Ok, if this isn’t the most ridiculous thing that I have heard in the campaign for US Senator from Wisconsin. The general election is over a year away. We know money is a big deal in 21st Century politics. It doesn’t sound like anything illegal is being considered. And yes I abhor the effects that big money is having on local campaigns.
But this is the best thing that Democrats have to lead with? Really? Here’s the story:
Democrats are trying to stir some controversy against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, a Delafield businessman and U.S. Marine veteran.
They’re not going after Nicholson personally. Instead, they’re aiming at one of Nicholson’s big backers, GOP mega donor Richard Uihlein, co-owner of Pleasant Prairie-based Uline Corp.
Democrats claim that Uihlein is trying to “buy” the Senate seat for Nicholson.
They point to $15 million of donations in the past two years that Uihlein made to groups that now support Nicholson. Most of that cash, $10 million, went toward backing Republicans in the 2016 campaign.
So far in the current campaign cycle, the most prominent move by Uihlein is the $3.5 million he gave to the group Solutions for Wisconsin, which on Thursday dropped its first TV ad in support of Nicholson.
Uihlein also gave $1.5 million this year to Club for Growth Action, whose super PAC endorsed Nicholson.
Obviously I don’t have access to incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin’s polling so maybe Kevin Nicholson is perceived as a threat. But he still has to beat Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir in the Republican primary next spring. And although I don’t see her as having a chance to beat Sen. Baldwin, she is still very popular in Republican circles. I can’t see a neophyte waltzing past her. So why are the Dems taking pot shots at the Nicholson campaign at this point.
And why are we giving Mr. Nicholson the publicity and name recognition in the press? Or is Sen. Vukmir the actual threat and this is a swipe at her? I am not overly fond of messing in the other parties’ campaigns either.
And I guess I don’t see this tactic working from another point of view. There is no way that either Nicholson supporters nor Vukmir supporters are going to care about campaign finance. Or trying to buy a seat. Need proof? Exhibit A: Senator Ron Johnson. Nor are Baldwin supporters going to really care either…there’s no way they consider the GOP candidates no matter how much money is spent to entice them. Are independents that malleable? I don’t know, I’d like to think not.
But if they are why isn’t this campaign pushing a positive agenda of what Senator Baldwin has done over the past 5 years? Or what she hopes to accomplish over the next 6? Or listening to her constituents and asking what help they need out of Washington in the future? A positive campaign around real policy items that relate to the lives of Wisconsinites!
Now if the Democratic Party wants to make a thing out of this in support of campaign finance reform and overturning Citizens United, that’s a different game plan. But I don’t see that mentioned anywhere.