As the honest and upright (if not slightly evasive) Terrence “Terry” Wall has dodged paying state income taxes, there’s been some mumbling (if not slurring) to get Tommy Thompson, the self-described man from “the great state of Wiscons” to run for Senator Feingold’s seat.
The future mayor of Elroy may want to pause before attempting to make himself into Wisconsin’s next Brett Favre.
Like the quarterback who can’t help but drag (or hurl) himself back in after one or two retirements, Thompson has tried to run for president, but was out in 2008 after the Iowa caucuses. (Tommy Thompson President Gifts still available through CafePress; act now!) Prior to that, he served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under the George W. Bush administration. And he went to that job after setting up his home state of Wiscons’ to have a muddled morass of welfare “reform,” lower-quality schools, and a record budget deficit. In true politician style, he left town before the shit hit the fan, leaving his successor Scott McCallum to take the blame.
Tommy started to make big money while he was in D.C. Not all of it came from his post as Secretary of H.H.S. That didn’t pay too shabbily, earning just under $200,000 annually. But the real cash came from Thompson’s stock holdings in the VeriChip Corporation. Amid the destruction and overall corruption of the Bush II administration, Thompson’s dealings got little attention. Thompson had at least 150,000 shares of stock in Applied Digital, the one-time makers of the VeriChip, and oversaw FDA approval of their device. He would later join the company’s board of directors. Thompson demurred on his pledge to “absolutely” have an RFID chip implanted in his arm. Can’t blame him; there’s already enough ways to track people. And there are cancer concerns as well. Good stuff!
Tommy’s come a long way since being seen as a man of the people. His long record firmly argues against that sentiment. We have to remember that his administrations are responsible for leaving Wisconsin with its lowest bond rating ever and a $3.5 billion deficit. His time at HHS hardly seems to have been examined. And if he ran for the U.S. Senate, his financial disclosure forms would make for very interesting reading. His ties to the medical-legal-healthcare-industrial complex are deep. His résumé shows him now as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld law firm, an “independent chairman” at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and president at Logistics Health. While the salaries at those firms are not known right now, you would hope that with all the cash he’s making there that he’s been able to find a few cents to contribute to the state of Wisconsin.
Stay in the private sector, Tommy. They’ve been very good to you. Don’t be another Favre.
And we’ll love you 4EVER Brent!