Wednesday, October 24, 2018


By Dominique Paul Noth 

Even if the most threatened Democrat, Heidi
Hietkamp, has a tough road in North Dakota,
Democrats can still carry the Senate.
In two years, the US has shrunk to a puny shadow of its influential self on the world stage while the economy gallops ahead fulfilling Obama’s vision of slow steady growth but heedless of the warning signals about troubled tariffs, nationalism and ballooning deficits of the Trump regime  that could blow up  a few months after the election.  Many pundits fear that as long as the economic balloon isn’t punctured too harshly, Trump still has weight to throw around, which puts them in the uncomfortable situation of hoping against our economy to block his more outrageous brainstorms.

Yet the president continues to invent rioting in California, middle easterners coming in caravan from Central America (the only Mideast tribe he seems to admire is from the Saudi royal family), evil immigrants invading his golden space and Democrats salivating to impose more taxes – all a clear intent to use fear to reduce his Nov. 6 losses.

It’s a pretty low bar to support a president by comparing him to a broken clock – right inadvertently twice a day.

Yet wisely, the Democrats are ignoring his outrageous behavior while cable media still feels forced to cover his daily ravings,  on a theory I wish the news gods would abandon – that even a president who talks like an escapee from the hospital still merits a ridiculous degree of attention.

There is some evidence that his daily rallies and news gaggles leading into Nov. 6 have more to do with holding up his sinking ratings than any real belief even among supporters.  He’s on the air more than reruns of “I Love Lucy.”

The Democrats have realized that all the invective possible has already been hurled at Trump.   Nor can the Dems  do anything  about the exaggerated right wing hopes that his  Supreme Court picks justify giving the lunatic full rein.  And the Dems don’t want to explore, even if they have reason, billionaire Tom Steyer’s calls for impeachment lest it raise the specter that punishment is more important than better government.

No, the Democrats up and down the ballot are emphasizing what they can actually do for Americans in terms of health care, better roads, livable wages and healthier environment – also pinpointing the areas where Trump and the GOP are letting the citizenry down.

This is the right approach even if we admit the motor underneath.  Up and down the ballot the reason for high turnout is to create a check on Trump’s executive power.

This is the main reason people are voting.  The pundits maintain a somewhat simpleton distinction between the progressive mood of urban America and the built-in conservatism of rural communities, but the  two sides are coming together in curious ways this election year, and Trump is the cause.

With two more years in office and already rumblings that he might try to overturn the Constitution if he doesn’t like the results Nov. 6, the US public has to be determined not to react in fear of what Trump might do but to block any more of what he has done. 

When people stop fearing how he will misbehave, they focus on how they want the US to behave.  Frankly, the common reaction I hear from the public rural and urban is that they don’t want to see again what happened in 2016.

Today’s polls less than two weeks out make it clear the House is likely to turn to Democratic control, but the media loves a good horse race and feels they must give presidential asides attention, even if “diatribes” better describe his ramblings than actual information.  Recognizing that the table was always stacked in 2018 against the Democrats, who have to defend far more Senate seats then the Republicans, the talking heads are emphasizing the difficulty of turning the Senate around as if the Republicans have a real argument to make.

I’m going to disagree with the current warnings that the GOP may keep control of the Senate.  They might, but it’s more than wishful thinking that they will lose this chamber as well as the other one. 

A powerful blue wave still has a strong likelihood of kicking Mitch and his ilk to the curb – and a powerhouse turn in the electorate is essential to truly blocking Trump.

Krysten Sinema given a poll
lead in Arizona.
First there are strong indications of several seats now in Republican hands flipping to the Democrats.  Among them, Jacky Rosen in Nevada beating Dean Heller and  Krysten Sinema in Arizona taking the seat being abandoned by Jeff Flake.  Even Tennessee seems to be coming to its senses, listening to Taylor Swift and recalling how even its retiring GOP senator, Bob Corker, had reservations about Marsha Blackburn, who continues to audition for FOX News more than running for Senate. She is Tennessee’s Leah Vukmir.

