There is no reason to go negative in a District 8 city council race. None. However, Kyle Szarzynski disagrees. Last weekend he started using negative literature to tarnish his opponent, Scott Resnick. Reflecting upon my past experience on Russ Feingold’s field staff, these types of misleading statements thwart voters. I have been hearing from many people I know about how they are put off by the negativity, and there is no place for this divisive tactic in a time when we need to bring people together.
The Young Progressives was founded in the spirit of Feingold, a champion of campaign ethics and finance reform. Our opposition to negative campaigning has nothing to do with party affiliation. We work to weed out the political rhetoric and look at the true nature of each candidate. The statements Szarzynski makes in his literature about Resnick are misleading and unethical.
The new literature piece implies Resnick is out of touch because he hasn’t been a student for two years. It also calls him pro-big business because of his endorsement by Downtown Madison, Inc. (DMI) and alleges that his support from the Madison Police Department Association is on account of his willingness to support wanton underage drinking and marijuana ticketing. These accusations are unsupported for the following reasons:
First, Szarzynski ‘s uncited accusations of DMI were outrageous. DMI has been a strong advocate for a better alcohol policy for students and promotes alcohol policies in line with both candidates.
Second, Szarzynski attempts to mislead students about Resnick’s connection to the the University of Wisconsin. Szarzynski and Resnick were both freshmen in the dorms together. Although Resnick gradated in four years, Szarzynski has not yet graduated after six years.
Third, Resnick is against bar raids and has a thoroughly developed campus safety plan that is nearly 20 pages long.
Fourth, Resnick has been endorsed by Fair Wisconsin and researched the Public Defenders system for nearly two years. Szarzynski ignores these facts when describing social justice.
Coming into the spring election, I personally had not heard of either candidate and was very excited for the forum we were hosting for them. During the debate, Szarzynski legitimately kept professing himself as the progressive candidate, but it got to a point where it seemed as if he was almost pandering to us because we are The Young Progressives. Resnick came out and spoke honestly how he would work to represent students. Looking back on that decision, I am proud to say we endorsed Resnick. He has been an ally of our organization and I look forward to working with him as alder.
Steve Hughes ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science with a certificate in criminal justice. He is the president of The Young Progressives.