Mayor Dave on his loss to Paul Soglin in the Cap Times:
I don't think there is any other person in the city who could have defeated me besides Paul. And I don't think Paul could have defeated me without the Edgewater."
I certainly think he's right. However, another aspect of Cieslewicz's loss is his alienation of the Madison left, including the Progressive Dane crowd, many of whom had supported him over Soglin in 2003.
This is what Jacque Pokorney wrote in response to some questions I had about why most PD members supported Soglin this time around:
"We are hopeful that he will be open to more diverse voices represented on all City Commissions and Committees. We are hopeful that his administration will be more open and receptive to public input, including posting meetings in a way that maximizes opportunities for residents of Madison to participate. We are hopeful that he will bring real leadership in how economic development can be brought to areas in outlying neighborhoods of Madison and engage ideas from residents in these areas for job creation. We are especially hopeful of how he will work with poverty communities and communities of color in Madison to build on creative solutions that will make these communities more inclusive, successful, and safer."
The key word is "hopeful." Many on the Madison left decided that Soglin was the lesser of two evils. Ironically, one of the big policies Soglin criticized Cieslewicz for was his support early on for inclusionary zoning, which requires new developments to have a certain number of units dedicated to "affordable housing."
The evolution of Soglin's relationship with the Madison left will be one of the most interesting political dynamics to watch in the next year. How long will his honeymoon last? Even if Soglin is truly dedicated to combating poverty, he will anger many on the left if he tries to go about it in a way that seems to rely too much on the private sector.
"We are always watching," said TJ Mertz, the former co-chair of PD.
You old-timers: Tell me about Soglin's relationship with PD back in the 1990s. I'd love to hear.
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