Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Actual Crazy Candidate

There's been a lot of talk about a certain candidate from Delaware being little nutty today, but did you know there's a candidate for statewide office in Wisconsin who has been endorsed by the state GOP and won his uncontested primary on Tuesday who has actually spent time in a mental health institution?

Of course not.

Said candidate is none other than Rev. David King, the Republican Party's choice to be the next Secretary of State. Here's an excerpt from a seven year-old MJS article:
For two years starting at the age of 9, Mr. King says, he was sexually abused by several men. He didn't tell his parents. He started smoking marijuana and crack. He fathered four children by two women. He would later write, "I was full of darkness."

Then his brother John died of a heart attack during a basketball game at age 24. Then Mr. King's wife left.

That was how Mr. King came to be on the bridge early Jan. 4, 1992. He was crying. When he looked into the water, he saw faces: his four daughters. He could not take his own life.

Instead, he took a bus to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and checked himself in. After he left, he went to church. On New Year's Eve, 1993, Mr. King, who had become a church deacon, asked God to forgive him. A few months later, Mr. King preached his first sermon.
In one respect this is a very positive story of personal redemption, a spiritual rags-to-riches story. But it's also remarkable that such a troubled past and history of institutionalization seems to have been ignored by one of the major political parties.

There's a ton to be said about King's campaign. He's running on expanding the scope of the SoS office to include mentoring troubled youth and funneling state funds to his "God Squad" organization to help accomplish this feat -- a conflict of interest to which King seems oblivious.

King is also a frequent speaker at Tea Party rallies that claim to not allow candidates to speak. He ran for state Senate in 2008 as a Democrat -- an association with the enemy that seemed to doom Dick Leinenkugel's brief run for U.S. Senate earlier this year. A number of his community outreach programs have folded over the years and his "God Squad" organization is still pending its tax-exempt status almost four years after it began -- a combination that reeks of financial incompetence (at best) or malfeasance (at worse). He also seems to lack the first clue as to what the Secretary of State actually does.

It all begs the question: what makes David King so special? The answer has many facets that involve race, minority outreach, the homogeneity of the GOP and other uncomfortable issues, but it's a discussion worth having.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not comfortable with this.