by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
We were somewhat caught off guard when we learned the city’s daily newspaper would not make any political endorsements for the November 6 elections.
The reason for the decision reportedly had to do with the criticism the newspaper of a staunchly Democratic city drew when it endorsed Republican Governor Scott Walker in the recall election instead of Milwaukee Mayor and Democrat Tom Barrett.
Readers of the publication reportedly didn’t take too kindly to the paper’s choice.
We were also surprised to learn the daily isn’t the first paper to make this choice. A number of newspapers across the country have decided to stop doing election endorsements.
The reasons vary from contraction of news staffs to the increasingly more elusive advertising dollar. Perhaps editors and publishers are fearful their choices might cost them needed revenue and influence.
As for your Community Journal, we intend to continue exercising the most important responsibility we feel a newspaper has to its readers: Endorsing candidates we feel have a forward vision for the city, state and nation, and work diligently to fulfill voters expectations.
It’s a responsibility we have taken seriously for 36 years, endorsing candidates who fulfilled our expectations and those who, sadly, fell short or started strong but became derailed by their personal ambitions.
Endorsing political candidates for elective office can be something akin to spinning a roulette wheel. But we’re not shying away from our responsibility in this election, which will determine the course of the nation and our state for the next four years.
You, our readers, expect nothing less.
With that said, here are our picks for President, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, the State Assembly and District Attorney.
The headline for this story should make our choice quite obvious. Without question, Barack Obama is the best choice to lead this nation for another term.
Despite the claims of his opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and hard right leaning Conservatives in the Congress, the corporate world and the media, President Obama has accomplished a lot in his first history making term.
Coming into office as the country was teetering on economic collapse, President Obama pulled America back from the brink. He put into motion a modified stimulus package that saved businesses and jobs, especially within the auto industry, which is now thriving.
The president kept his promise of tracking down and confronting terrorism by actually doing what his predecessor said he would do, but didn’t: Find and kill Osama bin Laden, the architect of September 11, 2001.
The president’s policies have benefitted the stock market and created job growth (4.6 million new private sector jobs). He fought for and accomplished a number of historic reforms such as in health care with the Affordable Care Act that will cover a majority of Americans without health care and save many more millions of dollars in health related costs and medicine; and ensure a healthier America.
President Obama has stood up for women and their wage earning and reproductive rights, stood up for gay rights (overseeing the dismantling of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Armed Forces), has ended the war in Iraq and has initiated the draw down of our forces in Afghanistan, which will be complete by 2014.
Oh, we almost forgot his “Dream Act,” which gives the children of illegal immigrants a chance to achieve the American Dream of college and the brighter future their parents envisioned.
Imagine what President Obama could have accomplished if he had a cooperative Congress to work with. Instead of being hell-bent to make him a one-term president, Congress could have helped usher in a national renaissance reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.”
Suffice it to say Romney would be the wrong choice for the nation. Aside from his many flip-flops on the issues and agreeing on most everything the president has done or proposes doing during the recently concluded presidential debates, the former governor continues to espouse tax cuts that only help the greedy, not the needy.
If elected, Romney’s first act would be to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. No, Mr. Romney! Not on our watch!
For president, we endorse President Obama for four more years.
Believe it or not, Tommy Thompson might have been our choice to replace retiring Senator Herb Kohl—if he still retained the type of centrist ideology and populist aura that made him a popular Wisconsin governor for many years, even within the African American community.
But that was years ago. Times have changed and so has Thompson, who now identifies with corporate America and the Republican Party’s hard-right agenda.
Just look at his commercials pummeling President Obama and his Democratic opponent, U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. He portrays the president as an out-of-control tax and spender and Baldwin as a shrill, lefty who wants to tax everything in sight.
If Baldwin plans on taxing anyone, it will be those who can afford it, the wealthy who she believes should pay their fair share and not put the burden of the nation’s economic challenges on the backs of the middle class.
We believe Baldwin would be a champion for the hard working middle class families who play by the rules and fulfill the American dream for themselves and their children.
That is a far cry from Thompson who would give millionaires more unneeded tax breaks, turn Medicare into a voucher program and slash funding for education and innovation, two of the very things we need to grow the nation’s economy.
No, Thompson is not “one of us” anymore! He’s now “one of them.” We need a representative who will work for us. We need Tammy Baldwin to be our senator.
Our pick for the Senate is Baldwin.
U.S. House of Representatives–
For U.S. Representative, the only choice on the ballot that is clear for our community is Gwen Moore. With the focus being on the presidential election and the senate race, Moore’s reelection bid for another congressional term has been under the political radar. If it weren’t for her yard signs and her ad in this newspaper, you would have thought there wasn’t a reelection campaign for the Fourth Congressional District.
But there is. Moore is head and shoulders above her challengers, Republican Dan Sebring and Independent Robert Raymond.
Even if she was running for the office against these two for the first time, Moore’s experience in state government and her grass roots advocacy of issues impacting women, children and the middle class would still make her our choice.
For U.S. Representative of the Fourth Congressional District, it’s Gwen Moore.
For the Wisconsin State Senate District Four seat, our choice is Lena Taylor.
Her experience, savvy, and outspokenness in Madison (especially during the period a year ago when she and several Democratic state senators held the state capitol and governor-elect Walker at bay for several weeks) on behalf of the middle class, the poor, children, the elderly, and education make her an easy choice.
Her opponent, Independent David King is sincere and has many good ideas.
But his ties to the Republican Party (he ran and lost his challenge to Douglas Lafollette for Wisconsin Secretary of State as a Republican) and lack of political experience, puts him at a distinct disadvantage to the incumbent.
The choice for State Senate is still Taylor.
Other candidates we endorse who are running unopposed are Fred Kessler for the 12 District State Assembly and John Chisholm for Milwaukee County District Attorney.