Wednesday, September 06, 2006

MJS endorses McCormick over Gard

Not surprising- MJS supports McCormick for Congress. Why? Read below-

Mark Green's decision to run for governor has touched off an expensive and intensely watched five-person sprint in northeastern Wisconsin among two fellow Republicans and three Democrats for his seat in Congress. The interest in the race for the 8th Congressional District extends all the way to the White House.

President Bush thinks the best person for the job is Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard, and both he and Vice President Dick Cheney have visited Wisconsin this summer to stump for him. But while Gard is clearly the front-runner in the Sept. 12 Republican primary because of his war chest and obvious party connections, the best GOP candidate is state Rep. Terri McCormick of Appleton.

Both Gard and McCormick are conservatives and share similar views on issues such as spending restraints, the war in Iraq and embryonic stem cell research. But McCormick has at times shown independence, refusing to toe the party leadership line on, for instance, the need for meaningful ethics reform.

Gard, of Peshtigo, is a hard worker and admittedly has been an effective leader at times on certain important issues. He played an instrumental and commendable role in school choice, SeniorCare and BadgerCare, for instance.

But as speaker, Gard was inclined to be overly partisan and punitive rather than pragmatic. On ethics reform, it was McCormick and four other Republican legislators who bucked the leadership in May and tried to do the right thing by attempting to bring Senate Bill 1 to the Assembly floor, only to have Gard and others torpedo those efforts. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, would have merged the state Elections and Ethics boards and created a Government Accountability Board with more power to investigate political wrongdoing in Madison.

McCormick holds bachelor's and master's degrees, taught school for a while, worked as an education consultant and was a key figure in the state's charter school movement before being elected to the Assembly in 2000.

Once in office, she chaired a legislative task force to find ways to hold down governmental health care costs, which led to a number of reforms, including a state purchasing pool for prescription drugs that has saved taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

From ethics reform to trying to get severely disabled veterans property tax relief to extending legal help for the poor, McCormick seems committed to her conscience, even at the expense of pleasing party honchos.

The Democratic primary has attracted three impressive candidates who share similar views on a number of issues - Nancy Nusbaum, former Brown County executive and mayor of DePere; Steve Kagen, an Appleton allergist; and Jamie Wall of Green Bay, a business consultant and former state development official.

In a tough call, Nusbaum gets our nod because she is a seasoned and accomplished leader we think could be an effective representative in Washington. Like McCormick on the other side of the ticket, Nusbaum's record also shows a genuine commitment to ethics reform and changing the way political decisions are made, whether it's here or in Washington.

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