Archive for Wisconsin 7th District Congressional Race

The people you meet at the airport…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 16, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg


Former House Speaker (1995-99) Newt Gingrich flew into Wausau for a Sean Duffy fundraiser this morning.   The firebrand Republican told the Associated Press this week during a trip to Iowa that he has “never been this serious” about running for president, so maybe it was a campaign stop for more than just Duffy, but time will tell.  As a fan of the game as well as the teams and the players, I have my own loyalties — but thought it was worth stopping by the Wausau Downtown Airport to see him in person. 

It follows a visit to Wausau last Friday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on behalf of Julie Lassa’s campaign for the House from the Democratic side.   There is no question that with big national players showing up to stump in July, Wisconsin’s 7th U.S. Congressional District seat is regarded as one of the more important races across the U.S. this fall.  It’s already a very big political year in this neck of the woods and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. 


Think Julie Lassa’s not tough enough? Think again.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 11, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Yesterday, it was announced that State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) would be running for Congress in the 7th Congressional District.  It remains to be seen if she will be the consensus candidate for the Democrats and I can tell you that everyone is still getting used to the idea.  There is also a lot of work to gearing up a new campaign and almost none of it is done yet. 

I like Julie Lassa and I’ve always thought she had the best fundraisers of all.  Her family would make turkeys and pies and we would consume them together at Iverson Park in Stevens Point, washing it all down with Point beer.  I hope we do it again soon.  Julie Lassa is everything that’s good about politics and people who serve.  You can’t help but like her.

But she’s not naive, either.  And for those who would like to take a little trip down Memory Lane to the dirty little campaign that she rose above to become a state senator, here’s an interesting piece that will take you there: 

It’s all coming back to you now, isn’t it?  No matter what happens in November, it’s a mid-term race for Julie, so it’s just a question of which capital city she will find herself in come January:  Madison or Washington.  It’s going to be interesting.


Fall may be coming, but politics stay hot…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by Jim Rosenberg

Dupont Circle Escalator

It was steamy in Washington DC Wednesday and meanwhile, out in the hinterlands, more than 13,000 Huffington Post readers voted in a poll that asked whether the First Lady has the right to wear shorts. The answer was yes, but with only 58 percent of the vote strongly in favor on a website that may only be visited by right-wingers while they’re doing opposition research. Mrs. Obama was in Arizona, but if she would have stayed home in DC, the need for something cool would have been just as apparent, I can assure you. If you like Singapore’s weather, you would love Washington DC in August. The Obamas picked a great time to go on vacation and the shorts flap just goes to show that their detractors will pick ANYTHING to make noise about. With most senators and congressional reps home in their districts for the August recess, things are a little more laid back in the house and senate office buildings, too. (And no, I was not traveling at either taxpayer or company expense.)

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Coming up this week, it will be interesting to see what comes of the “town hall meeting” planned by Americans for Prosperity at the Rothschild Pavilion Thursday. Advocacy journalist John Stossel of ABC News is an unabashed Libertarian and there’s no doubt that having him as a headliner will bring a few folks in. Heck, I’d probably go to see him myself, under different circumstances – (but I’ll listen to Lyndon LaRouche, too, for that matter.) On the other hand, calling it a town hall meeting doesn’t make it so. AFP is a group with a hard-line conservative agenda and anyone who thinks that they’re bankrolling this as some kind of foray into random public participation should think again. This is a political rally with a distinctly partisan purpose and nothing more. AFP has been working on trying to deep six current Democratic health care reform proposals on Capitol Hill and by extension – just my opinion, mind you — to put supporters in a disadvantaged position in the 2010 elections, too. The latest interesting twist? The Wausau Daily Herald reports that 7th District GOP congressional Dan Mielke has been “uninvited” to speak.

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Speaking of political rallies, it looks like the Duffy wing of the Republican Party in these parts is doing their damnedest to get people to coalesce around their candidate. Shooing Mielke off the high-profile AFP event this week is at least the second public flap the Mielke has responded to with some objections. Earlier, a number of party leaders sent out a memo trying to enforce the idea that Republican candidates shouldn’t be bloodying each other up too much in the run-up to the 2010 September primary. In general, it’s good advice – but what fun is that? Meanwhile, Mielke’s campaign was putting out robocalls last week inviting people to 3:30 p.m. events on the 400 block on August 29 and 30 that kind of SOUND like Tea Party-type gatherings, but may not be. Even keynote speaker Pat Snyder didn’t seem to know much about the events, judging by his quote in City Pages. Interesting.

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Mark O’Connell of the Wisconsin Counties Association as a gubernatorial candidate? We could do worse. The guy is smart, knows government, has a ton of passion and is well known among Madison insiders as well as county government types around the state. WAOW-TV 9 asked him about it outright this week and he didn’t dismiss it. He also opened his remarks to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors Thursday with comments about it being the type of position where a person like him would have the opportunity to make the contributions he would like to make.

But running for governor is a tall order for anyone, speaking of contributions. When all of the campaign cash from all of the candidates in the next Wisconsin governor’s race is counted up sometime after the November 2010 election, the total will likely fall somewhere between $30 million and $50 million. What that means is that if you can’t raise $10 million, you probably can’t win. On the other hand, Russ Feingold was a dark horse candidate at this point in the 1992 U.S. Senate race (speaking of opponents who tear each other to pieces.)  And speaking of Russ Feingold, he continues his annual listening sessions in every Wisconsin county, despite the fireworks that are occurring at some town hall meetings around the country.  Marathon County’s will be in a real town hall in Poniatowski Tuesday.  It will be interesting to see who shows up.