“Mayor Dave” Wins the AFSCME Primary
With all the talk about State Senate recalls, the State Supreme Court race, the Milwaukee County Executive race, it’s easy to forget there are other races out there on April 5th in Wisconsin. Among them, are the races for Dane Co. Executive and Mayor of Madison.
Now, I’m convinced State Assemblyman Joe Parisi of Madison will be the next County Executive of Dane County.
It’s just a given in Wisconsin. Like deer hunting the week of Thanksgiving and Packers games in the fall (one hopes); at the end of the day, a liberal Democratic-partisan will be the County Executive of the most liberal county in Wisconsin.
Now the race for the Mayor of Madison has been a fun side show to watch as the protests raged at the State Capitol. There, you have incumbent, two-term Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and former two-time (It is two, right?) mayor Paul Soglin going at it again.
The pair actually faced off eight years ago, when Cieslewicz won and began his terms as Mayor.
Yet, since the release of the Budget-Repair Bill, the two haven’t been focusing much on the issues in the city they’re trying to govern. Instead, they’ve been playing a rather fascinating contest of who was the better friend of the public employee unions more. Cieslewicz — as proven by the emails between himself and State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) — was trying to get Sec. of State Doug La Follette to delay the law’s publication to the full max 10 days to ensure no concessions for Madison’s unions (Guess he got his wish); has filed a lawsuit, and pretty much done all he can at every public appearance to say he’s a “Public Employee Union” man.
Soglin, according to reports, lacked the media presence of the Mayor’s office and had spent night sleeping in the State Capitol with the rest of the protesters and had his blog attack Walker ever chance it could.
So who won the AFSCME endorsement? Why, Mayor Dave of course.
On the same day the Wisconsin Legislature passed Scott Walker’s attack on working families, AFSCME recognized Mayor Dave Cieslewicz’s unwavering support for workers by voting to endorse Mayor Dave for Madison mayor.
“I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our workers as we keep up the fight against Scott Walker’s divisive policies. I am honored to have AFSCME’s support,” Mayor Cieslewicz said. “I have never been more proud to be mayor of this city or more energized to keep fighting for our future.”
“During these tumultuous weeks, Mayor Dave has proven he is a leader that understands the paramount need of elected leaders to sit at the table and negotiate with the women and men who provide the services that Madisonian’s love, and which make our City the best of the best. Inclusion and communication is the key to our success as a city servants. While we might not always agree on all issues, I believe we soundly agree that serving the people of Madison to the best of our ability is our top priority and we accomplish that together at the negotiating table by valuing the services and rights of all working people. This is why Local 60 endorses Mayor Dave on April 5th 2011,” said Tim Birkley, Vice President, AFSCME Local 60.
When the governor’s union-busting bill was introduced, Mayor Cieslewicz called a special Council meeting to ratify city union contracts so that all employees were treated fairly.
Since then, the mayor has marched with city employees, fought the bill at the legislature and worked to protect city workers and city services from Scott Walker’s attacks.