Blaska Policy Werkes

Madison’s median strip grifters proven a scam


Since we are in a good mood on this sunny Friday, let’s count our blessings. We’re not at war, the stock market is soaring, the economy is booming, tax cuts are coming, the Badgers are winning and … and … and those median strip grifters are off Madison streets!

Gone, forgotten and not missed! One can actually stop at the traffic light and not have to avert eye contact with an obviously healthy scammer posing as homeless in an attempt to guilt-trip the gullible for some tax-free loot. The backdrop: “Help Wanted” signs posted on all the surrounding retail stores.

After an early education campaign (complete with city attorney-approved leaflets listing Madison’s abundant “resources”), Police Chief Mike Koval updates the citizenry on the first six months of enforcement. (If you are not subscribed to Police Chief Mike Koval’s blog and daily crime report you are missing some of the best reading in town. Go ahead and bookmark it now. We’ll wait.)

Got it? Let’s proceed. Chief Koval reports “the safety concerns about those hanging out on or about the busy medians were largely addressed and the incidents have dropped considerably.”

Only eight people were issued misdemeanor citations. And what is the bottom line? It is as the Chief, Hizzoner the Mayor, and the Squire of the Stately Manor have told you all along: these people are not homeless. Only one of the eight arrested for median strip scamming proved to be homeless. (And begging on median strips is NOT suitable means to acquire a bed and breakfast.) The other seven all or most of the time admitted to having home addresses. (As we have learned, most of the scammers were dropped off at their assigned intersections from their motel rooms.)

Even the one guy arrested 15 times (one Gary Alexander, last jailed Sept. 23 and released 24 hours later) listed a home address the majority of the time. One other rebuke to you social justice warriors: they’re mostly white. Here are the results:

Here, again, are the eight alders who voted to make the median strip scammers a permanent blight on the city of Madison.