It looks like developer Terrence Wall won't chance another political defeat, and is dropping out of the Republican primary race. Ron Johnson, the Great Hope from the "Tea Party" wing of the Wisconsin Republican Party, now looks like the easy winner of the primary, unless Dave Westlake's blaze orange army rises up and bites Johnson's ankles. Last week, of course, Dick Leinenkugel did the right thing by the GOP and dropped out, having been tainted by the Democrat cooties he picked up from his service as Commerce secretary in the Doyle (gasp!) administration.
T. Wall's tax avoidance pumpkin farm could have been a liability in the general election, but probably helped him win the hearts of some of the Republican faithful. However, the piddly 18% he managed to attract at the Wisconsin Republican convention last week probably reminded Wall of the two times his neighbors in Maple Bluff decided others would serve them better on the Village Board, and he came in last. Or the time the Village Board decided (4-1) not to appoint him to an open seat. But at least Wall's actually thought about holding public office, even if voters decided it was not such a good idea.
So we're left with a guy who made lots of money in plastics and has never run for or held public office, but can spend lots of his cash on advertising trying to convince Wisconsin voters not to like Russ Feingold, and a guy who didn't make lots of money and has never run for or held public office, but dresses in a way that reminds voters of deer hunting.
I still like Russ Feingold, his record, and his chances for re-election. It's good that there won't be two inexperienced rich guys dumping money into absurd Feingold-bashing advertising in the primary; just one will be doing it in the general.
- Barry Orton