Take the bus, Gus; Don’t need to discuss much

Progressive Dane runs this city

The late, great satirical magazine National Lampoon published an issue with one or the classic covers of all time. An endearing dog — a beagle, we think — looks worriedly to the side at a handgun pointed at its head. “Buy this magazine,” the headline read, “or the dog gets it.”

That’s pretty much Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s pitch. Pass the $40 wheel tax or we lay off police and fire fighters. Deny city employees a pay raise. Maybe we close Goodman swimming pool, who knows?

So the Common Council capitulated by an 11 to 8 vote Tuesday (10-29-19) to burden Madison families with a total $153 annual, per-vehicle tax, when accounting for state, county, and the new city tax. Expect the Council to increase the property tax to the state-mandated max on November 12, when the Council considers the full budget. (Those pesky Republicans and their spending constraints!)

Satya at bus stop

Get on the bus, rapidly!

Why this sudden and dramatic need for more revenue? Left unsaid, unexamined, uncontested it is the mayor’s push for rapid bus transit — an eventual start-up cost $120 million, minus a not guaranteed federal contribution. The white lab coats here at Blaska Policy Werkes do not recall pitchforks and torches during the mayoral election campaign this spring demanding rapid bus transit. But we’re going to get it, anyway. Because, said the mayor Tuesday,  global climate change.

Not even a whisper of public safety 

Can’t say we were not warned. This is Satya on her campaign website:

“It is up to cities to lead now, and we need city leaders who are ready for that and are able to take on that role. I’m ready to do that whether that’s on climate, racial equity, housing, transportation.”

Notice what is missing? Crime. Satya Rhodes-Conway is Progressive Dane. Madame Brenda Konkel’s left of left political party. Cops Out of Schools and Derail the Jail. But then, incumbent Paul Soglin didn’t talk crime either. Nine of the 20 alders are PD. That’s why Police Chief Mike Koval ran up the white flag. 

These 11 alders voted FOR the $40 Wheel Tax

Progressive Dane in Red

Wheel Tax 11

Voting YES: Bidar, Furman, Lemmer, Rummel, Martin, Evers, Moreland, Foster, Verveer, Heck, Kemble — 11

Voting NO: Abbas, Albouras, Baldeh, Carter, Harrington-McKinney, Henak, Skidmore, Tierney — 8

Search Satya’s campaign and you will find the words “public safety” only once and then in regards to traffic. Her issues: stormwater management (more rain gardens and bio-swales), housing, transportation, climate change, “stabilizing families,” food policy, and — of course! — racial justice. Satya is big on identity politics:

Comment, respond, what do you thinkPeople need to have a voice. If I’m elected, I will be only the second woman in history – and the first lesbian – elected as mayor of Madison.”

Pat yourselves on the back, Madison, for being so broad-minded! If only the dear woman had been born with 1,024th Native American heritage.

Will the voters punish us?

A takeaway from Tuesday’s special Common Council meeting (10-29-19) on the $40 wheel tax:

Ald. Keith Furman: “I’ve got plenty of feedback that is is not a popular proposal … but we have to pass a balanced budget.”

Ald. Donna Moreland: “Have we, um, talked to the county to see what feedback they received from residents when they increased, or when they imposed, the $28 tax?” 

The Mayor: “If there isn’t an objection I can answer that. I haven’t formally asked the question but in conversations with both the county executive and county supervisors, um, what I have informally gathered is that while … there was a significant amount of negative feedback um, that they hear very little after the fact.

“Just anecdotally I was talking to a county supervisor today and she says, um, you know we had all sorts of people saying things like we’re going to run against you because you voted for this and then, as a matter of fact, nothing appeared after the fact. 

“Folks seemed to have gone back to the status quo.” 

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Perfect timing, alders aren’t up for re-election for another year and one-half.  

What do YOU think?

Petition the Mayor and Madison alders:

“We need more police and fire safety and we don’t need a $200,000 police critic!



About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Madison city government, Satya Rhodes-Conway and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Take the bus, Gus; Don’t need to discuss much

  1. Agressive dissent says:

    It’s kind of ironic. What happens if you don’t pay? You probably get a huge fine. What happens if you don’t pay the fine? The cops might come to enforce that fine. Less cops means the state is less effective at enforcing their bullshit laws. Grown men should have no problem defending their own neighborhoods. Otherwise, how can they even be considered men? Those who can’t defend themselves are probably the antigun Communist types that allowed the current conditions to be created in the first place. And they deserve to feel the full consequences of that. Nothing can save the city now. Violent crime will only get worse, until the city itself collapses. Anything short of demographic security is a bandaid on a severe gunshot wound.


    • Batman says:

      “Grown men should have no problem defending their own neighborhoods. Otherwise, how can they even be considered men?”

      What about when sleeping?


  2. Tom Paine says:

    Not even Algebra II. Tree-hugging socialists. What did you expect from them? The future of Madison is their’s. Seems rational for one to conclude: move or endure.


