Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Tag: Tim Michels

Kleefisch and Michels in Dead Heat

Interesting readout from the latest Marquette Poll

Michels and Kleefisch are tied. What’s interesting is where Michels’ support so far has come from. Ramthun and Nicholson are virtually the same. They clearly have a loyal, if small, support base that isn’t moving off of them. Of Michels 27% support, 14 points came from the pool of undecided and 6 points came from Kleefisch.

It appears that there was a portion of the Republican base that was undecided because they were unhappy with all of the candidates. About a third of them came off the fence to support Michels. And almost 20% of Kleefisch’s support has fled to Michels. This is after a major media blitz by Michels without anyone really going negative on him.

Now what? My guess is that the people who are planning to vote for Ramthun and Nicholson don’t move. They may bleed a point or two one way or the other, but they appear to have peaked. That leaves about 85% of the GOP base for Michels and Kleefisch to fight for. They will need about 42%-44% of the vote to win a plurality.

At this point, I don’t think that Michels or Kleefisch can take votes away from the other. Their core bases are set. That means that the only pool of votes to get are the remainder of the undecideds. I also don’t think that the remaining undecideds will break from Ramthun or Nicholson in any great numbers. Those two candidates have very specific messages and if they were going to work on an undecided primary voter at this point, it would have. That means that Kleefisch or Michels will have to win over half of the remaining undecideds to win.

So the real question is, why are those primary voters still undecided? What are they waiting for? What are they not finding in the existing slate of candidates? The first candidate who figures that out will win.


Tim Michels’ Residency Questioned

Good reporting from Wisconsin Right Now. There’s no doubt that Michels is a born Wisconsinite who lived in the state for many years. But if you get rich, buy homes on the coast, and live there, can you still be the governor of Wisconsin?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels left some key facts out of his campaign biography: Namely, a $17 million Long Island Sound home located in a Greenwich, Connecticut neighborhood. The home was purchased in October 2020 through an oddly named LLC that makes ownership hard to trace. However, we have uncovered a building permit buried in a tranche of public documents that lists the owners as Tim and Barbara Michels.


Furthermore, from 2013-2021, all three Michels children attended and graduated from high schools in Connecticut and New York City, Wisconsin Right Now has documented. They are not boarding schools, and the kids were extensively involved in high school sporting activities there.


The youngest son graduated from a Greenwich high school in 2021, where he was on the sailing team, skippering yachts. That’s just the start of the family’s extensive east coast lives over the past decade. Tim and Barbara Michels accumulated more than $30 million in homes in Connecticut and New York City, with some of the ownership hidden through LLCs.


Michels and his wife gave Weill Cornell Medicine in New York a large donation last year in honor of their daughter’s inspirational recovery from brain cancer. A story on that gift reveals, “By 2017, the family was living in the New York area…” That article describes the family as “natives of Wisconsin.”

The language of the story is a little inflammatory. I doubt that the use of LLCs to purchase the homes was an attempt to hide anything. It is common practice for wealthy people who buy multiple properties. And I also give allowance for the issues of residency are a bit more nuanced for people with a bit of money. There are legions of Wisconsin retirees who are officially residents of Florida or Arizona, but they still consider themselves to be Wisconsinites.

Still, those issues of nuance are not applicable when running for public office. You live here or you don’t. The fact that the Michels kids have built lives in another state seems to indicate that they live there. We can reasonable think that their parents do too – even if they live a more nomadic lifestyle between multiple homes. Even if the parents are still spending most of their time in Wisconsin, it is a valid issue for the voters to consider where Tim Michels’ mind is really focused when his family life is oriented on the East Coast.

As Expected, Tim Michels Enters the Race for Governor

The table is finally fully set.

MILWAUKEE — Republican businessman Tim Michels is running for Wisconsin governor, TMJ4’s Charles Benson reports.


Michels is the co-owner of Brownsville, Wis.-based Michels Corporation with his brothers. Michels Corporation is an infrastructure and energy contractor.


Michels is jumping into the race with about fours months until the August primary. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 and lost to Russ Feingold.

I like Tim Michels. He’s a good guy who has done a lot for Republican causes and for the state. But I just don’t see what the differentiator is between him and Kleefisch. At least, I don’t see what the positive differentiator is. Kleefisch is right on almost all of the issues. There are questions about Michels when it comes to government spending. Is he really going to fight for less spending on things like roads when his company is the recipient of that spending? Maybe. Maybe not. Why take the chance?



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