As I predicted on October 7, Nancy Mistele is a candidate for Dane County Executive. Hurrah!
The former Madison school board member confirmed that to Blaska's Blog.
"I'm in. I wouldn't call it the official announcement but, yeah I'm in," Nancy told me Monday night. "I'm now working on building a team."
She is serving notice that she will take the fight to The Kathleen, which is precisely what you have to do to unseat an incumbent.
"I think we've already gotten her angry. … Kathleen Falk for the last three years has been running for AG and for the governor's office and hasn't been running Dane County very well and, as a result, two people aren't alive. Four years ago she got a report on what she needed to do to avoid a catastrophe (in the 911 emergency call center) and she didn't take action.
"She had the opportunity to repair this four years ago and she elected not to."
Nancy said she is thinking of making a more official announcement December 1 in front of the city county building.
"I have had great positive feedback from people offering their help and support. I was on Vicki (McKenna's radio program) this evening; people calling to say 'where could I send a check?'" When that campaign committee is formed, Blaska's Blog will provide the address.
Will Nancy Mistele get a fair shake from the Madison establishment media? Already, my hosts here at Isthmus are dragging out the long knives. Bill Lueders thinks it unfair that Nancy Mistele should hold Kathleen Falk accountable for the deaths of Brittany Zimmermann this past spring in her downtown apartment and, on November 3, a man at an east side park shelter. In both cases, Dane County's emergency communications center was called and failed to send help.
Yet, many citizens are making that very claim.
Isthmus has exhumed a column former Isthmus editor Marc Eisen wrote in February 1997:
In so many ways, she's an exceptional figure: Bright, sharp, determined, telegenic, she might be the next great conservative hope...if she didn't fight like a pit bull.
Eisen even speculated, mischievously, that Mistele would be prosecuted. Not even close.
Eisen was angry that she helped defeat a school spending referendum in 1997 and that conservative interests - primarily business people and housing providers - helped finance that fight. But never is a discouraging word tendered to the "grass roots" support of Madison Teachers Inc., or the unions.
The liberal response was muted when a Democratic operative then working as Dane County's legislative lobbyist got big chunks of out-of-state partisan money through the machinations of Chuck Chvala in order to buy radio time to tar school board candidate and local business man Tom Ragatz as racial bigot, a sexist, and that he - get this - told a Polish joke in the 1970s. [Outside Attack Ad Hits Ragatz]
The winning candidate, Deb Lawson, "professed dismay … at the apparent first-time intervention of statewide conduit money in a Madison School Board election."
Since Wisconsin 2000 is basically a Democratic front group, it is up to people like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala and Democratic Party chairman Mark Sostarich to clean up this newest cesspool in Wisconsin politics.
Hah! Chuck Chvala and Mark Sostarich - both were ultimately convicted of political high crimes - Sostarich for funneling kickbacks to State Sen. Gary George.
Then there was The Kathleen's nasty race against fellow Democrat Peg Lautenschlager in the AG primary two years ago.
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk paid $16,500 for background research on her rivals in this year's race for attorney general - including fellow Democrat Peg Lautenschlager - to a firm that has come under fire for its tactics in the Minnesota governor's race.
She followed that up with TV ads reminding voters of Lautenschlager's DWI arrest - but not in Madison, where Peg was and is popular.
If only The Kathleen didn't fight like a pit bull.
Spare the rod, spoil the liberal
In my previous blog, Where's the Body? I noted the suspicious confluence of former UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley's attack on the 4,000-member business lobby, WMC, and his proclivity for hiring out-of-work liberals like Louis Butler, late of the Supreme Court, and Paul Soglin, former Mayor of Madison.
This engendered a lengthy retort from one Peter Rickman. As a polemic, it is a scattergun - a rhetorical street sweeper that inflicts deeper wounds on his own cause than on his putative targets. Right up front however, we learn where the blame for Rickman' errancy should properly be placed. Young master Rickman, you see, is a student of Havana Paul Soglin.
You are welcome to reference that blog. For the convenience of my loyal customers, I excerpt his arguments and provide the tutelage that may set him aright.
Prepare yourself, Mr. Rickman, for the academic woodshed.
Point the 1st: UW-Madison's ability to find jobs for out-of-work liberals but not conservatives.
Rickman: I'm taking a class from Paul right now at UW's La Follette School.
Blaska: Guess that would explain the obsequiousness toward instructor Soglin. Need that grade.
Point the 2nd: UW-Madison's ability to find jobs for out-of-work liberals but not conservatives
Rickman: "Having Paul Soglin teach a course on public management is a huge asset to a) the university and b) the students taking their courses.
