Michael Horne
The Roundup

No Challenge to Hill Papers

By - Jan 19th, 2004 08:00 am
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Judges – even those in municipal court – have broad powers for the operation of their courts. If you don’t comply with a judge’s order at the time and date specified, you could be facing a warrant.

Municipal Judge David Halbrooks said his opponent, Valarie A. Hill, should have known that the deadline to “cure” deficiencies in her nomination papers should have been 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 9th. Instead, citing a daylong snowfall, elections commission executive director Julietta Henry left her office open unitl 7 p.m., although it is not clear that she had the authority to do so. The move helped Hill greatly.

While public attention was directed to Sheriff David Clarke’s frantic attempts to cure his own papers before the “close of business,” Hill was also busy curing 110 (out of 120) pages of signatures after 5 p.m. Friday, three days after papers were due, and the usual time at which deficient nomination papers ought to have been corrected.

Halbrooks, who was the most indefatigable signature collector, traveling everywhere with his clipboard, was one of only five of twenty candidates for citywide office to submit the maximum 3,000 signatures. (Fifteen hundred signatures were required.)

In the end, Hill’s 2300 signatures were sufficient to earn her a place on the ballot, with over 1,500 certified as valid – but as Halbrooks notes, not certified until a time when he thinks the office should have been closed.

Were Late Hours OK?

Henry had no authority to keep the office open, he said, citing relevant state law and a 2002 opinion by George A. Dunst, legal counsel for the state elections board. The ruling says “any challenges to signatures disallowed (tentatively) by staff review must also be raised not later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 12, 2002, whether or not those papers or signatures have been corrected by that time.” The date in 2002 referred to a specific election, and was three days after the papers were due. Halbrooks says the ruling applies to this case – you have until the regular close of business on the Friday after a Tuesday to cure nomination papers, and that “close of business” is not subject to extension.

There seems to be some ambiguity in the ruling as to how long papers and signatures can be corrected, but it would have been very unlikely that Hill could have shown up the following Monday to cure 110 pages of documents, so Henry’s extension of the office hours was good news for Hill.

Halbrooks says if Hill had had extra time to cure her papers, he deserved extra time to challenge them. In the end, he decided to not protest the late hours that he said helped get his opponent on the ballot, saying the papers were not fraudulent, but were examples of sloppiness and careless work. He said any candidate for a judicial post should be expected to file his or her papers in an acceptable condition, and certainly should be able to correct them within the statutory time limit.

“I had a case in court today where I told the individual involved to report to me again the next morning. I sure expect him to be there, and I expect judicial candidates to follow the rules and regulations, too.”

Love Fest in Madison: Job Creation Bill Divides Governor and Attorney General

When Jim Doyle was the Attorney General and Tommy Thompson was the Governor, Doyle always bragged that the Department of Justice was his to run as a constitutional officer, and that moreover, he was a bigger vote getter than Thompson.

Well, Peg Lautenschlager is the AG now, and Doyle is Governor. The offices are still independent, and moreover, Lautenschlager got more votes than Doyle in the 2002 election.

The difference, of course, is that Thompson was a republican. Doyle and Lautenschlager are both democrats. Their recent semi-public spat on the “Job Creation Bill,” has shocked some republicans, who think it is unseemly that the two office holders from the same party should have let their disagreements become public.

When asked if the spat between the two top office holders was unseemly, especially during a primary election season, and with the Governor’s State of the State speech coming up. State Democratic party chair Linda Honold merely sighed and said, “look, my job is to get people elected. I can’t control what people do once they are in office.”

Rep. Jon Richards, who as assistant minority leader is accustomed to working out dissensions among party members in the assembly, puts a philosophical face on the dispute, saying, “they are two different people, both of whom are very bright and who call them as they see them. She didn’t see things the way the governor did.”

Richards, in fact, saw things the way Lautenschlager did, and was one of 14 democrats to vote against the bill, which was passed by the assembly 80-14 last week.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it might be heard as early as Tuesday. Sen. Ted Kanavas, the bill’s sponsor, told milwaukeeworld.com last month that the bill would be veto-proof, unlike some of the legislature’s earlier offerings.

