Political Science 203 — state government — freshman year. It was the last poli sci class I took until this semester (my last), when I decided to take a course on game theory to fulfill a math credit.
I remember Prof. Dennis Dresang starting his discussion of Wisconsin government by saying that the Badger State used to be called “Squeaky Clean Wisconsin.” Outsiders joked that only naive nimwits would construct a government so straight-laced and square as that found in Madison. Silly Sconnies.
Of course that all changed. At the time Dresang was giving that lecture the former Speaker of the Assembly had been convicted of misuse of state resources in what was part of a far-reaching scandal in state government. Dresang contrasted that with a “scandal” from his day: The son of a legislator making personal calls from his dad’s office phone. Misuse of state resources.
But you got a glimpse of squeaky clean ‘Sconzin yesterday, when the Department of Transportation announced that it was at fault for providing free food to residents at a town hall meeting on…nobody actually knows because the only people there came for the delicious fish fry.
By the way, it is Friday. There are fish fry deals a plenty all over town. The Orpheum, Nick’s, Wando’s –– those are just the ones I’ve seen in the last day.