Anyone who is a long time reader of the Dr Rent Blog knows that I try to avoid political discussions. However, this election cycle has been a very interesting one for me. This election cycle, people are asking me what I think about the candidates and who I am likely to vote for. More interestingly, they also want to know why. My assumption is that there are a large number of people who are still undecided on a number of races, and as a self-proclaimed independent, they want to know my logic behind the candidates I will be filling in the ovals for. Because I am starting to grow a little exhausted from having the same conversation over and over again, I have decided to go against my better judgment and blog who my likely picks are going to be – if I know.
NOTE: This is not really an endorsement, there is no candidate that I have seen this election cycle that is worthy of me actually saying “go out and vote for this person”… plus… really… who could care less about who I might “endorse”? This is simply what one independent is, as of right now, planning on doing next Tuesday.
Marathon County Sheriff – Woodward. Basically, I don’t think there is really a bad choice here. Neither candidate has really said something really bad about the other, they just think they could do the better job. I have a little concern that from what I read, Woodward hasn’t held a management role within the department, but he still has a great deal of law enforcement experience. The biggest issue for me this election cycle is the armored car discussion. We just can’t afford this toy, even if we can get it on sale (i.e. a grant that would cover a third of the cost). Woodward’s response to the armored car issue is that if the department really feels it is needed, we should look at getting one, but there is no reason it has to be a new one off of the showroom floor, and maybe a significant amount of money could be saved by going used. In a race where I don’t see a bad choice, that tilts the scale for me in his favor.
Wisconsin Assembly – Undecided (Seidel/Maas). The republican candidate Eno is not going to get my vote. I need someone who is open minded and willing to listen to differing points of view. I got to meet Eno in person and in less than 2 minutes, he was able to offend me. Although I disagree with Seidel on some pretty big issues (health care and smoking ban just to name a few), I really think she does a good job representing and communicating with her district. When I have had questions or issues with pending legislation, she has been willing to listen and discuss these concerns. We often won’t agree, but the willingness to listen to differing views is important to me. Also, CCAP is a very important tool in my line of work, and she is a champion of this program. She has played, and will continue to play a vital role in keeping the CCAP system accessible. I am undecided because as much as I respect Seidel, there are many differences of opinion that I have with democratic party issues. I also have a number of differences with republican issues. I will be honest, I don’t know as much as I should about the libertarian party platform, but many people who do know me tell me that my views tend to lean very heavily that way. So… I must decide between someone who I think is doing a pretty good job overall and respect even though I disagree with on some key issues, or someone who actually comes closer to actually seeing things the way I do…. I will have do more research.
Wisconsin Senate – Galloway. I don’t know if this is so much as a vote for Galloway as it is a vote against Decker. And I will admit my reasoning here has nothing to do with the issues, but has to do with priorities.. and I will admit now looking at this, it doesn’t seem like a mature reason to decide a vote… but it is my reason. I go to Madison often with my leadership role in the multi-family housing industry. Once a year, the Wisconsin Apartment Association has its “legislative day” and I make an effort to visit the offices of Seidel, Petrowski and Decker to discuss legislative issues that can have an impact on our industry. Not once… not one time has Senator Decker had the time to meet with me (a constituent in addition to an industry leader). I understand he is busy, but everyone who works in that building is busy. Petrowski set aside well over an hour and we had a great discussion. Seidel was in a hearing so even though I met with a staffer, Seidel came out of that hearing for a few minutes to spend time with me. Decker was in his office. All he would have had to do is stick his head in one of the 5 times that I counted he walked by the door to say hi, for just 5 seconds… and didn’t. Fine. That tells me what he thinks of me, not getting my vote.
Wisconsin Governor – Undecided (leaning Barrett). Let’s be honest, does it really matter? Both candidates are leaders in an area that has been hit worse economically that most of the country. Was that their fault, or was it situational? I don’t know… I don’t care. All I see are two people who have probably been disagreeing in their own little turf war in Milwaukee and now they are at each other for leadership of the state. As far as I am concerned, neither one is really a good choice. I voted Neumann in the primary, and had he won the primary, he would be getting my vote in the general election. Although undecided between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, I am leaning (right now this second) toward Barrett for two reasons… of the two, he seems more sincere (admittedly though that bar hasn’t been set very high). Also, I am not a big fan of one party having control of the governor and the senate/assembly. I get that feel that the republicans could take control back, so for balance, having a democrat as governor would not be the end of the world.
US Congress – Duffy. To be honest, no matter who wins, Duffy or Lassa, they are going to be freshmen. What that means, is they are going to be low person on the totem pole and truly not really able to accomplish a whole lot. This vote is all about balance like the governor’s vote is. We have a democrat in the white house, so in the interest of balance, I would prefer at least the House of Representatives go republican. Having this split power ensures that people need to work together, need to talk to each other, need to find some common ground. When one party controls everything, differing opinions get no consideration at all. (I will say though, that in the unlikely event that Mielke had won the primary, I would have voted for Lassa in an instant.)
US Senate – Feingold. This is the easiest race for me. Again, because I don’t identify myself with either party, I am going to disagree with Feingold on some key issues (the health care reform being one of them – the system was broken and needed to be fixed, but it wasn’t THAT broken). The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t toe the democratic party line. He will buck his party. He will buck everything (the first version of the Patriot Act had only one vote against it). Feingold votes what he thinks, not what his party thinks. I can respect that. I was leaning this way before Friday’s debate, but Johnson’s performance in that debate sealed the deal for me. Ron, some friendly advice, you are political novice running against an 18 year veteran of the Senate – it is okay to admit you don’t know. Instead of dodging questions about getting into specific details and falling back on your talking points – just admit that you haven’t been in the senate, and therefore don’t have the experience that Feingold does. Admit that you don’t know where you would have cut to balance budget because you don’t know what the unintended consequences of those cuts would have been and that is why you need to talk and learn. Admit you don’t know. Would that have changed my vote to you – honestly no, not on its own. But, it would have earned my respect. And there are many independents who will vote for whom they respect they most.
So… there you have it… one independent, 2 republicans, 2 democrats, and an undecided between a democrat and libertarian – if that doesn’t scream “independent voter”, I don’t know what does…. May the hate mail begin…..