News and politics from Madison, Wisconsin... with a twist. Everything contained herein is intended as satire. Please do not take it too seriously. It's pure madness!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Madison Council Members Rewrite Oaths
After passing a resolution to allow an addition to the state required oath for elected and appointed city officials, many of Madison's elected officials became drunk with power and decided to add a few words of their own. The intent of the resolution was to allow electeds and appointees to protest the recently passed consitutional ban on same-sex marriage while still vowing to uphold the state constitution.
Some warned the city is heading down a slippery slope leaving the oath open to a multitude of supplemental addendums, but the city council did not buy it, passing the resolution with a strong majority of votes. Alder Jed Sanborn, one of only a few alders speaking out against the move, created an addendum of his own to protest the resolution. Other council members followed his lead, and the end result is a slew of personalized oaths taken during a special secret ceremony after Tuesday's Common Council meeting.
The oath of office states, "I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, and the Charter of the City of Madison, and will perform the duties..." So, what statements did Madison's elected officials add to their oaths of office?District 1: Jed Sanborn
- "And I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And I will work for repeal of all laws passed post-1776."District 2: Brenda Konkel
- "I will also support and uphold the teachings of Jerry Garcia and his Grateful Dead band."District 3: Lauren Cnare
- "Mr. Mayor? What should I say?"District 4: Mike Verveer
- "And I will support the by-laws and obey the wishes of Downtown Madison, Incorporated."District 5: Robbie Webber
- "I pledge to work to change the constitution of the United States of America and will not give up until an amendment passes giving Americans the express right to ride a bicycle."District 6: Judy Olson
- "I also vow to support the rules and regulations of the Willy Street Coop."District 7: Zach Brandon
- "I take this oath under protest, as TABOR is not yet part of our state or federal constitutions. I will not rest until TABOR passes and tax payer protection is part of our most sacred law."District 8: Austin King
- "I will save the world. Really. And if not, maybe I'll be president some day."District 9: Paul Skidmore
- His words were too slurred to make any sense of them.District 10: Ken Golden
- "I support soup."District 11: Tim Gruber
- "I pledge to do what is right even when politically unpopular."District 12: Brian Benford
- "First, I'd like to thank everyone for the chance to add a few words to my oath. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here today with all of you. When I began this journey, I never thought an ordinary guy like myself would ever be able to take part in something like this..."District 13: Isadore Knox
- "I support nothing in particular."District 14: Tim Bruer
- "I promise to continue the time honored tradition of South Side Style."District 15: Larry Palm
- "I pledge my love to Zach Brandon."District 16: Judy Compton
- "Wait a minute. The State of Wisconsin has its own constitution? I didn't know that. Why does the state have its own constitution when we have a perfect good one for the whole country? I don't understand." (editor's note: Judy Compton continued for another 15 minutes without adding anything of substance to her statement.)District 17: Santiago Rosas
- Alder Rosas mysteriously disappeared before it was his turn to take the oath.District 18: Paul Van Rooy
- "Anyone want to tell me what to say?"District 19: Noel Radomski
- "I promise not to send any more crazy tirades via email to my colleagues. Should the mood strike, I will not allow myself to hit the send button."District 20: Cindy Thomas
- "I'll just share my New Year's resolutions since I don't believe in messing with the oath. I promise to do 100 leg lifts and 200 sit ups each and every day. I also resolve to switch from aerosol hairspray to more environmentally friendly alternatives when fixing my unmovable hair. Oh, and I'll do everything I can to rid my neighborhood of those 'undesirables' who seem to be taking over."
Last but not least, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz
stood to take his oath. Upon completion of the oath, the mayor added, "I support trolleys, trolleys, and more trolleys. I will continue to fight until every street in Madison has its very own trolley line."
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Police Suspect Political Conspiracy in Water Scandal
The dangerous amounts of manganese found in two of Madison's drinking water wells may not be the result of the mineral naturally occurring in the city's aquifers as originally suspected. The police and public health departments are working together to investigate reports that in the weeks proceeding the revelation about the water supply, large amounts of manganese was bought by two men at multiple Walgreens locations throughout Madison and the surrounding area.
