Is a conservative cat fight brewing in the fourth district?

To say Republican congressional candidate Dan Sebring isn’t happy another Republican, Jennifer London, has decided to join the race to unseat Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore would be an understatement (emphasis mine):

The last twenty-four hours have seen some incredible happenings in the political world. With the outcome of last night’s election in Massachusettes, Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District has received another challenger in the race to unseat Democratic incumbent Gwen Moore.

Jennifer London, an accountant from Bay View, recently filed her paperwork to enter the political foray to challenge not only Gwen Moore, but also setting up a primary with current Republican challenger Dan Sebring.

When asked, current challenger Dan Sebring had this to say, “I find it absolutely amazing that she has been a ‘life-long’ resident of Bay View, but this is the first anyone is hearing of her. Where was she in 2008 when there was no Republican candidate on the ballot in the fourth district? We have been running a successful grassroots campaign for the past fourteen months, then all of a sudden an upset occurs in Massachusettes and everyone thinks they can win an election. These are serious times, and they require serious answers. Ms. London may have the experience balancing a checkbook and clipping coupons to save a buck or two, but there are more than just financial problems plaguing Washington.”

Having read Dan Sebring’s press release, I can’t help but wonder two things about the passages I emphasized:

  1. While Dan Sebring wants to know where Jennifer London was in 2008 when there was no Republican candidate on the ballot in the fourth district, I’d like to know where Dan Sebring was in 2008 when there was no Republican candidate on the ballot in the fourth district.
  2. Secondly, while Dan Sebring had no qualms about attacking Jennifer London’s experience “balancing a checkbook and clipping coupons” as making her unqualified to serve in Congress, I’d like to know what exactly in Dan Sebring’s background makes him more qualified to tackle issues like health care reform, reducing poverty, creating jobs, dealing with national security issues, and education.

I’ve never met Dan Sebring, and he seems like a nice enough guy, but his attacks on Jennifer London strike me as being more than a little petty and hypocritical, and instead of attacking London simply because she chose to run for office, he should welcome her perspective to the race.


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21 thoughts on “Is a conservative cat fight brewing in the fourth district?

  1. Hmmm. Very interesting response. “…clipping coupons..” Don’t you love it when something happens (like another candidate entering the race) helps shed light on the other candidate. What does “clipping coupons” sound a lot like “baking cookies”…?? Is it just me?

  2. When I that press release came out Zach, I thought the same two things, almost exactly, but I saw hints of sexism in the “clipping coupons” comment.

    1. There’s no doubt it’s snarky, and it sure seems to be a knock against those of us who clip coupons, as if being thrifty in one’s personal finances is somehow a bad thing.

  3. I agree with you guys – at best, it’s a poor choice of language & at worst…well not nice at all.

    I also don’t get the animosity to primary challenges – probably a pretty universal thing. I guess, when you stick your neck (and cash) on the line to run for something, you don’t want to have to beat somebody from your own party. But that’s just too damn bad. It’s not like there aren’t a ton of uncontested seats…which always makes me sad.

    1. There were four people in the primary I was in in 2008. Curiously, we didn’t have any real animosity, even though there were pretty stark differences between most of us. I’m sorry to see this one has turned to derogatory remarks so fast.

    2. Locke, and it’s not as if Dan Sebring should get a free ride. For every attack he leveled at Jennifer London, one could argue he’s not any more experienced than her in dealing with the issues folks in the Fourth really care about.

      1. I guess one comment I’ll make and this is in comparison to the two candidates based on information from both websites. The main issue I think we can agree on for this years election is jobs. Jennifer London seems to have a background in accounting but what jobs has that created? Dan Sebring owns a small business so should have an idea of what small business owners are up against when trying to create jobs.

    1. TosaGuy, I’m definitely not Gwen Moore’s biggest fan, but she more closely represents my ideals than either Sebring or London would.

      1. Zach, I’m curious as to what those ideals are? From what I’ve read of Gwen Moore, and the postings she has on YouTube, she likes to preface a lot of her comments with “I Think” or “I believe”. I know this is on Sebring’s website, but he makes a valid point regarding this issue. Representation is for the people, not for herself. If she represents your ideals, are your ideals about you or the community when it comes to politics?

        1. Representatives are elected by people based on their beliefs. This argument could come down to the trustee model v. delegate model of elected official decision making.

        2. Tom, if you think “I” statements are exclusive to Rep. Gwen Moore, then you simply haven’t been paying attention. As for the ideals of mine she represents, they’re both personal ideals as well as my belief that her beliefs and ideals are more representative of the community she represents.

    2. What has Gwen Moore done that makes her worthy of reelection?

      The same thing Sensenbrenner has done – they have the right letter after their names on the ballot for the way the district lines were Gerry…uh drawn.

  4. I did a little research and information on Dan Sebring is easy to find. Jennifer London was a little harder to find. If you look at her about me page
    it’s Jennifer London who refers to “balancing a checkbook and clipping coupons” as her qualifications on fiscal matters anyway. In view of that I personally would find it hard to consider Dan Sebring repeating it as sexist commentary. In his candidacy statement on his website Dan Sebring answers where he was in 2008
    he was running a write in campaign against Gwen Moore. Long before today’s political climate was today’s political climate. Rather than an attack on her qualifications I think maybe it’s an attack on her motivation. Why did she not appear until after the Massachusetts upset? Is she simply an opportunist trying to cash in on the currently perceived wave of discontent? I’m just spit balling. Perhaps, in view of his having run a write in campaign in 2008, he’s asking a legitimate question. Actually, I think Dan Sebring pretty much answers the questions you’ve posed on his campaign site. The answers may not be to our liking, but they’re there. As are Jennifer London’s.

    1. I doubt London’s candidacy had everything to do with MA, although the overreaction to the result of that race has been amazing. Also, the first I heard of her was in Sebring’s press release, so I was unaware that she mentioned coupon clipping herself, thank you for clearing that up.
      On his site, Sebring says he got inspired over Moore’s response to his letter…If Moore has an established position on an issue, he cannot really expect her to change it based on one letter. I haven’t seen Moore’s response so I can’t speak to the tone, but if a representative disagrees with me, the decent thing to do is to tell me why, which is what it sounds like Moore did. But like I said, I can’t speak to the tone (though I doubt Moore penned it personally).

    2. Lori G…it’s nice to know Dan Sebring didn’t intend on being sexist when he made the comment about “clipping coupons”. It’s too bad he decided to make the comment in the first place though…because I’m sure there will be many people who are going to read his comment not knowing Jennifer London has a reference to clipping coupon on her website…and a lot of them will think Dan Sebring is belittling her.

      I do question his tone and his annoyance about someone else running against him. Who is he to say other people shouldn’t run just because he feels he has a good campaign going?? The people will decide who they want with their votes.

    1. I wonder if it ever occurred to Dan Sebring that Jennifer London is running against him because she feels he doesn’t have the right answers.

      1. Sebring’s site makes it sound like he didn’t realize there was not a Republican candidate in the primary until he got to the polls. If he didn’t know who was running, how would he make a choice if there were two candidates running for the nomination? I’m nitpicking now, far too much for not being at all invested in a Sebring-London primary.

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