Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wasserman watch

I had a nice conversation with a retired veteran in the Menomonee Falls area, Joe Sturmberg, who called State Representative Sheldon Wasserman (Dem) after Wasserman left a note on his door saying he had been in the area. Wasserman is campaigning for state senate against the incumbent Senator Alberta Darling (Rep).

Sturmberg told me he asked Wasserman if he was a Democrat. Wasserman told him, "No, I'm more of a libertarian." According to Sturmberg, Wasserman told him he wasn't running as a Libertarian because that party isn't registered to be on the ballot in Wisconsin.

This is not someone who doesn't understand politics. Sturmberg is pretty sharp and has a good understanding of who the players are. He told me flat out that he thinks Wasserman just tells people what they want to hear.

I spoke with Wasserman this afternoon and he claimed to be confused by the voter's claims. He remembered the person I referred to, and then suggested that maybe he told the Menomonee Falls voter that while he sympathizes with the Libertarians on social issues, there's no chance a Libertarian could be elected to office in a two-party system. Wasserman then cited Libertarian support for stem cell (I presume he meant embryonic stem cell) research and on "end of life" issues.

Wasserman's website still does not list his party identification, nor does his campaign literature. Wasserman claims he doesn't want to be labeled. "I don't want to belabor that I'm a Democrat. I guess I am." That'll be good news to his caucus.

Wasserman also told me that he's about to re-do his website and it still won't include his party identification.

At least he knows his party, and seems to understand that, yes, there are Libertarians on the ballot somewhere. But given my conversation with Joe Sturmberg of Menomonee Falls, we can only imagine what Wasserman is telling voters at the doors.