I had just checked in to the Wisconsin Democratic Convention at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton last weekend when I saw the party's communications director, Graeme Zielinski, order hotel security to eject an intern from the Wisconsin Reporter, a state news website. 

The Wisconsin Reporter, which was founded at the beginning of 2011, is a division of StateHouseNews, a project undertaken by a conservative group, the Franklin Center for Government, to report on state politics -- particularly government spending -- from a "free market and taxpayer point of view." It describes itself as responding to the decline in local news coverage over the past decade.

The Franklin Center, which does not disclose its donors, coordinates many events with Americans for Prosperity and other right-wing groups. 

Although its opinion commentary is predictably conservative, its slant in reporting is noticeable but not heavy-handed. Its reporters typically seek perspectives from Democrats and liberals as well as Republicans and conservatives.

Zielinski, who has kicked out one of Wisconsin Reporter's scribes from at least one other Democratic event, insisted the organization did not do real reporting, that it had previously mangled Democrats' quotes, and that it was "bought and paid for by the same people that bought and paid for Scott Walker." 

"We don't want them here," Zielinski told a hotel security guard as the bewildered reporter, Ryan Ekvall, stood by with a video recorder. 

"Please don't film me," Zielinski told him. 

"I just want a record of what's being said, I don't know what you're going to say about it later," Ekvall responded.  

"Come over here and I'll talk to you," replied Zielinski, leading Ekvall out the doors of the hotel. 

"Now stay out there," he said seconds later, as soon as Ekvall was standing outside. 

Ekvall later posted a video of the confrontation online.

The security guard, apparently believing I was with the same group, then asked me to leave as well. Zielinski told him that I could stay, since I was a credentialed member of the press. 

"This is our event, we're free to credential and invite who we want," he reasoned, after telling me Wisconsin Reporter had a "long history" of distorting the words of Democratic candidates and sneaking into Democratic events.

Zielinski later responded to the Wisconsin Reporter's story about the incident on Twitter.

"I dare you losers to let me into your "news" meetings, and then we can talk, you ridiculous tools," he wrote.

It was only the most recent of the frequent outbursts that define Zielinski's public persona. His Twitter feed is filled with fiery insults, usually directed at Republicans or the media. 

He lobs his strongest missiles at Milwaukee right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes, whom he often refers to on Twitter as "liar Charlie Sykes" or "adulterer Charlie Sykes."

Similarly, he insists on calling GOP operative Brian Schimming "Vicki," a reference to Schimming's frequent role as a co-host of Vicki McKenna's show on WIBA-AM/1310 radio. In a recent interview on "The Joy Cardin Show" on Wisconsin Public Radio, a confused Cardin had to interrupt Zielinski to clarify why he kept referring to Schimming as such.

A similar incident took place on Wisconsin Public Television's "Here and Now" show a few months ago. After Zielinski told host Frederica Freyberg that he was shocked that "people with drawls from Confederate states" were assisting in challenging recall petitions, he repeatedly told fellow guest Amy Kremer, a national tea party leader and Texas native, to "get out of Wisconsin," while she was answering questions from Freyberg.

But it is not just GOP partisans or their talk radio acolytes that draw Zielinski's ire.

After his former employer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, endorsed Walker in the recall election, he alleged on Twitter that the paper used to "tank stories favorable to [Democrats]" when he worked there. The paper, which has been responsible for many of the most embarrassing revelations about Walker's role in the ongoing John Doe investigation, has endorsed many Democrats for office, including former Gov. Jim Doyle and former Sen. Russ Feingold. 

"I was working there when you were in kindergarten," he responded, when I made this point on Twitter. "It's GOP top-down." (Zielinski also once worked at The Capital Times, as a college intern in 1993.)

Similarly, he has long-claimed that UW-Madison professor Charles Franklin, who conducts the Marquette University Law School poll as a visiting professor, is a Republican "hack" whose polls showing Gov. Scott Walker winning the recall election by five to seven points in recent weeks were "as reliable as a three-dollar bill." As it turned out, Franklin's poll results matched Walker's 7 percent win.

When I asked months ago for justification of his allegations against Franklin, Zielinski told me that several of Franklin's students had informed the party that Franklin boasted about consulting for GOP groups.

"If he denies this, we don't believe him," Zielinski concluded in an email. 

Indeed, Franklin says he has never worked for any party or partisan organization. 

Zielinski has also used Twitter to make enemies out of fellow Democrats and liberals.

He pounced in response to a comment made by local progressive writer Emily Mills at a panel discussing the recall, in which she attributed the 2011 Capitol protests' power in part to "the sense that it wasn't being directed by a party or any one group." 

"Big difference between showhorses and workhorses in [the recall]," he wrote. "Lot of goldbrickers dining out, but hey, good for them.

Melissa Ryan, a Democratic campaign veteran who directed social media for former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold's most recent campaign, shot back.

"Love seeing Graeme continue the tradition of slamming women for speaking on panels he isn't even at," she wrote.

