December 24, 2011

"Tommy [Thompson] was beside himself that [Scott] Walker was so dogmatic."

"We had lots of conversations about this — about how it was going to do nothing but cause chaos, and it was bad for the state. Businesses aren't going to move here in the middle of all this conflict."

A Democratic Wisconsin state senator talks to The Progressive's Ruth Coniff about his purported conversations last winter with Tommy Thompson about Scott Walker.
"After a certain point, Walker quit taking Tommy's phone calls... I think Tommy was giving him advice he didn't want to hear."

Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch says that during the crisis, after he and 13 other state Democrats had fled the state to stall a vote on the collective bargaining issue, he spoke with former officials in Tommy Thompson's administration who said Thompson was trying to persuade Walker to reach a deal. "I heard it from three different people who talked to him," says Jauch....
"I said, 'Tommy, you and I could have solved this whole thing over a cup of coffee.'" Jauch says. "Tommy put his hands on my shoulders and said, 'Bob, it would have been a pot of coffee, but absolutely we could have solved it.' " ...
"Tommy Thompson spent his career unifying Wisconsin," Jauch adds. "It has to be stressful for him to watch Governor Walker divide the state."
Hmmm. Jauch is a Democrat, and Tommy Thompson is running for for office right now (trying to get the U.S. Senate seat Herb Kohl is vacating). Thompson — as the linked article notes — is getting criticized from the right for being too moderate. It doesn't help Thompson's candidacy to have Democrats slathering him with love. Read the whole article. There are more quotes from Democrats who think Thompson is just dreamy compared to Walker.

By the way, if Walker is ousted in a recall — highly unlikely, in my view — I'd like to see him vie for that Herb Kohl Senate seat.

And look: Scott Walker was proclaimed "Governor of the Year" by Governors Journal.
He has dominated the political debate on both sides. Defining the issues. He is cited by both Democrats and Republicans as the best of example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government. Although they will never admit it, many Democratic governors are different from Walker only in a matter of degrees.

Nearly every governor, regardless of party, began the year saying the current path of expensive pension and benefit packages for public employees is unsustainable. The way the issue exploded in Wisconsin is as much a function of the legal and legislative tools at Walker’s disposal as it is about the specific route he chose to take...

It is not accurate to say Scott Walker launched an unannounced attack on public employees. For decades, state and local government leaders have complained about government employee unions: Collective bargaining, growing benefit packages, under-funded pension systems and binding arbitration. The warning siren had howled.

36 comments:

Paco Wové said...

Governor's Journal

Obviously a Koch organ.

kcom said...

"I said, 'Tommy, you and I could have solved this whole thing over a cup of coffee.'" Jauch says.

Yeah, by not really doing anything except pretending to do something. And then things would have continued as before and the situation would keep getting worse. That's how you get something like this. But the Democrats would be happy because they didn't really want to "solve" anything in the first place.

Beta Rube said...

Normally I have to pay my share of property tax increases on my business lease in Brookfield, WI.

Yesterday I received notice that there would be no charges this year as taxes did not increase. Incredibly welcome news in a sour economy.

I really don't need Tommy fixing things with his Dem pals. I think I'll send the Walker campaign a token of my thanks instead.

Pogo said...

Democrats are like a psycho Mom with a borderline personality.

Everything's fine as long as she gets her way.

Disagree with her, and discover the fury hell hath not.

So Thompson wanted unity? That of course meant nothing would change. Winning!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


IF it’s true. If true it highlights a problem with the GOP, “nice.” “Oh let’s be NICE. We’ll split the difference with you…no real change, not enough, but we’ll be able to SAY we’ve changed.” It doesn’t do much good, angers the Base, AND it mobilizes the Left’s Base…in short it’s enough to cost you votes, to turn out the Opposition, but not enough to make any real fiscal difference.

MadisonMan said...

Governor's Journal. Total circulation, 50.

Curious George said...

"Walker quit taking Tommy's phone calls... I think Tommy was giving him advice he didn't want to hear."

