Tag Archive | "Election"

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An active political scene encourages student involvement

Posted on 20 August 2008 by Daniel Suhr

For the next several months, living in a battleground state will be an absolute thrill.

For the political junkie, nothing is more fun that living in a battleground state in a presidential election season. In 2004, Wisconsin was decided by less than one percent of the vote, and early polling data show this election is going to be just as close.

Because we’re a purple state, both the Obama and McCain campaigns are going to commit significant resources to winning Wisconsin. The candidates, their wives, their running mates and other surrogates are going to visit constantly. In 2004, students from Marquette got up close and personal with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush, and other prominent figures. These surrogates include more than just the politicians – Marquette’s College Democrats hosted a visit by the actor Jake Gyllenhall, and Natalie Portman visited the MillerTime pub downtown. Republicans brought in NASCAR racers and Mayor Rudy Guiliani.

These high-profile visitors often come to the Milwaukee area because it is the state’s biggest media market. Sometimes they come directly to campus.
I can remember a phone call from the Bush headquarters in 2004, when I was the head of the Students for Bush group on campus: Daniel – the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, are going to visit campus next week. We need you to get the name, social security number, and birth date of the 200 people you’re going to get to attend for the Secret Service to check out. We ended up exceeding our goal for attendance, had a great event, and were very pleased that John Edwards’ daughter drew only 50 people to an event on campus the next week.

All of these visitors come with cameras in tow. Another time we got a call – CNN wants footage of Students for Bush doing a phone bank and campaigning door to door. So on one day’s notice, we pulled together volunteers in a room in the AMU basement with a box of cell phones, and started calling through lists of undecided voters. We only got to meet the producer, but Judy Woodruff did the voice-over narration on the story.
News reporters love “what are the young people thinking” stories, and they’ll often stop random Marquette students walking around campus for a quick interview. This will be especially the case with Barack Obama’s supposed unique appeal to our generation.

And there will be all the other parts of the circus that is a national campaign. TV ads will take over your evening news. There will be volunteers outside Raynor wearing matching t-shirts and passing out quarter-sheets urging you to vote a certain way or to attend a certain rally.

My advice: Dive in. Drink it up. You can meet cool people, make great
memories, and no matter what your political affiliation, fulfill Marquette’s mission to “be the difference.”

*Daniel Suhr is a recent graduate of Marquette’s Law School, and the former chairman of Students for Bush.

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New president, new outlook, better MUSG

Posted on 02 April 2008 by Joseph Schuster

Congratulations to Ray Redlingshafer and Kathleen Blaney as the new Marquette University Student Government President and Executive Vice President. Believe it or not, there will be a change in the way that MUSG does business next year as a result of this election. As a general rule, MUSG for the past few years has been very distant from students and has done things behind closed doors that students really do not care about. Finally, a candidate has been elected who has promised to change many of these things.

Ray and Kathleen have in their campaign made a commitment to a “major increase in communication between MUSG and students.” There is no doubt that Ray will follow through and create much more of a connection between the students and himself and others within MUSG. Redlingshafer’s campaign has recognized the absurdly ridiculous nature of many of the forms that people need to fill out in order to apply for funding from MUSG and has promised to help people with the application process more.

Furthermore, in terms of communication, Redlingshafer has stated that he will make legislation more visible to students. Time will tell whether or not it is a good idea for students to see some of the absurd things that go before MUSG (such as raising the student activity fee).

Raising the student activity fee was something that Ray voted against as a member of the senate; unfortunately many of the other senators saw a need to take more money from students. The students need someone like Ray who will vote against an absurd measure such as this raise in the fee. Clearly Ray is a person that will listen to the students, and look out for their best interest, even if it means going against the general populus of MUSG.

Kathleen Blaney, also a wonderful individual and a person who is always willing to go out of her way to help others, is committed to emphasizing Marquette’s commitment to service. One of the items that Ray and Kathleen have already talked about is creating a Service commissioner in MUSG. Creating an emphasis on service from MUSG makes sense, since they are serving students at a Jesuit University that look for service opportunities. Kathleen will be an excellent addition to the MUSG executive board, and more excitingly someone who will get things accomplished that will benefit the Marquette University community.

Kathleen and Ray’s commitment to environmental sustainability, while noble, especially in the current setting of environmental fret, is probably their weakest point. They have a commitment to an E-LIMO, which one can understand to be a LIMO run on electricity. They want to commit funds from the reserve fund to the College of Engineering for the development of this electric LIMO.

What they do not realize is that auto firms all over the world with many more resources are also trying to create an electric car and have not been extremely successful. I am not completely sure how money from the reserve fund will supersede that spent by Ford, General Motors or Toyota. On the other hand, the idea may not be that bad. Maybe the engineers can come up with something that can be a tribute to Marquette University, but only time will tell.

On an overall basis, the election of Ray Redlingshafer and Kathleen Blaney is an exciting shift in direction for MUSG. The idea of communication to those outside of MUSG by Redlingshafer and Blaney is certainly their main selling point. After all, the student government should communicate with students.

Look forward to exciting ideas from both of these individuals as they begin their year term as MUSG’s President and Vice President.

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Voting the issues: Marquette Catholics reflect on candidate abortion positions

Posted on 13 March 2008 by Remington Tonar

Christian voters are always confronted with difficult choices during election years and this year is turning out to be no different. Last Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama was victorious in the Wisconsin Democratic primary. Obama has a consistent record of supporting abortion, including partial birth abortion, the ban on which he did not support when he was in the Illinois legislature.

According to onotheissues.org, a site that tracks politician’s positions, Obama consistently votes in favor of embryonic stem cell research, and fought President Bush’s pro-life Supreme Court nominees. The Catholic Church’s teaching on these issues is clear and well known, especially on abortion, for which the Church has declared that any Catholic who “procures a successful abortion” is automatically excommunicated (Code of Canon Law no.1398). Further, the Church teaches that every citizen has a “co-responsibility for the common good” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no.2240), thereby noting that all citizens should vote for candidates who support the well being of all people, which includes the unborn and life in the embryonic stage.

Mike Movido, a sophomore active in Campus Crusade for Christ, who says, “No president will be able to greatly affect abortion laws. Look at how many years since Roe v. Wade that a pro-life President had been in office. Has Roe v. Wade ever been overturned?” Movido also noted that abortion rates in the United States paradoxically declined during the Clinton administration.

It is important to highlight that the Center for Disease Control data shows that four states saw a decline in abortions during the Clinton administration, including California, stopped reporting abortions to the CDC, which keeps track of abortion statistics.

Professor Dan Maguire, an ethics professor at Marquette, feels that abortion is not the most important social issue facing Christian voters, and that the conflict in Iraq is more pressing. He states, “the ongoing slaughter that our military are engaged in…should be at the top of the voting agenda.” Dr. Maguire points out that “war is an abortifacient (something that induces abortion)”. He notes that many pregnant women have become collateral damage in Iraq, and observes, “that kind of abortion does not seem to bother the right wing”.

Matthew Dambach, a junior and practicing Catholic, disagrees. “Democrats stand against the Church’s teaching on abortion. Being pro-choice is like being pro-murder. I would never vote for anybody who thought it was okay to kill other people, much less one who would put justices in the courts to uphold laws allowing it”.

So, as election season continues to take shape, morally-minded students will have to make choices on who to vote for. For many students, the choice forces them to prioritize their beliefs and vote their priorities. For some students the decision is not a hard one, like Dambach who adds that “if statistics included abortion as a cause of death, it would be the leading cause of death in the world”.