Zielinski upped the ante: "Oh, give it a rest you gasbag. You're a war profiteer, but I give you credit for getting paid," he wrote, in apparent reference to Ryan's work for unions during the Capitol protests.

"At the end of the day you're just a bully. And not even a competent bully," responded Ryan.

Ryan did not wish to elaborate about the exchange when I contacted her, but she stood by her comments.

"The tweets speak for themselves, and I chose my words carefully," she said.

State Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, makes clear that she would prefer a more conciliatory approach to media relations.

"I think we should be proud to share with the world our Democratic values," she said. "I want the media to be able to report that."

Apart from my brief conversation with him at the convention, Zielinski has not responded to my requests for comment on this story. The state party -- in keeping with its usual policy -- would not put me in touch with party Chairman Mike Tate, instead directing me to talk with either Zielinski or one of his assistants.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Melissa Ryan was responding to Graeme Zielinski's tweet about "goldbrickers," not the one in which he called activist Harry Waisbren's comment about the DPW "ridiculous blather."

Jack Craver is the Capital Times political reporter, focusing on elections, candidates and campaign finance.

You might also like

(114) comments

boomer
boomer

Sounds like Mr. Zielinski is in the true mold of Obama. Every time they open their mouths it's another Kodak moment for the Repub Party. We need to keep the light shining on these people, it can save alot of money on campaign ads. Just replay their own words and deeds again and again.

drty
drty

For a presumed Young Liberal, Craver sure seems to spend most of his time kicking progressives in their collective nuts and subtly (he thinks) undermining the Democratic Party.

Zielinski clearly doesn't take Jack Craver, Boy Journalist very seriously, which hurts his little feelings. Thus, in place of reportage and commentary on issues of relevance in the Wisconsin political scene we get cheap little hit pieces like this.

Keep it up, kid and I'm sure before too long the WSJ will come calling with that entry level job offer that you are clearly angling for when you write junk like this.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Former Mayor Dave gets it. This is a great assessment of how most people look at these situations.

I am posting the whole article so that people will read it. Sorry, it's a bit long.

"CITIZEN DAVE
Citizen Dave: We lost because they like the other guy better
Dave Cieslewicz


So, let me revise and extend my comments of last week.

I used to have a press secretary who could say, "What the mayor meant to say was..." Actually, Rachel Strauch-Nelson rarely needed to do that, as she usually just cut me off at the pass before I said dumb things out loud to the press.

What I wrote last week about the recall results wasn't dumb, but I am a little alarmed to see so many Democrats at last weekend's state convention picking up the theme that the only reason they lost was because Wisconsinites don't like recalls. I'm not saying that they're echoing what I wrote. They're coming to this conclusion all on their own and that's the problem.

So let me clarify. My party lost because the other guy got more votes, and because a majority of Wisconsinites like most of his policies. I believe that in a regular election that was a straight up or down vote on Scott Walker's policies the result might have been different, but probably not.

This is important, because to the extent that we allow ourselves to fool ourselves that we lost because the other guy had more money (he did, but almost everybody had their minds made up long before the air war started), or our candidate was weak (he wasn't, Tom Barrett was our best shot), or Republican voting procedure changes suppressed turnout (which was massive), or the Koch brothers did it (these guys have been blamed for everything from high gas prices to the Brewers' streak of injures, but they’re not that powerful), than we excuse ourselves the necessity of confronting our own unpopularity.

The public isn't buying what Democrats have to offer and it's time we stopped whining about it and complaining about how stupid our customers are. UW political science professor Ken Mayer made this point really well in Saturday's State Journal.

What's needed is some kind of movement, preferably within but possibly outside of, the Democratic Party. A movement that appeals to the vast majority of people who are not party activists, not especially ideological one way or the other, and just want a government that listens to them and works.

Chanting that "The People, United, Will Never Be Defeated' just doesn't cut it among the big middle. That kind of stuff just turns them off.

The Democratic Party and its allies were never better organized and focused than they have been the last eighteen months. This result wasn't about the techie side of politics. It was about substance. And it's substance that we need to change.

What the public doesn't get from either party right now and from most interest groups is honest discussion of the issues in language that doesn't condescend or pander.

Give me a politician who says what he thinks and makes a case that what he thinks is intelligent. Give me a politician who isn't afraid to disagree with his own friends and supporters when he thinks they're wrong. Give me a politician who reaches out to the other side and tries to understand them, not just vilify them.

That's the style of politics that the vast middle wants. Is my party capable of giving it to them?"


Norwood44
Norwood44

Bravo Dave. Where are the rest of the sane Dems?

Shorety
Shorety

Yes, but will this happen? How will new leadership come into that party? I'm assuming not much will happen on that score until after November.

Whatevr26
Whatevr26

Couldn't have said it better myself, an I see myself as a solid Libertarian. YES he gets it!!!!!

sarge
sarge

I believe this mayor dave lost an election recently...because some of us realized that you need a man not a boy to fight the walker goons

and zelinski is right...why has our state been invaded by walker lovin' neo confederates from the traitor south?

taylor88
taylor88

The best part of this? The fact that Zielinski referred to someone else as a "tool". Coming from the biggest tool in the shop, hi pot, meet kettle. Priceless.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bravo Jack Craver. We can only assume that Fanlund and Nichols don't read your stuff. When they find out that you are a good journalist, you will be gone. Also, as someone who votes Dem more than Republican, let me say that the Wisconsin Dems are an embarrassment to themselves.

Shorety
Shorety

I think they have been hanging around with the union leaders for too long and have picked up their coarse manners. These Democrats think they are Jimmy Hoffa and can scare people with tough talk. Those days are gone for Democrats. Results, people!

BigDickWhippur
BigDickWhippur

Smug little putz.

pete
pete

if the progressives in this state ever wonder why they aren't taken seriously at times, look no further than their "leadership" - My only hope is they continue to put adult children in those positions....

racedog48
racedog48

Gotta love that HE isteh voice of the Dem party of Wis.

Sorry for the fat finger typing

racedog48
racedog48

The hobbit zielinski is having a melt dowm over this story on twitter. Gotta love that HE is th evoic eof the Dem party of Wis.

.@JackCraver I'm sorry for pointing out that you were in kindergarten or. rather, in utero when I started in journalism.

.@JackCraver Also, the idea the Wisconsin Reporter person was "bewildered" at being kicked out of a place he came to kicked out of?

.@JackCraver I'm also sorry we removed you from our press list because of your infantile tantrums.

.@JackCraver But mostly I'm sorry for your total dishonesty, which may get you to a point you want to be, but will ruin you in the end.

.@JackCraver (P.S., when you write little drive-bys, it's traditional to actually CONTACT the intended victim.)

Norwood44
Norwood44

Hey Zielinski, Thou doth protest too much. And think too little. What a whiny, horrid little man.

David Blaska
David Blaska

Save Graeme Zielinski's job. The guy is good for America, good for Wisconsin, good for a laugh. Sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/democratic-party-of-wisconsin-save-graeme-zelinski-s-job

sarge
sarge

ahhh blaska...sinkling into obscurity kinda hurts dont it?

I remember that 'blaska' is the sound my old colon makes after a night of beer and burritos but its about all I remember

all anyone remembers actually

Renaissance Man
Renaissance Man

Haha.... Joseph McCarthy! I know the Dems are the "Regressive Party" and are blindly living in the past, but sheesh...

It's a great time to be a conservative in Wisconsin. The Left couldn't be more in denial and delusional on every front. Just let 'em keep on spewing their stale rhetoric and half truths while we elect principled leaders and change government for the better.

Tpartywarrior
Tpartywarrior

I hope Gramey Zee, and for that matter, lil' boy Mikey Tate retain their positions for a long time.
They are the gifts that keep on giving.

Most of Wisconsin has come to see these guys as children, albeit far left extremist children.

Renaissance Man
Renaissance Man

Graeme Zielinski...the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you Wisconsin Democrats!

DFCP
DFCP

Its pretty obvious that grahaem or whatever his name is doesn't like that the fact that Jack isn't exactly like the predictable Zweifl, Nichols and Fanland who all lonnng ago gave up all pretense of trying to be "journalists".

aequalitas
aequalitas

Right, by your reasoning they should be working for FOX News - lots of "Jouralism" over there, right. Did you know FOX is the only news source trusted by Walker spokeswoman, and former Hooters waitress, Ciara Matthews. Her objectivity is right up there with yours DFCP.

DFCP
DFCP

Just so you know aeq you should be honored, you long ago made my list of posters whose posts I don't bother reading because there is never anything useful there..

DFCP
DFCP

Just so you know aeq you should be honored, you long ago made my list of posters whose posts I don't bother reading because there is never anything useful there..

DFCP
DFCP

Just so you know aeq you should be honored, you long ago made my list of posters whose posts I don't bother reading because there is never anything useful there..

Norwood44
Norwood44

aeq.Mathew's legs in that picture and your mouth on this board. Both should be closed.

snow
snow

It is very hard to read the Cap Times. You have Nichols who is very left and an editor so think of it as as democratic or liberal paper. Why the heck did they put Craver, who is constantly cutting down the same side the paper is suppose to be geard for and an obvious republican who supports Walker on staff?

Seems like he is trying for a job with WSJ which is the tea party loving paper.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Maybe it's because there really aren't two sides. All there really is, is the state and country we live in. From anyone outside of our country, they just see us as Americans. We'll, they are right.

What is wrong with reporting the news? Zelinski did these things. I am glad I know about it now. I would want information like this about "the right", too. How can you decide what the right path is if you don't have all the information or even a decent map?

Craver is still an obvious lefty. That is fine, he backs his ideas up with facts and solid reasoning. I like reading his long winded descriptions and his thorough thought process. You guys do have a lot of good ideas and insight, Don't pick sides or create infighting over the messenger. If you have a beef with the facts, take them up with Zelinski.

