It must be galling to Terrence Wall to work the vineyards since the beginning of the year and then have Republicans choose a fellow who formally got into the race only one week before their convention last weekend in Milwaukee.
But choose Ron Johnson of Oshkosh they did by an almost two-thirds vote in a four-man race to only 18 percent for Wall, the runner-up.
I know T. Wall and wish him well, which seems more than the man himself is willing to say for others. Perhaps he'll summon some grace in his exit from the race for U.S. Senate.
Because Wis.Politics is reporting that Wall will throw in the towel and that his campaign co-chairs, Mary Buestrin and Jim Klauser, are jumping ship. So much for "insiders."
How did T. Wall's campaign spin the convention's endorsement of his rival? By continuing to trash Dick Leinenkugel for throwing his support to Johnson. By doing so, he trashes the Republican rank and file. Who does that leave, T-man?
Here's the quote from Wall's campaign manager, Ryan Murray, who did neither himself nor his candidate any favors:
"Ron Johnson is locking up an elite voting bloc. Republicans that Jim Doyle likes. Trust me, this is a group of people we are willing to let him win," Murray said, "A lot of Republicans are now wondering if a guy with no moral compass is backing Ron Johnson's campaign, what does it say about Johnson?"
Better yet, what does that say about Wall and Murray? Wigderson's Library and Pub takes note of T. Wall's attack on state GOP convention nominee: "Is this really the message Wall wants to send to Republicans?"
Steve Prestegard said yesterday in Marketplace:
Based on the increasingly nasty news releases Wall's campaign is sending out, either Wall needs to tell his campaign to tone it down, or voters need to ask if Wall's goal is to win the Senate race or make sure no other Republican does.
Dick Leinenkugel, by the way, won tremendous political capital for falling on his sword. And no, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, this is not about ideological purity. But do you promote the helmsman of the Titanic to captain of the ship? Leinenkugel played a key economic role in the Doyle administration, which has been disastrous for Wisconsin employers. Just ask Harley Davidson before it turns out the lights in Milwaukee.
T. Wall's campaign was always hopeless. The pumpkin patch could be explained but not the lack of tax paying. How does one get the support of the tea partiers who were already criticizing the men around Barack Obama, people like Tim Geithner, for avoiding the tax man?
Truly, Ron Johnson is the big bang theory of politics. There's a T-shirt that explains the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe: "First there was nothing; then it exploded."
From seemingly nowhere, Ron Johnson has exploded onto the scene. Like making George Will's column in today's Washington Post.
In this season of simmering resentment of the political class, a neophyte such as Johnson might be a stronger candidate than a recycled executive (Tommy Thompson), Will writes.
Blaska's Blog introduced you to our next U.S. Senator way back on March 12.
... another Republican is testing the waters for a possible challenge to Russ Feingold for U.S.Senate. And that is a very good sign that the Massachusetts Miracle has legs. His name is Ron Johnson of Oshkosh. [3-12-10: Feeding frenzy on Feingold?]
Johnson also gives a great speech, something that T. Wall could never muster. Johnson conveys conviction, intelligence, and character, and passion. Plus, he's right on the issues.
Here's why we need people like Ron Johnson
The private sector now accounts for only 42% of America's paychecks. That's down from 48% and a new record low.
At the same time, government-provided benefits - from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs - rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.
So reports USA Today [05-26-10: Private pay shrinks to historic lows]
That will not bother the government class, which believes that government creates wealth. But it bothers people who know how the economy works.
New Jerseys' new Republican governor, Chris Christie, proposes a constitutional amendment in his state that would cap property tax hikes and annual state spending increases to no more than 2.5 percent a year.
The Wall Street Journal's John Fund tells us that the new governor is also on point about the cause of New Jersey's profligacy -- a 70 percent increase in property taxes in the last decade.
Mr. Christie was especially blunt on the malign influence of the New Jersey Education Association -- 'an absolutely out-of-control union that is used to getting everything it wants."
As a conservative, I am leery of constitutional amendments. But one proposed by State Rep. Mark Gottlieb, R-Port Washington, makes a lot of sense.
The state of Wisconsin's budgets resemble a roller coaster that has gone off the rails in a backwater carnival fun house. Make the fun house on fire and you've got the picture.
Our finances are right up there -- no, right down there with California, according to the Pew Center on the States, which ranked Wisconsin as one of America's 10 most "fiscally challenged" states.
Gottlieb talked to Blaska's Blog Wednesday about his proposal for a Wisconsin Fiscal Responsibility and Stability Amendment. "Wisconsin First" would do three salutary things:
1. Impose some restraint on spending.
2. Stability in budgeting by evening out the peaks and chasms of the economy.
3. Tax relief, by channeling excess tax collections back to the taxpayer -- an automatic refund, if you will.
Wisconsin's problem is that in good times, the state spends like a drunken sailor -- never supposing that the cheap booze will run out.
Wisconsin First would require depositing 0.5% of all general taxes into a "fiscal responsibility fund." When tax collections to exceed 6.5% of statewide personal income, the deposit is increased by the amount of that excess. Money can be withdrawn from the fund only during an economic recession or unforeseen emergency.
The fund could never exceed 10% of the annual budget. At that point, if taxes continued to exceed the 6.5% threshold, the state would be required to return the excess to taxpayers in the form of a property tax credit.
I like the idea -- it still allows elected representatives discretion to spend on what they want. Read the bill.