Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lehman It Is

John Lehman announced yesterday his intention to run against Wan Vanggaard in the recall Wisconsin Senate race.

No surprises here. Word had been floating around for weeks that Lehman might take him on in a rematch. Joining him across the state will be Assistant Minority Leader, Rep. Donna Seidel and former Rep. Kristen Dexter.

It appears Madison Dems have offered up a recall election plan similar to last summer's - call up sitting elected or previously elected Democrats as candidates.

Observers grumble this strategy is "party politics" and not grassrooty enough for their tastes. To this the Siren has three words: Steitz, Simac and Vanderleest. Oh, and one other thing - grow up.

Grassroots candidates more often than not translate into unvetted, untested and no money - which do not help in an election cycle which is very, very brief - even with a primary - that only helps Republicans like Wanggaard.

We were surprised that Lehman doesn't have much money - a mere $2000 - compared to Wanny's boffo $100k which is growing everyday, but Lehman has the connections to raise some bucks pretty quick. He has campaign support and staff ready to go on day one, he has lists of volunteers and donors and he has the support of state Democrats who will campaign for him. These are the tools required to win, which the Siren imagines is the point right?

So why the plan to call up politicians who may have lost in heartbreaking - I still have nightmares - races?

Because it gives voters the chance to correct a gigantic wrong and like it or not it works. Lehman, Dexter and Seidel have name recognition, they have won before and they remind voters of a time that wasn't so fucked up.

It's an electoral mulligan...which people in Wisconsin desperately want.

Lehman has the opportunity to say that everything Van said he would do - he failed. Lehman can say everything Vans says he accomplished - is a lie...and know one knows it better than the guy he ran against.

Lehman has sat where Wan sits and knows how much he has botched it. People will believe him and people will vote for him.

Lehman also has a track record on issues that matter to Democrats (and even the grassroots).

2010 League of Conservation Voters Legislative Scorecard
Lehman : 100%
(For comparison and lack of an exact parallel) 
Vos: 11%

2010 Planned Parenthood Associates Legislative Scorecard
Lehman : 100%
Vos: 0%

2010 Wisconsin SEIU Legislative Scorecard
Lehman : 100%
Vos: 0%

2010 Wisconsin AFL-CIO Legislative Scorecard
Lehman : 100%
Vos: 0%

2010 John Muir Society Legislative Scorecard
Lehman : 100%
Vos: 13%

Wanggaard won in 2010 with 52% of the vote - hardly a mandate. It is hard to imagine his activities have resulted in an increase in support. We'd be willing to bet quite the opposite has occurred. Those who were asleep or uninspired in 2010 are wide awake now and ready to score a win.

For more info on Lehman's campaign, go to his Facebook page.