Statement puts lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin a step closer to historic Senate bid

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Press release from Wisconsin Democrat’s campaign identifies her as ‘likely candidate’ for seat being vacated by Herbert Kohl

LISA KEEN | Keen News Service
lisakeen@me.com

Her campaign stationery says “Tammy Baldwin 2012.” But the text of the July 13 press release walks the U.S. House’s only openly lesbian member one step closer to an historic bid for a U.S. Senate seat:

“She is a likely candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI).”

That statement echoed a comment she made to the Capital Times newspaper in Madison July 2 when she said, “I think I am likely to run.”

If she does enter the race, Baldwin will become the first openly gay person to make a run for the U.S. Senate. And clearly, her supporters are urging a bid.

According to the press release, Baldwin raised more than $435,000 in the month of June, the month after the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund reported sources close to Baldwin as saying she was eyeing the seat.

Kohl announced May 13 that he would retire, rather than run for re-election in 2012. Newspapers in Wisconsin immediately began identifying a list of potential candidates that included Baldwin.

Others mentioned, on the Democratic side, include former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid only last year to newcomer Republican Ron Johnson.

Feingold would be considered the Democrats’ strongest candidate because of his name recognition and long-time service in the Senate.

A Public Policy Polling survey in May of 784 likely Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin found 70 percent supported Feingold for the seat; Baldwin came in second with 12 percent. Six other Democrats earned between one and five percent each.

“Remove Feingold from consideration,” said a Public Policy Polling press release May 27, “and the race becomes considerably more wide open, but Baldwin would start out with 30 percent….”

Her closest competitors, according to the survey, would be former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen with 17 percent and current Rep. Ron Kind with 16 percent.

Capital Times Executive Editor Paul Fanlund said, in a July 5 article, that Baldwin is “steaming toward a 2012 candidacy” for the Senate seat and “it almost seems the only person who could alter her course is former senator Russ Feingold … .”

Feingold has said he would make an announcement of his intentions in September. But he urged other Democrats considering a bid to go ahead with their plans and not wait for his decision.

Baldwin told the Capital Times she thinks she would have to raise between $15 million and $20 million for a Senate race.

Her July 13 press release indicates that her July 15 quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission shows she has raised $502,485 “for the second quarter” of the 2011-2012 election cycle. For the same second quarter in the previous election cycle (2009-2010), she reported raising $107,533.

At her July 15 quarterly in 2009, she had $561,563 cash-on-hand in her campaign coffers. Her press release this month says she has $1.1 million.

© 2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

—  John Wright

Wisconsin’s got bigger nuts than Texas

Rebecca Kleefisch

Wisconsin is generally considered a liberal state. Milwaukee is the only city in the country that ever elected a socialist city government. Their senior senator, Russ Feingold, is one of the most liberal members of the Senate.

But like in New York, this election year has brought out Wisconsin’s right-wing crazies.

Here’s some current news on Wisconsin Republican candidates, proving — yet again — that Texas Republicans are downright mainstream and boring.

Rebecca Kleefisch didn’t mean to sound insensitive when she compared same-sex marriage to marrying a table.

The former local TV news anchor (surprisingly for ABC, not Fox) is running on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.

She said was talking about the state’s domestic partnership law that offers same-sex couples hospital visitation rights and estate planning rights.

She said the state can’t afford to just hand out money to anyone.

She didn’t explain how visiting someone in the hospital and helping to care for that person costs the state money. Or how probating a will that is not contested in court costs more than a legal fight between a partner and a family that won’t recognize the relationship. Seems like it’s her way that costs the state big bucks.

Well, she’s sorry. She’s still against marriage equality, not that Wisconsin offers marriage equality. Please vote for her.

Jennifer London is running for Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. Her solution to the Social Security problem is to back all of the trust fund’s savings with gold.

The Great Lakes are her environmental concern. To save them, she would close the St. Lawrence Seaway. No word on how she’d do that beyond her proposed legislation since the St. Lawrence is in Canada. War?

Then there’s Apostle David King, founder of the Milwaukee God Squad and Republican candidate for Wisconsin Secretary of State.

Charlette Harris filed a civil lawsuit today against King.

Harris, a lesbian, is accusing King of getting her drunk and getting her pregnant. She says they had lunch on Aug. 26. After he got her drunk, he took her to his home where she was too drunk to consent to sex, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The paper reports King first suggested Harris get an abortion and then suggested his wife go with her for her ultrasound. I may not know much about heterosexual relationships, but even if this wasn’t rape, isn’t it odd for the adulterer to get his wife involved?

For the record, no apostles are on the ballot in Texas. No proposals to shut down the Rio Grande to deal with immigration or the environment. No real nutjobs to really make us proud. With all the crazies out there, I’m a little jealous that we don’t have our share.

—  David Taffet