Michael D’Amato is a former Alderman in the City of Milwaukee.
Michael and his wife Rebecca have three children, Jack, Liliana and Nicolas.
He serves in an “of counsel” capacity for the firm Martin Schreiber & Associates, Inc.
He has served on these boards:
- Wisconsin Center District
- Milwaukee Public Library
- League of Wisconsin Municipalities
- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
- Local Government Institute of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Advisory Council representing Kenosha County.
Content referencing Michael D’Amato
Majority of Mayors and Village Presidents in Milwaukee County support Gwen Connolly for Circuit Court Judge
Connolly has previously announced the endorsement of hundreds of judges and attorneys, including many leaders working to serve the poor.Oct 12th, 2015 by Gwen Connolly
Sam McGovern-Rowen will oversee the $21.5 million library branch redevelopment program.Jun 5th, 2014 by Milwaukee Public Library
Welcome to the seventh installment of Eyes on Milwaukee. This week the focus is all on City of Milwaukee elected officials following yesterday's election. I explore the likelihood that Willie Hines runs for Mayor, how the new Common Council will resemble the old Common Council, the wide disparity in vote totals between districts, Bob Donovan winning the war, the shocking number of votes Johnny Thomas got, and Spencer Coggs' new job.Apr 4th, 2012 by Jeramey Jannene
Governor Doyle's announcement that he will not be seeking a third term could send ripples through Milwaukee's political landscape. The most commonly mentioned named Democratic Party members that may run for Governor include, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.Aug 19th, 2009 by Dave Reid
In April 2008 Alderman D'Amato, as one of his last acts in office, brought forward a resolution that stated the City of Milwaukee's position that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee should locate its College of Engineering and Applied Science, as well asUWM's other satellite campuses, within the City of Milwaukee.Jan 22nd, 2009 by Dave Reid
On July 29th a meeting of 3rd district residents was held to discuss the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's ("UWM") recent Request for Proposal ("RFP") to build a new student dorm with 500 to 700 beds.Aug 1st, 2008 by Dave Reid
The Riverwest Neighborhood Association is going to test Alderman Nik Kovac early in his term.May 30th, 2008 by Jeramey Jannene
City of Milwaukee essentially came to end on Wednesday April 9th, 2008. Despite what some residents of the 3rd district may believe this is a significant loss for the City of Milwaukee. Over the years Alderman Michael D’Amato has had conflicts with UWM students and certain residents groups over specific issues but more importantly he pushed for Smart Growth initiatives, encouraged development, was key in the development of new student housing options for UWM, worked to bring Manpower to downtown Milwaukee, and most importantly improved the city as a whole. At his last ever Common Council meeting Alderman D’Amato, along with Alderman Tony Zielinski and Alderman Bob Bauman, entered one more resolution that showed his strong support for the City of Milwaukee. This resolution, his last gift to the City of Milwaukee, encouraged UWM to expand within the City of Milwaukee. It is still unknown what is next for Alderman D’Amato but clearly his leadership on the Council and desire to grow Milwaukee will be missed.Apr 10th, 2008 by Dave Reid
Resolution 071392 would authorize $1.25 million of additional funding from Tax Incremental District #48 for development of a riverwalk and associated public improvements located at 202 West Juneau Ave. $858,042 of the funding will go towards construction of a riverwalk, dock wall, public boat slip and public plaza with pedestrian access. This work is part of the $42 million Aloft development and should pay off the TIF in seven years. The remaining portion of $278,160 will be used to purchase the right of way to construct the extension of Ogden St. and Market St. This resolution was approved by the committee and will now go before the full Common Council. Resolution 071500 would change the zoning for the properties located at 700 East Kibourn Ave. and 711 East Kibourn Ave. to General Planned Development and would specify the maximum height and density of the project. New Land Enterprises intends to build two mixed-use buildings with up to 20-stories, 230 residential units each and approximately 4000 square feet of retail space. The combined value of this project would not only add an estimated $120 million to the city tax base but would not utilize any city financing. A few neighboring business owners spoke in opposition to this project focusing their complaints mainly around height, density and potential parking issues. Specifically