Posts Tagged ‘Tommy Thompson’

Tommy Thompson: It may happen

March 1, 2010

A weak Republican candidate and a weak Democratic year is looking more and more tempting to Tommy Thompson, according to Politico.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who served four terms as Wisconsin governor, is securing financial pledges and ramping up his outreach to longtime political aides in preparation for a possible campaign against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Another longtime Thompson ally said the governor already has $200,000 in potential donations for a campaign that doesn’t yet exist.

“If you talked to me two weeks ago, I would have put it at a 50-50 shot. Now it’s at 70,” said the Thompson aide, who requested anonymity to avoid offending his friend. “He’s asking serious questions like, ‘Who would run the campaign? Who would do the fundraising? When would we announce? How much could we raise?’”

Avoid offending his friend? Give me a break –– this is a first class “leak” intended to get Republicans excited about a potential run. Politico is the first stage –– it gets the elites (contributors, consultants etc.) and politicos excited. The next stage will be the Wisconsin press, which will give the masses an opportunity to evaluate a Thompson bid.

Democrats cannot dismiss this story. People love Russ Feingold, but there is also a fair bit of nostalgia for Tommy Thompson. Popular governors are generally better-liked than popular senators, if for no better reason than more people come into contact with what they do and senators are derided as “Washington insiders.” The most recent poll shows Thompson slightly ahead of Feingold, while one done in November showed a solid lead for Feingold.

The standards for a senate race are not anywhere near as high as the ones Tommy clearly didn’t live up to during his short-lived presidential bid, but Feingold is a great candidate and a great debater, so Tommy will not be able to win on name recognition a lone. He’d have to bring it. No excuses about hearing aids or diarrhea.

Bad year for Dems could mean Feingold loss

February 24, 2010

Russ Feingold has tons of respect from people who pay attention. I have countless anecdotes about conservatives who vote for Feingold because they respect his honesty, intelligence and commitment to principle. But that only means that history will look kindly on him. That does not mean the 2010 midterm elections will. Here are some polls I forgot to post last week:

In a new Rasmussen poll, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) fails to garner 50 percent against two announced Republican challengers, while he trails former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who has yet to say whether he will run. Thompson led Feingold by a similar margin last month.

Thompson 48, Feingold 43

Feingold 47, Wall 39

Feingold 47, Westlake 37

For Feingold to lose against Wall or Westlake the Democrats will have to do really badly. If the economy is still in bad shape (and showing no signs of improvement) Obama and his party is going to get hammered. Feingold will not be immune to the damage.

No, that’s not what Tommy Thompson said

February 12, 2010

Terrence Wall’s first TV ad displays the aspiring politician’s willingness to get chin-deep in the mud to beat Russ Feingold. Although Feingold has yet to respond in-kind, his party and his campaign have responded with partisan venom, and in doing so have strayed far from the truth.

For instance, the most recent meme has centered on a comment Tommy Thompson made to reporters about a possible run against Feingold:

“This election…it’s going to be decided on things that aren’t that particular to Wisconsin.”

According to the Democrats, that means Thompson said “the election won’t be about Wisconsin.” The conclusion to that train of logic is that Thompson doesn’t believe Wisconsin issues are important enough to discuss.

This is even more disingenuous than the recent attacks against Terrence Wall for avoiding state income taxes in 12 of the last 15 years. At least the latter case is based on a fact. The Thompson quote is a cynical misrepresentation of what the former governor (notice the Democrats refer to him as “former Bush administration official,” and not “former governor”) said.

It’s unfortunate that a campaign waged on behalf of a candidate known for his honesty and integrity is so dishonest and lacking in intellectual integrity.

Feingold easily beats Thompson in new poll

November 24, 2009

According to a poll just released by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a polling firm based out of North Carolina, Feingold leads former Governor Thompson 50-41 in a hypothetical senate matchup.

Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson 50-41 in a possible match up. He takes 88% of the Democratic vote to Thompson’s 82% of the Republican vote and also holds a 47-41 lead with independents.

Oh yeah, and and he really takes those other guys.

Feingold also holds solid leads against a couple of minor Republican candidates- 47-32 over Dave Westlake and 48-34 over Terrence Wall.

This, even as Obama’s numbers slide in Wisconsin. Can anyone touch this guy?


Tommy Thompson: I can do anything I want

November 2, 2009

David Blaska must be regretting all the stupid things he’s said over the years that (you’d hope) will keep him from holding an official position in politics again. His savior, Gov. Tommy Thompson, is openly considering runs for U.S. Senate and governor.

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (left) says he’s still weighing his political options and hasn’t ruled out a possible run for governor or U.S. Senate.

