As the November elections near, our alternative weekly newspaper (in cooperation with the League of Women Voters) has once again invited all the candidates to answer a set of questions so that readers can become better informed on their positions. And, once again, I have to laugh out loud at the large number of candidates that choose not to respond to the request.
Like virtually all of the Republicans. Including the incumbent Governor, who is even with his Democratic challenger in the polls.
For those not from Madison, a quick primer: While Wisconsin is one of the purplest States in the Union, Madison is one of its bluest cities (although there are some decidedly red pockets on the westside and some suburbs). The editorial slant of Isthmus has been decidely blue over the years...but not nearly as blue as when it was founded in the '70s. So, I guess members of the Republican brain trust believe it's just not worth their time to respond to a request (and an offer of free visibility) from a newspaper that represents the Dark Side of the Force.
But, here's the thing. At least 15,000 new residents have moved into this county since the last time these seats were up for grabs. I couldn't even hazard a guess as to how many other "new" residents moved in, replacing those that moved out and are, thus, not represented in population growth statistics.
That means there are thousands of potential voters that many not know who to vote for in their new hometown. Thousands that depend (at least partially) upon the answers to these questions to calibrate their bullshit radar before walking into the booth on November 4th. Even for a guy like me who has lived in this county for almost 25 years...I just moved into a new Assembly District last year and I had no idea what my Representative stood for until I read about her yesterday.
So, who are the Party brainiacs that told their candidates to ignore the request from Isthmus? This isn't a request for an interview where they could ambush and skew. This was "answer these questions and we'll print your answers verbatim in our newspaper that has a circulation of over 60,000, Sparky."
If not for the opportunity to swing a few votes to your column, wouldn't you at least take some satisfaction in knowing that you get to state your views in a blue publication which ought to annoy the snot out of the publishers?
I just don't get it.