Monday, February 1, 2016

A Bad Bill by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is proposing a new law that will prohibit County Executives from serving simultaneously in the State Senate.

He is wrong on this.

I'm a bit disappointed in a state legislature that makes it more difficult for non-incumbents to run for office. Many of the changes in campaign law have only had a positive impact on incumbents. 

As an example, raising the dollar amounts campaigns can raise. That has virtually no effect on those not in office who wish to serve, since they have trouble raising any significant money at all. Even though this change and others were pushed by Republicans, the Democrats fake outrage of these laws that benefit them is also laughable.

Sen. Fitzgerald's excuse for bringing up this bill to the MJS is the amount of money potential senate candidate Mark Harris, a Democrat, is making as Winnebago County Executive.  A note to the Sen. Majority Leader - it's none of your business what someone earns outside of their duties as a State Senator. Tear this proposal up and allow the citizens of an area decide who they want to represent them in the Legislature.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Milwaukee County Board vs The BoogeyMan

Milwaukee County Chair, Theo Lipscomb, seems to need a boogeyman to prove his importance and the reason his job should continue to be a full time gig.  This boogeyman takes the form of County Executive Chris Abele.

There is no question that the exec and the county board don't trust each other, but one would think that a goal of each would be to look for areas where they can amicably work together to solve problems and potential problems of their constituents, you know the people they are suppose to work for.  But alas that isn't the case with the dysfunction known as Milwaukee County politics.

To correct a situation where the County Exec could try to sell what seems is Non-Park parkland, though he has no intent of doing so, Lipscomb and other supervisors have decided to propose a resolution to prevent him from doing what he has no plans to do. In fact, according the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the County Exec has taken proactive steps to get the non-park Parks rezoned to prevent him or any future County Exec from selling these jewels of the county.

So why would Lipscomb and a few other supervisors feel the need to not only pass a resolution for something that is already in process but to set the stage for this resolution as an attack on Chris Abele? It's the way the County Board has operated for the last few years under the leadership of Marina Dimitrijevic and now Lipscomb.

Here was an opportunity in which two branches of County government along with local municipalities could have had a kumbaya moment in fixing a potential fight before it happened and tried to gain the confidence of residents. Instead the County Board lead by Lipscomb and joined by Supervisors Dimitrijevic and Jason Haas decided to build a straw man crises when none is imminent.

I'm sure the three mentioned supervisors support of Chris Larson to become the next County Executive had nothing to do with this manufactured political talking point.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gwen Moore Cares? Barnes Has a Clue?

The situation at the Lincoln Hills School juvenile facility is looking like a serious situation that needs to handled correctly and quickly.

It's not a political issue as much as Assemblyman Mandela Barnes would like to make it such.  Barnes, who is gearing up for a primary for state senator and is the ranking minority member on the Assembly Corrections Committee of was quoted as saying "In fact, Wisconsin Republicans were made aware of reports of unsafe behavior and a toxic environment at Lincoln Hills up to a year ago — yet, they failed to act on these systemic failures that put our youth and staff in harm's way."

I wonder why Barnes was not on top of this matter before?  You'd think he would be considering his position on the Correction Committee.

Of course Gwen Moore in her ever so diligent way chimed in, "I fear that, without swift intervention, these inmates are at serious risk of becoming another faceless member of our seemingly endless school-to-prison pipeline. I am determined to fulfill our promise to help these youth become productive and successful members of our society."

How long has Rep. Moore been in office (since 2005)?  Has she ever proposed any "intervention" with the youthful inmates before?  Does she include any recommendations in her statements today?

Unfortunately this is what passes as acceptable representation in the 4th Congressional District.

Monday, December 21, 2015

More City of Milwaukee Elections Board Shenanigans?

Got a call on Friday from David King, a candidate for the 9th Aldermanic District in Milwaukee concerning a phone conversation from someone at the Milwaukee Elections Board office.

They wanted to know if David had seen others in the crowded field out getting signatures on their nomination papers.  It seems that this information would purportedly help the elections board determine how many people would be needed to go over the potential glut of turned in nominations papers.

OK, call me a skeptic but why would Milwaukee Elections Board call David King and not Alderman Puente, both of whom have turned in their signatures.  Now granted I don't know if they called Puente, but it  just seems odd that the board would randomly call a candidate in the crowded field to gather this type of information.

Or maybe it's because candidate King is working the whole district and there's some concern at City Hall.

Feel Good Failure Award # 3 - Anyone but White Males

According the Daily Reporter "Milwaukee County contracts of $300,000 or more will now be required to include a minority impact statement." 

This is another hair brained idea from Khalif Rainey.  In his constant assault on taxpayers money Rainey and the Milwaukee County Board approved this resolution.  Here's who the "minority impact statement" is concerned with:
  • Women
  • African-American and Blacks
  • Hispanics / Latinos
  • Asian and Pacific Islanders
  • Native American and Alaskan Natives
  • Elderly, over 65
  • Disabled
So basically the only people who Rainey's not concerned with are non disabled white males under 64. 

This will apply to the County Budget and will put an extra onus on the Community Business Development Corporation. It's a waste of County resources and in their new part time gig I can safely predict that most members of the Milwaukee County Board will not read nor use this information to make an informed decision concerning their votes.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Troops Coming Home to Mitchell Field in Milwaukee

I was at Mitchell Field today to pick up my grandson who is spending his college break here in Milwaukee.  As I'm waiting for him Concourse D at Mitchell starts to fill up with families.  Well actually partial families. Women and children without their dads.

