Thursday, January 29, 2009

Harding for Mayor

I am impressed with mayoral candidate Jody Harding. I won't offer biographical info as you can look that up yourself at www.JodyForMayor.com.

Though interested in politics and even more so policy, I usually prefer to keep my distance from politicians. But I think I will make an exception for Jody Harding.

Harding is not by any stretch of the imagination part of any good old boys network in Racine. She is not a backslapper. What she is, it appears to me, is a mature, competent, experienced, decent, committed individual genuinely interested in the betterment of Racine.

Now the same might be said about many of the other candidates. The difference between her and them, to the best of my ability to discern, is that she will take the exact opposite approach to improving Racine.

So instead of more government, she will try to shrink it. Instead of higher taxes, she will try to lower them. Instead of more regulations on garage sales etc... she will seek fewer regulations.

If you want big government, don't vote for Jody Harding. But if you think 50 consecutive years of liberalism hasn't worked out so well for Racine, I suggest taking a good long look at Jody Harding for mayor of Racine.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I actually disagree with this. I looked at her website, and she hardly seems like a mature responsible thinker and I don't think she has the background or knowledge to run as mayor.

One aspect that I really dislike about her is her opposition to UNIT. Normally, I am all for property rights, but I do make an exception when the theory does not fit the reality. In many communities, you have certain standards and rules that may not be set but a government body, but are general moral and aesthetic standards that the community abides by. A perfect example of this is mowing your lawn and keeping up your property. Due to the amount of rental property and general roustabouts in Racine, we do not have these standards. Therefore, I believe we need UNIT.

I will give you a personal example. I live on a street in Racine that is almost 100% owner occupied. There is one exception, and it is a rental. The landowner has been renting out the property to less desirable clientele since I have lived at my house. Last year, a family moved in that decided to basically create a swap meet/living room on their lawn. I e-mailed UNIT, and two days later their landlord was outside throwing out their trash and yelling at the tenants. I highly doubt if I had approached the tenants that anything would have happened, but UNIT made a big difference in this case. Does UNIT have abuses? Probably. But the example that Harding gives of UNIT abuse is such an overstretch that it is ludicrous.

We need a "reality-based" mayor for Racine, and not just an ideologue.

Denis Navratil said...

Well I doubt that I will change your mind as it seems you very much favor UNIT (UnifiedNeighborhood Inspection Team). I am not a spokesman for Harding so I can only say that the city council has approved an unconstitutional law that prevents UNIT's targets from getting their day in court. I know many people who are favorably disposed towards UNIT. Usually they have some horror story or other about a crummy neighbor. So reasonable people can differ on that issue and I am admittedly as close to a purist on property rights as you can get. Even if I put aside my theoretical issues with unit, I still wonder if they are producing good results given the cost. I don't see any difference in the neighborhoods myself, yet I know their services are costly.

If you are a single issue voter and your issue is UNIT, then go with someone else. I am sure all the other mayoral candidates will seek to continue and probably expand unit, not to mention look the other way on constitutional issues.

Anonymous said...

It isn't what UNIT does - it is how it does it. Graffiti on a fence is bad, quickly fining a property owner for having their own fence tagged - when the police might not even come out to take a report and attempt to catch the criminal who tagged the fence - is wrong.

In theory, I could get a fine from UNIT for having dog shit in my yard even though I don't own a dog and confront people who I catch letting their dogs shit in my yard. If UNIT showed up and said "here is your fine" and I pointed to a house and said "those are the people who let their dog do this" UNIT would say "not our job - call the police, here is your fine".

John said...

You should hold off on your support a little longer. In the next week another city hall outsider with strong credentials and connections in the community will be jumping in the race.

Caledonication said...

Just an aside.

She should either take down that website or have someone clean up that atrocity. Whoever created that mess has broken all the rules. Please give her my number if you should happen to speak with her Denis.

Denis Navratil said...