The Democratic in that race is male and older, but Phil Bredesen is a proven commodity as a former popular Tennessee governor.

And would you believe that even Mississippi may be in play? At 49-51 the Democrats need only to flip two Senate seats, so a narrow takeover remains in the cards.

Several Democratic defenses are in good shape (Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Amy Klobuchar and the little known Tina Smith  in Minnesota, the latter appointed to fill Al Franken’s term;  Chris Murphy in Connecticut, even Bob Casey in Pennsylvania and the once heavily threatened Sherrod Brown of Ohio, to name a few now indicated as “leaning Democratic”).

But many in states that went for Trump are considered on the bubble. The most threatened is North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, though it is hard to see even conservative voters in that smaller population state endorsing the ugly voter suppression games their GOP has been playing.

Claire McCaskell given a good
chance in Missouri.
Also considered as Democrats bucking their state’s trends are Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, though both are leading their races. (Many Democrats don’t care much about Manchin until they read more about his GOP opponent.)

Voters in Missouri believe Claire McCaskell’s respected individuality will pull out her re-election – she still does smart grassroots things like asking voters at her meetings who is benefiting from coverage of pre-existing conditions. Insiders share similar hopes for Bill Nelson in his Florida race against the well heeled exiting governor, Rick Scott.  Helping there is that Andrew Gillum is leading in the race for  governor,  marking a groundswell for Democrats.

Beto's national attraction not as important
as his good chance among Texas voters.
And there actually remain hopes for Beto O’Rourke in traditionally red Texas, largely because of Ted Cruz’s unpopularity with Republicans and his wimpiness in now embracing the president who once accused his father of treason and his wife of ugliness. Plus Beto has been running a smart and financially impressive campaign.

If you look at the election map in that light, the Democrats could take back the Senate even if they lose a seat here or there. It seems that voters even in reddish states are serious about providing a check on Trump.

That upset in both chambers also relies on traditional understanding of the power of Congress, not its recent temerity.  It was designed to check and balance a president and it could again on many fronts beyond advise and consent on judicial nominations.  You don’t have to be a cockeyed optimist to realize that if Republicans perceive a blue wave taking firm control, there may be enough of them willing to make deals if the Democrats focus less on punishing Trump and his fellow Republicans than on what can be done for the country. They may realize that is what their voters want.

Comprehensive immigration form with a path for citizenship was once as much a Republican idea as a Democratic one. It was even once in Trump’s mind – if you can call it a mind.  Events including his scornful rhetoric may have wiped away his participation but if he sees a two-thirds majority heading his way he could be forced into it. And there may be that super-majority reachable after Nov. 6 if the Republicans left agree with the push to the middle, which many underneath seemed to want, except when they feared bucking Trump.

And though it sounds weird in the current environment, how about a national health care bill that continues Obamacare’s assurance that pre-existing conditions have to be covered?  Before you laugh, yes it is possible, though House Republicans voted more than 70 times to destroy the ACA and its pre-existing coverage, though it took the late John McCain’s thumbs down to stop the Senate from joining the parade, despite Republicans including governors Scott Walker, Rick Scott and others going to court to sue the ACA to eliminate coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Yet as Nov. 6 approaches, No. 1 in national popularity in polls is support for Obamacare, even among Republicans. Republicans are still suing to stop ACA, though now they are pleading with voters to ignore what they are doing in court.  The hypocrisy is stunning, and unbelievable that they really want to support such coverage later. Right now, Trump has proposed allowing private health insurers to return to charging people extra to cover pre-existing conditions, and many Republican state governors including Scott Walker agree.

The Republicans may not be ready for “Medicare for all” but steps in that direction could be possible.  Change is even possible in regions previously considered Republican territory because right now a lot of Republicans seem eager to reclaim their own party as a forward-moving machine.

So, too, could a Democratic wave help a real infrastructure bill, some better consumer protections, less arbitrary spitting fits over tariffs and even some steps to recognize the existence of climate change.

