I got a mailer today for former my former opponent and current County Supervisor candidate Lynne DeBruin, and while I normally wouldn’t have paid much attention to it, one sentence in it did catch my interest.
The part that caught my interest was the proclomation that she had been supported by a “clear majority of residents” followed by, “more neighbors cast their votes for Lynne DeBruin than the other candidates combined.“.
The recorded vote counts from the primary on Feb. 19th from the Milwaukee County Election Commission disagree with Sup. DeBruins claims:
Wycklendt: 3894 30.02%
Cody: 2490 19.19%
DeBruin: 6398 49.32%
Write in: 191 1.47%
Total votes cast: 12973 100.00%
Saying that you got a “clear majority” much less a “majority” at all with 49.3% of the vote is on par with President Bush stating he had a “clear mandate” with 50.7% of the vote after the 2004 election.
The second claim that Sup. DeBruin had more votes cast for her than all other candidates combined is also just plain incorrect. Again, the numbers show that 6,575 votes were cast on Feb. 19th for myself, Dan Wycklendt, or was a write in vote for another candidate compared to the 6,398 Sup. DeBruin received.
Here’s why this troubles me: the day before a general election you have a candidate knowingly mailing out an incorrect and over-exaggerated claim to thousands of people about the amount of votes they received and the level of support they have in the district.
I realize some may see this as sour grapes from a former opponent to the candidate, and there’s nothing I can say or do that will change that opinion.
The fact of the matter is that I’m a resident of this district who is deeply concerned with the direction it’s headed and the kind of representation we’re getting from some of our public servants. When you have a candidate who won’t even be completely honest in a piece of campaign literature or tries to pull the wool over voters eyes by exaggerating the level of support they have, you have to question the kind of representation you’re in store for should that candidate win.
So I don’t see it as sour grapes at all. Rather, I see it as holding our potential public servants to a basic standard of truthfulness in communicating with voters and calling them out on it – no matter who it is or what the situation may be – when they fail to meet that standard.
It’s the first step towards basic accountability which is something we need more of at every level of government, but especially here in Milwaukee County.