Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

The Governor’s Party

By - Sep 21st, 2005 12:00 pm

Governor Jim Doyle was the guest of honor at a fundraiser at Mocean’s on September 16. There were about 40 or more supporters in attendance, munching on passed hors d’oeuvres and sipping top-shelf cocktails, all courtesy of host Johnny Vassallo.

Doyle was wearing a red tie (he always wears a red tie) and, of course, was dressed in a gubernatorial suit.

During his remarks, Doyle mentioned what a wonderful place Wisconsin is, especially now that he is governor.

Oh, and what a nasty mess he inherited from the McCallum administration. “When I became governor and was handed the bill from the previous governor, the bill was $3.2 billion. I cut $670 million from state operations. On June 30, 2005 we closed the books on the budget and had a $6 million surplus.”

This remark pleased the audience, many of whom remembered that the last time the state had a surplusl, Governor-for-a-while Scott McCallum used it to mail everybody in the state a check, which then led to the deficit Doyle faced.

Doyle also paid respect to a former governor who was in the room, and told us what a heck of a guy Martin Schreiber is. He also singled out Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi, indicating he will continue to have a job until such time as every inch of Wisconsin has been paved over.

It looks like the roadbuilders will be able to light their cigars with hundred dollar bills, instead of twenties. God bless ’em all.

Marc Marotta was there, and I said to him, “Marc, are you crazy? Walking away from a job that pays a hundred grand a year with nothing lined up!”

The former Secretary of the Department of Everything didn’t seem too concerned about his future. He said he is probably going back to Foley & Lardner, but added that he is also talking to other firms. He will probably run the governor’s campaign, too. But if Foley offers him less than $100,000, then he’ll look pretty foolish for quitting such a plum job. And instead of hanging around Tripoli Country Club, he might just have to work Friday afternoons.

Former Green Bay Packer Willie Davis was in the room, occupying a considerable portion of it. Attorney Steve Kravit made an appearance. Did you know he is Bo Black‘s attorney? By the way, Bo has sold her home in Milwaukee and is now a resident of Arizona, where she will have plenty of competition.

Pedro Colon said he was formulating some strategies to preserve the Governor’s vetoes of several bills passed by the legislature. He said he just found out that day that he could write a bill that would favor smaller pharmacies, but not the large chains. Apparently he made quite a speech a few days later, which Wispolitcs has sent around. I’ll provide a link later on in the column, but I don’t want you to stop reading yet.

The governor came up to me and said “hi,” and, following the universal protocol of small talk, I asked him what book he was reading lately.

Well, whaddya know, the governor has just finished reading “Death Comes to the Archbishop,” by Willa Cather. “You know, I had never read it before,” he told me (That makes two of us.) “But it was most fascinating, and I had spent three years in that part of the country, so I knew the places, and the people. Cather did an excellent job of capturing the Indian, Mexican, and European cultures.”

I wonder what book Scott Walker is reading now?

Hey, guess what? I called him. Walker is reading two things, according to Rod McWilliams of his staff “He’s mostly reading his budget draft, because the hearings are coming up. Secondly, he’s thoroughly enjoying reading the new Harry Potter book with his kids.”

Venerable Literary Emporium Shuttered

One of the Historic Third Ward‘s longest-running retail establishments shut down quite recently. Water Street News offered a considerable array of written and video materials, including some hard-to-find titles, attracting a mostly male clientele, despite the fact that most of the magazines featured women. Go figure! The well-lit (except from outside) store also included semi-private viewing booths where videos for sale could be previewed, for a price, payable with the store’s customized, non-refundable tokens. It also sold some specialty materials to enhance one’s reading pleasure. A sign on the door directs customers to Video Adventures Super Store, 1418 E. Brady Street. “Sorry, no magazines,” the sign plaintively adds.

Johnsen Schmaling Architects to Move

The historic Schlitz tavern on the southwest corner of E. Brady Street and N. Astor Street will be the new home of Johnsen Schmaling architects, according to a sign on the door. Store Wall has moved out, and the place is empty now except for a refrigerator and a bunch of really interesting wooden models, presumably of Johnsen Schmaling work. The partners designed the Milwaukee Rowing Club non-building deftly hidden on N. Commerce Street back when they were involved with Vetter Denk architects. It will be interesting to see architects at work.

More Interesting News

Johnny Vassallo, the host of the party for the governor outlined above received Utility and Licenses Committee approval for the liquor license at the Riverside Theater September 21. … The State Senate Democratic Committee will have a reception at Legacy Bank, 2102 W. Fond du Lac Avenue on Thursday September 29, 2005 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., while at the exact same moment Scott Walker will be holding a fundraiser at the University Club. … Getta load of this: Walker is also going to hold a fundraiser at the Savoy Room in the Shorecrest Hotel, 1962 N. Prospect Avenue on Sunday October 2, 2005 from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s been a while since a politician has tried to raise money at that place, if you know what I mean. Here’s that link to the Colon speech http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/050920colon.mp3

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