Another rich Republican from Madison wants to run for the U.S. Senate

Could we be seeing Terrence Wall, version 2.0?

Already crowded with big-name candidates, the GOP primary for U.S. Senate may not yet be settled – a Madison native with deep pockets says he’s also mulling a run.

A candidacy by investor Eric Hovde could possibly follow in the footsteps of the state’s two current millionaire U.S. senators, outgoing Democrat Herb Kohl and Republican Ron Johnson.

Not surprisingly, Hovde made his money the old fashioned way, having inherited it from his family.

It’s also worth noting that Hovde only recently moved back to Wisconsin, having lived for the past 24 years in Washington, D.C., meaning that he’s spent more of his life in Washington, D.C. than he has in Wisconsin.


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17 thoughts on “Another rich Republican from Madison wants to run for the U.S. Senate

  1. I, for one, am of the mind that Wisconsin needs to break free of the career politician and the election of those whose only qualifier for running is their last name or family wealth. I believe that Wisconsin is in serious need of politicians who are “normal” Wisconsinites. Where are the farmers, postal workers, state employees, teachers, factory workers (not owners), social workers, single mothers, and nurses? (to name a few!) These people know Wisconsin and they know how to budget, work through adversity, and rely on good hard work to get the job done…not their family’s wealth or their last name!
    Also, if you’ve spent most of your life…especially your recent life, out of Wisconsin, you have no idea what the climate is here. You may have read about it or heard about it. However, until you wade knee-deep in it, see it first hand, and have made an attempt to get yourself and others out of it, you have NO idea what its actually like and therefore have NO business running for office here.
    I’d like to encourage more REAL people to run for public office, for it is you who will make the difference and change things around in this state. Wisconsin has great potential for upheaval, but this will not happen when all the cards are held by a group of people who do not relate to 99% of the population who makes up this state.

    1. Dawn, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree 100% that more real people should run for office, because I think money (and the influence it buys) are too powerful right now in elected politics.

    2. Dawn, I agree with you. But a successful campaign at even the local levels has now gotten prohibitively expensive and real people can’t afford to run…and even if they can come up with the money…if they still have to keep working their day jobs they are at a major disadvantage compared with those who don’t. And I am talking from first hand experience.

    3. Dawn, I spent the weekend at a convention hosted by the AFL CIO and they did a session on running for office that completely discouraged me. I attended looking for new ideas on how working people could run for office against the big money and I left with nothing. Even there it was clear you had to have enough money to buy a house in many parts of Milwaukee on hand before you could be considered a serious candidate and even then that was just enough to be taken seriously, not to win. Even labor hasnt figured out how to get working people elected in the current environment. I have thought about running a number of times but cant imagine raising 50,000 dollars from my friends and family who are all working people struggling to get by before anyone will even consider endorsements or working on a campaign.

      1. Yeah, it’s a real shame that while our Founding Fathers had the idea of “citizen legislators,” what we’ve ended up with is legislators made up of only those citizens wealthy enough to run for office.

        This is precisely why I support dramatic campaign finance reform and public funding of campaigns. Let’s take the outside money out of races and even the playing field for “Average Joes” like us working class folks.

        1. Tell me more, what is DemTeam? I am interested in running for office but there isnt a person in my family who could scrape together $25 dollars much less $1000 for campaign contributions.

  2. It’s bad enough that we have another carpetbagger Republican talking about jumping into a Wisconsin political race…I don’t care if he’s a Wisconsin native, after 24 years in DC, he’s essentially an insider. But even putting that aside…this corks it:

    “I’m interested from the standpoint of doing it because I’m so thoroughly disappointed how our country has been led . . . and how the economic policies for the last 10 or 12 years have been dominated by Washington being bought off by Wall Street.”

    For crying out loud HE IS WALL STREET!

    1. Whoops…I left this out of my original reply…here’s why he IS wall street:

      For the past 24 years, Hovde lived in Washington, D.C., and worked in financial services. He’s the chief executive officer of Hovde Capital Advisors, which manages a series of hedge funds.

      He also helps oversee real estate investments in Madison, community banks in states like California, Maryland and Florida and a charitable family foundation.

      At lets see…he is 47 and spent 24 years elsewhere…I don’t imagine he had much of a vision for Madison at 23 and it is far far different that it was 24 years ago…as is Wisconsin!

  3. I think Dawn has articulated the best job description for elected office I’ve seen:
    “These people know Wisconsin and they know how to budget, work through adversity, and rely on good hard work to get the job done…not their family’s wealth or their last name!”

    Our rich neighbors lack the experiences that define the rest of us–so they literally cannot represent us honestly.

