By Doug Hissom Special to Published Jan 08, 2010 at 5:19 AM

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Milwaukee Ald. Tony Zielinski is hot under the collar about new uniforms for the Milwaukee Police Department.

Zielinski has consistently led effforts to have the city buy American-made products and the new cop uniforms wil be made in China.

"Our police chief has decided to ship American jobs overseas at greater cost to the American taxpayer," Zielinski said.

"This move shows complete insensitivity to and outright disregard for the plight of the American worker in our current economy. In light of the fact that our federal government understands the plight of the American worker and has invested billions of dollars to create jobs here, this move by the police chief is particularly illogical."

Big money for Barrett: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's gubernatorial campaign gleefully announced that it raised more than $750.000 in 47 days and now has $1.5 million in the bank.

More MPS input: Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines clarified his position on mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools. He's all for it. He testified in front of the Senate Education Committtee this week, saying it was a good idea.

"Only the mayor of Milwaukee can leverage the resources that are necessary to transform MPS. It is the one position that can harness the powers of the entire city to demand and oversee substantial improvement," Hines said.

"The current system is bogged down in bureaucracy and unable to respond to the many challenges our children face. Mayoral governance can pave the way for true accountability and substantial improvement." 

Meanwhile, the ACLU weighed in against the program.

"The primary constitutional responsibility for the education of Milwaukee's children rests with the state of Wisconsin," said ACLU executive director Chris Ahmuty.

"The state needs to put adequate resources into the public school system to provide the educational services and supports those children need.

"It needs to ensure that the per-pupil funding for Milwaukee Public Schools students is at least comparable to that of suburban districts.

"It needs to phase out voucher and charter schools that are not performing, and impose the same accountability requirements on any schools that remain. Those are the reforms that will help Milwaukee students succeed."

Doug Hissom Special to
Doug Hissom has covered local and state politics for 20 years. Over the course of that time he was publisher, editor, news editor, managing editor and senior writer at the Shepherd Express weekly paper in Milwaukee. He also covered education and environmental issues extensively. He ran the UWM Post in the mid-1980s, winning a Society of Professional Journalists award as best non-daily college newspaper.

An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.

He lives in Bay View.