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Vol. 9   No. 16
AUGUST 7, 2014
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Reflections/Jonathan Gramling  
     
                          Vote Ismael Ozanne for AG
Here it is August 7, the height of summertime. The temperature is around 82 degrees with partly cloudy
skies. It is great weather to do some dreaming, read a good book, have a cook-out, do swimming or
walking and just get away from “the real world.”

It used to be that one didn’t have to think about politics during the summertime. That was just the natural
order of things. With the spring elections, we had all of the candidate forums done and the ballots counted
by the first Tuesday in April. And then we didn’t have to worry about voting until after Labor Day when the
federal primaries would take place in September and then the general election would be held in
November.

Well, some Republicans in the state legislature put an end to this natural order of things when they voted
for and Governor Scott Walker approved switching the federal primaries to August with this year’s
primary falling on August 12. It seems that they probably paid some high-priced consultant to help them
figure out ways to suppress the vote on the Democratic side and came up with the idea of switching the
primary to August when many of us are in la-la land enjoying the three months of warm weather that we
get.

It seems that this another example of politicians lusting after power and destroying anyone’s way of life
that stands between them and the levers of power and dollars that lobbyists slip into their campaign
coffers.

In my mind, the Republicans are especially notorious. For a political party that espouses limited
government, the Republicans fall all over themselves and run anyone in their way down as they reach for
those levers of power so that they can take local control over local matters out of the hands of ordinary
citizens and concentrate them in the hands of Governor Walker.

Anyway, as reluctant as I am to think about politics in August, it is something that we all had better do
because there is a primary election next Tuesday. And I am sure that most of you didn’t even realize that
there was an election. Well one of the most important positions up for grabs on Tuesday is the Democratic
nomination to run for attorney general of Wisconsin. There are three candidates in the race: one from
Milwaukee County, one from Waukesha County and one from Dane County, our own favorite son Ismael
Ozanne.

Outside of being our favorite son, I like Ismael as the Democratic candidate for several reasons. I and
many in this community have watched Ismael grow up in Madison, attend S.S. Morris AME Church and go
to college partially through a scholarship from Women in Focus. Ismael is a good man with well-grounded
values who comes from a family of civil rights activists and union organizers.

I like Ismael because he believes in reducing crime and increasing public safety. But he doesn’t believe
that you have to lock up all of the criminals, real and imagined, to achieve these goals. As the Dane
County District Attorney, Ismael has pursued other avenues other than getting people eternally chained to
the criminal justice system to deal with crimes committed by people not bent on a life of crime.

Ismael would be innovative as our attorney general to reduce crime the right way, through research,
piloting programs and spreading the word on best practices. Ismael would not only find non-prison
solutions that preserve public safety, but would also help balance the budget as Wisconsin would become
less dependent on locking people up at far higher rates than its neighboring states like Minnesota. There
has to be a better way to preventing crime than destroying African American families. I feel that Ismael is
committed to finding a better way.

I also like Ismael because I think he has backbone and would stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin.
Since 2011, this is the first time that I have felt that Wisconsin state government did not have my best
interests in mind when making decisions. It just feels like the interests of corporations to mine taconite
near the Bad River reservation is more important than all of us to have places to go where we can enjoy
nature and get away from the rat race. The quality of my life is no longer important. My civic empowerment
is no longer important. What matters is the quality of life of those few people who have a lot of money in
this state.

Ismael Ozanne as Wisconsin’s next attorney general would look out for all of us as an elected officeholder
should.

But in order to get him there, all of us have to turn out on Tuesday and vote.