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Candidate Rob Dz (Rob Franklin) Needs Professionalism In Dane County Board Race

January 16, 2016

I suspect many were first introduced to Rob Dz, a candidate legally known as Rob Franklin seeking a seat on the Dane County Board, from the pages of this week’s Isthmus.  What they were introduced to was the glaring lack of his preparation for a campaign.

Let me say at the start I have a deep respect for people like  Franklin who step up and wish to seek office so to serve and push for policy changes.  That effort is most worthy of praise–and he certainly has it from me.

But one does have to question why it was not obvious to his campaign where people wishing to add their names to his nomination papers needed to actually reside.    The people seeking signatures should have been informed what needed to be done and applied the brakes when allowing those who did not live within the district to sign.  In these types of races it is not uncommon to have maps which show the boundaries to alert would-be signers of their need to reside within the location where the candidate is seeking election.  This is about as basic a starting point for an election as it gets.

The place where such rules of the road need to start is with the candidate.  After all, if one can not operate a campaign for county board might also mean that dealing with a county budget is too large a task to navigate.

I understand that running for office can be complicated but mastering that process is just one of the things voters demand of those seeking to shoulder the responsibility of elective office.  I wish not to sound harsh, but aim for some gut honesty here.  And I think this campaign needs to hear it.

The other part of making a campaign credible and professional is to have staff and advisors work at all times so to reflect the best of the candidate.   That was not the case when Rowan Viva took to Facebook to show her angst with a county website.    The choice of unprofessional language may be the norm for her personal life, but when speaking about a candidate she consults for must be the time to elevate her vocabulary to a higher level.

Local activist Rowan Viva, who is a consultant for Dz’s campaign and (Supervisor) Hendrick’s daughter, complained on social media about the difficulty of identifying voters in the downtown county board district.

She wrote on Facebook: “If the problem is seriously that there were *too many* nomination signatures from outside the district, as I’ve been informed by a source in the County Clerk’s office, someone needs to fix the f****** Dane County website so that people have some way to figure out what County Board district they live in — because right now that’s impossible.” 

My first knowledge of Franklin shows a person who has concerns about public policy matters, and wants to be elected to deal with them on the board.    That is what makes our democratic process quite wonderful.  But sadly there is also the lack of professionalism in the way he has started this effort that makes me wonder how serious he is about the venture he is now undertaking.

I will be watching and waiting to have my apprehensions removed.

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