Tuesday, April 15, 2010

Top Five Questions Secretary Thompson Won’t Answer at Tea Party Rally


MADISON –
Secretary Tommy Thompson is expected to end his seemingly endless flirtation with a Senate run in a couple hours, but there are a number of questions that will go unanswered at the Tea Party rally in Madison.

 

Thompson realizes he faces many problems with the Tea Party crowd including:

 

·       Thompson’s support for health care reform – including the individual mandate that the right-wing believes is unconstitutional.

·       Thompson’s work for interests that received stimulus funding that tea partiers oppose.

·       Thompson’s decision to leave Wisconsin with a state budget deficit.

·       Thompson’s record of raising taxes, increasing spending and expanding government.

·       Thompson’s work for corporate interests and his refusal to disclose his clients. 

 

Dave Westlake even questioned whether Thompson even belongs at a Tea Party rally at all.  The Madison Tea Party rally is being organized by Americans for Prosperity (AFP):

 

“People are FIRED UP this morning a/b AFP's announcement that Tommy Thompson is speaking at the TEA Party tomorrow--our email inbox is burning up! I've always been completely honest w/ you & this time honesty means speaking against the former Governor. AFP calling him a "common sense conservative" is insulting to those of us who truly are. What do you think? Does Tommy represent YOUR TEA Party? He sure does NOT represent mine!

 

 

Top 5 Questions Secretary Thompson Won’t Answer at Tea Party Rally

 

Secretary Thompson, Why Did You Support Health Care Reform?

 

Secretary Thompson supported universal health care for Iraq. He supported the individual mandate that Republicans are now filing frivolous lawsuits over. He even supported the health insurance reform plan that passed – before flip-flopping in recent months and coming out against it.

 

Secretary Thompson, Why Did You Support The Stimulus?

 

While Thompson has recently flip-flopped on this issue as well, “Thompson is tied to several businesses that have benefited directly from the stimulus plan.”  In fact, the reason Secretary Thompson has been able to make millions as a D.C. insider, fighting for corporate interests, has been because he funnels taxpayer money to his corporate ventures. 

 

Secretary Thompson, Why Did You Leave Wisconsin with A Structural Deficit We’re Still Dealing With Today?

 

Conservative Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Columnist Patrick McIlheran, in a 2006 column, credited Thompson as being responsible for the “birth” of the state’s “structural deficit.”  The Green Bay Press Gazette recently highlighted the Secretary’s tenure stating: “The Wisconsin budget's $2.3 billion structural deficit has its roots in the Thompson years.”

 

According to a 2009 report, instead of putting Wisconsin on a path toward fiscal stability when the economy was in better shape, Thompson left lawmakers, Governors McCallum and Doyle, as well as taxpayers, unprepared to confront a financial crisis when he left in 2001 to join the Bush Administration. In fact, “officials had just $49 set aside to cushion the state budget in hard times.

 

Secretary Thompson, Why Were You a Tax and Spend Governor?

 

According to news reports, “figures show that debt rose the most - by $1.8 billion- under Thompson between 1996 and 2001” and state spending doubled in the 1990s when Thompson was governor.  

 

Right-wing radio host, WISN’s Jay Weber says:  I fully admit he [Secretary Thompson] was a tax and spend governor. During his years, money was pouring into the state coffers, and rather than set up a rainy day fund, or maybe use it more responsibly, he just spent it all. And I think that’s a perfectly legitimate rap on him.”

In 1995, Thompson jammed through a special sales tax on the people of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee and Washington counties to fund a new stadium for the Brewers and famously said “Stick it to ‘em,” referring to the $310 million in tax increases he assigned to residents of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Click here for the full audio of Secretary Thompson’s famous “Stick it to ‘em” quote.

In 2001, the conservative Cato Institute rated Thompson the second highest “tax hiker” of all governors with respect to the gas tax.  They also ranked Thompson the third worst for “spending restraint.”

 

Secretary Thompson, Why Don’t You Tell Us Who You Really Work For?

 

Secretary Thompson still won’t reveal his client list with the large Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Secretary Thompson has refused to release a list of who his clients are, and when asked in February to disclose to the media who he works for, he couldn’t even name the corporate interests he receives a paycheck from.

 

In a November 23, 2009 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thompson also refused to disclose his clients, but admitted that he works with about 25 health care companies as part of his work for the DC lobbying firm.

 

Thompson has spent the last five years as a Washington, D.C. insider cashing in for his work on behalf of corporate interests - including health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and the finance industry.