“A lot of people in Washington” is code for lobbyists and special interests

At his birthday celebration in Milwaukee on March 7, 2010, Senator Russ Feingold made it clear “a lot of people in Washington” were pushing former governor Tommy Thompson to throw his hat in the race for Feingold’s U.S. Senate seat, and Feingold noted he’s more interested in what a lot of folks in Wisconsin wanted:

On the heels of Sen. Feingold’s remarks, it should come as a surprise to not a single living soul that Tommy Thompson will be headlining a fundraiser on May 12, with D.C. lobbyists at Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, one of Washington D.C.’s top Republican lobbying firms. The fundraiser is billed as being in support of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, but the fundraiser could be starting point for Thompson to jump into the U.S. Senate race. Before you say, “Zach, you’re crazy…it’s just a GOP fundraiser!” keep in mind the current president of Barbour, Griffith & Rogers is Bob Wood, a former Thompson operative and the same individual who registered websites for Thompson’s burgeoning U.S. Senate campaign.

Coincidence? I think not.

The fact is, Tommy Thompson’s decision to run or not run for Russ Feingold’s seat in the U.S. Senate will be dictated by powerbrokers and lobbyists in Washington D.C., who are more concerned about their own self-interests than they are about what’s best for Wisconsinites. Like him or not, at least Russ Feingold’s not beholden to any special interests except the citizens of the State of Wisconsin, while a Senator Tommy Thompson would be beholden to the powerbrokers and lobbyists who helped get him elected.

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