Tonight is the beginning of the official debate season in Wisconsin, opening with the senatorial debate between Tammy Baldwin(D) and Tommy Thompson(R). The debate will be carried live on Wisconsin Public Television stations at 8 PM, on some other stations in the state, various radio stations, and a number of places on the Internet. So - no reason not to follow along. This is a very public and well-covered debate and is the first of three.
The same story seems to be true in more local races. In my own congressional district Warren Petryk has by and large disappeared since being elected, while his opponent Jeff Smith has been running from one end of the district to the other talking to voters and looking for an interaction with Petryk - but so far, this seems to be a non-starter.
The general attitude on the part of many of the GOP incumbents who took office in 2010 seems to be "I won the office, and now it's mine. My job is done." I like nothing more than a good straightforward debate. In a lot of cases in Wisconsin this year we're being deprived of that, either entirely, or because the debates are essentially being held behind closed doors. Although I am very glad that The West Side has been having candidate forums featuring all of the state candidates, and that the candidates have agreed to them, they are nothing like a substitute for public forums where the candidates actually interact. Let's vote in some candidates this year that have the courage to debate their opponents in a straightforward public way.