Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh, Were You Campaigning There?

I received the oddest email on Monday. It was from Mark Neumann and read thus:
Since the beginning you have been one of my top supporters and a true friend in my campaign to defeat Tammy Baldwin for U.S. Senate.

And as someone who is not particularly comfortable asking others for financial help, let me just say that I’m honored and humbled by the support you have given me.

Unfortunately, when all the votes were counted on Primary Election Day, we came up a bit short.

But now is not the time to hang our heads.

I continue to stand by our conservative principles of limited government, low taxes, and traditional family values as much today as I did during the long days and nights of the campaign.

Thank you for supporting me in my bid for U.S. Senate -- I couldn’t have done it without you!

Though we didn’t win the day, our campaign will have a lasting impact on our politics.

We showed the political class that rolling back the Obama agenda of the last four years is priority #1 for the conservative grassroots.

The spirit of limited government that gave rise to the Tea Party Movement is spreading to Americans in all walks of life.

Now that the election is over, I’ve had many suggestions about how I can help promote our conservative values going forward.

But before I do anything, I need to take care of those people who helped me in this campaign.

You see, in the last few weeks of my hard-fought campaign, over $152,000 in bills came in.

I wasn’t counting on having unpaid bills at the end of my campaign. As you know, I ran a lean campaign that pinched every penny we could.

But this money is owed to vendors and small businessmen who took a leap of faith and helped my run for U.S. Senate.

They put their money on the line believing in me and I want to make them whole.

I hope you understand my dilemma.

I don’t have any money left in my campaign account to pay these bills. I must turn to my supporters for help.

I need to know if you will help me retire these late campaign bills.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that I take care of these outstanding bills before I do anything else.

It pains me to say it, but I need your help now like never before.

Asking for money is one of the hardest parts of running for the U.S. Senate.

But it’s simply what I must do to pay those people who stuck their necks out on the line for our campaign. The small businessmen who put it all on the line are solid conservatives like you and me.

Thank you and God Bless,

Mark Neumann
Dan Bice had some of the same questions that I did:
But Neumann seemed baffled by a question about why he was hitting up his donors during the general election.

"Nobody asked me that question before, so I'm not really sure I thought it through," Neumann said. "It seems to me if I've got people that are owed money, my job is to figure out how to get them paid."

Asked if he is concerned he might take money away from Thompson with the solicitation, Neumann said, "Absolutely not." He said he didn't know how many people received the email.

Neumann brushed aside any suggestion that he pick up the tab for the last-minute campaign expenses. In the primary, Neumann reported a net worth between $6 million and $18 million.

"I don't think it's your position to evaluate my finances, but say whatever you want," said Neumann, who finished third in the four-way primary.

Of course, it's not the only time in recent history that a Republican has started asking for money while their fellow Republicans are scrambling for cash. Don't forget that Scott Walker was happy enough to horn in on Tommy Thompson, Paul Ryan and all the others to fill up his own treasure trove.

So much for party unity.

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