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Hovde defends his Wisconsin credentials and lack of voting record

Republican U-S Senate candidate Eric Hovde is defending his Wisconsin credentials and his lack of a voting record. Former Governor Tommy Thompson raised the issue of Hovde's voting last week. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the banker and hedge fund manager registered in Washington D-C in 2004, and he voted in just 2-of-11 elections until this year - the 2004-and-'08 November presidential contests. Hovde told the paper he has spent quote, "75-percent of my life in an airplane" while he built homeless shelters around the world. And Hovde said it's discouraging for conservatives to vote in D-C because quote, "Your only choice is a liberal Democrat and a liberal Democrat." Hovde has voted in every election since buying a house near Madison late last year. But Thompson, who leads second-place Hovde in the polls, said last week quote, "The first time he's going to vote for the U-S Senate is for himself in Wisconsin ... He wants to buy the race ... and I don't think the people are going to buy it." Thompson was referring to the four-million-dollars Hovde spent on T-V ads this year to get himself known. Spokesmen for Republican hopeful Mark Neumann and Democrat Tammy Baldwin also criticized Hovde on the same issues. But he denied being a carpet-bagger, saying he's a third-generation Wisconsinite. He said he went to Madison East high, graduated from the U-W, and has returned to the state often. And Hovde said he couldn't believe his years in Washington were an issue in the Republican Senate primary, which takes place in just 22 days.