Margaret Gintoft, of Therapies East Associates, spoke at length repeatedly asking some form of the question “do you really want to have a high-rise on every corner, dwarfing these little buildings in between”? The land’s current zoning has no height limitation and as Vanessa Koster, from the Department of City Development, indicated “if he developed it under the current zoning parameters he could come in off the street and pull his permits and we would have no control over the design of the building, the materials, the location of the parking, and driveway access, so this gives us control over the design”. Although this change in zoning allows for more density than the current zoning, it also allows the City of Milwaukee input into the development process and now limits the building’s height. During the discussion Alderman Mike D’Amato responded to Margaret Gintoft’s question when he said “you spoke earlier about does the city want high-rises and do we want a high-density city. And I think the answer in some areas. In some areas the answer is yes”. This resolution was approved by the committee and will now go before the full Common Council.Apr 6th, 2008 by Dave Reid
This meeting of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee was quite unusual in that it was held in response to the court case Dawn McCarthy vs. The City of Milwaukee City. The case revolves around the city’s handling of a minor modification to the Detail Planned Development known has Downer Avenue Redevelopment Phase I. The court ruled that there were possible open meetings violations during some Historic Preservation Commission subcommittee meetings so to insure all information was publicly heard the judge ordered this meeting to be held. It is important to note the judge did not stop construction and didn’t expect the city to vote on the resolution in question. Peter Kovac, one of the Plaintiffs in the case, made comments indicating the city had re-opened the issue prompting Alderman Mike D’Amato to respond by saying “you seemed to of re-opened the whole issue”. Alderman Bob Bauman was heard saying “let him go on for two hours” expressing his frustration with the repetitive testimony and the proceeds. Despite Alderman Michael Murphy‘s concern over setting a precedent by passing a resolution in response to the direction of the court, the committee unanimously approved resolution 071365 reasserting the previously passed resolution.Feb 18th, 2008 by Dave Reid
The first item on the agenda, Resolution 070963, was the heavily debated Downer Avenue Redevelopment Phase II project. The resolution would recommend a change of zoning from General Planned Development to Detailed Planned Development and include a 7-story hotel, an 11-story residential tower, 5 town homes, and a 4-story addition to the Mulkhern building. Architect Scott Kindness indicated that the Chancery building currently retains only about 50% of its original facade and that they “plan on taking down the entire building to allow this to happen” but that they will “rebuild the 1936 version of the Chancery building”. Clearly he was referring to rebuilding the facade along the first two floors as they will add additional floors with a setback allowing the street level massing to appear similar to its original design. He also indicated the project will most likely break ground in the Spring of 2009 as both pre-sales for the condominiums and finding the operator for the hotel will take time and are dependent on approvals. Architect Matt Rinka explained that the redevelopment of the Mulkhern building would include the 4-story addition, demolishing the drive through and ramp, creation of an urban garden, and will convert the existing upper floor to medical uses. Despite multiple iterations, and numerous meetings opposition to this change in zoning was brought by local community members who have fought this project from its beginning. Alderman Michael D’Amato pointed out that that “the use is consistent with the General Planned Development, the height is consistent with the General Planned Development, and the massing is consistent with the General Planned Development” further he indicated the plan is simply receiving opposition from the same neighborhood members who opposed this project from the beginning indicating that taking further input was just a delaying tactic and at this point served no purpose. He appealed to the commission that “the anchors on Downer Avenue are dying” and that “I hope you will finally allow progress on Downer Avenue.” The Commission took his advice and recommended it for approval with the conditions that the developer works to shorten the balcony and continues to work with staff on improvements. Another item of particular interest, Resolution 071292, pitted groups of citizens with positive intentions against each other. Specifically groups representing low income housing for the homeless and mentally ill ran into opposition from green and bicyclist enthusiasts due to the site location. The property in question was a city owned lot near the Kinnickinnic River that various groups had been planning to use for bike trails and green space. Alderman Tony Zielinski appeared upset over the proposed use of land and went on to say “we are setting a dangerous precedent by developing our green space”. The commission listened to his advice and held the resolution asking the Department of City Development to work with the developer to look for another site or improve the facility’s design to work better with the trail.Feb 12th, 2008 by Dave Reid
