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Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Detritus » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:19 am

So, lemme see if I have this right: According to Blaska, Mertz hasn't paid his privately incurred utility bills, and therefore is unqualified to serve in public office. I did not know that. Could we see the legal basis for that opinion, please?

Also, his wife has works in one of the schools, therefore Mertz would be required to recuse himself from many, if not all, issues that come before the School Board because "conflict of interest." Yet rather than relying on actual legal counsel in making the decision to recuse himself, Mertz should just follow the lead of some blogger and recuse himself before even knowing what the issues might be--any other course is inconceivable.

Well, I'm convinced.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby david cohen » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:19 am

Perhaps Mr. Blaska should consider some recent school board history prior to shooting off his mouth. There have been several instances of board members having family members employed by or being served by the district. Ray Allen's wife was a principal. Several board members had children in the district. Certainly there were instances where a board member also served on a board of directors for a non-profit that engaged in a contract with the district, or received some benefits from the district.I don't recall anyone objecting to their voting on most issues. A few folks have recused themselves over the years, on advice of counsel.

As far as Mertz's arrears with MG&E, the guy is human. People have medical bills that mess up their personal finances. If anything, this tells me that Mertz isn't just another white Madison liberal- after all, white Madison liberals have plenty of cash and couldn't possibly be like "your average citizen", struggling at times to make ends meet. I'm guessing it was Blaska who pressured WKOW into going after Mertz. It wouldn't be the first time WKOW took the bait and was way off base.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby gargantua » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:49 am

I haven't had ring bologna for a long time. I don't even remember if I used to peel the skin off or just eat it with the skin on.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby scratch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:44 pm

gargantua wrote:I haven't had ring bologna for a long time. I don't even remember if I used to peel the skin off or just eat it with the skin on.


Thanks. I almost posted a response to the previous bloviators.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Meade » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:49 pm

Detritus wrote:Mertz should just follow the lead of some blogger and recuse himself before even knowing what the issues might be

No, Mertz should ask the school district legal counsel what issues he can or cannot vote on. And he ought to apprise the voters of such limitations.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby O.J. » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:21 pm

Jordandal Cookhouse has excellent ring bologna; they offer it with their mac and cheese, grilled to perfection. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Detritus » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:54 pm

Meade wrote:No, Mertz should ask the school district legal counsel what issues he can or cannot vote on. And he ought to apprise the voters of such limitations.

However, Mertz says:
I will take the legal advice of the district counsel. You could ask her; I have not yet, as it is not appropriate for her to be giving advice to a candidate.

Or maybe you didn't read that part. Anyway, in spite of your bloviating like a skinned ring bologna, he's not saying he won't recuse himself if so advised. But if it concerns you that much that he sits on the Board, perhaps you (or Blaska) should have run against him yourself. It's a free country, I hear.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Donald » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:02 pm

This is a dumb thread. I'm not sure how it works at MMSD, but I suspect it's similar here to what it is most places. When elected to school board you undergo an orientation at which you learn what your legal rights and responsibilities are. Part of that orientation is understanding what conflicts of interest you might have and what you need to do about them. Here's the key thing that I learned from undergoing this orientation: almost everyone has some conflict of interest at some point during their term in office.

In many places you have to disclose from whom you and your spouse obtain your income. The district then informs you whether they do business with or have contracts with your employer. These may or may constitute conflicts of interest, but they deserve some consideration. Conflicts of interest don't mean you can't serve. They just mean you need to disclose when you have a conflict which is serious enough that you must abstain from voting.

In most places, you can't serve if you are employed by the district, but you can serve if your spouse is employed by the district. In some places, employment of the spouse would be considered a major conflict of interest, and the spouse would have to leave employment. In others, there would be a requirement that the board member not vote directly on any employment contract involving the spouse, though general employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, etc., would not necessarily be considered a conflict of interest.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Meade » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:11 pm

Detritus wrote: maybe you didn't read that part.

I read that part. "Not appropriate"? Says who? Mertz.
Point is, Mertz can and should consult with the district counsel on the matter and then tell the voters exactly what he learns. That would not be inappropriate. It would be acting with appropriate transparency. But I understand how Mertz and you and other voters might prefer just jamming bologna in your ears instead.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Detritus » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:29 pm

Meade wrote:Point is, Mertz can and should consult with the district counsel on the matter and then tell the voters exactly what he learns.

And what "matter" would that be, then? Do you know what issues will come before the board during his time on it? And do you want all candidates to consult with the district counsel during the election to determine in advance what hypothetical issues they might need to recuse themselves on? Why is it the counsel's responsibility to advise all candidates on potential recusals during the campaign, given that the candidates are not yet serving on the board, and the counsel is paid to advise the district and the board, not private citizens. And who pays for the counsel's time to advise these people, some of whom will never serve on the board?
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Meade » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:12 pm

Is it "hypothetical" that a union contract extension might come up? Longer school days, etc.? Why DID Mertz not include his wife on his campaign website when he takes pains to talk about his two sons?

http://www.ibmadison.com/Blogger/Bring- ... -of-Green/
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Detritus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:08 pm

Meade wrote:Is it "hypothetical" that a union contract extension might come up? Longer school days, etc.?

Why, yes. I'm glad you agree.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Meade » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Hypothetical, if you like. Contract extension talks will also become actual, factual, and real sometime before July 1, 2014.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Stu Levitan » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:53 pm

Wait - Sarah's campaign committee for a school board election was called "Manski for Wisconsin"? She was even worse than we thought.
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Re: Blaska has the scoop on "Manski-gate"

Postby Meade » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:43 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Wait - Sarah's campaign committee for a school board election was called "Manski for Wisconsin"?

http://www.cityofmadison.com/election/c ... ection.pdf
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