Richards said although he voted against the bill, it was only because of two small items relating to water quality. If they could be patched up in the senate version he would be pleased, he said.

He did give credit to Doyle for working on the bill. “The bill was terrible at first. It reduced standards on mercury and air pollutants. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and republicans said the bill would have no effect on these things. I read the bill, and it was all full of loopholes and relaxation of standards. It is to the governor’s credit that he straightened that out. It seems like the WMC didn’t even read the bill they were supporting.”

Department of Administration Secretary Marc Marotta was chided by some democrats for working too closely with republicans in drafting the bill, but what can you do when the republicans control both houses of the legislature?

Both Marotta and Lautenschlager were asked to comment for this story, but have not done so by deadline.

Riemer’s Steamers: Campaign Blog Blasts Journal Sentinel

The Riemer for County Executive website lists endorsements from ten unions, including the Milwaukee County Labor Council, the Building & Construction Trades Council, the Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Teachers, Iron Workers and others. Elsewhere on the website, a campaign blog writes about “the one that got away.”

“We finally figured out how to get the newspaper to print the long list of union endorsements David has gotten – fail to get one.”

The one that got away was the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorsement. The union decided to sit out the primary for the guy who will be the boss of many AFSCME employees. The blog, which is the disembodied oracular voice of campaign consultant Bill Christofferson, quoted a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the union’s non-endorsement. The daily paper said that Walker, who is in negotiations with AFSCME “politely suggested that union-management relations might be fostered if the union remained neutral.”

The blog’s take on Walker’s comments: “In other words, he put the squeeze on and the union leadership, whose duty is to protect members’ jobs decided this might not be the time to oppose Walker. Polite indeed. Sounds like a raw power play, however nicely he put it.”

The Riemer campaign hopes to secure an endorsement from the union after the primary, an election which Christofferson would have rather done without. The entry of Joe Klein into the race, however, made a primary essential.

Ignore Primary? No Way
Riemer’s team considered a strategy of ignoring a primary campaign, and concentrating on the general election, but Riemer’s relative lack of name recognition forced the campaign to work to publicize their candidate. The Riemer campaign’s strategy to unseat Walker takes advantage of some serendipitous political alignments this election season. A wide-open democratic presidential primary and a similar mayoral primary in the City of Milwaukee is likely to spur voter turnouts, especially among the city’s democrats. Walker, whose republicanism is worn on his sleeve, was honored Thursday by the state party at Serb Hall. Although it is a nonpartisan race, the campaign has begun to identify Riemer as a Democrat. Although Riemer would likely not carry the suburbs, he could win if he carried the usual number of democrat voters there, along with those in the city.

Radio Ads Next
Riemer’s first step to get his name more widely recognized will be with radio advertisements, broadcast over the same medium that has so earnestly embraced his opponent.

On the same night that the Republican Walker was feted by Republicans at American Serb Hall, basically a glorified Union Hall, Riemer held a fundraiser at the Elephant Room (of all things) at the Milwaukee Athletic Club.

The $250 event attracted some 40 people to the room, including many supporters of Tom Barrett for Mayor. Among those in the room were Joe Czarnecki, Gene Gilbert, Sally Peltz, David Halbrooks, Joe Messinger (now on the stadium board), Matt Flynn, Bill Broydrick, Dani Gendelman, Linda Honold and Chris Abele. Boris and Doris of the Shepherd Express were there, too, perhaps delighted to have another chance to drop billionaire Abele’s name in their column.

Riemer gave a few remarks to the assembled crowd, who helped themselves to crudités, cheese, crackers and bean dip. The beverages, in addition to soft drinks, included wine (red, white, rose) and beer (Miller products.)

“I am often accused of speaking too long,” Riemer said at the beginning of his address. “I always say, ‘how can that be?’”

“Dispense Justice, Not Pine Sol”
“I fell in love with this city the first hour I was here – the parks, the pools, etc. I have been in almost every park, and I rode the bus. The quality of life in Milwaukee is being destroyed. I want judges to dispense justice and not Pine Sol in bathrooms because the courthouse maintenance is so poor.”

