Vukmir hopes to oust Sullivan next November

Groan. I hate it when real news pops up while I’m busy playing. We need to get started on the discussion of this one, so here goes. Keep in mind, if I were really working I’d give you maps of Senate district 5 and Vukmir’s current legislative district. I’d look up the balances in both of their campaign accounts and post them. But for now, I’m going to be like all the other bloggers and give you my opinion without much backup. (Ok, that’s even better than some of the bloggers that grunt once with a link and then reprint the news story or press release.)

Leah Vukmir has represented her legislative district since 2002. She’s developed a worthy following. I’ve met her a couple of times, but I can’t say those meetings were long enough to develop a true impression, so I’ll work from my information outside personal encounters. She is a player in the Republican Party in Wisconsin. She’s earned her stripes by being a loyal FOLLOWER to that tribe. But it seems she follows sometimes when perhaps she could think instead. She’s not known for her strategies beyond “what will this do for me?”

Jay, aka Folkbum, a liberal blogger, noted the Milwaukee Magazine paragraph on Vukmir. While Owen from Boots and Sabers suggests his post is a barb to be expected from the left, I tend to disagree. First any male politician running against a female politician will whip out the worst of his personality to label the woman “crazy” or “bipolar” or “slutty.” Republican men use it against Republican women all the time. Republicans are allowed to call up a shield when the male candidate is a Democrat, though. Male politicians in general still panic when they have to run against a smart, assertive women. Next, the information, including Leah Vukmir’s personal history, is part of the campaign, like it or not.

You see, at the height of the Republican “family values” campaign, Vukmir hooked up with her campaign (fill in the blank, I’ve heard several different titles) and later divorced her husband. I’d love to say it doesn’t matter a hill of beans what Vukmir’s done, but when she runs on her record, that’s part of it. It will be used against her.

(I’m going commando here and saying it should be used. While many will argue she’s the lesser of two evils, I’m still begging for this dead Wisconsin Republican slate to find viable candidates who have convictions and act on them!)

Also, Sullivan won his place with the aid of Republicans Hank Urban and Kate Bloomberg. Hank, peace be upon him, was a persuasive influence that Sullivan won’t have this time. Time will tell if Bloomberg holds her position behind Sullivan. At a minimum, Bloomberg probably will not switch loyalties and support Vukmir, so it may be this is the race the Bloomberg influence is no longer felt. Of course, Bloomberg could again actively campaign for Sullivan, and that would hurt Vukmir.

An undisclosed piece of information is who the party is putting forward to run in the district Vukmir is abandoning. Could it be they’ve convinced Vukmir to take this challenge as a way of moving her out of elective office? I’ve seen them do it over and over again. (The old mayor of Waukesha, our current Waukesha county executive – I’m sure I’ll think of more later.)

I wish I had a good connection that would give me the finance reports quickly, but I seem to remember the election board doesn’t always have them online as promised, so it will wait. As with so much in politics, it will pay to follow the money.

Slam dunk for Vukmir? No way. I’d lay slight odds in favor of Sullivan right now, but anything can happen. Rest assured all the candidates’ rhetoric on jobs, taxes, education, and health care will have little to do with this election. Neither candidate, Sullivan as a freshman Democrat and Vukmir as a Republican, has the power to accomplish much in the current state environment.

That means this campaign could get personal.


  1. Winegirl says:

    Hi Cindy–
    I’ve had a number of discussions with Ms. Vukmir, who I can say has been very responsive to any communication I’ve sent her. That impresses me. However, the 5th Senate district is kind of odd in that it encompasses parts of Brookfield/Elm Grove and New Berlin along with Wauwatosa and West Allis. It would appear that common issues and concerns are few: I had hopes for Mr. Sullivan but it appears he concentrates on issues and concerns of the Milwaukee County constituents and Waukesha County constituents are just an afterthought. He has not responded even once to any of my communications to him, until I was invited to a “town hall” meeting in the middle of dinner hour with short notice (I didn’t attend.)
    So I’m unimpressed with Sullivan and am open to Ms. Vukmir’s candidacy.
    As a voter, I’d like to know any pertinent personal background.
    However, given the mixed demographics of the 5th, it would appear a hard sell for a fiscally conservative candidate. Can you shed any more light?

  2. It will be a hard sell for a fiscal conservative, especially with the former endorsement of some Republicans in the district for Sullivan.

    I still affirm Vukmir would be my vote over Sullivan. (Remember, I’m not in that district!) But for the reasons you describe, it will be a tough sell to the district overall. I’ll get the map up and we’ll talk more next week.

    A smart politician would have looked at the voting demographics from the last Senate election and the last presidential election to know who to schmooze. It may well be that Sullivan knows his numbers.

    I know, it’s not a great thing to admit, but such is politics.

  3. cindy

    i thought is was senatoe Glenn grothman she was caught kissing in madtown during an evening on the square?
    never heard anything about her campaign staff?

    but really, is it to much for the gop to have a candidate that’s not worried about their sex life becoming public?

    i say cindy for assembly!!

  4. Oh, dear. I hadn’t heard that one. I’ll have to do some detective work and nail down the full story.

    Any candidate should behave in a way that never makes their personal life the story. That rarely happens. And sadly, in our current environment, a clean candidate will soon find that an opponent has made something up anyway.

    I’m not in that district. Besides, my marriage rather depends on my never running again. 😉 Given the fun I’ve been having lately, I think I can live with that.