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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Issue of the Week: The Big Loser on Election Day Didn’t Even Have His Name on the Ballot

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The elected official who appears to be one of the biggest losers in last Tuesday’s primary election did not even have his name on the ballot. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele touted the fact that he recruited candidates to run in the two open state Assembly seats being vacated by Sandy Pasch and Jon Richards as the beginnings of his political machine.

Abele has been able to circumvent the will of the Milwaukee County residents’ democratically elected county supervisors by going to his Republican pals in the state Legislature and getting state lawmakers from around the state to pass bills that override the Milwaukee County board. Abele, like Sheriff David Clarke, claims to be a Democrat, but can only get Republican support in the state Capitol, which, along with his Republican policies and his Republican advisors, makes his claim about being a Democrat more and more difficult to believe.

So Abele came up with his new scheme: to hand pick a couple of candidates to run in the open seats who will do his bidding and vote his way on his Republican policies in the Legislature. Abele was bragging that his new scheme would make him appear to be nonpartisan.

Abele put his good name and his resources behind his two candidates only to see them both come in third place.

An informal exit poll in both districts found that Abele’s strong and visible support was one of the main reasons why many voters rejected each of these candidates. Had these individuals run without Abele’s support and all of his resources, we are not saying that they would have won, because no one can know what would have happened. But according to the sample exit polling, these candidates would definitely have done much better. These two individuals are good people, but they just violated one of the tenets that most mothers tell their children: Be careful who you associate with because there are some people out there who will definitely end up getting you in trouble.