The candidate for local government
who makes public safety an issue wins next April
What did we tell you? The Stately Manor wayback machine reported over a week ago that Paul Soglin likely would seek re-election as mayor. Only we said he’d wait until after the November 6 general election on the off-chance that Tony Evers wins for governor, in which case Paul might expect a cabinet position. Which is still possible. (Paul Soglin change his mind? What day is today?)
The competition may have forced his hand sooner than intended. Soglin had to speed up his timetable because seven others have already announced. His stiffest competitor, Ald. Mo Cheeks, is already raising money.
Cheeks has only been running for mayor for the last two years as the choice of the anti-Soglin coalition on the Common Council. For his last alder re-election. Cheeks put together a steam roller of a campaign, staffed with many volunteers and paid professionals with experience running Washington campaigns. He raised record bucks. Local coffeehouse entrepreneur Lindsey Lee is raising cash for Cheeks, who figures to tap the identity politics vote. Madison lib-prog-socs are jonesing to elect their first black mayor.
Soglin is the business candidate
The business community, on the other hand, likes Paul Soglin. He returns their phone calls and (if you haven’t noticed) things are getting built in Madison. To his credit.
Where Soglin is weak is on public safety — a carryover from his days as a campus anti-war protester — and his incessant need to virtue signal (see: removing a gravestone from an old burial ground). Police Chief But then, all the announced candidates are weak on public safety.
As we said Thursday (10-18-18), Soglin reflexively caters to the “public health” theory of crime fighting. The juvenile delinquents just aren’t getting enough services. Fair enough, to a point — that point being: while we’re busy healing, can we get them off the streets before they kill someone, including themselves?
Both Cheeks and Soglin threw $376,000 of taxpayer money to investigate … THE POLICE! For signs of implicit bias. None found. Soglin did lead the charge to remove the fake “homeless” beggars from busy street media strips. Anyone miss those scammers? Cheeks voted to keep them in business.
Mike Koval is asking for six additional patrol officers; Soglin’s budget only adds one detective and upgrades one patrol officer to detective.
Don’t count on Mayor Paul to show at Ald. Skidmore’s public safety listening session 6 p.m. Monday, November 5, at Blackhawk Church off Mineral Point Road. Don’t expect him either at Ald. Harrington-McKinney’s listening session 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.Wednesday, October 24, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church,1701 McKenna Boulevard. Police Chief Mike Koval will attend both. He won’t make the same mistake that his predecessor made when Dave Cieslewicz attended Ald. Thuy Pham-Remele’s hearing at St. Maria Goretti a decade ago.
No longer just a Madison issue
Ironically, the six teenagers in two cars (stolen from Madison and from Fitchburg) who were arrested Thursday morning may have broadened Madison’s juvenile crime epidemic into a countywide issue. The young punks led three police agencies on an overnight chase throughout south-central Dane County, from Belleville and Paoli into Green County. On a school night!
Along the way they burglarized at least one home in the village of Oregon, which has not been reported by the mainstream news media. Wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. Spike strips on the roads stopped at least one of the stolen cars. Three of the teenage miscreants were captured by police dogs from Dane County, some of them well bitten, we hear.
This crime spree comes days after a 58- or 59-year-old woman (have seen it both ways) was mercilessly pummeled after leaving work on Odana Road and her car stolen and crashed by 13- and 15-year olds. (“I thought they were going to kill me.”)
In any event, we’re hearing similar woes from suburban cops in places like Verona, Sun Prairie, and Middleton.
Social media sites devoted to neighborhood issues is heavy with chatter on public safety. And indignant! Is anyone listening? Aside from Ald. Skidmore, what elected official is demanding action? The other 19 alders? The seven Madison school boarders? The 37 county boarders? Chairman Corrigan? (Who? Has a county board chairman ever had a lower profile?) County executive Parisi? Dane County’s large and Democrat(ic) legislative delegation? Who or whom?
For that matter, how about a little more leadership from the Wisconsin State Journal on the crime issue?! (They’ve been great on cops in schools.)
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The candidate who makes public safety an issue wins, whether running for alder, school board, circuit judge, or mayor in next April’s non-partisan election. Paul Skidmore, are you listening?