Thoughts On Yesterday’s Election

Apr. 2, 2014
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The Milwaukee County supervisor pay referendum passed by a huge margin. Oh, you thought it could be defeated? Believe me, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele didn’t invest his dad’s money in this so that it would fail. Nor did the Greater Milwaukee Committee lobbyists write a referendum question that wouldn’t get the results it wanted. It was a done deal. So, we’ll see how the county moves forward with a part-time board. I just hope that they’ll still be able to provide necessary checks on a shockingly powerful county executive.

Laura Gramling Perez and Janet Protasiewicz are now Milwaukee County Circuit Court judges. Congratulations to them. Protasiewicz ran unopposed, and she will do a good job on the bench. Perez ran a clean race and it shows in the results.

Eyon Biddle and Russell Stamper II will face off on the April 29 ballot to replace longtime Alderman Willie Hines. This one should be interesting.

The anti-Citizens United, pro-democracy advisory referendum triumphed wherever it was on the ballot. I hope legislators are listening. But it will be tough to pass new laws that restrict campaign spending, especially with today’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. (More on that later.)

South Milwaukee’s new mayor is Erik Brooks; Whitefish Bay re-elected its president, Julie Siegel. Interestingly, Waukesha ousted its mayor, Jeff Scrima, who, as far as I’m concerned, never really found his footing. I felt his election was more of an anti-Milwaukee vote, a way to push back on Milwaukee’s attempts to make Waukesha accountable in its request for Lake Michigan water. Now, I think the whole issue is a mess—not necessarily because of Scrima, but because Waukesha’s request is going to have a tough time getting approved by the Great Lakes governors. But Waukesha will likely have a more united voice on the issue from now on.

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Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has the power to appoint a commissioner to privatize primarily black and Latino Milwaukee Public Schools in a turnaround district. Will this privatization plan improve student performance?

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