MADISON, Wis. — Welcome to “Knives Out”— Rebecca Kleefisch’s favorite phrase and a weekly roundup of the infighting between the radical Republicans running for Wisconsin governor.

The GOP is locked in a heated and brutal primary for governor, where Rebecca Kleefisch, Kevin Nicholson, Tim Ramthun, and Tim Michels are each trying to prove they are the most divisive candidate in the race. What’s going on in the Republican Party is so outrageous, it’s hard to keep track of all of their blunders — so here is a roundup:

On Abortion

It has been a difficult week since news broke that the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. This decision, if final, would ban access to abortion and would have a number of unforeseen consequences on American health care. 

In Wisconsin, debate has begun about whether a pre-Civil War ban on abortion would go into back into effect. Republicans running for governor spared no opportunity to remind voters that they all want to block Wisconsinites from getting the health care they need. Each one supports banning abortion without exceptions — which would threaten access to critical reproductive health care for Wisconsinites, more than 70% of whom do not support overturning the Roe decision.

Who Said It?

Can you guess who said the following?

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m not crazy. I am focused on truth. I am very passionate about the revelation of truth so that we can get the detail and the facts so that we can have closure. I need closure because right now I’m apprehensive about voting.”

Scroll to the end of this newsletter for the answer.

Even Ron Johnson Is Tired of Kevin Nicholson 

Another Republican is tired of Kevin Nicholson whining about the party! This time, it wasn’t Rebecca Kleefisch. It was instead Wisconsin’s (least) favorite Senator Ron Johnson.

At an event, he said:

[…] I do not buy this crap at all about the establishment, or the machine, or any of that stuff. I try to keep pointing out, I’ve come from manufacturing, if you want to produce something, you need a machine. If you intend to get elected, you need an organization behind you.”

You know it’s bad when Ron Johnson — who is known for his unhinged rhetoric and is still touting unproven conspiracy theories about vaccines — is getting tired of you.

Is Tim Michels in a New York State of Mind?

The Michels’ campaign didn’t get off to a good start this last week and a half. First, Michels was forced to respond to ethics questions after saying that he hoped his family’s company would continue to bid on state contracts even if he became governor.

Then Michels had to go on defense about whether or not he was a full time Wisconsin resident. Spoiler: the AP reports he lived in Wisconsin part time. Apparently, Tim Michels spent more than $30 million on properties in New York and Connecticut between 2015 and 2020, and “still owns the Manhattan penthouse he bought in 2015 for $8.7 million.”

Tim Michels is not an everyday Wisconsinite — he’s a certified Upper East Sider.

Michels’ Manhattan penthouse features a “staff room,” a foyer, multiple terraces, seven bedrooms, and more.

(Floor plan from Zillow)

Of course, he went on conservative talk radio to try to explain himself. It didn’t go well. The best explanation he could give was that his kids root for Wisconsin sports teams?

Well, my children’s lives may have been, and of course my wife is going to mother, and she spent a lot of time out there as well. I’m the guy on the ballot, I’m the one that is running for governor because I can’t take it anymore. […] Their friends are back here, their hearts are back in Wisconsin. They’re Brewers fans, they’re big Bucks fans, they’re big Packers fans.”

“Who Said It” Answer Revealed 

This one wasn’t too difficult, but it was Tim Ramthun at a zoom town hall [7:50]!

This is just days after the conservative leaning Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial about the sham Gableman investigation that, “Mr. Trump lost Wisconsin in 2020 on his own, and if Republicans keep chasing ghosts, he will also help them lose in 2022.”

Donald Trump responded in outrage, but no… Tim Ramthun is NO conspiracy theorist…

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