Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

The Plot to Defeat Bob Bauman

His opponent has two names, lives outside the district, and is part of anti-streetcar clique.

By - Mar 29th, 2016 11:54 am
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Bob Bauman and Monique Kelly (Taylor).

Bob Bauman and Monique Kelly (Taylor).

It was back in January 2015 that an opponent of the streetcar privately predicted to me that 4th District Ald. Bob Bauman would be defeated in his bid for reelection. It would appear that streetcar opponents found their candidate to oppose Bauman, a woman named Monique Kelly, who has also gone by the name of Monique Taylor and has a long list of court cases in which she was involved.

Kelly doesn’t live in the district, has no website for her aldermanic campaign and hasn’t attended any candidate forums, but does have a Facebook page, which includes messages against the streetcar. Kelly also allies herself on Facebook with two other streetcar opponents, Tory Lowe, who is running against Ald. Milele Coggs in the 6th aldermanic district, and Ald. Joe Davis, who ran for mayor. All three candidates are supported by Craig Peterson, CEO and President of the PR firm Zigman Joseph & Associates, who worked on the failed referendum effort to defeat the streetcar.

Kelly’s campaign finance disclosure form lists no contributions from anyone in the district, but includes a $100 donation from someone living in Norristown, PA, and 738.98 in in-kind services from Peterson. Yet, when I called and talked to Kelly and asked her what the major issues are, she didn’t mention the streetcar, instead saying the major issues are crime, lack of jobs and drug houses in the district. The 4th district’s boundaries are basically between McKinley St. on the north and the Menomonee Valley to the south, from the lake to N. 35th St. Thus it combines the mostly poor neighborhood of the near West Side with toney high-rises of Downtown.

Bauman says he’s heard that Kelly has told some constituents he only cares about Downtown. But Bauman notes he has lived on N. 29th St. and W. Kilbourn Ave. for 19 years. “It’s kind of crazy to suggest I wouldn’t be trying to help my own neighborhood.”

The challenger confirmed that she goes by two different names and says that it’s for “personal reasons.” She shows up in court records from 2003 to 2006 as Monique Kelly, with several cases of operating while her driver’s license was revoked, all dismissed, and with an unemployment compensation warrant to pay $1,100. From 2013 to 2016 she shows up in court records as Monique Taylor, which include charges for another unemployment compensation warrant, two eviction notices, an operating after revocation to which she pled no contest, and charges of disorderly conduct (she pled guilty) and criminal damage to property (which was then dropped by the prosecutor).

As Monique Taylor, she worked as a human resources specialist for the Milwaukee County sheriff’s office, beginning in 2009, according to her LinkedIn page, but lost the job in 2012.

Since then she has described herself as a “Community Organizer and Family Advocate” without listing any employer.

As Monique Kelly, she was quoted in a story by Fox 6 saying she has worked with those who were traumatized by Lincoln Hills.

Yet she also appeared in a Fox 6 story as Monique Taylor as someone helping victims of violence, a story told about her at more length in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

As Monique Taylor, she won a seat on the board of the Social Development Commission representing a north side district. She also used that name to run in the April 2014 aldermanic primary to replace Willie Hines, but failed to submit sufficient valid signatures to gain a place on the ballot.

And it was Monique Taylor and her frequent confederate Tory Lowe who met with Orville Seymer and the Citizens for Responsible Government to plot a recall effort against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. Though the effort never materialized, it now seems to have been transformed into an effort to support Verona Swanigan against Chisholm, under Peterson’s direction.

And when an anonymously funded group called Citizens for Urban Justice, led by Peterson (who made the ad buy) ran some slippery ads targeting Sheriff David Clarke’s opponent in the August 2014 primary election, they featured Taylor as the spokesperson. She introduced herself as a mother and community activist and recited the names of men who have died at the hands of Milwaukee police. “Now a lieutenant in that same police department wants to be our sheriff,” Taylor warned.

Peterson lives in River Hills but has been very involved in trying to elect various city politicians, including county supervisor-turned alderman Mark Borkowski. It was Peterson who handed an anti-Bauman story to the Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice on a silver platter. Bice reported that Bauman “has rewarded himself with a political perk by using donated funds to keep a year-round campaign office, something usually done only by major candidates with election staff.” The only source Bice could find to suggest the situation was nefarious was Peterson.

