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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


Tom Barrett creates idyllic Wisconsin, while Scott Walker offers vision of hell in dueling ads

As election day approaches, Wisconsin is beginning to wonder what life would be like under its two choices for governor: Democrat Tom Barrett and Republican Scott Walker. A set of ads offers a clue. >More
 Madison's Overture to the world

Jerry Frautschi, native son and philanthropist, generously bestowed upon Madison a family jewel. Carved into its triangular block, the Overture Center strives to match the glory of the Capitol and thrills Madison with its grandness. And yet, I've felt conflicted about Overture since the day it was announced as a replacement for the Civic Center. From my unusual vantage point, it was easy to foresee the struggles of the resident companies and the center itself. In the bubble of optimism, I've been a wet blanket. >More
 Right-wing American Action Network spreads lies about Russ Feingold in 'Bucket' ad

The American Action Network has been running a third-party ad against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, based on the metaphor of a leaky bucket. "Bucket" begins with a bucket filling up in a sink and an old male narrator saying in a creaky voice, "We send tax money to Washington, and what does Senator Russ Feingold do with it?" >More
 E-cigarettes: Test before trashing

Once again, I'm searching for middle ground - balance in an increasingly polarized world. Early this summer, I wrote a series of blog posts for Isthmus' on electronic cigarettes. They generated the most heated and lengthy debate of anything I've ever written, which took me by surprise. Why on earth did these tobacco-free cigarette substitutes engender such passionate responses, pro and con? >More
 Scott Walker uses Gov. Jim Doyle as a scare tactic in 'Day One' ad

Scott Walker, Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor, begins his "Day One" ad with dirge-like classical violins. The narrator runs through a list of supposedly record-breaking tax increases supported by Walker's Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett: "The largest permanent tax increase in state history!" "The largest tax increase in United States history!" >More
 Ron Johnson's misleading ad 'Like the Rest of Them' accuses Russ Feingold's ad 'In His Own Words' of misleading

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, is incensed about a misleading ad from Democratic rival Russ Feingold. Feingold's "In His Own Words" ad used clips from TV newscasts about Johnson's Oshkosh plastics factory receiving $4 million in government aid. >More
 What's wrong with high-speed rail

According to Marc Eisen, opponents of the proposed high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee might understand its price, but not its value. Okay, Marc: Let's talk about the value of this project using basic economic concepts -- costs, benefits and alternatives. >More
 Club for Growth ad '18 Years Is Enough' portrays Russ Feingold as a ghoul

The national conservative organization Club for Growth attacks U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, Wisconsin's incumbent Democrat, in a curious ad called "18 Years Is Enough." The curious part is not the ad's message, which is right-wing boilerplate. >More
 Russ Feingold hits a bull's-eye with 'Earned It' ad

So many recent Wisconsin political ads have failed at being clever that it's a shock to find one that actually works. Russ Feingold, the Democratic U.S. Senator campaigning for reelection, opens "Earned It" sitting at a big table with military folks. >More
 Tom Barrett exploits his injuries in 'Stand Up' ad

Tom Barrett, the Democrat running for Wisconsin governor, emerged as a hero last year when he protected a grandmother from an attacker at the State Fair. The attacker beat Barrett with a tire iron, causing severe injuries to his face and hand. It's hard to imagine a politician acting any classier. >More
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