“I’m Voting Republican.”

True story: Back in eigth grade, which for me happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico — strange place for a kid who’s spent all his life in the Midwest to be — I either found or was given a bumper sticker that said in big red letters, “VOTE REPUBLICAN.” I can still remember it to this day, the big blue and red lines, the red stars, and the way that bold statement, “VOTE REPUBLICAN,” was emblazoned across my Trapper Keeper®. Aye, those were the days…

Some twenty years later, I have found this wonderful movie, “I’m Voting Republican,” which reminds me of just how right that would feel to do that.

Actually, I have voted for a Republican. Just once. In the ’06 spring primary election, I voted for Don Holt, the Republican candidate for Milwaukee County Sheriff. One of his opponents was incumbent David Clarke, the man who runs as a Democrat despite being anything but one. If you’ll recall Clarke was appointed to the sheriff’s office by then-Governor Scott McCallum. Though he had an awfully short reign, McCallum gave us something to remember him by. Don Holt didn’t like that way that Clarke was running the sheriff’s office, and was running as a real Republican, something Clarke has not had been brave enough to do.

C’mon, Sheriff, Republicans get elected in Milwaukee County all the time. Scott Walker just won election again, albeit in a non-partisan race. And that’s where Clarke’s deception works its dirty magic. I recall after that election hearing some women from Milwaukee’s north shore chatting over coffee. One was so proud that she’d voted the straight Democratic ticket! I rolled my eyes, and very politely informed her that doing so meant that she’d voted for a closet Republican, one who’s not honest enough or got balls enough to run under his true color. She and her friends were horrified to learn this, but it was too late; Clarke had handily defeated his Republican challenger. Hopefully by 2010 both he and Scott Walker will have advanced in the ranks of the Republican Party well enough that they will get awarded a position that takes them somewhere other than Milwaukee County.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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