So we had primary elections for 8th district representative from Wisconsin last month. As is typical, before the primary, candidates are quite cautious to not bash each other, after all, their opponents are from the same political party. But once the primary is over, the gloves are off.
I’ve had so much to say about this election process (for congress and governor), but I’ve been waiting. I decided to wait until I saw a good TV ad, and I just saw the first one tonight. Congratulations to Governor Jim Doyle! But I digress. I need to get some things off my chest about the candidates.
And one comment before I talk about the candidates’ ads. We all know how the system works. If you complain to a candidate about their ad, they say, “that’s not funded by my campaign…the Republican/Democratic party ran that…you need to talk to them about that…” Bull. How dumb do they think we are? If you’re running for office, representing your party, then you have a lot of influence over what the party does and says. And if your party doesn’t respect you enough to honor your campaign wishes, then I definitely don’t want you representing me. I prefer to vote for someone who has the respect of their party. Now, about the candidates.
First, Nancy Nussbaum. She’s the former mayor of De Pere as well as Brown County Executive. She was a Democratic candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District in Wisconsin. Her TV ads sucked! The first one I saw started out with images of what she referred to as typical Washington politicians. And who was the first image? Richard Nixon! Come on! Nixon? Didn’t he leave office over 30 years ago? Geez. I was disappointed she couldn’t find anything more recent to refer to. Nussbaum lost the primary to fellow Democrat Steve Kagen.
Second, Terri McCormick. She has represented the 56th District in the Wisconsin state Assembly since 2000. She was a Republican candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District in Wisconsin. Terry ran a great campaign. Unfortunately, she was running against a powerhouse, and just never raised enough money to have a chance. She lost the primary to fellow Republican John Gard.
Third, Steve Kagen. Dr. Kagen is not a politician; he runs the Kagen Allergy Clinic. He is the Democratic candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District in Wisconsin, having beaten Nussbaum in the primary. Once the primary was over, he dug his fingernails deep into the mud and started slinging at his Republican opponent. Ad after ad was all about John Gard. There’s even an ad running showing Gard with a Pinocchio nose that grows. Very childish; I expect that crap from politicians, but not from a respected physician.
Fourth, John Gard. He has represented the 89th District in the Wisconsin state Assembly since October 1987, currently serving as the speaker. He’s the Republican candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District in Wisconsin. His ads were pure, personal and simple, right up to the primary. Once he won the primary and his opponent was a democrat, his ads changed. Nasty nasty nasty. All about the other guy, and no more about John Gard. Listen, John Gard is about as good as they come. Just ask the Wisconsinites that have been re-electing him for the past 20 years. There is no need to sling mud.
I have an ad here (paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin) that I received in the mail that slams Kagen for suing 81 patients for as little as $100; they call him a “greedy doctor”. What? Greedy? Sounds like a prudent businessman to me. He owes it to his business and his employees to collect money due him, no matter who it’s from or how much it is. So, does this mean that John Gard won’t fight to collect money that is owed taxpayers? And the Republican Party has the nerve to call me and ask for a donation? No way! Never. I will not fund these types of ads.
Fifth, Mark Green. Geez, what can I say about Mark. I worked on Mark’s web site when he first ran for congress in 1998. I serve on the board of directors for a local scholarship foundation with Mark’s wife Sue. I’ve voted for Mark consistently over the years. Mark served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1992 to 1998. We then elected him to represent us in the 8th U.S. Congressional District in Wisconsin. He is now the Republican candidate for governor. Mark is another one of those truly good persons. He’s trustworthy and he represents us well.
And so I am confused as to why he feels we need to run a very negative campaign. Yes, some of the ads are paid for by the GOP and the NRCC. But it’s all negative. And I’m just sick of it. His campaign web site even has two photos of Governor Doyle on the home page. Why is that necessary? Yeah he’s the current governor, but let Doyle talk about Doyle. Just tell me about you.
I’ve always wondered if our local TV stations know that many of us just change channels when a negative campaign ad comes on. Do they really want to be running ads that cause viewers to change channels?
Lastly, we’ve got Governor Jim Doyle. Doyle was elected governor in 2002 after a very negative campaign against Republican Scott McCallum. Previous to that, he had been Attorney General of Wisconsin for 12 years. I won’t talk much about the governor. I just don’t like him. He has slung more mud in political campaigns than anyone I know. He comes off as a big baby, “well look what he did…”
That said, I must offer my thanks to Governor Doyle for being the one to pull this campaign out of the ditch. In the race for governor, I saw the first TV ad tonight that actually talked about the candidate who paid for the ad. How refreshing! And it was the governor. A very nice ad.
Congressman Green, I now challenge you to bring your campiagn up out of the gutter and keep it there. Ask the GOP and the NRCC to support you. Stop telling me about the other guy. Tell me more about your vision for Wisconsin. What will you do for us? What will you change? What do you currently like that you won’t change? Yes, it’s okay to like something about the current administration.
I’ve voted for Mark Green many times. But my vote this year is not in ink yet. You’re gonna have to convince me to vote for you yet again. Same with you John Gard. I’ve never voted for you, but I like you a lot. Both of you have the benefit of the doubt. Now, it’s up to you to come through for me. Election day is November 7. Come on, that’s my birthday. Surprise me.