Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Sullivan and Vukmir - The Big Fat Middle

Representative Vukmir, Senator Sullivan

Depending upon a particular issue you might conclude that I lean either liberal or conservative.  It depends.  Sometimes I support Republicans and sometimes I support Democratic Party candidates.  There are a significant number of voters who make-up this group of moderates that I have characterized as The Big Fat Middle. This is a multi-part question.

Presuming that you already have the support of your base – do you need the support of moderates to win the upcoming election?

If so, what do you say to the Big Fat Middle that would convince them to vote for you?

To my readers I offer this as background to the question.

In my view plenty of people who feel disenfranchised from the two major parties occupy the middle ground.  These are the moderates and independent voters who do not generally hold strong ideological views or hold any particular allegiance to a political party.

A great many of these voters were likely responsible for the Democrat takeover of the White House in 2008.  And now they may likely have turned to supporting the Republicans.  I don't think you can simply chalk this-up to The Big Fat Middle being fickle.  I think it goes much deeper than that. 

But we'll save my opinion for further discussion.

Both candidates are in agreement on this issue.  They tell me they need and want the middle.

If you're like me - don't you just feel the love?

Sullivan had a great deal to say on this subject.  And he came out swinging.  The only person for whom moderate is a dirty word is my opponent.  The Fifth Senate is one of too few districts that are swing districts.

He resurrected his predecessor - Tom Reynolds - claiming that his election was ultimately rejected by the the voters because his partisan extremism was viewed as a mistake. 

Vukmir told me she's not into party labels.  She further suggests that moderates and independents are generally fiscally conservative.  They want government to live within its meansJust like the voters of the Fifth District they are better stewards.  She describes this as simple kitchen table economics and common sense values that are shared by a broad swath of the voting public.

For Sullivan the support of moderates and independents is critical.  A self-described moderate he says he's not an ideologue.  He lays claim to successfully working across the isle to pass legislation that is sound public policy.   He touts examples of his work with both Democrats and Republicans on issues such as healthcare cost transparency and streamlining development grant programs at the Department of Commerce.

For Vukmir she doesn't shy away from the suggestion that she's ruffled more than a few establishment feathers among Republicans.

Honestly, Tom, the GOP sometimes doesn't like Leah Vukmir because I'm not afraid to tell them when they are wrong.

Sullivan suggests that there are more than enough partisan ideologues in the legislature and he'd like to see more listening, responsiveness and pragmatism.

The problem with being so enamored with one's own ideology is that it convinces you that your side is always right and that those who disagree are always wrong.

For Vukmir it's all about the matter of common sense and straight talk with the voters.  Look, I'm going to protect essential services.  And what I say in this campaign is what I will do. 

Oooh baby.  This blogger is feeling the love.

On deck for tomorrow - The Campaign.

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