All about the WI Senate race

I have put this post off for weeks. I just told the spouse it’s because of the tone I’m afraid I’ll be adopting. “Soprano or baritone?” he asked.

“Cranky bitch,” was my response.

Yes, it’s going to be one of those rants. But there are three parts to it, and it will make (with any luck) a couple of good points, and, well. Here we go.

Did you know the Republican convention is coming up on May 11? It runs through Sunday, the 13th and will be in Green Bay. That Sunday is also Mother’s Day. I will be drinking mimosas on the deck in Oklahoma City that morning, thank you very much. Yes, I was asked to attend. No I am not a dues-paying member of the Republican party. Yes I think it would be interesting. No, I don’t think there’d be enough liquor in the city of Green Bay to get me through those three days given the drama that is developing.

You see, even Erick Erickson from Red State is noticing there’s a storm brewing in anticipation of the convention. I really recommend you read that to catch up. Here’s a snippet in case you are lazy:

Last night [May 1st] in Wisconsin the state Republican Party tried a few parliamentary maneuvers to drive tea party members from the ranks of the GOP. For reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the Wisconsin GOP seems willing to sacrifice tea party energy in the Scott Walker recall in order to save Tommy Thompson’s Senate bid.

Here’s his internal link to the May 1st news.

And then Jerry Bader followed up with this report. (Rough transcript. Will retract any inaccuracies with a huge mea culpa should you find them.)

Yesterday, we did a story, did a topic I should say on the story of, Erick Erickson of said that the Wisconsin Republican Party was peeing on the Tea Party to help Tommy Thompson. That it was trying to change the rules so last minute delegates to the state convention a week from this weekend would be disallowed because Tommy’s afraid in an endorsement he wouldn’t get the vote.

Then I found out, that a lot of these are Mark Neumann supporters who want to be there for Mark Neumann. Mark Neumann then called and said look I just want to get a lot of delegates there because this convention should be about Scott Walker and I want them there to support Scott Walker. Well, Mark I don’t really believe that’s, look, you want them to be there to support you. But yes this convention should be about Scott Walker.

Let me say this, I don’t, as I said yesterday, if it’s not against the rules. I don’t see anything wrong with Mark Neumann doing this. None whatsoever. I don’t. Now, the question then is: are they trying to change the rules so Neumann can’t do this?

I spoke to about a half a dozen county chairs yesterday and I believe the answer is yes, normally it’s up to the discretion of the county chairs whether a delegate can be included after whatever that timeline is. And I believe they were trying to change it and I believe Tommy Thompson is behind it. I don’t know that, but I believe, let me put it this way, I retract that. I believe it is an effort to help Tommy Thompson because Mark Neumann is getting a lot of delegates there. They should all be doing that. Eric Hovde should be doing that. Tommy Thompson should be doing that. If Jeff Fitzgerald were still serious about this race and I don’t know, he should be doing that. But nobody should be trying to stop any one candidate from doing that. In fact if this convention is going to be about Scott Walker then the more the merrier.

What’s happening is somebody who’s worried about Tommy doesn’t like the idea that Neumann’s doing this and I believe in my opinion from what all of these chairs told me they are trying to change the rules. Yes, it is Mark Neumann trying to get a presence there. So what? Then the others should do that. But what you have is Tommy is the establishment candidate and there are a lot of County Chairs who are party faithful, ‘this is what the party wants, they want Tommy.’

Now here’s Cindy’s take on the matter: There is no Tea Party in Wisconsin. Then Republican chairperson Reince Priebus (Good grief. Will I ever learn to spell that without looking it up?) effectively usurped the Tea Party here and aligned it perfectly with the establishment party.


And that’s why I’m really concerned we might be looking at MYTOMMY! as the Republican nominee.

I don’t like MYTOMMY! I don’t like that he’s so pandering. I don’t like that he’s such a barnacled insider he can get a handful of bum sitters to change the rules in his favor. I don’t like his attitude. I don’t like his exceptionally white teeth. I don’t like his short list of big-money financial supporters.

(Pssst. For a summary of the money in the race, go to

I don’t like that Tommy Thompson was for Obamacare before there was Obamacare.

If this guy came to my door and begged me to listen I’d feign a heart attack and shut it. There’s no changing my mind on this one.

So why does he get to be the the chosen one?

– – –

I know, it’s easy to call me in the tank for Mark Neumann. I’ve confessed the man’s independent style pleases me. But there are other things that keep me on the outside. I was not impressed in the least with the introduction of Mr. Favors. (With any luck that pig is bacon by now.) But, Neumann does have the endorsement of highly revered Tea Party types like Tom Coburn. And that catches the attention of this Oklahoma native.

Senator Tom Coburn is the Senator I’d most like to buy a beer, hands down, no questions asked. Even if he ordered a Bud Light Lime.

So no, I can’t write Neumann off, but I do think he’s being set up by the party faithful to resurrect in partisan voters’ minds the nastiness that was the Wisconsin Republican convention prior to the last gubernatorial election. (You know what? I’m going to leave that as a link one of you can provide. I can not for the life of me find a good explanation for all the hate that was created that weekend. If you can, have at it.)

No doubt such a memory will favor Tommy Thompson, the establishment candidate.

So here’s my bottom line: You are not allowed to call yourself a Wisconsin Tea Party Republican if you’re towing MYTOMMY!’s barge at that convention.

– – –

I suppose I should mention Eric Hovde here. Listen, I’m sure you are as nice a guy as they grow in Illinois, but building your business there does not mean you get to come back to what you claim is home and buy a senate seat out of Wisconsin. You can be as rich as Midas, goodness knows I enjoy my share of financial benefits and do not begrudge you a dime, but you don’t get to buy a chair in Washington, D.C. just because you see an open seat.

And you only get one paragraph. 😉

Now a long time ago I probably said whomever won the Republican nomination wins the seat. I think I’d contend that still holds. And I just can not believe that we’re talking about the possibility that candidate will be Tommy Thompson.

(Rant ensues. You are welcome to quit reading now.)

I’ve decided this state would be much better served by an average housewife candidate than any currently on the list. It’s bewildering that in this day and age, and after all we’ve been through as a country, we are still patting the doughy-white backsides of guys like Tommy Thompson.

Wisconsin is as fine a state as I’ve ever lived. Why the heck would we be compromising with something as important as one of the two senate seats this state is allowed?

(End rant. Honestly? You were spared.)


  1. Actually Cindy, that was a pretty good rant. I’ll throw in my two cents, because although I’m far from an insider… I talk to them from time to time 😉

    The Wisconsin GOP is doing this not only because Tommy is well connected, but I think more so because “Mark Neumann has to be punished”. He ran against Scott Walker in a primary. Can you imagine the conceit?! Another Republican decided to challenge a Republican in a Primary, when everyone knew that it was Scott Walker’s turn! You can’t just skip in line and not be punished!

    I think that has more to do with it than Tommy. That’s why you are seeing some people supporting Hovde, even though he is somewhat of a black horse. They sure as hell can’t hold their nose and support Tommy, but they are afraid of the repercussions to their position in the state apparatus if they support Neumann.

  2. I think you both nailed it, Cindy and Nick. Being a total outsider to the state GOP party, I find the innards of the political machine repulsively vomitus. (Perhaps last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy is still in my subconscious?)

    Neumann has my total support. Because he’s the best man for the job.

  3. Bill Kurtz says:

    So Eric Hovde, as you remarked, doesn’t have the right to buy a Senate seat. Only Ron Johnson or Herb Kohl do, I guess.
    On a more serious note, as a Democrat, I’m curious why Jeff Fitzgerald isn’t doing better. From this side, he would seem to be perfect for Tea Party types who consider Tommy a RINO, but will never forgive Neumann for challenging their hero, Scott Walker.

  4. Bill K., I dont think the problem with Hodve is his money. It’s the hedge fund manager experience on his resume combined with an irritating habit of stating the obvious ( Duh! We have a deficit? We are mortgaging our children’s future?) without offering an original solution. Seems that he could at least crib some answers from Mark Neumann’s website like it appears other’s have done.

