The Paul R. Soglin Madison Municipal Building

Ok, so here’s a man-bites-dog story for you. Capital Times Emeritus Editor Dave Zweifel has started a campaign to rename the Madison Municipal Building after the city’s longest serving mayor, Paul Soglin.

And I agree.

That might surprise you because Paul and I went head-to-head for the mayor’s job twice. In 2003, I beat him by 1,200 votes and in 2011 he came back and beat me by 700. (I claim to still be 500 votes ahead.) While the campaigns themselves weren’t especially nasty, Paul didn’t pull his punches during the eight years that I was in office and I returned the favor over the eight years he held it after me.

Paul Soglin

I think much of our nitpicking at one another had to do with the fact that we held mostly the same positions on issues and shared a similar point of view about the city. So, our differences came down to style and personality and that got personal sometimes.

But that’s water under the bridge. It’s undeniable that nobody has had more impact on the city over the last half century than Paul. The Municipal Building is fitting because he had much to do with saving it after the Federal courthouse moved out and then refurbishing it during his last stint as mayor.

Hizzoner deserves the honor.

And on another matter… last week I wondered if lobbyist Bill McCoshen, who announced that he would not go through with a gubernatorial campaign, might reconsider in light of Glen Youngkin’s victory in Virginia. McCoshen shares Youngkin’s soccer dad profile. No word from McCoshen, but we have heard from the leading candidate for the Republican nomination. former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

I wondered if Kleefisch would take a cue from Youngkin or continue in the unhinged Trumpy way that she began her campaign. Today the answer is in. She’s staying on the far side of nuts. It’s reported this morning that she’s suing the state Elections Commission over a host of things that are clearly not illegal and were, in fact, entirely reasonable. For example, she’s suing them over allowing polling places to be consolidated last fall. She doesn’t explain what the alternative was, given a lack of poll workers. She’s suing over the use of drop boxes, never mind that Wisconsin law is silent about that — hard to violate a law that doesn’t exist. She’s suing over the ludicrous claim by the Racine County Sheriff that the commission should have required poll workers to enter a nursing home at the height of the pandemic when nursing homes were, for good reason, restricting access.

“Wisconsinites are sick and tired of unelected bureaucrats intentionally ignoring the law,” Kleefisch said. Nah, I don’t think so. I think Wisconsinites are sick and tired of pandering politicians making ridiculous, unfounded charges against local officials who were doing their best to conduct a free and fair election in the midst of a pandemic.

Welcome to the 272nd day of consecutive posts here at YSDA. Thanks for reading!


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

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