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Monday, October 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast
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Bruer's no Bill Proxmire; The schools are all right; Dump Tate
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Bruer's no Bill Proxmire

Ald. Mark Clear was wrong (not for the first time) when he assigned Tim Bruer's loss to acting like Bill Proxmire and assuming "everyone knew him so he didn't have to campaign" ("A Stunning Loss for Ald. Tim Bruer," 4/5/2013). I knew Bill Proxmire. I was a young political nerd when Bill Proxmire was shaking hands at Lambeau Field, Badger games and church picnics every year of his terms, not just before elections. I wrote to Bill Proxmire, and he wrote back.

Tim Bruer ain't no Bill Proxmire. Rather, if Clear wants to reference a political axiom to explain Bruer's loss, he should look to Lincoln's that "you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

Rick Soletski

Ald. Clear knows little about the late Sen. Bill Proxmire. He was known for his constant campaigning, particularly at football games. Although legendary, Bill Proxmire never stopped campaigning until he decided to retire.

Daniel A. Young

The schools are all right

In her opinion piece "A Tipping Point for Madison's Schools" (4/12/2013), I don't like Ruth's Conniff's contention that the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is at "a tipping point" or that it's severely affected by "white flight." Madison is still a strong, diverse and well-respected school district. One can visit the schools or browse the MMSD website to see many of the amazing things our students and teachers are doing. As with all public education districts in Wisconsin, all sorts of challenges are posed by our governor and Legislature, by cuts from state and federal funding, by the risk of vouchers, by poverty, and by changes in student racial diversity and the economic status of students' families. Increasingly, these same challenges are present in Sun Prairie, Verona, Middleton-Cross Plains and other Dane County school districts.

What matters most to MMSD is how our community responds to the challenges. Rather than asking, "Is this school meeting my child's needs?," parents should ask, "After enrolling my child in a good school, how will I work with other parents, teachers and staff to make this an outstanding learning environment for my child and his or her peers?" If there is a tipping point, it's on this question.

Jerry Eykholt

Dump Tate

Bruce Murphy's account of Pat Roggensack's lazy path to victory ("Justice Pat Roggensack Wins Second Term as Big Liberal Money Sits Out Race," 4/5/2013) reminded me of Scott Walker's slouching his way past Tom Barrett in the recall.

No national money? Practically no money at all from anywhere for the good guys. Both Roggensack and Walker had shockingly short election nights.

Democratic Party chair Mike Tate gave a roof-raising speech at the Overture Center when the final pro-recall tally was revealed to the public, but the rest of the time he seemed like a less-than-mildly-interested bystander. Tate is a four-time loser if you include the David "the Courthouse Strangler" Prosser debacle.

With the gubernatorial contest as close as Michael Corleone's enemies, new and competent leadership should be a priority, seriously considered and promptly acted upon. Time to dump Tate!

Doug Hatch, Monona

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