Let the Republican bloodbath begin! #1

Some are blaming the wrong people for Tim Michels’ defeat!

Republicans are reeling from the beatdown the underwhelming Tony Evers, that Mr. Peepers of governors, administered to our candidate. Despite Tim Michels’ millions of self-funded spending and favorable political headwinds, he was another casualty in the misbegotten “red-wave” election of 2022. 

Rather than blame the candidate, many of those Republicans are blaming Dane County. To personalize their scapegoat they have chosen county Republican chairman Scott Grabins. The party election is February 25. Also in their cross hairs is Second District chairman Kim Babler, whose fate will be decided later. Dane County vice chair Billie Johnson is running against Babler.

To replace Grabins, a citizen volunteer, they are parachuting into Dane County an East Coast Republican operative, Brandon Maly, who is all of 23 years old. He would likely be a full-time, paid chairman. Some big names behind the newcomer are millionaire developer Terence Wall, radio shouter Vicki McKenna, and uber-lobbyist Bill McCoshen.

The latter, a former Tommy Thompson chief of staff, makes a valid point: Republicans can’t keep getting creamed here in Dane County and expect to make up for it in the Forest counties up north. How creamed? Like a can of corn! Evers racked up a 174,277-vote advantage in Dane County alone last November. Michels garnered an anemic 20.7% of the county’s vote. In the razor-close election of 2000, George W. Bush only trailed Al Gore here by 66,527. Hellz bellz! Tommy Thompson WON Dane County in 1994 against hometown boy Chuck Chvala.

Michels apologist Paris Procopis writes:

Long-time RPDC chairman Scott Grabins is fighting to maintain his position despite showing no improvement in GOP turnout during his tenure. He has been put on notice and he has a young, smart, strategic challenger with fresh ideas.

— “Republican chairman has energized challenger
The irony is that Scott Grabins was a loyal Tr•mp delegate to two national conventions and was one of the so-called "false electors" for Tr•mp 2020.

But is Scott Grabins the problem? 

Republicans filled almost every Dane County ballot line last fall, fielding candidates for Congress against Mark Pocan, state senate against Diane Hesselbein, challengers in 10 Assembly districts, and for county  sheriff. Pints and Politics brought Republican speakers to every corner of the county almost every other week. The annual Lincoln-Reagan dinners filled the Concourse Hotel ballroom with over 250 paying big bucks. Grabins has won honors by the state party for his leadership..

All our nominees spoke at the 08-13-22 Lincoln-Reagan dinner except … Tim Michels. Sensing trouble, the Werkes wrote shortly afterwards: “We’re going to blow this yet.

Dane County puts up the third-most Republican votes in the state, after Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. In the primary election, Dane County went 48.9% for Becky [Kleefisch] to Michels’ 41.5%. There’s work to be done here, fences to mend, apologies to be made. Do not take Dane County for granted.

Michels did take Dane County for granted. Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noticed: “Internal campaign calendar shows Tim Michels kept a light schedule late in the governor’s race.” Best we can recount, after the divisive party primary in early August (aside from private fundraising parties), Michels campaigned in Dane County on only three days, September 1 at a Pints & Politics, October 25 in the UW Humanities Building, and November 3 at bars in Middleton and DeForest.

I am wondering how a paid state party worker who isn’t even from Dane county is going to magically become a better volunteer chair than Scott Grabins?

— Dane County GOP Pints & Politics coordinator Rolf Lindgren

Without naming which campaigns, Grabins said several campaigns “chose not to invest in advertising here that they did in other markets. Additionally, direct political activities by many campaigns were very limited. One major exception was Senator Johnson. His campaign invested heavily in Dane County with a regional field office, a large staff that RPDC worked closely with, and multiple visits. Senator Johnson’s efforts paid off with his victory on election night.” Johnson tallied almost 6,000 more votes in Dane County than Michels.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Tim Michels is already blaming Republicans,” Blaska wrote just a week after the August 2022 primary.

