Monday, March 31, 2014

Referendum Watch: Abele Channels His Inner Walker And Gets Called Out

I know that if the gentle reader is like myself, they can't wait for Tuesday's elections to be over, because as tired as you might be reading about the austerity referendum, I'm getting tired of writing about it.

But there were a few things that happened today which were too good to pass up.

One was that Abele's front group, Forward Milwaukee County, sent out yet another email blast which sounds like it was written by Scott Walker's campaign/government staff:
Dear Milwaukee County Voter,

Those desperate to maintain full-time pay for the part-time Milwaukee County Board are pulling out all the stops to prevent approval of tomorrow's referendum.

Big labor has begun an orchestrated effort to mobilize their members through a mailing to thousands of county residents.

One current supervisor is even taking out paid advertising to retain the lucrative salary and benefits they currently receive for part-time work.

It's clear that those with a vested interest in maintaining the taxpayer-funded gravy train will be very active in these last two days – that’s why your attention and action is so very important.


Forward Milwaukee County
For more information, see
I'm still laughing at the line about "Big Labor." Not only is it something straight from a Scott Walker email and shows that Abele is anything but a progressive. It's even funnier when it's just one mailer that was sent out. They're either very scared or are so full of bullshit that they are an ecological hazard.

In contrast to this conflated, hyperbolic and empty rhetoric, Jonathan Brostoff, a former county board aide and candidate for Assembly District 19, as reported by Ed Heinzelman at Blogging Blue, presents a reasoned, rational explanation why the proper vote on the power grab referendum would be no.

But the most powerful counter to Abele's flat out lies comes from Supervisor David Bowen, who issued this statement today:
“As Election Day draws near it is important to think critically about the referendum on the ballot in Milwaukee County. It is important you understand the hypocrisy of those wealthy special interests supporting it. They do not and should not speak for the people of Milwaukee County.

“It should come as no surprise to you that wealthy special interests are pushing you to vote for a referendum to reduce the pay of your elected representatives on the County Board. Individuals who make astronomically more than we do want you to believe you would be better off with a legislative body with little oversight and few resources to monitor questionable uses of your tax dollars.

“Those who have crafted and influenced the language of the referendum all fall into the category of ‘wealthy special interests.’

“Those in the Greater Milwaukee Committee pushing this referendum do not understand how hard it is for you to pay for your bus ticket. The County Executive—whose wealth is evident—takes his six-figure salary and benefits from the County tax levy every year and doesn’t understand how expensive your childcare is every month. And the primary author of the referendum, who runs a million dollar taxicab monopoly, also admitted he only worked part-time as a supervisor but still took his full-time salary and benefits from your county tax dollars. He doesn’t understand how hard it was to pay for your heat this exceptionally cold winter.

“Maybe it’s time for the authors of this referendum to give back their taxpayer funded salaries, health care and pensions since they believe public service is not about the money.”
To sum it up, the decision isn't about whether the supervisors' pay should be cut. It's about whether we want hard working people like us representing us or do we want the elitist 1% ruling over us.

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