Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Credit Where It Is Due

I have to give credit today to a few people who have earned it.

First, a ton of credit to Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords for stepping down from her office.  By doing so Giffords spares those living in her Arizona district from what would have been the most uncomfortable campaign in recent memory.  Given the extent and effects of the injuries she suffered in the shooting last year, her ability to perform the duties of the job would have been a fair topic of discussion and debate for any candidate from either party that chose to challenge Giffords.  But, any candidate choosing to even refer to the issue would have been demonized as "uncaring", "vicious" or "opportunistic".  Now, any campaign for Giffords' district can focus on the issues (unless of course a candidate has been arrested, divorced several times or worked for a private equity firm).

Credit also goes to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for learning the lessons of the Penn State scandal and releasing its investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Associate Athletic Director John Chadima without forcing the media to file Freedom of Information requests.  Chadima came under investigation during the Badgers Rose Bowl trip for allegedly grabbing the genitals of a male Athletic Department employee--then threatening to fire the kid if he said anything.  Chadima resigned a few days after the team returned from Pasadena--so we don't have to worry about a Jerry Sandusky still-allowed-to-hang-around-the-football-facility situation in Madison.  Now Barry Alvarez has to hope there isn't a parade of former employees coming forward saying Chadima assaulted them as well--and nobody did anything about it.

And finally some credit to State Representative Richard Spanbauer.  Spanbauer announced yesterday that he will not run for re-election this year--after facing backlash within his own party for his vote on the Collective Bargaining Law last year.  Granted, most GOP power-brokers always thought Dick was a Democratic operative sent to infiltrate the party and report back on its strategies through his neighbor in the 54th District--but Representative Spanbauer voted his concience knowing full-well it would likely cost him his seat.  If nothing else, it is a departure from the normal in both Madison and Washington where just being part of the show is more important than what you actually accomplish on stage.

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