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Issue of the Week: The Sleeper Race

Plus Heroes and Jerks of the Week

Oct. 1, 2008
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Voters in the First Congressional District have the chance to elect a highly qualified representative, Democrat Marge Krupp, on Nov. 4. Krupp has an interesting background as a chemical engineer and businesswoman, is an active campaigner, and is a good match for the values of southeastern Wisconsin residents.

But Krupp faces an uphill battle because of the corrupt practice of allowing elected officials to draw their own districts and pick their own constituents. Not surprisingly, they carve out districts that are entirely safe. The practice makes a mockery of democracy. Instead of voters picking their representatives, representatives pick their voters.

Back in 2002, the last time districts were redrawn, Paul Ryan, the current representative of the First District, cut a deal to remove strongly Democratic Beloit from his district, and instead put in Republican towns like Hales Corners, Muskego, Oak Creek and New Berlin.

While Paul Ryan is enjoying his safe seat, he’s still vulnerable this November. His close ties to President George Bush and Sen. John McCain, coupled with his nave economic ideas, would make this district an easy pickup for Democrats—that is, if the district were drawn fairly.

But voters—including Ryan’s supporters—who are upset with Republicans should take a second look at Krupp. Better yet, they should donate to or volunteer for her campaign. This could be a sleeper race that turns into big headlines on Nov. 4 if voters cast their ballots based on their core values.

Jerk of the Week:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

Incredible arrogance or just old-fashioned hypocrisy? While Walker is cutting back on every county service he can find, he is still able to squirrel away enough taxpayer dollars to give his chief of staff, Tom Nardelli, a whopping 26% raise (nearly $20,000). Not bad. Even in these times of great financial uncertainty, Scott Walker is there to take care of his buddies.

Blog of the Week:

Ed Garvey at FightingBob.com

Listen Up, J.B.

Even a wounded duck like [U.S. Attorney General Michael] Mukasey understands that partisan politics takes a back seat in the attorney general’s office. Read this, J.B. [Van Hollen, WisconsinWisconsin]… Choice—yours— McCain campaign or the lawsuit, but not both. attorney general]: “…the scandal that dogged the Bush administration for months over accusations that it had—(get this)—politicized the federal justice system.” He named a special prosecutor. Are you listening here, J.B.? Your legal team met with Republican Party lawyers and apparently talked about the lawsuit against GAB [Government Accountability Board]. And you did it even though you co-chair the McCain campaign [in Wisconsin]… Choice—yours— McCain campaign or the lawsuit, but not both.

Heroes of the Week:

Milwaukee Public Schools Board

Led by Jennifer Morales, seven of the nine MPS board members voted to extend equal benefits to same-sex partners of MPS employees. This is a sound victory for MPS employees, as well as Milwaukee in general. These types of forward-thinking business practices will attract and retain quality workers in the city.


“The bailout is a terrible idea. It transfers a huge amount of wealth to people who do not deserve it. It will generate enormous incentives for creative bookkeeping as the investment houses and banks try to rid themselves of any assets they do not want.” —Jeffrey A. Miron, senior economics lecturer, Harvard University

Photo of the Week:

Celebrate Milwaukee, by Michael R. Smith

"Taken from athe third-base side of Miller Park moments after the Brewers learned they would reach the playoffs for the first time in 26 years." Join Express Milwaukee Flickr.  Get published.




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