Sunday, April 26, 2009

La Crosse’s Mayoral Version of “24”

While the rest of the country pins their hopes on a new, more Democratic leaning direction, La Crosse Wisconsin is moving “right” in the hopes of seeing a property tax freeze. That would be a fine trick in the current economic depression that has left nearly all real estate markets with an oversupply of devalued homes. Oh, and a little lying never hurt on the conservative campaign trail.

Did I mention how much fun it will be to watch a 24 year old, newly elected conservative mayor, run city hall? Will he be like one of those rare moderate Republicans, who are nearing extinction, or will he fall in line with the new “extremist” party of disgruntled right winger secessionists?

The La Crosse Tribune:
Matt Harter rode promises of property tax reductions and open-door government to a decisive victory Tuesday over Dorothy Lenard. Turnout pitted the young conservative against a progressive baby boomer. Harter rose in popularity by committing himself to reducing the city’s notorious property taxes and reforming the culture at City Hall.

His Democratic opponent Dorothy Lenard pondered the end result on what she called a campaign of lies.

(She) worried Tuesday that the people who influenced Harter’s “negative” campaign message would play an equally strong role in his administration. “If you run a campaign and you try to win it by misinformation and false accusations, I don’t know how you can enjoy the win. If you’re going to go to doors and tell lies, you’re going to win the election.”

While I don’t know how true Lenard’s accusations are, the pattern of campaign lying by Republicans is nothing new. I’ve mentioned it many times here how hard it is to believe that any party would resort to complete fabrication and lying as a way of to deceive the public into voting for them. The old days of merely misleading voters on a few issues is long gone. Which is why this mayoral term will be so much more interesting to watch. According to the outgoing Mayor Mark Johnsrud, “I think it’s going to be the hardest budget year because of the overall economy and the effects ... (that) has had on the value of property. I would say that it’s going to be very difficult to meet next year’s budget without cutting positions.”

And when those cuts are made and services removed, as mandated by Harter’s election, the Republican party of victimization will whine about that too.

And what about the city of Manitowoc?

Justin Nickels was sworn in as the 27th mayor of Manitowoc. At 22, Nickels is the youngest elected mayor in the city's history. What I found really interesting is that after looking at least 15 stories on his mayoral run and win, not one mentioned his political leanings. Dare I say it in public...a Democrat. While Mayor Harter is proudly declared the Republican winner in La Crosse, the slightly younger winner in Manitowoc is never acknowledged as a liberal, something I'm sure he would be ashamed of admitting.

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