A reminder on Neumann’s conduct in 2010
For those of you who need a refresher course on former Congressman Mark Neumann’s conduct during the race for governor in 2010:
Neumann lied about Walker’s record of fighting taxes and spending at the local level, accusing Walker of increasing spending even when the record clearly indicated the opposite.
Neumann joined with the far left in attacking Walker for an accident that took the life of a young man despite the complete lack of evidence tying the tragedy to Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. As evidence emerged later indicating faulty workmanship that long-preceded Walker’s administration, Neumann refused to apologize for exploiting the tragic death of a young man for political gain.
At one point, Neumann’s campaign even spread a lie about his opponent indicating that Walker was dropping out of the race to run for senate in an effort to forestall calls for Neumann to drop out of the race.
Neumann claimed to be shut out of any Republican Party assistance and even staged an incident at a local Republican branch office claiming that it was closed to him. The reality is that his appearance there was unknown to the local party and was after their normal business hours.
At the Republican state party convention, Neumann again falsely claimed that his supporters were shut out of the convention. As a veteran of many political campaigns, surely Neumann knew that all his supporters had to do was register ahead of time as guests. Furthermore, Neumann held a hospitality suite at the Republican convention the night before he bused in a group of supporters to falsely claim they were shut out of the convention.
After it became clear that Neumann was not going to win his party’s endorsement, he announced that he was not going to participate in the vote at the state convention – and then went ahead and voted.
Neumann’s antics even raised fears that, if he was denied the party’s nomination for governor that he would run as an independent. Prominent Republicans such as Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner even said Neumann was thinking of running as an independent.
(Perhaps his national backers from their distant perches will ask Neumann if he will commit to supporting the party’s nominee, win or lose, in this election. Perhaps Neumann’s national backers, again from their distant vantage points, might also ask the former congressman what is so attractive about running for the senate this year but not last, and if this is somehow a consolation prize for a politician whose ambition exceeds his ethical grasp.)
Already we have seen signs of Neumann’s tendency to say anything in pursuit of his ambitions. When the National Club for Growth attacked former Governor Tommy Thompson with the false accusation of supporting “bailouts” for dog tracks, Neumann refused to criticize the ad despite his ties to the organization.
As for Neumann’s politics, I wonder whether conservatives at the national level are familiar with Neumann’s record.
On free speech, Neumann said of the Citizens United case (outside of the Democratic state party convention),
“I think they should shut down every outside source of information in this campaign except the candidates themselves…
“Whether that’s not constitutional so we obviously can’t do that. But if Mark Neumann got to have what he wished, that’s what would happen, sir.”
Neumann campaigned for governor in part on his support for environmentalism, including supporting a renewable energy goal of 25% by 2025 for Wisconsin (similar to Governor Jim Doyle’s goals) and an eventual goal of total “energy independence” for Wisconsin using more costly renewable fuels. He supported the environmentalist goals of the proposed “cap and trade” while saying his environmental plans for Wisconsin would get the state a waiver from the feds. I shudder to think what would it would have taken to get that waiver.
This is not a candidate worthy of conservative support. This is not a candidate who deserves the time, effort and financial support of anyone within the conservative movement. He will not get mine.
In 1986, Ed Garvey ran for senate on the slogan, “A Senator we can be proud of.” Garvey wasn’t it. Neither is Neumann.