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Posts tagged with “Tommy Thompson”

No Tommy for Senate [Or Maybe Yes…]

Yeah, who here is actu­ally shocked by this news?

For­mer Wis­con­sin Gov. Tommy Thomp­son will not run for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion to take on Sen. Russ Fein­gold in the fall, WTMJ-TV (Chan­nel 4)‘s Charles Ben­son is report­ing.

Thomp­son, gov­er­nor for 14 years and a for­mer cab­i­net sec­re­tary for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, had sug­gested he might want to enter the GOP race against Fein­gold, a Demo­c­rat. Recent polls show Thomp­son doing bet­ter against Fein­gold than Repub­li­cans who are in the race.

Fein­gold, a Wis­con­sin Demo­c­rat seek­ing a fourth term in the Sen­ate, was ask­ing sup­port­ers in late March for cam­paign dona­tions to help defeat the pop­u­lar Repub­li­can politi­cian should he decide to step into the race. In a fund-raising pitch, Fein­gold argued that he has taken on the spe­cial inter­ests in Wash­ing­ton while Thomp­son has taken them on as clients.

Fein­gold faces two other Repub­li­can chal­lengers — Ter­rence Wall, a Madi­son devel­oper, and Dave West­lake, who owns a Watertown-based printer car­tridge business.

Any­one who thought Thomp­son was actu­ally going to run for the Sen­ate, clearly doesn’t get Tommy G. Thomp­son.  The guy loves being an exec­u­tive, always has, always will. In dis­cus­sions with old polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sors I’ve had dat­ing back since 2000, I’ve always thought he’d hate being in the Sen­ate (almost as much as Barack Obama did if “Game Change” is cor­rect), and noth­ing has ever changed that in my opinion.

Now, if the guy can actu­ally act like a party elder for once instead of a per­pet­ual candidate…

UPDATE: Here’s what the Ben­son report is saying.

Accord­ing to a source who have spo­ken with TODAY’S TMJ4 HD’s Charles Ben­son, for­mer Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor Tommy Thomp­son says he will not run for Sen­a­tor Russ Feingold’s seat.

Thomp­son is set to announce his future at a “tea party” rally in Madi­son on Thursday.

The source, who is close with Thompson’s fam­ily, tells Ben­son that he believees Thompson’s deci­sion is not to run.

Thomp­son told The Asso­ci­ated Press on Wednes­day morn­ing that he hadn’t made up his mind on whether he’ll enter the race. He says, “The only per­son who knows what I’m going to do is myself and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Ben­son explained that some of the rea­sons for not run­ning include ques­tion­ing how much power he would actu­ally have as one of 100 U.S. sen­a­tors and his suc­cess­ful busi­ness ven­tures which he would have to give up.

Par­don me while I bang my head against the near­est wall.

UPDATE II: Word is that we’ll know tomor­row what the deci­sion is when Thomp­son speaks at a Tea Party Rally in Madi­son.  What that is, is anyone’s guess.

UPDATE III: Wel­come Hot Air readers!

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Daily Quick Hits

Video of the Day

A quick cap­ture by the NRCC of Kagen in full “Talk­ing Point Regur­gi­ta­tion Mode.”

You know, the job of a Press Sec­re­tary is to be on top of things to make sure her boss doesn’t make a fool out of him­self in front of a national cable audience.

By the way, it’s never a good sign when you have a White House Press Sec­re­tary tell the press at the brief­ing ‘The attor­neys are look­ing at it.’

The “What the $^&*” Story of the Day

There’d be com­edy in this, if it weren’t so sad given his addic­tion and how no one in Madi­son seems to give a damn about get­ting him the help he needs because Democ­rats need his vote.  Tragedy thy name is enabling.

Rep. Jeff Wood had more than eight times the “ther­a­peu­tic” range of an ingre­di­ent found in cough syrup when he was arrested in Sep­tem­ber 2009.

A state lab test result, which was obtained by the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal through a state open records request, showed Wood had high lev­els of Dex­tromethor­phan (DXM) in his sys­tem when he was arrested by the State Patrol in Marathon County in September.

The drug is an over-the-counter cough sup­pres­sant com­monly found in cold med­ica­tions, which is often abused by ado­les­cents to “gen­er­ate eupho­ria and visual and audi­tory hal­lu­ci­na­tions,” accord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Ille­gal use of DXM, which is also known as “poor man’s PCP,” is often called “Robo-tripping” or “skittling.”

PPP’s Russ-Tommy Poll

I know a bunch of lib­eral blog­gers in Wis­con­sin are over-joyed by it (The Chief, dude, seri­ously, lan­guage.)  But I noticed this; as did the state media, Fein­gold went from being up 9 last Novem­ber to being up 3…in a Demo­c­ra­tic Polling Firm’s poll.

(Maybe if they keep call­ing Tommy a lob­by­ist some more…)

USPS Requests to Go Five Days-a-Week

Con­gress must still approve the move; but the time has come, and kudos to the Post Office for either see­ing its own likely demise because of tech­nol­ogy ahead of time.

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The Democratic Game Plan Against Tommy

When is a guy who never lob­bied any­one; let alone even reg­is­tered to lobby as a lob­by­ist in Wash­ing­ton?  When he’s Tommy Thomp­son, for­mer Gov­er­nor of the state of Wis­con­sin and for­mer HHS Sec­re­tary, and he has to audac­ity to even con­tem­plate chal­leng­ing Russ Fein­gold to a Sen­ate race.

As clearly pointed out by “DPW’s Brain,” Bill “Xoff” Christof­fer­son, this memo by Demo­c­ra­tic polling firm Pub­lic Pol­icy Polling out of North Car­olina seems to indi­cate the ques­tion about lob­by­ing and who loves them is being asked.

We’ll have our full Wis­con­sin Sen­ate num­bers out tomor­row, and it’s a close race between Russ Fein­gold and Tommy Thomp­son. But there was one piece of infor­ma­tion in the poll that bodes par­tic­u­larly ill for Thompson…and Dan Coats in Indi­ana as well.

1% of Wis­con­sin vot­ers have a favor­able opin­ion of Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ists. I think some­thing polling at 1% is a new one for us. 77% view them neg­a­tively. And you bet­ter believe that if Thomp­son gets in the race that Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ist card will get played over and over and over again.

Tax and spend lib­er­als, which Fein­gold is sure to be labeled as, are con­sid­er­ably more pop­u­lar than Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ists. Only 53% of vot­ers have an unfa­vor­able opin­ion of them, and 18% even like them!

A bad national polit­i­cal cli­mate has Fein­gold look­ing poten­tially a lot more vul­ner­a­ble than would have been expected a year ago, but what Thompson’s been doing since leav­ing the Bush admin­is­tra­tion could end up being bag­gage on par with Feingold’s asso­ci­a­tion with an unpop­u­lar Con­gress. We’ll have those num­bers out in the morning.

PPP’s num­bers are sup­posed to be out today.  I’m sure if they show Thomp­son in the lead, Christof­fer­son will call them WPRI-paid shills.

Thomp­son may never even enter the race.  So admit­tedly, it is fun watch­ing the Fein­gold cam­paign and other lib­er­als chase shad­ows until a deci­sion is made.

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Maybe Tommy for Senate is Happening

Admit­tedly, I’m still in the camp of “Believe it when he announces,” but this story in today’s Politico does make it look like a “Tommy for Sen­ate” Cam­paign might be mov­ing out of the “Hey, that’s a nice idea / match-up” stage, and actu­ally into the “plan­ning stage.”

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.

Thomp­son has alerted his Washington-based law firm of his moves and is con­tact­ing key clients about the prospect of chal­leng­ing Fein­gold, the most tan­gi­ble sig­nals yet that he’s seri­ously explor­ing a 2010 campaign.

The gov­er­nor has taken addi­tional steps in the past week and will con­tinue to do so over the next sev­eral weeks. If the meet­ings go well, you can expect to see an exploratory com­mit­tee set up near the end of March,” for­mer state com­merce sec­re­tary and Thomp­son cam­paign man­ager Bill McCoshen told POLITICO.

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?’”

“Gov. Thomp­son has taken every oppor­tu­nity in the media to try to remind vot­ers he’s pop­u­lar and get his ego stroked,” said Sachin Chheda, a Demo­c­ra­tic con­sul­tant and chair­man of the Mil­wau­kee County Demo­c­ra­tic Party. “We’re not see­ing any­thing other than the usual dance where he likes to see his name in the paper, which occurs every few years when an elec­tion comes up.”
The Politico reports Thomp­son insid­ers say any sort of announce­ment for a Sen­ate run won’t occur until the State GOP Con­ven­tion, which is May 21–23, in Milwaukee.
Tommy does like the big lights and the big events ah?
Frankly, I think wait­ing that long is a bad move.  Espe­cially, if he’s not run­ning since he’ll be tak­ing away momen­tum which could go to the Ter­rance Wall can­di­dacy if that’s all Repub­li­cans in Wis­con­sin end up with.  It’s not fair to the Wall or West­lake cam­paigns, just as it wasn’t fair to the Green and Walker cam­paigns in 2006.  Some­where, Thomp­son prob­a­bly knows this.
You just won­der if his ego cares.

