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Eric Hovde: Why He’s Announcing Tuesday Against Tammy Baldwin [Exclusive Interview]

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Wisconsin – The word from a confidential source says that Eric Hovde, a native cheesehead, will announce his run for Wisconsin’s U.S. senate seat Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 20, and he will attempt to unseat progressive/socialist Tammy Baldwin (Disclaimer: This is a column on Hovde and not an endorsement by Wisconsin Right Now.)

Eric, age 59, a successful entrepreneur, grew up in a small village surrounded by Madison where the governor’s mansion resides, so he’s used to being surrounded by liberals and, yet, he has remained true to his conservative beliefs. (Disclosure: I delivered the newspaper to their family when I was a teen, where his mother would invite me in during the cold winter months for hot cocoa when carriers would collect monthly cash payments in those days.)

For the last number of years, Hovde has lived in the liberal Village of Shorewood Hills surrounded by an army of liberals, but don’t hold that against him. Hovde is a true conservative, and that upbringing in leftist Madison only trained him to fight back. He’s also wealthy enough that the lobbyists in Washington won’t be able to buy him off. He’s most definitely a true believer in the goodness of Americans and in the greatness of America.

 

Eric hovdeHis father, Don, a very kind gentleman now since passed, was a developer of communities and was appointed by President Reagan as Under Secretary of HUD (the #2 position in the department) from 1981 to 1983, before being asked to go over to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board from 1984 to 1986.

 

Hovde previously ran in the primary for the same U.S. Senate seat in 2012 against long-term powerhouse Governor Tommy Thompson, who beat Hovde by only a couple of points, I am told. A pretty amazing result for rookie candidate Hovde on his first try – going up against a three-and-a-half-term, well-loved governor.

Hovde has started and runs several businesses, which is why he prefers the moniker “entrepreneur.” He originally started an advisory firm, advising community banks, and then he started a real estate asset management business, managing problem assets for community banks, but soon saw an opportunity to make a real difference – by buying and saving troubled community banks.

He raised capital from individual investors and purchased his first troubled bank in 1994. Unlike the predators on Wall Street, Hovde buys banks to run and grow them, infusing new capital, turning the banks around (a couple of dozen by last count), hiring more people, and launching the banks onto a better future. His major bank holding today is SunWest Bank.Eric hovde

In each case, after the purchase, Hovde saved the depositors and stabilized the community banks. He has also acquired banks out of receivership or bankruptcy from the FDIC, which added another level of challenges to turning them around and growing them, not to mention dealing with various government bureaucracies.

Hovde intends to make a sizable contribution to his campaign, but he says he’ll need financial help from a lot of people around the country to win. He thinks between independent expenditures and direct campaign expenditures that Tammy Baldwin will have more than $100 million to try to defeat Hovde. (Talk about buying a seat in Congress!) By comparison, not long ago a race like this would cost about $3 million on each side. So Hovde is going to need an army of contributors to counteract the liberal out-of-state special interest groups that will finance Baldwin’s campaign.

In Wisconsin, Hovde owns Hovde Properties, a real estate development company that primarily focuses on developing multi-family housing. Hovde likes building apartments, including 220 new units in Racine and another 200 units in Janesville. He likes helping to rehabilitate struggling communities and work with cities to turn them around.

Eric hovde

Hovde had also planned a very significant development of the Hovde block in downtown Madison, anchored by a new history museum, but he lost that opportunity with the museum. He feels it was because Governor Evers didn’t want a conservative developing the project. But he’s okay with that because it opened up the opportunity for something even better. Hovde has a special plan in the works for that block. Plus, it freed him up to run for the Senate. And now Hovde is building a team of campaign workers and an organization to run the campaign – just like he built numerous businesses.

Why is he running? Hovde tells Wisconsin Right Now that he wakes up in disbelief and heartbroken at what’s happening to his country. In summary, he is deeply concerned about the state of the U.S., the economy, the lack of unity, the messed up foreign policy, and the leftist agenda being pushed these days. In particular, he is worried about the amount of national debt the politicians have saddled the nation with, along with worries about the open borders, and the safety of our children in our neighborhoods.

Eric hovde

P.S. My condolences to his wife, Sharon, and his two adult daughters, who will undoubtedly be put through hell as part of this race. They should expect that Hovde will be viciously attacked by the left as the hard left attempts to hold onto this critically important Senate seat in order to hold onto the majority. Election 2024 will be a pivotal year that will determine the fate of our great republic.

What Eric Hovde Sees as the Issues

Eric Hovde is sanguine about the current state of America. He’s quite concerned about what kind of country we are leaving his children, Carlin and Brita. Hovde is also concerned about the economic mess the nation is in, the lack of unity, foreign affairs, and the leftist agenda. He also says our civil liberties are under attack and our national security is being undermined, not just from the invasion on the southern border, but also the lack of security in our cities with the crime levels and defunding the police.

Economy: Hovde says the economic mess we are in and the size of the national debt are the primary issues, with the high level of government spending and printing of credit money causing massive inflation. He says that inflation crushes middle America and those with the lowest incomes and that “we have a lot more inflation coming in the future due to the size of the national debt that has to be financed.”

“We have to stop the insanity of all the spending and economic policies that are hurting America,” he says. How ironic that the Democrats profess that they protect those with lower incomes while causing devastating inflation that eats away their purchasing power, leaving them unable to cover their expenses, food, and gas.

Unity: Hovde thinks the country is too divided. “We have to set aside the red jerseys and the blue jerseys and we all have to put on red, white, and blue jerseys,” according to Hovde. “We have major global threats all over the world as well as internal problems,” he continues. “You look at China and what they may do, the battles with Russia and in Israel; we have to come together and focus on our real problems instead of just being at (an internal) war with each other.”

“And that’s not something Baldwin has done. She’s been in this seat for 12 years and spent another 14 years in Congress prior to that – that’s 26 years in Congress. She marches in lock step with Biden and the extreme left. She’s not a uniter,” Hovde points out. She works hard at dividing people.

Leftist Agenda: Hovde wants to see a major pushback on the agenda of the left. He says that their attacks on our civil liberties, their defunding of the police, the unsettling of our domestic security as well as our national security – are major threats to our civil rights. Providing greater security to Americans has to be a priority. The left’s assault on Americans is occurring on all levels by this administration.

Hovde takes very seriously our own individual civil liberties; from how they handled COVID, to weaponizing the Justice Department, to trying to cancel our right of free speech. He’s very troubled by the big tech oligarchs and their use of social media to indoctrinate our children and worse, to harm them – as many studies have proven according to Hovde.

Hovde says there’s no question that social media has been incredibly destructive to the younger generation and that it’s very corrosive. It’s beyond sickening, he says. He adds that we need to take action. He wants to revoke big tech’s free get-out-of-jail-free card, i.e. their liability waiver under federal law.

“We don’t let companies sell cigarettes or alcohol to young people and we shouldn’t let just anything go on the internet when it comes to children.” (I’ll add that we don’t let minors see R-rated movies either.) He believes that big tech is “clearly targeting children, to get them addicted” to social media. He wants rules for the tech companies in how they operate when it comes to minors under the age of 16, just like there are rules around alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and movies.

The biggest problem with Washington is the corruption, Hovde stated, and next to that, the politicians are all talk and no action. He says we live in a twilight zone created by the left, where right is wrong and wrong is right.

Next topic – Tammy Baldwin, who has been in the Senate for 12 years and spent her entire life in politics. She embodies what is wrong with Washington, according to Hovde.

Hovde points out that she has no real-world experience. “She’s never had a real job,” he adds. She started right out of college by becoming a county commissioner, then onto the Assembly, then the House, and finally the Senate.

She has climbed the ladder on the backs of average Americans as so many liberals do.

Hovde hopes to retire her from her lifetime of living off the taxpayers’ hard work with not much to show for it. Hovde emphasized that Baldwin walks and votes in lockstep with Biden.

“She’s a rubber stamp, and she supported the Iranian deals,” Hovde reminds us. (The deals in which Obama and Biden gave Iran billions of dollars of cash to Iran in a failed appeasement policy, and money which Iran is now using to fund attacks on and kill American soldiers. That’s our own taxpayer money going to kill our fellow Americans.)

If you’re looking for an indication of how Eric Hovde the person will behave in the Senate, consider his foundation. Many years ago, while traveling to over 100 nations, Hovde created “Hovde Homes.” There are nine of them so far, providing a safe place for children who were homeless and abandoned, who have been trafficked in the sex trade, and who needed help. For years, he has quietly fought for the children, and just like that, he says, “I will fight for you.”

And I believe him.

Lastly, he reminds us that control of the Senate remains at-large, and if Republicans don’t win control of the Senate, even winning the White House won’t mean much, because the reforms can’t be implemented if the Democrats control the Senate. I’ll add — that to win Wisconsin, Hovde has to win at least 23% of the Dane County vote. He can’t ignore Dane County like Michels did. And Wisconsin is pivotal in gaining control of Washington.

Hovde must win this seat if Republicans are to win the Senate and turn this great nation around from its current slow-motion train wreck. Hovde’s experience overseas, his travels, and his deep understanding of the cultures of people in other nations can be a great help with foreign affairs and potentially heading off the coming battle with China over Taiwan that Biden has set us up for.

Win he must, for with it goes the future, a future for our children, and this great experiment we call democracy that produces the American dream. Only in America can democracy survive and free the world from tyranny.

T. Wall holds a degree from the UW in economics and an M.S. in real estate analysis and valuation and is a real estate developer. Disclaimer: The opinions of the writer are not necessarily those of this publication or the left!

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