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Debunking Kilkenny and Her Straw Man

As I was passing by, I stumbled onto Kilkenny's blog where she discussed some talking points she commonly hears from Walker supporters.  I'm more apt to call them straw-man arguments with an intent to make her lackluster candidate more reasonable to voters (no easy feat by any measure).  Kilkenny gives a list of talking points followed by her rather inane footnote comments nestled within the parentheses below.  Let's take a look at some of them.

1.  Neumann is a RINO (no explanation as to why).

I'm not sure how many conservatives believe this, let alone Walker supporters, but Neumann is no RINO.  The only thing I can think of that would cause a conservative to say this is Neumann's wacky idea of increasing renewable energy by "more" than Doyle's projected goal of 25% by 2025.  And even then, it is more likely these Walker supporters were just having fun with Cindy more than anything else.  I would call this a straw man point because it is intended to create an easy win for Kilkenny.

2.  Neumann Lies about Walker (They won't ever tell you when or how)

Neumann has a history of lying, some about Walker and some about the campaign in general.

First, Neumann told a Madison reporter he heard rumors that Walker was abandoning his run for governor and taking his chances on a U.S. Senate bid.  When the reporter confronted Jill Bader, Walker's Communications Director, she said that Neumann needed a drug test.  Later, Neumann's campaign manager pinned the blame on a few junior staffers.  This happened in March.

Second, Neumann was caught lying about whether or not he would run as an Independent.  Several credible eye witnesses, including a U.S. Congressman and Republican officials said that had Neumann indicated he would run as an Independent if he did not secure more Republican support.  When challenged on Charlie Sykes's show, Neumann wiggled and eventually vowed that he wouldn't run as an Independent. This happened in April.

Third, Neumann lied about his followers being unfairly targeted and locked out of the Republican Convention.  It's strange that Neumann was unware delegates, alternates, and guests must all pay a fee to attend.  This rule applies to everyone, including his supporters.  Neumann never filed an official complaint because he knew his claim was bogus.  Hell, one of his supporters claiming to be locked out was wearing convention delegate badge.  This happened in May.

And fourth, Neumann lied about Walker's position on the stimulus position.  I will cover this in the "negative" section as it fits both categories.  This happened in June.

3.  Neumann Running a Negative Campaign (again, no specifics.  It just IS, you know.)

Here are some specifics.

First, Neumann issued a press release criticizing Walker for "severe" job losses in metro Milwaukee.  This is a specious attack because the Milwaukee County Executive has little authority and power to create TIF districts or economic incentives of any kind to attract companies or keep them from leaving.  These are important tools granted to city mayors or village presidents, not to the Milwaukee County Executive. 

Walker's authority extends to the County Jail, the Mitchell Airport, the County Zoo, the County Courthouse, and the Parks.  None of these areas provide Walker much ability to create jobs in the metro Milwaukee area.  But there are some things he can do. 

Walker can fight to cut government waste, reduce spending, and cut taxes.  On this front, however, he meets stiff resistance from the county board.  Here is where Kilkenny routinely jabs Walker supporters.  She thinks blaming the county board for tax increases is a cop out, but what she doesn't do is refute the actual claim.  Walker has vetoed every tax increase proposed by the county board.  He has no legal authority to stop tax increases when the county board overrides his vetos by a two-thirds majority.  Blaming Walker for something he has no legal authority to prevent is dishonest.  Needless to say, this was a negative attack on Walker, which happened in February.

Second, Neumann issued a press release in June attacking Walker for flip-flopping on the stimulus, which is not only a lie, but is also a negative attack.  Walker has never flip-flopped on anything regarding federal stimulus funds.  He has made it clear since January of 09 that he would accept stimulus funding if no local match was required, no long term commitments were made, and if no future operating costs were incurred.  The rationale is simple.  During a recession, taxpayers can't afford new expenditures.

Third, Neumann accused Walker for spending increases that outpaced Governor Doyle's spending during the same period.  This is also specious.

I won't delve into all of the issues since I wrote about it in "Neumann Allying with One Wisconsin Now".  It was also addressed in Klauser's letter confirming that Walker's spending was lower than Doyle's and below the rate of inflation.  Not only was Neumann's attack on Walker a distortion of facts, but it was negative as well.  This occurred in June.

And fourth, Neumann took a shot at Walker's stance on guns.  In a publicity stunt at the Straubel International Airport, Neuman brought his grandfathers rifle while blaming walker for flip flopping on concealed carry rights.  Neumann was referring to the bill Walker opposed because it was jammed through legislation at 4 a.m. without any public exposure.  Even the State Representatives who authored the concealed carry bill defended Walker (who is a hunter) saying that Neumann's attacks were "utter lies" and "ridiculous".  This may qualify as a lie, but it was certainly negative.  This occurred in June.

4. It's Walker's Time

Kilkenny is right.  This year's election is not a coronation.  When Walker supporters say that it's Walker's time, they are referring to the groundwork that Walker has laid out for the past 4 years, which includes securing the support of nearly all of the GOP leaders and activists across the state.  It's Walker's time because he is more prepared, more relevant, and has a better record of winning elections.  Quite simply, he has the best chance of beating Barrett and neutralizing his Milwaukee base.

Interestingly, Cindy Kilkenny says that the more she reviews the resumes of Walker and Neumann, the more convinced she is that Neumann is her guy.  This coming from a blogger who considered voting for Barrett because "He looks you in the eye when he talks to you".

Well at least she is willing to preview "work experience" to make her choice.  We wouldn't want eye contact to seal the deal.

Comments (4)
  • James Wigderson  - Seriously

    I don't know why you give Kilkenny's blog any attention. It's about as well-thought out as the drunk ramblings at the end of the bar of Wolski's at closing time.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez  - LOL

    I suppose. I just do it to get the information out there. When I criticized Liebenthal, it wasn't because I took his stuff seriously.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    Hey Wiggy,

    Cindy said "Oh, I’m not terribly upset. This link is the most traffic either of them will see for the week."

    So I decided to check her traffic volume using her site profile from the SEO Toolbar. The highest volume of hits she has had in the past year was on 09/09 with 9,430 hits. The most I had in the past year was on 03/10 with 26,101 hits.

    When she looks at herself in the mirror in the mornings, I bet she sees the Incredible Hulk-tress.

  • Tim S.  - Scott too

    Briefly addressing Kilkenny's statement that Tom Barrett "looks you in the eye when he talks to you". I'm a teenager and Scott Walker gave me over 30 minutes to meet with him individually (in June, certainly a time when the campaign was stepping up). He looked me in the eyes when he spoke with me and what is more astonishing is that the way he talkes to you in person is how he talks in his ads. He's a pretty consistent guy.

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