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Election reflection 2006: Victory is more than a vote

Posted on 06 December 2006 by Mary Ellen Burke

Get out the vote!” Campaign managers sing the same tune every election cycle: phone banks, lit drops, mailings and more. Don’t forget the cranky and underpaid campaign staffers, temperamental members of the Press Corp, sleep-deprived volunteers and, of course, the never-ending supply of Papa John’s pizza. Continue Reading

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Liberals won the election, but policies won’t win the public

Posted on 06 December 2006 by Robert Fafinski

After last month’s election landslide, or “tsunami” as some tasteless commentators referred to it, the prevailing question was “What now?” No one knows what to expect from the Democrats. They’ve taken the House and Senate for the first time since the Republicans took Congress in 1994. The difference between that takeover and this one is the Republicans won in 1994 due in large part to their ability to put forth a coherent plan known as the “Contract with America,” while this 2006 takeover was not the result of a coherent agenda by the opposition. Liberals did not put forth an agenda or any substantive ideas. Rather, the Left simply tapped into the nationwide discontent over Iraq and decided to recruit “anybody but Bush” voters. But no dynamic leadership or innovative ideas emerged on the Democratic side of the aisle. Continue Reading

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Governing from the mushy middle

Posted on 08 November 2006 by Daniel Suhr

In its profile of the Wisconsin Governor’s race, the New York Times said incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle “comes off more as a technocrat than an ideologue.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines a technocrat as “a technical expert, especially one in a managerial or administrative position.”

Jim Doyle was re-elected yesterday by the voters of Wisconsin because he’s more of a technocrat than a politician. He’s a man of small ideas, not grand visions, and sometimes, often actually, voters like that.

On values issues, Doyle is a liberal’s liberal. He’s often wielded his veto pen to please the pro-gay marriage crowd, the pro-abortion groups and the gun control crowd. During the campaign he characterized his veto as the only thing stopping enactment of Republicans’ “extreme right-wing” social agenda, and he prodded liberals to get out and volunteer for his campaign.

But even with gay marriage and the death penalty on the ballot, Wisconsin voters choose Doyle based on his perceived moderate stances on economic and social questions. Doyle’s “Affordability Agenda,” which encompassed issues like health care, education, jobs and taxes, seemed to find solid center-left ground upon which to stand.

Health care
Doyle’s health care plan is a story of conflicting tax breaks. On the one hand, Doyle supports expanding the tax deduction for an employee’s share of the cost of health insurance. But on the other, Doyle is the only governor in the nation to veto a state tax deduction for health savings accounts. Still, tax credits and deductions are more moderate that standard liberal health care welfare programs.

This summer, Doyle created a bi-partisan “Healthy Wisconsin Council” to look at pooling catastrophic insurance purchasing in Wisconsin. What Doyle really wanted to do was replicate such a program in New York, but he lacked the political will. It may turn out to have been a campaign-season stunt to make Doyle appear concerned about health care. But if the Council’s Republicans get on board, it may become a bi-partisan program that saves the state and businesses on their health insurance premiums.

Doyle’s campaign ran a TV ad touting his work on FamilyCare, which allows some seniors to choose to stay in their homes rather than being placed in a nursing home. Because home care is generally cheaper than staff-intensive nursing homes, this program saves the state money. With bi-partisan support, FamilyCare will likely expand statewide over the next four years. This is typical of Doyle’s moderate tendencies: Find a program that saves taxpayers and provides state benefits for seniors. Education
Doyle has assiduously crafted his image as “the education governor.” So far, he’s pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into public schools. No doubt this school-spending spree will continue during his second term, which will make the teachers’ union very happy indeed. Still, do not expect Doyle’s second term to produce a comprehensive revamp of Wisconsin’s education funding system, which analysts on both sides of the aisle believe to be terribly broken. It is doubtful Doyle and Legislative Republicans could ever find an agreement that meets the needs of Doyle’s teachers’ union pals and Republicans’ anti-tax agenda.

