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    Posted September 28, 2012 by
    mediaman
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    Election 2012: Your stories

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    Wisconsin's Political Season Heats Up

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mediaman, a frequent iReporter in Wisconsin, says some of the top state’s Democratic political players came together to meet and energize supporters at the La Crosse County Fairgrounds Thursday night. Democratic Congressman Ron Kind, who hosts the annual event, told the crowd that Wisconsin 'is still the land of opportunity.'

    'We can grow the economy, create good paying jobs and make sure everyone is a full participant of this economy reaching their full potential,' Kind told the crowd. 'So tonight is really a tribute to the people of Western Wisconsin and the hard working families that make our communities what they are.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    As the fall season sends a cool breeze through Wisconsin, the political heat in the state has been raised a few more notches. The Presidential election has “earmarked” Wisconsin as an important swing state, and the resulting regional and local political races have taken on more significance. At the 10th Annual Ron Kind Corn Roast, some of the top state’s Democratic political players came together to meet and energize hundreds of supporters at the La Crosse County Fairgrounds.

    Ron Kind, Wisconsin U.S. Congressman who hosts the annual corn roast, was joined by a group of high profile political figures and candidates. Outgoing Senator Herb Kohl was honored for his long service to the state. He joined the Senate in 1988 and was re-elected to a fourth six-year term in 2006. In his address he mentioned his “deep love for the state and for the people of Wisconsin.” He received a standing ovation and declared that although he is retiring from the Senate, he is coming back to the state to “keep on working.”

    Tammy Baldwin is the Democratic candidate running for the open seat of Herb Kohl. She recently spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Baldwin is running against former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson who is on the GOP ticket. In the most recent polls from Marquette University, Rasmussen Reports, Public Policy Polling, Baldwin is ahead of Thompson ranging between 3-12 points in September. Thompson had been consistently leading in the polls since June.

    Other regional Democratic candidates posed for group photos and greeted the hundreds of supporters filling the fairgrounds. Traditional roasted and buttered corn, bratwurst with sauerkraut, and beer added to the “Wisconsin flavor” of the event. Actor Kurtwood Smith, from the TV series “That 70’s Show” also made an appearance, and is currently part of the Obama Heartland Tour 2012 “Moving the Middle Class Forward.” Wisconsin is being labeled as an important “swing state” in the Presidential election, with Obama currently leading Romney in the polls an average of 4 points in September.

    In listening to the candidate speeches, several themes emerged. Senator Kohl spoke of his love for the state and its people, and his pride in his service to his supporters. Kohl said, “It’s been an honor to represent our values in Washington. I believe Tammy Baldwin is going to be our next senator taking my place," said Kohl.

    Tammy Baldwin also spoke of Wisconsin’s love for Senator Kohl. She did not speak of party ideology, but focused more on representing the people of Wisconsin.

    Congressman Kind commented that his annual Corn Roast this year gives him the opportunity to let people know that we can still turn around the economy and “Wisconsin is still the land of opportunity.”

    “We can grow the economy, create good paying jobs and make sure everyone is a full participant of this economy reaching their full potential," Kind said. "So tonight is really a tribute to the people of Western Wisconsin and the hard working families that make our communities what they are."

    The political speeches this evening did not focus on negative campaign messages or attacking the other party. The candidates focused more on serving their constituents and Wisconsin. The Republican Party and their candidates were not specifically mentioned. As the political speeches ended there the scent of bratwurst, sauerkraut, and beer still hung in the air. And with a couple of taps on the snare drum, a traditional polka band began to play with a tuba player in the background huffing and puffing a series of loud “omm pa pa” notes. People lined up in front of the stage and began to polka and did their own version of what a “swing state” is. After all this is Wisconsin. The November election is just around the corner.
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