“I’ve always said I’ve got one more good campaign in me, whether it be for the United States Senate, whether it be for governor or mayor of Elroy,” Thompson said on Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha.”

“I would still like to run … one more time.”

Thompson said he’s “very concerned” about the direction of federal and state government and feels he could be helpful “in either one of those arenas.”

“I haven’t decided truly that I’m going to run, but I haven’t said no,” Thompson said.

Frankly, I’d be surprised if Thompson opted for the Senate bid over the governor’s race. If he does, it would likely be because of the novelty of the job and the excitement of running against a candidate as popular as Feingold. Or, he might think it would be a fun way to ride out into the sunset in Washington.

If he actually seeks power and influence, he knows better than anyone that the governor of Wisconsin has more of it than a freshman member of the U.S. Senate, especially with Republicans in the minority. That can and will change of course, but not in 2010. Granted, a lot of things have changed since Tommy was running the show. Not only can he not veto letters, but now he can’t even veto words!

Governor’s race…

August 24, 2009

Only 13 months until the gubernatorial election. Where are my polls? Where is my 24/7 analysis?

First, we need some primary polls. What kind of name recognition do the candidates have? The most high profile candidate on either side is Barbara Lawton, although frankly there are plenty of voters who don’t know the name of the lieutenant governor. What percentage of Milwaukee County knows the name of their executive, Scott Walker? Do people remember Mark Neumann? The only potential candidates I can see with a lock on a certain bloc of voters are Rep. Ron Kind (D), who likely has quite a bit of name recognition with the western Wisconsinites he’s represented for seven terms in Congress, as well as Mayor Tom Barrett, who not only has great name recognition in Milwaukee, but has gotten the BEST press out of any of the candidates when he saved a grandmother and her grandson from a deranged drunk last week.

A poll that came out yesterday shows the two Milwaukee-area candidates, Walker and Barrett, in a dead heat, 44-43. As Zach at Blogging Blue notes, despite the good press, Barrett is still not a declared candidate. Scotty has been for months.

Of course, we haven’t even discussed the possibility of a bid from Tommy Thompson. And no, Kathleen Falk is not going to run.


Maybe corruption buys good trains

August 4, 2009

Doyle wants a fast train. I can sympathize. I dream of a world where rappers boast about their city’s mass transit, emphasizing the speed, the efficiency, and of course, the chrome plates on the tracks.

But in his zeal to develop hip-hop worthy trains, Doyle may have jumped the gun. Critics are pointing to the Spanish company which the state is scheduled to pay $47 million to make the train cars. It appears Jimmy awarded them a rare no-bid contract, despite a pledge from his office in February to choose the contractor through a bidding process.

Committee member Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said she would oppose the purchase in part because of the lack of a competitive bid that might have lowered the cost of a deal.

“The Doyle administration is like a runaway train,” Sen. Darling said. “It’s very upsetting as a policy maker to see the governor acting so cavalierly about hard-earned tax dollars.”

The most telling aspect of the story is the Democrats’ refusal to comment. Especially when we’re talking about Madison-area Democrats, many of whom pride themselves on pushing for higher ethics standards and open, accessible government. You know Mark Pocan doesn’t like defending a governor who’s inviting comparisons to George W.

Budget committee co-chairman Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, is still reviewing the proposed train purchase and hasn’t taken a position on it, spokesman John Anderson said. The other co-chairman, Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, could not be reached for comment.

What no Republican is mentioning, however, is that Doyle’s no-bid contract was perfectly legal. Why? Because their own railroad man, Tommy Thompson, wrote an exemption for railroad companies that allowed the state to forgo the normal bidding process when negotiating rail contracts. Incredibly, the State Journal article on the matter does not even  reference the role the former governor played in this outcome. C’mon guys. If you’re going to cut something out of an article for the love of God, don’t cut out political hypocrisy. That’s the best part.

If we take the governor at his word, although there was not officially a bidding process, there was competition. Seven train makers were contacted and apparently only one company gave a comprehensive response. However, one must question how much Doyle was influenced during his trip to Spain, when he rode trains made by the company and talked to its executives. He obviously did not receive that kind of treatment from competing firms.

A somewhat rational point put forward by Scott Fitzgerald, the Republican leader in the Senate, is that taxpayers should be wary of a deal that only one of seven companies seemed interested in. Why were the three other European and Asian train-makers seemingly disinterested? But perhaps they are different types of companies – perhaps they operate at higher profit margins, or the project was not big enough for them. Remember, $47 million is not that much in the grand scheme of public transportation world wide.

I just hope this goddamn thing goes fast.