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Open Letter to Mark Neumann

 

Mr. Neumann,

With disappointment and frustration, I write this letter to urge you to withdraw from your gubernatorial campaign.  I think you are a good man with good ideas, and under different circumstances, I believe you would have been a solid candidate for the governor of Wisconsin. 

However, you have acquired little support from GOP officials including Republicans in our State Senate and Assembly.  You have no prominent endorsements, and your most distinguished supporter left your campaign to endorse your opponent.  Your campaign fundraising is anemic, strengthened only by your own cash transfusions.  Your team is fraught with mismanagement as you have replaced your campaign manager more than once. And the only media attention you manage to amass is when you criticize the top Republican contender.

My friend, you are up against a mighty current that even your own personal wealth cannot stop.  There is a strong grassroots movement behind Scott Walker and for good reason.  He is young, resolute, and has considerable name recognition.  Every decision he makes in Milwaukee County, for better or for worse, will attract more attention than you could generate with a dozen campaign ads.

While you were building a successful company for the past decade, Walker has built himself a noteworthy administrative legacy.  He has battled tax increases, cut spending, and produced budget surpluses when other counties ran major deficits.  With fiscal restraint and wise budgeting, Walker has strengthened the county's municipal bond rating, which as you  know, makes it easier to sell securities.  Walker also has a number of political achievements that will be accentuated during his campaign.

  • Walker's county transit system that was deemed "efficient and effective" providing the highest ridership per capita while delivering the lowest per passenger cost.
  • Walker's county parks won a national gold medal of excellence from American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and also the National Recreation and Park Association. 
  • Walker's Mitchell International Airport had record-breaking traffic and national recognition for being the number one least expensive destination in the nation.
  • Walker's Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division won an award from Harvard University demonstrating that he has built himself a distinguished reputation.

Walker's legacy is not the only obstacle to your campaign.  You must deal with the fact he's a more viable candidate for governor.

  • He has a better record of winning campaigns, which is something any Republican strategist in the party will value and support.  
  • Walker has better grassroots support situated in every county of Wisconsin, which includes the tea party movement that you have unfortunately ignored. 
  • And most importantly, Walker is a better match up against Tom Barrett.  This is important.  You know as well as I that Democrats are elected on the basis of winning the Milwaukee and Dane counties.  Walker, by virtue of being popular in Milwaukee County, is a better candidate and more capable of neutralizing Barrett's metropolitan advantage.

Republicans in Wisconsin have been given an opportunity of a lifetime.  With failing democrat strongholds like Massachusetts, immoral scandals permeating Democrats in New York, and tea party winds at the back of fiscally conservative contenders everywhere, you must see that Walker has the best odds of winning this race.

If you continue down your path as a secluded agitator, not only will you become an impediment to repairing our state, but you will also succeed in turning a conservative base against you - a conservative base that would happily support you if you chose to run for the U.S. Senate.

You sir, when you openly criticize Walker, will become a tool in the hands of Mike Tate and the Democrat party - a party that possesses a single candidate free from the political hazards of a primary.  As you told me last year, your ideological approach bears no significant difference to Walker's.  So instead, you have distinguished yourself as a business man that understands the importance of job growth and operates primarily through innovation.  And yet your gubernatorial approach and innovative ideas never took hold in Wisconsin.

Sir, your campaign has not taken root.  I urge you to retire your campaign for governor and put your full support behind the candidate that will stop the spending, reduce taxes, and promote the same business growth that you have advocated.

Genuinely,

Aaron Rodriguez


Comments (11)
  • Anonymous

    The first Political Achievement you list ... perfect timing by js.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/86773287.html

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    Anon,

    The first point stands. Did you read that every major county in the state has declining transit systems due to the recession? Also, you should keep in mind that half of the ridership decline in Milwaukee County is because MPS pulled out and are using a private busing system.

  • xoff  - not exactly

    Walker has destroyed what used to win awards as the best bus system in the US. By raising fares and cutting service almost every year, he's created a vicious circle where ridership therefore naturally declines, so he cuts more service and raises more fares. This one is squarely on Walker's head.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    I agree with everything you're saying except for the part that you have NO EVIDENCE.

  • Ken Van Doren

    Let me put forward a different point of view. First, I think Republicans should consider themselves blessed that they have 2 (or more) candidates of this calibre.

    Second, a bye may not necessarily help Mr. Barrett, while a contest could help hone the debating skills and better define the issues of the winner.

    Third, the Walker campaign smacks of being annointed by Republican power brokers. This elitism does not play well with a considerable segment of the Republican party, and is a very considerable negative outside the party.

    Fourth, the Walker campaign has made mistakes of its own. Among the more obvious, his identification with the likes of Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich. Again, does not play well among party members who see these 2 gentlemen as symptoms of the problems within the party, and again, has less than zero appeal to those outside. I have not been at any events featuring Mr. Walker recently, but friends who have say it is almost as if Mr. Walker's handlers want to isolate the candidate from any spontaneous interaction with voters. If this is true, it is a serious, and possibly fatal mistake. Taking all the above into consideration, perhaps, despite his great early lead, Mr. Walker would do well to examine his strategy and those advisors who have steered him in this direction.

