The Wisconsin State Journal deserves credit for fighting for an ordinance banning panhandlers from Madison’s busiest streets. But the measure faced resistance from the touchie-feelies inhabiting the Common Council, Indeed, had two alders switched votes, the measure would have failed instead of squeaking by, 12-8, in the vote taken almost six months ago.
Today, the city’s paper of record takes a well deserved victory lap, pronouncing that “Madison’s roadside panhandling law has been a success.” The editorial notes:
Madison’s law against panhandling along the terraces and medians of the city’s busiest streets has done precisely what it was supposed to do … No longer are young drifters distracting drivers who should be watching the road. No longer are panhandlers putting themselves in danger next to heavy, fast-moving traffic. And no longer are motorists — particularly visitors who aren’t familiar with the city — being intimidated by people looming next to their cars at red lights looking for money.
… Congratulations to the mayor, City Council members and police who made it happen.
But what of those eight alders who ignored hard and anecdotal evidence that the panhandlers were not homeless and that their scam was lucrative? The State Journal will never tell you their names. Why? It remains a mystery. Editor John Smalley, edit page editor Scott Milfred: You’re in the information business. Citizens deserve to know the actions of their elected officials. Call the roll!
Stately Blaska Manor will fill the void. Here are the eight who voted to keep panhandlers on the median strips:
They also happen to be among the worst of the police bashers on the Council. What is wrong with these people?!