Madison City Commission candidate Pat Mullen gets the Chuck Clement treatment in last night's Madison Daily Leader. On the good side, Mullen emphasizes his budget and planning chops as an administrator at Marty Indian School. He rightly amplifies citizen concerns about the city's maxed-out debt load.

But then he gets wrapped up in this inapt phrasing:

Even before the April 10 election, Mullen expects to do some homework to run for a city commissioner's job. He planned to study the latest municipal infrastructure improvement plan that was approved in 2011 by the commissioners. Mullen also wanted to review the last few city budgets [Chuck Clement, "Mullen Plans Move from Education to City Government," Madison Daily Leader, 2012.03.19].

I don't know when Clement interviewed Mullen, but the April 10 election is three weeks away. Pat, you shouldn't be expecting to do some homework to run. You're running! It's on! You ought to have a lot of homework done and ready to show us in nice tight "Vote for me and here's why" bullet points. You should already have looked at the 2010–2012 budget books and 2008–2010 audited financials available on the city finance office webpage and be able to tell us what you like and don't like about the financial priorities manifested therein.

Mullen's interview is more vague than the previous two from competitors Mike Waldner and Jeremiah Corbin. He hopes increased sales tax revenues will help Madison pay down its debt, and that's a perfectly reasonable position. However, on economic development, all we get is this oracular pronouncement:

"I think the city has a role in helping the community grow, but we also want to be cautious and not jeopardize what we already have" [Pat Mullen, quoted in Clement, 2012.03.19].

Into what specific actions would you translate that role, Pat? Are there ways the city has been incautious in economic development? Has the city commission or the LAIC somehow jeopardized what Madison has? And heck, just what does Madison have to jeopardize?

For those answers and more, I guess we'll have to wait for the Chamber forum on April 3. Do that homework, Pat!