Can Anyone Bring Concealed Bowie Knife To Dane County’s Vilas Zoo?

Can my ludicrous question that headlines this post be any more ridiculous than the actual news that took place in the State Capitol on Wednesday?

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved  a concealed carry bill on a 3-2 Republican-majority vote.  The full Senate will consider the measure in the future. 

The most perplexing part of this truly outrageous proposal is that no training or permit would be required under the terms outlined today.  In addition, and for good measure, the bill allows anyone to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. 

Walk down any street in Wisconsin and tell me how many of the people you meet should be carrying a concealed gun.  Rattle their cages a little, get them angry in rush-hour traffic, and let them have a beer or five.  (This is Wisconsin, after all.)  Lets see the concealed gun owners in action.

What is alarming to ponder are the numerous places that one might encounter someone who could be packing heat.  Think about it for any length of time and it soon becomes clear that this is most unsettling.

Consider Dane County’s Vilas Zoo where you might want to spend a sunny summer afternoon.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is rightly concerned about this matter, and is hoping that some serious minds might inject some rationality into the concealed carry measure before it winds up in front of Governor Walker.   The governor has indicated he will sign any concealed carry measure that reaches his desk.   

Once again Walker has failed the leadership test.  By not taking a position on how a bill should look, or the requirements that he wishes to see included, Walker has instead just allowed the extreme far-right wing elements of the GOP to sail the ship into the rocks.

For now all that those like Parisi can try to do is convince elected officials that  banning guns at the zoo, outside the airport, and any large event such as Brat Fest is the family friendly way for society to operate.

All of Wisconsin should hope that the likes of Parisi win this battle.

If Only Eileen Bruskewitz Would Have Had More Campaign Cash!

One of the most troubling parting comments from a losing candidate on Tuesday night came from  Eileen Bruskewitz, who was defeated for Dane County Executive.  State Representative Joe Parisi had a nearly 30% margin over the conservative county board supervisor.

When it came time to assess what made her campaign so dreadfully shy of votes on Election Day she offered one explanation.

Bruskewitz said her fundraising was hindered by business owners who fear retribution for donating to a conservative candidate after people boycotted places whose executives donated to Walker, a Republican. 


Am I to understand that if only Bruskewitz could have bankrolled a few more bushels of campaign funds that her conservative rhetoric would have been more easily digestible to the Dane County voter?   Am I to assume she thinks that more TV ads and perhaps a few more slickly made fliers would have allowed people to forget her cozy ties with Scott Walker and the Republican Party?  How much campaign cash would it take for voters to have collective amnesia?

Truth is there was never going to be enough money to put  Bruskewitz into the county executive office.  She was selling what Dane County was not buying.

Instead of looking outward at why she lost perhaps she might question herself.

What made her think that in the midst of a Madison mayoral race she had any chance of seeing daylight in this election cycle in Dane County?  Does she not understand the way electoral math works in Madison and Dane County?

Really, sometimes I wonder about candidates and…..

2011 Wisconsin Spring Election Predictions

Posted at 5:24 A.M. April 5th…..

After all the back-and-forth from the candidates, lots of  hard work, and endless campaign ads on television for Wisconsin State Supreme Court comes the fun part for the arm-chair politicos.  Election Day and the time to make some predictions is at hand. 

I offer the following for fun……after all politics should be fun.  Often we forget that.  Right or wrong CP has fun on days like this!

The level of energy that is being demonstrated by voters in Wisconsin, especially in Madison and Dane County, is breathtaking.  If the projections hold true Madison will be near 60% turnout, and Dane County over 40% turnout.  With numbers like these it is possible that part of the headline on Wednesday will be that Dane County helped in large measure to elect the next member to the Supreme Court.  Milwaukee County, due to a much publicized county executive race, will also make a huge impact on the totals.

My prediction is  JoAnne Kloppenburg defeats David Prosser by 2%.   I also predict that no one will call the Chief Justice a “bitch” in the next term of the court.

In Dane County the most perplexing question that still has not been answered is why in the midst of a race for Madison mayor did Eileen Bruskewitz enter the race for county executive.  While CP strongly encourages candidates from both parties to enter political contests, it seems odd that someone desires to be a sacrificial lamb in the way Bruskewitz has done.

Joe Parisi will defeat in a massive way Eileen Bruskewitz with at least a 20% margin.

The high number of voters in Madison thus far for absentee voting has left me wondering how this plays out for the Madison mayor’s race.  Though CP has endorsed Dave Cieslewicz I sense an upset coming.   Part of the reason is that in trying times Madison may feel an urge to go back to the elder leader and let his skills be used against the Walker forces.  Since the huge turnout is being created due to the Walker factor, it seems logical to think it extends to the mayor’s race.

Paul Soglin edges Dave Cieslewicz, with the isthmus neighborhoods being the key to the election.  Soglin by less than 2%.

For Madison City Council Marsha Rummel defeats  Jan-McMahon in the 6th District but the most interesting race might be in the 2nd District where Sam Stevenson will defeat incumbent Bridget Maniaci..  Maniaci forgot her constituents when she started carrying water for interests that ran counter to the wishes of her neighbors.

Eileen Bruskewitz Voted Against State Workers And Collective Bargaining

There will be a snowstorm in Madison on July Fourth before Eileen Bruskewitz is ever elected county executive.  A major blow-out election is about to take place in favor of Joe Parisi.  And rightly so.

