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Tommy Thompson

"There is a big difference between common sense and what I call 'government sense.' For decades now we have seen the federal government gathering more and more power into its grasp. For 50 years we have seen a federal government who thought it could do a better job when it came to running our states, to running our schools, to running our businesses, and to running our personal lives. What has happened in those 50 years? We have seen crime go up, respect for authority go down, more families breaking up, and a government that does not pay its bills. It’s a good thing they have been telling us what to do, right? Perhaps the one good thing to come out of this experiment will be the conviction that it is time to start moving away from government sense back to common sense." - Tommy Thompson

Statistics -

CAMPAIGN SLOGAN: "Proven Common Sense Leadership."
FULL NAME: Tommy George Thompson
DATE OF BIRTH: November 19, 1941
AGE: 66
SPOUSE: Sue Ann Mashok
CHILDREN: Tommi, Kelli, and Jason
PETS: None
RELIGION: Roman Catholic

QUICK FACTUnder Tommy's direction as Governor, Wisconsin led the nation in assisting tens of thousands of families to get off 'the dependence of a welfare check and onto the independence of a paycheck.'


Biography -

Tommy George Thompson is a United States politician and was the 7th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin. His brother, Ed Thompson, was the Libertarian Party candidate in the 2002 gubernatorial election.

Thompson was born in Elroy, Wisconsin, where his father, Allen Thompson, ran a gas station and country grocery store. His mother, Julia, was a schoolteacher. Thompson began his career in politics in 1966 as a representative in the Wisconsin State Assembly, after earning his law degree at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. From 1987 to 2001, Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms.

Thompson's initiatives during his 13 years as governor of Wisconsin were his Wisconsin Works welfare reform and school choice programs. In 1990, Thompson pushed for the creation of the United States' first parental school-choice program, allowing low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice at taxpayer expense. He also created the BadgerCare program, designed to provide health coverage to those families whose employers don't provide health insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Through the federal waiver program, Thompson helped replicate this program in several states when he became Secretary of Health and Human Services.

From 1998 to 1999, he served as president of the CSG and, with the organization's chairman, Senator Kenneth McClintock, the nonvoting member from Puerto Rico, led a top-level delegation to the People's Republic of China. Thompson left office when he was appointed by President George W. Bush as HHS Secretary. He has said of the current President, "George W. Bush has tremendous characteristics. He's very honest. He's very straightforward. [If I were president] I would put him out on a lecture series, talking to the youth of America about honesty, integrity, perseverance, passion, and serving the public." He announced his resignation from HHS on December 3, 2004, and served until January 26, 2005, when the Senate confirmed his successor, Michael O. Leavitt.

Shortly after leaving his Bush Cabinet post, Thompson joined and served for two years on the board of directors of Applied Digital Solutions, makers of the controversial VeriChips: glass-encapsulated RFID devices to be injected into human flesh for identification purposes and for use as a payment device. Thompson is the President of Logistics Health, Inc., a senior partner at Akin Gump, a Washington, D.C. law firm, a senior advisor at the consulting firm Deloitte, and the chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Thompson taught a class in the fall of 2005 at the Kennedy School of Government on medical diplomacy.

Thompson has stated that Iowa is the most crucial state in order to secure the Republican nomination and he plans to spend the majority of his time there up until the election. He has gained a good amount of support despite not having as much campaign funding as some of the other candidates. He recently placed fourth in close proximity to Romney, Giuliani, and McCain in a Des Moines Register poll in terms of who Republicans would nominate. He has been steadily gaining on the current top tier candidates and is expected to do very well in the August straw poll in Ames.

During the third republican debate held in New Hampshire Thompson had a chance to outline his solution for Iraq. First, he would petition Iraq parliament to vote on whether or not they want the U.S. in their country anymore to give legitimacy to both the United States and Iraq. Second, he would give much more power to the 18 provinces that reside in Iraq. This would be an effort to stop the strife that exists between the groups that are in Iraq. Lastly, he would use Alaska as a model for what to do with Iraq's oil supply. Split into thirds, the central, regional, and every citizen would receive a check every month from the revenue generated. 