Approving Whitney Gould‘s appointment to the City Plan Commission was the highlight of this meeting. The Committee made it clear that in her former position as the Journal Sentinel’s architecture writer she played an important role in improving Milwaukee’s urban environment and hoped she would bring her enthusiasm and knowledge to the Commission. The Committee also approved resolution 071307 which if approved by the full Common Council will allocate $1.4 Million dollars from the Housing Trust Fund to support five affordable housing projects. One example of these projects is the St. Catherine’s Residence at 1018 E. Knapp Street. It will receive $264,000 to build affordable housing for low-income women and it is already under construction. Alderman Michael Murphy pointed out that this $1.4 million will generate $26 million worth of development and went on to say that these projects do two things “one economic development and… two do the right thing”. The Northwest Side Area Comprehensive Plan was presented again as it had been held before to allow the Department of City Development to address issues that the committee felt the plan didn’t incorporate. Specifically items were added to insure existing rail corridors are reserved for future mass transit options and encouraged creating transit oriented development projects along those rail lines if they are ever converted to passenger service. Other areas of that plan that were improved included refinements of the 76th and Good Hope project, additional recommendations for the vacant transit hub at 76th and Mill, and addressed the potential reuse of Timmerman Airport if it were to be closed. One setback for the project was Alderman Jim Bohl‘s push to remove DCD’s suggested language regarding cul-de-sacs and their desire to better connect streets. This prompted Alderman Mike D’Amato to take a light hearted shot at Bohl by saying, “we hope you haven’t eliminated all the sidewalks from the Northwest side”. Additionally two closed sessions were held to discuss strategy with the City’s lawyers regarding the court case Dawn McCarthy vs. the City of Milwaukee. This case involves the City’s handling of the development of a City owned surface parking lot on Downer Ave. Despite the courts apparent concern the judge hasn’t stopped construction and development continues at a brisk pace.Jan 31st, 2008 by Dave Reid
One of the often-overlooked rules for residences in Milwaukee is that no more than three unrelated persons may live together. I’ve never heard a good reason for why the rule is in place or how one can get around the rule (outside of simply ignoring it like many landlords do). DailyReporter.com finally gave me an answer to all of my questions. It turns out that it’s mainly a financial issue for keeping the rule on the books. Reducing the number of occupants per residence limits the potential income of a landlord and helps slow any burning desires they have to buy up the entire block with the income from packing 5 people (probably students) into a house, and turning the neighborhood into a slum lord’s paradise. This rule has the greatest affect in the areas surrounding universities in the city, primarily UW-Milwaukee. There is of course always the factor that 4 or 5 college students together in one residence can cause trouble, but the prevailing reason for the rule seems to be the financial factor. To get around the rule you can simply claim someone you’re living with is your cousin, but Alderman D’Amato is leading the charge to tighten that loophole by requiring residents be first cousins, and not simply cousins to get around the requirement.Jan 24th, 2008 by Jeramey Jannene
