Monday, November 03, 2008

Jackson Cit-Pat Endorses Schauer

Here's my Election Eve prediction: Jackson County is going to decide the outcome of the 7th Congressional District race. As predictions go, that's not too controversial. It's the county with the most people and it's the county that's basically evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. When the county's main daily endorses, it has the potential to be a big deal.

This weekend, the Jackson Citizen Patriot made its decision. You can tell they were a little torn over the decision, in the birthplace of the Republican Party. Nevertheless, I agree with the conclusion they reached. In their Sunday, November 2, 2008 issue, the Citizen Patriot endorsed Mark Schauer:
Voters in the 7th Congressional District might express relief more than anything else at the end of the $6 million-plus campaign between Mark Schauer and Rep. Tim Walberg. Their scorched-earth battle of misinformation and even outright lies has not been worthy of two honorable men or the district they want to represent.


Ideology may well shape many voters' decisions in this high-decibel race, but we offer our endorsement using another standard: Who can better serve this district in Washington? In that respect, Mark Schauer is the better choice.

We do not suggest that voters choose the person they believe can bring home the pork. Whoever is elected goes to a Capitol that needs a fresh start, to cut back on gluttonous Bridges to Nowhere and pet projects that benefit nothing but politicians' chances of re-election.

Even so, this congressional district — and every district — deserves an advocate. It needs someone who can identify priorities and fight to see they are met.

The Jackson area needs money to modernize I-94. Michigan's automakers (and, by extension, their local suppliers) need federal assistance. Economic development projects involving government contracts or regulations need attention from a local lawmaker.

Walberg's record in this regard has been spotty. Schauer's has been exceptional.


Schauer is nothing if not effective, however. He has shown throughout his political career — as a Battle Creek city councilman and spending six years in the state House and six years in the Senate — that he cares about improving people's lives in a personal, tangible way.

He and Walberg share a priority of creating jobs. Schauer has been relentless in delivering results, even if they are compromises. Walberg would sacrifice what his constituents need at the cost of a principled defeat.

Much as we respect Tim Walberg and his two years in Washington, we endorse a better candidate for his seat: Mark Schauer.

The Citizen Patriot has always struck me as a moderate-to-conservative paper, though they've had some very good reporting this election cycle and last time. As Eric B. at Michigan Liberal notes, so close to Election Day, most people have probably made a decision. Even so, it doesn't hurt to add one more newspaper that says Mark Schauer is the right man for the job.

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