Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has used his city-sponsored blog (cityofmadison.com/mayor/blog) to ridicule Isthmus' article on the Edgewater Hotel's plans for a $107 million expansion ("Edgewater Plan Secret, Suspicious," 7/3/09). Specifically, the mayor claims the paper suggested that his meeting "several times" with the project developer was "the crime of the century."
Tellingly, the mayor did not link to the actual article, a basic rule of Internet etiquette. If he had, readers could see that he was misrepresenting the article, by Jay Rath. At issue was that the project developer, Hammes Co., has met with Cieslewicz at least 10 times since last November, well before it registered to engage in lobbying, an apparent violation of city lobbying rules. These meetings took place as Hammes Co. was stonewalling citizens seeking information on its plans.
Asked by Isthmus for the opportunity to respond to his post, Cieslewicz says this is "not possible."
Last Wednesday, Bob Dunn of the Hammes Co. called Isthmus to offer a deal, similar to the one he'd offered Rath. Dunn said he'd purposely "held back some information" about the project, but was "willing to work with someone on an exclusive basis" to reveal these details. "You guys may be the ideal channel."
Or maybe not.