Saturday, March 14, 2009

To: Scott Walker: A Solution to Improve Public Transit in Milwaukee County, Make it Safer and Keep Costs Down; cc. Mayor Barrett

Dear County Executive Walker and Mayor Barrett:

The problems with the public transit system in Milwaukee County seem to be that it costs too much, does not cover enough routes, does not run often enough, and has the perception of not being safe.

I hope you would consider the following actions to help solve these problems:

1) No FREE PARKING for County or City employees -- including all managers, elected officials, police and deputies. (including all contract employees), and MPS.

2) Each of the above to receive a monthly pass for the Milwaukee Transit System at NO COST to them (per law they must live in Milwaukee county or city -- so it should be convenient for them).

3) If any of the above insist upon driving, they would be charged $20 per day for parking on county or city property. (for handicapped folks for whom taking the bus would be overly burdensome, they would only be charged $2 per for parking)

4) To discourage the above from parking on the streets near where they work, a zone of three blocks from every county, city facility or school where the above are employed will have a two hour parking limit, except for residents of the street, who will be given free vehicle stickers that name the street they are a resident of.

5) The revenue from employees who chose to pay the $20 per day for parking will be used to offset the costs of the monthly pass.

6) Presuming that a lot of space currently used for parking will no longer be needed, it can be sold by the county and city to create a trust that generates more revenue for the costs of the monthly passes.

7) With all the additional ridership from all parts of Milwaukee County and Milwaukee City, and the additional revenue to the bus system, the bus system can be run more often, and have routes that cover the entire county.

8) With elected officials, Managers and Executives riding the buses, there will be "eyes on" quality checks on each route.

9) With all the County Deputies and Milwaukee Police Officers riding the buses, there will be increased security.

10) The transit system can cancel its contract with the private security firm that currently patrols the buses for even more savings.

11) Teachers riding the buses will help with the problems with students --- and will free up parking space that the school system can also sell.

These are just initial thoughts and I am sure that between the talented people that work for Mr Walker and Mr Barrett, and at MPS, this program can be fully refined.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can I get an "Ament" for Brother Walker

Current Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker, is never reluctant to criticize his predecessor, Tom Ament as being all too willing to waste taxpayer money --- and participating in an "old boy" club, with top County officials helping to feather each others' beds.

Walker has run on promises to open up Milwaukee County government and end the cronyism of the Ament years.

But with a little slight of hand, we find that Walker has now joined the Crony Club, and is not above trying to slide through a few little perks --- like 26% pay raises --- for his fellow county officials.

Without bothering to consult with the Milwaukee County Board Members, Walker has implemented pay raises of 26% for his Chief of Staff, 11% for the Airport Director, and 12.5% for the Facilities Management Director.

In the meantime, Walker is laying off hundreds of union county workers, and continues to cut back funding for parks, buses and other county services.

In his drive to provide big paychecks for the chosen few at the top -- Walker continues to push for privatizing or selling as much of the county's resources as possible --- including Mitchell International Airport, even though the airlines and passengers who actually use the airport, are very happy with the county employees who have done a great job in running it ------- and it draws no money from the county.

It will be interesting to see how long the Citizens for Responsible Government tolerate Walker's current antics. This is the group that organized re-call elections that toppled the Ament regime, and helped to bring in Walker as a supposed "Reformer".

Unless of course, the CRG regards backdoor dealing and slight of hand double digit salary increases for a chosen few top officials, as "reform"


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Milwaukee Fire Department Administrator Wanted -- Only Idiots to Apply

Per an article in todays Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee Fire Department has a $400,000 GPS feature in its computerized dispatch system.

However the $400,000 feature has not been used for about a year because a $5,000 server broke, and has not yet been replaced.

Alderman Bob Donovan was quoted in the article as calling the yearlong GPS breakdown "an unfortunate situation --- frustrating because we paid so much for it".

Hmmmmm --- Maybe such an astute assessment of the situation by Ald Donovan, would qualify him for an administrative position with MFD.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hillary has to keep running --- for the MONEY !

The contribution limits for individuals in the presidential primary race is $2300. This has been a problem for Hillary Clinton whose money primarily came from big contributions, and quite a number of contributors who hit the limit, and could not be hit up for more, versus Barack Obama, whose contributions came from more individuals in smaller amounts --- individuals he could go back to several times, with no fear of their hitting the limit.

Although there is a limit on contributions from individuals to a candidate, the big loop hole in the campaign finance laws is that a candidate can contribute unlimited amounts to his or her own campaign.

So when she was running out of money in February Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign $5 million, and with continuing fundraising difficulties, she lent another $6.4 million in trying to beat back Obama in Indiana and North Carolina.

Now please note there is a Second Loop Hole in the campaign finance laws - Candidates don't have to actually lose the money they put into their campaigns, they can simply LOAN the money as Clinton did, and PAY THEMSELVES BACK with later contributions.

With Clinton's poor showings in North Carolina and Indiana, the political pundits have all but written off her chances of winning the nomination, especially as the math is against her possibility of getting enough pledged delegates to close the gap with Obama.

Many pundits are debating as to just why Hillary is still campaigning so hard, when it appears her chance of victory is somewhere between slim and none.

The pundits talk about her future political career, possible vice president aspirations, and the possibility of behind the scenes deals with the Super Delegates, as being her motivation.

I believe you simply have to FOLLOW THE MONEY !

Hillary does not want to eat her contributions --- she wants other folks to pay the bill. After all, that has always been the Clinton Way !

By continuing her campaign, Hillary will continue to collect contributions. But future contributors should not be too surprised to find that instead of using their money to continue the campaign, it may just be going back to Hillary's pocket !!!

