Sunday, January 27, 2013

Plutocrats Back Off Of Overreaching Power Grab...For Now...Sort Of

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-Teabagistan) is backing off of the plan of destroying Milwaukee County government and putting the plutocrats firmly in control of the county.

Well, he sort of is:
State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis) said in an interview that he'll still introduce a bill in about a week that will call for a later referendum and likely include a major cut in the County Board's budget.

He wants the Assembly to act on the measure soon but would consider recommending amendments to the state Senate if the County Board enacts its own reforms that he considers adequate, said Sanfelippo, a former county supervisor. "I'm using the old trust-but-verify approach," Sanfelippo said. "I'm proceeding with the bill but in a way that will allow time for (supervisors) doing some things on their own.

"If they don't do it, the state's gonna do it."


Sanfelippo said another reason for backing off the April 2 referendum date was the concern that supervisor pay would be greatly reduced just one year into supervisors' four-year terms. All 18 supervisors won those terms last April. It would be unfair to chop the pay and convert the job to part time in midterm, some have argued.

Sanfelippo said he'd be willing to make some adjustments to his bill on how much the board's budget should be cut but did not suggest a different figure. He said he wants to see what the board may come up with on its own.
What Sanfelippo is saying to the county board is basically this, "Don't make me kill you...Kill yourself instead."

Yeah, that's a really persuasive argument.

Sadly, Milwaukee County Executive and Greater Milwaukee Committee sockpuppet Chris Abele shouted similar threats from the parapets of his ivory tower:
Abele said it was great some supervisors realized "the train has left the station, this (reform) is going to happen, that it's no longer a question anymore." He cautioned supervisors that voters expect major change, as evidenced by last spring's advisory votes in favor of a smaller and part-time board.

Anything that falls far short of the parameters of Sanfelippo's draft bill probably won't be viewed as sufficient, Abele said.

"The board can contribute whatever ideas it likes - the bill's going to happen," he said.

The public is tired of "half-measures," such as the board's own redistricting last year, which reduced the number of supervisors by one, to 18, Abele said.
That's a lot of bluster from a guy that just had his whole plan for usurping control of the county fall flat.

Don't kid yourself for a moment that they are backing off of their plans out of the kindness of their hearts. It's not that they're choosing not to do this, but they cannot do this. If they could, they wouldn't hesitate to do so.

It could be that the GMC proposal that Sanfelippo is fronting for doesn't pass legal muster.

It could be that GMC didn't grease Scott Fitzgerald's palm enough.

It could be that Abele has already expended too much of his political capital on his version of an Emergency Fiscal Manager, which didn't turn out the way that he and the GMC promised it would.

It could be that they weren't expecting and weren't ready for the groundswell of opposition and the focus on who and what they are or that they are the pot calling the kettle black.

Most likely, it was a combination of all of these things.

It is also a reflection of the hard work that Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic has put in to do outreach with all corners of the county. She has been doing town hall meetings in every district to talk about how government works and to explore ways the county and municipalities can work together in a responsible manner.

That is in sharp contrast to Abele who has been making deals behind closed doors and issuing edicts from behind his ivory tower.

But now that the plutocrats have backed off a bit for now, this would be a golden opportunity for the community to really discuss what form the government should take and where the changes would make the most sense.

For example, can anyone really give one positive Abele's done in the past two years?

He's thrown one tantrum after another. He's fired people left and right without giving reasons for it. He's given cushy positions, some of them made up, to his cronies. He's tried to illegally give his cronies bonus pay with tax dollars. He's arbitrarily decided to sell off county property to put a giant Pez dispenser on the lakefront. He's tried to privatize vital services. He's abdicated his duties to the mentally ill. He's abdicated his duties to public safety. He's slashed workers' pay so much that some county employees are actually eligible for food stamps and other benefits. He had his Chief of Staff try to frame an innocent man.

All the meantime, he's collected his full pay and benefits.

It really looks like the county executive's office is a prime place to start looking for "efficiencies."

So by all means, let's have this discussion. But let's be honest and let's put it all on the table.


  1. Could it be that the Republicans remembered the Supreme Court election is in April, and decided they don't want a lot of Milwaukee County voters casting ballots? That's where my money is.

    1. Ding Ding Ding....
      You win the prize JB. That is exactly why they don't want to do this at the Spring election. They don't want the most populous county in the state showing up in record numbers and in a foul mood to vote for the Supreme Court.

    2. They better come out to vote ANYWAY! And kudos to Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic for representing her constituents! GO BIG DIM!

  2. capper, very complicated and as usual, you make it accessible. I'm past due to make another donation.

  3. some hero Marina is!
    your the only one defending her.
    good luck with that after this hits the public! ;)

    1. You mean the same Deanna Alexander who wouldn't even hold her fundraisers in the county, much less her district? The same Deanna Alexander who is an anti-gay bigot? The same Deanna Alexander who is good friends with Chris Abele, so much so that she is the only supervisor he's joined in a town hall meeting?

      Yeah, that's really going to sting.