Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't know who writes the web copy for Madison's Channel 27, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's someone's third-grade kid, because most people I know had a better grasp of the English language starting at age eight than this alleged "writer."

It's well-documented that the abuses inflicted upon grammar as we know it by have rankled me for some time, and while I don't know what it was about today's story on the Allied neighborhood that pushed me over the edge, I may have finally reached my breaking point.

A wise man once said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," so I won't be throwing any rocks at Channel 27's news studio any time soon. I will, however, right these grammatical sins to the best of my ability and be completely merciless in terms of leveling criticism until the culprit either attains his or her GED or is re-assigned to a more appropriate duty at the television station -- say, for instance, pushing a broom.

From, as of 1 PM Friday, February 27.

" MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison neighborhood task force is working on making sure people living in the allied drive (1) area can get to the grocery store.

The communities (2) only grocery store, Cub Foods on Verona Road, closed down, and because of the tough economy, it could be a while before another store takes it's (3) place.

The closest stores now are Copps on Whitney Way and Super Target off PD. Both are a two mile trip.

"Even when Cub was here, that was walking distance, they (4) can bring their grocery's (5) back in buggies to their houses...Bus fares will go up to $2.00 in April and I can't see how people are going to survive without a grocery store in their community," says Allied Area Task Force member Robert Artis. "

The corrections, as you see, are simple. These are not nitpicky details, which I could spend even more time whingeing about. These are basic grammatical rules that are being flagrantly ignored -- or, the writer is flagrantly ignorant of them.

(1) Used: "allied drive." Needed: "Allied Drive." The name of a street in Madison is a proper noun, warranting capitalization.

(2) Used: plural form, "communities." Needed: possessive form, "community's." As you'll see, the possessive versus plural forms are really this writer's Achilles' Heel. I can't read a damn story, or in this case, a damn paragraph without choking on one of these errors.

(3) Used: contraction of it is, "it's." Needed: possessive form of it, "its." Some people call this one a curve ball. They're just idiots. You wouldn't say "another store takes it is place," so don't write "another store takes it's place." I learned this when I was seven.

(4) Used: Run-on sentence. Needed: A period and a new sentence. I realize it can be tricky to take spoken sentence fragments and turn them into something that looks good on paper -- I did it for two years. But for the love of everything that's decent in the world, you have to at least TRY! And while you're at it, you can add something in paratheses to make it a little more clear what this goober was talking about, a la "Even when Cub was here, that was (within) walking distance. They (could) bring their groceries back in buggies to their houses..."

(5) Used: possessive form, "grocery's." Needed: plural form, "groceries." This could not BE any more simple. In most cases, if there are more than one of a thing, there's no need for an apostrophe. If a thing belongs to a person or people, use an apostrophe. You just damn well better make sure you place that apostrophe correctly, or we'll really have a beef.

So there you have it: four grafs, and none of them very meaty, five obvious grammatical errors my 10-year-old cousin could have picked out in 30 seconds.

This kind of writing on the internet, or anywhere else for that matter, is brain pollution. It's as dangerous as the C02 and particulate matter being belched into the air by massive factories in our nation. I fully support creating a cap and trade system for carbon emissions in the United States, but there is no excuse for this kind of grammar. It needs to be stamped out, and the most egregious violators need to be publicly flayed in order to keep our children from being exposed to this vile filth.

Its four you're one good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nip it in the *Bud*

The last thing I wanted to do after a long Monday was sit down and write a double post, but it seems like the State Journal has forced my hand tonight.

Read this, and then ask yourself why any publication posing as a credible news source would choose to run with such drivel. Go ahead, read it. I'll wait...

...Okay, while you were doing that, I sat here and got progressively more fed up with what's clearly a half-assed hatchet job character assassination carried out against one of the most dedicated, selfless, hard-working, amicable and admirable civil servants our city has ever known. State Journal -- No. Inappropriate. Uncalled for. Go back to your sagging ad revenues and think about what you've done.

I'm not attacking Sandy Cullen or Dean Mosiman for their work on this story. I know Sandy personally, and Dean's reputation proceeds him wherever you go in city hall. Many of the same adjectives I used to describe Mike Verveer can be applied in their cases too, and as sure as I know anything, I know writing this piece left an awfully bitter taste in their mouths.

I would lay good money the orders to write this piece came from up top, somewhere. Again, I pose the question: why would a newspaper choose to run this story? What about this story makes it newsworthy? What service does it provide me as a citizen and as a reader?

