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We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

General Election 2-weeks from TODAY - "Fresh start" for Rock County Coroner's office

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John Eyster
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

General Election Day – 2-weeks from TODAY!

Will YOU be an informed voter on November 2, 2010 – 2-weeks from today? There is certainly no excuse for any US citizen to be an UNinformed voter! The resources abound. The CHALLENGE of being an INFORMED VOTER is greater with the intense MEDIA campaigns of this Fall 2010 campaign cycle.

FOR WE THE PEOPLE - ROCK COUNTY VOTERS, there is a crucial opportunity to give our ROCK COUNTY CORONER’S OFFICE A “FRESH START”! AND, reinforce our request that our ROCK COUNTY BOARD move us to a MEDICAL EXAMINER rather than Coroner.

In spite of our disclaimers as VOTERS that we do NOT like MUD-SLINGING/negative ads, the truth is that MUD-SLINGING/negative ads are the MOST EFFECTIVE POLITICAL ADS! Sad, but true! The research of the University of Wisconsin – Advertising Project led Political Science Professor Dr. Ken Goldstein has repeatedly reported on the “effectiveness” of MUD-SLINGING/negative political ads. You will find an update on the project’s work at “The Project.”

Following the research and making my own personal evaluations, I would assert that the Fall 2010 political campaign season is the “WORST” cycle in terms of MUD-SLINGING/negative ads by candidates in my lifetime. What is YOUR evaluation? Your comments, please.

A key factor in this negativism is the polarization of our political culture. As numerous commentators have observed, there is NO MIDDLE GROUND with the political culture split to the left and to the right. What has happened to the axiom about the AMERICAN ELECTORATE that effective and healthy governance comes “IN THE MIDDLE”? What will be the evaluation after November 2, 2010? Has the American political culture/system become DYSfunctional?

Among the numerous resources for WE THE PEOPLE – WI voters – to gain information as we prepare to be INFORMED VOTERS 2-weeks from today is an OUTstanding feature, “Election 2010” provided online by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This feature includes “PolitiFact Wisconsin” which evaluates statements/claims by politicians on a “Truth-O-Meter.” I have found it to be a valuable resource whether or not I agree with every detail of an evaluation report.

There have been several debates involving our WI candidates both on TV and radio which help WE THE PEOPLE – voters & taxpayers – evaluate the candidates and make our votes the MORE INFORMED. Among these debate resources are: WI US Senate debates – Both debates which have taken place so far in this campaign are linked on Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR). WI Gubernatorial debates –There have been two (2) debates so far this campaign season, they are: Debate #1 WTMJ/WI Broadcasters Association and Debate #2 - Part I WISN’s Upfront Town Hall Challenge and Part II WISN’s Upfront Town Hall Challenge (NOTE: 2 parts for whole debate!)

I FEEL RESPONSIBILITY to be sure that readers of WE THE PEOPLE are aware of the fact that the GENERAL ELECTION on November 2, 2010 has EXTRA SIGNIFICANCE for WE THE PEOPLE – voters & taxpayers – in ROCK COUNTY because of the problematic situation with our PRIMARY ELECTION on September 14. Due to the fact that there was NO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE for ROCK COUNTY CORNER, the vote in the PRIMARY was essentially the “General Election.” We do, however, have opportunity to make another CHOICE on November 2 IF we wish. The vote for the incumbent and the contender was NOT that far apart considering the environment of the two campaigns.

Immediately after the PRIMARY ELECTION, Terry Holder announced she would be running a WRITE-IN campaign. I shall WRITE-IN the name, “TERRY HOLDER” on my ballot! I hope you will too.

A write-in campaign is VERY SELDOM successful since the name on the ballot gets automatic votes. DISappointing to me to see that the Gazette has relinquished to re-election of the incumbent instead of advocating a "NEW START" NOW for our Rock County Coroner's office in its editorial today. Be careful and vote for a FRESH START for our Rock County Coroner’s office.

I got the FRESH START perspective from the Janesville Gazette’s EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENT re. Rock County Coroner after interviewing both candidates for our PRIMARY ELECTION on Tuesday, September 14 which was titled, “For coroner, the office needs a fresh start.”

NOW for a mystery for a reader to solve: Where is that Gazette editorial endorsement NOW? I am not able to find it online using any of the search tricks which USUALLY find everything and anything. Did the Gazette backtrack on its editorial endorsement? WHY has there NOT been follow-up on this situation as we approach the General Election just 2-weeks from today?

The incumbent Rock County Coroner herself acknowledged the fact that the Gazette did NOT endorse her in her own campaign blog on the Sunday, September 12, 2010 - the day on whic the Gazette originally published its Editorial Endorsement asserting, “For coroner, the office needs a fresh start.”

Want an update on the our Rock County Coroner’s office situation? I read with MUCH interest the report last Saturday, October 16 in our Wisconsin State Journal, “Controversy abounds in Rock County Coroner race.” I URGE you to read that article for a review of the situation and an update.

The article provides valuable information with perspective on the situation which includes a fuller report than the Janesville Gazette provided its readers, including information in a letter filed last August by Deputy Coroner Michelle Walworth which was reported by the Beloit Daily News, but NOT reported by the Janesville Gazette. “Deputy coroner files complaint as coroner election approaches.” My research has convinced me of the authenticity of the complaints in this letter. Note that the letter did add to the motivation of our Rock County Board leadership to hire an investigator to get to the bottom of the situation in our Rock County Coroner’s office. Be sure to read the Wisconsin State Journal article to get this update!

I do NOT think that WE THE PEOPLE – voters & taxpayers in Rock County – should have to cope with the mess in our Rock County Coroner’s office for 4 more long years. Rather, I hope that you will join me to write-in the name of TERRY HOLDER on our General Election ballot on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 or before that IF you cast an absentee ballot. Let’s provide for a FRESH START NOW!

Be sure that you read and consider the case to VOTE "YES" on the ADVISORY referendum for a MEDICAL EXAMINER to replace a coroner in Rock County. The Gazette offers a thoughtful analysis of WHY we ought to have a MEDICAL EXAMINER. I agree with the Janesville League of Women Voters too. UNfortunately, even if we advise the County Board that WE THE PEOPLE want a MEDICAL EXAMINER, we cannot have that improvement in the system until January 2015 since we will vote on the same ballot for a coroner to serve a 4-year term. DAH! Yes, I consider the process DYSfunctional. Commendation to the Janesville Gazette for its valuable editorial today, "Vote 'yes' to switch county to medical examiner." (I am not allowed to link to this editorial.)

BE SURE YOU VOTE 2-weeks from today! YOU will participate in electing not only our ROCK COUNTY CORONER, but numerous political representatives throughout our WI State Governor, e.g., Governor, half of our WI State Senate (including our own 15th State Senate District), all of our WI State Assembly (including our own 43rd, 44th and 45th districts), our WI US Senator and others.

BE SURE YOU ARE AN INFORMED VOTER!

Here we go…

Mr. E.


Last updated: 10:48 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.


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