Multiple affordable housing projects went before the committee looking to receive approval in to apply for Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority tax credits before an upcoming deadline. One of interest due to the projects quality design was brought forward by United Methodist Children’s Services of Wisconsin. They were requesting a change in zoning to General Planned Development to allow for construction of a 24 unit four-story proposal to be located next to there existing building at 3940 W. Lisbon Ave. Volunteers of America was requesting a change in zoning to General Planned Development to allow for construction of a 65 unit building. Unfortunately this project stood out because it didn’t properly utilize a key location which concerned the committee. Alderman Mike D’Amato said that it “has to have active first floor users” because of the buildings high visibility location at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Keefe Avenue. Both of these projects as well as others were approved and will go before the Common Council. Other resolutions of note regarded the Brewery project and the reuse of the 440th site. Resolution 070932 approved the LEED checklist for the Brewery neighborhood and included the properties owned by Jim Haertel. Resolution 071238approved a reuse plan for the area vacated by the 440th that is consistent with the airport’s 1993 master plan. Alderman Bob Bauman was concerned about agreeing to this public benefits conveyance without assurances the County couldn’t then turn it over to a private purpose.Jan 9th, 2008 by Dave Reid
Resolution 060259 approved the Detailed Planned Development known as Columbia St. Mary’s Prospect East, Phase 1 which will move on to ZND for further approval. The resolution includes the plans for a 572 stall parking garage to support the Water Tower Medical Commons facility. Although it was approved it was done so with the understanding that before the Common Council gives final approval, issues dealing with the side facing Terrace St. will need to be resolved with the neighborhood. Additionally it included mention of three lots near the structure and the future plans to develop those lots as residential housing. A second resolution of interest was Alderman Mike D’Amato‘s request for a change in zoning from clean shaved to rough bearded. All kidding aside Alderman D’Amato appears to be looking forward to leaving public life in the near future.Jan 8th, 2008 by Dave Reid
During his 12 years in office Alderman Michael D’Amato played a large role in encouraging new development in Milwaukee. More recently in his role as Chairman of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee he oversaw countless proposals, and more often than not was supportive of development projects. During this past year he struggled with Eastside residents to over approval of New Land Enterprise’s Downer Ave. development and although the project is moving forward, the city is now being sued. And at the same time he pushed policy and the Department of City Development in a failed attempt at obtaining a TIF to help fund RSC & Associates proposed Park East development. Despite what was probably a frustrating year for Alderman Michael D’Amato, the news he won’t be running for re-election comes as a surprise. Without knowing D’Amato’s future plans or his reasons for not running again it, is still safe to say it will be difficult to replace his experience and dedication.Nov 27th, 2007 by Dave Reid
Just a couple of quick items of note from today’s ZND meeting. File number 070873 was a report on the redevelopment of the 440th Airlift Wing’s land. The consulting firm, RKG Associates, provided three proposed alternatives noting that they all include the airport’s plan of building a new runway in the future. Basically the plans break down as aviation re-use for entire site, split aviation with commercial, and non-airport use. Comments allude to the fact that the most likely outcome will be the aviation re-use for the entire site. File number 070964 was approved and authorized a “minor” modification to the DPD known as the Downer Avenue Redevelopment. Unfortunately this file isn’t truly minor as it is response to a lawsuit brought against the city claiming the city shouldn’t of issued a building permit and that the city didn’t take the state’s historic recommendations into consideration. Oddly, the changes to the DPD came about in attempt to further “appease” the neighbors. And I believe Alderman Willie Wade summed it up by saying “basically we are in this position because we were trying to be accommodating.” File number 070844 was approved and authorized the sale of a city owned vacant lot at 530 West Florida St to Rider Hotel, LLC. It will be sold for $1 as it has environmental challenges and will be capped to create a parking lot for the $23 million Iron Horse Hotel. File number 070935 was approved and authorizes the Land Disposition Report which basically allows HSI Development Partners, LLC. to acquire the land and construct a building for Derse, Inc. Derse, Inc. was founded in Milwaukee and originally made signs for Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst. They now specializes in tradeshow exhibits and have expanded throughout the U.S. and internationally. Mike D’Amato commented saying, “Now that you’ve expanded everywhere else let’s talk about Milwaukee,” and he’s right on point as this project bring 125 jobs back into the city.Nov 6th, 2007 by Dave Reid
