WI-07: Former State Sen. Pat Kreitlow to Challenge Duffy

Life just got a whole lot tougher for one vulnerable Republican:

Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow announced Monday that he intends to run for a U.S. Congress seat in 2012, saying he will fight against “this new war on the middle class.”

Kreitlow, who served one four-year term in the Wisconsin Senate as a Democrat from Chippewa Falls, plans to challenge first-year incumbent Sean Duffy (R-Ashland) for the 7th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kreitlow (whom we mentioned as a possible candidate just a couple of weeks ago) was also a local TV anchor before he first ran for office in 2006, so he’s well-known in the region. Better still, Republicans will be hard-pressed to shore up Duffy’s swingy seat in redistricting, given their need to protect a 5-3 delegation in a 50-50 state. (And if anyone has dibbs on a safer district, it’s Paul Ryan.)

Of course, no one can save Duffy from himself. You remember, I’m sure, when he kvetched about his meager $174,000 salary at a town hall last month. Now he’s done himself in by acting like a jerkface at yet another town hall:

DUFFY: If you look at PPACA, we’re taking 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund this program.

CONSTITUENT: That’s not true!

DUFFY: (laughs)

CONSTITUENT: This is about fraud and abuse. You see these things happen all over the country. They’re talking about money into Medicare fraud enforcement. 60 Minutes did a huge story, billions into Medicare fraud annually.

DUFFY: Let me tell you what. When you have your town hall you can stand up and give your presentation.

Seems odd that a guy best known for his appearance on a reality TV show would be not ready for prime time, but there it is! I’m willing to bet that Kreitlow, on the other hand, is quite ready.

79 thoughts on “WI-07: Former State Sen. Pat Kreitlow to Challenge Duffy”

  1. of the $500 billion sum come from (future) cuts to the Medicare Advantage part of the program, which is essentially using Medicare funds for private insurance? I am pretty sure it does. And don’t most Republicans like the idea of voucherizing Medicare? Why can’t Duffy even get this part right? Has he stopped even trying to follow the script?

    1. Does the GAB need “permission” to consolidate?  I thought they are the authority that decides such things.

      And the GOP would have to challenge petitions in each race, so if they decide not to challenge in some of them, what stops the GAB from going ahead and scheduling recalls in the others?  And what forces the challenged recalls to be decided together, since in fact they are distinct and each one must be decided on its own facts?  Sure there might be some meta issues on signature validity and even the validity of signatures where the gatherer might not meet requirements for signature gatherers, but I could still see these recalls split up to decide these things so as to minimize disruption.

      I don’t know, this is where Marc Elias comes in…who, by the way, was an old law school classmate and friend of mine.  I keep meaning to shoot him an e-mail to ask him if he’s retained to work on the recalls, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

  2. rarely change. If Democrats win the State Senate they should be able to enforce a compromise that perhaps makes Ryan’s district slightly safer, and keeps Western WI as it is.

  3. Duffy is shaping up to be a weak incumbent and he’ll clear be near the top of the list of marginal seats. I’m not sure he’ll get much help out of redistricting, looking at past maps, it doesn’t appear the districts have shifted very little and maintained a certain regional look. Of course, Walker isn’t conventional and probably will at least try to propose a ridiculous gerrymander.

    1. Which states are easy?

      I remember doing a term paper on legalizing gambling in NY a long time back (sigh) and the process to get it done was similar to what you mentioned for WI (though I forget if the gamling in NY concept was a constitutional change or not).  

      I’d think states would want constitutional amendments to be very difficult, right?

    2. it’s just passing both houses of the legislature in the same session and then a statewide vote.  Fucking ridiculous.

  4. … the dumbest member of congress elected in 2010.  There are some more conservative, and some more offensive, but probably not any who can rival Sean Duffy in being just a complete and total tool.

  5. A more Republican map can be drawn without any LaCross/Superior Earmuff. By removing Wood and Portage Counties and adding St. Croix county, this district does move a few points Republican.  In addition, Chippewa Fall can easily be drawn into Kind’s district, thereby removing Kreitlow. Here is what that looks like:


    Finally, in terms of a court drawn map, the current map was drawn by the Federal Court Redistricting division, so I believe any disagreements would go there, not to the WI SC.  

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