Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Walberg and The New Year

Happy New Year! I've got a few items that I'll take care of in just one post.
  • Congressman-elect Walberg will become Congressman Walberg tomorrow. The Detroit Free Press has published his (and every other Michigan congress-critter's) contact information in Washington:
Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton
(202) 225-6276
325 Cannon, Washington, D.C. 20515
  • An interesting (and anonymous) comment on Doug's last post:
Walberg is by no means a radical right winger...anymore than Schwarz was a radical left winger. In reality he is right of center...Schwarz was a moderate. As much as you blowhards don't like to admit it Michigan's 7th is a conservative district and Tim Walberg better represents his constituents values. We all know full well that issues of gay marriage and abortion aren't going be resolved in the US House so why do you all get so bent out of shape by his positions...he's a preacher for God's sake, I wouldn't expect him to take any other stance. He is indeed a conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan. Schwarz was on the opposite side of many issues that were important to voters...Social Security, ANWR, Fair Tax, federal spending, etc, etc. His election in 04 was a fluke and now, like it was with Nick Smith, the district has returned a solid conservative to DC.
Well, where to begin?

First: "As much as you blowhards don't like to admit it Michigan's 7th is a conservative district and Tim Walberg better represents his constituents values." The district certainly isn't liberal, no. But, as Doug pointed in his comment, Granholm carried the district, and John Kerry, that "Massachusetts liberal," got 45 percent of the vote. I can't cite any polling data for just the district, but I've got plenty of anecdotal evidence telling me that folks around here support embryonic stem cell research, a fair minimum wage, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, an exit strategy from Iraq, and a host of other issues on which Walberg is out of step. Or, here's another way of looking at it: if Walberg were so good for the district, why did an unknown chicken farmer with $50,000 make this the closest race in the state?

On social issues, the commenter says: "so why do you all get so bent out of shape by his positions...he's a preacher for God's sake, I wouldn't expect him to take any other stance." Why does it matter? For one, being a preacher doesn't make you conservative. Being a preacher doesn't make you intolerant of other lifestyles or make you get support from intolerant people or racist groups.

Lastly: "He is indeed a conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan." Okay, let's talk Reagan. Lots of people like Ronald Reagan. Whatever I might think of his job performance, he was a likable guy. But conservative? How about the national debt, which went from $930 billion in 1980 to $3.2 trillion after 8 years of Reagan and two years of George H.W. Bush (an 11% growth in 1981-1985, and 9% in 1985-1989)? Cutting taxes while increasing spending doesn't make you conservative.

Hrm. That ended up being longer than I expected... sorry for the rant. The short version is: Walberg is wrong for the district, wrong for the country, and deserves some watching.
  • Finally, plans for the new year and 110th Congress: I shared these ideas/goals with the other bloggers that've signed on with Walberg Watch. Some might take a bit of work, but I'm confident that we can provide fair (if critical) coverage of Tim Walberg's term. Interested in finding a way to help? Any ideas of your own?
- During the 110th Congress, have a post written summarizing major pieces of legislation and an explanation of Walberg's position before the House votes on the bill, perhaps with calls to action for writing/calling Walberg's office.

- When candidates start announcing, let's try to get candidate interviews on the blog. Nirmal did one with Sharon Renier on his own site, and it'd be great if, going into the primary and the general election in 2008, we had each of the candidates talk to us. That includes Republican challengers and Tim Walberg, if they're interested. There's nothing wrong with a little dialogue.

- I've always thought it'd be great if I could get a few guest essays by people in some way connected to or interested in the race. This could include internet activists and bloggers, journalists, Democratic leaders, and even moderate Republicans turned off by Walberg.

- During campaign season, when they start holding debates, we should try to have at least one of us (or some enthusiastic volunteer) present to give a good post-debate report. It'd be even better if we had video, but that's beyond my technological expertise.

- Similarly, if a candidate holds a kick-off event or some other event of interest, someone should be there to cover it. Again, video would be a plus.


I have to disagree with the above poster. Walberg is out of touch with reality and the District isn't as conservative as portrayed...ok maybe Lenawee is ultra-conservative.

Fact is we have thrown out a person of reason who a veteran, intelligence expert and someone who has a keen understanding of world politics and replaced him with someone who is only concerned with pelvic issues and has no background or capacity to deal with the issues of day, namely national security and the conflag in Iraq and pending conflicts with Iran and Korea. We should be scared.

Ask anyone involved economic development and they will tell you Walberg was AWOL his entire tenure in the state. He doesn't understand, nor care about economic issues.

Don't kid yourself, these are the REAL issues and we really screwed ourselves by electing this ideologue with his personal social agenda.

He's already been labeled as the #1 most vulnerable Rep. in '08 and for good reason.

The Walberg train wreck is barrelling down the tracks.
Before you get too many moderate Republicans signed up, you are going to have to hide your obvious Democrat affiliation. You have links to "watch" sites for most of the sitting GOP members and then links to several democrat campaigns.
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Attorney General Mike Cox (both Republicans) carried the 7th by a huge margin so citing Granhom winning margain doesn't mean anything. The 7th Congressional District is conservative as much as you don't want to admit it. Not radical conservative just right of center. Tim Walberg is not a radical either and the inflamatory rhetoric on your blog here only make you all look foolish partisans. Sharon Renier isn't just an unknown chicken farmer. She ran previously in '04. The fact of the matter is that Tim Walberg got over 50% of the vote in both the primary and general election.
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