Platform Issues -


Governor Thompson believes Iraq is a vital front in the War on Terror and that the debate over short-term military solutions and defunding of the troops’ mission is shortsighted and counterproductive. Instead, Governor Thompson believes that America should work to build an Iraq with strong economic and political infrastructures.

Defense and Foreign Policy:

Governor Thompson believes the nation must recommit itself to rebuilding the American military because our armed forces must have the capacity to dominate any war or any conflict we must enter – all while having the capability to fight a multi-front war. Our military is simply stretched too thin to protect American interests overseas and at home in these dangerous times. At the same time, our foreign policy cannot be based solely on military might. We must reach out to the rest of the world, and a good place to start is with medical diplomacy. Governor Thompson’s initiative would take America’s great doctors and health professionals, along with our medicines and technology, to some of the most distraught places in the world, helping to comfort and nurse the poor to better health. By doing so, we can begin to heal some of the wounds with our global neighbors. 

Health Care:

Governor Thompson believes America must strengthen its health care system if it is to remain the best in the world. He would accomplish this by 1. moving the focus to preventive from curative care; 2. accelerating the adoption of health information technology to save money and lives; 3. placing the uninsured in state-by-state insurable pools, allowing private insurers to bid on their coverage; 4. strengthening the nation’s long-term care system that robs too many Americans of their life savings; and 5. strengthening the Medicare and Medicaid programs to ensure the programs are there in the future for the millions of Americans who depend on them.


Governor Thompson opposes amnesty and believes that America must enforce its immigration policies to the fullest extent of the law. People who are found to be in the country illegally should be returned to their home countries and should have to wait at the end of the line, behind people who are seeking to enter the country or become citizens legally.


Governor Thompson is pro-life and signed one of the nation’s first partial-birth abortion bans. Under Thompson, the number of adoptions in Wisconsin increased by 22 percent, while the number of abortions decreased by 37 percent. Just as he did in Wisconsin, Thompson would appoint strict constructionist judges who do not legislate from the bench.


Governor Thompson believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He supports states’ rights in determining the definition of marriage and believes it should be done legislatively or by referendum.


Governor Thompson, who started the nation’s first school choice program in Milwaukee, believes America must hold our schools to high standards from kindergarten through college while making sure all of our children have access to a world-class education, regardless of what neighborhood they live in or how much money their parents make. Governor Thompson believes Congress can make No Child Left Behind stronger, and do so without wavering on its core principles.

Second Amendment:
Governor Thompson is a gun owner who signed legislation that banned Wisconsin communities from passing anti-gun ordinances that are stricter than state law.
Taxes and Spending:
Governor Thompson cut taxes by $16.4 billion in Wisconsin and believes President Bush’s tax cuts must be permanent to allow taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money and to continue to build the economy. Governor Thompson also vetoed more than 1,900 items in 14 years in office, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Energy and the Environment:

Governor Thompson believes America must become more independent in its energy needs and break reliance on foreign oil. We must begin with greater investments in renewable energy, like ethanol, so we can bring these technologies to market faster and more efficiently. And we must come together and deal with our changing climate.


Voting Record -

For Thompson's Voting Record on issues such as Abortion, Civil Rights, Environment, Gun Control, Immigration, and more, please see:



"When you use the opportunity to allow the free-market system to work, it has the tendency to drive down costs.”

“We spend $117 billion a year on obesity-related diseases and 300,000 Americans die.”

“This rule makes sure that private health information doesn't fall victim to the progress of the information and technology age, ... where an array of data is readily available in computer systems and too often just a keystroke away from being assessed.”

“Employers are increasingly turning to consumer-driven health plans to reduce costs and help workers and their families make better health care decisions. Not only do companies protect their bottom lines, they help make employees better health consumers.”

“We really have to go to the state to the governor to the legislator and make some changes and make them quickly or we're going to get to the point where we're a third-world nation.”

“Unless the federal government is going to be able to come together -- which I don't think is going to happen -- you're going to see states (reforming healthcare).”


We thank the following resources:

Tommy Thompson Official Website
Project Vote Smart
On the Issues



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