Dan Sebring’s a moderate Republican?!?

A while back, I received an email from Mike Strautmann, the treasurer for the campaign of Republican House of Representatives candidate Dan Sebring, who’s hoping to unseat Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore this fall. The email was sent in response to an inquiry I sent to Sebring’s campaign wondering why they felt Sebring was a better choice than Jennifer London to represent the 4th Congressional district. During his response to me, Strautmann claimed Sebring is a moderate Republican:

Dan however does not fit the “mold” of a Republican which we believe makes him an ideal candidate to represent a highly diversified district such as ours. He is a working-class person, no different than anyone else in this community. He’s blue collar, and lives paycheck to paycheck. Even though there is an “R” after his name for this election, he is more middle of the road. He chose the Republican party based on the fact that incumbent Democrats generally hold their seat in this district very well, whether popular or not, and independents have not fared well at all. However, his ideals are not about party affiliation, but rather what the voters of this city want.


Sorry for the lengthy answer, but the short answer is, Dan is more of a center-right than just a staunch right-wing candidate. It’s just about what’s doing right for the community and the people, treating them with respect, and making Milwaukee a model city, like it was throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

I always considered Dan Sebring to be a pretty far-right Republican candidate, but since Mike Strautmann made the case that Dan Sebring is actually a moderate “center-right” candidate, I figured I ought to take another look at Sebring’s campaign website to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. Alas, despite Mike Strautmann’s assertion that Dan Sebring is a “center-right” Republican candidate, I couldn’t find much that would lead me to believe Strautmann’s assertion is true. In fact, a quick look at where Sebring stands on the issues breaks down thusly:

  • Opposed to a woman’s right to choose
  • Supports increased offshore oil drilling
  • Refers to climate change as “the fraud of climate change”
  • Opposes meaningful health care reform
  • Opposed to foreign aid: “we need to scale back foreign aid”

What I’m wondering is where’s the moderation in Dan Sebring’s platform? What about Dan Sebring is moderate?


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3 thoughts on “Dan Sebring’s a moderate Republican?!?

  1. I don’t know enough about Sebring to comment intelligently on him & his campaign, but just for I’ll poke at your list of reasons:

    * Opposed to a woman’s right to choose
    Sure – though there are pro-choice Republicans and pro-life Democrats, this is mostly an either or issue.

    * Supports increased offshore oil drilling
    I don’t know about this. It’s so heavily politicized but if you step back & look at it objectively, depending on the details I think you could come down on either side and still be moderate.

    * Refers to climate change as “the fraud of climate change”
    Sure, for whatever reason, both the right and the left seem to have dug trenches to the extreme on this issue & both are idiotic. People > animals > plants > buildings, rocks & stuff. Try to protect all those things, but if forced to decide, that’s the order. Don’t dump crap into our rivers (or Great Lakes President Obama) or our air. Quit fighting over the effects -whether it raises or lowers temperatures, whether nature can deal with them or not & just try harder to not pollute. Duh.

    * Opposes meaningful health care reform
    Is this because he was against that horrific plan Congress puked out? Because you most certainly can be against that and still favor reform. “Meaningful reform” in this context seems like an awful broad and loaded phrase. I don’t know that I’ve met anyone who doesn’t want significant change, the issue is what specifically.

    * Opposed to foreign aid: “we need to scale back foreign aid”
    Lots of people on the left, right & middle take this position and I really wouldn’t say it fits in anywhere in particular.

    So I’d say, no, yes, no (but neither side is moderate), yes, yes as to whether those positions could be considered moderate in general terms. If the specifics of Sebring’s position on any of them is further out there than you described I’d be willing to reconsider.

  2. What I find absolutely amazing is the fact that Zach, you have taken a lengthy email and rather than reporting on everything that was contained in it, you chose to pick and choose to create an argument that you feel best served your own interests.

    The fact is that email went into detail on bringing back over 1.5 million jobs to the United States that would drastically reduce the unemployment rate in our own backyard. Do you enjoy knowing that 60% of African-American males do not have work (up from 52% from 2004 source: UWM). As you know Republicans as a rule that are truly “pro-business” believe that a company has the right to move jobs overseas, yet still expects American consumers to purchase their goods and services. You conveniently left all of this out. As a union person do you enjoy seeing your brothers and sisters lose jobs because it’s cheaper labor in China, Mexico, and Indonesia? How do you think your union fellows will like losing another 2,700 jobs if Harley pulls out of Milwaukee. Yet, they’ll still expect you to buy their bikes. Wouldn’t you rather see jobs sent overseas brought here, the unemployment rate come down, creating an economy where taxes can realistically be brought down, allowing for Harley and those jobs to stay here because the demand for their goods returns to pre-recession numbers?

    Your problem is you’re too extreme to one side that by actually showing the entire story, you’re afraid that people may actually vote for him and alienate a person that you have yourself admitted is “not your favorite person”.

    And to your five points above:

    Pro-choice: Do you have children? If so, then you’re pro-life because you chose to have and keep them.

    Off-shore drilling: The President has issued statements to the fact of opening up offshore drilling. Mary Landrieu, Democrat Congresswoman from New Orleans isn’t happy about the little spill in her backyard, but admitted on the floor yesterday that it is necessary to produce oil in offshore capacities to supply the United States with it’s 22 million gallon per day needs.

    Healthcare: Toss up, what Congress presented is nothing more than an insurance takeover. If you look locally at programs like Badgercare, most of the over 700,000 recipients would no longer qualify for it and have to pay for healthcare with the new bill (JSOnline article). Meaningful healthcare is getting costs down for services and limiting the trial attorneys and their influence, not just saying lets give everyone insurance.

    Climate Change: Give me a break on this. I don’t know how old you are, but coming of age in teh 80s, I recall hearing that everything was caused by CFCs (Choloroflorocarbons from aerosol cans), then it’s greenhouse gas from CO emissions, etc. They can’t pinpoint any exact cause. But historically trending, the temerature of the earth goes up and down.

    Foreign Aid: We have problems here like infant mortality. I believe WI and Milwaukee in particular have the highest rate in the nation. Yet Gwen Moore did not give one red cent to her own district for this problem, rather sending $10 million to eastern Europe for this. If you’re so pro-community since you yourself have run for a public position, why would you put the needs of another nation over your own constituents? They don’t pay taxes to support this program, we do.

    1. Mike, I’m sure some people will vote for Dan Sebring, but I’m also sure those folks won’t be in the majority in the 4th Congressional district. The point I was trying to make is that Dan Sebring simply doesn’t strike me as being very moderate; in fact, his issue positions are pretty boilerplate for conservative Republican candidates.

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