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.