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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lena Taylor for Milwaukee County Executive

by folkbum

Joe Klein finally has a challenger in his race for County Executive, and it's State Senator Lena Taylor:
Following weeks of speculation, state Sen. Lena Taylor announced today she planned to run for Milwaukee County executive next spring "to restore balance integrity and fiscal accountability." "It's time for a higher degree of leadership and a new direction," Taylor, 41, said in a prepared statement.
There is some possibility--even though he promised he wouldn't--that incumbent Scott Walker may eventually join the race. But we'll have to wait and see about that.

Taylor has been working hard to establish a reputation as someone who will fight, unashamedly, for Milwaukee County. I wrote this recently:
Lena Taylor was perhaps the most fiery. [. . .] She, like Colón, had a lot of raw passion and, frankly, anger about the way the budget process has gone and what the Assembly GOP is trying to do to Milwaukee. She flat-out called Republican Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch "an a-hole" (she used the euphemism, that's not me cleaning it up) and at one point stood up to emphasize her points.

In particular, she was angry about the way the GOP budgets targets areas of the state that voted for Jim Doyle: Milwaukee, Beloit, Racine, and Superior. It was in that context--especially complaining about cuts in shared revenue aimed at those cities--that the "a-hole" comment flew. She was furious about the bait-and-switch Republicans pulled on MPS funding, about Republicans' provision limiting how many ballots Milwaukee County could print for elections, about the short-sighted nature of the cuts to MATC and UW. "If they [the Republicans] don't like what you're doing, they will punish you," she said.
I did not ask at the time, although it seems obvious now in retrospect: Where was Scott Walker on the Assembly GOP budget that treated Milwaukee County like a toilet? Should it not be the responsibility of the Milwaukee County Executive to stand up for the county that he theoretically represents? But Wallker's silence on the Assembly budget was deafening. He could not bring himself to stand up to his former colleagues and do his job.

And if Scott Walker doesn't want to do his job, we should help him out of it.

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