Northwoods lager for the northwoods voters
Dick Leinenkugel goes out the revolving door at the state’s commerce department and is likely a Republican candidate for US Senate against Russ Feingold. Former Democratic consultant Bill Christofferson points out the family connection for Leinenkugel to the Tommy Thompson camp and says if Leinenkugel is in, Thompson is out.
Dick Leinenkugel just resigned as Wisconsin’s commerce secretary because he plans to run for the Senate as a Republican against Russ Feingold, WisPolitics reports.
If that’s true, Tommy Thompson is out of the race, and Leinenkugel knows it. (His sister Kate is married to Mark Bugher, a Thompson confidant and booster.)
WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes, WISN-AM’s Mark Belling, Kevin Binversie and Owen Robinson all agree that Leinenkugel will not get Republican support after serving in the Doyle Administration. Kevin (not to pick on him) is typical:
This Senate run seems…beyond weird. The State GOP won’t embrace him because he worked for the Doyle Administration. The State Democratic Party has issued a press release that makes you wonder where Mike Tate’s going to leave the horse’s head. Simply put, he’s now a man without a party, a man without a country, and all it appears he has on his side, is his family name.
He comes in as businessman with great name recognition, but he has also been a part of Doyle’s administration for the past year-and-a-half. Is he going to hang his hat on the job creation, lower taxes, smaller government, and business-friendly regulatory climate that he and Doyle enacted?
Okay, no Tommy Thompson. Your choices are:
1) Dave Westlake who is not even accepting donations except the price of an orange shirt.
2) Terrence Wall, a past contributor to the Democrats, stumbled badly out of the gate, and will spend the rest of the election explaining why he didn’t pay any taxes (because he didn’t owe any).
3) Dick Leinenkugel, whose name is on the shelf and half the bar taps across the state of Wisconsin, now has government experience, and can say say he saw the inside of a Democratic Administration and that’s why he’s a Republican.
If Leinenkugel takes the standard conservative positions, given the choices left to Republicans and the conservative movement, how does he not win the nomination? And then, can you imagine his appeal to independents? Seriously, I bet it takes one, maybe two speeches, and he becomes the biggest threat to Feingold.
I can already write the speech for the guy. “I took on the job of Commerce Secretary because I believed that it needed to be done, and it needed to be done right. I reached out in a spirit of bi-partisanship. What I saw disappointed me… I see it again in Washington… Russ Feingold claims to be a maverick, but when his party called on him to support the disastrous health care bill that will bankrupt America…” and so on. I’d write more, but he has a big enough checkbook to pay for the whole thing.