I come to find out that a group of soldiers were coming home after 212 days serving overseas. The airport concourse was dripping with excitement as the kids, wives, parents and interested bystanders gathered as time slowly ticked toward their arrival.  My grandson told me that the men stayed back as other passengers disembarked and then they came down the Concourse Exit together as the team they so definitely were.

Here's a video I took of them meeting their families. It was one of those moments in life when you aren't disappointed that things didn't go to plan.

 Here's a few pictures I grabbed also.

All in all a super experience.

My heart rejoiced at their service and sacrifice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Battle of Lawn Signs

As I've mentioned before this election season is just astonishing to watch and to be a part of.  The stories I'm hearing are blowing me away.

I got a call today from Russell Goodwin, a candidate for the 2nd Aldermanic District being vacated by mayoral hopeful Joe Davis.  Someone complained to the City Elections Commission that they didn't like the placement and amount of Yard Signs that are appearing in the district.

The solution proposed from the person at the Elections Commission was that the signs needed to come down or a fine would be assessed by the Department of Neighborhood Services and the matter turned over to the County DA.

Candidate Goodwin called the Department of Neighborhood Services and found out there is no fine for a yard sign violation, the Department of Public Works would just take the signs down if placed improperly and it's highly unlikely that the DA's office would be called into action for no complying with the yard sign ordinance.  He was also informed that other candidates often move signs, take pictures and make accusations.

After that conversation, Goodwin called the City Elections Commission and started questioning the lady who he previously talked to. He offered to pay the fine if his volunteers broke the law, but she couldn't tell him what the fine was and to admit there was none.

He then asked her if she knew if his volunteers were the ones to place the signs and she couldn't confirm that.  Then he tried to find out who brought the complaint.  After stalling, she finally admitted it was someone associated with the campaign of Sherman Morton, if not Morton himself.

This seems to be a perfect case of intimidation by someone who has a close working relationship to a certain candidate and an fellow city employee.

So let's look at Sherman Morton.  Here's a man who's been serving the 2nd Aldermanic District as an aide to soon to be former Alderman Joe Davis for 11 years.

Here's a post from his campaign facebook page "Good Morning family. ..just a quick observation. . We are looking at some possible landmark changes in the way our city is being run. There are people all over the city running for political office. It is important that we not only support them thru our words but with action also. Corporations. Groups. Organizations and Unions take control of our elected leaders because they put their money to work.. I refuse to be bought by any entity.. I WANT TO BE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY YOU..... And YOU ONLY.. All I'm saying is......... your 5. 10. 15. 20 dollar donations help me to compete with the big boys.. I KNOW IT'S HARD TO GIVE UP MONEY.. but... I'm asking.. help me to be your next Alderman.. your financial support is needed.."

Here's my question to Mr. Morton, what "landmark" changes have you made or encouraged in the last 11 years as an aide to whom you seem to accuse of being bought by Corporations, Groups, Organizations and Unions.

It seems to me that 11 years as an aide in City Hall makes you a part of the status quo people are trying to change, not an outsider.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Voter Suppression in the Spring Election

I went to a meeting of mostly Milwaukee alderman candidates in last Friday.  Politically, the flavor reached across the whole spectrum from right to left.  I enjoyed the discussion and honesty these candidates shared with each other.

One of the very interesting views that all of them agreed upon was the idea that the controlling interests in Milwaukee wanted to not only to suppress the vote so the politically powerful could keep their power, but it was also important to keep voters in the dark about issues.  In other words they needed to keep voters uninformed and confused on issues.

They weren't talking about the usual scapegoat, the Republicans, as they elaborated their concerns and battles.  It was the Progressives Democrats whom they focused on.

That was one of the eye opening revelations of the evening. I'm looking forward to talking to more of the candidates wanting to shake up the status quo in the Metro Milwaukee area and can't wait for the heat of the battle to really kick in.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Feel Good Failure Priorities #3 - Medical Examiners Office

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an article today about the County Medical Examiners office and in particular the facility they use to do their job.

In a word - disgusting.

Rats, cockroaches and wood carts for overflow bodies coming in are some of the problems.  As I was about to email my County Supervisor Deanna Alexander concerning this, she posted this on Facebook,
"All the Medical Examiner has on the Christmas list this year is a new facility - and deservedly so! When I toured this facility he said he was surprised that anyone from the board was taking an interest in his department's affairs. I was angry when I saw the conditions and what his department has had to handle. I'm glad that since then Milwaukee County has been working on a plan to remedy this. Slow moving, but on the horizon."
One of the things that impresses me about Supervisor Alexander is the fact that she visits many of the County resources to get a better idea of how to best do her job.

This isn't the case with many of the supervisors.  Instead we get Feel Good Failure resolutions like Khalif Rainey's proposals to let 16 year olds vote in MPS School Board elections, more basketball courts at the lake front and an inept office of African American Affairs which will turn out to be a $300,000 boondoggle.

We have County Board Chair, Theo Lipscomb, wasting $100,000 suing the state to get full time status for the County Board and we could on and on about the board tossing money out the window like it doesn't belong to them.  And it doesn't.

And because of their poor choices and continued arrogance in supporting Feel Good Failure policies they find themselves in a position of running for part time positions.