Tommy Thompson: Creature of the Corporate State

Timothy Carney writes that Tommy Thompson's win in Wisconsin's Senate primary was a victory for the Republican Party's K Street wing:

Thompson was the favorite of Beltway GOP leaders, and his campaign was funded in great part by K Street lobbying firms, Beltway-based business PACs and his own wealth, earned as a lobbyist and director of firms dependent on government for profit....

As President George W. Bush's secretary of health and human services, Thompson helped the Medicare prescription-drug entitlement across the finish line. Then, after leaving HHS, he monetized that experience, going to work for companies benefiting from this expansion of government....The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Thompson's clients included the drug lobby. In 2009, Thompson publicly applauded the Obamacare bill supported by the drug lobby.

My favorite part:

Thompson repeatedly got away with shilling for his clients under the banner of former HHS secretary. In a 2011 ABCNews.com interview on anthrax, Thompson said Congress needs to "support the second-generation vaccine."

He twice name-checked his client PharmAthene as a maker of such a vaccine, never disclosing the company was paying him.

Statesmanship!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Wisconsin's a blue state, and I imagine Thompson has a stronger chance of winning than a more conservative republican. Its probably a pyrrhic victory for the republican establishment, especially if thompson loses anyway.

  • Hyperion||

    Makes me sick just looking at this crony. Things will not improve until we rid DC of a lot more of these stinking old scum bags.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Thompson is just the sort of bipartisan adult needed to get the Senate moving again!

  • wareagle||

    I have become immune to the reaction this type story should generate. Far more shocking are wins by folks with no political background.

  • ||

    He twice name-checked his client PharmAthene as a maker of such a vaccine, never disclosing the company was paying him.

    Prostitutes are supposed to keep their clients' identities confidential

  • John||

    Oh boy another piece of shit in the Senate. Way to go Wisconsin!!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The Senate is just a national punchbowl chock full of turds

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The tea party can't win em all.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    The tea party endorsed two candidates and the vote was split, but it doesn't look like they tried real hard to get either one elected. It doesn't help that Wisconsin doesn't have a runoff system, so Thompson won with barely a third of the vote.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    If Texas had Wisconsin's system, we'd have sent Dewhurst to Washington.

  • ||

    They managed to run two serious challangers against him in a blue state.

    That's nothing to sneeze at.

    Despite being out of the headlines, the Tea Party remains a powerful well-organized political force.

    You can't really say that for Occupy. AFAIK, Occupy hasn't even attempted to influence a single Democratic primary.

  • ||

    Who now?

  • Mickey Rat||

    "That's nothing to sneeze at."

    Yes it is, as running two candidates sokit their vote and allowed Thompson to win despite having more votes cast for other people. That type of strength is weakness.

  • T||

    What I find hilarious is the Republican establishment still can't understand why they're losing primaries to insurgents. I mean, it's truly baffling why the most committed members of a party which pays a lot of lip service to small government won't vote for guys who try to expand the government.

  • crazyfingers||

    I was going to say that we'd be a lot better off with his brother, but apparently Ed Thompson passed away last year. :(

  • kinnath||

    Why is that a limitation?

  • thom||

    Seriously. Does the Constitution address the question of whether somebody must be alive to hold office? Voting in deceased people sounds like a great way to make sure nothing "gets done".

  • R C Dean||

    I was going to say that we'd be a lot better off with his brother, but apparently because Ed Thompson passed away last year.

  • John Thacker||

    Clear case of a split primary and no runoff. Three different candidates split the more conservative, libertarian, insurgent vote. No runoff helped Tommy Thompson.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Tim Carney was on Mike Church's Sirius radio show this AM and just ripped Thompson's ass. Recited the history of his opponent back to Newcular Titties' days, when he was on the Appropriations Cttee - and defied Newcular - so Newc backed Thompson in WI because of whatever happened back in the mid-90's.

    what a bunch of useless sacks of shit. Fuck all of them, and the voters who keep putting them in office.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The only saving grace this guy had, was when his brother Ed was still alive.

  • ||

    RINO through and through.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement