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Saturday, June 22, 2024
In District 77 Manski best for students

Ben Manski

In District 77 Manski best for students

Either candidate for Wisconsin's 77th district, Democrat Brett Hulsey or the Green Party's Ben Manski, will represent a liberal vote in the assembly. On a great deal of environmental and social issues Manski and Hulsey seem to be in agreement and would reflect the opinions of Madison and Middleton voters.

But given Manski's commitment to UW-Madison and Hulsey's troubling stances on important immigration issues, we as students are compelled to endorse Manski.

Manski's position on tuition and funding for the university—which ultimately looks to eliminate tuition and replace it with increased taxes on the wealthy—is certainly radical, and not one that is likely to completely succeed. The fact that he would give the university such a high priority as well as his history as a campus activist working to avoid tuition increases are reassuring to students who face increasing tuition costs as state funding for UW-Madison drops.

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Between the two candidates, Manski has by far been the most active on the UW-Madison campus, showing his dedication to the university and students. Hulsey, meanwhile, has seemed to campaign more in the western parts of the district, working for support there instead of on campus. While Hulsey's silence around the university has been deafening, students and university officials know they will have a champion of education with Manski representing the district.

Hulsey also falters in his immigration policy. The first time he met with The Daily Cardinal editorial board, his main concern about immigration was how it related to safety, as he seemingly equated immigration with gang violence. The way he has emphasized his support of the DREAM Act—legislation granting illegal immigrants priveleges to attend post-secondary schools—in recent weeks hints at opportunism, on the other hand Manski has long supported the DREAM Act and avoids Hulsey's reactionary tendencies.

Given Manski's status as a Green Party candidate and Hulsey's as a more moderate Democrat, some have said Manski's opinions would not carry much weight in the assembly. While it is true that Manski would be one of, if not absolutely, the farthest left members of the assembly, it is a stretch to say he would fail at coalition building. Manski's ability to work across party lines has earned him a number of important endorsements—including one from Fred Wade, who The Daily Cardinal originally endorsed in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

Hulsey's status as a Democrat in such a liberal district means that, if he wins Tuesday, he will be able to control the seat as long as he wants. If a Green Party candidate like Manski lets voters down in his first term he will face a far tougher path to reelection than Hulsey. Given Hulsey's flaws, we simply cannot give him a lifetime ticket to the state Assembly. We would rather see what a third-party candidate like Manski can do in our district.

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