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Category “2010 Dem Governor Primary”

Nelson to Run for Lt. Governor(?)

Rumor reported by the Jour­nal Sen­tinel is that Assem­bly Major­ity Leader Tom “Call me Thomas” Nel­son (D-Kaukauna) is going to bolt on the Assem­bly and run for Lt. Gov­er­nor instead.  Nelson’s entry not only would make him the fourth entrant in the Demo­c­ra­tic pri­mary for Lt. Gov­er­nor; he’d also be the first entrant in that race who’s not from either the Madi­son or Mil­wau­kee area.

Assem­bly Major­ity Leader Thomas Nel­son (D-Kaukauna) is expected to get in the race for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor — shak­ing up the race for that job and set­ting off a con­test for the No. 2 posi­tion in the Assembly.

It also gives Repub­li­cans hope they can cap­ture Nelson’s seat as they plot a course to win the major­ity in the Assembly.

Nel­son did not return calls Fri­day and Mon­day, but his col­leagues said Nel­son started call­ing them a lit­tle over a week ago ask­ing for their sup­port in his run for lieu­tenant governor.

That means if Nel­son runs and Democ­rats keep the major­ity after the Novem­ber elec­tions, they will have to elect a new major­ity leader.

Pos­si­ble con­tenders include Assis­tant Major­ity Leader Donna Sei­del (D-Wausau); Cau­cus Chair­man Peter Barca (D-Kenosha); Rep. Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee), who failed in his bid last year for major­ity leader; and Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison), who at the last moment dropped out of the ear­lier race for major­ity leader.

As major­ity leader, Nel­son will be in charge of shep­herd­ing bills through floor debate as the Leg­is­la­ture spends two weeks wrap­ping up its reg­u­lar ses­sion this month.

Repub­li­cans, who lost con­trol of the 99-member Assem­bly in the 2008 elec­tions, are hop­ing to gain four seats and take con­trol of the house. They note that Nelson’s seat was held by a Repub­li­can, Becky Weber, before Nel­son beat her in 2004.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the 5th Assem­bly Dis­trict is a Republican-leaning dis­trict.  Nel­son won that seat in 2004 in what was one of the dirt­i­est cam­paigns for an Assem­bly seat I ever saw via North­east Wis­con­sin tele­vi­sion.  He’s been able to hold it by work­ing the dis­trict hard and draw­ing weak oppo­nents in the two Demo­c­ra­tic waves of 2006 and 2008.

Most with inside knowl­edge of the Demo­c­ra­tic Cau­cus vote from ear­lier last year say Nel­son got the Major­ity Leader’s spot by cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing a fight between the caucus’s Mil­wau­kee and Madi­son fac­tions.  Word was that the Major­ity Leader’s posi­tion was always going to be Pedro Colon’s until all sorts of havoc broke loose.  What exactly hap­pened is only known to the leg­is­la­tors in the Ass­Dem Cau­cus (and of course, their staff).

The big spec­u­la­tion is why is Nel­son doing this?  Admit­tedly, every­thing I’ve seen or heard about this guy is that he’s an ego-driven, ambi­tious, arro­gant, power-hungry prick who’d sell his own grand­mother down the river for power; so the idea that the Assem­bly (and being num­ber 2 there) has bored him isn’t out of the ques­tion.  What bet­ter way to try to be Gov­er­nor (or Con­gress­man or Sen­a­tor down the road) than be the state’s Lt. Gov­er­nor for a term or two.

Another way to look at this is, as lead­er­ship, Nel­son could be leav­ing his cau­cus high and dry in what could be a bloody Elec­tion Night come Novem­ber.  What’s stranger is early money seemed to be on Wau­na­kee busi­ness­man Henry Saun­ders seemed to be the choice of Demo­c­ra­tic activists, power bro­kers, and party leadership.

Let’s not for­get, on appear­ances alone, it gives one the impres­sion the rat is leav­ing a sink­ing ship.

Or is he sud­denly wor­ried he too could be vul­ner­a­ble this fall and is because of that, he’s bolt­ing on the Assembly?

What then, is he hear­ing as he does doors in his dis­trict — some­thing he’s not shy about men­tion­ing on Twitter.

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No Falk for Lt. Governor

I’m only point­ing this out because John Nichols of the Capi­tol Times of Madi­son pointed out this week­end on “Upfront with Mike Gousha” that after the Law­ton exit, the state Demo­c­ra­tic Party is split (What, but the MSM says the civil war is on the GOP side?) and mem­bers are still fum­ing about “behind-the-scenes antics.”  Nichols sug­gest a Falk can­di­dacy for Lt. Gov­er­nor, or a woman on the ticket would pos­si­bly re-unite the party.

