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Issue of the Week: Tommy’s Desperate

Plus: Hero of the Week

Oct. 31, 2012
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Desperate people do desperate things.

That’s why former Gov. Tommy Thompson has taken so many cheap and untruthful shots at his rival for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

Thompson and his allies in the conservative tea party movement have attacked Baldwin for—allegedly—not supporting a measure to help 9/11 victims. They’ve also alleged that Baldwin had voted against providing body armor for U.S. troops.

Both claims are laughably false. In reality, Baldwin voted for every 9/11 resolution that didn’t include provisions that politicized the attack, and she never voted against a body armor measure.

Yet Thompson has doubled down on these falsehoods because he doesn’t have anything else. His record as governor is too moderate for tea party Republicans to support, and his time in Washington as a Bush administration official and lobbyist raises questions about his income and integrity. So Thompson has taken a page from the Bush-Cheney-Rove playbook by trying to smear Baldwin to make her look extreme, un-American and unpatriotic—even if those smears are untrue.

Isn’t that sad?

Thompson had once been a popular governor and had even tried to run for president.

But the Tommy Thompson of 2012 is a sad shadow of a once-respected elected official. Instead of campaigning on his record and promoting a positive vision for his candidacy, Thompson has lagged in the polls, lagged in fundraising, and cannot even talk about his rival without lying about her. Thompson may think that taking the low road will work. But voters will decide on Nov. 6 if his false, desperate allegations are worthy of a U.S. senator.

Heroes of the Week: Louie’s Last Regatta Sailors and Volunteers

Louie’s Last Regatta was founded in 1998 by a group of sailors who believed the official sailing season in Milwaukee ended too early. With the Milwaukee Ale House as their sponsor, it was decided the brewery would host the sailing event and also throw a large party, where it is tradition to serve the ale for which the event is named: Louie’s Demise. More importantly, a co-founding sailor whose niece had leukemia suggested the fall regatta be a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This became the driving force behind Louie’s Last Regatta and prompted it to attain nonprofit status in 2010. This event is particularly unique because there are no barriers for entry and sailors are not necessarily racing to win, but racing because of their love for the water and to raise money for the kids. Louie’s has raised almost $1 million for Children’s Hospital over its 14 years.

“For as long as the event has existed, the volunteers have worked hard to turn the focus to the real heroes—the sailors who donate their hard-earned money and the staff, nurses and doctors at Children’s who make the difference in the lives of children,” says Tim Kent, Louie’s Last Regatta board member.

In this year’s regatta, held Sept. 29, more than 120 boats and 1,000 sailors participated, raising upwards of $90,000. The money will be presented to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at a “thank you” party Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Milwaukee Ale House. The public is welcome to attend.

Louie’s is always in need of financial donations or items for the raffle held each year during the regatta, such as various sailing gear, gift cards to sailing stores or restaurants, and any other items that sailors would enjoy winning. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or donating raffle items, email contactus@louieslast.org. Monetary donations can be made online at www.louieslast.org or mailed to P.O. Box 45, Milwaukee, WI 53201.


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