When De Pere businessman Reid Ribble won the Republican nomination for the 8th Congressional District, we said first-time candidates would have to demonstrate qualifications beyond their anti-establishment backgrounds in November.We think Ribble has a plan in line with the conservative policies we support, and that is why we are endorsing him as the candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton.
Equally important is that we believe Ribble is the right person at the right time to represent the views of Northeastern Wisconsin as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Americans are clearly unhappy with the way our government has handled the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and with the months spent on a massive national health care overhaul. Ribble has been critical of the stimulus package and health care reform and has offered some alternatives worth considering. Although he said he would support a repeal of the health care law, he said he would concentrate instead on making health care more affordable through a series of legislative proposals.
We think Ribble would approach the major challenges facing our nation with a set of fresh eyes, which is exactly what we need to find solutions to jump-start the economy and create the kind of environment where businesses have incentives to grow jobs. Our system is set up so that the House is the chamber with shorter term lengths to allow more voices to be heard, and it is time again for a new perspective.
So why not endorse Congressman Kagen for a third term?
Kagen has served our region for two terms, yet there are no significant pieces of legislation or contributions that stand out to convince us he deserves a third term. He certainly has the enthusiasm and strong work ethic to try to make a difference for residents in the 8th District, and he has stood up for paper mills and spoken out against companies in China that have undercut this important industry.
Kagen also has kept in frequent touch with his constituents and has been visible in his home district, which is what we expect from our lawmakers.
At times we have been troubled, however, by Kagen’s evasiveness when we have asked him direct questions about his stand on the issues and, instead, has offered rhetoric and campaign talking points. He also has been unyielding in his support of the health care reform bill. His my-way-or-the-highway approach is not what the country — or the voters — need now. Our district has never voted a Democrat to the House in three consecutive elections, and now is not the time to break with that tradition.
The local paper could have also pointed out how things have gotten worse economically during Congressman Kagen’s two terms. Also could have pointed out how he stands behind ads that are false and misleading when it comes to Reid Ribble’s positions on the issues.
Interesting that the endorsement is coming out when there is still two weeks until the election. What do you think of the endorsement?
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- Letters to the Editor on Steve Kagen (rhymeswithclown.blogspot.com)
- Biden in Milwaukee: Kagen and Lassa (freedomeden.blogspot.com)