    Neumann was the first to the gate with the reform ideas, the plan, the agenda to bring back logic and control to the spending in Washington. Give the man his due.

    RJ had similar passion for reform (Neumann’s resume and experience out Ron-Johnson Ron Johnson, if you do a side-by-side comparison), but I can’t speak to Herb Kohl’s passion for reform, so maybe he did buy his seat. It seems he had an agenda for the elderly, so maybe that was his base.

  5. Bill Kurtz – Johnson and Kohl were true Wisconsin residents when they bought their seats. You missed the detail that Hovde is from Illinois.

  6. jimspice says:

    Hey, as long as we’re talking about short lists of big money, take a look at the number and totals of contributions over $10,000.00 to the various candidates for governor:

    Walker: 124 totaling $7,401,718.00
    Barrett: 0 totaling $0.00
    Falk: 9 totaling $248,766.00
    La Follette: 2 totaling $112,000.00
    Vinehout: 0 for $0.00

    And the parties:

    (D): 21 totaling $685,742.00
    (R): 22 totaling $1,217,754.00

    Man, the unions are just burning UP this race.

    By the way, La Follette’s 2 big contributions were both from himself.


  7. @jimspice, is there any SuperPAC money going into the race, on either side?

    In any case, if anything, the recall election is an argument against campaign finance “reform.” You don’t need a lot of money to run a close race if you can tap into public sentiment. The Wisconsin electorate is pretty much entrenched on this one. The winner will come down to the side that does a better job getting its supporters to the polls.

    The recall race is mostly symbolic for both sides. Realistically, Barrett wouldn’t re-establish collective bargaining privileges (the Assembly wouldn’t let him even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t), and the unions and the Left don’t really care about that. They just want Walker’s scalp to try to retain their political relevance. The outcome won’t really have a bearing on the races in November (Obama will win Wisconsin easily, and people in Virginia, Florida, Ohio and the other swing states aren’t going to be swayed by the Walker race in November).

  8. Yes, jimspice, nice job touting the party line there that Dems aren’t being supported by the unions. Actually, it’s the union line.

    They have so much to lose as Falk goes down in Tuesday’s primary. An embarrassing situation indeed.

  9. Under the category of Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, I searched the nifty database link provided by jimspice above for an answer to the following question: ” Which US Senate candidates actually supported Friends of Scott Walker with a contribution?”

    Using their own first and last names, I queried the database.

    And the answers were:
    Mega millionaire, New Wisconsinite, Successful Hedge Fund Manager, Self-Funded Candidate Hodve? Nada

    Rebel Wannabe Connected-at-the Hip-to Scott-Walker (I actually heard him describe their relationship that way at the Senatorial candidate debate) Fitzgerald? Nuthin’

    Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everyone Knows Your Name and the No, No, I’m Not a Lobbyist Platform candidate MYTOMMY!? Zip, Zero, Zilch

    The guy who seems to be the only one true to his word, convictions and actions, who happened to be a Scott Walker opponent in the last election, Neumann The TrueMan? Yup. More than a token amount. (It’s so crass to ‘creep’ and talk about the actual dollar amount.)

    Clarifies that issue of integrity for me, and who I want representing me in Washington.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Apparently I’m doing something wrong when I look up the donations to the various candidates. The first 3 listed donations to Falk are over $2.5 million from the Wisconsin Education Association and jimspice, you show less than $250,000 total. What am I doing wrong?

  11. jimspice says:

    I believe I’ve told stories here detailing how I am anything BUT a union line toer. I’ll be voting for Barrett this week, thank you, and while I honestly believe Walker broke WI with his union busting, I will be voting to expell Walker for one reason: Brian Deschane. Truly endemic of the Walker philosophy.

  12. Geez Randy. You scared me there for a minute. While I by no means consider myself infallible, I do pride myself somewhat in accuracy.

    Select “Friends of Falk” from the “Recipient” dropdown, select the “Greater than $10,000” radio button under “Contribution Amount.” Hit “Search.” Ta da!

