This past weekend was a big one for politics up here in the north woods of Wisconsin. On Friday night we had our annual Lincoln Day dinner for the Polk County Republican Party. Our featured speaker was Tom Burnett, Sr. His son, Tom Burnett, Jr. was one of the leaders of the resistance on flight 93 - the one that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. It was great look at a true American hero and a reminder that we must persevere in the war on terror. I also met a young man who had served in Iraq. If I remember the name right he's Steve Winkler. He's from the Osceola area. Steve also expressed the idea that we must finish the war on terror on our terms.
Another great moment was the challenge offered by executive committee member Tom Magnafici. Tom actually grew up in Ronald Reagan's home town of Dixon, Illinois. He challenged us stand for conservative principles. Tom also made some comments about Barak Obama. He's read both of Obama's books and feels that this man is left wing extremist. Tom also had a little trivia contest. I won a flight 93 t-shirt (which Bonnie says shes confiscating for her own use) by knowing which presidents signed the Declaration of Independence.
On Sunday night I attended the Burnett county Republican Party Lincoln Day party. Again it was an awesome evening. I met Supreme Court justice elect Gableman. He is a humble, soft spoken man who nevertheless has an incredible presence about him. He defeated an incumbent justice who was very liberal. We learned more about how this miracle was achieved. Sheriff Dean Roland called all the other sheriff's in the state and simply told them what a great judge Gableman was in Burnett county. He had the support of more than 70% of elected law enforcement officials across the state.
Another speaker was Dave Ross, the mayer of Superior, Wisconsin. Ross explained that Republicans can win consistently in Democratic areas simply by making clear promises and then fulfilling them. He recently won reelection campaigning on the theme: He did what he said. It reminded me that Contract with America failed precisely because most of it was never enacted and most of those elected on those promises simply proved to be politicians.
Three candidates spoke at both events, incumbent state senator Shela Harsdorf, Dan Mielke, running against Dave Obey for the U.S House and Kent Muschinske running for state assembly. Shela is being targeted by the Madison dems, as she was four years ago. But she's been a great senator and will be a strong candidate. Dan Mielke is a long time political activist who has been though many political battles. He seems to have a strong plan to win over Democratic voters. Kent Muschinske has served for the last few years as the chairman of the Polk County Republican party. He's an airline pilot and hobby farmer, who as also taught ag classes at the high school level and served in the Air Force during both Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also will be a very strong candidate.