Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hockema and the Tea Party's "Fresh Perspective"

Being a card-carrying Tea Party member isn't as stylish as it was a couple of years ago, and maybe that's why Chuck Hockema doesn't bring up that connection much. But if you have any doubts about the matter, take a look at this page on the Lafayette Tea Party web page from April 2012, proclaiming Hockema "a long-time active Citizens in Action/Lafayette Tea Party member."

Generally Hockema has been pretty coy about his positions, emphasizing his so-called "fresh perspective." For example, this from his website: "He will bring a fresh perspective to the statehouse along with a young, energetic voice fighting for District 27." Or this from a different page: "I believe that holding office should be a sacrifice and opportunity to serve, not an entitlement of career politicians. When politicians become too familiar and comfortable with their surroundings, important issues that need attention can go unnoticed. A fresh perspective can make all the difference at our State House."

Hockema's implicit message about his opponent, the irrepressible Sheila Klinker, is not too subtle. And it is demonstrably false. While perhaps no longer youthful, there is no more impassioned and energetic "voice fighting for District 27" than Sheila. No one who has contact with her would say that she she has a sense of entitlement about the office she holds, and no one works harder that her to satisfy her constituents and to earn their support.

With respect to bringing a fresh perspective to the State House, Hockema's Tea Party views are hardly news to the Republican supermajority. It is clearly the down-to-earth pragmatism of Sheila Klinker that provides the "fresh perspective" in the legislature, and, as a respected leader in the House who can work across the aisle, hers is the District 27 voice that can make itself heard and disrupt the Tea Party groupthink.

Vote for Sheila. Remind your friends of what she brings to our district.