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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Voters' attention now turns to November

The old adage remains true. In Walworth County politics, it's harder for an incumbent to lose a race than to win one.

In the only contested primary for a Walworth County office, Republican coroner John Griebel defeated his two challengers. He will face no challenger in Nov.

The remaining Walworth County officials breezed through the primary with no competition. They include Sheriff David Graves, District Attorney Phillip Koss, Clerk of Circuit Court Sheila Reiff, Register of Deeds Connie Woolever, Treasurer Kathy Du Bois, and County Clerk Kim Bushey.

The First Congressional District race featured a five-way primary race to determine the Democrat who will challenge Republican Paul Ryan.

Despite a field of contenders that actually had some thoughtful ideas, perennial candidate Jeffrey Thomas of Janesville was the winner.

In Walworth County however, Ruth Santa Cruz-Bradley of Kenosha edged Thomas by 530-482. Elkhorn's Don Hall came in fourth with 411 votes

Thomas has pretty convincingly proven he can't be elected to the First District seat, having lost seven times.

Not that I'm saying it's time for Ryan to go, but a competitive race not keeps an incumbent honest. Plus, competitive races are a lot more interesting to cover if you're in the news business.

Turning to local assembly races, in a traditionally Republican county like this, the primary election is the election.

In most cases that is, but not all.

Two races stand out as legitimate contests.

The outcome in the 32nd assembly district won't be decided until Dec. 7. In that district, which encompasses the southern half of Walworth County, excluding Elkhorn, Democrat Ryan Schroeder a member of the Delavan City Council will face incumbent Thomas Lothian of Williams Bay.

Neither Lothian nor Schroeder faced a primary challenger, but breaking down the vote totals from Tuesday reveals that Lothian received 2,024 votes in the Walworth County Republican primary, while Schroeder received 1,366 from Democrats.

If those totals are an indication, Schroeder has his work cut out for him before Nov. 7. The wild card will be turnout, which is expected to be much heavier come November.

In the 43rd Assembly District, Democrat Kim Hixson of Whitewater will face incumbent Republican Debi Towns in November. Hixson had 448 votes in the Walworth County Democratic primary and Towns had 272 Republican Walworth County votes. However, the only part of the 43rd in Walworth County is the town and city of Whitewater.

The rest of the district stretches across the top and over to the western half of Rock county.

National political races, particularly in the House of Representatives and the Senate, will dominate the next two months.

Although we already know most of the results of our local races, a few of these can make for an interesting campaign season.

If you'd like to weigh in on the upcoming races, you can add your comments online at www.theweekextra.com/blogs/politics, or e-mail your letters to theweek@theweekextra.com

16 Comments:

Anonymous Royce K. DeBow said...

I wonder how many property owners who agreed to let liberal Democrat Ryan Schroeder stick signs in their yards, know that Democrat Schroeder opposes the Tax Payer Protection Amendment that would place reasonable limits on how much property taxes can increase, opposes protecting the definition of marriage that would prevent activist judges from redefining it, and opposes voter photo I.D. as a way to prevent vote fraud. I also wonder how many voters know Schroeder falsified his credentials.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Royce K. DeBow said...

According to the Delavan Enterprise, Democrat Ryan Schroeder believes there is 'energy' missing from the way in which the current office holder represents the 32nd Assembly District. I would suggest that Schroeder is confused. Where liberal Schroeder comes up short in both his misunderstanding about the duties of a state assembly representative and his abilities, is that policy makers expend most of their energy from above the neck while executing the duties of their respective offices. In that regard, Democrat Ryan Schroeder falls short by an extremely large margin. Comparing Democrat Ryan Schroeder with incumbent Tom Lothian is like comparing a junior high school football team with the Green Bay Packers. Schroeder's lack of knowledge and Lothian's advanced intellect are light years apart. The smart vote is for Lothian.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Royce K. DeBow said...

