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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Power to the People
An American State at Work,

by Gov. Tommy G. Thompson

(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 30 full quotes from Tommy Thompson in the book Power to the People, by Tommy Thompson.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

Tommy Thompson is running for Senate in 2012. He wrote this book in 1996, when he was Governor of Wisconsin and planning to run for a 4th term in 1998 (which he won). He wasn't yet considering a future presidential run, which came to fruition in 2008, after he had served as Bush's Secretary of Health and Human Services.

His intentions in this book are entirely state-oriented, as he describes in his purpose: "My intention in this book is to tell the story of one laboratory of democracy that is working to change the relationship between government and people. It is about devolving power back from Washington--freeing Wisconsin and other laboratories of democracy from Washington's control so we can do more of what works for the people of our states." (p. 6).

Thompson's legacy as governor of Wisconsin is indeed a series of successful experiments -- in school choice; in welfare reform; in new ideas for juvenile justice. Those are not the standard Republican successes -- which would focus instead on cutting government -- Thompson actually believes in using activist government as a means of social change. He describes himself as a "progressive Republican" (p. 29) leading the "next Progressive movement" based on conservative values.

It's tough to swallow that term. Wisconsin has a strong progressive tradition -- with the usual meaning of "progressive," taking on entrenched power structures for the benefit of the underclass -- and one suspects that Thompson just wants to muddle the terminology so that he can tap into that strong state tradition. But certainly Thompson is a different kind of conservative than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush -- so if he wants to call himself a "progressive conservative," it's as good a term as any. Just be aware that Thompson's term "progressive" is not the same as used in any other state or any other context!

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, May 2012
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Bring state spending in line with ability to pay.
    1986 pro-business campaign: more and better jobs.
    1986: Tax cuts to show WI was good place to do business.
    Exclude 60% of capital gains from taxation.
    Zero tolerance: swift & certain justice makes safety.
    Life means life: Abolish mandatory release laws.
    Turn prisons into factories where all prisoners are working.
    New ideas to improve schools conflict with teachers unions.
    School choice for religious schools in low-income areas.
    School choice is a philosophy that parents know best.
    School-to-work: community-based youth apprenticeships.
    EPA and OSHA make "government sense", not common sense.
    No helmet law for motorcycles.
    1987 first bill: more state funding for tourism.
    Preserve state's natural resources without federal mandates.
    1988: $250M Stewardship Fund to preserve sensitive land.
    Multi-state purchasing agreement for recycled paper.
Families & Children
    Children First: father pay child support or go to jail.
Government Reform
    1991 Central City Initiative: all agencies under one roof.
    State government actively promotes private job creation.
Principles & Values
    For strong state governments, not federal power.
    1966: Beat 16-year incumbent state representative.
    WI tradition of progressive governing to get things done.
Tax Reform
    1993: Freeze property tax rates & control school spending.
    Cut $1B in property tax without a general tax increase.
    Uniform state computer standard saved $10M annually.
Welfare & Poverty
    1950s common sense taught by families, schools, & churches.
    Scrap federal welfare & let states experiment freely.
    Learnfare: teen mothers welfare cut unless attending school.
    1992: Washington couldn't end welfare as we knew it; WI did.

The above quotations are from Power to the People
An American State at Work,

by Gov. Tommy G. Thompson

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by OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Jan 01, 2013