Do they really believe the stuff they write?

Over at his campaign’s website, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson is touting all the grassroots support he’s received, but there’s just a few problems.

Let’s start with this passage from Johnson’s website:

“As Ron travels the state talking and listening to voters about changing Washington…”

Ron Johnson may be listening to some voters about changing Washington, but clearly he’s not spending much time listening to folks from the various Tea Party groups here in Wisconsin.

And then there’s this doozy:

“Ron’s campaign is picking up steam with support from voters across the state…”

Except for voters from two of Wisconsin’s more influential Tea Party groups, over 95% of whom cast their votes in recent straw polls in support of Johnson’s opponent, Dave Westlake.

If there is a true grassroots campaign in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, it’s being run by Dave Westlake, not Ron Johnson. As I’ve stated time and time again, Johnson’s running a campaign straight out of the Republican campaign playbook, a campaign that’s heavy on consultants and their influence while being thin on actual substance.


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15 thoughts on “Do they really believe the stuff they write?

  1. I saw RoJo speak recently at a forum.. which was overwhelming active “Conservatives”..and TEA Party minded folk. Only 1 person in the room of about 70 seemed to be in support of Dave Westlake. Many in the room were meeting RoJo for the first time. Most folks I spoke with had previously met Westlake at one of the TEA Party events. My firsthand report I can offer is overwhelmingly support amoung “TEA” folks was pro-Johnson and not anti-Westlake..but clearly the vote is gonna follow Johnson.

    I suspect Westlake is now trying to set up a run for 2012 for Kohl’s seat. More power to you Dave..just don’t go Neumann on us and poison your brand. Call off the “Westlake 5”, and using the Left Wing blog-o-sphere as your support group!. (No offense Zach or sly!)

      1. At the moment there is another candidate who is clearly out in front by name recognition, and support of the activists within the Republican Party. Those of us involved in the TEA Party have had a chance to meet Dave..and generally like the guy. Others here have made the case that his orange T-shirts sales will not raise the cash he will need to make a competitive, and in order to get the dollars needed from out of state. It’s not so much that he’s not serious.. he simply can’t compete at this point..and those folks I’m in discussion with at the Republican and the TEA Party level have decided the best place to put our energy is into winning. We see Johnson as having the best chance to “Win”. Most of us are feeling very good about the Walker race. The motivated Democratic districts have few races to excersize their voters. If Walker is ahead 7-10 points a week before going into the polls, they simply won’t vote in numbers needed. This would probably work almost as well for Westlake. But at this point I wouldn’t pay much attention to Westlake if I was Johnson. Focus on Feingold. Westlake has been focusing on the prize..but his minions are doing the dirty work for him.

        To Grump’s comment below… I think Kohl won’t re-run in 2012 so if Westlakes purpose of staying in the race this year and thus building his name ID for 2012. but when Neumann drops out in a few days or weeks Westlake will probably fall off the radar.

      2. Zach – Don’t forget what we keep repeating. We really like Dave, we just have lost all faith that he can win. With that in mind, we like Johnson too. We want to get behind the winner now as there is lots of hard work to be done. Please don’t discredit our work, because we are grassroots as well. We are not professional campaign staffers etc… As you are well aware, all campaigns are made up of the pro and grassroots volunteer mix anyways…

  2. I’ll put up as much as a quarter to say that Westlake won’t be able to beat what’s left of RoJo in the primary for Kohl’s seat either.

    Ask Tim Michels or Russ Darrow what it’s like to beat one’s boat against those rocky and barren shores.

  3. Dang Downtown Brown – this just is NOT what I have witnessed. Watch out for more TEA party straw polls – I think you’ll be surprised. Although if you really knew the core differences between Westlake and Johnson, I don’t think you’d be surprised at all. Westlake definitely has the backing of the TEA party people. He had a pretty rough go at his vetting session with one of the groups and cancelled meetings with other groups after that. I’m finding that some old guard republicans are getting on the backs of the TEA Partys but are supporting Johnson b/c they can’t get away from politics as usual and think that the guy with the millions is the right guy for the job. It takes a heck of a lot more than money to be qualified to become a U.S. Senator and as accomplished as Johnson is in his own right, I’m not sure he’s the true conservative with the true credentials to go to Washington.

