Media Thrilled, Donovan Will Run for Mayor!
Colorful, combative foe of Mayor Barrett will oppose him in 2016, which means far more fun for reporters covering the race.
It’s official: bombastic, ever-quotable Milwaukee alderman Bob Donovan has announced his intention to run for mayor in 2016. Naturally, he alerted us on the morning show of WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes, who’s rarely met a critic of the city he didn’t like.
Who can forget the “Battle of the Bobs,” when Donovan and Downtown Ald. Bob Bauman traded barbs at a press conference, with Bauman accusing Donovan of hating Milwaukee, “showboating” and making “wild assertions,” while Donovan kept repeating “shame on you” to Bauman.
Several days later, Donovan offered a bizarre recap of the event where he claimed he made Bauman “soil his pants.” No, we are not making this up.
Detractors will point to the fact that Donovan was indicted in 2005 on a federal charge of defrauding the government through his involvement with the non-profit Milwaukee Alliance he created. In November, 2005, Donovan agreed to a non-criminal resolution to the indictment whereby he paid a $2,500 fine and agreed not be involved with any non-profit receiving federal funds for the next two years. Not long after the two years was up, the undaunted Donovan was back, with a new non-profit called “Operation Impact,” whose finances were anything but transparent.
And back in 1992, Donovan was cited for disorderly conduct for an incident at UW-Milwaukee, where the arresting officer said Donovan was peeking through a partition hole in the men’s restroom to view other men.
Supporters point to the fact that Donovan has served as alderman since 2000, has been reelected three times, is known for giving good service to constituents and has made a name for himself as a champion of the police and a zealous advocate of anti-crime measures. Despite this, Donovan has not endeared himself to Police Chief Ed Flynn, who has accused the alderman of “reckless and irresponsible” comments, and called Donovan a demagogue.
Donovan is also known as the city’s most outspoken opponent of the streetcar, and has attracted followers on this issue, though many are from outside the city. Donovan has long argued that 70 percent of Milwaukee residents oppose the project, “but after questioning admitted it wasn’t based on empirical evidence,” as Jeramey Jannene has reported.
Donovan lives in a 1909 South Side bungalow in Burnham Park neighborhood. “Like its owner, the home is modest and unassuming,” Michael Horne has written. “But you get a sense that, like its owner, the gas furnace inside may have a tendency to get overheated at times.”
Yes, there is no shortage of articles on Donovan, which you’ll find listed here. No doubt the alderman’s internal burner is already heating up, and ready to emit lots of anti-Barrett broadsides.