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On Wisconsin

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a Wisconsin native. Naturally, then, I've been keeping close tabs on my "local" races, especially the Russ Feingold-Ron Johnson battle. So when I saw these two pieces I just had to read them. I did. Was enthralled. And now I bring them to you.

First from the Badger Gazette (I made that up -- so original), is news that Russ Feingold's hometown newspaper (the Janesville Gazette) has rejected him and endorsed Johnson instead. An excerpt:

Russ Feingold champions himself as a maverick who votes his conscience.

When his party most needs him, however, he’s there. In recent months, he voted for two major spending packages—the stimulus bill and health care reform.

When General Motors was rolling out of Janesville, Feingold lacked visibility. He issued statements from Washington or sent staffers on assignments. If having a Janesville native in the U.S. Senate is to our advantage, it wasn’t apparent when his hometown needed him most.

Feingold’s arrogance has grown during his time in Washington. Six years ago, we endorsed him for a third six-year term over Tim Michels. Feingold thumped him. Now, Feingold is in a fight for survival over a better opponent in Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson.

Johnson earns our endorsement.

Feingold claims to be a fiscal conservative, but we see no change in Washington’s spending habits. Rising deficits are a national embarrassment. They threaten our country’s stability.

Ouch. If I'm Feingold, I'm packing my bags, crying in my cheese, and figuring out what's a guy to do after being a lifetime politician. But how did Feingold come to this point? While I was growing up, he was the unbeatable. I was almost positive the only way I would see Feingold leave the Senate would be on stretcher or after a well-attended retirement speech (much the way I still envision his fellow WI Sen. Herb Kohl going out). Rich Lowry over at National Review explains:

The Ron Johnson campaign isn’t complicated. It boils down to repealing Obamacare, controlling spending, and pointing out that Russ Feingold is an insider and Johnson’s not. If every Republican Senate campaign in the country could be as simple, and as successful, there wouldn’t be a Democrat left standing.

Rich goes on to give three detailed reasons for the fall of the house of Feingold, but I won't steal his thunder. Sure, everyone still has to vote. But I think Feingold will lose. And when he does, it will be the end of an era in Wisconsin.

"Forward," the state's motto goes. Or as our university's fight song starts, "On, Wisconsin."

One last thing…
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