Turncoat Klauser turns Walker hatchet man | Wis.Community

Turncoat Klauser turns Walker hatchet man

Jim Klauser, the man behind Tommy Thompson's gubernatorial throne back in the glory days, apparently still fancies himself in a the role of kingmaker, although his record this cycle is dismal.

Klauser was an early backer of Mark Neumann for governor, when others in the party were supporting Scott Walker. But Republicans didn't follow Herr Klauser's lead.  After it looked like Walker was building a big lead over Neumann, Klauser left what seemed like a sinking ship and joined Walker's campaign.

Now the tide's flowing the other way. Despite the best efforts of Klauser and the rest of the GOP's establishment, Neumann has pulled even with Walker and has a good chance of winning the nomination.  That old Klauser magic once again appears overrated.

It's too late for Klauser to jump ship again and scurry over to the Neumann campaign. Instead, he's written a curious letter to Neumann urging him to drop out of the race.

What do you think the odds are that Neumann will take that advice? Caesar might have taken some advice from Brutus, but that was before, not after Brutus stabbed him in the back.

Klauser's day has come and gone. And if Neumann wins it will truly be over. That must be hard to take. But this latest letter just makes Klauser's situation worse. If Neumann wins the primary, don't look for Klauser to be invited into the tent. He's done, or at least tried to do, too much damage for that to occur.

Klauser wants Neumann to quit attacking Walker (so Neumann can be sure it's an effective tactic). And he wants his money ($10,000) back, because he thought Neumann would be playing nice.  Klauser's not adverse to negative campaigns.  He certainly helped orchestrate some for Tommy Thompson.   (And Klauser's letter is nothing but a nasty negative attack on Neumann.) But now it's his guy getting hurt.

Neumann doesn't need Klauser's money, but when you give to a candidate there are no strings attached. The only reason for Neumann to refund it would be if he decided he didn't want to be tainted by being affiliated with Klauser in any way. He may decide that. Or he may spend Klauser's money on a negative ad against Walker. No secret which one I'd do if I were in Neumann's shoes.

UPDATE: Neumann says he will only return the money if Klauser can prove that statements he's made about as Milwaukee County executive were false, the


June 7, 2010 - 1:11pm