Have run into Terrence Wall four times in the last week, which means he's been everywhere. He even visited the Stately Manor. (Fortunately, Ruben Mamoulian had the day off.) That's a sign that his campaign for the U.S. Senate has achieved some lift-off, despite my earlier misgivings.
Wall has a sizable and experienced team around him, which includes Darrin Schmitz, with whom I worked in Governor Thompson's press office. Wall's campaign is co-chaired by Jim Klauser and Mary Buestrin, a GOP national committee woman. Scott Klug is an adviser. His manager and press guy are well regarded.
But always, there is that elephant in the next room: Tommy G. Thompson. Russ Feingold has already been lobbing grenades at Tommy while trying to ignore T. Wall.
Convinced he's on the verge of announcing his Senate candidacy, Democrats are preparing a full-throttle assault on former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, centered on the millions of dollars he made in the private sector, Politico reports.
Many Republicans are salivating over a TGT candidacy. A Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll shows Tommy holding a 12-percentage-point advantage over Feingold.
At the Stately Manor Tuesday, T. Wall professed to not being overly worried.
"I did talk to Tommy a week ago. The first thing he said is don't believe all the media stuff you see, the chumming of the waters. He's not going to let people to force him into a decision. I would think he would have to decide by May 1."
(Tommy is headlining a May 12 Wisconsin Republican Party fundraiser in Washington .... for what it's worth.) Then this revealing comment.
"It's public his wife (Sue Ann) is not in favor of him doing it."
Wall has visited over 46 counties already and will hit 10 more in the next two weeks. "We're seeing double, to triple the attendance at Lincoln dinners; going to tea party ... people not involved."
Wall claims to be 9 points ahead of Feingold in Milwaukee media market and says that more than two-thirds of undecided voters say they will not support Feingold. (Rasmussen says Feingold is up 9 points on Wall while in a statistical dead heat with Thompson.)
Wall has been hitting Feingold on support for bending the rules to adopt ObamaCare.
Now, about those taxes paid, Wall says: "In the last 3 years I've paid over $16 million in various taxes ... Russ Feingold has talked about tax credits for job creation, I've been creating jobs. That's why I get technology credits for creating jobs for new tech businesses."
The Ed and Tommy Show
You've got to watch Steve Walters' interview on Wisconsin Eye with the Thompson brothers of Elroy, Tommy and Ed (now of Tomah).
Ed is running as a Republican for State Senate against incumbent Kathleen Vinehout in District 31. (Vinehout is a goner.) Will Tommy be the other senator -- the one in Washington?
Tommy told Walters, "The day after Easter (which would be April 5) I'm going on vacation and we're going to discuss this as a family and my family is most important. ... If I run I will win. ... It's going to be a fantastic year for Republicans."
Talked to Ed at the Americans for Prosperity event last weekend in the Dells. I reminded Ed that I first met him at the governor's residence in 1999 to watch the Packers lose to Philadelphia in the NFC championship on television.
I remember that Ed would start laughing "Ah ha ha haha" very much like Woody Woodpecker. Then Tommy would take it up: "Ah ha ha haha." Then Ed, then Tommy.
Who's in your wallet?
Well, that would be cop hater Brett Hulsey and his liberal handler, The Kathleen.
I lost a bet with Miss Vicky. I had predicted that Sheriff Mahoney would grow a pair and speak up for his deputies. Sadly, I was wrong.
So the deputies are speaking up for themselves. I draw your attention to this brave statement from Sheriff's Detective Joel Wagner:
Dane County did not lose it's AAA (bond) rating because of the overtime of the Dane County Sheriff's Office, it lost its rating because County Executive Kathleen Falk and Supervisor Brett Hulsey have spent $113 million more than they have taken in over the last 10 years. The bond rating was lost because the county executive and the county board's poor fiscal management was finally exposed during the recession.
Supervisor Hulsey … please don't erect any more roadblocks so that I and my fellow law enforcement officers cannot effectively do our jobs. You don't want to pay overtime to protect the citizens of Dane County. You voted to lay off 18 deputies to balance the budget. (More overtime would have been needed to cover the open spots. Who IS your accountant anyway?)
... If the public keeps listening to the likes of Falk and Hulsey, there won't be any (law enforcement officers) left to protect the flock … but you'll have plenty of greenspace where the criminals can run free.
See if you can find anything in the entirety of Detective Wagner's statement that would justify Hulsey calling it a "personal attack." If anyone has been personally attacked, it is Detective Wagner.
Verveer may be a scoundrel but he's their scoundrel
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has richly earned the enmity of the hyper-partisan Capital Times a) for being a Republican and b) for defeating The Kathleen, who c) defeated Peg LotsOfLager.
Since then, J.B. has burnished his credentials by bringing charges against two ACORN election fraud artists. Worse yet, he's done a great job as the state's chief law enforcement officer. He's even won plaudits for his work on open government from the likes of Bill Lueders. (Actually, from Bill Lueders.)
You'd never know it from this choice example of Capital Times hyperbole:
When it comes to this Department of Justice under this attorney general, there really is nothing unusual about unexplained delays, mangled inquiries, failures to cooperate effectively with other units of government, and the general sense that things don't get done well and sometimes don't even get done.
"Unexplained delays" as in plural? Mangled inquiries? Failure to cooperate with other units of government? Examples, please?
And what is one to make of "the general sense that things don't get done well ...(yadda yadda)"? "The general sense?" Does that qualify even as the basis of an opinion? Is that even journalism?
Here's some more context: The attorney general is investigating allegations of impropriety against one of the Progressive Dane newspaper's favorite Prog Danes: Mike Verveer. The Madison alderman was booted from his job by Dane County's Democrat(ic) district attorney for improper contact with a defendant. There've been other allegations that Verveer was smoking something wicked in a State Street bar. Allegations the Progressive Dane newspaper calls "a witch hunt."
The Progressive Dane newspaper blissfully ignored the Doyle-Pocan-Miller train wreck of a state budget that shortchanged our prosecutors to the point where Dane County D.A. Brian Blanchard now says the number of prosecutors in his office has not increased in 20 years even as the number of complaints has nearly doubled.
Here is J.B. on January 31:
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the two-year budget passed last summer increased state spending by 6.2 percent over fiscal year 2008 levels. The budget for district attorneys was cut by 8.1 percent. [Van Hollen: State should add assistant DAs, not lay them off]
Nor did The Capital Times spare any sympathy when the AG's office was cut by that same incompetent state budget partisans. But get the Verveer inquiry done! Now there's a strange priority!
Sometimes you have to break a few eggs
Remember that principled superintendent of schools in that impoverished town in Rhode Island who fired all the teachers and administrators at an under-performing high school, graduating less than half its students?
The teachers union lampooned her; hate mail flooded her inbox. For weeks, she'd prayed every morning for the soul of the man who wrote: "I wish cancer on your children and their children and that you live long enough to see them die."
Now one of the teachers has hung an effigy of President Obama.
"If a school continues to fail its students year after year, if it doesn't show signs of improvement, then there's got to be a sense of accountability," Obama said. "And that's what happened in Rhode Island." [CNN: 3-18-2010]
Just imagine the outrage if a tea partier had done that!