Wanna meet the next Governor of Wisconsin?

Wanna meet the next Governor of Wisconsin?

It’s going to be one of these two guys. Scott Walker, currently Milwaukee County Executive:

The highlights: Walker was a conservative member of the State Assembly, then ran for County Exec after a big pension scandal both ruined the prior Exec’s career and made County Executive something people actually paid attention to. Since then, he’s been re-elected easily three times, each time with well over 50% of the vote, in Milwaukee County. Usually a liberal stronghold. And he’s done it while governing like a conservative.

Next, former Congressman Mark Neumann:

Neumann was one of the Class of 1994 — a conservative Republican in the heady days of the Republican Revolution. His seat went to Paul Ryan after Neumann challenged Russ Feingold in 1998. If I’m remembering right, some of Ryan’s pet issues were also Neumann’s — entitlements, spending, etc. Neumann was Paul Ryan before Paul Ryan was Paul Ryan.

There are other candidates (including a guy named Scott Paterick, whom I met yesterday and who impressed me), but Walker and Neumann are the Big Two. One of them will be the nominee, and probably the next Governor.

I’m backing Walker, simply because he’s been a conservative leader and he’s succeeded at it in a place where you would never expect it. It would be so easy for him to go all mushy-moderate in an environment like that. Easier on him, too. But he hasn’t.

Because of that, Walker’s been on the front lines for the last six years. That’s important: a politician who spends all his time in the safe spots loses his fighting edge. We saw that when Scott McCallum ran for a full term against Jim Doyle in 2002. McCallum had been Lieutenant Governor under Tommy Thompson for 14 years. When the time came, he had no fighting edge.

Neumann’s been a private citizen since 1998. A highly successful private citizen, but well away from the kill zones of modern politics. Plus, while he does have a track record, it’s old, and not nearly as long as Walker’s.

So. There you have it.

By the way, I took those videos at yesterday’s Second Congressional District caucus. I’m the secretary (graphic representation here), so I had duties to perform (like timekeeping), which is why I don’t have more video.

Also, the two guys currently running against Sen. Russ Feingold were in attendance. Dave Westlake:

And Terrence Wall:

I guess I haven’t quite made up my mind, here. I like both. Westlake has more of a fire-breathing populist thing going, but Wall seems to have a far better organization so far. Both are successful businessmen. Westlake is former military. Both are talking the conservative talk, but neither has a political record we can check.

Plus, there’s a wildcard: former Governor Tommy Thompson is, we all hear, thinking of entering the race. If he does, that’s a whole new dynamic.

Leave a Comment

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend