Michael Horne
The Roundup

Morales V Darling Race Set

By - Jul 5th, 2004 12:00 pm
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Milwaukee School Board member Jennifer Morales has decided to challenge Alberta Darling and her hold on the 8th Senate District Seat. Morales says she will have enough signatures by filing deadline Tuesday. Although she has had no formal endorsements yer, she says the party is backing her.

Other support comes from those interested in “reproductive rights, anti-gun and the LGBT community.” She says “Alberta has backtracked from these groups,” after first supporting their goals.

Morales, of Milwaukee resides at the very southernmost tip of the 8th district, which includes only four wards in the city. The district stretches all the way out to Richfield, and includes Germantown, much of Menomonee Falls, a considerable portion of Mequon, the entire Village of Thiensville, Fox Point, Whitefish Bay, Bayside a touch of Glendale and Alberta’s hometown of River Hills.

Residency Woes for Taylor?

The filing date for candidates is just around the corner, and it will be interesting to see what ensues when Rep. Lena Taylor submits her papers to run in the 4th Senate District.

Consider this: right now Taylor represents the 18th Assembly District, which is part of the 6th Senate District.

The law requires an assembly representative or a state senator to live in his or her district. Her address in the district is 3407 W. Highland Ave. Technically, Rep. Taylor could run for the 4th District seat while living at the Highland Ave. address, and move to the district when and if elected.

As a practical matter, this is unlikely to result in election since it would give an opponent a fair claim that you are no more than a carpetbagger.

So, when Taylor files for candidacy in the 4th Senate District, using a 4th Senate District address – 4051 N. 15th St. —  how will that affect her position as representative to the assembly from the 18th District, which is part of the 6th Senate District?

Her Form EB-1, already filed with the State of Wisconsin Elections Board, is pretty telling evidence that the 18th District is no longer her home.

According to Assembly Chief Clerk, Patrick E. Fuller, “You are supposed to live in the district you represent.”

Since Taylor does not live in the district, she might be forced to forfeit her seat in the Assembly and her pay.

If she would claim to live at the old address until after the election then the Republicans would demand her nomination papers and EB-1 be voided for showing the new address.

I left a message for Taylor on her machine, but have not heard back from her as she ponders this conundrum.

Manian’s Replacement(s)

Governor Doyle will have a circuit judge position to fill with the retirement of Judge Victor Manian, a newly wed septuagenarian with a much younger wife. (Good enough reason to get off the bench and on to —?)

The top finalists for the position are Laura Arbuckle, an attorney in private practice, and Anna Barrios, a public defender.

Both are well-regarded attorneys. Neither was available for comment. Nobody is available for comment these days because everybody is out enjoying the miserable weather.

McCormick’s Revenge

Veteran Judge John McCormick, 80, remained on the bench after his wife’s death partly to stay active. The judge has a hobby of crafting small trinkets out of wood which he shares with colleagues and friends. It’s a matter of staying on the bench (whether workbench or judge bench) rather than the alternative.

The judge was assigned to the new Operating After Revocation Court where his workload consists of over 11,000 cases. The cases he hears are not particularly complicated, but he sure must hear a lot of them – no other judge has a caseload of more than a hundred or so cases.

So why assign a veteran to a job that sounds like good punishment for a rookie?

Probably to get rid of McCormick.

The ruse might indeed work, since McCormick is likely to hear his last cases sometime in September, after which he will soak up his remaining vacation time, etc., and then leave the bench rather than run for reelection when his term expires in spring.

Often when a judge reaches this stage in his career, he or she leaves before December in the final year of his or her term. Then, the Governor gets to appoint a successor who has the advantage of running as an incumbent.

McCormick, though, is sufficiently steamed at his appointment to the O.A.R. court that he might just, contrarily, remain on the bench until, say, December 2nd, denying the governor the opportunity to appoint a replacement and forcing an open election in which no candidate would have the advantage of incumbency.

