Mayor Dave for Mayor Blog

A Post-Primary Note from Mayor Dave by Mayor Dave
February 27, 2007, 7:00 pm
Filed under: written by Mayor Dave

Primary night was a lot of fun. We did well, beating our nearest opponent, Ray Allen, by almost two-to-one. We won 18 of 20 aldermanic districts and we did better in every ward than we did back in 2003. And we did it the old-fashioned way: no slick TV or radio ads;  just lots of volunteers knocking on doors, making phone calls, eating cold pizza and generally having a pretty good time.

While my opponent bought attack ads on radio and billboards, we stayed positive and the result was great!  Now we have to carry that momentum forward to the general election on April 3rd.

So, why worry? Well, it’s my job as a candidate not to take anything or any vote for granted. And unfortunately, I have reason to worry. Ray Allen has been unrelentingly negative since his announcement ten months ago. He’s run attack ads on radio, taken out billboards to attack me on the streetcar issue (he’s blamed streetcars for everything from dandruff to the fact the Badgers can’t hit the three-point shot) and sent out thousands of letters attacking me on other issues.

In response, we’ve run a positive campaign, highlighting our good record and making new proposals for the future. About the only thing I’ve said about Ray is that he’s a Republican. It’s a testament to the unpopularity of Republican policies these days that the mere mention of Ray’s Republican credentials has his folks crying foul.

But Ray’s Republicanism is a relevant fact for a couple of reasons.

One is that we can’t predict every issue that might come up in the next four years, so a candidate’s basic point of view is important to know. I’m a liberal Democrat and proud of it. Ray’s a Republican and, I assume, equally proud of that. The contrast gives voters an indication of how we’ll govern over the next four years.

The other reason it’s important is that it goes to how in touch we are with our community. In this election cycle, Ray contributed $500 to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, which was controlled by Tom DeLay at the time. In other words, he contributed a substantial amount of money to keep Tom DeLay in power by trying to defeat Democrats like Tammy Baldwin. That just doesn’t seem to be in keeping with where most Madisonians are right now.

So, my plan is to take this campaign home to the April 3rd election just as we’ve run it so far: clean, issue-focused and grass roots. And the fact that my opponent is a Republican does matter a great deal.


Chad Vader, Episode 6 by Mayor Dave
February 16, 2007, 6:00 pm
Filed under: written by Mayor Dave

It’s a big day for me. Only three days until Tuesday’s primary, and my birthday is tomorrow.

But what’s really got me excited is that Chad Vader’s Episode 6 – where I made a cameo appearance – is scheduled for release today. As I write this I haven’t seen it yet, but there was a nice story about Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, the creators of Chad Vader, in the Wisconsin State Journal this morning.

These guys are good examples of the creative people we’ve got all over Madison. They’ve already contributed a lot to Madison by starting Wis-Kino together with Tona Williams. Wis-Kino is a film society that promotes short, low budget or no budget films with high quality production.

It was a lot of fun to film my short segment. I’m eagerly awaiting the reviews of the new episode and my brief appearance. But people who saw the filming told me not to quit my day job. You can check out the new episode here.

Voter Information Page by Team Cieslewicz
February 13, 2007, 3:15 pm
Filed under: written by Team Cieslewicz

With the primary only a week away, we unveiled a voter information page on our website today. There, you’ll find information about registering to vote (at the polls or in person before the election), voting early, and where to find your polling place. Check it out, and don’t forget to vote for Mayor Dave by next Tuesday!

Some Smoke-free Gatherings around Madison by Mayor Dave
February 13, 2007, 1:30 pm
Filed under: written by Mayor Dave

Last night, we had a well-attended event at the home of Maureen and Steve Busalacchi. Maureen is an advocate for smoke-free work places, and we had a lot of support there from the smoke-free and health care communities.

I’m especially proud of our record on smoking. Our smoke-free ordinance went into effect a year and a half ago, and we know that bartenders, musicians and patrons are not being exposed to the many dangers of secondhand smoke. We also know that the industry is stronger than ever.

