Friday, August 11, 2006

Jack Lessenberry on Walberg

In the Toledo Blade today, columnist Jack Lessenberry shares his observations on the 7th District race, Schwarz's loss, and Tim Walberg.

I always hate it when bloggers quote from a newspaper article and then include no original commentary or thought. But I think Jack Lessenberry, a talented writer, captures the situation quite well.

Below, some excerpts:
LANSING, Mich. - Jim Blanchard, the former governor of Michigan, is as partisan a Democrat as they come. But last week, he did something he once would have found impossible to imagine.

He recorded a "phone blast," an automatic call that was sent to thousands of homes in the Seventh Congressional District, which extends from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek.
That call urged voters to support … U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz, a Republican, for Congress in Tuesday's primary.

"Joe's a good guy, intelligent, a moderate guy," Mr. Blanchard said. "I knew Tim Walberg when he was in the Legislature," he added. The congressman's opponent, a former preacher and Bible salesman, was a rigid partisan "best known for voting no on everything. There is no way [Mr. Walberg] should be in Congress," the former governor said. "I am still a Democrat but this is a solidly Republican district, and Michigan's future is at stake."
(emphasis added)

I disagree that it's a "solidly Republican district," not with Tim Walberg as the nominee. But it is nonetheless remarkable that Blanchard came out against Walberg in the primary.

Later in the editorial...
Twenty years ago, when Jim Blanchard was re-elected governor and Joe Schwarz, then a young physician, was first elected to the state Senate, the idea that a narrow ideologue could defeat a respected congressman would have been unimaginable.
And if there is any remaining doubt that there is no room for moderates in the Michigan GOP, across the state, in prosperous Oakland County, another Republican congressman faced a different kind of challenge. If Joe Schwarz was too liberal for the Seventh District, 73-year-old U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg was seen as too conservative for his, especially on cultural issues.

He was challenged in the Republican primary by Pan Godchaux, a well-regarded school board member and former state legislator. Not only did she have high name recognition, she openly sought and received support from Democrats.
Godchaux, of course, lost by a wide margin, showing again that the Michigan Republican Party is dominated by the fringe elements that supported Tim Walberg.

Lessenberry closes with a nice little twist.
Electoral Footnote: The Club for Growth may think taxes are evil, but most millage requests around the state were approved in this week's voting, suggesting that even cash-strapped voters will pay up for services they need and approve.

And in Southeast Michigan, SMART, the area-wide bus service, had its funding approved by an unexpected landslide. That may reflect higher gas prices - but also perhaps an increasing willingness to think about mass transit solutions.
Clearly, Tim Walberg and the Club for Growth's narrow vision for government isn't what the voters really want.


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008