Doyle’s “Wisconsin Covenant,” which guarantees high-performing eighth-graders admission to a college in Wisconsin, has already secured significant support from both public and private institutions of higher learning. This initiative’s success will be his signature second-term accomplishment for higher education.

Jobs and taxes
Here again, Doyle has managed to seek out a mushy center-left existence. During his first term, Doyle signed Jobs Creation Acts I and II to repeal various environmental and other regulations and reform the single-factor sales tax to help business in Wisconsin grow. He also signed two minimum wage increases, but only after convincing business interest groups to endorse the proposals and the Republican Legislature to pass them.

Given Doyle’s environmentalist campaign rhetoric and endorsements, it is highly doubtful that in his second term Doyle will pass any new regulatory relief. It’s also pretty unlikely Wisconsin will get another minimum wage increase after passing two in recent years. Rather, it is expected that Doyle will focus on passing a “Living Wage Tax Credit.” As a refundable tax credit, it is basically a welfare program – we’ll see if the Republicans in the Legislature bite.

On taxes, Doyle vetoed a strong Republican property tax freeze, and then used his line item veto pen to write his own watered-down property tax freeze. Still, however weak, it was a property tax freeze. In his second term, taxes will continue to grow incrementally, as Republicans continue to pass tough budgets and Doyle continues to use his veto pen to craft weak “freezes.”

Alternative Theory
The overall prediction is that Doyle will continue to govern from the mushy middle. On values questions he will wield his veto pen to stop Republicans from passing concealed carry, abortion restrictions etc. On social questions, he will continue his current track of spending more on education and using targeted tax credits and deductions to help working-class families.

Wisconsinites will see taxes continue to inch up incrementally under a quasi-freeze, but Doyle won’t be able to stray too far because his starting point will always be the Republican Legislature’s budget.

Yet Doyle suggested on WISC-TV this campaign is “quite possibly my last.” (Republicans have capitalized on these rumors to motivate their base, suggesting that Doyle has only been moderate during his first term because he wanted so badly to be re-elected. Once the need to appeal to independents and moderates is removed because he’s not running again, Doyle will govern from his hard-left heart, as the theory goes. Only time will tell if that theory is proven true; regardless, Doyle will still be limited to governing from the common ground he can find with Legislative Republicans.

Conclusion
No one will accuse Doyle of being the heir to John F. Kennedy. He’s bald and bland on the stump. But maybe that’s why the undecided voters went with him – he’s safe. He makes the trains run on time. He’s not flashy, but he not threatening either. And he’s a technocrat, not a politician. So even though only 32 percent of voters think Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, the incumbent governor wins. In a quintessentially purple state, Doyle navigated the last four years just right. He used his veto pen to keep his liberal base happy, and he used his bully pulpit to push small ideas that appeal to moderates. Toss in $12 million of television advertising, and in a heavily Democrat cycle you clinch four more years. What he’ll make of them will be as much up to the Republican legislative majority as Doyle himself.

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Wisconsin’s uncovered state race

Posted on 25 October 2006 by Thomas Shea

Very few on campus know that come this next election the position of Secretary of State is up for grabs. In fact, I’d bet some do not even know Wisconsin has such a position.

The Republican candidate for the position, Sandy Sullivan, could be considered a political novice, as this is her first attempt at a public office. Sullivan was born in Mauston, Wis. She is 65 years old. Sullivan attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and later went on to Madison for her graduate degree.
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The candidates speak: Dan Calandriello and Kristen Kamm

Posted on 21 March 2006 by Letter

The Warrior asked both tickets to complete a three-part questionnaire detailing the plans for their administrations if elected. Here are Dan Calandriello and Kristen Kamm’s responses:
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The candidates speak:Jamie Wu and Anna Titulaer

Posted on 21 March 2006 by Luke Fuller

The Warrior asked both tickets to complete a three-part questionnaire detailing the plans for their administrations if elected. Here are Jamie Wu and Anna Titulaer’s responses:
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Can Wu and Titulaer pop the MUSG bubble?

