Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Primary Primer: Another Way To Make Scott Walker, WISGOP Hear Your Voice

With all of the hullabaloo that Scott Walker has caused with his egregious and malicious power-grabbing and union-busting proposal is the fact that Tuesday is Primary Election Day.  This is also a powerful way to send a message to Madison by electing people that will work to stop and even reverse the damage that Walker and his cronies have caused and want to cause.

Supreme Court

There are four contenders for this seat.  The incumbent is David Prosser, who has been bought and paid for by the same people that gave us Michael Gableman and Scott Walker.  Due to his obligation to these special interests, he's turned a blind eye to Gableman's unethical lying.  And if that isn't enough to not vote for Prosser, it turns out that he likes to go soft on child molesting priests as well.

That leaves Joel Winnig, Marla Stephens and Joanne Kloppenburg.  Winnig won me over when I read how he took it to the vile Gableman.  However, after giving it some thought, I believe the best choice would be Joanne Kloppenburg.  Not only is she independent and willing to be thoughtful to the law, she is also willing to hold culprits like Gableman accountable.

Another reason is that it is safe to assume that WMC has, through talk radio and puppet groups like Wisconsin Club For Growth, enough people will be duped into voting for Prosser.  I believe that Kloppenburg is the best choice to overcome the smear job that will start on Wednesday.

 Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 18

There are three contenders for this spot,  Roy Korte, Christopher Lipscomb and Pedro Colon.  A lot of people that I respect are backing Colon, either out of name loyalty or some other reason.

This is where I am going to buck the trend and recommend Christopher Lipscomb.  I believe that Colon will have too much mud on him for that he might get bogged down in the general election.

Lipscomb also has the experience that would make him worthy and qualified to take it to the bench in Branch 18.

County Supervisor District 10

There are two very respectable candidates in this race of many, Eyon Biddle and Cavalier "Chevy" Johnson.  I believe that the constituents of District 10, as well as all of Milwaukee County, would be well served by either of these gentleman.  However, if I were a voter in that district, I'd have to give the edge to Eyon Biddle.  As I said, they are both good men, but Biddle appears to be a little more experienced in the body politic and would have a better shot at hitting the ground running.

County Supervisor District 14

As with District 10, I am not a voter in that district.  However, I would give the hands down vote to my good friend Jason Haas.  I've known Jason for a few years and I am quite impressed with his devotion to making Milwaukee County the best it can be, especially in these trying times.  Jason is already showing a willingness to look outside the normal routine of things to find new revenue streams, such as increasing tourism, both with County residents and visitors with his "SuperPass" plan.

Milwaukee County Executive

There are currently five people vying for the unenviable position of having to start cleaning up Scott Walker's mess in the county while simultaneously dealing with the mess he will be throwing at us from Madison.  It will take someone with a clear vision of where they would like to take the county and a willingness to take the county to that place.

The five people who think they are that person is Ieshuh Griffin, County Board Chairman Lee Holloway, State Representative Jeff Stone, philanthropist Chris Abele and former State Senator Jim Sullivan.  I will start out by saying that not one of these candidates have completely won me over.

Ieshuh Griffin, once one can get past her unfortunate decision to label herself with the slogan "Not the whiteman's bitch," does appear to have a good grasp of county issues and some ideas on how to solve them.  Unfortunately, she will present a good idea and then say something totally whacked, like that the Court System is out to get black people.

Lee Holloway obviously has the knowledge of the county ways and needs and how to meet those needs.  However, it's pretty clear that Holloway is unelectable.  First, he has the albatross of the pension scandal around his neck.  Secondly, he's made some questionable decisions, such as the hiring of Renee Booker as Director of the Department of Administration or for becoming too chummy with Walker while he was county executive.  Holloway's problems only increase when one takes into consideration the problems with his rental properties.

Jeff Stone is Scott Walker's heir apparent.  He is also a rather drab, boring man.  He hopes to gain his office by appealing to the extremists and those who just weren't paying attention for the last eight years and thought Walker was a good leader.  He also has the advantage of having talk radio practically begging voters to support him, even though they can only do it in a half-hearted sort of way.  But besides being a Walker crony, Stone paints himself in a worse light by saying that he would follow Walker's footsteps.  I'm sorry, but I for one have had more than enough buildings falling down, female patients at the mental health complex being raped and enough of people kicking the fiscal can down the road.

I've had the opportunity to meet Chris briefly a few weeks ago.  He is an affable young man and is easy to like.  He has a wonderful skill of putting people at ease and making it seem like he is really listening.  And therein lies one of the rubs against him.

I would rather have someone that actually listens to the people and not to just himself or to his group of wealthy friends.  When it comes to ideas, he comes up very short on specifics or even ideas that will actually do much to save the county.   For transit, his idea is to shuffle some routes around and move some times.  However, it's already been shown that our transit system is already at near maximum efficiency.  His other plans may sound populist, but also have very little meaning.

Even more disturbing was the news that came out today that the Greater Milwaukee Committee, of which Abele is a leading member, introduced a new plan for Milwaukee County.  Their plan, which I will parse at a later date, is basically raising our taxes, cutting our services, taking away our representation and, like Scott Walker, take away some of our basic rights.

I tried to like Chris Abele. I really did. Many of the people whom I hold in the highest of regards are in support of him.  But I, for the life of me, cannot see what his appeal is.  Yes, he has lots and lots of money, and he is, more likely than not, able to buy his way past the primary.  But when it comes to ideas, he seems to be overly vague about what they are, and the ones that you can discern aren't very promising.

That brings us to Jim Sullivan, who I will be voting for in the primary.

I have not always agreed with Sullivan, such as his pushing for the desecration of the county grounds.  However, I had a chance to speak with him for a short time.  He impressed me with a clear cut, defined vision of what he saw for Milwaukee County and how to get from where we are to where he would like us to be.  Sullivan is realistic enough to know that we aren't going to survive just by cutting things.  He told me that is what Walker did due to his blind ideology and that is why the county is in such bad shape.  It's hard to disagree.

He wants to join with the County Board to push for a sales tax just for the transit system.  He said that the problems with the last one is that they were trying for too much at once, which spooked off many law makers. He also pointed out that that the Board and Walker were giving mixed messages to law makers, allowing them to mess things up as they wanted to.

As for mental health services, he wants to increase community-based services, much as was recommended by the Public Policy Forum report.  He also recognized the need for a facility to house the people that couldn't be safely moved into the community.

He also would like to start fixing the parks system which has been neglected for so long, but he said that will have to wait until we can get the economy moving back in a positive direction.

In my opinion, Sullivan beats the rest hands down.  He might not be able to flood the TV and radio airwaves like Abele, but he does have a clear and defined vision, which is worth much more to someone like me, who wants the best for their community.

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