Friday, April 8, 2016

An Open Letter To Senator Chris Larson

Dear Chris,

I purposely waited a few days before writing this.  I wanted to give time for the sharpness of the disappointment from Tuesday's election to wear off.  More importantly, I wanted to give you the time and the privacy to say goodbye and mourn for the loss of your cherished grandmother.  I know all too well that kind of pain.

The purpose of this letter is to say "Thank You!"  I want to thank you for doing what you did.  You knew that you were the David going up against Goliath, running a shoestring-budgeted, grassroots campaign against all of the millions of dollars that your opponent had access to through his daddy's checkbook.  You did what many others would have been too afraid to even contemplate, much less actually attempt.

Despite the result not being what you, I or many, many other Milwaukeeans wanted, you should keep your head up with pride.  You had more support and generated more enthusiasm than any candidate in Milwaukee had done as long as I can remember.  Not only that, you, like the marathon runner you are, kept a steady pace and never faltered from running a positive campaign full of solid and doable ideas to resolve the multitude of worsening problems facing Milwaukee County.

Have no doubt that you were the best man for the job and were widely supported throughout the county.  That was evidenced in the primary where you outright beat your opponent, even though many people didn't recognize your name.  (After Act 10, I don't understand that at all, but there it is.)

Your opponent knew that as well.  Why else would he spend over $5 million just to drag your good name through the mud and throw every imaginable lie - regardless of how ridiculous - out there to see if anything stuck.  I still shake my head in befuddlement that your opponent thought it would be a good idea to try to compare you to his mentor, Scott Walker.

Likewise, no one believes you are a racist.  We all know that the sellout senator, Lena Taylor, got her feelings hurt when you removed her from the Joint Finance Committee, not because she was black, but because she continuously sold out Milwaukee by gleefully going along with Abele and their Republican friends in ruining our community.  It is indicative of how desperate your opponent was when he arranged for his staffer, Michelle Bryant, and Taylor to spend all day Monday and Tuesday trying to besmirch you on WNOPE, er, WNOV.

The simple fact that you were endorsed by people such as Congresswoman Gwen Moore, the Honorable Vel Phillips, State Senator Nikiya Harris and State Representatives David Bowen, LaTonya Johnson and Mandella Barnes is proof enough of the respect you have from and for the African-American community.

No, my friend, you did not really lose the election as much as your opponent used his daddy's checkbook to buy it.  And even then, I don't know that he would have won then if it wasn't the sudden surge by the Republicans to get to the polls because they didn't like Donald Trump.  If their leading presidential candidate had been someone they liked and had a comfortable lead, they wouldn't have turned out nearly in the numbers they did and your opponent would have gone down in defeat, like he did in the primary.

In closing, on behalf of my wife and myself, as well as my union brothers and sisters and most of Milwaukee, thank you again to do what so many others were afraid to try.  You did well and I am proud to have supported you.

Say hi to Jessica and the kids for me.

In warm regards,

Chris "capper" Liebenthal

PS: I still have your yard sign.  If you don't mind, I'd like to hang on to it in hopes that I can proudly plant it in a prominent spot in my yard in 2020.


  1. Dont forget the Republican surge to get their lackey on the Supreme Court for a full term as well as Democrats legendary numbness to down ticket and supposedly "non-partisan" races. Just ask Kloppenberg. Its a statewide problem and we have no clue on how to fix that.

  2. i went to vote. was abele running as a republican ? if they voted for a republican and then crossed over to vote for abele then their ballot would have been disqualified. i am over here in grant county so i don't know for sure. money wins out again.

  3. However,
    Where in the world of learning how to campaign, did a candidate learn it's a good idea to propose a sales tax increase, during a heated campaign?
    And re the dam issue - Why not simply say -"When I get into office I will meet with all parties and review the issue".
    Wow! Most ecology minded voters are on the Left. Why not side with them? They are a big vocal part of the liberal base.

    1. That was Abele's spin on it. What it would have done is lower property taxes and provide a dedicated revenue source for the parks and transit systems.

      As for the dam, that actually had been decided years ago but Abele has refused to do his job by enforcing county policy.

  4. Appreciate this post. As a newcomer who lives in Kenosha county, it's hard for me to understand why Milwaukee keeps voting against its best interests. Well, the Presidential vote explained that for me but I'm still bitterly disappointed in the Abele and Bradley wins (Team Walker).

  5. screamingeagle, the county exec race was nonpartisan, which means anyone could vote for either candidate. Both Abele and Larson consider themselves Democrats.