Is Kind Worried Part II: Spying on Kurtz

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Congressman Ron Kind appears to be battening down the hatches for a possible rough campaign season. We posted a few weeks ago that the Congressman-For-Life might be worried already about his 2014 re-election:

Congressman Ron Kind, the congressman-for-life in this Western Wisconsin district, sent an email blast yesterday asking for money, claiming that “This week Republican “Young Guns” launched a $500,000 direct mail attack. And I am one of the targets.” [his emphasis]

The email was sent in the context of several Republicans lining up to challenge him; as we noted, usually only one or two steps up because of the seeming invincibility of Mr. Kind, his 2010 brush with sub-50 percent notwithstanding. But the congressman this week gave us more evidence he might be worried by sending a spy to challenger Tony Kurtz’ announcement tour stop in Eau Claire.

The spy’s name is Brandon Buchanan, a 2012 Marquette Law School graduate whose resume is pickled in the brine of Democrat politics.

Kind is either overplaying his hand already or trying to intimidate Kurtz. The spy he sent is a well-known operative who not only ran for the assembly seat currently held by Dana Wachs, but he worked for Kind in 2008 and maintains close ties to the congressman.

In fact, Buchanan runs a “Draft Ron Kind for Senate 2016” Facebook page.

The Ron Kind email blasts have continued, all in the theme of extreme right-wing Tea Party radicals beating at the doors trying to roll grandmas over cliffs with shockingly extreme policies that will do unprecedentedly malicious harm to supremely vulnerable communities of citizens. That’s not quite verbatim out of a Kind email, but close.

Tony Kurtz is of course no extreme right-wing radical. He’s a common sense economic conservative with a long career serving his country. Today he runs a 200-acre farm and his wife, a Westby native, Viterbo graduate, and also a veteran, is a head nurse in Prairie du Chien. These facts ought to keep Kind awake at night.

In reality, Tony Kurtz is Mr. America, a hard-working and accomplished guy who has a lifelong drive to serve the country. As we said earlier:

All of that experience will allow Mr. Kurtz to talk expertly about issues Mr. Kind has claimed to champion throughout his time in Congress. Veterans affairs. Agriculture. Most recently, healthcare….For Mr. Kind, these have been politically lucrative issues. For Mr. Kurtz, they’re his life story.

Kurtz
Kurtz

We’ve also said there’s a large bloc of voters who hold their noses when voting for Kind, a bloc among whom Kind has a sterling reputation as a do-nothing, a former star quarterback who’s made a career avoiding tough decisions by sitting on the sidelines and shouting at those on the field. These voters long for an alternative who has a chance to win. No one wants to back a loser.

Assuredly, Kurtz won’t be intimidated by quasi-lawyers and Dem operatives eavesdropping on his events, and given the right strategy and the right funding, Kurtz can indeed win.

It appears, however, that Kind is intimidated enough to be already organizing squads of informants. He’s also been hit already with a splashy mailer asking people to contact him to oppose cuts to Medicare Part D.

This race should be interesting.

About the writer: Chris Rochester is editor in chief of Morning Martini. He’s a communication specialist with experience in the private sector and on various campaigns. He's the communications director for the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. Commentary here is strictly his own.
  • Jamie Riehl

    As friends with Brandon, I’d just like to share I am delighted by your write up of him here. I especially like “picked in the brine of Democrat politics” which is both poetic and accurate. “Spy” makes him sound pretty exciting.

    In other news, sending scouts to rival rallies is sop. That being said, while Brandon makes no secret of being a huge fan of Congressman Kind (in fact, we have trouble getting him to shut up about it), he is not currently employed by Kind and was there on his own initiative. You might have missed a real spy!