Brenda Konkel active as ever


No worries, I’m not going anywhere and I’m going to keep working on the issues I care so much about!

That was the message Brenda Konkel sent to her supporters on her blog the day after she lost her re-election bid to Bridget Maniaci in April. At the time I didn’t pay too much attention to the election, but the overwhelming support for Maniaci from people I talked to seemed to confirm my assumption that Konkel was simply a loud and annoying ideologue whose time was up. Not only did Mayor Dave make an uncharacteristic endorsement of her opponent, but former mayors Paul Soglin and Joe Sensenbrenner came out in support of Maniaci as well. Maniaci won, some tears were shed by the far left, life  went on.

However, I must say, reading Konkel’s blog has alerted me to a type of dedication to service that is rarely seen at any level of government. Konkel didn’t seen to miss a beat after her loss, and she’s continued to update her blog daily with comprehensive discussions of just about every issue facing the city, or at least the ones she cares about. Here for instance, is here live-blogging account of a city council meeting on property tax exemptions.

Hence, it was unsurprising to see Brian Solomon deliver this gracious eulogy to Konkel’s service on the council. The admiration for Konkel is perhaps demonstrated best by Soglin: “I was quite pleased that Bridget Maniaci won the Madison second aldermanic district race over incumbent Brenda Konkel. I was surprised, upon hearing the results, that I felt sad for Brenda in her defeat.”

I’m guessing Soglin would not feel the same type of sorrow if say, Paul Ryan lost a re-election campaign.


2 Responses to “Brenda Konkel active as ever”

  1. Kyle Szarzynski Says:

    Only in the fantasy land that is the prevalent local pseudo-progressive world would Konkel and SPD (FT) be considered the “far left” in Madison. The things PD focuses on – as of late, immigrant rights and affordable transportation, among other issues – are just standard progressive causes. Almost every progressive activist in this city – members of labor unions, civil rights groups, social justice orgs – are members of PD. Go to the Labor Fest or any other grassroots progressive gathering for proof. It is true that local Dems often do not work with – indeed, sometimes work against – us on these issues, but that says more about their own ideology (center-left) than it does about ours. PD and its ally organizations are very pragmatic in both their approach and political ends, and this will remain true no matter how much folks like yourself intend to mislead readers. (It is true that some PD members are adherents to ‘far left’ ideologies, like socialism, but the party itself doesn’t concern itself with ideology at all, just the issues and how to best achieve victory on them.)

    And Brenda’s campaign was certainly not run as a ‘far left’ enterprise either; her opponent had the backing of the cops, landlords and ex-progressive mayors, so all Brenda had to do was run a standard progressive campaign to distinguish herself from Maniaci. Sadly, the grassroots power that Brenda’s campaign relied on ended up being slightly out-powered by Maniaci’s conservative support (52-48 is not an “overwhelming” victory – yet another inaccurate point). As I stated in the post to which you linked, this is bad news for the marginalized groups for whom Brenda so tirelessly fought.

    In sum, it would be welcome if you, as a self-identified progressive, would be forthright in your analysis of local political dynamics, since a healthy (and supportive) debate and discussion among local lefties is something of which we could definitely use more. The type of language used in this piece is, lamentably, a lot of the regurgitated misinformed commentary employed by local right-wing Dem hacks – and let’s be real, we already have enough of that. In your first post, you even expressed admiration for the LaFollettes – a family of radicals who ran on tickets outside of the two-party system, including a 1938 presidential campaign TO THE LEFT of FDR! Unambiguously, PD and other similar groups are the incidental inheritors of that tradition, certainly not the Maniaci types. If you’re not a LaFollette progressive, that’s fine, but don’t try to distort the message of his cohort into a compromising, moderate agenda that they would have despised. You wouldn’t want to “sully” that good progressive tradition, now would you?

  2. The Sconz Says:

    I corrected the technicality you pointed out about the election results. I had mis-worded what I intended to say.

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