Monday, September 9, 2013

Wanggaard Primary Causes GOP Civil War

Poor Van Wanggaard, he really is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Wisconsin GOP - he gets no respect.

Wanny called dibs on John Lehman's Senate seat the day he conceded his loss to Lehman in the recall election.

Wanggaard swore revenge. The state GOP made it clear they were going to help him return to Madison - thereby clearing the field for a primary.

Wanggaard started collecting endorsements from the likes of Tommy Thompson (!) and Paul Ryan (!!) - metaphorically pissing on the trees surrounding the seat.

It was a great plan. Except for one thing...it didn't clear the field.

Local press reported on Saturday that Jonathan Steitz (previous Wirch opponent) would formally announce his candidacy for state senate on Tuesday night in Kenosha.

What nerve! Didn't he get the memo?

Steitz's announcement has caught the GOP establishment by surprise - and they aren't pleased about it either. So far, Steitz is positioning himself as the "more conservative" of the conservative candidates - a tactic that may play well with the wingnut crowd - but won't win him the primary.

So, the Siren is going to do what she has never done before - give political advice to a Republican.

Dear Mr. Steitz, 
On the eve of your formal announcement for state senate, we offer you some campaign advice based on having beaten Van Wanggaard at the polls a couple of times. Since this advice comes to free of charge - it costs you nothing to consider it.
Van Wanggaard is a loser. He has the stench of having been tossed out of office. Even though his recall loss came in a district politically different from how it exists today - the smell of a loser lingers. Use that loss to your advantage because Scott Walker remained in office - Van Wanggaard did not.  
Even good, honest conservatives voted him out. Talk about that - A LOT
Not only is Wanggaard a loser - he is a bad loser. His recount tantrum cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. Any true steward of taxpayer funds would have refused such a narcissistic folly. 
Now, we understand the logic of being the more conservative candidate - but whoever advised you of that strategy is a moron. You're trying to be the most crazy man in a crazy man contest. 
Extreme partisan politics is waning. People are tired of gridlock and they have become suspicious of the iron rule of the GOP machine. Even Republicans see that Wisconsin is lagging behind the country in job creation. They see the scandals at WEDC and the DNR - United Sportsmen swindle, just to name the most recent ones. 
Don't be the most "conservative" Republican. Be the "REAL" Republican. 
Be the Republican that won't sign secrecy agreements with his friends in Madison. Be the Republican who will advocate for people in your district - not residency requirements in Milwaukee. Be the Republican who wants the casino in Kenosha and hasn't taken a single dime from the Walton family. 
If you really want to beat Van Wanggaard in a primary election all you have to be is NOT Van Wanggaard. If you want to be Van on steroids, you'll lose with about 23% of the Republican vote - if you're lucky. So what do you have to lose? 
Van is a double dipper, a cog, a rubber-stamp. Be the alternative, Mr. Steitz, and you might just have a chance.

Note: This primary lesson should remind state Democrats that in spite of the awesome powers some assign to Democratic Party Chair, Mike Tate, all anyone has to do is submit the appropriate paperwork in order to run for office. While Mary Burke may have lots of money - an asset worth considering - anyone can run for Governor. Stop fighting among yourselves.