Is Kevin Nicholson a candidate for U.S. Senate or a candidate for an episode of Dr. Phil? CNN is reporting Nicholson’s parents maxed out their donations to incumbent U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. Nicholson is competing in the GOP primary against state Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) for a chance to take on Baldwin in November.
Nicholson announced last July that he would seek the Republican nomination for US Senate in Wisconsin. A Federal Election Commission filing by Baldwin’s campaign dated February 5 and available online shows that each of Nicholson’s parents, Donna and Michael, donated $2,700 to Baldwin in December 2017. FEC rules stipulate that those donations are the maximum Nicholson’s parents can donate to Baldwin during the primary election. They can donate up to that amount again during the general election.
This isn’t the first time Nicholson’s mother gave money to Baldwin. At the time, I criticized the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice for digging into the campaign donation history of Nicholson’s mother since it was well-established that he came from a Democratic family. The donations reported by Bice came before Nicholson declared his candidacy.
However, these donations were made after Nicholson’s candidacy. And because Donna and Michael donated the maximum to Baldwin, it’s fair to assume that the donations were not an accident of attending the wrong Democratic Party fundraiser.
Nicholson dismissed the significance of the donations by his parents to Baldwin’s campaign.
In a statement to CNN, Nicholson said, “My parents have a different worldview than I do, and it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin who shares their perspective.”
He continued, “I’m a conservative today not because I was born one, but because of the experience I earned as a Marine in combat, my experience as a husband and father, my choice to be a Christian, the schools I chose to attend and the decision to pursue the career that I have. Regardless of who may disagree with my life decisions, I would not trade these experiences for anything, and they will always guide my views as Wisconsin’s next U.S. Senator.”
Nicholson may not find it surprising, but most people would. It’s one thing to disagree with your parents about politics, it’s another thing for your parents to financially contribute to your opponent to help you lose the election. The donation amount won’t make much of a difference in the campaign, but what does it say when the candidate’s own parents want him to fail?
This is Livia Soprano-level family dysfunction and quite embarrassing to the Nicholson campaign. Hardly fatal, but embarrassing.
If Nicholson wins the GOP primary election in August, will Nicholson’s parents appear in television commercials for Baldwin?