Monday morning, WPR’s “West Side” host asked the three Democratic candidates where they place themselves on the party spectrum. Over/against the centrist and the almost nonpartisan “other” self-identification of his two opponents, the statement of John Rocco Calabrese was instructive and purposeful in its way of stepping outside labels such as “conservative”, or “liberal” or “progressive”.

John said he wants to be known as an “authentic” candidate, not only in rhetoric, but in action — meaning always open to constituents, persistent in his pledge to be “your voice”, and resilient in his work against the dominance of money in Wisconsin politics.

It seems to us that by identifying in this way he points out the failures within both parties in allowing “big money” to virtually buy legislation and law-making. All those lobbying associations of businesses are hanging out in legislative hallways and “watering-holes” so that they can effectively invest in their legislative goals.

Everybody knows about this reality. It won’t change unless there’s a voter uprising against money in politics. John Calabrese is the one candidate among all those running who fully understands this reality and who will have independence to take it on. That’s because he does not accept money from PACS and other large donors. He accepts small contributions from citizens.

It is wonderful to be volunteer workers in John’s campaign, with people who care about democracy, and with a candidate who can lead the movement to restore democracy in Wisconsin.

PATRICK & JAN PESEK-HERRIGES, Menomonie

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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