If I were to try and peel back all the layers of *wrong* heaped into creating this hit piece, I would start by trying to trim away the multiple levels of conjecture used to build a false link from "marijuana" to "Mike Verveer." If you take away the narrative of this piece, clean it up and set it in its proper order, a police officer went into a bar, thought she might have smelled marijuana, decided to leave and saw Mike Verveer on her way out.

Upon the patrolwoman's return, the officer in charge noted the incident and said she ought to file a report. Trying to keep things in order, the police department is reviewing the case to make sure there were no improprieties. Good for them.

It could be there was no weed at all, and the officer was smelling something else. After all, for some godforsaken reason, they make incense that smells like marijuana. If could be the odor was on someone's clothes. It could be someone in an apartment above or an alley behind the restaurant was toking up and a bad HVAC system pumped it in. It could be a few "bad seeds" in a notably dark establishment were enjoying a few puffs.

If simply being in a room that smells of pot is a news story, the entire city of Madison would have had their turn on the front page by now.

The possibilities are so endless, this can't even be called a case of "guilt by association." Nor was Alder Tim Bruer's assertion in the WSJ article that Verveer was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," accurate. This is the condemnation of a man with a political bullseye on his back by enemies striving to draw the remotest connection from him to anything resembling dirt.

Of course, none of that speaks to the fact that there isn't a damn thing wrong with it if a person chooses for him- or herself to rock the occasional bit of ganj. Verveer certainly wouldn't be the first official elected to office that enjoys a puff here or there, but if any of them do, it's none of the press's damn business.

Yes, that's me, a reporter, saying the press ought to go sit and spin on this one. What stinks about this story isn't anything herbal, it's the reek of "gotcha" tabloid grubbing that falls nowhere within the realm of respectable journalism as it was taught to me by the professionals at the University of Wisconsin.

That much said, watch for every single media outlet in town to sieze upon this story. I myself am liable to have to read it on-air tomorrow, and if you listen closely, you'll be able to pick out the sound of grinding teeth.

It doesn't take Rainman to get the math to add up on this one. Word of the investigation worked its way through the ranks at the police department, and eventually one of Verveer's enemies got wind of it. As an assistant district attorney, an outspoken city resident and a longtime member of the Progressive Dane party, he's made plenty of enemies, and there are factions trying to take advantage of a recent momentum swing in local politics that will use any edge they can get.

The news made its way through some of the seedier elements of local government, and eventually one of them walked into a senior editor's office at the right-leaning State Journal and said, "Boy, have I got a scoop for you."

Alder Michael Schumacher calling into question Verveer's suitability to serve on the Alcohol License Review Committee smacks of the worst kind of political gamesmanship. It's no secret he butts heads with Verveer on a number of issues. Frankly, I take it as a comfort on the occasions I see Verveer out at a downtown bar. It's nice to know that the people who regulate the city's drinking establishments, some of them at least, aren't out-of-touch curmudgeonly old squares.

And you'd better believe Alders Tim Bruer and Mark Clear weren't crying when they saw this story make headlines either.

I find nothing so disturbing as the notion that these sorts of political dramas are playing out, but I'm not so naive as to pretend they aren't. I already have it from good sources exactly which alders dug up the dirt, and which of them delivered it. You're on notice. If this sort of chicanery persists in my city's government, I will confirm who among you are perpetuating it, and you will be outed.

After that, I will apply a microscope to every facet of your life and flay you open for the world to see. The blade you wield is double-edged, and if you get too caught up in swinging it, you're liable to trip and fall on it.

All that violent imagery is strictly figurative, of course. But this really cooks my damn bacon.

As to what ought to happen in the next few days, the answer should be nothing. Zilch. Nada. Give the story its fair play, and then let it die a quiet, lonely death. Do not revisit it. Do not follow up on it. In perhaps the most awful pun I've made in months, it ought to be nipped in the bud, and if one person mentions it in passing come Mike Verveer's next run for office, the city council ought to pass legislation making it legal to shoot them.

But, in other news, someone out there had a worse day today than Mike Verveer, and that person is Fitchburg's Marc Jones. Up until this afternoon, Jones thought he was going to be competing with Mayoral candidate Jay Allen in the April election after placing second in last week's primary election by a single vote.

As common sense procedure would dictate in a race so close, the Fitchburg Clerk's office decided to stage a recount. In the course of counting the absentee ballots, they noticed one of the witness signatures on an envelope was invalid, meaning one of the absentee ballots cast was as well. Following state protocols, they picked one of the absentee ballots at random to discard, as the ballots and their envelopes had already been seperated.

The ballot randomly selected to be cast off carried a Marc Jones vote, knocking him into a tie with third place contender Mark Vivian and knocking the race into yet another uncharted facet of state law. In keeping with procedure, they placed the two candidates' names in a hat and drew one at random.

That's how Mark Vivian went from planning a nice, quiet spring break (presumably) to laying plans for an assault against Jay Allen's sizeable lead in the primaries. Witnesses at the drawing tell me Jones took the news with marked calm, meaning if someone bombs Fitchburg City Hall in the next couple of weeks, I know who's going at the top of my suspects list.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Helluva Bender

When an official with the Middleton Police Department told me it was going to be a while before they knew more details about a string of arsons because the suspects were "still sobering up" at ten in the morning, I knew it was going to be a good story.

Of course, that was more than a week ago on February 13, and as the tale of 23-year-old Christopher Ripp and 19-year-old Collin Tubbs's (alleged) bender has emerged since, I've been proved more right with each detail.

A wise, albeit fictional, man once said, "If you can't do something smart, do something right." While there's certainly nothing intelligent (or admirable, for that matter) about what these two braniacs did, when it comes to history's great nights of mayhem, their (alleged) actions in the wee hours of February 13, 2009 certainly deserve a page in the book.

Of course, Ripp and Tubbs are presumed innocent until they stand trial for their actions, but here's the story as I've been able to piece it together, mostly through conversations with the Middleton Police Department.

It was Thirsty Thursday, and Ripp and Tubbs were throwing a few back at a house party in Middleton. We may never know what started it, and frankly it doesn't matter, but in the course of their carousing, a brawl erupted with some other partiers, words were exchanged, fists were thrown, and feelings were hurt.

After a brief breather, the fighters decided to "take it outside," where the perceived insult became so egregious as to necessitate the introduction of knifeplay into the fray. But stabbing one of the other brawling parties in the hand was only the beginning for Ripp and Tubbs, who then jumped into their car and went tearing through the sleepy, residential streets of Middleton exchanging gunfire with other cars full of window-lickers.

It's no small miracle an innocent bystander wasn't wounded in the ensuing firefight, although I'm sure a few of Middleton's citizenry found perforated mailboxes, garage doors and lawn ornaments the next morning.

After some time, cops say the chase ended without blood, and Ripp and Tubbs returned to their home. That's where a normal night of mayhem might have ended, as they staggered into the living room and passed out cold, only to awake the next morning with Jaeger on their breath, bulletholes in their car and no idea what connection there was between the two.

But what set Ripp and Tubbs apart from your average drunken losers was the decision they made next. Apparently none-too-thrilled with the new "speed holes" in their automobile, they took to the streets again with a gas can, delusions of revenge and not a thread of common sense or decency.

They threw a burning propane cylinder through the window of a house in Middleton, where a guy who had spent the night trying to mediate between the warring parties resides with his wife, who's eight months pregnant. To get back at one of the guys they were fighting, they set fire to a five-unit apartment building in Madison, where four other people with no involvement whatsoever lived. For their coup de grace, they tried to get back at another one of the brawlers by torching the outside of a house in Cross Plains.

Right block, wrong house. I don't envy the family that woke up in the dead of night with no idea why their house was on fire.

All tuckered out, Ripp and Tubbs returned home to sleep the sleep of angels... that is, until they awoke at 7:30 in the morning to find Middleton Police poking around the bullet-riddled car they'd left parked in plain view on the street.

Still drunk, they went charging out the front door yelling at the police, who were in the process of impounding the vehicle as evidence. You have to credit the officers on scene for being able to catch the scent of gasoline on Tubbs and Ripp over the booze they must have reeked of.

If anything, we should be grateful these two menaces made themselves so easy to catch. They've been banged up in the Dane County jail since the thirteenth, and the DA's office is weighing a laundry list of 32 charges against them that include arson and attempted murder.

Personally, I hope they're charged too with Mayhem, which actually is an imprisonable, if vague, offense in Wisconsin, for no other reason than the morning of the thirteenth is a definition of the term worthy of Webster's.

I've also got some healthy respect for Tubbs's dad, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs, for leaving his no-good kid to rot in jail this long. Bail was set at 40-grand in cash, and while I'm sure posting it or making other arrangements to get the punk out of lockup are not outside Chief Tubbs's means, it doesn't sound like he's made any effort.

The scope of this little crime spree goes well beyond the realm of poor choices and crosses the line of recklessly endangering innocent lives. If Christopher Ripp and Collin Tubbs are ever to become productive members of society, it's tough love that's going to do the job -- the kind of tough love that drops like a hammer.

Theirs is the behavior of dangerous children with no connection to the reality they live in, only a simplistic perception of themselves as the stars in their own private television crime drama.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Open Letter to WSUM

In response to today's seventh Anniversary of Madison's Snake on the Lake going live on-air, and a dedication by former UW Chancellor John Wiley of their brand-spanking new, state-of-the-art broadcasting facility in the new student services tower, I sent this letter (well, email) to General Manager Dave Black and Tech Director Matt Rockwell today. They are, simply put, the best there are.


I know the WSUM move-in is an ongoing process, and I certainly hate to get the cart and the horse in the wrong order, but in light of tonight's events, I just wanted to offer my heartfelt congratulations to both of you on seeing what some would have called a blissful pipe dream all the way through to an operating reality. I'm a little irked I won't be able to be there early enough for the ex-Chancellor's presentation. As much as I tried to weasle out of work early, it just couldn't happen today, but I will be stopping out briefly a little later this evening.

I worked on the WSUM facilities visioning committee, sketching out the initial concepts for the new studios, knowing that I would be long gone by the time they were actually implemented. It was still one of the most exciting and fulfilling processes of my career at the UW, as we bounced ideas off of each other and, of course, Matt Rockwell, who has worked on this project with all the tenacity of a mother eagle defending her nest. Without his guidance, his technical know-how, his creativity, his drive and his dedication to the project, WSUM's new studio would be a shadow of what it stands to be today: the best student broadcasting facility in the nation. His fingerprints will remain on everything in the station for generations to come. If it's not too dramatic to say so, I think it's his opus.

While Matt's nuts and bolts knowledge of this project is unparalleled, it is matched in intensity only by the depth of Dave Black's vision for WSUM, which spans decades to a time when just having a radio station on the UW campus was more unlikely than the prospect of opening a state of the art facility was in 2006. Every accomplishment that's been made by WSUM's students and staff since its inception has stood on the shoulders of this giant. When he embarked on founding the program, he might have known this day would come, but it's a likely chance nobody else would have given it a shot, and it's his confidence, leadership and attention to detail that has guided WSUM to this point.

Coming up through the years in a ramshackle, second-floor, gerry-rigged, sometimes smelly and sometimes sweltering studio was never easy, but for the students that have built WSUM to what it is today, it was never about the equipment or the building. It was about WSUM's mission, and it was about putting together a unique on-air product we could all be proud of. I don't expect that will ever change, but that hard work is paying out today. It's only right that WSUM will finally have a studio worthy of the dedication exhibited by the dozens, the hundreds of students and staff that pour themselves into making the station the best that it can be. While I'm sorry I won't personally be able to capitalize on it, this new facility will provide opportunities for learning and expression that the towers building never could, and if anything, it will raise the bar even further for the next generation of SUMers.

Congratulations again,
Dusty Weis"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Then There Were Deuce Pt. 2

Tonight's results in the District Two city council primary:
Brenda Konkel (incumbent): 40%
Bridget Maniaci: 27%
Adam Walsh: 24%
Sherman Hackbarth: 7%
Dennis deNure: 29/50% (no I was not one of the five people who voted for deNure!)

So while Konkel was predictably the top vote-earner of the night, the big victory goes to Maniaci, who snuck away with what could turn out to be a huge win over Walsh. I happened to be at Maniaci's headquarters at Supreme Pizza on East Johnson Street, in a stroke of what was more fortuitous laziness than blind luck (it's a block from my house), when her runners brought back the returns from the final ward of the Deuce. The excitement among her small group of supporters was honestly a little contagious.

Prying herself away from a hug, Maniaci ripped out her cell phone shortly after the news came down and punched in a number from memory. "Hello Dad?" she began. "I won!"

Then she paused for a moment, before finishing, "Well, not WON-won, but I have enough votes!"

Twenty votes, in fact, were what propelled Maniaci ahead of Walsh. Indeed, it seems Maniaci had a serious turnout dropoff working in her favor in Ward 37, compared to the last (mayoral) primary. The area around Tenney Park has the highest number of homeowners in District Two, and Walsh could have hoped for a high margin of victory after targeting his campaign specifically at that subset. But by Maniaci's numbers, there were more than 100 fewer voters who showed up in Ward 37 today than during the 2007 race, and they tied there for votes.

