Sunday, December 4, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Most of the Leadership Team for Adam Steen’s Write-in Campaign Quits. Is it Time to End the Effort?

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Paris Procopis
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What a difference a few days in politics makes. It certainly holds true for the 63rd Assembly District. I was going to publish this article on Wednesday, but then I decided I would just let things play out and focus on other things. Unfortunately, I can no longer remain silent because something significant happened with the Adam Steen Write-in Campaign against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

By now I’m sure everybody knows about Robin Vos’ narrow victory over Adam Steen, his Trump-backed primary challenger. After only losing the Primary by a mere 260 votes, Adam Steen decided he had enough momentum to mount a write-in campaign. Initially, he seemed to have significant support for the effort. His campaign staff and many volunteers lined up to help him.

Fast forward a few weeks and there seems to have been a seismic change for the Steen campaign. On Thursday morning his social media manager put up a post on the Steen for Assembly Campaign Facebook page.

The post stated, ‘Good morning, This will be my final post. Since the launching of ‘Write-in Steen,’ the beliefs of the team have diverged. Some members of the team will be departing, joining the effort to elect Tim Michels and re-elect Ron Johnson.’

In my conversations with some well-placed campaign sources, it was not just a couple of people, it was the bulk of the leadership team and several volunteers who bid adieu to the long-shot write-in campaign.

This is NOT a case of one ‘rogue’ campaign employee, SHE WAS NOT ALONE, she was joined by the PR person, the Volunteer Coordinator, the Campaign Manager, the Assistant to the Campaign Manager, and the latest person handling the financials.
On a side note, I do want to commend Misty, the Campaign Social Media person, for being graceful in her post. If an entire campaign team quits, I’m sure she could have said much more, but chose not to. That would not have been ideal.

Anybody who follows my writing knows that I am not a fan of Assembly Speaker Vos. In an article a few months ago I was very critical of the conservative legislation that was being sent to Tony Evers, but never saw the light of day when Walker was governor.

Obviously, I am not alone in my criticism of the Speaker. Over the years he has become the personification of what is wrong with the Madison establishment and career politicians. He has lost touch with the people of Wisconsin, especially when it comes to taking action on many things, most recently on the issue of voter integrity.

Waiting several months to finally investigate was a sure sign he didn’t even want the investigation. Was he worried about something turning up? Who knows? He even demonized those who wanted to at least investigate the illegal activity so it did not haunt Wisconsin in future elections.

On the idea of reinstalling Trump, this is one point where I agree with Vos. There is no Constitutional path to reinstall Trump. There is literally no way to determine which votes were fraudulent or legit after they were put in the machines and not a single court in the country is going to disenfranchise any voters. The ONLY way Trump will be President again is if he runs and wins in 2024.

That being said, I fully support the investigation and potential prosecution of those who skirted and literally broke election laws. But that’s another article.

Steen had been an outspoken supporter of full ‘decertification’ and had been critical of Vos. Clearly, taking on the Speaker was no easy task and Steen was struggling to gain traction, but then his campaign received a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump which propelled Steen to within striking distance of the longtime incumbent.

If Trump had only endorsed a few weeks earlier, Steen may have pulled off the impossible. This was a major reason Steen used to mount the write-in effort.
Over the weeks, I had personally struggled with the concept of the write-in. The idea of ‘re-doing’ elections every time we don’t like the outcome, cuts to the core of the idea of democracy.

Because the idea that Steen was still being a proverbial thorn in Vos’ side tickled me a bit, I decided to remain silent on the write-in issue and let things play out. But having the leadership team abruptly quit on the same day speaks volumes.

The people of the 63rd District deserve to know this is going on and unfortunately, nobody else is reporting it and the campaign was apparently trying to keep it quiet instead of getting ahead of it.

I am sure this is not popular in some circles, but I’m never one to steer away from speaking my mind, no matter what. Elections do have consequences, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Personally, I think Adam Steen is a nice guy and I’m glad he put himself out there. It’s not easy to take on an incumbent in a primary and to get so close. Steen gave it a valiant effort in the primary but ultimately came up short. Robin Vos won, be it barely, but he did win. It’s over! I cannot support Adam Steen’s write-in effort.

Steen’s entire campaign staff quitting is newsworthy. How? Why? It doesn’t really matter anymore. I just think the write-in will amount to nothing but a huge distraction from the big state-wide races; Tim Michels, Ron Johnson, and Eric Tony.

Yes, since BARELY WINNING, Robin Vos is heavily damaged. This could be a factor when Assembly leadership elections happen in 2023. I am hopeful there are enough rank-and-file Republicans who will ‘grow a pair’ and change the entire leadership structure. There’s nothing that says he has to remain as Speaker.

NONE OF THIS diminishes the fact that there are many questions about Vos and his political ethics. He was too eager to block efforts to thoroughly investigate the 2020 election. And, let’s not forget the Forensic Audit he promised; it NEVER HAPPENED.

I fully intend to hold Vos accountable and I am not alone. He got away with the things he did because Republicans are consistent. When Republicans win elections, supporters go to sleep. WE DID NOT HOLD HIS FEET TO THE FIRE and keep him accountable. Never again!

Like it or not, this is our reality, we are in the political fight of our lives and it should be ALL HANDS ON DECK to fire Tony Evers, fire Josh Kaul, and prevent Mandela Barnes from getting into the senate.

November is coming quickly and we need to focus. Racine County is key to winning. What good is taking out an incumbent if it costs us the Governor and the Senate race?

The patriotic thing to do would be to cast one’s ego aside and do the right thing by focusing on Michels, Johnson, and Toney.

As for the Steen campaign, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. It’s up to the people of the 63rd to decide. Better yet, maybe it’s time to end the write-in effort altogether?

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