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County Executive Kathleen Falk Wins, Mitch Henck Loses

April 7, 2009

It was a rough and nasty campaign as the Nancy Mistele forces waged an all out fight to frighen Dane County voters over the 911 system, while downplaying  the need for remodeling our transportation infrastructure.    There were many who held their breath in the closing weeks of the campaign, working and hoping for a sensible and thoughtful voter turnout that would again place Kathleen Falk back in the role as County Executive.  With the final votes tabulated the race that some had thought to be close, was instead not close at all.   Once the City of Madison votes tipped the balance there was nothing to do but wait for the candidates to speak to their respective election night crowds.

During the election I was struck by the intensity that some waged the battle on behalf of Nancy Mistele.  Rough and tumble politics is great to see, and I think nothing wrong with promoting a strong point of view.  But there are places and times to do that.  However using a morning radio talk show, as Mitch Henck often did on WIBA, to promote the candidancy of Nancy Mistele was unseemly to witness.  If was as if he thought himself a  surrogate speaker on behalf of  the  Mistele campaign.  Maybe he was, and that was part of the Mistele attempt to win the race.

Let me be perfectly clear about this.  Had the tables been turned, and Henck taken the same partisan position in favor of my candidate I would have found it just as troubling.  As crazy as it sounds I had hoped that  WIBA could have at least used their morning local talk show to impart some objectivity to the issues that confront Madison and Dane County.  Instead I found far to0 often Henck making every effort to sway the voters for Mistele, as opposed to educating and illuminating the issues of the day.  In the final weeks I no longer could even listen. 

I had hoped that Mitch Henck could be more than just a shill for the latest conservative causes that inspire and energize Vicki McKenna in the afternoon drive-time slot.   I had hoped that at least one radio talk show in Madison could rise above the partisan, and think about the listening public.  While I respect Mitch Henck as a singer and on-stage performer, after this election he has lost my respect as a broadcaster.

7 Comments
  1. doug permalink
    August 29, 2011 7:57 AM

    Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here.

  2. May 22, 2009 11:26 PM

    I do thank you for taking the time to comment. I think that is classy, and I wish you a nice weekend.

  3. May 22, 2009 4:15 PM

    I was trying to get listeners to focus on the issues. I honestly think commuter rail will be a disaster. I attacked the Mistele campaign for running a dirty ad that sought to exploit the Zimmerman tragedy….I must confess also that I am still offended that Kathleen would pounce on Peg Lautenschlager when she was at her most vulnerable point in life….

  4. April 8, 2009 10:32 AM

    Paul,

    Thanks for your comment, and for reading.

    As a former broadcaster I have a high regard for the medium of radio, and want it to be more than just a wasteland of political rot. (Left or right.) All day long on WIBA we have programs with “someone with a mircophone” taking a position. Mitch is a bright guy, and I guess I hoped that he might have a higher calling in the morning than being a mouthpiece for the Mistele campaingn, and all that it espoused. There are complex and tangled issues that do not fit into a political fix, but require thoughtful dialouge. Maybe a touch of NPR on WIBA with local issues might be a winner. Who knows.

    A blog, such as I operate, is far different from the public airwaves where there is a real responsibility for the public good. Or at least that is what I was aiming for when I was the guy behind the microphone. This blog is a place where my concerns get voiced, my interests get an airing, and as with the post about Mitt’s brand of underwear a little levity is added to the mix.

  5. Keith Schmitz permalink
    April 8, 2009 10:10 AM

    Good for Kathleen, glad she won.

    Now she has a duty as a former Milwaukee resident to serve a while, quit and move back to Milwaukee to run against Scott Walker for county exec here.

  6. Paul permalink
    April 8, 2009 10:05 AM

    Heaven forbid someone with a microphone takes a position. Mitch is clearly on the side of a realistic, rational approach to transportation. The train people are dreaming. Rail investments in much larger communities are proving to be fiscal black holes. I think some folks would enjoy a trolley from Monona Terrace to the Overture Center. While you are on YOUR high horse why don’t you tell us again about Mitt Romney’s underwear? If listening to Mitch is “disturbing”, don’t look in a mirror.

  7. Solly permalink
    April 8, 2009 9:33 AM

    Deke, I think as a public service you should run a pool as to:
    a. How long will the Kathleen serve in her next term
    b. Will she run for a different office, or
    b.1 Beg for an appointment
    b.1.1 from Obama or Doyle?

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