So get out to your polling place and score one for democracy and all that. And be sure to first, y'know, look into the items that will be on your ballots.
I'm happy to make a few recommendations, of course, for what it's worth:
Dane County Supervisor
I can't honestly say I'm at all excited about this particular choice. Neither candidate exactly thrills me. Incumbent Kathleen Falk has a lot to answer for in her handling of the 911 center and its various failings over the past year. But challenger Nancy Mistele has done a marvelous job of painting herself as an exploitative, opportunistic, one-hit wonder, and a decidedly less appealing candidate than Falk. Which is saying something. I'm optimistic that Dane County voters will see what I see and keep Falk around for a bit longer - but that they'll hold her accountable for the terrible mistakes that have been made, and if she doesn't shape up, maybe find an at least half-decent candidate to face her next time.
- Kathleen Falk (I) ☑
- Nancy Mistele ☐
I see this one as a no-brainer, and I'm hoping that the majority of my constituents are on the same page, and just as frustrated as I am that the last two supreme court elections were absolute travesties. Current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has been a diligent, thoughtful, and lawful member of the bench since 1976. Challenger Randy Koschnick has proven himself to be someone willing to distort the record of his opponent for his own political gain, and whose judicial record is filled with strange contradictions and decisions. I highly recommend an even brief perusal of Illusory Tenant's excellent posts on the subject for more in-depth analysis. Seriously people, we've already put two chuckleheads onto the bench of the highest court in the state. Let's not swing for the strike out.
- Shirley Abrahamson (I) ☑
- Randy Koschnick ☐
I wrote about this fairly recently, and I haven't changed my mind. I think voting yes and allowing the Common Wealth Development folks buy the property and fix it up so that it can be a place for artist studios, performance space, etc., would be a great opportunity for Madison. It's like getting a second chance at creating an Overture Center that the community would actually use and benefit from--without the shady investment plan.
- Garver Arts Incubator - Yes ☑
- Garver Arts Incubator - No ☐
On the one hand, you have a candidate (Tony Evers) committed to bettering our public schools, holding them to higher standards and making sure that our children are well-served by the system. On the other hand, you have a candidate (Rose Fernandez) that seems committed to channeling money away from the public schools and into the voucher/charter program. While Evers boasts several decades of service to our public schools, including his current title as Deputy State Superintendent of Public Schools, Fernandez can only seem to boast of her efforts to thwart public education. Hooray. For more on the saga, check out Folkbum's excellent coverage of the race here and here.
- Rose Fernandez ☐
- Tony Evers ☑
More important than taking my word for any of this, of course, is going out and looking into the issues and candidates for yourself--and, of course, voting.
P.S. On a somewhat related note, I will be getting interviewed about local elections, my lack of sleep, and other thrilling topics by the intrepid Dan Potacke (aka comedian Alan Talaga) tonight at the Frequency as part of his "Halloween in April: Its Like Christmas In July Except Not" themed talk show. More about the event here. If you're in the neighborhood and in the mood for happy hour drinks, a free show, and me likely making an ass of myself on stage, then please do stop on by!
(photo by Theresa Thompson on Flickr)