After four years of floundering on the back bench of a minority Democrat side of the isle, Tammy Baldwin’s time to deliver on her agenda for students is up. Unfortunately, her opponent Ron Greer has run a campaign that indicates he is no more willing to coalition and cooperate than the incumbent.
Baldwin articulates many policy positions that appeal to students, none more so than her desire to increase Pell Grants for higher education. However, her proposed amendments fail, and her bills rarely get passed. We have seen the windup, and it looks good, but we are still waiting for the delivery.
Similarily, Greer’s hostility toward Madison’s activists and the left in general makes it equally impossible for him to build coalitions in Washington to deliver legislation beneficial to students.
A particularly disturbing trend in the 2nd Congressional District is the amount of campaign funding that is pouring into south central Wisconsin from special-interest outsiders. Tammy Baldwin’s appeal to more radical interests and Hollywood stars has led to a campaign in which 53 percent of her individual contributions are from outside Wisconsin. How can anyone represent their constituents when a tough decision comes along that puts the interest of the constituents at odds with the interests of her campaign donors?
Greer cannot be criticized on this point, largely because he does not have much money to begin with and has raised little in the interim. Cheap campaigns are a welcome change of pace, but in Greer’s case his lack of money simply indicates a lack of support. He is not ready for Washington’s primetime politics.
Regardless of whether Baldwin or Greer is victorious Tuesday night, the 2nd Congressional District will likely have to endure two more years of partisan and ineffective representation. The diverse interests of the 2nd district deserves better. Perhaps the winner will change his or her tune and tone, but do not hold your breath.