We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Downs, Abraham Give Best Performances at Candidates Forum

Update 2009.04.11: I just finished writing my analyses of the candidates' responses to all ten questions at Tuesday's forum; I have thus updated the scorecard with links to the analysis of each question and brought this Wednesday post back to the top. Enjoy!

----------------original post from Wednesday, April 8, 2009-------------------

Here's my wholly subjective rating of the candidates' performances at the city commission candidates' forum here in Madison last night. The winners last night: Myron Downs and Nick Abraham! The breakdown question by question:

Madison City Commission Candidates Forum
Scorecard -- April 7, 2009
(Think baseball: 0 = strike out... 4 = home run!)
[Chamber] What will you do to make Madison a better place to live?0122
[Chamber] What infrastructure issues would you make a priority and what needs to be done to fix them?3122
[Dan Bohl] How would you promote cooperation between the city and county?1131
[CA Heidelberger]: How did Pierre beat Madison in recuriting Eagle Creek Software, and what can Madison do to not lose the next similar opportunity?0411
[Jon Hess] When Madison has 7.2% unemployment while Brookings has 3% unemployment and is turning away new businesses, is the LAIC doing an adequate job?0030
[DB] What plans would you make for the federal stimulus dollars?3121
[CAH] How should the city make more use of the Internet, and would you blog as commissioner?1211
[Heath Abraham] How do we improve community involvement?1111
[JH] What happened to the LAIC Main Street program, and what are your ideas for downtown development?1020
[CAH] Would you support removing/reducing the 1000-sq. ft. minimum dwelling size to promote building of more affordable housing?1400




Inspired by my KJAM pal Matt, I rank the candidates's responses in baseball terms: 0 for a strike-out, 1 for getting to first base... 4 for a home run. And for me, a home run means the kind of answer that knocks the question out of the park, makes people stand up and cheer, and changes the momentum of the game.

As you can see, there were only two home runs. I came away from last night's forum less than whelmed. Given ten questions, including eight really good ones from the audience, the candidates spent far too much time offering Chamber of Commerce cheerleading talk, avoiding the cores of the issues, and failing to demonstrate any grand vision for good governance (do I ask too much?).

Note that I do not include the opening and closing statements in the ratings: you can view video of those statements from all four candidates here. I will have more detailed analysis throughout the day (I do have a job... and homework!) here and on RealMadison.org. In the mean time, your evaluations and discussion are welcome in the Comments section!

Update 2009.04.09 16:25 CDT: See RealMadison.org for analysis of candidate responses to each question and explanation of the Madville Times scorecard! Laugh, cry, gnash your teeth, send your comments, rebut the whole darned thing—Madison political coverage doesn't get any better than this!


  1. I think you need to re-check your stats, chief. You have Abraham down for two homers... How many RBI that translates into remains to be seen!

  2. Lembecke I think did the best which she should have done as the current commish. Abraham did better than expected and impressed me to say the least...I thought that Downs would have done a better job as a former comm...McGowan didn't do himself a bit of good in my book.

  3. Whoops! Thanks, Matt! Text fixed!

  4. I'd like to thank the commission candidates for giving us some unintended comedy last night as well.

    Myron:I don't think anyone should be living in a 1000 square foot house, my garage is bigger than that.

    Mike:I live in a 1000 square foot house.
    Myron:I don't know how to turn a computer on. (Later he struggled to understand why young people didn't want to work with him.
    In answer to the question How should the city better use the internet.


  5. Can we simply leave Dan Bohl's old seat empty? I think we'd have better representation from nothing than the other three somethings, although Abraham should be given a chance. I think McGowan is simply trying to get his variance through that has been denied so many times in the past. Downs is old news.

  6. Lembecke was the best communicator, in part because she's versed on each issue, but as establishment thinks everything is wonderful. Downs can talk, prefers face to face and knows the city needs better small employers (key in my book). Abraham needs to brush up on the issues and his communication skills will naturally improve. He could be a contender and possibly a voice of change. Downs came out on top, but I'm starting to feel we would be better served by a professional city manager and 2 on the council. John Hess


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.