I'm a big fan of political websites. I can spend hours browsing through candidates for public office all over the country. Most sites are pretty shallow, although substance is certainly shed more aggressively the further South you go in the U.S. The best part is definitely the candidate's biography. How do they choose to describe themselves in the first paragraph? Watch out for the bold print, where I highlighted some curious similarities.
Julie Lassa, Democrat running for 7th district House seat: "My roots in the 7th District go deep. I grew up on a dairy farm in northern Portage County where my parents still farm today. My parents instilled in me the importance of hard work, the value of a dollar, and that honesty and integrity are a necessity."
"Sean Duffy, Lassa's GOP opponent: Sean was born and raised in rural Wisconsin and has never strayed far from his roots. Wisconsin's storied lumber history runs through his veins. His great, great grandfather was one of the state's early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of the city of Hayward's founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years."
Dick Leinenkugel: "Born in Chippewa Falls, WI, to Mary Lou and Bill Leinenkugel, Dick grew up in a modest two-story house with two older sisters, Kate and Lynn, older brother, Jake, and younger brother, John. Raised with a strong work ethic, he promptly began delivering the Minneapolis Tribune morning edition 7 days a week. When he was sixteen, Dick gave up the paper route business and worked slinging root beers and taking orders at the local A&W Root Beer Stand."
Terrence Wall: A nearly lifelong resident of Wisconsin, Terrence attended both public and private schools and started his entrepreneurial career at the age of 11 by selling and delivering newspapers in his neighborhood. Terrence worked throughout high school at a sporting goods store and helped put himself through college by starting his own computer consulting business.
Ron Johnson: "Ron grew up in a family and in a place where one of the greatest compliments you could give a person was to say that he or she was a hard worker. This belief in a strong work ethic has been a core principle that has guided Ron's life. As soon as Ron was old enough he started mowing lawns and shoveling driveways to earn a few extra dollars. He delivered papers, caddied at the local golf course, and he even helped bale hay on his uncle's dairy farm."
hard work, integrity and the importance of keeping his word. In his teens, Chad was active in the community, helping at his local church, while assisting in the youth group and leading the music team. He also held jobs working at the local grocery store and aquatic center."
But don't worry, he gets back on message in the second graph: "Roger has been active in his family's construction business, Roth & Sons Construction, from middle school on. When he was a senior in high school, he oversaw job crews and later would manage all aspects of the business. This small business experience gave Roger an appreciation of what it takes to establish and maintain a business. He gained valuable insights as to the challenges small businesses face in the light of government regulation and changing consumer attitudes."
There's something about a paper route that makes a great public servant. That's just a fact.