When The Snow Is On The Hyacinths

There seems to be a need for a new song in this…..

And the tulips…

David Prosser Shows Conservative Bent In Declaring Victory

Supreme Court Justice David Prosser says being impartial and basing legal decisions on the law instead of personal or political concerns is a top priority of his while serving on the bench.   Prosser has indicated he has followed that principle in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.  

But the Wisconsin State Journal had an interesting paragraph that followed the words of Prosser about being above the tug and pull of conservatives who wish to see certain outcomes advanced through legal decisions.

As the paper noted, “Moments later, he thanked people he met during the campaign whom he said were committed to advancing conservative values.  He  also thanked the high court’s conservative majority for its support.”

I am not sure Prosser had thought about the choreography of his comments, or how the lack of a segue would make his remarks sound.  For those who listened to his words, or read news stories about his victory statement can not be blamed for thinking their worst fears about David Prosser might be true.

For all those around Wisconsin who wonder about the integrity of the court I have two words to share.

Merit selection.

Now more than ever, it is time to think about a new way to select judges to the high court in Wisconsin.

Dave Cieslewicz Reflects On Favorite Moment As Madison Mayor

I am going to take the liberty of placing the entire final blog entry of Mayor Dave Cieslewicz on CP.  While I have always enjoyed Mayor Dave’s musings on topics about his time as leader of this city we proudly call home, I found this blog entry…his last one as an elected officasl….perhaps his best.  As such, I am posting the entire entry.

People have been asking me what my favorite moment was from my eight years as Mayor. It’s hard to pick just one. Opening the Goodman Pool is right up there and so is having the President of the United States mispronounce my name (four times).

But I’d have to say that my very favorite moment happened just a few weeks ago. It was a snowy Saturday, and there were 100,000 people on the Capitol Square protesting Governor Walker’s move to end collective bargaining for public employees. Madison Firefighters Local 311 invited me to march with them, as they often did, starting from Station One and going down State Street around the Square and then into the Capitol building. It was always great to march with the Firefighters because you got to walk behind bag pipers and drummers, and the crowd goes wild.

So we marched into the Capitol and there were maybe 6,000 people in the building, banging their own drums and cheering on the Firefighters. People reached out to shake our hands from every direction. Then we got to the center of the rotunda, and the bag pipers and the drummers formed a circle and began to play “Amazing Grace.” The big, boisterous crowd went silent and began to sing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”

It was like being in a church where the whole congregation is a choir. The words and the music floated up into the high rotunda and circulated around and down the corridors of the Capitol as if to reclaim it from the very anti-Wisconsin divisiveness that had brought us there. It was as if we were reclaiming our building for the ideals that our state was founded on.

Then the bag pipers started into the second verse, and because no one knows the second verse to “Amazing Grace,” the crowd fell silent and the drummers fell into syncopation behind the music. And I thought to myself at that moment that I was never more proud to be Mayor of this city. Stark adversity had erased our relatively small disagreements and reminded us of our shared values as a community. I didn’t give a speech or even say a word. I just took it in, looking up at the crowds on the balconies above as the late winter afternoon light streamed through the rotunda and fell on us, all of us, together.

The thing to do now is to stay together as we take on the challenges ahead and to remember what Emerson wrote.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us matters little compared to what lies within us.”

We’re a great city not just because of the university or the lakes or the seat of government. We’re a great city because of our citizens. I loved being the Mayor of Madison, but before that I loved just being a citizen of Madison. And so I am again.