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Bill Christofferson

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Content referencing Bill Christofferson

Op Ed: Enough Is Never Enough for Gun Zealots
Op Ed

Enough Is Never Enough for Gun Zealots

Senate and Assembly bills would make Wisconsin a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

Mondale And Gaylord Nelson Were Pals

Mondale And Gaylord Nelson Were Pals

The two longtime U.S. Senators were both Norwegians, and passionate about the environment.

Op Ed: The True Cost of War

Contribution to Jilly Gokalgandhi of $25

Op Ed: The True Cost of War

Contribution to Marina Dimitrijevic of $100

Op Ed: The True Cost of War
Op Ed

The True Cost of War

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on millions of lives lost, trillions it has cost U.S. taxpayers.

Op Ed: Milwaukee Pays High Price for War
Op Ed

Milwaukee Pays High Price for War

Since 2001, the total cost of America’s wars just to county taxpayers was $10.68 billion.

Murphy’s Law: Should Summerfest Pay Higher Rent?
Murphy’s Law

Should Summerfest Pay Higher Rent?

Harbor House pays at least 7 times more than Summerfest per acre of lakefront land.

Op Ed: Putin, Facebook and Me

Contribution to Bob Peterson of $100

Op Ed: Putin, Facebook and Me
Op Ed

Putin, Facebook and Me

Zuckerberg’s crackdown on nefarious ads has gone way overboard. Even a veteran’s group is suspect.

Longtime Democrat Matt Flynn Reintroducing Himself to Voters

Longtime Democrat Matt Flynn Reintroducing Himself to Voters

After four unsuccessful runs for office, will this be Flynn's year?

Op-Ed: The Real Meaning of Veterans Day
Op-Ed

The Real Meaning of Veterans Day

Honor the warriors, not the wars.

Murphy’s Law: David Clarke the Demagogue
Murphy’s Law

David Clarke the Demagogue

A sheriff who once represented law and order has sold his soul to become a media star.

Murphy’s Law: Is David Clarke “Sheriff Spends a Lot”?
Murphy’s Law

Is David Clarke “Sheriff Spends a Lot”?

Attack ads blast Clarke. Another targets “dysfunctional” Marina Dimitrijevic. Who’s buying all these nasty ads?

Murphy’s Law: Republican Spat Exposes Party’s Divisions
Murphy’s Law

Republican Spat Exposes Party’s Divisions

Fight between Sensenbrenner and Ron Johnson over Obamacare is fascinating, revealing.

Plenty of Horne: Brewing as a Conceptual Art
Plenty of Horne

Brewing as a Conceptual Art

Brenner Brewing has a ways to go before it functions as a working brewery. Plus: a fundraiser for the anti-Clarke candidate.

Murphy’s Law: In Defense of Goo Goos
Murphy’s Law

In Defense of Goo Goos

Why we need the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance.

The Roundup: Riemer: “Ready to Run”
The Roundup

Riemer: “Ready to Run”

This terse note from Riemer almost sounds like a Bill Christofferson soundbite, which means it's a good one.

The Roundup: Morales V Darling Race Set
The Roundup

Morales V Darling Race Set

Milwaukee School Board member Jennifer Morales has decided to challenge Alberta Darling and her hold on the 8th Senate District Seat.