That's a feature, not a bug.

I'm sure Walker had a plan B if the GOP hadn't taken the Senate and Assembly by such wide margins. They did, so we got Plan A. That is the awesomeness of Scott Walker. No more catering to the left and public unions. Fundamental change.

Of course this change was necessary because of Thompson's actions, and then Doyle's. We saw the beginnings of it under Doyle, who implemented pay freezes and furloughs on the unions, and a bunch of gimmicky accounting tricks, and billion dollar one time Fed stimulus dollars to balance budgets with increased spending. Sure the unions squacked, but the truth is that the public unions really don't give a rats ass about either the public they serve, or the members they represent. They only care about the status quo and the retention of power and money they receive.

Even Doyle knew that there was no answer to the mess (that Thompson started)that he created. No way Doyle could raise taxes and get elected. No way he could make the mass layoffs and/or spending cuts that would be required without them. So he folded his tent and went home.

Scott Walker. Right man. Right time.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
Governor's Journal. Total circulation, 50."

That's 100% of the target market.

traditionalguy said...

Thompson is just an old fashioned RINO.

When the Dems demand 10 gifts of benefits to The Dem's high overhead Charity for likely voters that we can not pay for, then Thompson's agreeable style resists them for a brief speech, but then Agrees to 5 gifts.

Which brings to mind the aphorism by Margaret Thatcher that, "Giving away other people's property worked great until we ran out of other people's property."

Walker admitted it was finally time to stop that game. So he is called the Dogmatic one.

Thompson and Romney would make a great pair

frankz said...

at least with tommy replacing kohl the intelligence level would stay about the same, moderately dull.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gee, isn't that the Newt Will Be Terrible argument Meade is advancing as he supports Romney?

Will wonders never cease,...

BTW - this post is what I meant about y'all practically inviting ridicule,...

garage mahal said...

Going to be funny when the Governor of the Year gets recalled. Ooops.

edutcher said...

I wasn't aware taking a stand on principle was synonymous with dogmatic.

Steve Austin said...

The Dems know that Tommy will carry that Senate seat.

This is more anti Tommy strategy than anti Walker strategy, but it does work against both guys.

For a guy like me to vote for Tommy next year, I need him to snuggle up and validate Walker publicly many times.

If Tommy breaks bad on Walker, it means good things for the Dems on all sorts of fronts. So Jauch and others will
push this meme. This is our local version of the Paul Ryan plan litmus test going on nationally.

Essentially every GOP politico who was in power at some point pre 2008 deficit-economic meltdown has this problem. They all supported the status quo of spending. It was more understandable because back then you couldn't slash spending. The politics weren't there for it. But now the problem exists front and center. And you have to be an adult and solve it like Walker did.

victoria said...

This is a serious question, has Walker done anything since he's been in office? Anything positive?

Seriously, i would like to know this.

Vicki from Pasadena

Michael Haz said...

I call bs on that article. Total bs, in fact, intended to paint Tommy as a RINO, and making it less difficult for a Democrat to win election to the senate seat being vacated by Herb Kohl.

Carnifex said...

Just about the kiss of death for Democrats to laud Republicans everywhere else in the country. In Wisconsin, I really have to say that it's a toss up.

edutcher said...

victoria said...

This is a serious question, has Walker done anything since he's been in office? Anything positive?

Seriously, i would like to know this.


Yes, he's made the public sector unions pay for part of their retirement.

Happy?

purplepenquin said...

intended to paint Tommy as a RINO

The "Club for Growth" has been saying that about him ever since he announced his run for the Senate. But I don't think they are doing it in order to make it less difficult for a Democrat to win that election; they honestly seem to think that he simply ain't "Republican" enough.

Like others have pointed out, not even Nixon nor Reagan would probably make it past a Republican primary now-a-days...

Bender said...

It was the busybody hack "Tommy" Thompson who was one of the architects of the disaster that we have now.

