Tag Archives: Tammy Baldwin

Sen.Tammy Baldwin to face a tough re-election

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

The next big election is 14 months away, but the electoral combatants are already sallying onto the field. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin will be seeking her second term and the liberal backbencher is facing a formidable challenge.

Baldwin’s resume is notable for its remarkable lack of achievement. Born and bred in the belly of liberal Madison, Baldwin was first elected to the Dane County Board during law school in 1986. She graduated from law school in 1989, worked as a lawyer for three years, and then became a full time politician in 1992 when she was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin was sent by Madison to Washington as their representative in the House of Representatives, and was then swept into the U.S. Senate by the Obama wave in 2012.

It is difficult to serve in public office for more than 30 years, get elected to higher offices, and not have a single achievement to one’s credit, but Tammy Baldwin has accomplished that incredible feat. The secret to Baldwin’s success is that she is gay and a liberal’s liberal who reliably supports every leftist idea proffered. This attracts gobs of money from every liberal/socialist/Marxist PAC and activist group throughout the nation.

Most recently, she gave her fullthroated support to complete socialist health care in the failure of Obamacare. This is particularly ironic given that Baldwin callously ignored repeated cries for help from abuse taking place at the Tomah VA Medical Center. Why would anyone want to hand over more control of our healthcare to politicians like Tammy Baldwin?

Without Obama on the ballot next year, Baldwin is vulnerable to a credible challenge. So far, two formidable and well-funded Republicans are vying for the opportunity to be the senator that Wisconsin deserves. There is still time for more candidates to enter the fray, but the window is closing.

Kevin Nicholson is a Marine combat veteran who now works in the private sector. Nicholson defines himself as a social and fiscal conservative who is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-strong national security, etc. Running for office for the first time, Nicholson relishes his status as an outsider who can attack the liberal redoubts in Washington.

Nicholson does, however, have a nagging problem in his resume. He used to be a vocal, activist Democrat. When he was in college, Nicholson served as the chairman of the College Democrats and was eventually the national president for the College Democrats of America. At that time, he was pro-choice and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Of course, Nicholson would not be the first person to convert from liberalism to conservatism with the advancement of age, life experience and wisdom. Some of the best-known, thoughtful, and stalwart conservatives in the nation used to be liberals.

The other Republican seeking to challenge Tammy Baldwin has no such history to overcome. Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir has been a proven, reliable, accomplished conservative Republican for more than a decade. Vukmir is a registered nurse who worked as a nurse for more than 20 years before running for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2002 to replace Scott Walker. Vukmir was then elected to the State Senate in 2010.

Vukmir has been one of the driving forces in the Wisconsin conservative movement for her entire tenure in office. She has been instrumental in advancing school choice, tax reform, education reform, healthcare reform and every other pillar of the conservative agenda. It is difficult to name a conservative issue in which Vukmir was not a staunch defender and advocate. All the while, Vukmir has maintained her career as a registered nurse.

While I don’t doubt the sincerity of Nicholson’s conservative conversion, there is no need to put it to its first political test in the crucible of Washington when there is already a proven conservative candidate in Leah Vukmir. She has been a granite conservative throughout all of the tempests in Madison and would serve Wisconsin well in the U.S. Senate.

Uihlein Backing Nicholson

Eh..

Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein has now donated a total of $3.5 million toward a super PAC supporting Republican Kevin Nicholson’s potential campaign for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat.

Uihlein, who is one of the nation’s biggest Republican donors, founded the Pleasant Prairie-based Uline company.

He gave $2 million earlier this year to start the super PAC “Solutions for Wisconsin.” A spokesman said Uihlein donated another $1.5 million last quarter.

So far, Uihlein is the super PAC’s only donor.

Solutions for Wisconsin is focused exclusively on supporting the potential U.S. Senate bid of Kevin Nicholson, a Marine veteran, businessman and former Democrat.

“I strongly encourage others to support this effort and avoid a repeat of 2012’s divisive Republican primary,” Uihlein said in a statement released Wednesday.

While I appreciate Uihlein being willing to seriously support an effort to defeat Senator Baldin, his choice of candidate leaves something to be desired. Could he put his money behind a real Republican instead?

Baldwin Might Vote for Socialized Healthcare

Ummm

EDGERTON — Count Sen. Tammy Baldwin as a “maybe” on supporting a single-payer health insurance proposal.

“Ultimately, I’ll look at the bill when it comes in, but I anticipate I will (support it),” the Wisconsin Democrat told reporters Thursday. “It’s been a long position of mine, and frankly, it’s really time that we address this partisan nonsense that’s been going on.”