Bauman contends that Kelly has “no connection to the district” he represents. She notes that the SDC district she represents (as Monique Taylor) includes the aldermanic district. She adds that legally, she can run for the office and move into the district after being elected. Precisely where Kelly now lives is unclear: she was served with an eviction notice (as Monique Taylor) for the address she listed, 2515 N. 35th St., on the campaign finance disclosure form for Monique Kelly.

Bauman says Kelly hasn’t appeared at any candidate forums. “One was at the African American Women’s Center. I was there. I spoke. She was a no-show. And she declined to do the Downtown Neighborhood Association Forum, so it was cancelled,” Bauman says.

Kelly denies this. “I was not informed of any forum,” she told me. Shortly after this, she terminated the interview, saying my questions were too negative.

On a YouTube video touting her candidacy, Kelly cites the streetcar as an example of “poor management of taxpayers’ dollars, for example the streetcar project,” and claims it will cause a “spike” in bills charged by We Energies. No evidence is cited for this, and since the courts have so far ruled that the city must pay for all utility costs associated with the streetcar project, there’s no case to be made.

Bauman says he’s heard almost no complaints about the streetcar while going door-to-door. “That attack might make sense on the South Side, but the streetcar is actually happening in my district. It will directly redound to the benefit of downtown businesses.”

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

33 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: The Plot to Defeat Bob Bauman”

  1. Milwaukee Native says:

    It’s sad that with all that needs fixing and advocacy in Milwaukee that some suburbanite (or three) is running campaigns to defeat a streetcar that’s mostly funded with federal money.

    Monique Kelly/Taylor sounds like a screwy opportunist who doesn’t have a prayer of winning. But there are dedicated smart people challenging other incumbents–and may even have a shot: Chantia Lewis against Robert Puente, Justin Bielinski against Bob Donovan, and Meagan Holman against Tony Zielinski. None appear to oppose the streetcar.

    The common council could use some new blood, especially people with fresh ideas who are willing to work hard to make life better for all of Milwaukee.

  2. Paul says:

    Monique Kelly is the best Canidate for the 4th District. It’s time for BIG HEAD BAUMAN THE BULLY to get the hell out.
    This article was very negative and is reaching for something.
    BAUMAN is a negative tyrant and is a disgrace to political office.

    I am Voting for Kelly.

  3. Al Lindro says:

    Ms Kelly does not appear to be a viable candidate based on this story, or at least not one who deserves much support.

    That said, I also question this streetcar project. To defend it because it is “mostly funded with federal money” is an affront to those of us who like to evaluate the wisdom of ALL spending. From what I’ve heard, Alderman Kovak tends to make the same argument, as if taxpayer money from via Washington is exempt from critical analysis.

    I would be more in favor of the streetcar if it were funded by local taxpayers and ridership cash collections. It is embarrassing to be in a city on the federal dole for political reasons, on a local project, when here are so many other more urgent needs in the US.

  4. Vincent Hanna says:

    “Kelly doesn’t live in the district, has no website for her aldermanic campaign and hasn’t attended any candidate forums.”

    That is a description of the best candidate Paul? Please explain.

  5. john wintheiser says:

    I do not believe I would vote for her, were I to live in that district. However, running against Bauman hardly can be conceived of as a plot.

  6. Jonathan says:

    This is clearly a plot on Ms. Kelly. I live in the district and I’m voting for her. Who freakn cares about some dismissed tickets? I checked ccap and everything has been dismissed. Bruce this is sad. Why are you participating in attacking a woman? She’s very intelligent with a grand plan to support the people of her district (4).

    So what she doesn’t live in the district, so what she has dismissed tickets/evictions, that’s life! Bauman is a disgrace to mankind! He should be burned at the stake! He should be ashamed of himself how he treats people.

    Ms. Kelly will listen and respect you! Why do we need attorneys as aldermen? I’d rather see regular folks who can relate to my issues as my Alderwoman. Bauman has to go!!!!