The rest of the math is simple. Maniaci snuck away with a four-vote lead in Ward 39, Walsh took back 13 votes in Ward 38, and then Maniaci absolutely ran away with the Langdon Street-centered, heavily-student 40th Ward. With 37 as an exception, her support grew stronger the closer to campus the voters cast ballots from.

In light of these results, a lot now rides on which way the losing candidates and their supporters break, but I'm willing to say the race between Konkel and Maniaci on April 7 will be a close one no matter what. The turnout will undoubtedly be higher, and seeing as Konkel didn't run away with the race but likely DID draw a high percentage of her fervent supporters out during today's election, she may be near her high-water mark.

Maniaci, on the other hand, has proved she's a viable candidate capable of mounting an effective campaign against four opponents. Her shot at unseating one of Madison's most well-known, passion-inflaming alders now rides on her ability to bring her firepower to bear on one target, siphon support from her vanquished opponents and create an upswell of new interest in residents of the Deuce.

And for his part, THIS blind squirrel is going to enjoy the nut he got away with in last night's post: "It seems likely enough Deucers will want to give Konkel a chance to defend her seat through April that she will be one of the top vote-earners Tuesday. In terms of vocal and visible support throughout the community, Walsh and Maniaci have both run hard, effective campaigns, and now need to hope for an upswell of support to boost them into competition against the incumbent. Maniaci may have a slight edge, but Hackbarth is a wildcard with little shot at a berth in the general election and the ability to spoil it for either Walsh or Maniaci."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Then There Were Deuce

Three of the candidates pursuing the second district seat on the Madison Common Council are going to sleep very well Tuesday night. One of them will dream of miles upon miles of museums stretching off into the sunset, and the other two will sleep the dreamless sleep of near exhaustion mixed with a few conciliatory drinks.

But knowing the people who are engaged in the race, the two winners of Tuesday's primary won't be going to sleep once the votes are tallied. Secure in the knowledge they'll be appearing on the April ballot, whichever pair of candidates emerges from the dogfight victorious will likely begin laying individual battle plans for the run up to the knock-down, drag-out mano a mano match-up.

Okay, I promise, that's the last of the boxing cliches I'll use today.

But in all seriousness, this has been an intense campaign, with each candidate logging untold hours of spare time trudging through Wisconsin's worst weather and banging down doors. The amount of campaign literature I've seen accumulated inside my front door and littering the gutters is staggering, and I've heard through the grapevine from a number of people who have met personally with one or more office-seeker on their own front stoop.

Though in hindsight, I ought to have pledged my support to whichever candidate could have cornered me on my own front porch, as it's become nearly impossible to find me at home during a reasonable hour of the day. Not a candidate came a-calling to my hobbit hole on Castle Place when I was around, and I'm a little disappointed.

With election day upon us, most of the measily six to ten percent of the voting populace who will turn out have a pretty good idea who they'll be voting for. There's not much left for the candidates to do that could sway their opinion, but I know of at least one who's planning a 4 AM wakeup call to distribute one last round of door hangers anyway.

So for the most part, there's not much left for any of the candidates to do but wait and hope. In terms of what they ought to be hoping for, other than enough people to turn out at election headquarters to help finish the cake and cash the keg (interesting sidenote, I personally excel in both areas), I've taken the time to compile a few suggestions.

Though there's no such thing as a sure thing, incumbent Brenda Konkel need only really hope that her supporters are as numerous as they are vocal, both in the community and on the forums. While it's no news that the four-term city council member has plenty of people, both in the community and the city government, who would like to see her figuratively offed in the primary, in all likelihood it ain't gonna happen.

Konkel could just as easily begin focusing on the next stage of her re-election bid, setting herself up for some kind of tortoise and hare scenario, but she's far too classy for that. She even told me that should the unthinkable happen and two of her opponents best her in the primary, "I'm not going anywhere. I would still be just as active in the community," and that's something of a comforting thought.

That much said, while four individual candidates don't pose much of a obstacle to her reaching the April election, one strong competitor backed by the other three (and their supporters) could create serious problems in the general election. Konkel ought to be paying keen attention to the other candidates in her race and rooting for a narrow defeat to beset the candidate(s) most likely to support her then in April.

As such, she's probably hoping to see attorney Adam Walsh fail in his bid to get that second slot on the ballot. He's been the least vocal critic of Konkel's performance as alder, and held up against Bridget Maniaci with her ties to the mayor's office that sought to have Konkel ousted and Sherman Hackbarth with his no-nonsense distain for Konkel's idealogical stands, Walsh seems the most likely to jump aboard a Konkel bandwagon.

