I just came across some interesting content that would have fit nicely into this week's article on the 2nd Congressional District race between Tammy Baldwin and Chad Lee (make sure to pick up a copy of Isthmus for that). Stories on candidates, especially new ones, generally benefit from a little insight into the subject's background, both cultural and political. Even people like me, who tend to believe that politics has become too personality-based, recognize the significance of understanding how a candidate's background informs his/her politics.
Although Lee has tactfully avoided taking conservative stances on hot-topic social issues that would not play well in the socially liberal 2nd District, his personal history suggests he has been active in promoting religious doctrine, specifically in opposition to the teaching of evolution.
Consider this video of Lee's band, Rex Lex, from three years ago. At the end of the song, Chad's brother, lead singer Beau Lee, gives the crowd at the Christian Rock festival a lecture on their duty to read the Bible "like it's a history book."
"In school they taught that you evolved, that you came from monkeys. God created you special, he created you intelligently," he says.
Then there's this website, Evolution is Pollution. The flashy site (make sure to move the mouse over the eyeball) with impressive html artistry encourages those who wish to spread the message of intelligent design to make donations to the Life Church in Mt. Horeb, which is run by Lee's father, Bob Lee, a Pentecostal minister.
The site is registered under "Better Brothers," and the address listed is that of Beau and Chad's cleaning business, "Better Butlers."
In the past I have noted that Lee, like recent GOP candidates in the 2nd, has not moved to the center enough to be competitive. However, considering his background, including his homeschooling through 7th grade (he later went to public high school in Mt. Horeb), which was very likely religious in nature, he has done a remarkably good job of keeping religion out of the race. He contends that issues such as abortion and gay marriage should be left up to the states, and avoids all mention of his religious background on his website and in his rhetoric.
David Summers, a spokesman for the Lee campaign, says the candidate is not associated with the website. When prodded on Lee's position on the teaching of evolution in schools, Summers responded that Lee "would look at any legislation that comes across his desk and evaluate it with regards to the 10th amendment."