But just in case there are any who are not aware of Eileen Bruskewitz’s inner thoughts about the chaos that has taken hold of Wisconsin due to Governor Walker and his assault on workers let this serve as a reminder.

From the start of the current struggle over Walker’s proposals, Parisi has been in the forefront of the defense of worker rights in the Assembly and on the streets.

Bruskewitz has stood with the governor.

In February, Dane County Supervisor Melissa Sargent led a group of supervisors in proposing a resolution that declared: “The Dane County Board of Supervisors supports the Wisconsin worker and supports the right to organize and collectively bargain. We stand opposed to Gov. Walker’s attack on the middle class and on the rights of Wisconsin workers.”

The overwhelming majority of supervisors, from across the political and ideological spectrum, voted “yes.”

Bruskewitz voted “no.” At the same time, she issued statements defending the governor’s wrongheaded proposals and authoritarian approach.

Dane County Democrats Release Poll On County Exective Race

Needless to say this is not a scientific poll, but still perhaps an important one as liberals in this county will have much to say about the winner of the county executive race.

Last night the Democratic Party of Dane County had 140 people attend a Dane County Executive Candidates Forum.  Attendees were impressed with the caliber of all four of the candidates who attended: Zach Brandon, Scott McDonell, Joe Parisi and Joe Wineke.
At the meeting, a straw poll of current party members was held for the candidates.  The results were:
Scott McDonell  53 votes (52%)
Joe Parisi          26 votes (25%)
Joe Wineke       15 votes (15%)
Zach Brandon      8 votes (8%)

Joe Parisi For Dane County Executive, A Nice Person For Troubled Times


I am very proud to endorse Joe Parisi for Dane County Executive.  He is perfectly suited to provide leadership based on his skills, intellect, and temperament.

Joe Parisi tips the scale due to experience and the tone he has brought to politics in general, and to this race for county executive.

There is no doubt that even in Dane County, where our economic health is better than other areas of the state, we still feel the turmoil and angst of too many folks out of work.    It is not just enough to lure jobs to this region, but to make sure they are good paying jobs that provide benefits for all that live and work here.  We are not a bunch of faceless strangers but a series of  neighbors and communities that care about each other.  As such, we want and need to have economic gains for everyone.

Joe Parisi has stated often how he wants to use the county executive’s office as a place for businesses to get in touch with the resources they require to create and retain jobs.   But there is more to the task of creating jobs than just putting a paycheck in someone’s hand.

Whether we want to face it or not we are in a transformative age when it comes to job creation.  The question is do we look forward and create the jobs of tomorrow, or do we retreat and try to reclaim what was lost.

Future jobs in the green economy need to be pursued with all the speed and gusto Dane County can muster.  When Joe Parisi talks about making this county a leader in clean energy jobs I am hearing someone talk about a future with economic benefits for everyone.  When Parisi talks about these jobs I know he wants Dane County to be ahead of the curve in order to be more competitive with other regions of the country.

When Parisi speaks about the need for smart job growth in Dane County I am hearing a leader, not just a candidate.  Be it wind turbines, or solar panels on homes, Parisi has a vision for the future that blends our long-term interests with solid paying jobs.  The second largest county in Wisconsin would be well advised to heed his words.

With the green economy, and the needs of future businesses that will develop in Dane County, comes the vital questions surrounding our transportation policies.  For too long these issues have been mired in anger and confusion.  It need not be that way.

There is no doubt that commuter rail needs to become a reality if we are to be more competitive with other regions of the nation.  There is no way to deny that rail must be an integral part of real economic developement in the county.

Joe Parisi has the ability to communicate effectively without being antagonistic.  In this era  of mean-spirited political rhetoric Parisi will provide straight talk on a whole range of issues, up to and including trains, without resorting to the ugly side of politics. 

Kathleen Falk demonstrated how people with differing perspectives could work for the better good, and I know Parisi will do the same.  Parisi is known as a genuinely nice person, and that will go a long way in helping to shape policy goals with those who work with him.

While working to create a better economic climate in Dane County we can not neglect those who need social services.    While listening to responses of the candidates at the public forums there is no doubt  that Parisi is committed to making sure those who need help will not be forgotten.  All of us who share a set of values about the kind of  communities we want to live in understand the need to remain firm in protecting social programs. 

I truly think that Joe Parisi understands the old saying that we are only as strong as our weakest link.   That also seems to be the general view of the citizens of Dane County.

There will be many hard spots ahead for the new county executive, but I know Joe Parisi is well-suited to meet them.

We only need to look to the heart of the Madison isthmus to find political statehouse antagonists who snicker at what we have in Dane County.  The question then is how to deal with Republicans who have an ax to grind?

While there has been much talk of Governor Walker in this campaign the fact is we need to maintain civility in order to construct a working relationship for the next four years with the political opposition.

I know the maturity and decency that Joe Parisi has demonstrated over the years in the State Legislature, and in this campaign will enable him to best work with Republicans while always firmly grounded with his values.

Dane County is facing a future that demands solid leadership based on an open-eyed approach.  The best person to lead the way forward is someone many of us have long-known and deeply respect.

Joe Parisi is the best choice for Dane County Executive.