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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Janesville Council Member Attacks Fellow Council Member In Email

Janesville City Council member Frank Perrotto went on a scathing personal attack against fellow council member Yuri Rashkin when Rashkin simply vacated the Forward Janesville dinner when Scott Walker went on the stage to speak to the business dinner crowd.

According to Rashkin, he left to engage with the throngs of Janesville residents and protesters outside the building because he felt it was necessary and to exercise his rights. Fair enough. Soon afterwards, Perrotto sent Rashkin an outrageously reprehensible email attacking him with childish name-calling and describing Rashkin's behavior as despicable, stupid and a partisan just to name a few. This behavior though is not unusual for Perrotto as he is known for his outbursts of cross-eyed vein popping smart-alecky rage and blusterous arrogance during council meetings against one of the city's council critics, K. Andreah Briarmoon. But this is the first time that I'm aware of where he punishes a fellow council member with his self-righteous wrath. That's his right too and Perrotto stands by his words. It should be noted that Frank Perrotto is up for re-election to the city council on the April ballot.

Being a voting and taxpaying resident of the city of Janesville with a non-district at-large city council, what I want to know is how Janesville City Council members Kathy Voskuil, Frank Perrotto and George Brunner represented the folks protesting outside the Forward Janesville dinner. In their own words. The fact is after the fact – they didn’t. Yet according to all counts, there were more folks outside the Holiday Inn than in.

Even without that, I want to know how they represented the majority position of Janesville voters. In November when Janesville voters spoke, they voted for Not Walker – 56%, Walker – 44% and that was when voters trusted Walker. Walker of course won the statewide election, but Janesville city council members do not represent or speak for the state of Wisconsin nor should they represent the business membership of a politically active lobby group. They are supposed to represent all of the city of Janesville – for good or for bad. That includes the folks outside too.

So far, Voskuil, Brunner and Perrotto only showed us how they represent a tiny albeit wealthy minority of Janesville. So, I want to know not only how they represent the Janesville majority who did not vote for Walker, I want to what their personal position is as well and what they intend to do to transmit the wishes of the at-large Janesville majority and incorporate those views into city government.

Do tell.

But what Rashkin attempted to do in my view, was the impossible. He tried to bridge a gap, represent and placate both sides in an environment that is fast approaching civil war levels at the same time showing his personal distaste for Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. Whether he did this to gain some political advantage is pure speculation. It could back-fire. But he was completely entitled to exercising his 1st Amendment rights for his statements and position without being trashed by the hyper-partisan sycophant capitulating Perrotto.

The fact is Kathy Voskuil wouldn’t even try to bridge that gap. Perrotto ran away from it and George Brunner wouldn’t do it either. Instead, they stood on the inside with a small exclusive minority of Janesville voters who for the most part, do not represent the at-large Janesville population at all. This time, I give Rashkin much credit for his courageous decision.

Read another blog perspective here.


Anonymous said...

What do you think of Rashkin giving Perrotto only five to apologize.

Just Curious

Lou Kaye said...

From what I understand, Perrotto sent the email through the city government site. If that's true, that email is in the public domain and because of its flaming content, would have made it out anyways. Under those circumstances, giving Perrotto 5 minutes was irrelevant. My own policy is that I would never publish contents of personal emails unless they threaten violence OR otherwise, I get permission. I value direct personal emails even when they criticize.

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