I know, I know, it all sounds impossible given the toxic heat in the days ahead of the election. But such is the power of voters to turn things around.

Even the natural hesitations some voters have about the Democratic Party might be changing. Some Democrats do not seem as strong as others on progressive movement, some seem  too cozy with rich donors. Some Democrats have been accused of continuing marginalization of minorities by the cowardice of their votes. But all now  seem ready to pull together on key issues and the selling point is when the voters start asking which party has been more open to listening  to minorities, the young, the elderly,   the disenfranchised and new ideas to improve fundamentals.

Overall the Democrats have been better at responding on these fronts, and the voters seem to be realizing that.   But it does depend on avoiding petty disputes or petty infighting,  or tying Congress up in investigations rather than actions. 

Certainly the Democrats’ case has been helped mightily by how even Republicans once thought open to reason have proved too willing to hide their heads in the sand over the worst excesses of Trump.

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as an editor for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor. He was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and Internet and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for Urban Milwaukee.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018


By Dominique Paul Noth

Nurse practitioner Emily Siegrist reflects
 the new energy and commitment of Democratic
 candidates shaking up supposedly Republican
bases like River Hills (Assembly District 23).
Republicans in the Madison legislature are depending on an old reliable friend to stay in power – ignorance.  Ask the many candidates fighting to replace them Nov. 6

This is ignorance built up over decades to block any blue wave and it has some tried and true buddies -- inertia and skewed maps -- along for the ride.

The main ignorance is simply that most residents don’t know who represents them and in exactly what assembly or state senate district they live, and the Republicans are counting on that. Surprisingly few voters are steeped in our fast-moving politics – and the GOP is also counting on that. 

The gerrymandering of 2011 was so deep and vast – and unnoticed -- that there is already an imbalance favoring Republicans in many districts, including some once competitive. That means that unless residents are agitated to seek change, and only if there has been hot debate within households long bound to one party over the other, the residents are expected by the GOP to remain complacent.  (To be fair, some Democrats think that way, too.)

Some of the key issues – such as health care protecting pre-existing conditions and tax policies allowing  local control and communities to grow – are important in the details, but the Republicans in power are just not interested in talking about these.  After all, what defense of the failures  could they offer? And they’ll certainly pretend the “failures” are enemy exaggeration.

Our ego helps our ignorance along. Everybody you talk to says “I vote for the person and not the party label.” I asked several of the newer candidates if they believed that was true – and they laughed. Based on months of experience, they said, “It’s just not so.” The D or R after the name is still a determinative and it is hard for many voters to take a deeper interest than party label  Nov. 6.

As pointed out in previous stories, the challengers are not familiars from the Democratic stable but neighborly residents of the community – business owners, community volunteers, even nature guides, local attorneys, many first timers in reaching out to voters. 

Sandy Pasch in 2013
“I am so happy we are getting young hungry people running for office,” said a retired veteran Democrat of the Assembly who still keeps her ear to the ground on political affairs, Sandy Pasch.  “A lot of older Democrats frankly gave up because of gerrymandering but be clear, I mean older in political age, not chronological  age.” 

“Over time  the makeup changes in a district,“ she points out.  Conceding her partisan bias, she adds a pretty established truth.  Republicans “tend to just exchange bodies relying on the R and their voters go a long time without even seeing their state rep.”  This year that laziness – just inserting new pieces into an old system --  is hurting the incumbents.

The Democratic candidates often represent a significant change from the past, limited by money and the number of doors they can personally knock in each community to introduce themselves. But the more the voters become aware, the less these candidates come across like the politicians of yore.

Still, even today the inertia of some communities about Nov. 6 is often the most noticeable thing when you visit – no yard signs, no agitation in local shops and stores about the issues, streets where folks next door don’t talk to each other and, sometimes, seem unwilling to offend neighbors (they might be conservatives!) by raising their voice.

