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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Wisconsin

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter joins the GOP race on July 4th weekend -- patriotic, yes, media-savvy, maybe not

Thaddeus-McCotter-Michigan-Republican

Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination today.

Who knew?

It may have been carried on local media, but CSPAN was running coverage of the progressive Netroots Nation conference, which took place in mid-June; CSPAN2 was in the middle of a tribute to historian Manning Marable; Fox News Channel had "Huckabee"; CNN had "Nepal's Stolen Children," with Demi Moore; and MSNBC had its prison documentary series "Lockup."

However, you can now scroll down for a video of McCotter's understated announcement.

Perhaps announcing a presidential candidacy at a music festival in a park in Whitmore Lake, Mich., on a holiday weekend was not the best timing to garner national media coverage for the 45-year-old father of three..

The event was neither live-streamed on McCotter's Facebook page nor his official campaign website, and fans were casting about unsuccessfully Saturday evening on Twitter for.... 

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Sunday shows: Ryan, Bachmann, Rubio, Van Hollen

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), with George Will, Chrystia Freeland, David Stockman and Arianna Huffington.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).Minnesota Republican Representative Michele Bachmann

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), with Michael Gerson and Michael Dyson.

CNN Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Malcolm Gladwell, Eliot Abrams, Martin Indyk, Fawaz Gerges and Ayman Mohyeldin.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Stephen Hadley, Steve Perry, Randi Weingarten, Jane Harman and Van Hollen

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn,), Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), with Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Nina Easton and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and David Axelrod.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images (Bachmann).

Joe Biden update: He meets with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to talk about secret stuff

AFL CIO pres Richard Trumka 2-18-11

News report on LATimes.com 'Battle with unions widens in the Midwest':

The battle against unions in the Midwest escalated Wednesday as a second state, Indiana, effectively found itself trapped in a legislative stalemate.
All but three of the 40 Democratic members of the Indiana House of Representatives have temporarily moved to Illinois to avoid voting on legislation they consider to be anti-union.
Illinois is also where all 14 of the Democratic senators from Wisconsin sought sanctuary when they fled from Madison last week to block legislation that would have ended collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

Public schedule of Vice President Joe Biden for Thursday, Feb. 24:

At 10:45 AM, the Vice President and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will meet with President of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka and with presidents of AFL-CIO labor organizations.

Whatever do you suppose they're plotting inside this transparent Obama administration White House?

Well, we'll never know. Because this meeting of an elected federal official with top labor union officers is closed to press.

Then there are the meetings with lobbyists held just off the executive office grounds to avoid reporting them in White House logs.

You are dismissed.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Follow us via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with someone you really treasure.

Photo: Michael P. King / via Associated Press (Trumka incites protesters outside the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Feb. 18, 2011).

Gov. Scott Walker: 'Wisconsin is open for business'

Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker file

Talk about needing RoboCop to help again.

Back to Deficit City we go with the State of the State address from newly installed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. A former state assemblyman and Milwaukee county executive (Walker's official bio is here), he chose his first day in office to call a special legislative session to deal with an issue Washington has been talking about for more than two years: job creation.

Walker was part of a major Republican political takeover in the Badger State in November, securing the Legislature, the governor's office and knocking out of office the onetime unbeatable Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

So determined is the new governor to drive his signature jobs issue that he smartly seized the public relations moment a few weeks back for a little elbow-swinging interstate competition.

When Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, celebrated legislative passage of a 66% increase in the state income taxes, Walker showed up all over the media with the slogan and phrase "Wisconsin is open for business." If some Illinois businesses flee Democratic taxes by moving next door to Wisconsin, Iowa or Indiana, all run by GOP chief executives, it will not be the first time.

The Midwest may be rusting in many industrial ways, but politically it is a coveted....

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Obama State of the Union 2.0: Cheesehead Edition

democrat president Obama in Wisconsin 1-26-11 at Orion Energy

Fresh from his 62-minute State of the Union oration, President Obama flew out to Wisconsin today to wave and repeat his opening 2012 campaign message of investing instead of spending. If you don't know the difference, that's perfect.

Innovation is also a big theme of the Democrat nowadays. It's positive, optimistic and means he doesn't have to talk specific cuts, which he hopes to force House Republicans to do first and set themselves up as targets.

Obama spoke for only 17 minutes at Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc, enough to praise innovation, winning the future and sucking it up in tough times, which Americans are good at, he said. And which they better be good at these days, he didn't say.