“Millions of dollars are wasted in the county. We need real leadership on jobs and health care. The county had a 20 per cent increase in health care costs. My opponent doesn’t have a clue. We need people to get into the health care system to drive costs down. … This is an election between a right-wing republican and a thoughtful democrat – a fight between someone who wants to use his office as a stepping stone to higher office” and some one who wants to be county executive.

“If we can get people in to the county, we can drive taxes down. I will provide a robust economic growth with a huge expansion of jobs in the county that we desperately need.”

Riemer said the campaign will need $700,000, adding, “I’ll be back to you again … and again, and again and again.”

“J.C.,” “D.C” and “U.P.”: Clark Takes Break from Petition Challenge To Hang with Old Friends and a Bunch of Suburbanites

Tuesday, January 13th was a busy day for Mayoral Candidate David A. Clarke, Jr. He spent practically all of it fighting off a challenge by Vincent Bobot to remove him from the ballot. But before the city election commission voted in the late evening that Clarke could stay on the ballot, he ducked out for a couple of hours at the Italian Community Center for a scheduled fundraiser featuring Ulice Payne, Jr. as emcee and “very special guest” the Honorable J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma Congressman, and a darling of republicans – as is Clarke.

About 200 attended the event, with a suggested minimum donation of $25, although “existing ‘maxed out’ donors are invited to attend as our guests,” the invitation read. The event began with a small private reception ($500; $1,000 if you wanted your picture taken.)

“Get this Train Back on the Tracks”
At the private event, he told his supporters “in a warped sort of way I relish the challenge [to his petitions] … I need the help of everybody here once we get this train back on the tracks. “ Later, at the public reception he said, “it has been an interesting 72 hours. I know now how George W. Bush felt after Florida.” Clarke admitted that he calls Ulice by the nickname of “U.P.” Clarke also referred to J.C. Watts in the most flattering way, saying that there was another historical figure with the name J.C.

Interestingly, it was not the one for whom Watts was named. Watts said, “I’m not concerned with building an empire,” which is amusing from somebody whose given name is Julius Caesar. Watts, a preacher and a political consultant these days, made numerous references to his father, who he said did construction work in Milwaukee in the winters when J.C. was a child. Watts made numerous biblical references in his engaging speech. If he had rolled out a tank and dunked you, you would have come out a Baptist at the end.

Although two hundred people at 25 bucks a head probably netted some funds for the campaign, it was hardly a turnout of thousands. The campaign treasury was spared such traditional expenses as beer and wine. (It was a cash bar, with MGD priced at $3.50. Water was free, and abundant.) The menu included meatballs, crudités, little ham sandwiches and potato chips.

Suburbanites Abound
Although the audience was well-dressed and well-heeled, the attendees could hardly have done much to advance Clarke’s cause with the things that matter – votes on election day. Among the attendees were Judge Charles Schudson, Chas Mulcahy, his brother Rob Mulcahy (arriving separately), William Ryan Drew, real estate investor Lou Gral, Gary Grunau, Hyatt manager Pat Donelly, congressman Paul Ryan and republican party chairman Rick Graber – a mostly suburban bunch. Payne himself lives in Greenfield (I had erroneously reported River Hills as his residence last week.)

At the end of the event a woman in the crowd spoke to a man about the challenges the campaign faces. “You’re from Brookfield and I’m from Hales Corners. How are we going to get the Milwaukee voters?” she asked.

“That’s the problem,” the man replied. “That’s the problem.”

