Thursday, September 10, 2009

On Mark Neumann

I was able to catch large parts of Neumann's visits with Sykes and Belling yesterday. Not all of them--nor was I able to pay extremely close attention to each.

But there were a couple of things that were clear.

First off, Neumann will play the "outsider" card very hard. He's not exactly an "outsider" --having served in Congress--but he's certainly not a political lifer, so it's fair for him to play the card. But is it really an advantage? Doyle and the (D) Leggies have left one helluva mess for the next Governor to untangle, and knowing the ins and outs of Gummint will be a strength, not a weakness--particularly since Walker is doing a very good job of being an 'anti-Gummint' politician.

In that vein, while I might have missed some of his comments on Wisconsin's spending and taxing, what I did manage to hear was a lot of sideways-scurrying on the spending issue. Spending drives taxes, period. Walker will have an advantage in knowing where the spending bodies are buried--assuming that Wisconsin hasn't gone banko before Doyle exits.

Secondly, Neumann intends to play his personal 'choice school' experience hard, too. That's fine, but so what? Is it his intention to make Choice state-wide, no-holds-barred? And if that's a good idea, what happens as the State demands its pound of flesh for all those dollars? Hmmmmm?

Neumann was obviously ill-at-ease; his presentation was machine-gun rapid and seemed to consist of memorized talking points. If they were NOT memorized talking points, his speaking style will be a serious drawback in comparison to Walker. He doesn't respond well to pressure.

He also cited General Electric as some sort of 'authority' on "Green" stuff--which Neumann seems to think has cachet beyond the insider-tax-regulatory-Gummint-power gang. Wrong-o. GE recently put it in a memo soliciting PAC contributions from its employees :
The intersection between GE’s interests and government action is clearer than ever.”

Want that re-phrased? OK, Mark. "What's good for GE is good for GE, and we will make certain that regulation and legislation is good for GE. The rest of you can go suck lemons."

Citing GE, which achieves a lot of its business success by controlling legislation in D.C., is not going to play well with normal people, and yapping about "green" stuff won't either. Remember that GE wrote the legislation which will remove incandescent bulbs from the US market in a few years. Do you REALLY want to be all snuggy-buggy with that bunch of rapists?

On that "green" stuff, by the way, Mark, EVERYBODY reduces, recycles, and re-uses. Implying that you are more prudent than voters ain't smart. In fact, it sounds as though you're just another nanny-Gore twerp.

Neumann did make good "business-friendly" noises, and I know that Neumann is not going to compromise principles. That's in his favor.

But in general, I wasn't convinced. Not even persuaded.


Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction; heard a little bit of his interview with Belling and was completely unimpressed. One small point: I didn't like that he couldn't bring himself to say that Scott Walker has done a good job as County Exec; that was petty. I fear that he will run a blisteringly negative campaign -- methinks he did protest too much about how he wanted to be positive -- and then neither one of them will be able to mount a decent campaign in the general.

And frankly, his speaking style was boring, at best.

Not at all persuasive.

Paul - Berry Laker said...

I have to say I agree with you and anonymous. I just get the feeling he will cozy up to special interest, WEAC and the other groups in Madison. Just seems his campaign should use the slogan,

"Can't we all just get along with the democrats and their ilk!"

I still smell from voting for McCain last November.I will not make that mistake again, no matter who the other candidate is!

Anonymous said...

Run far - Run fast away from Mark Neumann!

The full GE Memo was from John Rice - Pres of their Infrastructure-Technology group (they have Healthcare in their fold)... There was another e-mail pushing GEPAC from Immelt today, but was softer in tone but I don't have that one at home. Love the "voluntary" spin - translate it into: "You may choose not to participate in GEPAC and thereby choose to be excluded from GE Leadership and future advancement opportunities. Crypically and indirectly like extortion, but not REALLY." Especially since Immelt stated very clearly in an employee "Town Hall" webcast earlier this year that if you didn't buy into his vision, there was no place for you on the team...

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to invite you to join me in an important initiative available to GE leaders -- the GE Political Action Committee (GEPAC). This year, Senior Professional Band (SPB) employees will have the choice to join other eligible employees to become members of GEPAC.

The intersection between GE's interests and government action is clearer than ever. GEPAC is an important tool that enables GE employees to collectively help support candidates who share the values and goals of GE. While we must continue to engage elected officials to help them better understand our various businesses and how legislation affects our Company and our customers, we must also make sure that candidates who share GE's values and goals get elected to office.

