by Vince Bushell

This editorial relates to the cover illustration. It is meant to be Halloween scary funny and serious at the same time.

If you look closely enough, the spider has a man’s face, Ron Johnson, the Republican Senator from Wisconsin. The Blue Bird, and it is a blue bird, resembles Mandela Barnes, the Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Johnson in November. I hope the Blue Bird is successful! Be sure and vote. It is always important, but now more so. vjb

You can put Mandela Barnes or Tony Evers’ head on the Bluebird. The election of both to their respective government offices would bode well for Wisconsin, the United States, and Milwaukee.
I have supported Barnes in the primary and I have donated money to his campaign. I support Evers just as strongly. I will talk about the money factor in this editorial.
I know it is October and the season of the witch and the spider. Scary stuff. But November and election day will be here soon enough. I am frightened by the mood of our country.
Where is the common ground that we can stand on as citizens of what we call a democracy? It has become almost a joke.
Democracy? With gerrymandered districts, dark money, and social media putting us in silos of misinformation, and the list goes on of the ills affecting our local, regional, and national mood.

The candidates
Mandela Barnes vs. Ron Johnson
US Senate

Johnson the Republican promised he would not run for the US Senate again, when it suited his desire to have healthy change in Washington. Now it is convenient for him to say we need him in office. For what purpose I do not know. He is one of the wealthiest Senators in office. Do you think he has a clue as to what life is like for the other half, or is it the other three quarters of the population?
The web and television ads being run against Barnes by the Republican party are disgusting. At least I think these dark money ads are backed by the Republican party. I do not hear Republicans objecting to the ads. Not speaking out puts ownership of the slander in their pockets.
Barnes background is middle class. He has been touring to state talking to farmers, business owners, and neighbors all over our state.
Bluebirds are warm, spiders are cold. Barnes is a candidate that will support Social Security, and affordable medical care available to all as a human right.
Barnes will support a womens right to choose what happens to her body. Not laws written in the 19th century by men at a time when women did not have and would not have the right to vote for decades.
Barnes will support funding and training for police in our country that will enhance security in our neighborhoods without prejudice.
The strategic planning process that I ran at the neighborhood level asking what is most important to
Riverwest and Eastside neighborhoods clearly pointed to security, feeling safe in our homes and on our streets, as the most important issue for residents.
This is accomplished by bringing people together to support policies that enhance belonging and that do not use scare tactics that divide and build walls between representative groups in our culture. Black, brown and white, all races, genders and creeds need to find this common ground. Using fear as a club to get elected only results in more conflict and suffering.

Democracy works only if we care and vote. Violence on either side of issues only makes things worse.
All parties should reject violent actions.
Violence as a political act only breeds more discontent. Stow the guns, clubs and rocks. Do your research and vote.
Voting does make a difference. We are in a bad place right now. My vote is for Democrats who will help balance the Supreme Court, and pass laws that fulfill the promise of the American dream of freedom and responsibility to each other as primary goals.

Tony Evers vs Tim Michels
Wisconsin Governor

Michels, the Republican candidate is a very wealthy business man who wants to run the state like he runs his business. Government is not a business. It involves compromise and not dictatorship. He would be a disaster.
Evers comes across as a kind man who came from the educational system in Wisconsin. I am comfortable with Evers and find he is a block to a highly gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature that gives Republicans way more power than their numbers in the state justifies. It will be a long fix to change this and in the meantime let us keep a counter balance in the state by having a Democrat as governor.
Michels does not support a woman’s right to choose. This is a critical issue at this time in our state.
Michels policies would only make race relations in the state and in our city worse. This means more violence not less, most likely from both sides.
I have given you my take on these two important races in the November election. Do your own research and make a choice and vote.
I am not against spiders, but only when they are beneficial.
The ones we have running under the Republican banner are not of that species.


I have complained about this before and it has only gotten worse. The way we run political campaigns in this country is absurd. I receive an inbox filling request for funding from candidates all over the country.
The birdhouse on the cover is labeled “SEAT FOR SALE”.
And it may be true. This is no way to fund elections and no way to have discussions about the issues. 30 second commercials online and on television do not give a proper vetting of the issues of our time.
Your favored candidate may win the election but we may lose the country because of a bidding war that allows the candidate with the most money to win.
We do not even know where some of this money comes from.
In a country where so much of the wealth is concentrated in so few, the resulting elections are biased and this does not serve the ideals of democracy.