Monday, September 18, 2006

Credit where credit is due: Kevin Wiskus, the *new* independent candidate

From today's Ottumwa Courier:

Kevin Wiskus, a candidate for Iowa House District 94, has switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent following what he said was a “shocking and tasteless” mass-mailed brochure attacking his opponent.

“You deserve an apology from the Republican Party,” begins Wiskus’ ad in the Daily Iowegian. “Since he will not get an apology from the Republican Party of Iowa, I would like to apologize to Kurt.”

Wiskus stated that he changed his registration from Republican to Independent and notified the Iowa Secretary of State’s office that he no longer considers himself a Republican — and if elected he will declare himself an Independent.

Wiskus also said he sent a certified letter to state party headquarters protesting “this type of vile campaign” and did no longer seek or desire their support — nor would he approve any advertising of any type coming from the Republican Party of Iowa.

“Early in the spring Kurt and I talked and I pledged to run a clean and fair campaign,” said Wiskus. “I have continued to speak to people throughout this campaign that I did not get into this race to beat Kurt Swaim, I got in this race because I want to represent District 94 in Des Moines and bring fiscal accountability to state agencies and the Legislature."

I know little to nothing about Kevin Wiskus, his opponent Kurt Swaim, or his issues, but I have a newfound respect for him today. I'm not used to seeing candidates stand up and demand civility in their campaigns. I'm used to watching Culver, Nussle, Boswell and Lamberti attempt to out-mudsling each other.

Chris Rants, of course, thinks all of this is perfectly ok:

House Speaker Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, was unapologetic about the mass mailing.

“Rep. Swaim used that same charge against Republicans two years ago; it’s a taste of their own medicine,” he told the Ottumwa Courier Friday.

Maybe when Kevin Wiskus gets to Des Moines, he can show Chris Rants the definition of integrity.



John Neff said...

The mailing was discussed in
and they did not give the name of Kurt's opponent. Evidently Kevin Wiskus was their candidate and now they will have to scout up another Republican to take his place.

Kurt has been a big asset to the legislature and is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee which is why I know about him. The soft on crime smear has been used by both parties. I have not seen the attack but the blog referenced above
makes me think it was bad.

Chris said...

I'm not sure Rants can even comprehend the word "integrity." The only good thing about him is that he's not spending much time in Sioux City any more, and that makes us folk here in Sioux City kinda happy...

I'm very impressed that a candidate would respond to his own party's propaganda in such a manner.

Gavin said...

Here's his e-mail addy if you want to thank him for this. I encourage it.

John said...

It's too late for a ballot replacement for any reason. Even death - the lare Rep. Mary Sue Freeman will be on the ballot. Wiskus will appear on the ballot as the GOP nominee, dispite his change of registration and his renunciation.

IDP sent out a press release today to make hay out of this.

RF said...

Good for Kevin Wiskus! And good for Kyle for giving him credit. It is ubelievable how rare this kind of integrity is - on both sides of the aisle.