John, re politics, I tend to support ideas more so than people. This allows me the flexibility to shift support if necessary. That said, I will be surprised if someone shows up that has consistently expressed ideas that I support, as Jody has done in the year or so she has been on my radar screen. I look forward to evaluating the well connected outsider (oxymoron?) of whom you speak.

conscious thought said...

She made comments that were challenged, had no answer for the challenges and subsequently deleted the posts so nobody would see or remember.

Not traits in a politician that impress me. We just got rid of a mayor who covered stuff up, definitely don't need another one!

Denis Navratil said...

The very misnamed conscious thought is comparing the deleting of a comment on a blog site with Becker's child porn and child solicitation behavior. This tell us alot about you ct and nothing about Jody Harding.

Colt said...

Perhaps Harding will add to the debate she can not win, but thank God Macck and Helding the Uber Becker team can not win either.
Pete K is the blitzkrieg.

Urban Pioneer said...

Hmmm Seems Denis as if you've rattled the establishment a bit? (Again).
I think too often Parties take the approach of whose turn it is... Remember President Bob Dole, and Pres. John McCain...This is a unique opportunity to really shake up the mix. Reading Jody's site and a brief discussion with her I think her primary focus on Taxes and Crime control are winners to me.
Like me Jody doesn't see an old Factory town closing like in the Early '80's but a town with beautiful old homes, neighborhoods which could use some tweaking. And a chance to be an island of lower Taxes and perfectly located between Chicago and Milwaukee.

The first 2 years of the new Mayors term will be limited to what we can do with very limited resources. And when you consider the tax increases coming from the Federal, State, and School taxing authorities, it's gonna be a tight rope to keep taxes low. Jody's experience as a CPA and her background in Business and accounting. Add to that her willingness to say NO and make tough choices, seems to me like a Winner so far.

Like You Denis I will look at what the other Pol's may bring to the table, But Jody was out there 2 years in advance (of the next schedule Race in 2011, and was ready to challenge the Mayor, before his Scandal.
And Cal if you can help make her Web site better, I hope she will take you up on the offer.

conscious thought said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denis Navratil said...

consciousthought, I will not allow you to use this forum to spread unsubstantiated and probably slanderous comments about Jody Harding. This is not to say that you can't criticize things that she has said or written. But from you I will need to check the source of your information. Saying that Jody Harding once mumbled this or that just won't suffice.

Anonymous said...

Those were pretty strong and ridiculous (removed) comments and I wonder if any of them could have been backed up by someone who isn't on lithium or lobotomized. It is always easy to say that "so and so said so and so but now the comments have been removed from their website but I swear they were there and they were terrible and racist and stupid and . . . Republican!"

conscious thought said...

Denis, why not give Ms. Harding a chance to deny my claims or rescind her comments if they are untrue? Please invite her to join in the discussion at any time. We'd like to hear your candidates response.

Anon, being a republican isn't racist or stupid. Exhibiting racist and stupid behavior is.

Denis Navratil said...

ct, Jody Harding is trying to get past race. As such, I doubt she is interested in combatting accusations that are simply untrue. Its like the "how often do you beat your wife?" question. It is best just to ignore the question than to legitimize it by answering. I listened to a presentation by Jody today and it is obvious she is concerned about all the residents of Racine. Lowering taxes, reducing crime and shrinking government will help members of every race and in my view would especially help the poor, many of whom tend to be minorities. Granted, there are a whole lot of people who think big government helps the poor, but in my view and I can safely say Jody's also, the results are in and the government has not helped the poor and indeed have hurt them. We will not shy away from campaigning in black neighborhoods I will tell you that.

conscious thought said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Conscious Thought said...

I'm disappointed Denis. I thought you had a moral compass, and an ability to do the right thing when faced with the opportunity to do so, despite political ideology.

You can't delete posts on my blog though....

Denis Navratil said...

I do have a moral compass ct. I think it is immoral to anonymously attack an individual while citing statements that can't be verified. I don't do that to individuals on my site and I won't allow others to do so either. It is not right. It is immoral. So there's my moral compass, different from yours obviously. I can live with that.

