Empower Wisconsin | July 28, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Madison cops have lost their faith in Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, a fact that appears to be invigorating a local recall movement.
More than 95 percent of the members of the Madison Professional Police Officers’ Association (MPPOA) have approved a declaration of no confidence in the leadership of the leftist mayor.
“The MPPOA did not make this decision easily or in haste. Instead, our vote of no confidence is the culmination of many months of frustration in the absence of effective leadership from the Mayor,” the police union, which had previously endorsed Rhodes-Conway’s run for mayor, stated Monday in a press release.
MPPOA members thought the liberal could bring people together. Instead, her lack of leadership during extreme moments of crisis and her constant pandering to radical groups that have endorsed the destruction of public and private property as they call for the defunding of police have torn the city apart.
The police union says the mayor’s constant criticism of cops that are doing their best to maintain law and order in an increasingly lawless city has depleted rank-and-file morale.
“This unhealthy portrayal of the Madison Police Department perpetuates an ‘us versus them’ dichotomy in our community,” MPPOA states in its release.
“It is particularly dangerous at a time when city agencies and entities should be working collaboratively to address an increase in burglaries, car thefts, weapons offenses (including shots being fired daily all over the city) and, sadly, attempted and completed homicides too often claiming the lives of young Madisonians.”
MPPOA previously issued an open letter to Rhodes-Conway asking for a conference with her and community groups to open a “constructive dialogue” on social justice.
“Rather than stepping up to this leadership responsibility, the Mayor told us she ‘struggles’ with that role and asked us, instead, to use our own voice, effectively declining our request for community engagement,” the union says. “Only after this conference did the MPPOA Board decide to conduct a vote of no confidence. The decision to take the vote is not merely a reflection of her failure to support the Madison Police Department. It is reflective of her failure to lead the city.“
Rhodes-Conway doubled down on her leftist rhetoric, on a day in which two rioters turned themselves into police on tentative charges of severe battery in the assault on state Sen. Tim Carpenter. The Milwaukee Democrat was badly beaten after he attempted to film Black Lives Matter protesters tearing down iconic Capitol statues.
“It is extremely unfortunate that MPPOA has failed to realize the importance of this time, and is sowing division instead of stepping up to partner with the community and the rest of city government,” she said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Recall ‘jump start’
The vote of ‘no confidence’ is giving a big boost to a citizen movement aimed at recalling the controversial mayor.
Jon Rygiewicz, 38, of Madison, launched the Recall Satya 2020 petition drive earlier this month. He says the campaign has garnered 8,000 signatures or pledges thus far. The effort will need some 28,000 more by Sept. 6.
But Rygiewiczs said law enforcement’s disenchantment with the mayor will help the cause.
“This is a jump start for us,” the lifelong Madison resident and hotel manager said. “It gives us more opportunities to reach signatures we couldn’t before.”
He said the recall campaign web page, which has 2,121 followers picked up more followers Monday.
Rygiewiczs, however, knows the recall effort is an uphill battle. He said plenty of citizens who would like to see Rhodes-Conway out of office, particularly are afraid of retaliation.
“It’s a scary environment they’re living in,” he said, adding that there are protections under the law for those who sign recall petitions.
The campaign, Rygiewiczs said, has brought together conservatives (the few that exist) in the lib city, independents and even those on the left who are fed up with Rhodes-Conway.