Mayor Dave's 2007 opponent, Ray Allen, will be hosting a campaign event for him on Thursday at the Brink Lounge, along with Curt Brink, the owner of the eponymous bar on East Washington Ave.
Very interesting development. Nothing better captures the sense that Mayor Dave has moved to the right than a fundraiser hosted by a former Republican political opponent. Keep in mind, once upon a time, the url for the UW College Republicans blog was mayordavestrolley.blogspot.com. (It was not intended as a statement of support)
More significantly, perhaps, Allen's endorsement sends a message to conservatives in Madison that Mayor Dave is the closest thing business will have to an ally in City Hall.
Keep in mind, Ray Allen is a true Madison Republican. From his campaign website four years ago:
"I don't think anyone who is in the mainstream of politics can support George Bush. I didn't vote for him," Allen said. "George Bush and I differ on every issue from No Child Left Behind to the war in Iraq.
"Ray Allen is pro-choice. He's pro-environment. He's pro-education, and he's in the mainstream of Madison's political values. My values are mainstream.
Granted, it will nevertheless become a talking point for any challengers on the left. That Ray Allen was a self-described Republican gave those who normally stay neutral in races, such as Ald. Mike Verveer, an excuse to get involved and endorse Mayor Dave. If any opponent could muster enough cash to run a TV ad, an image of the mayor partying with "Republicans" would probably be the best attack ad money could buy.
But again, I must emphasize that I believe Mayor Dave will easily win re-election.