A person or persons you’ve never met, seen, or heard of, is deciding right now who you can vote for.
Who are these often nameless and faceless people who decide who we can and can’t vote for? Mainly, they’re a bunch of political insiders and power brokers who decide the fate of far too many actual and potential candidates for public office, from the county level all the way up to United States Congress.
My friend Neil Heinen’s editorial on Channel 3 a couple days ago got me thinking about this. Ever wonder why Barbara Lawton suddenly dropped out of the race for governor? We never got the full story, but I have no doubt some big-time operator in the Democratic Party dropped a dime, and she was never heard from again.
Certainly wasn’t the slanderous reason my old pal Jerry Bader gave on his Green Bay radio talk show.
Jim Klauser, a savvy political operator who was Governor Tommy Thompson’s enforcer, is asking Mark Neumann to drop out of the Republican primary for governor.
Think “the Kathleen” – County Exec Falk – would like to run for gov again? I do. But Tom Barrett’s crew no doubt have given her a clear message to stay out of the way. I’ll bet they’ve had a few words with Ron Kind, as well.
Heinen says the capital-D Democrats have anointed (great word, Neil) Julie Lassa as the replacement for Congressman David Obey, discouraging any and all challengers to her candidacy.
And don’t tell me Republican operatives weren’t behind the sudden disappearance of Terrence Wall and Dick Leinenkugel from the race to unseat Russ Feingold. Good Lord – Leinenkugel consorted with the Democrats when he briefly held that cabinet position for Democrat Jim Doyle! His beer may be made with pure western Wisconsin water, but his politics were not pure enough for the party!
Even here on the local scene, County Board member Dave DeFelice is on the outs with the local “progressives” for even thinking out loud about running against Tammy! One of the least effective members of Congress, Tammy is automatically re-elected every time.
But maybe not this time.
Heinen opines that it’s becoming a closed system with politicians and paid party staff deciding who runs and who doesn’t.
My opinion: this fall we’ll have a crop of candidates, hand-picked by party operatives, talking about issues you and I don’t give two hoots in hell about, with ads run by faceless organizations telling us how horrible the other candidate is.
Hell of it is, they’ll probably be right.