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City Hall: City Made $8.6 Million Debt Mistake
City Hall

City Made $8.6 Million Debt Mistake

Past Comptroller blamed. Mistake equivalent to all the salaries of health department staff.

Vote Aycha Sawa for Milwaukee City Comptroller!
Press Release

Vote Aycha Sawa for Milwaukee City Comptroller!

“The TRUSTED & TRANSPARENT candidate.”

MKE County: Can Public-Private Deals Help County?
MKE County

Can Public-Private Deals Help County?

Experts discuss potential of public-private partnerships for county and city.

Murphy’s Law: Norquist Bashes Inspector General Idea
Murphy’s Law

Norquist Bashes Inspector General Idea

Council wants its own watchdog. Former mayor says post is unnecessary.

Murphy’s Law: Will Bill Privatize Water Utilities?

Contribution to Michael Murphy of $500

Murphy’s Law: Will Bill Privatize Water Utilities?
Murphy’s Law

Will Bill Privatize Water Utilities?

Proposed law opens door to companies like Aqua America running local water utilities.

City employees and retirees deserve the truth
Press Release

City employees and retirees deserve the truth

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan December 12, 2013

Murphy’s Law: How State Aid to Cities Has Plummeted
Murphy’s Law

How State Aid to Cities Has Plummeted

Milwaukee is getting killed by declining shared revenue, violating a century-old state agreement.

Close the Libraries?  Lease the Water Works?

Close the Libraries? Lease the Water Works?

Massive layoffs, extended furloughs, service cuts, significant tax and fee increases all are possibilities in the next year for the City of Milwaukee. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but with the gap in the pension fund, a decline in the assessed value of property in the city, and a likely decline in state shared revenue the fiscal picture for the City of Milwaukee doesn't look so bright. At today's Common Council meeting the debate around a snow and ice fee increase and the furloughing of city employees were brought about by this startling economic outlook for the City of Milwaukee.

M.O.R.E. – Common Council March 25th, 2009 Meeting Notes

M.O.R.E. – Common Council March 25th, 2009 Meeting Notes

The M.O.R.E ordinance was the most widely debated action taken at this Common Council meeting.

M.O.R.E. Ordinance Approved by F&P Committee

M.O.R.E. Ordinance Approved by F&P Committee

The controversial M.O.R.E ordinance which had been sent to committee at the previous Common Council meeting was further debated at this Finance & Personnel Committee meeting.

Common Council Retains Five Member Firefighter Crews

Common Council Retains Five Member Firefighter Crews

The most notably items on the agenda were the Common Council's actions regarding Mayor Barrett's vetoes.

The Roundup: State Elections Board Responds to Complaint Against Walker
The Roundup

State Elections Board Responds to Complaint Against Walker

John Weishan and Gerry Broderick filed an official complaint today with the Wisconsin State Elections Board against Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

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: At it Again
The Roundup

At it Again

Alderman asked to make big money decision on 24 hour notice.

The Roundup: Dem Challenge for Panzer Seat
The Roundup

Dem Challenge for Panzer Seat

The disarray of the Republican 20th Senate District has convinced the Democratic Party to field a write-in candidate for primary.

The Roundup: Primary Feud
The Roundup

Primary Feud

Kohlenberg & Kennedy Stir it Up

The Roundup: Lavender, Black and Green
The Roundup

Lavender, Black and Green

The Green Party’s national convention will be in Milwaukee this week, with voting by delegates to be held on Saturday. The big question: will the outfit endorse Ralph Nader? This vexing question will put Milwaukee, however briefly, once again in the national spotlight. The party has endorsed the formation of several subgroups including the Black Greens, and the Lavender Greens. The first group consists of African-American members of the party, and the second with its Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered and “Intergendered” (a new one for me) members. As of May there were 297,964 registered greens from 22 states, along with an undetermined number from states like Wisconsin where voter registration does not specify political party. Candidates for the party include four for U.S. Senate, 38 for the House of Representativees, one for Governor, one for Lieutenant Governor and 94 for State Legislatures. According to the party, at least 204 Greens hold office in 27 states, including Wisconsin. Nader, who received the party’s nomination in 2000, has 50 delegates thus far, behind David Cobb, with 194 and Peter Camejo with 112. Over 200 delegates support none of the above or are uncommitted. Nader wrote the party in March to say “I am running as an Independent and am not seeking nor accepting the Green Party nomination. If you do not choose a presidential candidate in Milwaukee, I would welcome your endorsement.” You can figure out for yourself whatever that means. Whomever the candidate, the party promises to run television ads in the presidential race, another first. One of the featured speakers at a post-convention rally will be Frank P. Zeidler, a former presidential candidate himself (Socialist Party) and reason enough to attend the event. A Man in a Hurray: Marc “Leadfoot” Marotta Department of Administration head Marc Marotta has a date in the Jefferson County intake court on June 29th at 9 a.m. in conjunction with his citation on May 24th for speeding on the freeway. The 41-year old attorney and former basketball star was busted for exceeding the speed limit by 20 – 24 miles per hour, an offense that carries a $255.40 bond. Officer Michael Meyers of the Jefferson County Sheriff Department collared the Mequon resident after clocking him going 21 miles over the limit. Earlier this year, on February 25th (the day after Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager was busted for drunk driving) Peter Moe of the State Patrol cited Marotta for speeding on the freeway, also in Jefferson County. It was a more easy-going Marotta that time, since he was caught speeding 16 – 19 miles per hour above the speed limit. On April 22nd, that charge was amended to Speeding on Freeway 1 – 10 miles above the limit. Marotta pled no contest to that charge and was fined $181. The vigilant officer Moe also noted that Marotta, a senior government official, had expired plates (PUR108), so we assume it is his personal vehicle in which he was hot-rodding, but that charge was dismissed. His attorney was Michael […]

