Madison Mayor Satya’s political hissy fit

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — In an act of pure political pissiness, the city of Madison has given the illegal unmanned absentee ballot drop boxes scattered about the city a makeover — in protest of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing the ballot receptacles.

But is this latest resistance movement being finacially borne by taxpayers?  A city official wouldn’t say.

As Channel 3000 sanguinely reports:

If you had one of the 14 City of Madison ballot drop boxes from the 2020 election in your neighborhood, you might have noticed a change lately.

The secured drop boxes, which were banned from use in future elections by the Wisconsin Supreme Court this past summer, are no longer decorated with the colors of the city’s flag. They have now been painted black and covered in artwork by artist Jenny Holzer, including a quote from Sojourner Truth: “Truth is powerful and will prevail.”

The front of the drop boxes have also been redone to note the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision and a list of places where absentee ballots must now be returned following the ruling: any U.S. Postal Service mailbox, the city clerk’s office, any in-person absentee voting location during early voting, or your polling place on Election Day.

In its ruling, the court pointed out something Madison liberals don’t easily accept: the law. Drop boxes popped up all over the state amid the COVID-19 outbreak during the 2020 elections. But they’re not legal. There is nothing in state law that provides for them. State election law does state where voters may return absentee ballots, however. Drop boxes are not mentioned.

In her latest political temper tantrum, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway derided the Supreme Court’s decision, and prattled on about how drop boxes are “fundamental to our democratic process.”

“Rather than removing these secure ballot drop boxes, we wanted to transform them to share the powerful words of Sojourner Truth and to convey our community’s belief in democracy, voting rights and the prevailing power of truth,” the leftist mayor told Chanel 3000.

Empower Wisconsin sent an email request for comment to Mary Bottari, the mayor’s chief of staff.

“Who paid for the artsy former drop boxes around the city? Who paid for Jenny Holzer to paint them? Did she volunteer her time and efforts or did this little protest come out of taxpayer funds?” we asked.

Bottari did not respond.

It would seem Holzer’s services wouldn’t come cheaply.

According to a bio, Holzer is a neo-conceptual artist, based in Hoosick, N.Y. “The main focus of her work is the delivery of words and ideas in public spaces and includes large-scale installations, advertising billboards, projections on buildings and other structures, and illuminated electronic displays.”

She is a Trump-hating liberal.

“Never one to hold her opinion, Jenny Holzer tackles the modern moment in ‘Demented Words,’ her new text-based exhibition at Hauser & Wirth. Just opened at the gallery’s 22nd Street space in New York, the conceptual artist employs her signature language medium to critique Trumpian politics for this latest body of language-focused art,” a recent  piece in Cultured.

“In this showcase, she highlights nearly 300 evocative “curse tablets” alongside her massive ‘WTF’ centerpiece, an electronic sign that swings and slides across the gallery’s ceiling, displaying Tweets from former President Trump and QAnon. The piece’s frenetic rhythms nod to an often fraught and divided cultural landscape, while the curse tablets combine ancient traditions with markers of modernity.”

Madison seems to have an affinity for the artist’s radical work.

In 2020, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art partnered with University of Wisconsin-Madison to host a series of election-year themed artwork envisioned by Holzer for the “YOUVOTE” campaign.

“In anticipation of the 2020 U.S. presidential and congressional elections, a release explained that Jenny Holzer Studio is mobilizing a series of artworks in key areas through the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in hopes of championing broad political engagement, issue awareness and voter empowerment,” a press release at the time stated.

Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 7, 2022

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One response to “Madison Mayor Satya’s political hissy fit”

  1. Ray Avatar

    Interestingly enough. Despite the weakly-supported diatribe on the pictured dropbox, it appears that the drop slot is still accessible for some clueless person to still deposit their ballot (or nefarious person, ballots). Why wouldn’t that be secured, or at least taped over?

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