Tag Archives: cieslewicz

_________ Dave?

I don’t have much to say about the recall elections besides the obvious — both sides got some of what they wanted and about what they expected, it’s an interesting time to be Dale Schultz — but here’s a different Wiscopolitical question.  Why don’t people talk much about Dave Cieslewicz running for statewide office?  He served two very successful terms as mayor of a pretty big city, and he surely has more name recognition around the state than all but a handful of politicians.  He’s a moderate Democrat — OK, he’s a liberal Democrat, but one who arguably lost his mayoral re-election race for being too “business-friendly.”  He’s more of an “I like bike lanes and libraries and tech companies” liberal than a “burn the corporations” liberal.   If Tammy Baldwin is a viable Senate candidate, he’s a viable gubernatorial candidate.

I know some of my readers don’t like him, so feel free to have at him here.

Maybe he’s just not interested.  Here’s Cieslewicz’s blog post about why he’s not running for Congress.  Now looking at this I have to concede that he’s not exactly self-presenting as a Clintonist triangulator.

So, if I went to Congress I’d go to push for another stimulus package big enough to pull us out of the re-recession we seem to be in; I’d go to pass a constitutional amendment that officially defines marriage as none of the government’s damn business; I’d go to build commuter rail, streetcars, bike paths and really nice bus systems in every city in America and high speed rail to connect them all; I’d go to pass meaningful gun control laws to slow the mindless carnage that results from there being just too damn many guns around; I’d go to do something strong to stop global climate change, starting with rejecting the notion that fossil fuels have to be the largest part of our energy portfolio even for the next couple of decades; I’d go to extend Medicare to everyone; I’d go to outlaw the death penalty everywhere in America; I’d go to stop subsidizing corporate agriculture and start providing real incentives for locally grown food.

Is “rip-roaring liberal who says damn a lot” a winning political stance?

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Kloppenburg, Soglin, Cieslewicz

Will a tight mayoral election between Paul Soglin and Dave Cieslewicz help JoAnne Kloppenburg in her bid to unseat David Prosser on the Wisconsin Supreme Court?  The theory is that a mayoral election in Madison increases turnout in a precinct likely to be very Kloppenburg-friendly.

But I don’t think the effect will be so big.  Supreme Court races here have tended to draw about 800,000 voters.  (Compare with the 2.1 million who voted in the 2010 governor’s race.)  There have been three State Supreme Court elections in the last five years.  The election that included  a Madison mayoral race drew 90,000 voters from Dane County; the one that featured a County Executive contest got 100,000.  The other, the high-profile race between Louis Butler and Michael Gableman, got 70,000 Dane County votes.  In each of these, Dane County gave a large majority of its votes to the more liberal candidate.

So let’s say the Soglin-Cieslewicz race brings out an extra 30K Madison voters on April 5.  Based on previous Supreme Court votes, give 75% of these to Kloppenburg.  That gives her an extra margin of 15,000 votes, or about 2%.  Not that big a swing, when you’re trying to unseat an incumbent justice, something that’s only been done once in the last forty years.

That one time, by the way, was Gableman’s victory over Butler.  Gableman won by 23,000 votes.  If Madison had elected a mayor on 2008, it’s just possible Butler would still be on the Court.

While we’re talking about the spring election — people in comments, especially old Madison hands, should feel free to lobby for a mayoral candidate.  I’m undecided.  Here’s Cieslewicz’s blog and here’s Soglin’s.

And, of course, if you live in Wisconsin, don’t forget to vote on April 5.


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