Thompson campaign owes Baldwin an apology

2012-09-08T05:00:00Z Thompson campaign owes Baldwin an apologyCap Times editorial
September 08, 2012 5:00 am  • 

If the political director of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s U.S. Senate campaign circulated an old video of former Gov. Tommy Thompson that was meant to mock Thompson’s appearance, no one would accept the argument that the act was not part of the Baldwin campaign.

Yet, when the political director of Thompson’s campaign circulated a video mocking Baldwin for dancing at a LGBT event — and peddling the nonsense that lesbians and gays are somehow unrepresentative of “heartland values” — the top Thompson aide tried to claim he wasn’t representing the Thompson campaign when he did it.

That’s ridiculous. The video was circulated on the eve of Baldwin’s speech to the Democratic National Convention. The Thompson camp could not have engaged in a more expressly political act if it had wanted to.

To suggest otherwise is insulting to Baldwin, the LGBT community and the voters of Wisconsin.

The Thompson campaign owes Baldwin an apology. It also owes Wisconsin’s lesbian and gay community — a community that includes Republicans associated with the Log Cabin Republican clubs — a commitment to try not to exploit stereotypes and bigotries.

While they’re at it, the Thompson campaign should make another commitment: to set a higher standard for itself during the remainder of the Senate race.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(43) Comments

  1. James Richard Bailey
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    James Richard Bailey - September 10, 2012 8:07 pm
    Asking for an apology isn't about GETTING an apology. It is about a counter attack, pointing out how divisive the opposition is. Just normal strategy.
  2. tomtom33
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    tomtom33 - September 10, 2012 9:55 am
    Republicans like Teddy Kennedy and Wilbur Mills?
  3. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - September 09, 2012 11:45 pm
    Tammy Baldwin Capitol Pride Dance might garner her some extra votes. Apparently the gentlelady from the Second District can bust some serious dance moves! The problem with Tammy is not her dance but she belong to the looney left!
  4. RichardSRussell
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    RichardSRussell - September 09, 2012 10:53 pm
    I am saddened that you failed to appreciate my own small contribution toward political comity by pointing out that there are "ism"s on both sides of the fence. For my part, I appreciate the fact that you are willing to use the correct adjective for the Democratic Party. It's a small start, but it's a start, don't you agree?
    On a more serious note, the reason I support political parties in general (and I'm a dues-paying member of the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian Parties) is precisely BECAUSE they are NOT about divisiveness. Each of them aspires to be a majority, which limits the extent to which they can alienate people by taking extremist positions. OTOH, various special-interest pressure groups have a vested interest in being as extremist as possible, because that's what keeps the donations rolling in from the true believers.
  5. MWWI
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    MWWI - September 09, 2012 7:33 pm
  6. Warren G Harding
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    Warren G Harding - September 09, 2012 6:53 pm
    Walker's staff was running his campaign out of the Milwaukee Exec's office. Several of his staff were convicted and sentenced. Walker told them to cover the trail in an email. This was a smear. Never happened. Dirty Democrat Party made it all up and got a dirty Democrat Party judge to rule on it. NO ONE CAN STOP REPUBLICAN POWER NOW! USA! USA! USA!. The Republicans have the money, the military, the corporations and the admiration of a grateful world for saving them from Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.
  7. Warren G Harding
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    Warren G Harding - September 09, 2012 6:38 pm
    Manliness? I don't recall anyone saying anything about manliness, but the way it works for Republicans is to accuse the other of saying something they never said and keep repeating it over and over until it becomes true. Walker does not have a college degree but was disciplined at Marquette for removing newspapers that endorsed his opponent for student president. Romney's sons didn't have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan; they were serving the nation by working on their dad's campaign, so Romney said.( Republicans can't quite remember who started the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and can't remember a couple guys named Cheney and Rumsfeld.) Romney won't release his taxes, but paid 13% on an income of $20 million. "You people have no business finding out what kind of tax we pay", (paraphasing) said Ann Romney. Ryan said he ran a marathon in 3 hours, but his time was actually 4 hours. So there. I just called Romney, Ryan and Walker not manly.
  8. janesvillean
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    janesvillean - September 09, 2012 6:19 pm
    VO5 was the band for the Mardi Gras celebration held this year by St. John Vianney parish in Janesville, which is where Paul Ryan and family worship. It would be interesting if there were any photographs or video of this event.
  9. IndependentsRuleTheRoost
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    IndependentsRuleTheRoost - September 09, 2012 3:13 pm
    You are completely Liberal partisan blind if you cannot see that the Democratic Party of late is ALL about division using all methods possible regardless of the consequences, that's is exactly why they have driven me away for this Presidential election cycle.
  10. RichardSRussell
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    RichardSRussell - September 09, 2012 1:28 pm
    I did not protest anything (until now). You could look it up.
  11. sebastian
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    sebastian - September 09, 2012 9:51 am
    "The lady (AmandaKay, YogaMom, RichardSRussell, et aliae) doth protest too much, methinks."
  12. IndependentsRuleTheRoost
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    IndependentsRuleTheRoost - September 08, 2012 9:39 pm
    It's all hyper-partisan political BS and it's all fair game. Their words, their actions, their "moves, their looks, their dirt, their trash, their EVERYTHING!

