Friday, May 23, 2008

Time for Hillary to Quit

When Hillary Clinton is reduced to claiming she's still in the race because "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," it's time for her to quit.

I realize that she wasn't saying she hopes Obama will be assassinated, but it sure came out that way. And this wasn't the first time she's invoked RFK. Once could be a mistake, but for a politician of her caliber twice is a campaign strategy.

Out of my belief in the benefits of the primary process, and my respect for friends who are Hillary supporters, I haven't previously called on her to drop out. But now it's time. Hillary Clinton is a great politician with enormous potential, but her ambition has become destructive. She's lost the race, and now she needs to ride off into the sunset while she has some credibility left.

Please call Tammy Baldwin and ask her to switch her support to Obama. I doubt anything short of a massive loss of superdelegate support will force Hillary to do the right thing and concede.

Tammy's numbers are: (608) 258-9800 (Madison), and (608) 362-2800 (Beloit).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Freudian Slip

From the new conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Leadership. See if you can spot it:
"We must fix the Milwaukee Public School system which is not only a black hole for tax dollars..."

The Letter - Alder Eli Judge and the 911 Center Oversight Board

Below is a open letter sent by a group of UW-Madison students to several Madison area news organizations regarding Alder Eli Judge's failure to attend meetings of the 911 Center Oversight Board in the year prior to Brittany Zimmerman's murder. I was given this letter by a local reporter who felt his organization had not appropriately covered it, and who wanted me to post it. Following the letter are related links including Eli Judge's response on his blog.

Before anyone tears into me, be aware that I fully understand the political and personal overtones here. This post is informational; my attempt to create a repository for everything that's been written publicly on the subject. If you know of stories or posts that I've missed, let me know. Also, given the history of some of the folks involved in this issue, please understand that I will delete any inappropriate or off-topic comments.
Open Letter to Alder Eli Judge

As your constituents, we and many other students were delighted that your campaign in 2007 was a positive, issue-oriented contest with your opponent, Lauren Woods, in which each of you testified over and over about your strong commitment to campus safety and women's safety. You each published plans for campus safety, and talked about it on your website and literature. This deep commitment to our safety was reiterated so many times that people truly believed it, voted for you, and gave you the weighty opportunity to put your words into action and fight to improve campus and community safety.

Given this background of your oft-professed passion for public safety, certainly you can understand why we are shocked and outraged at your failure to attend even one meeting of the 911 Center Oversight Board in the entirety of your term of service. This is completely unacceptable and unprecedented. It would be unacceptable if you missed nine consecutive monthly meetings of any committee, but to completely ignore the key issue that you made a centerpiece of your campaign smacks of an arrogance unrivaled even among the haughty club of elected officials you worked so hard to join last year.

Alder Judge, if you had a conflict in your schedule with the meetings of this committee, then you should have resigned your seat as soon as it was apparent so that the City of Madison could have been properly represented on the Board. To hold a seat on an oversight body of such a critical part of our public safety infrastructure, knowing that you were unable to fulfill the most basic of all duties, attendance, is to demonstrate woefully negligent indifference to the needs and safety of your constituents and Dane County as a whole. After the tragic death of Brittany Zimmerman and the galling failure of our 911 operations, many have wondered what role proper oversight could have played in preventing Brittany's unnecessary death. We will never know whether real oversight could have prevented this or other tragedies, because your habitual absences deprived the City of Madison of its role in oversight of the 911 Center operations, a critical inter-governmental public safety function.

We are left comparing your public expressions of condolence and care with your record of inaction, inattention, and indifference. Especially after an election campaign in which you raised and politicized the critical issue of public safety, as well as had surrogates criticize your opponent for missing far less important meetings, we are left with no other choice than to find your service unacceptable, and demand your immediate resignation from the 911 Center Oversight Board and the Common Council. The students of UW-Madison deserve better in a representative, and the City of Madison deserves better in its public safety efforts.

We understand that the Mayor is already taking long-overdue steps to remove you from the 911 Center Oversight Board, and we hope that you will do the honorable thing and resign your seat in order to allow service from a student who will not just talk about public safety, but who will actually show up and make a difference on behalf of the UW campus. As constituents on this campus, we deserve no less.


Lydia Barbash-(I deleted the contact info originally here)
Mingwei Huang
Karren Lawson
Kari Muldore
Kelly Rentscher
Mathew Maus
Donald Spann
Brian Febbo
John Cokins
J. Aaron Blecher
Alex Ippolito
Nicholas McCann
Zachary Hirschtritt
Jake Guyette
Josh Guyette
Katherine Baeten
Alicia Abercrombie
Darin Gaffield
Anna Hundt-Golden
Eli Judge's response.

Original Channel 27 news article.

Second Channel 27 article.

Third Channel 27 article.

Critical Badger blog post 1.

Critical Badger blog post 2.

Critical Badger blog post 3.

Something Verbose blog post.

Isthmus forum thread.