Dems Create New Group

Despite controlling both houses of the legislature, the Republicans have promoted an obstructionist platform more often associated with an out-of-power party. The Democrats have long complained of the Republicans’ Gays-Guns-and-Gambling strategy that has brought us such tedious exercises in legislation as the proposed ban on Gay marriages, the alleged constitutional right (or lack thereof) of a right to carry arms in general and concealed arms in particular along with such time-wasting derivatives as the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.

The Democrats have done little more than whimper about the Republicans and their statehouse shenanigans, but, in the form of the Greater Wisconsin Committee the party hopes to take command of the agenda once again and to raise money.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee is a 501 (c) (4) group, established along lines permitting unlimited fundraising while preserving the anonymity of donors.

The 501 (c) (4) is yet another demon unwittingly unleashed by the McCain-Feingold campaign reforms, and it will certainly proliferate with both parties.

The head of the group is David Cross, a Quarles & Brady partner. Cross, an intellectual property lawyer, has even gone so far as to patent one of his own ideas.

That Can Do Attitude infects the organization, with other board members including Greg Wesley, Brent Smith, John Raihala and Don Layden.

The behind-the-scenes guy, as always, is Bill Christofferson, who is smart enough to use the outfit to advance the fortunes of his buddy, Governor Jim Doyle, whom he helped propel into the governorship over Tom Barrett. The group, with its statewide focus, will come in handy for Christofferson, who probably won’t have much to do on the local level now that Barrett’s mayor.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee will be run by Joan Clark of Milwaukee.

I talked to her by telephone on Wednesday as she raced to O’Hare, an airport in Illinois.

“We will try to present the people of Wisconsin with reasonable policy, legislation and a reasonable progressive agenda on matters of health care, education, jobs and the environment. These are not issues like the Republicans TABOR. Their issues are all red herrings off in right field.”

Milwaukeeworld.com will provide an address for the organization at a future date.

New Press Secy for Mayor

Carlene Orig has been appointed press secretary for Mayor Tom Barrett. Her first day of work was July 6, 2004. Previously, she was a reporter for five years at WISN-TV, Channel 12 in Milwaukee.

Ms. Orig is in her ‘30’s, is single and resides in the Third Ward-ish area. She grew up in “Chicagoland,” a magical place south of the border, and began talks about the press secretary job around June, some three months after the current administration took office. (Most politicians can round up a press secretary in about 25 minutes.)

Orig said she “fell in love” with Milwaukee immediately upon taking the television job here. Previously she worked at a television station in “Champaign,” Illinois.

She attended the University of Illinois in Chicago and then graduated from an outfit called Columbia College.

It remains to be seen if her energy and enterprise will match that of her predecessor, Stephen Filmanowicz, a Brown University graduate who held the job at the end of the Norquist administration.

Ed Thompson on Caucus Scandal

Ed Thompson, the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin issued a terse news release questioning why legislators under suspicion in the caucus scandal have yet to be identified.

“The criminal evidence collected in the Caucus Scandal needs to be released to the public before ballot access is finalized on July 13. Voters have a right to know which candidates are linked to the Caucus Scandal and which are not. In the public interest, the voters have a right to candidates not linked to the Caucus Scandal.”

This seems reasonable enough, since the Libertarian Party could then field candidates against tainted legislators. It would also seem reasonable for the Republicans and Democrats to keep this information under wraps, if only for the preservation of our vaunted two-party system.

“Well, that’s right,” Thompson said, adding that he feels his party is fielding a candidate who will be elected to the Legislature this fall.

Tom Kuester will be the first Libertarian elected to any state house in the country,” he avers.

“Tom is a hardworking 63-year old who owns a supper club in Baraboo, and he’s running against Sheryl Albers, a Republican,  in the 50th Assembly District. [Albers has served in the Assembly since 1991.]

“In her campaign literature she mentions that she has a Libertarian and a Democrat opponent. I mean, have you ever heard of anyone mentioning the Libertarian candidate first? How often have you seen that before?

“We want to put a third party candidate here so bad we can taste it. This will be the chink in the armor of the Republicrats.”

Now, about those Caucus Scandal legislators.

