Usually, the Green campaign feeds the Journal Sentinel their daily spin and the only newspaper in town is all-too-willing to revise and print their press releases. On the non-occasions of Green’s weak stem cell proposal and his recent health-care rehash, the J-S needed only a self-serving Green press release as an excuse to headline how wonderful the anti-Doyle was.
Now, the Journal Sentinel has returned the favor, giving the Green campaign fodder for their latest bad-Doyle press release through the always helpful Spivak & Bice. Yesterday, the Spice Boys put an item on their "blog" (read: non-print) space on the J-S website, gloating about how Jim Doyle was given only two stars in a review of contested governors in Inc. Magazine, a publication supposedly targeting entrepreneurs. Earlier today, the Green campaign took the not-so-subtle hint and promoted the same article in a press release. Thus does one hand wash the other at the Green-friendly Journal Sentinel.
In their post (apparently not good enough for their print column), Spivak and Bice ignored the significant positive accomplishments listed by the magazine. Instead, the supposedly non-partisan "reporters" focused on the negative, some of which was based on a complete misconception that the Boys were certainly not inclined to point out.
The article, in fact, has two paragraphs of positive comments, at least for its intended audience, before inserting caveats in the final graph:
"Doyle has put so much effort into painting himself a pro-business Democrat that pundits say his support among labor, a major constituency in the land of Bob LaFollette, is more tepid than it needs to be for him to win reelection.
"When he first took office, Doyle invited a number of entrepreneurs to take part in 12 economic roundtables that he held across the state. Since then, he has stuffed his "Grow Wisconsin" economic plan with jobs programs and tax credits for technology companies. He set up 55 facilities across the state to serve business owners and farmers. Finally, Doyle has won funding for stem-cell research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which his opponent, Representative Mark Green of Green Bay, would curb."
So far, so good, and, if not for the two stars and the final graph, the item certainly would have been ignored by the right-spinning Spivak & Bice. But then comes the "zinger", according to the easily anti-Doyle-zinged Boys:
"Despite these advances, Doyle is widely considered one of the most likely incumbents to fall in November. The state's finances are shaky, and Doyle and the legislature routinely squabble. A series of allegations of no-bid contracts landing in the laps of Doyle supporters have alienated voters. The bottom line: It's great that Doyle has been a friend to business, but his missteps in other areas have blunted his overall effectiveness."
Well, Inc. probably is not aware that Doyle was saddled with the financial legacy of the reckless Tommy Thompson and the hapless Scott McCullum going in or the fact that the Republican legislature has deliberately put right-wing red-meat on his desk so that he would have to veto it. I guess it would look like "squabbling" to outsiders who are not aware that the GOP has insisted on partisan conflict as a matter of choice and policy.
But the main point that has S&B gleefully running to their computers is no doubt the line about "A series of allegations of no-bid contracts landing in the laps of Doyle supporters". Now, Doyle has been accused in general and in very few specifics of benefitting contributors, the most noise being made about the way that bids are evaluated. In confusing the two, they may have Doyle confused with the king of no-bid contributor rewards, Tommy Thompson.
But, again, we don’t expect the Spicers to clear this up. And, neither is it very surprising that the Green campaign – no doubt through the Spice posting – has noticed the Inc. article and was bragging about it in a press release today.
UPDATE: Or at least they were earlier today. There was a press release about the Inc. story up on the Green web-site earlier this morning – honest there was. Now (at 11:30 a.m.) – poof! – it’s gone. Well, maybe it’ll come back. Maybe they sent it off somewhere for rewriting or perhaps they noticed that they were drawing attention to something that was a net-positive for Doyle. Another victim, apparently, of the Spice Boys' snide anti-Doyle enthusiasm.
UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: Now, it's back.