Monday, July 19, 2004

Christ, Another Wisconsin Post
It is oft lamented on this blog that Wisconsin, once the Progressive State, is not anymore. Our legislative Democrats often act like Republicans, and our Republicans are nuts. Take Assembly Speaker John Gard as one fine example. He's ostensibly from Peshtigo in northeastern Wisconsin, but he owns a house and his children attend school in Sun Prairie, a suburb east of Madison. Gard made news earlier this summer by pushing a state Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (when state law already bans it), and for a gay-bashing speech he gave at the state Republican convention. As in Washington, so in Madison--our Assembly is colonized by hardcore wingnuts addicted to tax cuts and Jesus, while our Senate is controlled by less-wingnutish, but still plenty-enough-Republican Republicans. And so we have Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer, who is always eager to whore for big business (although in her defense, so are many Wisconsin Democrats)--but she wouldn't push something called the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, an idea beloved by the Assembly wingnuts, which would have the effect of strangling state and local governments for want of funding. In Repug-speak, this is Good Government. Because Panzer wasn't willing to embrace Good Government, that means she is far too liberal, so State Representative Glenn Grothman is running against her in the Republican primary for her seat. Since no Democrat filed papers in Panzer's district, the primary is the election. This dustup is happening in the eastern Wisconsin city of West Bend, which just happens to be the home base of U.S. Senate candidate Russ Darrow. (Maybe it's the water over there.) Dustin Beilke of FightingBob.com writes about the Panzer/Grothman race, and notes that however entertaining it might be to watch Republicans eat their own for a change, it can teach us a lesson, too.

Recommended Reading: Which single individual not named George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Kerry, or John Edwards could decide the presidential election? Best of the Blogs makes a case for one today.

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