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Yes, Mandela Barnes Parking Tickets Are A Legitimate News Story–Here Is Why

June 4, 2019

This week WISC-TV reported the following news story, which made some progressives in Madison wonder if this was news.  I contend that this is, indeed, news.  For the record I supported Mandela Barnes in the primary and general election in 2018.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes says he has taken care of a $108 fine for unpaid parking tickets that prevented him from registering a vehicle he previously owned.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday on the nearly year-old fine. Barnes tells the newspaper that he paid off the fine Friday after learning the Journal Sentinel was looking into it.

A Milwaukee municipal Judge Valerie Hill found Barnes guilty of not paying for three parking tickets and fined him $108. He missed the two-month deadline to pay. He could not renew his vehicle registration beginning in September until he paid the fine.

I posted the following on a Facebook page of a former Madison alder as to why this was a news story worthy of attention.

It is news. Like it or not. The reason is we should expect our elected leaders to set the tone and standards for society. What does it say to Joe Blow about paying his tickets if this leader does not pay heed to his. We talk, and rightly so, about the undermining of institutional norms on the national level, but let us not forget that it is the small steps which lead to the greater problems. All the missteps should be addressed. This is indeed, a legitimate news story.

One of the problems that is ever-present in politics, and from both sides of the aisle, is the lack of awareness when ‘my side’ does something wrong, but always deeply concerned when the other side does the same thing.  I try to be consistent on this blog.  I try to be that way in the daily footsteps of my life.   To try and shave off the corners when one party does something, but demand strict accountability from the other party when the same deeds are done makes no sense to me.

I call the balls and strikes in politics.  Hopefully I get most of them right.  I did this time for sure.

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