No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for the 'RPW Convention' Category

June 27, 2010

All you need to know about Terrence Wall’s sour grapes

Jim Klauser, who was Terrence Wall’s campaign co-chair, was quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal responding to allegations from the former Senate candidate that Ron Johnson bought his endorsement at last month’s Republican Party of Wisconsin convention:

“I looked into it and I found nothing to support it. Sadly, I think this is all a part of his imagination. I think he is conjuring it up and demeaning a reputable individual in the process.

The Johnson campaign produced documents showing a total of 6 rooms paid for by the campaign, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports was for Johnson, his wife, and 6 campaign staffers.

Specifically on the delay of the endorsement vote, one can blame the deadlock on the lieutenant governor’s 3-ballot ultimate non-endorsement. I was there Saturday, and the endorsement process for governor and lieutenant governor took 6 hours.

Just as a reminder, the votes weren’t even counted after Dick Leinenkugel’s surprise drop-out and endorsement of Johnson from the stage before the Wall campaign hit Johnson for taking the endorsement of “Doyle’s favorite Republican”.

One more thing – buying votes at a convention is not illegal. Wall was as busy as anybody else handing out (and selling) trinkets all weekend long. Quoting UW-Milwaukee professor of governmental affairs Mordecai Lee, “not exactly” a conservative, from the WSJ article:

At the end of the day, what he has accused Johnson of is not illegal, so I’m not sure what he hopes to accomplish. But I think he better stick to non-partisan elections, if he ever wants to run for office again.

I guess that, since Wall won’t be replacing Russ Feingold, he would rather keep his tenant in office.

May 23, 2010

Post-convention wrap

by @ 20:52. Filed under RPW Convention.

I really wish I would have made Sunday’s session. However, allergies really knocked me flat, so I missed the big surprises of the convention – Dick Leinenkugel dropping out, and Ron Johnson earning both Leinenkugel’s and the party’s endorsements. Let’s see if I can play catch-up as part of the wrap.

Before I get to the main part, I do need to clarify to those not familiar with what an RPW endorsement means. It gives the endorsed candidate access to party money, staff and lists. It does not either make the endorsed candidate’s ballot access easier (much less guaranteed) or make the other candidates’ ballot access harder. All candidates still need to circulate and get the same number of signatures on nomination papers filed with the Government Accountability Board.

  • Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s Friday pitch to the delegates was enough to carry himself to a bare plurality in WisPolitics’ straw poll of 457 of the the attendees for the 2012 Presidential nomination. He received 87 (or 85, depending on where in the write-up one gets one’s numbers from) votes, with former governor Sarah Palin second with 68, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (widely seen nationwide as the Next-In-Line™) third with 65, Newt Gingrich fourth among the “official” candidates with 45, Ron Paul 5th with 32, and Mike Huckabee tied for 6th with 18. Notably, 55 people specifically wrote in Paul Ryan, who was not listed on the ballot, while 31 people wrote in somebody else not on the ballot (which also included Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Mike Pence and Rick Santorum) or otherwise said “other” and 6 declined to vote.
  • There were also two other questions on the abbreviated straw poll – whether the attendees supported the endorsement process, and whether they supported the Tea Party movement. By a vote of 316 yes to 74 no to 58 no preference, they supported the endorsement process. By a 425-20 margin, they support the Tea Party movement. Do keep those results, especially the second, in mind, for a few of the other items.

    Speaking of that second result, it is a recognition that the RPW under Chairman Reince Priebus has made significant strides in regaining its small-government mantle after the Thompson-Graber-Schultz-Gard era.

  • Owen Robinson and Deb Jordahl thoroughly blew apart the street theater the Mark Neumann campaign successfully sold to the LeftStreamMedia. Unlike the LSM, Owen actually interviewed RPW Exective Director Mark Jefferson, who said that the convention hall was limited to credentialed delegates, alternates, guests and media, and that at that point, nobody from the Neumann campaign had complained to the RPW about the situation.

    Jordahl noted three elements that would earn the Twitter #fail hashtag for those who actually pay attention. First, after trying to get a massive protest organized through his “50,000 Facebook friends”, he was only able to get a few dozen to show up, and most of those were from his campaign staff. Second, among those few dozen was at least one credentialed delegate, who as a delegate had full access (and indeed, voting rights in the endorsement process). Third, Neumann himself promptly went back into the hall and voted in the endorsement process.

    I might have noted this before on the blog, but Neumann hadn’t exactly been trying to court either the party regulars or the Tea Party movement crowd in the first 7 months of his campaign. When he finally tried to tie himself to any portion of the Tea Party movement, he chose the national Tea Party Express rather than any of the local groups, such as the Racine, Wausau or Oshkosh Tea Party groups.

