One of the most important 2022 races is going to be for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat. Neo-fascist multimillionaire Ron Johnson hasn't declared whether he's running or not. Yesterday, just days after voting to acquit Trump, he told WISN that "The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me." Presumably failed insurrections and coup attempts don't count, regardless of the deaths and injuries.
But on the Democratic side, there are a number of candidates, some good and some... well, not as bad as Johnson, but plenty bad-- bad enough to chill voter turnout enough to throw the race to Johnson or whichever Republican runs. Among the progressives likely to run are Outagamie County executive Tom Nelson, who has already declared his candidacy. He was a Bernie delegate in 2020, has strongly endorsed Medicare for All, citing his mother’s death from cancer, and written an upcoming book about helping to save a century-old paper mill from closing. Other potential good progressives include our old friend, state Senator Chris Larson and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. In late January, Mark Pocan realized he had no path to victory in the primary and decided not to run.
As you already know, Ron Johnson is one of the most despised worthless senators we have right now, the only senator who voted to acquit Trump during the impeachment trial who is from a state Biden won and hasn’t declared if he’s retiring. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz often get the bulk of blame for helping Trump fan the flames of insurrection, but no one did more than Ron Johnson to also help, including holding an entire Senate hearing on “election irregularities” in December featuring the likes of Ken Starr. Instead of holding Trump accountable, Johnson blamed Nancy Pelosi instead. A poll showed most Wisconsin voters want him replaced. This will be a marquee race we can’t blow, especially for a state that’s given us great progressives from Robert La Follette to Gaylord Nelson to Russ Feingold.
But are Dems ready to learn the lessons of recent failures to run real progressive candidates that resonate with voters?
Alex Lasry is the son of billionaire Marc Lasry who owns a hedge fund that once upon a time hired Chelsea Clinton, has heavy investments in fracking, said Democratic control of the Senate would be bad for investors due to “higher taxes” and “more regulations,” and was among the vulture predators seeking to profit off Puerto Rico’s fiscal woes. He lives down the street from me-- in L.A., not Wisconsin. Papa Lasry bought the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014 and gave his then 27-year old son Alex a job helping to manage the team. Young Alex donates money to Democrats, but mostly very conservative ones like Blue Dog Max Rose, as well as Mark Kelly, Seth Moulton, and Theresa Greenfield. Papa has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC, the DSCC and to the same kinds of conservative Dems that Alex donates to.
Despite admitting he knew nothing about Wisconsin before setting foot there a few years ago, Alex now would like to be a U.S. Senator-- and in an on brand way, the story was leaked by Fox Business News of all sources.
Lasry was last seen a few weeks ago making headlines all over the news and sports radio for cutting in line and getting a vaccine ahead of many from vulnerable populations. Ron Johnson married into a billionaire family and spent $9 million of his own money buying a Senate seat in 2010. Can’t Democrats find a better person than another billionaire son trying to carpetbag his way to the Senate?