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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wasserman for the 8th

Sheldon Wassermanby folkbum

It's nice having Democratic control of the State Senate. (A budget, too, would be helpful. But a boy can't have everything he wants.) But it is not enough to rest on that small majority; instead, we ought to be building bigger margins in the safe districts, expanding Democratic ideals and representation to the close districts, and fighting tooth and nail regardless in the hopeless districts.

One of the close districts is the 8th, which comprises the northern tip of Milwaukee's East Side, much of the North Shore, and chunks of that GOP trifecta--Washington, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties. The current office-holder is Alberta Darling, a supposed "moderate" who nonetheless walks the Republican line, even when it comes to her supposed signature moderate issue, abortion. (Planned Parenthood rates her below 50%.) She had a challenge from relatively fresh-faced Jennifer Morales in 2004, a contest that was closer than many people expected.

Sheldon Wasserman is not so fresh-faced, not so inexperienced as Morales, and not so unknown to the district. He's been ably representing the 22nd Assembly district for some time now, quietly building a name for himself as a solid, compassionate, and thoughtful Democratic legislator. And it's time for a change:
When Alberta first ran she pretended to be something she is not, a socially moderate and fiscally responsible leader. Her record over the years has drifted further and further from that ideal. She now follows a hard right wing Republican agenda. This is the same agenda that ignores real issues while making gay marriage extra illegal and banning stem cell research and the life saving hope it may offer. Despite their rhetoric, Senator Darling and her colleagues did nothing to hold the line on taxes. We can do better.

This race is about all of us joining together to send a message that we want pragmatic leadership, not the rigid right wing social agenda. It's about promoting a fiscal responsibility that gets the most bang for the buck for taxpayers. It's about fighting for better schools in our neighborhoods and keeping concealed guns out. It's about a belief that government can do a better job for the people of this district and this state. I hope you will join me and support my campaign.

As a member of the State Assembly I am proud to have....
- Fought hard to defend women's reproductive rights.
- Pushed new standards for renewable energy sources. I put my money where my mouth is and ride the bus back and forth to Madison.
- Stood up for patients' rights, guaranteeing independent review of insurance company denials.
- Helped pass the popular SeniorCare prescription drug program.
- Been recognized for my work for sexual assault victims.

As a State Senator I can do more. I have a bold vision for the future. I will fight to...
- Increase safety on our roads by requiring more frequent testing of drivers over 75.
- Cut the number of counties in Wisconsin, thereby saving taxpayers millions of dollars by eliminating redundant bureacracy.
- Ban discrimination against breastfeeding women.

There is a stark difference between my opponent and [me]. There is too much at stake here to sit on the sidelines. I will need your support to counter the vast sums of special interest money Senator Darling will raise. When she was sitting on the budget-writing committee and raising money from some of the very groups that lobbied her I was out knocking on doors and talking to the people of the district. Unlike Alberta, I refused to raise money until after I voted on the budget. She is already spending that money by hiring surrogates to knock on doors. I will rely on people just like you to volunteer. She thinks she can buy the election with $1000 checks from lobbyists. I know I can win with contributions from people like you. Your contribution of $500, $150, $75, $35 or whatever you can afford will go a long way.

This race is winnable. The numbers show that a candidate with my background and record can win here. I will not take one vote for granted though. I have already knocked on over 3,000 doors and I've worn out two pairs of shoes. I plan on needing many more before this over. I have won tough races before. When I first ran for the Assembly, no one thought I could defeat a Republican incumbent legislator. Don't bet against me this time! Together we can unseat another out-of-touch incumbent legislator.
You can give to Wasserman through my ActBlue page or through ActBlue on Wasserman's site. You can attend a kick-off event for his campaign on Tuesday September 25, 2007, 5-7pm, at the beautiful lakefront home of Bonnie and Leon Joseph, 8130 N Beach Drive, Fox Point. This is a winnable seat; let's make it happen!

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