Milwaukee's Red Belt
Is Madison's east-side unique in its electoral solidarity? Not by a long shot. Christian Schneider's claim, in the hyperbolically titled "The Four Wards That Run Wisconsin" (10/21/11), that 7,000 votes cast in the east isthmus provide a "lock" for Democratic contenders is simply not supported by data. Many Milwaukee wards produce greater electoral majorities for Democrats at the same level as those on the near east side, although the turn-out tends to be smaller. It is not clear why these particular votes are determinative in an election where about 2.5 million votes are cast.
Interestingly, a similar article could be entitled "The Red Belt Around Milwaukee," about Washington County, which regularly produces a 3:1 margin for Republican candidates and Waukesha and Ozaukee counties, which support GOP majorities at more than 2:1. Taken together, the Republican super-majorities in these three suburban counties were sufficient for Scott Walker's victory (223,832 to 86,381).
The fact that millionaires in the village of Chenequa (Waukesha) voted 9-1 for Walker is not a threat to democracy. But their ability to bankroll candidates may be. What do you think, Mr. Schneider?
Lookin' like a fool
In response to Genie Ogden's letter (10/21/11) about Larry Kaufmann's opinion column "What's So Bad About School Choice?" (10/7/11): There is nothing more irritating than stupid people talking, and you are case in point. Your uninformed bash against private schools only makes you look like a fool.
My husband and I choose to send our children to a private school in Madison. Not a single teacher at that school has less than a four-year college education. Our librarian has a law degree, for crying out loud. Your comments about private schools turning away the disabled and minorities are just plain false. While our private school does not have the funding to accommodate all disabilities, we have a young girl attending who is wheelchair bound. Our school actually has blacks and Hispanics.
I'm so sorry you think public schools are left to "deal" with the disabled and minorities, because who would want them, right? It's people like you that hold our community back.