  • The lieutenant governor’s vote showed a couple of interesting “insider baseball” elements. First, regional campaigns, such as the one Dave Ross has been conducting, don’t exactly work. Second, running a campaign based as much on one’s gender as anything else is not a winning strategy in the GOP. Third, record does matter, even if one reaches out significantly to the Tea Party movement and has significant “insider cred”. That 2007 vote for the Doyle budget kept Brett Davis from topping 50%.
  • Dick Leinenkugel’s drop-out from the race was only a bit of a surprise because of his previous service as Democrat Governor Jim Doyle’s Secretary of Commerce. I truly wish I had been able to interview him, because his subsequent endorsement of Ron Johnson, which was a huge surprise, certainly appears to invalidate at least part of the conventional wisdom that Leinenkugel was a stealth Democrat candidate.

    Something I had not had the opportunity to mention prior because I didn’t quite complete the background research also breaks part of that conventional wisdom – the only state or federal-level donation I could find from Leinenkugel was a single 2004-cycle donation to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee. Again, keep that in mind.

  • Speaking of surprises, the biggest surprise was the party endorsement of Ron Johnson on the second ballot. Johnson is, outside the Tea Party movement (and even within parts of it), a rather blank slate on specific issues.

    There is a recognition that in a high-cost race, one-on-one campaigning simply isn’t enough. That lesson was driven home in 2004, when the NRSC and a previous RPW leadership took their wads of cash and went home after Tim Michels upset their prefered candidate, Russ Darrow, in the primary. The victim of that was Dave Westlake, who went out of the endorsement race on the first ballot with 15.1% of the vote.

    Repeating one of the themes in the lieutenant governor’s endorsement race, record matters. In this case of political neophytes, it was Terrence Wall’s donation record, littered with donations to various Democrats, from Jim Doyle to Tammy Baldwin, that overwhelmed everything else. It even overwhelmed a closing trend on Russ Feingold in polls. He didn’t get higher than 23.6% of the endorsement vote, and that was on the first of the two ballots.

  • It wouldn’t be a convention without a review of the hospitality suites. Even though the food offering was weak compared to previous conventions, and everybody who had food the first night ran out very quickly, Paul Ryan’s suite (guest-hosted by Jim Sensenbrenner after the Ryans had to leave early in the wake of Jenna’s mother’s passing) did not disappoint. Ron Johnson’s hallway spread the first night probably was pretty impressive, but by the time I got to it, everything was gone.

    The best theme was Ben Collins’ military theme. He had ammo boxes and a pair of shooting games (one electronic, one airsoft gun). The RACC highway signs were pretty nice as well, but the fact they were stuck on a different floor than the main set of suites hurt the attendance.

May 22, 2010

RPW convention – endorsement liveblog – UPDATE – Walker endorsed

by @ 13:42. Filed under RPW Convention.

Since updates might be fast and furious, I’ll be firing up Cover It Live for the endorsement liveblog.

Revisions/extensions (4:22 pm 5/22/2010) – In case you missed the liveblog, Scott Walker was overwhelmingly endorsed by the convention with 91.3% of the vote.

R&E part 2 (6:31 pm 5/22/2010) – Yes, we’re running way late. Round 1 of lieutenant governor endorsement balloting done, and Brett Davis led with 37.40%. Dave Ross (25.20%) Ben Collins (13.85%) also move on to round 2. Rebecca Kleefisch eliminated with 13.75%.

The Senate endorsement votes will be tomorrow.

R&E part 3 (7:42 pm 5/22/2010 – There will be no endorsement in the lieutenant governor’s race. Unofficially, Brett Davis ended the 3rd and final ballot with a bit under 50%, with Dave Ross a bit under 34%.

RPW interview – David King

by @ 11:51. Filed under RPW Convention.

Pastor David King is running for Secretary of State against incumbent Doug LaFollette. He sees a more visible role for secretary of state than it has currently.

Here is the interview.

RPW convention interview – Peter Theron

by @ 11:45. Filed under RPW Convention.

Peter Theron is running in the 2nd Congressional District, currently held by Tammy Baldwin. While this is a very tough seat for Republicans because it includes Madison, Theron pointed out that he outperformed the McCain/Palin ticket when he ran in 2008.

Here is the interview.

RPW convention interview – Dan Kapanke

by @ 10:45. Filed under RPW Convention.

