A few thoughts on Wisconsin’s 2010 U.S. Senate election

I came across an article in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding the 2010 U.S. Senate election here in Wisconsin, and what caught my eye (besides the fact that Senator Russ Feingold has alotta money) is the fact that Dave Westlake and Terrence Wall, the Republican candidates seeking to unseat Sen. Feingold, are starting to “out conservative” each other:

Westlake, who is trying to draw on the grass-roots tea party movement to build support for his campaign, is running as the more conservative candidate in the GOP primary.

“The tea party movement is definitely relatable to our campaign,” he said. “People are sick and tired of being neglected and abused by our government.”

Westlake notes that Wall has contributed campaign money to liberal lawmakers such as Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) and Kathleen Falk, a Democrat who serves as the Dane County executive.

“You’ve got to choose one thing,” Westlake says of Wall. “Are you going to be a person of principle or go with the political winds?”

Wall says he likes to reach out across the aisle and work with Democrats when they are trying to do the right thing. Still, he says, “If you ask people about my conservative credentials, I think you’ll find they’re solid.”

So not only does Dave Westlake tout the fact that he’s proud to be associated with the ultra-conservative tea party movement, but he goes on to attack Terrence Wall for not being conservative enough. Predictably, Wall responds to emphasize that his conservative street cred is solid, because clearly the more conservative the eventual Republican Senate candidate is, the better their odds of beating Sen. Feingold in the general election. Moving as far to the right as possible is a strategy that clearly worked for Tim Michels and Mark Neumann, so I’m sure it’ll work just great for Terrence Wall or Dave Westlake.

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4 thoughts on “A few thoughts on Wisconsin’s 2010 U.S. Senate election

  1. Developers like Wall often donate to campaigns of anyone who might be a potential ally in a TIF or other approval/zoning issue and anyone who might be a potential leasor of office space. Money talks in more ways than you suggest here.

  2. Zach wasn’t doing any suggesting on Wall’s campaign donations, that was from the JS article.

    What these guys are doing by moving right is essentially beating themselves in the general. Good for them.

    1. Jim, you’re exactly right. Wall and Westlake will no doubt get much more personal as the primary drags on, and no matter who emerges victorious, a bloody Republican primary can only be a good thing for Sen. Feingold’s reelection chances.

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