Dan Kapanke’s latest press release is a typical GOP short-on-facts-and-ideas attack, referring to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when the real issue is the 3rd Congressional District is the health of citizens. I know at least some of the GOP talking points Kapanke offers were brought up during the health care summit he dismisses as “political theater.”
The television coverage of the summit has been horrible. The cable news networks cut away at will to commentary from their personalities-posing-as-journalists while lawmakers were discussing policy. I heard a live feed was on CSPAN 3…who gets that? What was more important on CSPAN and CSPAN2? After all the pundits complained about previous health care negotiations going on in backrooms, not openly as the president promised, what are we going to hear about this? People don’t care enough to watch anyway, hockey was on.
And when is a reporter going to call Terrence Wall out for claiming Russ Feingold lacks values and principles? I’d like an example Terrence, but I believe you’re giving it to me when you say nothing at all.
With Governor Doyle’s Monday confirmation of reports he would not seek a third term as Wisconsin’s governor came the speculation as to potential candidates on the Democratic ticket. Lt. Gov. Lawton was in from the start, she had announced her intention to run should Doyle decline to over a month ago. U.S. Rep. Ron Kind has confirmed he is considering a run and will make an announcement in the coming weeks. If Kind runs, what will happen to his seat, the third congressional district?
State Sen. Dan Kapanke announced his intention to challenge Kind for his seat earlier this month. If Kind were to run for governor he couldn’t simultaneously run to keep his House seat. The third district is not safe Democratic territory by any means and the citizens of the district would not appreciate Kind considering them a “backup job,” not to mention the citizens of Wisconsin would disapprove of a gubernatorial candidate who was not “all in.” Really, these observations mean very little because Ron Kind is a man of character who wouldn’t consider putting himself in the above situations.
What Kind running for governor would mean is that in 2010 the third district would not have an incumbent running, in the literal sense of the word. However, between owning the La Crosse Loggers baseball team and his State Senate gig, Kapanke is well-known in La Crosse and the immediate surrounding areas. He also has the advantage of not having to sacrifice his current job to run for governor, he isn’t up for re-election until 2012. Depending on the Democratic challenger for the job, Kapanke could have a significant advantage in name recognition, which is one of the most important benefits of incumbency.
Between the centrism of the third district, the good possibility of name recognition tilting in Kapanke’s favor and the tendency of the president’s party to lose seats in mid-term elections, I am worried about keeping the the third district Democratic in the event Kind runs for governor. Add to my pile of doubts that Lawton, who Kind would be challenging on the Democratic side, has the advantage of incumbency as a two term Lieutenant Governor, while Kind is only well-known in western Wisconsin. Whatever his decision may be, we wish Ron Kind the best of luck and thank him for his service to Wisconsin’s third congressional district.