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Rookie of the Year

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Rookie of the Year?

Brian Benford
3
9%
Zach Brandon
10
30%
Greg Markle
8
24%
Austin King
11
33%
Robbie Webber
1
3%
 
Total votes : 33

Rookie of the Year

Postby studentwonk » Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:42 pm

alrighty folks, it's day 365 since the new council took over last April. who gets the nod as rookie of the year? (and no, daisy, the mayor doesn't count.)

my vote goes to brian benford, who easily had the best quote of the year with his "shocked and repulsed" remark over the brandon budget cuts.
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:53 pm

Austin King - For spearheading the Minimum Wage increase.
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Postby Jattpw » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:06 pm

It is probably best to measure alders on stuff that they have gotten passed. After all that is what they are there to do: legislate.

Austin King has by far gotten the most done. Minimum wage is a big deal with much greater effect (both positive and negative) than inclusionary zoning.

Second would be Markel with the phosphorous ban and the pay day loan hours thing.

Some credit should go to Brandon for how active he has been but there isn't a piece of legislation with his name on it to show for his efforts.

Webber and Benford, while not silent, have been lesser forces on the Council. Overall, we have a group of new alders that were not shy to speak up for what they believe and do so with some ability.
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Postby PopeOnFire » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:34 pm

Like Oh My God! Austin is Soooooooo Woooonderfuuuuuuulllll. He's dreamy.

He's da best from da nort
He sounds so great on da WORT
He's the King-man.


Austin.....WE LOVE YOU.
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Postby Daisy » Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:31 pm

The most impressive rookie clearly has been Paul Skidmark. A legislative output that is matched only by a personality that sparkles like a '58 Dom Perignon.

Kidding.
Jattpw wrote:Minimum wage is a big deal with much greater effect (both positive and negative) than inclusionary zoning.

Second would be Markel with the phosphorous ban and the pay day loan hours thing.
WRONG.

Housing human beings is a somewhat bigger deal than haggling about phosphorous percentages on a blade of grass. I love the environment as much as the next leftie and I'm glad the phosphorous ordinance passed, but come on. The mayor's street-sweeping thing does more to clean up the lakes than Markle's ordinance. And when you talk to actual people around town, wages and housing are just much more in the forefront of their minds than phosphorous.

I like several of the rookies for different reasons. I like Webber and Benford personally, even though they haven't received the ink some others have. Perhaps because of that. Something tells me they don't sit around their respective homes and masturbate over press clippings.

King's most significant contribution was the wage increase, but my personal favorite was him, a few days into the job, putting a stick-and-move to the chancellor. There was something delicious about the educational product provided by the latter being used against him.

Markle deserves credit for offering more amendments than anyone else. Even if they're gratuitous, unintelligible, and get smacked down 18-1 from all sides, at least the mouthbreather's determined to stick his fingerprints onto every piece of legislation before the council. And you have to find such tenacity kind of adorable.

Brandon deserves credit for being the only one on the right with a brain. And he works hard, does his homework, and argues his position remarkably well, given that he doesn't know what the hell it is.

Rookie of the Year = Austin "that's right, bitch" King
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Postby Jattpw » Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:54 am

Daisy wrote:The most impressive rookie clearly has been Paul Skidmark. A legislative output that is matched only by a personality that sparkles like a '58 Dom Perignon.

Kidding.
Jattpw wrote:Minimum wage is a big deal with much greater effect (both positive and negative) than inclusionary zoning.

Second would be Markel with the phosphorous ban and the pay day loan hours thing.
WRONG.

Housing human beings is a somewhat bigger deal than haggling about phosphorous percentages on a blade of grass. I love the environment as much as the next leftie and I'm glad the phosphorous ordinance passed, but come on. The mayor's street-sweeping thing does more to clean up the lakes than Markle's ordinance. And when you talk to actual people around town, wages and housing are just much more in the forefront of their minds than phosphorous.



Daisy,

The title of this page is "rookie of the year". I was not discounting the position of IZ among the leftist elite of our fine community. I was ranking rookie alders based on the innitiatives that they have initiated.

It is obvious that IZ is the reason spring has finally come to Wisconsin. I would never dispute such a claim. :wink:
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Postby blip » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:16 am

Jattpw wrote: I was ranking rookie alders based on the innitiatives that they have initiated.

I am soooo glad that you cleared up any confusion about who initiated the minimum wage increase.
I know for a fact that no one prior to Alder King's arrival on the council was even thinking about the minimum wage increase. It solely sprang for the loins of that fine alder upon the conclusion of his swearing-in.
And if anyone says otherwise ... they are just wrong, wrong, wrong!
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Postby Daisy » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:47 am

Jattpw wrote:I was ranking rookie alders based on the innitiatives that they have initiated.
So Markle initiated that?

I thought he simply took the hard work people like Olsen had done at the county level and adapted it for the city. :wink:

I'm totally willing to be set straight on that one...

To be fair, it's always a tough task to deliniate credit on these matters. Neither the mayor nor Brenda invented IZ. (Nor did Brandon invent the equity model.) King wasn't the genesis behind the local wage increase. And, as far as I know, the phosphorous ban wasn't Markle's brainchild.

I know we agree that this shouldn't subtract value from the hard work each of them did in these respective cases. Anyone one of the above alders, including the ones who aren't exactly my faves, have by themselves outproduced the legislative output of the right. (Or the rest of the right, in Brandon's case.)
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Postby graceland » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:57 am

So, just to be argumentative, in your world, only passage of legislation is the sign of succesful legislating?

