Jay Bullock: I’m so sorry about Brett Hulsey

Once again, Jay Bullock kills it.

That’s right, I considered, almost kinda sorta seriously, offering a primary challenge to Burke’s left. I knew it could be done, and done thoughtfully. Beyond Burke’s statements vaguely in favor of liberal causes, there is a lot of room for a platform calling not just for the rollback of the Republicans’ recent agenda (Act 10, voter ID, gutting school education), but for moving beyond that: single-payer health care reform like Vermont, higher minimum wage like Seattle, demand-side jobs bills rather than tax giveaways. I’d even go crazy and push hard for legal same-sex marriage like in that well-known hotbed of marxism, Iowa.

And I would totally fivethirtyeight.com my campaign, using the good data that are out there about not just the efficacy but the popularity of these issues as the centerpiece of my run. Sociologists have long known that people tend to believe that their neighbors are more conservative than their neighbors really are, and so they try to moderate their actions to fit in (a recent example is here: both Protestants and Catholics think the vast majority of people in their faiths oppose same-sex marriage, but that’s not true!). I’d ask Wisconsin to live up to its potential, and I’d try to run that campaign from the best season of “The West Wing,” when President Bartlett gets elected by being the smart, classy one in the race.

Brett Hulsey is not running that kind of campaign. Instead, he’s ordered a Gimmick of the Week package from the back pages of a comic book, advertised there next to the Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs. So far Hulsey has toured the state handing out fake checks, dressed up like “Confederate General Bass Ackwards,” and in a moment pulled directly from the worst season of “The West Wing,” considered sending a chicken-suited supporter to taunt Burke about her not wanting to debate him. His Twitter feed has turned into Selfie Central, with the candidate’s gap-toothed smile turning up in front of anyone or anything holding still enough to be caught on cameraphone.

You should click the link I provided and read the rest of Jay post; it’s most definitely worth a read.


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11 thoughts on “Jay Bullock: I’m so sorry about Brett Hulsey

  1. I agree with everything Jay writes but he leaves out the most important point. If Hulsey was the candidate that he describes, the media would totally ignore his candidacy. I don’t know Brett and have only seen him speak once. I had hoped Kathleen Vinehout would have run but after her horrible car accident she had to bow out. What Jay doesn’t say and maybe doesn’t understand is that the state Democratic Party wants Burke on the ticket. End of story. Who does Hulsey think he is to run for governor. If it weren’t for his “crazy” statements, the only question the press would ask him is how much money has his campaign raised. The DPW will say they haven’t endorsed Burke but they are promoting her every chance they get. The former executive director of the DPW is her campaign manager. They don’t want Hulsey or anyone else running. If the person that Jay describes were to run for governor or any other office for that matter he/she wouldn’t get to first base unless they were a millionaire. Ideas don’t matter any more. When you peal off the outside layers masking Hulsey as a “nut”, you will find the candidate Jay is looking for.

  2. Hulsey appears to me to be running a scorched earth campaign for reasons all his own. Every progressive in Wisconsin should be asking him to stand down. We don’t need media stunts and loose cannons/screws to promote a progressive message, and anyone who thinks Hulsey’s candidacy is a good idea isn’t thinking clearly, in my opinion.

    1. Exactly Steve. As a constituent in that district, Hulsey’s for Hulsey, and he’s a train wreck. There’s a reason 2 people were primarying him out of the Assembly.

      I just don’t get why Mike Tate and conmpany are going out of their way to disassociate themselves from Hulsey, and make that clown seem sympathetic in some circles. He doesn’t deserve any sympathy.

      1. Most people don’t know anything about Hulsey including me. What doesn’t make sense to me is how can this guy be so horrible and have been 14 years on the Madison city council and get elected to the Assembly. Does this say that Democrats, liberals and progressives vote blindly like the Republicans? What exactly has Hulsey done that is so evil? There are many egomaniacs in state government on both sides of the aisle. He would fit right in. My point is he is not a lot different from other politicians but it sounds like you guys hate him.
        Not knowing anything about him, I listened to his message and I liked it. Are you implying that he says this to get support but really doesn’t believe it himself? Help me out here.

  3. Joe,

    I haven’t said Hulsey is horrible, that I hate him, or that he’s evil. He first came to my attention when he claimed to have Spencer Blacks endorsement for Assembly and it turned out he didn’t. Then he seemed to be elbowing his way to the front of the Act 10 uprising at every possible turn. Then he hasn’t got the sense to keep his hands off of other people’s kids at the beach. Then he’s taking photos of them. Then he’s claiming it’s all a conspiracy by Paul Soglin to ruin him. Then an aide quits because she’s afraid of him and the box cutter he brought to work. Then he’s in the news claiming to have PTSD at age 54 from alleged abuse that happened when he was a kid. Then he’s approaching Robin Vos about switching caucuses because Peter Barca doesn’t want him any more. Now he’s running for governor because, in my view, he feels the DPW has thrown him under the bus regarding his assembly seat. And now he’s claiming that he’s getting death threats but that’s okay because he’s trained in hand to hand combat. Great.

    I don’t know how he got elected in Madison all those years and at this point I don’t care. I’m just of the mind that if we progressive types can’t find someone more stable and reliable than Brett Hulsey to be our standard bearer then we should lay low until we can. And Hulsey should drop this whole thing and try to take care of whatever it is that’s troubling him.

    1. When “privileged,” party leadership hand selects and then openly (and contrary to party rules) promotes their select candidate and voters don’t have a choice of who to vote for in their own party (and nationally, see Hillary) it is a big hurdle for any potentially serious and qualified contender to have to first fight the party’s preference, and then to run from scratch and straight from the grass roots in a true sense of that route.

      This is exactly where someone like Brett sees his opening and acts. Any potentially qualified challenger can measure the odds and is essentially silenced. Tate and Company are directly responsible for Hulsey hopping into the race.

      This kind of party leadership, I think, is responsible for the D’s in my district being unable to find a candidate, or, for any independent to come out, to challenge a vulnerable seat currently held by (R) Sen Frank Lasee. What independent or Democrat for that matter, wants to kiss party ass to form a coalition with this party in order to attempt to beat the sitting Republican?

      1. Sorry NQ, Joe- Hulsey would be pulling this self-promoting routine regardless of what Mike Tate did. He’s got some actual “issues”, as Steve points out above. He also tried to run for Assembly Minority Leader at the start of this session against Barca, and Hulsey got 1 vote- his own.

        I don’t get who voted for him in the 2010 primary to replace Spencer Black, and the Green Party’s Ben Manski pulled over 30% against him in a November. For some reason, he wasn’t primaried out of his safe seat in 2012, but he’s persona non grata in town these days.

        He is not a sympathetic character on any way, and that’s coming from a guy who has little to zero respect for Mike Tate.

        1. Jake, I don’t disagree with you about Hulsey, per se, I guess I could have stated more clearly an emphasis on how, “any qualified candidate,” is censored when D leadership is forcing their candidate/agenda and, “never,” listening to the rank and file nor to the independent left, whose vote they want and by LOTE theory, used to get a significant portion of.

  4. When you don’t get any support from your own party it makes it difficult to run a competitive campaign against Republican incumbents. I have read that 33 Assembly seats will go unchallenged this election cycle. Isn’t it the function of the state party to make sure there are Dems running in every district? This also makes it more difficult to win in state senate races as well as the state wide ones. Without a viable state party Democrats will be on the outside looking in for many years to come.

    1. Joe- There is a resolution at the DPW convention asking the DPW to do just as you say- run candidates in every district throughout the state. It needs to be done, and it’ll increase the chances of winning statewide offices as well.

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