Every politician has critics. Even among supposed allies. Those allies are very often some of your fiercest competitors. And some of your allies just don't like you. No case better illustrates this point than Rep. Brett Hulsey.
Given the hullabaloo Hulsey ignited Hulsey's fabrication of endorsements makes him hard to trust, it was that he was apparently incapable of calculating risks, or his ego simply hungered for endorsements he didn't need. He didn't need Kelda Helen Roys or Tammy Baldwin's endorsement. All he needed was that D next to his name.
The antics Lueders described in this week's Isthmus coincide with what colleagues of Hulsey on the County Board said about him. Not only did he have a tendency to grandstand, but he had the intolerable habit of grandstanding when other politicians were supposed to be grandstanding. Hijacking press conferences is a Hulsey specialty.
The irony is that Hulsey is probably not immune to the type of criticism aired by legislative Democrats in Lueders' piece. In fact, he is known to be quite sensitive. He chokes up when he talks about the campaign the Dane County Sheriff Deputies ran against him during his last race for county board, and I've heard he did not take the attacks Ben Manski made against him lightly.
I think that Hulsey's political flaws will prevent him from attaining higher office. But I have to say, there was something about seeing Hulsey hijack Scott Walker's press conference that created a soft spot for the son of a gun. As soon as Walker concluded the press conference, Hulsey strode up to the podium, announced his presence and proclaimed that everything Walker had said was untrue.
And therein lies the source of Brett Hulsey's success. No matter how many people hate him, he is never off the radar. Everybody has an opinion about him, and in politics, that counts for something.
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