According to Public Health Director Thomas Schlenker, his department was performing an investigation into the source of the manganese in the water supply when a gelatin-like substance was discovered floating in one of the wells. "The gelatin substance appears to be from the outside of mineral supplement capsules," explained Schlenker. "It seems that someone injected thousands of capsules into the water supply, probably not realizing that the outsides of the capsules would not fully dissolve with such large quantities present."
This discovery has prompted a police investigation. Officers canvassed local drugstores and superstores that carry mineral supplements and found that nearly every Walgreens totally sold out of manganese. Through questioning of store clerks, the police were able to determine the times during which the suspects bought the suplements and have used surveillance video to identify two individuals. Mayoral candidate Ray Allen and former Madison mayor Paul Soglin have both been arrested and are being held for further questioning in the investigation. Neither has been charged as of this time.
It appears the two men may have poured the manganese supplements into the wells in an effort to discredit Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. Cieslewicz has taken significant heat for his lack of oversight of the city's Water Utility. Mayoral spokesman George Twigg describes the mayor as "incredibly disappointed" that Allen and Soglin would put the public in danger just to further Allen's political career. Michael Quigley, spokesman for the Allen campaign, denies any involvement of Allen or his campaign in the contamination. Quigley says, "I have known Ray Allen a long time, and I know he has far too much common sense to participate in something like this."
Police Chief Noble Wray claims that the investigation is not over yet. The department plans to call in Homeland Security, as the act could be considered bioterrorism. Charges will likely be filed against both Soglin and Allen later this week. Police also wish to question several other individuals who may have helped the duo purchase the supplements, but no additional names have been released.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Konkel for Mayor
According to some of her colleagues, Alderwoman Brenda Konkel may be quietly preparing for a run against Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz in 2007. Konkel recently got a shorter, more stylish haircut and is rumored to have also gotten a pedicure. Alderman Jed Sanborn, who sits next to Konkel at City Council meetings, says that he really likes "the pretty color of her painted toenails when she wears sandals."
Others claim that Konkel will soon be trading in those sandals for pumps, though. Alderwoman Cindy Thomas recently spotted Brenda shopping at Talbots. According to Thomas, "Brenda bought a couple of suits, some high heeled shoes, a dress, and lots of frilly accessories. It was all very classy and very professional. I think she's planning something." Thomas adds that Konkel even bought several pairs of pantyhose. Alderman Zach Brandon says he saw Konkel at Morgan Shoes and "she wasn't browsing the Birkenstocks."
Konkel has been doing more than just shopping for clothes. An employee at Eye Contact reports that she recently ordered a new trendy pair of glasses and is also considering colored contacts. The employee claims, "She told me she wants to change her entire image to something more conservative and professional." And Alderwoman Judy Compton even ran into Konkel shopping the lady razor aisle at Walgreens. Could this mean no more hairy armpit jokes?
"Brenda cut her hair and got a pedicure. She's shopping for clothes and fancy shoes. Ditching the glasses for colored contacts and even shaving her underarms. I've heard she has an appointment next month at Glamour Shots. This can only mean one thing. She's running for mayor," concludes Alderman Brandon who has worked as a political consultant in the past. Konkel's Progressive Dane colleague, Alderman Austin King (who just got a haircut himself, reportedly to look more professional for his first real job) claims to know nothing of Konkel's mayoral ambition.
When asked about her intentions, Alderwoman Konkel answers with a girlish giggle, "I won't rule out any possibilities."
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
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Thursday, March 09, 2006
Sheriff Gary Hamblin Pursues Lifelong Dream
Dane County Sheriff Gary Hamblin announced today that he will not run for reelection in 2007. Instead, he will pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a circus performer. Hamblin was offered a job with Barnum and Bailey Circus to start immediately upon the end of his current term as county sheriff.
Hamblin will travel with the circus beginning in early 2008 as part of the sideshow. He says that until then, he will focus on growing out his standard mustache into a full handlebar mustache to complete his travelling circus image. Hamblin's act will include singing along with an organ grinding monkey.
