Wednesday, September 26, 2012

They Weren't Counting On Tanya Lohr

The esteemed Dominique Paul Noth does an excellent job reporting how Tanya Lohr has already changed the face of politics in the red belt and hopefully will change it more. Here is an excerpt of this must read article:
Whatever vestiges of truth in such fear of progressive ideas, the clich├ęs don't fit the families you meet from Port Washington to West Bend and farms in-between and villages to the north, and it is there that Lohr reflects the concern about family, community and restoring local control and input.

Lohr comes from these people, from large clans of kin and neighbors devoted to hearth and kids, willing to pitch in, proud of their self-help roots and educational advances and hardly deaf to the spirit of cooperation. A devoted mother and teacher for 17 years, she is hardly a novice to the realities of their lives. It is Grothman who represents an anti-community spirit and "keep away from me" approach to life more than any party label.

Past patterns don't consider Lohr's mastery of the communication and technological revolution that is overtaking the nation. It may not be fast enough beneath the presidential election to change outcomes. No one should pretend that Facebook, Twitter and the rest don't also bring disturbing elements of intrusiveness and triviality, much less turning older thumbs into slabs of jelly.

But the social media that is as natural to Lohr as swimming and clearly alien waters to Grothman has also changed the immediacy and imagery of relationships and how people know and deal with each other.
And this is too good not to point out as well:
Cheerfully she meets hostile voters and charms them into listening to her common sense approach to governance. "You win," they tell her in the end, ready to reverse a lifelong habit of voting. The direct honesty and conversational touch that keep ninth graders in line and devoted to her in West Bend classrooms ("I like them right back," she says) work wonders at the doors.

All this has made her the queen of the Internet. The Huffington Post headlined an analysis of her race "Beauty and the Beast" (guess which is which) and had readers rolling in the aisles describing Grothman's positions in his own words - money means more to men than women; women shouldn't get equal pay or value in the workplace because they leave to do such terrible things as have children; women pregnant out of wedlock lie about their needs because of society's stigma; single parents should be a condition of criminal child abuse investigation; alternate energy standards should be reduced; early kindergarten should be eliminated; most education of women is a fraud; Obama wants more welfare because that translates into more lazy voters for him, and on and on -- leaving traditional Republicans aghast that this is the guy they have let speak for them in the legislature.

Lohr not only wins the publicity battle hands down. Her use of social media lets voters daily follow the campaign. She clearly adores her husband of 10 years, Andy, also a teacher, their two teenagers from his first marriage (Mallory and MacKenzie) and their young twins, 6 year old Elena and Eadrick.
Like I said, it's a must read.


  1. I wish her luck, but I live in Washington County. All people around here have to know about her is that she is a Dem and a teacher and they'll vote against her.
    In the land where a man like Grothman can use an exclusionary slogan like "standing up for OUR values" without anyone batting an eye, she faces an uphill battle.