Conscious Thought said...

Of course my statements can be verified. It's as simple as
asking Jody Harding herself, right from the source.
Interesting how you claim independent thought and championing ideas instead of people. What you say and what you do are obviously much different.

Hiding and running from adversity are not traits of leadership, Denis. If she wants to be leader, she should act like one.

Anonymous said...

CT, this is simple, you're right. I will call Jody Harding and ask her is she is a filthy, disgusting racist. I'll post her response here . . .

conscious thought said...

Anon, you can ask her that question if you'd like to, but i'm more interested in hearing from your candidate directly about the content of her blog posts that were deleted by her.

The basis and context of her deleted comments would be nice to hear as well.

Downtowner said...

Yeah ConsThgt you just keep Ranting and Raving about some Straw Man, phony arguement over here, (keep waving your hands).....Pay no attention to Jody's thought's on what she would do regarding Crime and Taxes and using her expertise as a CPA to look at the budget and make the tough decisions. regardless of Color. But rather based on Common Sense. Let's look at the money we have, the NEEDS of the city and get those items paid for, and then we can see what's left over and address the WANTS with that. i also attended the forum with Denis, and I was also impressed with Jody. Very str8 forward, Didn't dodge questions, and didn't dwell on minutia. Jody is neither Dem or Rep. And was the first one in the race, even before the Scandal was revealed.. Jody Like me want's to make Racine a place businesses and people want to come to Crime and Taxes have to be controlled to help our City.
One of the things I was most impressed with was Jody's comment that the Mayor is the City Administrator, and spending an extra 100,000.00 for one is ridiculous, and unaccountable.

conscious thought said...

Downtowner, unfortunately Mr. Navratil did not allow my posts to be seen by all. If so, it would have been very apparent how rational, and sensical they really were. You would have also discovered that i have been following Ms. Harding since she first announced her candidacy.

Governmental policies don't solely make the politician my friend, as we've poignantly seen first hand with our own former mayor as well as pols on the other side of the aisle.

Hopefully other qualifications such as character, integrity, trust and honesty play into voter decisions as well. However, some would have you believe policies trump personal behavior and responsibility.

Downtowner said...

Dear Conscious,

Several quick points. I just did a cursory review of your Blog page, and I found no article or special attention to Jody Harding's Mysterious editorial content. If it was that important it seems you would've made a Blog item about it on YOUR page. So while you wish to use this opportunity to raise it now as something on Par to Becker's illegal collection of porn is Ridiculous, and Hippocratic.
Secondly a quick review of your posts and those items I explored in comments on Denis's page would indicated you simply are a Big School, anti- school Choice person, Pro Affirmative Action, and overall think Big Govt.(and more taxes and spending) are nearly always the answer. So I'm not sure if Jody satisfied your attempted lynching on a bogus issue wouldn't make any difference on your decision to vote for her over one of the candidates who will promise all sorts of stuff and not care if it can be paid for...i.e. Obama.

Thirdly If you were the most highly mannered upstanding citizen in Racine and you were to run for Mayor, but you wanted to spend like crazy, screw the budget, Raise taxes, allow our schools and neighborhoods to get worse because of policies that support big govt. I wouldn't vote for Mother Theresa for mayor, (for Saint yes, mayor no!).

I didn't support many of Becker's Big Govt solutions or his Art explosion...I did support his closing of the extra Fire Station. So policy/ Philosophy first.

Lets look at what our Govt. MUST do, then what it SHOULD do, and then let the "Wouldn't it be nice" stuff happen privately....Common Sense.... Makes sense to me. Vote for Jody!!

conscious thought said...

Denis, blah blah blah.

If Ms. Harding wants to lead from the front, she should act like it.

Leaders don't run scared, they face adversity head on and accept responsibility.

George said...

I went on Ms. Hardings blog to look at some of her ideas to help improve the City of Racine. She does a great job at pointing out Racine's problems, but does not offer any of her own solutions.

Can someone tell me what she plans do to? (and dont' just say cut taxes because Racine does need more than that)

Denis Navratil said...

