WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/08/2010) - There has been a lot of talk about the possibility that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (R-WI) might be joining the race against U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) during this election round. Republican spokespeople are saying that Thompson has the right people in Washington D.C. wanting him to be the next senator from Wisconsin. The Feingold side says those Washington people are lobbyists who want the former Health and Human Services Secretary in the George W. Bush administration to do their bidding.
Repbublican Bill McCoshen went on Mike Gousha’s “UpFront” TV program this past weekend and said Tommy Thompson has “the right people in the room,” and that “he's the only one that frankly could win on the Republican side.”
This comes after reports that one of Thompson’s colleagues at the D.C. lobbying shop he works for said, “lots of people in Washington” want Thompson to be Wisconsin’s next senator.
Bob Wood, president of Washington’s most elite GOP lobbying firm, has registered websites for Thompson, and McCoshen said they are all planning to set up an exploratory committee so Tommy can start raising money from “lots of people in Washington.”
An exploratory committee would allow Thompson to raise money from many of the corporate interests he represents. Last week, Politico reported that Thompson has already collected over $200,000 in pledges from donors.
Senator Russ Feingold held events in Madison and Milwaukee during the weekend and had a few comments related to Tommy Thompson's possible candidacy.
"So you might ask, 'Well why are all these people in Washington asking Tommy Thompson to run?' Because he's their friend. Because he does what they want. That's why they're asking him to run," Feingold said.
"I've spent years and years taking on the special interests. And Tommy Thompson spent years, taking them on as clients. That's the difference between the two of us. That's the difference for Wisconsin as we go forward for this election," Feingold added.
Feingold Senate Committee Senior Strategist John Kraus says Feingold has shown courage standing up to the lobbyist crowd in Washington D.C.
"He has been tough on wasteful spending, never walking away from a deficit. And he has been an independent voice for the people of Wisconsin, not the special interests in Washington," John Kraus said.
"While Tommy Thompson sits in a room with his lobbyist friends in Washington making plans to announce his campaign at the Republican convention in the coming months, we are hard at work organizing our door-to-door, grassroots statewide canvass in communities in every corner of our great state on March," Feingold strategist Kraus pointed out.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin claims Thompson has spent the last five years as a Washington DC insider who has made millions of dollars working on behalf of special interests including health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and the finance industry.
Tommy Thompson was the 42nd Wisconsin Governor. He was a multi-term Governor who resigned in the middle of his last term to become part of the George W. Bush administration. He served as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services until he resigned from that position.
In 2008 Thompson ran for the Republican nomination to become the national Republican candidate for President of the United States. He dropped out early in the Presidential Primary process which eventually ended up with Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain being selected to be the Republican candidate.
The John McCain - Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) Republican ticket went on to lose to Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden in November of 2008. President Obama and Vice President Biden took office in January of 2009.