Does that make Spencer Black, Mark Pocan and the entire Assembly and Senate minorities (in the best Simpson's Comic voice available) "the worst Legislators ever"?

I don't think so. Our system of "checks and balances" and bifurcated houses of government are set up to give the minorities the power to try to stop legislation, and I would argue that the ability to stop things is much more vaulable legislatively than the ability to pass things. Think about it, you only need one house to stop a bill, passage takes 3 distinct entities (at least at the state/federal level).

Anyway, I don't think we really should be evaluating members on their ability to amass signatures of the Mayor or amendments. Look at what they have done, not only on the floor of the Council in passing AND brining more thoughful debate to an issue, but also in their communities.
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Postby Jattpw » Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:20 am

Great post Graceland,

The reality is I don't (and probably most of us don't) have a clue on what each of these alders has done within the district that they serve. I have some idea on what way they have voted on major issues and what they have been pushing to get passed.

There should be credit given to alders based upon how they have helped direct the debate and issues that they have raised. Perhaps the alder who has been most impressive in that way had been brandon. As a rookie, he has taken a leadership role in presenting "the other side" on a number of issues.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:36 am

graceland wrote:So, just to be argumentative, in your world, only passage of legislation is the sign of succesful legislating?

Does that make Spencer Black, Mark Pocan and the entire Assembly and Senate minorities (in the best Simpson's Comic voice available) "the worst Legislators ever"?
Poor analogy. First of all, even within a totally hostile legislature and with a useless governor, T Berceau passed a very important bill which, again, is in itself more than about half the council has done.

Secondly, the atmosphere on the council is very different than that of the legislature. Brandon and Markle, for instance, hardly face the same odds when it comes to the passage of something - anything - as an Assembly Dem. Even the most conservative members of the council can certainly move things to the floor and have them voted on, which Pocan & Co. are prevented from doing in 99% of the cases. The mayor doesn't have, nor should have, nor would exercise if he did have, the kind of unilateral quashing powers Gard has over anything from the other side even getting a hearing and/or vote.

So it's reasonable to ask what, besides obstructionism, has been put forth by council conservatives. Not much, in my view.

Regarding your first point, I think that to some extent, yes, it is the job of a legislator to do some legislating. While I agree than one can contribute in ways other than having your name on "your" bill, it does seem there's a bit of a disproportionate relationship between the amount of ink/hype surrounding some, and the amount of stuff they've actually gotten passed.

It's much easier to jump into the fray as dealbroker and "improve"/fuck with (depending on how you see it) the work of others than to work an issue from birth to final passage. People had worked on IZ/min wage before Dave/Austin were even in office, and that tends to be obscured by the late machinations when the press is paying attention.
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Postby bill dyke » Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:44 am

I think it would be an interesting discussion to talk about what legislative officeholders on either the state or local level can do besides offer/fuck-with/pass legislation. Is it beyond imagination to consider that there are some other responsibilities in terms of constituent organizing, especially when you find yourself in a minority position?

I know that SOME state legislators have been known, at LEAST during electoral crunch time, to go to other districts to work for other liberals EVEN after it has become necessary to do this on their own or their staffs' own time.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:08 pm

bill dyke wrote:Is it beyond imagination to consider that there are some other responsibilities in terms of constituent organizing, especially when you find yourself in a minority position?
Good point. The problem is that Pocan/Berceau (for example) are 1) already rock-solid at home, and 2) of dubious help in outstate districts.

If I'm a Dem running in a hostile/swing district, the last thing I'd want is the accusation that "Madison extremists are coming here to tell you how to think. Democrats are trying to impose Madison values on Oshkosh, but I want to bring our Oshkosh values to Madison."

Yeah, it's dumb, but we can't deny that such pablum gets traction out there.
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Postby fairwagenow » Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:40 pm

blip wrote:
Jattpw wrote: I was ranking rookie alders based on the innitiatives that they have initiated.

I am soooo glad that you cleared up any confusion about who initiated the minimum wage increase.
I know for a fact that no one prior to Alder King's arrival on the council was even thinking about the minimum wage increase. It solely sprang for the loins of that fine alder upon the conclusion of his swearing-in.
And if anyone says otherwise ... they are just wrong, wrong, wrong!


Well, those two bald guys (one just a bit husky and one just a bit drunk) also deserve some cred. And also the hundreds of volunteers. And also the other electeds who worked for it and voted for it. And also the thousands of people who signed the petition. And the labor and civic and student organizations that hussled like mad. And the Chamber, without whom, the victory would have been slightly less sweet.

But this was a thread about the rookies, so I guess Jattpw's post is topical, and perhaps, not deserving of righteous scorn.
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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:12 pm

Let's not split hairs now. Saying Austin King deserves some credit for initiating the minimum wage ordinance is pretty much the same as saying Russ Feingold deserves some credit for initiating campaign fincance reform. We all know that thousands of other people have been working on both issues way before Austin and Russ picked them up but it is appropriate to give credit where credit is due becaus they serve as a public face for the issue they represent and they take much of the flak directed against the issue. We should recognize everyone who worked on the minimum wage issue/campaign finance but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a huge accomplishment for Austin King/Russ Feingold.
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