Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Endorsement: Re-elect Tammy Baldwin

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Baldwin’s experience makes her the clear choice for the 2nd Congressional District.[/media-credit]

Up for re-election to her seventh term in office, Rep. Tammy Baldwin has become nothing short of a household name in Wisconsin politics. Her opponent, Chad Lee, might be able to clean your house, but you’re probably not going to remember his name.

In the race for Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District, we were open to the idea of endorsing a challenger to Baldwin. While she has been a consistent liberal voter and a champion of LGBT and women’s rights, she is currently in that awkward period between House newcomer and committee chair, a point at which you can be a huge asset to your district’s citizens.

Because of this, we were excited to meet Lee in our office last month. We were pleasantly surprised by his ability to break loose from much of the obnoxious right-wing rhetoric that has plagued this election season.

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However, at 27 years of age, the Republican newbie is hardly ready to handle the problems that face the people of this district and this country, and we feel he would become an agent of the Republican Party under the House’s likely new speaker, John Boehner of Ohio. For this reason, we endorse Tammy Baldwin for reelection.

On health care, Lee is unabashedly opposed to the reform acts passed by Congress this spring, characterizing it as a government takeover of the system. While the outcomes of the reforms remain to be seen, it was at least a noble attempt to give people health care who struggled to get it in the past, and we understand Baldwin’s support for these measures.

On job creation, neither candidate supports a second, broad-ranging stimulus act, which we appreciate, given the debatable effectiveness of the original one. But like his Republican colleague from Oshkosh, Ron Johnson, Lee has no outlined plan for creating jobs other than “cut taxes for small businesses.”

On education, Baldwin is far and away the preferred candidate. Lee seems to have no plan or thoughts on our nation’s higher education system, while Baldwin knows the issues students face, illuminated by her support for the president’s education reforms, which removes banks as the middlemen in the student loan process and double the number of Pell Grants for middle and lower income families.

On immigration, we’re not sure we understand Chad Lee’s position. We’re not sure Chad Lee understands Chad Lee’s position. He says he doesn’t support amnesty, but he doesn’t think we should deport illegal immigrants, and says he would support a “path to citizenship” for them that sounds an awful lot like amnesty.

On social security, Lee lacks a cohesive plan, only to say that the money won’t be around when our generation retires and that all options should be considered. Baldwin would like to see President Obama follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, and create a bipartisan commission to examine how to keep social security solvent. Neither candidate would come out and say they want the retirement age to rise, which disappointed us, but we would hope Baldwin’s plan for an examination into the system would yield this result.

Lee is an interesting new face in conservative politics in this state and we don’t expect him to go away just yet – he could very well make a great candidate for state Assembly in 2012 in the 79th district, which has been dominated by Democrat Sondy Pope-Roberts of Middleton since 2002.

But in this election, Baldwin’s experience makes her the clear choice.

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