So he is seeking yet another office by which to try to run other people's lives? What is it with these people? JUST GO AWAY TOM. Try minding your own business for a while and only your business. GO AWAY.

garage mahal said...

This is a serious question, has Walker done anything since he's been in office?

He's made Michael Best & Friedrich quite a bit of money.

A review of the 23 special counsel contracts entered into by Doyle during his last two years in office shows special counsel contracts were promptly filed and routinely stated why the attorney general was not involved. Reasons cited included conflict of interest, lack of legal expertise or because the attorney general did not share the governor's position.
The contracts signed by Walker provide no explanations. Said Crawford, "You can't tell from the contract why it was necessary."


Looks like all those contributions are paying off.

Carnifex said...

@ Victoria

Go back to Occupy Berkley. If one reigns in run-away government spending, stopping a state from going into bankruptcy, then one has done more for the poor in that state the the unionistas "claim" to do.

They do this because the government services the dis-advantaged depend on will continue longer.

Oh, Demand a refund from whatever school you went to, they obviously didn't teach you basic economics.

B said...

Curious George said..."MadisonMan said...Governor's Journal. Total circulation, 50."
That's 100% of the target market.


Not until it hits 57.

Bender said...

And Tom Thompson isn't the only one who needs to go away. All of the career politicians need to vacate the premises, including much of the Congress and many running for yet another state office.

This is not an oligarchy, no matter how much they think it is.

Jason said...

Tommy Thompson also never presided over an economy as bad as it is right now, both in this state and country.

Scott Walker's actions "divided" this state because he was the only politician in this state willing to tackle Wisconsin's fiscal mess. Perhaps if Jim Doyle had not illegally raided funds to balance the budget or actually cared about doing what's right for the state instead of doing quid-pro-quo work out of his office, Walker wouldnt have had to do what he did.

If Bob Jauch was so worried about the states finances, he would have done more about it when he party was in charge of the entire Wisconsin state government. But, as is the case with most politicians, he simply did nothing and then blames it on the next guy who tries to do something.

Jason said...

This is a serious question, has Walker done anything since he's been in office? Anything positive?

Seriously, i would like to know this.


Yes. My property taxes went down for the first time that I can remember since I bought my house.

MayBee said...

I love the conceit behind offering advice Walker "didn't want to hear". As opposed to offering advice Walker "didn't find valuable".

John from Pomeroy on the Palouse said...

"Tommy Thompson spent his career unifying Wisconsin," Jauch adds. "It has to be stressful for him to watch Governor Walker divide the state."

So "unify" = Taxes Go Up, while "Divide" means Taxes Go Down. Boy that's a tough call, huh?

It's like that guy on the radio says, compromise means that I give up part of what I believe in so legislation can get passed.

mariner said...

There could just as easily be an article explaining that Thompson was so dogmatic that Walker stopped taking his calls.

But we know why THAT article will never be published.

Steve Austin said...

The tax bill strategy has to rolled out in the next week.

Mine were down 3.4 percent. Meaningful dollars in my pocket. If Barrett had won, they would have gone up another 3.4 percent.

Walker needs to run a commercial asking people to simply compare their property tax bills over the last three years.

Of course some politico hack in Milwaukee last week purposely sends out 2012 tax bills and shows for comparison the 2010 numbers to try and hide what Walker has accomplished.

kcom said...

"If Bob Jauch was so worried about the states finances, he would have done more about it when he party was in charge of the entire Wisconsin state government."

Yes, the only possible outcome of an agreement made over a cup of coffee is "more of the same". If you want to change something that's not working you need effort, time, and commitment. You need to have a long, serious conversation and explore all the options and their implications. If you want to just rubber-stamp the same bankrupt policies that got you into the mess in the first place, the length it takes to drink a cup of coffee will probably do.

Henry said...

"Businesses aren't going to move here in the middle of all this conflict."