In fact, last weekend I got a chance to introduce The Gomers at their tenth anniversary show at the High Noon Saloon. The place was packed with people of all ages, including some young parents there for “Gomeroke” who told me they’d never be there if the smoking ban hadn’t passed. But now they got a chance to sing with the band, and they didn’t have to breath secondhand smoke to have such a terrific experience. (I “sang” with Peter Leidy and full back up from The Gomers myself, and it was a great experience for me, if not for the audience.)

Now, Governor Jim Doyle has said he’ll take our ordinance statewide, and that’s a good thing. But if the Legislature tries to weaken the Governor’s proposal and go backwards on Madison’s ordinance, I’ll fight it as hard as I can. My opponents have been opposed to the smoking ban in the past, and it’s a safe assumption that they would not fight an effort to weaken it. The difference between my opponents and me on this issue is as clear as the air in Madison bars.

Saturday on the Campaign Trail by Mayor Dave
February 11, 2007, 3:00 pm
Filed under: written by Mayor Dave

Saturday was a good day on the old campaign trail. I spoke at a packed meeting of neighbors at the Elvehjem Neighborhood Association meeting on the East Side, then I knocked on doors in the neighborhoods around Olbrich Park, stopped in at Kipp’s Home Cooking in the shadow of Camp Randall Stadium for a bowl of hot Texas chili, visited with more voters on Yuma Drive on the West Side and ended the day at the annual “Blue Cheese” party at the home of a friend on Dickinson Street.

The highlight of my day was a conversation I had with a retired Madison firefighter and his wife at their kitchen table after they took pity on me and invited me in from the cold. We spent a very pleasant time talking about all kinds of city issues.

Sometimes people tell me they can’t believe how long the days are during the campaign, but I don’t look at it that way. I’m having a great time and the truth is that an average Saturday as Mayor isn’t all that different from yesterday’s activities. Staying in touch means getting around and listening to people and when that comes with a hot bowl of chili, so much the better.

Mayoral Forum at the Concourse Hotel by Team Cieslewicz
February 9, 2007, 4:00 pm
Filed under: written by Team Cieslewicz

Last night, we went with Mayor Dave down to the mayoral forum held at the Concourse Hotel by a group of young professionals.

Safety was a big theme for the debate, and Mayor Dave talked about his new, 100,000 dollar downtown safety plan, which has been getting rave reviews. He also talked about the need to address the root causes of crime and some of the ways his administration has done that, including investing in after-school programs.

Mayor Dave was asked about how he plans to prevent young people from coming to UW-Madison, receiving a degree, and quickly moving on to other cities. He talked about the need to keep jobs here in Madison. The best way to do this, he said, is to make sure downtown Madison is a vibrant community and an attractive option for students and young professionals to call home.

The Capital Times, The Daily Cardinal and The Badger Herald all covered the debate.

Some New Endorsements and a Recap of the PD Forum by Mayor Dave
February 8, 2007, 4:38 pm
Filed under: written by Mayor Dave

I’m happy to report that in the last 24 hours we’ve picked up several new endorsements. Democracy for Wisconsin, a group of progressive Democratic Party activists – many of whom came together around Howard Dean‘s presidential campaign – voted to endorse me at their meeting last night.

The Sierra Club has also endorsed my candidacy. The Sierra Club named Madison a “Cool City” last year citing my efforts to reduce global climate change through our Green Capitol City initiative (pdf).

These are in addition to the endorsements I’ve already received from many labor unions including AFSCME, the South Central Wisconsin Federation of Labor, the United Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Operating Engineers, and from the Dane County Democratic Party and the College Democrats of Madison.

Last night we had our first full blown mayoral debate. It was sponsored by Progressive Dane and held at the Warner Park Community Center. The forum was very thoughtfully organized with a mix of serious questions and some “lightening round” questions to help keep things light and interesting. For example I was asked about my favorite coffee shop – Michelangelo’s.

On the serious side, I was struck by one of my opponents who went off on my work to protect more then 250 acres of land associated with the Cherokee Marsh, only minutes away from where the forum was held. This is the largest city conservation purchase in three decades or more, but my opponent called the Marsh “swampland.” Actually, this conservation purchase was two years in the making, and it is the result of the dedicated work of my office, city staff, the Friends of Cherokee Marsh and the developer, who, to his credit, agreed to work with us on this project. It’s another example of how we’ve made progress by bringing people together. My opponent might have figured that out had he taken the time to research it, but I guess he was swamped.