“Only a Fool has Himself for a Lawyer” –proverb On September 13th, 2005, Atty. Joe Kaye filed a lawsuit on his own behalf (“pro se”) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin alleging a violation of federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) by a number of entities, including the City of Milwaukee, Ald. Michael D’Amato, Julilly Kohler, Lincoln Fowler and others, claiming they conspired to wrongfully deny him the opportunity to buy and develop city-owned real estate. The riverfront property at 1142-58 E. Kane Place was eventually sold to Kohler, who had been vice-chair of the City of Milwaukee Plan Commission. On July 11th, 2006, U. S. District Judge J. P. Stadtmueller dismissed the case, finding it to be frivolous, and ordered sanctions against Kaye, including that he “reimburse the defendants for their reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees.” Kaye made many allegations in his complaints, including behind-the-scenes machinations between Kohler and fellow commissioner Fowler; that Ald. D’Amato collaborated with officers of the East Village Association [EVA] to create a historical preservation district that would exempt Kohler’s proposed development; that D’Amato, Kohler and others engaged in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the EVA election; that a wire fraud scheme existed; that D’Amato stole a yard sign from a neighbor; and that D’Amato’s actions constituted theft and extortion. The allegations were contained in a rambling 19 page complaint riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, reminiscent of “Riddley Walker,”a post-apocalyptic cult novel of which Kaye is apparently fond. His business address on court documents is listed as “Grooling and Smarling, 7355 N. Green Bay Av., Glendale.” “Grooling and Smarling” are neologisms introduced in the novel, which is either gibberish or inspired, depending upon the reader. [Editor’s note: It is gibberish.] The city attorney’s motion in November, asking to dismiss the suit, called Kaye’s case “a rambling, disjointed and unsupported complaint that fails to state a claim. “[Kaye’s claims are] fatally deficient in every material respect … [and are] linguistically and logically incoherent.” In other words, the sort of case one might find from a jailhouse lawyer, but not from a licensed attorney. In the court’s ruling yesterday, Stadtmueller said, “While we treat pro se litigants gently, a pro se attorney is not entitled to special treatment,” the veteran jurist ruled. “Although the court liberally construes allegations in a pro se litigant’s complaint … the court does not apply this principle of construction to Kaye’s complaint because Kaye is an attorney.” He added, “Kaye does not specify the many victims, the time frame involved, the five separate schemes or the distinct injuries. Kaye does not cite to any allegations within his complaint or to any exhibits. “Kaye’s RICO claims must be dismissed for another reason: Kaye has not properly pleaded the existence of an enterprise. … Each of the RICO claims, therefore, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. “Kaye should have known that his RICO claims had no legal basis,” he added. The amount […]Jul 12th, 2006 by Michael Horne
Although the Gary George – OIC-GM connections are well documented, particularly those that have led to the convictions of George, Mark Sostarich and Carl Gee, recently-released audit information and other source documents indicate that perhaps the OIC-George connection needs to be further investigated. Nobody is accusing anybody of wrongdoing, but perhaps investigators should dig a little deeper into the dealings of George and those connected with him, if only to remove any hint of suspicion from settling on the mantle of the innocent. Take, for instance, the relationship between Todd Robert Murphy, OIC-GM and Gary George. Murphy was recently relieved of his Public Relations contract with OIC-GM, and was replaced by Martin Schreiber and Associates. The recent audit of the OIC-GM accounts indicated that payments made by OIC-GM to TRM Marketing Consultants, Murphy’s firm, were “unallowable expenses,” according to Paul Steiber of the State of Wisconsin. His review included two months during which Murphy received $4,000 per month from OIC-GM. Was this a “cushy consulting job,” as Leon Todd has suggested? Todd said the Murphy-planted cover story about OIC-GM that appeared in the Shepherd Express (and, interestingly, in newspapers in the African-American community) was “not enough” to save him his job. According to the audit, OIC-GM was not authorized to hire a public relations consultant with W2 funds. The Ethics Board did not have a complete accounting of the