Tag Archives: showdown

Democrat Rob Zerban wants to challenge Paul Ryan

Rob Zerban, the Democrat who lost to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in last year’s election, is mounting a new challenge next year.

Zerban told The Associated Press this week he was getting back in the race.

He made his announcement official at a rally in Kenosha over the weekend.

He lost last year by 12 percentage points, 55 percent to 43 percent. But that was Ryan’s smallest margin of victory in eight races.

The 45-year-old Zerban is a former Kenosha County Board supervisor who used to run two small businesses. He blames Ryan for voting against ending the government shutdown, and for advancing a budget that cuts money from social-service programs.

“I have lived the American dream,” said Zerban. “But the American Dream is getting harder and harder to achieve. Under this incumbent Congressman, we have an economy that favors the very few, the wealthy and the well-connected.”

He added, “These last few weeks have made it clear that not only do we need a different vision for America than the incumbent, we need a different set of personal values.”

Zerban says he supports green technology, immigration reform and same-sex marriage.

“People in our neighborhoods don’t care first about being a Republican or Democrat,” said Zerban. “We don’t care about which party is up and which party is down. We care that our schools are strong, that we have access to quality, affordable health care that our communities are safe and our drinking water is clean and our air is breathable. We care that people get treated fairly, no matter who they love, and we care that women and men get treated the same. Most importantly – we want to know that there are jobs out there for our kids when they finish high school or college or technical school – and that if someone in our family loses their job, that they can find another one.”

Democrat Amar Kaleka, 35, also plans to run for the seat.

Poll: citizen anger at government reaches a Pew record

In polling conducted before the federal government shutdown today (Oct. 1), a Pew poll found anger at the federal government at its highest since the Research Center for the People and the Press began asking the question in 1997.

The survey was conducted Sept. 25-29 among 1,005 adults and found that 26 percent overall were angry with the federal government. An additional 51 percent said they felt frustrated with the federal government. About 17 percent said they were basically content.

The number of Americans angry with the government went up 7 points since January to reach another high point of anger a few weeks after the debt ceiling agreement between the president and Congress in the summer of 2011.

Where’s the anger? About 41 percent of conservative Republicans, 27 percent of moderate Republicans, 24 percent of independents, 21 percent of moderate Democrats and 18 percent of liberal Democrats said they were angry with the government.

Liberal Democrats were angrier with the federal government in October 2006, during the Bush administration and just before the midterm elections.

As Congress was at a stalemate and the government shutdown loomed, liberal and moderate Democrats were polling high on the frustration scale.

The Pew poll found that young adults were largely ignoring the shutdown debate.

The poll found general agreement on congressional dysfunction, but it found little agreement as to the root of the problem.

• 48 percent said political parties have grown so far apart they can’t agree on much.

• 36 percent said the gridlock was caused by a few members who refuse to compromise.

• 44 percent say the growing political division is mostly among elected officials and not American society more broadly.