Our Company is heavily impacted by a number of issues pending in Washington this fall. For example, we are working hard to ensure that financial services reform includes provisions, which provide important new safeguards over the financial system, while allowing GE Capital to continue to be a vital source of lending to small and mid-market businesses in the United States and around the world. In recent weeks, we have made great strides towards convincing key lawmakers that GE Capital should remain a part of the General Electric Company.

On climate change, we were able to work closely with key authors of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives. If this bill is enacted into law it would benefit many GE businesses. We are continuing our efforts to make certain that a final bill includes provisions to ensure the United States maintains its leading position in the renewable energy industry, which is an industry sector of vital importance to the future of GE.

And the issue with the most activity out of our Washington, D.C. Government Relations office this month is the Joint Strike Fighter/F136 Engine. GE is working relentlessly to ensure funding for F136 Engine, which is a critically important program for GE Aviation.

I hope that you will take a minute to learn more about GEPAC and read through the attached FAQs. Passion, optimism, and the will to win are mandatory in any GE leader. Please understand, participation in the GEPAC is not mandatory. Participation is purely voluntary.

Thank you for all your efforts and for learning more about GEPAC. Please be on the lookout for further communications this summer.


Jeremy R. Shown said...

Thanks for the info. I really think there is a need for these types of perspectives.

So, for those of us that cannot support the Dems, are you convinced Walker is the guy?

Neo-Con Tastic said...

I, too, listened to the email and agree with everyone's thoughts. He looks like a softie-Republican that will do what it takes to look good. I don't think he is conservative however I don't think he would be as bad as Tommy Thompson.

Further, he's in tight with the corn lobby and that stinks big time. I also agree that he was pettty how he wouldn't acknowledge Walker's success while saying he wouldn't be negative. Sure.

AFTR, Walker is the man.

And rumor has it, Chris Farley's brother (R) wants the LG job... as bad as it sounds, I would put him in office.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

"listened to the email"

Have I been drinking? I meant:

"listened to the interview"

John Foust said...

"EVERYBODY reduces, recycles, and re-uses"?

Except for those righties who think it's clever to praise wasteful consuption.

Andrew K said...

Why is Neumann running against Walker? Why can't we have an uncontested primary for the GOP Gov? Walker has proven himself in the past few years as County Exec. And, he can probably beat Doyle.

Our GOP doesn't want to win in WI. That's clear.

Dad29 said...

John, you're a twit.

But you raise a good point.

Everybody except AlGore, whose personal electric bill is equal to the sum of all electric bills in the Town of Brookfield.

Jeremy R. Shown said...


An uncontested primary is a good thing?

I would think the party that emphasizes competition and choice could withstand a little of that in choosing a candidate, right?

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Andrew K - Doyle's not running! Though normally, I'd agree with you, in this instance a primary might be a good thing.

The Dems will undoubtedly have 3-4 candidates which will keep them in the public spotlight as they run against each other toward a primary. A Republican primary will serve to keep both Walker and Neumann on the front pages as well, whereas without an opponent, either of them could easily become relegated to an occasional mention on the 10th page of section E in your local paper.

As far as Neumann, I sat in on his online town hall and was very disappointed. I thought he might be a viable candidate, I now believe he's more interested in promoting his "green" homes than doing what is really ecessary to turn around Wisconsin's business climate. The 20 minutes or so I listened in, he cherry picked out of context certain questions that would allow him to go off on his green rant, with far too much emphasis on his own home building.

Though I used to own a small business and would prefer someone with a business background as governor, I draw the line when it seems political aspirations and personal profit margins are becoming a little too intertwined.

RAG said...

I, too, was uninspired by Neumann but he didn't wow me as a congressman or a contractor, either. Not sure how he'd do.

Scott Walker doesn't wow me, either. His record in running Milw. County isn't the greatest. I like many things about him but he's failed in cleaning up enough in his own county. I'd say the same if he was a liberal. And Walker is a conservative version of Hillary: people either love ya or don't.

Keep an eye out for Paul Ryan, though. He may have the best chance of winning short of Tommy.

Dad29 said...

RAG, you know something we don't?

RAG said...

Not yet but he'd be a great choice. Experienced, charismatic, conservative. What's not to like?