Oct 9, 201207:19 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Madison school board can thank Scott Walker
While the city of Madison and Dane County rushed to ingratiate themselves to their employee unions by extending their employee union contracts in the wake of Judge Juan Colas' overturnable ruling, the Madison School Board (Whooda thunk-it?) actually made good use of Act 10, the Republicans’ revolutionary change in collective bargaining. The school board actually negotiated a break in the union-only hiring monopoly. Can anyone say, camel’s nose under the tent?
True, the agreement allows non-union teachers for programs affecting fewer than 10 students, but the school board, elected by and for the people, can make exceptions. The contract extension also requires teachers to attend two evening parent conferences. You mean, they weren’t required before?
I asked school board member Ed Hughes if this clause was as big as I think it is. His answer:
“Well, MTI thinks it's significant. For us, it removes an obstacle to providing alternative learning opportunities for kids for whom our regular schools don't work so well, either because the kids are too advanced in their learning or because they're not engaged. It also lets us consider a non-instrumentality charter school proposal like Madison Prep on its merits. Significantly, every board member was on board with this change.”
A non-union, “non-instrumentality” charter school is a public school that operates under the aegis of the school district but with its own set of rules, or charter. It is what Urban League President Kaleem Caire’s Madison Prep would have been.
It was Judge Colas’ ruling that opened this temporary “window of opportunity.” But it was Gov. Walker who restored to Madison, and other school boards throughout the state, the leverage to act on behalf of the citizenry. In Madison’s case, baby steps, but still progress.
Liberal power structure blames the victim
It’s time to call out Mayor Paul Soglin on the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We have a little history, the mayor and I. Let’s just say we do not form a mutual admiration society. But, in a Nixon-to-China kind of way, I believe he has the intelligence and courage to chart a completely new direction away from the failures of the past. Certainly, he has the liberal street cred to break from the 1960s mold of seeing the world as victims. If he wants to leave a legacy, attack crime at its roots. Destroy the liberal government giveaway culture.
Unfortunately, the city’s power structure including Mayor Paul and the local liberal poobah, Lisa Veldran, and her crew, County Sup. Matt Veldran and City Council Member Matt Phair, have tried to blame hardware store owners Dennis and Sharon Lochner for leaving the Meadowood shopping center.
But they are being called out for their hypocrisy. After running a business for 25 years, they just weren’t working hard enough, say our liberal acquaintances (when they aren’t inferring outright racism). Or, the Lochners went out of business because of the competition from Home Depot. That ignores the fact that Meadowood Ace Hardware has competed successfully with the big-box store for over a dozen years
Can we be clear about this? What we’re doing ain’t working. All the community dinners and big-hearted kumbayas are doing bupkes. Can anyone say they feel safer today than they did 20 years ago?
Madison has been under liberal hegemony since Paul Soglin replaced Bill (“Bull”) Dyke in 1973. (Although Obama blames George W. Bush.)
If Mayor Paul is exercised about a county homeless shelter on the northeast side, look what the city’s generous subsidies to professional freeloaders, especially Section 8, have done to Meadowood. We can’t keep ladling out free rent, averaging over $800 a month, and other goodies, and expect diligent wage earners to invest in their new community.
Here’s my take, as published in the Wisconsin State Journal. (BTW: the “local power broker” referred to is Lisa Veldran.)
"Cover me, I'm going in for lawn seed." That's the bitter joke told by many of us who live around the Meadowood Shopping Center, on Madison's southwest side. But it's no joke.
Sure enough, one online commenter makes a Klan reference, as if the race of the shooters mattered. (Oh, well, if it’s white guys spraying lead, Bubba, that’s a different matter. Heh, heh.) Play the race card, Liberal, because that’s all you got.
Folks, here’s the money quote: A responsibility-free lifetime of handouts without a concomitant work requirement would corrupt a Mormon.
Small businessman speaks back
The Divine Miss Vicki and I defended the owner of Meadowood Ace Hardware on her radio show last Thursday. That elicited this emailed response from said retailer:
Vicki and David,
Thank you for the support ... this afternoon. I can document the reason for our decline in sales that support my statements. Sadly I had told the Mayor the same information. He chose an explanation that would absolve the city government and agencies from responsibility for changing lives and destroying property values.
The mayor and I had spoken about the neighborhood and I truly believed [his] commitment to improvement. The last 3 weeks I had been telling everyone to support the mayor and his efforts. I did not expect the back stab I feel now. It is amazing how people that have not worked 60 to 70 hours a week on and in their business think they know better.
Again, thanks from Sharon and me.
Meadowood Ace Hardware
Mr. Lochner also sets straight the credulous (but not sedulous) Paul Fanlund of The Capital Times. Read it and weep.
Paging the (Greater) Madison Area Chamber of Commerce! Make this your issue!
The emptiness of chairs
No one does magazine covers like The New Yorker. This one is devastating. Clint Eastwood may have created the "meme" that defines this election as much as Jimmy Carter's attack rabbit and the pol cartoons showing him as a pipsqueak barely peering above his too-big desk in the Oval Office. SNL has gotten into the act as well.
Ann of Althouse says Paul Ryan should come to the University of Wisconsin campus.
After Obama's big rally yesterday, I'd like to see Wisconsin's own Paul Ryan do an event at the University of Wisconsin here in Madison. I'd like it, first, to give the University a chance to demonstrate its neutrality as between the two parties, and, second, because we have a tradition here of "sifting and winnowing" ideas, and Paul Ryan could present the ideas that are an alternative to what Obama (and Baldwin and Pocan) are purveying, and he could do it in a way that reaches the younger audience.
I’d like to think that Paul Ryan would get a respectful hearing on the UW campus. I’d like to think that John Nichols’ International Socialists wouldn’t try to drown him out. I’d like to own a Ferrari Testarossa and quarterback the Green Bay Packers.
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