Blaska: Would it be a "huge asset" to have former Assembly Speaker John Gard teach a course on public management at the UW? How about Tommy Thompson? Why no offer to this historic governor and U.S. cabinet secretary?
Point the 3rd: Epic threatened a secondary boycott of all vendors who might support WMC
Rickman: Get your facts straight. Epic never threatened a secondary boycott. First off, it would be a primary boycott.
Blaska: It is the right of Epic to "boycott" WMC - after all, it does not have to join. That would be a primary boycott. But it is a secondary boycott to refuse relations with vendors who do business with that entity. Hey, don't take my word for it. Let's see what UW Law Professor and political scientist Howard Schweber has to say about it:
Epic is using its economic clout to coerce suppliers and contractors who depend upon their business to withdraw from WMC and refrain from expressing support for WMC's actions. In other words, Epic's actions are aimed at silencing political expression and preventing political association. … Individuals and corporations have every right to use their economic power to make themselves heard on matters of public concern. They should not use that power to silence the voices of others.
Point the 4th: To a request from Judith Faulkner of Epic to provide specific examples of how WMC is "bad for education" Chancellor Wiley provides none.
Rickman: WMC and its right-wing allies have tried to defund the public institutions that provide the infrastructure for prosperity while starving these public entities from revenue needed to invest in quality outcomes for the people and the economy of this state.
Blaska: I asked for examples, remember?
Point the 5th: The Democrat(ic) party suing to stop its candidate from being associated with Healthy Wisconsin.
Rickman: There is nothing in the platform of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin that expresses a direct and explicit statement in support of Healthy Wisconsin.
Blaska: Au contraire, mon frere. The 2008 Wisconsin Democrat(ic) Party Platform, page 2, lines 43-44: "we support broader coverage and increased funding for the current health care programs on local, state and national levels, including BadgerCare, Medicaid and Healthy Wisconsin."
Point the 6th: The Democrat(ic) party suing to stop its candidate from being associated with Healthy Wisconsin.
Rickman: "anyone who has studied political science in the sub-field of American elections knows that we live in a candidate-centric era where candidates for office do not run on the platform of their party.
Blaska: The 2008 Wisconsin Democrat(ic) Party Platform, age 6, lines 28-29 We expect all candidates supported by the Democratic Party to support this Platform and, when elected, to work to implement it.
Point the 7th: The $5 billion state deficit.
Rickman: "The deficit was caused by the confluence of a) an improperly structured national economy … b) radically wrong tax policies from the sourcing between income, property, sales, and use to the distribution between corporations, the wealthy, the middle/working classes, and the bottom and ... [yadda, yadda, yadda]
Blaska: Did you get this Marxist claptrap from Soglin? As far as a structural deficit goes, it is immaterial what, who or how much you tax. Structural deficit is budgeting "on the come" - budgeting on the wish and a prayer that the economy will grow to cover spending that cannot be justified by current income. Raiding segregated funds and budgeting no useful reserves (less than 1 percent) to cope with a rainy day exacerbate structural deficits.
Point the 8th: The Detroit bailout.
Rickman: "You see, markets don't always work perfectly (not sure if you were paying attention in that part of economics class). This is a case where a complex market exhibited a colossal failure on the part of the firms."
Blaska: At least I studied economics in college. Let me set you straight: The markets are not failing. They are succeeding. They are working exactly as they should. We know that because GM is failing. It should fail. GM is upside down. It's not that they aren't selling motor vehicles. To this day, no one sells more vehicles than GM, although Toyota is a close second. The problem is GM is not selling them profitably!
GM can't compete because they're lugging an anvil in the race with their competitors. GM's hourly compensation - wage plus fringe benefits - totaled $71 in 2007 compared with $47 for Toyota's U.S. plants. Health benefits for retirees (many in their 50s, having retired after 30 years) are expensive. [economist Robert Samuelson]
Toyota, BMW, Nissan, and Honda are building automobiles in the U.S. and are not in danger of bankruptcy. Furthermore, GM still sells hundreds of thousands of automobiles. Someone will continue to make them, whether it is known as GM, some new iteration, or a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata of India.
GM has too many brands (8 to Toyota's 3), too many dealers (7,000 to Toyota's 1,400). As an NYU professor of business notes in the Wall Street Journal,
GM has invested $310 billion in its business between 1998 and 2007. The total depreciation of GM's physical plant during this period was $128 billion, meaning that a net $182 billion of society's capital has been pumped into GM over the past decade - a waste of about $1.5 billion per month of national savings.
(With Ford's $155 billion and consumed $8 billion net of depreciation) as a society, we have very little to show for this $465 billion. At the end of 1998, GM's market capitalization was $46 billion and Ford's was $71 billion. ... (for that $465 million) GM and Ford could have closed their own facilities and acquired all of the shares of Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen.