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Friday, March 6, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Tell All: Wisconsin Capitol dress code? Really?
Who cares about politicians' clothes?

Dear Tell All: I'm amused by the fact that Republicans recently instituted a dress code for legislators in the state Assembly. Now there's a great solution to one of Wisconsin's biggest problems: the fact that not enough male politicians wear proper suits and ties, and not enough female politicians wear proper dresses or pants suits.

In my view, the respectable clothes just mask the odious behavior of many state legislators. How about requiring that they can only wear such clothes if they act respectably, and otherwise must be forced to dress like the slobs they really are?

Dressed Down

Dear Dressed Down: I think it would be problematic to require Wisconsin legislators to dress in a way that reflects their real selves. That means some of them would have to wear clown, caveman or vampire costumes, and then people around the country would start making fun of our state government.

Oops, people around the country are already doing that, aren't they? Bring on the clown costumes, I guess.

Okay, Tell All, I wasn't going to chime in, but you published another sympathetic column about Suzy Favor Hamilton, the Madison-based track star who secretly engaged in prostitution over the past year ("Defending Suzy Favor Hamilton," 1/13/2013). So now I'm going to speak for a different group.

Those of us who work with children in the UW summer programs have had to go through a background check that went so far as a credit check, because "people who have bad credit tend to do bad things." We are all quite fortunate, I guess, that said background check didn't turn up the prostitution we are all into. Whew!! Dodged another bullet!


Dear Nary: I take your point: You and your fellow summer-program employees are required to walk the straight and narrow, and now comes an outpouring of sympathy for a celebrity like Suzy Favor Hamilton after she engages in prostitution. The only thing I'd point out is that, to judge from the letters I've gotten, the outpouring of sympathy is matched by an outpouring of disapproval.

Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or email

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