Before that happened, the County Board did something Abele has yet to do. Through a series of hearings they called "OUR Milwaukee," they went to the people and listened to what they wanted. The result was a resolution to redefine the roles of the County Emperor and the County Board.
The Board passed the resolution in April. And as everyone expected, Abele vetoed it, saying it didn't punish the board enough for opposing him.
On Monday, May 6, the County Board convened to take up that veto as well as other items. To the casual observer, it looks like Abele's veto of the OUR Milwaukee resolution was overridden by a 14-4 vote.
And indeed it was overridden by that margin. But as we all know, when it comes to these sorts of things, there's more. There's always more.
If one looks at the actual minutes of that meeting. one would find that Supervisor Deanna "Purple Unicorns" Alexander was late to the meeting. She was so tardy that she had missed the first two votes, including the vote regarding the Board's reform resolution.
The minutes of that meeting reveal that Alexander went through the pain of calling for a suspension of the rules so that she could have her vote recorded on the votes she missed, even though it made no difference whatsoever in the final outcomes:
Supervisor Alexander asked unanimous consent to SUSPEND THE RULES to be recorded as voting Aye on Item No. 1 and No on Item No. 2.This in itself, while unusual, is perfectly legal.
Supervisor Romo West OBJECTED.
A motion was made by Supervisor Alexander that THE RULES BE SUSPENDED to be recorded as voting Aye on Item No. 1 and No on Item No. 2. The motion PREVAILED by the following vote:
Aye: 14 - Alexander, Borkowski, Broderick, Cullen, Dimitrijevic, Haas, Johnson Jr., Jursik, Mayo Sr., Rainey, Schmitt, Stamper II, Staskunas and Taylor
No: 4 - Bowen, Lipscomb Sr., Romo West and Weishan
The rub in this story is the fact that for weeks before the vote, during the vote and two days after the vote, there were advertisements on Facebook and elsewhere for a fundraiser for Alexanders. Said fundraiser was being hosted by Chris Abele and two front men for the Greater Milwaukee Committee - Jason Fields and Joe Rice. Not only was the fundraiser being hosted by the people who were lobbying her, but it was scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 - just two days after she went through the pains to make sure her vote was recorded in the way that Abele and the Greater Milwaukee Committee wanted her to vote:
The campaign finance report for Alexander's campaign - which is ironically named "Citizens for Servant Leadership" - shows she did make a tidy little haul that night. She brought in $1952 that day. However, the report also shows that the great majority of the money came from people she doesn't even represent. Some of the bigger donors include:
- Chris Abele - $522
- Michael Grebe (head of the Bradley Foundation) - $125
- Orville Seymour (one of the two guys running the misnamed Citizens for Responsible Government) - $50
- Karl Rajani (keep an eye for that name with the ongoing dismantling of the mental health complex) - $250
It should be noted that CRG - PAC also gave Alexander another $250.
By far, Alexander's largest donor was herself, giving her own campaign a loan of $877.63.
It should be noted that even though Alexander is a former accountant and a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative - and even though she had a fund raiser held by the richest people in Milwaukee County and surrounding areas - her campaign is still in the red, owing herself more than $2,800, which is double of what is her current balance.
Milwaukee County's Code of Ordinance's Chapter 9 clearly states that a county official should not receive or give anything of worth in exchange for their vote or other official action. Yet Abele held Alexander's fundraiser - donating the maximum himself - just two days after she had to take extraordinary steps to have her vote recorded.
Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that Alexander and Abele have done something that appears to be rather unethical, since we already know that Abele had his spokesperson writing Alexander's press releases.
What I find so particularly disheartening is that those who would sell their votes and their office to diminish democracy in Milwaukee County would sell themselves - and the rest of us - so cheaply.