More Interesting News

New Restaurant … a Restaurant that Won’t be … Gary George and the Contractor … the Cop’s Son Speaks … New Beer from Lakefront … Paper Folds … Lost Forever! Henry Maier Recordings Tossed in Mayoral Office Purge

The venerable London Cleaners is a bay narrower these days after a remodeling that saw the installation of a vertical rack for storing clothes, freeing up space on the south end of the building. That area has been extensively and expensively remodeled and is to open Thursday as Ouzo Café, 776 N. Milwaukee Street. The owner, Nickey Pappas, is the sister of JoAnne Anton, aide to Senator Herb Kohl and wife of Nick Anton, owner of LaPerla and the soon-to-eventually-open Spuntino’s on Brady Street, just across from Apollo, owned by Nick’s brother-in-law. Whew! Nothing can wear you out quite like a Greek genealogy. Ouzo will be priced in the very-reasonable class, with practically everything under $10. Everything is made on the spot, including the yogurt. The kitchen equipment is from Fein Brothers, and the Ouzo – over 100 varieties – is from throughout Hellas. Ouzo, although it shares its anise flavor with the Italian Campari, is a different animal. Campari is a liqueur; Ouzo clocks in at a full 80 proof. The telephone number is 1 414 272-OUZO (6896).

… The Terrace Bar is an infill place at 1129 North Water Street that was supposed to emulate the model of Sauce, in the Third Ward. The brand new building has an openable façade, some nifty architecture on the street front, and the eponymous terrace on the roof. What it will not have in common with Sauce, however, is a kitchen, as planned. It seems the architects, in designing the building, failed to include the necessary second exit for the basement kitchen. The restaurant – er – the bar’s website announces that it will open in late January or early February, although the contractor says early March would be more like it. The website is now accepting applications for bartender, cocktail servers, doormen, security and backbar workers. Not a word about kitchen staff.
… Next door, Nicholas Wember has received a certificate of occupancy for Fuel Liquor Bar at 1127 N. Water Street, now the home of Fitzgibbons Pub. However, he still doesn’t have a lease for the place, the usual first step in such proceedings.
John Torres was the “JT” in the television station WDJT-TV (Ch. 58), He ran into all sorts of legal problems when he established the fledgling enterprise, then a low-power outlet and now under new ownership as the city’s CBS affiliate. A particular nemesis was Sen. Gary George. Many years after his bankruptcy difficulties and the loss of the station, Torres scored a contract with the state Department of Tourism. “Gary George – the guy who instigated this bankruptcy stuff against me – called like nothing had ever happened, my best friend, and said, ‘John, you know that contract you have with the state went across my desk. I could have stopped it, you know, but I didn’t.’ Not long after,” Torres relates, “the envelopes started coming asking me for campaign donations.”
… “Captain’s removal proves cop out” read the exceedingly clever headline of the Thursday, January 15th Marquette Tribune. The story, by Matt Frankovis, relates the tale of his father Glenn Frankovis’ removal as Captain of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Third District – home to Marquette University, where the younger Frankovis graduated in 2003. Frankovis says in the article that Chief Nannette Hegerty “didn’t even speak with Frankovis before making her decision” to remove him, in her first major act as chief. “Hegerty not only weakened a district and a city, but also lowered the morale of the entire department,” the son alleges.
… Snakebite Stout will be the newest offering from Lakefront Brewery and is expected to hit the bars in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The name and the label for the Irish style stout is the product of Randy Mosher, who has created Lakefront’s identity campaign. Brewery president Russ Klisch says final sales figures for 2003 are not in, but he figures the brewery sold about 5,400 barrels, up from 4,800 the year before. He adds that the Irish Stout was the idea of his distributor. “Last year they told me to do an Oktoberfest, and it sold well. So when they said I should make an Irish Stout for St. Patrick’s Day, I did.”
… If you’re going to read anything about the gay community, it will probably be here. In Step, the biweekly paper for the gay community will publish its last issue at the end of the month, according to publisher Bill Attewell who said the paper is not making enough money to satisfy his needs as he approaches 40. He will probably go into the public relations field, or communications. Some potential buyers have expressed interest in the publication, but uncertainty reigns right now. Attewell took some courageous reporting stands, and was first to investigate the finances of Pridefest, which he called “corrupt.” The Journal Sentinel has never had an openly gay reporter on its staff, and it could sure use one. If you saw the way the place is decorated, you’d know why.
Chris Robles was walking through city hall, where he works, around the time the mayor’s office was being cleaned out. Among the items thrown into the trash – a stack of Henry Maier ‘45’s, featuring the late mayor torturing polkas. Robeles says he grabbed one; the rest are presumably lost.

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