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Saturday, August 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Fair
The Paper

OPINION

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Basford's Spin City: Blaska vs. Mistele!
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In one corner, you have a tried-and-true conservative leader who, with the united backing of the county's center-right, gave Kathleen Falk a real run for her money in the County Executive's race.

In the other corner, you have Nancy Mistele.

This should be required reading for anybody who is buying for one moment Mistele's and the tin-foil anti-rail crowd's specious and amplified arguments against an RTA. Mike Blaska and Dick Wagner are two of the most respected former Dane County Board Chairs in recent history (and, in Nancy Mistele's judgement, not as good a choice for Dane County Executive as Phil Salkin). They've been leading on the issue of commuter rail since the 90's and know the details of the proposed RTA better than anybody. They know that an RTA will solve our transportation challenges, create jobs, help our economy and absolutely did not kill Vince Foster.

So the next time you see Nancy Mistele on the TV spouting falsehoods and junk science about the RTA, keep in mind Mike Blaska's words:

"Let's have a good honest discussion, not distortions and propaganda, as we together decide our transportation future."

Now that's Blaska I can believe in!

Fighting Towards the Finish

Anybody who thought that the Kathleen Falk campaign is sleepwalking towards Election Day should have been at the AFSCME offices a week ago Saturday at 10AM. About 150 assembled for a lit drop for Kathleen and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and the enthusiasm was quite high. The highlight was the talk by Dane County's biggest political icon Russ Feingold. You don't have to take my word for it, Wisconsin Eye was there and you can watch the video.

After that, I spent three hours dropping lit on the North edge of Middleton. Lit drops are great exercise and I had a fun time. Everybody I ran into was friendly and apparently nobody there has received the Pugh/Berg/McKenna/Henck/Mistele memo that we live in a crime-ridden hellhole.

Memo to Mark Vivian

I clearly spoke too soon when I said that Nancy Mistele's campaign represented a new low in Dane County politics (though there's still time - Don't give up, Nancy!!). Seriously, we're talking about the Food Not Bombs people, right? The people who give out food at Peace Park, right? This ain't Hezbollah we're talking about. They're hippies! The worst these folks are going to develop are weapons of mass patchouli or really crappy vegan stews like I used to choke down during my co-op days.

Congratulations Mark! You've managed to make a sympathetic figure out of your opponent. When you're done looking for Al Queda on Willy St, get some help.

Memo to Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and Hamilton Arendsen

Would it kill you guys to stop going about your business earnestly running two intense, yet quite clean and issue-oriented, campaigns and start slinging some mud or something at each other so I have something to write about? Take a tip from Mark Vivian. Or maybe not...

Roaring Success

Thanks to everybody who packed into the Brink Lounge on Friday for the Tenant Resource Center's Iron Chef Fundraisers. As I last heard, at least $2500 and counting was raised for the Housing Crisis Fund - which will help several families in our community stay in their housing during these tough economic times. As for my Beer Battle against Dane County Board Chair Scott McDonell? After the judges turned in their scorecards, they say we tied. Of course I smell a rat! Look for me to get Norm Coleman's legal team on retainer. This ain't over...

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