Three Greens are running for local office in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this Spring. There is no primary for these races, the general election is April 5, 2011.
Tony Palmeri, who has served for four years on the Oshkosh City Council, is running for Mayor. Tony Palmeri is a Professor of Communication Studies at UW Oshkosh. He was elected to the Oshkosh Common Council in April of 2007 and reelected in 2009. He’s served on the Housing Authority, Board of Health, and Sustainability Advisory Board, and currently sits on the Oshkosh Plan Commission. From April of 2009 to April of 2010 he served as Deputy Mayor. Palmeri also ran for Wisconsin State Assembly in 2004 on the Green Party ticket, finishing 3rd of four candidates with 8.87% of the vote.
Bob Poeschl is running for re-election to the Oshkosh City Council. Poeschl was elected to the City Council in 2009 with 4,717 votes, finishing 3rd of 6 candidates. Poeschl, age 35, is a life long Oshkosh resident, husband and father of three children, a graduate from UW Oshkosh, co-founder of the Winnebago Peace & Justice Center, winner of the Peacemaker of the Year in 2004 from the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, and former co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party. In his two years on the City Council Poeschl has demonstrated a strong desire to be an advocate for the people.
Ron Hardy is running for a seat on the Oshkosh City Council. Hardy is a Librarian at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, a husband and father of two daughters. He is the co-chair of the Lake Winnebago Green Party, former co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party, Delegate to the Green Party National Committee, and former chair of the City of Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board. He is co-editor of the website Main Street Oshkosh, and runs this website Green Party Watch. He previously ran for Oshkosh City Council in April 2010 finishing 6th of 6 candidates with 1,600 votes.
Green Party politician Tony Palmeri appeared on the Wisconsin Public Radio show Week in Review on Friday, and spoke with host Joy Cardin on a variety of topics, ranging from economic stimulus in Wisconsin to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States.
On the issue of health care reform, Palmeri warned about the influence of lobbyists from the health insurance industry upon the legislative process in Washington D.C. “I would be shocked if something were passed before the August recess, mostly because the private insurance industry is putting about 1.4 million dollars a day in lobbying in Washington, and sad to say, until something comes out of those committees that the industry is happy with, we probably won’t get a bill signed,” he said. “If these folks are putting in a million or more dollars a day in lobbying, they’re not doing it so that they’re going to be put out of business. We might be creating a kind of monstrosity here.”
However, as imperfect as the health care reform process is, Palmeri noted that local governments are struggling to keep up with the increasing burden of health care costs, even as the overall economic crisis reduces the money that’s available for their budgets. He explained, “As a member of the Oshkosh City Council, we’re going into our budget period right now, and as most cities, we’re facing huge health care increases for our city employees, so we really need some help from the feds, and if whatever they pass in Washington passes the cities, at least it’s some positive reform.”
Palmeri is an Associate Professor of Communications at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He was re-elected to the Oshkosh Common Council this year and named Deputy Mayor.
Tony Palmeri, re-elected to the Oshkosh Common Council on April 7, was nominated by new Mayor Paul Esslinger and elected Deputy Mayor on a 4-2 vote of the Council. Mayor Esslinger had often sided with Palmeri on issues over the last two years although Esslinger is a conservative and Palmeri is a Green.
While Palmeri, Esslinger and a third Councilor were often on the losing end of a 4-3 vote over the last two years, now that Bob Poeschl was elected for the first time and Esslinger has been elected Mayor the minority may have turned into a majority depending on how Poeschl votes and depending on who winds up on the seventh seat on the Council. Green Party member Poeschl will likely align with Palmeri on a lot of votes but it isn’t a given.
Palmeri has been a champion of open government and accountability. He and Mayor Esslinger have both been critical of the city’s liberal use of TIF districts to support development projects that don’t necessarily qualify as improving “blighted” areas as state law requires. Most recently Palmeri opposed a TIF district to build a Shopko (big box retail store) in a residential neighborhood that is not blighted and has had steady growth in retail business adjacent to the property without TIFs over the last three years.
Check out Tony Palmeri’s blog here.
Incumbent Tony Palmeri was the top vote getter in the Oshkosh Common Council election on April 7, in which six candidates were on the ballot for 3 seats with the top 3 vote getters seated. Palmeri, who was first elected two years ago, was endorsed by AFSCME, the Oshkosh Northwestern, and had the support of a wide range of community interests groups ranging from the “Save the Deer” group to blue collar voters on the city’s south side. Tony Palmeri has been a strong proponent of open government, greater citizen involvement in the city budget process, and living wage jobs for Oshkosh. His tough stance with City Hall has made him a few enemies but many (over 6,000) friends.