    Not sure where your figures come from. Yes there’s union money and education money in Falk’s fund, but nowhere near that amount, even when donors are summed.

  13. Randy in Richmond says:
  14. Odd. What parameter combination are you using to create that result list? I can’t reproduce it.

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    I guess you’ll have to ask JS Online. It’s not my list.

  16. By George, I think I’ve got it.

    “Wisconsin for Falk received $4.5 million in donations, spent $3.9 million and had $517,000 on hand, according to a report filed Monday. It received $3 million from the Wisconsin Education Association Council, $1.3 million from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and $100,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The AFSCME and UFCW money came almost entirely from their Washington, D.C., offices.”

    Wisconsin for Falk is a PAC to support Falk, not Falk’s campaign account. So, while it’s technically correct to state WEAC didn’t contribute Falk’s campaign account, it’s grossly disingenuous to claim WEAC didn’t contribute Falk’s campaign.


  17. says:

    “it’s grossly disingenuous to claim WEAC didn’t contribute Falk’s campaign.”

    I don’t believe that anyone here has made that claim.

    Are you effing stupid … or what?

  18. Wow. Speechless. This playground is usually more civilized than that.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    The tone of the comment suggests Anonymous, who labeled himself previously as a “brain dead cow”. This time he’s near Delafield, Wi.

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    You’ve said all along the unions were burning through a lot of money and this just confirms
    it. Considering it is estimated that WEAC’s membership will drop by about 50% as the automatic dues payroll deduction is eliminated they will also be operating on considerably less income. And all for
    a candidate that apparently won’t get past the primary.

  21. Ah! The resourcefulness of R-in-R strikes again.

  22. jimspice says:

    Cindy, I didn’t even notice they included Wisconsin for Falk in the search options, and missed it on RiR’s link as well. It’s seems odd that JSonline would include them but not RGA, CRG, AFA, AFP and the rest of the alphabet soup putting out ads in support of Walker.

  23. It all boils down to whether or not you will allow an apples to apples comparison. Somehow it doesn’t seem fair to let you get away with complaining about Walker’s big money and not mention Falk’s.

  24. And this is why I\’m also not voting for either of the candidates, on both sides, who are taking big money from out of state, under various guises.

    The depths to which Wisconsin politics has sunk! All that I can do is demonstrate that I cannot be bought — and that I want back the Wisconsin that was about jobs for the many, not just for the governor . . . and corrupt cronies as appointees.

    Here\’s an interesting statistic I heard the other day from a local economist: Had Wisconsin been only average in jobs rather than last in the country, there would be 60,000 more workers in Wisconsin today. What a boon that would have been to businesses that have had to close for lack of former customers — more than 40,000 have left Wisconsin for jobs elsewhere — and what a boon that would have been to state income revenues to relieve the rest of us instead of reducing the take-home pay of state workers, who also spend less at local businesses . . . and onward goes the downward spiral in this state.

  25. Randy in Richmond says:

    I heard, from a friend of mine in Wisconsin, the number of jobs lost/created under Governor Walker is a net increase. Hopefully this upward trend of the state will continue.

  26. BrkfldDad says:

    Yep and confirmed by a BLS report, which oddly is used to claim the loss. It’s all captured in Cindy’s previous post linking to this

  27. jimspice says:

    Cindy, when Falk gets $50G from the teachers’ union, it represents $0.51 from 98,000 teachers. When Scott Walker gets $50G, it represents Diane Hendricks. On the theory side of things, that’s certainly an imbalance in the marketplace of ideas. So no, I do not consider them equal.

  28. Randy in Richmond says:

    So jimspice, you represent that each and every one of those 98,000 teachers agrees with the donation the Union is making. I think not, and your inequality issue has no merit.

  29. Wow, glad I got my two cents early into the conversation

  30. brain dead cow near Delafield says:

    “I heard, from a friend of mine in Wisconsin, the number of jobs lost/created under Governor Walker is a net increase. ”

    Your friend is an effing idiot. I’ll bet he/she is a Republican.