Family at war with itself in Wisconsin congressional race

Fact: Wisconsin’s congressional elections are way more interesting than Minnesota’s.

Let’s drop in on Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, a seat currently held by the politically comatose speaker of the U.S. House.

Steelworker Randy Bryce has waged a populist campaign for the open seat, adopting the nickname “Iron Stache.”

It’s been an uphill battle in the Republican district, and it didn’t get any easier for Bryce when a special interest group released an attack ad featuring Bryce’s brother.


Brother James never mentioned his brother’s name in the ad. He didn’t have to.

It didn’t go over well with their mom.

“I’m used to my sons getting into disagreements with each other — every mom is. And I understand that my boys see the world differently when it comes to politics,” Nancy Bryce wrote in a letter provided to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by the Bryce campaign.

“There is now a group of people from Washington who consider it a good idea to pit my boys against each other for their own political gain. But they didn’t consider a mother’s pain at seeing her children used as tools in a political fight, splashed with millions of dollars of ads across the airwaves.”

That didn’t end the sibling squabble.

James told a radio interviewer today “it’s unconscionable a campaign would take advantage of a vulnerable and elderly mother and use her as a pawn in an ad like that.” (Listen to the interview)

He said the writing in the letter his brother’s campaign provided from the mother wasn’t hers.

“She definitely had some help,” he said.

When the Associated Press called her today, she broke down crying.

“I really don’t want to talk about it. I really can’t,” she said.