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Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Guest Post from State Senate Candidate Jim Sullivan

Why I’m Running for the State Senate

Hello everyone, this is Jim Sullivan, guest blogger on folkbum and candidate for the 5th district state senate seat currently held by Tom Reynolds in the communities of Brookfield, Elm Grove, Milwaukee, West Allis, West Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa. Jay asked me to fill in for him while he’s on vacation, and to give you all some information about my campaign and why I’m running for the Wisconsin Senate.

I’m running for the state senate because I believe in a reasonable approach to solving the problems that confront us. I believe that the great majority of us value common sense, decency, and working hard to make our communities places we want to live, raise our children, and do business.

For too long, politics has degenerated into noise, partisanship, and distraction. That doesn’t fly on the local level. As a Wauwatosa Alderman these past 6 years, I’ve seen that government works best when people come together and work to get a job done. In Wauwatosa we have faced challenges and delivered solutions. We have built a business community around innovation and entrepreneurship. Wauwatosa delivers the services that people expect and need without meaningless the partisan acrimony, and with efficiency and respect for our tax dollars. When I talk to my neighbors about the issues of government, even though we might not always agree on everything, we have always been able to respect the fundamental American notion that we ought to be able to get together in the democratic process, work out the best path that we see to the common good for our own communities, and get the people’s business done.

We owe it to ourselves and our children to create family supporting jobs and economic growth today, and to have the strongest educational system that we can possibly have to give our children the fighting chance they need to build the future they deserve. We need a state legislature that harnesses education as an engine of future economic growth, and as a foundation of citizenship to protect against the challenges of the social problems that confront us. While Americans consistently identify education as one of their top priorities, the strength of Wisconsin schools has been hurt by legislators like Tom Reynolds. As teachers and students make due with their scarce resources, our communities suffer as Tom Reynolds fights for tax breaks for home schoolers, which just so happen to benefit himself. That’s not the way to ensure every Wisconsin child has the best school.

Another area that government has utterly failed to get the job done is health care. Our failure to responsibly address the issue of health care has left us burdened. It is a moral affront to fail to cover those who struggle, work hard, and pay taxes in this community every day. A health care system that does not cover every citizen cripples Wisconsin businesses, and crushes the entrepreneurial backbone that makes us great. My opponent has time for what divides us, but on healthcare, he has nothing to say but shifting costs to the already over burdened Wisconsin taxpayer.

Healthcare is not only an issue of decency and justice, it is an issue of creating good jobs in Wisconsin. We’ve been fortunate in this state to have some of the best and most creative minds in the world uncover new science, new technologies, and new medical treatments. Wisconsin has been on the forefront of a technological revolution that promises to radically alter our lives and health for the new millennium. Stem cell research offers us the opportunity to live longer and healthier lives, to cure horrendous and debilitating disease in both adults and children, and to create specialized, unique, and dynamic industries and jobs that will change the face of our health and our communities. Unfortunately, despite the unique nature of the 5th senate district, with our groundbreaking research and scientific facilities, when the issue came before the legislature, Tom Reynolds cast the deciding vote in the state senate to ban stem cell research in the state of Wisconsin, in the very same week that the Centers for Disease Control awarded the stem cell library project to the University of Wisconsin. He just doesn’t get it.

I am running for this state senate seat because I believe that we can do better. I believe that by far and away, my neighbors in Elm Grove, Milwaukee, West Allis, West Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa are good and decent people. We love our communities and want the best for our families. I believe the officials on the local level do a better job respecting those values and getting the job done for the people we represent with responsiveness and fiscal discipline. Tom Reynolds is part of that problem, and I’m here to find solutions. I’m running because Madison doesn’t get it, and Tom Reynolds doesn’t get it. It’s time to return effective, reasonable, and responsible leadership to 5th district state senate seat for all the people of our community, and I hope to earn their support to represent those people in November.

Thanks to Jay for giving me this forum, and to the readers of folkbum’s rambles and rants. If you have any questions about me, or the campaign, please visit our website at or call the campaign office at 414-453-1070.

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