It’s election day again in Wisconsin, one of the more patriotic days of the year. In following with a tradition I started last year, I’m revealing my ballot. Not because I want to convince you to agree with me or to vote like I will, but simply because I can. As elections go, I feel fortunate to work at a college, as we frequently have candidates on campus to speak about their views and answer questions. Of the four contested races on my ballot, I heard candidates speak in two of them, and in the other two, I know my candidate personally. I don’t always have this level of familiarity with the personalities.
There are two statewide races, the first of which is state superintendant of schools. To me, this race boils down to how you view the current condition of education in Wisconsin, and what it should look like in the future. The TV ads on both sides are kind of stupid. The facts mostly agreed upon by all include the fact that Tony Evers has experience in education, while Rose Fernandez does not. Evers has the support of the leaders of the teachers union. Fernandez has the support of the major newspapers in the state. I don’t know that there is any single hot button issue, though the drop-out rate in Milwaukee is a staggering 30%. That’s just nuts. We’re failing our children when a third don’t graduate high school. Shame on us. The sheriff of Milwaukee County is rightly concerned, because he says that those drop-outs are turning up in his jails and he doesn’t have room. He supports Fernandez because he feels she’s got a better plan to get Milwaukee schools back on track. I’m with Rose Fernandez.
The second statewide race is for supreme court justice. Again, I don’t really like the TV ads that either candidate put out. They’re just dumb, and I think it’s sad if voters make their decisions based on any of the ads. I’m voting for Shirley Abrahamson over Randy Koschnick because she seems less partisan, and decides her cases more on a strict interpretation of the law, rather than her personal views.
For city of De Pere district 3 alderperson, Mike Donovan is my guy. I got to know him a few years back, and he and I seem to agree on many city decisions. Mike is a school teacher and has been on the council for 12 years. Quite frankly, I know nothing about his opponent Donna Gilson.Â So for this one, I’m just sticking with Mike because he’s doing right by the city of De Pere.
Lastly, for West De Pere school board member, it’s Tom Van De Hei against Rick Turriff. For me, this race is similar to alderperson, in that Rick is my guy. I’ve known him personally for years. Our kids went to school together. I do business with Rick. I like the way he thinks, and I know he’ll do good things for our children on the school board. But in this race, I asked around about Tom Van De Hei, and I heard nothing but good things about him. So, for me, this one is good guy vs. good guy. Sounds like a win-win situation for our kids. I’m sticking with Rick.
So that’s my thinking on April 7, 2009. I hope to see you at the polls.