“There are a lot of people involved and we don’t know who they are. Why isn’t the public informed? What is the reason? This is an election year. Shouldn’t we know the candidates involved?”

Perhaps we shouldn’t know, since that might challenge the hegemony of the Republican and Democratic parties who have more at stake (i.e. incumbency) than do members of third parties.

Any other words, Ed?

“Say hi to Mike Murphy [Ed’s second cousin] over at the Swinging Door.”

Consider it done.

A Note from Norquist

Former Mayor John O. Norquist, fresh from the Congress for the New Urbanism Convention held last week in Chicago, wrote to talk about freeway de-constructions in this country and elsewhere.

Norquist lobbied hard to eliminate the 145 freeway spur here, work that is nearly complete. (We’re just waiting for the Knapp Street bridge to be completed.)

“New freeway teardowns are spreading,” Norquist writes.

“You know about NYC Westside Highway – God destroyed it in 1973, and the San Francisco Embarcadero in 1989. Now Cleveland is converting a six mile stretch northeast from downtown along Lake Erie. Akron (home of the tire) is considering scraping a downtown freeway loop. Toronto is considering downing a six mile segment of the lakeside Gardiner Expressway. Fort Worth is moving one further from downtown. Halifax is considering a .5 mile stub teardown. San Francisco tore down the Central Artery Freeway two years ago and the beat goes on …”

Poison for Pewaukee?

On July 12 the Department of Natural Resources will make a decision about the City of Pewaukee’s plans to use 2,4D to treat weed growth on Pewaukee Lake. The effort is opposed by groups such as Muskie, Inc.

As you know, Pewaukee holds some super-big muskies, and yields them to sportsmen at the rate of about one fish per ten thousand casts, or so.

Muskies, Inc. has contributed over $60,000 to research on the lake to learn how to preserve the habitat there.

According to Ron Groeschl of the group, “Now the 2,4D concept combined with massive deep weed cutting arrives. What is the reason? There have been weeds in the eastern basin for over 100 years. A comprehensive study has been done on 12 other Southeastern Wisconsin lakes that were also ravaged by Eurasian Millefoillle. Based on the findings regarding chemical treatment, there are simply no advantages to using 2,4 D over normal cutting methods. Moving forward with this carcinogenic alternative is unconscionable, and could create a paradigm shift to the decay of one of our state’s finest resources.

“Finally, it is important to understand that the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District to eliminate the non-native Eurasian Millefoille before and abandoned this method in 1985, Since then, the District’s routine cutting efforts helped rebound vegetation without carcinogenics and further harm to Pewaukee Lake’s abundant muskies.”

Surprise! HRC Endorses Carpenter

Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter, a candidate for Milwaukee’s 4th District seat in congress has received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. According to Carpenter’s press release, “The organization is dedicated to supporting politicians who have demonstrated strong civil rights leadership.”

That’s what Carpenter says.

According to the organization itself, “The Human Rights Campaign is the largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered political organization with members throughout the country.”

It’s nice that somebody has endorsed Carpenter, not so nice that he is disingenuous about the mission of the organization that endorsed him.

If elected, Carpenter would join Rep. Tammy Baldwin as a gay Member of Congress from Wisconsin.

Moore Scores with the UAW

Gwen Moore has picked up another union endorsement in her run for Congress. She already has the teachers’ union on her side, and now has picked up the endorsement of the United Auto Workers of Wisconsin. These are two mightily big unions that usually add quite a bit of muscle to local campaigns.

UAW Chair of the Southeastern Wisconsin CAP Council David York said, “the UAW us pleased to give support to Gwen Moore in her bid for U.S. Congress because of her outstanding leadership and strong advocacy for workers rights.”

Moore said, “This is a special endorsement to me because my father was a UAW factory worker.”

Moore’s campaign claims to have the strongest base of labor support in the race. Other unions that have endorsed her candidacy include the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Communication Workers of America, the National Education Association Fund and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

With Ellen Bravo serving as campaign treasurer, expect the endorsement of 9-to-5 also.

Retiring Representative Jerry Kleczka has endorsed Matt Flynn in the race.

(updated July 8, 2004)

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