This is something. The group Madison teachers union has endorsed Wisconsin Green Party candidate Ben Manski in his bid for the state Assembly.
Ben will face whoever wins the crowded Democratic primary next month, and the winner of the November election will take the seat of outgoing Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison). I think very highly of both Ben and Rep. Black, and I will be eager to see how this election turns out in November.
The teachers union endorsement will certainly confound the traditionally safe Democratic Party waters in Madison.
Some may instinctively laugh or snort at a Green Party candidate getting endorsed. Those who do so probably do not know Ben Manski. I knew Ben when I lived in Madison and was involved with the Progressive Dane Party at the time when Ben was the staff person. I was glad we had him on our side, for I have seen few people work as hard, as thoroughly, or as smartly as Ben Manski. His words carry the kinetic energy that few have been able to match, and I know his skills of organizing will make it very difficult for his opponents.
I’m reminded of when a colleague of mine who is a very classic Republican happened to meet Milwaukee Mayor Frank Zeidler. Mayor Zeidler was Milwaukee’s third Socialist mayor, and a very well-respected mayor at that. Upon meeting, Zeidler asked my friend Charlie his name, which party he was with, and what he believed in. He replied with his name, said that he was a Republican, and that he believed in providing efficient government, in giving people the lowest possible tax rate, and enabling people to lead independent lives. Mayor Zeidler replied that it was funny that he, a Socialist, and my friend Charlie the Republican, believed in the same things. Strip off the party labels, and they’d be hard to tell apart.
Ben Manski is a proud Green. I can tell you that the efficacy of his message will make it hard for people to not try to look past party labels and look at the message of what he’s saying. I know this may not be easy reading for the state Dems, but it’s true. Prepare your people well. Ben Manski is out to win this! Republican candidate David Redick and Constitution Party candidate David Olson must be praying that this splits the votes. We’ll see how it goes.
Update: Ben noted on Mr. Redick, the Republican candidate: ” ‘The owner of Sustainable Energy Earth, an environmental consulting firm, Redick calls himself “sensitive to the environment.” He figures he’s unlikely to win because he is a Republican in a …liberal district but doesn’t worry about the odds.’ ”