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About Last Night: Wisconsin Recalls Round 1
Wisconsin Democrats turn out to support anything but Collective Bargaining & Unions.
Last night Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett defeated union backed Kathleen Falk, publically admitting the Democratic fight was not really a fight about union solidarity and Collective Bargaining after all.
For over a year now Wisconsin has been plagued with red shirts and blue fists, protests for union solidarity, and for collective bargaining. However the person who steered way far away from unions came out victorious. While Barrett made a very passionate speech last night, Dem blogs were lit up about the fact that he bucked the union solidarity day march and rally because he did not want to be seen with unions standing with him. Yet they voted for him anyway. So what was all that marching and protesting about if you voted for the very person who did to you what he has been doing to Blacks for over 8 years? Ignoring you!
In his speech, Barrett talked about out of state contributors, when in fact last week he welcomed Rahm Emmanuel and others to stand with him. He spoke about civility when his record shows a clear pattern of divisiveness in his own backyard. Some will remember when Barrett became mayor of Milwaukee; the city was #3 in most segregated cities in the nation. Milwaukee now under Barrett has enjoyed the #1 most segregated city in the union for most of his mayorship. Yet we look at the Milwaukee Community Journal and see most of our Black elected supporting him. An inconvenient truth Black Milwaukee does not want to discuss, but it is so disturbing.
Many politicians ask are you better now than you where after my term? Well Black Milwaukee can unequivocally say hell no! Yet and still we support this man simply because he is a Democrat and the one thing we dare not upset is the Democratic Party. The Milwaukee Black has yet to learn this party has been no friend to us. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying Republicans are better, but a blind vote for the Dems is a sign of agreement to the treatment we have been given. It is a clear overlooking of how our people have been ignored by this mayor and his party and thumbs up to continually being treated this way. Much like the battered wife, this abusive mayor keeps ignoring us except when the sheep need to be herded back into the fold. He uses our own people to do it, which is even worse. I will never understand our blind lust for this man or any party really, but particularly the Democratic Party, which is like a growing fungus in our community. What I do understand is that he is not the person to lead the Democrats and unions against a fight with this governor for the third time. REALLY??
Last Night’s Numbers:
Last night’s numbers do not have any real revelations for us other than Governor Scott Walker has a little more breathing room and Barrett’s climb is more uphill than predicted. Remember some Repubs played chess thinking a vote for Falk would be the best bet. Some Dems thought a vote for the fake Republican could catch Walker in a sneak attack and oust him right from jump. Neither move worked. The masses decided to send messages of support rather than play chicken. However the message was not well received and as the numbers came in, commercials for both candidates blitzed the media outlets in full force well before the AP declared anything.
Barrett vs. Walker
As mayor, Barrett will be hard pressed to speak to job creation, unifying the state, or education. He is 10% above the national average in unemployment, of course with Blacks highest in this category. Again #1 in segregation, and when he tried to take over MPS he was shouted down off the ledge. I really cannot think of the last time that idea crossed his lips again. He has proceeded over watching businesses leave Milwaukee, conventions and annual events never come back, leaving the Midwest Convention Center all but destitute. He has now watched condos go up only to be possibly half-filled. His trolley idea is a bust and he is pretty much left with attacks which will not create any civility. His campaign will have to be based on smearing and attacking. What else is there for him to speak positively about? Does anyone remember when Milwaukee hosted the biggest science fiction convention in the nation? They all but begged him to find a way to work with them to stay, but he had other things to do. They left and took millions in revenue and jobs with them. Not to mention gone are the Hollywood stars, TMZ, and all that comes with a international thriving industry. Aduh, where did they go?
There is the new hospitality industry and the new hotels being built but if you cannot keep conventions coming back how long will those hotels last? Summerfest is only for a few weeks and then what? Wait around for another Harley reunion? We have all been waiting for the “big plan” to accompany these new hotels but so far nada!
