Monday, September 14, 2009

Wisconsin Knows: He Who Smelt It, Dealt It

When we first heard about Wisconsin Knows this weekend, we laughed at just how absurd the whole thing is and decided to leave it alone, but it appears that it's now becoming a "thing," so we're going to gather our thoughts on the matter.

So far as we can tell, the first evidence of the Wisconsin Knows website can be traced back to Kyle Maichle, who seems to be the first person to blog about it. Before that, there's nothing. It's as if Wisconsin Knows just appeared from the ether and with only one single blog post to it's credit, Maichle knew where to find it -- and only a couple of days after the blog's inaugural post too. We were impressed (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Now, this mysterious site exists without an author, which allows Maichle to make the absolutely ridiculous assertion that the writing style of the site is similar to a press release put out by the DPW the same day. Maichle should not consider leaving his current line employment to pursue a career in forensic writing analysis because the two pieces of writing are nothing alike.

The only common trait they share is a broad criticism of Mark Nuemann. The DPW release doesn't even mention the central criticism of Nuemann by WK, that is, his business dealings. The DPW is written by a professional, someone who knows how to make a quick attack. WK is a rambling, disorganized mess that is far too taxing on the reader to be effective.

It's clearly amateur hour over at WK. Stylistically, the two writings are nothing alike. DPW uses time-tested political rhetoric, employing phrases like "record of extremism" and "extreme right-wing views and anti-consumer business practices" and " the best interests of Wisconsin" and "out-of-touch and out-of-step rhetoric" and so forth. These are cliches to some ears, but they are the language of political professionals. None of that appears in WK, which exists solely do "prove" Nuemann's "sketchy business practices" ... whatever those happen to be. In fact, it's clear that the author of WK is ignorant of both political language and business language, as he seems to not have the first damn clue what he was reading with regard to Nuemann's financials.

WK segments its arguments by headers (i.e. "Just the Facts Man..."), uses bold to help differentiate which Nuemann brother the author is speaking of, uses both bullet points and numbered bullets to separate sections, and lastly uses cumbersome spread sheet type boxes to discuss specific properties. None of this appears in the DPW -- which doesn't even mention Nuemann's brother while WK dwells on him obsessively. WK links to a variety of sites that seem to have nothing to do with what they are talking about -- in one case it links to an article about a state legislator from North Carolina named Wil Nuemann, not even the right guy.

Clearly, whomever is in charge of WK is an amateur. Why Maichle seems to be such in arms over it is beyond me. Most people would simply look at, laugh and walk away without paying it any heed. Not Maichle, who sees an opportunity to smear the DPW with the baseless accusation that they are in charge of it and to do so without any substantive evidence.

And no, "they're written alike" doesn't count since they are written nothing alike.

There is no advantage to either the DPW or Walker campaign in putting something like WK out in a non official capacity. WK is an awful website. It looks like shit, is written like shit, and is completely uninteresting despite desperately trying to be so. The DPW or Walker would be better served by putting their name on a good looking web site maintained by professional. This amateurish crap is embarrassing and it's usually the kind of bullshit that some over-eager activist puts together in his or her spare time.

Cory Liebmann think it's the work of pro-Walker, right-wingers. Let me do him one better and give him the name of the person we feel is responsible for WK: Kyle Maichle.

Both WK and Maichle's blog are powered by Wordpress and web folks tend to use the same platform when they make new sites. WK's first post appeared at 9:00 PM on September 9th and three days later Maichle's writing about it on his site -- that's an amazing coincidence since no one knew anything about WK prior to Maichle's post.

Maichle also seems to be begging folks to take seriously something any normal person would immediately out of hand. Here's some more Maichle:
The credibility of the post by WIsconsin Knows will fall on deaf ears unless who wrote the story gives credit to where they got the records as federal bankruptcy records are public records under the Freedom of Information Act.
WK has no credibility. It's an anonymous blog that could be making shit up for all anyone knows, and for Maichle to think for a moment that Mark Nuemann's financial history isn't known to most opposition researchers in Wisconsin is hopelessly naive. Whomever is in charge of WK is not breaking any news. Besides, Maichle says it himself: bankruptcy records are public -- it's not like he broke into a probate office in the middle of the night.

Plus, the financial information outlined in the post is hardly incriminating. All it does is outline some bad real estate deals made by his brother. Yawn ... Wake us up when you've got pictures of Nuemann with hookers or killing puppies ... or both at the same time.

That's all speculation, of course. I can't prove Maichle's involvement. So instead of just wallowing in idle speculation, like Maichle seems perfectly willing to do, let's look at what few actual facts surrounding the case. The fact of the matter is that Wisconsinknows.com is registered by Domainsbyproxy.com, a service that buys up web sites for people that don't want their names associated with the site. That's it, folks. Unless you have access to the purchase records at Domainsbyproxy.com, then there's no way to know who's in charge of WK.

Keep that in mind when Maichle writes this:
When someone forwarded me a e-mail about this and there was an Milwaukee Address on the bottom of the e-mail linked to the website, it was important that research had to be done on the actual address. When the address on Silver Spring Drive was looked up on the Huffington Post’s and other campaign finance databases I had every assertion that it comes from a solid blue section of Milwaukee County as according to the databases as the first indicator. The address was near the border of Milwaukee and Glendale which is a pretty solid blue section.
So Maichle knows the physical address of the operator of Wisconsin Knows? Because he got an email? And all of this has happened within 5 days and only two (2!) posts at WK?

Are you fucking kidding me?

My bullshit meter is going off like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl after reading this. Why would someone go through all the trouble of hiring a third party to register the domain name to conceal their identity and then let enough people know about it that within a week of going live Maichle is somehow able to track down the brick and mortar HQ of the WisconsinKnows.com after receiving an email?