The Roundup: Changes at the Election Commission
The Roundup

Changes at the Election Commission

 

The Roundup: Lautenschlager’s Fast Ones – Past Speeding Tickets Raise Residency Issues
The Roundup

Lautenschlager’s Fast Ones – Past Speeding Tickets Raise Residency Issues

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager exploits a legal loophole.

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: Lautenschlager’s Mess
The Roundup

Lautenschlager’s Mess

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager’s drunk driving arrest last week removes her from behind the wheel of her state-owned vehicle for a year, and puts Governor Jim Doyle in the driver’s seat. The two had squabbled, privately, over terms of the Governor’s jobs bill, with Lautenschlager threatening to use her authority to see that the law comply with the state’s environmental regulations, which she intimated it did not. This sort of independent action by an attorney general is not new in Wisconsin. Doyle was the chief practitioner of it, but then again, he was a Democrat, and the Governor at the time was a Republican. The press has made note that Doyle suggests Lautenschlager forgo some of her pay as a sort of penance for her indiscretion, a matter that remains unresolved at this time. Doyle also suggested that Lautenschlager consider entering a program to treat problem drinkers. He said that he had a number of friends who had been in a similar situation and that the treatment had helped them. In fact, the public admission of guilt and responsibility (which Lautenschlager made) is usually accompanied these days with a prompt acknowledgement that a problem exists. The subject then usually promptly enters a treatment program and completes it, after which the matter is forgotten. Lautenschlager has not made that admission thus far, which leaves her in the position of either not having a “problem” or being “in denial” of it. It does leave Doyle high and dry, however, and much less likely to face interference in his plans from that peskiest of all politicians – an ambitious Attorney General. Walker at the War Memorial County Executive Scott Walker welcomed about 100 well-clad guests to a fundraiser February 26th at the War Memorial Center. The strictly upper-crust affair was a Republican-type fundraiser, which meant that hard liquor was consumed (in moderation) and beer, for the most part, was ignored. For those fans of the frothy stuff, Walker offered Miller products and Heineken. Food was by Ellen’s Prestige Catering, and included strolling waiters, another classy touch. Menu items included spinach somethings, meat and melted cheese on sandwich rounds, wrapped up little salmon tidbits, an entirely unsuccessful raspberry-brie tart, platters of some kind of 21st century sandwich product along with perfectly delicious fruit. The event was unmarred by public oratory, but was enhanced by an A-list of locals practicing up for the next time Bush is in town. Among the exalted: George Dalton, Dennis Kuester (on crutches), Michael Cudahy, mourning the recent death of Daniel Urban Kiley, creator of the $4 million Cudahy garden outside the adjacent Milwaukee Art Museum, Fred Luber, Tim Hoeksma, Carol Skornicka, John Finerty, Jim Weichmann, Joe Rice, Mary Buestrin, Corey Hoze and developer Mark Irgens. Hoze has secured speaker Dennis Hastert to appear at a $2000 fundraiser on his hopeless behalf in his upcoming congressional campaign. That’s rich. Marvin Pratt popped in and worked the crowd for about 20 minutes before his cop told him it was time to […]

The Roundup: Art Jones Pension better than $100K per year
The Roundup

Art Jones Pension better than $100K per year

Two other Mayoral candidates eligible soon

Murphy’s Law: Gary George’s Plot to Kill the Comptroller
Murphy’s Law

Gary George’s Plot to Kill the Comptroller

State budget deliberations are a time for mischief making, and state Sen. Gary George (D-Milwaukee) has always had a reputation for quietly slipping pet proposals into this biennial document.