Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just How Did Tommy Thompson "Build Wisconsin?"

I'll admit, I did not watch the debate between Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson last Friday.

But I did read up on it afterwards.

One of the things that caught my attention was the way Thompson was going overboard with his self-aggrandizement (emphasis mine):
“What she’s talking about is always trying to find a way to tax somebody else and divide up the classes in America,” Thompson said. “I’m a builder. I built Wisconsin.”
Really now.

But then I got to thinking.

If one abandons all common sense and gives him the argument that he built Wisconsin, one could say that he did build it - pretty damn crookedly.

I base that position on an article which appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on Wednesday, January 24, 2001. The article was written by Phil Brinkman and was titled "THOMPSON 'S CONDO STOCK RAISES ETHICS CONCERNS< THE GOVERNOR'S RELATIONSHIP WITH DELLS DEVELOPER CHUCK THOMPSON AND ROAD BUILDERS IS AGAIN QUESTIONED." (Unfortunately, there is no link.) The article reads, in part:
Gov. Tommy Thompson 's recent disclosure that he owns stock in a Wisconsin Dells condominium project is raising new questions about his relationship with road builders , while the state's top ethics official is wondering why his office didn't know about it.

The stock, which was disclosed in a report the governor filed with the federal Office of Government Ethics as part of his nomination for secretary of health and human services, is in a company owned by longtime friend and Dells developer Chuck Thompson .

Chuck Thompson , who is no relation to the governor, came under fire while serving as the state's transportation secretary for pushing to widen Highway 12. Critics said Chuck Thompson stood to gain personally from the project, which would bring increased tourist traffic to the Dells, where he has an interest in at least 20 properties.

"It reeks to high heaven, because the whole four-lane Highway 12 controversy was rammed through to help Dells developers," Brett Hulsey, a senior Midwest representative for the Sierra Club, said Tuesday. "We could never figure out why the governor was such an enthusiastic supporter of four lanes. This makes it a little clearer."

Roth Judd, director of the sate Ethics Board, said the governor apparently had not filed the required notice of his stock ownership with his office.

"He did not report it here," Judd said. "I do not know why it wasn't."

But a Thompson spokesman said the governor had filed the necessary documents and dismissed as "a giant leap" any suggestion that Thompson gained financially from his administration's aggressive highway-building program.

"A lot of people would benefit from a widened Highway 12," spokesman Kevin Keane said.

The disclosure was part of a detailed summary of Thompson 's financial holdings filed in advance of his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, which is expected today. The report showed Thompson held stock through a blind trust in a number of companies he might be expected to regulate, including Philip Morris Cos., Merck and Co. and Abbott Laboratories.

Thompson was advised to sell all the stock he owns in such companies, keeping only bank and real estate stocks, to avoid a potential conflict of interest in his new job, Keane said Monday.
But now, as we read further in the article, and taking into consideration with his ties to lobbyists and to ALEC, Thompson was just a prototype for Scott Walker:
According to the federal ethics report, Thompson earned $110,000 from RiverWood stock last year, slightly less than the $115,699 he earned as governor, although Keane said all of that was plowed back into the company.

The governor's critics were quick to question the arrangement between Tommy Thompson and Chuck Thompson , his former transportation secretary who shares the governor's enthusiasm for highway development.

"There have long been questions about the relationship between these unrelated Thompsons," said Sen. Brian Burke, D-Milwaukee, co-chairman of the Senate's budget committee. "It turns out those ties were closer and more lucrative than anyone suspected."

Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said the report raises new questions about the nearly $1 million in donations the governor has received from road builders over the last 10 years.

But Keane called such comments "petty politics."

"If he didn't get one cent from the road builders , he would still do the same thing," Keane said. "He believes in it."

In 1999, it was revealed that the governor's blind trust had invested in two gambling-related companies, including one that was paid millions of dollars through state contracts to print lottery tickets.
Thompson doesn't want to go to Washington DC to fix America. He wants to go to fix things for himself and his benefactors, like David Koch, just like he did ten year ago in Wisconsin. You just can't have enough lucre apparently.


  1. While Governor, Thompson brazenly traded jobs and promotions for sexual favors. Anyone who was involved in politics in Madison during his misrule was aware of this. I knew one journalist, now deceased, who documented Tommy's shenanigans with several sources only to have the story spiked by the publisher of the Capital Times.

    Good-old-boy Tommy got away with it because he cultivated friends in high places, all the while preaching about family values and using the wife he was contstantly cheating on for photo ops. He really isn't fit to hold public office. Never was.

  2. My kids and I burst out laughing during the debate, as Tommy, after complaining that he was being blamed for things that he didn't do, also proclaimed, "I went to Afghanistan, and I built a hospital!"

    My son: "Really, all by yourself?"

    Me: "You didn't build that!"

  3. Good catch. The payoffs from the Road Builders continues today, with Walker throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Transportation Fund, and taking it from schools, shared revenue and related projects. And that ain't going into Transit or Local Road aids, folks.

    I want to see Baldwin's campaign come out with an ad that shows construction workers saying 'No Tommy, WE built those things.' Destroys two GOP lies in one statement.

  4. Do not forget all the state money he WASTED on Interstate exists to GREYHOUND Dog Park tracks. Seriously we are still paying for those even though the tracks have long ago gone our of business!