    Fifth, the Irish in me loves a good fight. I hate seeing ANY race, primary or not, go unchallenged.

    And finally, it is early yet. Even if Mr. Nuemann eventually takes your advice, there is plenty of time to see how the governor's primary race pans out, and still leave him the opportunity to become the instant front runner in the Senate race.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    KVD,

    Quote:
    Let me put forward a different point of view. First, I think Republicans should consider themselves blessed that they have 2 (or more) candidates of this calibre.


    I agree.

    Quote:
    Second, a bye may not necessarily help Mr. Barrett, while a contest could help hone the debating skills and better define the issues of the winner.

    Perhaps in a national election, but not here in Wisconsin where the media is leftist. The Milwaukee and Madison papers, the local TV news, and the Democrat party of Wisconsin are more than excited to quote Nuemann every time he takes a shot at Walker.

    Also, it a relatively blue state, it's important that Walker save his money for Barrett, which will prove to be a battle.

    Quote:
    Third, the Walker campaign smacks of being annointed by Republican power brokers. This elitism does not play well with a considerable segment of the Republican party, and is a very considerable negative outside the party.


    What a strange statement. Walker wasn't anointed anymore this campaign than he was his last gubernatorial campaign when the Wisconsin power brokers said he wasn't ready. He bowed out of the race early because he couldn't get any fund-raising support.

    This time around, he wised up and sought GOP support early so those same power brokers couldn't deprive him of another run. No, he's not anointed. He worked for it, which is something Neumann didn't do. For what Nuemann lacked in ambition, he thinks he can make up with personal wealth.

    Quote:
    Fourth, the Walker campaign has made mistakes of its own. Among the more obvious, his identification with the likes of Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich. Again, does not play well among party members who see these 2 gentlemen as symptoms of the problems within the party, and again, has less than zero appeal to those outside.


    Honestly, this is news to me. I've met no party members who have problems with Jeb or Newt.

    Quote:
    I have not been at any events featuring Mr. Walker recently, but friends who have say it is almost as if Mr. Walker's handlers want to isolate the candidate from any spontaneous interaction with voters. If this is true, it is a serious, and possibly fatal mistake.


    Well, I've been to 4 or more Walker events in the past 6 months. And at every event, except one with the business community in Milwaukee, Walker fielded questions from an active audience. I think you need to attend an event before you starting spouting out words like "handlers". His so-called handlers are there to remind him of his daily schedule so he isn't late for his next event, and that's about it.

    Quote:
    And finally, it is early yet. Even if Mr. Nuemann eventually takes your advice, there is plenty of time to see how the governor's primary race pans out, and still leave him the opportunity to become the instant front runner in the Senate race.


    This would be a smart choice for him and the party.

  • Nick  - Shorter Version

    Shorter Version of this Post:

    Dear Mark,

    I urge you to ignore the opportunity to let voters choose in an actual election, and instead let a few vocal people make that decision for you. That is how Democracy works now, or haven't you gotten the memo?

    Sincerely,

    Aaron Rodriguez

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez  - re: Shorter Version

    Shorter version of Nick's response.

    I can't challenge the points in your letter, so I will avoid them altogether.

  • Zeus Rodriguez  - Personal Preferences

    I think this article makes valid points but I have to agree with Ken on wanting to see a "good fight." To ignore a legitimate candidate like Neumann, in the primary, smacks of a career politician using political maneuvers instead of a man of the people, not afraid to show both his strengths and weaknesses in the face of genuine competition.

    I too think that Walker is the candidate with the best chance to win in November and I believe that he has the capacity to be a transformative leader. However, by ignoring Neumann's challenge he reminds me of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather who is a self-proclaimed "pugilist" and not a "fighter." Someone who is satisfied defeating his opponents with jabs and evasive movements instead of beating him down with skill and COURAGE. As I already noted, Mayweather IS undefeated, but this Hispanic (that would be me ;) ) wouldn't pay $54.00 to see him run around the ring avoiding the very reason I watch boxing in the first place, to see two men BATTLE for the right to be called "champion."

    Some people ask me why I always root for Tiger Woods instead of the underdog. I tell them it's because I like to see greatness and witness unprecedented history. I want to feel confident that my Government representative is a man's man and is willing to step into the ring with the intention of knocking out his opponent, leaving no doubt that he is prepared to make history and NOT just "win."

    But that's just me.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    I agree a lot with what you said. The only issue I have is with the fact that Barrett has no opponent. If Barrett had an opponent for the primary, I would say there is nothing wrong with Neumann giving Walker a run for his money.

    I like to see fairness first, and it weakens Walker's ability to battle Barrett if he's spending limited resources while Barrett save his money for the post-primaries.

  • Jenny  - Good move

    It seems to me that Dems have this figured out: the fewer contenders, the greater the likelihood of a greater number of votes per candidate. While it is noteworthy that Reps have more than one good candidate, the more good candidates that are in the ring together, the greater the likelihood of votes being dispersed among all contenders. End result: one of the couple Dems wins by more votes because the Reps votes were spread thin. Reps have a greater chance of winning if they would collectively support just one candidate.

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