Where’s Carlton Jenkins?

A grab bag of issues this Friday.

Still lots of unanswered questions. Back in February a small army of law enforcement personnel from a half dozen agencies, including the DNR, descended on one man. They were on the far east side of Madison to arrest Quadren Wilson on a drug charge. They ended up shooting him several times. Wilson survived and was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison for his crimes. Now one of the officers involved, a DOJ investigator named Mark Wagner, has been charged with second degree reckless endangerment. But the criminal complaint against him still doesn’t answer some fundamental questions. Why all that fire power to arrest one guy on a drug charge as opposed to, say, murder? Why was the DNR involved? Since he had a scheduled meeting with his parole officer the next day, why didn’t they arrest him then? Wilson is a drug dealer. He’s not innocent. But did he really need to be shot? The public deserves more answers.

Carlton Jenkins needs to become more visible.

Where is Carlton Jenkins? Police report that yet another spate of melees occurred this week at Madison’s East High School. A student was attacked by two others who were not even students at East, but were apparently students at other Madison schools, and there were two off campus disturbances. And yet, the Madison School District won’t say if it supports Chief Shon Barnes’ proposal to assign neighborhood cops to the areas surrounding the schools. And where is Superintendent Carlton Jenkins on all this? Jenkins almost never appears in a news story to make direct comment. Instead, spokesperson Tim LeMonds speaks for the district and he’s not even portrayed as speaking for Jenkins himself. Jenkins did find his way onto the PBS News Hour a few weeks ago. He needs to be the face of the district here at home because right now it feels like there’s no leadership at all.

How to insult your voters. There’s a reason Democrats are spending record amounts on advertising hitting the abortion issue. It’s because it’s the only one of the top five issues that voters care about on which they have the upper hand. Those issues that rank ahead of abortion include inflation, crime, accurate vote count and schools. So, why Democrats would want to highlight any of those top four issues is a mystery to me. But State Superintendent Jill Underly did just that in her production of a state of the schools speech in the cavernous Capitol rotunda yesterday. Among her comments was this: “The only way to teach the complete story of the United States is to include the history of racism,” Underly said. “Grappling with difficult concepts, including discrimination, is essential, it is culturally relevant, and it is accurate teaching. Saying otherwise is problematic — and racist.” She had me until her last two words. Democrats simply have to stop calling everyone who disagrees with them a racist. Of course, schools should teach about racism and other flaws in our country. What they should not do is teach that America was founded on racism. But that’s just exactly what the New York Times’ awful and offensive 1619 Project — which comes complete with a lesson guide for teachers — would do. Parents have every right to be concerned about that and Underly had no reason to go out of her way to stick a thumb in their eyes. Glenn Youngkin won an upset victory in Virginia’s governor’s race to a large extent on this very issue. Underly’s comments, coming just weeks before Tony Evers’ own reelection bid, were utterly senseless.

That’s all of I’ve got. Have a good weekend. (To have a better one, I recommend skipping the Badger game tomorrow.)


Published by dave cieslewicz

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

4 thoughts on “Where’s Carlton Jenkins?

  1. Underly is a True Believer. Give her credit for not waffling.

    I guess.

    Those of us who think the Chryst era should end are looking forward to tomorrow night. Either way thank heaven for college football.


  2. One Eye: Quite a few years ago, around the turn of the millennium, Nebraska fans clamored to kick out head football coach Frank Solich, and their athletics department complied. Like Paul Chryst, Solich was not flashy and mostly successful, but his teams occasionally lost. He wasn’t perfect but he was pretty good, his teams competed for conference championships and he mostly followed the NCAA’s rules. Since then, Nebraska football has had a revolving door of coaches, bottoming out? with Scott Frost, a can’t miss alumni and native Nebraskan. Today, Nebraska football kinda sucks.
    That should be a cautionary tale for Badger fans, many of whom want Jim Leonhard, right now. Paul Chryst is boring but he represents the university well and his teams are consistently very good, frequent champions of the Western division. They do lose, occasionally – the Washington State game was an anomaly – but I think they have a chance against Ohio State, a football factory that UW will never be.
    As an Iowa fan, I hope that you get your wish, One Eye, and that Wisconsin becomes the new Nebraska


    1. Yeah, I see your point, but I think I’m with the One on this one. Chryst’s teams always seem to be on the cusp of being a championship playoff level team when the season starts. Then they disappoint. That leads me to think he’s a better recruiter than coach. His teams look better on paper than he can get them to perform over the course of a season.


    2. That scenario would not be so bad. I lived through the Badgers and Packers being really bad which makes their successes over the last few decades even sweeter.

      BTW, Nebraska Football sellout streak is at 385 – incredible. That is a fanbase of True Believers.


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