Right Wisconsin makes some suspiciously specific predictions for 2014

2014-01-04T08:30:00Z Right Wisconsin makes some suspiciously specific predictions for 2014JACK CRAVER | The Capital Times | jcraver@madison.com madison.com

In lieu of New Year's resolutions, political pundits seem to favor making New Year's predictions.

Case in point: conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes and his buddies at Right Wisconsin, the conservative website run by Journal Communications (the parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Sykes made a whopping 27 predictions about state and national politics for 2014, while Right Wisconsin managing editor Brian Fraley made 21 and staff writer Collin Roth made 14.

For the most part, the predictions were little more than chest-thumping assertions that conservatives will be proven right on some point or another — Obamacare, Benghazi, streetcars in Milwaukee.

But some of the state predictions are curiously specific, suggesting that the trio might be trotting out information they've picked up on the holiday party circuit.

"Before April, a veteran GOP lawmaker will surprise fellow legislators with a retirement announcement," wrote Fraley.


"Why on earth would I reveal the name anywhere else than [Right Wisconsin]?" he replied via email. "Nice try though."

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, who has been in the state Senate since 1990 and will turn 70 this year, is a likely candidate, but who knows? Maybe Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is sick of politics.

Also from Fraley: "Calls to make Wisconsin a Right-to-Work state will intensify."

That's a surprising call that conflicts with conventional wisdom. First, although Walker has never said he opposes right-to-work, which outlaws union contracts that require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment, he has insisted that he sees the issue as a distraction and does not believe it will come up. Second, insiders have indicated in the past that a large number of GOP legislators do not wish to endure yet another bitter labor battle in an election year, particularly one that would pit them against the few remaining union allies, such as the Milwaukee police and firefighter associations.

In addition, as much as key parts of the Republican base support right-to-work, it's not an issue that is likely to be important for swing voters. Unlike Act 10, which had implications for taxpayers, right-to-work would do very little for the typical Wisconsin worker. And although Walker's recall victory in some ways appeared to be a vindication of his anti-union policies, his approval rating during the initial protests plummeted. It was only months later, when his opponents took the unprecedented action of organizing recall elections against him and Republican state senators, that public opinion shifted back into his column.

But Fraley maintains the pressure will be coming from "lawmakers, interest groups, pundits and the grassroots."

Before the election?

"Yes, before the election," he responded.

Fellow conservative blogger David Blaska, who penned a series of semi-serious predictions for InBusiness, also referenced the impending arrival of right-to-work. Asked to elaborate, the former Cap Times columnist and Tommy Thompson flack said he did not believe it was a top issue for conservatives but that he was beginning to believe it might be helpful in attracting manufacturing jobs.

Fraley and Blaska both predicted — with mischievous glee — that Kathleen Vinehout would mount a serious challenge to Mary Burke for the Democratic nomination for governor. Blaska even suggested Vinehout would win, a prediction that he backed off when questioned, citing the arm injury she suffered in a recent car accident.

Finally, a prediction from Sykes: "There will be no Kenosha casino decision until after the election."

The veteran talker declined, however, to say what the result of Walker's decision would be.

"My crystal ball isn't that clear," he said.

Copyright 2015 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. Mr Mellow
    Report Abuse
    Mr Mellow - January 07, 2014 4:41 pm
    The idea that Wisconsin cops and firefighters are union allies of Walker & company was certainly true in 2010, but that changed after Scottie 'dropped the bomb' on public unions.

    If you doubt that, look up Scott Fitzgerald's quote about how they couldn't find a police force in the state that would agree to arrest the Fab 14. Or review the videos of the 2011 protests and see how many cops and firefighters were active participants.