Hamblin will also serve as understudy to the circus's human cannonball. "This is the most exciting part of the job," says Hamblin. "After all these years of carrying a gun, I may actually have the opportunity to be fired out of one. I've always wondered what the bullet must feel like. Now I may get to find out."
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Mifflin Street Block Party Will Be Gas-Free
There will be no gas allowed on West Mifflin Street for about 20 hours during the last weekend in April. Last night, Madison's City Council approved a temporary gas-free zone to cover the the area of the Mifflin Street Block Party.
Alderman Mike Verveer sponsored the proposal after being urged to do so by residents of the neighborhood and the Madison Police Department. Verveer explains, "All of the beer consumed at the party results in a lot of gas among party attendees. Last year, neighbors as far as 5 blocks away were made sick from the smell."
The penalty for those partaking in flatulence at the party is a ticket for up to $250. Repeat offenders or those who refuse to stop passing gas could be fined up to $1000 or spend the night in jail. Verveer recognizes that the punishment may seem harsh but says it is necessary to keep neighbors and partygoers safe.
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray expresses relief that the gas-free zone won approval. According to Wray, "Last year a certain UW football player farted directly in an officer's face. Such behavior is simply unacceptable. I hope that the fines for passing gas will prevent a similar situation at this year's party." Wray says that officers patrolling the party will be equipped with gas masks, just in case.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Madison's Not So Official Song
Madison's Common Council meeting tonight began with a rousing rendition of "150 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" led by Council President Paul Van Rooy. The song was sung in honor of Madison's 150th birthday as a city.
The resolution to sing the song was introduced by Alderman Paul Skidmore who stated that he usually doesn't like such "feel good ordinances," but was making an exception in this case because the 150th year as a city is such a special occassion and because beer is "a major influence for me and others here in Madison."
Despite objections from Alderman Ken Golden, who protested the length of the song and subsequently the length of the meeting, the Council voted nearly unanimously, with Golden as the sole dissentor, to sing the song in its entirety. The whole song from 150 down to no more bottles of beer on the wall took more than 2 hours to complete. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz interrupted briefly mid-song to remind the Council that he had not yet eaten dinner.
Skidmore suggested to the mayor that he grab a bottle or two of beer from the wall, reminding him that "those carbs can be quite filling." Cieslewicz politely declined and continued singing along with the group. The rumblings of the mayor's stomach could be heard loudly over the melodic harmony in the Council chambers.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Madison Metro to Hold Neighorhood Meetings
Changes to Madison Metro routes will be the topic of conversation at neighborhood meetings later this week. Due to increased gas prices, Metro will cut down on fuel usage by cutting some routes on alternating days. The new proposal calls for eastbound busses to run only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Westbound routes will run Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Under the new plan, no busses would run on Sundays.
Madison Metro wants to hear from residents regarding these route changes. Public hearings will be held later this week for that purpose. Though some point out that the new routes leave commuters stranded once they reach their destinations, Madison Metro General Manager Catherine Debo believes the proposed changes will not hurt ridership. Debo claims, "I don't get what the problem is. At least you will still be able to get where you are going. It will be up to the rider to find their own way home."
Let Metro know what you think of the proposed changes. Meetings will be held on the second Tuesday, third Wednesday, and fourth Thursday of this week at locations throughout the city.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Chamber of Commerce Says "Stop the Pancakes"
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has launched a new campaign to "stop the pancakes" in Madison. According to the group's Executive Director Jennifer Alexander, the group wants to put an immediate end to pancake breakfasts held as fundraisers by churches, schools, and other civic groups. Some Chamber members are upset that these pancake breakfasts are drawing business away from Madison restaurants that serve breakfast.
Alexander says the city allows far too many of these fundraising events, and the Chamber's members are tired of it. "First it was bake sales, and then there were spaghetti dinners and ice cream socials. Now businesses have to contend with pancake breakfasts, too. What's next? French Fry Fridays? Mashed Potato Madness? Madison must stop the pancakes before it's too late!"