But as one of the two candidates with a shot at challenging Konkel, Walsh has got his own plans. By centering his campaign heavily on homeowners and the Lapham Elementary School, he's taken a gamble in attempting to ignite his own unique base of support rather than siphon it off Konkel. Come Tuesday evening, Walsh will be hoping to have stoked those flames hot enough to drive unprecedented turnout among the district's non-rental denizens, pushing him over the top.

Maniaci, for her part, will be hoping for her own groundswell of voter turnout from the district's west end, where the concentration of the student population is heaviest. She's won endorsements from both student newspapers, with a blurb in the Daily Cardinal and an in-depth write-up in the Badger Herald, and at 25-years-old, is able to level with students on issues like alcohol density and nightlife concerns where other candidates come off as stuffy.

But it's well-known to anyone who's been a student at the UW that the papers' editorial boards represent the student body as well as the State Journal editorial board represents the city of Madison's populace. What's more discouraging for her is that students have a notriously low voter turnout rate for elections where there's no "George Bush" to vote against.

On the gripping hand, candidate Sherman Hackbarth is probably hoping for a particularly low turnout from newspaper readers, something on the order of the effect a plague of locusts. Hackbarth has caught more than a little heat from the press, not only for personally saying the least with the most words in the race, but also for his admitted lack of familiarity with one of District Two's most looming issues, the proposed demolition and redevelopment of a row of houses on East Johnson Street by Renaissance Property Group.

Maybe it was simple bad luck again that lead to his being picked first to answer the question at the neighborhood association debate, or maybe the question was a little poorly-worded, but the other candidates quickly jumped on his missing his chance to take a stand on the project, one way or the other. Maniaci was called on next by the moderator, noting, "I'm actually a little disappointed in Sherman," before proceeding to lambast the project.

Hackbarth's mantra of "I'll weigh each issue individually" is a position more properly staked out by a candidate for judgeship than a city leader, and Deucers likewise feel a little unsure of a candidate who doesn't come down strongly for or against the city's bus fare hike, the Alcohol Density Plan or proposals like RPG's.

So headed into the primary, it seems likely enough Deucers will want to give Konkel a chance to defend her seat through April that she will be one of the top vote-earners Tuesday. In terms of vocal and visible support throughout the community, Walsh and Maniaci have both run hard, effective campaigns, and now need to hope for an upswell of support to boost them into competition against the incumbent. Maniaci may have a slight edge, but Hackbarth is a wildcard with little shot at a berth in the general election and the ability to spoil it for either Walsh or Maniaci.

And for those bound and determined to vote outside the norm, there is, of course, a fifth option. Dennis deNure, who fell unfortunately from the radar screen after a critically-acclaimed appearance on the League of Women Voters' candidates forum, will still be appearing on the ballot, in spite of his campaign slogan, "Don't vote for me."

On a side note, I actually have one of deNure's buttons affixed to my backpack now, because I support the message, not the candidate. But it's the closest I've come in this race to making a political statement, other than saying I think Konkel deserves to be in the April race.

But as long as we're outlining what each candidate will be hoping for Tuesday, let's say deNure is pulling for...... cupcakes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No Commercials, No Mercy!

While I was able to take my own sweet time with my first two write-ups on the race for Madison's District Two City Council race, interest in the "Rumble in the Deuce" has in fact grown, and I already know I'm not going to have the first scoop on tonight's debate at Lapham Elementary. Kristin Czubkowski from the Cap Times live-blogged it.

I have been one-upped.

And as I was covering it for my real job, my attentions were on my recorder and not my laptop, so my blog coverage of the event won't be out until later this weekend. I guess, seeing as it's going to be late, we'll call it "analysis."

But I was very pleased at the turnout tonight, both among spectators (some thirty neighborhood residents made the trip out, which is pretty impressive for a city council race) and among press. In addition to Kristin and me, Jason Smathers and a crew from the Badger Herald were there, the Daily Cardinal was also representing, and David Douglas and a shooter from Channel 3 put in an appearance as well.

Three newspapers, a TV station and a radio station -- this race has really grabbed some attention, and the primary is still more than a week away! Thankfully, the organizers of the debate had put out plenty of seating, or the rumble would have been between reporters for a place to sit down.

I know I could totally take David Douglas.

Anyway, it's late. I really think tonight's was a telling debate, and I'll explain why eventually. The papers and TV station can do their own things, then look for me to wrap it all up in the next edition of "Rumble in the Deuce" Sunday night. Have a great weekend.