    • Paula Fitz says:

      Under this sustained type of leadership, I suspect Madison will eventually turn into a slum. Most people care about safety first (I think), but you can’t feel safe with a mayor and Council who prioritize ideological programs over police.

      People will move, but these problems will undoubtedly follow unless they’re willing to push back when it counts.

      By the way, I care about the environment AND am a capitalist.


  3. We are in the midst of a major ideological social shift to the extreme political left. Progressives are shoving the political pendulum as hard as they can. They’re going to back everyone to the right of their extremism into a corner and all hell is going to break loose.


    • Paula Fitz says:

      True, the Progressives are pushing people with good sense to the right. I don’t know anyone with an ounce of sense who is on board with their brand of extremism.

      Moderates and those on the fence will be saying to themselves at election time: Trump (or fill in the blank with other Republican candidates) is a bully and he’s crass, but he beats the heck out of communists.


        • Paula Fitz says:

          I’ll do you one better, Steve. I not only read it, but commented,too!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Batman says:

          That’s some good shit there Steve. Appreciate all the effort and thought.

          You write:
          “I, Steve Witherspoon, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”


          What if limp wrist pretty boy Obama (while President) ordered you to fire upon citizens protesting non-violently, or participate in door to door gun confiscation.


        • Batman,
          Those orders would be illegal
          orders so nope.

          Just because they are in charge does not mean they can order you to do things that are illegal and expect the order to be followed.


  4. A Party of One says:

    So, two of the Regressive Dane alders (including mine, Albouras) voted against the party line. I suppose they knew that the tax would pass anyway, so now they can tell the voters they voted against it. Typical slimy politics.I won’t forget!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. White Hills says:

    Tax and spend on government pensions; for those lucky enough to be in the bureaucracy.

    Bus ridership patterns haven’t changed since I’ve lived here. There are 3 main routes that will reach max capacity during peak hours. Other than that, buses are rarely more than 1/4 full. Often times there’s only 1-4 riders. The city lies about ridership numbers. Few people are using buses for their commuting needs, for the obvious reasons.


  6. Sprocket says:

    No surprises here. Soaking the people who work for a living to sow the seeds of more parasitic government agencies in the interest of an ideological goal (because we know what’s best for you, so shut up and pay) is entirely on brand for the left. Never mind the wheel tax is entirely regressive in nature. Sometimes you have crack a few proletariat eggs to make the workers paradise omelet.


  7. Gordon Sussman says:

    “Pat yourselves on the back, Madison, for being so broad-minded!” You sexist filth! (Unless you’re referring to her girth not her (birth) gender.) Off to the city re-education camp (conveniently located at the new City Market) with you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bob Dorn says:

    Congrats Mayor Satya – looks like you were well-prepared for today’s Halloween snowstorm! (She believes her own global warming…er climate change propaganda). No plows, no salt, many people running off the roads – great work!


    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      @Bob Dorn;

      “No plows, no salt, many people running off the roads – great work!”

      WhattsamattahU? I guarandamntee you that the The BIKIE Path/Lane/Trail/Boulevard/Bridge System is clear as a summer’s day.

      Seems, though, Herzzoner hasn’t been near a BIKIE in a while…

      The Gotch


    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Almost didn’t recognize that Madison bus shelter without the usual contingent of bums muttering to themselves or feral teens scoping out their latest victims.


  9. dad29 says:

    Heh. My s-i-l moved his biz AND his fam out of Madistan several years ago. Sly fox, eh?


  10. Batman says:

    Steve, what if the orders were not unlawful because the legislature enacted law giving the President authority to shoot protestors and confiscate guns. Not improbable if Lefty takes over.


  11. Batman says:

    Automatic weapons are already banned (amongotherweapons) and so-called assault weapons could be banned. Supreme Court decides constitutionality.
    Someone could come a-knockin on your door.


    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:


      “Someone could come a-knockin on your door.”

      (The Second Amendment) Is Just in Case the First One Doesn’t Work Out” Dave Chappelle

      The Gotch


    • I’m not going to loose any sleep over theoretical could be’s that will likely never happen in my lifetime.

      As long as the the Constitution of the United States is still in tact, the Supreme Court of the United States is our friend. If these loud mouthed modern day totalitarian fools try to abolish the Constitution, or parts therein, it would likely lead to massive civil unrest and eventually civil war.


  12. Batman says:

    Squelching equal and free expression of speech is already de facto sanctioned by University admins, local mayors and alders. Police have been ordered to stand down multiple times/events as Antifa brownshirts terrorize/brutalize non-violent marchers/protestors.

    My hypothetical is not all that improbable but I agree would become a horrible bloody mess.

    I have always wondered at what point do citizens, police, and/or military defy unethical orders by those in charge including the President. History and current events provide insight.
    Doubt police/military have the luxury of considering constitutionality.

    Current law already disallows citizens recourse when police storm the wrong house and destroy it. Just happened again. Basically police are immune from those kind of errors and it’s tough luck citizen.


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