A reminder that you should go to the polls today, whether you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin, as it is primary election day. This blog is based in northwest Ramsey County, Minnesota, and for residents of this area the most consequential matter on the ballot today is choosing which two candidates go forward to the general election for the Ramsey County Commission.
If you want to see actual reform, Sue Jeffers is the obvious choice. Sue has been a prominent voice in Minnesota politics for the better part of a decade, both as a primary challenger to Tim Pawlenty and as a successful talk show host. She is fearless, smart and would help to transform the logrolling culture that has long been in play at the county level. Ramsey County collects a lot of tax money and they like to dole it out to politically connected people, particularly to the commissioners themselves. It's a nice deal if you can vote yourself a 25% raise, as the commissioners did in 2007. Sue will put a stop to this sort of thing.
Her two opponents are Mary Jo McGuire, who lost the musical chairs game in legislative redistricting and wants a new sinecure; and Mary Burg, who just wants a sinecure. Both would be willing to keep things status quo. When the status quo stinks, that's not acceptable. Sue Jeffers is the obvious choice.
Over in Wisconsin, there are four Republican candidates who are vying for the ballot spot for United States Senate. It's an open seat in Wisconsin, as longtime nonentity Herb Kohl is stepping down after 24 utterly undistinguished years. The challengers include Tommy Thompson, who once dominated Wisconsin politics as a popular governor; Mark Neumann, a former Congressman; Eric Hovde, a successful businessman who is attempting to emulate the success of Ron Johnson; and Jeff Fitzgerald, currently the speaker of the Wisconsin assembly. Thompson is probably a slight favorite, but it's possible any of the four could emerge. All are certainly preferable to the Democrat in the race, Cong. Tammy Baldwin, who is the Madison candidate from Central Casting when it comes to politics. I've been in Wisconsin a fair amount in recent weeks and the campaign among the four Republican contenders has been a little edgy, if less so than what folks there have recently had to endure. Under normal circumstances, Thompson would have had little trouble with his opponents, but we are not living in normal circumstances these days.
Get out and vote today.