Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Resurgent Reasbeck Returns

I started writing this blog four years ago this month. I started it partly because I was becoming politically active again after a hiatus of over 30 years, and partly because I was looking for something new to do.

And then there was Texas CD-22 and the memorable 2006 congressional race that featured more reversals of fortune than you see in a game of Texas Hold “Em.

I loved writing about all things CD-22.

What truly captured my fascination was how former Congressman Tom DeLay and the GOP machine here thought that they would game the system after the primary, and DeLay, who was convinced he wouldn’t be re-elected that year divined a way for him to be replaced on the ballot by someone anointed by the GOP.

All of that crashed and burned beginning with a memorable decision by Sam Sparks that found that because Tom DeLay would not guarantee where he would be living on Election Day – he was being cute – he could not take himself off the ballot. The seminal idea behind the TDP lawyers’ argument, as it turns out, came from a law student.

The GOP, then, had no one on the ballot to oppose Democrat Nick Lampson. Their only alternative was to run a write-in candidate. But there was a large field and if they all ran they would only split the Republican vote. So they then went to great lengths to settle on one write-in candidate and get everyone else to agree not to run.

And that was another idea that went over like a lead balloon.

Because just as soon as Shelley Sekula Gibbs, the crazy-daisy dermatologist that kicked up such a fuss in DC for 2 memorable weeks – she ran for DeLay’s unexpired term – was anointed, two more candidates jumped in. And that was something that I wrote about here.

I had completely forgotten about the posting until I noticed that something I wrote on August 30, 2006 was getting read again. Getting read by the DC crowd and a bunch of people in Wisconsin.

So I became curious and re-read the article. It was all about candidate number 3, Joe Reasbeck. Some completely unknown guy had filed to run as a write-in candidate against Lampson.

“Why is everybody reading this old article,” I asked myself.

And with one click of the mouse I had my answer. Joe Reasbeck is back. Back in the news, back in a race for congress, back opposing anointed ones, and back home.

Back in Wisconsin.

This weekend, Joe Reasbeck announced at a Memorial weekend ceremony in his hometown of Superior, Wisconsin that he was running in the primary, as a Democrat, in the 7th congressional district of Wisconsin. A seat currently occupied by retiring Congressman David Obey.

And it appears that history is repeating itself.

Reasbeck will oppose Democratic State Senator Julie Lassa, the Democrats’ favored candidate. An anointed one, as it were.

Anointed, by my interpretation of a comment attributed to “a party source” by the author of this WSAU website article posted on May 10th:

“Julie Lassa will be the only Democrat to run for the seat that Representative Dave Obey is giving up after 41 years, a party source said.”

I have just a few comments to make on all of this and then I will shut up.

First, what is it about women in politics that drives Reasbeck to run against women now for the second time? Is it the whole anointment thing?

Second, Reasbeck is now a Democrat? Has that always been the case or do we just change parties depending on who is in the majority in the given area that we move to?

Third and finally, if the above is not the case, then the comment by the “party source” is still dead-on accurate, and Julie Lassa actually is the only Democrat to run for Obey’s seat.

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