March 24, 2005

Madison politics: "I love my bubble."

Local politics, Madison-style:
Austin King says he has accomplished a lot in his two years on the Madison City Council. But he boils the race down to this:

"This district is a very young and progressive district," he said of the downtown District 8, populated by many students. "My opponent's an older conservative guy. From a purely demographic point of view, I don't think he stands a chance."

His opponent, Kimia Lounge owner Kami Eshraghi, argues that he would fit in better on the council, where King is by far the youngest member. And although Eshraghi describes himself as a Democrat, he said that sometimes King goes too far left.

"It's hard to be to the left of him," Eshraghi said. "I'd like to point out that I'm the same age as the other alders. ... The key is experience, and this is not a student government job. This is a city job. We need someone with experience."...

King said the city gets a bad rap as being too idealistic.

"People are always telling us that in Madison, we're in a bubble. I used to fight that. We're in a bubble where people around us don't think logically," he said.

"How can you ask someone who thinks Jesus is coming back to Earth to care about global warming? Yeah, Madison's my bubble. It's a bubble of intellectualism and deliberative democracy and discourse. I love my bubble."

King, by the way, enjoys calling himself the "lefty's lefty."

UPDATE: I just reread this post and was struck by the line: "although Eshraghi describes himself as a Democrat, he said that sometimes King goes too far left." Strange use of the word "although," isn't it? What is the Capital Times saying? That Eshraghi claims to be a Democrat, but that claim is undermined by his seeing King as too far left? Democrats are supposed to go as far to the left as possible?

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