Monday, November 4, 2013

Urban Irony

Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee had published a post last week in which he laments the Teapublican-controlled legislature's attacks on local control.  He has a fairly thorough list of the bigger attacks including issues like the regulation of cell phone towers and billboards as well as things like residency requirements.

Murphy sums things up well with this paragraph:
But this legislature has shown, time and again, that it will roll over for special interests even if means limiting the powers of local government. As a legislative analysis published by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities put it, the budget bill passed this year “reflects a lack of understanding or recognition of the key role municipalities play in job creation and the state’s economic recovery, and at worse, represents a calculated attack on home rule.”
This is all true and I have no umbrage with what he has written.

But I do take offense by the one special interest and the one attack of local control that Murphy failed to mention, which diminishes the impact of an otherwise powerful piece.

He failed to include Chris Abele spending money hand over fist and having his county executive office staff in Madison lobbying to pass Act 14, which greatly diminished the representative democracy of Milwaukee County government and gave Abele an imbalance of power, opening the door for the gross incompetence and corruption that we are already seeing with Abele's administration.  Two of the people benefiting from Abele's largess were State Representatives Joe Sanfelippo and Dale Kooyenga.

Furthering the fact that this power grab is indeed a removal of local control, the law also forbids the county to have any other referendums outside of the red herring one Abele insisted on which decides if the Board will be further hindered by being forced into a part-time status.

Needless to say, Murphy omitted this key example of the state legislature taking away local control because he supported it in this case, to the point of misrepresenting the facts and omitting key pieces of information in his efforts to assist Abele's power grab.

Because of the Murphy's support for the power grab, it makes his complaint of the loss of local control ring hollow.


  1. Thanks for calling this out.

    Another item -- that very large, 22 mile long, 4 mile wide, 1 mile deep item -- Murphy might have thought to include is the huge open pit taconite mine in northern Wisconsin.

    The majority of locals, with their elected representatives, are strongly opposed to it but it's been strong-armed through every step of the process.

    ...So far.

  2. Why is smoke coming out of Abele's head?