Voting for service

My letter to the La Crosse Tribune today, which I wrote because I didn’t make the deadline for a full-blown column:

Elections for offices such as judge and city council often go overlooked and underappreciated. That’s why I’m urging voters to support two candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to service — Brian Barton and Fran Formanek.

Barton is involved in various community organizations, and he served 15 years in the Army and Navy. He also served as assistant and deputy district attorney, and as a criminal prosecutor, giving him the proper experience to move La Crosse County in the right direction.

I know Barton well, and he is not the type of guy who wants power for power’s sake or who brags about his career. In contrast to his opponent, who goes around ostentatiously and inappropriately wearing the robes of a judge, Barton will be a much-needed fresh face that we need on the courts.

If you live anywhere in La Crosse County, please vote Barton on April 7.

I’m also supporting Fran Formanek for City Council. He doesn’t always vote the way I would, but he’s a man of integrity. When he was last at my door, he was honest when we found issues on which we disagreed. His honesty and service over decades with the La Crosse Fire Department are to be respected.

Formanek’s opponent is the person who knew he was moving out of his county board district but ran anyway, resigning days after the election, allowing his friends to appoint their hand-picked successor.

If you live in District 13, please vote for Formanek and Barton.

Rather than a frigid attempt to reach across the aisle, my support of Formanek is legit. His opponent is part of the problem of systemic corruption in La Crosse County, in which 5 supervisors are appointed, not elected – all liberals. None of the scant 8 conservatives and quasi-conservatives are appointed.

As I described briefly in the letter, Andrew Londre (Formanek’s opponent) chose to run for re-election when he knew he was moving out of the district. That allowed his friends to appoint whoever they chose.

Londre and those who ultimately decide the appointments are part of the Doyle machine, which I shall begin a regimented and ruthless program of assaulting on this blog in the coming months.


About the writer: Chris Rochester has worked in communications and finance for a state Senate and congressional campaign, consulted on numerous Assembly and local races, and has held leadership roles in his local Republican Party. He's communications director for the MacIver Institute. Commentary here is strictly his own.