Friday, May 7, 2010

Michaelsen Passes Baton to Sean Duffy

It has been gratifying and a little embarrassing to me how many people have expressed interest in my running again for U.S. Congress now that Dave Obey has retired. All some people know about WI-7 is that I ran for it in 1984 and that I wrote an amusing little article about it in the November 1989 American Spectator.

My time to run for U.S. Congress has passed. I hope Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy will be the next Congressman in WI-7. Duffy has things I never had. He has been elected several times. He is photogenic and has a photogenic family. He can raise money. He has people I really like working for his campaign. I will do what is asked of me to help him. I have the advantage of being from the more populous part of his district.

Duffy is a candidate because people believe in him. I was an accidental candidate in search of believers. When State Senator Walter John Chilsen chose not to run for U.S. Congress in 1984, I stepped forward. I did not regret running for U.S. Congress. It played a key role in my working for Programs & Policies in Lansing and being one of the better campaign operatives for winners to the Michigan Senate and U.S. Congress. Losing allowed me to help winners better.

In his farewell announcement, Dave Obey said how he, Morris Udall and Henry Reuss stood up to President Ronald Reagan. Apparently, Obey could not help invoking three people who are long dead. I think Bart Stupak announcing he would not run again after he sold out his Right-to-Life principles for health care reform had a profound impact on Obey, who had been an abortion foe like Stupak had been.

The districts of Obey and Stupak had been previously held by Republicans Melvin Laird and Bob Davis, respectively. They will turn Republican again in 2010.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dane County Murder Irony Department

Dane County has so few murders that each one is sensational. One hopes that this is not going to change, but two recent murders suggest that 2010 will not be a good year for what some consider metropolitan Madison.

A killer waited in Stoughton for the early May 1 arrival of Dwayne Williams, 26, his girlfriend and their toddler. Williams was killed. Williams was no stranger to police because he was pistol-whipped in late 2009 by assailants who demanded drugs. Williams was arrested for burglary in 2002 and cocaine possession in 2005. Before Saturday, Stoughton had not had a murder since 1989.

Without a sense of irony, the Wisconsin State Journal unveiled a special report May 2 about heroin use in Dane County. The headline on the special report dwarfed the headline about the murder in Stoughton. What a surprise to learn that heroin comes across the porous border with Mexico, goes to Chicago and then to Madison! What a surprise to learn that addicts might turn to crime to support their habits!

On April 28, Antonio Perez was outside on a break from his job at Webcrafters on Fordem Avenue when he was slain in a drive-by shooting which was gang-related. Madison police have said they are afraid that it will touch off a gang war. Like many, I consider Webcrafters to be on Sherman Avenue near the Esquire Club.

Many of us are sad that the deaths of Kelly Nolan and Brittany Zimmerman remain unsolved years later. It would be awful if either were killed by drug addicts bent on violence or property crime.

Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states which forbid law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms. Wisconsin’s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has ruled that we can carry in a holster in the open but I would prefer not to test this in the Worker’s Paradise because I have seen no one else carry openly here. I will consider carrying weapons, however, if folks like me start to be killed in cross-fires this year.