City of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry went on the radio Tuesday to announce he is leaving the Republican Party for the Democrats.
“People need to stop voting with an R or a D in front of their name, period,” Perry told host Sherwin Hughes on the leftwing talk radio station 1510 AM, the so-called Resistance Radio. “Vote for the person. And um, yeah, my announcement today is that I’m switching parties from Republican to Democrat, but I still want people to vote for me.”
When asked if his constituents might resent his switch in party identification, Perry said he expected they would still support him. “I look at them as people and I want them to look at me as people,” Perry said.
Perry, who serves in a non-partisan office so he doesn’t have to declare a party affiliation, was just re-elected to his position in alderman in April. Before that, Perry ran as a Republican for the state Assembly in 2014, finishing fifth in the Republican primary with only 5.8 percent of the vote.
Hughes said Perry was showing courage with his announcement. Hardly. Perhaps if Perry had said last December that he was switching parties, he could have tested his constituents’ tolerance for Democratic representation in a very Republican area. Instead, they’re now stuck with him until 2022 unless they recall him next spring. Given the dishonest timing of the announcement by Perry, perhaps a recall is justified.
As for asking support from his constituents despite his newfound political identification, he held a non-partisan office. If he really believes that voting for an R or a D, as he put it, is unimportant, then why declare himself to be a Democrat? Given the unnecessary nature of the announcement and the silly fanfare that went with it, the only reason for making such an announcement by an alderman is shameless attention-whoring.
This continues a pattern for Perry who, despite being only one of fifteen aldermen in the modest-sized city of Waukesha, has attempted to elevate his political profile beyond his actual importance. First it was running to Milwaukee to talk about running trains to Waukesha from Milwaukee, a political non-starter. Then it was his crusade about medical marijuana that helped drive up Democratic turnout in the city of Waukesha. Now he’s complaining about President Donald Trump and using that as an excuse.
So Trump’s existence is Perry’s justification for abandoning previously held positions on abortion, taxes and limited government? He also hints at a possible second run for state Assembly. Sounds like voters in the 97th Assembly District made the correct choice when they rejected him given the shallow nature of his political convictions.
By the way, Perry is writing a book, too, which he mentioned. We’re sure there will be a chapter, “My brave decision.” If his conversion doesn’t help sales, Perry will probably still get some applause about the supposedly bold decision to leave the Republican Party.
Waukesha has been represented by Democrats before, and it will be again. The city even had a real Democratic mayor just a few years ago, Larry Nelson, who helped bring President Barack Obama to visit the city. Of course, Nelson got tossed out of office after one term, but there was no doubting his sincere support for the Democratic Party. At least Nelson was honest about it, both when he was elected mayor and when he was re-elected.
On the other hand, when Perry claims his “core beliefs is still going to stay intact,” it’s worth noting he used a singular verb, since apparently his only core belief is in the beauty of his reflection in the mirror.
“I’ve been an alderman for six years. I’ll be an alderman for three more,” Perry said. “I’ll continue doing what I’ve been doing.”
Unfortunately for his constituents, that’s probably likely unless he gets recalled next year. In the meantime, his constituents should know how little he thought of them that he didn’t want to risk losing their votes by being honest about his political affiliation.