This stinks to high heaven and by our estimation the stench is coming from Maichle. He clearly knows more about WK then he's letting on and, frankly, this acting coy bullshit feels like a transparent attempt to sucker his readers. Maichle's tried to carve out a niche for himself by attacking Mike Tate since he became party chair earlier this year and it seems only reasonable that his obsession has escalated to an internet frame job. This isn't about Mark Nuemann's finances so much as it is trying to make Tate and the DPW look like dirty crooks.

Do I have any proof that Wisconsinknows.com is actually one of Maichle's diabolical plots? No. I, frankly, don't even know if he's smart enough to come up with something like this -- and it's not like a political mastermind is needed to concoct this pathetic scheme. But since Maichle's isn't going to do anything but speculate on the matter because he erroneously thinks two pieces of writing are kind of alike, then I have just as much standing to attribute the authorship to him.

So either come up with some tangible evidence or stop making these ridiculous allegations. Whomever is in charge of Wisconsinknows.com doesn't have the first damn clue what they're doing. It's embarrassing and amateurish -- both Chairmen Tate and Pribus know better than to pull this kind of shit -- the real question is, does Maichle?

11 comments:

the n00b said...

Domains by Proxy is owned by GoDaddy and the GoDaddy "free apps" for a basic site includes a self-hosted Wordpress package (as opposed to those blogs hosted on wordpress. com, the same way you have your blog at blogspot.com)The other blogging apps offered by GoDaddy pretty much suck, so most ppl, even newbies will choose Wordpress, so it while it easily may not be that Kyle himself, of course he knows who it is.

What intersts me is that WI Knows has shelled out some actual cash for its 2 post smear blog - bought the URL, a hosting package AND paid for that proxy service. That Kyle fella did none of that for is own blog. He's got the free deal going.
So it seems logical to me that the spending of actual cash on that WI Knows site would indicate they had hoped to do more with it than the 2 flaccid posts they have up now.
And if the idea is to frame the Democrats for a libelous/smearing blog to discredit the party (how dumb are these guys) maybe they'll do something where campaign law applies and someone will be able to subpoena the GoDaddy for the release of the real site owner name, which whould be amusing to see.

So hopefully WI Knows will continue with it's "clever" plan, and someone who is ACTUALLY CLEVER will be watching and will be able to force them out into the open to be laughed at.
and if they lay low and do nothing else, then at least some retarded Republican schemers wasted some money on an ill-conceived plan.

Right now it seems like kind of an expense couple of posts to me...

Cory Liebmann said...

when i wrote my blog it was really just a fun spur of the moment thing. i was basically just trying to speculate in the opposite direction.

I don't know if you saw it, but WK does list an address for contact purposes. Assuming that he didn't make it up himself, that is where Kyle got the address. But for him to use the address location as "proof" that it was done by dems is just as lame as his "analyzing" of writing styles. The address is literally right down the street from me, so I'm curious if it is even real. and why would someone hiding behind a proxy list their real street address anyway?

for what its worth i first found out about WK when i got an email from the site last week pointing me to it. i didn't blog on the info because i was suspicious of the whole thing. Obviously that didn't stop Kyle or the rest of those wacky walker supporters.

Marcus Aurelius said...

A friend of mine gave me a heads up on this and I poked around it a bit myself too, but GoDaddy & Domainsbyproxy know what they are doing here and it all seems kinda bullet proof. Those interested, will probably have to wait for an application/content level slip-up.

Domains & web-hosting are not that expensive. If someone wanted to setup a hit site like that it would cost less than $200/year, but I don't know GoDaddy & Domainsbyproxy pricing structure (the number is based on the services I use for domains & hosting).

What I see is pretty much a stock wordpress setup (theme excepted), which is not surprising given it is all setup through GoDaddy (I hate GoDaddy, and rarely use the host's automated software install systems anymore).

The fact person X uses free blogging for one site and a "real" site for another does not mean much, I do the same.

the n00b said...

Oh for Pete's sake *eyeroll*

$200 is a "lot" to invest for 2 shitty posts, I did not say it was a lot to invest for a whole website.

I pointed that out because since more than 2.95 was spent per post we all can assume the WK idiot's intent was....to write more than the 2 shitty posts.
SO yeah,
they may write more in an attmept to get their money's worth, and it's worth Someone Smart watching the site for more clues and possible legal slip-ups.

Okay now on to
Item # 2 That Proves You Can't Read -

the ever-lovely Chief logically deduced that the Wordpressiness of the whole affair might indictate WK was once again - the ever-crappy Kyle. I was merely pointing out that there may be other reasons for the Kyle blog AND the WK blog to be both WP sites, that I followed Chief's logic but there are other equally reasonable "explanations" for that situation i.e. the extreme ease of installing WP to one's root directory from within a GoDaddy hosting package.

Just as there are innumerable explanations as to how certain persons can develop over the years from winsome and innocent infants into large, pustulent douchebags.

Real Debate said...

I was notified by email from the propietor of Wisconsin Knows about that initial posting, as I'm sure Kyle was.

I replied and asked the sender to identify themselves, no big surprise that inquiry was not responded to.

To assume that since Kyle knew about it right away that he was somehow responsible for it is ridiculous. Such is the level of blogging we have come to expect here.

Jb said...

Hi.

Take a little breather, folks, and re-read the penultimate paragraph:

Do I have any proof that Wisconsinknows.com is actually one of Maichle's diabolical plots? No. I, frankly, don't even know if he's smart enough to come up with something like this -- and it's not like a political mastermind is needed to concoct this pathetic scheme. But since Maichle's isn't going to do anything but speculate on the matter because he erroneously thinks two pieces of writing are kind of alike, then I have just as much standing to attribute the authorship to him.

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