    1. Ele, for the last time, Ron Johnson is more than just money. Sheesh! He has the same qualifications as Westlake and loves his country just as much. Are we demonizing the man because he is successful?!

      Who cares if Westlake wins a few more TEA Party straw polls? Seriously, the TEA party core group’s vote does not speak to the 1000’s that show up and support events. Do you know how many GOP straw polls Wall won at caucus across the state, with many people in attendance? He won them all, then lost the endorsement vote.

      The mainstream and majority of conservative voters in WI are not necessarily going to become informed on candidates through TEA party vetting sessions either. Unfortunately most people going to the polls are not nearly as educated on the issues, etc… as we are. They will pull the lever for the name they recognize. I have met loads of people who are voting Johnson, simply because they like his commercials, plus want Feingold out.

      1. It just occurred to me as I re-read your comment ele. You keep claiming that Westlake has the backing of the TEA party people. The real truth is Westlake has the backing of SOME of the TEA Party people. Johnson has the backing of SOME of the TEA Party people as well. Sounds to me like it is split and NOBODY has reliable data to be out there making claims that one has THE TEA PARTY SUPPORT over the other.

      2. Oh my goodness –

        “Ron Johnson is more than just money. Sheesh! He has the same qualifications as Westlake.”

        Well, sheesh, right back at ya. If people are voting for Johnson b/c they like his commercials, what honestly, does that say about these people? If Johnson goes to Washington, then they deserve what they will get. I’m not going to waste any time on this. Westlake is the better choice. End of story.

        1. Ele, I totally agree with you on people picking a candidate from a simple 30 second spot. That is simply pathetic. Unfortunately it is the sad state of reality. The average voter is just not as involved as some of us posting here.

          I get the impression that you will not change your mind about Westlake and you are entitled to that. If someone tells me that Dave has raised A LOT of money and will now get his message out state-wide I would say Fantastic! but there are only TWO months left before the primary!

          It does bother me a bit that you said people will get what they deserve if Ron wins. Ron Johnson is no less qualified that Dave. While I think it’s commendable, just because Dave attended Westpoint does not make him the top candidate. What else does he have that Johnson doesn’t? God bless him, he is not the most eloquent speaker. Neither of them are. They are both business men, but Johnson has him beat there. They are both political newcomers and neither is a policy whonk.

          I personally feel very badly for Dave and his followers. He/they have worked long and hard, but that doesn’t always guarantee the win.

          One last note here, we need to get behind whoever wins the primary, because the final goal is to get rid of Feingold, is it not?

        1. No Zach, Ron Johnson did not go to Westpoint. Did Feingold? Is that the new litmus test for US Senate? Keep in mind you are talking to someone who LIKES Dave Westlake, so it’s not all cut and dried. I hope you had a great holiday!

          1. It’s not a litmus test; I was simply pointing out that Westlake and Johnson do not have the same qualifications, contrary to what you wrote.

  4. Crud – Ugh – In my statement, “He had a pretty rough go at his vetting session……” This should have been “Johnson had a pretty rough go at his vetting session. Sorry.

  5. Thanks ELE for your comment. The polls taken by PPP and have a pretty good cross reference and seem to reflect the voting patterns of recent history. Other national polls are finding about 30% of folks are comfortable with the TEA moniker; and a similar number as Republican. I think the R’s will do better than normal in November. I might say one shot the Real die hard Westlakers could pull off an upset. is if Neumann drops out..and then most Republicans simply won’t bother to vote in the primary..and the Westlakers could over represent their votes..But I doubt it.

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