My first interview of the day was with Dan Kapanke, who is taking on Ron Kind in the 3rd Congressional District. The caffeine hadn’t quite made it through my system yet, but since he’s the “forgotten” part of the quite-possible 3-seat switch, here it is.

Quick RPW convention first-day update

by @ 7:47. Filed under RPW Convention.

Sorry for the general lack of updates, but net access was a bit limited last night, and I don’t have a lot of time before I have to take off to the Midw…er, Frontier Airlines Center. First things first, Rep. Paul Ryan and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke at the chairman’s reception last night at the Harley Museum. Audio links are:

Paul Ryan’s comments
Tim Pawlenty’s comments

In case you missed my Twitter feed, last night’s highlight was the hospitality rooms. A sign the convention is crowded – nobody had enough food. I’d have to say the first-night winner was Ben Collins, who had an airsoft gun range set up (the gun was shooting a bit high and right) as part of his military-themed room. Other unique rooms were Scott Walker’s Arizona-themed room (complete with a live band), Mark Neumann’s luau-themed room (yes, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt), and Dave Ross’ 50s-themed room. Also with rooms last night were Rebecca Kleefisch, Dave Westlake, David King, Terrence Wall (who was serving up cotton candy and sno-cones), and Brett Davis (who, other than Walker, had the most-consistently crowded room). Down on the first floor were several candidates for the 8th Congressional seat, while Ron Johnson set up a spread on the balcony and Dick Leinenkugel was meeting-and-greeting.

In any case, it’s off to today’s main floor session and some interviews.

May 19, 2010

Covering the 2010 RPW State Convention

by @ 14:41. Filed under RPW Convention.

For the third year, I’ll be covering the Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention. I’ll be joined by a few of my friends:

Kevin Binversie from Lakeshore Laments
Owen Robinson from Boots and Sabers
Kyle Maichle from North Shore Exponent
Rick Sense from The Inside Scoop
The gang from the MacIver Institute

If you can’t make it down to Milwaukee for the fun, stick around, visit the friends, and stay tuned for the news from the convention. Of course, if you can make it to Milwaukee, come on down – there’s going to be so many people here that the RPW needed to get the Midw…er, Frontier Airlines Center for Saturday’s portion.

May 4, 2009

GOP convention wrap

by @ 11:02. Filed under RPW Convention.

First, I have to thank the RPW, and especially Kirsten Kukowski, for inviting me to cover the convention for a second time. I’m slowly learning how to actually be a journalist (or at least a semi-reasonable facsimilie) rather than just a pundit. I did manage to grab quick interviews with both of the major candidates for governor, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, as well as interviews with Rep. Robin Vos and Rep. Paul Ryan.

Judging by the various floor speeches, the elected officials that were in town are learning that trying to be Dem-Lite is not a winning strategy, and that shrinking the size of government needs to be a priority. Of course, that needs to be more than “just words”.

Looking at the legislative focus, it is almost exclusively on the Legislature. In fact, there was next to no talk about the upcoming Senate race against Russ Feingold next year, or of anybody attempting to unseat Steve Kagen. The message of Saturday was that it’s the members that are sitting there this time in 2011 that will redraw all the boundaries.

That brings me to the governor’s race. I admit that I like both Walker and Neumann, and I also admit that, this go-around, I support Walker. Still, I was shocked that nearly 94% of the participants in the WisPolitics straw poll backed Walker, with Neumann getting 25 of the other 28 votes and write-ins Dave Ross, John Schiess and J.B. Van Hollen each receiving one vote.

Of note, neither the other official candidate, Appleton businessman Mark Todd (the third name on the ballot), nor Tommy Thompson (not on the ballot), received a single vote. WisPolitics interviewed several delegates in the wake of a WISN-TV report from Wednesday on Thompson’s interest of retaking his office, and found at best lukewarm support.

Somewhat related, Citizens for Responsible Government said that they were roughly at a third of their goal of 10,000 volunteer petition circulators for a recall of Gov. Jim Doyle, and that they’re currently looking at beginning circulation on June 1. With that start date, that would put the election (either a partisan recall primary if there are multiple candidates in a “recognized party”, or the recall election itself) in mid-September, with any necessary recall election in mid-October. Unlike non-partisan recalls, there is no majority requirement; the highest vote total wins.

May 3, 2009

The NRE Hospitality Suite awards

by @ 11:38. Filed under RPW Convention.

Since WisPolitics bailed early, I guess it’s up to me to do the day-after Hospitality Suite awards.

Best food: Paul Ryan’s suite. In addition to the de rigeur cold-meats-and-cheese cracker spread, there were chicken wings, Swedish meatballs, potstickers, quesadillas, and spring rolls.