  7. Joe R says:

    Al Lindro: You say “. . . evaluate the wisdom of ALL spending. From what I’ve heard, Alderman Kovak tends to make the same argument, as if taxpayer money from via Washington is exempt from critical analysis. . . It is embarrassing to be in a city on the federal dole for political reasons, on a local project, when here are so many other more urgent needs in the US.”

    The Federal money is going to be spent, whether or not you think the streetcar is a good idea, so shouldn’t we spend the money in Milwaukee? And your crack about the “Federal dole” — what’s the cost of rebuilding those highways around Milwaukee, just so suburban commuters can save five minutes getting to work? The only critical analysis of that project was to decide which GOP-donating road builders would get the contract. Those multi-billion-dollar highways aren’t “funded by local taxpayers and ridership cash collections.” Why should the streetcar meet your bizarre requirement?

  8. Observer says:

    Hmm Paul, you remind me of someone. You know with the Voter ID bill if you live in Wauwatosa you can’t vote for a Milwaukee Alderman.

  9. Ryan N says:

    “Kelly doesn’t live in the district, has no website for her aldermanic campaign and hasn’t attended any candidate forums.”

    And yet people like Paul and John Wintheiser seem to love her. Doesn’t live there, doesn’t show up at events that help people get to know her, but she’s the best because she’s running against Bauman! Voting for someone who isn’t competent is a travesty, thankfully it’ll be a very easy win for Bauman.

  10. Al Lindro says:

    Joe R, good challenge. I’ll respond to each point.
    “The Federal money is going to be spent …. so shouldn’t we spend the money in Milwaukee?” No, not in my opinion. Two aspects to my position on this.

    (1) I want to stop frivolous and other non-essential spending of taxpayer and borrowed dollars so government can consolidate/focus its spending on the essentials and future obligations coming due to our citizens. Some call them “entitlements”; I say “obligations” because according to the fine print there is nothing that can’t be retracted on a whim by vote of Congress. I want these things continued, don’t you? This streetcar is a very good example of what we can easily do without. Let those who theoretically will benefit (like me, living inside the streetcar loop) step up and pay for it.

    (2) If I WERE to agree that Federal $$ should be spent in Milwaukee for a streetcar route, I disagree with spending first on some (hypothetical, at this point) small convenience for the few people who will find it useful, as opposed to those who could become linked by it to job opportunities, health and social services, better shopping choices, recreation, etc.

    I’m with you on the illogic of Big Government tax spending “so suburban commuters can save five minutes getting to work?” I don’t see what that has to do, though, with the folly of a streetcar for upper middle class and young professionals who are doing fine already in terms of getting around the environs of downtown and the East Side. Are you saying we SHOULD empty the coffers so those (including me) who have other easy choices already can save five minutes getting to work, to restaurants, to entertainment, to spas and stores and so on? How is that consistent?
    Interstate highways, okay. But … “I have seen and know lots of interstate highways, Mr. Streetcar, and you’re no interstate operation.” (Hat tip to Lloyd Bentsen taking down Dan Quayle … “and you’re no Jack Kennedy”, an all time great line.)

    As for Milwaukee being bankrolled for a streetcar, it IS indeed a big centralized government dole, among untold others, everywhere. Pretend I am a taxpayer living in East Armpit, Nebraska, and explain to me why ANY of my hard-earned income should show up via taxes on a mile-long loop of tracks running in downtown Milwaukee. Good luck with that. What happens is that some Congressman representing East (and West) Armpit is given a card to play in the game; “if Uncle Sam can spend for a streetcar in Wisconsin, what do you say to Washington anteing up to help us with the “Glory in the Cornfield Tourism and Farm Expo Center” that we dream of putting up if only we could afford it. Where is OURS”?

    I am practical, a business guy used to running a profit center requiring cost/benefit rigor, a person who cares about the general welfare of society and not helping those who don’t need it, a believer in keeping decisions close to those affected, and I am also solidly egalitarian (and as a political independent, probably an outlier). Everything about our little streetcar gambit does against my grain.

    You are right to criticize the Wi Road Builder and GOP relationship. There is probably some historical bipartisan aspect to that, human nature being what it is in terms of taking care of whomever is in power, but I haven’t studied that in any depth.