Lillian Cheesman
“I can’t tell you how many times a voter has been friendly to me at the door but looks around to see who is watching,” said Lillian Cheesman, the Democrat running against incumbent Joe Sanfelippo in Assembly District 15 (West Allis area).

In many communities, the inertia is even more reinforcing than the R or the D after a name. There are not even sidewalks in some communities to make door knocking feasible and Republicans more than Democrats seem to rely on such isolation. It takes money, foot energy  and muscle power to overcome.

Yet today in the North Shore suburbs, there is a lot of political agitation in communities with slightly more wealth, more mobility and free time to engage in politics.  Little noticed by the media, many North Shore districts in Republican hands are on the verge of flipping.

In working class communities such as West Allis, or more isolated neighborhoods like Franklin or Brookfield, it is harder to get a lively conversation going about politics. Insiders offer reasons.

When parents have to work two or three jobs to maintain a good lifestyle “they  may think that’s normal and agree with Republicans that it’s the sign of a  good economy,” said one campaign worker in Waukesha County. “These residents have gone so long without that they don’t realize how much a good state legislature could have been doing to help them.”

Similar issues surround the cost of health care, the quality of education, pollution in creeks and potholes on the roads – either residents think that’s all normal or it is not something an elected official can solve. Noted Pasch,   “Many voters don’t believe who is in office affects them.”

She thinks one of the changes this year is the fresh faces that are leading the Democratic insurgency and the determination to forge lasting change.

Candidate Chris Rahlf
In Washington County Assembly District 60 (Saukville, Cedarburg, Port Washington), Democrat Chris Rahlf has firsthand experience about the difficulties  even as her campaign attempts to make headway in a scattered cluster of towns and cities. 

Her opponent may have been censored by his own party for sexist and racist remarks aimed at female (GOP!) lawmakers, but while he agreed to relinquish his assembly leadership role, Rob Brooks insisted on still running again for office.  Though his vagaries were written up in Wisconsin media, Rahlf noted, “Most of the voters in Washington County don’t know who he is, certainly not from personal appearances or discussing his record.”

Instead, she noted, he is in present mainly  in huge plastic signs put up in vacant lots. “I think these are the sort of games that leave lots of voters fed up,” she said.

The problem of trying to discuss issues with the Republicans has become endemic in this election. Ducking debates and candidate forums is clearly the modus operandi of the GOP.  Or setting ridiculous conditions.

The Ozaukee Press detailed the anger of the Ozaukee League of Women Voters, a non-partisan group famous for setting up neutral forums and debates, when the Republicans flatly called them “a group of left-leaning activists masquerading as a non-partisan group” to avoid their famous nationally-recognized  system.  Instead, the GOP wanted to set up a student-organized forum at a friendly site – Concordia College --  miles away from several of the districts invited to participate. 

Rahlf turned down the offer as did Emily Siegrist, running a successful race in River Hills-Germantown area Assembly District 23, and as did Liz Sumner of Fox Point, who is shaking up the Assembly District 24 race so hard that Jim Ott can longer rely on his climate change “doubting Thomas” meteorologist reputation.

Siegrist is surprising observers in what is state Sen. Alberta Darling’s backyard because many don’t even know who her GOP opponent is (Dan Knodl), so stealthily has he campaigned, preferring traditional Republican intractability and financial advantage in the area. But voters have been responding in large numbers to Siegrist’s rallies in Menomonee Falls and Germantown and to her life story. With Mexican heritage and a loving adopted family she became a military medic and then a nurse practitioner. In a year in which health care and mental health care are strong on the ballot her personality and background are being listened to.

Candidate Liz Sumner
Sumner, a member of the Fox Point village board,  is also benefitting from campaign advice from the national as well as the state Democratic Party whose leader, Martha Laning, has added staff and services and still wishes the party had “more money for so many good candidates.”  Make no mistake, it is giving what money it can and she cites chapter and verse.

But the nature of the election has put unusual stress on down-ballot money raising, especially with the Democrats fielding responsible candidates in so many state senate and assembly races.

