Not a good neighborhood for challengers!
UPDATE 9:02 a.m.. today 08-23-22:
No ‘politicians’ elected or not!:
“For decades, the Good Neighbor Festival’s policy has been to welcome elected officials who currently serve Middleton to participate in the annual community parade as long as they do not engage in campaigning. Given recent circumstances and ongoing statements being made on social media, the festival’s Executive Committee has concluded that it is in the best interest for the safety and enjoyment of all parade participants and attendees not to include any politicians (both elected officials and candidates) in the 2022 parade.” — official statement from Middleton Good Neighbor Festival.
Organizers of next Sunday’s Good Neighbor parade in Middleton WI 08-28-22 are not allowing Republican candidates to participate. Only incumbents, they say. Unfortunately, for Republicans, all the incumbents are Democrats.
Candidate for state Senate Robert Relf, congressional candidates Charity Barry and Eric Olson, and sheriff’s candidate Anthony Hamilton have all been denied permission to walk the parade. Republicans, all.
“Their opinion is that even though an incumbent can walk in parade and have a slogan on their vehicle, that is not considered campaigning,” Hamilton told the Werkes today.
Middleton IS allowing incumbent Sheriff Kalvin Barnes and Congressman Mark Pocan to march. State Rep. Diane Hesselbein, who is competing with Relph for an open State Senate seat, gets in, too. So, also, does Alex Joers who is running for Hesselbein’s open Assembly seat. Joers gets to march because he is an incumbent county board member, apparently. All are Democrats..
“They’re arguing it is not discriminatory and I am arguing it is. They’re not allowing any opponents and all of the opponents are Republicans,” Hamilton said.
In a social media post, Middleton Good Neighbor Festival organizer Adam Warriner said participants can only represent their current government positions. No campaign T-shirts, signs or literature.
“The comment that we won’t let Republicans March in the parade is totally inaccurate. If Ron Johnson wanted to march in our parade, he would be allowed. As long as he did not do any type of campaigning for his re-election bid.” UPDATE: Kristi Warriner commented to this blogge:
In the Middleton Public Library is a stack of microfiche going back over 100 years. Since this is the festival’s 59th year, you can find all of the reporting about who participated in the parade. As it’s the festival’s policy that has remained unchanged, why ask a group of volunteers to justify a long-standing policy that you disagree with? That’s on you. You will find Skindrud, Kasten, and Klug (as a small sample) have been welcomed in the parade.
Blaska’s Bottom Line — Other area festivals — Waunakee’s and Sun Prairie’s Corn Festival parades — have allowed all candidates in the best spirit of grass roots democracy. Middleton even allows for-profit companies to parade, for a fee. But no challengers permitted in Middleton’s public square!