A Man of the People, A Private Party...

Cheryl Hentz has this story on her Eye on Oshkosh blog. She questions the legality of the 'private party' that Mayoral Candidate Paul Esslinger threw on election night. According to the discussion, the party was invitation only.

The because of the private party designation, Esslinger and the establishment allowed smoking in an area of the facility that would be non-smoking.

There is a debate on the blog about the legality of the smoking. I think this misses the point...

What candidate has a private party - invitation only - for election watching?

In the discussion, Kent Monte - Esslinger supporter, mouthpiece and private party co-host - describes the situation like this:

Invitation only meant just that, INVITATION ONLY. In order to assure that the party would remain that, we issued colored chips to anyone who wanted a drink from the bar. No chip, No drink.
This was a private party in a private area of an establishment. It was only attended by people that were personally invited. Nobody was allowed to get drinks without talking to one of the four of us so we were quite sure that it remained “private”. Even the photographer was the daughter of an invited guest.

That leaves no wiggle room. Mr. Esslinger threw an election night party that he made sure could not be attended by anyone except those he deemed worthy.

IRONY ALERT: In his statement to the Northwestern before the election, Mr. Esslinger had this to say:

In his second bid for Oshkosh mayor, Esslinger is not wavering from the themes that got him elected to the Oshkosh Common Council... giving voice to a segment of the population that he worries is too often shut out of the local political process.
"When I talk to people one of the first things they say to me is, 'Thank you.' Thank you for listening to the general public"
"I'm not on the city council to make friends, I'm not on the council to represent special interest groups. I'm on the council to represent all of Oshkosh..."

Just as long as they don't try to come to his party.

I have been in politics for a while, and I have never before heard of an election party with 'bars on the doors' to keep the masses out. I know for a fact that was not the case with Tower's party, or most of the Council candidates.

But, this really isn't a case of barring the door at the election night party. This is a pattern.

This is a candidate that wants to run on openness in government, yet signed a confidentiality agreement with the 5 River developer so he cannot tell his constituents about the personal discussion he had with them.

This is a person who says he fights for the taxpayer, yet had the city subsidize the road in front of his house.

This is a politician who supported and voted for the garbage fee in budget deliberations, yet campaigns against it at election time.

This is a council member who rails against the pay and job done by the City Manager, yet skips evaluation meetings to play cribbage and votes against bringing discussion of goals back on the table.

In the Northwestern interview Esslinger also stated:
"I think in the seven years that I've been on there, people are very attuned to what I'm all about," Esslinger said.

I'm sure they do, and that's why he came up short on April 3rd.


Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary, Jef. It seems to beautifully sum up what Paul Esslinger is all about.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention a council member who thinks nothing of violating a city ordinance.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

Does Esslinger even like Oshkosh??? He doesn't like the people.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't act like he does. He likes Taco John's though.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that it is contradictory to "claim" to be a man of the people and then exclude the public from your campaign party, I also think it is wrong for a sitting City Council member especially, to violate a city ordinance. Seem though that NO one cares. Why is the city NOT investigating that?

Anonymous said...

The city should be investigating this. But why is the ONW not doing a story on it, either? It was their photo. Mrs. Davy and Mrs. Propp said on Eye on Oshkosh the city is not very proactive in its enforcement of this ordinance. That sure seems to be the case where Paul Esslinger, the Montes and Dan Becker's parties are concerned. It's hardly fair to citizens and those reponsible restaurant owners who either obey the ordinance or take steps to legally allow smoking. But I don't believe Kodiak Jack's made the smoking option on their own. This had to have been requested by the party throwers, my bet is Esslinger.

Anonymous said...

Here's the latest hypocrisy from Paul Esslinger. He wants to spread the word about cancer. So says the ONW today. But his election night party spread nothing but second hand smoke. And this is a man the Cancer Society has asked to give a speech on behalf of them. What in the world are they thinking? Do they even know about his party?