Perhaps I should let Bryan respond himself; he wrote to Journal Sentinel columnist Mike Nichols yesterday after Nichols repeated the Spice Boys' earlier smear attempts regarding the stipend Bryan's been paying himself, and Nichols put it on the web for us:
As I see it, our representative democracy has 3 options:
1. Middle-class people don't run. We continue with the same oligarchy that we have traditionally had because middle class people don't have family fortunes to fund unpaid leaves of absence to campaign full-time. (We can see what government of, by and for the rich has given us).
2. I continue to work at my state teaching post and state taxpayers support my family and me while I run for office. After all, that is what Jim Sensenbrenner has done. With the exception of his first campaign when his mother supported him from his vast family fortune while he campaigned full-time, every subsequent election has seen Jim Sensenbrenner draw a state or federal paycheck while he campaigns full-time.
3. I draw a salary that is less than my university salary (basically enough to make the mortgage, car pymt, student loan pymt, utilities and essentials) from money that has been donated by people who want to see me win.
It seems to me that no middle-class voices in politics does not serve us well as a people. Given the choice between being supported by state tax dollars or from voluntary contributions, most taxpayers would choose the campaign salary.