…isn’t Senator Baldwin the member of a governmental body in which she can write and submit bills herself? Why does she have to “look at the bill when it comes in”? Can’t she write her own?

Baldwin Wants More Money for TSA

Heh.

Senator Tammy Baldwin is one of 23 lawmakers calling for increased TSA funding to help alleviate long wait times at airports.

“Recent reports indicate that some TSA security lines have stretched for several hours, in extreme cases, causing individuals to miss their flights. Security is absolutely paramount and these long wait times indicate not only a discomfort to our constituents, but more importantly a severe lack of security resources at some of the busiest airports in the country,” the lawmakers wrote. “For this reason, we urge continued funding to ensure TSA has an adequate number of staff and resources to meet the needs of the traveling public.”

The funding would increase staffing levels, reinforce screenings, and expand security programs to ensure passenger safety.

This is a typical liberal government response. We have an agency that is failing in one of its core missions, so what does Baldwin want to do? Throw more of our money at them! Baldwin wants to reward the TSA’s poor performance with budget increases. Why? Because it gives the politician the cover that she “did something” without actually doing the hard work of taking corrective action.

If Baldwin gets her wish, the TSA will simply continue to fail while spending more money. The money isn’t the problem, so more of it can’t fix it. The problem is the leadership and policies at the TSA.

Tammy Baldwin Objects to People Exercising their Religion

NewsBusters caught this statement from Wisconsin’s senator.

“Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that.”

Notice that she extends the right to exercise religion to religious institutions and not to individuals. The last time I checked, the Bill of Rights enumerates and protects individual rights – not institutional rights.

Ex Baldwin Staffer Files Ethics Complaint

You always have to be wary about complaints from fired employees, but the accusations in the complaint are very specific and there is a lot of documentation.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former state director for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has filed an ethics complaint against the Wisconsin Democrat saying Baldwin placed blame about problems at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center on her.

Marquette Baylor, who was fired in January, in the complaint filed Monday said Baldwin used her as a scapegoat in the office’s mishandling of reports of overprescribing of narcotics and retaliatory behavior at the hospital.

Baldwin in February said Baylor was terminated due to long term performance issues that weren’t exclusive to her dealing with concerns about the hospital. Baldwin later admitted responsibility for her staff’s mishandling of reports.

Tammy Baldwin Speaks

Yeah… right.

“I am in a very detailed and careful fashion, comprehensive fashion, seeking to understand everything that happened in my office in terms of the handling of a whistleblower case,” the Madison Democrat said. “And I will have lots more to say when we come to the end of that process.”

It was the first time she has answered questions about the issue since USA TODAYreported January 19 that her office got the report in August but didn’t do anything with it, despite repeated emails from a former Tomah employee in November and December asking her to investigate. Baldwin didn’t call for an investigation until last month, when news reports revealed a veteran died from an overdose as an inpatient in the Tomah facility in August.

Baldwin did not indicate when her internal review will be completed, saying only “as soon as we can.”

How long should a review like this take? The facts are pretty simple. Baldwin was contacted about the issues in Tomah and didn’t do anything. Either a staffer or Baldwin herself decided not to look into it. This “investigation” should take about 5 minutes and it’s already been almost a month and a half.

Furthermore, Balwin fired a staffer presumably because of this. In the process, that staffer got a great severance package, which is odd if she was fired for cause. Why was that action taken if an investigation had not already been completed?

This isn’t about investigation. It’s about delay and cover up.

Senator Baldwin Sat on VA Report

And now she jumps in and pretends to be a champion for veterans?

A whistleblower who learned in November that Baldwin had had a copy for months and hadn’t acted, repeatedly emailed her office asking that she do something to help the veterans at the center, according to copies of the emails obtained by USA TODAY.

In them the whistleblower — former Tomah VA employee Ryan Honl — asked that Baldwin call for an investigation, that she push colleagues on the Veterans Affairs committee to take action, and that she help bring the issues in the report to public attention. The report had not been made public, but Baldwin’s office received a copy in August.

When she still had not taken public action in December, Honl sent a message to her staffer with the subject line: “Final plea for Help from Senator Baldwin.”

“All we ask is that our senator publicly support our desire to have an open forum rather than remain silent publicly, which is what the VA does in hiding reports from the public,” Honl wrote.

Honl, a Gulf War vet and West Point graduate who left the Tomah facility in October, said in an interview Monday he believes Baldwin’s inaction after receiving the report is a “travesty.”

Baldwin’s office declined to explain what she did between receiving the report in August and last week, when she called for an investigation after the Center for Investigative Reporting published details of the inspection report outlining opiate prescription amounts at the center and recounting the overdose death in August of a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran while he was an inpatient.