cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The State Senate seat held by incumbent Alberta Darling will be on the November 2008 election ballot. Sen. Darling is a Republican and has held the seat for years. Her opponent in this race is a current member of the Assembly, Sheldon Wasserman, a Democrat. Both live in the North Shore area of the Senate district. Rep. Wasserman is a physician who continues to practice as his Assembly schedule permits. This race will be the end of a current career; either Sen. Darling will retire from the Senate or Rep. Wasserman will retire from the Assembly depending upon which of them wins this race.
Several questions have been posed to each and, now that we have the answers to those initial questions, this series can begin. I encourage comments, even from the candidates if they choose, and welcome questions that readers might wish had been posed. Questions can be emailed to the address above or they can be presented through the comments section beneath the Blogs.
The first question is this:
Where do you stand on the issue of voter photo identification and why?
Wasserman: I do not support requiring voters to show IDs at the polls. Although it sounds like a good idea at first, it will do absolutely nothing to combat intentional voter fraud. Counterfeit driver's licenses and state IDs are incredibly easy to get - we have a liquor store in our district that displays all of its fake IDs. Anyone who wants to commit voter fraud will not be deterred, but many people who do not have an ID or can't find it on Election Day will be deterred.
23 percent of people in Wisconsin over the age of 65 do not have a driver's license or a state photo ID. I am not in favor of legislation that would disenfranchise so many of our state's senior citizens. Furthermore, under Wisconsin law you do not need to present an ID to request an absentee ballot, and the bill would not have changed that. Again, those individuals wanting to commit voter fraud would have been left with an easy way around the photo ID requirement.
Darling: I support voter photo identification. When fraudulent votes are counted, legal votes are stolen. The recently-released Milwaukee Police report that documented the major voting irregularities in 2004 suggests voter photo ID would cut down on election fraud. Merely asking that a voter prove prove he is who he claims to be is not unreasonable.
I have voted in favor of requiring voters in Wisconsin to show photo ID every time this question has come before the state legislature. Each time I voted in support of this common sense proposal to protect the integrity of the ballot box, my opponent voted against voter photo ID.
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The second question, posed before the recent election and answered by one candidate before and the other after that election, is:
What is your position regarding the so called "Frankenstein Veto" power currently available to the Governor?
Darling: The "Frankenstein Veto" refers to the Governor's power to cut words and numbers out of bills (like the budget) and then stitch the remaining fragments together into some new language that never passed the legislature. This is an unfair power that the Governor has used to increase government spending.
I have voted in favor of eliminating the Governor's overly-broad Frankenstein Veto authority. My opponent voted to allow the Governor to make up new laws and raise taxes and spending as he wishes.
Wasserman: For far too long politicians on both sides of the aisle treated the Governor's broad veto power as a political football, quietly supporting the veto when the Governor was a member of the other party. In past sessions I used my vote to register opposition to insincere and hypocritical attempts to use this issue to score political points. I was happy to have the opportunity to vote in favor of ending the 'Frankenstein Veto" earlier this year and happier still when the voters approved it in the spring election.