April 24, 2012
The State of Milwaukee
Wisconsin has always been divided between Milwaukee and the rest of the state. Much more so than Madison and the rest of the state. Remember when Tommy, after a few belts, told the northern Wisconsin group to "Stick it to Milwaukee" over the stadium issue?
Right-wingers repeat over and over that people "out-state" hate Madison. That is wrong, but there is a lack of comfort for rural Wisconsinites thinking of a trip to Milwaukee that they do not have during the state high school wrestling, basketball and football tournaments in Madison.
Milwaukee is the financial capital and Madison, is, obviously, the political capital. Minnesota has a more desirable situation. Minneapolis is the "Milwaukee" of Minnesota, and St. Paul is the political capital--the Madison, if you will, of Minnesota. They are, together, the Twin Cities.
If you live in Minneapolis but want to get to the University of Minnesota, it is a short drive across the river. If you live in Madison and want to visit Milwaukee it is a much longer trip. Some politicians like it that way, and I suspect Scott Walker pulled his nonsense over high-speed rail not for the cost but to maintain the divisions between our twin cities Madison and Milwaukee.
The firefighters of Milwaukee don't really like the firefighters of Madison, same for cops.
It is the Minnesota Vikings not the Minneapolis Vikings. It is the Minnesota Symphony not the St. Paul Symphony, but it is the Green Bay Packers and it is the Milwaukee Brewers. The one institution holding Wisconsin together is, arguably, the great state University of Wisconsin. Walker and the Bradley Foundation would love to privatize the university and now pit the UW-Madison against the UW-Milwaukee.
For many years the common wisdom was that a Milwaukee-based candidate could not win a statewide race, and for the most part that has been true. So there is cognitive dissonance in the pronouncements that Tom Barrett will win the primary because people around the state won't vote for Kathleen Falk for governor in large measure because Barrett is mayor of Milwaukee and that should give him a leg up. But, as with stick-it-to-them Tommy, it is quite possible that Milwaukee is an albatross this year as it has usually been.
I don't know how it will turn out, but the divisions were noted this weekend. Apparently Mayor Barrett visited the Ashland area and hinted that he could get legislation through to permit mining. And we thought that puppy had been put to bed! Thanks a lot, Mayor Barrett. While mines may be good for equipment manufacturers in Milwaukee, the pollution would be felt in the north. Oh, and since the Tribes have said no mining that should be the end of the road on this subject.
Whatever happens in the Democratic primary will be a surprise. What must not happen is a hang over with Democrats killing each other in the general election whether the winner is from Alma, Milwaukee or Madison. The stakes are too high.
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The Dummycraps are not a political party, they are inmates in search of an asylum. The biggest disappointment of all this fuss is that the protestors in Madison never formed a viable third party. Barrett will get a mine? Wonderful! Sheesh.
As for people outstate etc. Hating or distrusting Madison or Milwaukee is NOT just a right wing thing, and you know it. Plenty of outstate Dems are sick and tired of the Madison-Milwaukee power nexus in the Dummycrap party! Falk couldn't win for dog catcher outstate, and she has proven it.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | (Glad) I Escaped, WI. | April 24, 2012
Good piece, Ed. There is really only one alternative to Tom Barrett and that is Kathleen Falk. She is polling best and won more votes than Barrett in her 2006 statewide election than Barrett did in 2010. She also has done well north of Highway 10 (after all she served the entire state for 12 years as Public Intervenor).
What's more, Falk is the candidate of the grassroots and is sticking with us: on the mine, on collective bargaining and other issues.
We're hearing a lot of fear from Barrett supporters. They think they are supporting the "safe" candidate when they are actually supporting one who has the least contrast with Walker, given his support for mining and his actions supporting part of Act 10 and calling for even more "tools" from that (see link below).
The "other Kathleen" is polling in single digits, which means a vote for Vinehout is a vote for Barrett.
Check out this shocking letter, sent during the height of the protests. Regrettably, Barrett never called for collective bargaining negotiations with state employee unions:
-Andy Olsen | Madison, WI | April 24, 2012
Ed: Why don't you follow your own advice and stop attacking your fellow Democrat Tom Barrett? I'll support whichever Dem emerges from the primary. Why don't you say who you support and why, using positive points about the candidate you support?
Attacking each other is only going to help Walker win.
-T. Johnson | Plain, WI | April 24, 2012
"A vote for Vinehout is a vote for Barrett."
This is the same old crap we've been hearing
since McGovern ran for President. My vote for
Vinehout is a vote for reason, sanity, transparency, ethics in government, and people before politics. A vote for the front-runners is a guarantee of more of the same: party politics practices and payback for financial contributors. Same game, different faces.
You get what you settle for--the best government $$$$ can buy. I'm voting for a candidate who refuses special interest money--Kathleen Vinehout.
Wisconsin is bleeding. Vinehout will restore the values we've come to expect, and unite us around undoing the abusive power plays of Scott Walker and ALEC. Barrett had his chance and Falk
should enjoy her retirement.
I'm sick of being told I need to vote out of fear of the worst candidate winning. I'm voting out of confidence and faith in the candidate who has a vision and the courage to buck the system. I'm voting for the better of the two Kathleens.
-MJ Wentz | Fall River, WI | April 26, 2012