As much fun as we have had with Mark Neumann thus far, you simply can't discount him for two reasons: his ability to spend large amounts of his own money and his ability to pick the low-hanging fruit that Scott Walker has left all over the place. Neumann has clearly been trying much harder in recent weeks, given the number of supporters sending letters to local papers, his public appearances, and his announcement of policy positions.
As a key part of his recent efforts, Mark Neumann is also very clearly trying to make a play for teabagger support. One example of this was demonstrated on WISN's Up Front program on Sunday. During the program he spoke about his ill-advised boilerplate positions on term limits and what some have described as his California-style referenda idea. On the program, Neumann said that these positions reflect the anger and the frustration expressed by teabaggers. Despite his coy comments to the contrary, it is clear that he is trying to grab some of the teabagging crowd from Walker.
I have to wonder if he has not been partially successful, at least in the virtual sense. In a very short amount of time, Neumann has surpassed Walker in his use of social networking and online activism. Given a recent incident, he must have a good amount of teabaggers in his midst. Today Steve Jagler from Biztimes.com reported on a response that he received from Neumann supporters. It was regarding his recent comments about Wisconsin's economy beginning to rebound. Apparently those supporters are in no mood for talk of recovery while Democrats are in charge and all that they needed was a nudge to go completely off the edge. Apparently after Jagler released a set of economic indicators showing possible good economic news, Team Neumann posted a link on his Facebook page questioning the information. The next thing you know, Jagler reports getting all manner of wild-eyed reactions.
"Bullsh_t many jobs lost will not come back ever."
"None of the stimulus money goes into small businesses…just leftist groups like ACORN and NAMBLA!"
"dum ass!" (his spelling)
I don't know about you but that sure sounds like the high minded teabagger rhetoric that we have come to know and love. At least based on this reaction and his recent efforts it seems that Mark Neumann may have been partially successful. The remaining questions are, exactly how many teabaggers has he successfully pulled from Walker and are they real or only virtual?