Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Politicians Welcome on Free Racine

Yesterday I had a chance encounter with a Racine alderman who took the opportunity to criticize my blog and my failure to call him prior to writing my blog entries. When pressed repeatedly to clarify his concerns, he could not, but he did repeat that I should have called him.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day trying to process this bizarre conversation. I still don't know what to make of it, but the encounter does provide me the opportunity to clarify the purpose of this blog.

Aside from amusing myself, the purpose of this blog is to stimulate public discussion on public issues. I try to be very clear on my positions and I realize that my positions are quite regularly in opposition to those presently in power. Furthermore, I spend little or no time writing about that which I find agreeable, as I find that boring. Ideally, my blog entries would be considered the start of a conversation. The best conversations do not shy away from differences but rather explore them seriously and respectfully. The end result would hopefully leave participants and readers alike with an elevated understanding of the issue at hand.

Needless to say, I am especially interested in the positions held by officials who are elected to represent our interests in public matters. In the past I have encouraged elected officials to get involved and clarify their thinking on matters of importance. Unfortunately, with the exception of Alderman Greg Helding, few have done so.

Hopefully the alderamn in question now understands why I haven't called him. I am not especially interested in private conversations concerning public issues, nor am I able to anticipate the needs of local politicians that I don't even know. Of course any polician is free to call me if they wish to do so on the record. But it would be far preferable in my view if our elected officials would take the time to engage the public on public issues. And it is my hope that they will do so on Free Racine.


Anonymous said...

Consider this an "official anonymous" request - who was this?

Anonymous said...

Consider this an "official anonymous" open records request - who was this?

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Denis, I'm guessing many of your local politicians are afraid to go on the record, hence I doubt many will take you up on your invitation. Greg Helding, Mayor Becker and Brian Dey are the only ones I can recall ever seeing on the blogs, though I suspect some comment either anonymously or under an "assumed" name. Some are also afraid their IP address will be tracked and the blogger will figure out their identity.

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Denis, I'm guessing many of your local politicians are afraid to go on the record, hence I doubt many will take you up on your invitation. Greg Helding, Mayor Becker and Brian Dey are the only ones I can recall ever seeing on the blogs, though I suspect some comment either anonymously or under an "assumed" name. Some are also afraid their IP address will be tracked and the blogger will figure out their identity.

Denis Navratil said...

Calunp, yes, sadly, very few politicians are willing to publicly articulate their positions. There is a word that comes to mind - cowardice. And these are people who claim to lead. To me this is the furthest thing from leadership. Sadly this is the state of politics in this country, state and city. And anon, I gave much consideration to outing said politician but concluded the only reason to do so would be to cause embarrassment. So I won't. Hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

I guess I understand, but Im think that these backdoor types are precisely the ones the taxpayers should know about.

Denis Navratil said...

Well anon, as Calunp pointed out, very few pols will publicly defend their votes or positions. So you know who it is in a sense, its everyone but Greg Helding. We need to press our pols to answer difficult questions and to make note of those who willfully dodge the responsibility. Sadly, that means just about every one of them.

George Meyers said...

I find it unusual that an alderman should feel you should contact him before writing a blog, Denis. Someone on that council has a very authoritarian idea about himself and his position as an alderman.

Last time I checked, the First Amendment is still in the Constitution. And maybe we had better continue to exercise that Right so that it stay healthy and strong.

Anonymous said...

Most politicians think they should be treated as a special class of citizen.
In most aspects they feel they deserve just a little extra special treatment. Case in point - county board health insurance.

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