amount of money Murphy’s firm was paid over the years. The board was investigating “direct” payments, and Murphy’s were considered “indirect.” According to John Becker of the Ethics Board, the payments to Todd Robert Murphy’s firm “were not something we focused on.” Nor has the board “seen any checks,” from OIC-GM to Murphy, he said. One wonders if the State of Wisconsin Ethics Board should have done a better job reviewing its own documents, for the Statements of Economic Interests filed by George for the years 1999-2001 show that George received more than $1,000 per year from Murphy’s firm. It would be interesting to know how much exactly per year Murphy sent to George, and what he got in exchange. George also reported receiving funds from Petrie and Stocking, the firm that employed Mark Sostarich, who gave George kickbacks from OIC funds. George also received money from Coleman & Williams, Ltd., an accounting firm. Coleman & Williams also received money from OIC – to conduct an audit of the OIC books. Isn’t it odd that an accounting firm that received money from OIC-GM would also, coincidentally, be sending more than $1,000 per year to George, who was systematically swindling OIC-GM out of money, with the connivance of Carl Gee, the group’s director, and Mark Sostarich, the Petrie and Stocking lawyer? Bill Coleman, of the accounting firm, said the relationship was quite innocent, and that he had hired Gary George to do unspecified legal work for his firm. Since many aspects of attorney-client relationships are privileged, we’ll have to take his word for it. Still, workers at the Ethics Board, the United […]Nov 15th, 2004 by Michael Horne
Two months ago, the federal grants stopped.Oct 4th, 2004 by Michael Horne
If you are over by Mayfair Monday, you can drop by the grand opening of the Bush–Cheney’04 Wisconsin Headquarters, 2222 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa. The opening is open to the press, and Liz Cheney will be available for interviews. The event is at noon and features such other dignitaries as Rep. Leah Vukmir, Rep. Mark Honadel, Rep. Curt Gielow, and County Executive Scott Walker. If you are in the neighborhood and would like to do something other than that, then get to the corner of Hwy. 100 and W. North Avenue where Wisconsin Citizen Action hosts a “Bash Bush” event at 11:30 a.m. Gary George Law License Suspended If you never got around to hiring Gary George as a lawyer like the Warshafsky Law Firm did, you’re “temporarily” out of luck. The disgraced former state senator’s license was temporarily suspended April 1st by an order of Cornelia G. Clark the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, dated March 8, 2004.. Clark acted on a motion from the Office of Lawyer Regulation “seeking the temporary suspension of the license of Attorney Gary R. George to practice law in Wisconsin. … The basis for this motion is Attorney George’s January 22, 2004 guilty plea in United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, to one count of conspiracy.” It is not common for lawyers to plead guilty to felony charges – they usually put up a fight, and a law license won’t be of much use where Gary’s going – namely, federal prison. For one thing, the competition would be intense. Paul Henningsen’s already got most of the business locked up by now, one would imagine. Along with George’s demise we lose another annoyance – we shall no longer see or hear Gary George advertisements for the Warshafsky Law Firm. George taped his advertisements in August, 2000, back when the century was new and George’s integrity was unblemished. (We were a simpler people then.) Back then I asked the law firm about the ads. “Are they designed to help George in his reelection campaign?” The Warshafsky spokesperson replied, “It has no connection to the campaign. He just brings us a lot of business.” Election Night Approaches We are down to the final hours in our Mayoral election, with the result said to be a tossup. Much will be dependent on voter turnout, which itself can depend on things like the weather. The primary election had the added allure of a presidential primary to possibly juice the vote. On the other hand, it is possible that the lack of a republican presidential race kept Milwaukee republicans at home in February, and that they will come out to vote Tuesday, if there are enough of them to count. Then we have the white people for Pratt, and the black people for Barrett contingency. I should imagine they exist in roughly the same, small numbers. Among them – former candidates Frank Cumberbatch and Leon Todd have endorsed Barrett. Sandy Folaron and Vince Bobot have […]Apr 5th, 2004 by Michael Horne
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 […]Mar 15th, 2004 by Michael Horne
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 […]Feb 2nd, 2004 by Michael Horne