Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

April 2014


Madison is still waiting for whitey for its big race fix

Madison progressives are busy congratulating themselves these days for being liberal about race relations. They are celebrating the “Together Apart: Talking Across the Social Divide” panel discussion at the First Unitarian Society and the “Justified Anger” potluck at Memorial High School.

Posted at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments: 14


White, middle-aged (plus), and male? I plead guilty as hell!

I skipped last week’s “Together Apart” panel discussion on race at the First Unitarian Society. You can’t have a true dialogue until you invite folks like Dr. Ben Carson or Sheriff David Clarke. Or Paul Ryan. Instead, your humble Squire strapped on the electrodes for the Buzzfeed quiz to determine his level of White Privilege.

Posted at 07:38 AM | Permalink | Comments: 6


Verona voters rout the progressives

Say one thing for them, progressives fight to win — even if they have to stoop to playing the race card. “The Democrats came after me in the last week of the campaign,” Mike Willett reports. His opponent put out a lit piece displaying the nonpartisan County Board candidate with the supposedly hated governor. “Mike Willett Stands With Scott Walker. Do You?” it screamed.

Posted at 07:41 AM | Permalink | Comments: 4


Verona moderates, independents regroup

It was “a perfect storm,” remembers former alderman Nancy Bartlett of the progressive takeover of Verona. It started with the furor over Walker’s Act 10 collective bargaining reforms in 2011. Helping mix that cauldron was one Erika Hotchkiss, a professionally trained political operative who turned her newly purchased coffeehouse into Verona’s Walker Recall Central. She would strike the first blow, upending an eight-year incumbent for County Board in 2012.

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1


Progressives cause havoc on Verona City Council

Verona’s weekly newspaper was prescient: “There will be an unprecedented change the likes the council has never seen before,” the Press predicted last spring. It did not take long for the eight-member City Council, now evenly divided after the surprise election of four progressives, to boil over in dissension. One month in, holdover alderman Jeremy Charles said the “new political climate … had taken a toll on his health, well-being and ability to reason with other alders.”

Posted at 07:57 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3


Progressives move into Verona, run for office

“Verona has never seen an election cycle like this,” The Verona Press marveled after the April 2013 municipal election. No one could remember when all four incumbent aldermen in an election cycle had been challenged, much less defeated.

Posted at 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3


Verona succumbed to the Capitol protests in 2012

Barely a year had passed since the massive protests on Madison’s Capitol Square over Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms. April 2012 was hardly a propitious time to run as a conservative in Dane County. In that spring election, conservative representation on the 37-member Dane County Board — as late as 1996 a majority — had been reduced to a lonely eight.

Posted at 07:59 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2


Go, Brett Hulsey, go!

Say what you will about Brett Hulsey (and the John Cusack movie "Say Anything" suggests itself), the man is interesting. And he’s no dummy. In announcing his candidacy for governor Monday, he made the intelligent choice. He could not get re-elected from his State Assembly seat here in Madison after his bizarre behavior of the past couple years.

Posted at 07:10 AM | Permalink | Comments: 11


Verona fights back against the progressives

Nicknamed “Hometown USA,” the city of Verona is said to house more state employees per capita than Madison, just up U.S. Highway 151. Not long ago, progressives — mostly newcomers — came down that road to ambush longtime city leaders and take over Verona government, much to everyone’s surprise. In this April 1 spring election, the citizens of Verona took back their community.

Posted at 07:15 AM | Permalink | Comments: 7


Madison’s Landmarks Commission is the triumph of progressivism

Dave Cieslewicz may not be right, but he is correct. Once endorsed by Progressive Dane, Mr. C. is beginning to get the big picture: The City of Madison’s Landmarks Commission is an undemocratic, anti-people disgrace. Yes, this bureaucracy is an exemplar of high progressivism.

Posted at 08:12 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1


Diversity, but not of thought or speech

It is gratifying that voices more amplified than your humble Squire’s wheezing squeeze box are beginning to sound the same alarm: that so-called progressives are doing their damnedest to stymie free speech. These electronic pages have chronicled the Hate-Walker crowd shouting down conservative speakers on the Capitol grounds, protesters attempting to shut down a bank on the Capitol Square (some of its executives had donated to Walker’s campaign), Mayor Soglin demanding ideological purity as a condition for doing business with the City of Madison, and the general mau-mauing of minority opinions hereabouts. Aside from Miss Vicki, who else in Greater Madison has spoken out for free speech?

Posted at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments: 18


Scott Walker, lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!

What would be a good day for a tax cutter like Scott Walker to announce his candidacy for re-election? How about next Tuesday, April 15 — tax day? Much fuss and bluster about Gov. Walker getting a college degree. Of course, our acquaintances on the left like to boast how much smarter they are than the man who continues to befuddle them. That’s their problem.

Posted at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments: 10


Koch paranoids think we’re too stupid to sift or winnow for ourselves

Our progressive acquaintances have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Koch Brothers. The Koch Boys serve as their all-purpose scapegoat and boogeyman, blamed for every political disappointment.

Posted at 08:43 AM | Permalink | Comments: 12



That’s the headline I would have put on Page One of Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal if I were editing that august journal. Which explains why I am not. But no recriminations allowed in the Stately Manor; we’re too big for that. No excuses. No recounts. No litigation. No blaming the one percent.

Posted at 07:27 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2


Did Iron County just vote for iron mining, 5-2?

It is the first election since the G-Tach iron mine was given the go-ahead for exploratory drilling. In a county that rarely sees contested elections for its county board, Iron County had eight. The race was enlivened by an Americans for Prosperity mailing that accused anti-mining challengers of being environmental extremists.

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments: 22


Two more years in the wilderness for Dane County conservatives

There is no lipstick garish enough to disguise the net loss of one more conservative on the Dane County Board. Tuesday’s election saw my friend Dave Wiganowski go down to defeat in a district that had been gerrymandered for that purpose.

Posted at 08:34 AM | Permalink | Comments: 5


Silence of the news media lambs abets slaughter of civil liberties

Still waiting for one Wisconsin editorial page, one good government goo-goo to speak out against the secret and partisan witch hunt trying to undo what was done in the ballot box: get Scott Walker at any cost.

Posted at 08:17 AM | Permalink | Comments: 14

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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