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Thompson Joins Hedge Fund

Tae­gan Goodard reported on this late last night; seems for­mer Gov­er­nor of Wis­con­sin and HHS Sec­re­tary (not to men­tion hope­ful Sen­ate can­di­date to some) joined a hedge fund in an advi­sory role…yes­ter­day.

For­mer Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor Tommy Thomp­son was announced as the newest advi­sor to a Peak Ridge Cap­i­tal Group ven­ture cap­i­tal fund.

Thomp­son, who served as gov­er­nor for America’s Dairy­land for four terms from 1986 through 2002, was known for his push for health­care reform. Not sur­pris­ingly, he was also the sec­re­tary of health and human ser­vices for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush from 2001 until 2005.

Thomp­son will be relied upon at Peak Ridge for his exper­tise in agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness. The firm is cur­rently invest­ing its agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy fund, hav­ing announced its first invest­ment from the vehicle.

Rapid Diag­nos­tek is a Wisconsin-based com­pany devel­op­ing a hand-held device to test for ill­ness or dis­ease in 60 seconds.

The fund is designed to invest in agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing solu­tions for food sup­ply, low­er­ing the cost of pro­duc­tion and improv­ing effi­cien­cies in the sup­ply chain. The fund also invests in clean tech­nolo­gies, as well as chem­i­cals, sys­tems and bio­fu­els processes.

How this effects any run for any pub­lic office is anyone’s guess?  Though, given the Chelsea Clin­ton (she still works for one in New York City) and John Edwards (he joined to ‘do research on poverty) con­nec­tions to hedge funds in the past, I’d love to see how this one gets used as an attack by DPW and the DSCC if Thomp­son does make the plunge.

How­ever, join­ing a new firm pretty much means Tommy isn’t run­ning.  Any other kind of spec­u­la­tion is just kid­ding yourself.

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Yes, But Will Tommy Pull the Trigger

Every time I read a “Thomp­son Mulling Sen­ate Run” story, I flash­back to the 2003 Wis­con­sin Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion in Stevens Point where I was sit­ting with the Out­agamie Co. del­e­ga­tion beg­ging with the rest of those present for the for­mer Governor-turned HHS Sec­re­tary (or was he for­mer Sec­re­tary in May 2003…) to run against Russ Fein­gold.  As his­tory, he turned down the request of the crowd, and in fact, started nam­ing legit­i­mate can­di­dates to run in his stead.

(For­mer Lt. Gov­er­nor Mar­garet Far­row was one of them if mem­ory serves…)

Well, the Politico has another one of these sto­ries today.  I’ve had numer­ous talks with numer­ous peo­ple and I keep telling them the same about a Tommy Sen­ate run: “I don’t know.”

Then the topic would change to a “Well, what if Scott Brown wins in Mass­a­chu­setts” sce­nario.  Again, my answer was: “I don’t know.”

So once again, if Tommy jumps in, I’m gonna say I’ll back him all the way, but can “Hamlet-Brett Favre” act stop once and for all?

For­mer Wis­con­sin Gov. and Health and Human Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Tommy Thomp­son is still con­sid­er­ing a chal­lenge to Sen. Russ Fein­gold (D).

In a brief inter­view Wednes­day about the pos­si­bil­ity of a Sen­ate run this year, Thomp­son, a Repub­li­can, would only say: “I’m not say­ing no.”

The for­mer gov­er­nor mused last fall about a poten­tial guber­na­to­r­ial or Sen­ate run, but if he does mount a cam­paign this year, it’s now almost cer­tain to be a run against Feingold.

A Thompson-Feingold con­test could become one of the country’s mar­quee matchups. Repub­li­cans have so far been unable to recruit a top-tier chal­lenger to take on Fein­gold, who is one of the body’s most lib­eral senators.

That Thomp­son is seri­ously weigh­ing a bid against Fein­gold illus­trates how promis­ing Repub­li­cans believe this Novem­ber could be for the party. Fol­low­ing Scott Brown’s shock­ing win Tues­day in the Mass­a­chu­setts spe­cial Sen­ate elec­tion and vic­to­ries in the New Jer­sey and Vir­ginia guber­na­to­r­ial con­tests last Novem­ber, GOP offi­cials believe it will become eas­ier to woo poten­tial candidates.

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PPP Polling: Feingold Would Beat Thompson">PPP Polling: Feingold Would Beat Thompson

I have some issues with the polling — mainly that it took place over a week­end, which is never a good time to get a solid poll sam­ple — but expect this to be the head­line all over Wis­con­sin polit­i­cal web­sites as Pub­lic Pol­icy Polling (PPP) out of North Car­olina says that as of this past week­end, Russ Fein­gold leads for­mer Gov­er­nor Tommy Thomp­son in a the­o­ret­i­cal Sen­ate match-up.

