Dan Shafer
Winners & Losers

TCD’s week in review (3/23/12)

By - Mar 23rd, 2012 12:48 pm
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WINNERS

1. Bob Uecker

This season, a bronze statue at Miller Park will immortalize the greatest broadcaster in baseball history. The statue of Bob Uecker will be unveiled Aug. 31 at  home plate plaza, near the statues of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Bud Selig. Uecker responded to the news in a video on brewers.com in his brilliant Uecker way, with too many great one-liners to single out just one. Beneath the jokes, though, Uecker showed genuine appreciation for the honor. Uecker will also be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame on April 17 in Las Vegas.

Tom Barrett listens as Scott Walker makes a point during the gubernatorial debate on Oct. 15. Photo by Patti Wenzel

2. Indecision

Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell launched his campaign for Lieutenant Governor and is the likely Democrat  to run against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefish in the recall election. However, the Democratic field remains open for the run against Gov. Walker. Time is running short. The tentative date for a primary is May 15, with the election likely to fall on June 12. Mayor Tom Barrett, who has been considering a run for quite a while, said he will decide between March 30 and April 3, the day of the Milwaukee mayoral election. There have also been rumblings that Kenosha assembly representative Peter Barca will join the race. But with less than two months to go before a primary and three months before the recall election, the lack of a clear leader could spell trouble for the Democrats.

3. Wisconsin institutes of higher learning

UW-Madison’s School of Business came in 24th in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual listing of the nation’s top undergrad business schools, its highest ranking since the annual listing began in 2006. Also celebrating: The Medical College of Wisconsin, over a $2.2 million grant for heart disease study from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

4. Walker’s Point/Reed Street Yards Development 

An investors group recently purchased a seven-story building in Walker’s Point, which will soon be the new home of the Milwaukee Water Council. According to the BizTimes, efforts are being made to make the Walker’s Point neighborhood a water technology business hub. The Water Council building will also be part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Additionally, two other projects relating to water technology are underway. One developer, Peter Moede, has plans to create a water technology business park in Reed Street Yards, on the 17 acres between the Iron Horse Hotel and the Harley-Davidson Museum.

5. Voters in the 8th and 9th Assembly Districts

Controversy has surrounded the GOP-drawn state redistricting, which comes as no surprise as state lawmakers essentially had to pledge secrecy and ignore public opinion when crafting the new boundaries. A three-judge panel this week barred the Government Accountability Board from implementing those boundaries in the 8th and 9th Assembly District. The panel ruled that the new maps violate the federal Voting Rights Act and hurt Milwaukee’s Latino voters by splitting the voting bloc into 2 districts, neither with a majority Latino population. Voces de la Frontera and individual Democrats filed the lawsuit that challenged the GOP’s boundaries.

LOSERS

1. The Milwaukee Police Department

Seven Milwaukee Police Department officers and one sergeant were suspended from police activities and placed on administrative duty in the wake of an internal investigations following reports of alleged misconduct. The reports pertain to alleged strip searches by District 5 officers. Chief Flynn, during his press conference to address the issue, emphasized these are all currently allegations, some from individuals with criminal records. Some reports indicate, however, that MPD officers could be under investigation for potential sexual assaults based on the nature of the alleged strip searches.

2. Former Walker staffers

New information emerged this week in the ongoing and endlessly fascinating John Doe investigation former members of Scott Walker’s staff during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. This week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal published email transcripts between Walker staffers Jim Villa and Kelly Rindfleisch. They discussed the jobs they would get at the statehouse and gossiped about fellow county staffer Tim Russell. Russell, who has been charged with embezzling more than $20,000 from an event to support veterans, had evidently had lost standing in the county offices in the spring of 2010. Also this week, Rindfleisch pleaded not guilty to four felony charges of misconduct in public office for campaigning on the county taxpayers’ dime.

Justice David Prosser, photo courtesy the judge's re-election website.3. David Prosser

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is once again under fire. In response to an altercation last June, in which Prosser allegedly “put his hands on the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley” in front of four other justices, the Wisconsin Judicial Commission has asked the court to find Justice Prosser guilty of three ethics violations. Prosser fired back in his typically combative fashion, calling the charges “partisan, unreasonable and largely untrue.” Since all justices but one (Patrick Crooks) witnessed the incident, Prosser said that he will ask justices to recuse themselves from the case, which would effectively end the proceedings.

4. Milwaukee’s economy

In its monthly economic trends report, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) said Milwaukee posted its weakest overall economic performance in nearly two years in January, according to the Business Journal, saying only five of 20 economic indicators showed improvement over the previous year.

5. Wisconsin and Marquette basketball

Wisconsin and Marquette are losers only in the literal sense after falling in the Sweet Sixteen to Syracuse and Florida, respectively. Both teams had strong seasons. It’s always fun to see two Wisconsin teams play quality ball well into March.

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