Bob Poeschl has run for Oshkosh Common Council twice before, but never with the determination and energy that he put into this campaign. Poeschl, age 33, is a life long Oshkosh resident, a graduate from UW Oshkosh, co-founder of the Winnebago Peace & Justice Center, winner of the Peacemaker of the Year in 2004 from the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, and former co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party.
His campaign themes were neighborhood empowerment and sustainable development. Poeschl currently serves on the City of Oshkosh Energy & Environment Advsory Board (along with myself, full disclosure), and he has worked for the last three months to build a broad base of support throughout the city.
Neither Palmeri or Poeschl were favorites of the Chamber of Commerce, who supported second place finisher Jessica King and fourth place finisher Steve Cummings. Anti-tax candidates John Hinz and Richard O’Day came in 5th and 6th.Palmeri & Poeschl will have a good deal of influence on the new Common Council given that another incumbent Common Council member sucessfully challenged and won the race for Mayor, creating a vacancy in the seven member Council. The new Mayor, Paul Esslinger, has typically sided with Palmeri over the last two years on city development issues, although Esslinger is considered to be a “conservative”.
Final (unofficial) results (note: voters cast up to 3 votes, top 3 candidates elected):
- Tony Palmeri, 6,633
- Jessica King, 5,195
- Bob Poeschl, 4,717
- Steve Cummings, 4,136
- John Hinz, 4,112
- Richard O’Day, 3,323
Wisconsin’s non-partisan Spring primaries led to three Greens advancing to the April 7 general election and two being defeated.
Brenda Konkel finished first in her primary for Madison City Council Dist. 2 with 40.44 percent of the vote. She will face challenger Bridget Maniaci on April 7, who finished with 26.90 percent. Maniaci was an intern in the office of Mayor Cieslewicz, who has shown no love for Brenda Konkel. Expect this race to be high profile and expensive.
Katrina Flores finished third in her race for Madison City Council Dist 8, falling just 7 votes short of second place. This student district had very low turnout, with just over 500 votes cast. Unless there is a recount, Flores will not be moving on to the General Election.
In Oshkosh, two Greens were on the same ballot for three at large seats on the Oshkosh City Council. Seven candidates were reduced to six in the primary, and the top three vote getters on April 7 will be seated on the City Council. Incumbent and outspoken Green Party member Tony Palmeri came in first place with 2,027 votes, 400 more than the next closest, incumbent Jess King. Bob Poeschl, former co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party and past candidate for this office came in third place with 1,385 votes. All three will move on to the General Election on April 7, along with challengers John Hinz (1,169), Dick O’Day (1,148) and Steve Cummings (1,113).
In the Statewide race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Todd Price was defeated by Deputy Superintendent Tony Evers and Virtual Schools advocate Rosa Fernandez.
Wisconsin’s spring non-partisan primary is today, and turnout state wide is predicted to be lower than normal. There is only one state wide race on the ballot – the Superintendent of Public Instruction, where five candidates are running and two will move on to the April 7 general election.
Local districts including counties, cities and towns have various offices that require primaries as well.
There are 10 Green Party candidates running for office in Wisconsin this spring so far, five of whom have primaries today:
- Todd Price – Superintendent of Public Instruction. Todd Price has demonstrated that he is not only the “progressive” in the race but also a viable candidate. He has been endorsed by the Wisconsin Green Party, Progressive Dane, Educator Roundtable, Green Change, and has gotten some very favorable write ups in the Racine Post , Cap Times and today at Fighting Bob. While Tony Evers is the likely winner today, the second place candidate is up in the air.
- Brenda Konkel – Madison Common Council. Brenda is running for a fourth term on the Council, and this time she has opponents, four of them. Brenda introduced Malik Rahim at the 2008 Green Party Convention in Chicago.
- Katrina Flores – Madison Common Council. Flores is a new candidate, endorsed just recently by the Four Lakes Green Party. She is one of four candidates seeking an open seat in the most predominantly student district in Madison. Katrina is a co-founder of the MultiCultural Student Coalition, founder of the Youth Engaged through Language Project, performer and chair of the Women of the Scarred Earth Rising Tide Performance & Popular Education Project and former member of the 2005 Madison Adult National Slam Team.
- Tony Palmeri – Oshkosh Common Council. Palmeri is seeking a second term on the council. All seven Council members are elected at large, voters vote for three. There are seven candidates on the ballot, and six will move on to the general election. Tony has been called both a “progressive” and a “cobblestoner”, he is a professor but with a blue collar identity. He has broad support throughout the city, and a few dozen people who despise him.
