Monday, June 30, 2014
Welcome! It's The Race To The Bottom Of The Barrel
There has been no better political sport so far this summer than watching the two GOP candidates (and their very ardent supporters) for State Senate in the 21st District beat each other up. If you love contact sports without the fear of your favorite guy getting his clock cleaned - then this is the past-time for you.
Primary candidates, Van Wanggaard and Jonathan Steitz have been swinging hard at each other for weeks now, and it's pretty clear Steitz has knocked Wanggaard back on heels, having to play defense as a campaign strategy instead of conservative heir apparent as he had planned.
Steitz has hit Wanggaard hard on his (perceived) muted support of Act 10 collective bargaining measures and working to put an initial cap on vouchers in Racine - taking full advantage on Vicki McKenna's radio show last Friday.
Van legitimately sounded perturbed he is being portrayed as the "lefty" in this primary. Schadenfreude is super awesome sometimes.
Unfortunately for Van, he has nothing much to hit back at Steitz - having never been elected before. (See in this crowd, lack of experience is an asset. Go figure.)
So, Van's BFF's and perpetual anger-management class groupies pulled their typical bullying behavior at Thursday night's debate held on the deck outside the "Outhouse" restaurant (reservations encouraged) sponsored by the Racine Taxpayers Association. Everytime Steitz would begin to answer a question, one of the audience members would press his car lock button causing it to beep loudly. (Folks knowledgeable of Van's klassy friends can narrow the suspect down to one of about three guys there who are capable of such a stunt. No, they aren't in middle school.)
What were the grand ideas that came out of the debates?
They both hate taxes. Steitz wants none at all. Wanggaard wants few as possible. Neither plan is realistic. The kind of tax-free world both guys envision would cause sales taxes to skyrocket in a way that bootlegging everything from Illinois would become a viable high earning profession.
Whatever Wanggaard says, Steitz can do better.
Like school vouchers? Steitz wants education savings accounts ala Paul Ryan's plan for Medicare. You get a check and get to go out and find the best school you can. Of course since it's tied to income, nothing will go wrong in urban and high poverty areas of the state. It is safe to say that Steitz's plan would essentially do away with public schools completely. Top that Wanny.
Steitz's camp has hit Wanggaard on not disclosing his pension income - a major falter in the Wanggaard camp. A spokesperson for Van said candidates often make mistakes on disclosure forms - excuses from Van's camp are something of a tradition.
Wanggaard said Steitz flipflopped on the casino - kind of a near miss. Steitz said he didn't much care for casinos as income generators, but supported the plan.
Wanggaard's friends have circulated Steitz's previous tax delinquency filing - a not uncommon problem in the Steitz camp.
They both missed blunders from appearances on McKenna's show.
Steitz said that 20% of Medicare spending is fraudulent - a gross overstatement. It's more like 8 to 10%, a sizable difference for a money guy, lawyer.
Wanggaard said that Planned Parenthood spent $700,000 battling him in the recall. It was around $300,000. What's 50% wrong in the battle to be the extreme guy? Half right trends upward for most things Van says.
There isn't much question these guys are going to continue to run to the right at any and all costs. Steitz is an ideologue who wants no taxes and no public schools. Wanggaard is a chump with a posse of punks and vandals so he doesn't have to get his hands dirty. Neither is deserving of a vote - even from Republicans.
Randy Bryce, the Democratic candidate, has the opportunity to look like the not insane candidate in this race. A viable plan - that district is red, but perhaps not as red as these two clowns are campaigning like it is.
Maybe the GOP race to the bottom of the barrel is not everyone's cup of tea?