County Executive: You know, this time around I briefly considered voting for Walker. I know, I'm shocked, too. Let me explain what was going on in my head, because there were several things. In no particular order, first, I think his pseudo-revolution has come, pun intended, full-circle, and the Board of Supervisors has finally regained its sense of balance and independence. That means that our elected supervisors are back to doing what they need to be doing--working on the County Budget and finding real solutions to our problems. No one likes paying more in taxes, but Walker's anti-tax-increase position stand doesn't have nearly the force (morally, politically, or economically) that it once did. Increasingly, he is becoming a relic. The fallout of the scandal that saw his rise has been fading away. Thus, I think that the Supervisors can--and are--standing up to him. That's a good sign. Also, Walker's perceived right-of-center views on a bunch of issues certainly turn me off. But so what? Being a county executive means, literally, being an executive--an enforcer. Most of those policies I'd fear, in my opinion, are not able to see the light of day because his job is not a policy job like most political jobs. It is a non-partisan, largely managerial position. And heck, there's really nothing evil about someone who just wants to save money, right? I mean, that's a laudable goal. That means that we should be able to give someone a bit of a break and look to see what the job is that he's doing. Plus he's got several years of experience under his belt. So why, then, NOT vote for Walker, if I could hypothetically overlook his perceived shortcomings? For me it's simple. Lena Taylor to me appears to be bright, passionate, and motivated. She's also seen the effects of the policies that Walker has implemented, and rightly fears the continual decline or elimination of county services or involvement in transit, parks, the House of Correction and Community Correctional Center. She may be the least experienced, and might not have the executive experience that Walker has, but I think that it's time to try someone new on for size. Let's vote for Lena.
Next on my list? County Supervisor. And for that I pick: Theo Lipscomb. Theo Lipscomb is a bright, upstart guy who already has experience in real estate and community development. He has local roots in Glendale. And he's a nice guy. But most importantly, he's pretty sharp, too. The supervisor election is an important one because no incumbent will appear on the ballot. Including the incumbent. The incumbent for the district that encompasses most of Glendale going South is James White. I have to say, he appears to be an intelligent fellow with experience. But he has never represented the people of Glendale. In fact, he only did after the districts were redrawn a few years ago and he got a big chunk of our community. When he went out collecting signatures, he had a significant number thrown out--almost a third, if I recall, because he went to people that weren't in his district anymore for their nomination. That tells me he's out of touch with our community. Lipscomb is wise (and, I think it's fair to say, a bit ballsy), because he took on the challenge of running a massive write-in campaign after White was not allowed to be placed on the ballot. I think that freshness of perspective and smarts merits a vote.
JUDGE: No brainer. Dallet. Let me tell you, I'm a practicing attorney in the Milwaukee County court system. I want someone with years of experience, who knows the court system, who has been a leader in that system, and who has taken on great responsibility within that system. She was well-regarded as a prosecutor in the sensitive crimes division, a job I can't image is all that enjoyable. And for the last year, roughly, she has served as a court commissioner, and an important one at that. She has hands-on experience in civil and criminal matters, which in my book makes her far better than the run-of-the-mill "former-assistant-district-attorney-trying-to-become-a-judge" candidate. Put differently, she's well-rounded. Sure, there are attorneys and commissioners who might have more experience than her, but you know who doesn't have more experience than her? Her competition, Jeffrey Norman. I have to tell you, Jeffrey Norman is one of the nicest, warmest, most dedicated guys I know. But he's not judge material. He had a rather unfortunate mix-up in paperwork filing that kept him off the ballot for Milwaukee Municipal Judge a few years ago, and didn't have a very strong showing as a write-in candidate either. He does have prosecutorial experience, but a brief review of circuit court records is just that--brief. He has virtually no cases listed in which he served as counsel. On the other hand, as a court commissioner appointed to serve in Milwaukee County, Dallet has exactly what the job requires--experience. I'm not against on-the-job training, mind you--experience can't be the only factor. But I have to believe that Rebecca Dallet has the edge as someone who is involved, and a leader. One final note, if I may. I have high opinions of both judicial candidates. I think Jeffrey Norman has the potential to become an excellent community leader. I just don't think the black robe suits him right now.