Why won’t mayor Satya share the pain?

Where is the empathy?

Congressman Mark Pocan did not use the word “Deplorables” to describe those who protested the statewide coronavirus lock-down 04-24-2020 at the WI State Capitol. His condescension was palpable enough without it. The farmers, tavern keepers, and hairdressers who asked for relief from the resulting economic paralysis were motivated by “fear,” or “paranoia” or “just plain manipulated for political reasons,” Pocan writes in the WI State Journal.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway was more direct. “Stupid” is how she described them.

Progressives like the mayor and the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus can’t resist playing the politics of resentment. One might think (but one would be wrong) that the 2016 Election would have  taught them better manners — or, at least, smarter politics: resentment given is resentment returned. Donald Trump says Hello.

But then, Pocan and Mayor Satya can talk big. They and their class won’t miss a single paycheck. 

Mark Pocan

Shut up and pay yer taxes!

Which is the point former Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz makes in a must-read column up today in the on-line only Isthmus, which (not so coincidentally) suspended print publication March 19. The businesses that used to advertise went dark. 

Cieslewicz is one of a disappearing breed of Democrat in this high-tech, government and university town: someone who actually understands blue collar workers. Perhaps it’s his upbringing in Polish south Milwaukee. The guy actually takes a rifle into the autumn woods to shoot at Bambi. 


Cieslewicz gets the resentment felt by the Safer at Home protesters. 

  • Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is estimated to be 27% due to closures and social distancing orders aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • Forecasts say national GDP will plummet 30% in the second quarter.
  • Consumer spending dropped a record 7.5% in March.
  • “One in three Wisconsin small businesses may never reopen their doors,” Cieslewicz writes. Yet … yet … yet

Freeze it!

“Despite all that, the city of Madison, Dane County and the Madison Metropolitan School District have not cut, furloughed or reduced hours for their employees, the former mayor writes. He goes a step further and calls for a property tax freeze, which sounds ambitious because the state is expected to lose $2 billion due to COVID-19.

  • Local government is certain to take a major hit on state shared revenue. Gov. Tony Evers is planning a 5% cut in state government spending due to the evaporation of $2 Billion (with a B) in state revenue. To which we add: Goodbye to the anticipated Madison schools referenda this fall for authority to spend an additional $350 million.
  • In addition, the county depends on sales taxes for 11.5% of its revenue. New cars are not selling.
  • The city relies on 5.75% of its income from the hotel room tax. Who is traveling any more?

But has one city, county, school or (for that matter) state employee been laid off? Furloughed? Pay raises postponed or canceled due to the economic meltdown?

Did someone say ‘private sector’?

Cieslewicz again:

It’s just not plausible that cuts aren’t possible ... To have any credibility at all with taxpayers … an overall salary savings goal of 5% or so would be painful, but not unrealistic especially when you look at what the private sector is going through.

If only to say — as the Queen Mother did after Buckingham Palace was bombed during the London Blitz, so that local leaders can look the working class East End in the eye again.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Can’t remember the last time we heard a Madison political figure utter the term “private sector.” How quaint.

What do YOU think?

About David Blaska

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

11 Responses to Why won’t mayor Satya share the pain?

  1. madisonexpat says:

    I think every Prog Politician has heard “its the economy, stupid” and seen it expand at a better rate of growth than other industrialized nation thanks to President Trump cutting regulation, repatriating capital and cutting taxes. The longer these pols can keep people home and hobble the economy the better the progs like it.
    I’ve seen “the Trump virus” meme has failed. Wait for “it happened on his watch.”
    Biden’s foundering, Hillary remains in the public eye and no dem has a message that resonates.
    And that’s no malarkey. (Every millennial, as one. asks. “Hey grampa, what’s a malarkey?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Smith says:

    “…an overall salary savings goal of 5% or so would be painful”? Please! 95% of state government is non-essential. 5% is pretty much a rounding error for the Evers’ administration and how determined they are to NEVER live within their means.

    When taxpayers are not working, those who depend on taxpayer funding for their paychecks should be first to furlough and be fired. And in this current day and age, that includes public school teachers too. They are phoning it in during this panDEMic (which in hindsight, might be better for the children since Public schools were failing in their charter).


  3. sahmpaw says:

    Democrat or not, I’d prefer him as Mayor any day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AdamC says:

    Anyone in the Madison area who knows and cares to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves KNOWS the truth— many public employees are getting full pay and benefits for doing less than full time work at home. The thing is, the economic repercussions for the public sector may have been delayed a bit but when the chickens come home to roost it’s going to be SIGNIFICANT.

    The Mayor if she has an ounce of sense knows that the best thing she could do would be to scuttle BRT and the public market and any other major project ASAP and rescind that idiotic wheel tax of hers. Public transportation and public market are obvious hotspots for transmission of contagious diseases and need to be heaved into the ashbin of history for the sake of public health and safety.

    Too, the School Board knows damn well that a ridiculous half-billion for tidying up the 4 public schools needs to be heaved into that same ashbin.

    We are approaching 30% unemployment and we no longer can afford massive public boondoggles like the above. That goes for 6-figure salaries for illiterate, incompetent diversity czarinas too.


  5. dad29 says:

    New cars are not selling.

    From what I’ve seen–and I see it up-close–USED cars are not selling, either. In the word of a close friend of mine in Teh Biz, used-car market has “cratered” across the USA.

    But none of that bothers the Underwear-On-Your-Head crowd who will NOT really miss a paycheck.


  6. georgessson says:

    All are true and insightful comments, as well as the Squires’ blog. That said, Mayor Satya wears a Teflon brassiere and with Kevlar reinforcement. Humor aside, the Progs/crazies in Madison love her too much to remember her stupid comments about “stupid” protesters. Or much less put a pencil to paper and figure out how much $$$ city employees are disproportionately costing taxpayers. Her tone-deaf attitude towards to current common private enterprises’ (and regular property tax payers) struggle is appalling -but is it surprising?


  7. Cornelius Gotchberg says:

    For any of you interested in résumé fluffing and epically clueless BULL$#!T, The Gotch submits a passage from the talented Jennifer Cheatham’s Harvard Profile:

    (bolds/italics mine throughout)
    “For over six years, she served as the superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District. During her tenure, she and her team established strong routines for continuous improvement at every level of the school system, strengthened the district’s core instructional program K-12, improved the district’s approach to family partnership which included design of their local approach to community schools, expanded options for post-secondary success with a focus on student-centered design, strengthened hiring and induction systems with a focus on diversity, and established powerful one-of-a-kind partnerships with a focus on research and innovation.

    “Jennifer, in partnership with the community she served, also introduced a new, bolder agenda for the future grounded in a commitment to anti-racism, inclusion and alliance to children and families of color.” (bolds/italics mine)

    See anything about the highest Achievement Gap in the known Universe?

    Me either.

    The Gotch


  8. JoJo says:

    So is it true our Governor, Mayor, County Exec, & Congressperson are going to forgo their salaries as a show of solidarity with the private sector? Or am I just starting a misinformation campaign.

    Liked by 2 people

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