A little face time!
“What’s going on?” the Uber driver asked. “Big convention. Republicans are in town.”
Including the My Pillow guy, aka Mike Lindell. Big Trump stolen election conspiracist and TV pitchman for pillows and sheets made from cotton imported from the Egypt. Had to stop in at State Rep. Timothy Ramthun’s hospitality room Friday night 05-20-22 at the Marriott Hotel in Middleton.
People were lined up to get their picture took with this minor celebrity. He’s a big hero to the Trump uber alles folks in the room. We suppose the candidate himself was also present but we did not notice and no one else seemed to, either. Ramthun is running for governor, one of five announced. The Republican from beautiful Campbellsport in Fond du Lac county is the state legislature’s Madison Cawthorn. Stripped of his one staff assistant by Speaker Robin Vos who, this delegate suspects, will be in for a raucous round of raspberries and Bronx cheers come the plenary session today despite enabling Mike Gableman.
Friday night at convention is your best opportunity to get face time with the candidates for a little chin wagging. Four of the six candidates for governor had hospitality rooms. Aside from the Pillow man, Becky Kleefisch’s was the most interesting — and jam packed! The room was bathed in late-1960s blue light to better appreciate the dayglo doodad decorations. Got my picture took with the candidate. Rebecca reminded that she tried to get the Head Groundskeeper to run for State Assembly two years ago. Blaska reminded that she had given critical permission in the presence of the Lovely Lisa for this delegate to purchase his first Harley Davidson. That occurred when, as lieutenant governor, Becky dedicated a new bridge and damn on the Ashippun River in the unincorporated community of Monterey, in NW Waukesha County. The Lovely Lisa owned a tavern in the town.
It must also be said of the Kleefisch hospitality room — one of 10 — that the free beer on tap was cold and delicious. Becky made Blaska promise to support her when the vote for endorsement comes up later today. This delegate is wearing her sticker.
Caught up with an old colleague from my Dane County Board service and genuine good guy Jim Mohrbacher. He now lives around Okauchee Lake in Waukesha County. Jim reminded that he married Becky’s mother, the second for both. You see, it’s not all policy and credentials; sometimes politics is the personal. Free beer doesn’t hurt, either.
The sense of possibility and excitement was palpable. There was Sen. Ron Johnson in the hallway talking to constituents. Derrick Van Orden, the former Navy Seal (as he always reminds) running for Ron Kind’s vacated seat in the La Crosse congressional district shook his hand. The hallways were shoulder to shoulder! Saw a lot of old accomplices from our Tommy Thompson government days — but not the old boss himself. Probably will today.
Some of the candidates for lesser office or smaller campaign treasures made do with tables in an open area near the hotel bar. Was about to sign a nominating petition for one of the lieutenant governor candidates when a rival buttonholed this delegate and got him to sign his papers, instead. A better reporter would remember his name. He’s from Mukwonago and worked in Sen. Johnson’s office, if that helps.
How does Amy Loudenbeck remember this correspondent’s name? A talent that has eluded us. That’s enough to get her our vote for secretary of state. The thundering herd of candidates alone tells you something: 6 for governor, 8 for lieutenant governor, 3 for attorney general (where there’s a real pissing match), 4 for secretary of state, 1 for treasurer, 2 for the House of Reps here in the Second District, and most of the area state Assembly and Senate districts.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: We’re not big on identity politics but several of the candidates for lieutenant governor, treasurer, and secretary of state are minority. Tells this dabbler in politics we’re going to win.