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Feb 22, 201308:45 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Sarah Manski quits while she’s ahead

Sarah Manski quits while she’s ahead

(page 1 of 2)

Sing it with Groucho: “Hello, I must be going.”

The withdrawal of Sarah Manski less than 48 hours after she won the primary for one of the Madison School Board seats is so cheap and tawdry it defies explanation.

There was no possibility that her husband, Ben Manski, might leave the state, having applied to an out-of-state graduate school? (Her withdrawal statement.) Just Wednesday, the day after the election, she was hitting us up for campaign money (thereby proving that money is, indeed, speech).

Ananda Mirilli, the loser in the three-way race, must feel totally hosed. Her name will not be on the ballot; Manski’s will. I am reaching out to Ms. Mirilli to run as a write-in candidate, particularly since Manski has polluted the candidacy of T.J. Mertz, the second-place finisher, by endorsing him. Just listen to her Marxist patois:

TJ Mertz ... can be counted on to push back against the corporate takeover of our schools.

“The corporate takeover of our schools”? Tinfoil hats to the Left! Sarah and Ben are supernumeraries with the proto-Marxist, Green Party-line Liberty Tree Foundation, of which John Nichols (their constant booster) is president. (A fact he never discloses, as this encomium shows.)

How stupid must Hizzoner Mayor Paul Soglin feel for this endorsement:

Sarah Manski is committed to building a strong partnership with the city and our schools. That’s why I’m committed to seeing Sarah Manski, who is smart, successful and dedicated, elected to the school board.

Some dedication! Some commitment! (H/T the Venerable Meade.) Whatever happened to candidates for local office who have a real and demonstrated stake in the community? It is clear that Sarah Manski and all too many local officials (insert name here ____) use local elective office as a bullhorn for the political ideology they learned from their social studies professors.

Who are these people?

I’m not so much worried about the corporate takeover of our schools (just think what Apple or Google could do with the Madison Metropolitan School District!) as I am about the incestuous closed circle of insiders who have been running the show for some 30 years now. Really, folks, it’s time to quit blaming whomever happens to be governor at the time and start taking ownership.

Manski was endorsed by all the insiders: former school board members Nan Brien and Anne Arnesen, board member Marj Passman, American Federation of Teachers union boss Bryan Kennedy, Ed Garvey, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Spencer Black, and state Reps. Berceau, Kahl, and Barca.  

It is a sorry state of affairs when the welfare of the cosseted teachers union takes precedence over Madison’s well-documented minority achievement gap.

Sarah Manski’s “dedication and commitment” is no less apparent than that of Dean Loumos or Greg Packnett. School board veteran Ed Hughes, no Republican himself, says (via his very own blog) he’s never seen Loumos or Packnett or Manski at a school board meeting or function.

I don’t know any of them. During my five years on the School Board ... I don’t recall seeing any of them at any School Board meeting ... They have not been among the scores of community members who have spoken to us on nearly every conceivable topic during public appearances at our Board meetings.

Oh wait, Loumos sent an email once. “... I see that Dean Loumos sent us an e-mail last August urging us to reopen our union contracts and increase pay for school staff.”

By contrast, Hughes says he has “known and respected Wayne Strong [a city policeman and 17-year south side neighborhood volunteer (his bio here)] since we served together four years ago on the School District’s Strategic Planning Committee.” Strong is running against Loumos.

Old to new | New to old
Feb 23, 2013 09:05 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Blockbuster story in Saturday Wisconsin State Journal by Matt DeFour. Sarah Manski has always claimed that (a) school board member(s) asked her to run. Sarah Manski obviously knew that Ben might leave town, given that he had applied to out of state doctoral programs. It is not difficult to believe her story that Marj Passman said not to worry, we'll appoint "someone good." Again, the insider game that I referenced above. It is also reasonable to believe that teachers union boss John Matthews was in on the game. Why? To freeze out an appealing minority candidate, Ananda Mirilli, who showed disturbing signs of thinking for herself. With Manski's ability to tap into Ben's political machine (he ran for Assembly and for vice president of the United States (!) on the Green ticket), MTI was assured of getting its union lackey.

Feb 23, 2013 08:13 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This column is inaccurate for more than one reason. The teachers' Union endorsed James Howard, not Greg Packnett.

Feb 23, 2013 08:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

For the record, the Madison Teachers' Union did not endorse Manski. They did not endorse for Seat 5 in the Primary.

Feb 24, 2013 05:51 pm
 Posted by  Meade

For the record, the Madison Teachers' Union did not endorse Manski. They did not endorse for Seat 5 in the Primary.

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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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