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Brian Nemoir, the political director for Tommy Thompson's U.S. Senate campaign in Wisconsin, sent out an e-mail to a "handful of select contacts" which included a video of Tammy Baldwin, Thompson's opponent, dancing at a 2010 gay pride parade, and attacking Baldwin for, in Nemoir's view, not having the ability to discuss "heartland values".

Here's the video in question:

Nemoir's e-mail was reportedly sent to various conservative political bloggers as part of a whisper campaign to attack Baldwin simply because she is openly lesbian. It is absolutely disgusting for someone affiliated with an official campaign for public office to attack an opponent simply for being homosexual, and it's sleazy and dishonest to run a whisper campaign under the table by e-mailing talking points to political bloggers.

When asked about his e-mail, Nemoir doubled down, saying, "I think there are issues in this race that are extremely significant that will be generated on a day-to-day basis, and I look forward to coverage of those issues." Apparently, according to Nemoir, the fact that Baldwin is lesbian and danced at a gay pride event two years ago is an "extremely significant" issue.

Tammy Baldwin should be judged by the content of her character, not the orientation of her sexuality. Baldwin is a strong, intelligent woman who believes in honesty and fairness. Lisa Mux, a progressive political blogger who currently lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, shared this personal story about Baldwin from when Mux lived in Baldwin's hometown of Madison several years ago.

Nemoir's whisper campaign against Baldwin, in my opinion, is even worse than Scott Fitzgerald, the Republican leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, suggesting that Lori Compas's husband was behind her attempt to recall Fitzgerald earlier this year. By the way, here's a picture of Baldwin and Compas from the Wisconsin recalls earlier this year:

Tammy Baldwin believes in REAL heartland values: honesty, compassion, and fairness. Tommy Thompson allows his political director to use "heartland values" as a dogwhistle to attack Baldwin simply because she's a lesbian.

Update: Lisa Mux, one of Baldwin's staunchest supporters, has created this SignOn petition denouncing the Thompson campaign's vile attacks against Baldwin.

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:40:57 AM PDT

  •  This will backfire on Thompson (9+ / 0-)

    Even in the heartland, people aren't too offended by this kind of thing. Baldwin looks loose and like she knows how to enjoy herself. The only people that will be offended are those who never would consider voting for her.

  •  Thompson should be careful (8+ / 0-)

    Let's just say that there is a lot of video out there of him drunk and making a slobbering fool of himself at various state conventions while he was gov.

    •  Not just from when he was gov (4+ / 0-)

      I've heard clips from more recent years of him sounding a little sloshed, but it seems like even when he's sober he's capable of making an ass of himself.

      And Tammy has some pretty good moves there!

      "I kept the faith and I kept voting Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand For theirs is a land with a wall around it And mine is a faith in my fellow man." -- Billy Bragg

      by kideni on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:25:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No longer a whisper campaign. Just saw an ad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    showing Baldwin dancing.  And looking very happy and like she was enjoying herself.  

    This one might - I won't say will, because there are a lot of homophobes out there yet - do more harm than good to Thompson.  And might help the LGBT in the eyes of some who know little about them and imagine them as "others", since everyone appears very normal, happy, and just having a good time.  Too bad for Thompson he couldn't have gotten her in a shot with people dressed in flamboyaunt costumes, preferably in drag.  That's how the right prefers to portray all gays.  They're so much more scary that way.

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:15:26 AM PDT

  •  Baldwin Campaign, Solicit a Reaction from WI (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead, sidnora, billlaurelMD

    Log Cabin Republicans for the record.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:29:14 AM PDT

  •  Tammy Needs To Hammer This Home (5+ / 0-)

    She has not hidden who she is.  She should say yes I attended a gay rights celebration and I am not ashamed.  Thompson obviously thinks that I am some deviant that has no moral values or care about Wisconsin families.   She should say I am proud of who I am and I am proud of my record of moving this state forward to better jobs, supporting equal rights for women, and for pushing for bills that takes care of families such as decreasing student loan interest rates and supporting ACA that lets children 26 and under stay on their familys healthcare plan and treats women like people and not a pre-existing condition.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:34:07 AM PDT

  •  Could it be Thompson is getting scared? The ads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    of him being an ass about releasing his tax returns and saying Washington changed him are pretty damaging, imo.  Perhaps they're hurting him enough he's decided he has to get down and dirty in order to win.  I'd say this is an interesting change on his part.  Suggests desperation.

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

    •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

        Tommy was allegedly leading this race, but this smear attempt is not the act of someone who's winning. And even worse, this thing's going to backfire bad, not just because it's dirty politics and it pisses people off, but because it makes Tammy look better to a lot of people!

         You want to see personal activity that'll freak voters out. Show Tommy drunk off his ass addressing Packer or Badger fans....or cavorting with women he is not married to. I'd encourage the Dems to remind a lot of people of what Tommy is REALLY like.

  •  My immediate gut-check response (5+ / 0-)

      Was to donate to Tammy Baldwin.  
       When a politician takes  the low-road, then IMO, they are desperate and rely turn to the last option:  Hate.

  •  I really liked the video (3+ / 0-)

    She was having so much fun and it was funny and the song was cool.  I don't know Wisconsin politics but go with it "wonder woman in 2012"!!  I also gave her some cash for her campaign, not dance lessons.  That's a joke, please don't eviscerate me.  I did actually contribute.

  •  Tammy should do ads with this video! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kat herder, DownstateDemocrat

      I think the video's great! This GOP d-bag thought that this would make Tammy seem scary? (and it's the same d-bag that ran Prosser's campaign, by the way) It makes her look a lot more fun and normal than most of her ads do. I think she should do ads with the "Wonder Woman" tone - her biggest problem seems to be a lack of familiarity to the rest of the state and a stereotype as a "boring Madison liberal" vs. back-slapping Tommy. This video would go directly against that.

