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Neumann is either a Hypocrite or a Career-Styled Politician

I'm Tired of Career-Styled Politicians, How About You?

Mark neumann

I'm fed up with scheming politicians and their senseless press releases. Case in point, Mark Neumann has demanded that Scott Walker reimburse the county because one of his aides, on county time, had posted partisan comments on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's website.

In a year's time, Darlene Wink posted about 70 comments on articles that pertained to Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, and Mark Neumann. I'm not sure how much time that would add up to, but it couldn't be much more than a few hours' pay. Neumann has also accused Walker of working part-time so he can campaign for governor. This last charge is rather fascinating.

Deer Hunting During a Key Vote

Mark Neumann apparently has a memory problem. In 1995, when Neumann was a U.S. Congressman, he missed an extraordinary vote so he could hunt deer with his 13 year old son in northern Wisconsin. Neumann missed a vote that favored a GOP plan that would bring the federal budget into balance by 2002. Then Majority Leader Bob Dole called it the most important vote of his 34 year career. And similarly, Newt Gingrich stated that it was the most important vote in Congress since 1933.

That being said, it was either really bad timing on Neumann's part, or his hunting trip must have been the most important expedition in congressional history. But hey, one of Walker's aides spent a few hours posting on county time without Walker's knowledge or consent, so let's shoot out a press release demanding culpability and reparation.

In Neumann's most recent television ads, he takes credit for being among those in Congress who helped balance the federal budget in the 90s. But oddly enough, he missed the most climatic and budget-balancing vote in 70 years. Perhaps he should have mentioned that in his TV spot? "Hey folks, I'm Mark Neumann. And when I was in Congress, we balanced the budget. Vote for me, and I promise I will shake things up, but only after I make time to bond with my son in the northern woods of Wisconsin."

Just as interesting was Neumann's rationale for missing the key vote. Neumann said he was averaging 70 hours a week so he was entitled to a little time off. In contrast, a 7o hour work week is a bare minimum for Scott Walker. Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, said it best when he said that Walker works 24 hours a day, which requires him to have a cell phone in case of county emergencies - emergencies that don't really care what time at night it is or how many hours you worked in the previous week.

Paying for Ads with Taxpayer Money

In 1998, Neumann was caught using taxpayer dollars to run advertisements that aired outside his congressional district. At the time, Neumann was running against Senator Russ Feingold for a U.S. Senate seat. He used his congressional account to pay for radio ads touting his political achievements. The point of interest, again, is that the ad aired outside his congressional district.

Keep in mind, Senate races are state-wide events meaning anyone in Wisconsin can vote for a Senator. In contrast, a candidate running for a House seat gets elected only on the basis of the district he represents. So, by running an ad that aired to voters outside Neumann's congressional district, local Democrats correctly inferred it was a thinly veiled attempt to promote his run for Senate. So the real question is, did Neumann reimburse the taxpayers? And if not, why is he demanding that Walker do it?

Neumann's Problem Answering Questions

On April 29th, radio talk show host Charlie Sykes asked Neumann if he had ever threatened a party delegate saying he would run as an independent if the GOP grassroots didn't support his run for governor. Neumann hedged a bit. So Sykes asked again, and again, and again. Sykes was persistent. Previous to the interview, rumors had abounded that Neumann told Congressman Sensenbrenner he would run as an independent if he didn't get what he wanted. The move would be tantamount to splitting the GOP vote and guaranteeing that neither of them would become governor. Sykes asked Neumann the same question nearly 5 times. And finally, Neumann gave a definitive "no". So either Neumann is lying, or several of the party delegates are lying. Which is it, Mark?

Second, Milwaukee Journal reporter, Dan Bice, asked Neumann about a comment he made as a U.S Congressman when he said that if he were God for a day, homosexuality would not be permitted. Bice asked him if he stands by his earlier assertion, and Neumann again failed to provide a straight answer. Bice asked Neumann the same question several times, but again Neumann kept meandering. At one point, Neumann said, "You know, this is really fun because you asked this question more different ways than Charlie Sykes asks." Bice reported, "And yet the wannabe governor hadn't answered any of them (questions) directly."

And finally, when asked about Arizona's immigration law, Neumann refused to answer the question at all. What candidate for governor says, ah, I don't think I'll answer that question? At least Walker had the guts to answer the question although controversy ensued.

Perhaps Neumann doesn't remember hunting with his son or campaigning on taxpayer time. Perhaps he tried to answer those interview questions directly, but just doesn't know how. Or perhaps Neumann is just a hypocrite and a career-styled politician. Ultimately, you will have to decide.

Comments (6)
  • grumps

    What I'm tired of is politicians who believe that, if they only break the law a little bit, they are walking with angels. I'm tired of watching politicians who put poll results in front of principles.

    If Neumann broke campaign laws then demand he be held accountable just as he has called for Walker to be held accountable and stop making excuses for the ethically challenged.

  • Dan Cody  - irony

    Aaron, everyone gets that you're on the Walker bandwagon, but trying to bash Neumann while advocating for Walker in the same post that's titled in opposition to a "career politician" is a bit over the top, even for you.

    Don't try to advocate against "career politicians" while at the same time supporting one.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    There is a difference between a career politician and a career-styled politician. There is nothing intrinsically bad about a career politician. He could very well obtain all of the attributes that make up a good leader. And in this case, it wouldn't bother me how long they chose to serve the needs of the community.

    A career styled-politician, however, is one whose motives and political opportunism are transparent. Neumann is a career-styled politician because he acts like someone who has played the game too long. He threatens party delegates because he wasn't getting support. He doesn't answer hard questions during interviews, but somehow acts surprised when a reporter doesn't settle for a lousy answer. And he criticizes opponents for failures while demonstrating repressed memories of his own substantial failures while serving in congress.

    Walker is a career politician. And perhaps it can be argued that our democracy was not set up for career politicians. However, I think there is a substantive difference between a career politician who retains the same position or rank for 30 years (Arlen Spector) and a career politician that takes a risk and chooses to progress to other positions in the city or state government (Walker). The former will do what ever it takes to get re-elected (switch parties) while the latter depends more on municipal performance.

  • Raul Ortegon  - Sad or Funny?

    LOL. There is a difference between a career politician and a career-style politician? Nice try, but nobody is buying it. Walker drones can't really level criticisms at Neumann without hitting their own guy even harder. How does it feel to be a blatant hypocrite?

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    You don't have to buy it, Raul. Not all career politicians are bad. Some are actually quite good, and the retain their job as a result. I also have no problems with those who stay in the pubic sector while progressing to different positions like say State Legislator, County Executive, or Governor. These are the types of people that are not tied to the same politics that give career politicians a bad name.

    Neumann is a different story. Here is guy that is not a career politician only by virtue of running bad election campaigns. If I recall correctly, Neumann has lost more races than he's won - although the ratio is close. So he can technically claim not to be a career politician, but not for a lack of wanting to be.

    Also, Neumann acts more like a career politician than those who actually are. His antics of spreading false rumors about Walker running for Lt. Governor, threatening delegates, negative campaigning, trying to retract his name from the convention endorsement, staging a protest outside the convention, telling people his supporters were shunned when they weren't, and not being able to answer a tough question without being asked numerous times by reporters. None of this shows good character.

  • Doug

    LOL, boy Raul, I guess lots of people are fooled by Walker then. Lots of people from all over the state. And they know the difference. Walker is running a campaign based on the issues, not one attacking Neumann's dirty tricks. He will respond and has to those but doesn't start them.

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