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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

OPINION

Ron Johnson fakes it in 'The Johnson Family' ad

Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican running for U.S. Senate, tries to come across as "authentic" by satirizing politicians who make fake-looking TV ads with their wholesome families. In "The Johnson Family," Johnson's wife and three kids praise his virtues while emphasizing the corniness of their lines. >More
 Give trains a chance: Dane County conservatives are wrongly trying to derail transit projects

Local politics, lately, are kind of like a funhouse mirror. Everything is weirdly distorted. Take the recent push to force a commuter rail referendum on the November ballot. Advocates say the public must vote on whether to impose a half-cent sales tax for transit purposes. Fair enough, but just one problem: How can you have a meaningful vote on a plan that doesn't exist yet? >More
 Scott Walker acts like an idiot in 'Fighter' ad

Democrats have criticized Scott Walker's TV ad "Fighter." The Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor accuses Democratic rival Tom Barrett of "throwing punches at me." Then he puts on a pair of boxing gloves and vows to "go the distance as your next governor." >More
 Chad Lee lets Republicans off the hook in 'Time for Change in Washington' ad

Chad Lee is a Republican running for U.S. Representative in Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District, and he's incensed by the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. "Congress gave $700 billion of our tax dollars to Wall Street while they allowed 90,000 small businesses to go bankrupt!" intones the narrator for his ad "Time for a Change in Washington." >More
 Free speech on a plate

MSTRB8S. QQQQ2. RU46T9. BVRETR. No, these aren't U.S. government nuclear launch codes. They're actual entries on the list of nearly 7,000 vanity license plates banned by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. (Go ahead, read them again. See? They are sneaky gross.) >More
 Tom Barrett tries to win with jokes in 'Madison on a Diet' ad

In his ad "Madison on a Diet," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett tries to take a humorous approach to government spending in Wisconsin. "We all know that when it comes to spending, the politicians in Madison aren't counting their calories," he says, sitting in a diner. >More
 Mark Neumann waves the flag in 'Conservative Rally' ad

Mark Neumann is running in the Republican primary for governor of Wisconsin, and if you doubted that he's an American citizen, this ad will clear up any confusion. It's set in a room decked out with red-white-and-blue flags and bunting, and the smiling attendees also carry flags for good measure. >More
 It's the stupid season, stupid

The other day I got an urgent call from a campaign staffer for Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate for governor. It seems that a spokeswoman for Scott Walker, one of Barrett's Republican rivals for the state's top job, retweeted a tweet from another Walker campaign official that linked to a YouTube video of dancing blacks, in a song about a train, apropos of Walker's opposition to high-speed rail. The spokeswoman claimed she linked to the video by mistake. Barrett's backers scoffed at this. >More
 Scott Walker is shameless in 'Saturn' ad

Earlier this year, Republican Scott Brown miraculously won Edward Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts after running ads that showed him driving an old pickup truck. So here comes Scott Walker with the same regular-guy gimmick, hoping to drive his 1998 Saturn to victory in the Wisconsin governor's race. >More
 Sterling Hall bombing's ripple effects are still being felt 40 years later

The Sterling Hall bombing that rocked Madison, killed physics researcher Robert Fassnacht, and blew apart the peace movement happened 40 years ago, on Aug. 24, 1970. For my parents and their friends, who were living in a graduate student commune at the time, protesting the Vietnam War, helping to launch the Mifflin Street Co-op, and leading life with that combination of exuberance and high seriousness characteristic of people in their early 20s, it was the end of a dream. >More
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