Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badger Herald endorsements

Both Soglin and Mayer would make solid ‘Big Boss Man’ of Madison

The race for Madison’s mayor has been the most crowded and contested in recent memory, yet two candidates stand out amongst the field of six.

Former Madison mayor Paul Soglin brings experience and a record of success to the race for mayor. For these reasons, and his apparent willingness to work with and not against developers, Soglin would make an excellent choice for Madison.


Many do not perceive Soglin to be as strong on tenant issues as his competitors, but closer analysis of the issues shows this is not the case. While he may support the Section 8 compromise, neither of these issues has much direct affect on students since they do not usually qualify for housing vouchers.

Instead, Soglin has refused to take an adversarial position against the developers who have the potential to bring more housing options to the downtown and campus communities. Working together is the best way to move positive projects forward, and quality housing is always in short supply for students.

Soglin’s failed to complete his last term as mayor, which is cause for concern. But assuming he is in this for the long haul, his willingness to work with people from all backgrounds makes him a qualified candidate.

In stark contrast to Soglin’s experience is Davy Mayer. While Mayer has attempted to run an “issue-free” campaign based on personality and charisma, Mayer has found himself on the right side of the issues that most affect students.

For voters who are concerned about drink-special bans, bar smoking bans and the vitality of State Street, there is no better advocate than Mayer.

As a graduate student and political neophyte, Mayer is viewed by many as a fringe candidate without a chance for victory. This could not be further from the truth. A crowded field with little distinction on the issues ensures a close election today. If Mayer can turn out the student vote in his favor, a scenario for his advancement is more likely.

We should note that Mayer has close ties to The Badger Herald as our former comics editor. Despite these relationships, there is no denying that Mayer stands alone as a relentless advocate for students and their concerns.

For more funner, vote for Brunner

Before choosing which of three well-qualified candidates will sit on the state Supreme Court April 1, voters must eliminate one in today’s primary. It doesn’t matter which way the batch is whittled; only one candidate stands out.

Judge Edward Brunner, 54, has the greatest breadth of experience and the smallest amount in his campaign pocketbook.

The Ohio native is chief justice of the state’s 10th district, which encompasses much of the state’s Northwoods area, near Minneapolis. Although Brunner claims he will bring geographical diversity to the court (and it’s true, not many people from that region hold high state offices), it is the progress he has made in his distant district that makes him a shining candidate.

In his 15 years as a judge, Brunner has built a national reputation for advocating restorative justice programs, such as juvenile rehabilitation. Ten other court systems have enlisted his help dealing with juvenile substance-abuse issues, and his county program to help abused and neglected children is being used as a model all over the state.

A graduate of Marquette University and the University of Akron Law School, Brunner is most proud of the way he has improved access to the courts for the diverse population of Somali, Latino and Native-American residents of Barron County. His initiatives of bringing in translators and engaging the community in the court show his personal passion for justice, which is vital to someone facing a possible 10-year term.

Neither Court of Appeals judge Pat Roggensack nor Dane County judge Paul Higginbotham are bad choices. Both are well-educated and idealistic, but Roggensack’s stash of big GOP contributions seem to violate her claim as “the independent-thinking judge,” and Higginbotham’s claim to having a wealth of experience is limited by the years he spent stagnant as a Madison-area trial judge.

Brunner, like Higginbotham, subscribes to the idea that non-partisan judicial campaigns should be publicly funded. His support comes from other small-town judges and state officials — two-thirds of Wisconsin’s judges back him. After building a reputation for reform from the Northwoods, Brunner deserves a spot on the top of the state.

District 8: Mike Hanson, Frank Harris

District 8 has such a classically student constituency, at least one candidate has reinterpreted his campaign as a race for the “student seat” on City Council. Certainly, the issues voters will take to the polls involve downtown regulations like drink-special and smoking bans and housing control.

Michael Hanson, a local bartender, made no effort to veil this point and campaigned almost exclusively to protect student nightlife. But, between the lines, he presents exemplary suggestions about landlord responsibility and providing students with adequate, abundant housing options.

Among the student/candidate options, Frank Harris has the most independent ideas in a race surprisingly sullied by interests. His unabashedly pro-student stances make him a solid choice for students seeking to preserve Madison’s nightlife.

Even though this single seat pulls only a slice of sway with the council, especially with the guarantee it will be filled with an inexperienced alder, various competing groups managed to prop up Austin King and Jeff Erlanger as candidates heavily beholden to background platforms and agendas. In the interest of keeping city council free from segregated influence, and to put student issues forward most responsibly, pick Hanson or Harris.

For those students residing in District 5, few choices exist. Robbie Webber and Jason Stephany both filed papers along with Tim Corver, who has since failed to make any public or media appearances. With only two viable choices for two open slots, we will withhold comment on the race until the General Election.

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