This campaign season in Wisconsin should be interesting, with the open-seated Governor's race, two wealthy and never-been-elected-to-anything Republican challengers to Senator Russ Feingold, fights for control of both houses of the legislature, and "tea-party" inspired hopefuls for Congressional seats held by Democrats.
One such challenger (probably one with no chance whatsoever) is Jennifer London, running for Representative Gwen Moore's 4th District seat. As is often the case with "tea-party" folks, the candidate's website barely mentions the Republican Party, except for a link to "a great group of ladies I'm involved with," who turn out to be the Suburban Republican Women's Club. The problem for Ms. London is that the Suburban Republican Women's Club candidate page only lists Dan Sebring for the 4th. D'oh!
Bigger problems for Ms. London are her weird positions on issues. Her solution to Social Security/retirement problems: retirement savings accounts run only by private institutions "that must back all savings by gold. Yes, gold....the only sound alternative to Social Security is to protect our futures with something tangible."
OK, that's strange, but London's environmental posture is even odder: she wants to close the St. Lawrence Seaway to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
The one area of environmental stewardship that I am passionate about is the Great Lakes. The protection of the Great Lakes is something nearly everyone can agree upon, from the avid sport fisherman to the hippie activist. I will work to strengthen protections of the Great Lakes, including introducing a bill that closes access to the Great Lakes through artificial canals, namely the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Chicago Sanitary Canal. I do not believe the legislation we currently have goes far enough to protect or ecosystem or the industries that rely on the vitality of the lakes.
It is important to maintain an active shipping industry in our lakes. To remedy the obvious harm that will be done to Great Lakes ports due to the closure of the St. Lawrence Seaway, I would further propose a transit port at the point of cut-off where ocean-bound ships would transfer their loads to ships that only sail the Great Lakes. I do not believe the livelihoods of port employees need be disregarded in order to achieve a better stewardship of the Great Lakes. We can achieve a balance in the two through my plan, and the investment in a transfer facility would, in the long run, save taxpayers untold billions that we are throwing at what seems in the present to be a losing battle.
So the "transit port at the point of cut-off where ocean-bound ships would transfer their loads to ships that only sail the Great Lakes" would be where? Canada near Montreal? Or upstate new York somewhere? Let's ask the folks who work in the Port of Milwaukee how that would work out for them.
Chances of such a plan being ever seriously considered? Zero to none. Chances of Jennifer London replacing the terrific Rep. Gwen Moore? Less than zero.
- Barry Orton (former avid sport fisherman and former hippie activist)