5/24 Referenda – Special Interest Money

The Madison City Clerk’s office has posted Pre-Special Election Campaign Finance Information for the 5/24/2005 Referenda:

Lee Sensenbrenner follows the money.
Local Parent/Activist and Madison CARES supporter Arlene Silveira argues for a yes vote on all three questions.
Learn more about the referenda here.
UPDATE: Sandy Cullen has more on Referenda spending.

Arlene Silveira: Vote ‘yes’ on all three referendums
A letter to the editor
May 18, 2005

Dear Editor: Please vote YES, YES, YES on May 24.
YES to a second school on the Leopold campus. The attendance area continues to grow. The Leopold community wants to keep its diverse school together. Test scores show the school functions well. There is nowhere for the children to go without disrupting many other schools and boundaries. This is a community-driven plan that works. Keep a neighborhood school together. YES for Leopold!!
YES to exceeding revenue caps. Madison schools were recently ranked third in the country. There is a reason for this success – broad selection of programs, great teachers and top-notch curriculum. Our children are our future. Keeping Madison schools strong keeps our children and our future strong. YES to the future of our children!
YES to maintenance. The average building in the school district is 40+ years old. Each day the buildings are subjected to the wear and tear of hundreds of children. As in our homes, roofs and heating equipment need to be replaced on a regular cycle. Buildings need to be maintained to remain safe and positive learning environments for our children. We mustn’t cut back on safety … we wouldn’t do it for our own homes. Pride in our school translates to pride in our community. YES to maintaining our schools!
Arlene Silveira

5 thoughts on “5/24 Referenda – Special Interest Money”

  1. If I might be so bold, why do we care about the finances of the referenda groups rather than offering solutions to the school funding problem? It seems to me, our schools need help. State Legislatures need to start talking about the issues that have been created due to revenue caps, federal regulations, state law deadlines and mandates. In the meantime, not surprisingly, I’m voting “YES,””YES,””YES!
    All of us are receiving value on our investment by providing opportunity for our kids. It makes sense that teachers and firefighters would want to invest in the children of the community they so honorably protect. If you want to call our teachers and firefighters ‘special interests’ I’d have to agree, as they are certainly one of the reasons Madison is such a special and desirable place.

  2. What would we care? Well let’s see now.
    Could be that people want to know whether they are listening to an individual, the representative of an organization, or PAC money from special interest groups.
    Could be that it makes some of us uncomfortable when groups with a vested interest in the outcome of a vote pour significant amounts of money into influencing the outcome without being up front about their involvement.
    Indeed, some folks think that it is bad for democracy when PACs provide half or more of an organization’s funds, and those funds are used to win by outspeding opposition. Doesn’t matter if it’s for a political candidate or for a referendum question, the same concerns apply.
    Sorta ironic that the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign was founded and is headed by the MMSD’s former PR guy….

  3. More money doesn’t guarantee victory. Look at the casino vote last year. Look at the New York Yankees this year.

  4. To provide those of you interested, with better details than dollar amounts:
    1. The Madison CARES organization has over 655 individuals who care about our neighborhood schools. Check it out at http://www.voteforschools.com
    2. They have over 10 organizations including parent PTO’s.
    3. To date there are well over 150 people who have donated their hard earned money.
    4. Finally, the money has come from 12 different zip codes in the Madison community.
    Madison CARES!

  5. Throw all that special interest money into the pot with the money it will cost to fund the special election and the district would have about enough to save the rest of the strings program.

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