Chamber members and their supporters gathered today at Monty's Blue Plate Diner to officially kick off the "Stop the Pancakes" campaign. The owner of Monty's told his story of lost profits when a nearby church began its monthly pancake breakfast. "Each time one of these things is held, we lose more than 3% of our profits for the day. I've had to cut staff hours on the first Sunday of each month as a direct result of the pancakes. I don't want to start laying off employees, but that's what it's coming down to. Stop the pancakes before it's too late." A young entrepeneur said that she plans to open up an Italian restaurant in Fitchburg because the competition from spaghetti dinners is too steep in Madison.
Other groups have joined the Chamber in its campaign including the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, the Wisconsin Tavern League, the Fitchburg and Middleton Chambers of Commerce, the Common Sense Coalition, and others. According to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Director of Public Policy Delora Newton, each of these groups is committed to protecting Madison's small businesses. Newton closed the event by leading attendees in a chant of "Stop the Pancakes! Stop the Pancakes! Before it's too late! Stop the Pancakes!"
Saturday, March 04, 2006
East Washington Avenue to Become One Way Street
Commuters on East Washinton Avenue have enjoyed a hiatus from construction headaches throughout the winter. Now that spring is coming, drivers will again have to endure traffic hassles as construction begins again on March 6.
The city has made a slight change of plans since the construction began over a year ago. Due to complications in widening the road caused by underground power lines, the road will instead be converted to a one-way street heading west. An announcement from the City of Madison explains that East Washinton is a gateway to Madison and not out of Madison, so the modification meshes well with the city's goals for the area. The change does mean additional construction of at least one year.
Neighborhood residents are upset by the change. Marquette Neighborhood Association President Marsha Rummel claims that neighbors were not consulted about the new plan. "Making the street one-way means that people will come into our neighborhood but will not be able to leave. We will be flooded with confused motorists who can't find their way out on the side streets." Rummel also indicates that the changes are contradictory to the neighborhood plan approved for the area.
The change in plans has brought development along the corridor to an immediate halt. Developers are concerned that it will be difficult to attract businesses to the area if their customers can only get in but not out. The city has not made any plans to run a nearby road the opposite direction, meaning that commuters will essentially be held hostage in the central part of the city, as very limited alternate routes heading west are available.
Alderwoman Judy Olson who represents some of the area near East Washington Avenue was also unaware of the changes. Olson says that she will look into the change immediately but will not form an opinion until she has all of the details available to her.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Common Sense Coalition Endorses Three for County Board
The Common Sense Coalition announced today that the group will support three candidates in the upcoming spring county board races. According to Common Sense Coalition leader, Ray Allen, "We have chosen a diverse group of 3 candidates to endorse. The combined life experience within this group is amazing."
The group's endorsments include Mickey Mouse, the incumbent supervisor in District 15, and newcomers Daisy Duck and Goofy for Districts 23 and 24 respectively. Allen explains, "The Common Sense Coalition looked for leadership skills, relevant life experience, and diversity in its endorsement selection. We avoided those interested in 'politics as usual'."
Allen describes Mickey Mouse, the Coalition's choice for District 15, as a natural born leader. "He was the leader of the Mickey Mouse Club before he was 30. The club folded after a few years, but Mickey proved his dedication by reviving it and again serving as its leader nearly 20 years later." Mickey Mouse is also an entrepeneur and businessman, having done everything from building his own airplane to running a steamboat company.
Choosing Daisy Duck for District 23 adds a bit more diversity to the Common Sense Coalition roster. Allen claims that Daisy is reflective of the diversity of the district and adds, "Not only is she a duck, but she's also a woman. It doesn't get much more diverse than that." Daisy has been active in her community, planning and hosting fundraisers for the Chit Chat Society.
The Common Sense Candidate for District 24 can best be described as loyal according to Allen. "Pluto is a peacemaker and real consensus builder. Pluto gets along with everyone, as if he is man's best friend. We need that kind of loyalty on the County Board to get past the petty politics." Allen adds that his heart "just melts" every time Pluto licks his face.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Jealous Wife Attacks Madison Alderwoman
Police were called to the East Mifflin Street home of Madison Alderwoman Brenda Konkel early Thursday morning after receiving reports of a disturbance at the home. The police report states that a woman broke into Konkel's home at 5:15 this morning ranting about an alleged affair between Konkel and the woman's husband.