Next: the Dane County GOP struggle is a microcosm of the party’s national identity crisis.

Can the county party survive this?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Election 2022, Republicans, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Let the Republican bloodbath begin! #1

  1. Bob Dohnal says:

    The only person to blame is Tim. I was in there fighting to get them going but they sat doing nothing for 7 weeks. Pudner, McNulty, Rosner told him he was ahead by 5 and we knew, Tommy, Bill, others, he was behind by 3 and we were right. I pushed ground game very hard and they went into hiding in Fraleys office and would not talk to anyone. I got hundreds of emails and phone calls yelling about the campaign. They blamed every one else, especially that loser Pudner. They had no GOTV, ground game, grass roots except for me. And they hated me for bringing it up. Milwaukee GOP worthless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike says:

    I think Blaska is right. A 23 year old Eastern wiz kid just might not be the answer to a lazy candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    My opinion and I’m not that much of following politics. Tim Michels campaign seemed more into about winning the primary than the general election. Ron Johnson was under attach from before the beginning of the democratic primary. In the final weeks of the general election Ron Johnson seemed to be hitting 3 campaign stops a day and Tim Michels was doing maybe 1. Dane County is a strange one. The people and neighbors I talk to want stable taxes, safety, good roads and services but keep voting the same Woke people into office. Dane County Board can’t figure out the jail but keeps buying land. The City keeps whining about not having enough money as they keep pouring money into BRT. Don’t get me going on MMSD. Maybe new blood might help, might not. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For Tim Michels, it’s almost like Dane County became a fly-over county where deplorable progressives lived after the primary election was over. Michels certainly made some bad campaigning choices and I think three of the major ones were first getting the Trump endorsement and then second deleting that endorsement from his website after the primary was over which caused some people to question why to both things and third treating Dane county general area as a fly-over county because he wasn’t likely going to win here.

    To be really honest; if I had the ability to go back in time and change my vote in the primary based on what I know now, I would change my vote to Kleefisch. I’m guessing that I’m probably not the only one that would do that. Hindsight.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tartanmarine says:

    I’ve been following politics and political operatives since I was Republican Whip of the Massachusetts Senate back in the 70s. I’m with Scott Grabins. ~Bob

    Like

  6. As far as getting new blood in the Republican Party leadership, like in Dane County, I’ll quote this, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Wisconsin Republicans need to do something different in Wisconsin progressive strongholds, like Dane County, because what they’ve been doing recently really isn’t working well for them. I don’t think the message conservatives have is the problem, I think it’s how and where that message is being delivered.

    Like

  7. ryan b says:

    michaels was regulary in madison. i saw him at a Pub two times. he was downtown at wmc gathering. he was a couple gop party events, 1 time with roger roth as his running mate. i got emails adn texts from his tours that he was in the madison area, so i dont htink its true that he wasnt in madison.

    Like

    • Ryan,
      No one said he wasn’t in Madison at all.

      David Blaska wrote,

      Best we can recount, after the divisive party primary in early August (aside from private fundraising parties), Michels campaigned in Dane County on only three days, September 1 at a Pints & Politics, October 25 in the UW Humanities Building, and November 3 at bars in Middleton and DeForest.

      and I wrote…

      …it’s almost like Dane County became a fly-over county where deplorable progressives lived after the primary election was over.

      …and I emphasized almost specifically because he did campaign here a couple of times as David Blaska mentioned.

      The point is that he really didn’t spend enough time in Madison.

      Like

  8. richard lesiak says:

    What experience does BRANDON have? Is he just another grifter in training?

    Like

  9. Leo says:

    mihlelwes was lusy/cqy cqndidqee. B4sidews in order to turn ou n incumbent, you usaully hqv4 to giv the vorsw a good reqson to cw5t bllot for you . amichqle wqw in cqpqble of doin either.

    Liked by 1 person

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