Michael L Farrey
Michael L Farrey

News reporter? No try news distorter. Any "news" he would report would have been another twisted truth or an outright lie. Out with the trash! Wisconsin Reporter is just another pollutant byproduct of Koch Industries
http://cognidissidence.blogspot.com/2012/02/wisconsin-reporter-fallout-hits.html

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

So Zielinsky didn't say those things?

Norwood44
Norwood44

For someone who didn't do what was reported by Craver, Graeme is sure tweeting like a guilty man.

libsrlooney
libsrlooney

I hope they don't fire Zielinski. He's the best thing for the Republicans.

geo_
geo_

So it's OK for a corporation with the help of congressional aides to rip the microphone out of the hands of a journalist at a congressional hearing and hold him against his will in a locked room but if a person politely asks security to remove a reporter it's news. The rightwing morons have a double standard.

Comment deleted.
Hogzilla
Hogzilla

So, you are busybee. Damn, that was way too easy.

Look, you just don't get it. We can disagree, but really, what it comes down to is that I am more adept than you are. I don't really need you, but you might need me.

That is only directed at you. Many of your Democratic pals seem pretty cool to me. I like them.

I don't like you though. You have made certain that I would never acknowledge anything you had to say in a positive light. You have insulted my heritage, my family and my intelligence. I drew a line with you, and I see no reason to mend any fences. You are off the team and on your own in my book. I like the rest of your teammates though, so I wouldn't expect them to feel the same way. Maybe if all that stuff wouldn't have happened, I would be more inclined to mend fences with you.

I will take my chances. I think more reasonable people will see that I am not such a bad guy and I am willing to enjoy life and learn from them along the way.

Sorry if that is harsh, but that is the way I feel.

LonnyNiederstadt
LonnyNiederstadt

Hogzilla - I appreciate your substantive posts over that last few days, and your willingness to bring about reasonableness from others. Folks like tomtom33, 196ski, tophat... I have plenty to disagree with them about, but a lot to learn from them. Looks like I'll be adding your posts to those that I pay more than glancing attention to :)

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Lonny~ The bottom line is that are twice as many people living on this planet than there was 65 years ago at the end of WWII. One hundred years before that, our numbers were counted in millions, not billions. It's exponential growth, the pie is getting much smaller.

We can fight for outdated "rights", or we can come up with a plan that allows us to compete in very competitive world.

That is all there really is to it.

aequalitas
aequalitas

I'm surprized that any Walker supporter would take exception to Graeme Zelinski excluding a non-media "reporter" showing up Michael Moore style, video recorder in hand, for a controntation with the Democrats, from a Democratic Party event.

Walker didn't just bar one person from "reporting" the upcoming "Brat & Beer" summit. He barred ALL THE PRESS from his kiss & make up party.

Are you Walkerites equally offended by Walker, who is barring all the press, as you are with Graeme Zielinski for barring one right-wing extemist trouble maker?

Spock
Spock

You miss the point of Walker's and Graeme's bans. Walker banned all media because it was supposed to be a social occasion without political preening. Graeme banned one reporter because he wanted to punish him.

sarge
sarge

ah spock...still without a shred of logic

Norwood44
Norwood44

Michael Moore is a Dem.

buckyami
buckyami

So...Democratic leaders are keeping this guy or finally tossing him under the bus after three unnecessary losses?

While you're thinking of your answer, here's more good news for the right: Beil just survived an attempt by ticked off union workers to shake up the brass that misspent millions and humiliated tens of thousands of people. (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/state-employee-union-leaders-rebuff-irked-workers-bid-to-depose/article_4a88944e-b421-11e1-ad5b-001a4bcf887a.html)

mtnbaybikerider
mtnbaybikerider

The Democrats are dead along with public sector unions. They have moved too far to the left. The voted down good paying mining jobs in northern Wisconsin for the chance of Political Power and they are now going to pay for it for years! Zielinski and Tate will be gone by the end of the month!

Shorety
Shorety

Yes, they better move to the center and fast. But they seem entrenched. They need new people.

RedNedLynch
RedNedLynch

Hogzilla is right.
The instant culture, the throw away news cycle, these things can only diminish us if we let it.
I gloated too much. No excuse.
I'd rather make friends.

Shorety
Shorety

They also need to get better candidates. Hatred of the GOP will not carry the day.

Shorety
Shorety

The Democrats need to clean house. The results of almost all their recent efforts make that clear. Losing.

Comment deleted.
aequalitas
aequalitas

How dare you suggest people burn American flags, ALF. What kind of person tells patriots to burn our flags?

aequalitas
aequalitas

I'm surprized the following commentary hasn't shown up here yet. It's from uppitywis.org, and does not see Jack Craver in a positive light. Personally, I think Craver is a good writer and that most of his work appears balanced. Uppity Wisconsin appears to think Craver should sign on for their cause, but that's not the job of a journalist. Especially in these days when even signing a recall petition can get you "disciplined" by papers such as the Wisconsin State Journal and other Gannett media publicans. Sure, the Capital Times didn't go after it's employees, but I think they only have five or six anyway.

QUOTE

With Friends Like the Cap Times' Jack Craver, Who Needs Enemies?
Submitted by Jud Lounsbury on Mon, 06/11/2012 - 4:39pm

Jack Craver's schtick is that he's a contrarian: the liberal guy that is always pointing out the flaws of his own tribe with his dazzling 20-something hipster punditry. The problem, though, is that the job the Capital Times hired him to do several months ago was report the news.

Unfortunately, like the rest of the Wisconsin media, Craver was too busy holding the couch down to cover numerous stories about Scott Walker and the Wisconsin recall. Instead, Craver devouts 99% of his "reporting" to thinly veiled punditry, which almost always involves some variation of why the Democrats suck.

His latest addition is writing a 2,347 word screed about why DPW spokesman Graeme Zalinski is a big jerk. How brave! A Capital Times reporter standing up to a fellow Democrat! Especially when everybody is already feeling like crap after the recall! Bravo Jack-0!

This is, of course, the same Jack Craver that said Russ Feingold was hitting "below the belt" in his "misleading" ad when he accused Ron Johnson of wanting to drill for oil in the Great Lakes. And when revelations of Randy "Bed Hopper" Hopper began to surface, Craver was predictably shaming everyone on the left for having the audacity to cover the story.

Here's an idea, Jack: There is a nefarious character in the governor's mansion that history will remember as the reincarnation Joe Mccarthy. The rest of the media covers only a quarter of what this guy does day in and day out. There are many that would relish the oppotunity you have been given to report the news: Stop blowing it!

http://uppitywis.org/blogarticle/friends-cap-times-jack-craver-who-needs-enemies

Comment deleted.
Reply
Reply

Actually, the arrogance is part of what led to their demise ahead of 2 years ago.

Remember things like, "We won, get over it," and "We'll just have to pass it to see what's in it."

What happened at the Federal level reflected poorly on Dem/Liberal/Progressive politics at all govt levels.

This is a lot like scientific research: Repeat an experiment ... get same results. Repeat history ... get same results.

Hey!! That's it!! Politics is nothing more than a science experiment gone bad, and now no one knows how to get rid of it.

JBANK
JBANK

Bomb throwers like GZ are great entertainment because you never know when the bomb is going to explode. Sometimes it takes out an enemy or two and sometimes its a friendly fire thing. Either way, I totally enjoy GZ. Hope he keeps his job for many years to come. He is absolutely terrible at creating a positive message for the party but terrific if you like watching Scud missiles. Keep it up Graeme. You are the best thing going in Wisconsin politics.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

This isn't Jersey Shore. This is about a 65 billion dollar budget and the future of our state.

Get a clue. This type of thing widens the divide. That is not what is "best" for Wisconsin.

So this is what I am getting at lefties. I just scolded a Tea Party guy because he went too far. If you want to meet in the middle, we have to try a little harder to get along.

So?

RedNedLynch
RedNedLynch

Hogzilla,
I'll accept that challenge.
My proof of sincerity is that I've only tap danced on the tin foil hats.

On future posts I hope for an honest exchange.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

It's all about trying to imagine what it would be like to live in another person's shoes. There are soooo many things that should unite us, but because of the way that society has become hyper-sensitive to everything from looks to wealth, and somehow weaving it all together, we are being driven to post our frustrations anonymously. I am not sure this is the best way. People are losing their connections to the planet we live on and our interpersonal communication skills have drastically diminished.

I think most of you would like me. Unfortunately, because I have to speak my mind in a cloud of fear, I cannot justify revealing who I am. I don't consider myself a tool of any kind. I can talk about just about anything. I am interested.

Does that seem right to you? What happened to working together and accepting peoples faults and forgiving people and helping them get on the right path in life?

I don't like taking up arms against public employees, or the left, I just want to talk it out. If you pee on my leg, I will mention it though.

Try applying the things you were taught about public conversation and think about how we could all be a little more polite to each other, and how much of a difference exploring different ideas would be under those parameters.

ButSiriuslyFolks
ButSiriuslyFolks

Appreciate, once again, Hog, your changed attitude. Wish a lot of folks who seem to spend a lot of time following the Tea Party Patriot Rules would follow your lead.

As for some of the more liberal angst I'm seeing on these boards since the elections, yes, I would like to take a couple of folks and clearly explain how shouting insults doesn't really "help the cause".

However, I would really appreciate if the more conservative posters would take a moment to reflect on how they would be behaving on the boards had the elections gone the opposite direction. Would you be graciously accepting that this is the will of the people of Wisconsin, that the recall was Democracy in action and Walker must have been wrong all along?

Would you admit you had been wrong in what you had believed and fought for the last sixteen months? Would you now accept all liberal versions of events over the last sixteen months, as the vote obviously was a mandate not only of Walker, but of reality?

If you honestly take a moment to consider exactly how these boards would look right now in that situation, I'm hoping you can understand the need for some lefty angst to take place. I appreciate those among you who recognize that there are people who are deeply and emotionally invested in the issues, and whose lives are truly affected by the policies that Walker and the Republicans put forth. You can agree with the policies (usually because the benefit you) and still take the time to be a human being with those that don't.

If the election would have turned upside-down, would I be saying the same thing to the left-leaning posters, if they also would be spiking the football repeatedly and mocking those on the right who were seriously angry and distraught?

Yes. I would. Let's all class it up around here.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

ButSiriuslyFolks~ The thing is man, I have already lived a full life, I have been all over. I have lived in a van down by the river and I have cooked tea over a fire of yak dung.

It doesn't matter to me. I already know that I will make through anything.

I'm just trying to get you to see the positive aspects of freedom.

You might not know exactly what that means, but I do. I was engaged to a woman whose parents were agents of Russia during the Cold War. I can say that you don't know crazy, until you have really seen crazy. Just about anything is fair game, that continues. I know several Russians. You do know that Putin pretty much sowed up the "presidency" for the next 15 years, right?

That is what union control leads to if it remains un-czeched. Pun intended...

We cannot afford to make the same mistakes. Unless you want the financial divide to grow. Way too much graft under the current system where agencies spend like wild men at the end of the year, or they lose their funding. That is the worst system that anyone could have possibly devised.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

aequalitas~ Nichols is hack. Deal with it. Craver runs circles around him.

Comment deleted.
Hogzilla
Hogzilla

You just don't like the fact that I am right. The proof is in the pudding, maam.

RedNedLynch
RedNedLynch

thatischeap,
I apologize. After rereading, I admit I was assuming much.
No excuses, I was just plain wrong.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

RedNedLynch~ Your mouth writes a lot of checks that your a$$ can't cash. I suggest toning it down a hair. This article is actually very balanced and we need some fresh voices in this state. Try to be nicer :)

thatischeap
thatischeap

Thank you. I would have deserved your comments in the heat of the moment last week. As I stated, I am not proud of the way I have conducted myself in the past when it comes to political discussions. Having said that, I am no longer going to assume the worst in someone else because he or she disagrees with me ideologically - I didn't before all of this started here in Wisconsin, and I won't now that it is over. People are passionate about politics and what they feel is best, but I for one would like to see that passionate debate move forward without personal attacks, innuendo, and half-truths, I think we could get a lot more accomplished as a state and as a nation if that held true. I'm going to do my very best to conduct myself in a way that works toward positive solutions for all people in the future.

Comment deleted.
Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Salyned~ So are you going to force me to like you more, or am I just supposed to let you stomp around and then welcome you back when you punch yourself to sleep?

Are you refuting the election results, or just complaining for the sake of complaining?

You guys are like my crazy ex-finance...I never know what is coming....God forbid reason ever enters the equation....:)

Comment deleted.
johntom
johntom

Give it up salty...read some of the posts below from intelligent people on both sides of the issue. You are part of the problem, not the solution.

webmasterbigbrother
webmasterbigbrother

somebody get this guy on TCT staff, he's perfect.

is that pic from his release from prison?

Norwood44
Norwood44

the dems have major leadership issues in the post union era. walker is vulnerable in the next election,but not with these yahoos at the helm. are there any adults left?

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Craver is an adult. I think the Dem's should think about using him a spokesperson through the "paper".

I think his style represents something that is lacking on the left.

The thing is, because of things like the success of direct action groups like Earth First!, Sea Shepherd, what people like Judi Bari (whom, I respect immensely) did in the early 90's, the Democrats have rallied behind these strategies on much more mainstream issues. I used to be one of them and we were effective, but it always stopped once the jail sentences and legal hassles were resolved. It works....to a point....

Saul Alinsky promoted these ideas and methods, so did Edward Abbey, Paul Watson and countless others. Those tactics are somewhat ineffective when it comes time to put on a suit and speak directly to the people you wish to convince. How many people lost sympathy when the protests became ridiculous displays of the most petulant and shockingly vindictive behavior that the left could muster? I think more than a handful thought that was a bit too much.

So, can we have a conversation now that you have a voice, or are you going to demand total compliance? Is there a middle ground?

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

When I say that it works to a point, I mean that in the end, all that most of their efforts proved was that the court system wasn't totally botched. There was never any lasting effects outside of the small things they won. They alienated most people, so there was never any long lasting shift in peoples sensibilities. It just sort of gets brushed under the rug.

LonnyNiederstadt
LonnyNiederstadt

I'm a labor advocate and apologist that hopes Mr Zielinski tones down his insults. Let the strength of ideas and argumentation be displayed! And if your ideas and arguments aren't winners... doggoneit get some new ones! If you've got a podium, use it in an expert manner, instead of imitating a schoolyard bully.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Honestly, Nichols, Zweifel and Fanlund have become nothing more than dancing bears. Ya' know,.... Ol' Joe used to make Kruschev dress up in a tutu and dance for him. Just sayin'.

If you want to be the Progressive Voice, write like Jack. That guy has his act together, and it's time to start having an actual discussion about what is going on here. I will listen to Jack. He seems like a straight shooter to me. I mean that.

I don't need to read anymore of John Nichols' unbelievable sap stories about going home to his precious progressive womb in western Wisconsin, or another baseless story about how all the Republicans hate teachers and how sad it is that we lost our way somehow and no longer nod in unison when anyone that does anything for the government says they are somehow being downtrodden and it shouldn't matter how much anything costs. .

