Monday, September 20, 2010

SEIU Operative Kicks His Own A**

One of the things about blogs is that they can extend stories that appear in the mainstream media. Yesterday, Dan Bice wrote on comments by a union operative who said that he was going to "kick Scott Walker's ass" over the O'Donnell Park tragedy and problems at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. In describing the coming campaign, he referred to things that Tom Barrett planned to say in coming debates.

I was interviewed for the story and was quoted as saying that I "could see the labor union encountering problems if it ran ads on the O'Donnell Park tragedy now that an employee is on record saying he talked with Barrett's staff about hitting Walker on this issue." Retired Elections Board lawyer George Dunst apparently agreed.

That's exactly what I said. Here's the problem. The SEIU, in a post-Citizens United world, is perfectly free to run ads that say bad things about Scott Walker. What it can't do is coordinate those communications with the Barrett campaign. If it does, it runs the risk of violating, among other things, laws that forbid providing something of value to a campaign with, to generalize, "unregulated" money.

That a guy from SEIU says that he is discussing a planned attack campaign with the Barrett campaign suggests coordination. To avoid such a suggestion, sophisticated operatives don't have those conversations. Or, if they have them, they don't tell strangers on the street.

I don't know if there was coordination. But, if SEIU now spends money to run attack ads focusing on O'Donnell Park and the County Health Complex, regulators are almost going to have to investigate.


John Foust said...

A conservative operative walks into a bar, starts his iPhone recorder, starts a man-to-man conversation with a stranger, using a false name. There's a joke in there somewhere.

Clearly Morgan isn't a sophisticated operative. So we should take his brag as gospel? "Almost going to have to investigate"? That's your expert opinion?

Anonymous said...

I assume you'll have a similar critique about the just-exposed conservative voter suppression efforts?

George Mitchell said...

John David-Morgan has thrown a grenade into Tom Barrett's camp.

The cheap and predictable exploitation of an incident that had nothing to do with Scott Walker is now laid bare.

The fact that Walker opponents need this kind of b.s. illustrates the current state of the campaign. Namely, Barrett trails and can only win with a negative campaign. I would guess that with a little more than a month to go that won't work.

Dad29 said...


SEIU has also gained national attention today for its member in WA indicted for false signing on a ballot initiative.

If this keeps up, the brand will have all the odor of "Teamsters Health Fund."

Anonymous said...

Hilarious title!

This story by Bice is not a good thing for Barrett right now. People have tried to discredit the guy by saying he was drunk, or was a nobody, but there are problems with this criticism.

First, the audio recording shows the guy was not drunk. Perhaps buzzed, but I wouldn't even go that far.

Second, he was talking to a county supervisor over the phone about the rally meant to cause a headache for Walker. He was also chatting with Walzak at laborfest, which checked out. He has at least some political connections and is able to recount conversations he has with various tv stations who were "willing partners" in anti-Walker coverage.

No, this doesn't play out well. I see a really good Walker commercial out of this.

Anonymous said...

Can I get Ken Kratz and Bishop Long to officiate at our domestic partner signing