Republican Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Ryan Admit to Shady Backroom Deal with Democrat Moore

October 25th, 2010

The Republican

Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin has recently learned of an ongoing backroom-style deal, which goes against the best interests of Wisconsin's Republican voters, involving top ranking Republican Congressmen James Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, and Democrat Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

In a revealing and testimonial email submitted to the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin by Michael Strautmann, Campaign Treasurer for WI-4th Congressional Republican Candidate Dan Sebring, outlines a specific event where both he and Sebring's Campaign Manager, Jessica Strautmann, were present with Congressman Sensenbrenner, when Sensenbrenner admitted directly to Sebring, that he would not endorse Sebring's candidacy because of an already made deal with Congresswoman Gwen Moore; not to help defeat her in a general election.  Dan Sebring is the Republican Challenger trying to unseat Congressional incumbent Gwen Moore on November 2nd.

Michael Strautmann writes…

“On Friday, August 6, 2010, the Waukesha County GOP held a 'Pints and Politics' event at Weissgerber's Seven Seas Restaurant. Jessica and I were present in an attempt to set up a fundraiser for Dan Sebring at that same location.  At one point during the evening, Dan approached Sensenbrenner, asking him for five minutes to speak with him, so he could obtain Sensenbrenner's endorsement as Dan goes after Gwen Moore's seat. Sensenbrenner's exact response was “Both Congressman Paul Ryan and I have an 'agreement' in place with Gwen Moore and we will not endorse her opposition.“”

Strautmann continues…

“It took many aback that evening, including those around him, showing us that regardless of how much they (Ryan, Moore, and Sensenbrenner) don't like each other, they will continue to support each other to maintain the status quo. Sensenbrenner's statement really went on to show the deals that incumbent congressmen in this state, regardless of which side of the aisle they're on, will make to save their own seats. Based on the non-reaction from other patrons at this event, it showed the cronyism and hypocricsy amongst GOP insiders at the local, county and state levels.”

Sebring's Campaign Manager Jessica Strautmann also commented on the incident…

“I was surprised and extremely disappointed at hearing Congressman Sensenbrenner's reply to Dan's request for an endorsement.  As a lifelong constituent of the 5th District myself, and someone who has continually supported him through my votes, I did not feel that Congressman Sensenbrenner's response was in keeping with how a fellow Republican should be treated.   As hard as our campaign has worked to unseat Gwen Moore over the past two years, his endorsement should not have even been an issue.”

To verify this account, the RLC-WI placed several calls to all campaigns requesting official comments on the matter.  The RLC-WI spoke with Congressional Candidate Dan Sebring personally.  According to Sebring, the event as described by Strautmann did in fact occur.  Sebring stated that what Congressman Sensenbrenner had stated was true and correct.

In a call to Congresswoman Gwen Moore's campaign, Moore For Congress, Moore's Campaign Manager, Brenda Moore, stated that she was unaware of any deal made by Congresswoman Moore with both Sensenbrenner and Ryan.  Brenda Moore went on to say that it is the official statement of 'Moore For Congress' that what Sensenbrenner had said is “completely untrue.”

The RLC-WI then contacted Congressman James Sensenbrenner's office in Washington DC.  In a telephone conversation with an aide to Sensenbrenner, who wished to remain annonymous, the aide vehemently denied Sensenbrenner ever making the statement whatsoever.  When asked if the aide would go on record with the denial, the aide declined and referred the RLC-WI to Sensenbrenner's campaign, The Sensenbrenner Committee.  In a phone call placed to The Sensenbrenner Committee, a representative explained that James Sensenbrenner has entered into an agreement with all members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation to not endorse any candidate looking to unseat a sitting Congressional incumbent.  The representative went on to say that this is, and has been, an “unwritten rule” amongst all Wisconsin Congressmen for quite sometime now.

The RLC-WI placed a final phone call to Congressman Paul Ryan's campaign, Ryan For Congress.  A representative who returned the RLC-WI's initial call, stated that she was speaking on behalf of Paul Ryan and Ryan's campaign manager.  The representative stated that the RLC-WI needed to take up the matter with the Sensenbrenner Campaign to find out exactly what was said on this particular night.  The representative then went on to explain about the same “unwritten rule” amongst Wisconsin Congressman -not to oppose each other- as Sensenbrenner's people described.  When asked if this was an official binding agreement or an official rule outlined somewhere, Ryan's representative stated that she could not comment on the validity of the so-called “rule”. 

The RLC-WI is angered to have learned of this “unwritten rule” amongst the Bi-Partisan Elite Ruling Class.  In an official statement released by the RLC-WI, Chair Michael S. Murphy had this to say… 

“The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin is shocked and appalled to have learned that Republican Representatives James Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan have made a deal with their Democratic counterpart, Gwen Moore; that they shall not endorse any candidate who would oppose her in any election.  In an dual effort to selfishly save their own seats, Sensenbrenner and Ryan have not only sold out the conservative mission to advance a Republican stronghold in the Halls of Congress, but they also violate the very Platform, and it’s Resolutions, of the Republican Party of Wisconsin; an organization, which saw to it that these two individuals took seat in the first place.”

Murphy continued…

“It is the mission of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin to be the ‘Conscience of the Republican Party’ and we shall not support, nor will tolerate such a power syndicate to exist and operate so surreptitiously against the best interests of the Republican voters of Wisconsin. We applaud the courageous members of the Sebring Campaign for coming forward and exposing Rep. Sensenbrenner’s vile admittance of participating and conspiring in this unsavory agreement.  In placing his campaign in harm's way to expose the truth, Dan Sebring proves that he is truly a TEA Party candidate and a defender of Liberty.” 

The RLC-WI hopes that all Congressmen and women of Wisconsin will cease and desist this preferential treatment for one another.  The RLC-WI believes that this type of deal brokering only ensures the stability of Wisconsin's Bi-Partisan Ruling Class and goes against the best interests of all Wisconsin's citizens.



The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.

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