Certainly redistricting and out-of-state (and out-of-control) money are more than just a "nice excuse" for Wisconsin Democrats, but wow, it's a disastrous record indeed ("Mike Tate Faces Challenge for Dem Party Chair," 5/31/2013). The recall debacle, in which a massive populist protest ended with the whimper of a Tom Barrett candidacy, suggests there is indeed something very wrong with the Democratic Party here.
I am about to move back to California after 24 years in the Madison area. For a while I was telling people the only thing I won't miss is the winter climate - but then I realized that I will also seriously not miss the new political climate.
Who's the false populist?
My eyes rolled when I saw the May 31 Isthmus cover teaser "UW tuition freeze helps the rich." Expecting the article to be written by Rush Limbaugh, I was surprised to find it authored by former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz ("The UW Tuition Freeze Is False Populism").
I'm a UW grad student and am far from rich. News flash, Dave: Student debt tops $1 trillion, and lots of us worry about affording the monthly payments when times are tight. I'm over 40 and worry about paying off my loans by retirement.
I happen to think that a tuition freeze is a great idea, even though I'm not under any illusion that the Republican Party has my best interests in mind. Platitudes about "false populism" mean nothing to me, and it seems clear to me that Dave is more interested in countering a Republican narrative than in my well-being. Quite frankly, I think our former mayor is being the false populist here, and were he to run again, he'd deserve to lose the student vote.