Ethics Heroes: Dane County (Wisconsin) County Supervisors

Race-baiting, race bullying and using the threat of being tarred as racist have worked speculatively well as unethical political weapons since Barack Obama’s party and supporters perfected them. Thus it is gratifying to see a municipal body refuse to be intimidated when confronted with the demands of a shameless practitioner and her supporters.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi nominated Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) for director of Dane County Human Services, a position that oversees the county’s largest agency with a $240 million budget and around 800 employees. Almost simultaneously with her nomination Stubbs began mau-mauing those who had to approve the appointment. The weekend following the announcement from Parisi, Stubbs told members of the End Times Ministries International, a church she co-founded and serves as a pastor, that members of the board were putting her under scrutiny because she is black, saying “they have never had a black lead a department, and I would be the first.” She urged her congregation to email the Dane County Board supervisors and demand that she be confirmed. This was sufficient to inspire the good parishioners to threaten the board members with violence.

There were ample non-racial reasons to question Stubbs’ appointment. She was heard on video saying that she planned on keeping both her state legislative job and her new position once she was confirmed, thus acquiring two paychecks for two supposedly full-time jobs. “They said I can’t do two jobs at one time,” Stubbs says on the video. “I can walk and eat and talk if I need to. It’s my choice if I want to [resign].”

Patrick Miles, the County Board chair, said it was alarming that Stubbs was spreading misinformation.  “I fear it’s an example of how she’s going to operate when we have disagreements over budget and policy issues,” Miles said. “Rather than discussing and debating the merits of those issues, it’s going to turn into these other things.”

“Other things” means “accusations of racism.” The board unanimously rejected her appointment.

At the long meeting in which Stubbs’ nomination was considered, the state rep pledged she would resign from her state assembly seat if confirmed. This left the perplexing matter of her earlier recorded statements to the contrary, saying that she would refuse to resign, as well as a constituent email her office sent out stating that she planned to keep both jobs. Stubbs tried to explain that with the old, reliable “rogue intern” ploy. “I am so sorry that my intern made a mistake.” Stubbs said.


The woman obviously can’t be trusted. It is irresponsible to put someone in charge of an agency with a $240 million budget who can’t be trusted, no matter what color she is. The board, knowing Stubbs and knowing the political tradition she comes from, had to understand how their decision would be attacked, and sure enough, her patron, Parisi, said in a carefully insinuating statement,

“Members of the Dane County Board last night went on record saying an African American woman with a masters’ degree in management and bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice and political science, 16 years in county elected office, who has lived experience volunteering in community centers and working for decades to fight poverty and racism while advocating for those less fortunate is not qualified to lead the county’s work in serving vulnerable populations. The actions of certain members of this board toward Rep. Stubbs reflect poorly on the institution we all took an oath to uphold…The role of the County Board in reviewing nominees to lead county departments is straightforward. Board members are to evaluate whether an individual nominated by the county executive is qualified for the job at hand. Rep. Stubbs’ resume speaks for itself and the actions of Board leadership since the moment I made this recommendation have been unprecedented to any previous department nomination that I and other county executives have offered.”

Oh yes, that should stir up Stubbs’ congregation. During the fateful meeting, Stubbs’ mother called the chairman of the county board “a racist, rat and weasel.”

Let’s hope that the board holds fast. The weaponization of race will only work as long as its targets believe it will work. It’s like voodoo that way.


Pointer: Paul W. Schlecht

19 thoughts on “Ethics Heroes: Dane County (Wisconsin) County Supervisors

  1. Indeed. She disqualified herself by having her church members write in on her behalf. Clearly, she neither understands abuse of power nor that whole Love Thy Neighbor thing. Apparently, she can’t multitask as well as she thinks if her parishioners think it’s appropriate to threaten violence.

    • Stubbs needs to have a long (overdue) talk with Jesus.
      She is not qualified to be a pastor either.

      The apples does not fall far from the tree certainly applies here.

      • Do keep in mind “church” and “pastor” are probably only culturally appropriated and not descriptive of a changed lives worshipping and obeying Jesus, any conversation being just noise bouncing around an echo chamber.

  2. Triple Takings (dipping). What a great life that would make. Big salary from her state assembly position, another terrific salary as a new government department head, and certainly a nice paying position as pastor the church she founded. Sly as a fox …and likely gentle as a lamb.

  3. A conveniently overlooked part of the Dane County Board’s oath to which Parisi refers is to act in the best interests of its employers, Dane County taxpayers, and I’m one of ’em.

    It gets worse.

    She also…um…neglected to recuse herself from votes to funnel County money to her church AND called two (2) black supervisors Oreos for their refusal to, you know, like, help a Sistah out.

    And worse yet.

    She claimed God gave her the gig, ergo, her placement was divinely ordained; would’ve LUVed to have heard the Fire-n-Brimstone she offered up in her church yesterday morning as she tried to ignore the fact that it must have been God’s Will that The Lord Taketh Away her nomination.

    Stubbs is spectacularly tin-eared-n-tone-deaf, an affliction which only results when you think you’re bullet-proof; anyopne wondering why someone like her, in the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality, might think that?

    Me either.

    MONEY QUOTE (Saturday joint statement issued by 30 of 37 Board Supervisors): “Attempts to disparage our colleagues with racial slurs and intimidate them from doing the job they were elected to do is unacceptable and we condemn it.”

    And that from a county that’s as deep a shade of blue as you’ll find outside of Portland or San Francisco, and despite it being the right thing to do, it’s being described alternatively from brave to Parisi’s unprecedented.

    Glass half full/glimmer of hope? Even local career Lefties like Greg Humphrey (Caffeinated Politics) and former mayor Dave Cieslewicz (Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos) have issued scathing reviews of the debacle.

  4. Im not familiar with this person (through she sounds like a typical black hustler that are a dime a dozen in hardcore blue hellholes—I know from experience, living in Chicago with one of them as the exiting mayor and a second as incoming mayor, another as Cook County president, another as chief of police and another as DA), but man she must be really bad, REALLY BAD, for those in charge of Dane County of all places in WI to say a unanimous ‘NO’ to her (and it ain’t about double dipping—that never stopped a Dem or used against him/her; it’s just an excuse).

  5. There’s a fair share of local classic liberals, some illiberals, and some progressives that are openly denouncing the Rep. Shelia Stubbs nomination because of her behaviors. The “Stubbs Effect” on Dane County has done something really weird for this area, it’s put Republicans and some Democrats on the same ethical side of a political argument – they are in agreement!

    Should I expect to see pigs flying in the skies of Dane County soon?

  6. Isn’t there another angle here?

    She can’t legally, as a leader of a (presumably) non-profit church congregation, petition them to support a specific candidate. Why is that not being brought up?

    • Because it’s a can of worms governments are afraid to open. Black churches have been openly political for eons, and enforcing the tax laws against overwhelmingly black churches (for that is where the violations overwhelmingly are) would be politically dangerous.

      • Churches are free to encourage their congregations (or anyone, for that matter) to vote a specific way on any political topic. They’re not allowed to endorse specific candidates, though.

        Although maybe you’re saying that black churches have openly endorsed specific candidates for eons?

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