Well, I hear Nancy Nusbaum’s free…

Dane County Exec­u­tive Kath­leen Falk won’t run for lieu­tenant governor.

Falk’s name had sur­faced as a pos­si­ble can­di­date for gov­er­nor or lieu­tenant gov­er­nor as Democ­rats scram­bled to keep con­trol of the Capitol’s east wing. Gov. Jim Doyle is not seek­ing a third term.

Mil­wau­kee Mayor Tom Bar­rett announced Sun­day he is run­ning for gov­er­nor, and Falk sup­ports his bid. Falk will not seek the nom­i­na­tion for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor, said Falk adviser Melissa Mulliken

I’m not sur­prised that peo­ple in the party have urged her to run, but she’s got a job that she loves and she’s not inter­ested in run­ning for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor,” Mul­liken said Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Bar­bara Law­ton is not run­ning for re-election and has dropped out of the governor’s race.

Sen. Spencer Coggs of Mil­wau­kee and Mil­wau­kee Ald. Tony Zielin­ski are seek­ing the Demo­c­ra­tic nom­i­na­tion for lieu­tenant governor.

The Repub­li­cans run­ning are state Rep. Brett Davis of Ore­gon, Supe­rior Mayor Dave Ross and Lake Geneva busi­ness­man Ben Collins.

Just out of curios­ity, but what­ever hap­pened to that rumored Tom Far­ley bid?

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Your National Coverage on the Barrett-Obama Meeting

From Politico…dis­cuss.

Mil­wau­kee Mayor Tom Bar­rett met with White House Polit­i­cal Direc­tor Patrick Gas­pard Wednes­day dur­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s trip to Wis­con­sin, amid reports that the White House has been urg­ing Bar­rett to run for gov­er­nor in 2010.

Bar­rett and Gas­pard spoke before Obama’s after­noon speech at a Madi­son mid­dle school and the mayor’s office con­firmed the two talked briefly.

Ear­lier, Bar­rett greeted Obama as he landed in Wis­con­sin Wednes­day after­noon. The mayor told the Asso­ci­ated Press that he and the pres­i­dent did not dis­cuss a poten­tial guber­na­to­r­ial campaign.

The White House offered no addi­tional infor­ma­tion about Barrett’s con­ver­sa­tion with Gaspard.

Dur­ing his address in Madi­son, which focused on edu­ca­tion pol­icy, Obama offered a promi­nent shout-out to Bar­rett, hail­ing him as “Milwaukee’s out­stand­ing mayor” and prompt­ing Bar­rett to stand up and wave to the crowd.

The Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel recently reported that the White House hoped Bar­rett, a for­mer con­gress­man, would enter the race to suc­ceed out­go­ing Gov. Jim Doyle, a Demo­c­rat who also joined Obama in Madison.

Last week, Demo­c­ra­tic Lt. Gov. Bar­bara Law­ton announced she would not seek her party’s nom­i­na­tion in next year’s race, leav­ing a clear pri­mary field for Bar­rett if he chooses to run.

A Demo­c­ra­tic Gov­er­nors Asso­ci­a­tion offi­cial said Wednes­day the group has spo­ken with Bar­rett and “sev­eral other poten­tial can­di­dates” about the 2010 election.

Mayor Bar­rett would make a strong can­di­date and he’s been a great leader,” said DGA Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Direc­tor Emily DeRose. “We’re con­fi­dent that who­ever is our nom­i­nee, we’ll keep Wis­con­sin blue and elect a gov­er­nor who will look out for work­ing fam­i­lies and cre­ate good jobs.”

Thank you DGA press flack.  You’re cur­rently 0 for 2 this cycle.

If you look at the accom­pa­ny­ing pic­ture in the story (see link), it clearly shows Obama’s act­ing in the role of con­cerned friend with Bar­rett in what looks like a scene where the two are talk­ing about Barrett’s injuries from the attack at State Fair.  Con­sid­er­ing more what wasn’t said yes­ter­day both at the event and the press, you have to start going with the assump­tion Barrett’s stay­ing put and not running.

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Kevin Conroy Mulls Governor’s Run

What?!?  It’s not THAT Kevin Con­roy

Well color me bummed by this news then.

After two high-profile Democ­rats have bowed out of the race for gov­er­nor, a new poten­tial can­di­date is start­ing to emerge

Kevin Con­roy, CEO of Exact Sci­ences Corp. in Madi­son, is actively con­sid­er­ing get­ting in the race, said Joel Bren­nan, Conroy’s brother-in-law and a for­mer cam­paign man­ager for Tom Barrett’s runs for gov­er­nor and Mil­wau­kee mayor.

