If you like mind-bending puzzles that can’t be solved, then I have a great one for you. Todd Kepple is seeking the State Senate #28 seat and Al Switzer the State Representative #56 seat as... Democrats. You read that right. What’s so odd about that? Well let’s start with the fact that both men are registered Republicans. You read that right as well.
Todd Kepple has made it abundantly clear that he is a Republican and wants people to know that. He also wants people to understand that he was forced to run as a Democrat. Huh? No one forced Mr. Kepple to do anything he does not want to do. The fact is Todd Kepple is seeking a powerful political position and it looks like he will do almost anything to get that power — even if it means confusing voters. “I’m a Republican running as a Democrat.” Like I said, this would be a mind-bender.
Al Switzer is no better off. He will be running as a Democrat, and as an an Independent — as a registered Republican! Yeah. I’m not exactly certain why Mr. Switzer didn’t just add the Pacific Green Party or the Progressive Party to his list of parties he doesn’t belong to while he was at it.
These men have a tough task ahead of them. First how do they to explain to Republican voters why they are not running as Republicans, but as Democrats? The simple answer is they both lost their respective Republican primary races by wide margins. What’s more, how do they tell Democrats that they reflect Democrat views and values with a straight face? For example both Kepple and Switzer claim they are conservatives. How many Democrats do you think will relate to that message?
The dirty little secret is Democrats will vote for these men (Kepple and Switzer) because they know liberal Republicans are much more like them than conservative Republicans.
What this comes down to is a real disenfranchisement of voters. Parties represent particular political philosophies. For these men to say they belong to one party, while carrying the banner of the complete opposite party, in order to get elected, is a true mockery of our voting system. The dirty little secret is Democrats will vote for these men because they know both of these men are really liberal Republicans, and liberal Republicans are much more like Democrats than conservative Republicans. Liberal Republicans are more than willing to cross the aisle as often as needed and vote for Democrat causes when it helps their political careers. So if Democrats can’t have a real Democrat in office, a close second is a liberal Republican.
Twist, turn, spin. That is what these two men must continue to do, and hope they can fool enough voters through confusion and ignorance to win in November. I think we are smarter than that in Klamath County. I think we know better. I think we should continue to trust, support and vote for the real, consistent, constitutionally-based, conservatives named Dennis Linthicum and Werner Reschke.