Brian J. Nemoir
(Milwaukee, WI)— In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Tommy G. Thompson’s first inauguration as Governor, an evening dinner gala at the Wisconsin Club will be held on September 18th featuring United States Speaker Paul Ryan.
“This past May, we began the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Tommy Thompson’s inauguration with a well-received public policy symposium looking back at his key policy achievements,” said James Klauser, Chairman of the Tommy@30 effort and former Secretary of Administration for Gov. Thompson. “The September 18th celebration provides a wonderful opportunity for friends to come together and commemorate the transformative policy and political successes of Tommy Thompson.”
The celebration will feature key guest appearances—former legislative colleagues, members of the Thompson team, family, video features and most-importantly a room full of enthusiastic supporters. The limited-seating event will begin with a 5:00 cocktail reception and a 6:30 dinner and program thereafter. Registration and additional information can be found at www.tommyat30.com.
In 1986 Thompson, as the minority leader and a 21-year member of the Assembly, decided to challenge then-Governor Tony Earl. Considered an underdog in a crowded GOP field, Thompson pulled off a surprising primary upset and effectively campaigned in the general election, unseating the incumbent by an unexpected 7-point margin. After his 1987 swearing-in, Thompson went on to earn national accolades as a policy innovator by championing the nation’s first school voucher program, by replacing welfare with the work-based W-2 program and by encouraging extraordinary job growth
At the request of President George W. Bush, in 2001 Thompson went on to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s largest agency. As secretary, Thompson lead the agency’s unprecedented response to the 9-11 tragedy, and championed key legislative victories like the popular prescription drug benefit, Medicare Part D. Thereafter, Thompson has enjoyed private sector successes and remains active on key public policy issues.
The year-long Tommy@30 project was launched by alumni and colleagues of Gov. Thompson, and will feature several high-profile events throughout the year. Many other Thompson administration alumni are also donating their time and talents to the project. Generous support from foundations, individuals and corporations are helping offset the costs associated with the academic papers, journalistic histories and the documentary. The Executive Director of the Tommy@30 project is former State Representative Michelle Litjens.