This was announced Wednesday:
Kevin Nicholson today announced the creation of a new non-profit organization, called “No Better Friend Corp.” The section 501(c)(4) advocacy organization will focus on promoting conservative public policy solutions to societal problems and challenges in the areas of economic growth, education, health care, promoting a culture of life, and national defense. Nicholson, a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, named the group after the Marine Corps’ unofficial slogan: “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.”
“In my first foray into elected politics, I learned very quickly that many politicians haven’t spent much time outside of government – and that we need more real-world, practical solutions to the problems that we face together,” Nicholson said. “I’m personally a veteran and work in business today, and my fellow board members and I have to deal with reality as it is on a daily basis. We formed No Better Friend Corp. because we believe that conservative policy solutions help people; this new organization is going to help to prove that while growing the conservative movement in Wisconsin.”
Nicholson noted, “We are grateful to have secured funding for a great team to operate throughout Wisconsin, furthering our mission in the coming years.” The group includes:
- Darryl Carlson: a current Wisconsin Army National Guard officer and previously a Wisconsin legislative staffer – also a Marine Corps veteran.
- Adam Chewning: previously a chief operating officer of a statewide political campaign and a technology investment banker.
- Ronica Cleary: president of Cleary Strategies and commentator.
- Mario Herrera: previously the Republican Party of Wisconsin Hispanic Outreach Director – and a Marine Corps veteran.
- Jessie Nicholson: long-time conservative political advisor and grassroots activist, who will volunteer her time for No Better Friend Corp.
- Kevin Nicholson will serve as the volunteer President/CEO of No Better Friend Corp.
The organization’s website, which can be found at www.NoBetterFriendCorp.com notes: “While No Better Friend Corp. implements and advocates for public policy solutions to the problems we all face together, we will also proactively work to reach out and bring new voices into the conservative movement. The team at No Better Friend Corp. understands that we’re all in this together, and we are dedicated to building a better state and nation for everyone.”
Nicholson added: “In addition to our paid staff, my wife Jessie and I will be volunteer board members, traveling Wisconsin, working with our great team to share and implement practical and tangible solutions to the challenges that our state and nation face. We also look forward to partnering with conservative public policy groups around the state to build our movement.”
The advisory board for No Better Friend Corp. initially includes Kathryn “Murph” Burke, Jim Klauser, Mary Stitt, and Liz and Dick Uihlein.
No Better Friend Corp. is organized as a Wisconsin nonstock corporation and operates as a section 501(c)(4) advocacy organization.
The Uihleins are major GOP donors. Klauser was Gov. Tommy Thompson’s secretary of administration.
This will be interesting to watch develop. One reason Nicholson lost the 2018 U.S. Senate GOP primary was because Republican voters didn’t think he was a convincing Republican as a former Democrat. Of course, Ronald Reagan was an ex-Democrat too. (The other reason was that GOP voters seemed to think that Leah Vukmir was more electable, which turned out to mean “not really electable either.”)
Nicholson’s group is a way for Nicholson to stay in the public eye for a possible next run for office. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson announced before the 2016 election that his second term in office would be his last, and obviously Republicans will want to make Tony Evers a one-term governor in the 2022 election as well.
Wisconsin conservatism is interesting in ideological terms. Republicans in this state have always been pro-free trade because, in a rare bipartisan consensus, free trade has been seen to benefit Wisconsin agriculture and manufacturing, two of the state’s Big Three of business. And yet, Donald Trump is not pro-free trade, and his stance is definitely hurting Wisconsin agriculture.
Wisconsin also has not had the death penalty for more than a century, and there have been few serious efforts to bring it back. (Former state Sen. Alan Lasee introduced a bill every legislative session to institute the death penalty, and Thompson at least once said he’d sign a death penalty bill if it got to his desk. No such bill got to his desk because GOP leadership didn’t want it to get to Thompson’s desk.) Perhaps in a very Catholic state, even Republicans believe it’s inconsistent to be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.
If conservatism is about ideas instead of feelings, as modern-day liberalism clearly is, then the more right ideas the better.