May 6, 2009

Notes from the post-election parties ...

We were out at the post-election parties last night. Here's a few observations:

* Bob Turner was classy in defeat. He called the Dickert campaign and offered congratulations, and said he'd work for Racine in the Assembly. "If Racine wins, I win," Turner said.

* Not surprisingly, his party at Park 6 on Sixth Street was subdued. Alderman Michael Shields, Mayor Tom Friedel, Bev Hicks, Jameel Ghuari, Jim Spoddick (who owns the Park 6 building) and Pete Karas were all there when I got there at 9 p.m. WRJN's Jan Hoff was covering the party live.

* It was another rough night for Karas, who's been campaigning non-stop for several months. He helped a candidate in New Orleans run for Congress and a state superintendent candidate, then ran his own campaign for mayor and finally threw in for Turner in the last month. While a little disheartened (he lost all of the races) Karas promised he had more plans in the works.

* Friedel, who will step down as mayor in two weeks, said in an interview that he wasn't personally conflicted by the special election. He said he knew he was serving in interim role and looked forward to returning to the City Council.

But he also said there were a few times during the candidate forums when he got the itch to jump into the race. "Listening to the candidates, I thought a few times, 'I have better answers than these,'" Friedel admitted.

But he wouldn't touch the idea of whether he planned to run for mayor in 2011. "I'm not going there," Friedel said.

* On policy, Mayor Dickert will face an immediate challenge with the budget, Friedel said. The state may cut shared revenue this year, which would force the city to cut spending.

He added the big difference between being mayor and being an alderman was the broad scope of items that come across the mayor's desk. "It can be anything from honorariums to life-and-death issues and everything in between," Friedel said.

"The mayor serves everyone every day," he said.

* The Dickert party was - surprise, surprise - lively. Hundreds of people packed Salute's on Main Street to congratulate (and, in a few cases, suck up) to the new mayor.

* Frank and Sandra Tingle attended Dickert's party. Frank boasted that he traveled the greatest distance - 4,000 mile from London - to vote for Dickert.

* Here's a question: Now that Dickert is mayor, will Tingle's lawsuit against the city go away?

* Community for Change leaders were at Salute and talked about their next project: a communitywide forum on health care reform this summer before Congress votes on the issue. Organizers are hoping to put together a nonpartisan forum to discuss the issue and call for needed reforms. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and other big-name politicians will be on the invitee list.

* Aldermen Terry McCarthy is now, officially, a Canadian citizen. He received his dual citizenship on April 27.

* City Council members McCarthy, Jeff Coe, Aron Wisneski, Greg Helding and David Maack were all at the party.


  1. Karas,is for Racine first last and always. He is what this city needs badly.
    Pete stay active please

  2. Yes, Colt. Pete is the heart and soul of the people of Racine. He is one of the few people in Racine who are truly community leaders. Hang in there, Pete!

  3. Friedel is so full of himself!

  4. Hats off to Friedel for doing a fantastic job holding down the fort.

    Thanks for your hard work and leadership through this transition!

    Your service is apprecitated. I, for one, think you would make a fine mayor someday.

  5. So, will Sandra Tingle drop her lawsuit against the city? Or will she get her job back and allege harassment again when her incompetence is re-revealed?

  6. I for one am glad to see Friedel step down. What has he accomplished in all his years as alderman? Now I'm sure he'll try to suck up to Dickert just like he did with Becker. Baaah.

  7. did frank tingle once again lose a job?

  8. sanra tingle will probably want to offer her services to john dickert the way that she serviced gary becker

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  10. Isn't Tom Friedel John Dickert's uncle or related some how?

  11. I don't know about Dickert but Becker is related to a lot of people in Racine.

    What's McCarthy's Canadian citizenship have to do with the election? Dustin should have mingled a little more or something.
    This is a pretty dull party report. Or maybe Dustin drank too much and can't remember much about the night?

  12. Will dickert seek to remove sandra tingle from the sistr city committee? why is she still on this board especialy since she has a lawsuit against the city?

  13. Boy, based on the ridiculous comments, I am guessing Joyce Smith just cannot get over the fact that John Dickert is our mayor.

  14. Yeah I agree with 'ya anon 7:47. I also have to wonder if former city admin Ben Hughes is sitting at his keyboard writing some of the garbage too.

    I heard he is still unemployed so he probably has a lot of time on his hands. I also have been hearing that he's out complaining about Becker and the city to anyone that will listen. Wouldn't even be surprised if he and the Smiths have been hanging out together.