Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Dog's Eye View of Today's Election

Vote early, vote often…as they say in Chicago. I’m making my trek to the polls right after I get done writing this…and taking my famous dog in for her annual array of shots, tests, and immunizations from the vet.

Perhaps I can convince someone at the polls to let my dog vote. She’s 3 and a half, which I guess is a little over 24 in “people years”. They say Collies are pretty smart, as dogs go, so I see no reason why she shouldn’t be allowed to cast a ballot. She’s probably just as informed as a lot of the people who will show up today to vote.

There are always the “one issue” voters. The candidate could be an axe-murderer, crook, thief, pedophile, or garden variety dummy, but a lot of voters will cast their ballot for the candidate based on his or her stated philosophy about abortion, gay marriage, nuclear power, or any one of a number of hot-button issues.

Then there are the party sycophants, who vote based on a candidate’s political affiliation. These are the “straight-ticket” voters. They’d make good members of congress, who almost always vote the way their party bosses tell them to. My friend Russ Feingold is a great exception to that glittering generality.

Here in Dane County, we have to vote on a County Executive today, and for me that’s a difficult choice. I don’t like the way Kathleen Falk has handled the crisis at the 9-1-1 Center, and her penchant for putting political cronies in critical jobs (like the guy who resigned after all the problems at the 9-1-1 Center were uncovered by local reporters). But I’m not sure Nancy Mistele is the right person for the job, either. By the way....when IS Kathleen going to give that deposition in the Brittany Zimmermann case?

I’ll ask my dog for advice on that race, as we pull into the polling place. I wonder where Falk and Mistele stand on dogs. Falk has done some great things with the dog parks in Dane County, so that may tip the balance with my Collie. I know Mayor Cieslewicz has a Shetland Sheepdog, so he’s cool with me. The dog we had before the Collie was a sable Shelty, just like Mayor Dave’s. But he’s not up for re-election.

We also have to decide if Tony Evers or Rose Fernandez should be our new Superintendent of Public Instruction. Evers has been Libby Burmaster’s right-hand-man, and Fernandez is regarded as an “outsider”, I guess because she’s never worked for the DPI. The Teachers’ Union loves Tony and has spent a fortune running ads for him, so maybe it’s time for an outsider to give it a shot. Change is a big theme these days. I’m not sure where Tony and Rose stand on dogs.

Neither of these elections is partisan…but we know very well which candidates are aligned with the Democrats, and which ones are aligned with the Republicans. Which is why I think the “dog” angle is just as good as anything else as a tie-breaker.


  1. Finally! A blog that gets down to the warp and woof of local politics!

  2. Antpoppa
    I have used the 911 service once since living in Madison for the past 30 years. I used it some two years ago to report a drunk driver careening over the highway going into Middleton, from Madison's East Side. A young man was forced into the ditch to avoid a head-on collision as I was reporting. I stopped to stay with him until the Sheriff arrived. Instant response to the scene and the Sheriff had other patrols looking for the drunk.
    I was in German Town, in Philadelphia ( Kill a Delphia, as my brothers call it ) and called 911, this was a year ago. No answer, put on hold never saw a police response, and had to call back, in this case twice. The call was about an assault and robbery taking place in a parking lot.
    From what I am told, from others, this is a more typical 911 response than what we get in Dane County. So are we talking about the 911 service or about a 'cover up' consisting of not responding to media?