September primary this week…
So, this week, we will find out just how close Mark Neumann really was to catching Scott Walker before consensus GOP gubernatorial candidate moves on to face Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the general election. While polling results have been kept close to the vest by sponsors, one has to believe that the margin within the past few weeks wasn’t wide enough to keep the Walker team from feeling the need to go negative on Neumann. In the unlikely event that you haven’t seen it, here it is:
The implied claim that Neumann is some kind of political soulmate to Nancy Pelosi is preposterous (and I don’t say that as someone who has a dog in that particular fight.) Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner does an ad for Walker saying how HE didn’t vote for that bill. So, now we’re going back a dozen years to a bill that HAD to pass in one form or another and trying to pretend that if Walker had been there, he wouldn’t have voted for it. That said, we are talking about the “Party of No,” so perhaps the concept will have some purchase in the partisan primary, where the idea of compromising across the aisle is anathema.
It’s also not much more ridiculous than Neumann constantly talking about “career politicians.” The reason Mark Neumann isn’t a career politician is because after two terms in the House in 1998, he thought he had what it took to beat Russ Feingold for a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He didn’t, so that ended his political career. Now, he says all state and federal elected officials should be subject to 12-year term limits. That’s convenient, if you’re Mark Neumann. Counting his four years as a Congressman, Neumann would be finishing is 12th year in elected office after two terms as governor in 2019, a little more than a month before he turns 65. That’s a good time to retire anyway.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m up on charges, I want a career defense attorney. If I’m having surgery, I want a career surgeon. Rookie quarterbacks may not be the best way to get to the Super Bowl and “experienced” is often considered an asset in most lines of work.
Meanwhile, Tom Barrett releases an ad that revolves around a brutal beating he took outside of State Fair Park last summer when he came to the aid of a woman and a baby who were involved in a domestic dispute with a sociopath (to put it kindly.) The concept worried me, when I first heard about it. But the ad itself is done well and it also puts Mrs. Barrett out in front of people in a way that is effective. I give it at least a “9” on a 1-to-10 scale. It’s too bad it takes 60 seconds to tell the story, but it does. More importantly, Barrett has the campaign fund to do this stuff. He’s not only outraising Walker, but he doesn’t have to blow any of it on a primary opponent.
In the U.S. Senate race, Ron Johnson will have a ceremonial GOP seal of good housekeeping after taking out straw man David Westlake, (creationist, abstinence-only, etc.) on Tuesday in the primary. (Ditto for Sean Duffy, who will steamroll fringe candidate Dan Meilke.)
Carefully managed and well-funded with his own wealth, the best thing Feingold can do with Johnson is to get him into some debates where Johnson will have to think on his feet – something he hasn’t shown that he’s especially good at doing. (Let’s all look for the little bump in the back of the suit like George W. Bush had during the 2004 presidential debates, shall we?)
Assembly Majority Leader Tom Nelson will find out if he made the right choice to get into a non-feature statewide race in his bid to become Lieutenant Governor. He’s run a good campaign and had enough funding to run some decent TV ads in the closing weeks. That’s more than other candidates on either side seem to have been able to muster up in this crowded area of the ballot.
I’m interested to see what happens in the Marathon County Clerk of Courts race between Sennholz and Garvin. I’m serious; it’s damned interesting to me. The winner of this Dem primary will get the job because there is no GOP candidate in November. Speaking of county campaigns, this week’s Internet sensation was a guy trying to get the nomination from the Stark County, Ohio Republican Party to run for county treasurer. He lost – perhaps proof positive that you actually CAN be too passionate:
In something that actually does count, the President returns to Wisconsin this month for a rally in Madison. Over the past few cycles, Wisconsin has received plenty of notice on the national stage as an important place in politics. It’s nice to see that’s not changing this time around.