A tough night at the Stately Manor. Our candidates lost all across the board.
Bob Dylan sang that the times, they are a’changing. But in Orchard Ridge’s case, it is the neighborhood that is a’changing. In driveways on my street and the next one over moving pods await, one of those residences took my candidate’s yard signs. We read the obituary of another neighbor, who also took a Fitzsimmons yard sign.
In three straight campaign visits of good supporters of mine, widows answered the door where, in my last campaign 11 years ago, there had been husband and wife. They are being replaced by younger families who, being younger, tend to vote liberal. No amount of redistricting can change the fact that liberals are self-selecting Madison and reinforcing its political monoculture.
Another teachers union clone, Kate Toews, joined the Madison school board. Don’t expect many charter school approvals from that bunch.
The police bashers were returned to the Madison Common Council in fine fashion. The white lab coats here at the Policy Werkes thought it ironic that voting was extended to 9:30 from the standard 8 p.m. closing at the polling place in Allied Drive — “due to [an] extended police presence.” Police were investigating a shooting. Of course.
It was thought that the presence of police would be “intimidating.” Tell me when law-abiding, voting citizens (natural-born or naturalized) are intimidated by the police.
But hey, Ald. Maurice Cheeks got low-cost, high-speed internet for Allied Drive. For that, the Wisconsin State Journal decreed, the incumbent deserved re-election. Apparently, the voters agreed. So as ye sow …
Is county zoning opt-out in trouble?
An unreported story is the carnage in the Town of Middleton. Town chairman Bill Kolar and supervisor Tim Roehl were defeated — both by write-ins, Cynthia Richson and Richard Oberle, respectively. The issue was town governments opting out of county zoning. Kolar maintained he was neutral but sounded supportive. Roehl in particular, as a lobbyist for the Realtors Assn., got the state legislature to enact enabling legislation.
Middleton Town residents showed up in force at a legislative hearing to oppose terms of the opt-out process. The legislation’s author, Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, was considering changing the requirement of an opt-out from a referendum or annual meeting (where citizens can vote) to a specially called meeting. But Middleton’s vote remains scheduled for the annual town meeting on April 18.
Another big upset, Fitchburg turned out incumbent Steve Arnold, who is Progressive Dane, in favor of challenger Jason Gonzalez.
Tom Consigny, requiescat in pacem
We were talking about long-time neighbors leaving for a better world.
My friend, neighbor, and Blaska campaign treasurer Tom Consigny passed away last Thursday, two years after his beautiful wife, Jean. Tom was a vice president at Wisconsin Power and Light and — I just learned — a high school and college track star and all-round athlete into adulthood — golf, swimming, skiing, and racquetball. And a singer. Tom was a happy warrior; he enjoyed politics. Well, it was his profession, after all. I well remember Tom stapling political signs high up on utility poles, where they remained for many years. He and Jean had a zest for life. When I first visited their house, one street up, in my first race in 1994, Tom ran down in the basement to retrieve two shoeboxes full of note cards — his supporters from his two terms on the Madison Common Council in the 1960s. His obituary.