    Every week, my wife and I make some decision between 2 or 3 possible financial paths; these aren’t of the nature of ‘which summer homes shall we buy this year’. They are of the nature of ‘do we go to Hector’s for dinner Friday or save some money by eating in?’ Or, ‘let’s get a movie from the library and not go out to one.’ I’d love to buy a small snow blower this year (cheaper than a heart attack but not a wise purchase), but won’t. We aren’t destitute and I don’t want to pretend (like Rep. “Can’t Get By On $174k A Year” Duffy) that I have it bad; I don’t. These little decisions don’t make us heroic; it makes us normal. That is the point; this is real life.

    Like everyone else, the rich think their lives are “normal.” And so they are for them. But their skills and backgrounds, the very formation of their human values, are simply alien to we 99 percenters. And so we end up with a state government that cuts benefits to the poorest of us and redistributes those tax dollars to the richest of us.

    Mr. Heinzelman’s real-life experiences running for office–and the enormous costs associated with even local offices (even Mr. Zielinski has a ‘war chest’ of some $100,000 more or less available to his Aldermanic race–with some legal constraints, so that full amount is probably not available to him) clearly show that we are increasingly class-exclusionists as regards our candidates. And there are many good potential candidates who self-opt out of public service b/c it is cost prohibitive–we don’t even get to *see* some of our best and most capable neighbors.

    We have to change this or imperil the foundation of a ‘representative government’.

  4. I think everyone is ignoring the fact that Eric Hovde owns and runs a real estate development company in Wisconsin. He has also built a homeless shelter in Madison. How does that make him “out of touch” with what the people of Wisconsin need and want? Doesn’t anyone think it is refreshing that he publically criticized both republicans and democrats for backing up wall street and the economic policies of this country? We should be embracing someone that is willing to stand up for what he love believes and knows what is right, instead of standing up for a party. I frankly think it is idiotic and insulting to say and believe that only teachers, state-works, postal workers, farmers, etc. are the only “normal” citizens and that because someone has earned themselves a good living they should be punished and insulted by that fact. Why are local and hardworking business owners not “normal” Wisconsinites? Should people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates not run for public office because they worked hard and built companies from the ground up and became wealthy from their success?

    The more logical thought should be that wealthier individuals actually become better Politian’s because they aren’t looking out for themselves or looking for some kickback to make a living because that “174k isn’t enough to live on”. Wake up people and stop judging a book by its cover and stop being bigots.

    1. Harry, how exactly does multimillionaire Eric Hovde building a homeless shelter make him “in touch” with what average everyday Wisconsinites are dealing with, especially considering he hasn’t lived in our fair state in 20+ years?

      What does Eric Hovde know about struggling to make ends meet, and what does he know about being unemployed?

      What does he know about struggling to pay your bills because you don’t have health insurance?

      The fact is, Eric Hovde is a carpetbagger who’s hoping to capitalize on the “Ron Johnson effect” to win an open Senate seat in 2012, but I’m betting he gets crushed in the Republican primaries.

      And since you know so much about Eric Hovde, tell me how he differs from the standard run of the mill tea party Republican, besides his criticisms of Wall Street.

    2. Oh, and I’d love to see a link to Eric Hovde’s public criticisms of Democrats and Republicans when it comes to Wall Street, because I find it hard to believe a hedge fund manager would dare bite the hands that feed him.

    3. Mr. Hovde is the owner of a hedge fund…that means he’s a quintessential Wall Streeter…so for him to criticize the parties for being beholden to Wall Street rings a bit hollow.

      And I don’t begrudge a successful businessman from running for office…Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates would certainly would be most welcome…unless they moved to Wisconsin in July and then announce they are running for US Senate in September.

      And really, do you think just because they have money they think they have enough money? Have you been paying attention to Washington the last 20 years?

  5. I certainly don’t know him, but i’ve googled him and looked at his appearences on CNBC and bloomberg tv and in the washington post. He’s smart and he makes sense when he speaks unlike half of the career politicians with have. All I am saying is do some research and due diligence before judging or dismissing someone.

    1. For some strange reason I can’t help but think you know Eric Hovde better than you’re letting on.

      And as a perfect example of how Eric Hovde is just another rich guy who wants to buy a seat in the U.S. Senate, here’s his idea of a vacation…

      What is your biggest indulgence?

      Great adventure trips around the world. The first time I went to the Amazon, I went to Angel Falls in southeastern Venezuela, which is the highest waterfall in the world. It is in the jungle where we had to take a very small plane to a base camp and then take a small motorized canoe up river for a day to another base camp and then hike to the falls which were spectacular. I have not climbed Everest but have hiked in the Himalayas in Bhutan, the last kingdom in Asia. My favorite climb, though, was Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

      Climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa and visiting Angel Falls in South America?

      Yeah, we average ordinary Wisconsinites do those kinds of things for vacations all the time!

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