Thursday, August 24, 2006

Drunk drivers of the world, unite!

-- Susan Lampert Smith, in a Wisconsin State Journal column, says the drunk driver vote could be crucial in the attorney general primary:
If every drunk driver in Wisconsin voted for Peg Lautenschlager, she'd win the race for attorney general hands down.

Heck, even if the people who've actually been caught the way the attorney general was when she was arrested for drunken driving in early 2004 gave her a sympathy vote, she'd wallop her primary opponent, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

I bring this up not to humiliate Lautenschlager - she has Falk and the Republicans to do that already - but to point out that she's got a lot of company here in the state that beer made famous.

State statistics from Jan. 1, 2001, show that nearly 300,000 licensed Wisconsin drivers had at least one drunken driving conviction. That's larger than the population of Madison, Wisconsin's second-biggest city. And how those drivers feel about punishment for their dangerous habit could make this contest interesting.
We may have a whole new voter demographic developing here. Besides asking your age, religion, and income, pollsters will start asking you whether you're a drunk driver, and if you've ever been caught.

Direct mail lists will be developed and special campaign pieces targeted to drunk drivers. And then a massive get-out-the-vote effort -- which probably should include an offer of rides to the polls.

Only in Wisconsin.

On a related note, it made me swell with pride to read that Milwaukee is the drunkest city in the US. Coming just after UW-Madison lost its title as the number one party school, we needed a shot. Or a few shots. (Does 10 or 12 beers and a few shots sound like a lot, one drinker asks a reporter.) Makes you proud, ain'a? More members of the Drunk Drivers of Wisconsin political action committee coming up soon.


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