MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 30.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
Collapse Photo Bar

This Solomon situation

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

This Solomon situation

Postby jjoyce » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:08 am

The Cap Times has a hard-to-read story about the allegations against Ald. Brian Solomon this morning.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/c ... 03286.html

There's a lot not to like in that report and I don't really want to get into the sexual assault stuff at all. What I'm amazed by is how these alders apparently pack away the booze.

What's not in dispute is how, following a council meeting, the alders adjourned to Brocach. I understand that's SOP and it's probably good for the city that political combatants can rub elbows immediately afterwards at the tavern. But then a small group extended the evening with a trip to the Bayou for Hurricanes. Ever had one? Ever had two? Not many have two and then exercise good judgment. Apparently, at least one alder thought it was acceptable to drive in this state and another announced that he needed to "sober up" before driving home.

Nice.

It's encouraging that some on the council -- Cnare and Bidar-Sielaff -- are working toward defining ethical boundaries, but it's amazing that it hasn't been done sooner. Anyone who has any knowledge of workplace ethics and safety would recognize a downtown bar crawl as something to avoid.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:13 pm

A downtown bar crawl may be something to avoid for the next six months or so (until this thing blows over) but bar crawls after legislative sessions (city or state) have been part of the elected-office scene since the founding of the state. The Senate Bar got its name for a good reason:
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/ful ... _by%3Ddate

And I said it before: I can't figure out what Solomon did wrong in this drunken sexual encounter that got awkward. If accounts are reliable, I think he was something of a gentleman and that's to his credit. What the hell are people supposed to do, sign a witnessed contract ahead of time and bring along a chaperone? But I understand that's not what you brought up in your posting and I'm willing to drop it from the discussion.

The drunk driving was the worst thing anybody did that night and it sounds way excessive. If the council wants to come up with ethical standards, they ought to leave out drunken sexual encounters among adults who are not one anothers' employees (that is, aren't burdened by employment hierarchy and its expectations and dangers) and focus on the drunk driving aspect of the story. Maybe it's time we handed out cab vouchers at the end of council meetings.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11824
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby rabble » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:46 pm

snoqueen wrote:Maybe it's time we handed out cab vouchers at the end of council meetings.

There ya go. If those folks hadn't expected to drive anywhere after that little session, I wouldn't be so mad right now. I don't have problems with my government members getting sloshed together. I think that's how some differences get settled and some good projects get started. I just have the same problem Jason does.

The days when you could get a little hammered and let the horse find the way home are gone. Nowadays you can get somebody killed.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6532
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby radboy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:51 pm

The person who clearly did wrong is District Attorney Shelly Rusch. It is a real disservice to justice when a prosecutor, declining to press charges, then turns around and says that the person is guilty none the less. I hope her boss Ismael Ozanne reprimands her and informs her that she does not get to act as judge and jury. Shelly Rusch abused the power that the people of Dane County invested in her and made a mockery of the rule of law.
radboy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby jjoyce » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:48 pm

Solomon is guilty, at the very least and without argument, of intense stupidity, particularly for a person of his age and standing in the community. A gentleman would have declined the offer to spend the night, so he definitely doesn't fit that description. Most college seniors know better. Parents could use this exact situation as an example of how men should not behave.

Is that a little righteous? Maybe, but it still amazes me when politicians in this town shrug off stupid and bad behavior. We've seen it happen over and over again. They literally signed up for the scrutiny and are then incredulous when they're subjected to it.

You better think 10 or 20 times about trying to put the moves on a coworker in any situation, but particularly if you're a public official. I don't think it's even appropriate for an alder to go on a date with a city staffer. How often do these things end well? And when is it ever a good idea to fool around with a woman who's barely in a state of being able to stand and walk by herself? The best case scenario is that there are differing accounts. "I did what? Ohmygod!"

What happened here was not OK and it's really too bad that there doesn't seem to be a way for the Council to publicly point that out.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:11 pm

I'm going to be very interested to read whatever comments accumulate on this matter. Is this a generational thing, and what seemed pretty ordinary (to me) in the late 60s-early 70s is no longer? Or has bar culture totally changed? Adults can engage in dumb and embarrassing but evidently non-criminal interpersonal behavior (as we have here) and not pay with their political or professional lives -- or can't they? Who out there can say they've never done something equally regrettable at some point? Do the existence of the phrase "bar goggles" and the song "Why don't we get drunk and screw?" not point to some pretty fundamental human activities, awkward as they are in print the day after? If both parties were men, would this get the same scrutiny?

Have at it.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11824
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby DCB » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:48 pm

jjoyce wrote: What I'm amazed by is how these alders apparently pack away the booze.

don't these people have day jobs?
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2799
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby gargantua » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:18 pm

jjoyce wrote:Most college seniors know better.


Really? If you are referring to male UW-Madison seniors, I'd go all in, bet everything I own, that you're wrong. I wish there were some objective way to settle it.

Maybe it is a generational thing. I've never been in a situation in which I've been intimate with a really drunk member of the opposite sex who had second thoughts. If having sex while drunk, or with a drunk person, should be illegal, we need to build more prisons post haste.

I'm not defending Solomon's alleged behavior as right, or moral. I have a problem with the demonization. Based on what I've read, he's been foolish, not evil.

And that's why the deputy DA knew she couldn't get a conviction.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4378
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby radboy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:45 pm

The woman in this situation, Elana Berg, claims that she was vindicated. I think she is infantalizing herself. She made all kinds of embarrassingly bad choices. Does she not feel any responsibility for them?

She claims that she was the victim of sexual abuse multiple of times when she was much younger. That being the case why did she choose to get drunk and invite a man she was not sexually interested in to drive her home way out in Sun Prairie and spend the night? Why did she engage in kissing and sleep in the same bed as that man? Is she not responsible for any of the bad choices she made? It is not like she is some naive eighteen year old. Instead, she is a divorced woman who must be at least in her late twenties.

Brian "I am the champion of the oppressed" Solomon has always struck me as a fake. But this woman made many stupid choices that ended up probably costing the state tens of thousands of dollars to investigate. My hunch is she will find a lawyer to try to shake the city down for tens of thousands of dollars more.
radboy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby Meade » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:53 pm

From the article Jason linked to:

Many other council members were also reluctant to comment on the record, at least at any length.
An exception was Tim Bruer, who was one of the alders with Berg and Solomon at a pair of downtown taverns on the night of April 13, 2010, after a council meeting. He spoke at length to investigators about what he saw and says now that "it's ironic that many of the progressives on the council and in the community who are fast to be calling for state officials to resign for inappropriate behavior have not come forth and applied the same principles to Ald. Solomon," referring to calls for conservative state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser to step down amid allegations that he put liberal colleague Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold in June. "In fact, they have subtly rallied around Ald. Solomon."


That reminds me - when are we going to get that report? http://www.thedailypage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=53293

It was way back in July when David Blaska pointed out the selectivity in the Progessives' outrage. http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=34099

Even now, in this very thread, the "outrage" is over Solomon's poor judgement, the hand-wringing is about whether or not this is a "generational thing". Oh well, we mustn't be judgmental. That would not be tolerant or liberal or progressive. Best bet is everyone to lay low - no pub crawls or drunk driving for six months or so. At least until this all blows over.

I know - how about another round of that Solidarity Singalong favorite, "We Are the Gentle Angry People"? And a one, and a two...
Meade
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3341
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby Meade » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:57 pm

radboy wrote:The woman in this situation, Elana Berg, claims that she was vindicated. I think she is infantalizing herself. She made all kinds of embarrassingly bad choices. Does she not feel any responsibility for them?


Now THAT is textbook victim-blaming. First rate!
Meade
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3341
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby radboy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:04 pm

Meade wrote:Now THAT is textbook victim-blaming. First rate!

Meade is your mommy Ann Althouse letting you play on the computer again? Why don't you grow up and get a job and stop sponging off the taxpayers of Wisconsin?

(BTW, if you have read any of my other posts you would know that I am no flaming liberal.)
radboy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby Meade » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:12 pm

radboy wrote:(BTW, if you have read any of my other posts you would know that I am no flaming liberal.)


My deepest and most profound apologies, radboy (as if your name is really radboy). I should have done my homework so I could realize that your fame precedes you wherever you go. So you're not a flaming liberal. Does plain liberal work? Or are you just plain flaming?

Back to the substance of your comment:

"She claims that she was the victim of sexual abuse multiple of times when she was much younger. That being the case why did she choose to get drunk and invite a man she was not sexually interested in to drive her home way out in Sun Prairie and spend the night? Why did she engage in kissing and sleep in the same bed as that man? Is she not responsible for any of the bad choices she made? It is not like she is some naive eighteen year old. Instead, she is a divorced woman who must be at least in her late twenties."


Did I say textbook? I should have said certifiable.
Meade
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3341
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby radboy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:22 pm

Meade, why don't you read this over with your mommy the law professor and then get back to us.
radboy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Re: This Solomon situation

Postby radboy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:26 pm

jjoyce wrote: A gentleman would have declined the offer to spend the night,

Well, not James Bond.

BTW, what world do you live in?
radboy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Next

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar