- We learned that if you offer to build a new school in a spot that the people who will actually be using the school support--it likely will win approval from the rest of the community as well. I still wonder what Oaklawn Elementary would look like sitting out there by itself on Ryf Road if that referendum hadn't failed so miserably eight years ago.
- I learned that I will have to disconnect my phone line before the next round of elections. I only kept track of the number of calls in the final three days before the primary (33 calls)--but I would estimate that we received at least 75 calls from the candidates, candidate supporters, political action committees and so-called "polling services" in the course of ten days. I don't need to hear from "Mitt Romney" "Rick Santorum" "Paul Ryan" and "Barbara Bush" that many times, thank you. Especially when I am trying to nap in the afternoon.
- We learned that Wisconsinites must spend a lot of time in bowling alleys (almost every Rick Santorum campaign stop).
- We learned that college students like to be lectured to in a boring, professorial tone (Newt Gingrich's stop at UW Oshkosh).
- We learned that people still think Mormonism is a racist cult (an embarrassing incident at Mitt Romney's last campaign stop in Green Bay. First rule of media--never let the guest handle the microphone).
- We learned that nobody worries about voter fraud in non-partisan races (no poll observers, no accusations of people not being able to vote or people voting who shouldn't have that we get with every partisan election).
- We learned that having a big name in politics doesn't guarantee you are going to win. Former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager--who won a statewide race once, lost in a bid for the Fond du Lac School Board. It probably didn't help that she ran as a puppet of the teachers union.
- And fiscal conservatives should have learned that if they want a seat in local government in Oshkosh, they might want to run an actual candidate. As Jim McKay said after the Israeli athletes were killed at the 1972 Olympics: "They're gone...they're all gone". Perhaps conservatives should form something like Progress Oshkosh--which has done an excellent job of recruiting and prepping liberal candidates for local elections--to get people interested in running again. I realize that it's time-consuming to keep the private sector running smoothly--and that you want to spend time with your kids and friends and church--but we might want to have at least one person worried about the amount of money local government spends. Yes, there are property tax caps in place--but one bad statewide election cycle and those could be lifted. And then it would be "Katie bar the door"--like we "enjoyed" back in the 80's and early 90's.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
What We Learned
Every election provides a learning opportunity for all of us. So what did we learn yesterday?