Con­roy is prepar­ing cam­paign fil­ings, inter­view­ing staff and devel­op­ing fund-raising plans, Bren­nan said Wednes­day. He said a final deci­sion on get­ting in the race had not been made.

Bren­nan called Con­roy a “pro­gres­sive with a pro-business strat­egy.” He has been con­sid­er­ing a run since shortly after Gov. Jim Doyle announced in August he would not seek a third term.

Must say, what is this now four or five Democ­rats in this state who are multi-millionaires?  Can we stop the Repub­li­cans are the party of the rich talk already?  Kohl, Kagen, Leinenkugel (rumored), and now this guy; no won­der I laugh when­ever Zach W. at Blog­ging Blue goes off on Ter­rance Wall being a rich guy run­ning for the Sen­ate.  Appar­ently he keeps for­get­ting we have Herb Kohl in the Sen­ate already rep­re­sent­ing this state.

That’s okay, a lot of us do as well.

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At This Point, He Would Be

Wiggy points out who the cur­rent Demo­c­ra­tic Guber­na­to­r­ial front run­ner is.

God­speed kid.

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Obama to Madison Next Week

<sarcasm>Boy, this won’t play into the Governor’s race spec­u­la­tion at all.</sarcasm>

Bring out the tape recorder and set the DVRThings are gonna be fun for the next week or so.

Pres­i­dent Obama will visit the Madi­son area on Nov. 4 to speak about edu­ca­tion, the White House announced Tuesday.

It will be Obama’s first visit to the imme­di­ate area since a Feb­ru­ary 2008 cam­paign stop at the Kohl Cen­ter prior to the Demo­c­ra­tic primary.

Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Obama was sched­uled to return in Octo­ber 2008, but can­celed a planned Madi­son rally to visit his ail­ing grand­mother, who died a short time later, in Hawaii.

Details about the loca­tion or con­tent of the president’s address in Madi­son next week are not avail­able, a White House spokes­woman said.

Some­where, Dan Bice is smil­ing.

(Won­der if any ambi­tious reporter in Madi­son Obama will bring up the @$$-kicking Democ­rats took in Vir­ginia the pre­vi­ous night.)

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That Would Be “Very” Personal Reasons

WTAQ’s Jerry Bader on the real rea­son Bar­bara Law­ton stepped aside today (And it is sud­den, she was still get­ting endorse­ments this week­end from State Leg­is­la­tors), then the only word to say is…


UPDATE 10–27-09 — Bader has since taken back the story and issued the fol­low­ing statement.



As James Wigder­son said it best, this would be one hell of slan­der suit.

I have also removed my later post on this matter.

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Daily Cardinal: Barrett Decision in Weeks

How is it that a col­lege news­pa­per (and not even the best on the UW-Madison cam­pus!) gets this sort of scoop, but the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal, Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel, and the Gan­nett Wis­con­sin papers can’t pick up the phone?

Mil­wau­kee Mayor Tom Bar­rett will announce his deci­sion on whether he will run for Gov­er­nor in 2010 in the com­ing weeks, a cam­paign rep­re­sen­ta­tive said Thursday.

Steve Cher­nof, Barrett’s finance chair, said Bar­rett is “weigh­ing the decision.”

I expect that we will have a deci­sion within a cou­ple of weeks,” he said.

As of right now, Bar­rett is keep­ing his focus on city issues, but he is still “tak­ing the oppor­tu­nity seri­ously,” Cher­nof said.

Offi­cially, Bar­rett is cur­rently pur­su­ing a gen­eral may­oral cam­paign. Cher­nof said they “are cer­tainly not geared up to run a may­oral cam­paign,” and did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of the cur­rent cam­paign turn­ing into a guber­na­to­r­ial campaign.

Alright, good to know.  The last thing we need is some sort of wrench in the gears.

Uh oh…

This state­ment comes on the heels of Gov. Jim Doyle’s expres­sion of “sec­ond thoughts” to Wispolitics.com about not run­ning for re-election in 2010.

The Bar­rett cam­paign had no response to Doyle’s com­ments. How­ever, Cher­nof said that while he did not want to spec­u­late on how that would affect Barrett’s deci­sion, Barrett’s ini­tial con­sid­er­a­tion rested on Doyle not seek­ing re-election.

The oppor­tu­nity was pre­sented because the Gov­er­nor announced that he was not going to run,” Cher­nof said.

Me thinks that sec­ond part maybe Team Barrett’s sub­tle way of telling Doyle to “Back Off Baldie!”

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BizTimes Reports What Most Already Speculated

Con­grats to Steve Jagler, he’s the first offi­cial mem­ber of the Mil­wau­kee press to put to web page what most had already spec­u­lated as Sum­mer turned to Fall and the leaves changed color with­out so much as an announce­ment: Mil­wau­kee Mayor Tom Barrett’s likely not run­ning for Governor.