Democrat Ryan J. Schroeder is not ready for prime time. He doesn't know the basics of local or state government. Consider the following. Reporter Mike Heine asked questions of both incumbent Republican Lothian and challenger Democrat Schroeder. The questions and answers may be viewed here; http://www.theweekextra.com/news/1006/102606district32.html
To illustrate Schroeder's tremendous lack of knowledge about basic governmental matters, let's review the first question and the candidate's answers. My commentary appears in uppercase. The question: Three towns in Walworth County-Delavan, Geneva and Bloomfield-are considering taking steps toward incorporating. Would you favor these local towns' desire to possibly incorporate? Why or why not?

Lothian: "I signed onto the Charter Towns Bill and have voted in favor of that for every opportunity I had. I'm on the record of supporting that towns bill.

"The way the Constitution is established, (town governments) are the closest to the people and have the least authority over their fate. They can't stop annexation and can't do many things because they don' have the powers that a village has."
CLEARLY, LOTHIAN UNDERSTANDS THE ISSUE.
Schroeder: "I know it's an issue hanging out there. I wouldn't be opposed to it. I would just need to know what it is they are looking at.
WHAT? THE REPORTER'S QUESTION SAID EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT, INCORPORATING. SCHROEDER WASN'T EVEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THE QUESTION. NEEDING MORE INFORMATION IS A FAVORITE SCHROEDER PLOY AS IT MAKES HIM APPEAR ENGAGED WHEN HE ACTUALLY DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE.

"As I've gotten out into communities to meet people, I've noticed each one has its own uniqueness. I can definitely appreciate that. I know they don't want to lose more land to the cities.
ANTOHER STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS BY SCHROEDER WHO HAS NO SPECIFIC INSIGHT AND DOESN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION.
"I'm not against them becoming villages, but I would want to know what their plan is and what legislation allows them to currently do." HERE IS WHERE SCHROEDER, SOMEONE MAJORING IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY, DEMONSTRATES HOW LITTLE HE KNOWS. HE WANTS TO KNOW 'WHAT LEGISLATION ALLOWS THEM TO CURRENTLY DO.' LEGISLATION DOESN'T ALLOW ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING. LEGISLATION ARE PROPOSALS, BILL DRAFTS AND BILLS THAT AUTHORS ARE ATTEMPTING TO HAVE PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND THEN SIGNED INTO LAW. STATUTES OR STATE LAW ARE WHAT ALLOWS 'THEM' TO DO OR NOT DO ANYTHING. IT IS FRIGHTENING THAT SOMEONE WANTING TO BE A STATE LEGISLATOR IS THIS IGNORANT OR UNEDUCATED ABOUT THE VERY PROFESSION HE IS PURSUING. READ THE REST OF SCHROEDER'S NON-ANSWERS AT THE WEB SITE ABOVE.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people in our community know that Mr. Lothian continues to raise his voice and vote in opposition of the real values of our community. Certainly, he toes the party line, supports private industry and the rest of the issues that align with his party.

Perhaps it would be time for Mr. Lothian, and Mr. Debow to consider that this really isn't all about them. The honor and responsibilty that is bestowed upon voters and elected officials is to think beyond their own agendas and focus on what is best for their community.

There seems to be a lot of effort to discredit Mr. Schroeder, based on criteria established by....gee, I'm not sure.

Keep up your negative words. Focus in on the small stuff. The reality is that there are a lot of us who are very tired of this.
Your continued negativity, dismissal of the values that don't align with yours, and your candidate's lack of authentic involvement with those who he is supposed to represent that will be the tipping point. Some sincere desire to represent us all would be appreciated. Of course, that would require your candidate to engage in authentic conversation.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Royce K. DeBow said...

Anonymous comments lack credibility. My problems with Schroeder are his dishonesty, his lack of, shall we say intellectual capacity, and an approach to his current duties that focuses on attendance but lacks meaningful contribution. I would be happy to introduce you to some of his constituents who got nothing but lip service from Schroeder for years on city issues.

