Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
It’s nitty gritty, crunch time as we get closer to those odd-year spring elections. The closer we get, the more we will suddenly, and I do mean suddenly, hear about the candidates for various local elections.
I have long advocated that voters seek out and obtain as much information as possible before casting a ballot. But along with that recommendation about doing one’s homework comes this note of caution: Beware and read very, very, very, very carefully what you’re being fed by each candidate today and in the days ahead.
Again, suddenly we’re hearing about who’s running and what they’re running for on April 7 and what they NOW have to say. Let’s look at Franklin.
In our quiet, humble city, there are three school board candidates on the ballot for two open seats. One of the candidates has announced that if he wins, he won’t serve, but he’s still a player because if he wins, the Franklin School Board (scary) would choose who sits on the board (very scary).
Here we are, with March 2009 breathing its last gasp. There are three, count ‘em, three candidates, two of them viable for the Franklin School Board, and I have heard nothing, zero, nada, zilch from any of them. Not a phone call. Not an e-mail. Not a brochure. Not a flyer stuck in my mailbox or on my front door.
Apparently my vote, and the odds are great that I will vote on April 7, means nothing, absolutely nothing to these candidates.
My blog is quite popular, or so I’m told. I have been more than happy to run unedited guest blogs in the past from candidates in local races. This year? Cue the crickets.
But April 7 is just around the corner. AND NOW THEY WANT MY VOTE AND OTHERS! Where were they this whole month? February? January? If they were out door-to-door, no one rang my doorbell. Again, does my vote not count?
And this is going on, not just in Franklin, but in many other communities that are covered on the various CommunityNOW websites. You will be asked to read answers given by the candidates to questions posed that are published on the suburban NOW sites and on the Journal Sentinel's website.
1) BEWARE the inability of a candidate to answer a DIRECT question with a DIRECT answer. Just tell us what the hell you mean, please.
2) Keeping #1 in mind, BEWARE the glittering generalities, especially the glittering generality of all-time. It kind of goes like this in a local school board election:
“In the name of fiscal responsibility, I support using every creative way possible to keep spending within our means to protect taxpayers but at the same time do whatever is necessary to improve the quality of education for every student in our district.”
Sounds nice, doesn’t it. Says the right things. Covers the bases. But what the hell does it mean? Zero specifics in that glad hand response.
3) BEWARE the oldest trick in the liberal (and phony conservative) playbook: As we get closer and closer to Election Day, move as far as possible to the right. Then when elected, drop your entire liberal agenda like the A-bomb.
There are lots of liberals running this April, especially in school board races, disguised as conservatives. Don’t buy their snake oil. Vote against them or be prepared to surrender your hard-earned wallet.
Candidates who have decided that now they need your vote may say anything to get it.