Demo­c­ra­tic insid­ers believe Mil­wau­kee Mayor Tom Bar­rett will decide not to launch a cam­paign to be Wisconsin’s next gov­er­nor, and some say Gov. Jim Doyle is “shop­ping” for another can­di­date to chal­lenge Bar­bara Law­ton for the party’s nomination.

Law­ton, who is Wisconsin’s lieu­tenant gov­er­nor, picked up her most impres­sive endorse­ment yet Mon­day, when for­mer Demo­c­ra­tic Party of Wis­con­sin state chair and con­gres­sional can­di­date Matt Flynn announced he will sup­port her bid for governor.

The next gov­er­nor of Wis­con­sin needs to be some­one focused on cre­at­ing new jobs. Bar­bara Law­ton will be that gov­er­nor. She is a strong leader who will fight for the eco­nomic secu­rity of our fam­i­lies and focus on keep­ing peo­ple on the job,” Flynn said.

Bar­rett has not yet declared pub­licly whether or not he will run for governor.

So what is the “Plan B” for Wis­con­sin Democ­rats if Jagler’s report is true?  (My own Demo­c­ra­tic sources have been con­firm­ing this as well, mul­ti­ple times.)

After all, we’ve seen more reports out of Barrett’s office about his med­ical recov­ery from his attack at State Fair than we have announce­ments whether he’s run­ning for the Governor’s Man­sion or not.

Finally, what does it say if Doyle — who’s been sell­ing Bar­rett in every media mar­ket he’s in — can’t get his pre­ferred can­di­date to run after weeks and months of puff­ing him up and singing his graces.

Is this the end of the Demo­c­ra­tic Pri­mary process if Bar­rett is in fact a no?  Hardly.  There will be shop­ping, both in Wis­con­sin and in Wash­ing­ton DC as the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion posi­tions itself for 2012.  Despite his big win last fall, Wis­con­sin very likely remains in the “Swing State” cat­e­gory for a num­ber of polit­i­cal strategists.

UPDATE: Well that brush-back was quick…

Dan Bice of the Jour­nal Sen­tinel reports Bar­rett is “50/50″ about throw­ing his hat in the ring for Governor.

Despite spec­u­la­tion to the con­trary, Mayor Tom Bar­rett remains unde­cided on whether to enter the race for gov­er­nor in 2010, sources close to the second-term Demo­c­rat said today.

They put him at 50–50 on get­ting into the race. That’s exactly where he was nearly a month ago, shortly after Demo­c­ra­tic Gov. Jim Doyle announced he would not seek a third term.

Some promi­nent Democ­rats, includ­ing U.S. Sen. Russ Fein­gold and U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, are strongly urg­ing Bar­rett to throw his hat in the ring, sources tell No Quar­ter. Other Democ­rats, includ­ing for­mer Party Chair­man Matt Flynn, have lined up with Lt. Gov. Barb Law­ton, the top Demo­c­rat in the race.

But those clos­est to Bar­rett said the Mil­wau­kee mayor won’t make a deci­sion until later this month — at the earliest.

Who Matt Flynn endorses in this race will have no impact on what deci­sion Tom makes about run­ning for gov­er­nor,” said a source close to Barrett.

Until we hear some­thing — hell any­thing — the spec­u­la­tion (and now with the Jagler piece, the belief he won’t run) continues.

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Another Endorsement for Lawton

Oh, it’s now really over on the Demo­c­ra­tic pri­mary folks.  The highly-coveted Nancy Nus­baum endorse­ment has been claimed by Lt. Gov­er­nor Bar­bara Lawton.

(I’m typ­ing that, and I can’t even keep a straight face.)

For­mer Brown County Exec­u­tive Nancy Nus­baum endorsed Bar­bara Law­ton for gov­er­nor Wednesday.

I’m proud to sup­port Bar­bara Law­ton as our next gov­er­nor,” said Nus­baum. “She is a tal­ented and effec­tive leader that will bring a lot to the office of the gov­er­nor.  Hav­ing lived in Green Bay for over 35 years, she under­stands this cor­ner of the state and will work dili­gently to cre­ate jobs and turn our econ­omy around.”

Lt. Gov. Law­ton said she is hon­ored by Nusbaum’s endorsement.

We share our ambi­tion for a pros­per­ous future for Wis­con­sin and will con­tinue our work together to grow the econ­omy and cre­ate new jobs,” Law­ton wrote in a state­ment Wednesday.

Nus­baum was elected the Brown County Exec­u­tive in 1995. She was the first woman elected to serve as Brown County Exec­u­tive and mayor of De Pere.

(Dear Lord, these two woman deserve each other…)

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