Referendums supporting this amendment enjoyed great success across the nation last fall, except in Milwaukee County, here Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele refused to allow the referendum unless the group paid for it. That, by the way, is not only unethical, it is illegal.
Ms. Laan's piece has been altered only to fit the formatting of the blog:
"A referendum is about as good as a Facebook poll", our supposedly democratically-oriented County Executive pontificated last fall on Channel 12 News.
Makes you wonder what he knows about direct democracy, or if he's ever heard the term.
All of the sudden, now, he thinks a referendum is a good idea, when he can point to it and say the people want what Abele wants. So he really wasn't against having a referendum, just THAT referendum; it wasn't too expensive, really, just THAT referendum was. Because it would cost him power, and that's all he's after.
What's happening with this particular referendum is the worst nightmare of democracy: a wealthy group of individuals (GMC) uses their influence to get a misleading referendum on the ballot, then changes the law in many ways the public did not get informed about, but the wealthy group claims We the People actually voted to agree to it, because we passed the referendum..
So, he didn't think a referendum was a good idea in general, or meaningful, last fall, but now, when it serves his purposes, he's all for a referendum. He just did not want to hear the People's voice on that subject, last fall, which was democracy itself: an advisory referendum stating that we want a US Constitutional Amendment stating that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech.
The truth is Abele didn't want to hear your opinion last fall because he knows what it is, and he disagrees: Abele, unlike 80% of the American public, WANTS corporations to be people, and money to be speech: all the easier to privatize the County assets. Mystery solved. He vetoed the fall referendum because he wants to be King, and the GMC to be his noblemen. He'll then sell all (our property) for bargain prices to his subsidiaries and sycophants so they can make a profit off of them, at the public's expense.
A Big Little Secret
And let me tell you a little secret about this referendum, which all of the sudden Abele thinks is a good idea and he's putting forth through State Representative Joe Sanfellipo: it's a half truth.
Is a half truth a lie, or is it the truth? You decide, and think about what kind of character you want to head the County.
The referendum refers to the money issues only: that the County Board Supervisors will be half-time and therefore earn only $24,000.00/yr, with no health or retirement benefits. That's what you and I have a say in. This is what's on the referendum.
The rest of Sanfellipo's bill, however (and this is NOT on the referendum) states "Supervisors would be barred from most direct dealings with County department heads and instead deal with the County Departments solely through the County Executive." This sounds like a king to me, not a County Executive. The bill "takes all power away from the Board to change the terms of any proposed sale or lease of County property... The Board's role would be limited to policy-making, while the County Executive would gain power through authority over all contracts, oversight of the County's lobbyists,- a duty that now resides with the Board - and the authority to hire as many staff as he wishes for the County Executive's office." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/16/2013, "Board Bill Would Halve Salaries", by Steve Schultze).
Hey, wait- I thought Abele wanted to REDUCE the payroll...." hire as many staff as he wishes for the county executive"?
Hey, wait - I thought the big deal was halving the salaries...so...why the increased power of the County Exec? What does that have to do with it? Heck, we didn't even HAVE a County Executive before Doyne in the 70's. (Is Abele's job possibly superfluous? and how much does he get paid?) (And why does a billionaire like him want that salary?)
Hey, wait - how does it save money for him to be the only one in charge of the contracts? This is relevant to cost-savings? He does all the contracts by himself? No wonder GMC thinks this is a great idea!
Hey, wait, I thought this was a money-saving measure. What kind of money is saved by having a special County-wide election for Supervisors every 2 years? This means an extra election! He said he thought a REFERENDUM (added to an already-scheduled election) was too expensive?
What is he thinking?
Of course, it's much more important what YOU think he's thinking. And express it to your assembly person and senator at the state level. Get them to vote against the bill.
Abele halves the truth.
Let's HAVE the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for a CHANGE!
Want Democracy? Get rid of Abele.
Write your state senator and assembly person: we don't want Sanfellipo's Milwaukee County Board bill to pass in any way, shape, or form. The state is micromanaging by doing that, anyway. We know what's best for our County, and it's not to have a monarchy here.