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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: The Jewish Judge Who’s a Quarter Irish
The Roundup

The Jewish Judge Who’s a Quarter Irish

Governor James E. Doyle told about 75 people at Mo’s Irish Pub last Friday that “there are a number of good things I can do as governor. … I get to appoint people to the bench. As a lawyer and the son of a judge, I take this seriously.” What does the governor look for in a judge? – He’s appointed about 6 of them so far –“I get a list of very – incredibly good people. I could pick them out of a hat. But I look for intelligence, fairness, and understanding of people. Also, frankly, some much needed diversity.” Doyle got diversity all right when he appointed Glenn Yamahiro as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge last year. Yamahiro, a former public defender, lawyer in private practice, and teacher of disturbed students, is also the first Asian-American to sit on the bar in Wisconsin. He is that, and more, the crowd, gathered for a fundraiser, was to learn. Yamahiro told the crowd that he was proud to be “the first [judicial] appointee by a democratic governor in almost 20 years.” Yamahiro is running for a full term against former Judge Robert Crawford, whose antics on the bench in the past cost him his seat to Judge Louis Butler, who was present, as were such other judges as Jean DiMotto, Ted Wedemeyer, Tom Donegan, Paul Wall and judge wannabees like Audrey Skwierawski. Attorneys including the venerable Dominic Frinzi and Mark Thomsen popped in for the gig. Yamahiro has already proven himself to be one of the more amusing speakers on the bench, and among politicians generally. “I told the governor at the time of my appointment that any opponent I would get would be buried at the election. “Now we have to come through on that promise,” he said, to the general assent of the assembled, not eager for a return of the goofy Crawford. Yamahiro rubbed it in: “If it was an election of the informed, we wouldn’t need this gathering,” he said. Do not think that Yamahiro tried to coast by solely on the merits of his wit and the novelty of his Asian background. “I am the first Asian-American judge in Wisconsin, but I did have a grandma in Iowa, born about 100 years ago. Her name was Morrissey. So I have 25 percent Irish blood, and I am happy to be in Mo’s Irish Pub with the Guinness flowing.” The crowd really liked this intercultural news, and I talked to Deja Vishny, a public defender with a really cool name – and yet another story. “I’m Glenn’s wife,” she said. The couple has one child, who attends a Jewish elementary school. “I’m Jewish,” she explained. “So is Glenn,” she added. Observations From the Governor On the Legislature You get the feeling from Governor Jim Doyle that the legislature is acting like a pesky housefly that he has to keep swatting at. The recent meetings of the august representatives of the people were characterized in this […]

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.