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Sep 23, 201311:51 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

I teed off on Tommy Thompson

(page 1 of 2)

The great Peggy Noonan wrote that the current occupant of the White House endeavors to ascertain what the American people are thinking. A great leader doesn’t need to do that, she explained, because that great leader IS the American people. That described Ronald Reagan, for whom the lady once worked, and that describes Tommy Thompson, for whom your humble squire once labored.

Tommy speaks Wisconsin. My small hope is that somewhere, in her core sense of decency, Tammy Baldwin has regretted her scurrilous defamation of a good man in her victorious campaign for U.S. senator almost a year ago.

I was honored when the great man joined our threesome (which included the inimitable Scott Fromader and former Capitol security man Reggie) for the final three holes at the 10th annual TGT Open charity golf outing Friday. Well, it would have been three if I could have found the 16th tee at Door Creek Golf Course. We skipped the hole and went onto the 17th, much to the amazement of Terry Grosenheider, Patrick Osborne, Bill Jordahl, and Mike Bullington — the foursome we had been following.

This year’s foursome in a photo taken three years ago.

“How did you do that?” one of them asked. I responded that with TGT, anything was possible. We were discussing the merits and demerits of potential Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke when I volunteered that Ms. Burke has a rather icy persona compared to friendlier Democrats like, say — and here my brain had frozen — Tammy Baldwin.

“Thanks for ruining my day,” TGT retorted. Oops.

The TGT Open began as a reunion of old Tommy hands and has evolved into a charity bestowing scholarships on nursing students at Madison College. “Health care is my passion,” Tommy told a large crowd in self-deprecating remarks.

Tommy said since he was denied the opportunity to serve Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate he has no choice but to use his talents to make money. Another way to put it is that TGT meets the demands of the market — the purest expression of free choice in the world, unless you’re a fan of the late Mr. Chavez and Vermont’s socialist senator and his publicist, Comrade John. Tommy’s line drew appreciative applause. Imagine that response from a liberal audience. Still, the event drew former mayor Joel Skornicka, most assuredly a loyal Democrat. The tone of the event was decidedly apolitical, unless you are Prog Dane.

Tommy also disclosed that he rang up Bristol Town Chairman Jerry Derr to sing “Happy Birthday” on his 70th birthday a few days ago. Amazingly, Herr Derr does not look a day over 69. Must live right.

The $125 entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, beer, and a nice meal. Businesses sponsor holes, a silent auction raises money offering a variety of gifts, and a raffle shakes more money from participants. It’s a great event. If you want to do good and feel good doing it, consider participating next year.

Walking out on the victims

I see Mark Pocan had no trouble with walking out on the families of the Benghazi victims. My friend Peter Theron, once a candidate for Congress, comments:

On Thursday, Representative Mark Pocan walked out of a hearing on the Benghazi consulate attack. He stayed just long enough to learn that Special Forces were given an order to “Hold in Place.” That testimony contrasts official government statements and news reports, in which the government denied issuing a “stand down” order. In this instance “Hold in Place” was equivalent to “Stand Down.” No help was sent to Americans under fire.

But then instead of staying and expressing outrage, he and all but two of the other committee Democrats walked out of the hearing. If there is an administration cover up or serious misjudgment, he and other Democrats as well as Republicans need to investigate. He chose not to listen to the parents of the Benghazi fallen and he needed to hear what they had to say.

More on that here and here.


Old to new | New to old
Sep 23, 2013 12:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

David, how do you feel that Wisconsin on DOJ is releasing personal info from name, address and Social Security numbers of those who have participated in the Solidarity Sing Along. Think it was an accident or on purpose?

Sep 23, 2013 08:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Your fealty to TGT is understandable, even commendable, but you're both blaming the wrong person in his defeat. Tammy had the luxury of defining herself to the voters with no primary opponent (do ya think maybe Mary Burke noticed how that worked?) and then campaigning against a pre-Tea Party, old school Republican who was bloodied by an expensive primary against a rich gadfly (oh yeah, Eric Hovde cared so much about public service that he issued a big FU to everyone and then disappeared after his loss - with no background in elected office, had he won he would have been as ineffective an empty suit as Ron Johnson has been - no "there" there, besides a rich man's ego) and the bug-eyed fanatic Mark Neumann, who managed to be hated by both Walkerites and Prog Dane. Those are the two names that should ruin Tommy's day. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but his embrace of the Tea Party was never authentic, and the favor was returned. And I even LIKE the guy, Dave. I was around the Assembly when he was minority leader. He knew my first name then and still does today. He was and is a classy pol, but that's why he has no place in today's teabaggin' GOP. I'm surprised you think you do.

Sep 24, 2013 07:46 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Did they have enough beer for you and everyone else, Blaska? You didn't drink it all?

Sep 24, 2013 12:41 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

One of your most endearing qualities is your loyalty, Blaska, and it was certainly well placed with the former Governor. One of your least endearing qualities is your ability to feign outrage selectively at the normal bloviation by politicians. Sure, Tammy criticized Tommy, just like he (and his surrogates) criticized her.

Especially ironic that you would pull the "hate" card out on the Tommy-Tammy race in light of Jason Thompson's late-campaign flub. You know what I'm talking about, where someone in the front row said "Send him back to Kenya" and Jason amplified it.

Of course Jason isn't a politician, but we never heard him apologize directly for his comment. A stark contrast to Senator McCain, who stopped an old woman short in Minnesota when she started to say that then-candidate Obama was not an American.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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