One reason the money is tight is that the Internet has made Wisconsin citizens a target for races for senate and governor around the nation, many with legitimate claims for small donor giving from Arizona to Massachusetts, a small-donor arena where the Democrats are doing well.

If you ask believers in the blue wave, they are convinced it will happen in such statewide races as US senate, governor and attorney general but are less positive as you work down the ballot. “We know that someone voting for me is a vote for Tammy Baldwin,” said Cheesman. “But can we be sure that every vote in our district that Tammy’s forces get is also a vote for me?”

Local assembly races show an interesting tale of tight money.  At the state party’s website,, if you enter your address to find the Democrats listed on your local ballot you will discover the down-ballot candidates have been encouraged to load background profiles and even a video to help voters. But there  is a $50 fee, enough to make some candidates balk at providing details, unsure how effectively the website will be used by voters looking for  basic information.

“$50 is a lot of money as you work down the ballot,” said one assembly candidate.  “We are not in the position of local Republicans who get recurring retainers to fund established flyer delivery and radio ads.”

In fact, if you browse the free online voting guides, you often find the Democratic candidates have dutifully answered questions but the incumbent Republicans simply don’t bother.

A cynical veteran West Allis Democrat puts it more bluntly. “I admire the energy of these candidates but they are facing decades of built-in  patterns by the GOP, which is counting on those to carry them through again. We no longer have local newspapers that will follow every issue.  Look at conservative radio – it is providing Republicans hours of free airtime, so they don’t have to work in person, as the newer Democrats do – they can count on seven to 11 contacts simply through media and flyers.”

“I think this is where younger Democrats go awry,” said another veteran legislator who has won four campaigns. “This is the time of year when money and organization do  make a difference and it takes a lot more than raw passion to overcome.”

This is the negative history confronting undoubted new energy and new voters, an energy that  also depends on a public angry with how the Republicans duck and what they won’t talk about. 

Candidate Robyn Vining
In Assembly District 14 (Waukesha County into Milwaukee through Wauwatosa), Robyn Vining is not going to interrupt her success by  going down the rabbit-hole after her strange opponent, former state GOP treasurer Matt Adamzyk,  who is ducking talking about the issues and clearly doesn’t want to talk about his dismaying track record in an office he tried to close.

 “I haven't wanted to use my time to jump through hoops to ask (for forums) and then complain he won't debate,” she said. “It's time consuming, and there are far worse things about him than that he's hiding from debates. So, that's not something I'm fussing with.” 

Nor is Julie Henszey, the state senate candidate in overlapping District 5, wasting a lot of time pursuing her opponent, former Rep. Dale  Kooyenga, whose temper tantrums and drinking have put him back in the news and on  video.

Julie Henszey running for state senate
Kooyenga has already declined a big forum organized by Wisdom for Justice and so far only agreed to an event on familiar home turf (Elmbrook School District). Like other Republicans, he is relying on past voting patterns, but that may not work for him, given the past occupant of the office was Leah Vukmir, who is doing badly in debates with US Sen. Baldwin.

At the forum he did attend, Kooyenga defended voucher schools and Act 10 while Henszey tried to point out to him that the state is now “reaping what we’ve sown.”

Head up to Door County and you’ll find similar GOP avoidance in a state senate contest that is actually a repeat from the summer when Democrat Caleb Frostman won against Andre Jacques in the First District that covers Door and Kewaunee counties as well as parts of Brown, Outagamie, Calumet and Manitowoc counties.

Hoping to stay senator Caleb Frostman
As a journalist I was hoping --  this race being a repeat – for some in-person debate on basic issues, but Jacques from all reports is adopting the Republican playbook of relying on friendly maps and friendly past voting patterns.

Pasch in our interview noted that likelihood.  “The gerrymandering will slow change down, but we will pick up seats,” she said.

But like others asked for comment on how much and how many will win, she suggests it not only depends on the voter turnout but also -- frankly -- on how much residents care for each other and their neighbors.