Best beverage: Jack Voight’s leaded slushees. It was the alcohol that made me actually like tea.

Best motif: J.B. Van Hollen’s hunting decorations took the cake. He even had an arcade hunting game there. Honorable mention goes to Voight’s suite with a heap of Tea Party signs and some post-bailout logos (I HOPE that TwitPic turned out).

THE WINNER!: Call me a sucker for intimate gatherings, but I have to give it to Voight’s suite. He was on the small end of the suite run, and nobody wanted to disturb the big lemon “Thank you” cake he had, but effort like that cannot be forgotten.

Interview with Paul Ryan

by @ 10:33. Filed under RPW Convention.

I just caught up with Rep. Paul Ryan, my Congressman, to briefly discuss the state of Congress and the TARP bailout…

Click here for the interview

Interview with Mark Neumann

by @ 8:44. Filed under RPW Convention.

Earlier this morning, I caught up with former Rep. Mark Neumann. Technical note; the grandfather clock tolling out the hour late threw me off of whatever game I had.

Click here for the interview.

May 2, 2009

Convention floor speeches

by @ 17:29. Filed under RPW Convention.

I didn’t quite get everybody, partly because I stepped out in the middle to interview Robin Vos, but I got most of the speeches to the floor made this morning. The quality may not be great because I didn’t hook into the multibox, so be advised. Click each of the links to download:

RPW Chair Reince Priebus
College Republican chair Lora Rae Anderson
Congressman Tom Petri
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

Interview with Scott Walker

by @ 16:26. Filed under RPW Convention.

I caught up with Milwuakee County Executive and candidate for the GOP gubernatorial nomination Scott Walker this afternoon…

Click to listen to the interview

Interview with Rep. Robin Vos

by @ 13:30. Filed under RPW Convention.

Even though the floor session is over, the music is too loud to cut audio of the floor speeches. I did, however, get to talk to Rep. Robin Vos from Racine regarding the various Regional Transit Authority/KRM board votes that took place in the Joint Finance Committee early yesterday morning.

Click here for the interview

Early-morning pics

by @ 9:18. Filed under RPW Convention.

Pics from the entry to the hall…

May 1, 2009

Out the door

by @ 14:04. Filed under RPW Convention.

I’m headed out the door to the Wisconsin GOP Convention in La Crosse. Over the weekend, I should be able to get some good interviews, and I’ll definitely be looking for Scott Walker, Mark Neumann and Tommy Thompson to discuss the 2010 gubernatorial race. National GOP chair Michael Steele will be in tonight and available to those of us working as media. I also should be able to find Rep. Robin Vos to discuss, among other things, the RTA/KRM votes last night and early this morning.

Between the blog and my Twitter account, I should be able to give you a halfway-decent view of the convention. On Twitter, those of us who are using Twitter, including the RPW itself and Scott Walker, will likely be using the #WISGOPconv hashtag, so you can follow along by searching for that on Twitter.

I’ll check back here when I get into La Crosse, so if there’s something you want asked, let me know.

May 17, 2008

McCain’s message for the delegates

by @ 13:58. Filed under RPW Convention.

Sorry I don’t have video, but the county signs are in the way.

Click for audio

Live-blogging the floor action

by @ 13:37. Filed under RPW Convention.

Since this portion promises to be quick-hitting, I’ll fire up the CoverItLive….

Off to lunch

by @ 13:02. Filed under RPW Convention.

Because I burned much of the last hour catching up on the speakers to the convention-goers, I have but a half-hour before things start back up. Good thing there’s an Arby’s on the same property.

Mike Duncan speaks to the floor

by @ 12:55. Filed under RPW Convention.

Duncan speaks

Click for audio

Jim Sensenbrenner speaks to the floor

by @ 12:53. Filed under RPW Convention.

Sensenbrenner speaks

Click for audio

Of note, Rep. Sensenbrenner hit Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch rather hard on the budget repair bill.

Paul Ryan speaks to the floor

by @ 12:49. Filed under RPW Convention.

This is actually the second speech from the convention chair; I missed the first. Greg Bump didn’t.

Ryan speaks

Click for audio

J.B. Van Hollen speaks to the floor

by @ 12:45. Filed under RPW Convention.

Time to burn the lunch hour catching up; once we got toward the end, I could not offload the audio fast enough…

Van Hollen speaks

Click for the audio

Scott Walker speaks to the floor

by @ 10:55. Filed under RPW Convention.

Walker speaks

Click for audio

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