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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm Gonna Take a Wild Guess Here...

...and say State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) never saw the email in question until yesterday.

I kind of came to that conclusion when someone was nice enough to forward me the WisPolitics' PM Update (Sorry guys, not telling.) which included this tidbit:
- Several conservative bloggers are criticizing state Sen. Dave Hansen for mentioning the death of his granddaughter in a fundraising letter.

Senate Dem spokesman Jason Childress dismissed the criticism as a "shameful attempt to try to make something out of this." He said the fundraising letter was Hansen's first since his granddaughter's death and he was only trying to respond to the multiple inquiries he's received about how he's been doing.

"He would give up his seat and every other Democratic seat in the entire state for one more minute with Ellie," Childress said.

But several bloggers questioned whether the letter was done in poor taste.

*See the Badger Blog Alliance:
*See Fraley's Dailytakes:
Jason Childress isn't a Hansen staffer. He's the guy the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has on staff to coordinate State Senate races; the committee's called the State Senate Democratic Committee or SSDC.

My guess: Childress himself probably wrote the email.

Then when Brian Fraley and I got mentioned of pointing this at out WisOpinion yesterday, the SSDC went into damage control mode. Around the time it got posted there, both of us started getting bombarded with comments from One Wisconsin Now (OWN) flaks, and much, much more.

I'd charge them [SSDC and OWN] with sending out talking points, considering so many of these comments sounded an awful lot like Childress' own statement posted above. But I'm not the conspiracy theory type...

I have no doubt that Dave Hansen, if given the offer, would indeed trade every minute he has left on this Earth to reverse what happened in July. It's a very natural human response to tragedy. I myself wouldn't mind a chance to go back in time to when I was twelve and tell my sister the weekend before she was killed in a car accident, "I love you Laur," one last time.

Finally, the idea that this was Hansen's "first chance to tell his constituents" is sheer poppycock. On Oct 11th, WBAY -- the very media outfit linked to in the email in question -- reported that Hansen sent out an email to supporters telling them he was seeking re-election after all.

Wisconsin state senator Dave Hansen says he's running for re-election despite dealing with a family tragedy over the summer.

Senator Hansen accidentally struck his granddaughter Ellie when he was backing out of his driveway to go to work July 13th. Ellie died days shy of her second birthday.

In an email to constituents, Senator Hansen wrote,

"The loss we have experienced has caused a great deal of soul searching. I have been thinking hard lately about my life and public service. After much thought and contemplation and discussion with my family, I feel stronger than ever that God has blessed me with the chance to service the people for a reason."

He also said, "My family and I have decided now, more than ever, the best way to say thank you to a state and community which has given us so much is to continue the efforts we started. When I first ran I wanted to help make Wisconsin an even better place for everyone to live and raise a family."

Hansen said he's already started campaigning for next fall's election.

So sorry, SSDC is the one who needs to be shamed here, not me and Brian. We're not the ones trying to use a dead little girl and make her into a human political shield for Dave Hansen. If pointing out something we believe is in very poor taste is a crime, then I really question the type of society we live in.

I can look myself in the mirror and feel okay today. Can Jason Childress and the rest of the SSDC staff do the same?

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