Schroeder doesn't even understand his own party's initiatives enough to explain them correctly or avoid changing what he believes they are from one statement to the next. He fakes being a fiscal conservative and only talks specifically about increasing the rate of spending growth. His ads point out that Lothian voted with his party 97% of the time. Schroeder's platform and stance on every major issue is in lock-step with his party. I guess that means he would vote 100% of the time with them. Schroeder has endorsed (and/or) voted for those representing the most liberal wing of his party. That's fine, except he represents himself as something completely different. Schroeder deceives in order to gain votes and career opportunities. Again, very happy to confront Schroeder in a public forum and let the media and citizens decide if Schroeder has lied. I know his handlers would never allow that to happen. The house of cards that is Schroeder's image would tumble down. I wonder why he and his handlers are so afraid of meeting with me in front of reporters and editors. I also wonder why Schroeder's knowledge about government and the issues is so shallow. It is clear from reporter Mike Heine's interview that Democrat Ryan Schroeder remains vastly uninformed.

In terms of Lothian supporting private industry, yes, he supports private industry because that is the engine of our economy. Why do you oppose it? If you speak for Schroeder, why does he oppose it? In terms of engaging in authentic conversation to represent us all, Lothian is light years ahead of Schroeder. Have you actually listened to Schroeder express his views. Complete thoughts much less sentences are not his strong suit and he rarely gives a specific answer to a question. He has been caught in past elections telling voters exactly what he thinks they want to hear, even when that contradicts statements he has made in the past. We can certainly agree to disagree on policy positions, but Schroeder rarely gives the straight answers that voters deserve. Again, the challenge to Schroeder (or more likely those making decisions for him) stands. Again, I nearly guarantee that fear of Schroeder being exposed for what he is will prevent his handlers from allowing this to happen.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from a different anonymous writer: Quite the exchange between Debow and Anonymous #1. While it seems clear that Debow has problems with Schroeder, it is just as clear that Schroeder's anonymous booster has it out for Debow. I don't believe Debow is on a ballot for any office, yet it seems that whatever his sins or shortcomings are serve as reasons to excuse any behavior by Schroeder and avoid even considering the possibility that some of Debow's comments about him may be true. Whether they are or not, I would think that Schroeder supporters would jump at the 'challenge' offered by Debow. They could discredit him for good. I wouldn't mind seeing it all settled one way or another. In the mean time, I hope anyone reading this looks at both candidates records and decides for themselves who is the best person for the job. While the Republican Lothian may be a true conservative and tend to vote from that position, the Democrat Schroeder is a true liberal, regardless of what he says on the campaign trail. His endorsements clearly indicate that. Finally, I think there is somewhat of an apples and oranges comparison going on here. Debow isn't claiming to be a saint and is not asking the public to vote for him. Schroeder is and therefore should be scrutinized. If the best Schroeder supporters can do to defend him is discuss someone else's personal life, it doesn't say a lot about Schroeder's qualifications as a candidate or his supporters. On the other hand, Debow might consider finding a hobby other than trying to expose Schroeder as unqualified for office. Or, if Debow wants to adopt the approach of Schroeder supporters, he might begin discussing Schroeder's personal failings. The anonymous Schroeder supporter appears to have made personal matters fair game, so I can't imagine he/she would have a problem if whatever skeletons are in Schroeder's closet were let loose. If Schroeder is ever brave enough to take Debow up on his challenge and it is open to the public, please let me know or put something on this web site. It might be entertaining if not interesting.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Royce K. DeBow said...

No defense of Schroeder, except to attack me. It is very convenient to try and dismiss or disallow someone from critiquing a public figure or candidate based on flaws of the critic. I guess that means no one is allowed to discuss a candidate's performance, qualifications or lack thereof. Or, at least no one who is deemed unworthy of doing so by a defender of the candidate being critiqued. I must have missed that caveat in the Bill of Rights' First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It seems my critic is intent on arguing the invalid criteria of free speech being predicated on an acceptable review or interpretation of an individual's personal life. I guess that's easier than actually defending Schroeder's liberal agenda or his abilities as a policy maker. On the thought that I am somehow disqualified from participating in free speech or the election process, I suggest that enforcing this standard would also prevent many individuals from exercising freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, including the very candidate you are defending. However, as I do not claim to be a constitutional scholar, feel free to correct my interpretation of the First Amendment. Finally, one need not occupy a moral high horse to point out flaws of those who have chosen to run for office. I certainly do not claim any moral high ground, but instead believe a particular individual running for office is grossly underqualified for a variety of reasons. My instincts tell me, however, that is not something which will be the subject of my critic's next writing. Keep in mind that discrediting a messenger does not necessarily change the validity of the message. Then again, attacking my personal life does distract from Schroeder's own shortcomings, a tactic I understand is necessary when defending a weak candidate.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Elle DeBow said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Santa Claus said...