- Bob Poeschl – Oshkosh Common Council. Poeschl has run for the Council before, but never with the enthusiasm and determination that he has this time. Neighborhood empowerment is one of his main themes. He has developed wider support than previous campaigns and is in a good position to be one of the six candidates that move on to the general election. Note: Poeschl and Palmeri are running in the same race. The top three candidates on April 7 will be seated.
Other Wisconsin Green Party candidates running this spring that do not have primaries include Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison), Marsha Rummel (Madison), Bruce Hinkforth (Oconomowoc), and JoEllen Gramling (Clerk, Town of Schleswig). Pete Karas is running in a special election for Mayor of Racine. This race will have a Primary on April 7, and a “general election” on May 5.
Here are a handful of upcoming meetings of Local and State Green Parties, Candidates, etc.
Jan 15 (Thurs) Tony Palmeri For Oshkosh Common Council Kick-Off Party
Come help kick-off Tony Palmeri’s re-election campaign in Oshkosh. Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Todd Price will be there, along with Pete Karas, myself, and others. Party is at 6:30 p.m., 212 W. Parkway, Oshkosh, WI
Jan 15 (Thurs) Detroit Greens Third Thursday Meeting
7 pm at the Cynthia McKinney Office, 5922 Second, Detroit, MI
Jan 24 (Sat) Green Party of Minnesota Winter Meeting
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. St. Paul Central High School, 275 Lexington Parkway N, St. Paul, MN
We’ll be holding workshops and forums on various green issues including Peak Oil, Universal Single Payer Health Care, Voting Rights, Acid Mining in Minnesota, Instant Runoff Voting, and more!
Jan 24 (Sat) Greater Milwaukee Green Party Annual Meeting
1 p.m., Milwaukee Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI
Featured Speaker Todd Price, candidate endorsements, coordinating council elections, more
Jan 23-25 (Fri-Sun) Green Party of Texas Planning Retreat
Contact txgreens at txgreens.org for more information
If your local or state Green Party has a meeting coming up, please let Green Party Watch know! e-mail gpw at greenpartywatch.org
Green Party member Tony Palmeri is running for re-election to the Oshkosh Common Council. Tony was first elected two years ago on a platform of greater transparency and accountability. He won 4,704 votes to come in second of six candidates, with the top three winning seats on the all at-large common council.
Palmeri is a Communication Studies professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a well known area media critic who writes a monthly column “Media Rants” for the Fox Valley Scene. He also blogs regularly at “Talk to Tony“. Tony’s election two years ago came from support across the city – Greens, Democrats, University people, working class folks, etc. Tony is seen as an independent voice on the Council that won’t give in to pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, the local newspaper, or any other influence on Municipal issues. He is opinionated, honest, and full of integrity.
On his blog he says:
If the voters bring me back, I would be honored to serve another term on the Oshkosh Common Council. If there are enough candidates, a primary will be held on February 17, 2009. The general election will be held on April 7th (which also happens to by my older brother Frank’s 50th birthday).
Two years ago the message of the Palmeri for Oshkosh campaign was this: “City government at all levels must be held to higher standards of performance and accountability.” I would argue that we have made some progress in that direction, but there’s a long, long way to go.
If you are a supporter and interested in helping the campaign, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 920-235-1116.
As was the case two years ago, I will neither raise nor spend more than $1,000. As a result, and especially if big money candidates get in the race, the only way to win another term will be with grassroots support.
Two years ago we launched his campaign on one of the coldest days of the year in January with a dozen of us driving around with yard signs and power drills with foot long drill bits to drill holes in the frozen ground and place signs out. This year I expect his support to be just as strong, and the election competitive again. Three seats are up for election, and besides Tony, incumbent Democrat Jessica King is running for re-election while Democrat Bryan Bain is not. Bryan Bain was the top vote getter two years ago.
Palmeri previously ran for State Assembly in 2004 as a Green and took 9% of the vote in a four way race.
Tony Palmeri, a UW Oshkosh professor of communication and an elected Green Party member on the Oshkosh Common Council, writes a column for the monthly Fox Valley Scene. This month’s Media Rants is titled either “Green Blackout” or “Don’t forget Green Party”. He interviews Ron Hardy (yes, me) about the lack of media coverage of the McKinney nomination in Chicago and the lack of media coverage of the campaign in general, as well as why progressives should vote for McKinney.
The article online is here: http://scenenewspaper.com/mediarants.html
Tony Palmeri’s blog is here: http://talktotony.blogspot.com/
And the Full Text is below the fold: