Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Update: Kathleen Vinehout, M.I.A.

By Michael Butkus-Bomier

It seems that even Democrats are not really aware of Sen. Vinehout’s viability, likeability, and general existence here in Pre-Recall Wisconsin. I was talking with two clients of mine who spontaneously erupted into a short and positive discussion of state Democratic politics outside my door. Neither of them knew of Ms. Vinehout as a candidate, much less as a current state officeholder.

I have yet to see or hear any television or radio advertising on her behalf. It is one thing to have low name recognition, and another to be so off the radar screen that interested parties do not even know they could have an interest in you.

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout
Photo: Facebook

So, who to turn to, since Sen Vinehout has no realistic chance at this stage of a short game. Money, what money?

Well, it seems that WEAC and AFSCME would like us to vote for Ms. Falk. They could not “reccommend”, WEAC’s word for an endorsement, Mr. Barrett, since he was not running then, but the Big Election Clock was. The political situation vis’ a vis Mr. Barrett and the teacher’s union is complicated.

In order to access this WEAC page, they will ask you to certify that you are a member, since it for their own members’ use. If you are a sympathizer, click on it anyway, we’ll all feel better if you know what they are saying.

WEAC is supporting Ms. Falk because she is based in Madison, and they are based in Madison. Ms Falk is, of course, a woman, and most teachers are women, as opposed to the majority of school system administrators, who are men. Gender, what is this gender thing?

Ms. Falk has no record of system-wide school dilemmas requiring drastic measures, as Mr. Barrett faced in Milwaukee. Ms. Falk needed early support to open up general media coverage to her campaign, as Mr. LaFollette and Ms. Vinehout have yet to receive.

Yet, Falk has a losing political track record. So does Mr. Barrett. Whoa, did he just say THAT on a progressive blog? Yea, verily, it is True.

This NY Times chart is a fascinating picture of the last elections’ statewide Blue/Red breakdown. Areas south and west of, and including, Madison are largely Democratic, areas all around but not including Milwaukee are Red, (think white suburbs, Yes, it’s True, a lot of Caucasian-Americans have abandoned Milwaukee…)

The far north-western corner near Bayfield is Democratic-leaning, while except for a patch underneath Green Bay, much of the rest of the state is moderately, marginally Republican, as of that election, at any rate. Mr. Barrett lost in 2010 by about the same slim margin as Sen. Feingold did to Johnson. Neither Republican victory should EVER be called a wide majority or mandate of any sort. Ron Kind won the only close race for the Democrats. Sen Feingold’s race was too close to call for most of that election evening, as I recall, no pun intended…OK, pun intended.

So Moderates, come out, come out, wherever you are! Vote for the electable Democratic candidate in the primary, and vote for them again in the general election. Victory, how do you spell that, again?

In order for this recall to be a success, and defeat the grand Vizier of Fitzgerald-stan and Caliph of Walkers’-bad, we’ll need a candidate who is just moderate enough to be a bit disappointing to the party base. Sorry about that, Oh, Ye of Strong Beliefs. The center must hold if the far right is to be defeated, like any line of defense. War, battle, conflict, yeech, what a set of metaphors for politics!

Hey, was the Aladdin-style joke in bad taste, or did it seem OK? Reply with your votes on this posting. Remember, this same line of humour was used on an episode of “A Prairie Home Companion”, not exactly an offensive program. “Hot-dog-a-stan” and “Yo-Mammas’-bad”, remember ? (thanks, Steve for reminding me of this)

Next time, hey, who knows what will seem interesting to write about…?

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