Santa Claus here - Hohoho - you boys and girls are being pretty naughty here. Your stockings will be empty if you don't start behaving!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Dan Plutchak, editor said...

Dear anonymous posters,

Listen to the advice of Santa Claus in the previous comment.

Although it made for juicy gossip for some, the Jerry Springerfication of the blog was not what we intended.

We allowed anonymous comments to remove impediments to a free-wheeling and thoughtful discussion of the issues and candidates.

However, some anonymous posters seemed to have gotten off on a variety of tangents that left me confused at best and no better informed on the issues at worst.

At any rate, we’ve deleted the irrelevant postings and required registration in order to post comments.

Also, I’ll be away from my computer over the weekend, so I’ll have comment moderation enabled. That means your comments won’t appear immediately. I’ll sort through them Monday morning and post the ones related to the election.

~Dan Plutchak
Editor
The Week

10:14 AM  
Blogger Sheila Van Dan said...

In regards to the election. I wonder how many people realize the Lothian was against any money spent on Lakeland school or the County Home. I sat in on a few meetings discussing this issue and was very disturbed on how he felt, knowing my mother was in there and not knowing what was going to happen to her. People should realize that Lothians followers are not as bright as they want the public to believe. They are just out to get Shcroeder for what reason who knows. I just wish a couple of you would grow up and stop this nonsense. In my heart and mind I know Ryan Schroeder is the right man for the job.
Sheila Van Dan

1:29 PM  
Blogger Royce K. DeBow said...

Democrat Ryan Schroeder campaign Fact Check

Some statements in Democrat Ryan Schroeder campaign ads are incorrect. If Schroeder can't get simple, well known facts right, he is the wrong choice on any ballot for any office.
The first four Schroeder 'errors' are statements made by Ryan Schroeder in his prerecorded, automated phone call to voters, received Friday, November 5, 2006.
SCHROEDER 'ERROR' #1: “Hello. I’m Delavan Council Representative Ryan J. Schroeder and I want to be your state representative in the 32nd district.
FACT: Schroeder’s council title is Alderman, Alderperson, Council President or Councilman. Yet he says he is a Representative. NO. That’s the office he is running for. Either Schroeder doesn’t know the title he has had for almost eight years or he purposely used the title of the office he seeks and applied it to the elected office he holds now. Even Schroeder’s own campaign literature uses a correct term.
SCHROEDER 'ERROR' #2: “My extensive record of local government experience proves I support small businesses, seniors and working families.”
FACT: Schroeder’s local government experience proves none of his statements. The fact is, he has voted against small business on more than one occasion, such as Alro Steel and one or more businesses at Delavan Crossings including Aldi’s. However, voting against Aldi's didn't prevent him from the ultimate hypocrisy of showing up for the ribbon cutting photo opportunity. No new programs have been created for seniors or working families. These would have required additional funding. Remember, Schroeder claims to have supported less spending and even takes credit for it, although at the time he was not on the finance committee. So he either did one or the other, not both.
SCHROEDER 'ERROR' #3: “My opponent is a career politician.”
FACT: Incumbent State Representative Tom Lothian is not a career politician. He taught chemistry for nearly four decades at the high school and college levels. Lothian first entered public service as a village trustee near the end of his teaching career. Schroeder has run against Lothian three times. Lothian’s background as a chemistry professor is well known having appeared on literature and ads.
SCHROEDER 'ERROR' #4: Democrat Ryan Schroeder’s ad on page 7 of the November 2 Delavan Enterprise stated that Schroeder ‘supports ethical reforms’, etc. and would support banning fundraising during the budget process. The ad also compares Schroeder as the candidate for ‘working families in the district’ and Lothian as the candidate for ‘special interests outside the district.’
FACT: Schroeder took donations from a Delavan business investor before and after key votes determined what type of tax payer funded financial support the business would get. Schroeder voted yes, the way the investor/Schroeder campaign donor wanted him to. In fact, according the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s online, searchable campaign finance database, this particular Delavan business investor is also Democrat Ryan Schroeder’s biggest campaign donor, pumping nearly $1,000 into Schroeder coffers. Jim Doyle would be so proud of fellow Democrat Ryan Schroeder.

