In Senile Rambling, Thompson Claims He's Not a Corporate Lobbyist, but a "Farmer" | WisCommunity

In Senile Rambling, Thompson Claims He's Not a Corporate Lobbyist, but a "Farmer"

This past weekend, former Governor Tommy Thompson appeared on Upfront with Mike Gousha and absurdly claimed that he is not a Washington corporate lobbyist, but "still" an old-timey, manure shovelin', farmer:

"I still farm in Elroy, Wisconsin.  I'm farming 700 acres-- I'll be on my tractor this week, before Thanksgiving, harvesting corn... I'm still the farmer from Elroy, Wisconsin and I'm proud of it-- and the proudest days are when I'm on my tractor, on my farm in Elroy, lookin at my cattle and, uh, cultivating, plowing... and harvesting and if the Democrats say I'm too Washington, I would tell them, walk behind me, get on a tractor behind me, shovel a little manure and you'll see what Tommy Thompson is all about."  

Of course, the truth is that Tommy Thompson isn't "still" a farmer and never was-- he and his sister own approximately 700 acres in Juneau county that they inherited from their parents (who weren't farmers either-- they ran a grociery and gas station in Elroy.)

According to Juneau county tax records, the farmland Thompson owns is under an LLC called "Thompson Farm Elroy."  Whose door do you knock on if you want to hunt on the 'ol Thompson Farm? Well,  you'd have to drive three hours to the Thompson Farm's corporate headquarters in Milwaukee.  According to tax records, the  Thompson Farm LLC has one employee-- Thompson's son Jason-- who presumably rents-out the farm land in Juneau county.

What's more, Tommy Thompson has never claimed in bios or anything in the past that he was a "farmer," making his statements even more strange.  Immediately after graduating from law school, Thompson was elected to the state assembly at the age of only 24.  From the age of 24 to to the ao ge of 64, Thompson rose to majority/minority leader of the Assembly, then governor, then HHS Secretary. And three years ago, he ran for President. For sure, he's been doing lots of things, but farming isn't one of them.

What make's Thompson statement most absurd is that he clearly doesn't know what he talking about when it comes to farming:  Most large operations have switched to no-till and use Round-Up Ready corns and beans, meaning that there is no "plowing" or "cultivating" involved.  And there isn't a real farmer in the world that would say they are going to use their "tractor" to harvest the corn-- the word you're looking for, Tommy, is "combine."  Oh, and Tommy, almost all of the corn in Wisconsin has already been harvested, so I wouldn't be bragging about getting your corn in the week of Thanksgiving.  

I'm sure many will criticize my headline as agism, but let's get real:  This isn't the Tommy! of the 1990s. That Tommy would have never in a million years made such an absurd statement-- not because its not true, but because its so easy to prove false.  The old Tommy would have never made such a mistake.

Frankly, hearing Tommy belch out that was a farmer just made me feel sad:  Like watching an old prize fighter  making an ill-adviced comeback and getting embarassed in the first round.


November 21, 2011 - 12:24pm