Brad Dayspring

Brad Dayspring

John Shinkle/Politico

Gov. Scott Walker is taking some heat from conservatives for a staffer hired by the PAC supporting his likely presidential bid. 

The Unintimidated PAC, set up by former Walker campaign staffers, announced on Tuesday that Brad Dayspring would join the team as a senior adviser.

Dayspring, a former communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has ruffled the feathers of more than a few conservatives. The news of his hiring led some to openly question Walker's judgment, even though the governor has no official role with the PAC.

"Gov. Walker should have known better than to hire Brad Dayspring, the worst GOP anti-conservative hit man in Washington," said Brent Bozell, the conservative chairman of ForAmerica and president of the Media Research Center. "Brad Dayspring has a despicable record using character assassination to besmirch the reputations of conservative candidates and public policy leaders. He’s paid to do the ugly work of the Washington establishment. He is the personification of everything that’s wrong in politics today. Gov. Walker, people are policy. If you want conservatives’ support, you need to get rid of this cretin immediately."

In 2012, Politico described him as "one of the House Republican Conference’s savviest and most controversial operatives," reporting on his high-profile exit from a job in then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office following a "heated, nearly physical confrontation with another senior Cantor staffer." 

In his role as NRSC spokesman, Dayspring drew the ire of Democrats for calling Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes "an empty dress" and comparing her to a high school freshman.

Dayspring said Lundergan Grimes parroted talking points, babbled incoherently and stared blankly into the camera when asked questions.

The same year, Rep. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, broke from the NSRC to denounce comments Dayspring had made about Cotton's opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor's faith.

Cotton called an email Dayspring sent ripping Pryor for statements he'd made about his faith "incredibly bizarre and offensive."

A writer for the conservative site, RedState, went after Walker for his newly established Dayspring ties.

"Scott Walker just dropped off my list of acceptable candidates," wrote RedState writer Streiff. "I like a lot about Governor Walker but people are policy. And his decision to hire Brad Dayspring, an unprincipled political operative who combines viciousness and incompetence in equal measures tells us a lot."

Walker is set to speak at a RedState gathering later this summer.

John Hawkins, owner of Right Wing News, tweeted, "For @ScottWalker to hire someone like Brad Dayspring is a slap in the face to grassroots conservatives. It speaks poorly of his character."

A request for comment from Unintimidated PAC staffers was not immediately returned. 

For his part, Dayspring told Politico on Tuesday: "Unintimidated PAC will play a large role in introducing Governor Walker ... and his record of fighting for ‘big, bold, conservative reforms’ to primary voters. Republicans have a field of strong candidates this cycle, but what makes Governor Walker so appealing to voters is that when push comes to shove, he never blinks. He fights and he wins— in a blue state, no less. When he promises to fight for them, they know he’ll actually do it and deliver results."

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.


Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.