Last May I openly asked if Republican big-wig Jim Klauser had lost his influence in his own party. People used to refer to him as everything from a "deputy governor" to a "kingmaker". My question in May came in the context of him getting behind Mark Neumann while most of the (vocal) base was already on the crazy train with Walker. I also asked the question at that time, because many of Walker's disciples said some pretty nasty things about Klauser and that is hardly the way to treat your "kingmaker". Months have passed since I first asked that question and Klauser has since surrendered his "king making" credentials to the most rabid elements of his party.
While Jim Klauser was involved with the Mark Neumann campaign, it was like watching a train wreck. I actually think that they have done better since he abandoned the campaign. Now he is working on the T-Wall campaign, which has led me to ask an entirely new set of questions: Has Jim Klauser traded in his "king making" powers for a reverse Midas touch? If so, how did it happen so quickly? I don't know, but consider some of the following:
- As previously stated, while he was with the Neumann campaign, they were like watching a train wreck. Since he switched sides, they have done better (which admittedly may not be saying much).
- T-Wall announced Jim Klauser's involvement in his campaign in November and then the "pumpkins" began to promptly hit the fan. Information about T-Wall's tax issues began to steadily surface to the point that even right wing talkers panned the Klauser-backed candidate.
- To add insult to injury, current GOP big-wigs started frantically trying to recruit just about anyone else to run, other than the Klauser-backed candidate.
Given all of these rather recent developments, I can't help but wonder if Jim Klauser has developed a kind of reverse-Midas touch. If he has, he can largely thank members of his own party for it. Walker and his disciples certainly played their part in this soap opera. But so did the right wing talkers, who not only attacked him for initially backing Neumann but then panned his current candidate. Word on the street is that there has been bad blood between Walker/talk radio/reactionary types and Klauser for some time. The conflict has apparently taken its toll and it appears to directly transfer all the way down to the individual Klauser-backed candidates.