Friday, May 16, 2014

Sheldon Lubar’s Next Target: MPS

By Lisa Kaiser
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Last night, in a discussion devoted to Milwaukee County government “reforms,” conservative gazillionaire Sheldon Lubar casually dropped a bomb: His next target is the Milwaukee Public Schools. 

Responding to a question about whether he or fellow panelists Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele or state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo would be involved in taking away the authority of the board of MPS, Lubar said, “That’s a very good question. It’s very provocative. And on my agenda, that’s the next thing.”

The crowd gasped as Lubar passed the microphone to Sanfelippo.

Later, Lubar clarified his plans when responding to a question about charter schools.

"The origin of these schools was to give the parents of children an option if they felt their public school was not performing, that they could go to another school that wasn’t being subjected to the rules of the administration largely driven by the teachers union," Lubar said. "I’ve always been a believer in parochial schools. I’ve been a believer in private schools and I do believe in charter schools. I think that the school board and the means of electing them needs to be changed.”

In response, some in the crowd booed, while others clapped.

In 2009, Lubar infamously announced that he wanted to radically overhaul Milwaukee County government back when Scott Walker was county executive. You know, just blow up a level of government.

Later, with the election of his lapdog Abele as county executive and tea party Republican Sanfelippo as state legislator, conservative lawmakers passed Act 14, which gutted the power of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and enhanced Abele's power to a staggering extent. If last night's performance indicates anything, it also crowned Lubar as the most powerful puppet master.

I’ll have more on this event in next week’s Shepherd.

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