Monday, March 09, 2009

No More Free Rides For Wisconsin's Worst Republican Obstructionist, Paul Ryan


Paul Ryan has big ambitions-- for spreading the far right gospel

Today CQPolitics ran a hackish piece on Republicans left standing in districts that Obama won. Although they were smart enough to mention a slew of blue-ing California districts, they wasted almost the whole piece talking about Anh Cao in New Orleans and Mike Castle in Delaware, two anomolies. Coincidentally, last night I started working on something much more important along the same lines: defeating Paul Ryan.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan has quietly amassed a very extreme right voting record-- far more extreme, in fact, than his moderate southeast Wisconsin district's residents... and this year, as Ryan has made a play for national prominence, he has tacked even further right, off the cliff in fact, and into territory inhabited by raving fanatics like Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Tom Cole (R-OK), Michael Conaway (R-TX), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Bob Inglis (R-SC). There is a difference though. All those extremists just listed represent extreme right wing districts where McCain did far better than Obama in November and where what Rush Limbaugh says, goes. WI-01, centered around Kenosha and Racine, isn't like that... not at all. Although the district is overwhelmingly white-- blacks and Hispanics make up about 10% of the population combined-- it isn't some kind of Klan bastion like the others mentioned above. Yet, this year, Ryan has an indentical score with the extremist congressmen. He's become one of the leaders in the House of the die-hard obstructionists, despite the fact that McCain only won 48% of the vote in November, not 76% like in Conaway's backward district or 73% like in Lucas' hate-filled backwater, or even 64% like in Bishop's Mormon hellhole. No, voters in WI-01, who gave Bush 54% of their vote in 2004 signaled that they were ready for the change that Obama was promising.

Even the Republicans' main bastion in the district, conservative Waukesha County has been veering away from Wingnutia and, in 2006, progressive Democrat Larry Nelson beat the Ryan-backed Republican loon, Ann Nischke for the mayoralty of Waukesha. (It's also the home of the BoDeans.)

Ryan, an ex-aide to bloated GOP hypocrite Bill Bennett, fancies himself a Club For Growth kind of Republican like many on the lunatic fringe right do. For him Bush's tax cuts for the rich were too small and in Ryan's pinched little universe the biggest problems facing Americans are that capital gains taxes on re-invested distributions aren't deferred and that prices on imported bows and arrows are too low; I'm not making this up. Between 1970 and 1994 WI-01 was a Democratic district, to be more precise, the formidable Les Aspin's district (who left the seat to become Secretary of Defense).

In 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 Ryan's Democratic challenger was Jeffrey Thomas, a retired orthopedic surgeon from Ryan's hometown of Janesville. Thomas' only issue for his first three runs was health care and he never quite cracked a third of the vote but in 2006 he ran against Ryan's shady relationship with Republican corruptionists Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay and went all the way to 37%. In 2006 Ryan raised over $1.6 million and Thomas, who refuses to raise money for campaigns, spent $5,000 of his own. Ryan, meanwhile take immense amounts of money from the special interests whose priorities he always serves. His biggest financial support comes from the Insurance Industry ($460,901), which appreciates his anti-regulatory fanaticism. Ditto for the Securities and Investments Industries (aka- Wall Street), which shoved $301,949 his way. He got another $226,745 from commercial banks and $209,184 from the Real Estate Industry... and you begin to see how Paul Ryan has been so complicit in the American financial meltdown.

Last year Ryan's Democratic challenger was Marge Krupp, a chemical engineer. He spent over $2.2 million and his biggest single contributor was the American Bankers Association. Krupp spent $143,292. None of Ryan's opponents have drawn any national attention or support. Hopefully, in 2010 that will change... drastically. Perhaps Wisconsin Assemblyman Peter Barca, who held the seat briefly when Bill Clinton appointed Aspin Defense Secretary, and is now the Democratic Caucus Chair, would be interested in running again. On the other hand, the state Senate Democratic Caucus chair, John Lehman, is also from the district.

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At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It can get worse. Ryan is looking like he's one of the top two possibilities for Governor.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Denny said...

As an independent voter I do not understand your passionate objection to Ryan. It seems to me his Roadmap for America proposals are exactly the kinds of ideas that could be the basis of compromise between Democrat "Big Government" proposals and realistic change voters expect.



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