    Both sides should just suck it up or look like the hypocrites they are.
  13. Lynne4300
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    Lynne4300 - September 08, 2012 8:45 pm
    It is a new political party.

    Lynne4301 - 13 hours ago
    "LGBT community" what in the world is an LGBT community?
  14. RichardSRussell
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    RichardSRussell - September 08, 2012 8:34 pm
    If by "they" you mean "Republicans", I believe I've heard them speak favorably of capitalism.
  15. RichardSRussell
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    RichardSRussell - September 08, 2012 8:31 pm
    Google is your friend. I recommend, oh, about the 1st 200-300 hits.
  16. RichardSRussell
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    RichardSRussell - September 08, 2012 8:29 pm
    I didn't see the video. Is she a good dancer? I appreciate good dancing ... not that it makes a nickel's worth of difference who I'd be voting for.
  17. AmandaKay
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    AmandaKay - September 08, 2012 6:04 pm
    I agree I am not a lesbian I am just a woman who would be thoroughly offended were this sort of tactic used on me for any reason in my own job. Imagine a guy you work with at say a factory bringing in pictures of you off your Facebook on his cellphone from 20 years ago with a bad 80s haircut undermining you just weeks or even days before a promotion is to be set. This would make you look like a fool to the management and you may not get the job based on an opinion formulated among the staff that you cannot be a line operator because no one would take you seriously. This is not a gay lesbian issue it's a that man is harassing that woman issue. And as a woman I am just fed up. We get paid less, we are respected less, we are believed to be inferior because of our genitalia alone which we, before ObamaCare, had to pay a premium price on because the plumbing is not male. Enough is enough!
  18. Wis_taxpayer
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    Wis_taxpayer - September 08, 2012 6:03 pm
    excellent post!
  19. AmandaKay
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    AmandaKay - September 08, 2012 6:00 pm
    I want to say thank you to the Madison dot com editorial staff for writing this article highlighting the issue. I hadn't heard about Tommy Thompson or his staff circulating any video about Tammy Baldwin.

    Frankly I find this disgusting. The Republican Party has been saying for months now that there is no "War on women" and it is a fabricated idea. I think they must be delusional to not realize that this exactly what the phrase means. This is the exact definition in my mind of War on Women. It means a clear and public action carried on by one person or group against a female in a hostile or aggressive manor that would not be used against a male. Aggressive gender based conflict, as through severe personal attacks in the same industry or any other means of undermining a female competitor.

    The Republican Party strategically and systematically is making itself into a Good Old Boys Club and not the Grand Old Party they once were known as. I am disgusted that Tommy Thompson or his staffers would try such a despicable ploy as to claim the Political Director of Thompson's campaign has no association with Mr Thompson personally! That is the most outlandishly stupid and irresponsible lack of Personal Responsibility I have heard this week. The Political Director owes Tammy Baldwin an apology for these actions as does Tommy Thompson owe her an apology as well for not firing the staff member a Director whom he through his silence on the matter agrees with implicitly.
  20. CoffeeNotTea
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    CoffeeNotTea - September 08, 2012 4:52 pm
    YogaMom. Thank you for the reasoned and civil comments to this article. You are a breath of fresh air.
  21. YogaMom
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    YogaMom - September 08, 2012 4:50 pm
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
  22. sarge
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    sarge - September 08, 2012 3:51 pm
    hahaha...never happened -that was you guys...but nice try
  23. Wis_taxpayer
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    Wis_taxpayer - September 08, 2012 3:33 pm
    Racism, sexism, is there any ism out there they won't use to fear monger and spread hatred of others?
  24. YogaMom
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    YogaMom - September 08, 2012 3:07 pm
    jimri, this is also a straw man argument, since no one said it was offensive that the video was circulated. You are conveniently leaving out the fact that the thrust of the circulated item was that gays are unqualified to be senators because of their sexual orientation. That was the offensive part, and that is the outrageous bit.

