Congressman Paul Ryan has a Republican primary challenger this year. His opponent, of course, has every right to challenge our congressman. It’s America; it’s what we do. We get to exercise our freedom to do just about anything in this nation.
The big question is: who is Paul F. Nehlen III? This is a man who claims to have been politically engaged in the area since 2008, yet no one seems to know him: from Racine to Kenosha to Walworth to Rock counties. A First District GOP Caucus is held every spring, but there has been no sign of Nehlen. We also recently learned that Nehlen voted in only 3 out of 23 Wisconsin elections since 2008.
Where was Nehlen in 2009 during our effort to prevent Obamacare from passing? In 2010 the year of the US Senate gains, where we all joined forces to elect Ron Johnson, or 2011 as we literally went to battle over Act 10? Finally, he claims TEA Party backing, but again, we never had any help from Paul Nehlen as we strived to stop the 2012 recall of Governor Walker and Lt Governor Kleefisch. He did vote in the recall election of June 2012, but by November, he wasn’t in town and cast his general election ballot in Michigan. Answer me this? Why would any of Nehlen’s elected officials support him now, if he didn’t consistently vote for them in their past elections?
I guess the bigger question is, does Paul Nehlen know us? Judging by the initial launch of his (acerbic propaganda) campaign, the answer is pretty much no. Not only does it appear that Nehlen’s backers forgot to thoroughly vet their candidate; their candidate failed to educate himself on Wisconsin's First Congressional District. Please note that I'm sensing Nehlen’s team is mostly from outside of the district or even from outside of Wisconsin.
Paul Nehlen is going to have a hard time trying to change the hearts and minds of First District voters. There is no majority of irate citizens here that shout of “dumping” someone they might not agree with 100% of the time; unless it’s Barack Obama, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. I have yet to come across one person IN district to hear them say that they felt “betrayed” by Ryan. This is Nehlen’s rallying cry. He was betrayed by traitor Paul Ryan; although he was quick to change it from “he” to “we”. Perhaps he remembered there is no “I” in team.
Here in the First, we know and encourage each other, work hard, push back against bad liberal policy, educate the public, and celebrate together. We tune out such labels as RINO, establishment, or party loyalists, knowing that conservatism is not one size fits all. We are a constituency that doesn’t care much for outsiders telling us how we should think, feel, or vote. Most activists here realize that Ryan is not the problem; he is part of the solution. We do our research and understand that comprehensive change doesn’t happen overnight, when we have layers of a bad overgrown government onion to peel back.
Wisconsin's First Congressional District is proud of our native son who started as an aide to Jack Kemp, to Congressman, to VP candidate, and currently our Speaker of the House. Ryan loves our country enough to faithfully dedicate his life to serving her. Nehlen is going to swiftly discover what he is up against, when he comes face to face with the grassroots army on the ground that has Paul Ryan’s back.
Nancy Milholland, who lives in Racine, Wisconsin, is a First District conservative grassroots activist. She is a co-founder of the Racine TEA Party and is active in the Racine County GOP.