FACT: Incumbent State Representative Tom Lothian cosponsored and voted for various bills that would have limited government’s growth to population and inflation. Yet Schroeder claims Lothian is the big government candidate. However, it was Democrat Ryan Schroeder’s fellow Democrat Jim Doyle who vetoed this legislation and increased state spending 20%, more than five times the rate of inflation. It was also under Schroeder’s fellow Democrat Jim Doyle that UW increased tuition for in-state residents over 50% in less than four years while decreasing tuition for out-of-state residents. On who represents special interests outside the district, we turn again to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reporting of PAC & Political Committee Contributors. 91% of Lothian donors have significant interests, large memberships or district operations. For Schroeder, 100% of his PAC & Political Committee Contributions came from outside the district with 85% from big labor and 15% from political groups. Lothian’s breakdown of donors in this category shows a much broader base of support; 33% small business groups, 12% healthcare providers, 12% power/rural power groups, 14% labor & employee groups, 8% financial institution group, 8% life insurance, 13% political groups. Special interests backing Schroeder all came from outside the district. Lothian’s support, particularly from small business owners, nearly all came from within the district.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Royce K. DeBow said...

Democrat Schroeder's campaign treausurer, Sheila Van Dan has her information wrong too. Interesting how she tells us what Lothian's position is based on her sitting in on some meeting with no documentation to support her statement. According to minutes from the Walworth County Children with Disabilities Education Board, April 25, 2005 meeting, during the public comment period, I appeared on behalf of Representative Lothian and publicly stated his support, including increasing funds for special education. In addition, Representative Lothian sent a letter to the State Joint Committee on Finance which also stated "his support in maintaining financial support for special education and to consider increasing funds." Public record and correspondence to the legislature's joint committee on finance dispute the claim Schroeder's treausurer. So, now the question becomes, which source is more credible; minutes of public meetings recorded and maintained by the Walworth County Children with Disabilities Education Board as well as written correspondence on file with the Joint Finance Committee, or the memory of Schroeder's treasurer concerning some unspecified statement made at a 'few meetings' for which no dates were provided or public records referenced that would substantiate her recollection. How likely is it that her recollection would materialize in such a way to support Lothian? I'm sure if pressed, I could 'remember' all sorts of things unflattering to liberal Democrat Ryan Schroeder.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Royce K. DeBow said...

Ahhhh, yet more actual evidence contradicting the memory of Democrat Schroeder's treasurer Sheila Van Dan. According to the minutes from the November 14, 2002 Walworth County Board Finance Committee, Lothian (who was Vice Chair of that committee) voted 'Yes' to approve $20,000 on a study to make funding recommendations for Lakeland School. Again, are official minutes of public meetings more accurate than a Schroeder campaign official's unsupported recollections?

4:41 PM  
Blogger Sheila Van Dan said...

In response to Debow stating my information was incorrect and I had no dates. It was way back when they first started to discuss what to do about the county home. It has to be way over two years for my mother passed away 2 years ago the day before Mothers day. Do I do not have exact dates I was not taking notes at that time my main concern was my mother. I am not about to stoop as low as you and continue to argue with you about this matter. My brother and I were both there and heard it. I think it is time you get a life and stop all you nonsense. Leave Schroeder alone. I think it is time you grow up.

8:11 AM  
Blogger concerned said...

What kind of a man stands outside of the Democratic Party headquarters after the polls close on election night and makes faces at their opponent. I'd say that's the kind of man who needs to grow up and get a life.

9:47 PM  

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