Posts Tagged ‘Paul Soglin’

Cable cars for Madison?

January 2, 2010

I’m not going to take “I’ll have to look into this further” for an answer from the mayor’s office on this one. Former mayor Paul Soglin claims to have been interested in the idea since 1976, when he and a team of city planners considered building an aerial transportation device to get people across Lake Monona. 34 years ago they considered that and it doesn’t sound any less absurd today.

The only thing I learned definitively about the technology from Soglin’s post is that it is expensive. The only example of a price tag was a system being built for the Oakland airport –– $500 million. Another disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer the opportunity to be incorporated into a larger system of public transportation, as passenger rail could be. Yes, theoretically there could be a nation-wide system of aerial-ground transport, but that is even less likely politically and economically than a meaningful investment in high-speed trains.

Fine, let’s discuss it: Soglin for governor

November 9, 2009

I didn’t take the discussion of Soglin’s candidacy for governor very seriously when I first saw it appear somewhere on the blogosphere – I can’t remember where.soglin-741271

But I must admit Soglin has a point. Even if he doesn’t run, it is likely the Democratic field will be stacked with Paul Soglin equivalents from other parts of the state – local activists from La Crosse or Green Bay or Milwaukee.

Kristin Czubkowski is right when she writes that Soglin could mount a legitimate campaign. In the primaries. But how willing would he be to make political compromises and tailor his rhetoric to a broader, more moderate electorate? Would some of his more inflammatory blog posts come back to haunt him?

Here would be my Con argument:

It’s not that Soglin couldn’t go tit-for-tat with Scott Walker in a debate (I assume, but I’ve never heard him speak) – it’s that his candidacy would signal a deep paralysis in the state Democratic party. It would be a constant reminder to Democrats that no official of higher stature had the guts to run because everybody assumed the Doyle legacy would be too hard to run from. He hasn’t been in government for years, and despite his more moderate tone he’s taken in middle age, voters would be suspicious of a man whose primary political experience comes from being the twenty-something mayor of a left-wing college town.

My pro argument:

Soglin could counter the local government credentials that Walker would bring. He’s older, wiser, and he is not a career politician. He’s spent some time out of government and reflected on the state of affairs in Wisconsin. He is deeply troubled by recent trends, including the ineffective Doyle Democrats and the radical Republicans. Whatever happened to investing in what counts: education, health care, the environment. He could inspire primary voters, starting with a sizeable base in Madison, and perhaps by the time he wins the primary, he would be as legitimate a candidate as Walker, but without as many visible stains from recent political battles.

Ultimately, I buy more into the Con argument.

Brunch Links

July 17, 2009

Cap Times: WI unemployment up to 9.2%

Paul Soglin: What right-wing think tanks don’t tell you about the garbage tax.

Bryon Eagon: “I am frustrated with the process of these non-renewals, even as the Alder, I was not included in any discussions with city staff or police about serious actions proposed in my district and I would appreciate future inclusion in future discussions.”

Critical Badger: UW to crack down on ticket scalpers. Don’t they have something better to do?

La Crosse Tribune: Assembly Democrats renege on fundraising pledge. Reschedule canceled fundraiser.

State Journal: Monona City Council: Then again, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to have chickens.

Cap Times: Consultants from Illinois are robbing UW blind.

Brunch Links

July 16, 2009

Dustin Christopher: Have you thanked a 911 dispatcher this week?

Paul Soglin: Paul Ryan is everything Sarah Palin isn’t: deceptive and dangerous.

State Journal Blog: State employee names cannot be protected – are subject to open records laws.

Milwaukee Rising: “A decision the other way would have set the terrible precedent of allowing laws to be changed silently and secretly, without public notice or debate, to satisfy whatever special interest can get their hooks into a willing legislator.”

La Crosse Tribune: However, arbitration records between teachers and school administrators can be kept secret, even if it involves porn.

Post Crescent: Van Hollen pursues animal cruelty case against men who ran down deer with snowmobiles.

Brunch Links

July 12, 2009

Good ideas are meant to be copied. Dane101 does “breakfast links,” and now I will start with “Brunch links” for those of you who enjoy browsing through the best material of the blogosphere with a slice of cantaloupe, but mostly for those of you who don’t wake up until I do. Content is always a little weak on Sundays, but I’ll try my best to find some goodies.

Might as well start with Dane101, which will be hosting another MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness at the Sundance Bistro.

Forward Our Motto reminds us that Madison is not the only place to find shit-faced badgers. “A motorist called police near the central town of Goslar to report a dead badger on a road — only for officers to turn up and discover the animal alive and well, but drunk.

From the man who was defeated by Mayor Dave in 6 years ago: In Madison our mayor’s aggressive work in this area needs support.

Brenda Konkel makes the right choice and enables comments on her blog.

David Brooks and Ann Althouse are bigger sensationalists than I am.

And, in case you missed it, our former vice-president is a huge creep.