Of course the president, who's actually a Pittsburgh Steelers backer, made the obligatory...

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Rep. Paul Ryan: 'Our nation is approaching a tipping point'

Wisconsin Republican representative Paul Ryan

Response to the State of the Union by Rep. Paul Ryan, as provided by Republican Party leadership

Good evening. I’m Congressman Paul Ryan from Janesville, Wisconsin – and Chairman here at the House Budget Committee.

President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber. 

Earlier this month, President Obama spoke movingly at a memorial event for the six people who died on that violent morning in Tucson. Still, there are no words that can lift the sorrow that now engulfs the families and friends of the fallen.

What we can do is assure them that the nation is praying for them; that, in the words of the Psalmist, the Lord heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds; and that over time grace will replace grief.

As Gabby continues to make encouraging progress, we must....

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State of the Union addresses: So many words for so little action; Tonight, Barack Obama tries again

President Ronald Reagans state of the union 1988

A president's State of the Union address has by tradition come around halfway to spring on the American calendar, nearly coinciding with another regular rite of winter, Groundhog Day. One event involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of lesser intelligence for prognostication, while the other involves a groundhog. Hey-yoh.

As standard practice as the rhetorical ritual has become, the Constitution actually requires no such address. Article 2 Section 3 simply says: "The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing in there about primetime on a Tuesday evening preempting "NCIS," with days of preceding news leaks.

Two hundred twenty-one years and two weeks ago George Washington actually ....

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Reince Priebus elected new RNC chairman

Reince Priebus the new chairman of the Republican National Committee

Reince Priebus.

Republicans went to the Heartland today for their next party chair, choosing Wisconsin attorney Reince Priebus to head the Republican National Committee for the next two years into and through the crucial 2012 presidential election cycle. His tenure begins effective immediately.

Priebus, the Wisconsin state party chairman since 2007, won on the seventh ballot with 97 of the 168 votes. Eighty-five were needed for victory. Second was ex-Michigan state chair Saul Anuzis and third was former Bush campaign official and GOP operative Maria Cino, who was endorsed by new House Speaker John Boehner.

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele concedes 1-14-11

The current chairman, Michael Steele, had mounted a surprising and hopeless reelection campaign after November's resounding election victories.

But the 24-month tenure of the first African American to head the party of Lincoln was troubled from the get-go with missteps, administrative errors, speaking gaffes, alienation of other established party leaders and, worst in the eyes of party faithful, terrible RNC fundraising efforts that prompted many large donors to give elsewhere. The party says it is currently more than $20 million in debt.

After the fourth of seven ballots today, Steele withdrew, saying, "I hope you appreciate our legacy. After all the noise, after all the difficulties, WE WON!" He received a standing ovation.

Priebus had momentum coming into the voting at the RNC's regular winter meeting. A staunch conservative, Priebus helped engineer a pickup of two House seats in his state last November, as well as recapturing the governor's office after eight years and defeating longtime incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold.

"We have to get on track," Priebus declared after his win, vowing to focus on fundraising immediately for what experts expect to be a billion-dollar presidential campaign in 2012 -- on both sides. Immediately after the tally, Boehner issued a statement of firm support for Priebus.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons below to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Liz Sidotti / Associated Press (Priebus); Alex Wong / Getty Images (Steele).

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn delighted with a whopping 66% income tax hike; you'll never guess his party

Illinois' delighted Democrat governor Pat Quinn gets 66% tax hike

If you were thinking of moving to Illinois, hold off until you read this. It's one of those quintessentially Illinois political stories that prompt laughter -- unless you live there.

The newly elected Gov. Pat Quinn (shown above with the pleased grin) is so happy this morning. Why? Because his obedient state Legislature just voted an income tax increase on those dumb saps who elected him in November.

Wait for it: The income tax increase is 66% !! And even that additional $6.8 billion sucked out of the state's private economy isn't anywhere near enough to cover the state's spending hole that could be as large as $15 billion.

Quinn says this tax measure, which will cost a family of four earning $50,000 around $1,000 more annually, was necessary because his state government needs the ....

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Veterans Day traditions evolve on Twitter

  Arlington

At Arlington National Cemetery, rocks are placed on headstones to symbolize a visit.

As families across America remembered the fallen, politicians paid tribute to veterans in person and also by using Twitter to send messages to their followers on Veterans Day. 

Traditions may be evolving but the messages of....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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