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Apr 3, 201312:11 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Madison progressive political machine hands Scott Walker another school victory

Madison progressive political machine hands Scott Walker another school victory

(page 1 of 2)

Congratulations to Madison’s white power elite, especially to Democrats, organized labor, John Matthews and his teachers union. You very well may have elected a teachers union-first (“Collectively we decide ...”), children second school board. You also just handed Scott Walker a powerful case for expanding private school vouchers.

What are you afraid of? That more parents might not choose the taxpayer-coerced public school monopoly? What do you expect, when you leave them no (ahem) ... choice.

I would like to hold out hope that absentee ballots will make the difference, but 279 votes is probably too many for Wayne Strong to overcome to defeat Dean Loumos, who holds an 18,286 to 18,007 lead. If there are 1,333 absentee ballots that need to be counted, as the city clerk’s website advertises, Strong would have to beat Loumos 806 to 527 in those uncounted votes.

(BTW: Is this the new normal? As absentee voting becomes more popular, winners won’t be declared for a week after the election?)

Instead of a retired police officer and mentor to young people, MTI appears to have elected its man for Seat #3. Loumos’ endorsers are almost identical to the camp that endorsed Sarah Manski and T.J. Mertz: Progressive Dane, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, UW Teaching Assistants, leading Democrats or the party itself, MTI and/or John Matthews himself. Mayor Paul Soglin and the Green Party endorsed Loumos and Manski.

What does it tell you that Wayne Strong held his election watch party Tuesday night at Badger Bowl, on Madison’s south side, and that his opponent for Madison School Board held his at the Progressive’s favorite hangout on the Isthmus?

Soglin, Matthews, Loumos – Madison’s white power elite.


At the bowling alley I saw Richard Brown Jr., Isadore Knox, my old boss Kirbie Mack (now that was awkward!), Kaleem Caire, new Seventh District Alderman Maurice Cheeks, Nichelle Nichols (who ran for school board unsuccessfully last year), former school board member Juan Jose Lopez, and Ananda Mirilli (knocked out of the primary by the Manski maneuver). James Howard, re-elected to the school board despite opposition from the Democratic Party of Dane County, made the same Badger Bowl room his election night venue. School board member Ed Hughes showed up, too.

I heard many imprecations (“win or lose”) against Mike Basford and his Dane County Democratic Party: endorsers of Loumos, Mertz, and James Howard’s opponent.

As for T.J. Mertz in Seat #5, what can one say about a candidate who is running unopposed and over a third of voters still choose someone else? Mertz got 65% to Manski’s 31% to 4% write-ins, most of which (presumably) went to Ms. Mirilli. A Joe Bflstk-sized cloud hangs over Mertz and Loumos.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Apr 3, 2013 02:40 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Walker apparently agrees: Dane County can get along with a judge vacancy until the next scheduled election, WISC-TV3 reports.

Apr 3, 2013 02:47 pm
 Posted by  uwbiz96

I have to wonder what might have happened if the county Republicans bothered to have anything to do with local politics. Could that group, constantly boasting on social media about its ability to mobilize voters on behalf of Walker and Johnson and Ryan, have made a difference in the Strong race?

It's really hard to figure. They're not really about making, but more about moaning. When was the last time they ever pitched in for the common good of Madison? When was the last time the conservative bloc promoted a candidate instead of simply trying to break down an opponent? Loumos had his voters and they weren't going to stray. Strong needed more people to turn off Fox News and participate in the process.

I think Madison is worse off with Loumos than with Strong. I just wish some of the folks who read this blog and always vote Republican cared enough to volunteer on the phones or passing out flyers.

Apr 3, 2013 02:54 pm
 Posted by  patricko

Next time Walker should appoint the biggest liberal he can find. Then they'll be voted out on the next election.

Apr 3, 2013 10:00 pm
 Posted by  Marc E.

David: I'm thinking the anonymous poster UWBIZ96 is on to something. The story here isn't the "Madison Progressive political machine," but the utter irrelevance of the Dane County Republican Party. Talk about Missing In Action, where are these people? They seem to confuse listening to talk radio with political action. Of course, back in the day, when they could actually swing key elections, the party was a heckuva lot more moderate. If that cohort still had a home in today's GOP, you'd probably be toasting Judge St. John and School Board member Strong today. Your buddy, Marc Eisen

Apr 4, 2013 07:49 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

David: it is interesting that you don't get, people around the state are saying they don't agree with vouchers. Look Washington DC is ending them also. This is why Evers won.

As for Madison Prep, Caire worked on this same school program in Washington DC calling it Next Generation for 4 years and it never passed there either. Looks like there are many major problems with this program including heavy administration costs.

Roggensack won based on financial support from out of state money from American for Prosperity and Club for Growth. Citizen United sure seems to be working for those who have the money.

Very interesting that many who support Madison Prep, have their own children attending Edgewood and not recruit Madison minority children to attend school with their own children? Edgewood advertises that they have 14% minority "heritage" which in reality, almost 100% are of asian decent, many holding VISAs.

Interesting that Walker thinks voting out his appointments were a vote against him, yet he doesn't see that Pridmore was a vote against vouchers. Why do the extremes on both sides not see reality?

