State Representative Spencer Black says he's considering an independent run for governor next year. Which has Governor Doyle asking if Black and dissatisfied progressives who are urging him on "really want to have a Republican governor or not?"
Doyle's problem is that when a large and growing number of people ponder his question, their answer is that someone like Spencer Black needs to run.
Dissatisfaction with the current political landscape knows no partisan boundaries. Isthmus editor Marc Eisen's column this week is devoted to talking up the idea of Mike Ellis running for the Republican nomination for governor. Homeless Republican moderates who are tired – not to mention privately terrified – of the "guns, gays, God and feeding tubes" crowd that has hijacked the GOP would love to see an Ellis candidacy.
Eisen figures Ellis could pull a Lee Dreyfus in a three-way race with right-wing poster boys Scott Walker and Mark Green, and wonders out loud if state employees disgusted with Doyle might even cross over and vote for Ellis.
What's most intriguing about Eisen's analysis is his contention that Ellis could benefit from what he calls the "All Hell Breaks Loose scenario." He notes that the Capitol corruption cases against Brian Burke, Chuck Chvala, Scott Jensen, Steve Foti and a Foti aide will likely come to trial before the 2006 election. But Eisen says the "real time bomb tick-tick-ticking away could be the Nick Hurtgen indictment" that is "giving night sweats to Wisconsin GOP leaders, according to several Republican activists."
Hurtgen is the former Thompson administration insider who became a Bear Stearns bond executive and now faces up to 80 years in prison on extortion and fraud charges in Illinois stemming from a massive federal corruption sweep. Eisen cites published reports saying the feds are looking into Hurtgen's Wisconsin dealings and asks "(w)hat if, in a deal to avoid prison, he rolls over on somebody big in Wisconsin politics."