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View Diary: I'm Paul Ryan's Opponent (201 comments)

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  •  He's also "old family" in the Janesville area. (4+ / 0-)

    His family was one of three who founded the town, and have been prominent in the area ever since.  Read Ryan Lizza's excellent Paul Ryan profile in the New Yorker for detail.

    I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to Europe. Easy peasey!

    by aggieric on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:51:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Aha! That's a good insight into Ryan (2+ / 0-)
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      elwior, rosarugosa

      That explains a lot. For people who moved to a new district, they may not understand the political importance of roots. It's not that roots should be politically important, but they are. The causality is indirect. People don't vote for Ryan simply because they know his family has been there a long time. But they may vote for him because his name 'rings a bell' (for the apolitical), or the other guy's name is weird ("Zerban - what's that, a cross between a zebra and a gerbil? haha"), or their mother used to baby-sit for Paul's cousin, or their grandparents' house was built by Pauls grandfather, etc. The gossip-vine is strong among old-timers.

      What Rob Zerban needs to do is make friends with the 170,000 or so people who will vote in WI-01 (out of a total population of 670,000), and convince them to vote for him. Sad but true: the policy stuff is secondary to getting people to trust him. It can help win over some people (help them become friends). But for cross-over/swing/independent voters, the choice is often who would they trust more to take care of their kids while they're away, or to do business with? It's going to be hard -- but a race well worth running. Best of luck to you, Rob!

      [Paul Ryan's] family was one of three who founded the town, and have been prominent in the area ever since.  Read Ryan Lizza's excellent Paul Ryan profile in the New Yorker for detail.
      Janesville, Wisconsin, where Ryan was born and still lives, is a riverfront city of 64,000 people in the SE corner of the state, between Madison and Chicago. Three families, the Ryans, the Fitzgeralds, and the Cullens, sometimes called the Irish Mafia, helped develop the town. The Ryans were major road builders, and today Ryan Inc is a national construction firm. At last count, there were 8 other Ryan households within a 6-block radius of his house, a large Georgian Revival with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms that is on the National Register of Historic Places. “I grew up on the block I now live on,” Ryan told me. “My aunt and uncle live across the street from me. My cousin is next door, my brother is a block away.”

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