First there was this from OWN:
Rep. Jim Steineke of Kaukauna who said, "I propose phasing out the corporate income tax altogether, because I think the corporate income tax doesn't do anything real beneficial to any of us." Of course, his crazy idea to blow an even bigger hole in the budget deficit is a blip on the Crazy Radar compared to his 100-page long police report.Then today, Fairly Conservative highlights a Wis Dems press release with this:
GOP Drunk Driver Heads Scott Walker Drunk Driver Protection Push.When I saw the OWN piece I didn't do anything beyond note it, since relatively few people probably got the reference to the "police report." Apparently, the Wis Dems felt the same way I did and put a much finer point on it in their release.
Jim Steineke Had DUI, Hit-And-Run Convictions
The trouble for the Democrats though, is that these issues are not news to anyone who paid attention. They were out in the open during the campaign. A campaign that included an attack ad on Steineke featuring an unflattering mug shot (I think he had a mullet) which seemed designed more to embarrass him personally than inform voters. Here's the Press Gazette from October 27, 2010:
Steineke obviously sought damage control when he met with us, as he and his campaign staff indicated they thought opposition groups eventually would use the traffic incidents against him. But the candidate answered the board's questions honestly and in a straightforward manner, rather than skirting the issue or making excuses for what happened then. He spoke sincerely about his reservations in deciding whether to run and related discussions with his family that were held knowing the incidents were likely to surface.Despite all this, Steineke won election anyway.
So why all the attention given to Steineke? One possibility is that former Representative Tom Nelson is looking to retake his old seat and the attacks by the Wis Dems and OWN could just be the opening salvo in the 2012 campaign (anyone ready for that to start?).
Jim Steineke has a responsibility to be diligent about not repeating his past mistakes and I hope that he takes that responsibility seriously. In the meantime, OWN and the Wis Dems should just drop this from their playbook. These issues weren't winning ones in the last election and they still aren't. Continuing to focus on Steineke's past does nothing to address the issues that voters really care about.