Friday, June 02, 2006

Is Jim Ott Ready for Prime Time?

Jim Ott the former weatherman at Milwaukee’s TMJ 4, is now a Republican candidate for the 23rd Assembly District. As a result of an apparent request by the right wing blog Boots and Sabers, he sent them a rather detailed platform statement.

Shortly after Ott announced his candidacy, Xoff noticed a rookie mistake of him not putting a disclaimer on his campaign’s new web site. It appears that the oversight has since been fixed.

Now I don’t mean to pile on because he seems like a nice enough guy, but there are a few things in his platform that he may want to take a second look at.

On the issue of “Crime and Punishment” he states that there should be a “penalty enhancer added whenever a gun is used in the commission of a crime…”

Far be it from me to give advice to someone that earned a law degree in the year 2000, but doesn’t that already exist? Try looking at Wisconsin Statute 939.63 which spells out exactly how many extra years a defendant would get by using a dangerous weapon. In other statutes (943.32-ANNOT.) it describes this section as being a “penalty enhancer.”

The second issue that I noticed is when he discusses the Discrimination Against Gays Amendment (my name for it of course). Ott seems rather moderate about the issue but makes a few comments that don’t sound right to me.

Referring to the Amendment he says that “it simply says that these unions should be called something other than marriage, and that the term marriage should retain its traditional meaning.”

In fact this is what the Amendment says exactly:
“Only a marriage between one man and one women shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”

Call me crazy but I don’t find anything in that suggesting that they simply want “these unions” to be called something other than marriage. In fact it quite clearly says that these unions "shall not be valid or recognized in this state".

Ott goes on to say the following while still addressing the Amendment:

This topic deserves more debate, and the results of the advisory referendum on the November ballot should be part of that debate.

Jim, I hate to tell you this, but the advisory referendum on the November ballot will be regarding the death penalty. The Discrimination Against Gays Amendment will be on the ballot and if a majority of Wisconsinites vote for it, this discrimination will be enshrined in our state constitution. This is not advisory.

I’m not a political consultant and perhaps these things are normal for a rookie candidate, but I’m not entirely sure that Jim Ott is ready for prime time.

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