Hillary Goes After the Bubba Vote --- Is that the White Trailer Trash Crowd ?

As the results from the Indiana Primary showed, the Bubba vote that Hillary was so hotly pursuing in the recent weeks, did not come to her aid for a big win.

After Barack Obama made his comments about Small Town America:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing has replaced them, and it's not surprising they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them, and it goes on--or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The Clintons tried very hard to make the case that Obama was an "elitist" who was out of touch with the working class, such as these comments that Bill Clinton made while campaigning for Hillary:

It's "not by race or even income," he said. "It's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules. In West Virginia and in Arkansas, we know that when we see it."

I find no lack of wonderment that Hillary is trying to appeal to the working folks as one of their kind, when her life was growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois (read very wealthy Chicago suburb) --- going to elite schools, and making a ton of money representing big special interests in Arkansas, such as Wal Mart and Tyson Chicken, as a lawyer who happened to be married to the sitting governor (funny how much money such a lawyer can make with that kind of connection).

Perhaps the height of the Clinton's duplicitous new found love for the working class, is exemplified by their acceptance of help from their political "pit bull" James Carville, in regards to Bill's many unwanted advances upon "working" class women who happened to cross his path.

Carville demeaned anyone who criticized his patron and once famously characterized a clerical worker in Arkansas state government as "trailer trash" when she truthfully told her humiliating story of Governor Clinton's inexcusable sexual advances.

"You drag a dollar bill through a trailer park, and you never know what trash might turn up".

I give the Indiana voters credit for seeing beyond Hillary's new "shot and a beer" persona, and for seeing who she really is.

Not so very long ago, Indiana was the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan - but the people of Indiana, with their votes, have shown that this is a New World in which Color of someone's skin will not necessarily be the sole criteria they vote on --- even when being subtlety and not so subtlety reminded of the race issue by the White Rich Woman Candidate.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

QUESTION: Who won the most votes from Independents in the recent Pennsylvania Primary - Clinton or Obama ??

Much has been said about the ability of Barack Obama to win over Independents and Undecided Voters ...... which will bode well for whichever Democratic Candidate faces off with John McCain.

McCain has a strong attraction to Independent Voters who do not necessarily vote a straight party line, but who look at the individual candidate's attributes.

Politicians like McCain (and Obama) who have shown a willingness to work with the Party on the other side of the Aisle, are very attractive to Independents who are tired of the Same Old Politics and Political Polarization in our government.

One of the reasons that Barack Obama has done so well against Hillary Clinton, is that Clinton has long been seen as one of the Polarizing Politicians and is often a turn-off to Independent Voters and even Declared Democrats who are looking for Real Change.

As I noted in my previous posting, I believe the Media is portraying the Underwhelming Clinton win in Pennsylvania as an upset --- to keep the race going, along with the viewership of the News Shows and Media Advertising Sales that benefit from the continuation of the Race.

Clinton was forecasted early on to win Pennsylvania by 20 points or more, and her less than double win of 9 point some percent, showed that Obama was able to Whittle Her Lead by More than Half --- And among Registered Democrats ONLY !!!


Under Pennsylvania's system, a Voter must declare their Party Affiliation at least a Month Before the Election, and those who declare Independent, CANNOT vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Would the ability of the Independents to vote for one of the Democratic Candidates been of benefit to Barack --- would it have put him over the line for the win ??? We will never know for sure, but based upon the effect of the Independent Voters in other races, it is a Very Probable Scenario that their ability to vote in the Democratic Contest would have been a Straight Win for Obama !!

And going on to the General Election --- the Independents will play a Very Big role in deciding between McCain and the Democratic Candidate.

If the Independents do becoming the deciding factor in deciding our next president --- as they have had in every election since 1992 --- the Democrats will need Obama to be a Viable Alternative to McCain --- a role which Hillary, with all her Polarizing Baggage, cannot fulfill.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is the Media Slanting its Reporting to Keep Clinton and Obama Election Race in the News ?

In the months and weeks preceding the Pennsylvania Primary, Hillary Clinton consistently showed a huge lead in polling data, predicting that Clinton would win the Keystone State with a healthy double digit lead.

With some early polls showing Clinton with a 20 plus point lead, closing in on the race, a March 10 poll showed her with a lead of 19 points, and a March 20 poll showed her with 16 points.

Before the Pennsylvania election, the CW (common wisdom) said that a “double digit” Clinton win would keep her in the race, while anything less would show a big slip in favor of Obama --- and perhaps time to Concede the Race !!

Now that the race is over, the Media is reporting that Clinton got her “double digit” win of 10% which is NOT true --- the actual results were Clinton with only a 9.6% win, which is of course Less than Double Digit.

The question I have is why the Media is putting a positive spin on Clinton’s results, when in fact she lost over 10% of her lead, and won with Less than Double Digits over Obama.
Shouldn’t the correct spin be that Obama, despite all the last minute controversies just before the Pennsylvania vote, still managed to cut Clinton’s lead in more than half !

A Cynical answer to this question could be that the Media is making too much money off this horserace to see it end too soon !!!

As long as it appears that Clinton still has a chance, the Media gets to run up its numbers on its News and Commentary shows, and gets to Sell a Lot More Advertising Time in the upcoming races.

It would be Financially Detrimental to the News Media to end the race now. There is a lot more money to be made, by spinning the results to make it seem like Clinton still has a chance.

Even O’Reilly’s so called “No Spin Zone” has joined in this distortion of the Election Analysis. I guess Bill likes the ratings his show gets from the continued controversy !