The Madison mayoral race brought a smile to my lips this week. From The Capital Times: Uninvited rival crashes, enlivens mayoral debate:
Will Sandstrom was not welcome at the Northside Business Association's mayoral debate Wednesday night...On his own initiative, Sandstrom, whose name will appear on Tuesday's ballot, showed up...
When Sandstrom arrived for the after-dinner debate, moderator Jim Mohrbacher pointedly ignored him and proceeded to introduce Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and mayoral candidates Ray Allen and Peter Munoz.
While the three invited candidates were making their opening remarks, Sandstrom began circulating among the audience handing out printed material. Mohrbacher told him to stop and said the audience deserved to hear and see the invited candidates. However, Mohrbacher did say there would be time to hand out materials later. Sandstrom immediately complied.
However, following Munoz's opening statement, without an introduction, Sandstrom stood and began to make a statement. When Mohrbacher told him he was not invited on purpose and was unwelcome, Sandstrom ignored him and kept on speaking.
It was at that point that Mohrbacher threatened to call the police and have Sandstrom forcibly removed. When Sandstrom ignored repeated threats to call the police, Mohrbacher asked two members of the business association to come forward to escort Sandstrom out of the private dining room at the Esquire Club on North Sherman Avenue.
Sandstrom left under his own power with the two men at his side, but not before he said the action showed that "criminals" controlled Madison and that "lots of money went under the table to Cieslewicz."
Sandstrom said the only way Madison would get a clean government was to elect him. As he was packing up his materials, Sandstrom also explained that the reason the Berlin Wall came down was not any action in Poland or anywhere else in the former Soviet bloc, but what Sandstrom had told people in Stockholm, Sweden.
Think that is tough? Try a live televised debate with seven candidates including one wearing a fish head, another carrying his lunch and a change of clothes in a grocery bag, a friendly chap who parks cars for a living and describes himself as a 'transit manager' and two very serious challengers. Then do that four or five times.
There was a time when real men and women campaigned for mayor without this sanitized crap of removing the less than mainstream candidates.
Go Will. Go Mr. Hennings. Go Dave Robb. Go..........
Editor's questions: 1. Yesterday on WTDY, Sly had Dr. Sandstrom on and just let him talk and talk about the Mob's influence in Wisconsin and other off-the-wall stuff. Sly ran a cuckoo clock tape as a bumper. Is it humane to make entertainment of the demented, even if they have gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot?
2. If Sandstrom had refused to be escorted out of the Northside debate, would Mayor Dave have just sat there while the Madison police arrested a certified candidate trying to participate in a debate?
3. What if the Northside Business Association had decided to invite only Dave and Munoz, and Ray Allen crashed the party? Do they call the police on him?
4. Why hasn't Ben Masel explained to Sandstrom how to handle these situations so as to get arrested and wind up with a nice legal settlement? Leaving "under his own power" is for amateurs.
- Barry Orton