Monday, January 18, 2010

Reasons Why Barrett Will Win In November

Battlin' Tom Barrett is sitting in the driver's seat as we enter this election year. He does not have any major opponents to contend with leading up to the September primary, so for the most part, he can just go out and glad hand people around the state in a relaxed, up beat fashion.

He will be able to put an emphasis on all of the good things he has done for the City of Milwaukee over the past eight years. Some of these include being a leader in resolving the issue of the $91 million dollars in transit money that had been sitting idle for almost two decades; how he was recognized years ago for being much better at creating jobs and being given the reins of the Private Industry Council; and how the City of Milwaukee is excelling at economic development, and is actually being held up by Scott Walker's government. All of these will be important issues as the state continues its long climb out of the recession.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side of things, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann will be spending most of the year duking it out. Walker has already gone negative against almost anyone and everyone that would dare to challenge what he thinks is his divine right. I don't see any indication on why that would be changing anytime soon.

Walker is fairly limited in his repertoire. All he really has is the false pretense that he has kept spending and taxes down. But that can be and has already been easily been shown to be nothing more than a fairy tale. Given the poor shape that Milwaukee County is in, Walker can't very well run on his record and hope to survive long.

Neumann, on the other hand, has been out of politics for a decade, but in that time he has made himself into a successful businessman, worth millions of dollars, some of which he is not afraid to dump into his campaign. And he has Walker's track record which can make for easily identified campaign points and sound bites.

Come September, after the primary is held, one of these two men will come out the victor, but it will be a Pyrrhic victory to say the least. All the dirt will be out on them, and their images will be severely tarnished and dripping from the mud fight they just emerged from. On top of that, their campaign war chests will be empty, and they will need to run around just trying to raise enough money to make up for the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, Barrett will be coming in fresh as a daisy with a full coffer.

If Neumann survives, he will have to contend with his cold fish personality and his baggage of his extremist social views, especially his homophobia. His business acumen will pale compared to his vitriol, and people will naturally navigate towards Barrett. After all, who would want to be exposed to that much hate and anger and fear all the time.

If Walker should somehow survive the primary, he will have an even rougher road than Neumann would have. Not only will the poor condition of the county continue to be exposed, Walker's 2010 budget will have imploded, causing Walker to either look at raising taxes, losing his only base of the teabaggers, or he will have to shut down entire systems, which will making him even more unpopular than he already is. Meanwhile, while the City is having their own problems, their budget is balanced and barring any unforeseen cataclysm, should make it through the year relatively unscathed, and maybe even better than hoped.

During the time from the primary to the general election, both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County will be going through the budget process for 2011. There again, Barrett has the upper hand over Walker. Walker will be forced, by his own ideological limitations, to do the mature thing, like striking a balanced budget. Instead, he will be forced to try to force the unions into further concessions (even though their still waiting for his current proposal - eighteen months over due*) and cut services even more. The majority of the Board no longer has the spine to stand up for their citizens, since they are either in cahoots with or afraid of the enforcers of the special interests, namely, CRG.

On the other side, Barrett will have a much better go of things. First of all, he did not allow the City to slip into such a dangerous level of disrepair, even though there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the city's infrastructure as well. Also, the City's pension fund has exceeded all expectations this past year, which could help alleviate, if not eliminate, a lot of that burden. This in turn would mean less need to consider raising taxes and/or cutting services. Plus Barrett was responsible enough not to allow the pension fund be tied into some risky get rich scheme, like the one Walker actively sought out.

In summary, whether he ends up facing Mark Neumann, with his bigoted and ultraconservative agenda, or Scott Walker, with his utterly disastrous track record and discriminating attitude, this race is Tom Barrett's to lose.

*Walker's refusal to negotiate a contract cost tax payers in the area of $6-10 million in 2009 in lost savings. The total for 2010 is already at one million dollars.


  1. I hope you really don't believe your own post, Capper. Your expectations are way too high considering that this year will be a republican year around the country.

    Take a quick look what's going on in Mass. for a preview of how democrats have taken political capital and squandered it on a health care bill that few people wanted.

    Also, you are willfully ignoring the fact that Walker is popular to those who have any familiarity with their civic surroundings.

    You are also ignoring the fact that Barrett is a lackluster candidate who was pressured to run for governor, who is tangled up in an MPS overthrow, who raised property taxes during a recession, who cut from emergency services, thus putting Milwaukee citizens into direct danger, and who will take a beating for his pro-partial birth abortion stance in days to come.

    Factor all of this together, and you will see a republican governor whether it be Walker or Neumann.

    I invite you to fight the good fight and to work hard for your candidate, but don't be crying on election night when you see Walker taking the lead early across the state.

  2. Coakley made her own problems, which are irrelevant to this. Also, don't forget that it was the Republicans, using Walker's exact economic philosophy, that led us into this mess.