    I'm pretty certain that no one working for the Obama campaign ever mocked Romney or Ryan for being unmanly, but feel free to link to a quote to prove me wrong. If they did that, they should also take responsibility, apologize, and change course. Same goes for Barrett's former campaign staff. If Tommy Thompson wants to represent the citizens of Wisconsin, I think his behavior and that of his staff should rise above this kind of silliness and bigotry. Let's talk about the economy instead.
  25. tomtom666
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    tomtom666 - September 08, 2012 3:02 pm
    There's got to be video out there somewhere of a drunken Tommy grabbing T & A late at night after most everyone else had long gone home from the bar or party. The entire electorate should be informed of the true and verifiable stories of his boozing and lecherous ways. If elected he at least would fit right in with the rest of the Washington Republican crowd.
  26. YogaMom
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    YogaMom - September 08, 2012 2:57 pm
    Straw man argument, Sebastian, google it. No one, certainly not Tommy Thompson, would say that Tammy is campaigning on the idea that being gay makes her qualified to be a senator. She was also the first woman member of the State Senate, but does not pretend that makes her more qualified than anyone else. She does not control the newspaper articles written about her or what they say, papers print things that will interest people, and that is interesting.

    The issue here is that the Thompson campaign used that to ridicule her and by extension all gays. If someone did that to a black person, would you excuse the opposition's racism because newspapers mention the candidate is the first black member of congress? Would you say that it's okay to do that because the black person kept throwing his blackness in everyone's face by showing up black to all kinds of events?

    The way you treat someone doesn't reflect who they are; it reflects who you are. In other words, a person is responsible for his or her own behavior. The Thompson campaign made a bad choice, and it's disingenuous to blame Tammy Baldwin for the way she is being treated by someone else. That campaign's decisions are only a reflection on that campaign.
  27. Babsbo
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    Babsbo - September 08, 2012 2:56 pm
    Here's an idea for my fellow dems/progressives/liberals/whatever we are calling ourselves these days: grow up: this is how they play the game, and sadly we always let them set the rules. Let's quit asking for apologies-it makes us sound like 6 year olds on the playground with our mommies-how about if we embrace this stuff-and turn it back on them. For example, after two years, somebody figured out we could take ownership of the term "ObamaCare" and make it a positive. Asking for an apology is so weanie and any apology that would ensure would be 100% meaningless.
  28. YogaMom
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    YogaMom - September 08, 2012 2:47 pm
    vaportrail, you are right that those people were wrong, but they weren't part of an active political campaign (and if they were, they should also be held accountable for their behavior). The fact that there are low-brow, low-class, crass people out there, doesn't give someone asking to represent our state, the right to match their class-less-ness. Instead of racing to the bottom, our elected officials should try to rise above in order to set an example of cooperation and respect for the other side. If they don't, no one will.
  29. bookman21
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    bookman21 - September 08, 2012 2:47 pm
    Tommy sold out, and he sold us out. It's ok though, he's straight.
  30. sarge
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    sarge - September 08, 2012 2:39 pm
    well...women dancing with women don't seem so bad ....but wish we had footage of tommy with all those 22 year old girls he was porking behind his wife's back in the day cuz....wait...ugh...the mental image of old wrinkly tommy romping nubile gold too much for even... me...kind of makes me think of the priest uncle's admonishments in harold and maude: "I would be remiss in my duty, if I did not tell you, that the idea of... intercourse - your firm, young... body... comingling with... withered flesh... sagging breasts(man boobs i n this case)... flabby b-b-buttocks... makes me want... to vomit
  31. jimri
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    jimri - September 08, 2012 1:01 pm
    I hereby declare sebastian the winner of this thread.
  32. sebastian
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    sebastian - September 08, 2012 12:08 pm
    windy33, I don't care what "letter" you or anyone else wants to be.
    Tammy's sexual orientation is mentioned in the first 2 paragraphs of every article ever written on her. I don't think "being the first lesbian elected to Congress" should be the main qualification to elect her senator.
    If you persist in throwing somebody's sexual orientation in my face, expect it to be ridiculed.
    Personally, I don't think Tammy can lick anybody.
  33. Bobby P
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    Bobby P - September 08, 2012 11:43 am
    Bigotry is unacceptable... no matter what form it takes. If/ when we choose to allow or accept bigotry in any form... it will be just a matter of time until freedom and democracy become just something we read about- but no longer live. Tammy Baldwin, whether you like her party or politics or not, has served our state and country honorably for many years AND DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS candidate Thompson.
  34. Roundtable
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    Roundtable - September 08, 2012 11:31 am
    Sounds like the ball's in Mr.Thompson's court now.
  35. jimri
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    jimri - September 08, 2012 10:46 am
    Somebody call the waaaaaaaambulance! Madison progs unhappy that ACTUAL FOOTAGE, completely unadulterated, gets broadcast. I thought you guys said there's nothing to be ashamed about with sexual orientation? Why the outrage?

    And, you don't have to go far back into the record books here to find all kinds of lefty comments about Walker, Romney or Ryan in terms of their "lack of manliness" as an insult, although we know it's ok to throw that at republicans since they "deserve" it. Double standard much?
  36. uspotme
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    uspotme - September 08, 2012 10:31 am
    Maybe Baldwin"s camp can re-play the drunken speech that Tommy gave after the Packer's won the Super Bowl in 96'. Guy was frickin hammered. Cold weather my a$$. Shouldn't be a surprise in drunk Wisconsin. Aren't any of you embarrassed by the daily alcohol use in Wisconsin. The daily head line of another double digit arrest for OWI. Frick'n embarrassing. So righties send our functioning alcoholic to Washington. He'll fit right in with that drunk Boehner.
  37. vaportrail
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    vaportrail - September 08, 2012 8:46 am
    And the “love” the left showed Scott Walker by carrying signs of his picture sighted with a rifle scope was much more appropriate. Typical left-wing hypocrisy. And yes, the rich are scheming to make every job minimum wage except for their own. Take your meds, Windbag.

    PS - does your computer have WORD or another editing tool? Might want to learn to use that.
  38. windy33
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    windy33 - September 08, 2012 8:06 am
    Sebastian... the problem is people like you BIGOTS. the hate that has come out of the gop and the t-party since obama was elected is just discusting. you all have let them form your brain into being hatefull and mean to the very same people who are just like you the workers of this country. walker did a splendid job of DIVIDE AND CONQURE to get working people to go against working people to keep people fighting so that he could do is dirty deeds with out most people noticing it and it worked. you won't get it until he comes out with some dirty tactics that come knocking on your back door. shame on all of you for belittleing the very same people who are just like you , your neighbors, your co workers, and the list goes on. the workers, the majority of the people need to work together and stand together to bring a living wage back to the middle class and we need to stop excepting what we have been excepting to keep us under paid and starting to get people over worked. they lay off people and keep a shallow work force people are now doing more work for less money while the rich are getting richer at our expense. WHY ARE ALL OF YOU SO WILLING TO EXCEPT THIS HOW LONG WILL YOU ALL EXCEPT THIS WHEN EVERYONES WAGES GET TO LESS THEN MINIMUM WAGE. this is what the rich are striving for you don't see it and you don't admit to it you just keep excepting it. you don't have to be a democrat or republican or any other to know we are losing our footing of the middle class and the top 1% is eroding our life to less then liveable.
  39. Lynne4301
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    Lynne4301 - September 08, 2012 7:17 am
    "LGBT community" what in the world is an LGBT community?
  40. JBANK
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    JBANK - September 08, 2012 7:09 am
    Standards? TCT editorial board has been acting like children for 18 months. One wouldn't know where to begin in cataloging the smears, name calling and insinuations against Gov. Walker and his supporters the past 18 months. To suggest this old video of Tammy is beyond the pale is utter nonsense. Tammy will laugh it off and rightly so. She will be just fine. However, it was a misstep because it gives folks down at TCT an opening to express some fake outrage and take a shot a TT.
  41. rodeodance
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    rodeodance - September 08, 2012 6:33 am
    WI does not need these Karl Rove tactics. Shame on the TeaRepublicans. Take your bigotry elsewhere!
  42. sebastian
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    sebastian - September 08, 2012 6:30 am
    So, what's the problem?
    Tammy's a bad dancer or her backers aren't as comfortable
    with her sexuality as they imply?

  43. MadCityYokal
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    MadCityYokal - September 08, 2012 5:42 am
    You don't have to be of the LGBTQ community to find tactics like this offensive!
    It is very revealing; it shows just how small the "Big" Tent of the RNC really is.
    This campaign is going to be a major gender, age, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity split. I for one am looking forward to a lot of the RNC perspectives on who is or is not "normal" to die out.
    By the by, even visually, there was an incredible difference between the racial/ethnic diversity represented at the conventions. At the DNC, the cameras just showed the audience. At the RNC, the cameras had to search and search to find a Person of Color; and when found, that poor soul was shown over and over and over again.
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