Endorsements & Voter Guides
With the Partisan Primary Election in the history books and the General Election less than ten weeks away, political endorsements are everywhere and voter guides will be appearing soon. “Ten weeks” you say? People already tired of all the advertising will ask, “Still ten weeks away?" Others working with the campaigns will exclaim “Only ten weeks away!” Nevertheless, political endorsements are here and voter guides will be on the way!
The word endorsement can have many definitions when talking politics. The common use is the endorsed candidate is the best candidate and where either the endorsing person or the endorsing organization is strongly encouraging you to vote for this candidate. These endorsements sometimes provide supporting information. If or when I endorse a candidate I am expressing my opinion about the best candidate.
Another definition of endorsement simply means the candidate meets standards. This allows two candidates competing against each other to be endorsed by the same person or organization meaning they both meet standards. This makes me think of the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”.
The third definition of endorsement involves a monetary donation. How many e-mails have you received this campaign season that can be summarized “endorse the candidate – send money”? I have probably had the opportunity to “endorse” a dozen or more Congressional candidates – incumbents and challengers both! But, alas, I prefer to keep my meager funds for candidates that will get my vote. And when I make a campaign contribution it is not publicized and the word endorsement is nowhere to be found!
The only voter guide that I have seen since the primary is an online one from Alliance Defending Freedom. “ADF’s Freedom Voter Guide is designed to help voters make informed decisions about who to support in their state legislative elections in November.” according to a recent ADF publication. It further states: “Learn where state legislative candidates stand on a variety of policy issues, like life, religious liberty, education, parental rights, and free speech.” Candidates were asked to reply to eighteen statements with an “opposed” or “support” reply.
Given there are five Wisconsin Assembly Districts in the Coulee Region (70th, 92nd, 94th, 95th. & 96th), ideally there should be information from ten candidates. There was only one response which highlights a major weakness of voter guides that don’t have an equal amount of information on all the candidates involved. The one respondent was Remy Gomez, the Democratic challenger against the Republican incumbent in the 70th Assembly District which stretches from eastern La Crosse County through parts of four other counties to the suburbs of Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point.
On Right to Life issues Gomez opposes prohibiting abortion and supports both tax payer funded abortion and physician-assisted suicide. On First Amendment issues Gomez supports conscience rights for creative professionals and faith based organizations. But, the same freedoms he supports for creative professionals and faith based organizations, he opposes for health care workers and providers. He opposes parental rights for healthcare disclosure but supports parental rights for mental health disclosure. There were maybe ten more issues in the survey.
Endorsements, whether meaning the singular best, or simply meets standards, or there was a monetary gift, should be considered when comparing candidates. It is even better if you know the correct definition of endorsement! And, voter guides, especially if they are comparing more than one candidate and evaluating several factors, can be very informative too. Having read about the challenger in a voter guide and knowing the incumbent in the 70th Assembly District, I will endorse the well-known four-term incumbent, Rep. Nancy Van derMeer to be my Representative for another two-year term. Study the candidates and vote for the best one in each race!
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Many Great Points
Endorsements would be so much simpler if the candidate would state their position, and tell the truth about upholding the Constitution.
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