The problem is that it's not really that humorous.
He was pointing to a line in the county's 2013 budget that lists a total of $13,000 for "social" for the county's director and assistant director of intergovernmental affairs.
"I hope I get invited if they do" throw a party, Abele said.
He could be waiting a long time for that.
Turns out the "social" in the budget line refers to the county's portion of Social Security contributions for the lobbyists -- not some party slush fund.
What it is is an expose of two of Abele's major character flaws.
One is that he really doesn't have a clue on how government works. His decisions and his budgets are outsourced to his wealthy friends in the Greater Milwaukee Committee, who's made it very clear that their endgame is to dismantle county government, no matter what it might cost...the taxpayers.
The other issue is that Abele belies himself to be a stereotypical spoiled rich brat that isn't used to be told no. Even though the county budget was set more than a month ago, Abele is still having his temper tantrum over losing on 22 items out of the thousand things that were in the county budget.
But Able is taking his tantrum to another level.
Because he thinks that shrinking the size of the Milwaukee County Board will somehow assist him in his agenda to dismantle Milwaukee County government, he is going to Madison to schmooze up with some legislators in order to get them on board with Assemblyman Elect Joe Sanfelippo's bill taking away local control and shrinking the board via a legislative fiat.
But it's not just any legislators that he is planning on meeting with (emphasis mine):
It was in preparation for the county's $276,000 lobbying operation for 2013 - the board's exclusive province, according to a measure supervisors muscled through last month.Note to Abele: You're the MILWAUKEE County Executive, not Racine's nor Marinette's. If you're so smart, and if you're idea is so wonderful, why aren't you talking to the Milwaukee caucus? Isn't Senator Chris Larson, the Senate Minority Leader prestigious enough for you? Or is that he is too smart for you?
Don't tell that to County Executive Chris Abele. He's stepping up his own state lobbying efforts, including meetings Tuesday in Madison with Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), who takes over as Assembly speaker next month, and state Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), the newly named co-chairman of the Legislature's powerful Joint Finance Committee.
Even worse is the two non-Milwaukee County legislators he will be speaking with even as his blows of his own representatives.
One of them, John Nygren, is such a laughable lackey that he couldn't even raise enough legitimate signatures to get his name on the ballot during the failed recall attempt of Senator Dave Hansen.
The other Republican that Abele is visiting is not other than the ethically-challenged Robin Vos. That's the same Vos who is state chairman for ALEC and wants to run his own personal political caucus in his double-decker office, complete with spiral staircase.
It's not surprising that Abele's got low friends in high places. Given his personal wealth, most politicians would fall all over themselves to give him an audience. And given Abele's own personal track record, from trying to frame people to considering the voice and vote of people to be nothing more than a Facebook poll, he'd fit right in with the likes Vos and Nygren. I mean, this is the guy that goes around bragging about how well he gets along with Scott Walker.
Instead of wasting what precious little political capital he might have in order to satiate his bruised ego's quest for a Pyrrhic victory, maybe he could do something constructive, like trying to get a sales tax that will help everyone and not just his plutocrat friends.
Or he could simply help resolve the real problem with Milwaukee County government.
If nothing else, he could stop trying to tell jokes, and most definitely stop being one.