Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sorry But City of Milwaukee Residents Do Matter

During the current Madison-based effort to undermine the Milwaukee County Board, I've repeatedly heard supporters using many of the exact same talking points.  One of the talking points that has repeatedly gotten under my skin is the touting of referendums in 10 suburbs. Supporters have used those votes to strongly suggest if not outright state that Milwaukee County voters support their agenda in a big way.  That particular use of the referendum results are totally disingenuous in my opinion. 

Let me be perfectly clear that the views of the voters in those 10 suburbs most certainly do matter.  But let me also be perfectly clear that the largest constituency in Milwaukee County (speaking strictly numerically) matters much more.  And that group of people would be City of Milwaukee residents. Yet you wouldn't know it based on some of the declarations that we hear from the professional spin machine that has been retained to push this special interest agenda.

Today the latest MU Law Poll was released.  In it they reported that folks in the City of Milwaukee favored a full-time County Board 54-37%.  That double digit level of support in what is obviously the most population dense portion of the county most certainly does matter.  It would be nice if supporters of the special interest legislation would acknowledge that simple fact before declaring victory. But perhaps they are cynically banking on the assumption that City of Milwaukee residents wont be engaged enough.

A few parting points:

  • I'd expect that the numbers in those referendums would have been much different if they included all of the broad and sweeping measures found in AB 85. However the supporters of AB 85 wont let Milwaukee County voters have a real say on the entirety of the bill before it is actually forced upon us. 
  • If you would have had a similar referendum in those same 10 suburbs asking about reducing just about any elected officials pay to a part-time level I suspect that you would have found support for it.  So to pretend that this is some damning piece of data against Milwaukee County supervisors in particular is again disingenuous at best. 
  • Not only has the 10 referendum talking point been repeatedly used but even extremely weak items like a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online poll has been circulated by supporters of AB 85. Here is an example from Sen. Lena Taylor's records. I suspect that it was sent to her from the GMC front group Smart Government Inc.  Please don't tell me that anyone is making a decision about this legislation based on such weak and worthless info.

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