Flawed Candidate Brett Hulsey Seeks One More Race

There is no way for a Democrat to look at the proposed ideas coming from just announced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brett Hulsey and not be pleased.

After all, there is a plan to invest $1.2 billion to create clean energy jobs, playing onto the strong conviction in this state that the environment matters to voters, and that jobs need to be more plentiful with strong wages.  Then there is the push for more job training funding.  Following the beating that public education has faced there is thrust to invest more heavily in schools.  With frac mining playing havoc in many western portions of the state there is also a plan to protect communities against strip mining.

The ideas meet with the desire of many voters who want to have a forceful debate come the fall election against Scott Walker.

The problem is not with the issues, as many voters already know.  The problem in this case is with the candidate.

It has never been easy for me to watch the events play out the past few years when it comes to Hulsey.   I threw my support to Hulsey in 2010 feeling at the time he would step up and show spine when it came to the issues that mattered for voters in Wisconsin.    While he often did stand up and make a strong case for workers in the wild months of early 2011 when ACT 10 was being rushed through the legislature he also soon thereafter started making headlines that were sad and at times hard to believe.

For me the end of the line with Hulsey having credibility was when I saw the photos showing him wearing a speedo style swimsuit in a triathlon which was more than 30 miles from his district.  While there were more serious issues that surfaced with the representative I think it fair to say that image is the one that lingers.

While it is anyone’s right to run for office and seek the support of voters there is also a time to reasses where one is at and what the most prudent way forward might be.  There is no doubt that Hulsey has an interest in public policy, and at some level somewhere has abilities that can be used to make a difference.  But that time is not now, nor is the avenue the statewide race for governor.

I am mindful that Hulsey is just one news cycle away from making some dreadful statement or action that will again make him headline material for all the wrong reasons.  If he wanted to make the biggest impact for the causes that he holds close then he should stay behind the scenes and work for the election of Mary Burke.

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