The Roundup: “Groundbreaking” for Bridge
The Roundup

“Groundbreaking” for Bridge

It’s not really a groundbreaking without a shovel, so Cecelia Gilbert of the Department of Public Works brought five well-used, albeit ceremonial, spades to the Thursday 27 May event celebrating the beginning of construction of the Holton Marsupial Bridge. Obliging dignitaries, sensing a photo-op, grabbed the shovels and pantomimed digging them into the asphalt pavement below the Holton Viaduct. The ceremony was scheduled to accommodate Mayor Tom Barrett, who was present at the event before racing off to his daughter’s piano recital. Other guests included Ald. Michael S. D’Amato, Ald. Michael I. McGee, Jr., Supervisors Gerry Broderick and James White, and former State Senator Brian Burke. Julilly Kohler served as master of ceremonies for the event, and she kept her remarks sparing, yet managed to name all of the many individuals who have helped to make her dream a reality. This included “the former congressman from the fifth district,” as Brian Burke called his old elementary school chum, Tom Barrett, who, as Mayor was able to yield the ceremonial shovel on a public works project for the first time. Architects James Dallman and his wife Grace La were also on hand as were Mathew P. Tharaniyil, P.E. and Yakov N. Nenaydykh, another P.E. They are, respectively the president and the vice president of Bloom Consultants, the engineers of the project to span the Holton Viaduct with the suspended “marsupial’ bridge – a bicycle and pedestrian path that will provide grade-level access between the Brady Street neighborhood and the Lakefront Brewery and its surrounding Beer Line “B” neighborhood. Missing from the event was Frank Busalacchi, the Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation or any representative of Lunda Construction, the Black River Falls outfit that won the bid to construct the bridge. Lunda appears to be a publicity-averse organization. The firm has expressed a reservation about having webcams at the construction site, saying they might reveal some “trade secrets” of the mysterious, arcane art of bridge building. Good heavens! It’s a bridge, not a plutonium refinery. Also missing from the event was Whitney Gould, although you wouldn’t have known it from the article she managed to write about it for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the next morning. She reported, correctly, that the Mayor was there, in an otherwise generic story composed of previously reported items. Sonya Jongsma-Knauss and Vince Bushell of the Riverwest Currents were there. The sole representative of the electronic media was Channel 58. Afterwards, the crowd of 100 or so headed up to the Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden where owner Russ Klisch turned on the taps. Earlier that day, a stressed Russ was trying to get his new bottling machine to behave. Even so, it still chewed up a few bottles as it went through its shakedown cruise. Sales manager Paul Moebius said things are going well at the brewery – maybe too well. “We’re running out of beer!” he said. Last year’s sales were 5,000 barrels, and this year the brewery could hit 7,000 barrels. This is better than 2 […]

The Roundup: Lame Duck Ruffles Feathers
The Roundup

Lame Duck Ruffles Feathers

Breier stuck on thorny hotel plan.

The Roundup: On the Fundraiser Trail
The Roundup

On the Fundraiser Trail

David Riemer held a fundraiser and art auction to advance his bid for County Executive. Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design was the place, and over a hundred people showed up to look at the art (a Guido Brink retrospective) and to meet with the candidate March 8th. Wine was served, and the food was perhaps the finest of the larger-scale campaign events this year. The snacks included hummus and all sorts of veggie-cheesy items nicely prepared and tastefully presented. Everybody had to shut up for a brief speech by the candidate. Riemer is getting better at these, and unlike certain other candidates for president or even for mayor, he is able to adjust the message to his audience with a reasonable degree of spontaneity. The crowd at MIAD learned that Riemer has two brothers who are actors, and mom was too. In college (as an undergraduate) he studied poetry. “Art is not just an add-on. Art is essential to a metropolitan area. It is essential to its success.” No argument from the crowd on that account. Marvin Pratt showed up, and that created a mild buzz for a while. Riemer campaign guru Bill Christofferson wants us all to know that his candidate’s “Last Blast” fundraiser will be held in Turner Hall on March 23rd, 5-7 p.m. The Riemer campaign sent out a news release encouraging its supporters to cast absentee ballots. Election Day, April 6th is Passover, he reminds us. It is also a time when many of us might be out of town on Spring break. Riemer would appreciate it if we voted before fleeing this miserable weather. It is all about turnout, at this point. Molly Christofferson, Bill’s daughter, did campaign work for Sandy Folaron. She now works for Marvin Pratt. Strange bedfellows. Bob Weiss held a fundraiser for Acting Mayor Pratt March 10th, at his restaurant, Shakers, 422 S. Second St. He sent me a note: “Clueless staffers, no signage, no promo materials, NO candidate, when promised 6-8 p.m. for His fundraiser.” Weiss said the event coordinator “sat by self in back corner, left after an hour. Some big hitter clients of mine left in disgust since Marvin not there. … Overall, hardly our greatest political experience.” Weiss is planning a solstice party this week (good timing), with plenty of food and booze. Forget the politics! Unopposed and Raising Money: Musings on the Common Council Presidency It is tough to draw a crowd in an election year when you have no opponent, and it’s nice for a candidate to not have to sweat his election. “I only hold one fundraiser a year and this is it,” said Ald. Michael Murphy at Derry Hegarty’s Pub, an event that perhaps saw about 75 people. The event was Thursday, March 11th, close enough to St. Patrick’s Day, which is appropriate since Murphy claims to be of Irish heritage. Since the money wasn’t absolutely necessary, and since the candidate seemed destined to win, the fundraiser easily lurched into its secondary […]

The Roundup: Pratt’s “Reimbursement” Mystery Money
The Roundup

Pratt’s “Reimbursement” Mystery Money

Acting Mayor Pockets $7,500 with no explanation

The Roundup: Clark Picks Up Two State Endorsements
The Roundup

Clark Picks Up Two State Endorsements

Two of Wisconsin’s elder statespeople jumped on the Wesley Clark for President bandwagon recently. Former alderman, secretary of state and attorney Vel Phillips, who most recently issued the oath of office to Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt says she backs the Arkansas general for president. With her support, she joins such black leaders as Charles Rangel and Andrew Young. Phillips was at a fundraiser for Clark Tuesday, January 27th at the home of Julilly W. Kohler. Phillips said she had just got off the phone with Henry Aaron who has offered to send her airplane tickets and to put her up in Atlanta February 6th for his birthday party. “Oh, I’m not sure I’m going to go,” said Vel, to the dismay of partygoers who could not imagine turning down any invitation from Henry Aaron, with or without free air travel and lodging. She still hadn’t decided by Sunday. Vel Phillips faces many decisions. When she left the Common Council, she bought the old roll-top desk aldermen once used until the present gems were installed. The desk will probably go to the Historical Society of Wisconsin. Why not the city-owned Milwaukee Public Library? “Well, the historical society already has a full-size statue of me,” Phillips said. Good enough reason. The attendees, including Frank Gimbel (who has a huge Clark sign posted in his east side yard), Mort and Dani Gendelman, Curry First, Dennis Conta and about 40 others filled the Kohler residence to talk up their man and to dine on way too much food provided from such disparate sources as Sam’s Club and Watermark restaurant. A special guest of honor was to have been former Senator Gaylord Nelson, ranked fourth on a list of the most important Wisconsinites in history. He’s the only one of the top five who is still alive. Alas! Nelson hadn’t even made it as far as the end of the driveway of his Kensington, Maryland home in days, so he called in his visit by speakerphone. Heavy snowfall complicated by quaint Maryland snow removal traditions kept him home, Nelson said. He endorses Clark for president, the Earth Day founder told the attendees in Milwaukee. Nelson speaks very slowly these days. The delivery, although halting, does nothing to mute the intellectual vigor and wit of Nelson. Regarding his choice of the military man for president, the anti-Vietnam War ex-Senator said, “People were wondering how could Gaylord Nelson support a general for president?” (Pause.) “Well, George Washington was a general.” (Pause.) “And he was a pretty good president.” (Laughter.) Apparently, Nelson held republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower in high regard. He noted that General Ike warned us about the military-industrial complex. “This is a fascinating race,” Nelson said, (Pause.) But there is a long way to go.” The State of Wisconsin constitution, as amended, does not give the Lieutenant Governor much to do. This suited Scott McCallum fine, but Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton is a restless sort and has been an early supporter and campaign groupie of […]

The Roundup: No Challenge to Hill Papers
The Roundup

No Challenge to Hill Papers

But Halbrooks says Election Commission’s Extended Hours Helped Opponent

The Roundup: Who’s on Fifth?
The Roundup

Who’s on Fifth?

An $89 billion bank is muscling its way into the Milwaukee market, and you read about it here first.

Murphy’s Law: How Mayor Norquist’s Salary Cut Lowers Property Taxes
Murphy’s Law

How Mayor Norquist’s Salary Cut Lowers Property Taxes

John Norquist styles himself as a budget cutter, but few are aware of how personally he has taken that mission.

Murphy’s Law: Could Ed Thompson Get Elected Governor?
Murphy’s Law

Could Ed Thompson Get Elected Governor?

It's a wacky idea, but Ed Thompson may turn out to be a real spoiler in the race for governor.

Murphy’s Law: Did Marilyn Want Millions From The Mayor?
Murphy’s Law

Did Marilyn Want Millions From The Mayor?

Marilyn Figueroa never wanted money from the mayor

Murphy’s Law: That’s Incredible – Why Marilyn’s Story Can’t Be Believed
Murphy’s Law

That’s Incredible – Why Marilyn’s Story Can’t Be Believed

I don't claim to know who's right in the vicious dispute between Marilyn Figueroa and John Norquist.