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as an editor for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor. He was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and Internet and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for Urban Milwaukee.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


By Dominique Paul Noth

“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

King Henry II’s palace complaint in 12th century England has returned with remarkable force to modern Saudi royalty, though the contrast between medieval outrage over murder  and modern Western caution exposes colossal moral weakness from President Trump.

Murder victims united over centuries:
Thomas Becket and Jamal Khashoggi.
The story embraced in history and literature describes how King Henry II and Thomas Becket were once good friends and colleagues until Becket became Archbishop of Canterbury and put religious purity ahead of devotion to the royal purse.  In vain the king tried to exile him.
 And when Becket excommunicated clergy supporting the king, the angry monarch proclaimed his anger at a royal dinner  (who will rid me of  this priest, he asked) and four knights promptly left him to accost Becket in his home and then to murder him.

Henry tried to argue that the knights exceeded his direction – “rogue killers” as Trump now suggests about the Saudi role --  but the vast Christian world would have none of that and the powerful Catholic church of the era forced Henry to do public penance for the murder to keep his crown.  He was whipped by order of the Pope.  Two centuries before the printing press, there was no question of Henry’s guilt. Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is sheepishly sent to exchange grins and dinner with the crown prince and the Saudi king.

Now meet Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist of mammoth reputation dating back to the days of Osama bin Laden and editorship of major Middle East publications and once a good friend and colleague of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has clearly inherited the reins of the Saudi kingdom from his father.

Once informal spokesman for the Saudi royal family, Khashoggi wrote with elegant anger how Mohammed bin Salman, given the reins of Saudi Arabia power to modernize the kingdom, was still engaged in autocratic excess and repression of human rights. “We Saudis deserve better,” he concluded.

Khashoggi was banished from the country – like Henry tried to do to Becket – but rather than silence his enemy the move again gave a greater platform. Khashoggi became a permanent US resident and regular columnist for the Washington Post when on Oct. 2 in Istanbul he entered the Saudi consulate to receive some papers so he could get married.

He was never seen alive again.

Turkish intelligence says they have video and audio evidence that a squad of “knights” arrived in Istanbul to take care of him.  This reportedly included torture, dismemberment of his body and disposal in pieces of the remains, after which the assassins flew back to Saudi Arabia on a private jet.

“If a decision was taken to silence a perceived traitor, it likely would have been his,” the New York Times said of the crown prince. In medieval times, there was a powerful Roman empire to influence money and alliances for King Henry II and he had to heed their outrage.  There is no central authority for Islam and unless leaders of other countries join together in outrage, the Saudis can just skip along as is.

The diplomatic outrage in much of the West and the Mideast may have been  immediate -- except for Trump. The U.S.  Congress is anxious to step in and force the White House to act, but foreign affairs remain an executive priority.

Trump’s first remarks emphasized that it all had happened in another county and that Khashoggi was not a US citizen. When informed that he was a permanent US resident, he flipped position and assured the world he would look into it, but then immediately  cited the billions of dollars the US makes in arms deals with the Saudis and how he couldn’t give all those jobs over to the likes of China and Russia.  His looking into it so far has meant accepting the royal denial, though even the medieval world knew Henry was just stalling.

The Saudis are so deep into American military hardware that neither China nor Russia is a good option.  Trump, the expert deal maker, does not even realize how good a hand he holds against the Saudis and their oil.  His acceptance of the crown prince’s statements ahead of the evidence even from his allies has certainly shocked the diplomatic community and violated the tenets under which diplomatic corps serve in foreign lands.

But it was telegraphed in an earlier White House visit by the crown prince, who sat there smirking as Trump held in front of him a chart of how much money Saudi had committed to US arms sales.

The butchered body of Becket brought mountains of pain to Henry II before he could keep his throne.  The butchered body of Khashoggi is unlikely to nick a fingernail of Mohammed bin Salman if the world expects fawns like Trump to express outrage.

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as an editor for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor. He was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and Internet and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for Urban Milwaukee.