  11. Milwaukee Native says:

    To clarify, I’m not in favor of spending federal money just to nab it, but streetcar funds are being as the funds were intended. Ans yes, it is our money.

    I also think the streetcar is a drop in the bucket in terms of transit that’s needed and will mostly help a limited demographic. It also seems idiotically poor planning that it will bypass Westown, the convention center, hotels, etc. It seems like some lobbyists got the job done for their clients in the routing. A public entity like the convention center may not be able to hire a lobbyist.

  12. Al Lindro says:

    Milwaukee Native says, “And yes, it is our money”. Not sure who the “our” is. To me, “our money” would be funds that come from riders and from local taxpayers who stand to feel SOME benefit either personally or because of their business connections within a defined area of the streetcar.

    What I see, though, is the “our” is very far flung in that over 1/2 of the development budget is from the US government (via taxpayers nationally) and lenders to the government.

    You can argue that the $59 million in TID funding is “our money” if I understand how that construct works. At any rate, it is related to property tax allocation, right?

    As for operational costs, a LOT of that is coming from US taxpayers, not limited to those in Milwaukee or Wisconsin. A federal grant pays for 80% of the first 18 months of operating costs with the possibility of an extension for an additional 18 months. The introductory fare of $1 per ride plus sponsorships/advertising during years 1-3 will cover the local 20% match to the CMAQ grant. Year 4 and beyond will be funded through a combination of fare box revenue, advertising, corporate sponsorships, federal funding opportunities, operating agreements with partners and parking fund, if needed.

    Federal: ICE Funding $54.9 m
    Federal: TIGER VII Grant $14.2 m
    Local: Cathedral Square TID $9.7 m
    Local: Amend Erie St. TID $18.3 m
    Local: East Michigan TID $31.0 m
    TOTAL SOURCE OF FUNDS $128.1 m

  13. Milwaukee Native says:

    Al, you make a lot of good points and offer good data. But I still don’t see federal funding of transit as a questionable use of tax dollars–even as I have serious concerns about the route and doubts about the ultimate impact. Are those dollar not also available to the other cities?

    To me it’s a far worse ripoff of taxpayers that we are subsidizing a private sports palace–and taking those funds away from truly public needs. But no one in city government seems to care and only one person in county government had anything to say about it.

    It’s gotten all too comfy and cozy for the powers that be to cater to the interests of a few and look the other way from crucial issues and problems. It was great being at the Sanders rally tonight with 4,000 kindred spirits. All politicians don’t get drunk on Kool-aid and power. Bernie spoke about the very long arc of history–and he’s been fighting for the same goals for many decades.

  14. Julie says:

    Bauman is a creep! How dare he attack a woman? Plot? This is most certainly a smear campaign. I live in the district and I am voting Kelly. He’s rude, disrespectful, and arrogant to say the least. Kelly has a very strong chance to rid us of Bauman’s huge power kick! Doesn’t he live in Chicago? Gross.

    This guy has his nerve plotting on anyone when he’s being investigated for campaign finance fraud:

    http://m.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/alderman-spends-48000-on-campaign-digs-despite-little-opposition-b99688395z1-372243961.html

    http://m.jsonline.com/news/blogs/106307988.html

  15. Vincent Hanna says:

    Well they’ve got the talking points down if nothing else.

  16. Begonia says:

    I used to be a transit planner in the Milwaukee area. The streetcar proposal drives me crazy because it is a City-run service that poaches the best routes from MCTS, and will eventually compete for the same operating funds that MCTS gets. It’s definitely not part of an integrated transit system that the Milwaukee region desperately needs. I see it as a service for white people who are afraid/don’t want to ride “the bus” with black people.

  17. Michael Conrad says:

    “How dare he attack a woman?”

    There’s a statement with a lot of agenda.

  18. Al Lindro says:

    Begonia, we are on the same wave length.. for your reading pleasure

    Streetcars Are Greatest Thing Ever, Argues VP of Streetcar Building Company
    12:00 PM, Mar 28, 2016 | By Ethan Epstein

    The Washington, D.C. streetcar – a 2.2.-mile, slower-than-walking form of “transportation” that took nearly a decade and $200 million to complete – is not often heralded as an urban planning success story. Even the partisans of new urbanism – the types who loathe cars and venerate all things rail – have been critical of the project.