We can and should do better. This guy Craver seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. I think he makes a lot of salient points and does a good job of being at least fairly objective.

A little objective reporting will do this paper wonders.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Jack Craver might be the cub reporter for the Cap Times, but at least he is not afraid to say what happened to him and other people. I actually take him seriously, I also appreciate that he provides sources and tries to acknowledge that these are difficult times and there is more than one side to a story. This is actually educational. Good job Jack.


One has to ask themselves if behaving like Zelinski should be supported...

RedNedLynch
RedNedLynch

thatischeap,
You post is a good example that shows the major problem with the left.
You jump in with your Cap Times comment and are probably feeling smug.
Here's the thing.
No one is here specifically for the Cap Times.
It's called madison.com
The CT is a small part that comes along for the ride with it's far more important cousin - the WSJ.
So your premise is based on data you Wish for, Hope for and just Assume is correct.
Just like the left operates - outside of reality.

That sums it up nicely.

thatischeap
thatischeap

Totally wrong brother. I've turned over a new leaf and was hoping to start up a bi-partisan dialogue. I've made some comments I'm not proud of in the past and it does no good, doesn't move us toward a good place. I just thought it was cool that you were open minded enough to check out an article on here. I'm a firm believer in education, protecting the environment, helping those in need. I bet a lot of conservatives (I could be wrong) are also in favor of those things. We just have different ideas on how to best get to a positive end result. Just because I support those things, doesn't mean I am against corporations or job creation. Thanks for the comment though, I'll be more careful about choosing my words in the future. Take care and enjoy this beautiful Wisconsin weather.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

I like thatischeap. He/she gets it.

Marcus
Marcus

Amazing after taking a pounding last Tuesday, all of a sudden people like you want to be bi-partisan. Try some other sucker.

thatischeap
thatischeap

Have a nice night Marcus.

tomtom33
tomtom33

I welcome any new leaves. Thank you.

TruthDefender
TruthDefender

Guys like Zielinski shatter any ounce of credibility that Wisconsin Dems may have, and that is not much. Is there an actual leader left in the Wisconsin Democratic party? The party looks kind of like the Brewers right now -- a bunch of injured starters and no bench strength. This is a party that's going to have trouble winning elections for years to come, unless it can come up with some leaders and candidates who are smart, and who can accomplish something.

He doesn't know how to behave in public, and clearly doesn't have the skills to help the party navigate through a diffcult, hard-fought loss. Then again, I haven't seen much that tells me anyone in the party is capable of stepping up right now.

aequalitas
aequalitas

Now wait a minute! Nobody is ready to step up to Democratic Party leadership right now? Maybe you haven't met Taryn Zaria of the League of Democratic Voters. She can whip together a three bean salad like nobody's business AND she knows the Roberts Rules of Order.

HW
HW

Please keep Zielinski around until November! The democratic party is circling the bowl and the angry little Graemetroll has his hand on the flush lever.

thatischeap
thatischeap

Nice to see so many of my conservative friends reading The Cap Times "Your Progressive Voice"! That is awesome.

ALF
ALF

And while we're at it, Graeme, let me help you tell more "outsiders" to get out of Wisconsin: Jesse Jackson (3 times and counting), GET OUT OF OUR STATE. Little Jimmy Hoffa (your daddy is STILL dead BTW), GET OUT OF OUR STATE. Richard Trumka, (union thug) GET OUT OF OUR STATE. Michael Moore (morbidly obese 1%er), GET OUT OF OUR STATE. Lefty lunatic 1%er Susan Sarandon, GET OUT OF OUR STATE. Identity thief Ian (F_ck the Troops) Murphy, GET OUT OF OUR STATE.Etc....Etc....Etc....LOL

aequalitas
aequalitas

ALF (Secret ID of Ann Coulter)
yech!

Keepingitreal
Keepingitreal

You make Graeme look polite. And as a bonus the all caps is a nice touch. Keep spousing the hate.

joe
joe

Graeme hurts the Dems more than he helps them. Not sure how long it will be until him and Tate are replaced with tactful, intelligent people who can make a point without throwing a hissy fit. Same goes for union leaders Matthews and Marty Biel. They beat themselves more than any other party or person.

I am a Walker supporter, but the unions and the Dems really threw away an opportunity when they acted like fools after Act 10 was passed. Of course, it would take an IQ over 80 to see that opportunity.

Shorety
Shorety

They seem rude, indeed. But the worst thing about them, at least for Democrats, is that they have failed. Repeatedly.

bigdaddy61
bigdaddy61

Gotta love it when you liberal Bozos attack each other.

nufsenuf
nufsenuf

He sounds alot like Howard Dean.

patricko
patricko

I think he should keep his job. He has really suceeded at putting a face on Wisconsin Democrats, and they seem to like the one he has presented.