"Scott, I'm telling you, you've got to think short term. Short term. Reform, schmeform. Stick to the back-scratching. And you've got to focus on Madison. The rest of the state doesn't matter. Don't go getting ideas from farmers, kid. Keep that lack of perspective. Hello? Hello?"

EDH said...

It doesn't help Thompson's candidacy to have Democrats slathering him with love.

I thought that rumor was just about Rick Perry?

Dad29 said...

Thompson did not fund all his spending with tax increases.

He bonded quite a few dollars, too.

That way he'll be dead before the bill comes due. Maybe his grandchildren will respect him, but I doubt it.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Walker's done a lot of despicable things, right at the top of the list has to be cutting Planned Parenthood from a state program that provides women with free cancer screenings. In many areas of the state Planned Parenthood is the only group providing the service.

People will die as a result. Of course they're poor and they're women. Draw your own conclusions about priorities.

bbkingfish said...

Wow. I come to this blog once in a while from a link on Andrew Sullivan, and this post knocked my socks off.

I live in Pittsburgh, as I have for most of my 62 years, and I cannot remember an action of state government motivating a crowd of even 500 people to assemble here, or in Philly or Harrisburg, let alone 100,000.

I had heard of Scott Walker prior to the events in Madison last winter. A friend had e-mailed a Walker paid TV spot. Walker appeared shirtless, clad in boxing trunks and 16-oz gloves, and, striking the pose of a pug, he swore rough justice against evildoers.

"What a callow, tone-deaf, punk," I thought. "Any politician in PA who did that commercial would be finished. He'd be lucky to get a job in the sanitation department."

"Not ready for prime time," I responded to my friend. Shows how much I know.

In February, from 500 miles away, the spectacle of those crowds in Madison on TV seemed a powerful visual clue that some truly dramatic malfeasance was afoot. But, I know I am a very suspicious guy, so I reserved final judgement.

Then, the democratic senators bolted for Illinois. They made themselves look like weenies, I felt at first. Their position had no endgame strategy. Didn't they know how to count?

Walker, at the same time, spoke infrequently and always dismissively. He didn't care how many people stood outside in the Wisconsin winter. When the senators came back, they could expect to be punished. He spoke of police, law and order, clearing the rotunda. He summoned his assembly, that they enact emergency legislation to restrict protesting.

Restrict, restrict, command, and punish. It seemed to be his success mantra. His idea of a management style. As a guy who grew up in a small mill town, the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, I know that style was familiar in a bygone era, but has been largely eschewed in modern times.

But the crowds remained. If you were in a bar with more than one TV set, you had to double-check whether you were watching a report from Madison or Cairo.

It was becoming difficult to avoid the conclusion that the person who initiated this monumental breakdown in public order was one of the most vicious, incompetent managers in the history of American public administration.

Then, some retread hippie reporter at some marginal lefty broadsheet in upstate New York somehow finagled a 20-minute phone conversation with Walker, passing himself off, incredibly, as one of Walker's biggest underwriters.

Walker chatted with his supposed patron expansively. Bridge-building was not part of the Walker agenda, it became clear. He expressed nothing but contempt for his political opposition. I also thought he betrayed some delight at being the prime mover of the ongoing drama, but that nuance, I admit, might have been projected by me.

He was emphatic. There would be no compromise. He didn't care how many people stood out in the cold in Madison, or how long they stood there.

This he had in common, it seemed to me, with many of the least successful political leaders in history.

If I lived in Wisconsin, I would want to get rid of Scott Walker, because he is incompetent. In my experience, arrogance, a lack of empathy for one's competition, and a taste for vindictiveness, are traits almost exclusively of the very, very worst managers. And it takes a real bozo to propel 100,000 apathetic Americans outside for an all-day political protest in the Wisconsin winter.

I was surprised to see the author of this site give Walker such a ringing endorsement.

"Governor of the Year," huh? I bet I can produce two recently unemployed state senators who followed Walker, and six more who may soon be looking for work as a result of their association with that G.O.T.Y., who would disagree, and strenuously.