Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Democratic Primaries to Watch

Readers of my little blog have probably figured out that I tend to be a more politically practical Republican. That is; as much as I'd like to see more conservative Republicans in office, I also recognize that sometimes a moderate candidate matches their district for a reason. I'd much rather have a moderate Republican in a Democratic-leaning district that a Democrat, and if they're a RINO, then so be it. It's in every Republican's best interest to have control of the Senate and Assembly, as you will get some of what you want rather than none.

So basically, my philosophy is to make things as good as you realistically can. In keeping with this theory, there are actually a couple of Democratic primaries that you should keep an eye on. They both occur in districts that no Republican could ever win, but having the right Democrat in office will make a big difference. And of course, because I am advocating for their election, I am essentially euthanizing their chances in their respective primaries.

First, incumbent State Senator Jeff Plale faces a primary for his seat. Plale is a relatively conservative Democrat from South Milwaukee who took office when Rick Grobschmidt quit his senate seat a few years back. Plale has a big strike against him with his shenanigans of a couple years ago, when he told the newspaper that he would support the property tax freeze before switching his position and voting against it. He is, however, your prototypical South Side Democrat, as he is pro-life and a big defender of the school choice program. This, of course, doesn't sit well with the East Side Milwaukee intellectual crowd, so they've recruited a more conventional liberal to run against Plale.

So if you're a Republican in Milwaukee and feel like helping out a local race, help Plale. While you may not be used to helping Democrats, you will be helping retain a vote for some core issues in a district that will never elect a Republican. And everyone in the state will be better off for it. Also, when you go to his website, you can get a list of his favorite recipes. Given his physique, you may not have enough printer paper to print them all off.

Conversely, here in Madison Henry Sanders Jr. is running against incumbent liberal dinosaur Dave Travis for the 81st State Assembly District seat. Sanders has worked for Tammy Baldwin, the Urban League of Greater Madison and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and clearly recognizes the benefit of a vibrant business committee. People in the know have told me he may not exactly be as centrist as he's portraying himself, but I'm convinced that he would bring an energetic, pro-growth philosophy to the Legislature. Dave Travis continues to roll through his uneventful, uninspired career without a challenge and only making news when presented with a breathalyzer test.

So while neither of these candidates are going to be confused with Barry Goldwater, helping their election will make the state better. If you are a Republican and do decide to help them, just don't tell anyone.

UPDATE: When I say "help," or "support," I don't necessarily mean "vote for," unless you consider yourself to be a moderate Democrat. Give them money, drop some lit, stick a sign in your yard or whatever. But I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on the chance to vote in the GOP AG primary. But you're all smart people - you'd figure that out.