● For some reason known only to cheeseheads, Wisconsin has been at the center of a number of national political stories this year, including the attempted recall of its governor by the state employee unions, Representative Paul Ryan’s selection by Mitt Romney as his running mate, and this Tuesday’s Wisconsin state primary election won by Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Heath and Human Services, to be the Republican party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate seat now held by the retiring Herb Kohl (D). Thompson is a strong candidate and the odds now move toward a Republican pick-up of this seat in the general election. This race will help decide party control of the Senate for the 113th Congress.
● Dennis Cardoza resigned this week from his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Californian, age 53 and a moderate Democrat, was a leader on specialty agricultural crop issues while serving many years on the House Agriculture Committee. Interestingly, Mr. Cardoza cited family challenges as one reason for leaving his public duties early, but almost simultaneously announced he would be joining the politically powerful law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, as the managing director of its federal government affairs and public policy practice. The “Manatt” in the firm’s title is the now deceased Chuck Manatt, chairman of the Democratic National Committee in the early 1980s.
● McDermott Will & Emery is moving its Washington, D.C., office from near Metro Center up to Capitol Hill. This ought to be accomplished by October 1. Over the years I have had many meeting in the conference rooms of this law firm, which, through its professionals such as Ed Ruckert and Kam Quarles, represents a number of clients I have ties with, such as the United States Apple Association and the Minor Crop Farmer Alliance. The new location is a few blocks from Union Station and within hailing distance of an Irish whiskey at The Dubliner.
● The Texas Produce Association has named Bret Erickson its new senior vice president. If all works out well, he will succeed John McClung as president of TPA, when McClung retires in the not too distant future. Over the years, the Northwest Horticultural Council has worked closely with the Texas Produce Association on the many federal policy issues that touch upon both of our memberships.
● Political Fruit: In an interview aired on August 13, 2012, with Chuck Todd on “The Daily Rundown,” Senator Joe Lieberman (I/Connecticut) said it was his hope that in the anticipated lame duck session of Congress “… both parties will demand to take a big bite out of this difficult apple—the debt … .”