Fifty Three to Fifty Six: B2B endorsements

Thursday, November 23, 2006

B2B endorsements

• 54th District -- This is one of the most hotly contested assembly races in the state this year – and one of the most expensive. Though Democrat Gordon Hintz may be the underdog in regard to the size of his campaign coffers, his wealth of academic background and career experience in government roles – along with a bookworm’s appetite for devouring information on any subject of governance – make him the best choice to represent most of the city of Oshkosh.Hintz, a master’s graduate of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison and a protégé of local government collaboration guru Donald Kettl, has made a deep investment in Oshkosh since his losing bid for the seat in 2004. He’s become a student of the issues and has taken the time to explore a variety of solutions.

Challenger Republican Julie Pung Leschke hasn’t demonstrated as much desire for the role in Madison, has been slow to take positions on various issues, and once she did take a stand, didn’t stray at all from her party’s platform. Though her campaign didn’t pay for egregiously false ads attacking Hintz, we would have been more impressed with Pung Leschke if she stood up to the special interest groups who financed those ads once they began to air.

• 55th District -- This wasn’t much of a contest. Democratic challenger Mark Westphal maintains a relatively simple view on how to cure woes in state government and the economy. His fix-all solution – to change the current paradigm of health care – doesn’t come with a step-by-step plan for making the needed changes.

ncumbent Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert has served as co-chair of the state’s powerful Joint Finance Committee since 2003 and has a history of experience on the Neenah Common Council as well as working with the state commission on local government funding. We think Kaufert will do the best job to serve Neenah and Menasha for another term in Madison.

• 56th District -- This one’s a bit of a challenge, because – unfortunately for voters in the 56th Assembly District – it doesn’t appear that either of the two candidates on the ballot has been paying much attention to state government in recent years. Both candidates were helplessly groping through the League of Women Voters-sponsored debate in early October.Despite the name recognition, Republican Roger Roth, Jr. is simply a bit inexperienced and inarticulate to effectively participate in the state legislature at this point. He doesn’t seem to have a clear understanding of the funding crises faced by school districts, counties and municipalities in relation to state mandates and revenue caps. He doesn’t understand the larger picture of government’s role in developing the state and local economy.

The same can be said for his challenger, Democrat Susan Garcia Franz. But she does seem to have a more mature and intelligent perspective on the issues, one that’s more original than a recital of the party platform. It’s evident that she has a deeper understanding of the relationships between state and local government than does her opponent.In the interest of choosing one of the candidates, we give the nod to Garcia Franz.

Roger Roth Jr (left) with Republican politicians


Post a Comment

<< Home