Are moderates safe in Madison any more?

Wanted: political courage

Former mayor Dave Cieslewicz has a brand new blog (wasn’t that a James Brown song?): Yellow Stripes & Dead Armadillos. (Those being the only things found in the middle of the road, it is said.) His blog’s subhead says it all: “a safe place for moderates in a polarized world.”

Says something about Madison WI that moderates need a Safe Place. But this is the Midwest hdq of the Cancel Culture, where debate is conducted with baseball bats, bullhorns, and F-bombs. (Yeah, the Proud Boys were late to the game.)

Cieslewicz (pronounced exactly as spelled) observes that a political entity known as Progressive Dane operates city government. Indeed, nine of its 20 alders are dues-paying members, as is Mayor Satya, and several more vote with PD. 

The former mayor (2003 to 2011) bemoans that local Democrats have yielded the playing field to PD’s aggrieved cadres but knowledges that Madison Dems are, by and large, just as warped. “I’m eager to see some left-center organization take its place in local politics,” Dave writes.

In lieu of such a political party, an entity called “Save Madison” is raging against the dying of the light. Billboards around town make an elemental point: crime is up even as Progressives defund the police, derail the jail, and expel cops from schools. Kids — especially those of color — are the victims.

“Political malpractice!” the mild-mannered former mayor thunders (sort of). Of next April’s municipal elections: “Lots of voters would support more creative approaches to crime, but few would support slashing police budgets.” Cieslewicz asks whether Save Madison is anything more than a one man band, that being second-generation Madison property developer Eric Hovde. He bases that hypothesis on the excellent journalism of Dylan Brogan in Isthmus.

Intimidator’s veto

Brogan wrote that its organizers ”are … something of a mystery to even those steeped in city politics” — but induced Hovde to step forward.

“In the last few years, public safety has really declined. Particularly in this last year, rather meaningfully so,” Hovde tells Isthmus. “The council has done nothing but attack the police. I mean, how many oversight boards do we need? And at the same time this is happening, we’ve had an 80% increase in shootings.”

Hovde says the current political climate in Madison makes it difficult for individuals who support law enforcement to speak out publicly — let alone run for local office.

“Just look at what happened to Gloria Reyes,” says Hovde, referring to the former police officer who currently serves on the Madison school board. In June Black Lives Matter activists protested outside her home when the school board was debating the presence of police in the schools. “[Protesters] showed up at her house and made threats and all the rest. I mean, that’s intimidating for a lot of people.”

“A large part of the Madison electorate agrees,” Cieslewicz writes. “A lot of us would like to have the option of voting for candidates who are not as ideological as those offered by PD.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Madison’s grievance culture will pillory “Save Madison” as a Republican production based on the fact that Hovde ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2012. (Tommy Thompson beat him in the primary, then lost to Tammy Baldwin.) That would be unfair because, from what the Werkes has been able to discern, blue collar trades unionists, card-carrying Democrats, and others are also involved.

You’ll know they have succeeded when Madison moderates once again feel safe to speak out. Until then, they have plate glass to protect.

Are YOU playing it safe?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Madison aldermanic elections 2021, Madison city government, Progressives, War on Police and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Are moderates safe in Madison any more?

  1. AdamC says:

    In Madison, “moderates” are properly referred to as “irredeemable racist white suprememacist Nazi fascist Klan members.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good Dog,Happy Man says:

    Just finished reading a book about moderates who made a difference.

    It was a very short read.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. jimydandy says:

    Commie Soglin even looks like a “moderate” compared to these mentally ill people. Just when you thought the left margin of paper was defined, they taped on another sheet.


  4. jimydandy says:

    Had this have been me, I gar un tee I’d be in Gitmo. Instead “Willie” will be hailed a hero and lead the parade down MLK Blvd.


  5. ChuckJ says:

    Want to get your mind blown? On Nada Elmikashfi’s Facebook page, she writes: “I’m sorry but stop letting pro(gressive)-dane gatekeep progressivism. A group with 90% white people who have problems with many people of color and don’t always vote with Black lives is just SUS. They are cultish and it’s unnerving.” (SUS apparently means “suspicious” in Newspeak.) This raises the ire of Amelia Royko-Maurer, who demands an explanation. Others in the thread shut her down, with the final word to her being “I know you’re focused on the policing issue and you’ve definitely been a big part of pushing forward on that issue incrementally. But what I am hearing from folks is that there’s a wider concern. And frankly, it’s valid.” ARM promises to work on a comprehensive response– but the point is… All of a sudden, Amelia Royko-Maurer (and Progressive Dane itself) isn’t “woke” enough for this new breed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AdamC says:

      No one should be surprised by that. Granted Amelia is not that old but it probably is not an exaggeration that PD is mostly elderly whites. Wait till the organization they built over decades is taken over and they are heaved out like expired milk.

      Granted, a fair number of the elderly whites who mostly make up PD will willingly be catapulted into the junkyard (some will be heard as they fly through the air, saying “Thank you! I had this coming!”) — but there are others who will find all this a rude awakening.

      Amelia is either not old enough, or compliant enough, to accept this. But eventually the cancel culture bell tolls for thee.


    • pANTIFArts says:

      Yes ProgDa took a calculated risk in their bid to be the preeminent power brokers of Dane Co. politics when they allowed, (then helped nurture), all of these more “direct action” based groups and individuals to flourish. Instead of remaining in ProgDa’s shadow as vassals, they feel that they are now on equal footing. ProgDa should have stayed true to a plan of infiltrating the groups and placing member/loyalists in positions of authority, because being more inclusive would have meant ceding some power, a prospect they find distasteful. (Don’t raise tigers, they’re cute when they’re little, but the bigger they get, the tastier you look.)


  6. georgessson says:

    Well, I’ll be checkin’ that blog soon. Seems Isthmus, where he was posting B4, as well as Nada (as in Zip, Zed, Nada), either loses my comments to Mayor Dave and Nada -or posts ’em days after I submit. Maybe his new blog will be more honest. No hope fer Nada, tho. She loves to spew negativeness whenever/wherever she alights. A brown butterfly of perpetual “victim-hood” B/S, also usually brown….


  7. Gary Kriewald says:

    Classic case of “too little too late.” Once fanatical ideologues have grasped the reins of power, nothing will dislodge them–except, of course, the kind of tactics they themselves used to gain power–tactics that moderates are too “principled” (or prissy) to employ. And once Obama’s third term starts, look for Madison’s brand of left-wing lunacy to become the national norm.


  8. richard -lesiak says:

    Let it be written for all to see in the kingdom that on this day of our Lord 1/19/2021 that Mitch McConnell has found his spine.


  9. Pingback: Progressive Dane is so … white | Blaska Policy Werkes

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