    But here comes an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Post arguing that we’ve got it all wrong: Actually, the “D.C. streetcar deserves a round of applause,” says Nick Antonucci. Antonucci’s article is based on a number of specious assertions and lazy stereotypes.

    Naturally, he claims that “millennials” love streetcars. (Must my generation be blamed for everything?) Granted, steampunk may be a hip aesthetic, but it still beggars belief that the young would be going ga-ga for an antiquated form of transportation that dates to the nineteenth century.

    Still, Antonucci writes, “As millennials — those people born between the early to mid-1980s and 2004— come of age, they’re deciding in huge numbers to live, work and play in urban areas . . . and they’re ditching cars and choosing public transit, ride-hailing services, bikes or a good pair of shoes over car ownership.” It’s telling that Antonucci fails to provide a link for his claim that millennials are “ditching cars.” Because that simply isn’t true. And he also sneakily elides the distinction between true public transit, like buses, and costly, ludicrously slow baubles like the streetcar, which do essentially nothing to promote mobility.

    Then, Antonucci contends that streetcars “power economic development in ways that buses cannot,” disregarding the inconvenient truth that the H Street corridor, which the D.C. streetcar serves, was booming long before the first streetcar crawled along. And he also claims that “electric-powered streetcars are zero-emission machines,” bizarrely ignoring where electricity comes from. Antonucci’s claim is tantamount to calling 200-inch televisions and central air conditioning “zero emission,” simply because they don’t directly run on gas.

    By far the most informative sentence in the piece is the bio-line at the end, which informs us that Nick Antonucci is “is vice president of HNTB” …. [which is] an “infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and contractors.” Recent projects of HNTB’s include the Atlanta streetcar and the train at Dulles airport.

    Stop the presses: The vice president of a streetcar building company loves streetcars.

  19. Joe says:

    Begonia, your criticism of the streetcar seems a bit far-fetched. The line is a mere 2.1 miles long and basically runs from the Intermodal Station to Ogden Ave, so I have a hard time believing this will “poach” any of the “best” MCTS routes. In fact, unless your boarding point and destination are at complete opposite ends of the streetcar route, you’d probably be better off walking than waiting around for a streetcar OR a bus.

    The reason I oppose the streetcar is that it doesn’t really do anything that a dedicated BRT bus lane couldn’t do. It’s a tremendous waste of resources that could be used to modernize our bus lines. If we’re going to spend money on non-bus transit it should be for elevated or underground rail that isn’t subject to traffic signals and pedestrians. If we’re going to spend money for non-bus transit on the street, it should at most be a BRT lane that doesn’t require wasting half the money to rip up utilities. A streetcar is the ultimate worst of all worlds, and nobody is going to bother riding it.

  20. Rail Fan says:

    Yesterday, I took my first ride on the DC Streetcar for a business appointment. I was really impressed with the quiet, comfortable and safe spanking new streetcars. It’s a great thing that our city is being connected by electric streetcar service for the first time since January 28, 1962 when DC Transit ran the last streetcar. If you visit Washington, you can learn more about the history of streetcar service and have some fun taking a ride on a vintage streetcar at the National Capital Trolley Car Museum in Silver Spring, Maryland.

    The starter line runs from Union Station on the west to Oklahoma Avenue on the east via H Street and Benning Road. Eventually, what is known as the “One City Line” will be extended east to a Metrorail Station and then later west to Georgetown. A handsome and functional new Car Barn Training Center building (storage and maintenance facility) is currently under construction near the Oklahoma Avenue Station Stop. Amtrak will start construction on a expanded and modernized passenger waiting lounge at Union Station this summer.

    I rode the DC Streetcar around the middle of the day and was pleased to see it is already well patronized. A six-month introductory free fare is being offered in order to attract new riders. Some of the riders are getting up in years and the the modern accessibility features accommodate riders with disabilities. I doubt those riders could outrun a streetcar and am perplexed as to the reason anybody would make the attempt?

    H Street is a historic shopping district with many quaint shops. My favorite shop is the barbershop with a huge pair of “scissors” as its sign. The nearby community is mostly African-Americans living in tidy brick row houses and single-family homes. A large new apartment building is under construction near Union Station and will probably contribute to the diversity of the community. Hopefully, the shops will not give way to gentrification as all some of them need is a fresh coat of paint.

    I went to college in Milwaukee and worked part-time at MCTS, so I am familiar with the city. I really see the value in the streetcar in terms of the connectivity it will provide as the system expands, new development it will attract and environmental benefits at a time of global climate crisis. Just as in DC, Milwaukee residents will be happy to see the return of the streetcar to city streets and neighborhoods.

  21. John says:

    For many years I lived on the West Side in Cold Spring Park (29th and Juneau). Bauman was an excellent, responsive Alderman who participate regularly in meetings and neighborhood events. He fought for the 27th street business district and worked tirelessly to close down drug houses and businesses that supported crime in the district.

    This is a challenging neighborhood to live in- there is a lot of crime and the highest concentration of social services in the city. Bauman walked the line of supporting these social services while also supporting business development and home ownership.

    For this, he has my vote.

  22. Michael Zahn says:

    Good solid reporting, Bruce.

  23. Arnold says:

    Good? Solid? Reporting? I beg to differ. Although after reading this crap most of you refer to as ‘good solid reporting’ I had reservations about voting for Kelly. I cannot imagine supporting Bauman after he has blantantly ignored my calls into his office for over 6 months. Mind you I live literally a half a block away from where he lives. I watch him walk that ugly ass dog of his more than I’d like too.

    (Back to Kelly) I met her today without sharing that I read this piece of shit article. I was BLOWN away. Not only is she as beautiful as she is on her literature, in person, she’s just as beautiful on the inside as well. She’s caring, concerned, compassionate, welcoming, and open-minded. Very intelligent and knowledgable of the issues that plague Milwaukee. Everything that Bauman is NOT.

    Bauman and Bruce. Have either of you met this young woman? I mean actually spoke to her and not at her? I implore both of you racist pricks to try her! As long as she continues to go around and meet the residents, Bauman doesn’t stand a chance.

    My full support is behind Monique Kelly.

  24. Joe says:

    Anyone opposed to a HUGE WASTE of taxpayer money like that streetcar is the best candidate! Bob Baumann should fear for his job when he backs wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money like its his own pocketbook! Time to stand up Milwaukee!

  25. Mary Jo Brown-Arnold says:

    I have contacted Baumann in the past to express my objection to the streetcar and was promptly told via email that it was a good decision and he was going to follow through with it no matter what I had to say about it. I live downtown in one of the high rises and I voted for Monique. This man needs to go.

  26. begonia says:

    Joe, I completely agree with you.

    What I meant is that if you look at the circulator route, a lot of those street segments have some of the highest number of boardings and alightings in the MCTS system.

    If the City truly wanted to improve transit, the City should have cooperated with the County and invested its Federal money towards capital improvements that would have helped implement a full, state-of-the-art BRT system in Milwaukee that would serve a lot more people than a downtown circulator. The City could have spent money on BRT station design, building dedicated bus lanes down the medians of some important corridors (Wisconsin, National, Fond du Lac), and pedestrian improvements, and traffic signal priority for buses.

    But the City (and streetcar advocates) don’t want to improve transit as their aim. They want to attract more high-end development downtown, and streetcar advocates apparently thinks that people in those developments aren’t actually interested in good transit–they want to hand theyse people them a shiney transit “toy” that they can play with but that won’t actually be useful to a majority of Milwaukee residents.

    What the sttreetcar advocates don’t realize is that great bus service CAN stimulate development–sometimes better than streetcars. http://humantransit.org/2013/09/yes-great-bus-service-can-stimulate-development.html

  27. Milwaukee Native says:

    This linked JS article expands on Bruce’s story to include Peterson’s support for other races (though I wish they had mentioned more of them, since Peterson claims to have a horse in virtually all 14 contested races).

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/secretive-group-tries-to-remake-milwaukee-city-hall-b99698985z1-374442461.html

    Bauman is quoted speculating about a divide-and-conquer strategy to suppress Democratic turnout in the fall election.

    Another interesting factoid: Michael McGee, part of Peterson’s loose network, also stirred the Lena Taylor pot to try to make Larson look bad and Abele look better. That was also Mikel Holt’s mission in three rambling Community Journal op-eds.

    The Streetcar is being made the touchstone issue when it may be neither a huge drain nor Milwaukee’s saving grace. It will be nice for downtown, but may have little impact on the rest of the city unless it proves highly successful and scaleable–which for now is a huge unknown.

    Milwaukee’s bigger problem is the overall lack of forward thinking on the council and by the mayor on how to improve anything beyond downtown. And the really big problem is that it appears Peterson and his candidates have even fewer smart ideas for strengthening Milwaukee. They sound mostly regressive and reactionary, as epitomized by Donovan. But they make other complacent leaders look good, including everyone who gave away the store to the Bucks with only hoop dreams in return.

  28. Vincent Hanna says:

    Regarding Peterson’s overall tactics and goals, I know someone very close to one of the aldermanic races. Recently they told me that the challenger to the incumbent (whom Peterson is backing) is not even campaigning. They have no policy stances and no real interest in running. At a public appearance earlier this year they even said to the incumbent “after you win I hope we can be friends.” Why are money and resources being used to support a candidate like that? What’s the point?

  29. Milwaukee Native says:

    Vincent: to your point, Shannan Hayden who is opposing Kovac, failed to attend a candidates’ forum held in Riverwest after she reportedly committed to participate. That’s her home turf and she blew it off. Even if you’re a dark horse you need to show up.

  30. IAMWhoIAM says:

    I am very familiar with Monique Kelly and all of the mess in this article are lies. Period. If they weren’t concerned about losing this article wouldn’t be a factor. Don’t be fooled folks. Monique has helped hundreds of families alongside Tory Lowe. Including my family. I hope they both get into position. I believe they will turn this city upside right. We need them! Vote Monique Kelly. Vote Tory Lowe!

  31. M says:

    begonia, agree that the city should have cooperated with the county, but that’s not happening on transit or other major issues. And will not happen if Abele is re-elected. He does not even consult with county elected officials or heads of cultural orgs that manage county-owned buildings.

    But Bauman, considered the biggest transit promoter, has also thrown in the towel. He made a half-hearted pitch for a sales tax to fund the Bucks Arena along with parks and transit, but that seemed just for show. He railed against closing 4th Street, saying it will hurt development north of Juneau and overall shred what’s left of downtown’s grid. And then he caved and said “never mind.”

    Kovac often votes smartly on city planning issues does he try to sway others? They both consider themselves “green” but have they gotten the Bucks to even consider making the Arena the least bit sustainable in construction? And all the new chain bars in the Bucks mall will oversaturate a well-served market–thus destabilizing the local-pub economy.

  32. Al Lindro says:

    For most of my 50+ years as a voter I tried to be very thoughtful about candidates. Then I saw the light, and saved myself some time. I vote for whomever is not the incumbent. My reasoning runs like this: More than ever, incumbents are very hard to unseat. So if they are any good at all they WILL be reelected, without MY help. Even if they stink, they will be reelected most of the time. In any event, a vote for the challenger is easy to defend; it’s a message to the “good incumbent” not to get too comfortable, and in the case of a “bad incumbent” it might actually help in removing him/her in that election or a future one.

    Sure, the challenger if elected might turn out to be even WORSE than the “bad incumbent”, but how would one know before he/she actually takes office?

  33. Al Lindro says:

    There is a “tell”, a fatal flaw, found in the arguments of some staunch advocates of the streetcar. It’s when they use the “…but, anyway, it is lots of Federal grant money and if we don’t spend it for the streetcar we cannot spend it at all…”

    To which, my reaction is, “So?”

    As I read and hear about the horrendous financial bind of the US government re: future funding of essential things like Medicare and its cousins, and like Social Security and its benefits for the disabled, elderly, poverty striken, like security and military retooling for terrorist threats, and on and on, I sense it is time we (society) need to be very cautious about squandering resources and building on our debt load. In other words, there are a whole lot of “nice but not necessary” projects all over the country that we should turn away from.

    Everything like this federal funding for our very local streetcar project in Milwaukee plants the idea all over the place that “if Uncle Sam is willing to spend on THAT, then where is OURS?” Stop.

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