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Wisconsin Can Finally Agree About Politics

October 7, 2013

Since the winter days of early February 2011 Wisconsin has been divided in very stark and dramatic ways.  The political rhetoric has been harsh, and the game plans are no longer limited to the voting booth but now also include sing-a-longs and numerous court cases.  There is no way not to be aware that something has changed in the last years in this state.

In addition to the rancor from state politics comes the unrelenting antics of Washington’s elected class that baffles and angers both sides of the aisle.  When it comes to politics these days it is hard to find anyone who is happy with the headlines.   Lets face it, there are lots of reasons to hate the idea of picking up the morning newspaper and scanning the front page.

That is until Tuesday morning when Wisconsinites can finally find something that has been lacking too long in this state.

When we pick up the paper off the front stoop, or at the filling station, or grab a copy as we wait for our latte to be completed I suspect there is going to be a unity in spirit that we may not think about at first, but yet all the same will be there.

Following the news from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Mary Burke it is clear the 2014 campaign season is underway.    Van Hollen has announced that he not seeking a third term and Burke is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

There is no way not to miss the point that new faces are emerging to debate and tackle the issues of the day.  There is a changing of the guard in the AG’s office, and the hope among Democrats for the same in the governor’s office, while Republicans will defend their incumbent.

But here among those partisan feelings is (shockingly) where the vast majority of Wisconsinites can finally agree about politics.

We need to start the beginning of the 2014 campaign season by demanding that the tone of the political dialogue meets the needs of the time in which we live.  We need to be vocal when it comes to mudslinging and disapprove  whenever it happens.  We need to hold those who want our votes to high standards so that the policy items that need to be debated are louder than the countless ads that each campaign will try to spin off as ‘communicating with voters’.

We need to have reporters and newspapers be as vigilant about the requirements for a clean and uplifting election cycle as they are about the need for public hearings for drawing the lines for new political boundaries.  When there is a need for a public rebuke there should be unified editorials statewide in newspapers addressing the candidates, and informing the electorate.

Our state has deep differences, and that can be either the end point with continued hollering and abrasive tactics, or can be the start of a robust exchange of ideas through political campaigns.  I think Wisconsin is tired of yelling (and perhaps even singing) and hopes for more in-depth analysis of how we got to the point we are, and how together we can fix our problems and move forward.

That is the Wisconsin ideal.  Let us set a new standard the nation will notice!

  1. October 10, 2013 10:30 PM

    I think Tom and some liberals are much alike in that they are not sure how to deal with Mary Burke. She is a most competent and engaging person. Meet her and tell me otherwise. She is intelligent, and is about to serve the Republican governor a series of ideas that will run counter to what this state has been fed for the past several years. I suspect she is looking to address what most of us are most desiring in that we want to feel whole again after the needless divisiveness which we have had to deal.

  2. tom permalink
    October 10, 2013 9:19 PM

    Purple: I think the intent of the democrats in hyping the 47% comment was to demonstrate that Romney was out of touch with the common family. The intent of the Republicans is the same–to suggest Burke is out of touch. (I would suggest that by definition all politicians are out of touch, btw)

    I do agree, however, that the campaign will mostly feature these types of attacks from both sides. Burke will attack Walker for not creating 250K jobs, and Walker will attack Burke for being a crazy rich Madison liberal. Burke will not make any real suggestions about what Walker might have done or could have done, and once Burke offers her ideas, they will be rebuked with an equal lack of substantive criticism.

    In the end it will be about turn out and making lots of money for tv and radio stations. Both parties now have expert political machines in Wisconsin, and the election will be called late in the night.

  3. October 10, 2013 11:02 AM

    Yes, his comments about how he isn’t concerned about 47% of the population was very relevant to the election, and if Mary Burke has said something akin to that then it should be shared.

    I don’t think that being “wealthy” in&of itself is a bad thing and never spoke ill of Romney for that. But looking at their webpag it sure seems that the WI-GOP feels that wealth is something to be scorned….well, either that or they are stinkin’ hypocrites who will say/do anything at all to advance their agenda.

    Which do you think it is?

  4. tom permalink
    October 8, 2013 9:02 PM

    For many years, I spent money on things because I could, not because it brought me more happiness.” – Mary Burke¹

    Purple: Wouldn’t you agree that Romney’s wealth and comments about the 47% were relevant to the last election? If they were not, then did you object? I think Burke’s statements about her wealth are interesting, to be sure.

    What is slimy about sharing her words with the voters?

  5. October 8, 2013 10:59 AM

    Nice idea, but too late. The GOP’s opening attack is more slimy than the dung they flung during the recall. Check out what they are doing at

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