Buying a Seat at the Table

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It's hard to believe that another election day is rapidly coming upon us. It's an election only for local offices, but still I was looking for a lot of negative advertising. After all there's a Supreme Court seat up for grabs. We can't expect civility from the Supreme Court justices, can we? It's what I've come to expect. And there is a contested race for county executive.

Vying for the unfulfilled term left by the governor, are a couple of state senators, the former acting county executive, not the white man's bitch, and a lad who hasn't had to work a day in his life. So who's going to win?

I haven't seen any advertising for Jeff Stone. Yet he is considered a front-runner. I imagine he has name recognition at least on the south side and may be the only conservative in the race. So will he win over all of Scott Walker's support? I hope you start taking it for granted.

Jim Sullivan recently lost his race for state Senate but is being supported by Tom Ament. What a noteworthy endorsement. This way all the crooks know who to vote for. Sullivan has done some advertising so all the big government liberals may be firmly behind him. So if you want higher taxes to finance pensions for government workers, Sullivan's your man.

County Board Chairman Lee Holloway has been regarded by some as a front runner. However, all the negative publicity he has gotten over his rental properties as a slumlord are reducing his chances of reclaiming the top position. If all goes well, he could be voted out of his current seat also.

The strangest candidate has got to be Chris Abele. He is a philanthropist who pays no income tax according to the Journal Sentinel. I don't care what he does with the money from his foundation, but if it's any indication of how he would handle the county's finances, red flags should be raised. His advertisements are coming across as if he is a middle-of-the-road fiscally conservative guy. Yet I don't get that feeling when I watches commercials. He comes across as one of those people who lives by the Golden rule-he who has the gold makes the rules. Like Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson, he has enough money to be self financed. That's fine, because no tax money should be going to finance campaigns and he doesn't need to go around with his hand out trying to raise money at every turn. But like Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson, he's throwing around enough money to buy his seat. You even have enough money left over to properly groom his goatee.

Absent a candidate with the same amount of funding, this seems to be an issue less campaign. So what does this come down to? Name recognition? Face recognition? Apparently we have forgotten the scandal over a decade ago. Taxpayer money was being used as golden parachutes to long time County workers. If people had long careers with the county, they should be entitled to a pension, but they should not be getting million-dollar payouts.

We are seeing the long-term effects of a couple of years of bad government. The current employees keep getting hit with furloughs. Benefits which used to be the major plus for working for government are being chipped away. The unions don't like it now, but where were they when all of this was being cooked up? Scott Walker faced up to the challenges County executive and straightened it out to a degree. The next county executive should not be allowed to raise taxes to support spending programs that the citizens of this county cannot afford. The time is cut back for austerity in government. Milwaukee County needs to recognize that where there will be a larger exodus of taxpaying citizens.

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