Yesterday was the day that candidates had to turn in their signatures to the Elections Board, which really makes it the first day of the campaign season. Some things I noticed:

I was thinking it was strange that Dan Aude (88th Assembly District) would mention in the title of his press release that it was his second run at the seat. Isn’t he essentially announcing that the voters have already rejected him? But then, I saw this part of the release, and realized that we might be dealing with a totally different bird altogether:

When asked about the campaign he said, “ like Hannibal in the second Punic war with the Roman Empire, he too was out numbered in resources, but set a standard in battle tactics and strategy at Cannae” Aude was out spent by his incumbent opponent in 2004 by a ratio of 3 to 1. “ This will be our battle cry for leadership in the 88th Assembly District in 2006, AUDE FOR 88 CANNAE!”

Wow. Is it racist if we don’t hand out ballots printed in Latin at the polls?

Dave Magnum (2nd Congressional District) issued a release bragging that he turned in 2,000 signatures, and 1,744 of them were actually valid. Congratulations on announcing that 13% of your signatures were found invalid, Dave. Masterful.

Former Democratic State Treasurer candidate Robert Fyrst fired off a bitchy letter to Democratic Chair Joe Wineke, announcing his resignation as the party’s treasurer. Fyrst, as you may recall, was running for Treasurer until it was discovered that a creditor moved to foreclose on his Madison home after falling behind on his mortgage payments. According to Summit Credit Union, Fyrst missed four payments on his home. Lest you be wary of his ability to manage a $50 billion annual state budget, the dispute was later resolved.

Of course, in his letter, Fyrst says he dropped out of the race to “pursue another avenue.” Uh-huh. That \”avenue\” must have been code for \”extra shifts at Arby\’s.\”

From out of nowhere, Nick Voegeli of Sun Prairie announced he was running for Lieutenant Governor. In his release, Voegeli proudly brags that he got 42% of the vote when he ran for State Assembly two years ago. He says:

Voegeli received 42% of the vote in a district that has been voting about 38% Republican. “Thirteen thousand or so people in the 46th district voted for me in that race. I’m hopeful they’ll do so again.”

Of course, the same year Voegeli ran for Assembly in the 46th District and got 42% of the vote, George W. Bush received 44% of the vote in the 46th, while a GOP state senate candidate received 46% in the same district. Congressional Candidate Dave Magnum got 42.5%, while U.S. Senate candidate Tim Michels did actually get 38%. Details weren’t immediately available as to what planet Voegeli is from.

How great is it that Rep. Terri McCormick (8th Congressional District) can use the atrociousness of her campaign as a trick to get free press? Last week, when she announced that her campaign was making \”a major announcement,\” everyone assumed she was dropping out of the race. Instead, she released some pointless policy garbage. But it was because her campaign is on life support that people paid attention.

This is like campaign jujutsu – using the crappiness of your campaign as your greatest media attraction. Well done. Her next release will say she has \”a major announcement regarding the future of her campaign,\” and it will be about ethics or some other worthless crap.

I am thrilled that Republican State Senator Ted Kanavas has some guy named Stiffler running against him. No word on whether his mom is hot.

Assuming this is the same Andrew Stiffler, it appears that he and his wife are like the Pamela and Tommy Lee of Brookfield. Andrew has been arrested for simple battery against his wife (he plead guilty to disorderly conduct), and his wife later filed a restraining order against him. Stacey Ann Stiffler, on the other hand, also was convicted of disorderly conduct herself in 2004.

So when Stiffler says he\’s \”fighting special interests,\” those special interests likely include \”women.\”