    Your estimation of Walker's popularity is well overstated. You should get out amongst the people, and not just Milwaukee, but across the state. Upstaters will tolerate Barrett, but loathe Walker, for they see what he would do to them.

    Interestingly, I just read the most interesting article in the newest edition of Milwaukee Magazine. It was about Mayor Barrett, and how his opponents try to confuse his deliberate, thoughtful style as being lackluster.

    Walker is aggressive, I'll admit that. He's been running for seven years now. Yet somehow, that has not translated into popularity.

    And the "danger" that Barrett might have put people in is nothing compared to Walker's recklessness. You will find that most people are not afraid to pay taxes, if they see the money is going to good use. Yet with Walker, we still pay lots more, but the money only goes to his sweetheart contracts to his campaign contributors.

  3. Coakley made her own problems? I hope this isn't a preview of how the DNC is going to explain away a republican win in Mass. Are you that deceived that you can't see how this is happening? The change you can believe in happened to fast and without public consent. Tea parties aren't just some radical fringe group, but a grassroots movement that has made a dent in Obama's credibility.

    Anyway, time will tell. Anything can happen in 10 months. Who knows, maybe Neumann will beat out Walker and Barrett? But as things are going right now, Walker has the biggest advantage regardless of how poorly you think he's done. Most people believe he's done a wonderful job in the county, which includes a striking improvement from Ament, who showed us just how democrats run the county.

  4. I wouldn't call a series of events sponsored by a multibillion dollar oil and chemical company exactly grass roots. Not to mention the racist and just plain sick mentality some of those people display.

    Yes, Walker has the cult of personality going right now, but that will be hard to maintain as more of Walker's clogged toilets come to surface.

  5. Egad, Cap. You could be one of the Grimm Brothers.

  6. I can not imagine how we got so lucky as to have Tom Barrett as our (Democratic) candidate for governor this year! My partner and I have been big fans of Doyle since, well since he was part of the reason we decided to move back to Milwaukee from Seattle back in 2003. Doyle's reelection in 2006 gave Wisconsin another four years to recover from the disastrous reign of Republican Tommy Thompson.

    But now, Barrett; fantastic. I only wish we were in better shape financially so we could throw some dough his way to help out. We'll probably both end up sending him whatever little we can.

    Anyway, in the midst of this disastrous Republican recession, it's good to know we've got someone like Mayor Barrett's election as Governor to look forward.

    (Hey, where's our confident Democrat to step up and challenge dinosaur Republican Jim Sensenbrenner for the House?)

  7. I am so sick of hearing about Barrett waiting until ONLY A YEAR before the election to announce a run for governor. Walker has been running for 7 years, but neither matters to the general public, because they aren't paying attention to the election yet. Most people DON'T like politics, and are glad to wait until summer to have to pay attention to the races.

  8. Isn't it telling that the wacko Walkerphiles think that concentrating on your current job and making sure you and your family can be up to the next one is somehow a sign of weakness? That sounds like the type of person you'd WANT to lead your state, instead of Palin types who "never blink" when given the chance to jump to the next opportunity.

    Very telling to me that a former Milwaukee co-worker and staunch GOPper told me the other day he was voting for Barrett because he can't stand the thought of someone with Walker's "leadership" methods trying to run the state.

  9. NealB, thaty has to be the funniest post I have read in a very long time.
    The reason why Barrett won't win is he really doesn't want the job. Why would he want to be governor when he can be Mayor for life, have fewer problems and possibly be involved in reforming MPS. Pay would be about the same.
    He would also have to move his family to Madison or it will be a long commute and he truly is a family man.
    You have a canidate who really wants the job and will travel the State and Barrett, who, at best is luke warm to idea being governor, ptting forth a minimal effort.

  10. Dan-

    I realize your across the country, and aren't aware of all the things happening here, so let me help you out.

    Barrett just kicked off a tour of the state, already receiving rousing support. And there already has been talk of him using the Governor's office in the State Building downtown to minimize the commute. But then again, it is only an hour drive, or he could ride the Badger Express.

    Furthermore, as I pointed out in the post, don't confuse his thoughtful deliberation with hesitation. He just thinks things through. That's a trait that Walker is sorely lacking.

  11. When you support Mayor Barrett, this is what you get:

    If you support unions, then you must stand against Mayor Tom Barrett and his dangerous and reckless budget cuts. Don't believe me yet? Try this piece from the Milwaukee Journal:

    Anything to add capper? Aren't you a union activist? Why are you taking the side of the Mayor on this?

  12. Actually, if you knew what you were talking about, you would congratulate me on being a good union man, since the AFL-CIO has already endorsed Barrett.

    Why aren't you concerned about Walker who cut 20% of the employees and already has publicly threatened state workers?

  13. Gee, Barrett is ding such a wonderful job campaigning: