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Karine Moreno-Taxman

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Milwaukee Man Sentenced to Prison for Arson of Duplex
Previously Removed Mexican National Sentenced to Seven Years On Prostitution, Narcotics and Firearms Offenses
“Wisconsin Is a Hub of Human Trafficking…”

“Wisconsin Is a Hub of Human Trafficking…”

"And Milwaukee harbors its pimp school!" Government officials and civic leaders announce a marketing campaign to raise awareness of child trafficking.

The Roundup: The Inaugural
The Roundup

The Inaugural

Marvin Pratt did not stand up with the crowd when Tom Barrett was inaugurated mayor, and the press has made a good deal of the slight. However, just after Judge Louis Butler administered the oath of office to the new mayor, Barrett’s first comments were to commend Pratt, and the former acting mayor did stand up and take a bow. The ceremonies were held April 20th outside of City Hall in some perfectly dreadful Milwaukee spring weather. So, who was the idiot who came up with that idea? “I’m the idiot who thought to hold it outside,” fessed up Kris Martinsek. After all, the president is inaugurated outdoors in January. However, January in Washington is not nearly as unpleasant as Milwaukee in April. The stage was set up on Wells Street, facing east. Upon the stage sat Milwaukee’s new leaders, including the mayor, the common council, the comptroller, treasurer, city attorney, city clerk and a municipal judge. Their families sat out in the street and in the adjacent park next to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building. Frank P. Zeidler was there himself, sandwiched between Marvin Pratt and Senator Herb Kohl. Kohl was dressed as he always is around here. He wore a shirt, a tie, a Milwaukee Bucks cap and a windbreaker. Except for the tie, he pretty much looked like the guy who harvests aluminum cans from my recycling bin. If he tried to walk on to the floor of the United States Senate in that getup, the sergeant-at-arms would toss him out. But this is Milwaukee, the “come as you are” capital of America, and he fit right in. Barrett has made a list of 18 things he wants to accomplish in his first hundred days in office. I don’t know if reducing the police overtime budget is one of them, but the men in blue were certainly racking up the hours during the interminable ceremony. The aldermen were sworn in sequentially according to district. Each alderman then gave a little speech. The last district, the 15th, is occupied by Willie Hines, who is now the Common Council president. He then gave a big speech. He began by saying, “my ascent to the Council Presidency is not a compromise or consolation prize for the African-American community.” This was an effective way to defuse speculation that his election was a compromise or consolation prize, and was a rather sharp thing to do. Hines also insisted that corruption will not taint his council. (We’ll check back on that in four years.) His delivery was generally quite good, and had a hint of religious fervor to it. Moments earlier, he did have a slip up. When Valarie Hill was about to be sworn in as municipal judge, Hines said, “The City Clerk will now come to the altar – er, the podium – to take the oath.” Also, when Hines introduced the new mayor he called him “Mayor Marvin Pratt – er, Mayor Barrett.” These things happen. The Common Council […]

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 […]