WMC, GOP establishment scramble to resuscitate Walker's failing campaign | Wis.Community

WMC, GOP establishment scramble to resuscitate Walker's failing campaign

The Republican/corporate establishment has decided an intervention is required to resuscitate Scott Walker's failing campaign for governor, which has squandered an early lead and is now locked in a tight primary race with outsider Mark Neumann.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the 800-pound GOP elephant, and one of its national "partners" (read front group) will launch a quarter-million dollar television campaign on Friday to try to revive Walker.

The commercials from the American Justice Partnership, (AJP) don't feature any brown bags, Walker's recycled campaign gimmick that has fizzled with voters. They're all about jobs, which anyone (except Walker's campaign, maybe) could tell you is the Number 1 issue.

Jobs aren't the top issue for AJP,which is dedicated to making it harder for victims of corporate negligence to sue, and to keep them from getting much even if they do. That issue isn't mentioned, except once in passing, in the two commercials about Walker, which are up on their website. Walker's an American hero for trying to keep people from suing manufacturers when they're injured, maimed or killed by defective or unsafe products, they say.

Whatever. It's not the kind of thing that attracts voters, but it does attract corporate fatcats. So you won't see it in the ads.

The AJP is joined at the hip with WMC, and boasts about electing the ethically challenged duo, Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman, to the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- two campaigns in which WMC spent millions. They also helped elect Atty. Gen. J.B.Van Hollen, and recently trashed One Wisconsin Now for criticizing him. It was OWN, by the way, that revealed the AJP/WMC television buy.

WMC is clearly in Walker's corner in this primary, but apparently can't or won't say so, probably because some of its members prefer Neumann, a businessman himself who's running against a career politician in Walker. Neumann has actually created jobs.

So, who's really behind the AJP commercials? Is WMC telling its corporate members that the way to help Walker is to give to AJP, or is WMC perhaps investing its own money? In the kind of issue advocacy AJP is doing, there is no way to know. (And, yes, I am connected to an organization on the liberal side that plays by the same rules.)

You'll have to forgive me this indulgence, but I couldn't resist this salute to WMC President Jim Haney:

Jim Haney to the rescue!

 Jim Haney to the rescue!

Go, Jim Haney, go Jim Haney!

 (Apologies to )

The AJP ad onslaught comes just before the state Republican convention next week, planned as a Walker love-in. Neumann says he doesn't want to be considered for an endorsement, but the party bigwigs may force him to be on the ballot anyway just to rub it in. I'm not sure that's the way I'd treat a guy who has millions of his own dollars to spend, and who could end up being the nominee. But nobody asked me. Surprise.

On its website, the AJP describes itself as a group that's willing to play rough to get what it wants (I'm paraphrasing here, but they want you to get that impression. They play for keeps.)

The TV campaign comes after the Drudge Report, with a huge national readership, made much ado about nothing in a story about Jeb Bush thinking Scott Walker is hot stuff. Spare me. But it's another sign the GOP establishment is desperately trying to prop up Walker's slipping campaign. Almost makes me want to vote for Mark Neumann. Hey, it's an open primary, right? (Before Walker's people use that against Neumann, it was a joke. J-O-K-E. OK?  Sort of like Walker's campaign so far.)


May 13, 2010 - 7:17pm