Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson officially entered the U.S. Senate race as a Republican candidate Tuesday. Already, Democrats are pouncing on his record, labeling him as a fiscally irresponsible spender and super lobbyist.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) released a one-page sheet on Thompson taking issue with his record as governor. According to the DSCC, spending in the state of Wisconsin increased 118 percent under Thompson’s tenure, and more than 8,500 employees were added to the government payroll.
It also highlights the fact that the state’s debt grew by $1.8 billion during Thompson’s tenure, and that spending grew at 39 percent higher than the rate of inflation.
“Even rank and file conservatives are disgusted with Thompson’s record as governor and his work as a DC super lobbyist,” said DSCC spokesman Matt Canter in a statement.
“As Wisconsin’s most fiscally irresponsible governor, Tommy Thompson doubled state spending, increased the state debt and expanded Wisconsin government by nearly 10,000 state workers,” he added. “Since then Tommy has cashed in on his cozy relationships within the Bush administration and joined the ranks of Washington, DC’s super lobbyists, greasing the wheels of government to benefit his special interest clients.”
After serving as governor of Wisconsin for an unprecedented four terms, Thompson was appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services by President George W. Bush. In 2008, he ran for president only to drop out early after his poll numbers refused to climb.
Thompson may have a tough road in the campaign to replace Sen. Herb Kohl. In August, the conservative Club for Growth pre-empted his official bid by releasing a negative ad, aligning Thompson with President Obama’s health care bill.