Good question George. I don't have much time to delve into this at the moment....I will provide a longer response later....however, my guess is that Jody Harding does not view herself as a savior that will come in and make everything better. Rather, her job or the job of government generally, is to create the conditions wherein individuals and organizations can address the problems and challenges that we face. Among the changes needed to accomplish this is a smaller, less intrusive government that includes lower taxes.

George said...

Thanks Dennis, I appreciate your insight on this.

However, I think it is safe to say that Racine voters do want some concrete plans from the candidates on how to fix some of Racine's issues. On the local level, I thik people expect (and deserve) more detailed plans that just "cutting taxes" and "less government".

It is very easy to point out the problems in Racine. The hard part is fixing them.

We heard a lot of abstract ideas last November("Hope" and "Change"). Cutting taxes is a great idea that I fully support...but I still need to know more. Cutting taxes is not the end all, be all solution to Racine's problems.

Urban Pioneer said...

Hey George, Cutting taxes and less Government is A plan. Eliminating the City Administrator is a plan. Providing the essential needs of the City charter is a plan.. The next Mayor is only going to have 2 years to accomplish anything. So just keeping the Big Ideas on hold for that time, and focusing on the essentials will improve the City, the taxpayers and the budget. Buying less new Cars than requested is a plan..finding more items to cut in the budget, wage and spending freezes are also a plan. Hope she'll get your vote..Jody is An outsider who understands how the inside works.
The economy will be tight at every level including every level of Govt. We need to focus on the essentials, right now. Just like in our personal budgets.

Denis Navratil said...

George, by no means do I wish to avoid your question. I am not a spokesman for JH, but I agree with UP that cutting waste is a plan, lowering taxes is a plan, lessening regulations is a plan. Those are the plans that I support.

I do wonder George what plans you desire beyond that, so please let me know. Typically, it seems to me, many people want government officials to do something specific, like build a water park or increase the number of jobs or create an art district etc.... These are not the things that I want from politicians because they can't do it without taking more from us and competing with the private sector. And they almost always fail anyway if you have been paying attention to Racine's efforts to create art districts and delve into the real estate business.

Now if JH succeeds in reducing the size and influence of Racine government, she will have succeeded in INCREASING the size and influence of private individuals and groups. I believe George that neither I nor Jody nor any of the present candidates for mayor know better than you that which is best for you or your neighborhood. The more money and freedom that you and I have, the better it will be for you and I, and the better it will be for our community.

For me, that is specific enough and a huge departure from the way politicians typically view their role.

Anonymous said...

UP -
Thanks for the info. I agree, those are specific plans...which is exactly what I was looking for. Can you tell me where you got that information? I only asked about Ms. Hardings specific plans because there was nothing on her campaign website.

Anonymous said...

Will it be discussed that Turner is elected that he will tax us on both the state and local level. Bob will have 2 part-time jobs for over 100k. I am reading information on all of the canddiates but this disregard for Racine by Turner is just disgusting

Urban Pioneer said...

Anon...A few days after the Becker story broke..I started looking into the candidates whose names were being bandied about..including a friend of mine. ultimately my friend and I decided to e-mail Jody, and she gave a nice answer on a few of our key points. I also began discussing her with Denis, and we attended a private forum where approximately 20 of us with similar core beliefs, listened and then questioned.
WE realize the next interim Mayor will only have about 2 years. So in that time only so much can be achieved. So lets watch the taxpayers dime for 2 years, during what could be a very turbulent economic time.
I have also suggested that Jody continue to expand the information on her site. I could also suggest u write her and ask perhaps one or 2 specific questions, and I'm sure she can address those on her site or in a response.

Don't look for a complete overhaul in 2 years. But let's see what a new idea can do.

Zach W. said...

I don't see how anyone would freely choose to support an individual who's made it clear she'd love to take away the right to vote from individuals receiving Pell Grants simply because they're a form of government education subsidy. What, college students shouldn't be allowed to vote?

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