    These brave public servants are not dumb; they've seen the writing on the wall.
    They know that eventually the Republicans will come for their unions too.
  2. LABOR
    Report Abuse
    LABOR - January 05, 2014 9:16 pm
    Right WI - garbage
  3. Fartinthewind
    Report Abuse
    Fartinthewind - January 04, 2014 6:34 pm

    Interesting article on right to work laws. Dispels myths right and left.
  4. gkmoynihan
    Report Abuse
    gkmoynihan - January 04, 2014 2:24 pm

    See #3

    I referenced this in jest because the fightin'-Bobist nutjobs that co-opted La Follette's name like Jack here seem to attribute every one of their failures and every one of their adversary's successes to those dastardly brothers from Kansas.
  5. WI_Expat
    Report Abuse
    WI_Expat - January 04, 2014 1:17 pm
    LaFollette (Robert E., since that is what is being implied) knew of the Koch Brothers?

    Robert E. LaFollette: June 14, 1855 - June 18, 1925

    David H. Koch: May 3,1940 - Present

    Charles Koch: November 1, 1935 - Present

    (Obviously, Not referring to Fred Koch since he didn't actually complete education until 1922 and was an employee of two companies until 1925 when LaFollette passed. Didn't start John Birch Society until 1958).

    Please provide references to where "LaFollette" made statement of these "laws".
  6. John Ehrlichman
    Report Abuse
    John Ehrlichman - January 04, 2014 12:54 pm
    If it wasn't for misinformation and deception, there would be no information at all! LOL! It's ironic that those who whine about transparency are the least transparent.
  7. snootyelites
    Report Abuse
    snootyelites - January 04, 2014 12:19 pm
    The biggest 2014 prognostication that you all missed is a Democrat Detroit police chief advising that armed citizens deter crime! More Democrats & police chiefs to follow!


    Actually one other: Warren Buffet said yesterday he sees local media as another growth spot!
  8. gkmoynihan
    Report Abuse
    gkmoynihan - January 04, 2014 11:43 am
    La Follette's Laws:

    -Any conservative prediction with a sufficiently high level of plausibility is indistinguishable from a nefarious plot hatched by the Koch brothers.

    -Any progressive prediction, however implausible, that fails is indistinguishable from a nefarious plot hatched by the Koch brothers.

  9. Permanent Tailgater
    Report Abuse
    Permanent Tailgater - January 04, 2014 11:37 am
    The Republicans don't care to create jobs, never have, never will. They are only driven with the need for power and political contributions because they love sitting in bars around the Capitol acting like they are GOD extolling virtue against the "heathen" unions. Stick you "right to work" as a number one priority. The number one priority is replacing the corruption and theft and mismanagement of ALL Wisconsinite tax-dollars with competence, credibility and fairness. As a former Republican, I can assure you, THAT "right to work" legislation will fail miserably because your current crop of "corrupt pawns" lack the "tools" and know how.
  10. RightToWork
    Report Abuse
    RightToWork - January 04, 2014 11:09 am
    Becoming a Right To Work state should be the number one priority of the Wisconsin legislature if they are serious about creating jobs.
  11. Permanent Tailgater
    Report Abuse
    Permanent Tailgater - January 04, 2014 11:07 am
    Consider the sources....and realize it is all "tough fluff" talk no substance whatsoever.
  12. Double-D-man
    Report Abuse
    Double-D-man - January 04, 2014 10:02 am
    Alberta Darling became a legislator when she was elected to the Assembly in 1990. She was elected to the State Senate in 1992.
  13. Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
    Report Abuse
    Ego Vigilabo Vigilum - January 04, 2014 9:38 am
    I'm deeply disappointed that there are no predictions about devastating effects of Global Warming or how all the previously issued 'tipping points' have enjoyed the same pinpoint accuracy.
  14. croixscout
    Report Abuse
    croixscout - January 04, 2014 9:31 am
    Milwaukee police and firefighters support Walker? Maybe the city of Milwaukee needs to fall in line with the rest of the state- a lot of our education dollars from around the state goes to Milwaukee, and now we find that the police and firefighters are not aligned with other similar associations. Let Milwaukee fund itself!
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Get daily Cap Times alerts


First Name:

Last Name:

What's hot



Should a 48-hour waiting period be required for gun purchases from gun shows and online?

View Results