----------------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?||0||1||2||2|
|[Chamber] What infrastructure issues would you make a priority and what needs to be done to fix them?||3||1||2||2|
|[Dan Bohl] How would you promote cooperation between the city and county?||1||1||3||1|
|[CA Heidelberger]: How did Pierre beat Madison in recuriting Eagle Creek Software, and what can Madison do to not lose the next similar opportunity?||0||4||1||1|
|[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?||0||0||3||0|
|[DB] What plans would you make for the federal stimulus dollars?||3||1||2||1|
|[CAH] How should the city make more use of the Internet, and would you blog as commissioner?||1||2||1||1|
|[Heath Abraham] How do we improve community involvement?||1||1||1||1|
|[JH] What happened to the LAIC Main Street program, and what are your ideas for downtown development?||1||0||2||0|
|[CAH] Would you support removing/reducing the 1000-sq. ft. minimum dwelling size to promote building of more affordable housing?||1||4||0||0|
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!