Posted on 21 March 2006 by Allison Herre

Marquette Student Government (MUSG) candidates for president and executive vice president, Jamie Wu and Anna Titulaer, have a lot to offer Marquette.

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS

As strong leaders on campus, Jamie Wu and Anna Titulaer have had their hand in a variety of projects. Wu, a College of Communication junior, has made MUSG her major university commitment by serving on committees such as Student Organizations. As a member of Marquette University College Republicans, Wu volunteered her time during the 2004 presidential election.

Of her preparation for leading MUSG, Wu said that she feels most prepared by her role in Alpha Phi and her involvement with the Marquette University Student Alumni Network.

Titulaer, a College of Arts and Sciences junior, began Marquette???s chapter of Amnesty International with another student and has served as the Women???s Leadership Conference co-planner. Titulaer has also been an active member of Marquette University College Democrats.

Titulaer feels most prepared by her leadership roles in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and through everything involved with founding Amnesty International.
Both Wu and Titulaer are involved in Greek life and serve as Orientation staffers. Titulaer currently serves as the Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment and Vice President of Finance.

DRIVE TO RUN

When asked why they wanted to run for MUSG president and executive vice president, Titulaer, the candidate for executive vice president, said, ???Marquette means so much to me, the people are so well-rounded.??? She deems it ???an honor and a privilege??? to be running for the chance to serve the Marquette community in a different capacity.

Wu considers the president position the ???perfect place to start to empower other people.??? Having seen first-hand the inner workings of MUSG for three years, Wu believes that MUSG should give students the tools to accomplish its goals.

THE TEAM

In building the duo, Wu said there were ???definite sparks??? in the initial discussions.

???God just delivered her to me on a silver platter,??? continued Wu.

The two finish each other???s sentences and portray a united front; however, as Titulaer pointed out, they come from different facets of the university. This variance adds to the twosome, because, as Titulaer said, ???everything is so diverse in order to bring change.???

Both candidates share a determination and desire to better Marquette, which they believe will make them an unstoppable duo as president and executive vice president. ???We won???t back down and we want to get things done,??? said Wu.

???We???re going to have to set other things aside,??? said Titulaer of the compromises she and Wu both made in order to run. Making the campaign the focus is a risk the two are willing to take in order to bring about change.

Organization is also a key component of the Wu-Titulaer dynamic. ???The fact that we???re so organized has made this so much easier,??? said Wu of the campaign thus far. Their organizational skills account for creating a Web site to promote their platform as well as t-shirts with the Wu-Titulaer campaign slogan that can be seen around campus.

THE PLATFORM

When discussing their platform, Titulaer continually stressed the openness of their campaign. The slogan ???Welcoming your ideas and achieving real solutions??? is geared towards the inclusion of all students.

Wu and Titulaer envision a MUSG that embraces diverse student programs, supports the student voice, and updates the website on a more consistent basis.

As leaders of MUSG, Wu and Titulaer plan to work with the administration in various projects. Titulaer???s concern for the environment has led her to make a goal of implementing automatic duplex printing for all campus printers and copiers. This would ensure that printers and copiers would print on both sides of the paper, which would decrease costs and paper waste.

Wu believes the fine arts are an important part of educating the ???whole person.??? Putting a fine arts requirement back into the curriculum, says Wu, will clear the way for a more diverse campus.

POST-ELECTION ROLES

As president and executive vice president, Wu and Titulaer would be asked to fill the roles of delegate, mediator, and even act as a link between university administration and the students. In their efforts to fulfill these roles, Titulaer said being open and flexible will be important in ???motivating people to be the change.???

Even if they are not elected, Wu eloquently said, ???We???re leaders coming into this. We???ll be leaders after.???

Titulaer says she would ???put more focus on service??? and retain her leadership roles in Alpha Chi Omega as well as Amnesty International.

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