Lies, more lies and the race for governor
I too find galling the willingness of Scott Walker and Tom Barrett to blatantly misrepresent not only their opponent but their own achievements ("They're Lying," 10/15/10). As a former resident of Milwaukee, I can attest that those achievements were few and far between.
The opinions of those who didn't live in overpriced condos in the Third Ward or downtown were ignored. The schools got more and more appalling. And as poverty, hopelessness and violence reigned over much of the city, Tom Barrett came up with, well, nothing.
Under Scott Walker, the county's Mental Health Complex became a Dickensian nightmare as other county facilities began to crumble. Walker would say he's an improvement over his kleptocratic predecessor. I would suggest we need to set the bar higher.
I honestly fear for this state's future. Do you think Milwaukee became the fourth poorest city in America because these guys were doing such a great job?
Of course, political candidates lie. That is exactly what uninformed voters want to hear. They eat it up. They will vote for the candidate who lies the best. Isn't that a great way to elect our leaders?
I probably shouldn't question the mentality of the voting public, but since most campaigning is done on TV it is aimed at the same audience that watch the endless junk that passes as entertainment these days.
Will Isthmus ultimately bite the bullet and endorse one or more candidates in the upcoming elections or will it remain focused on the breaking news that politicians, to varying degrees, will often dissemble, distort and deceive? It's easy to tut-tut one's way to a comfortable position above the fray. On the other hand, making a choice can be difficult and may require some courage.
The news editor replies: Isthmus has never endorsed political candidates and has no plans to start.
The cover of Isthmus caricatures our candidates for governor with Pinocchio noses and the blaring headline "They're Lying!"; Well, duh. If his mouth is open, he's lying. Period.
To my mind the more important question is "Why are they lying?" That answer seems pretty clear to me also. They are lying because we (the electorate) "can't handle the truth."
We want to believe we can have services without taxes. We want to believe we bear no responsibility for the problems all around us. We want to believe that if only we send the right person to the Capitol, all our troubles will be over. These are all patently untrue.
Clearly, if we want honest politicians, we must be honest with ourselves.
About that referendum
Joe Tarr's item on the referendum at Madison College (Mad Talk, "The $133 Million Question," 10/8/10) noted that the cost of borrowing for new construction would be spread among a 12-county area, over a period of 20 years. But more can be said about why this investment is needed now.
Currently, the college's enrollment is 40,000. Waiting lists plague many programs (nursing, for example), with delays as long as three years. We are bursting at the seams. Space for both technical and liberal arts programs is needed to accommodate current and projected enrollment.
In two burgeoning areas - health care and protective services - the college master plan includes state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Green technology initiatives will meet increasing demand for skilled workers in manufacturing and industry.
The college has not asked for referendum support since 1974. In 2010 the time is right to move forward. As retired faculty, we will vote yes and encourage the community to join us.
Barbara and Fred Arnold