Friday, October 19, 2007
I have to add this back in this post just because it's so good.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
JOE KNOLLENBERG (R - MI)Detailed Contributor Breakdown2000 ELECTION CYCLE
Crop Production & Basic Processing
Detroit Produce Terminal
American Sugar Cane League
American Sugarbeet Growers Assn
Southern Minn Beet Sugar Co-op
RJ Reynolds Tobacco
Dairy Farmers of America
Michigan Farm Bureau
Food Processing & Sales
Melody Foods Inc
I wonder how much more money Joe received from Big Tobacco.
Great job Keith and Rachel Maddow from Air America.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The Senate’s passage last month of a resolution condemning an inflammatory print advertisement purchased by liberal activist organization MoveOn.org may not have amounted to anything concrete, but it seems to have helped the office of Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) make a decision: They are fighting back.
MoveOn foot soldier Bruce Fealk posted a video on YouTube.com Saturday, soon after filming his latest confrontation with the congressman in a pharmacy near his Michigan home. On the video, after Knollenberg tried to joke with the protester, chief of staff and spokesman Trent Wisecup stepped in front of the camera and told Fealk to hit the road.
“You’re anti-American … you are blinded by your hatred of this country,” Wisecup said.
The frustrated staffer explained on Monday that Fealk has pursued the congressman and his staff for two years, and after trying the tactics of ignoring him and meeting with him, Wisecup is ready to try something new.
“I’m just fed up with it — I spoke back to him, and I’m glad to have done it,” he said.
Fealk, who owns a small marketing company, readily admitted that he focused his brand of protest on Knollenberg, his district office and his home for the last two years, saying that he has done so because the congressmen has not provided suitably open forums to debate the war and other issues.
If Wisecup thinks he might see the end of Fealk soon, we have some ominous news for him. Fealk told us in an e-mail that his aspirations don’t stop at amateur videos in his free time.
He is also “seeking employment in the political arena.”
Congressman Joe Knollenberg won't budge. - 10/16/07 -
And his refusal to back a bill to ramp up an existing children's health insurance program by $35 billion over five years could be a principled stand.
But his opponents don't think so. And they're using his opposition to the so-called SCHIP bill as a way to publicly launch their 2008 congressional campaign against the seven-term Republican.
It's one example of how the bill, which is unlikely to overcome President Bush's veto this week, is creating political heat.
Democrat Gary Peters, the state lottery commissioner-turned-Knollenberg-opponent, posted a wagon outline on his Web site for little Democrats to print, color angry red and mail to Knollenberg.
Former radio show host Nancy Skinner used Knollenberg's visibility over the weekend to announce her candidacy.
And it all coincided with video of Knollenberg in a Rochester drugstore.
Political trickster hits blog
On Saturday, Democratic trickster Bruce Fealk -- a former court stenographer who now works energetically and nearly full-time to ridicule and undermine the seven-term Republican -- confronted Knollenberg in Lytle, a downtown Rochester drugstore.
While Knollenberg didn't respond to Fealk's challenges about the war and children's health care, he stayed cool on camera.
But his chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, exploded.
Fealk promptly posted four minutes of seething Wisecup footage to YouTube.com.
The outing was a blogger triumph for the dogged Fealk and his bag of political tricks.
"You're not a citizen, you're a political hack," groused Wisecup, who apparently forgot that hacks tend to be citizens, too.
Besides running two anti-Knollenberg Web sites, Fealk owns a gigantic papier-mache head of the congressman that he dons for strategic appearances.
Last summer, Wisecup called the police after Fealk plopped himself on the front porch of Knollenberg's home.
"He's frightened Mrs. Knollenberg, he's upsetting the women in my office," says Wisecup, who calls Fealk "a stalker" and "un-American."
Whatever its merits, the on-line fracas undercut Knollenberg's efforts to recast himself as a moderate since the last election. It's a potent political issue, in part because it so starkly sets off priorities.
It gave Skinner an opportunity to point out that justifying votes against sick children as a budgetary move may not play well for one of the president's strongest allies in the almost-trillion-dollar Iraq war.
The proposed expansion of health care for children includes a 61 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes.
Knollenberg argues the tax won't cover the bill's cost "without 22 million new smokers."
To make that point, Wisecup says, his office plans to mail back the Gary Peters-backed red wagons "with cigarette wrapperson them."
You can reach Laura Berman at (248) 647-7221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Trent Wisecup tells us what it means to be an American
Fresh off his confrontation with Bruce Fealk, an anti-war activist with MoveOn.org, Trent Wisecup, chief of staff to Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), has responded to The Crypt's suggestion that he was not the person to decide what is and is not "American." See the previous post and video to see why this (unbelievably) is an issue. And yes, it is still 2007, you are not flashing back to1967.
So here is Wisecup's view on what is "pro" and "anti" American, and please remember, he came up with this list on his own:
"Per Politico’s blog on my run-in with Moveon.org, I will define what’s un-American for you. It’s un-American to wage a political protest of a congressman’s wife at her home. It’s un-American to disturb a congressman’s neighbors with weird anti-war tactics while our soldiers are deployed overseas fighting radical Islam.
It’s un-American to cheer for the imposition of $85 billion of Nancy Pelosi CAFÉ mandates that would destroy the American car companies and the good-paying UAW jobs they provide. It’s un-American to use bullying, gotcha political tactics that scare female congressional staffers. It’s un-American to use stalking and harassment as a means to score cheap political points. True Americans make their political arguments with vigor, honor and pride. I have looked the Moveon.org movement in the eye and I speak with certainty that this element does not want America to win in Iraq. It does want Toyota to beat GM and the other American car companies. And it wants all Americans to pay higher taxes to support more government welfare.
Higher taxes + more government welfare = a weaker America.
I was raised by grandparents who revered FDR and Truman. They lived through the Great Depression. I know how great the Democratic Party used to be. It’s not meeting that standard today. And they have Michael Moore, Daily Kos, and Moveon.org to thank for it. Let the battle for the definition of what it means to be a true American be joined. You have my two cents. Let others weigh in on the Internet. I am copying Congressman Knollenberg’s staff on this email … because they’ve been pushed around by these Moveons for the better part of two years and they don’t want to take it any more."
CLICK HERE to read the full story
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. - The scarecrows adorning Main Street in this affluent Detroit suburb are symbolic of the frightening times ahead for Rep. Joe Knollenberg and other Republicans as they prepare to block a broad expansion of children's health insurance this week.
On television and radio, in phone calls and e-mails, proponents of the five-year, $35 billion increase are pressuring about 20 Republicans to switch sides and help override President Bush's veto. The full-court press includes preachers, rock stars such as Paul Simon and sick kids in an effort to sway the result - or the next election.
Few Republicans have more to fear than Knollenberg, a former insurance agent whose nearly 15-year grip on Michigan's 9th Congressional District has never been as weak. His customary double-digit victories shrunk to 5 percentage points in 2006. Now, he's saddled with an increasingly unpopular war and president. Being perceived as voting against kids doesn't help.
That includes Knollenberg, at 73 a grandfatherly figure who seems ill-suited for in-your-face politics. He gets plenty of that here from Bruce Fealk, a local activist with the liberal group MoveOn.org.
When Knollenberg ventured inside Lytle Pharmacy on Saturday to shake hands, Fealk was waiting. "When are you going to end the war, Joe?" said Fealk, wearing a white T-shirt that read, "ENOUGH."
Former state senator and lottery commissioner Gary Peters, a Democrat, has $200,000 in the bank, about 25% of Knollenberg's amount. Nancy Skinner, Knollenberg's Democratic challenger in 2006, is likely to announce her candidacy Tuesday. Peters insists the district "has been continually trending more Democratic."
Today, Peters is launching a "Little Red Wagon Campaign" supporting the children's health expansion. It urges people to download a sketch from his website, color it and send it to Knollenberg.
Knollenberg will have none of that. Although the bill coming back to the House on Thursday won support from 45 Republicans last month, he calls it "the Pelosi health care bill" after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. It's "a pile of loose parts that depends on 22 million new smokers in America to pay for taxpayer-funded health benefits for illegal immigrants," he says.
Those arguments are enough to convince some people. "Thanks for your opposition," Greg Bruder called out along Main Street here Saturday. "It was a miserable bill." Bruder sums up the debate as "socialism vs. independence."
Others side with Democrats. At the St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 70-year-old Donna Stenton says $35 billion over five years pales compared with the costs of the Iraq war. "I have a feeling that a lot of Republicans better watch out," she says.