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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Janesville Incumbents Stay On Council, Battle Of The Write-Ins Is Over

Contrary to what I believe some "progressives' are thinking, the decisive re-election wins by incumbent Janesville council members Sam Liebert and Doug Marklein represent huge wins for the corporate status quo Walker-booster club Forward Janesville and the Janesville Gazette. Three of four of the candidates pushed by the Gazette won seats on the city council.

To be clear, the council's seemingly new make-up and expected shift to the center wouldn't have changed much regardless of which candidates were elected because the council's "conservatives" were vacating city hall and the replacement field was slim. The theory here is, the Janesville establishment wants to impose new local fees and push tax hike referenda on property taxpayers to make up for shortfalls in state aid, but the existing (previous) city council of state-agenda conservatives would not deliver. So they had to exit to allow Forward Janesville's local tax and spend agenda to take root.

Sadly, Tuesday's local election results remind me of the last several state-wide elections in Wisconsin. The people are not matching major issues that affect them to the candidates they elect, but instead are voting a popularity contest.

But the big message sent by Janesville voters was their loud approval of council incumbents who operated just short from having a scandal-a-month. They worked behind closed doors, appointed a Forward Janesville board member to the council, shut down citizen petitions just because, and refuse to lock-in street repair language on a tax hike referendum they insist is for street repairs, just to name a few.

The people appproved! yeAY!

In a bit of a surprise, council candidate Billy McCoy failed to attract the 3,500 supporters he garnered for his petitions on the fire station. McCoy picked up slightly more than 2,000 voters, but even if he captured 3,500 votes, that wouldn't have been enough to win a seat. After watching a few council candidate forums, McCoy in my opinion, for whatever his reasons, did everything a candidate would do - to not win. Just lots of bad optics and a non-existent campaign.

The Janesville School Board election was yet another political fiasco delivered by the Gazette's partisan protection plan of establishment actors like school-super Karen Schulte's cover up of inadequate candidate petitions and school board member Bill Sodemanns' witch hunt into a candidate's publicly-held emails. But if you read the Gazette during the run-up to election, it was like none of that ever happened except for the newspaper to successfully project their own partisanship onto their perceived political opponents.

In the final weeks, the Gazette threw another dirtball at candidate Carla Quirk in hopes to bring her down a notch and also published a final editorial reminding readers how terrible the union was for finding inadequate petitions, while completely omitting their own hand in downplaying the cover-up and retaliatory witch hunt.

But perhaps the best part of this nightmare is in the result as it appears the state's teachers union endorsed candidates of Ardrey, Quirk and Huth have won the seats on the Janesville school board. That leaves Janesville residents with only the hyper-partisan "nonpartisan" school administration officials, a newspaper and a politically active special interest group masquerading as a business group to contend with. But again, judging by how Janesville voters previously dealt with scandal and deception, y'all may as well take a long nap till the next election.

View Rock County Election Results for 4/7/15 here.

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