       And how out of touch is the average WisGOP if they think they can use this as a kind of smear? These guys and the losers who vote for them are one clueless group.


    •  She's got moves like Jagger! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

      by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:32:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Out of touch? Remember what happened re marriage. (0+ / 0-)

      Remember that Wisconsin recently passed a state constitutional amendment not only banning gay marriage, but also banning any legal arrangement in which some other legal status that is equivalent to gay marriage is allowed.  (i.e. Any civil partnership arrangement that might be proposed into law is now required BY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW to grant fewer rights than marriage does.)  This was one of the most hateful versions of the various states' gay marriage ban amendments that swept through the country, and it passed.  Not just in the legislature, but also by popular vote in a refferendum as was required to ratify it.  So don't forget that the state has enough homophobes in it to ratify such an amendment.   This advertisement tactic may work for that reason.

      We who live in Madison often forget that the rest of the state is not a liberal panacea like Madison is.  The reason Wisconsin is a purple state is because it's city versus rural voters each and every time.  Dense population centers go blue, everything else goes red.  That's how we got Walker, that's how we weren't able to unseat Walker.  

      The fight of the people versus the Walker mentality isn't really the little guy versus the big guy.  It's some little guys versus other little guys.  Remember that there's a LOT of people out there who have been duped into agreeing with the rhetoric, and they seem to outnumber the sane people by a slight margin.  It's very very dangerous to be complacent enough to assume a tactic like this is "out of touch".  They may be using it because it will work.

      •  Marriage equality is a winner now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

          That referendum was 6 years ago, and I'd think it'd have a hard time passing now- things have changed that much both here and in America in general. And in fact, the Baggers putting that homophobic measure on the ballot sparked GOTV for other races, leading to a flip in the State Senate and a not very-popular Gov. Doyle being elected by a wider margin than you would have thought (about 7%).

           And marriage equality is something that drives younger people to the polls. Showing Tommy and  co as the old white bigots they are is something that'll work to Dems' advantage. The old bigots will vote regardless, but showing the hate of them will cause their votes to get canceled out by casual voters.

        •  Doyle got lucky TWICE (0+ / 0-)

          In 2002, Ed Thompson, Tommy's brother, ran as a Libertarian and got just over 10% of the vote, which allowed Doyle to defeat McCallum with only 45% of the vote, and Doyle rode a national Democratic wave (and the homophobes focusing all of their attention on the anti-gay marriage referendum helped as well) in 2006 when Doyle faced Mark Green in the general election.

          Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

          by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:55:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It was only a matter of time until the Thompson (0+ / 0-)

    campaign would try to use homophobia in this race.  LET'S GET TAMMY ELECTED!!!

  •  Disgusting. (0+ / 0-)

    On the bright side of late candidates usually resort to this when they are feeling desperate.

    I know Tammy's polling is soft but I am wondering why Thompson is pulling this. Does he know something we don't?

    You're not being "oppressed" when another group gains rights you've always enjoyed.

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 11:58:48 AM PDT

  •  Really stupid move given Thompson's history (0+ / 0-)

    As a widely-known practitioner of one man-multiple women marriage. Turning "heartland values" into an issue in this race leaves him wide open on a front he really doesn't want voters to be focusing on.

    I'd love to see Baldwin's campaign reply with something like, "We find this attempt to smear Tammy Baldwin for being a loving, monogamous person to be somewhat surprising coming from Governor Thompson. If he wants to make personal values and behavior an issue in this campaign, I'm sure the voters will have plenty of questions to ask him."

    I really hope the Baldwin campaign or their surrogates manage to slam Thompson for trying to stake a claim on "heartland values." I honestly did not expect his campaign to be stupid enough to go there.

  •  I posted the Baldwin video to my FB page (4+ / 0-)

    My comment was "I bet you wish your politicians were as cool as our politicians..."

    Tammy has too much class to play the "Tommy's a womanizer" card.

    Let's take back Wisconsin!!!

    by A FIB in Cheddarland on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:11:32 PM PDT

  •  I don't really know Wisconsin very well (2+ / 0-)

    But considering Marriage Equality is becoming a less contentious issue every year, I can really see this damaging Thompsons brand. Especially with some moderate R's who don't think having a gay Senator would be the worst thing ever. The Ryan bounce is going to wear off soon, which will probably mean generic R takes a hit too. I think Tammy has a better shot than people are giving her.

  •  Well, I just think we need more people to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    be out volunteering for Tammy Baldwin. I hope if you live in Wisconsin, you will consider giving some of your time to Tammy's campaign. She is the one who will stick up for the middle class, for students, for veterans and for union members.  

    I heard a couple of her offices need people to make phone calls. Let's mobilize our forces!

    •  I live in Illinois, believe it or not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I started following Wisconsin politics after the Wisconsin Fourteen hid in my home state of Illinois, but I have no interest in moving to Wisconsin or doing any work for a political campaign in Wisconsin.

      Besides, my personality is about the exact opposite of Tammy Baldwin's personality. Think of me as a liberal version of Chris Christie, and you're not far off.

      Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

      by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:35:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This video has been used in Chad Lee ads from 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Specifically this ad. So I doubt this surprised Baldwin.

    Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

    by fearlessfred14 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:57:06 PM PDT

  •  are we surprised? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sadly, it was just a matter of time until Tommy pulled this one out of his bag of tricks.  I am not surprised that he has made Tammy's sexuality an issue--just disappointed.  Tammy's ad hitting Tommy on his lack of tax return transparency is hurting him, I think, and his handlers saw this opportunity to hit back (Tommy isn't smart enough to figure this out himself).

    Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

    by isewquilts2 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:07:50 AM PDT

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