January 6, 2008
Paulette Garin kicks off campaign to unseat Ryan
Paulette Garin of Kenosha kicked off her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, with a fund-raiser Sunday at the Boat House Pub, attended by more than 50 supporters.
She has set her sights on the Sept. 9 primary, which could be a crowded field. Already Marge Krupp of Pleasant Prairie has announced her candidacy, and many Democrats expect to see Janesville surgeon Jeffrey Thomas -- a four-time loser against Ryan -- to run again.
Ryan has more than $1.5 million in campaign funds -- money hardly needed in the past, given that Thomas refused to raise money for a campaign to avoid being beholden to anyone.
That won't be the case for Garin and Krupp. Krupp has already said she expects a campaign against Ryan to cost $2 million. Garin would not guess how much would be needed, but said -- citing her recently acquired CPA license, and her campaign treasurer's experience as a union treasurer for 30 years -- that she would raise and spend what's needed. (Her treasurer, by the way, is her father, Walter.)
Pointing to the results of last week's Iowa caucuses, Garin noted, "the candidates with the most money may not be the hands-down winners."
"This won't be a campaign about money," she said, "but rather about relationships." She defined that in two ways: first, the relationships her grassroots organization will form with voters; and, second, the relationship of Ryan to President Bush.
"Ryan is Bush's congressman," she said, "not ours. I am running against Bush and Ryan. I will be your next congressman."
She promised voters "courage and hope," just as her mother, who lost a battle with cancer in February, provided her own family. "I looked at our nation as a metaphor for the family. Every family needs to be healthy, educated and financially secure. We will be strong and resistant to the politics of fear. We will not end up in impossible situations like the war in Iraq.
"Our infrastructure is crumbling, our institutions re failing, and our precious civil liberties are at stake. Our less-than-credible leaders continually attempt to manipulate us with the age-old politics of fear. Our country is being deconstructed through greed and arrogance," she said. "2008 is the year we unseat our Republican incumbent. We simply attach him and his voting record to the failed president he has blindly chosen to follow."
Providing campaign advice to Garin is a Racine native with long-time Washington experience: Linn Mack, retired now, was chief of staff to Vance Hartke, U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1959-1977. Mack said he has run eight federal campaigns, and agreed to help Garin after a three-hour meeting to discuss the issues with her.
Sunday's campaign event was attended by a number of prominent Democrats from Kenosha and Rock County, including State Sen. Bob Wirch of Kenosha. Garin also introduced her "campaign manager," five-year-old niece Holly, who right on cue announced to one and all, "Auntie Paulette for Congress!"
For more on Garin and Krupp, see our earlier story HERE.