Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meet Your Sham GOP Candidates

Do check out Abe Sauer's portrait of James Smith, the fake Democrat running against Jen Shilling in La Crosse. I imagine it will not be something Smith saves in his scrapbook:
Born in 1985, it's not difficult to see how James Smith got himself into this mess. A Republican groupie, Smith is painfully willing to please the Republican party he fetishizes. Smith's real—as in, private—Facebook page features photo after photo of him standing alongside Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Newt Gingrich, Senator Ron Johnson, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Governor Scott Walker. And there he is next to Dan Kapanke, the recalled Republican Senator that Smith resigned his local GOP post to register as a Democrat to run against.

James Smith worked on Governor Scott Walker's election. He was a delegate to the Republican State Convention. It was a week ago that he resigned his position on the La Crosse County Republican Party Executive Committee and filed as a Democratic candidate for partisan state office. Smith admits that the candidacy was arranged by the state party. The fake Facebook page, Smith said, was done by himself, "for the fun of it."

The most generous possible way to describe him is naive. James Smith is what would happen if Lennie from Of Mice and Men somehow became involved in All the King's Men.


A lifelong resident of La Crosse, James Smith's name is mud. The local newspaper has a steady stream of letters to the editor, such as June 10's "Smith should be ashamed of actions." At 25, he's a local villain in a town of 50,000, the kind of small place where people traditionally try and keep a low profile. A Willie Stark who never quite figures out what Tiny Duffy is up to, Smith's future political career, whatever he imagined for himself, is ruined—and Smith's unmistakable physical stature makes it impossible for him to blend in anywhere.
I have no sympathy for this guy whatsoever.

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