendingly citing the United States Constitution's requirements for holding public office to dismiss the claim.
See Lisa Subeck's comment below for a particularly creepy aspect of the Young Republicans' challenge.
Then there's Rep. Rich Zipperer, a Waukesha Republican who is running for State Senate. One of his primary opponents, Timothy Dietrich, alleges he improperly worded the nomination papers. The papers people signed read "for the general election to be held on November 2nd." According to Dietrich, this is inaccurate, and that Zipperer should have circulated papers for "the special partisan primary election."
Zipperer's response is pretty funny. He gives Dietrich a lesson in election law, telling him that there is no "special election" taking place primaries and specials are not the same thing. Furthermore, he takes the opportunity to point out a flaw in Dietrich's nomination papers, since Dietrich of course referred to the primary as "special primary election," which is inaccurate.
An interesting one is the 75th Assembly district primary. Apparently the higher-ups in the Democratic Party aren't happy with the candidacy of one Matt Bitz. Wisconsin Progress, a liberal group, challenged Bitz's eligibility based on the requirement that a state rep be a Sconnie for one year before serving in office. Bitz apparently has spent some serious time in New York, even voting in elections there as recently as last year.
His response isn't very convincing. He maintains that he has kept his residence in Rice Lake, WI even though he has occasionally voted in New York elections. Tough luck dude. Voting in Wisconsin elections is kind of a prerequisite for office here, if not legally then politically.
Ironically, Hitz is running as the "true" Sconnie in the race.
Independent Democrat vows to represent people of the 75th District, not Madison Democrats
(Rice Lake, WI) Matt Bitz, a Democratic candidate for the 75th Assembly District seat in northern Wisconsin, responded today to a challenge to the placing of his name on the ballot this fall. The challenge was filed by Kristen Crowell of Wisconsin Progress, who formerly worked for Nicholl Caruso, current head of the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee (ADCC) in Madison.
Haha. It's nice to hear the party "elites" called out. Tell 'em Matt!
"I went to school at UW-Madison and learned firsthand that things operate differently down there. But my promise to the voters here in the 75th District is that I will fight the party apparatus in Madison on this and other issues important to northwestern Wisconsin whether they like it or not."