Democ­rats are hav­ing to work harder than expected to defend a lot of their Sen­ate seats in 2010, but it doesn’t look like Wis­con­sin will be one of them.

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.

Thomp­son no longer has the pop­u­lar­ity that pro­pelled him to four terms as Gov­er­nor.  45% of vot­ers in the state have an unfa­vor­able opin­ion of him to just 38% who view him pos­i­tively. Even 25% of Repub­li­cans view him neg­a­tively and he has lit­tle crossover sup­port, with just 17% of Democ­rats say­ing they have a favor­able opin­ion of him.

Feingold’s num­bers are almost a mir­ror image with 45% of vot­ers approv­ing of his job per­for­mance to 37% who dis­ap­prove. Fein­gold also holds solid leads against a cou­ple of minor Repub­li­can can­di­dates– 47–32 over Dave West­lake and 48–34 over Ter­rence Wall.

Last month, a poll by the Wis­con­sin Pol­icy Research Insti­tute put this match-up as Thomp­son 43 — Fein­gold 39; I for­get what the num­bers in a Feingold-Westlake and Feingold-Wall match-up were.  The incon­sis­tency of the polling only means more polling is prob­a­bly com­ing down the road.

At this time, I have a hard time buy­ing the num­bers because 1) It’s a Demo­c­ra­tic Polling firm, so you have to always put who­ever is the partisan-leaning entity into account, and 2) week­end polling tra­di­tion­ally tends to lean-heavily to Democ­rats.  That’s not to say they aren’t cor­rect, but it’s hard to believe that 25% of Wis­con­sin Repub­li­cans now dis­ap­prove of Tommy Thomp­son.  If any­thing, that’s likely them vent­ing their frus­tra­tion with the con­stant media self-aggrandizing Thomp­son seems to be doing with his Ham­let act of “Will I run for another office again?”

(For my money, it’s unlikely he’s run­ning for any­thing.  Tommy just likes the attention.)

I’ve been going over the rest of the PPP results issued today, and while the Thomp­son news will make head­lines; if I were a Demo­c­rat, I’d be wor­ried, because these are not the results you want to be see­ing twelve months out from the mid-term elec­tions.  I’ll hope to have a post on that later on.


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DNC Misquoted Me!”">Tommy Thompson: “DNC Misquoted Me!”

Um, Zach, Corey…time to retract.

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The Hill: Poll Shows Tommy Thompson Leading Feingold in Senate Match-up

He keeps telling any­one who will put a mic in front of him that he has one cam­paign left in him.  Will this poll — by WPRI and UW-Madison’s Ken Gold­stein — be enough to spark that campaign?

Only Tommy Thomp­son knows that answer.

Sen. Russ Fein­gold (D-Wis.) won’t be on anybody’s tar­get list unless things get pretty bad for Democ­rats, but a new poll shows the right can­di­date could at least have a shot at beat­ing him.

The poll, which was con­ducted by Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin pro­fes­sor Ken Gold­stein for the Wis­con­sin Pol­icy Research Insti­tute, shows for­mer Gov. Tommy Thomp­son ® lead­ing Fein­gold 43–39 in a head-to-head matchup. Thomp­son hasn’t shown inter­est in run­ning against Fein­gold, though, and his inclu­sion in the poll rep­re­sents some­thing of a best-case-scenario for Republicans.

In con­trast, Fein­gold polled double-digit leads over Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and for­mer Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.) in June.

Fein­gold has never taken more than 55 per­cent of the vote in three races, but he’s not gen­er­ally thought of as a top poten­tial tar­get. Now that Repub­li­cans have appar­ently landed Rep. Mike Cas­tle (R-Del.) to run in that state, per­haps they will try to get can­di­dates in races against Fein­gold and Sen. Byron Dor­gan (D-N.D.).

And since it’s been brought up in a recent Dan Bice col­umn, yeah I’ll put myself in that  list of con­ser­v­a­tive blog­gers who’ve said things about Tommy Thomp­son.  Most of them have been about polls like this, which high­light Thomp­son being a strong can­di­date for one of Wisconsin’s two Sen­ate seats and then when asked about run­ning, he hems and haws about pos­si­bly doing it, men­tions other can­di­dates and then does nothing.

Frankly, I’m sick of the polit­i­cal dick tease from the man; and poll­sters need to stop giv­ing him the ammo to do this to Wis­con­sin Repub­li­cans every two years unless for once, he’s finally seri­ous about running.

ADDENDUM: That being said, if he does run this time, “Good I say.”  This is one time I’d like to be wrong about Tommy Thomp­son and would gladly eat crow over.

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