Wisconsin voters are getting fed up with politicians who dwell at the political extremes while central issues such as budget deficits and health insurance costs remain unresolved.
Dave Magnum is fed up, too. "I want to be a consensus builder," he says.
Magnum, owner of a Portage company that operates eight radio stations and one television station, is the Republican candidate to unseat Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the 2nd Congressional District.
His centrist views and his ideas for solving the substantive problems confronting the nation, along with his business experience and ability to stand up for south-central Wisconsin, make him the right choice.
Magnum adheres to the Republican principles of limited government, balanced budgets and economic opportunity. But he is quick to disagree with the more extreme views in his own party.
For example, he opposes efforts to restrict embryonic stem cell research and disagrees with President Bush's decision to exclude newer stem-cell lines from federal research funding. He understands the importance of stem-cell research at UW-Madison, for its potential to treat disease and to spur biotechnology business development.
Furthermore, although he makes improved control of illegal immigration one of his top priorities, he opposes the harsh crackdown backed by GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. Magnum prefers an approach that would offer illegal immigrants a grace period in which to seek citizenship.
The No. 1 issue on Magnum's agenda is health care. Among the ideas he supports is legislation to permit farmers and small businesses to pool their collective clout to buy health insurance in volume, thus lowering the cost.
Controls on federal spending are also on his list of priorities. He favors pay-as-you-go rules requiring that a lawmaker who proposes new spending also identify tax increases or offsetting spending cuts needed to fund the proposal.
Baldwin, elected as a very liberal Democrat, deserves credit for taking a few small steps toward the middle. But she remains so far left of center that she has rendered herself relatively ineffective.
Last week an independent ranking of who wields the most power in Congress placed her 394th among 437 members.
Magnum offers the 2nd District a chance to capture more clout and a chance to help solve some of the nation's most pressing problems. He deserves voters' support.