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Sensenbrenner Says Negative Ads Created Political Polarization

Congressman tells Sussex residents he doesn't support negative campaigning, continues his support of repealing health care reform.

U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, said the dramatic shift in polarization in this country can be credited to negative attack ads and how effective they are in drawing voters to one candidate as opposed to another.

Sensenbrenner said negative ads are very effective tools for candidates to draw voters to them in an election cycle and therefore have become more prominent in the past two decades, which has in turn led to more polarization of the country.

“Just go back to the height of the and all you heard about was why Alberta Darling was awful and why Sandy Pasch was awful, but you never heard about what they had accomplished,” he said. “I think (negative ads) are disgusting. I don’t believe in negative advertisements.”

Sensenbrenner held a public listening session at Sussex Village Hall Tuesday along with state Rep. Don Pridemore, R-Hartford, and state Sen. Rich Zipperer, R-City of Pewaukee.

More than 10 people were in attendance for the meeting, with questions ranging from if the U.S. government dictates where coal and oil can be sold to Sensenbrenner’s support for the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Sensenbrenner said he continues to support the repeal of health care reform and also defended U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, for a plan he has put forth which has been met by a wave of Democratic opposition.

“The Ryan plan doesn’t abolish Medicare,” he said. “And it doesn’t create a voucher system.”

When asked about the needs of the U.S. Post Office, Sensenbrenner said the cost of sending mail here is “a bargain” compared to many other countries, but didn’t know if it was “too much of a bargain” at this time.

However, he was critical of the organization for not having the foresight to change how it operates given the growth of the Internet in the past decade and how much people now use it to communicate. Sensenbrenner said he continues to use mail and checks to pay his bills.

“I guess I’m a dinosaur and I guess I’m just old fashioned,” he said.

St. Swithin September 28, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Rep S complains about negative ads while admitting that they work. If he ever got a serious challenger he would immediately resort to the same tactics. Rep S says negative ads have increased recently. Doesn't he remember the Goldwater 'Daisy' ads? Have you ever looked at campaign flyers from the 1800's? Rep S wants the ACA repealed, even though he has done nothing in his long time as congressman to reduce healthcare costs or help the uninsured. He likes the Ryan plan even though it would dramatically increase healthcare costs for the elderly. Of course, Rep S has always had that great health care for congresscritters completely paid for by the government. Rep S thinks our postal service is a bargain compared to some unnamed other countries, as if this is somehow relevant. He then criticizes the USPS for not keeping up with the times while admitting he still pays his bills by snail mail. How I wish I had a representative that represented me.

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