The suspect is married to Madison developer, Gary Gorman. She told police that she became enraged when she found email messages on her husband's computer in which Konkel professes her love for Gorman. She stated that she found more than 100 emails sent by Konkel to Gorman and many more sent by Gorman to Konkel, and that some of the messages were "sexually explicit" and referred to late nights the two had spent together.
Upon reading the emails, the suspect allegedly drove to Konkel's home where she broke in through a rear window and threatened Konkel with a knife. Neighbors called police after hearing glass shatter. Police arrived to find the suspect pointing the knife at Konkel while screaming at her and threatening her. Officers had to fire a taser to subdue the enraged suspect.
Konkel admits to the affair which began nearly two years ago but which she claims abruptly came to an end earlier this week when Gorman told her that she just wasn't investing enough in the relationship. Konkel would like Gorman to leave his wife and claims, "I'm doing everything I can to win him back. We had something special together, and I can't believe he'd give that up after spending two years building our relationship."
Gorman also admits to having a "brief affair" with Konkel but refused to comment further on the nature of their relationship. He did add, "The whole thing was a big mistake. I've ended the affair and am going to put my energy into repairing my relationship with my wife." Gorman posted bail for his wife late this afternoon. She has been charged with one count of breaking and entering, one count of disorderly conduct, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Madison to Consider Repealing Newton's First Law
At next Tuesday's City Council meeting, west side Alderman Jed Sanborn will introduce legislation to repeal Newton's First Law of Motion within the City of Madison. Currently, the law states that an object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest unless sufficient force acts upon it. Sanborn claims that the law if flawed because it does not take friction into consideration.
"Newton's first law has been tried in other places, and it just doesn't work," says Sanborn. He cites application of the law in California as a miserable failure. Sanborn calls the law "idealistic" and based on false assumptions. "Newton may have had good intentions, but he didn't take friction into consideration when passed his first law of motion. No matter how you look at it, the law is a failure."
As a firm believer in freedom, Sanborn also claims that Newton's law is unnecessary regulation of motion. "This is also about basic rights. An object should be free not to remain at rest or remain at motion should it choose otherwise. It's time we stop regulating freedom."
This is Sanborn's fourth repeal attempt since being elected just under one year ago. Though his proposals to repeal Boyle's Law, Einstein's Law of Relativity, and the Pythagorean Theorem all failed to garner enough votes, he will continue to fight against laws he doesn't like.
Even if the repeal of Newton's First Law of Motion does not pass, Sanborn plans to introduce another repeal in upcoming months. "Next, I plan to work on repealing the Laws of Gravity. The sky is falling on Madison, and eliminating gravity is the only way to stop the damage."
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Union Cab Hijacked
Early this afternoon, the Union Cab dispatcher received a call that one of the company's cabs had been hijacked. The dispatcher quickly decided not to phone police when he was told that the hijacker was Madison's mayor.
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz had called the cab from the City County building around 1:00 pm. When it arrived, the mayor hopped into the front seat and began singing "2-4-2-2-0-0-0-Union-Cab" over and over again. When the driver asked the mayor for a destination, Cieslewicz continued singing the jingle. Finally, the driver told Cieslewicz he would need to get out of the vehicle. At that point, the mayor pulled out what resembled a real gun and told the driver to get out, then slid over to the driver's seat and stole the taxi.
It appears the mayor had no destination in mind and was just out for a joy ride, as he drove in circles around the city at a high rate of speed singing the Union Cab jingle loudly out the open windows. The joy ride finally came to an end when Cieslewicz entered the Beltline at John Nolen Drive and immediately had a panic attack. He pulled over to the side of the road and called 911 from a cell phone. Cieslewicz was transported to the University Hospital where he was treated and released.
A representative from Union Cab says that the company opted not to press charges. The Madison Police Department also does not plan to charge Cieslewicz with any crime. Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be a factor. The mayor's office declined comment on the incident but did issue a brief statement saying that Cieslewicz has been under a great deal of stress lately and is being treated for related symptoms.