By the way, BGC Top/AVID program is working and supported by Madison. A program run for minority students and by someone who is not divisive and a minority. This says a lot of who Madison will listen to and help.

Apr 4, 2013 09:48 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Anonymous/BicycleMan: We can always count on you to get things wrong. "People around the state are saying they don't agree with vouchers." ??? !!! From where do you pull that stuff? The Marquette Law School poll conducted March 11-14 found that charter schools are viewed favorably by 42 percent of voters statewide, while 16 percent have an unfavorable view of them. (42 percent say they don’t know); 24 percent saying they would like more charter schools and 22 percent that they want fewer or no charter schools.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel campaigned for charter schools; Chicago added 11 this fall to bring its total to 119. Those schools teach 40,000 students. There is a 19,000-student waiting list.

Who are the people who support Madison Prep but send their children to Edgewood? Names, pls. -- as if that somehow disqualified their opinions instead of proving the dissatisfaction with our public schools. SHEESH!

Marc, are you REALLY blaming Republicans?!!! You saw what happens to Scott Walker's judicial appointments. Nope, liberals run this town; they get to live with the results.

Apr 4, 2013 11:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, hard to do a little research on your own isn't it.
Those who Support Madison Prep yet kids went to Edgewood:

DAVID BLASKA himself. Board of Madison Prep: Judd Schemmel president of Edgewood, Torrey Jaeckel, John Roach, Terrence Wall (who also started a group called Smart Growth Madison who was against affordable housing). People who helped design Madison Prep: Carrie Wall, Tami Holmquist (Business Manager of Edgewood), Paul Cuta (Board of Trustees of Edgewood). Just to name a few. Why are you and other parents are not working on getting minorities not only admitted but graduating from Edgewood, and stop recruiting kids from Korea so Edgewood has some minority? Are you afraid of minorities around your kids? If it was truly religious reasons, the kids would be going to St. Ambrose vs Edgewood.

Don't forget J Marshall Osborn, Madison Prep board member, belonged to a group who sued UW because they felt UW favored admissions for minorities (even though they were first generation college students and may need a little extra boost).

Looks like Caire hangs around questionable people.

Thanks Blaska for showing you don't understand public education and should stay out of the conversation.

1) Evers vote was for his anti vouchers stand which was even his assessment of his win - and your comments are about Charter schools, two different subjects.

2)Chicago is not in Wisconsin so why are you bringing that in your justification when I said Evers won because he was against vouchers?

3)Madison has a history of Charter schools, they just don't support the specifics of Madison Prep ie very high administrative costs. By the way, there have been other Charter School ideas which have not been supported either (ie a Fine Arts School)

Tea Party has a hard time with reality they believe if they lie enough, their lies will become reality.

Apr 4, 2013 01:55 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yes David because of the Walker changes to the voting rules - the polls don't close until after 4 on friday - real pain if you are a lead election volunteer in a Town and need to leave work 2 hours early to drive to the town hall for literally a 3 minute meeting even if there are no abtentee ballots outstanding.

A few corrections - Charter schools are not vouchers and the current voucher proposals are quite different from the vouchers as they were conceived and pushed in inner city Chicago in the 1970's (I was there). then they were designed to get children who were failing into other programs before they dropped out of school. Today they are just designed to cripple existing public schools. Was provoucher until I spent a few years working on the other educational voucher program for early childhood programs - it is a mess and sadly is the current vision of a wing of the Republican party for the future of our schools.

By the way it was moderate Republicans (25% in my Town) by my reading of the results in my part of rural Dane that defeated Pridemore. Oddly if the Dems had actually ran a camapaign for Fallone that went beyond Union issues they would have had a better shot at defeating Roggansack since she very well may end up reviewing a voucher case in court if any of those changes go through.

And vouchers are not necessarily very popular among otherwise conservative rural voters

Apr 5, 2013 08:22 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Alright, Anonymous/Matt Logan, you want school vouchers, here's school vouchers: Voucher schools "are seen favorably by 27 percent and unfavorably by 24 percent. An even larger segment, 49 percent, said they didn’t know enough to express an opinion," reports the Marquette Law School poll, conducted last month.

So, four of the 16 board of directors of Madison Prep Academy send their kids to private schools, including the president of Edgewood H.S. What of the other 12? And what does any of this prove? That the four are dissatisfied with public schools? That they think their children can do better elsewhere?

Ed Fallone also ran against vouchers. Want to spin that for us?

Am I afraid of minorities around my kids? Number #1 son finished his secondary schooling at Madison Memorial H.S., so you can tuck the race card back into your wallet. Now, white man, name the minorities supporting Dean Loumos and I'll do the same for Wayne Strong.

"Madison has a history of charter schools" -- as in 3 or 4, compared to 41 in Appleton. But it couldn't risk Madison Prep and the only reason was because MTI didn't want it.

"Vouchers are not 'necessarily' very popular among otherwise conservative rural voters." Your rationale for that statement, if you please.

Finally, Logan, you are blaming vouchers for failed public schools? Which came first, Logan? Vouchers or public schools?

For extra credit: "Stop recruiting kids from Korea"? WTF?

Apr 5, 2013 11:16 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

It would be nice if Walker would stop appointing judges in all counties.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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