He cannot run on taxes because his have gone up every year except one and this year all Wisconsin homeowners saw monetary relief by April 15th courtesy of Governor Walker. Meanwhile this mayor had the nerve to get on TV and happily tell his constituents that foreclosed homes were theirs for the taking. Did he not forget that some of the people who saw that commercial were the very people evicted from their homes and foreclosure victims? Did he not think of the hurt and pain they faced as they watched their dreams being sold away as they watched him laughing it up on TV? They remember.
Barrett made the promise to young people that he would initiate a jobs program but with him being gone so much the program is sitting around with little movement and hundreds of applications waiting to be addressed. Another failed program that needed Barrett “all in” to get it moving. We now hold out hope the City Council led by Willie Hines will move it forward.
There are a host of other things that could be listed (after all, in 8 years of failed leadership there is a lot of time and damage to recount) but like the Teflon Don, this mayor will disavow these things like he does many of his failed ideas and programs. We have police brutality on the rise, crimes of armed robbery, car theft, property damage, sex trafficking all rising with little to no response by this mayor. It is as if he knows nothing about his own city. How can we expect him to deal with state issues? Will he bring his segregation to the state? Will he takeover state education as he attempted with MPS? Scary thoughts indeed.
And then there is Act 10. You cannot bash a governor and ride his coattails! His tools were implemented by you and now you are going to bash them? It won’t sit well outside Milwaukee.
Walker has going for him that he has not served a full term as a Governor, whereas Barrett has been allowed to ruin Milwaukee for 8 disastrous years. Walker however has some work to do. Many wonder if he had not had to address a statewide hissy fit, how far could we be? As far as the Jon Doe investigation, he can honestly say HE INITIATED IT! So if anything comes of it, short of him on the phone making an illegal transaction, that ship has sailed and he did what he was supposed to do. He reported it and yes in Wisconsin if I was a Republican I would lawyer up too! It is just par for the course. Dane county and Milwaukee County are liberal to the core and he has to protect himself. Most will understand this especially after looking at the recall signature sheets.
I would suggest to Walker that he be more vigilant about his dealings with Black media. He is going to have to take the fight to Barrett and that means dealing with the people who hate him the most, the black media in Milwaukee. This means buying whole pages of the Milwaukee Community Journal and Milwaukee Courier, with a simple message of what he has done. He will need to explain “Transforming Milwaukee.” He will have to sit in the hot seat and get away from the comfort of Mark, Charlie, and Jay. He will have to sit with Eric and Earl and bring it. He may also want to seek out the Black Conservative Media which is growing in the state. After hearing the Koch chants and big businesses mantra and all the rhetoric he can stomach, he will have his turn to speak. When all Dem talking points have been exhausted people tire of them and they will listen. He will have to get out and walk up and down North Avenue, something this mayor refuses to do, get back on busses and meet people where they are in the streets.
This fight does not have to get ugly; all he need do is what he should have been doing all along, connecting with us. No need to even mention Barrett because he is not present to us either! So why spend a single minute talking about him? We in the Black community know very well our plight (even though we ignore it so). Walker must show and tell what he is doing different to circumvent this mayor to get Black Milwaukee back on track. He must showcase his committee of bipartisan representation. This mayor does not have that type of committee; this governor has for well over a year.
The next four weeks will be telling indeed. Barrett has already lied last night about civility. I have been subscribed to his tweets for some time and what he does not say in public, he and staff say via twitter. It is ugly and nasty and it will come to light. His calling for a state of healing was only a Kodak moment comment. His tweets show a very ugly side to his campaign.
How much will the unions conform and sell out? Given Barrett turned down their big union love day, he has some fence mending and kissing to do. Some of them are very upset and rightfully so. He is going away from everything they marched and protested for.
The flight of the 14 was a stunt and now it is confirmed as they sold out as soon as Barrett dropped his name. This race is not about unions or Collective Bargaining. It is about power and the lengths Dems will go not to part from it.
This race when all is said and done will not bring resolution or compromise people wish for. It will not end peacefully, nor will either side come together to sing Kumbaya!
At the end of the day this race will hopefully be about two men standing on their convictions and records allowing voters to judge those two things alone.