Him and Tate are under the impression that they just didn't say it loud enough or often enough, so let's give them some more time.

lloll
lloll

If there's a Zeilinski out there for the dems there's one for the GOP. If there 100 for one side there's 100 for the other. The only reason Zeilinski's and the Dem pundits like him, behavior is becoming a story is because he has a fraction of the audience that have Sykes, savage, beck, hannity or Limbaugh.

Marcus
Marcus

Zielinski's bizarre behavior contributed to Scott Walker's victory, period. For the Dems to keep him on as party propagandist says a lot about what his party is all about.

Roundtable
Roundtable

Zielinski knows who the unfair ones are. They aren't really that hard to find. They also make their prescence known by having vitrolic diatribes mostly on right-wing radio and websites. Zielinski sounds like a nice guy compared to them overall. He's like alot of people,he's tired of them too.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Right wing radio hosts are not hired to speak for the State GOP.

uwjeff
uwjeff

This man and his 'hateful' demeanor has turned off any open minded independent voter in Wisconsin who hears him or sees his comments reported - the more we hear and see of him the fewer any true independents will vote the Democratic ticket -- I too hope he remains the primary and main spokesperson for the Democratic Pary in Wisconsin so as to best insure that Wisconsin's electoral votes all go to Romney in November.

drty
drty

Don't call yourself an "open minded independent" when the rest of your post clearly shows that you are anything but.

racedog48
racedog48

Has hobbit zielinski or little boy tate engineered any winning campaigns?

RealDebateWisconsin
RealDebateWisconsin

Sorry Bella, you probably get your views on the Republicans from releases from forthing at the mouth Zielinski.

That nutball is completely out of control. Please give him a life-time contract along with his buddy Mike "guilty until proven innocent" Tate.

Those irresponsible children are only good at one thing, losing.

powmda
powmda

Zielinski and Little Man Tate perform a valuable service! they inspire us to drag out our checkbooks and support Republican candidates. Some of these clowns are the "gift that keeps on giving" in spades. Throw in Babbling Barca, Chris "Sticky Fingers" Larsen and Lena "Don't You Know Who I Am" Taylor, and let Gwen "The Screech" Moore sing us all a tune!! It's a hoot! It's better than HBO!!

tm2323
tm2323

Please keep him around, he shoots any democratic credibility down in flames!

Jason53072
Jason53072

Note to Democrats: Tate and Zielsnki are not helping your cause. Take off the blinders.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

"Most bizarre man in Wisconsin politics"? I think that's a stretch. I mean, we've got Glenn Grothman! And, technically, Julaine Appling isn't a man, but surely she's in the hunt for the coveted "most bizarre" title.
 
And this hasn't even gotten started on the fringies out there in 3rd-party land or the various "independent" candidates. For example, what's the scoop on Isaac Weix and Hari Travedi?

DFCP
DFCP

Graeme's personality is obviously the perfect fit for today's dems. I hope he stays around in that position a long long time.

Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke

To state Dems...PLEASE don't fire the twin turds Tate and Zielinski. They personally cost the Dems at least 150,000 votes in the recall, and they are bound to do it again in the fall election. Every time either one of them opens his mouth, the Republican vote tally spins like a slot machine. They are the gift that keeps on giving!

trurl
trurl

What's with the photo? Is he inside or outside of the prison fence?

HW
HW

Hahahaha! It might not be a prison, probably the fence at a hospital for the criminally insane.

number6
number6

From which side of the prison fence was that photo taken?

jwalk
jwalk

He's one of the many reasons the Democrats are swirling down the toilet hole these days. You're making it easy for us to vote for Republicans.

Chris Walker
Chris Walker

It seems that spokespeople for both sides engage in hostile attacks with the "other side." Graeme's tweets and other interactions show he's just as bit as hostile (more?) as Ciara Matthews, Gov. Walker's campaign spokeswoman, who has tweeted several off-the-cuff remarks since Walker has made the call for compromise and cooperation. As a liberal, I don't want to attack Graeme for his political views, but his demeanor towards political adversaries is something I don't want cast as a reflection of the Democratic Party as a whole.

Passion for the job is one thing...but taking cheap shots at others, who may have valid, critical points to make, is something entirely different.

Interesting times we live in...

Bella La Befana
Bella La Befana

My goodness. He sounds as rabid as the Republicans. Is this the way the Democrats are going to go?

homepickle
homepickle

This article gives clear insight into what high school must be like these days.

racedog48
racedog48

NO mention in the story the hobbit zielinski was fired my the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

aequalitas
aequalitas

NO mention in the story that Pinocchio Walker has told more lies than any other standing governor according to politifact.com

taylor88
taylor88

You see aequalitas, the problem with your argument, is that your hero's like Zielinski and Tate make Walker look a like a choir boy on the truth scale.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Exchange ideas and opinions on posted articles. Don't promote products or services, impersonate other site users, register multiple accounts, threaten or harass others, post vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language. Don't post content that defames or degrades anyone. Don't repost copyrighted material; link to it. In other words, stick to the topic and play nice. Report abuses by clicking the button. Users who break the rules will be banned from commenting. We no longer issue warnings. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.