WisPolitics E-Profile: Mark Jefferson

This e-profile was completed Feb. 28, 2007


1. Name:
Mark Jefferson

2. Birthplace and date
Friendship, Wisconsin; 11/11/1968

3. Contact info
E-mail: mjefferson@wisgop.org
Website: www.wisgop.org

4. Title/Occupation
Executive Director, Republican Party of Wisconsin

5. Other jobs/job history
RPW Assembly Campaign Director
Legislative staff for 11 years in the Wisconsin state Assembly.
Campaign manager and staff for several Wisconsin legislative races.


6. Education
B.A. UW-La Crosse

7. Family
Single

8. I was inspired to enter this line of work ...
by the hope that state government could be changed for the better. I grew up on a farm and remember the double-digit property tax hikes year after year, and state leaders uninterested in controlling the spending that was causing them. I had a real frustration with the Democrats' domination of state and federal government, and wanted to show that govenment could help people without taxing people beyond their ability to pay or taking away their freedoms.

9. My most memorable moment in politics was ...
November, 1994.

10. The moment in politics I'd rather forget was ...
November, 2006. Although I won't because the lessons are important.

11. The winning political formula in Wisconsin is ...
simply making a connection with the average voter. The rest can fall into place. Optimism is important. Retail politics and personality can often trump the issues. It's hard work, but it's not as complicated as people think. Knock off the strategy sessions with the campaign committee and go do your doors.

12. The thing that's changed the most in politics since I started has been ...
Technology. We used to mail out press releases, drive radio ad reels to stations, and put together 15,000-piece bulk mailings by hand. State Democrats' amusing transformation from bullies in the Legislature to perceiving themselves as victims run a close second.

13. I like politics when ...
I'm able to sit down at the kitchen table with a regular person who has never seriously considered becoming a candidate for state office, and later watching that person be sworn in.

14. I hate politics when ...
1) Modern campaign tactics are blocked by campaigns stuck in the politics of 30 years ago. They always lose.
2) People get nostalgic about the way things were 25-30 years ago. Many of them are just upset that the lefties no longer have the place to themselves. The "Good Old Days" in Wisconsin politics weren't so good for the people trying to pay the bills.
3) Legislators or staff from either party become disgrutled because their political career didn't quite take off the way they planned. Too often they blame everyone else and look for relevance and attention as they trash their collegues, the institution, or the system on their way out.

15. If I weren't working in politics, I'd be ...
As frustrated with politics and government as everyone else.

16. When I'm not working, I'd rather be ...
Flying or watching whatever Wisconsin team happens to be playing.

17. My favorite place in Wisconsin is ...
Back on the farm, either in the field or scouting the woods.

18. My favorite place outside Wisconsin is ...
Madison

19. Most people don't know I'm good at ...
1) Irritating my girlfriend and 2) Sitting on the couch. I wonder if there's a correlation ...

20. The book I'm recommending these days is ...
Rewriting History, by Dick Morris.
Buck Up, Suck Up...And Come Back When You Foul Up, by James Carville and Paul Begala.
The Packer Way, by Ron Wolf.

21. The TV show I'm recommending these days is ...
Whatever's on Comedy Central. I don't feel the need to fake depth. And people need to lighten up.

22. The movie I'm recommending these days is ...
Most anything with Will Ferrell.

23. If I had the chance, I'd really like to have lunch with ...
James Madison, Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr, Hugo Black. Might even block out the afternoon for that.

24. If I was king of Wisconsin for a day, I'd declare that ...
1) Editorial Boards must recognize that the 1st Amendment protects everyone, not just the media, and show equal concern for our rights (see campaign finance reform, etc);
2) I will be king for another day.

25. Twenty five years from now, Wisconsin politicos will be talking about ....
How much better things were 25 years ago. But it won't be true then, either.

26. The question I really wanted to answer was ...
Why do campaigns keep getting more expensive and when will the negative ads stop?

27. And the answer is ...
Because government is becoming so much bigger and the "negative" ads will stop the minute they no longer work.